Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Friday, February 19, 2021

Progression of a Series by Guest Author @KimMcMahill

I know many readers love to know that when they've finished a great novel, they don't have to say goodbye to their favourite characters, and I've always admired authors who have the vision to plan a whole series of novels along with the skill and dedication to write them.  One such author is Kim McMahill, and I'm delighted to welcome her to my blog to share some of the secrets involved in series writing.  So enough from me, let me hand you over to Kim:

"There are many reasons to love a series. A series gives the reader the opportunity to really get to know the characters on a personal level. We get to see the recurring protagonists and antagonists progress emotionally, evolve into better or worse people, and sometimes we see them grow old. We may even connect to the characters as we share some of the same personal experiences—a challenge at work, a bully, a crisis of faith, a health issue, or relationship woes or wows.

"I started my Risky Research Series with a clear vision of how the series would develop and end, but I soon realized I may not be in total control. When, and if, FBI agent Devyn Nash dismantles a deadly organization obsessed with controlling the multi-billion-dollar diet product industry and brings them to justice, she still has more to accomplish. Will her next case be strong enough to carry the series past nabbing Coterie? Will she still have a job with the FBI after A Measure of Madness? Honestly, I’m not sure yet, but in the mean time she has some very dangerous individuals to track down.

"The series begins with A Dose of Danger when a call to FBI agent Devyn Nash from Wyoming Sheriff Gage Harris exposes connections between a string of crimes occurring across the country, drawing the FBI into the investigation. Book 2, A Taste of Tragedy, brings them closer to the killers and to Nick’s ex-wife as they follow clues involving a deadly sweetener to Arizona. In book 3, A Foundation of Fear, Devyn closes in on one member of Coterie in Washington D.C. at a political fundraiser, allowing the reader to get inside the head of an assassin.

"In the fourth installment of the Risky Research series, A Measure of Madness, the FBI locates the mastermind behind Coterie, but attempts to bring him in result in a shootout that sends Coterie’s members scrambling for cover. And, when Devyn’s partner is left fighting for his life in a Puerto Rican hospital, she becomes more determined than ever to bring them to justice. A Measure of Madness, will be released on April 9, 2021.

"Will there be a book 5? Since Devyn still has a promise to keep and she needs to figure out what to do about the handsome sheriff who has stolen her heart, it’s likely, so stay tuned."

So there we have it.  It sounds very much like this series has a little longer to run, and readers won't be saying Goodbye to Devyn just yet.  Thank you, Kim.

About the Author

Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. She started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense and adventure fiction. Along with writing novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook. When not writing she enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking, and spending time with family. Connect with Kim at:

Kim's Blog 

Follow Kim on Twitter 

Kim's Facebook Page

Find Kim on Instagram

Kim's Goodreads author page 

Learn more about the Risky Research Series by checking out the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clZIRJ1s-Fo&feature=youtu.be

To learn more about the author or to purchase the Risky Research Series or other novels by Kim McMahill visit her page on:

 AmazonUK 

Amazon US

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Get ready for an exciting new release from author Jenny Twist (@JennyTwist1)

I'm always very excited when my favourite UK author Jenny Twist brings out a new novel, as I know I'm in for a great read, and her latest, released this week: The Cottage at the End of the World didn't let me down. I'll tell you what I thought about it in a moment, but first, let me hand you over to the author in person, to answer that all-important question we readers always want to know: "What inspired you to write this story?"

Over to Jenny:

"I was sitting with my two dearest friends, Caroline and Billy, and Caroline remarked on a recent news item about a bacterium scientists had developed in the battle to dispose of  waste. “What if it escaped?” she said.

That was the last time I saw Caroline and Billy in person, before Coronavirus, before lockdown. Before our world narrowed to a small screen.

An awful lot has happened since then, and I have spent much of the intervening time on the internet, like Laura in the story, campaigning for a better world. But in between I researched the implications of Caroline’s chance observation. And they horrified me.

So here goes. A possible answer to Caroline’s question. This might be what would happen if the new enzyme escaped.

When I started writing the story no-one had heard of Coronavirus, but the advent of the pandemic made me realise how much more devastating my imaginary plague would be if it happened at the same time. So I rooted the story firmly against a background of actual events right up to the point where the phones begin to melt.

The rest is entirely my own invention."

Thanks, Jenny.  Now here's what I thought of:

The Cottage at the End of the World - Review

How could anyone not be intrigued by this delightfully ambiguous title?  I certainly couldn’t wait to read my advance review copy and, once I started, I genuinely couldn’t stop.  I have a thing about houses and just can’t resist stories about them.

