Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Book Birthday Spooktacular Seductions! #Romance #Halloween @RoanePublishing

Happy Book Birthday Spooktacular Seductions!

Genre: Romance Anthology
Release Date: October 31, 2014
Publisher: Roane Publishing

Keywords: Romance, Short Stories, Halloween, Paranormal

Falling in love can be terrifying.

Eight tales of spooky romance brought to you just in time for Halloween.

Bewitching Gypsy by Linda Carroll-Bradd
Garden of Souls by Michelle Ziegler
If This Be Madness by Echo Shea
Encantado by Havva Murat
Do You Believe in Ghosts by Anne Higa
Ghost of a Chance by Lily Carlyle
Where Angels Tread by Christy Thomas
Spooky Hollow CafĂ© by Lisa A. Adams

Purchase Links:

Tour Schedule

Book Blitz & tour-wide giveaway: paperback copy of Spooktacular Seductions and a $10 Amazon gift card!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#WWW: Short Story Structure by Linda Carroll-Bradd #Excerpt

Today I have the lovely Linda Carroll-Bradd here to share a bit about short story structure AND her newest release! Be sure to check out the giveaway, too!


While taking a recent online class on writing short stories, I learned some basics on structure which helped me complete three stories in just a couple days each and get them contracted. One of the important tasks in a short story is to create events that occur within a short time frame, like a couple days or a week. So an author doesn’t have the word count to reveal through long introspection what happened to get the character to this exact moment when the conflict starts. The advantage to the author is the fact only a few key pieces of information need to be created for each character. What’s essential is to make sure the characters you’re creating are opposites in their backgrounds and have opposing thoughts on what they want out of life. Another important consideration is to keep the focus on the hero and heroine, don’t add characters that don’t fulfill a specific function.

What do I mean by a short time frame? For my most recent release, Unlocked Treasure, I knew I needed a Halloween theme or event as part of the story. (that was the publisher’s decision) So I build a story that took place the week before the holiday and worked in a real-life event that occurs in Providence, Rhode Island. I created a week-long grid on Excel (you could do this longhand) and worked out how they would meet, what would make them cross paths a second time, what shared interests did they have, what opposite interests, and which character had the most changing to do. In this case, she hated anything to do with the sea because of past events and he’s a sailor/maritime instructor and yacht builder. He’s an adventurer who is hunting pirate treasure and she has experienced loss because of sea-related careers. Instant conflict that is worked out at the end of the 15K story.

What do I mean by opposing goals? Ever hear of a plot with a homebody and a wanderer? How could you construct a plot where there’s a happy ending for this couple? Obviously, one of the characters will have to realize that the other person is wonderful enough to change his or her goal. I did this in my story, Wanderer, Come Home, that’s included in the Cowboys, Creatures and Calico, Vol 1 anthology published by Prairie Rose Publications. Five years earlier, the heroine came to Texas as a mail-order bride and has been recently widowed, so she owns more land now than her parents ever did. And she aims to hold onto it. Into town rides an ex-Texas ranger who is tracking a stagecoach robber but is also looking for a job on a ranch to get him through the winter. Just until the Texas legislature funds the Rangers again. (true fact about early years of the Rangers) So they have very different goals that are resolved with a HEA by the end of the 15K story.

What do I mean keep the focus on Hero and Heroine? In my short story, Bewitching Gypsy, included in Spooktacular Seductions (releasing 10/31) from Roane Publishing, I include only 2 main characters, an infant, and 2 secondary characters that are in and out of the story within a page (plus 2 horses, 1 dog, and 1 goat). In this story, I threw in 2 standard romance tropes—baby on the doorstep and amnesia. After a one-page introduction of the heroine shown in an activity that reveals the type of person she is, she is faced with immediate intrusions into her solitary life. Her character is revealed further as she deals with the baby and amnesiac hero. This 7900 word story pits the hero and heroine together in tight quarters as she tends his wounds and happens in less than 24 hours.

