Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Will Travel for Romance! The Best of Bess McBride.

Today it's my pleasure to feature Bess McBride's amazing new boxed set which includes FIVE books for the price of ONE!

If you’re not familiar with her other works I encourage you to take a peek at Moonlight Wishes in Time for a taste of her style. Also, be sure to check out her A Train Through Time series.

Here’s a glimpse of what her boxed set is all about…

The Will Travel for Romance Boxed Set Books 1-5 is a collection of the majority of my contemporary romance books currently available for sale as single titles, however, the boxed set is discounted. The books included in the Will Travel for Romance Boxed Set Books 1-5 are not a series but share several common themes of travel and romance. These stories are for all of us who want to travel but just can’t get away or can’t afford it or...life gets in the way. The stories are sweet to sensual. Happy travels!

A Penny for Your Thoughts (contemporary/romantic suspense): Michigan mental health therapist Penny
Brown runs to the sugary sands of the Alabama Gulf Coast in search of solace following the devastating suicide of one of her clients. But the healing and peace she seeks elude her as a stalker begins to make threatening phone calls from Michigan. She turns to the local authorities only to discover that the Chief of Police is none other than Matt Williams, the man she loved and left fifteen years before...a man she never stopped loving. Matt is ready to fall in love all over again if Penny is finally ready to settle down. But neither of them realize that a killer is much closer than they think. Rekindling their love could cost Penny her life.

A Trail of Love (contemporary/romantic suspense): Kerrie is on the run from a painful past, and she hides in plain sight as a summer employee in the majestic setting of Glacier National Park. When handsome bear ranger, Dace Mitchell, rescues Kerrie from her own foolish behavior...more than once, she finds herself drawn to him against her will...until she discovers he’s already involved with someone else. When Kerrie begins to get mysterious silent phone calls, it seems likely that the past has caught up to her. Can Dace save her from a violent man who will stop at nothing to have her?

A Shy Woman in Love (contemporary romance): Shy Cassie, recovering from
a failed relationship, throws caution to the winds and embarks on a fast-paced group tour of Europe. Although she's in no mood for men, she can't help but fall under the spell of the only single man on the tour, handsome attorney Jay, along with all the other ladies. Jay has eyes only for Cassie, if Cassie would just give him a chance. Through the romantic cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Lucerne, Paris and London, Jay attempts to pursue the shy woman, with the help of the matchmaking tour members. Until her "failed relationship" shows up, that is, begging her to take him back.

A Sigh of Love (contemporary romance): Abbie is on her way to Anchorage, Alaska to meet George whom she has been corresponding by telephone for the past three months, but when she calls George to let him know she’s coming, he backs out. With nonrefundable plane tickets, Abbie heads off to Alaska anyway, only to meet a tall, handsome anthropology professor who happens to be half Native Alaskan and half Caucasian. By flight's end, Abbie is completely enamored of the stranger, and she doubts her judgment, perhaps even her sanity, as she finds herself falling again for yet another Alaskan male...until George shows up, that is.

On a Warm Sea of Love (contemporary/lovelorn ghosty romance): Hailey Saunders accompanies her beloved matchmaking sister, Megan, on a cruise to the beautiful and exotic Caribbean...something she’s avoided for a long time...ever since her young husband, Zach, was lost off a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea during a storm. But Hailey doesn’t cry for her lost husband. Because Zach returned to her...or at least, his ghost did. A flirtatious but ineligible Scots ship's officer, Alan Campbell, has his eye on Hailey as does the handsome and mysterious European, Karl de Groot. Megan is ready to make a match for her sister, but Zach finds it hard to let his wife go...or is it Hailey who refuses to say goodbye? Three men want her...only one can have her!

Interested in buying this now? Purchase at

Amazon and Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'd Settle For Alive Until Sunrise. Blood Rush by Ash Krafton.

Today I’m totally thrilled to interview the fabulously talented Ash Krafton, author of Blood Rush, The Books of the Demimonde, Book 2, an urban fantasy.
Publisher: Pink Narcissus
Date of Publication: May 14, 2103
ISBN: 9781939056016
Number of pages: 353
Word Count: 94000
Cover Artist: Duncan Eagleson

Purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY! Ash is graciously offering a few prizes including a signed PRINT copy of Blood Rush and a $50 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win!

Book Description

Sophie doesn't believe in happily ever after. These days, she'd settle for alive after sunrise.

Advice columnist and newly-appointed oracle to the demivampire, Sophie Galen has more issues than a Cosmo collection: a new mentor with a mean streak, a werewolf stalker she can't shake, and a relationship with her ex's family that redefines the term complicated. And then there's her ex himself, who is more interested in playing leader of the vampire pack than in his own salvation.

Becoming a better oracle is tough enough, but when Sophie encounters a deadly enemy - one she never dreamed of facing - it will take everything she's ever learned in order to survive.

Interview Time!

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?

ASH:  It's the follow-up to Bleeding Hearts--and the original title for the sequel was "Bloodied Hopes". My husband took one look at the title page, crumpled it up, and said, "Now, how about a real title?" BLOOD RUSH is a term used in the story so it made a better title. (I don't even want to tell you what he said when I told him Book 3, now called WOLF'S BANE, was originally going to be titled "Fur and Feathers". Plus, I can't actually spell retching sounds.)

SKY:  What made you choose the main setting for your book?

ASH:  I'm a Pennsylvania girl who lived in Philly for several years before moving back north, closer to my home town. I love Southeast PA and it was very easy to imagine a town close to Philly. Balaton, PA is a harbor city outside Philly and is completely fictional.

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

ASH:  Oh, the conflict. In BLOOD RUSH, the heroine Sophie is estranged from her Demivampire soul mate, Marek. His brother, Rodrian, asks for her help with his daughter, who is suffering from a medical condition. Rodrian is a little too sexy for his own good and, as he and Sophie grow in friendship, things get a little confusing. Then there is Sophie's mentor, Eirene, who would be the perfect teacher to a Sophia, who is an emotional healer. Too bad she's so rotten--all the emotions she brings up in Sophie are anything but positive.

