Posts Tagged ‘falling in love’

Image: latinawellness.com

One of the most important relationships in a romance is often overlooked – that of the best friend. Romance readers know instinctively that if the best friend, the confidante is not on-board with the relationship there will be problems.

This may seem a weird way to open a Valentine’s Day post, but I’d like to you to think about this: who were your first Valentines?

Image: journalistsresource.org

Dad. Or Mom. They got each other something special as lovers (which – yuck – you didn’t realize at the time). And they got you something because they love you, too, and wanted to include you in the day as well as indoctrinate you into that holiday and their tradition with it.

Next came your friends at school, and maybe neighborhood kids. Innocent declarations of specialness {unless you had a crush on someone. Then you were sticking your neck out under the cover of it’s tradition). Some schools also had rules that you brought in a card for everyone, or no one. Still, you knew which cards you signed just a little bit differently.

Image: webneel.com

Then you fell in love, and you scoured the aisles of several stores to find that perfect card. And hoped the one you received in return echoed that emotion. Sometimes it did, and you lived happily ever after. Sometimes the echo started strong but faded, and you basked in it until that relationship went south. Sometimes the echo never came, and you had a heartbreaking rest of February before one of you made the move of breaking it off.

The best Valentine’s Day of all, though, is when you’ve found your everlasting love. And you get to not only celebrate the day with him or her, but with your best friends, too.

The Valentine’s Day that ranks as one of the highest on my list comes after I met my own hero, my husband. He and my brother really hit it off, which was awesome because my brother and I are very close, and my sister-in-law and I were very close, too. Like sisters. Sisters of Spirit. So she and I decided we’d do a Valentine’s Day dinner. She called me to announce it would be a picnic.

In February? What? But it was a cool idea and I warmed to it. We planned the menu and the time and had everything set up. What to wear though? Marcia and I had figured we’d do it old school, us in summer dresses and the guys in casual wear. Well, I didn’t have summer dresses, but she did. She brought out a dress she felt was ‘me’.

OMG. I felt like a Valentine’s sweetheart in it. I felt like a lady. I felt like Marcia really knew me . . . and had a good handle on my hero.

My brother Emile & my SIL Marcia became our first son’s godparents. Check out that ’80s hair!

I got there early on February 14th and she and I set the ‘table’. Tablecloth on the floor, place settings, flowers. We got the food going, and then slipped into our dresses. When my guy showed up and he took my hand, I felt beautiful. The four of us had such a great night, full of fun and laughter.

I have never forgotten that Marcia agreed with me that we needed a super special night. I have never forgotten that what she recognized was that my husband and I had found a love like theirs. She’d bought glasses and a vase combo for our picnic that we used every Valentine’s Day for years, with their festive little hearts, for wine and flowers and memories.

So on Valentine’s Day, don’t forget your besties. Don’t forget your sisters/brothers/parents. Don’t forget the people who have helped you celebrate the day over the years. Send a card if you can, send a prayer, and send kisses. And all good hope that the people you’ve loved have found love, too.

Jeanine Duval Spikes is the author of the novella  “Shaman’s Shell” in the poignant romance anthology the Sisters of Spirit  published by (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four romances about four very special friends. The anthology also features novellas by authors Christine Mazurk, Jeanine Duval Spikes and Annette Blair

You can purchase the Sisters of Spirit Anthology at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Jeanine Duval Spikes is also J.D. Spikes, the author of the YA paranormal The Possession. You can purchase a copy at Lachesis Publishing or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe

Connect with Jeanine Duval Spikes. on her web site and on facebook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

 

Image: www.newlovetimes.com

Let me apologize in advance to any Romance Novelist who may be upset over my obvious lack of perception and understanding of your genre and the topic, overall.  When this topic was suggested to me, my initial reaction was to laugh out loud and roll my eyes.  Clearly my publisher had made THE WORST choice to tackle this subject.  I am far from a ‘Love Guru’, how could I pontificate and comment on this topic with any shred of credibility? Like any quest for knowledge when one finds oneself lacking, approach those around you and gather a data set from a diverse population; which is what I spent three days doing.

Image: surfingbird.ru

I asked several colleagues of varying ages and gender their definition and opinion of romance and if he/she was familiar with romance novels.  The results from the male gender were pretty much what I expected. They all vehemently denied any knowledge or familiarity with the genre beyond the occasional “My wife has one or two on her nightstand and no I’ve never picked one up.”  When I pushed for a definition of ‘Romance’ I was taken aback by how guarded the men became.  I got suspicious looks and raised eyebrows and arms almost always folded indicating I’d crossed into uncomfortable body language territory. I swore anonymity yet still wasn’t able to crack that guarded man wall of secrecy. One guy went so far as to question my manhood for even broaching such a topic. It seems that Romance, in the data set available to me, is something not discussed among my gender. Upon reflection I admit that the topic has NEVER come up in conversation when I’ve been socializing with other men at any type of gathering.  The topics have been work, sports, some fantasy football league, and often trashing some politician or even talking about house projects. Conversations at my rod and gun club are limited to fishing, deer hunting, crossbows, rifles etc., but never in my 52 years have I been exposed to guys discussing romance. Okay, message received. Bros don’t discuss ‘Romance’ with other bros lest they lose their male membership card. If there are men discussing romance and the like, I’ve been missing out on those discussions. Could it be me, the type of hobbies and the people I spend time with?  Quite possibly . . . but I deliberately spoke with as diverse a group as possible. My conclusion is that men don’t want to talk about it, at least with other men, especially a writer trying to gain some insight.

Image: http://cordeliahsuphotography.tumblr.com/

The women I spoke to varied in age and, once I explained I was writing a blog, they were more than willing to indulge me in their opinions of romance and why they read romance novels.  The one single comment I heard from each women was that the book they were reading was incredibly well written and compelling. The second most common answer was the novels were a wonderful escape from the mundane of the daily drag of work, kids and reality. I got that, it was pretty much the same reason I read science fiction and graphic novels; for a diversion and an escape from the stress and anxiety of the daily grind. As far as explaining and defining romance, I could sense a bit of hesitation.  I was given great anecdotes from several people but the detective in me wanted a real time answer. What about today, what defined romance for them today?  I got a great deal of rolled eyes and laughter. One funny answer was simply her boyfriend not farting under the sheets at night. One woman my age was much more concise and how shall I say. . . critical with her answers.  I’ll call her ‘Kim.’