I find writing short length stories hones my skills to keep the action centered on the couple and love typing “the end” within a few days.


Unlocked Treasure

Will a prophecy keep a lonely woman from accepting the promise of adventure?

Aleen MacRae blames the lure of the sea for breaking apart first her family then her engagement. When her interest is caught by a man she sees both in person and in a dream, she resists—afraid to believe in her aunt’s prediction that her future is tied to the sea.

Braden Williams is on the hunt for treasure buried centuries earlier by Rhode Island pirates. His search brings him to the property where Aleen lives. Collaboration on genealogy research draws them closer, and Braden steers her toward his true passion--sailing.

Attending a party with Braden’s family lets her glimpse what she’s been missing. An unexpected discovery before her date with Braden at the Halloween Midnight Organ Recital forces a decision. Will Aleen play things safe or accept what this free-spirited man offers?


Ah, the story of her life—practically invisible. The reminder his first sighting had been of her bikini-clad backside made her blush. Still didn’t change the facts. Aleen squared her shoulders. “I remember, but the Manor grounds are still closed.” Should she be nervous about being alone with this stranger, especially one who ignored posted rules?

“Sorry for the intrusion. Let me start over.” Smiling, he approached and extended his right hand. “My name’s Braden Williams.”

Aleen bit her lower lip, but accepted his hand. “Pleased to meet you. I’m Aleen MacRae.” At the moment their hands clasped, she felt warmth flooding her fingers. With a jerk, she released her grip, tingling sensations running along her skin. Immediately, the scent of fresh air and summer breezes wafted her way. Definitely a man of the sea. Just where I foretold your future lies. Whispers of her great-aunt Zsofika’s prophecy trickled through Aleen’s thoughts. At the memory, her cheeks flamed with heat.

“Wow.” Frowning, Braden flexed his hand and narrowed his gaze then dropped it to his flexing fingers. “That was bizarre.”

“Static electricity, from all that wind yesterday.” A reasonable explanation. In the back of her mind, Aleen could hear Zsofika scoff, “Static schmatic. A connection like that is destiny.”

“Well…” His gaze searched her face. “Aleen—hey, that’s pretty, like the direction alee.” A wide smile exposed even teeth.

Her own smile dimmed. Like I’ve never heard that before. “Thanks.” This guy was not charming his way around the rules. “Sorry, but you’ll need to come back when the gardens are open for visitors. That’s Wednesdays through—”

“Yeah, I read the sign.” He gave a dismissive wave then turned to gaze back at the main house. “But I just needed five minutes to check out some dimensions and the lot layout.”

“So, you woke up this morning and just decided to start out your week by trespassing?”



The Wild Rose Press:

Barnes & Noble:


As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Book Birthday to Boss Overboard! #Contemporary #Romance by Claire Gillian #Giveaway #Excerpt

Check out my Pen Sister, Claire Gillian's, newest release with Evernight Publishing!

Boss Overboard
Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2014

An all expenses paid, trans-Atlantic cruise has romance written all over it...unless you’re the poor sap who has to inspect the toilets and time the cafeteria lines. As if secret-shopping her company's failing cruise ship isn't bad enough, Lydia Johnson is forced to bring along a "top talent" new hire as her assistant. With a heart barely healed from her ex-fiancĂ©’s deceit, she's in no mood to train a man who might cheat her out of an overdue promotion.
Paul Thomas may be new to J.P. Theriot Enterprises, but he certainly knows his way around cruise ships. The Cajun charmer also isn't shy about pursuing his desires, including his wary, but oh-so-sexy-when-she lets-her-hair-down manager. He's shared more about himself with Lydia than any other woman...except who he really is--J.P. Theriot.

Purchase Links:


Paul chuckled softly. "He sure noticed you."

Lydia's brows lifted. "Oh? In what way?"

Paul shrugged. "He saw you were with me and was wondering if you were taken."

"And you said what?"

"Peter thinks you and I just met on this cruise, that we're part of some singles package."

Lydia crossed her arms. "We're starting to have way too many stories."

