Friday, November 30, 2007

Linda Sole/ Romance, Saga, Crime

The cover art is the copyright of Severn House Publishers Ltd.
First of all I would like to say congratulations to Regina for setting up this blog for us, and to the authors who have already posted here for their entertaining pieces. I think we have some talented authors with us and I look forward to reading their books.


I have been writing since 1979 and was first published in 1980. I have written for several publishers but my most successful books have been as Linda Sole and Anne Herries. Thsi week I am going to tell you about the books I have written as Linda Sole and another week I'll go on to a different psuedonymn and a different kind of book.


My first very successful book as Linda Sole was Lovers & Sinners which came out with Century and Arrow Books. This was a story set in the time just after WWII in a Cambridgeshire village. It is about a girl called Bettey Cantrel and tells of her growing up, how she became a parlour maid and then a famous nightclub singer. It deals with friendships, old loyalties and betrayal and has a very bitter, shocking ending. It sold many thousands of copies and was translated into several languages.


Since then I have written another twenty odd books under the Linda Sole name besides many others. I am now writing for Severn House and the books are published in hardback in both the UK and the USA. The latest published is JUSTICE IS SERVED/LINDASOLE/SEVERN HOUSE

This is the second in the Sarah Beaufort mystery series and has received good reviews in USA and UK. The third will be published next year and I shall be writing a fourth next spring.


I look forward to posting again another time. Best wishes, Linda
www.lindasole.co.uk

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just what is A Great Escapist Book?

By Pat Cromwell

I have always been an avid reader. Through the years my taste has changed dramatically in regards to what I read and definitely what I write. One of the first books I read that has remained vivid in my mind was Forever by Judy Blume. I progressed from there and became enamored with more risqué writers like Erica Jong. Fear of Flying still occupies a hot spot on my bookcase and when I think of the infamous airport scene I still blush! I sort of idolized my favorite writers the way some people idolized their favorite actor or actress.

When I was younger I had aspiration of penning the Great American Novel or at the least something on the level of the great F. Scott Fitzgerald. But duty called and I put my pad and pencil away and concentrated on motherhood instead. However, I always managed to find a quiet corner and read a book. Like a good soap opera or a thriller movie, reading was the avenue I took to escape the monotony of changing diapers and car pooling kids to football games and judo lessons.

I remember with great clarity when I rediscovered the urge to write again and my first story was born after years of stilling the urge and never having time to do so. Bearing in mind my love for stories full of romance with the right amount of conflict, I gave up the notion of writing the elusive Great American Novel and becoming the next Ernest Hemmingway. I wanted to write what I call A Great Escapist Book which is by far IMO much more satisfying. That is what Behind Blue Eyes is about -- escaping from day to day life with just a bit of realism thrown in – not much but just enough. Behind Blue Eyes isn’t the only Great Escapist Book. I share that honor with the ladies here, and with the countless other authors who have taken random thoughts and images from their mind’s eye and shared them with readers who prefer this particular mode of entertainment.

My goal is and always will be to entertain with intriguing dialogue from drop dead gorgeous heroines and larger than life alpha heroes. Today, I think that is much more important than the infamous Great American Novel that is destined to answer the burning questions of “Why are we here?” And “What is the purpose in life?” Give me a book riddled with romance and conflict, plus a hint of the unusual and I have found nirvana! Add to it a healthy dose of Taboo and I am sold. For realism I read the daily newspaper or check out CNN, for a nice escape on a modest budget I turn on my PDA or step up to my bookshelf. Behind Blue Eyes is all about transporting the reader from their here and now, and to immerse themselves in a make believe reality. There are no earth shattering revelations in the book – unless you choose to look deeply enough. It is just an old fashion love story, a romance with all the elements of such. Most importantly, there is that one constituent that we as readers thrive for, and we writers of romance love to give … a resounding and firm happily ever after!

Behind Blue Eyes is available at Amira Press (http://www.amirapress.com/).

I have an excerpt of Behind Blue Eyes posted on my website as well as my book When Dreams Come True which is scheduled for release in January or February of 2008 at Red Rose Publishing. An added attraction on my website is various excerpts of my work in progress and a unique listing of current releases that have an interracial / multicultural themed romance.

Visit me at: http://www.freewebs.com/patcromwell/

Behind Blue Eyes is my first publish story, but not the last. Like most writers, I have tons of ideas and a lot of voices in my head all begging to be heard.

But that is another story…

Until next week -- happy reading!

