Friday, July 12, 2024

Author Interview - A Tale of Something New by D. S. McColgan


Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

I published book 1 in my series A Tale of Something New in March, and book 2 A Tale of Something Red will come out at the end of July (25th for the ebook). I describe it as low, supernatural fantasy with a healthy dose of family drama, slow-burn romance, mystery, and (from book 2 onwards) political intrigue. The world is loosely based on Europe (Switzerland, Southern Germany, and Great Britain) around 1800. It is a series for readers who don’t mind surprises and prefer to read a bit outside the mainstream.

The story follows a young woman who finds a wounded stranger in the forest and decides to bring him home to her father’s farm to nurse him back to health. However, when he regains consciousness, he doesn’t remember who he is or what happened to him. Little does she know that the appearance of this handsome stranger might endanger everything and everyone she holds dear …

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

I want to say no, but then my family will point out everything I have in common with the main character Liliana, so I guess there’s no escaping it. I don’t purposefully base events or characters on my life, but ultimately, that’s where my understanding of what it means to be human comes from. Leaving the family you grew up in to build your own family (in whatever form that may be), and life in the countryside are some of the more obvious experiences I have incorporated in my series.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

My current series has several themes that are important to me and to the story. One is motherhood and the value of life. Another one is making decisions and taking responsibility. My protagonist Liliana makes several decisions that completely change her life as well as the lives of those around her. Often, we can’t possibly foresee the consequences of the choices we face, and to me, owning them anyway is a crucial part of life.

The willingness to discuss moral questions is another theme as well as love and allowing oneself to be vulnerable. Sometimes what we feel can be scary or painful, especially if it involves empathy and caring for others. But feeling those things is important, and so much better than getting to a point of not feeling anymore.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

My daughter, my husband, and I have little dance parties in our living room – or sometimes we do Bluey fitness, featuring the floor is lava and hopping races. I occasionally tend to our big, wild garden full of abandoned vegetable boxes and the worst kinds of weeds. Also, I love drinking tea and eating chocolate (but I’m Swiss, so the latter is expected of me, right?).


Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

That would probably be Eldric (the stranger from book 1). He combines so many interesting contradictions in his person, and he will always be close to my heart because I seem to have equipped him with my fears and some of my coping mechanisms. Oh, and of course, because he’s the cold, broody type of guy I would totally fall for, too, if I were Liliana.

 

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

I have planned 4 books in total for this series (although I want to offer my readers two alternative paths or perspectives for book 3, due to … reasons *cough*).

In book 2 A Tale of Something Red, Liliana gets dragged into the affairs of the scheming nobles and does her best to protect her loved ones while also trying to uncover a traitor lurking in Castle Finsterwald.

 

What is in your to read pile?

My TBR pile is constantly growing, and I’m starting to think that a lifetime is not enough to read them all. But I want to finish the Daindreth series by Elisabeth Wheatley, and the Stormlight Archive, which in itself is quite the task.


A Tale of Something New
Book One
D. S. McColgan

Genre: paranormal fantasy, romantic, gaslamp
Publisher: A Tale of Ltd
Date of Publication: 22 March 2024
ISBN: 978-1-7385050-0-5 
ISBN: 978-1-7385050-1-2 
ASIN: B0CW1BZRZT 
Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 69’522

Cover Artist: Lukas Lauener 

Tagline: Saving a mysterious stranger might come back to bite her.

Book Description: 

Liliana is shocked to find a dying man in the middle of the forest, surrounded by the remains of a brutal fight. She brings him home to her father’s farm to nurse him back to health. However, when the stranger regains consciousness, he doesn’t remember who he is or how he came to be there.

Intrigued by the mystery of it all, Liliana sets out to discover who this handsome, well-mannered stranger is. Could he be the man who whisks her away and shows her the world? Or will whatever happened in the forest put her and everyone she loves in grave danger?


This is the start of a new supernatural fantasy series focusing on the decisions one woman has to make in her effort to balance love, morals, ambition and responsibilities as her world expands from her little cozy village to the events that span her continent.

Amazon     BN      Waterstones

Excerpt:

At dinner, Liliana repeated what the stranger had said. After all, he now had a name.

Then the weather was discussed, and the whole table agreed that they were expecting another cold snap. Grandmother felt it in her bones, the farmhands and Cedric observed it in the animals’ behaviour and Father smelled it in the air. The chicken broth was well received.

Armed with a portion of said broth, Liliana ventured to the stranger’s bed after dinner. He awoke immediately and swallowed greedily, his gaze fixed on the bowl. There were so many questions swirling around in her head that she didn’t quite know where to start. If he was missing his memories, he couldn’t answer most of them, and she didn’t want to overwhelm him.