It’s Fabio! Image: www.chicagogluttons.com

Kim has been married for several years and has four kids, we talk a lot at the gym while waiting to get on various equipment.  We were using the elliptical trainers and chatting to pass the time when I decided, why not broach the topic and ask her a few questions?  At least she couldn’t run away. I worked up the nerve to segue our light banter from griping about being winded to romance. To my surprise and delight Kim was very direct and honest with her replies. After fifteen years of marriage, changing diapers through four children and having a husband more excited by his new Callaway driver than by her, she began looking for something to fill the void.  She added that her husband was a good man who worked hard and was a great father, but he’d rather spend time his free time at the driving range than having a romantic dinner or a date night.  A friend in a local church group loaned her a copy of a particular steamy romance novel with a real hunk on the cover. She laughed as she recalled the book cover hunk was Fabio.  I remember that name, some big, long-haired blonde guy with huge pecs and biceps. If I remember he also did margarine commercials.  She enjoyed the novel immensely and admitted to getting all hot and bothered by the intimate scenes and the passion found within the pages of that book. From then on Kim decided to spend her evenings and down time with a romance novel tucked in her purse and has become ‘best friends’ with the works of Victoria Dahl and Vivian Arend. “When the kids are in school and he’s at work, I like to curl up under a blanket with a hot cup of cinnamon tea and escape into another world of intrigue and passion. I know it’s never going to happen to me, but it’s nice to pretend and be swept up.” I asked Kim to define ‘Romance’.  She laughed for a moment looked over at me as we were both dripping with sweat.  “Well it’s certainly not this.”  I laughed at her wit and repeated the question.  Kim slowed her pace and took a deep breath, “Greg, if you have to ask me that question and really don’t know the answer I feel sorry for you.  You have the same affliction infecting my husband and a lot of other men.” I winced a bit at the sting of her retort but she then rewarded me with an answer, “Romance is the non-physical acts of love two people show for each other, it’s the little things that make certain somebody feels special, desired and cherished by their partner.”

Kim cranked up her pace and told me to chew on that for awhile, she put on her earphones and got back to her quick pace.  After another twenty minutes pondering, Kim finished her workout, she looked over at me and could tell I was still smarting from her remark.  “I didn’t mean to insult you; if I did I’m sorry.  You’re a nice guy, Greg and I figured you could handle the reality check.”

Image: www.pinterest.com

I left the gym with Kim’s point blank response echoing in my head.  I stopped at my favorite coffee haunt and thought more about Romance.  Were we men, as a gender, all negligent husbands forcing our spouses to seek attention or gratification within the pages of some writer’s imagination?  I reflected back on the first time I fell in love, the way my heart skipped a beat, how my mind was solely focused on her, I knew her scent, every curve of her face and longed just to hear her voice and be with her.  I remember the dates, the long walks and picnics and the hand holding. I recall carrying her across a large puddle because she didn’t want to get her new boots wet and how she giggled as I waded through the ankle deep water carrying her.  I remember showering her with flowers not because I just wanted intimacy, but I loved to see her smile and the delightful squeal she made when she was happy.  I remember spending hours under the hood of her mom’s beat up station wagon and shelling out my own money on car parts not because I had to, but because I knew it was important to her and I knew it would make her happy.  That was romance, that was how I showed her I loved her. It wasn’t the words, it wasn’t the physical joining, it was the gestures and deeds I made when we were together that let her know I cared.  I made her feel special and important and I got love, affection and companionship in return.  Romance is the non-physical acts of love we show our partners.

Image: slism.com

I knew it all along but lost the meaning over the years. I remembered the feeling of falling freshly in love and the natural high that came along with it, the heart skipping a beat, the electric jolt caused by a single touch of a fingertip.  I remembered romance, what I did because of love, the small and large selfless deeds I never thought twice about when I was younger but confess, balk at doing now, or do with a grumble under my breath. Working on my mother in law’s car isn’t always done happily, and often I catch myself rolling my eyes at the thought of stepping out of my comfort zone and expressing myself or my feelings. I often hear the words but fail to listen. I looked back over a litany of self-failings over my iced coffee and wondered what that drop of moisture was rolling down my cheek. How does it all change? Does life and time really have such an impact? What changes in relationships that kill or cool the romance?  What goes wrong?

I’ve never read a romance novel. But I know from those I’ve spoken with that it’s more than just sex; it’s the excitement of discovering a new love, a new connection. I’m sure the male character does all the right things, slays the dragon, conquers the evil or is just there for the support needed or just to listen. I assume that’s the appeal more than the steamy scenes that cause one’s heart to flutter and forms beads of perspiration on the brow. Again that’s my conclusion based on dipping my toe into a pool I’ve never swum before. I believe it’s the crafted tale, the developed characters and story telling complimented by romantic gestures, the non-physical acts of love, that make the eventual physical bonding so powerful and intense (Also a gifted writer behind it). It’s not just the buff, shirtless guy on the cover; it’s the deeds done in the relationship not just inside the bed sheets that have the appeal. I think.

Image: warosu.org

So how does romance work after years of marriage, several kids, two careers, soccer practices, yard work and a “Dad Bod” versus “Six pack abs”?  I honestly just don’t know. Maybe after years together it’s no longer about the grand gestures, maybe the small things have just as much meaning. Maybe making sure the toilet seat is down, emptying the dishwasher and putting away the laundry are just as important as carrying someone across a large puddle or doing a brake job on a car. Perhaps the simple daily acts of consideration can communicate wordlessly what men, myself included, may have forgotten or neglected to do over time. I’m not saying bringing home flowers and candy more than once a year on Valentine’s Day isn’t appreciated but perhaps the simple, yet helpful, gestures go further to prove love is still alive and the fire hasn’t tuned to ashes.  A simple action is worth more than a thousand words . . . even if those words are ‘I love you.’ Showing you care is always better than saying you care. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what romance is all about.

I’m just a Science Fiction writer out of his swim lane, but I think I get the point.

Greg Ballan is the author of the science fiction thrillers Hybrid and Hybrid Forced Vegeance. You can purchase them both at Lachesis Publishingamazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and kobo.

Connect with Greg Ballan on facebook and YouTube

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

TUG OF ATTRACTION, Book 2 in The Love Spells Gone Wrong Series, is out TODAY! This full size novel is only $3.99! A portion of the proceeds will go to the Endometriosis Foundation of America. My heroine Brigit has endo, so this isn’t your typical romance! Check it out (please.)

You can purchase Tug of Attraction at Lachesis Publishing and at the following locations: AmazonBarnes And NobleKobo, iBooks.