:)

Pat Cromwell
Behind Blue Eyes at http://www.amirapress.com/
http://www.freewebs.com/patcromwell/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgnV3uXKwmM

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Spirit of Christmas

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Art by Josephine Wall
This blog post is aptly titled The Spirit of Christmas in celebration of my christmas story, The Promise! Here's the five heart review that TRS gave it,



The Promise

Marly Mathews
Paranormal romance
Available from The Wild Rose Press
November 2006

Holly St. Christian was completely alone in this world. Her parents died when she was young and her aunt had died about a year ago. And she was about to spend Christmas alone, or so she thought. That all changed when she received a phone call from Nathaniel Richardson.
Nathaniel is a wealthy businessman, who was not looking for love and never expected it to find him. But when he finds a stranded woman on Christmas Eve, who thinks he invited her to his home for Christmas, he is stunned. He thinks Holly is annoying but so adorable. When a matchmaking ghost is at work, do they really have a choice, but to find love?

Marly Mathews has written an exceptional story. It was so sweet; it made me want to believe in love at first sight. Nathaniel and Holly are great characters. They are perfect contrasts to one another. I found myself hoping they would find happiness. Anyone looking for a sweet, touching story, this is it.

Overall rating: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Sensuality rating: Sweet

Reviewer: Sandra
May 15, 2007

  • The Promise at TRS Five Heart Review!


  • I'm so happy to be a part of the group blog--I really think it's a great endeavor.

    The Promise is a paranormal romance set during the Christmas season, so if you like Christmas, and you like stories about spirits, The Promise will definitely be your cup of tea.
    I'm published in historical romance, futuristic and paranormal fantasy as well.
    My upcoming release with New Concepts Publishing is a futuristic with just a dash of a paranormal element. Most of my books have a strong Celtic theme, and Doorway to the Stars does not disappoint in this area. You'll have to read the story when it releases to find out just how the legends of the Celts are woven into this story.
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Coming soon from New Concepts Publishing, cover art by Amber Moon
    Aries D'Halen is an Outlander from the far reaches of Space, Freya Kirkland is a defeated war-hero—together their passion will ignite a new hope for the future.
    Read the blurb on my website,
  • Doorway to the Stars by Marly Mathews

  • Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
    Twilight's Kiss which is available in both ebook format and print format from The Wild Rose Press also has a Celtic Theme to it...you can read more about it
  • Here


  • That's all from me for this week, but I'll be back here next Wednesday!

    ~Marly

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Contests, New Releases, and More

    Hello everyone! Welcome to our shiny new blog. I'm excited to be a part of Moonlight Romance Authors, and looking forward to meeting new readers and authors along the way. Thanks to Regina for creating a new place for us to hang out.

    For those who don't know me, I write primarily historical romance, with the occasional paranormal/fantasy/contemporary thrown into the mix for fun. You can find my work at Tease Publishing, Freya's Bower, Red Rose Publishing, and Aphrodite's Apples Press.

    Reckless Liaisons, book one of my new Scandalous Situations Series will be available early next year through Tease. If you like your Regencies hot and spicy, keep an eye out for this one, I promise not to disappoint.

    Leading Her to Heaven will be released in ebook December 15th, and in print March 15th. This is actually the book that introduced me to Regina; she reviewed it for CTR last year and gave it 5 cups! I'll keep you posted as we get closer to sale day.

    My newest release, Svetkavista, is now available in electronic format from Tease publishing and will be available in print February 15, 2008. To celebrate, I'm holding two contests:

    Anyone who emails metheir receipt of purchase (kayleigh.jamison@gmail.com) by November 30th will receive a press packet from me filled with fun goodies.

    The first 25 people to email me (kayleigh.jamison@gmail.com) their receipts of purchase will be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of Svetkavista in print when it is released February 15th of next year.


    So what's the book about? Read on!

    SVETKAVISTA

    Kayleigh Jamison

    Tease Publishing

    ISBN: 987-1-934678-42-8

    Ebook: http://allromanceebooks.com/product-svetkavista-5215-144.html

    Print: Coming February 15, 2008

    Svetkavista

    Trapped within a life where she has always been an outsider, Karina dutifully follows the wishes of her father by day, and secretly pursues her dreams by night. Raised within the strict, patriarchal society of the Rom at a time when discrimination and fear are at their peak, she is forced to hide both her love of music and her passion for those who encourage her dreams.

    She seeks comfort in the arms of her dearest friend and mentor, who shows her that love and lust rarely confine themselves to the ill-conceived notions of normalcy.