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

ASH:  The cover features the profile of a falcon, which relates to a key element of the relationship between Demivamps and Weres--which has its roots in Ancient Egypt.

Horus is the son of Osirus and Isis and is one of my favorites. Horus is depicted as having the head of a falcon, usually a peregrine. Very appropriate for the God of the Sky.

In my research, I came across the description of Horus' eyes. That caught my interest, because the power of a demivamp had a great deal to do eyes and their color. The ancients said that, as God of the Sky, one eye of Horus was the sun and the other was the moon.

Hmm…sun and moon…vamps and werewolves…of course!

My wonderful artist Duncan Eagleson took the falcon image a step further and drew it in blood. That's what makes it so pretty : )

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

ASH:  LOL Yes--the scene where Toby shifts into wolf's form. Before I wrote it, I had a conversation with a friend of mine regarding what approach I should take. The jump-into-the-air-and-BOOM! Method? Or the shimmer-ripple-fur-sprout effect? The stretch-and-shove metamorphosis? "No," Mona said. "I think it should be gross."

After I wrote it and showed it to her, she just got this big, wide smile. Typical for the lady who stayed in the hotel that inspired The Shining.

SKY:  What sources do you use for research?

ASH: Internet, museums, and music.

SKY:  It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?

ASH: TRIBERR!Triberr is a blog distribution service that allows people to share their tribesmates' blogs via Twitter. I once blogged about it at QueryTracker HERE so this might be a good article for someone who isn't familiar with the Triberrness.

SKY: 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.

ASH:  While I have a short story or two available in podcast, my novels are not--maybe one day the series will sell well enough that I can enlist the aid of a foreign rights agent. Fingers crossed!

SKY:  What genre/genres do you prefer to write?

ASH:  I'm a spec fic kind of gal--which means my pen can go wherever it pleases, whether it be fantasy, horror, sci-fi…anywhere there's a What if…? kind of question.

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

ASH:  I prefer novels because they are easier. Mark Twain once said “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” That is my favorite writer's quote--and one that haunts me every time I sit down to write. Short stories are much harder to write. In fact, I recently published a novella with the Wild Rose Press. At about 20k words, it was a short story that just didn't know how to stay short.

SKY:  Fantastic interview, Ash! And I'm with you... Triberr rocks!


I don't believe in happily ever after. These days, I'd settle for alive until sunrise.

I never thought I'd become a nine-to-fiver. Certainly never thought I'd be too pre-occupied to make fun of myself for being one. Sometimes the irony was too great to appreciate.

While I waited for the elevator to arrive at The Mag's foyer, I smoothed my scarf along the back of my neck and hefted my tote bag a little higher on my shoulder. Every chime increased my trepidation, tightening the fist of anxiety in my chest and the sensation of bees swarming in the top of my stomach. I hated quitting time.

More underappreciated irony. Why not?

People chatted around me but I fidgeted with my zipper, keeping my gaze lowered and my mouth closed. Leaving at five in the afternoon meant more than crammed elevators and crowded buses; it meant the light would fade soon and with it my peace of mind. The autumn wasn't a happy golden foliage time of year for me anymore.

Although it was only early October, already the longer nights and shorter days made me feel nervous and brittle. Bad enough I didn't have a sweetheart to share the long nights but even worse now that I knew what came out when the sun went down. Although I hadn't had any problems with vampires over the last year, the threat never left my mind.

Vampires were out there. It was just a matter of time until I had to deal with them again.

Halfway during our descent, I felt a vibe. It was a mild one but, over the past year, my empathy had become sensitive to the point of being squirrely. The thin thread of power wound its way around each of the passengers as the DV who owned it checked out who else was in the car. When it reached me, it felt like a poke on the arm. I glanced over my shoulder, catching the eyes of an older dark-eyed woman near the back. She sent a tiny pulse of apology-ladened power and lowered her eyes.

I smiled politely and concentrated on tugging my scarf loose. The DV didn't approach me in public where any old human could see. We kept our dealings distant and private. That was the way I preferred.

The door opened and I flowed out with the crowd, sunglasses on and scarf over my hair. I hoped everyone would more or less continue on together today so I could hide in the crowd a bit longer.

Without turning my head, I saw a rail-thin guy, his scruffy head and jeans out of place amongst the exiting office employees. He leaned against the wall, scanning the people emerging from the other elevators. Seemed to have missed me—good. Taking shelter behind a taller woman and her chatty companion, I hustled out the front doors.

Outside, my luck ran out. My camouflaging crowd of co-workers suddenly scattered like roaches when the kitchen light is turned on. I hesitated, taking too long to pick a direction.

It was all he needed to spot me. I looked back through the glass into the foyer of The Mag's building.

He was on the move, eyes locked onto me.

I bolted.

Startled faces blurred past as I hurried through the five o'clock exodus, bumping into one man, dodging another, and rounding the corner at a speed unfitting for heeled pumps. Steve Madden would be horrified if he knew what I did in his shoes.

Well, Steve could kill me later. Right now, I was facing a much more immediate threat.

At the corner, a bus was loading and at this point I didn't care if it was mine or not. An elderly lady with a big shopping bag struggled on the steps and I danced behind her like a first grader with a full bladder. Once she cleared the last step I leapt up, slamming my token into the fare box.

The door closed behind me just as my pursuer caught up. For once I was glad for the driver's rude efficiency. The bus leveled and lurched forward. I grabbed the bar, almost swinging into the laps of the front seat passengers. As we pulled away from the curb, I met the man's stare through the grimy glass of the door.

Rusted-orange eyes with wide pupils.

Non-people eyes.

Werewolf eyes.