 WHAT IT’S ABOUT: 

Failed actress Brigit Love moved back to New Hampshire from Hollywood with one goal: to have a child. So far her only babies are furry and live at the animal shelter where she works. Brigit isn’t willing to marry to get what she wants, so doing things in “the correct order” may not be possible. Even her Wiccan spells don’t seem to be working. Until she comes up with an outrageous idea that just might do the trick.

Handsome tugboat captain Ethan Cox loves his life as a happy bachelor and his only goal is to keep things exactly the way they are. No wonder his coven friend Brigit thinks he’d be the perfect guy to plant the seed and walk away whistling, especially with an iron clad contract protecting his interests.

Ethan truly wants to help Brigit, but the contract she draws up stating he must give up all rights and responsibilities leaves him with a sinking feeling. Will he lose Brigit’s friendship and make coven rituals awkward if he refuses—or lose even more if he doesn’t?

MORE GREAT NEWS!

THE CUPCAKE COVEN (Book 1 in the Love Spells Gone Wrong Series) is getting great reviews! It has even garnered a reviewer’s choice award!

“The Cupcake Coven by Ashlyn Chase has the perfect blend of humor and romance that kept me turning the pages…
Ms. Chase brings me a great story set in New England that I didn’t want to end. I hope to hear more about this great town and those that live there in the future. I fell in love with everyone in this book. Five shooting stars and a Reviewers Choice award.” —Redz, Redz World

PURCHASE THE CUPCAKE COVEN at Lachesis Publishing

OR GET IT ON amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, iBooks, and ARe.

EVEN MORE GREAT NEWS!

Meet me in New Hampshire next autumn (2016) I’m telling you about it a YEAR in advance, because the first 75 readers to register get a great price break! Read about some of the fun and prizes we have planned for you and register here:

FALL IN LOVE WITH NEW ENGLAD: ROMANCE READER/AUTHOR CONFERENCE 2016.

Ashlyn Chase is a best selling author who writes funny and sexy, light paranormal romances and erotic romances. Connect with Ashlyn on her website and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing us on twitter.

Author Sara Humphreys

We continue our entertaining and enlightening on-going series here at the Lachesis Publishing Daily Blog called The Book That Hooked You. Today’s Q and A features award-winning romance author Sara Humphreys. Sara writes dark and sensual paranormal romance and emotional and sizzling contemporary romance. Welcome Sara!

Take us back to when you first discovered romance novels. When did you become a reader? How old were you? And what was the first book that hooked you? Why? How many times have you read that book?

SH: The first books that I remember falling in love with were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. But as far as romance goes, it was Christine Feehan’s Dark Prince that hooked me. I remember thinking . . . Where have you been all my life? I went on to devour everything she’s written and then hunted down other authors in the paranormal romance genre.

Who is/are the book(s) that inspired you when you took those first baby steps in your writing career? The books that made you think “Wow, I want to write books like that!”

SH: Pretty much anything by Christine Feehan and Lori Handeland. Lori’s Nightcreature Series is one of my all time favorites! I adore her heroes and her heroines are sassy. Hot sex too!

Tell us about the kind of romance you write and why you love to write it.

SH: I’m best known for my paranormal romance but I’ve recently branched out into contemporary. I promise that readers who love my paranormals will find similarities in my contemporaries! You’ll get a hot protective hero who always puts his woman’s well-being and happiness first. There will be suspense and my signature twists at the end, along with a Happily Ever After. Oh, and hot sex. Did I mention that?

What is one of your favourite Sara Humphreys books and why?

SH: That’s like picking my fave kid. Lol. But usually it’s the book that is completely finished and waiting to be released. Right now it’s The Good, the Bad, and the Vampire. This the fourth installment of the Dead in the City series and the hero is one of my all time favorites. Dakota Shelton is a vampire cowboy with a penchant for cinnamon lollipops and courting a woman the old-fashioned way. Dakota and Trixie’s love story comes out January 5, 2016.

Tell us about a book that you’ve read recently (past year) that you love love love.

Jill Shalvis’ One in a Million. Oh. My. God. It was sexy and laugh out loud funny. Just plain awesome!

Name three of your all-time favourite romance authors and why.

SH: Christine Feehan—Her world building is off the hook and she made me fall in love with the paranormal romance genre.

Lori Handeland—Her heroes are super sexy and totally alpha and she writes some wicked love scenes.

Nora Roberts—Do I really need to say more?

List three qualities that make a “keeper” romance novel and why.

Sizzle between the hero and heroine that burns up the pages.

A bit of suspense to keep me on my toes.

A satisfying happily ever after because the world needs more happy feel good moments and romance novels are full of those!

What is the sweetest/coolest thing a reader has said to you/done for you?

SH: I’m really lucky because my readers are freaking awesome! A few Christmas’ ago, my street team gals (Sara’s Angels) put together a box of ornaments for me. They each gave me an ornament that represented them or their hometown. It brought me to tears! I absolutely loved it and I think of them every time I see the ornaments dangling from the branches of my Christmas tree.

Tell us about your latest release.

SH: BRAVE THE HEAT is the first book in my contemporary romance series, The McGuire Brothers. These five hot guys are all men in uniform and they’ll each get their own HEA. BRAVE THE HEAT is Gavin’s story. He’s the oldest of the five brothers and the fire chief in their hometown. The love of his life left town fifteen years ago without a word. She comes back to Old Brookfield, divorced and with two little girls in tow, to start over. Gavin hopes they can do that together but a series of suspicious fires break out around the time of Jordan’s return. Let’s just say that sparks fly—literally and figuratively.

What’s coming down the road?

SH: The fourth novel in my vampire series will be out in January of 2016 and then in July 2016 the second McGuire Brothers book will be released. Beyond that I have two more Amoveo Legend novels coming, another Dead in the City book. I also have a new paranormal series coming out late 2016—Dragon Heat. This is a spin off of my shifter series, the Amoveo Legend, and I can’t wait for readers to meet my dragons.

BONUS: Sweet tooth or salty snack lover? What do you love to nosh on when writing?

Sara Humphreys at a book signing looking Fit and Fabulous!

SH: Both. It depends on my mood. If I’m really being good about my nutrition, I’ll snack on almonds, cashews, or olives. If I’m on deadline, then all bets are off and no donut is safe. Thank you for having me here today!

The fab Sara Humphreys has also started a Romance Fit Club for romance readers/authors to share info about health, well-being and fitness.

Connect with Sara Humphreys on her website, facebook, twitter, on YouTube, and on pinterest.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing us on twitter.