    When a lie, spoken in a moment of desperation, threatens to shatter everything Karina holds dear, she must choose between those she loves and her own reputation. Will the truth set her free or destroy her? Does she have the courage to follow her own heart?

    If you are looking for a lyrical voice, superb characters that draw you in, and fascinating out of the ordinary historical adventure with an erotic twist, I cannot recommend Kayleigh Jamison enough.
    -Emma Wildes, #1 bestselling author and 2007 Eppie winner


    Ms. Jamison has penned an absolutely stunning and adventure tale that drew me in from page one, to the point that I forgot everything but the story unfolding before me.
    -Caro, Coffee Time Romance, 5 cups


    Svetkavista…is a wonderful novel of love and revenge…grabbed me at the start and wouldn’t let go.”
    -Amelia, Joyfully Reviewed


    Rarely does a novel come along with the ability to capture passion and pain, honesty and love so completely. Sensuous, heartfelt and truly beautiful, Svetkavista is one of the best romance reads of the year.
    -Kelly, AORAOG Reviews


    …a riveting story; I couldn’t stop reading it and really didn’t want it to end.
    -Julianne, TwoLips Reviews, 4 stars


    Wow, just one extraordinary, unique story!
    -Cathie, Euro Reviews, 5 stars

    http://www.kayleighjamison.com

    EXCERPT:

    The night air was damp and cool on her bare arms as she approached the flickering light of the bonfire, a distant beacon lighting her way across the field. A gentle breeze was blowing off the waters of the Tisza, its banks hidden just beyond the swell of small hills at her back. Her feet sank into the moist, soft mud as she gingerly picked her way through the meadow, the ground swamp-like from the foul weather that had lingered for the better part of the week. It had rained throughout the day without reprieve, upsetting the horses and making travel both difficult and exhausting, but Karina was not too tired to engage in her nightly ritual. She paused in her trek to readjust the threadbare wool shawl she had casually looped through her elbows, pulling the material up over her shoulders to guard against the chill. The garment was old and ragged, but not out of place when paired with the rest of her outfit; the entirety of her meager wardrobe consisted of clothes donated, crafted, or stolen from piles of trash left in the streets of the various settlements through which they traveled.

    She was Romani, a gypsy, like her mother, and her mother’s mother before her. Her family wandered the land, living outside of society, on the fringe. Some called them vagabonds and vagrants, others called them thieves and heathens, but they were none of these things. They simply…were. Their way of life was misunderstood, their values misconstrued. The nomadic people were viewed with distrust and distain all across Eastern Europe, and lately the movement to convert or enslave them had increased in popularity.

    The noose was tightening around Rom across the Kingdom of Hungary. New laws had been enacted by Empress Maria Theresa, requiring all Rom children over the age of five to be removed from their parents’ care and taken to be raised by peasants in the distant, remote villages of the countryside. They were then being forced into the Christian faith, with the relentless diligence of religious dogmatism. Rom were also forbidden to marry amongst each other, and their nomadic way of life was summarily outlawed, though they were not allowed to purchase land, and they were not permitted to own horses. Because of this, the Rom were on the run, avoiding large cities such as Pressburg and Fahlendorf, left with no option but to hide in the hills and the mountains. They were a stubborn people, and would not bend to the will of a sovereign they did not recognize as their own. The Empress, far away in Habsburg, could not impose her will on people she could not find, and political instability with the remaining Turks in Transylvania had required her to dispatch most of the Kingdom’s military forces to control border skirmishes. There was simply not enough manpower to chase the Rom.

    Karina’s family was comprised of Argintari—silversmiths by trade. According to tradition, and law, she was expected to marry Argintari, and raise her children to be the same, if she ever married at all. But Karina’s dream was to be Lăutari. She would wait until mashkari rat, long after her family was asleep, and she would sneak across the camp to where the Lăutari stayed up until the early light of dawn, laughing and playing the lavúta, the flyèta, and the tambal. And then Karina would dance, twirling in frantic circles, skirts flaring, bracelets clinking until she was breathless and giggling.

    Karina’s father despised the Lăutari. Music was an important part of Rom life, but he viewed the musicians and dancers as lower-class, without any useful, material skills. They were fanciful, frivolous, and at times downright promiscuous. Tales were reaching Hungary that in Russia the nobility were using Rom to form private choirs, which they would display at parties and society events. There were even rumors that such practices were now being adopted in Pressburg. The Lăutari who received special privileges from the Hungarian nobles were thought of as traitors. It was considered worse than being common slaves, to be mere entertainment for outsiders; it was considered, by most, a fate worse than death.