I sank onto an empty seat, heart thumping, gradually slowing. Glancing up at the sign over the driver's seat, I realized I'd ended up on the round-about route. Close enough for me. I tugged my necklace out of my shirt and kissed the pendant, my good luck charm, and offered a silent thankful thought to whatever divine powers had saved my behind, yet again.

Reaching into my bag, I pulled out a book of poetry and readied for a long ride home. Ironically, when I'd flipped to a random page, I opened to one of Dylan Thomas's poems.

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I had no energy left for rage. All I could muster was a thankful thought because at least today's escape had gone better than most.

About the Author

Ash Krafton writes from the heart…of the Pennsylvania coal region, that is. She is the author of the Books of the Demimonde (Pink Narcissus Press).

BLEEDING HEARTS (Demimonde #1) is a six-time RWA finalist and was voted "Reviewer Top Pick" by Gravetells.com. Ash continues the story of Sophie and her Demivampires in her latest release BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2). She's hard at work (when she isn't watching Doctor Who) writing the third book, WOLF'S BANE.

Ash Krafton's poetry and short fiction has appeared in several journals, including Niteblade, Bete Noire, Abandoned Towers, and Silver Blade. She's a member of Pennwriters, RWA, and Maryland Writers Association. She lurks near her blog and contributes to the QueryTracker blog.

Ash lives with her family and their German Shepherd dog deep in the Pennsylvania wilds, awaiting the day the TARDIS appears in the driveway (the dog most likely keeps the Doctor away. What a beast.)

Until then, she writes.

Find Ash at:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Will the Wolves Force Eve to Choose? Blood Lust by Charity Santiago.

Today it’s my pleasure to interview Charity Santiago, author of Blood Lust  (Rapid City Wolves, Book 1), a Paranormal Romance.

Number of pages: 95
Word Count:  37,550
Cover Artist: Charity Santiago

Watch the Book Trailer 
Purchase at Amazon
GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

Book Description

Eve came to Rapid City to escape her parents' messy divorce, but what she finds in South Dakota exceeds her wildest dreams- and nightmares. After Eve is attacked by a wolf outside her grandmother's house, she stumbles into a new and frightening existence as an alpha werewolf. Fated to lead the pack and obligated to choose a beta to lead beside her, Eve still cannot bring herself to forget Jericho, the mysterious vampire who saved her life. Will the wolves force Eve to choose between her destiny and her soulmate?

Interview time!

SKY:  What inspired you to write this book?

CHARITY:  I knew I wanted to write a new series involving either vampires or werewolves, but I couldn’t make up my mind. My dad suggested I write a story about a vampire falling in love with a werewolf, and even though the concept immediately brought to mind other stories like Underworld and Twilight, I figured I could give this series enough originality of its own to stand apart from similar themes we’ve seen in the past.

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?

CHARITY:  My brainstorming buddy, Tim, and I were trying to find a title that would grab people’s attention, and we settled on Blood Lust before we even knew what the book would be about! We wanted the title to convey the premise of the story, and attract those who were already fans of paranormal romance. Some alternate titles we considered were Vampire’s Lust and Immortal Lust, but in the end, there was just something about Blood Lust that felt right.

SKY:  What made you choose the main setting for your book?

CHARITY:  The setting for Blood Lust actually gave the series its name- Rapid City Wolves. I knew that werewolves would need a large forest to hunt in undetected, so I went through a list of national forests and tried to pick out the ones that would work best with my story. Rapid City, South Dakota appealed to me because it’s a fairly small town of only 70,000 people and it’s right in the middle of the Black Hills National Forest.

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

CHARITY:  Right now I’m working on Blood Oath, the sequel to Blood Lust. It’s set to release June 1st and we still have a lot of editing to do! Blood Lust was more about setting the tone for the conflict and getting the story rolling along, while Blood Oath intensifies the conflict and sets clear boundaries as far as which side characters stand on. I’m enjoying being able to delve deeper into Eve’s world. I can focus on more characters and develop their personalities, and I feel like readers will fall even more in love with Jericho in the second book.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

CHARITY:  Eve is an alpha, but in Blood Lust she has to kind of ease into the role, because she’s only just found out she’s a werewolf. One of my favorite scenes in Blood Lust is the part where Eve is attacked by the wolf that bites her and turns her into a werewolf. It would have been easy for Eve to play the helpless, screaming victim, but instead she fought back with everything she had. She takes all these new developments in her life in stride. Some people mistake her kindness and calmness for weakness, but that’s not the case at all. Just because Eve isn’t standing on tabletops, shouting out orders, doesn’t make her a less capable leader. I like her style and the way she adapts seamlessly to any new situation.

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

CHARITY:  I feel like such a diva when it comes to writing! Everyone thinks I should just be able to write for an hour, put my work aside to go feed the kids, and then get right back into the writing groove, but that’s not the case at all. The more interruptions to my writing, the more likely I am to get writer’s block. As a result, I do a lot of my writing at night after everyone else has already gone to bed. I have a computer desk, but I prefer the couch in our living room, and I tend to use my Neo for writing more than my laptop. I find it so much easier to write when I don’t have the distraction of the internet or Facebook.

SKY:  What sources do you use for research?

CHARITY:  The internet is the best resource a writer could ever hope for. For the Rapid City Wolves series, I did a lot of research on South Dakota and Rapid City in particular. Rapid City has one of the best networks of websites I’ve ever seen! I was able to view maps of the city so I could realistically plan my characters’ travels, and many actual, real-life businesses in Rapid City make an appearance in Blood Lust, to include the Delmonico Grill, Firehouse Brewing Company, and Ifrit’s Hookah Lounge. I did research on various real estate websites before I decided where Eve’s house would be located, and I even looked up the weather in Rapid City before deciding what time of year to set the book. I couldn’t be more happy with the results of all my research.

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

CHARITY:  I do write books in series, and Blood Lust is the first book in the Rapid City Wolves series. I’ll be focusing on Rapid City Wolves for a while, what with the second book, Blood Oath, coming out on June 1st. But later this year, I do plan to start another fantasy trilogy that runs along the same lines as the Mortal Instruments series- young adult urban fantasy with a touch of romance.