‘Do you remember me?’

He looked up briefly. ‘Yes.’

The fact that he could remember newer things was a good sign.

‘How’s the pain?’

‘Don’t ask.’

Liliana would’ve liked to know if his curt manner was part of his personality or due to the pain he was in. To wake up in a strange environment, in this agonising state and unable to recollect anything … No, she didn’t envy him.

Once the bowl was empty, she gave him the medicine, and Grandmother came to look at his wounds. She loosened the bandages in some places, careful not to damage the skin that had already healed. She rubbed on some of the ointment containing the resin Liliana had collected.

The stranger grimaced but made no sound.

‘That’s my grandmother,’ Liliana said. ‘She’s nursed many people back to health.’

Since he lay there quietly afterwards, Liliana stayed in the room. She was eager to talk to him more, but he kept his eyes closed, exhaustion on his face. So she sat down with her book, in front of the wardrobe. It was a precious, carved piece of furniture that Father had given to her mother after their wedding.

‘How did I get here?’

Astonished, she looked up. His eyes were still closed, but it seemed he felt her presence in the room. ‘I found you half-dead in the woods and brought you here.’

A pause followed, during which Liliana watched him over the edge of the book. What a peculiar way of speaking he had … Although she understood him clearly, the melody of his sentences sounded strange to her ears. His lips formed the words with precision, as if every single one of them deserved to be heard.

‘Be honest, what are my chances?’

‘The fact that you survived the first few days is amazing. If you keep going like this, I’m sure you’ll make it.’

A hint of a smile appeared on his lips. He opened his eyes and slowly turned his head to look at her, quietly grunting with pain. ‘What … are you reading?’

The bronze colour of his eyes still fascinated her. ‘Oh, this? A collection of fairy tales.’

Another pause followed while they studied each other.

‘You like books?’

‘I do. Would you like me to read you one of the stories?’

‘Yes, please.’

Liliana cleared her throat. ‘Most farmers struggle with reading. While I am by far the best reader in the family, it probably still sounds bungled to trained ears.’

The stranger gave her another smile to acknowledge her efforts and closed his eyes.

Liliana began to read. She hadn’t read out loud in a long time. No one here shared her enthusiasm for books. Why would they? There always seemed to be gossip to share, and after a day of hard work, most people in the village didn’t want to overexert their tired brains. For them, books were an expensive and superfluous possession. When Cedi had been younger, she’d taught him to read. As with many other activities, her little brother started on it with great zeal, only to lose interest after the first few strides. Reading to someone who may be well educated made her nervous. But she soon found her rhythm. As intended, the stranger relaxed. Distraction was a good antidote to pain.




About the Author:

D. S. McColgan emigrated from the Swiss mountains to Wales, where she now writes her stories surrounded by green hills, countless sheep and castles. She writes in German and English, and her short stories reside in the realm of fairy tales or magical realism. This year, she has published the first two books of her fantasy series: A Tale of Something New & A Tale of Something Red. 

If you are not afraid of blood and fancy a historical tale with slow-burn romance, secrets, authentic characters and atypical twists, you will love her series.







Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Guest Blog- Bright Midnights by LS Delorme


An interesting little factoid about me is that I was in a band.  

Not just in a band, actually, I wrote all the songs and produced our music.  We were even on MTV in the middle of the night one night.  Probably about seven people saw us.     

But one of the things that I was known for was lyrics.  Below are lyrics that sort of inspired Bright Midnights

Lips to the Flame

He comes across the water, dancing on waves
Mad as Ophelia, we are the same
Mountains are shells that surround us
We glow in smoke from the dust

Day aquieces to a burning shade
I want to live with my lips to the flame

When he whispers
I hear hummingbirds
Their wings beat out all thought
Is gone, long gone

Warehouse of sand, so dark, bizarre
In a trailer, I leave flowers
Neon lights twist round the borders
Sleeping on a carousel, I hear him breathing but
He can’t see me
He says “I’ll take care of you”
And I wake screaming

He eats you alive
Feel your heart bake
Tell them you want to live
With your lips to the flame

Wild dogs chase me, my heart beats out their rhythm
So sweet to let go and roam the night with them
He lies in their midst, countenance starlit
In black eyes I swim, have I been remiss.

Never more to run
No time to back away
I will remain 
With my lips to the flame

When he whispers
I hear hummingbirds
Their wings beat out all thought 
Is gone
Their wings will flame delight
Goodnight




Bright Midnights
The Limerent Series 
Book Three
LS Delorme

Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Limerent Publishing
Date of Publication:  Oct 2023
ISBN:979-8-9874880-2-7
ASIN: B0CD4FTYDF
Number of pages: 301
Word Count: 119000
Cover Artist: Brittany Wilson

Tagline: "In a world where viruses possess and dreams unlock new realms, a young girl must navigate love, danger, and her own dark powers to survive."