Vivienne Lorret

Continuing our ongoing series featuring bestselling authors we chat with the dynamic and delightful USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret. Vivienne writes delicious Regency romance for Avon Impulse Harper Collins. She is the author of two popular series called The Wallflower Wedding Series and the Rakes of Fallow Hall Series

What was your first book that hit a bestseller list? What was the list, where did the book rank when it first hit, and how high did your book get?

VL: Winning Miss Wakefield (Wallflower Weddings, book 2) hit the USA TODAY Bestsellers List at #120. I was so surprised that I didn’t really believe my editor when she called. I started to hyperventilate and I think I might have asked her “Are you kidding me?” about three or four times. The great thing was, she wasn’t kidding. WMW stayed on the list for one glorious week of ear-to-ear grins and random squeals of delight. Then, poof it went away. Shortly thereafter, Finding Miss McFarland hit the list at the same number, for one week, and then poof. Coincidence or magic fairy dust?

When something awesome happens in your career do you celebrate with food, flowers, or fun? Details please. 

Happiness in a cup

VL: Life is short, so I celebrate as often as I can. When I begin a new book, I shop for office supplies—there’s just something about a new pack of Post-it’s, pens, and pencils that adds to the excitement. And since I’m out anyway, I might stop by Starbucks for a grande chai with whip.

When I finish a particularly tough chapter, or write a scene that makes me happy, I’ll do a little victory dance—though I try to steer clear of the windows so I don’t scare the neighbors. And since I’m already in motion, I might slip on my shoes, go for a drive, and grab a grande chai with whip.

When something BIG happens, like a book release or signing a contract for a new series, I usually buy myself flowers (roses or daisies), and maybe . . .  just maybe . . . stop by Starbucks.

What advice can you give authors who really want to hit a bestseller list but haven’t yet?

VL: I don’t think there’s a secret formula for hitting a bestseller list. If there were, I would have figured out how to stay on one, or how to hit the top 100. But I think having a support-team helps. I’ve been blessed with an incredibly supportive editor and publishing house, not to mention the amazing art department. In addition, it helps to write the book you want to read. After all, if you believe in your book, chances are that other people will too. From there, good things will happen. At the very least, you’ll be proud of the pages between the covers. That means a lot.

Promotion is an important part of every author’s work routine. Tell us one promotional approach that has worked well for you.

VL: Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch with your fan base—a quick note about the writing process, a picture of your latest hero or heroine, motivational phrases that inspire you, and random/whacky posts all work to make a personal connection to the people who support your career. Hosting rafflecopter contests on your page also helps. It’s important to give back and spread the love whenever possible.

What is one thing you absolutely LOVE about being an author and one thing that makes you BONKERS?

VL: I love writing. The act of touching the keyboard and watching the pictures in my head transform into words is pretty cool. Of course, there are days when that doesn’t happen easily and/or the words don’t quite match the pictures in my head. But those are the days when it’s time to fill up the writer’s well, and usually that’s a fun process.

Interruptions drive me bonkers. When I’m writing a scene, and my mind is traveling back to the Regency period, it’s difficult to tune out the lawn mowers, barking dogs, and the daily screaming contests in the neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve used different methods, from wearing gun-range earmuffs to buying a noise-cancelling machine. Then, there are the interruptions that happen within the walls of my writing domain. It’s harder to ignore “I don’t mean to interrupt, but . . .” The questions could be anything from “Have you seen my glasses?” to “Can you do me a favor and . . .” For years, I would stop what I was doing, help find the glasses, fix dinner, or run errands for anyone who asked. But then, I learned to say no. Not just a hem hawing no, either. A definite I’m-working-and-my-time-is-valuable no. It’s liberating. I highly recommend it.

Who are some of your favourite authors and why?

VL: Kristan Higgins because her books make me laugh so hard that I cry. Lisa Kleypas because her books touch my soul. Eloisa James, Tessa Dare, and Candis Terry because their books are simply fabulous (and they are super nice women, too).

What is the coolest/nicest thing a fan/reader has done for you or said to you?

VL: I received a personal email from a reader one day. She’d written me after spending a night in the hospital with her child. And while reassuring me that her son was fine, she also took a moment out of her life to tell me that my book had helped her through the night. I cried instantly, amazed and awed by this woman. With everything going on in her life, she chose to reach out to me. And I’m thankful each and every day that, in some small way, my book provided the distraction she needed.

Tell us about your latest release and what do you have coming down the road?

VL: My latest release, The Maddening Lord Montwood, came out in paperback on August 18th. Yay! I’m so excited about this book! TMLM is the third and final book in The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series. In the beginning, Lucan Montwood pulled his friends into a high-stakes wager, each of them vowing to be the last bachelor standing. Then one after the other, they started to find love. To me, it seemed fitting that the charming, manipulative Lucan would ultimately fall for a strong-willed woman who could see through his tricks. I loved writing Lucan and Frances’ story.

Coming down the road… I recently finished writing a novella for Avon’s Christmas anthology, All I Want for Christmas is a Duke. The Regency anthology will be out this year on December 1st.

My novella takes place during a Christmas house party. To the Duke of Vale, science is everything. He has invited all the right people in order to reveal a formula designed to generate a suitable marriage partner without engaging in the messy procedure of courting . . . (think of it as a Match.com in the Regency era). North’s method is clean and flawless. That is, until the impulsive Ivy Sutherland crosses his path. She makes him question all of his data, forcing him to admit that he failed to catalog one vital element for a perfect match . . . love.

In your daily work routine what do you do first and why? A. write/plot/creative B. social media/promotion C. email/admin

VL: Most of the time, a. I like to start writing with a fresh brain. Umm . . . that sort of makes me sound like a zombie. Mmm . . . fresh brains! Then again, that’s usually how I feel until I’ve had my first cup of tea.

So this is where all the Post-its went.

What would I find on your desk at this very moment?

VL: A lot of Post-its, pens, and papers. I’m in new-series-mode right now, so it’s kind of a mess. I have family trees, character sketches, and a calendar that serves as a ticking clock for each deadline. Beside my desk hangs a huge whiteboard full of story notes. Above my desk, I also keep a slew of notes, reminding myself to focus and to write the book I want to read, among other things. My office can be described as organized chaos.

BONUS: Finish this sentence: I’m a writer because . . .

VL: I’m a writer because that’s the line I stood in when they were handing out souls.

Thanks for having me here today! This was fun and I loved your questions!

USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Vivienne Lorret loves romance novels, her pink laptop, her husband, and her two sons (not necessarily in that order … but there are days). Transforming copious amounts of tea into words, she is proud to be an Avon Impulse author of works including: Tempting Mr. Weatherstone, The Wallflower Wedding Series, and The Rakes of Fallow Hall Series.