    Not so for Karina. Her father called her impractical and foolish, but the Lăutari with whom she spoke in secret called her gifted. She would hum and sing to herself when she was alone, repeating the melodies she’d heard the night before, and would feel her hips start to sway instinctively. It was as if the music overcame her when she danced. She no longer thought, or worried, about anything. She let the song wash over her, closed her eyes, and gave in to the rhythm.

    Karina did not have the look of a traditional Roma. Her dark blonde hair and pale skin were evidence that at least one of her ancestors had been gajè, non-Roma. Her sisters used to tell her that her eyes were too close together, her nose too aquiline, and her lips too thin—they said she looked like a hawk that had caught a sick mouse for its meal. Neither her two sisters, nor her brother, all younger than she, shared her gajè characteristics, and they had teased her about it their entire lives. It was a forbidden subject in the presence of her parents, and the one time Karina had broached the topic with her father he’d told her that God had not chosen to be kind to her, in more ways than one. The answer had frightened her so deeply that she’d never asked again.

    The music drifted to her across the plain as she drew closer to her destination; the delicate clink of the bells within the tambal, and the deep, sonorous melody of the lavùta. Brishen had the violin tonight, she could tell even from this distance—no one else played quite like him. His flesh seemed to meld with the black, polished fingerboard, to fuse with the catgut strings stretched taut across the bridge. The instrument was an extension of his body—wood of his flesh, of his blood. When he played, he owned the music; he was the music.

    The other musicians called him an angel. Karina thought he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen when he was playing. When he wasn’t, well, that was another matter. Though Karina did not have much interaction with him other than to dance to his music, she’d heard the stories of his arrogance, his insolence, and his frightful temper. He was the epitome of the Lăutari stereotype. In fact, he was precisely the reason her father forbade her from associating with the musicians and dancers of their tribe.

    Sometimes, she thought she saw Brishen watching her through slitted eyes as he played. Often, she was certain that she could feel his eyes on her back as she danced or moved about the camp. But each time she turned to face him, his attention was elsewhere.

    Finally, she reached the small clearing where a bonfire had been set, the wet grass pressed down by the trample of horses and boots to create a circular stage. Wooden crates had been unloaded from the wagons and placed on the ground as makeshift chairs. Brishen stood atop one of them, violin tucked under his chin, eyes closed, lips slightly parted, body swaying to the rhythm of his song. His shoulder-length hair, rich brown in color, was tied loosely at the nape of his neck with a slip of twine. He had a strong, masculine jaw, angular cheekbones, and a light brown complexion that had been dramatically darkened by the sun’s rays. He was tall and broad-shouldered—larger in stature than most of the other Lăutari men in the tribe—but the violin suited him perfectly, nonetheless.

    It was a traditional gypsy dirge that he played, one normally accompanied by a female voice, but no one dared sing. Not when Brishen was playing. The melody began slow, the horse-tail bow drawing across the G and D strings in a leisurely glissando that transitioned into a grating, dissonant chord. He held the notes, drawing them out, tormenting his audience with the unsavory sound before sliding his ring finger up a half-step, reconciling the note with harmony once more. Karina swore she saw him smirk, but his eyes never opened; his expression never changed.

    Without warning, the mournful tone disappeared as Brishen’s tempo increased. He played faster with each passing bar until all traces of the mulengi djilia had disappeared, transforming into a fast-paced cante jondo. His fingers danced across the strings, his right arm a blur as he moved the bow in frenzied, staccato strokes. Several members of the informal audience began to clap in time. A few were inspired to stand and dance.

    Karina caught sight of her friend, Papusza, on the other side of the clearing, and picked her way through the crowd. Papusza was two years older than Karina, and had been married for nearly ten years before her husband was killed by the Hungarian militia, several months ago. He had resisted them when they’d tried to take away his son. His body had been hung from the gallows in Pressburg as a warning to other Rom, and Papusza’s son was taken anyway.

    “Karina, we weren’t certain we’d see you tonight,” Papusza commented, approaching her with a grin. She embraced the younger girl with one arm, and offered up a flask of liquor with the other.

    “But we’re glad for it,” one of the older men interjected from his crate, not far away. “Papusza’s dancing isn’t half as entertaining as yers.”

    “And your singing, Uncle, is about the worst thing I’ve ever heard!” the tiny woman shot back, but she was still smiling, and so was her tormentor. Her name meant “doll” in Romany, and it suited her perfectly. She had long, raven-colored hair that framed her face in tight corkscrew curls, offsetting full, red lips that reminded Karina of a heart when she pursed them together.