Book Description:

Most high school students find life challenging, but 17-year old Amelie has a lot more to contend with than typical teenage angst. Ever since she turned 11, others have been irresistibly, almost chemically, drawn to her-with tragic consequences. Her only escape is at night when she flies to different times and places through her "dreams". Her life begins to change when, on one of her flights, she meets Clovis, an alluring and mysterious young man who hides a secret.

As Amelie finds herself increasingly drawn to him, she learns his story, how it intertwines with her own and finally discovers how to live her life in the real world. Until her own secrets are revealed to the wrong people and that world turns upside down.


Excerpt:

 “Everyone, could you pass your weekly journals forward,” Ms. Pryll announced. “And I think, perhaps, today I will pick a few of you to read your entries to the rest of the class. Ms. McCormick, you always have such interesting entries. How about we begin with you?”

Ms. Pryll motioned her forward. Ah, her eye rolling had been noticed. Amelie really wasn’t off to a good start today. On top of her intestinal grumbling, she was feeling the beginnings of a tension headache creeping up the back of her neck.

Just as she was standing up to assume the position at the front of the classroom, someone stumbled through the door. It was Hudson. He was slumping, holding on to the doorframe. Hudson wouldn’t be drawing attention to himself in normal circumstances. Something was wrong. Ms. Pryll was finally pulled from her flirting by the fact that the rest of the class was staring at the doorway. As they watched, Hudson slid down the doorframe into a huddled position.

“Now Mr. Crowe, please come in and sit down,” said Ms. Pryll, with exasperation.
Hudson managed to hold up a small blue object, before slumping forward.

“Dude’s been drinking?” Ryan laughed from the back.

Hudson tried one more time to raise his head and lift the thing in his hands. Everyone in the class just stared at him. The front of Amelie’s forehead suddenly exploded with images, and the lighted words from the cereal box this morning made sense.

Low. Sugar. Bad.

“He’s not drunk,” Amelie snapped. “That’s a glucose meter. He’s diabetic.”

Amelie dropped her notebook and ran to the door, falling to her knees beside Hudson. She had a vague notion that this hurt and she would be bruised later, before she grabbed Hudson’s head. She didn’t know if people in insulin shock had seizures or not, but that didn’t matter. She knew what to do. She had been told by something more reliable than memory. Low blood sugar was bad.

 What to do? Okay, Elodie had her phone. What else? Jack, he always ate breakfast at his desk. Today it was a bottle of orange juice. Thank god.

“Elodie, call 911—now! Jack, throw me your OJ,” Amelie snapped.

Jack just smirked at her, completely disengaged in the fact that another human being was in crisis. A wave of fury replaced the images in Amelie’s head, making everything around her look shiny, sharp, and red. The world began to move in slow motion. She turned, her eyes met Jack’s, and she let her well-constructed shields drop … just… drop. The energy that flowed out of her felt glorious.

“Jack, throw me your OJ, now,” she said, softly this time. She saw the shocked look on Jack’s face, but he immediately grabbed the OJ and tossed it to her. The chemical wave that seemed to be her birthright rolled over him, through him, past him and across the class … person by person, face by face.


About the Author: 

Lexy is the Author of the Limerent novel universe.  The first two books in this universe were Caio and Bright Midnights. They are two of the three foundation books of the Limerent Series, and as such can be read in any order. 

Bright Midnights was picked as an Editor’s Choice by Booklife and received a Golden Wizard award in the UK in the category of YA.  

Lexy has also been a travel writer and author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland Hong Kong and An Expat Mom’s Unofficial Guide to Disneyland Paris. She is an ex rock musician, ex science grad, recovering attorney and now an expat writer.  Her love of writing stems from an eclectic life.  As a navy brat, she grew up in various states across the U.S. until her father retired to North Carolina when she was a teenager.   

As an adult, she has continued this tumbleweed life, having since lived in 3 countries, 9 US States, and 21 cities around the world. But, through all this change, her love of writing has been the one constant. Writing the Limerent Series allows her to use her unusual past to help create new worlds.  

Lexy now lives in Paris with her husband and two very cool sons.  
 