Connect with Vivienne Lorret on her website, on facebook, on twitter, and on pinterest. 

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

This week’s Deal of the Week is by Lachesis Publishing author Louise Clark. Her book is called Fighting Fate, a contemporary romance with some paranormal twists and turns.

YOU CAN GET Fighting Fate at Lachesis Publishing for only .89 cents! THIS WEEK ONLY! Click here to purchase.

You can also get Fighting Fate  on Amazon, kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Faith Hamilton is different. Blessed with the power to draw her ancestors from the past into the present, Faith formed a strong bond with Andrew Byrne, her charming rogue of a “relative” from pre-Revolutionary Boston. Andrew’s first visit when they were both teens led to many more over the years. But despite her close friendship with Andrew, Faith has always felt that her life would never be normal unless she made a drastic change. Now she avoids relationships with people outside her tight family circle, fearing she might be forced to reveal her ability. Instead, she tries to keep it a secret, and her private life hidden as she focuses on her career. For a while she succeeds, until she meets the sexy and dynamic Cody Simpson.

Cody is a mathematician, a man devoted to classifying and defining the world around him.  Once hurt by a woman whose sole focus was her career, not the people in her life, he swore he would never allow himself to be attracted to this kind of woman again—until he meets the beautiful and captivating Faith Hamilton.

Intrigued by Cody, Faith can’t stop her growing attraction to him. Nor can she keep that charming rogue, Andrew from popping into her life whenever he chooses. As she frantically schemes to keep the two men apart, her problems multiply at home, at work, and most of all in her relationship. How long can she keep up this double life? More importantly, what will Cody think if he finds out about her magical power?

EXCERPT:

Footsteps sounded on the staircase. Faith closed her mouth on what she’d planned to say as a male figure emerged from the upper level, running lightly down the stairs. Seeing the two women he hesitated briefly, then he flashed a grin and said, “Hi.

Black hair, blue eyes, muscles in all the right places, Cody Simpson was the kind of man Chloe would appreciate as a son-in-law. He was also the kind of man Faith avoided. She smiled blandly back at him. “Hi.”

“Nice day, isn’t it?” He glanced at Faith, sweeping her with a look that catalogued every part of her, from head-to-toe. Then he deliberately looked from Faith to Chloe, his eyebrows raised.

Very much aware that the slacks she was wearing did little to minimize her height and that her blond hair had started to stray from the restraints that kept it in a tight chignon, Faith wished she knew some way of escape. She didn’t want to introduce Cody to her mother, who she knew would be intrigued by the good-looking man. She knew Cody expected to be introduced and that he wouldn’t understand why a casual, ‘Cody this is my mother, Chloe. Mom, this is Cody Simpson,’ left her frozen in terror. Each and every one of the good manners drilled into her from the time she was tiny was actively demanding she make the simple introduction. Every survival instinct was fighting back, just as intensely, telling her that she’d be a fool to open that door, even a crack.

She swallowed hard, avoided Cody’s eyes, ignored the surprised curiosity emanating from her mother, and said, “Yup.”

Cody raised his brows, then shrugged. “See you later, then.”

“Sure,” Faith said, hoping she wasn’t blushing.

Cody nodded and headed off toward the NIT offices. Faith shoved open the front door.

Outside Chloe said cheerfully, “What a gorgeous male. Who is he?”

Faith shrugged. “Our new systems guy. He lives upstairs so we hardly ever see him.”

“You know him then?”

Faith shook her head. “Not really.” A wash of heat told her that now she really was blushing. Not surprising since she’d just told her mother a whopper. Well, not a complete whopper. What she knew about Cody came from Sue Green. She respected Sue’s opinion enough that she’d wasted more than an hour or two fantasizing about dating Cody Simpson, but she didn’t actually know him the way you do when you talk to someone. Nor was she going to allow herself to get to know him. As attractive as he was, Cody Simpson wasn’t for her. Not now. Not ever.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Fighting Fate at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon for .89 cents. This week only!

Follow Louise Clark on facebook.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

This week at the Lachesis Publishing Daily Blog we are featuring the lovely and lyrical romance anthology Sisters of Spirit and the authors who created it: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

What it’s about:

Four life-long friends face the biggest changes of their lives.

Four sisters—not related by blood—but by spirit, each embark on a quest

Four women find out what they’re truly made of, and what love really means.

 

The SOS Anthology ladies – From L to R (Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes)

Meet the Sisters of Spirit: New View by Lynn Jenssen, Identity by Christine Mazurk, The Shaman’s Shell by Jeanine Duval Spikes, and Moving Pictures by Annette Blair:

What inspired your own particular story in SOS?

Lynn:  Marina’s story is one that has been bumping around in my head in various forms for years. Whenever I sat down to try and flesh it out, there wasn’t enough to it. It needed the SOS to round it out! I guess it was waiting for the right moment in time . . .

Christine: Identity was written for my son, who spent many years learning about nutrition and workouts to lose fat and gain muscle. Though it is my heroine who transforms herself in the story, it was watching my son’s transformation over the years that made me want to inspire others to get healthy. Since my husband and I are Ironman triathletes, having Bryce train for a sprint triathlon was a no-brainer. I wanted to show readers that anything is possible, and I have gotten feedback from many people who were inspired to make a change and eat healthier, or simply to start an exercise program. It’s an awesome feeling to know I helped someone make a positive change.

Seashells On The Beach With Pink Sky by Elizabeth Spencer http://fineartamerica.com/featured/seashells-on-the-beach-with-pink-sky-elizabeth-spencer.html

Jeanine:  The four of us went beachcombing, to see what one might actually find on a beach. I had never seen rope buried in the sand like that before, just a short length of it and a knot above ground. I pulled it out—it was a good length! So I wondered, what if there were something tied to the other end, if someone used what would be seen as common to hide something uncommon? Like a turtle shell with a treasure stuffed inside? The rest is history.

Annette: We started with a walk on a storm-tossed beach in a hidden cove. And yes, it had a tidepool. There, three of us found (literally or metaphorically) the item that would change our heroine’s life forever. I did not. A few weeks later, in St. Augustine, I walked Anastasia Beach, not a beachcomber’s dream, yet there it sat on virgin sand, not a soul in sight: a camera chip. Missing pictures? Oh, the possibilities. I named my heroine Anastasia after the beach, and her search for the owner of those pictures began.

If you could meet your heroine in SOS for a coffee right now, what would you say to her?

