BOOK OF THE WEEK, romance novels, romantic suspense

BOOK OF THE WEEK: GIVE ME SHELTER by Alexis D. Craig #amreading #suspense #romance


GIVE ME SHELTER INSTAGRAM
OUR BOOK OF THE WEEK is the romantic suspense novel Give Me Shelter by Alexis D. Craig.

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What it’s About:

Inspector Eli Miller’s unspoken feelings for his partner, Bex, color his whole life. When his past comes calling, will it be the push he needs to seek a future with her?

Inspector Rebecca ‘Bex’ Mulcahy has lived long enough to know that love is a street con at best, and a dangerous distraction at worst. Any feelings she has for her partner Eli definitely fall into the latter category. Will her dedication to her job keep her from finding a possible future with Eli?

Their latest case is protecting Violet Burrell, a young woman with scars on her soul stretching back to birth, who inadvertently witnesses a shockingly brutal murder at the hands of a sadist. Violet is determined to testify in court. Her strength and courage impress Eli and Bex, who will protect her at all costs.

But it is Violet’s beauty and spirit that entrances Junior Inspector Atticus Randall. Atticus is also assigned to protect Violet, and while he knows he should ignore his growing feelings for her, he just can’t stop himself from falling for the brave beauty.

Life in the Las Vegas branch of Witness Protection has never been more tangled. When the emotional landmines start a chain reaction, everyone in the blast radius is going to need a little shelter.

EXCERPT:

AR escorted Vi out to the table on the balcony to enjoy their sundaes. He liked to take his lunch out here on occasion, just when he needed to get away from his desk for a bit but didn’t want to leave the building. His dedication was paying off, since Marco had started entrusting him with more and more responsibilities, as evidenced by the woman sitting next to him now with her eyes closed in bliss. “You really never had a hot fudge sundae before?”

She shook her head, and her expression hardened. “No. Not with my mother and certainly not with the nuns.”

He pondered her ascetic life and the choices she’d made from it. It was all there in her file, but he felt like an intruder or a stalker, knowing that much about a virtual stranger to him. He’d much rather know her as a person, beyond the story of sadness and neglect. “Violet’s a pretty name.” An inane statement, but he knew he was out of his depth attempting to tackle a subject so daunting as the life of Violet Burrell.

She shrugged and flipped the end of a pigtail over her shoulder. “It is what it is. Your parents really named you Atticus? They not like you or something?”

He snorted a laugh and put the spoon back into his ice cream. “They like to read.”

“To Kill a Mockingbird, I know.” She smiled shyly. “It’s a good name. Strong, valiant.”

The heat of the summer air had nothing on him. He saw her grin, and he felt his ears burn from a blush. “So what’s the verdict?” He gestured towards her rapidly diminishing sundae.

“I think I want to eat this for the rest of my life,” she said as she dipped her spoon into the plastic cup to fish out a peanut covered in hot fudge.

“That good, huh?” He watched her close her eyes and sigh as she licked the spoon, and he had to loosen his tie. The way she was enjoying her ice cream reminded him that his wasn’t going to stay frozen forever. He dipped his spoon into the plastic cup and then brought it to his mouth.

“Damn near better than sex.”

At her words, he found himself gulping down a large mouthful of ice cream, much more than he meant to, swallowing it quickly. “Oh hell! Ice cream headache!” The sharp spike of pain that it brought was quick and excruciating, but it served its purpose driving all thoughts of pursuing that line of questioning from his mind. As the throbbing ache receded, he noticed her hand on the back of his neck, trying to help by rubbing and massaging from the base of his skull to his shoulders. So much for virtuous thoughts. Nodding to show her that he was okay now, he reached in front of her and snagged her mysterious old green book from beside her purse as she returned to her ice cream Nirvana.

“Hey, that’s not yours,” she said around a mouthful, gesturing with her spoon. But, she made no move to retrieve it from him, so he felt comfortable perusing while she continued to savor her snack.

He opened the book at the place she’d marked, reading about a gameskeeper comforting the lady of the house, in a chicken coop, that led to so much more than mere physical release in graphic and frankly gripping detail. That was definitely not what he’d expected, and the fact that she’d been reading this book all this time did things to his already heated blood that made his mouth run dry and his ears start to ring.

“So . . . ?”

Her voice, smokier than before, startled him out of the words on the page. Her purple eyes were darker than he remembered, and he found himself lost for a moment before he caught himself. “It’s ah . . . definitely colorful.” He pushed the closed book back over to sit next to her purse, her bookmark still in place.

Vi smiled self-consciously. “It’s the language. It paints this picture like a smudged old photograph, beautiful and still kind of dirty.”

And that about described the thoughts he was having at that moment. “I could definitely see that.”