“Writing fiction gives you a place where you can put all the attractions that you probably shouldn’t feel, all the thoughts you are afraid of saying out loud, and all the rage that you can’t vent because you would kill people.  While we live, these moments stay with us, but when we die, they die too. When you put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, you put these things out there in the world where they can be read by others.  This means that they have a life outside of you and outside of your own head, and that’s something that is really compelling to me. I like the idea that these amazing moments that I’ve had in life don’t disappear when I disappear.”  - LS Delorme 
 
“For me, writing is like therapy…just cheaper.  As most writers are not really individuals but a collection of individuals trying to find a way to live together in one brain, fiction allows them to make a home for all these people who live rent free inside their heads.  It’s also place that you can capture unique moments in life that impact you or that make you feel deeply.”  - LS Delorme  









Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Space Cats: Making Enemies by Craig A. Price and Shayne Price


The Life of a Father Author

I work a full-time job with three children, and finding writing time can be a challenge. It’s even harder because being a writer isn’t simply the writing, but the marketing and publishing as well. I’ll give a few best practices I’ve learned over the years that have helped me out.

Writing Tools

I have learned to utilize some tools to help keep me organized and save time.

First, for outlining, I use Plottr. I have also used one called StoryPlanner in the past, but StoryPlanner is only for Mac and iOS. Having a great plotting tool has enabled me to save time going back to find plot or character information. It also exports beautifully into my next application. Shayne and I used Plottr to outline Space Cats together.

For writing, I use Scrivener. It works wonderfully on PC, Mac, and iOS. Sadly, there is no application for droid phones, but if I write on my phone, I’ll use an application called Novelist and copy and paste into my Scrivener file later. Plottr and StoryPlanner will both export into a Scrivener file, which is helpful to bring over outline and plotting information into your writing project. Shayne and I used Scrivener to write and revise using Scrivener Revision mode to see what changes we each made.

Some additional tips I use for writing are an electronic word processor. I have a Neo Alphasmart 2, which I can use at my day job during break and lunch. You then plug it into your computer and click the send button for it to type all of your written words into whatever document you have open. I will also use dictation while driving to and from work or while doing house chores. Not everyone agrees with dictation during driving, though it is acceptable to listen to music, sing, or have hands-free conversations. The point is that whatever you do during driving must come second to driving itself. My driving dictation usually requires some cleanup, as when I’m turning, or changing lanes and head checking, I do not dictate, so there will be gaps, and sometimes it’s more talking over ideas that needs to be fleshed out a bit more with narrative. I use Nuance Dragon to import an mp3 file from my small voice recorder.

Writing Process

I mentioned earlier that I will use my commute to dictate either rough draft or outline and ideas. I will also use an electronic word processor at work during break and lunch, or if I get to work earlier than my shift.

Another option, which I’m not all that fond of, is waking up a little earlier for work and writing or outlining before going to work. I find outlining is easier in the morning than writing when I’m not yet awake.

The opposite option of course is staying up a little longer to write a chapter. This is why I have Novelist installed on my phone. I can write a bit when laying down with my young children to get them to sleep.

Then, of course, as they get older, you can write books with them like I am doing with my son Shayne, which saves a lot of time especially on the revision process to have someone to work with and bounce ideas with.

Marketing and Publishing

Marketing is always hard and usually more time-consuming than actual writing. The best way to get your marketing done is to invest in a few tools to save as much time as you can. I use Vellum for book formatting, which saves a lot of time compared to when I used Microsoft Word. I use the WideWizard browser extension to put all of my book metadata in to help streamline the upload process on retailers. I use OneNote to help keep my publishing checklist and book details all together. I use BookFunnel to deliver audiobooks and ebooks, which is also connected to my Shopify store to deliver eBooks and audiobooks. I also have it setup to deliver a free eBook when the paperback is ordered. I use BookBrush, MockupShots, DIYCovers, and Apple Promo Images to help create graphics for sharing. I’ve used SocialChamp to help streamline post scheduling.

Conclusion

It isn’t easy to organize a work-life-writing balance. I love spending time with my kids, and don’t want to spend a lot of time at a computer when I can be spending the time with my children. It’s hard to organize and work around it, but I try to use early mornings, late nights, work breaks, and dictation during chores.

There are times when I need to get something done and I tell my family I need to spend some time working on writing, but I try to keep those limited to keep my writing and family time separate.

The best thing you can do if you’re a parent with small children is to map out your schedule and see where you have free time that can be utilized. When are the times you’re scrolling on your phone or watching mindless television? Those are the times where you can attempt to cut that back and add in a bit of writing time. For me, those were work breaks and laying down with my young children when they start to get close to falling asleep. What is it for you, and what tools can you put into place to help ensure it won’t be time wasted? 


Space Cats: Making Enemies
Space Cats Series 
Book One
Craig A. Price and Shayne Price

Genre: Sci-Fi, Middle Grade, YA
Publisher: Claymore Publishing
Date of Publication: 07/16/2024

ISBN: 9781946968111 
ISBN: 9781946968128 
ASIN: B0CSXTWH2H
Number of pages: 162
Word Count: 27,223

Cover Artist: Shayne Price with Craig’s typography.