SKY:  Great interview, Charity! Thanks for joining me today.


As I pulled into the driveway, my headlights illuminated the barn door, which was unlatched and standing open. I frowned and stopped the car. Gram usually kept the barn locked up tight at night. There were too many bears, mountain lions and various other predators prowling the Black Hills to leave the horses without protection.

After some hesitation, I moved my foot back to the gas pedal and turned the steering wheel, driving up to the barn and angling the car so that the lights were shining on the double doors. I shifted the car into park and leaned forward, trying to see inside. The barn door wasn’t opened wide enough for me to see anything, so I sat there for a moment.

I was very likely overreacting. Gram probably just forgot to latch the door, and it had drifted open after she’d already gone to bed.

I grabbed my cell phone and got out of the car. As I walked closer to the barn, I knew immediately that something was wrong. The horses inside were milling around, the sound of their hoof beats frantic in the cool night air.

I pulled the barn door open, trying to remember which side the light switch was on, and froze as I saw two glowing eyes in the darkness.

There was a muck rake leaning up against the opposite barn door, and my hand went to it instinctively. I backed away, slowly, trying not to draw any attention to myself. Gram had always said that the worst thing to do when encountering a wild animal was to run.

As the creature moved into the beam of my headlights, I could see that it was a wolf- the biggest wolf I’d ever seen, with startling green eyes so vivid that they almost didn’t look real.

My first thought was, This isn’t happening.

It was impossible for a wolf to be that big- and I was pretty sure wolves didn’t have green eyes, either. Was I dreaming? Was this just another cabin-in-the-woods nightmare?

My hand tightened on the rake, and the wood was rough against my fingers. The wolf stalked me, advancing as I backed away, the hackles on its neck rising.

It suddenly lunged at me, without any warning whatsoever.

I had no time to think- I just grabbed the rake in both hands and thrust it out in front of me, the handle colliding with the wolf’s muzzle mid-leap. I fell backwards onto the hood of my car, my cell phone spurting from beneath my fingers as I fought to maintain my grip on the rake.

The wolf was half on top of me, scrabbling at my legs as he snapped his jaws repeatedly. I shoved the rake handle into the wolf’s mouth and pushed as hard as I could. I heard it gag as its jaws were forced open by the wooden handle.

Summoning my strength, I forced the wolf off me, sending it sprawling in the grass, and ran for the driver’s side door. I managed to yank it open, but as I was climbing inside, the wolf’s teeth closed on my leg through the denim of my jeans. I screamed and kicked at the animal, but he only gripped tighter and pulled, dragging me from the car. Still kicking, I grabbed onto the steering wheel and held on for dear life. With one fist I pounded on the steering wheel, sounding the horn in short, sharp bursts, praying that somebody would hear. I could feel the wolf’s fangs sinking deeper into my leg, and I started screaming, still clutching the steering wheel like a lifeline.

When the wolf finally let go of my leg, my entire lower half hit the ground with a spine-jarring impact. I lost my grip on the steering wheel and fell to the ground beside the car. Far from defeated, I grabbed the rake again and swung it awkwardly, missing the wolf and hitting the car door.

The wolf leaped at me again, and for the second time, I wedged the rake inside its jaws, narrowly preventing it from biting me.

In one abrupt, breathless moment, a black blur slashed across my vision, and suddenly the weight of the wolf was off me and the rake was clattering to the ground by my feet. I’d been screaming so loud that the sudden stillness rang in my ears. I scrambled upright, wincing at the pain that shot through my injured leg. Although they were outside of the illumination of my headlights, I could see two dark shapes- the wolf, which was slightly lighter in color, and the black blur, rolling around on the ground together. I was too far away to tell what kind of animal the second creature was, or if it was an animal at all- although the growls and snarls it was emitting certainly indicated it wasn’t human.

I knew I had no time to waste, and I used the steering wheel to pull myself upright. I was about to fall into the car when I hesitated. If I got into my car, the horses would still be unprotected. I couldn’t leave them like that.

I yanked my keys free from the ignition, then grabbed the rake and hobbled towards the barn. At any moment I expected the wolf to attack me from behind, but I managed to reach the barn door without incident, and pulled it shut behind me, bolting it from the inside.

About the Author

I first discovered the world of self-publishing in February 2011, when my 7-month-old son was admitted to the hospital with severe respiratory issues. During his stay in the hospital, I tried to keep us both entertained by downloading several books on my Kindle and reading them out loud.

I read a number of self-published books and realized that I had an opportunity to share my writings with the world. I soon decided to quit my full-time job in the insurance and financial services industry, stay home with my son and write. It was the best decision I've ever made. My son's health has improved drastically, and I've never been happier.

I prefer to read and write YA fantasy, romance, and paranormal romance. The next book in my Rapid City Wolves series, “Blood Oath,” will be released for Amazon Kindle on June 1, 2013.

Visit Charity's Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads


Thursday, May 16, 2013

They have Everything but Love. A New Beginning by Cristiane Serruya.


Today it’s my pleasure to interview Cristiane Serruya, author of Trust : A New Beginning, book one in the Trust Trilogy.

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
ISBN 13: 978-1480236295
Number of pages: 464
GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win.

Book Description

They are beautiful. They are rich. They are strong willed and successful. They have everything, but love. And each one of them has a dark secret looming in their past.

Sophia is a 25 year old Brazilian widow. Intelligent and ravishing, she flees from her own country after a tragic incident. Hiding from everyone and everything, she remains alone, torn between the love for a dead man, the torment of living without part of her memory and the fear of moving on.

Ethan is one of the most important tycoons in the steel industry. As the memory of an awful evening in his adolescence haunts him night and day, he keeps looking for an elusive woman whom he could love - and who would love him - as he never has in all his 35 years... Until he finds Sophia.