Like what you’ve read? You can get Give Me Shelter at Lachesis Publishing and on amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

Alexis D. Craig has been a writer from early childhood, discovering her calling when she wrote the Thanksgiving play for her kindergarten class in Tucson, Arizona. After moving to Indianapolis with her family in 1988, she wrote a column for her high school newspaper and two novel-length stories before graduating at age sixteen from Park Tudor School. After attending Sarah Lawrence College outside New York City, she returned home to Indiana to be closer to her family.

Alexis works for a local sheriff’s department in the communications division. She spends her free time reading and writing romance novels and investigating haunted houses.

She lives with her husband and two very excitable beagles.

Connect with Alexis D. Craig on her website, and on facebook,  twitter and goodreads.

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Book of the Week: More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia #amreading #romance #Regency

He would give her his passion 2Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is the luscious Regency historical romance More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia. Book 1 in the Dashing Nobles series. AND IT’S FREE!!!

GET IT FREE ON AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, KOBO AND iBooks or RIGHT HERE at Lachesis Publishing.

What It’s About:

Geoffrey Kane, Earl of Kanewood refuses to feel anything more than passion. Four years ago, his fiancée betrayed him and he has no desire to experience that again so when he meets the beautiful Rebecca Kingsley, it’s passion at first sight. And only passion.

Rebecca has led a very quiet life working for her father at a small country inn. When she meets Geoffrey she falls in love with him right away. But she’s only the daughter of a baronet and men like Geoffrey never marry country girls like her. Do they?

When Rebecca’s father tries to marry her off to a wealthy old man, Geoffrey intervenes and marries her himself. He wants her very much but he couldn’t possibly love her. Love is for fools. At least that’s what he tells himself. But a sinister enemy soon threatens to destroy all that Geoffrey holds dear, forcing him to face the truth.

His marriage depends on it . . .

And maybe even Rebecca’s very life.

EXCERPT:

The Raven’s Inn was surprisingly elegant. The brick structure was trimmed with dark green, its long windows sparkling in the late afternoon sun. Rebecca Kingsley was straightening the beautifully-appointed parlor of the inn. Her father, Thomas, insisted that all the rooms look fine. His father had been a baronet, but all that was left of the family fortune, as it were, was the inn. As a younger man, he’d traveled in the social circles of the ton and claimed to know what the gentry and lesser folk alike looked for in food and lodging. Many travelers stopped at the inn, and they expected service and accommodations as fine as any in London, or so Rebecca’s father insisted.

At just twenty years old, Rebecca had been working at the inn all of her life. Her mother died when Rebecca was just two, leaving no real memories. Thomas refused to speak of her and Rebecca had long since given up asking. The only thing he’d say was that she took after her mother in looks. This he always said in a gruffly, affectionate manner that never failed to surprise her. She supposed she inherited her fair skin from her mother, that and her thick raven-black hair. She could never see anything of herself in Thomas.

He never really gave her much notice. She worked as hard as the servants at the inn, keeping her own room as well as half of the rest abovestairs. Mary, the chambermaid, took care of the other rooms as well as seeing to the guests’ personal needs. Rebecca served the morning and evening meals in the dining room, as well, along with Emmy. Emmy was funny and kind and a shameless flirt. She never hesitated to share her experiences with Rebecca, who couldn’t help but blush. She listened, though. Closely.

Rebecca was usually free to go about her own business after finishing her chores abovestairs. But this afternoon, she polished the candlesticks and dusted the furniture in the parlor. As usual, she wore her hair plaited in one long braid coiled at the back of her head. Her simple muslin gown was a few seasons old and well-suited to her task. She paused to gaze longingly out the window toward the stables out back. Beyond them, she could see the gently rolling hills over which she so loved to ride. If she didn’t have to see to the parlor today, she’d surely be out riding her black filly.

From her vantage point, Rebecca could see two figures walking out of the stable’s wide doors. One man was slight of stature and fell in step behind the other. The man in the lead was tall with broad shoulders and dressed in a brown coat and tan breeches. He walked with a long, easy stride. Sun glinted off hair she fancied the color of honey. He had a strong profile, and Rebecca couldn’t tear her gaze away from him. What color were his eyes?

“Fool,” she chided herself. She turned back to her work, flicking her dusting cloth in frustration.

* * *

She moved with an easy grace through the dining room, her glossy black hair catching the light given off by the candles. Curls framed the perfect oval of her face and teased the back of her neck. Her simple gown hugged her lush figure, the skirt swaying over her hips as she walked. She carried a pitcher of ale, and Geoffrey couldn’t take his eyes off her as she moved from table to table.

A man’s voice broke through his reverie. “Fetchin’, ain’t she?”

“What …?” He hadn’t even noticed the gray-haired man who joined him at his table. “Yes.”

“Peter Jenkins is the name,” the slight man offered. “How do you do?”

