Today’s Featured Author – Terrell Williams

Today, I welcome author Terrell Williams to my blog. He is on a virtual book tour promoting his book But My Soul is Black.

8 Things

Tell us 8 things about the characters in your book.

1) Bobby is an Anglo who finds out more about himself than he ever imagined when he gets an opportunity to become familiar with another culture and has to come face to face with physical confrontations if he stands up for what he believes.

2) Jimbo for the first time feels the pain of not ultimately being on the winning side in a quest for the woman he truly loves.  He learns the hard way that being vain is not a virtue.

3) Karen, the object of pursuit of both Jimbo and Bobby learns the difficulty associated with discerning what constitutes love vs. infatuation, and whether physical attraction is as important as someone who shows true care and concern.

4) Uncle Fred is the big boss who has high expectations of those he employs and who he cares about, almost to a fault.

5) Grandma knows her grandson Jimbo better than anyone, and he really needs her sometimes tough love yet compassionate guidance when he encounters problems of the heart that he does not know how to handle himself.

6) Jimbo is a proud young man with flaws, but he takes care of his business for Uncle Fred, which is why he was made foreman over the job.

7) Everyone needs a “Helen”.  A true friend who will tell you the truth, regardless of whether you like it or not.  Helen, Karen’s best friend, was just that type of person.

8) Karen is an amazing lady, with beauty, education, emotional strength yet compassion.

Book Blurb

Bobby has high hopes for his new life in Detroit, and he will not, under any circumstances, blow his chances by messing up a prime job opportunity at his uncle’s construction company. But his first meeting with his mentor, African American foreman Jimbo, turns out even worse than expected when it becomes apparent that Bobby is learning the ropes to become Jimbo’s boss.

As Bobby tries to navigate Jimbo’s understandable resentment, he must also wrestle with the misperceptions of Black culture that his Caucasian family has passed on to him. Eventually, the two men become friends as Jimbo recognizes that Bobby doesn’t hold the prejudices of his uncle.

But just as things start to smooth out, Jimbo introduces Bobby to the kind, clever, and stunning Karen—Jimbo’s favorite woman to string along. Confused by his strong feelings for this intriguing woman and frustrated with Jimbo’s flippant treatment of her, Bobby struggles with whether to pursue Karen…at the cost of ending his newfound friendship with Jimbo and sabotaging his future.

Taking a candid look at interracial romance and the human experience, …But My Soul is Black reveals the cultural misperceptions that harm us—and the love that heals us.

About the Author

Terrell Williams began life as the 2nd eldest son of 9 children (4 girls and 5 boys) and was reared in less than affluent circumstances. The second in his immediate family to graduate from college, he went on to marry a wonderful woman, and who eventually became the proud parents of 4 children (3 girls and 1 son who is also his namesake).

Mr. Williams enjoys reading and writing poetry, and he has written several plays that have been performed and were well received in Texas. The idea for his debut novel, But my Soul Is Black, lay dormant for many years until Mr. Williams finally finished the novel upon his retirement, fulfilling his dream of becoming a published author. His romantic tale tackles controversial topics such as interracial relationships, generational differences of conceptual thinking about life and love. This novel seeks to remind the readers of the interconnectedness we share as humans, as well as showing that truly, love transcends all!

You can find out more about Terrell’s book tour on Facebook.

You can purchase But My Soul is Black on Amazon.

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Today’s Featured Author – Tanya R. Taylor

Today I welcome Tanya R. Taylor to my blog. Her latest book, The Contract: Murder in the Bahamas, is the fifth in her The Cornelius Saga and was released earlier this month.

Excerpt

Daniel J. Smith, a forty-eight-year-old colored man, sat alone in the diner across the street from Tinnedale Hospital. He was of medium height and build, which edged closer to the broader side of the scale, but handsome, nonetheless, by many accounts. The clear eye-glasses sat comfortably on the bridge of his nose as he perused the morning newspaper.

Glancing above the daily, he observed a man in a long, white coat a few tables away and a woman wearing a dark blue outfit with high-heeled shoes to match. A younger man sat a couple of tables down. He appeared to be just staring into space as he sipped his hot chocolate, the steam of which steadily curled into the air. Daniel was among the few who quietly sat that morning in Al’s Diner.

His mind drifted to the meeting he had the day before with Lucille Green. That’s the day he flew in from Florida for what was probably his fortieth visit to the city of Nassau. He could see her sitting on the porch of that old, clapboard house. The entire residence had a square footage which nearly matched the size of his master bathroom back home in Boynton Beach to a “t”. Lucille was easily tipping the scales at around three hundred pounds, and every crevice and wrinkle on her sagging skin that sunny day as he sat with her told of countless struggles across her eighty-two years of existence. Daniel couldn’t deny her strong personality neither as she spoke aggressively through her raspy voice.