Alistair is a 34 year old powerful banker, searching for one–night stands with women who will warm his bed. And that he can punish physically to abate his anger for his late wife's black deeds and his own guilt for being such a debauched man for so many years. Any woman will do, and he has many to choose from, as they all fall instantly for his manly, devilish charming ways.

In Europe, in the months after October 2009, their paths will cross and clash. Who will win the prize of love?

Interview time!

SKY:  Welcome, Christiane!

CRISTIANE:  Hello, there, Sky. Thanks for hosting me at your amazing blog. I’m so happy to be here with you today and talk a bit about myself and my trilogy. Oh, and by the way, this coffee is delicious. :)
SKY:  What inspired you to write this book?

CRISTIANE: It all started in a very silly way. In April 2009, I was bed-ridden, sick - and bored. I had a such bad headache that I could even read or open the curtains. So… I decided to tell myself a story. The seed was planted. But it took me more than a year to gather the courage to put some ideas on paper. But daily life kept intruding in the way. The story grew and took shape, but daily life kept me from writing it. I was very unsatisfied with the Brazilian justice system and that was affecting my own work as a lawyer.

Real life is what inspires me to write. Look around you, listen to your family’s stories, your neighbors’ daily lives, read the newspapers. There are so many stories waiting to be told and not enough time to write about them. I don’t want to give away to much, but one of the subjects treated in my book, especially the relationships between Ethan, Alistair and Sophia, is being talked about by everyone and it's very similar to my Law School thesis.

On February 28th, 2011, a friend of mine said I had such good stories to tell that I should write a book and that I would make many more people aware of the still brutal violence that was practiced against women and children (one of the main issues that I work with, and the subject of my university thesis). The next day, I started the trilogy.
SKY:  How did you come up with the title?

CRISTIANE:  My book tells the story of three main characters that have almost everything in life, but love. They have a lot of life history and so many secrets hidden in their past that they’ll need to relearn how to trust and give themselves the chance to begin anew. So, Trust: A New Beginning seemed appropriate. All the titles of my books come from something one of the characters has said somewhere in the book. *grin* Sophia, Ethan and Alistair help me a lot.
SKY:  Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

CRISTIANE:  The TRUST trilogy is intriguing - and hot - story about people who need to forgive, forget and learn how to love again.

Trust: A New Beginning is a love story where, just as in real life, it doesn’t matter if you are rich and powerful, if you wear Channel or drive a Mercedes 722SL, bad things - and good - will happen to you. Yeah, money helps and rich people’s lives may seem easier, smoother, but tragedy strikes everyone it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. The thing is the richer never see it coming...
The TRUST trilogy is intriguing love story about people who need to forgive, forget and learn how to love again.
Trust: A New Beginning is a love story where, just as in real life, it doesn’t matter if you are rich and powerful, if you wear Channel or drive a Mercedes 722SRL, bad things - and good - will happen to you. Yeah, money helps and rich people’s lives may seem easier, smoother, but when tragedy strikes, it does with a vengeance that shocks because they weren’t expecting it. They didn’t think the problems would reach them.

My trilogy tells the story of three main characters that have almost everything in life, but love. They have a lot of life history and so many secrets hidden in their past that they’ll need to relearn how to trust and give themselves the chance to begin anew. So, Trust: A New Beginning seemed appropriate. All the titles of my books come from something one of the characters has said somewhere in the book. *grin* Sophia, Ethan and Alistair help me a lot.
SKY:  Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.

CRISTIANE:  The cover was done by the talented creative designer Renata Fontanive. The glass represents the broken past of the characters and the eyes have a distrustful look that is a trademark of all three leading characters. Based on her ideas, my brother, Sergio Allevato, who is an artist, drew those beautiful eyes. He told me that these are Sophia’s eyes.
SKY:  Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

CRISTIANE:  I’m finishing the last book of the trilogy, TRUST: Pandora’s Box. Where all the demons will be freed to terrorize the world of Sophia, Ethan and Alistair. Will Hope survive? Hmmm, wait for autumn 2013 to discover!
After the Trust trilogy comes another trilogy. LOL. I’m not kidding. Carolina Santo’s story is going to rock Rio de Janeiro, Hollywood, New York and London.
Lunches, dinners, fashion weeks and gala balls will vie for her presence.
The next trilogy will be full of gossip, beautiful and rich people, drugs, sex and rock’n’roll.
SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

CRISTIANE:  Alistair, as Ethan, is very intelligent. He had a very kind and gentle family. However, intelligence doesn’t mean that the heart is protected. Alistair has a very high-sex drive and he was tangled in his late wife’s web that only wanted his status, wealthy and stamina.  She has had a gorgeous woman, selfish and manipulative. She introduced him to BDSM and when he stablished some rules, she rebelled and in the end killed their daughter and herself in a car accident. She transformed his gentle and caring soul in an angered and tortured man that believes he doesn’t deserve to be loved and lives to punish every woman that wants him.
SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

CRISTIANE:  A special hint for your readers: There is a lot of me in Sophia - and in Gabriela. Many things that they have experienced I’ve drawn from my own life. For example: I could read when I was three years old and I started my first University when I was fifteen. I wish I was more courageous as Sophia is and knew how to answer and stand my ground.

Sophia is strong, an alpha female, but as any human being she has flaws. She is not that lovely and nice woman the readers will meet in TRUST: A New Beginning.

Imagine a very boring person: A perfect wife and a very good, loving mother, an incredibly intelligent lawyer; a sexy, beautiful woman who doesn’t care about her beauty. And to top it, she does charity and pro bono. This is not Sophia! I could not relate to Sophia if she were just this.
Sophia has imperfections. Oh, yeah! Many. She gets angry, she is anguished, she is stubborn, so on and so forth.

I like characters that have imperfections, it shows that they are human.