Lynn: I picture myself talking to her over a cup of coffee sitting on the deck. Of course I know about the troubles she is having with Cam. My advice would be to keep trying, keep talking, keep thinking of ways to make it work better. Don’t give up on love.

Christine Mazurk the Iron Woman – image: christinemazurk.com

Christine: I would tell Bryce she is an inspiration to many. People have called me or written to me to say thank you for helping them make positive changes to their lives. Some have lost weight, others have changed their diets, still others have asked for a training schedule to try their first sprint triathlon. I applaud all of them.

Jeanine: Do you think yourself brave, Clara? I found you very brave to follow your instincts and stay true to yourself despite your obvious attraction to Nathan. Do you think knowing your ‘sisters’ have your back makes it easier to follow your own path?

Annette: I love your tenacious and joyful view of life, no matter how it’s beaten you down. I love your quirks and funny hats. I applaud the way you prodded a stubborn, broken hermit back to life, just by being your stubborn self. You never let him scare you, especially that first day, and you never backed down.

Who did the cooking while you gals were working together and who has mad skills in the kitchen?

grilled to perfection – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/grilled-vegetables-recipe.html

Lynn: I planned the meals and picked up the food (we split the cost of course!) and whenever I got up to start something in the kitchen, one of the ‘sisters’ would be there asking what they could do to help. I think I work things out in my head while I peel veggies and prep meals. It’s my homebody comfort zone.

Christine: All meals were a team effort. Lynn and I usually handled the main part of the meal, while Annette and Jeanine prepared the vegetables and salad. Clean up was a shared effort as well. Mad skills in the kitchen? I think we all have our own gifts in the kitchen, but if we’re grilling, Lynn gets the medal!!

Jeanine: We all prepare meals together but Lynn is definitely the head chef and perfect hostess. She plans the menu and we follow direction. She’s a great cook, too, as is Christine. Meal prep is another bonding opportunity for us. We all take turns with different chores, depending on where we are in our writing at meal time. I can hold my own in the kitchen, by the way. I love to cook and try new recipes. Annette likes to say she doesn’t know what the inside of the kitchen looks like, but she does a good job, too.

Annette: I’m a culinary hack but I can chop veggies for salad, and shuck corn with the best of them. Honestly, we work together. I love Lynn’s spaghetti and meatballs, though, and oh, her stuffed lobster. Christine aces crab legs, and in her neck of the woods, there’s sushi.

How important is the beach/water to the Sisters of Spirit?

Lynn:  It was the inspiration for the setting and the backstory. In Marina’s (her name is not an accident) story, it ends up being part of the solution.

Beach Walk by Shirley Roma Carleton http://fineartamerica.com/featured/beach-walk-shirley-roma-charlton.html

Christine: It’s like breathing air. I don’t think any of us would survive without the ocean nearby. Some of our best plot talks happen while we sit on the beach or walk with the sand between our toes. Of course, beach combing was the seed that flourished as SOS, so it’s safe to say SOS wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the beach/water.

Jeanine: I believe the beach, the ocean, is as integral to the Sisters’ wellbeing as breathing and eating. It could very well be instrumental in them having found each other to begin with; I think they were meant to be best of friends. think we all find our rhythm there, on and near the ocean, and sync with each other because of that. We are elemental in that way, another bond.

Annette: The ocean energizes us, ups our inspiration and adds to our connectivity. Our creative energy levels multiply at the beach. We never spend time together that we don’t plot a beach, while swimming, or sunbathing, depending on the time of year or time of day. We’ve been known to stand by the water and, er, howl at the moon, so to speak, at 2 or 3 in the morning. We’ve been out at 5, too (before going to bed after a long night of writing), laughing so hard, I don’t think we saw the water. But we could hear it.

If you were going to write an epilogue for your heroine and hero what would you hope for them in ten years time?

Lynn: I see them living comfortably on the island, in frequent contact with the other sisters and families. Marina is a successful writer, and Cam has a computer business on the island. Children, laughter, and love continue to fill the island house.

Christine: In ten years, I see them with two kids, a happy, loving partnership, and success in their businesses. I see them training together and teaching their children about healthy living. They’d be an outdoor family; hiking, kayaking, playing ball by the water. I also see their kids growing up with the Sisters’ kids. Just one big happy family!

Jeanine: That they are still madly in love. That kids’ schedules and hectic lives haven’t interfered with the four women staying in touch and very much a part of each others’ lives. I can imagine them getting together for holidays, and maybe the occasional vacation. I hope the women still take Island time for themselves.

“Dream home” http://www.houzz.com/photos/2030496/Waterfront-Estate-traditional-porch-other-metro

Annette:  Anastasia’s old family home on the water has been remodeled into an amazing family home. A long white porch wraps around it, where happy children are playing and a baby is giggling. Anastasia too is giggling as Max, wearing a crazy hat, catches her halfway across the yard, and kisses her. They have a tradition. There is still a key hanging on their bedroom doorknob, a symbol of the invitation she left for him and he accepted.

Finding the time to write as a group is a challenge – but how do you promote an anthology with four very busy authors?

Lynn: We all have our strengths and fortunately we all do the promoting a little differently. Social media, personal contacts, book talks. We try to appear together whenever we can arrange it.

Christine: I treat Sisters Of Spirit the same way I do my single titles. I give out bookmarks, attend author signings, and promote through social media, newsletters, and other promotional ads. Of course, the opening line is always, “I wrote an anthology with a NYT Bestselling author and two other writer friends” as I’m handing over the bookmark. Makes a great conversation starter.

Jeanine’s visual display for a book signing.

Jeanine: We’ve been lucky in that we have had opportunities to attend signings together, whether all four of us or any two of us. That always attracts attention. Each of us strives to incorporate SOS promo in with our independent projects, too. I always have copies with me at signings. For special events we try to have a group signing, too, where we all sign each others’ copies prior to the event. The reader ends up with a copy with all four signatures in it.

Annette: The best is when we can all attend the same signing. We play off each other. Usually our tables are together. Our different takes on the anthology entice readers. They see us finish each other’s sentences. They realize it’s not your everyday anthology but four interwoven stories with five happy endings.

Pick a song that you think would be perfect for an SOS soundtrack. Why that particular song?

Lynn: So I love to sing along to songs. Can’t remember a title or artist to save my hide (despite my husband playing the “guess this song” radio game for YEARS). So, originally I google that song that goes, “Hey sister, soul sister”. Then I read the lyrics. Yuck. No. Then I found the perfect song. It’s called Circle of Friends by Point of Grace. The lyrics talk about sharing each other’s tears and joys. It talks about a prayer (remember the prayer at the end of the story?) And it talks about being in a trusting, loving circle of friends. That’s what it’s all about!