“It’s a damn shame how they treated Jackie all those years ago,” she roared. “The woman had five small children to take care of before they cuffed her like a common criminal and hauled her off to court. And to think they’d really believe she murdered that woman.”

That woman? Daniel was clearly offended and had to set her straight.

“That woman…” he pronounced “…was my mother.”

The nerve of you was embedded in Lucille’s expression, laced with a tinge of sympathy over the fact that the poor dead woman did indeed give birth to him.

“Right. No offense to you, young man,” she went on. “But I tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that Jackie Pearl Agatha Smith did not kill your dear mother. My sister didn’t have it in her. Believe me when I say that.”

Daniel recalled her glassy eyes being wide with conviction while she uttered those words.

“They let my sister languish in prison for a whole six years before she succumbed to cancer. She suffered and died in that God-forsaken place for a crime she didn’t commit!” Tears were welling in her eyes. “She was humiliated and her children had to grow up without their mother. That just ain’t right.”

“So did I, Miss Green. I was just three years old when my mother was murdered. I don’t know how well her kids managed as they were coming up, but I was sent to live in foster homes ‘til I turned sixteen. After that, I was on my natural own. They were hard years.”

Lucille didn’t respond.

“I can’t begin to tell you what my life was like, but you sit here practically swearing for your sister when she was tried and convicted in a court of law. Every appeal was denied, yet you say she’s innocent.”

“Young man, I don’t know what you expected before you came here, but if it was for me to look you square in the face and lie to you, I’m sorry I disappointed you. You don’t have to believe a word I said. You can go on believin’ the lies they all told you. But I’m sure you’ve seen from the court papers, each and every witness for the defense said my sister was a good wife and mother even after her husband of twenty years, your father, strayed from his marriage and tangled himself up with your mother. Not only tangled himself up with her, but had a bastard child on top of that!”

Stunned by her choice of words, Daniel, nevertheless, held his tongue. He was taught to respect his elders.

“How you think my sister felt?” Her gaze was intense. “All right, let me answer that for you: Like Hell! She felt like Hell! Yet, she stuck in there and continued doing what she always done. She cried for the longest time and was terribly depressed – all this while still havin’ to go to work, cook and clean every day, take care of the children and satisfy her husband every time he came back home from the fields for a visit. Knowin’ when he was away on that God-forsaken job, he was shackin’ up with your mother every chance he got. I hate to put it to you that way, son, but you wanted the facts. There they are! Although your father’s betrayal almost killed my sister, she never lifted a finger to harm your mother. I dare say the real killer has never been caught to this day.”

Daniel’s thoughts were slain by the soft tinkling of wind chimes hanging above the doorway as a tall, solidly built man with dark hair walked in, accompanied by a lady whose facial features closely resembled his. She was wearing black slacks and a light, pink blouse; her hair roped in a ponytail. Daniel immediately pushed the newspaper he had barely read aside and stood up as the couple made their way over.

Book Blurb

~ A golden opportunity that ends in disaster. ~

Many “well-to-do” and “have-it-all-together” people have had depressing thoughts and suicidal tendencies — not knowing who to turn to or confide in. They believe an outward show of success will solve their problems and subdue their inner demons, but “achieving it all” and “having it all” fail to erase that nagging emotional pain. Daniel J. Smith tried a few times to end his life, but failed, and finally he thought: “Maybe there’s a reason I’m still here”. Read his troubling story in ‘THE CONTRACT: Murder in The Bahamas’, book 5 of the Cornelius Saga Series.
Mira Cullen is prompted to fly out to The Bahamas to meet a man her brother Wade must introduce her to. Daniel Smith believes it’s providence that a chance encounter with Wade has resulted in him meeting the one person who could possibly bring to light and put to rest an age-old mystery involving his beloved mother. Smith, a product of “the contract”, which took place decades earlier — deems it an opportunity that literally sustained the lives of many, but in whose clutches also stole the life of the one person he loved more than anything else in the world.

Will Mira’s attempt to uncover the truth ultimately grieve the one who yearns for it? Or will the final discovery prove to be bitter-sweet?

About the Author 

Tanya R. Taylor is the author of several #1 bestsellers on Amazon.com as well as the Amazon UK and Canada stores. She has been writing ever since she could remember holding a pencil and published her first book titled: A Killing Rage as a young adult.

Tanya has worked in the Financial arena and is also a seasoned ghostwriter. She is the author of both fiction and non-fiction literature, and all of her books have made Amazon Kindle’s Top 100 Paid Bestsellers’ List in several categories. Cornelius climbed to #1 in the Teen & Young-adult Multi-generational Family Fiction category in November 2015. And her supernatural, suspense/thriller – INFESTATION: A Small Town Nightmare is a #1 multiple times international bestseller.

America’s Most Haunted tweeted about her ocean thriller: “With HAUNTED CRUISE: THE SHAKEDOWN, Tanya R. Taylor Joins Ranks of Horror Greats.”