"And not a single one of them has you as my lesbian BFF."

She raised a finger smiling. "Mark thinks we met at a book club and are platonic friends."

"Thank goodness of all the people on this ship, he's the one person who doesn't think you're mine. You do know you can't go off or be seen alone with him, don't you? As you yourself said, we're here to work and not have fun chatting up blondes, and I assumed that applied to both sexes, bottle and natural blondes, and so should you."

"Oh puh-lease. I am not interested in Mark Williams. He's a friendly guy and my next-door neighbor, but that's all. I don't even like blonds, bottle or otherwise."

A grin tugged at the corner of Paul's lips. "What kind of guy do you normally go for?" He stepped into her space. "We both already know you can be tempted by my type."

Lydia scowled and walked off.

He caught up to her. "What? Just stating the obvious."

She increased her speed, but refused to acknowledge him, because dammit he was right.

"You can run but you can't hide from the attraction between us, Lydia. And where are we off to in such a hurry anyway?"

"The art gallery," she tossed back over her shoulder.

"Terrific. One of my favorite spots. There's a nude I want you to see."

She stopped and spun around. "You can't keep talking to me like this."

"I can't talk about a painting or did you think I was talking about something else?" He was the picture of innocence.

Heat crept into her cheeks. She gazed up at him. "Because it's not professional, and we're here to do a job, not hook up!"

Paul frowned and blew out a rush of air through his nose. "This is so ironic, you know. Everyone on this ship already thinks we're hooking up, but we can't because you don't want to look unprofessional. Did you forget the part that looking overly professional runs counter to being a good secret shopper?"

Lydia swiveled her head to either side as if scanning for eavesdroppers. "Keep your voice down." She did another scan. "It's not about looking professional or unprofessional. It's about being professional. They are two different matters entirely."

"What if I said I would quit?"

Lydia's lips parted in a soft gasp.


Claire Gillian is the pen name for a number-crunching executive by day and a darkly romantic curmudgeon by night. She also writes fifty shades naughtier stuff under the pen name of Lila Shaw (but please don’t tell her mother) and young adult fiction as Iris St. Clair.  No matter which name she uses, Claire is happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice. Claire lives in the boggy Pacific NW with her husband and two teen-aged sons.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Fall into Fantasy #Giveaway #YA #NA #Adult #Fantasy

It’s that time of year again already, can you believe it! If you like to read, this is the giveaway event you won’t want to miss. Dozens of authors of adult, NA, and YA fiction have put together some badass prizes that will be up for grabs from October 17th to the 31st.
 For a chance to win ecopies of both Eye of the Soul and Secret of the Souls, along with loads of other adult books, you can get your name in the hat by entering the adult rafflecopter below.

Eye of the Soul
Pool of Souls #1

Release Date: October 7, 2013
Publisher:  J. Taylor Publishing
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Fantasy
That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.


Secret of the Souls
Pool of Souls #2

Release Date: October 6, 2014
Publisher:  J. Taylor Publishing
Target Reader: Adult
Keywords: Fantasy
Thrust out of their homes by a human High Priest on a vengeful mission, the Natives of Derlund no longer have a place to call their own. One escaped capture, however, and now she, Hyla, is the only one who can save her people.

For, Hyla, though, saving her nation isn’t her ultimate goal—returning to the Pool of Souls is. Becoming its Guardian and preserving their faith is her heart’s desire. The perils of her current journey, though, could leave her unable to fulfill that dream.

To find her way back to the Pool, Hyla must live among dangerous, powerful humans willing to defend the Natives, and must submit herself—her Talents—to them. While her protection is paramount, plots to end Hyla’s life will push her to her physical and emotional limits.

On the edge of sanity, her courage tested, and convictions nearly broken, Hyla’s final test of loyalty to her faith comes with the death of one she could have loved.


If you like more the YA / NA genre, there's a separate giveaway for that as well!
The links are below, or you can click the logo above to see the form on the host site.


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