Tagline: Cats are out to explore the galaxy… dogs are ready to protect it.

Book Description:

In the vast expanse of the galaxy, feline explorers from the Cat Exploration Corporation, led by the ambitious Blake, yearn to make their mark and unveil the secrets of uncharted space. All Blake desires is to honor his father's legacy and contribute to the endless curiosity of catkind. Meanwhile, Shadow, a loyal canine under the banner of the Tofferis Empire, is determined to pass his trials and stand as a stalwart guardian, protecting the very galaxy the cats seek to explore.

At the forefront of the Mineral Mining Corporation, Jade, a charismatic catsplorer, spearheads daring expeditions into uncharted territories. His mission: to unearth valuable minerals crucial for advancing feline exploration. Little do they know that their individual aspirations will intertwine in an unexpected political showdown, where cats and dogs are at the center of a cosmic power struggle.

As Blake, Shadow, and Jade navigate the complexities of interstellar politics, allegiances are tested, and the line between friend and foe blurs against the backdrop of unexplored galaxies. In "Space Cats: Making Enemies," the first installment of the series, these unsuspecting heroes find themselves entangled in a captivating space opera with a feline twist. Will they emerge victorious, or will the clash of paws and claws reshape the destiny of the cosmos? Embark on a thrilling journey that combines cosmic curiosity, canine loyalty, and the indomitable spirit of feline explorers. 

If you're a fan of space adventures where the stakes are as high as the humor is charming, "Space Cats: Making Enemies" awaits your cosmic companionship.


Claymore Publishing      Books2Read
 

Book Trailer:  https://youtu.be/j1RNOYhlQtU   


Excerpt:

"I have a bad feeling about this," Ryan muttered.

"Don't be ridiculous," Jade replied, leading the way toward the temple. "We came here for the minerals, and we're going to find them."

As they approached the temple, they could see that it was ancient, with large stone columns and carvings covering the walls. They made their way inside, and the mineral finder began to beep rapidly.

"There it is," Jade said, pointing to a door at the end of the chamber. "That's where the scanner is leading us."

They cautiously approached the door, which was adorned with strange symbols and carvings. Jade hesitated for a moment, but then pushed the door open.

When the door creaked open, they saw a blinding light emanating from inside the chamber. They shielded their eyes and cautiously stepped inside, drawn toward the powerful energy source.
Jade and his team crept through the temple. The air grew colder, and they felt a sense of unease.

The mineral finder beeped louder as they approached the large chamber door. Ryan, the team's technician, examined the door and found that it was heavily secured.

They noticed strange markings etched on the walls. The markings resembled scratches, as if claws or sharp objects made them. Upon closer inspection, Jade realized the markings were actually a form of language, but one that he had never seen before.

Ryan, who had some expertise in ancient languages, inspected the markings. "This isn't any language that I recognize," he said, furrowing his brow in concentration. "It looks like some kind of primitive tool made it, like a claw or a rock."

Jasper, who had been scanning the temple with his handheld device, interrupted. "Guys, I'm getting some strange readings here," he said, pointing to his device. "It looks like there's some kind of energy emanating from the walls themselves."

Jade walked over to Jasper. "That's strange." He looked at the device. "There's definitely something here, but I can't quite make out what it is."

"It seems to radiate from behind this door." Jade touched a door at the end of the hallway with strange markings.

Jasper, the team's muscle, stepped forward and used his strength to force the door open. Inside the chamber, they found a glowing orb emitting a powerful energy. Jade approached the orb and scrutinized it, trying to identify its properties.

As he did so, the orb suddenly flared up with a blinding light, knocking the team off their feet.

When they regained their senses, they found the orb had disappeared and the chamber was now empty.

Jade, Ryan, and Jasper looked at each other, stunned by what had just happened. They realized they had stumbled upon something beyond their understanding and knew that they needed to report their findings to their superiors. Before they could head back to their shuttle, the darkness faded once again, and the center of the room gleamed with a small object. A crystal. It flickered slightly.



About the Authors:

Craig A. Price Jr. is a USA Today bestselling author of Claymore of Calthoria Trilogy, Dragon's Call Trilogy, Dragonia Empire Series, Space Gh0st Adventures Series, and several other titles available in alternate realities. He loves to read, write, cast spells, and spend time with his beautiful wife and three children. He dreams to one day become a full-time wizard, but until then, he'll settle for being an author. With more than a dozen novels under his belt now, it's only a matter of time before he settles for world domination, but until then, you can follow his author journey as he takes over one reader's soul at a time.