In TRUST: Betrayed, Sophia will show her true colors and the secret that haunts her is not a small one… Wait and see. *grin*

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

CRISTIANE:  Oh! This is so unfair! I loved writing all the scenes, but if I had to choose one… Well... It would be the one at Galewick Hall, where all the characters are gathered together and the sexual tension, jealousy and drama are at its peak.
SKY:  Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.

CRISTIANE:  Anywhere. I can write in the cinema, on my iPhone if I'm stuck on traffic - don't worry, I have a driver; I always carry a Moleskine and a pen for sudden ideas.

But as a habit I have an office at home. It’s my favorite place to write. There I can have my home-made ice tea and listen to my music while I work. Music has always had big influence in my life. For every scene I'm writing I have a list, it helps me with the imagination part.
SKY:  What sources do you use for research?

CRISTIANE:  I rely heavily on my experience as a lawyer and in my observations of the world. Besides, my family and my friends have such a full life that is easy to drawn creative characters and situations from their experiences.

I used my own experience as a lawyer and a traveller. For sunsets, moon phases, weather, this kind of thing, it was okay to use the internet to have accurate information but for others, like wine, for example, I consulted an expert. I love to drink wine but I don’t have the knowledge an expert has.
SKY:  How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

CRISTIANE:  I’ve written since I was a kid. When I was a teenager I used to write poems, short stories, these kinds of things, but I never thought of becoming a writer or to be published.
I studied Fine Arts and Law, and worked as a lawyer for twenty-two years. When I started writing TRUST, it turned into an addiction. Now that I’m hooked, I can’t free myself. In fact, I don’t want to be freed.
I’m finishing the last book of the trilogy, TRUST: Pandora’s Box. Where all the demons will be freed to terrorize the world of Sophia, Ethan and Alistair. Will Hope survive?
After the Trust trilogy comes another trilogy. LOL. I’m not kidding. Carolina Santo’s story is going to rock Rio de Janeiro, Hollywood, New York and London.
Lunches, dinners, fashion weeks and gala balls will vie for her presence.

The next trilogy will be full of gossip, beautiful and rich people, drugs, sex and rock’n’roll.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my work and thoughts and for helping me promote my book. Hearing from readers is very important to me. It always helps me to do a better job. So, I want to invite everybody to leave a message on my website http://cristianeserruya.com.br
SKY:  Great interview, Cristiane! Thanks for joining me today.


Chapter 5
Saturday, January 16th, 2010.
10 a.m.
Sophia opened her eyes to find Ethan seated on the edge of the bed looking at her, a mug in his hand, his hair damp from the shower, dressed in faded jeans and a blue turtleneck sweater that did wonders to his eyes.
“I could go for hours just looking at you.”
She stretched, raising her arms above her head and entwining them; the sheets moved, showing a breast. “Good morning,” she smiled at him.
Ethan put his mug on the bedside table. “Do that again and you’re not getting out of this bed, Ms. Santo.”
Sophia grinned wickedly and stretched again, this time writhing her body, sheets bunching at her waist.
“Vixen.” Ethan bent to kiss her but she rolled to the other side of the bed and jumped to the bathroom.
“Don’t move,” she ordered. “I’ll be right back.”
When she emerged from the bathroom, he was in the same place, an amused twist on his lips.
“Good boy.” She smiled and picked up his mug, smelling it. “Mmm!” She raised her brows to him and drank his coffee. He smiled at her impudent gesture. She tugged him from the bed by the sweater.
“Take it off,” she commanded.
“You like to give orders, huh?”
“Sometimes,” she smiled and quirked an eyebrow. “Do you know how to obey?”
“Sometimes,” he replied and took off his sweater.
“Let’s see.” She perched on the end of the bed, tapping her index finger on her lips, admiring his muscles as he moved.
“Now what, Ms. Santo?”
She could see a bulge in his jeans, her lips twisted and curled unbidden. “Jeans. Off.”
He peeled off his jeans, amused, and threw them on the armchair.
“Briefs. Off!” Her eyes gleamed and she bit her lip.
He took off his briefs and stood proudly in front of her. He knew he had a great figure.
Sophia motioned, with her finger, for him to make a complete turn.
“Do you approve?” he asked huskily.
“Oh, yes, Mr. Ashford, I do!” she nodded.
Jesus! The woman is hot.
Sophia rose from the bed and circled him, her fingers tracing his chest and his shoulder; she ran her hands over his arms and his buttocks, without touching his straining erection.
“A fine specimen, Mr. Ashford.” She pinched his chin lowering his head a bit, to better look at his azure eyes. He hadn’t touched her and she was already turned on. “A very fine specimen,” she murmured.
He let out a laugh. “I will tell my personal trainer that I made the grade.” He grabbed both of her wrists in his grip behind her back and pulled her flush onto his body.
“I wasn’t finished, Mr. Ashford,” she frowned at him.
“Seems I’m not that good at following orders, Ms. Santo.”
She smiled at the admission. “Ethan. I never thought you would be.” And pressed tighter to him, parting her lips.
They met halfway and he savaged her mouth, leaving Sophia with no ability to think.

About the Author


I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with my husband and two daughters. I'm a lawyer, who specializes in cases of sexual abuse and violence against children and women. I also have a Masters in Business Law and a BA in Fine Arts.

I've always loved to read, write and listen to music. I lived and studied in England, France, Italy and Switzerland. Traveling is one of my passions - as is keeping fit and healthy.

After twenty-two years of practicing law, I decided to give writing a go. And - amazingly - it was just the piece that was missing in my life.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Double the Pleasure!

Every once in a while I yap about random things. This time, it’s a little less random. This time it’s focused and welcoming. This time it’s two books in one…

That’s right. Two books, two genres, double the pleasure. 

So what makes them so special? Easy. Both are on tour and include great prizes, including $20 Amazon gift certificates. Below I’ve included a blurb and schedule. Hope you’ll be able to join me on what’s left of both tours!