Lyrics on burlap with Jason Mraz’s (featuring Colbie Caillat) “Lucky” by DideschDelights on etsy.comhttps://goo.gl/6mWVTx

Christine: That’s a tough one. I listen to all sorts of music when I write, but usually it’s a reflection of my heroine and hero, but if I had to pick one for my SOS, it would be “Best Friend” by Jason Mraz. He may be singing it to a girl, but the lyrics speak of true friendship. “Thank you for letting me in. For never pretending. For knowing who I am. Thank you for trusting me. I always know where you stand. The world’s a better place because you are in it.”

Jeanine:  “Anytime You Need a Friend” by the Beu Sisters. You might recognize it from the Disney movie “Home on the Range”. It’s peppy and upbeat, and sung by four young women. I feel it embodies the spirit of Sisters of Spirit.

What do you want the reader to take away from this anthology?

Lynn: So many readers have commented that they feel like part of the group, part of the sisters. Nurture those friendships in your life.

Christine: I like the universal message, that we’re all connected in some way, and when you meet someone and click right away, there’s a Higher Power involved. In this book, that is addressed with the Sisters, but also with the artifacts found in the hidden cove, that draw the Sisters to their true loves. Each story also contains a message about embracing change and enriching life because of it. Pretty powerful message in my opinion.

best friends are forever . . . image from brides.com

Jeanine: I’d love for them to realize the importance of sister/friends, and if you have them, cherish them. They are the BEST! I’d also like readers to feel it’s a book they’ll go back to again and again. Like a comfort food.

Annette: Families can come together with love, not blood. I hope readers see that life is an adventure, a journey to be taken with joy. Most important, spirit sisters do exist. Often, those with no blood connection will be more in tune with you than anyone. This is a gift from the universe. Don’t take it lightly. Be open to the possibilities.

What did you love best about working on SOS?

Lynn: Being together on the island, generating not so much ideas, but creative energy.

creativity requires nurturing – image from huffingtonpost.com

Christine: The camaraderie of writing together and the spiritual connection of our stories. Though our writing styles are different, the stories flowed as one. Our gifts are unique, yet they blend well.

Jeanine: The extra time I got to spend with my SOS. When I’m with Lynn, Christine and Annette I feel such a boost, in both my creative energy and my spiritual energy. We also got an up close view of each other’s writing and editing processes, which was both interesting and fun. How different, too, keeping three other writers and their characters/storylines in your head while writing and editing your own novella. Luckily we were all just a phone call or email away if a fact needed to be checked or, as in my case, I needed to know if Anastasia could answer Clara’s phone call.

Annette: The connections among the four of us. Somehow, while writing, whether together or apart, the project brought us closer. We’re more in tune with each other than ever, true sisters of spirit.

Tell us one career goal that you have within the next five years.

SOS the movie would make for a great outdoor event!image from pvc.com

Lynn: I think SOS would make a great movie.

Christine: To continue telling great stories. I’d like to get two books out per year. That might be a tough goal for this year, but my writing is morphing with each completed book. I think by 2016, my heroines will be clamoring for attention and their stories will flow easily to the page.

Jeanine: Books to Film. Be it television movie, mini-series or feature film, I’d love to see one of my works on the screen. Sisters of Spirit, in my humble opinion, would make a great mini-movie event for television: Monday would be the opening and “New View”, Tuesday would be “Identity”, Wednesday “Shaman’s Shell”, and Thursday “Moving Pictures” and the wrap up. Tada! For Marina & Cam I like the song “Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac, for Bryce & Mike, Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love”. For Clara & Nathan I like “Feels Like Today” by Rascal Flatts, and for Anastasia & Max “Standing Still” by Jewel. Your thoughts may vary.

You can purchase the Sisters of Spirit Anthology at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk, Jeanine Duval Spikes and Annette Blair on facebook.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Sneak Peek is from the YA paranormal The Possession by Lachesis Publishing author J.D. Spikes.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Daphne Wentworth is almost seventeen, definitely a red head, and most likely the tallest girl in her class, which is awkward to say the least when it comes to dating boys in her school. But she doesn’t have to worry about school for the next two months since she’s spending the summer at her aunt Dwill’s lighthouse in Maine. What she does have to worry about is seeing ghosts in the lighthouse cemetery, having strange dreams, and hearing the voices of star-crossed lovers who lived two-hundred years ago. And then there’s a local boy named Zach Philbrook who works for her aunt. He’s too gorgeous for his own good. He’s also very tall, with midnight black hair, and the most beautiful indigo blue eyes Daphne has ever seen. Zach is treated like an outcast by the local teens in town. He’s Micmac and therefore not “one of the gang”. Daphne can’t help being drawn to his strength, especially considering that he’s had to live his entire life dealing with ignorance. But the local teens aren’t the only trouble-makers in town. As Zach and Daphne get closer, the lighthouse ghost lovers begin haunting them. When Daphne and Zach try to figure out how to fight them, the spirits get bolder and more dangerous.

EXCERPT: The cemetery wasn’t far and wasn’t scary. Not to me. Just a scattering of old stones with ancient memories written on them. People long gone to another life and no one here who remembers them. I dropped my canvas shoulder bag of goods on the ground near the gate. Wrought iron and rusted, it leaned into the cemetery boundaries at a precarious angle. Thank God I didn’t have to push it open . . . I’d have probably landed on the ground with a rusted spiral in my gut. This place was unfamiliar to me, except in passing. Though I’d known of the cemetery’s existence, I’d never gone in. I had too much to do in the land of the living for my short time here. No one ever came out here, so what difference did the overgrowth make? Aunt begged to differ and insisted I clean the place up. The lighthouse was two hundred years old this summer, she reminded me, and the cemetery belonged to the lighthouse. So, on a bright June day, I found myself alone in a somewhat decrepit cemetery in a clearing in the woods. I made my way around the ancient stones in an attempt to put off the start of my project. Most were upright and clear enough of the tangle of brush that a portion of the inscription could be read. One small stone, nearly buried in the overgrown grass at the north corner, caught my eye. I flattened enough of the green to reveal the single word Sarah, and beneath it Age 3 Months. Sadness flashed through me, unexpectedly. There were babies buried here? I slipped the hand pruners from my back pocket where I’d stuck them and carefully snipped the grass down in front of the headstone. I pulled viney growth from the top corner of the stone, revealing a W. and a P. Sarah W.P. My hand cramped as I diligently snipped away at the grass, clearing the plot. The screech of the gate would have warned me . . . had the gate been in better repair. With its useless tilt, however, I never heard him coming. The bag dropping next to me on the mixed pile of living and dead debris announced his presence. I flipped to the side, tripping myself with my legs, but managed to keep the pruners in front of me. I pointed them into the air in front of my face. Blue-black eyes studied me, one hand hooked into his pants pocket by the thumb, the other paused in front of him, fingers splayed where it had dropped the bag. In books you always read about these moments. Crickets clicked, or birds called, or someone’s watch ticked, marking time. Maybe all three. In real life, the only thing you really hear until you recognize that person is your own heavy breathing, that being indicative of the fact that you are in the middle of nowhere with no possible help nearby. So how do you protect yourself from something that isn’t really there?