Craig lives on the Alabama Gulf Coast, among the ravenous mosquitos, humidity, and deadly predators. If you spot him in the wild, he can be dangerous, but will often be tamed by a Mountain Dew and Reese's.

Shayne Price is the son of Craig A. Price, and hopes to one day become a Geologist. He likes to play sports and video games. He was behind all the plot in this book. He is a sophomore in high school and attends classes at the University of Alabama. 

 

 










Monday, June 24, 2024

In the Kitchen with A. Mariposa - Recipe for Turkey Chili #InTheKitchen #Recipe #TurkeyChili #PNR #ParanormalRomance


“Heart of the Wolf” Summer Turkey Chili

It’s June in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve been hit by a week long rainstorm. I love a good storm, but I can guarantee you half my vegetable garden is going to drown. Goodbye, melons! 
I love to make a big crockpot full of chili on a cold, blustery day. This is a simple chili recipe that’s great for Summer or early Fall, I call it my “Summer Chili.” It’s a lighter take on chili but I guarantee you, it’s a lot more flavorful. Just follow these super simple steps. 

Seasoning
3 tbs chili powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp red pepper
1-2 tsp black pepper
1 chicken bouillon cube
Salt to taste

Ingredients

1 can diced tomato (14oz)
1 can kidney beans (14oz)
1 can black beans (8oz)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 lb ground turkey
1 sweet onion
1 whole clove fresh garlic

Cooking directions

- Brown turkey in skillet.
- Saute finely chopped onion and bell peppers with turkey.
- Dump the vegetables and ground turkey into the crockpot.
- Dump in the cans of beans, tomato, and spices in the amounts listed above.
- Cook on high for 4 hours.

Heart of the Wolf
Black River Moon
Book One
A. Mariposa

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Black Butterfly
Date of Publication: 05/31/2024
ISBN: 9780999310298
ASIN: B0D1FKQ35J
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 120,000
Cover Artist: Theresa Shreffler

Tagline: A steamy paranormal romance about forbidden first love!

Book Description: 

Maddy Donovan is trying to survive her senior year of high school. Her life is far from normal. Her stepdad is a shameless alcoholic. The power bill is due. And she has a math test tomorrow. She's living in survival mode, and she has no time to date that spicy older guy who keeps coming by the hardware store. What's his name again? Right. Gareth Delarosa. Black hair, hazel eyes, over six feet tall--guys that hot don't belong in Black River. He's been her secret crush for the last five years, but there's an age gap, and he's way off limits.

But it seems like fate has other plans. When Gareth saves her life the night of a break-in, she wakes up in his bedroom, in his bed, wearing his shirt. Her secret fantasy is staring her in the face. Oh wait, he's a werewolf? Right. Seems like her luck. True love is about to upend her world.

Welcome to a love story about crossing boundaries, taking risks, healing from trauma and learning to live on the wild side. This is not your grandma's love story! 

Recommended for readers 18+, contains spicy scenes and adult content.

Excerpt: Waking Up in Your Forbidden Crush’s House. Wearing His Shirt. You Know. Normal Things.

“Hey.”

She stiffened. Her heart gave a little flutter. She knew that voice. His deep, husky baritone was unmistakable.

Maddy looked back over her shoulder.

It was him.

Oh good lord.

He stood at the entrance to the kitchen, a towel over one shoulder.

Their eyes met.

She felt a little zap of lightning.

She swallowed. Hard.

Maddy turned around slowly to face him. She was shocked. He was her secret. Secrets were supposed to remain hidden. Not standing before her, face-to-face.

This was her first time standing so close to him outside of work, in broad daylight, without a dark moonlit forest obscuring his physique. His honey-hazel eyes glimmered beneath stern brows. His black hair, a warm tone like rich earthen humus, fell freely past his shoulders.

His massive chest made two little mountains under his white T-shirt. He was very tall and packed with muscle; she guessed him to be three or four inches over six feet.

A full sleeve of tattoos covered each arm. She had never really looked at them before. Up near his left shoulder, partly hidden by his shirt, she saw a vibrant, grinning skull in the sinister style of Dios de Los Muertos. The word LOBO in rustic Southwest font ran down his right forearm, while LOCO ran down the left. If his arms were both down, it read “lobo loco.” His right arm also carried the astrological symbol of a Scorpio, or maybe it was just a big fucking scorpion. The rest of the sleeve was too intricate for her to really appreciate at a glance.

His skin was deep tan. He wore blue jeans and steel-toed work boots. Something like car grease stained his shirt. She wondered, not for the first time, if he worked at a garage.

Maddie realized she was staring with her mouth slightly open. She shut it. She met his eyes again. She really didn't know what to say.

“You hungry?” he asked.

Then he walked back into the kitchen.

