Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sneak Peek: The Trouble with Misbehaving (#historical #romance @VictoriaHanlen )

[Goodness, but this sounds like one feisty heroine! And don't miss the giveaway at the end of the post ~ Lisabet ]


Blurb

Love, betrayal and redemption

Calista ‘CC’ Collins is used to being the talk of the town. With her scandalous past she’s learnt the hard way that a woman needs to be strong to get what she wants in a man’s world. And what she wants is the infamous Captain Beauford Tollier—roguish son of an earl, notorious blockade-runner and all-round knave of the seas.

However, Captain Beau is not one to be cajoled—he is done with the dangerous sea life and ready to follow the life of the straight and narrow. But with many powerful forces circling around him, Beau doesn’t stand a chance…

Excerpt

Since you burned my letters we still have much to discuss.”

He squared his shoulders. “I think not. Our brief association is at an end. I do not wish to be a part of your mad games. After the night before last—”

After the night before last?”

It seems best to allow you your distance.”

He heard a quick intake of breath and a rustle of silk. Her voice seemed to rise in pitch, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone what you almost did with crazy ol’ Miss Collins. But then you have lots of secrets, do you not, Captain Tollier? What’s one more?”

I don’t know what you mean, nor do I care.” He started walking again.

Looking at all these…lovely portraits, I can see why people whisper you’re the family’s cuckoo.”

Lurching around, he clenched his fists in an effort to control his temper. Not only did the insult shock, it cut into one of his earliest, deepest insecurities. He lowered his voice to a dangerous calm. “You are fortunate to be a woman, madam. Were you a man, such an insult might force me to call you out.”

She stood and gave him a look so sultry it almost begged him to teach her lessons of a different sort.

Ah yes, call me out. And what should I call you?”

He turned to leave, hoping to prevent saying or doing something he’d regret. Before he’d taken two steps, C.C. said in a voice full of authority, “Mr. Wainwright. Perhaps Captain Scott? Or would it be Cornelius Dolan?”

The hairs on his neck stood straight out.



About the Author

Award winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is happily-ever-afters spiced with a dash of wit and a page-turning mystery. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.
She enjoys hearing from readers at:


Newsletter? Sign up today!

Buy Links










a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

To do or not to do- that is the question… (#advice #mm #lgbt @SusanMacNicol7)


By Susan Mac Nicol (Guest Blogger)

Authors are always being given advice. By beta readers, by other authors, by grammar Nazis, by readers, fans, bloggers, editors, publishers-the list is endless. Most of it is well-meant, qualified advice which can go a long way to making your book better- or worse. It depends on how you, as the writer of said story, see things.

Take me for example. I recently submitted a book to one of my very good and trusted beta readers. As a good beta reader, it’s her prerogative to point out a few things that I might like to think about, in case I want to shake things up. One of them was the use of adverbs. Now, I have defended the poor misunderstood adverb on many an occasion, simply because I like them. I understand the whole ‘show not tell’ thing but honestly, if adverbs were undesirable, they wouldn’t be in the Oxford Dictionary would be, waiting there for the right moment to slyly jump out and say ‘Hi there, reader!’ (See what I did there?)

Anyhoo, she mentioned that I might like to review my MS and check I wanted these little buggers in there. To which I said, ‘You betcha.’ I don’t believe I overuse them (if I do, I’m sorry but as I said, I like ‘em) and I do feel they have a place in writing. That’s my prerogative as the writer. I see so many do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing that quite frankly, keeping track of them and people’s preference is exhausting. Good grammar -absolutely. Nit-picky issues- meh, not so much.

One of my books had the two MC’s using pet names for each other- Some readers loved it, others hated it. I’m careful how I do this, not over using them, and sometimes it works fine for their story.

This brilliant beta reader also said that recently there had been some forum discussion about the use of message or text speak in stories. You know, this sort of thing…

SusieWrites: Bring me chocolates home please. Im having a bad day.

SusiesSpouse: No way. You eat too much of that already.

Apparently there is the view that it brings the reader out of the story and doesn’t add much and people don’t like it. Hmm, okay. See, again, I like this sort of thing in a story when I read, as long as it doesn’t go on for ages (like Mr Grey and whatsherface via email). If it’s being used at the right place, to tell the reader something he or she needs to know, then okie-dokie. So my short bit of message speak will be staying. Unless my editor decides it has to go and gives me a very valid reason. I will argue the toss though.