The story begins in London with the meeting of artist Laura and journalist Gary, who are, quite simply, meant for each other.  Keen to leave London, Gary is easily persuaded to give up his city life and move to Laura’s cottage in Cumbria.

I spent many childhood holidays in the exquisite Lake District so when I read about the cottage, I felt I’d come home.  The beautifully drawn characters, so typical of author Jenny Twist, (and who include two delightful dogs, but most especially the wonderful nonagenarian, Auntie Martha) tugged at my heartstrings.   All the same, a cottage with no electricity, no running water and no bathrooms was not exactly my idea of heaven, so in the story, when old schoolfriend, Malcolm arrived with his partner and began transforming the cottage into a modern but still cosy des res, I actually felt a real sense of relief and my ache to live there intensified.

And live there I did, or so it seemed, as this compelling story drew me in so completely.  When Covid-19 began to spread like, well the plague, I wanted for nothing, being cocooned in cosy domesticity with this colourful cast of characters during lockdown.  And when the outside world as we know it changed forever and the real fight for survival began, The Cottage at the End of the World was the only safe place left in which to live.  

A gripping and deeply thought-provoking story, told by a master story-teller.  Irresistible!


The Cottage at the End of the World - Blurb:

“This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.”

T S Eliot

The end of civilization is fast approaching, and the family in the remote cottage in the woods is ready. They are prepared for anything that may happen -- except for the one thing that nobody predicted.

         Against the background of the Coronavirus pandemic another, more sinister threat is slowly gripping the world.  Will the people find out before it's too late?

About the Author

Jenny Twist was born in York and brought up in the West Yorkshire mill town of Heckmondwike, the
eldest grandchild of a huge extended family.

She left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and escapologist’s assistant (she was The Lovely Tanya), she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history, at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.

She stayed in Oxford working as a recruitment consultant for many years and it was there that she met and married her husband, Vic.

In 2001 they retired and moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dogs and cat. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, knitting and attempting to do fiendishly difficult logic puzzles.

Since moving to Spain she has written four novels and numerous short stories.

In July 2018 she was awarded the coveted TOP FEMALE AUTHOR award in Fantasy/Horror/Paranormal/Science Fiction by The Authors Show
..

The Cottage at the End of the World is available from Amazon UK  and Amazon.com 

Price 77p and 99ȼ respectively. 
 
Also available free on Kindle Unlimited

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Get Off Your High Horse, by @CynthiaTerelst - Blog Tour and Giveaway

 


Get off Your High Horse
Love Down Under Book 3
by Cynthia Terelst
Genre: Contemporary Royal Romance


When two opposites collide, will their differences ignite a spark or send them into turmoil?

Frankie and Sebastian live totally different lives. Lives that are entwined through polo, the sport of kings.

Frankie’s a country girl, working hard toward her dream of turning the family farm around. She needs to endure one more polo season to make that happen. She has no interest in high society or the rich, arrogant riders she has to deal with, especially Sebastian. Her heart may be softening to his charm, openness and love of working with horses, but her brain won’t be convinced. She looks forward to her summer break on the farm, away from him, until her parents decide to invite Sebastian to stay.

Sebastian descends from royalty. Rich and arrogant come with his family title. But that status is something he’d rather avoid, just like he avoids returning home to a life he doesn’t want. Sebastian sees a freedom in Frankie he wishes he had. Her life is full of love, family and horses; something he can only dream of. And her, he can dream of her. But a dream is all it will be, seeing as Frankie does her best to avoid him.

If only he can convince her to look past his title, and see that his hopes and dreams aren’t so different from hers.


Sebastian

“Princes have many talents I’m sure you’re not aware of.”                                        

“Such as?” She turned to face me; her body so close I could feel her breasts pressing against my chest.

“We like to roll around under the covers as well.”

“Is that so?” Her breath brushed against my lips. Her body pushed against mine, sending electricity through me. I imagined her standing there in her lace bra and matching knickers. I wrapped one arm around her back pulling her tightly against me. The other cupped the back of her head, tangled in her pony tail. Her lips met mine and opened and I sought out her tongue. Her hands found their way around my back and held tight.

I couldn’t let her go. I wouldn’t. I’d wanted to kiss her like this for months. This was so much better than what I’d imagined. My erection pressed against her. I deepened the kiss, holding her tight. She sighed into my mouth.

I shouldn’t have kissed her. I shouldn’t have invited her down the road of misery I would soon be facing. Only one of us should have a broken heart.