Tanya writes in various genres including: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Thrillers, Science-fiction, Mystery and Suspense.

She has a passion for the welfare of children and her hobbies include: Reading, writing, and researching. She’s also keen on documentaries.

You can find out more about Tanya on Facebook or on her website.

You can purchase The Contract: Murder in the Bahamas on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – H M Sealey

Please welcome fantasy author H M Sealey. She is currently working on the twelfth book in her Kingdom Rising series. Book 11, Deception Rising, was released last year.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a wife, a mother of three wonderful children, an ex-distance runner, a mediocre artist with a love of stories. I’ve been writing and telling stories to myself since early childhood. It feels as much a part of me as my arms or legs.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in North Wales, in the UK. I consider myself Welsh, hence the connections to Wales within the main narrative of my Kingdom Rising Series.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

Probably quite a few bits, certainly at the beginning. The main protagonist having an imaginary world is definitely taken straight from the imaginary world in which I lived from about the age of twelve onwards. However, as the characters have developed, they’ve become their own characters, and I no longer have to poach bits of my life for them. Which is a relief, my life is far too boring.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I have, it’s the 12th book in the Kingdom Rising series, Freedom Rising. It’s still in the early stages but it has to tie up about a hundred loose ends. I have a large ensemble of characters and I want to complete as many journeys as I can. I think this will be the last in this series, although that doesn’t mean I won’t use the same characters in other stories in the future.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

Probably the same thing that causes me to breathe oxygen and eat food. I don’t think I could NOT write.

 If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Your first few books will be rubbish. Write them anyway, because you’ll learn so much from them.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I start with one of the characters and just see what happens, it’s like reading a book, I really have very little idea what’s going to happen.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I don’t have an awful lot, most have been good, some bad. I’ve always thought the bad ones were fair. The good ones have sometimes pulled me out of the doldrums.

Please tell us about your current release.

The last book I released in the Kingdom Rising series was book 11, Deception Rising but it might be better for me to talk about the whole Kingdom Rising series as a whole.

What inspired you to write this series?

I think my original inspiration was to take Christianity, strip it of all the religion, and show the interesting, spiritual elements to an audience in a fantastical way.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Well, one of the characters is a two-thousand year old archeologist, I have to do a great deal of research just for one line from him because it needs to be historically accurate.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Very occasionally I have a homage to someone or I’ll borrow a surname I like. One minor character, Jack Deedever, was named after the funny way my friend’s little boy would mispronounce “screwdriver.”

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I don’t think I have a specific favourite, although some are more fun to write than others. I like writing villains because they always have such good reasons (in their own heads) as to why they do what they do. I have a specific fondness for my bombastic, African-American ex-CIA agent Sam King, which is weird because he was never meant to be such an important character. He was inspired by my irritation with incompetent CIA agents in the James Bond films. I wanted to write one who was extremely good at his job. It’s a challenge to write an American voice, it’s subtly different to my English and Welsh characters. The Mazikim (demons) are also interesting to write. They’ve been around a very long time so use a wide variety of idioms and speech patterns.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

I think I’d have to say Kindred by Octavia Butler. I discovered her books as a teenager when my cousin found them in a second-hand shop. I don’t think she’s widely read in Britain, but her books opened me up to a whole world of different authors and different cultures to explore.

What book are you reading right now?

The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I’m a bit of a secret fan of My Little Pony…….

Book Blurb

The Antichrist is rising and everybody loves him.

Misha Heath, award-winning writer, is officially dead. That leaves the Antichrist no legal way of tracking her down to stop her writing thinly veiled analogies about how he’s going to be defeated. The only way to find her is to kidnap and interrogate her children.
Fortunately for him, the medical profession, determined to drag humanity out of the dark ages of religion, has begun diagnosing any sort of Belief in God as mental illness, and medicating those afflicted. Only the state-approved religion of Secular Humanism is acceptable, because that particular belief leaves humanity very, very vulnerable to the demonic Kingdom, the Sitra Achra.
That means Misha Heath’s children, all of whom boldly serve the King, can be sectioned under the Mental Health Act and forcibly medicated.

Unfortunately, the ingredients of the new, miracle drug, happen to do much more damage than anyone will ever know.

Connor Grigaliunas has Aspergers, his sister is ill and his mother is in a coma. Anxiety and painful changes to his routine force him to discover a whole other world of demons, of lost memories and of ideas and thoughts nobody ever taught him in school. To Connor, this new world makes perfect sense and he realises he’s been trying to look at a rainbow but only seeing red.

As the Beast continues to rise, his hidden army stands ready to affect a coup and humanity won’t even notice. Connor, Misha and a small group of those who choose to stand with the King are prepared, knowing that following the King was never meant to be easy, but not following will cost more than the world is able to pay.