HIGHLAND PERSUASION (The MacLomain Series- Early Years)

Iosbail MacLomain will do whatever it takes to bring Laird Alexander Sinclair to his knees. Even if it means she has to travel through time to eleventh century Scotland and manipulate a king into marrying her off to the enemy.

What she doesn't anticipate is a bitter rivalry between King Edgar and Alexander Sinclair. It seems the man she just married is by birthright a threat to the throne. Her plans are suddenly hindered when she and her new husband are almost murdered.

Their lives on the line, Alexander and Iosbail are forced to flee across the country. Fraught with risk, adventure and wild, unexpected desire they struggle against overwhelming odds. Only on MacLomain land does justice stand a chance.

Will a true king find shelter so far from his homeland? Can a woman set out for vengeance forgive deeds done wrong?

Better yet, can enemies persuade one another to forgive and perhaps even love?

Find out in a powerful story that leaves no soul untouched... HIGHLAND PERSUASION.

About The MacLomain Series- Early Years... This series focuses on characters from the original MacLomain Series who never had their romantic tales told. Upon request from readers, I've embarked on a journey to share those very stories. Chieftain and head shaman, Adlin MacLomain had his story told in Highland Defiance (Tale One) and now his sister, Iosbail MacLomain will have hers shared in Highland Persuasion (Tale Two). Expect Alan Stewart's (from Fate's Monolith and Destiny's Denial) in Highland Mystic (Tale Three), coming June of 2013.

Stories from the original, MacLomain Series, include The King's Druidess (Prelude), Fate's Monolith (Book I), Destiny's Denial (Book II) and Sylvan Mist (Book III). Also available in The MacLomain Series Boxed Set (Books 1-4)

May 13 Interview and review
Shut Up & Read 

May 14 Guest blog
TBQ'S Book Palace

May 14 Spotlight
Brianna Lee Book Reviews

May 15 Spotlight and review
Celestial Reviews

May 15 review
Turning the Pages

May 16 Guest blog
KH LeMoyne

May 17 Interview and review
Vicky at Deal Sharing Aunt

May 17 Guest blog
Roxanne’s Realm

The other book on tour is…


Alexandria has no choice. She must flee to the last place she wants to. Straight into the arms of a vampire she was determined to forget.

Salvator finds this a clever fix to obtaining the one woman he has always desired, Alexandria.

Together, they must find a way to evade her powerful enemy, Salvator's brother Luciano. On the run, they struggle to understand one another. Denied passion ignites. Blood is spilled.

Within the heart of Vesuvius, anything is possible.

When they're pulled back in time to first century Italy, dark, bittersweet secrets are revealed. It's up to Salvator and Alexandria whether or not their history becomes part of their future.

All can be conquered. But will it be? Can wrongs be made right? History is the locked door. Forgiveness is the key. Time will tell if ageless love can once more flourish.

"The love story between the two main characters is beautiful and heartbreaking. The vampire on vampire sex is hot and wild; it's a great addition to the story! ...a great read for all you romantics and vampire lovers!" ~Nocturne Romance Reads

NOTE: This is a re-release novella length story.

Heart of Vesuvius contains strong sexual content intended for a mature audience.

May 13 Guest blog
Paranormal Romance Fans for Life

May 14 Spotlight
A Bibliophiles Thoughts on Books

May 15 Interview
Books & Other Spells. 

May 15 Spotlight
Roxanne’s Realm

May 16 Guest blog
Share My Destiny

May 17 Spotlight and review
Faerie Tale Books

May 20 Guest blog and review
Hywela Lyn - Romance That's 'Out Of This World'

May 20 Spotlight
2 Bibliophilies Guide to Seriously Awesome Books

May 20 review
Crystals Random Thoughts

May 20 Spotlight
Cover Reveals 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Is It Possible To Love Someone Evil? Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin.


Today it’s my pleasure to interview Margot Berwin, author of Scent of Darkness, a New Adult/Paranormal.
Publisher: Pantheon
Date of Publication: January 29th 2013
ISBN-10: 030790752X
ISBN-13: 978-0307907523
Number of pages: 240

GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win 10 audiobook boxed CDs narrated by the author Margot Berwin open to US Shipping and 10 Scent of Darkness candles open to US Shipping.

Book Description

When Evangeline's grandmother dies she leaves behind a ruby-red vial of perfume with the instructions: Don't pull out the stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.

From the moment Eva places a drop on her neck, she becomes the object of intense desire for everyone around her. Soon she's torn between Gabriel, a quiet medical student, and Michael, a beautiful and self-absorbed artist.

Scent of Darkness is about loving someone who is evil, tarot, New Orleans, and of course perfume.

Interview time!

SKY:  What inspired you to write this book?
MARGOT:  I’ve had a long love affair with perfume. When I was a kid I used to mix perfumes in the bathroom like a little four-foot chemist. Much to my mother's dismay I'd pull the stopper out of her Chanel #5 and pour in a little of my dad's Aqua Velva just for good measure.
I became obsessed with books on scent making such as The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr and Perfume by Suskind. I learned all I could about the major perfume houses in the south of France--Guerlain, Hermes, Chanel, Creed, Houbigant, Givenchy and many more. I was spending all of my free time in the perfume section of Sephora or Bergdorf Goodman spraying and waving little white strips of paper in the air.
Eventually I started to make my own scents. I hit upon a combination of essential oils in a base of sunflower oil and people in restaurants and bars would stop me to ask what I was wearing! I briefly thought about marketing the scent but instead I combined my love of perfume with my love of writing and turned them into a novel.

SKY:  How did you come up with the title?
MARGOT:  The original title was AROMATA. But the sales and marketing people at the publishing house didn’t really love that one because it’s a made up word and they were afraid no one would respond to it. Everyone agreed on Scent of Darkness—but I had to sell that one pretty hard too.