    Karina smiled broadly and accepted the proffered flask, taking a tentative swig of the rich, brown liquid before passing it to Papusza’s uncle, Vesh.

    “How long have ye been associating with us, shebari, and ye still can’t hold yer liquor?” he grunted, downing a considerable portion.

    “If Dat suspects I’ve been to see you, Kako, he’ll have my head,” she explained, shaking her head at his offer of a second draught.

    Li' ha' eer, Karina, we need to find you a husband so that you won’t have to be so frightened of your father anymore!” Papusza exclaimed, earning a sharp glance of reprieval from her uncle. A woman had no place saying such things, certainly not in mixed company.

    Karina blushed and dropped her gaze. Papusza was constantly talking about arranging a suitable marriage for her, and the subject was a sore one.

    Much to her family’s dismay, Karina was čhaj, unmarried, despite her age. Her younger sisters had married at twelve and thirteen, and her brother took a wife at fifteen. She was now twenty-three, and still under her parents’ care. None of the young Argintari men of her tribe had ever expressed an interest in her hand, and her father had not, to her knowledge, done much in the way of finding her a husband either. Her family blamed her misfortune on prikàza, a form of karmic backlash. Cosmic bad luck. But, in many ways, her unmarried status was fortunate. It kept her safe from the harsh legislation of the Empress.

    Dosta!” Vesh said, raising his hands firmly above his head. “Leave her alone, Papusza, and let her dance. She doesn’t come here for yer scheming.”

    The two women smiled at each other, and Karina nodded her head slightly in the direction of the fire, where several women were already dancing, the gold and silver of their jewelry flashing in the reflective light of the flames.

    The music’s frenetic pace began to subside; the song winding down, growing softer, fading to a piano, then to a pianissimo, and then…to nothing. Brishen froze, eyes closed, bow poised in midair, fingers curled around the neck of the violin. The crowd paused also, turning to acknowledge him, waiting anxiously for his next song. The performer seemed to savor the temporary silence before lowering the instrument to his side, cradling it under his arm. Then he raised his bow and pointed it directly at Karina, singling her out amongst the dozen or so women that watched him.

    “Bring me the rakia!” he bellowed, and his voice was deep and melodious, much like the sound of his violin.

    For a moment she simply gaped at him; in part because he’d singled her out, and in part because to give orders to a woman not your daughter or wife was just not permitted.

    “Here,” Papusza said, pressing the flask of brandy into her hand and giving her a nudge on the shoulder with the other.

    “No, Papusza!” she hissed, digging her heels into the mud.

    “Just take him the drink, girl,” an anonymous voice yelled. “Or else we’ll not hear another song tonight!”

    Karina bit her lip, drawing blood, and closed her fingers around the neck of the flask, shooting her friend a dismayed look before stepping forward. She kept her gaze lowered, studying the ground, and stopped in front of the crate upon which Brishen stood. She raised the flask above her head, waiting for him to take it from her.

    Strong fingers closed over her hand and she looked up, startled at the brazenness. Brishen bent down and brought his face close to hers.

    Chindilan?” he asked softly. Are you weary?

    She shook her head slightly and mumbled, “No.”

    “Then dance for me.” He winked and raised the flask to his lips. “And I’ll play for you.”

    “I’ll dance,” she said curtly, suddenly angered by his arrogance.

    “For me?” he pressed.

    “No, it won’t be for you.”

    “I think it will be,” he replied with a grin, before straightening and tossing the flask of liquor into the crowd.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Free Short Story from Regina Paul...

    FREE SHORT STORY INSIDE WHEN YOU PURCHASE THIS TITLE!

    Destiny's Choices tells the tale of Tiana Slickpoo, a Nez Perce
    hereditary carrier of sacred objects. When her boyfriend James Waters
    decides to attend college out of state, Tiana is wounded by his
    leaving. Unable to tell him the real reason she cannot go with him,
    she vows to never allow another into her heart. However, six years
    later, when priceless tribal objects begin disappearing from the
    reservation museum, and her art gallery, fate steps in with the
    return of James.

    FREE SHORT STORY INSIDE WHEN YOU PURCHASE THIS TITLE!

    Destiny's Holiday

    Three months after the return of James, Tiana is still learning to
    adjust to having a man in her life. What will she do when he appears
    with a real Christmas tree instead of the artificial one she sent him
    out for? How about when she discovers he's kind of a messy person?
    Will she be able to come up with the perfect incentive to make him
    mend his ways, or will James do her one better with the perfect
    Christmas gift?

    Available until January 2, 2008!
    Get Your Copy Now!