About the Author

Heather Morag Sealey was born in North Wales in 1974 and has been living in her own little fantasy world ever since. Some of her earliest memories involve folding pieces of paper into books and writing about sea-shells with legs. She is the author of dozens of one-act-plays, the occasional two and three act play, and no end of odd little scripts, many written for school assemblies, children or vulnerable adults as part of “drama-therapy.”
She adores the countryside, a passion shared by her husband and three children.

Heather maintains that the Kingdom Rising series wrote itself and she just tagged along for the ride, writing about the situations and the characters she saw along the way.

You can find out more about Heather on her website.

You can purchase her Kingdom Rising series on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – Amy Elizabeth Davis

Today I welcome author Amy Elizabeth Davis. Her humorous book, Darcy Bites: Pride and Prejudice with Fangs, came out in 2015. Here is an excerpt from her book. And don’t miss the book trailer posted below!

Excerpt

As Elizabeth walked, she experienced a peculiar feeling as if someone were following her. At first, she dismissed this as her imagination and merely increased her pace, but the sense of danger grew stronger until she could no longer ignore it. Someone—or something—was approaching, something evil. In vain did Elizabeth try to convince herself of the improbability. Logic and reason deserted her. Every instinct, every part of her being, clamored for her to run.

Disregarding modesty, Elizabeth lifted her skirt and ran as fast and as hard as she could. At first, she continued in the direction of Longbourn but she soon felt a second evil presence coming from that direction and changed course, running she knew not where. Her cloak, flying out behind her, got caught on something and the bindings pulled against her neck, almost choking her. She undid it and ran on.

Elizabeth was in excellent physical condition but she had never run so far or for so long. She knew she would not be able to continue much longer; the evil presences were getting closer by the moment. She could now hear as well as sense them. Gathering her wits, she forced herself to remember her training.

The words of Elizabeth’s master came back to her, “You cannot outrun a vampire, save your strength.” Elizabeth stopped running. Before releasing her skirt, she bent down and retrieved the silver dagger she always wore strapped to her calf, reflecting with gratitude that she had never given up the practice. She held the dagger tightly in her right hand. As she turned to face her attackers, she took hold of the silver cross her father insisted she always wear around her neck. With her left hand, she gave it a strong tug so that the chain broke and she could hold it in front of her at arm’s length.

Elizabeth’s pursuers had slowed down and were approaching her more cautiously. They were now close enough for her to make out the details of their appearances. There were two men dressed in dirty tattered clothing, their hair a mass of knots, and they each displayed large fangs, leaving Elizabeth in no further doubt as to what she faced.

Growling and hissing, the vampires separated, approaching Elizabeth slowly from different angles. She had been expecting this. With her left hand, she used her cross like a shield to keep one of the vampires at bay while she lunged at the other vampire with her dagger. Her aim was true and she had the satisfaction of seeing it fall to the ground screaming, her silver dagger embedded in its heart. But she had misjudged how hard it would be to withdraw her dagger and when the vampire fell, she lost her hold on it. The second vampire was quick to move between her and his fallen comrade; Elizabeth had no hope of retrieving her weapon. All she could do was use her cross to keep the vampire from getting too close—a cross that suddenly seemed very small.

***

The Netherfield gentlemen had ridden out to do some shooting. As dusk fell, they returned to the house. Just after the sun disappeared below the horizon, Darcy froze and his expression became grave. “Something is wrong!”

With no further explanation, he abruptly turned his horse and took off at top speed.

“Darcy, what…?” Bingley quickly took off after him, calling some of his dogs to follow even though Darcy’s horse was much faster and he already had a lead.  Mr. Hurst judged it best that he return to the house so that he might acquaint the others with the situation and let them know not to wait dinner.

***

Elizabeth was so focused on fending off the vampire that she could not spare any attention for the sound of approaching hoof beats, nor did she think to cry out in an attempt to obtain help. She held the cross in front of her with two shaking hands, blocking the vampire’s attempts to swipe at her as it snarled and growled. The creature was so menacing that she could not prevent herself from taking a step backwards. She stepped back again.  She tripped. As she felt herself falling, Elizabeth’s arms flew out to her sides. She hit the ground. The fiend was on top of her. Its hands were grasping her shoulders. Its fangs were… It was no longer on top of her. There was a scream. In an instant, Elizabeth was back on her feet, unaware of how she had been granted this momentary reprieve. She only knew that the vampire was coming toward her and she had dropped her cross.

The vampire came closer. Without thinking, Elizabeth delivered an unladylike kick to the location where a kick might be calculated to do the most good. With another scream, the creature collapsed in front of her doubled over in pain.

Suddenly, Elizabeth realized the kick should not have worked. Lydia had attempted it once during training and their master’s reproach had been severe, “That is not only a low class form of self defense but it would not work on a vampire! I have taught you the only ways a true vampire can be harmed! If you kicked it like that it would feel nothing and would only grab your foot and put you off balance!!”