Maddy followed him with some hesitation. She felt like a stray cat who had wandered into someone’s house. He set a plate of bacon down on the kitchen table, and she pulled out a chair and sat down. Next to the bacon was a plate of scrambled eggs and two big waffles with maple syrup.

“I didn’t know what you liked,” he said, like he needed to explain why he’d served her an entire breakfast buffet. “Eat up. I’ll finish the rest.”

“Uh . . . thank you,” she mumbled.

She picked up her fork and speared one of the waffles onto her plate. The sight of so much food made her suddenly ravenous. She felt like she had burned ten-thousand calories the night before. She started shoving warm, syrup-covered waffles straight into her mouth.

He continued washing the dishes. The voice on the TV droned on. Maddy’s ears suddenly perked when she heard her name. “Now on local news, five bodies were found in the woods just outside Black River, NY . . . Police are saying animal attack . . . nearby mobilehome abandoned . . . currently searching for Madeline Donovan, a student at Black River High School. If you have any information about her whereabouts, please call . . . .”

So the police were looking for her. Wow. Color her impressed. Someone must have reported her missing. Maybe because of the gunshots. Certainly not her father. Sounded like Dean still hadn’t come home.

Another voice interrupted Maddy’s thoughts, a memory from the night before: “Rough up the guy. . . Toss his place . . . Leave a message.”

Maddy’s hands started to shake.

Her fork slipped through her clumsy fingers. It clattered to her plate. Then to the floor. It made a lot of noise.

The man turned to look at her.

“Sorry, uh . . . sorry,” she muttered.

Her hands clutched the bottom of her shirt as she tried to stop trembling.

He was still watching her. That made it worse. This isn’t normal. Nothing about this is normal. She was in his house. Her head was bandaged, and she was sitting in his boxers and a T-shirt. She felt a weird sense of vertigo. Everything was surreal.

She stared at her plate. Her cheeks were burning. She tried not to think of the unnegotiable fact that she was wearing his clothes, which meant someone must have undressed her the night before, which meant he absolutely saw her naked.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

He shut off the sink. Then he passed through the kitchen and into the living room, where he picked up the remote. He turned off the TV.

“Sorry if that bothered you,” he said.

“It’s alright,” she said.

She turned in the chair. She could see him clearly; he was only about ten feet away. She studied his face again. The light from the window cast shadows beneath his high cheekbones.

Devilish. He had a masculine neck, a cleft chin, a straight nose and a slightly prominent brow that gave his face a stern appearance. His lips were firm and sensual. His lashes were long and dark. His eyes were a bright, unusual hazel color. Sometimes they were green, and sometimes they were gold. She couldn’t tell if he was Native American, Mexican, Brazilian or a little bit of everything. To her, he looked like an exotic model from somewhere warm and tropical.

She felt a flutter in her stomach. It was not a shy tickle, but a steroid-enhanced butterfly striking her ribcage. She liked him so much. But . . . he was an adult, and she was only nineteen.

So, like, probably too young for him. God, she could not stop blushing.

“So what happened last night?” he asked. 


About the Author: 

A. Mariposa is penname for YA Fantasy writer, T. L. Shreffler. She writes Paranormal Romance that's steamy, spicy, a bit gritty, a little messy, and a whole lot of Happily Ever After! Her first PNR series The Wolves of Black River can be described as Shameless meets True Blood. For fans of Alpha males, shifter romance, forbidden first loves and historic small towns, this series is for you. <3








Thursday, June 20, 2024

Poetry Corner with E.W. Saloka #Fantasy #FantasyRomance


Tattered Wings- E. A. Saloka

She's a dove with tattered wings.
She hides her small, soft head.
She wonders as her tiny heart beats fast, beneath her breast.
The pain inside her heart, her tearful lonesome cries.
She yearns to soar on silver wings and kiss the sapphire sky.
And I am her and she is me
We long for something to help us break free.
But tattered wings won't get you far
Trapped on the ground, that's where you stay.
That's where you are.
I know she keeps a dreaming someday she'll fly.
Even when he says "Don't even try, don't even try."
His words may sting and cut her inside
But doves were born to touch the sky.
But tattered wings won't get you far.
Stay on the ground, that's where you are.
But watch her someday, she's gonna fly
Cause doves were born to touch the sky.
Well months turned into years, and she's weary and worn.
Her strength and her will to survive is nearly gone.
But deep inside speaks her truth and it doesn’t lie.
Cause doves were born to touch the sky.
So I wept for the dove and she wept for me,
Her wings were tattered, but now she soars free.
 Bound no more, not broken apart
her spirit sings with a mended heart.
But sometimes late at night, she hears that voice in the wind.
He's laughing at her, telling her "You'll never fly again"
But her spirit is truth, and it wouldn’t lie.
This dove was born to touch the sky.