Of course there are places where I do listen to people (my husband just fell over flat on his back at that concession). One reviewer said I used the word ‘bloody’ too much in one of my books. I checked and yeah, maybe I had. So now I watch the use of this word. If something you are doing is blatantly wrong or grammatically incorrect rather than simply being a preference – it will be fixed. Readers expect a story to be the best it can be and as writers, we have an obligation to ensure it is.

So as a final thought on this subject- write what you want to write, in whatever way you feel is right for your story. As long as you’re comfortable with it, and thinks it adds value or says what you want to say, it’s probably right for you and your book.



Blurb

Tragedy and horror shaped Jackson Grady's life, leaving him orphaned and scarred. At eighteen he's ready to claim his future, but who could love his disfigured face and damaged soul? Definitely not a big, burly, beautiful Irish Traveller who is entirely the stuff of dreams.

Dare Rowan didn't mean to become obsessed with the blue-eyed man he first saw across a field, but that porcelain skin and innocent air demanded another meeting. Jax has the face of a wounded angel, and the rest of the young man is as heart-breakingly perfect. Jax is beautiful in every way and teaching him about love and life will be something Dare will embrace. Like unwrapping and savouring the candy at the shop where he works, Dare will show this young man everything Jax desired but never thought he'd have, and take Jax to new highs while he holds him through the lows. Between them, they’ll find out just how sweet life can be.

Excerpt

Who’s there?” he called out. Jax hated the slight quaver in his voice, not wanting to appear defenceless to a potential burglar. “I can hear you, so no use hiding. Just tell me what you want here. Or get the fuck out of my home.”

He wouldn’t tip his hand, telling the burglar he had a weapon. Let the bastard find out for himself, he thought grimly. The scuffling noise stopped and now all Jax could hear was someone’s steady breathing.

Jax stood straight and tall, hoping he looked intimidating in the dim light, where no one could see he wasn’t superhero material.

A quiet voice echoed from the darkness. “I’m not here to rob you or hurt anyone. I hope I didn’t scare you.” The voice sounded familiar and Jax frowned, trying to place it.

I’m not scared.” Jax gripped the poker tighter. “Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?” He let out the breath he hadn’t known he was holding and scowled, reaching down to fumble for the table lamp. He switched it on and the room flooded with warm light. Jax momentarily closed his eyes, trying to adjust to it. When he opened them, a large, blurred figure stood by the door to the hallway. It was half open and Jax guessed the man had been trying to make a clean break away from whatever he’d been doing in the house.

Jax stepped around the huddled blanket on the floor and made his way closer to the other man.

If he was going to hurt me, he’d have done it already.

Are you going to tell me what the hell you’re doing in this house?” he demanded. Something propelled him forward; he didn’t feel nervous anymore, simply curious. As Jax got closer, he squinted at the stranger, trying to see him more clearly.

I came to return something.” The other man’s even tone sent a shiver through Jax’s body. “Something that was taken from you that didn’t belong where it was.”

Now Jax was sure he knew the person behind the voice. It surely couldn’t be who he thought it was, could it?He moved, closing the distance until he could see more clearly. The sight that greeted his eyes took his breath away.

God, it is Dare from the mall. Crap, he’s one sexy beast. Even if he might be a serial killer.

Jax waved the poker at Dare. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Dare huffed. “It’s a long story.” He eyed the poker dubiously. “Really, a poker? That’s your weapon of choice?”

Jax snorted. “I can clobber you with it if you try anything. Come on, dude. Tell me what the hell is going on. Are you that desperate to have coffee with me?”

Dare laughed, a little shakily. “‘Dude?’ You love that word. It’s pretty cute when you say it. And yes, I’m defi-nitely partial to having coffee with you one way or another. But this wasn’t quite what I had planned.”

Jax blinked. His eyes felt gritty and sore and he had gunk bunging up one corner of his left eye. He reached up and rubbed it away softly. “How do you know I use the word ‘dude’ often?”

Dare gave a deep, indrawn breath. There was silence. Jax got the impression Dare had revealed something he wasn’t supposed to.

Jax grew impatient. “Are you going to tell me anything anytime soon? Because if not, I’ll call out for the own-er of the house and he can call the cops, then we’ll get the story—”

No, no police.” For the first time Dare sounded panicked. “God, you’re so damn feisty.”

Jax got the impression that wasn’t a problem for this man from his admiring tone. Jax’s groin warmed more. Now his dick was standing at half-mast and it was the last thing he needed if he did have to call on Randy.

I’m getting a hard-on for someone who broke into the house. Could shit get any weirder?

So, what’s the story, Mr Dark and Sexy? Do you actually have one or are you just an opportunistic burglar making something up?”

The chuckle that emanated from Dare’s mouth was low, and yes, still damn sexy.