Cynthia Terelst is a project officer by day and a writer by night. She is a contemporary romance writer who likes to share a little bit of history, some Australian scenery and a whole lotta love. Cynthia does not shy away from difficult topics, as she feels that they should not be ignored.

She lives in Queensland, Australia, where the sun shines at least 283 days a year.




Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Last Christmas by Seelie Kay (@SeelieKay)

What we all love at Christmas: A heart-warming contemporary romance. And today we have a brand new release from Extasy Books that promises to fulfil all our Christmas wishes:

THE LAST CHRISTMAS by SEELIE KAY



First, a few questions for Seelie:

Q.  Why do you write romance?

Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories.

Q.  Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?

I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me! However, I they have to be paired with strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love.

Q.  Why did you write “The Last Christmas?”

My father is 94-years-old and as you might expect, has had a number of serious medical, age-related events. Each time, we were told to prepare for his death. Each time, he survived. The fact was, my Dad wasn’t ready to die. And his children and his grandchildren weren’t ready to let him go either. So I started thinking about terminal diagnoses and how they are really a best guess, not a guarantee. That, of course, led to thoughts how a terminal diagnosis often causes people to give up and prematurely mourn the death of the person who is ill. I wondered how that impacted the outcome. And because I was preparing to write a holiday book, I also started thinking about the power of family, and how, time after time, families are capable of creating miracles.

That led me to “The Last Christmas.” Christmas truly is a time for miracles, and thought it important that everyone be able to experience one through the tale of the Wright Family.


Blurb:

When the doctors say there’s no hope, Santa begs to differ. After all, he claims, miracles are love combined with action to get the desired result. And at Christmas time, everyone deserves a miracle!

David Wright is dying from cancer. He is not expected to see another Christmas. At least that’s what the medical professionals say. Fortunately, Santa begs to differ. After all, modern medicine is nothing more than a best guess. Santa believes anything is possible until you give up. When Santa tells David’s wife, Joan, that heaven is full and she has to keep her husband alive, she is beside herself. She has no medical skills. How can she save anyone’s life? Set your skepticism aside as Santa embraces a family already mourning their father’s terminal diagnosis and teaches them that a Christmas miracle doesn’t always require heavenly intervention. Sometimes, all it takes is a family with enough love to create their own. As Santa says, a true miracle is when love combines with action to get the desired results. And only humans are capable of that. Will Santa’s words fall on deaf ears? Or will Team Wright find a way to save their father’s life?

 

Excerpt:

“It’s not about you, it’s about him, Joan,” a grumbly voice said. “You’re looking at this all wrong.”

Joan turned so fast she almost lost her balance. She glared at the old man who had spoken. He was around seventy, with ruddy cheeks and twinkling blue eyes. And thick white hair. Lots of white hair. Flowing over his shoulders, winding up in a very lush beard. On top of his head was perched a brightly colored red knit hat. She frowned. “Wait a minute. You’re Santa Claus. Without the red suit, but clearly, you’re him. I’d know you anywhere.”

The man bowed and with a smile, said, “At your service.” He gestured toward a park across the street. “Let’s take a walk.”

“Oh, no. I’m not going anywhere with you.” Joan shook her head. “I didn’t mean you actually were Santa Claus. Everyone knows he doesn’t exist. I just meant you looked like him. You’re just a man who looks like him. I don’t know you. Why would I…” She glared at him. “You’re not even wearing a red suit. And since when has Santa taken up armchair psychiatry?”  She ran a hand through her blonde hair. “I must be hallucinating.” Despite her objections, she followed him across the street.

Santa laughed. “My dear, I have been dispensing advice since I was old enough to talk and make people listen. God chose my role a long time ago and I have gotten very good at it.” He looked toward the heavens. “Sorry, old boy. Still working on that humility!” He chuckled. “Man never stops reminding me.” He smiled at Joan. “Do you sense any ill-intentions from me? Of course not. I’m Santa. All I want to do is talk.”

Joan reached out and touched his shoulder.

He laughed again. A laugh that came directly from his belly. “Yes, I’m real. Well, as real as a centuries-old spirit gets. I even eat all those cookies children leave me each year. And let me tell you, that’s a heavenly feat.” Again, he looked skyward. “Yes, sir, I am well aware that borders on gluttony. A sin. You know darn well it has nothing to do with gluttony and everything to do with the magic of Christmas, an affirmation that Santa is real. I do it for the children.” He smiled at Joan. “Sometimes, He gets a little overbearing with his angels.”

He smirked. “Even God has his faults. He is by no means perfect.” A strong wind swirled through the plaza, nearly catching his knitted cap. He clapped his hand on his head to hold it down. He whispered, “And he doesn’t take criticism too well, either.”

Joan stared at the man. Surely, she was losing it. Santa a spirit, an angel? He and God didn’t even travel in the same circles. She shook her head, trying to make the hallucination go away.

Santa sighed. “I know, I know. You’ve been taught that I’m not real. That I’m a myth. That’s a rumor started by Satan himself, the old devil. He can’t stand the fact that people embrace the goodness in the world. And that I spread good cheer. He would much rather unleash a plague and make people miserable. He hates Christmas. He hates that the birth of Christ is celebrated, and his birth, well, is not. He really can’t stand the fact that love binds people so tightly during the holidays.” Santa shook his fist toward the ground. “The fool pouts all through the holidays.” He then sat up straight and gazed at Joan. “Christmas is really about love, you know. All kinds of love. The type of love he’ll never have. Love of family, love of children, love of—”

“What the heck do you want?” Joan blurted. “People are starting to stare.”

 

Buy links:

“The Last Christmas” is scheduled for release on December 11, 2020 and will be available from all major booksellers, including-- 

Extasy Books:  Preorder Link Available November 27, 2020

 

About Seelie Kay:

Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen!  In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of 18 works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, the Feisty Lawyers series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The White House Wedding, and The President’s Daughter. 

When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine. 

Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS:  Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Author Links:

Keelie's Website

Keelie's Blog

Twitter: @SeelieKay 

Facebook

Instagram

Amazonauthor page

 

Prior Books:

Kinky Briefs

Kinky Briefs, Too

Kinky Briefs, Thrice

Kinky Briefs, Quatro

Kinky Briefs, Cinque

The Garage Dweller

A Touchdown to Remember

The President’s Wife

Snatching Dianna

The President’s Daughter

Infamy

Seizing Hope

Cult

Hope

The White House Wedding

Martimus



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Two short stories with a sprinkling of Christmas magic

 


Just Released - two short Christmas stories 

Strange things can happen at Christmas—especially when you least expect them.

The Christmas Present – Empty-nesters Diane and Roger just wanted to do something nice for others less fortunate on Christmas Day, but their good intentions backfired on them in a spectacular way.

Pumpkin – Imogen was delighted when a cheeky little ginger cat seemed to want to adopt her for Christmas.  How could she know that Pumpkin’s agenda was completely different from her own?

Kindle buy links:

Amazon.com  (99cents)

Amazon UK (77p)

Thursday, November 26, 2020

First, We Kill all the Lawyers - by Seelie Kay (@SeelieKay)

Released today courtesy of Extasy Books - a sizzling, brand new Contemporary Romantic Suspense novel by Seelie Kay:

FIRST, WE KILL ALL THE LAWYERS



What an intriguing title!  Before we find out more about the story, let's start with a few questions for Seelie:

Q.  Why do you write romance?

Because I am fascinated by the games people play to find and secure a lasting relationship, which is not always love. There’s the chase, the courtship, the falling, the surrender. That’s what I try to capture in my stories. 

Q.  Do you prefer a certain type of romantic hero?

I adore smart, dashing gentlemen who aren’t afraid to live on the edge. They can be a bad boy, a billionaire, a prince, or a secret agent. That hint of danger just hooks me! However, they have to be paired with strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want, even love. 

Q.  Why did you write “First, We Kill All the Lawyers?”

I have wanted to write a vampire tale for some time, but had difficulty coming up with something consistent with current tropes. Finally, I decided it was time to break all the rules. After all, vampires have been around for centuries. Surely, they have evolved by now. And no doubt, they have many of the same societal problems that humans do. However, I also wanted the vampire to be a lawyer. The title came from my experience as a lawyer. I can’t tell you how many times someone would quote Dick the Butcher, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2.) They would laugh heartily, like they had just told a wonderful joke, but for me, it was great inspiration for a story. What if someone was killing lawyers? 

Q.   Obviously your former profession as a lawyer impacts your writing!

My friends say I am obsessed with justice and I guess that’s true. After 30 years, the law and the legal world are so firmly embedded in my brain that I can’t flush them out. That has become the lens through which I view the world and that naturally guides my characters and plots. Injustice infuriates me, but it also leads me to great stories! Even in this book, I find a way to explore social and criminal justice issues.

Let's not wait any longer, let's hear more about the book with the fascinating title.

Blurb:

Someone is killing lawyers, but a particular vampire lawyer won’t stay dead. 