Like what you’ve read? You can get your copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes right at Lachesis Publishing or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe

Connect with J.D. on her web site and on facebook

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

Today’s Sneak Peek is Identity by Christine Mazurk, one of four novellas in the lovely and lyrical Sisters of Spirit Anthology (Lachesis Publishing). The anthology features four stories about four very special friends. Written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

What It’s About:

Four life-long friends face the biggest changes of their lives.

Four sisters—not related by blood—but by spirit, each embark on a quest

Four women find out what they’re truly made of, and what love really means.

In “Identity” by Christine Mazurk, a young woman embarks on a complete life-change after losing more than 100 pounds, and through a twist of fate finds herself training for a marathon under the guidance of a super sexy coach. But when she starts falling for the hunky trainer, can she trust her new-found confidence to take her to the finish line?

EXCERPT:

“I found it on a beach on Munnatawket Island.” The girl’s dark green eyes sparked, or glistened with unshed tears. Mike couldn’t tell which. “Since it’s engraved, I thought it might be valuable.”

He huffed out a breath, staring at the luggage tag—a gift he bought for his dad last Father’s Day. “It is valuable, in more ways than you know.”

She stared at him, an odd expression on her face. She started to say something, then stopped, and instead rested her right hand on his arm. Warmth seeped through his skin, and the freshness of his loss re-surfaced.

Two weeks; two long weeks ago.

His throat tightened as hot tears rose, and he coughed to cover his emotion. He shifted, unsure how much to share with this girl, a stranger who brought him a gift, one that punched him in the gut and sliced open his heart.

“Do you want to talk?” she whispered, her gaze drinking him in. “When I touched it, I felt a wave of sadness. Now, I feel that from you.”

Oh shit, not here, not in front of the staff.

“Come back to the office,” he said, his voice unsteady.

She followed him, and he counted the click of her heels as a distraction to tamp down his pain. Long limbs in tight jeans. In the office, she stared up at the wall of medals, and he couldn’t help but notice the tight curve of her butt. Even in her high heels, the top of her head barely reached his shoulders. He stepped away to put some space between them.

“They’re my dad’s. He was an Ironman.” He fingered one of the awards.

“Was?” She had a beautiful face and thick dark hair that shimmered in the light.

“Sit, please.” When she did, he sat down next to her. “I’m about to spill my guts, and I don’t even know your name.”

“Bryce Evans,” she said as a soft blush washed over her cheeks, causing her eyes to appear an even darker green. “I should have introduced myself, but I was taken by your emotion.”

“That apparent, is it?”

“It’s the way you handled the tag.” She shrugged and seemed embarrassed.

“He was returning from Ironman St. George in Utah when his private plane went down in the Sound.” This time, he didn’t bother stopping the tears. He let them flow. Something about this girl opened the floodgates, and his words tumbled without faltering.

“St. George was his fifteenth race. When he called me, after the finish, he sounded excited but exhausted. He said it was one of the toughest courses he’d ever done, so it wasn’t his fastest race. He described the aggressive climbs on the two loop course, and the scenic mountainous run, but he was just stoked to cross the finish line to add one more medal to the wall.”

“I’m so sorry,” she said as she took his hand. He watched as tears spilled over her long lashes, and his heart clenched. “You must have been close.”

“We were. The ironic thing is I left my career as a regional sales rep to strengthen our bond. I became his partner less than six months ago, and now, he’s gone.” A sob escaped. “I’ll never see him again.”

Bryce surprised him, when she dropped to her knees and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. She hugged tight and cried with him.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, a voice whispered, Don’t let go. And Mike wondered what he should hold onto, the memories of his dad, or this girl who just popped into his life?

Like what you’ve read? Check out “Identity” by Christine Mazurk in the Sisters of Spirit Anthology. You can purchase it at Lachesis Publishing and on Amazon.com, on Kobo, on Barnes and Noble and on itunes (iBooks).

Connect with Christine Mazurk on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

 

This question plagued me many times when writing The Awakening: Book 1 Bloodmane Chronicles series. I often wondered why it felt so natural to combine horror and romance while weaving a tale of mystery and suspense.

Perhaps love is scary?

Many people steer away from it and treat it as something that will weaken their resolve, hurt their sense of self, or even rob them of their true identity. For men and women alike, love can be a scary thing—especially if you’ve been hurt by someone in a debilitating way.

So, I guess love can be terrifying because it can break your heart and leave you stranded on an island with only your thoughts to torment you.

But love can be wonderful too. And sometimes, facing the scary, horrifying realities of life will lead you down a path to the truest salvation that exists.

Being “in love”.

For my heroine, Renda Bloodmane there is only one path—the road ahead.

She knows her present life is safe and comforting, but she also knows that the years could slip away into an abyss of daily routine. So she chooses to move forward, even though it is scary. Because that path—though lined with sharp rocks, dark holes, and other dangerous elements—may also lead to a love that will change her life forever.

And she is ready to take that risk.

So I ask the reader who wants pure romance or terrifying horror to take a chance. Don’t be afraid to travel with Renda as she follows her journey in the Bloodmane Chronicles. You might find that taking your own risks in love will be worth it too.

You can get The Awakening: Book 1 Bloodmane Chronicles at Lachesis Publishing, as well as amazon.com, barnes and noble, kobo, and iTunes.

Sara Brooke is an Amazon bestselling author of horror, paranormal romance, and suspense fiction.

A lifelong avid reader of all things scary, Sara’s childhood dream was to write books that make readers sleep with their lights on. She hopes that isn’t too troubling for the thousands of readers worldwide who have purchased her books.

Sara resides in beautiful South Florida. 

You can Like Sara’s facebook page  – called, The Bloodmane Chronicles . Connect with Sara on facebook and on her website. Sara welcomes feedback and questions from readers.