Really? You think I’m dark and sexy?” Dare’s face twisted into a grin. “I’m flattered. You’re something your-self.”

Jax went on the offensive. “Do you always hit on people whose houses you break into? What are you, like, the Flirty Burglar or something?”

Really? This god of a man thinks I’m something? And honestly—the Flirty Burglar. Face palm.




Buy Links




Giveaway

To win a $10 Amazon gift card, please leave me a comment with your email address. Tell me the worst advice anyone has ever given you!  I'll draw one random winner on Saturday the 28th of May.

Bio

Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek and nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called 'the boyfriend' by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there'd be no need for him. Susan hasn't had the heart to tell him there's an app for that...


She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a 'half full' kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that's never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.

Social Links



Don't forget to leave a comment!

 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tips on Creating Covers (#blogtour #pnr #giveaway @LizGavin_author)

By Liz Gavin (Guest Blogger)
First of all, I’d like to thank the awesome team at Goddess Fish Promotions for putting together this blog tour. YOU ROCK!!
Second of all – and equally important – thanks to the host for having me and Luck of the Irish on your blog today. You’re much appreciated.
Now let’s move on to the actual post. LOL

PRINTING YOUR BOOKS

This aspect of the indie publishing industry is much easier than it seems. Before I became a writer I was an avid reader. I would read almost anything I could find. Granted if the book were too awful I wouldn’t finish it. Still I would try to read it. I revered the pages of books to the point I was unable to write on their margins as some of my friends did when we were teens. (Yes, I’m old. I grew up reading books, not Kindle!!! LoL)

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I viewed printed books as precious things. As I grew older, I learned authors worked hard before getting a break and being published. I discovered how expensive it was to print books, which added to my previous idea about how rare publishing books could be.

Consequently, when I started toying with the possibility of writing my first short-stories, I didn’t dare consider printing them. I pushed that thought to the corners of my mind and forgot about it. Until one day I didn’t remember to forget it. LoL

There are many companies offering ‘print-on-demand’ services. I won’t discuss here the pros and cons of each one of them or the good and bad points of this method of printing books. I will just say that, in my opinion, if the greatest advantage of printing on demand is the cost, the biggest disadvantage is the price. Meaning – indie authors can’t usually afford printing books in large quantities and then selling them. On the other hand, printing-on-demand a 400-page book will make your selling price go up to the stratosphere if you want to keep a margin of profit.

Having said that, I must confess that I chose to offer my books in print with a very small margin of profit mainly because it fed my ego. 


There, I said it! But in my defense I had my reasons. You see, that little girl I used to be, who spent hours in the neighborhood library gawking at the endless shelves of precious books, still lives inside me. She jumped up and down and somersaulted countless times when I held a printed copy of my first novel. I told myself I had decided to sell printed versions of my stories because many people don’t like reading eBooks. Although that might be a fact, little Liz Gavin is the real reason. She is saying, “I’m a published author now. I ROCK!” LOL

Like I said before, there are various companies to choose from when you decide to sell your stories in print. Personally, I stuck with CreateSpace because it’s easier to work with an Amazon affiliated company since most of my titles are published exclusively with that online store.

As for the ‘how to’ part of using their services, I initially had problems with the formatting but there are many files you can access from their ‘Help’ tab, which address specific formatting issues. It took me a while to go through them and get the hang of it. Once I did, though, I created a template-file and saved it to my computer. After that, I copied and pasted the following story to the template-file and saved it as a new one. I repeated the process with all the other books. VoilĂ . I could finally sell my stories in print.

Hope I’ve helped you guys!! Thanks for stopping by today! Enjoy the tour and remember to check out the other blog stops for more chances at winning the giveaway!!



Blurb

Keira Ashe’s parents are great but her mother has overprotected her for years. Now, this twenty-two-year-old Bostonian has graduated from college and can go on a trip she has been planning for years. She fears her shyness may get in the way of her enjoying what could be a life-altering adventure. However, Keira feels her luck is about to change when she meets gorgeous bartender Declan Slane.

Declan Slane is twenty-six and works at a hotel bar in Dublin. He hasn’t been very lucky in his love life so far. Also, he has got a troubled past he has chosen not to revisit in order to keep his sanity. Because he isn’t looking for a girlfriend, Declan isn’t very pleased to meet a certain breathtaking American who walks into his bar one afternoon.

Get a taste of adventure and heartache as Keira spreads her wings and matures while she gets to know her great-grandparents’ home country – Ireland. Hold your breath when she faces tough decisions and dangers. Root for Keira while she weighs up the consequences of making love for the first time. Bite your nails when she comes across unforeseen threats.