Now that Elizabeth had a moment to catch her breath, she realized, to her mortification, that the creature lying at her feet which she had taken for a vampire was actually “Mr. Darcy!”

Book Blurb

In a world where the existence of vampires is a truth universally acknowledged, most would be surprised to learn they had ever invited one to tea.

Elizabeth Bennet is no damsel in distress. Mr. Darcy cannot help but admire her fighting skills and lively mind but he struggles against his attraction to her as he struggles against his own nature. Elizabeth finds it most inconvenient to be indebted to Mr. Darcy for having saved her life. Elizabeth never suspects that there is a reason Mr. Darcy is such a gifted vampire slayer. When the truth is revealed, they find they each have a lot to learn about each other and themselves.

Book Trailer

About the Author

Amy Elizabeth Davis is a fan of Sci-fi and fantasy who became obsessed with Jane Austen in her mid-forties. She lives in Mercerville New Jersey with an orange cat who often jumps on her keyboard to add his own contributions to her work. 

You purchase Darcy Bites: Pride and Prejudice with Fangs Amazon .

Today’s Featured Author – Diana Rubino

Today, I welcome author Diana Rubino to my blog. Her time-traveling novel, Dark Brew, was released in July 2016.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My passion for history and travel has taken me to every locale of my books, and short stories, set in Medieval and Renaisance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. My urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society and the Aaron Burr Association. I live on Cape Cod with my husband Chris. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

Born in Jersey City, NJ, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, and now call Cape Cod home with my husband.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I am now writing bio novels with no fictional characters, and have written 4 so far. I just began my next, which will be about Susan B. Anthony. I enjoy writing about strong women who shook things up, and call my books The Sassy Ladies Series.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I outline very thoroughly. I still use Donald Maass’s Writing The Breakout Novel Workbook, because it makes me explore every aspect of the storyline and characters, getting right down to minute details.

Please tell us about your current release.

My last book to be released is Dark Brew, a time travel romance.

What inspired you to write this book?

The story took 12 years from start to finish. I’m a longtime member of the Richard III Society, and in the spring of 2004, I read an article in The Ricardian Register by Pamela Butler, about Alice Kyteler, who lived in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1324, and faced witchcraft charges. After her trial and acquittal, she vanished from the annals of history. I couldn’t resist writing a book about her.

How did you come up with the title?

I originally called it Strange Brew, but thought Dark Brew was more dramatic and compelling. It refers to the herbal brews Kylah, the modern heroine, mixes and drinks to transport her to 14th century Ireland, to solve the mystery that consumes her life today, and her past life then.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

I thoroughly researched Druids, because Kylah is a practicing Druid. I also researched Alice Kyteler…I found a book about her trial that explained all the details about how the church influenced the court in 14th century Ireland.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

Alice actually lived, along with the judge, her lawyer, her husband and stepsons who lived in 14th century Ireland, but all my characters in modern times are fictional, not based on anyone.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I’d say Kylah is my favorite, as she’s determined to travel to her past life to right an injustice, and she’s very brave to attempt living in those times, which were very dangerous.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

The black moment occurs when Kylah is accused of murdering her husband Ted and arrested. I don’t want to give anything else away.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

Time travels (I’ve written 3) are difficult in general, and since Kylah is the reincarnation of Alice, I found it difficult to describe what she experienced emotionally and physically as she traveled back in time. I also found it difficult to write the scenes in which she’s accused of murdering her husband, because she was innocent. It made me realize how much injustice is in the world.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would like to be Eliza Jumel Burr, who became the richest woman in New York City, a very astute businesswoman, and solved two murders. She led a fascinating life.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I’ve always wanted to spend a few days in the court of Richard III, and see what life was like in 1483-5.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

I always have a jar of nuts at my side to munch when I get peckish. And always a glass of water in reach.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

Oh, so many….but one of my faves is THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HENRY VIII by Margaret George. She puts you right there in Henry’s world. A CROWN FOR ELIZABETH, which I read in high school, is also another favorite.
I read a trilogy of novels when I lived in London, which are set in London, the first is THE L-SHAPED ROOM by Lynne Reid Banks. I read these over and over, never grow tired of them.

What book are you reading right now?

I usually read two or three at the same time, so I’m reading THE ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham and
George Washington A Life in Books by Kevin Hayes, about the books Washington had, combined with a timeline of what was going on in his life as he acquired each book.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Neither are alive–Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I’m a big believer in the paranormal and have gone on many paranormal investigations, though I have no psychic ability.

Book Blurb

DARK BREW

A time travel romance
Learn from the past or forever be doomed to repeat it.


Accused of her husband’s murder, Kylah McKinley, a practicing Druid, travels back through time to her past life in 1324 Ireland and brings the true killer to justice.