Donovan Trait is a marked man. Flamboyant, stunningly handsome, and notoriously insatiable, his attitude and style belie his skills in the courtroom. No one survives a cross-examination at Donovan’s hands. His knowledge of the law and trial practice has accumulated over the years… and years, of experience. More than three hundred years. You see, when Donovan isn’t seducing judges and juries, he’s a creature of the night. And now that someone has decided that it’s time to kill all lawyers, his lust for attention has set him in the murderer’s sights. The problem is, vampires don’t die. Not easily, anyway. That’s good news for Donovan, not so much for his very human lady love, also a target of the serial killer. Will several unsuccessful attempts on his life expose Donovan’s true nature? Will the killer learn the secret that will guarantee a permanent death? Or will Donovan finally manage to put an end to the killer’s murderous spree and live happily ever after, with his lady love?

Excerpt:

Donovan’s cell phone pinged. He pulled himself into a small alleyway, away from the stampede trudging back to their workplaces after lunch, and leaned back against a building to read a text. His face screwed up in confusion. The text read, The first thing we do, let’s kill all lawyers! Starting with you!

“What the bloody hell?” he muttered. “Is this some kind of joke?” Donovan’s eyes surveyed his surroundings. He gazed right, then left. It did not appear that someone had made him the focus of their attention. Everyone was scurrying about, like mice in pursuit of a big cheese. “Must be Finley,” he said. “Finley is always plying me with lawyer jokes. He thinks he’s funny.”

Donovan shrugged. Not funny at all. He left the alleyway and re-entered the mass migration on the sidewalk. He approached the crosswalk at Michigan and Superior and emitted a snort of frustration as the light changed and the crosswalk filled with cars. He was bumped hard by someone behind him. Donovan was forced to step into the street to regain his balance. A cab rushed by and narrowly missed clipping his side. Donovan jumped back onto the sidewalk.

A woman screamed and Donovan jerked his head around, trying to see what all the fuss was about. The woman was pointing at him. Donovan frowned and turned away. God save me from simpering females who saw the last issue of City Magazine. Donovan had appeared on the cover after being named as one of Chicago’s most eligible bachelors. Since then, he had learned that the female population was comprised of women of questionable morals and distressing behavior. He was growing weary of the attention. While his colleagues thought it a wise marketing strategy, it had brought him nothing but unwanted female attention. He had become prey.

Vampires were predators. They stalked their victims. Sometimes, they pursued them with a vengeance. That was why he had joined the legal profession. His predilections were well-suited to that particular world. Now, his role had apparently shifted and he was not pleased.

Someone tapped Donovan on the shoulder. “Sir? Are you alright? You’re bleeding. It appears someone stuck a knife into your side.”

Donovan’s mouth gaped and he turned toward the man who had spoken. Then he looked at where the man pointed. There was indeed a knife sticking out of his left side and a stream of his blood was flowing onto the sidewalk. He had a very high threshold of pain. He hadn’t felt the knife thrust into his side. If it wasn’t so appalling, he would be embarrassed. Donovan opened his mouth to reply. Then the pain in his side exploded and his vision dulled. Slowly he slid onto the sidewalk as if he planned to sit on the curb.

Then everything went black. 

Book Trailer: 



Buy links:

ExtasyBooks 

Also available from

Amazon:  

Barnes & Noble:  

Kobo:  

 

About Seelie Kay:

Seelie Kay is a nom de plume for a writer, editor, and author with more than 30 years of experience in law, journalism, marketing, and public relations. When she writes about love and lust in the legal world, something kinky is bound to happen!  In possession of a wicked pen and an overly inquisitive mind, Ms. Kay is the author of 18 works of fiction, including the Kinky Briefs series, the Feisty Lawyers series, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The White House Wedding, and The President’s Daughter. 

When not spinning her kinky tales, Ms. Kay ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. She resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she shares a home with her son and enjoys opera, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.

Ms. Kay is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS:  Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!

Author links:

Keelie's Website

Keelie's Blog

Twitter: @SeelieKay 

Facebook

Instagram

Amazonauthor page

 

Prior Books:

 

Kinky Briefs

Kinky Briefs, Too

Kinky Briefs, Thrice

Kinky Briefs, Quatro

Kinky Briefs, Cinque

The Garage Dweller

A Touchdown to Remember

The President’s Wife

Snatching Dianna

The President’s Daughter

Infamy

Seizing Hope

Cult

Hope

The White House Wedding

Martimus

 

Coming soon:

The Last Christmas, date of release:  December 11, 2020.