Liz Gavin’s second full-length novel is hard to put down just as it is hard to pinpoint its genre. She has woven an intricate web around her characters that will leave readers breathless. In the sizzling concoction, this talented new author poured heart-warming romance, heart-stopping suspense, and a dash of heart-searching paranormal. Take your pick. Regardless of the literary genre you might favor, Liz Gavin’s writing will take you to a whole different side of it.

Excerpt

I could do this forever, you know,” he whispered against her burning skin. He felt her heartbeat going wild as a vein throbbed under the tip of his tongue when he suckled a sensitive spot on the white column of her neck.

I think we should,” she replied while her hands found the lower hem of his sweatshirt and lifted it, exposing his torso.

When her cool fingers touched the bare skin of his abdomen, close to the waistband of his sweatpants, Declan felt a scorching wave of heat radiating through his muscles. Shivers ran down his spine and he held her hands, “You know we shouldn’t.”

He stared into the crystal blue depths of her eyes and felt their pull; not much different from the sirens in the fairy tales, but he had to resist it. He would one day drown in the sea of pleasure her eyes promised. But not before she was ready for the plunge.

I’d love to rip our clothes off and lose myself in you. You’re not ready, though. Not yet.”

She gazed into his eyes as if assessing his soul, “Our feelings grow stronger by the day. We’ve been through so much together. The difficulties we faced, and overcame, have strengthened our bond. It’s much more than physical attraction. Why do we have to wait? I want you. You want me. Are you sure I’m the one who’s not ready? Sometimes I think you’re the one running from these feelings.”



About Liz Gavin

When Liz Gavin was in Second Grade - just a couple of years ago, really - her teacher told her mother the little girl should start a diary because she needed an outlet for her active and vivid imagination. She was a talkative child who would disrupt the class by engaging her colleagues in endless conversations. She loved telling them the stories her grandfather used to tell her.
Apparently, the teacher wasn’t a big fan of those stories, and Liz’s mother bought her a diary. She happily wrote on it for a couple of months. Unable to see the appeal of writing for her own enjoyment only, she gave up on it. She missed the audience her friends provided her in class. She went back to disturbing her dear teacher’s class.

Since then, she has become a hungry reader. She will read anything and everything she can get her hands on – from the classics to erotica. That’s how she has become a writer of erotica and romance, as well.

As a young adult, she participated in a student exchange program and lived in New Orleans for six months. She fell in love with the city and its wonderful inhabitants. NOLA will always hold a special spot in Liz Gavin’s heart. Nowadays, living in Brazil, Liz’s creativity has improved many times because it’s such a vibrant, gorgeous and sexy country.

Welcome to her world of hot Alpha males and naughty, independent women. Add a touch of the paranormal in the presence of some wicked souls and you’ll get the picture.

Author Links

Twitter - @LizGavin_author
Email – lizgavin [at] elessarbooks [dot] com


Buy Link








a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sneak Peek: Finding My Highlander by Aleigha Siron (@AleighaSiron #FindingMyHighlander #timetravel)


Blurb
On a windswept cliff above San Francisco Bay in 2013, 27 year-old Andra Cameron, the last member of her family, prepares to scatter her family's ashes to the wind. An earthquake catapults her to the Scottish Highlands in 1705. She wakes, aching and bloody, to the sound of horses thundering through the trees. Terrified and with no other options, Andra accompanies these rugged warriors. She can't deny the undeniable attraction that ignites between herself and the handsome but gruff Kendrick. Will she trust him to provide protection in the harsh reality of 18th century Scotland and with her secret, or will she find a way to return home to the 21st century?
Laird Kendrick MacLean and his men, escaping a recent skirmish with their worst nemeses, clan Cameron and their Sassenach allies, are shocked to find an injured, unprotected female in their path. How could she not know her kin and how had she landed in the middle of the wilderness alone? His men suspect she's a spy or a witch. Still, Kendrick will not abandon an injured woman, even if she speaks unusually accented English, and her name is Cameron. Will he ransom her to others or will their closed hearts open to each other? Although he questions her every utterance, this feisty, outspoken woman inflames his desire like no other.