I wrote this about a woman who feels trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship, like Daksha, my character in Dragon Masters. 


Dragon Masters 
Silver Leaf Legacy 
Book One
E.W. Saloka

Genre: Fantasy romance
Publisher:  E.W. Saloka
Date of Publication:  May 29, 2024
ASIN: B0D36GY51W
Number of pages: 260
Word Count:  112,395
Cover Artist:  Blue Valley Author Services

Tagline:  Let the Games Begin 

Book Description: 

Zach was an ordinary guy living a mundane life. Attending classes, playing video games, and hanging out with his friends at Sal’s Pizza. Typical stuff for a fifteen-year-old, until one snowy night when a winged horse suddenly appeared. After that, nothing would ever be the same. Orcs, wizards, and dragons!   

Zach couldn't believe this was his new norm. Now instead of playing fantasy games, he was living one.

So, when he receives an invitation to join an elite group of Dragon Riders, things really heat up, especially when he meets two beautiful girls vying for his attention. The sweetly innocent Shanna, and Lux, an enchanting, but mysterious fae.

Zach didn't know how to ride a dragon; he couldn’t follow a manual online. No "How to Ride a Dragon in Six Easy Steps" guide. It was no wonder Dredd called him “Kid”
.
Dredd Domino, the Dragon Masters’ Champion. with an attitude and swagger to match his celebrity status. Droves of girls willing to do anything to be with their hero. But Dredd only desired an ethereal beauty who played dangerous games with the dragon rider’s heart.
 
The Dragmar Wizard told Zach, that receiving an invitation to join the Valdorian Order of Elite Riders was a high honor. Only a select group of dragon riders were chosen to participate in their annual death-defying race. Refusing their request would be an insult to the Race Council and not taken lightly. Once a rider was selected, there was no turning back. Not ever.

Enter the realm of Brandiss-Dor where intrigue, steamy romances, and prophecies abound. Family bloodlines and secrets steeped in the legacy of the coveted Silver Leaf lie within. Some will lie, steal, and even kill for it.

Book One of the Silver Leaf Legacy ends on a cliffhanger.  Dragon Masters is a mash-up of cozy and epic fantasy with heart-stopping romance.  Tropes are snarky dragons, forbidden love, love triangles, and morally grey villains.

Are you ready to take flight?


Excerpt:

The Ice Wizard ground his teeth and looked away. “I’m not your hero, Mella.”

 “To me you’re heroic, not the beast you think you are. You saved me today from being kidnapped by the orcs, they were taking me to the Norbe Swamps!” She shuddered at the thought of slimy hands on her as they chained her and threw her over their riding-beast. Their putrid breath as they hovered and gloated over their captured prey.

“Daksha called me a beast, so she’s gone now. I drove her away.” His blue eyes darkened.

The pain in his voice ripped through her. With shaky breath, Mella drew close to him. She took Rianor's strong hand and held it up to her lips.  

He could feel the whisper of her soft breath; his ice-blue eyes met hers. “You should go now.”

“Is that what you want Rianor?” she gazed into his eyes; those eyes so full of darkness and passion.

Suddenly, he pulled her closer; his mouth found hers. His lips whispered against hers as he gripped her waist tightly.

She melted into him. “I never stopped loving you. All those years trapped in that lonely existence my heart yearned for you. I couldn’t tell you because you were with .. with Daksha.” Tears stung Mella’s seafoam eyes.

“No... don’t cry.” He tasted the saltiness of her falling tears as he kissed each one away. He had to hold back his Blue Ceress magic. Mella was a sweet and gentle siren, but only the Emerald Fire could match his darkness, and Daksha was the white heat the Ice Wizard craved.

“You’re thinking of her, aren’t you?” Mella pulled away. “You desire her, but do you love her?”

“I can’t feel love. I told Daksha I loved her, but she needed to hear those words. To me, love is nothing but a hollow emotion.”

Mella touched his arm gently. “But why would you do that if you knew it would hurt her?”

“I have no easy answers, do you see why I can’t be your hero?” 


About the Authors:

E.W. Saloka are writers, artists, conceptual designers, and a husband and wife team.

Welcome to the Kingdom of Brandiss-Dor. Their Silver Leaf Legacy series is the culmination of twenty years of working in the fantasy collectible industry. William began sculpting professionally several years ago with fantasy being his preferred subject.

Elaine began writing the storylines to accompany William's sculptures for his art shows and Ren Faires. Eventually, those stories grew into an outline for Dragon Masters. William is a dragon expert so she relies on his expertise to bring the dragons to life in their story. Between his fantasy and her romance their characters shine.

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