Two months of hell change Kylah’s life forever. On her many past life regressions, she returns to 14th century Ireland as Alice Kyteler, a druid moneylender falsely accused of murdering her husband. Kylah’s life mirrors Alice’s in one tragic event after another­ she finds her husband sprawled on the floor, cold, blue, with no pulse. Evidence points to her, and police arrest her for his murder. Kylah and Alice shared another twist of fate­ they fell in love with the man who believed in them. As Kylah prepares for her trial and fights to maintain her innocence, she must learn from her past or forever be doomed to repeat it.

About the Author

My passion for history has taken me to every setting of my historicals. The “Yorkist Saga” and two time travels are set in England. My contemporary fantasy “Fakin’ It”, set in Manhattan, won a Romantic Times Top Pick award. My Italian vampire romance “A Bloody Good Cruise” is set on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.

When I’m not writing, I’m running my engineering business, CostPro Inc., with my husband Chris. I’m a golfer, racquetballer, work out with weights, enjoy bicycling and playing my piano.

I spend as much time as possible just livin’ the dream on my beloved Cape Cod.

You can find out more about Diana on her website or her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase Dark Brew for the Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.

Virtual Book Tour – Nicole Benoit-Roy

Today, author Nicole Benoit-Roy stops by my blog as part of her What I Gain Through His Pain Virtual Book Tour. This Christian non-fiction came out in July.

Excerpt

Something Fishy

Daddy practiced Voodoo, but even as a child I considered it foolish. During summer vacations in Haiti, the family expected my sister, my next younger brother and me to go to Lèogane. As the summer months drew to a close, my father lined up every child in the house to bathe us with a special Voodoo water made with crushed leaves.

As I got older (though not much older), I grew to detest the act and so I decided not to go on vacation anymore. I thought it ridiculous to allow myself to be bathed with stinky water. I never believed in the Voodoo stuff either. I had a good sense of who I was since early childhood. I knew God made me, and no evil could harm me (Now I know evil can’t touch me without His permission). That knowledge made me very bold and never afraid of any Voodoo stuff. My father had a special table with a white small washbasin and other Voodoo items on it. No one was supposed to touch them. However, on many occasions, I pretended to be cleaning just to touch and rearrange everything on that table. I held no fear. I just knew they lacked any authority over me. It’s weird though, no one told me that Voodoo held no potency. It was always a gut feeling. I was always very bold about expressing my belief every chance I got.

My father use to hold Voodoo ceremonies where kids in the house were expected to eat out of special wooden bowls. All that I shunned eventually. Because my brother Kesnel and sister Carol were twins, the ceremony held every year honored the twins (a Voodoo ritual) even though Carol died as a baby. Those were the kinds of things that made no sense to me, leading me to refuse to take part in them as soon as I grew old enough to say no. With me so hardheaded and strong-willed, no one in my family could force me to take part once I said no. Not even my father.

On one occasion, something terrible happened in my family, causing my father to be the focus of suspicion. I felt his pain afterward. He needed so much to have someone on his side. Unfortunately, not even his favorite little girl was willing to be that someone.

In desperation, one evening in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, he pulled me aside. In a private conversation, he explained his own version of the incident after he visited my mother in the U.S. in 1982 for the first time.

He said, “Nicole, I know you’re getting older. You can understand what I’m about to tell you.”

I was 14 years old then.

“When I went to New York,” he continued, “I swear I did not take your mother’s soiled panties. It’s only after I came back to Haiti I saw them in my suitcase. I swear I did not take them.”

I listened attentively, but my eyes stared at the cement floor as we sat on the edge of my bed.

“You believe me, don’t you, my girl.” He held onto my left arm as if begging me to say yes.

I’d heard the rumor that he wanted to use her underpants to hurt my mother through witchcraft so often that I’d already made up my mind of his guilt.

My father returned to Haiti finding himself in an awkward predicament. At that age, I was naïve and awfully honest.

“Well, I can’t say whether you did it or not. I wasn’t there. You’re the only one who knows if you did it or not,” I said.

Suddenly, the look he gave me told me he wanted another answer. His eyes turned red. His pain turned into hatred.

I knew then I was not his favorite little girl anymore and I would pay.

In retrospect, I realized I could have answered differently had I known better. I still feel his pain even now as I write about it.

As soon as my mother found out her panties were missing, she demanded that my father purchase a plane ticket and return them to her.

When he did, she burned them in his presence.

My father continued to make his regular weekly visits from Lèogâne bringing us fresh produce every time. Our relationship was never the same, however. At times, I’d purposely stayed away to avoid seeing him altogether, not showing up until after he left. He was the enemy of the family. He knew it. That made him very uncomfortable and angry.

During one of his visits, he threatened to beat me because I did not greet him. Of course I put up a fight. He tried to pin me to the ground. I escaped from his grip and ran to a nearby stony hill. I picked up a stone and made the motion to throw it at him, but an invisible power stopped me. I knew Who kept me from flinging the stone, and I’m glad He did. Deep down inside I really loved my father. I believed that he gave me so much love and attention that he made it possible to never feel insecure about myself.

During my college years at Stony Brook University in New York, our father-daughter relationship remained broken. I recall lying on the bed in my dorm room reminiscing about my childhood. My entire family lived in the U.S. by then. My mom and dad separated shortly after the panties incident, although they waited to divorce until eleven years later. I finally realized the pain my father must have gone through to have his whole family against him, and the pain he continued to feel every time he and I met.

“Look at Nicole, the daughter I loved so much. Now, she can’t even talk to me,” he sometimes said.

At that time, we were on greeting terms. As I empathized with my father, I decided to put an end to our broken relationship. I picked up the phone.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hi, daddy, how are you?” It felt uncomfortable saying “daddy” but I also realized that doing the right thing was never easy.

“Who’s this?” he asked.

“This is Nicole,” I said. “I just call to tell you that I love you. Bye.”

“Ok,” he said.

I hung up the phone, feeling a burden lift from my chest.

For the first time I began to understand the power of forgiveness. I still had a long way to go.

Our relationship continued to improve after that phone call. My father is now ninety-two years old, and I love him as if nothing ever happened between us.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 5:16, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you.” (NLT). I desire to obey God’s Word. Through this experience, I learned that making mistakes is what we (humans) specialize in the most. What’s essential is that we learn from them.

Book Blurb

In a society filled with easy Christianity and cheap grace, Nicole Benoit-Roy takes her relationship with Christ to a much deeper level. Since becoming a Christian, she has been learning about her newfound Savior, Jesus Christ. She is an educator who vows to be a student for as long as she lives. The more she learns about the cross of Christ, the more she realizes the importance of it in her life. As she meditates on His suffering, she concludes that His pain is the reason for every blessing in her life. In this book, “What I Gain Through His Pain,” she shares her story about the benefit of the cross as she expresses gratefulness for His pain.

About the Author

Nicole is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership at Andrews University. She directs the Children Ministries Department at her church. She works as a special education teacher by day, a literature evangelist by night, and writes during the wee hours of the night. She enjoys reading and playing the piano (beginner). Nicole struggled with college writing, which lead her to eventually drop out. For this reason, one of her many goals in life is to become a best-selling author to the glory of God. Nicole and her husband, Roosevelt Roy, have been married since 1994, and are the proud parents of a handsome brown-eyed son, Nolan. They currently live in Brooklyn, New York.

You can find out more about Nicole on her website or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase What I Gain Through His Pain on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Today’s Featured Author – C.C. Aune

Today I welcome author C.C. Aune to my blog. Her debut novel, The Ill-Kept Oath, came out last September.

Excerpt

Josephine went to bed that night certain her bout with trances had passed—it had been days since her last wandering—and awakened to find herself standing in the dark at the edge of the Heywood. Mildly vertiginous, she threw her arms wide and discovered a pistol in each hand. How this was possible, she couldn’t guess; she had not seen them since Edward confiscated them a fortnight ago.

She cast a glance downward and found herself clad in the oversized jacket, boots, and breeches from her mother’s trunk. The shako perched cock-eyed atop her loose tumble of hair.

“Blast it, not again!

Voices rang in the distance. A twig snapped nearby, followed by animal-like snufflings. Stifling a whimper, Josephine wondered what she should do. Run? Back away slowly?

Her eyes flicked to the pistols. Small comfort, since they weren’t loaded.

Anyway, I haven’t the foggiest notion how to shoot the dratted things.

She raised her useless weapons and trained them on the woods. Another twig snapped—louder. Closer. She inched backward, heart racing, preparing to bolt for the house.

In an explosion of claws and unholy shrieks, a muscular beast plunged from the thicket. It skidded and wheeled on her, spitting and snarling. Josephine stood transfixed, staring in horror at the hellish figure. A blast of musk assaulted her senses, rousing her as swiftly as a sharp dose of salts. With a throaty cry, she squeezed the trigger of one pistol. The weapon discharged, belching fire and smoke. The beast stumbled, screaming, then regained its footing. Somehow she had shot it square in its left eye. The best cast about with its remaining orb, seeking revenge.

“Oh, help,” she whispered.

The beast’s roving eye fixed on the source of its pain. Through a fog of pure terror, Josephine perceived an intake of breath and gathering of muscles. It took a step toward her, nostrils twitching as it drew in her scent. Puttylike lips lifted, revealing its teeth, which were yellow and countless and lethally sharp. A long rope of saliva dangled from its mouth. Josephine watched, fascinated, as the mucus stretched downward, reached the point of release, and dropped to the ground with an audible plop.

She was so mesmerized by the repulsive details of the creature that she failed to notice it had crept nearer. Now she blinked and swallowed and found herself staring up at its chest. The thing sniffed her over, as if to assess her edibility. Its blown eye socket gaped dark and grisly; rivulets of ocular fluid had already begun to harden on its pelt. The odor it gave off—rotting flesh and old, rancid lard—staggered the senses.

Josephine comprehended that she was an instant from death.

The instinct to survive took over. Quick as lightning, she palmed the other pistol. Pressing the muzzle point-blank to the beast’s chest, she fired again.

Her weapon’s report rang out across the field, followed by a pause and a moan and a reassuring thump. Dogs barked, shouts grew nearer, footsteps pounded through the woods. Josephine bent over the corpse, trying to make sense of its alien features. In the faint starlight, she could see very little, but it was enough. This creature was unlike any animal in her knowledge. If she had no previously heard the soldiers’ musings about trolls, she would never have been able to identify the truth: this was a being of supernatural origins.

Someone’s hands closed over hers, and a voice said, low and firm, “I don’t think you want to be found here, my lady, especially like this.” It was Quimby. “May I have these?” he asked. Josephine nodded and gave the pistols up gladly. He tucked them into a pack, then undid his cloak and threw it over her shoulders.

Josephine was vaguely aware of the lieutenant fastening his cloak at her throat, and afterward bending to examine her face. “Are you hurt?” he murmured. She shook her head.

I killed something. I nearly died. Oh God, I nearly died! It took every ounce of her willpower not to stagger against him and shed relieved tears.

“I’m taking you home,” he said, nudging her away from the corpse. He hailed an approaching soldier. “I’ve dispatched the creature. Have the men burn it and scatter the remains. Oh—and will a crown help you forget who else was here?”

“Aye, sir!” The soldier caught the shining coin as it sailed through the air. His eyes flicked to Josephine before looking away.

Lieutenant Quimby resumed his pressure against the small of her back, propelling her toward Greenbank’s old mill and over the race. As they circled the pond, he said, “Well, then. Tell me how it is you came to kill my quarry in the middle of the night.”

Frightened and shocked as she was, Josephine thought he had some nerve. She snipped, “I’d rather not say. Besides, gentlemen don’t take credit for others’ achievements.”

Quimby chuckled. “Ladies don’t gad about in breeches firing guns. You ought to thank me, you know. You might make it back to bed before anyone realizes you’re gone.”

Josephine hadn’t time to be furious at his cheek. He had marched her up the lawn, and they were close to the house.

Quimby pointed toward a dark side-entry. “Here you are, madam. Good night.”

All of a sudden, the door burst open and Edward staggered out, shrugging a coat over his rumpled nightshirt and cradling a musket in one elbow. He spied them and goggled like one who has lost his mind. “Bloody hell!” he cried, lurching forward.

Quimby threw up an arm. “It’s not what you think! The men and I were conducting an exercise and inadvertently flushed our quarry into the path of Lady Weston.”

“I heard shots—”

“The beast was killed. No harm has been done.”

“No harm!” Edward turned on Josephine, his eyes ablaze with fury and concern. “Why in God’s name are you abroad late at night?”

Normally, she would have stood up for herself, but in this instance, Josephine had no ready retort. Shaking her head, she stepped backward into the officer’s sheltering stance.

Lieutenant Quimby interposed. “That very point, sir, I have already impressed. I’m sure Lady Weston is duly contrite.”

How could she be, for her actions had not entirely been willful? Regardless, Josephine murmured, “Thank you, Lieutenant. It shan’t happen again.” She brushed past the two men and darted inside. Upstairs, she changed clothes, hid Quimby’s cloak, and lay down on the bed. Visions of the slavering, one-eyed beast kept jolting her awake. There was no use trying to sleep, so she lit a candle and staggered to her desk.

“Oh help!” she scrawled.

Maybe now Prudence would finally believe her.

Book Blurb

Two cousins. A dark family secret. A looming rebellion.

In Regency England, a mysterious inheritance draws Prudence Fairfeather and Lady Josephine Weston out of candlelit ballrooms and into the shadows of insurrection.

A newcomer to London society, Prudence longs for the enchantment of love and instead finds real magic in her late mother’s ring. But power brings peril, and strange mishaps culminate in an assassin’s bullet. Ensnared by the web of a malevolent socialite, Prudence forsakes romance to fight for her freedom.

Josephine fears an eternity of confined country life until rampaging trolls, a gang of drunken vigilantes, and a flirtatious officer bring her all the adventure she craves. Compelled by birthright to take up arms, she embraces her newfound, unladylike abilities to shield her loved ones from harm.

As danger drives a wedge through their friendship, Josephine and Prudence must face their magical legacy and the enemy who will kill to control them.

About the Author

CC Aune’s ramblings have led her through 49 states—nine of which she has called home—plus a fair number of countries. She has been a journalist and a contributor for the companion book to PBS’s 2000 series In Search of Our Ancestors. Currently, she directs the blog One Year of Letters, which explores the internal landscape of writers. The Ill-Kept Oath is her debut novel.

You can find out more about C.C. on her blog or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You can purchase The Ill-Kept Oath on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.