Excerpt

Lass, can I help you?” His voice was softer than the others, his stance relaxed, composed, despite the dirt and blood splattered over his massive arms and clothing. He seemed to be a quiet, gentle man, though physically as imposing as the others.
You could bring me my bag.”
He moved his hand from behind him and cautiously extended her mothers old carpetbag.Do I need to check it for weapons?A slight crinkle lifted the corner of his mouth. A piece of leather cord tied wavy, light-brown hair at the nape of his neck and tight braids spilled alongside sharp, scruffy cheeks. His eyes were dark and shadowed.
Thank you…it’s Rabbie, correct?”
Aye,” he nodded.
Andra granted him a guarded smile. “I’ll pull no further weapons if you promise to be kind.” The slight attempt at humor from both of them eased the tension coiled in her gut.
He swept an arm gracefully in front of him and bowed, “Always, m’lady, as I learned at me mother’s knee.” Then he left her to tend the horses.
She searched her bag for the washcloth, hand towel, and first aid kit she always carried when traveling. The washcloth came to hand first. She dipped it into the cold water and wiped the dried and clotted blood from her face and hair. Then she dunked her head in the pool several more times.
I seem to be awake,” she whispered, just for the comfort on her own voice. “My surroundings feel solid enough,” she pounded her fist on the dirt, “so it must be real. Accept it, Andra, and decide what to do next.”
She could hear the men speaking Gaelic, hushed yet clearly distraught about the condition of their clansman. They gathered near another pool of water several yards from where she knelt. She watched them over her shoulder for a few minutes struggling to fit the scene into her new reality. A million questions rose in her throat.
Not now. Patience and observation are whats required. All will be revealed in time. What a stupid clichĂ©.
Should she offer her help with their friend; would they accept it? She could not sit here and do nothing when one of them was seriously injured. Besides, anxiety always spurred her to take action. Her father had always said,Move, keep busy, and dont let dust gather under your feet.With her fathers words ringing in her ears, she approached the men cautiously, keeping her eye on the mean one, Struan.
May I be of assistance?” She stood with her feet firmly planted on the hard-packed, dirt floor, her head held high, one hand pressed flat against her side, the other rested on the cross dangling on her chest. It took an extreme effort to control her trembling body. Her palms moistened with sweat. She steadied her focus on Kendrick. His strong hands moved carefully over his brother’s body. The mean one harrumphed and growled.
A growl? Really?
Kendrick looked up, concern etched on his face. His dark, probing eyes bore through her. “Are you a healer, then?” he asked.
Not a healer exactly, but I have cared for ill and injured persons and have some training in first aid. I wish to help if you’ll permit me.”
I dinnae ken your meaning. What’s the first aid of which you speak? As you can see, we give him aid, but if you can do anything to help save my brother’s life, I will gladly accept your offer.”
The mean one growled again. “Don’t trust her, she’s the enemy and will just as soon slit his throat.”
Ignoring the slur, she continued, “Have you determined the extent of his injuries?”
Aye, his shoulder is dislocated, several fingers broken, which we have straightened and bound as best we’re able. We need to stitch multiple, deep wounds, and he’s lost a lot of blood, though blood no longer flows freely.”
The injured man lay on a plaid, stripped completely naked, his kilt torn away from his battered body. Mud, blood, and all manner of vile debris caked the hard planes of his bronzed chest. Andra couldn’t identify the severity or location of all his injuries. He moaned but appeared unconscious, or so she assumed, since he hadn’t opened his eyes. Clumps of dried blood crusted over wounds on one leg and foot. Dark, matted refuse covered the entire other leg.
His manhood lay flaccid against his thigh, and none of the men seemed concerned about his state of undress in front of a strange female. She stood quietly, waiting for several breaths.
Author Bio:


After more than twenty years writing and delivering management and other training programs for modest-sized to Fortune Five Hundred companies, and ten years developing community crisis-intervention training programs, Aleigha turned her writing efforts to her first loves, fiction, and poetry.  Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and university presses over the past few decades. Following a difficult period in her life, she discovered solace in romance novels that inspired her to write in this genre.  As she says, "who doesn't desire a guaranteed happy-ever-after scenario?" Always interested in the concept of time-travel, she knew her first few stories would follow that theme.

When not writing, her trusty four-legged companion/helper, Strider, accompanies her on sunset walks along the shore. During these quiet walks under an expansive sky, with the whoosh of waves across the sand and her gaze drifting over the rolling sea, her best glimmers of inspiration come to mind.  Following the recent discovery of distant Scottish ancestors, she embarked on a trip to the Highlands. Although she had already developed the characters for Finding My Highlander, her trip to the Highlands enriched the characters and enhanced the story direction. This is her first full-length romance novel.  Aleigha is working on a prequel to Finding My Highlander, and another time-travel novel set in a later period.  

WWW (Aleigha Siron’s Webpage)

Aleigha Siron’s Book page at Tirgearr Publishing

Tirgearr Publishing Home Page

Facebook: