Thursday, October 30, 2008

THE VIOLIN ISBN# 978-1-934475-22-5

THE VIOLIN
by Sarah J. McNeal
Publisher: Amira Press
Available in Print and ebook at www.amirapress.com, Amazon.com,Fictionwise.com and Bookstrands.com or from my website at www.saramcneal.com
Okay, this is really Keanu Reeves but, in this picture, he is exactly like John Douglas in this excerpt from THE VIOLIN. I can just imagine him on his Indian motorcycle speeding down the dirt road from Numidia to Sunbury with Genevieve clinging to him in a death grip. I hope you enjoy this excerpt.
Sarah J. McNeal

BLURB:

Genevieve has dreamed about him all her life, but it isn’t until she buys his violin and finds the remnants of his life and the mystery of his death in 1927 within its case, that she makes a decision that will change her life forever. Is there a way to change the past and save the man who haunts her heart?


EXCERPT:


The couple was left alone in the living room. John’s hands seemed to burn into Genevieve’s. She wanted him to stay with her like this forever. Her heart ached a little and she wasn’t sure why. “Are you really okay? She asked.
“Hell no, I’m not okay. I’m never okay around you.” He smiled charmingly. “Now that you’ve turned into a goddess with the help of my mother, I’m not sure I will ever be okay again,” he said and grinned.
Genevieve jerked her hands out of his grasp. “I don’t think your jokes are all that funny. You scared the life out of me,” she said angrily.
He reached around her and pulled his jacket from the back of the couch. “Come on, Genevieve, let’s get going.” He took her hand back in his firm grip and pulled her along behind him out the front door, off the little porch and across the yard to his motorcycle.
Genevieve skidded to a halt. “I’m not going to ride on that thing.” She felt the knot in her stomach form just looking at the motorcycle. What a dangerous piece of machinery it was.
“Yes you are,” John said determinedly.
“No I’m not.” Genevieve was obstinately determined that she was most certainly not going to get on that death machine. “I could get killed on that thing.” She looked at the Indian motorcycle as if it were a dragon seeking its next meal.
From the back yard came a miniature explosion. Matilda’s little shriek cut the air followed by the laughter of Will and Jimmy. John glanced at Genevieve and laughed lightly. “Well, looks like that cannon you bought Jimmy has gone over big.”
She scrunched her face into a frown not listening to a word he said. “I’m not going to ride on that thing, John.”
John turned to her and spoke in a low voice as if explaining something to a child. “Listen, honey, Sunbury is ten miles or more down the road. You couldn’t even walk the first two miles before those blisters would start to hurt again.”
He guided her slowly over to the motorcycle. “Now see, I have this wonderful wheeled horse just to take milady conveniently and, without walking on sore feet I might add, to a wonderful restaurant I know in Sunbury.”
He turned her around to face him. “Now we can stand here and argue all our time away on how we’re going to get there but, in the end little miss goddess of mine, you are going to get on this motorcycle if I have to drag you on it and tie you to me.” There was absolute resolution in his voice.
Genevieve knew she couldn’t win. John had to be the most stubborn person on the face of the earth. “Okay,” she relented barely audible, “I’ll do it but I want you to know I’m really scared. You better not get us killed.”
John threw a leg over the saddle of the bike and drew her on to the back where she sat with her legs tucked behind his. He laughed a little. “Don’t worry, honey, I’m not going to kill us, not on purpose any way.”
“Oh, that’s reassuring,” Genevieve snapped back sarcastically. Her heart was pounding in her chest. She wasn’t sure which bothered her more, riding on the motorcycle or John’s back pressed against her chest and her legs snugly folded next to his.
John reached back, took her hands, and wrapped her arms around his waist. “All you have to do is hang on tight and lean the way I lean. Got that?”
Genevieve was shaking too much to answer so she nodded her head even though she was sure he wasn’t really waiting for her permission. Her stomach clenched with anxiety and fear made her hands tremble.
John kicked the starter with his left heel and the engine sputtered into life. It sounded like a chain saw.
Genevieve hugged John’s waist in a death grip and laid her face against his back as he drew on his goggles over his eyes. “Genevieve,” he yelled over the roar of the engine, “I have to be able to breathe, honey, not that I don’t love you holding me that tight.” He laughed and the motorcycle lunged forward onto the dirt road.
Genevieve watched as John squeezed the clutch with his left hand and reached down to change the gear with his right hand on the stick gear in front of him.
“Aren’t we supposed to have on helmets? There’s a law about that,” Genevieve yelled into his back. She felt the rumble of his laughter on her cheek.
“I don’t think they have a law about that. We’re not going into battle; we’re just taking a ride.” He laughed out loud. “You might want to keep your mouth shut before a bug flies in it,” he shouted and laughed again.
The engine whined a few seconds as John changed gears again. The machine hummed as they scattered rocks and dirt in their wake down the country road. The wind blew through his hair and Genevieve’s braid flopped heavily in the wind the bike created.
“I never saw a motorcycle with a stick shift on the body before,” Genevieve called out over the roar of the engine. “Isn’t there some kind of shift thingy on the handlebar?”
“That’s a mighty interesting question seeing how there is no other motorcycle anywhere. Indian is all there is and this is where the gears are.” John was silent a moment than added, “But now that I think about it, it would sure be more convenient if the ‘thingy’ was on the handlebar.”
Genevieve was beginning to loosen her grip a little as she began to grow calm. A little burn of fear still scorched her stomach though. “Does this thing have brakes?” she called out the question.
“You’ll be glad to know there’s two. I got one in my right hand and the other is located here under my right foot. You couldn’t be any safer.” He spoke loudly making his voice rise above the engine noise. “Isn’t this the greatest?” He was obviously enjoying himself.
Genevieve wasn’t so sure it was the greatest thing riding wildly down a dirt road on a motorcycle. In her real life, she would never take such a crazy chance. But there was one thing she thought that made this dangerous and impulsive antic worthwhile. She got to hold John close to her until she could hear his heartbeat and the vibration of his voice through his jacket on her cheek. The time she spent with John was worth all the heartache that would come later.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Excerpt Song of The Mountains



Song Of The Mountains/Anne Ireland

Coming From Eternal Press in November



They were swimming towards her, racing each other and calling out excitedly in the way young men will, reminding Morwenna of her young brothers who sometimes swam in the lake near her home at Bala. As they came nearer, she saw their shoulders were naked and realised they must have removed much of their clothing before plunging into the water. One of them had reached the bank a short distance from where she was sitting. He had not seen her because of the reed bed that partially obscured her and them.
She had a clear view of the man, who hauled himself from the river and stood shaking his long hair like a hound, the droplets sparkling in the sunshine as they flew around him. He was completely naked. His strong, muscled body open to her curious gaze as he stood laughing at his friend, clearly unashamed of his unclothed state and pleased to have won his race.
He was beautiful! Morwenna drank in the sight of his power and grace. The colour of his skin seeming to indicate this was not the first time it had been exposed to the elements, gleaming wetly like pale copper in the sun’s rays.


























Chapter One
Morwenna 1399
The sun had risen over the Black Mountains these three hours or more, sweeping through the valley, reaching the gloomy old manor house built of stone into the ridge at the far end, but scarcely penetrating its thick walls.
The house was always cold, had been cold ever since she was brought here as a bride, Maire, Lady of Gruffudd thought, shivering and pulling her shawl about her shoulders.
She was thin and beginning to stoop a little, though she had not yet passed her thirty-fourth summer. She had been fourteen when she was wed to Dafydd Gruffudd, fifteen when her son was born–the only son to survive though she had borne three more and a daughter, all dying in infancy. In the end, her husband had named her a barren cow and sought his pleasures elsewhere.
Walking into her son’s bedchamber, Maire’s nose wrinkled in disgust. The stench of sweat, stale urine, and ale made the air thick in this tiny cell, which was separated from the Great Hall by a curtain of leather. She looked down at the man snoring on his straw pallet for a moment, before taking the pitcher she had brought with her and dashing icy water into his face.
The effect was instantaneous. He spluttered and jerked, starting up with an oath as his hand went instinctively to the sword lying on the floor by his side. Anger sparked in the bright blue eyes as he saw the reason for his rude awakening.
"In God’s name, Mother! Why did you do that?"
"The day is wasting while you snore abed, Morgan Gruffudd. ‘Tis time you rose. Besides, there’s a messenger come from Owain Glyn Dwr himself. Will you show discourtesy to Owain?"
"Owain has sent a messenger to me?" The expression in Morgan’s eyes was suddenly wary, suspicious. "Why should he bother after all this time?"
They had expected to hear something from Maire’s kinsman after the death of Dafydd Gruffudd. The two men had not been exactly enemies, but it was accepted within the family that they had had no love for each other. Had it been otherwise, Morgan might have been sent into the lord of Glyndyfrdwy’s service long ago. He was now almost nineteen years of age, and apart from trips into the mountains and forests that bounded his home. To his mother’s knowledge, he had never been further than Tintern Abbey, Chepstow, or to the Eisteddfod with his father. They had both hoped for a summons after Dafydd died, but the word had not come in two long years. Two years, Morgan had subsequently spent drinking, fighting, and whoring in the neighbouring valleys with his friends.
"How should I know why he sends his messenger?" Maire asked, though she was well aware that Owain Glyn Dwr’s man had come in response to her plea for help. She had despaired of her son, known throughout the lordship of the Brecon as Morgan the Rogue, realising that she had no hope of curbing his wild ways. The small manor was falling into ruin through neglect. Morgan promised always to do whatever she asked the next day and did nothing. If, as she hoped, her kinsman had exercised his rights to take Morgan into his service, the care of the manor would be left in Maire’s capable hands. The land in this southern valley was fertile and sweet; left to her management it would yield a good living for Maire and her dependants. "I suggest you make yourself decent and discover his purpose for yourself."
Morgan had risen from his bed. Despite his indolence of late he was a fine figure of a man, over six feet in height and broad in the shoulder with strong, muscled thighs and a mane of dark hair about his face, his chin dark for want of a shave this past week. A week that Maire suspected he had spent in the bed of some whore.
"If Glyn Dwr has sent a messenger to me I’d best not keep him waiting."
"You’ll not go like that!" Maire pulled a face. "He’ll think you a barbarian!"
"Would you have me dress like an English jay, Mother?" Morgan scowled at her. "You must know that ‘tis said across the border, all Welshmen are barbarians. Why should I be different?"
"You could at least put on a clean tunic and hose."
Maire shook her head as Morgan ignored her and walked into the hall, scratching beneath his armpits. Her son’s habits did not come from her, for she was a clean, industrious woman and had done her best to raise Morgan as a good Christian. There were many in the valleys to listen to the bards sing of the old mythology, but Maire was not one of them.

My latest ebook!


Next month Eternal Press are bringing out a big Medieval story of mine. Song of The Mountains is a powerful story of love, hate, revenge and betrayal. Set against the struggle between the last Welsh Prince of Wales and the English, it tells the story of Morgan, a brave man who makes a mistake and has to pay for it over a number of years. I am posting the cover now and will come back with an excerpt.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some Fun Stuff This Week



Well, there's a lot going on this week. Amira Press is having a Spooktacular event that will be taking place all week long. There are free reads you can choose from just for signing up. Mine is The Curse of the Amber Tomb about an archiologist whose ambition blinds her to all else, a handsome photographer who was once a part of a family circus act that went bad and a couple of vampires. There's a sexy scene and some intense thrills to be had--for FREE!

Also they are giving away free baskets of wonderful goodies to 2 lucky people during the events. Check out the fun at http://www.amirapress.com Go to the pumpkin at the top of the Amira Press home page and click onto it to get in on the fun. Can't wait to see you there.

Sarah McNeal


Author of

THE VIOLIN at Amira Press in print and ebook

THE DARK ISLE at New Concepts Publishing

LAKE OF SORROWS at New Concepts Publishing

THE CURSE OF THE AMBER TOMB free read at Amira Press

My Destiny's Choices Squidoo Lens...

Yup, I've decided to join the ranks of those who squidoo! I had a little time about a month ago and decided to see what all the hallaboo about making lens was. Well I found out, it's because it's fun! I really enjoyed making mine and I suspect I will be making more before too long, the darned stuff is downright addictive! Anyway, the neat thing about making a lens, was that I made it for my book Destiny's Choices, which allowed me to put some really cool exerpts, my book trailer and all sorts of goodies all in the same place. So, if you want a one stop shop about my book, this is the place to go! So be sure and go check out my Destiny's Choices Squidoo Lens when you have a minute, you won't be sorry. :-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free Romance Fiction Questions Answered...

The other day I was surfing the net looking for links to a new website I'm helping with and I discovered what I felt were some valid questions by authors regarding the website. I wanted to address some of those questions here on the Moonlight Romance Authors Blog to hopefully clear up any misunderstandings regarding it.

1. One complaint was that there was no About Us page and that made the visitor feel as though the site was not legitimate. Okay yes, there is not an About Us page, however that does not mean it is not legitimate. In order to lay that question to rest, here is the answer to it, Free Romance Fiction is the brainchild of myself (Regina Paul) and another friend who writes romance Patricia Richardson. We are both published romance authors and wanted to find a way to help get the word out about our books as well as accomplish two other goals: help other authors get the word out about their books, and help readers find new authors to read, as well as the occasional free story by their favorite author.

2. There was another comment that there was "advertising on the first page." The only advertising on the front page are my and Pat's covers of our latest releases and jj Keller and Linda Sole's covers for theirs because they very kindly provided a free story for readers and I wanted to repay them for doing so with a month of free premium advertising.

Unlike some websites that fill their free space up with Google Adsense ads that make it difficult to even read the content there especially when they put it in between the paragraphs of the story you are trying to read, we decided to provide an advertising opportunity to authors. Whatever revenue, if any that is generated from the ads goes to the upkeep of the website that is all. And the rates are lower than even many of the review websites which offer the same thing to authors. Since we are just beginning we didn't think it was fair to charge an arm and a leg, and also, it's not for the purpose of "getting rich" as many people use Adsense for, but simply for upkeep of the site.

We do have some of the submission information on the front page but that is because we are trying to reach authors and wanted to show some of the advantages to submitting right on the front page. The cover links are in the different sections depending on what genre the story fits into, when you click on the link it takes you to the PDF of the story. These aren't on the front page because we wanted to put stories in their particular genre giving visitors a chance to go and check out different kinds of free stories. I hope that explains why we don't just have a jumble of coverlinks on the front page.

3. Another point made was done in the form of a question: Why should I as an author submit a story to your website when I can just do it myself and PDF it and add it to my blog? This is a very good question, and of course you certainly can do that. The advantages we think are that when you post a piece of romance fiction to Free Romance Fiction.com you are helping not only yourself (you get a free month of premium advertising if you submit a story by midnight October 31, 2008, and a banner that points to the page with the coverlink to your PDF'd story), but giving readers a chance to check out your writing, and hopefully go and buy your currently published books. After all that is the main advantage and hope to offering a free story, to get readers to buy your books. Another advantage could be the opportunity to network with other published authors as well, if you so choose.

I hope posting these here helps to lay to rest any questions authors or organizations that work with and for authors have. Please don't hesitate to contact me personally via either tiwatz@yahoo.com or submissionsfreeromancefiction@yahoo.comthe main e-mail for freeromancefiction.com. I will be more than happy to answer any other questions or concerns any author or organization that works with authors has and I hope if you have you'll contact me.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Update for Free Romance Fiction....

Free Romance Fiction has decided to extend the deadline for submissions, well we'll take submissions anytime from published romance authors, but if you want to get in on a month of free premium advertising then we've extended that deadline to midnight October 31, 2008. So if you thought you missed out on it, there is still time. We have also moved down our grand opening to November 1, 2008 so as to give all of us more time to get more stories up for the grand opening.

If you are a romance author and have heard about Free Romance Fiction, please do help us to pass the word! You can check out our guidelines here. This is a really good opportunity to get some premium advertising at no cost to you except for a little of your writing time if you don't have a short story already done that fits the guidelines that you can submit.