SKY:  What made you choose the main setting for your book?
MARGOT:  Writing anything in NYC is a big challenge for me. I need a lot of quiet to create and that can be very hard to come by in Lower Manhattan. Ambulance sirens, music from the bar across the street and people fighting are nightly occurrences outside of my window. I was thinking about going to France to write but I couldn't afford it at the time. Then a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to stay in his apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. He’d just joined AA and his sponsor didn’t think NOLA was a good place for him so he handed me the keys and before I knew it I was living on St. Louis Street. I wasn't planning on setting my book there, but I loved it so much that I took my character out of medical school at Columbia, put him into medical school at Tulane, and set the second half of the book in the Quarter.

SKY:  If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
MARGOT:  Well, actually I already have. I had a long, tortured, borderline s/m relationship with a famous artist (who shall remain nameless). He is the character of Michael in the book. I kind of exorcised that particular demon while writing Scent of Darkness. I don’t think I want to spend anymore time with him thank you very much. I wouldn’t mind spending time with Levon though. He’s beautiful and young and mesmerizing and he’s brilliant at reading the tarot cards. I’ll take a week with him!
SKY: Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.
MARGOT:  I think the main conflict in my story is about choice. Should Evangeline choose the guy who’s good for her, the one that’s kind and confident and has a great future. Or the one that she’s physically attracted to in a way that she can’t forget or ignore. In a way it’s a classic story of good and evil. And it poses the question: Is it possible to love someone evil?

SKY:  If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?
MARGOT:  It was a small glass vial shaped like a teardrop filled with a liquid the color of a ruby. A tiny hole at the top of the tear held a crystal stopper, thin as a human hair. A single sheet of paper folded in half had my name, Evangeline, written in Louise’s heavily slanted script. I unfolded the paper and read the note out-loud: Don’t remove the crystal stopper, Evangeline, unless you want everything in your life to change.

SKY:  Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.
MARGOT:  Gabriel and Evangeline have just moved to New Orleans and they come across Madame Susteen’s scent parlor. I loved writing this scene because Madame Susteen speaks in a southern accent and it was a challenge to write it that way. I also did the voice for the audiobook and I had to learn how to speak with that same accent. Here’s a bit from the scene:
“Hmmm…I like you girl, so I hate to bring you bad news, but the cards don’t lie and I won’t lie for them, not for you, not even for people I like a whole lot more than you. Are you ready to know what they have to say?”
I didn’t want to hear any bad news on my first night in New Orleans but Madame Susteen placed her hands over mine, looked me in the eye, and went right on talking.
 “You were born in the first decan of Scorpio. A fated decan. A poor placement. Trouble, and perhaps even death itself are in your cards. You’re the child of the devil, a temptress and a seductress meant to lose love and hurt the ones who love you. You will bring much pain and possibly even death to others, or even to yourself if you’re not careful.”

SKY:  It’s time to promo. What is your favorite marketing tool?
MARGOT:  I love Twitter—I like how it reaches so many people who I don’t know. Facebook reaches my friends, which is great, but I like the exponential quality of twitter when it comes to promotion. I also love virtual blog tours. These tours put your book in front of readers who may never come across it in any other way. For instance I saw my book as more of a YA or New Adult book, but my publisher didn’t see it that way, so I got it out to the audience I wanted, through the blog tour.
One of my favorite ways to promote is through my new column in the bushwick daily. It’s a sex and dating advice column that comes out once a week. Check it out: just google: Dirty Talk with Margot Berwin.
Thanks for asking such interesting questions--This was a lot of fun!
SKY:  Great interview, Margot! Thanks for joining me today.



My name is Eva from the longer and more beautiful Evangeline. I had something very special once, something that I took for granted and lost. I set out to find it again, and as so often happens, it was right there in front of me. Or should I say it was right there inside of me, running through my veins like a blessing, or a plague.

Jasmine smells like human flesh. Mix it with Cumin, which smells like sweat, and you have the scent of sex. If you spread it on your body, watch out, you’ll have sycophants all over the place-people crawling out of the woodwork to be close to you.

Human beings are defenseless against scent. They can’t hide from it because they can’t see it, or touch it, or hold it. All by itself it crawls into their brains, and by the time they’re in love with it, or the person it’s coming from, it’s too late. They’re tied to it forever, through the long, tight leash of memory.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that a great scent, like a great love, can crash onto the shore of your life like a wave, creating either damage or change, or in my case, both. 
What happened when I came across a scent like that was that I fell in love with two men at the same time, and one was pure evil, and one was good. It was an old-fashioned love triangle. A classic tale that came up roses, and jasmine, and of course, tears. 

So my name is Eva from the longer, and more beautiful Evangeline. And for me, the scent I found held my past, present, and future in its ethereal little hand. 

I don’t mean to be morbid and mostly I’m not, but it is possible to love someone evil. I know that for a fact. I wish I didn’t, but wishing isn’t going to change my story.

It happened during my 18th year when I was too young to know that there are events and relationships that never go away. That you can never take back. That change you in ways over which you have no control.

My grandmother Louise, the person I was closest to in the world, would say that none of that mattered anyway. That who we love isn’t a question of good or evil, but one of scent.

“Scent can do crazy things to the mind,” she said. “It can make us love people we shouldn’t and turn away those we should. It can make us desire the child of a criminal and shun the overtures of a saint. Never open your legs for a man whose mind you love but only for the man whose scent you can’t live without. That’s the one you’ll stay with forever.”

I’d spent every summer of my childhood with Louise but it was the summer of my 18th year that changed everything. That was the beginning of all the danger and the beauty and the blood.

About the Author

Margot Berwin earned her MFA from the New School in 2005. Her stories have appeared on Nerve.com, in the New York Press, and in the anthology The Future of Misbehavior.

Her first novel Hot House Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire was published in 2009 by Pantheon. Her new novel, SCENT OF DARKNESS, also by Pantheon is coming out on January 29, 2013.

Margot Lives in New York City.

Twitter: @MargotBerwin
Amazon Author Page