Geoffrey shook the man’s hand. “Kane. Geoffrey Kane,” he answered. “Very well, thank you.”

The older man gave a flick of his head in Rebecca’s direction. “She’s Kingsley’s daughter.”

Geoffrey raised an eyebrow at that. This beautiful creature was related to the florid-faced innkeeper? Impossible.

Just then, the girl approached the two men. Her mouth curved into a smile for the older man before she turned her attention to Geoffrey. Her rose-colored lips parted as she stared into his eyes for a long moment. “Blue.”

Geoffrey blinked. “What?”

She shook her head. “N-nothing.”

Geoffrey could only stare at the girl, dumbstruck. Her eyes were the color of emeralds, and sparkled as prettily. His gaze fell on her lips as she flicked her tongue over them. Desire shot through him, want like he’d never felt before. Once again, Peter’s voice broke in.

“Rebecca, this is Geoffrey Kane. Kane, meet Rebecca Kingsley.”

The girl, Rebecca, curtsied in greeting after a brief hesitation. She seemed as off-kilter as he felt, to his amazement. After a moment, Geoffrey stood and bowed slightly. “Miss Kingsley.”

“I’m pleased to meet you,” Rebecca said.

Her voice suited her. It was soft and a bit husky. And damn sensual.

“Likewise.”

“Will you be staying with us long?”

If I can help it. “A few days, actually,” he said, smiling.

She gasped softly, the sound no more than a whisper. “Well, do enjoy your stay,” she said, shyly returning his smile.

She stared up at him for a moment longer. Finally, she filled his tankard. With a nod of her dark head, she continued on through the dining room. Geoffrey sank back down into his seat, his gaze glued to her form.

“Rebecca.” He breathed. “Becca.”

Like what you’ve read? You can get More Than Passion by JoMarie DeGioia right here at Lachesis Publishing.

JoMarie DeGioia writes historical romances with a touch of mystery for Lachesis Publishing. And her books are always on the steamy side. Her Dashing Nobles series follows the romances of four male friends in Regency London.

You can get JoMarie DeGioia’s books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

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BOOK OF THE WEEK: CROSSED OUT by Kim Baccellia #amreading #paranormal #YA

CROSSED OUT POSTCARDTHE LACHESIS PUBLISHING BOOK OF THE WEEK IS CROSSED OUT by Kim Baccellia (YA paranormal). 

YOU CAN GET IT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING

What it’s About:

Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?

However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.

If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.

Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.

EXCERPT:

I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off.

I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.

Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.

But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.

Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.

And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?

I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFFs anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I was stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.

According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.

When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a doctor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.

And, I hate to say this, but the anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.

Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?

A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez did Dad forget to close the back door again?

I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

I dropped my black Sharpie.

Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.

A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.

“Stephanie…careful….”

The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.

Allison!

Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”

Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.

“Careful….”

The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left.
I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.

What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing. You can also buy it on amazon, Barnes and NobleKobo, or iTunes.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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amreading, blog post, book reviews, Dark Paranormal, Hauntings, Lachesis Author Guest Blog, paranormal, paranormal romance

Lachesis Publishing Book Reviews: The Awakening by Sara Brooke (reviewed by Jessica Penot)

The-Awakening-Book-1-The-Bloodmane-Chronicles-by-Sara-Brooke-500x724THE AWAKENING by Sara Brooke: 

Renda Bloodmane, the heroine of the THE AWAKENING, is a likeable woman.  She is a quiet, bookish girl who prefers to live in the worlds that exist in the pages of a novel to the real world.  Renda’s life is turned upside down when she goes to visit her friend Bobbie Trillo in Georgia.  Renda is immediately confronted by the visage of a strange man staring at her from a window that should be empty.  Renda tries to explain her vision away, but it becomes impossible to ignore the ghosts of Trillo House when they come to her that night.   Ms. Brooke’s novel unfolds from here delicately intertwining romance and mystery.  Ghosts and spirits thrive in Georgia and Renda is forced to confront both in her friend’s family house.

This is the first romance I have read with a ghost as the romantic lead and that made it engaging. The hero in this story is the ghost of a mysterious and darkly handsome man who Renda feels herself drawn to. This ghost warns Renda that danger is lurking around every corner of the Trillo family house and that an evil is trying to destroy the Trillo family.   Renda is determined to save the family from this evil.

Ms. Brooke’s writing style is clear and steady as she guides  the reader deeper into the mystery at the heart of the haunted Trillo house.  Ms. Brooke’s novel is a little more romance driven than I usually read as I usually prefer ghosts and demons to true love, but the book is engaging and the romance is passionate.  I enjoyed this book immensely and would definitely suggest it for anyone who loves paranormal romance.

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

You can Like Sara’s facebook page  – called, The Bloodmane Chronicles . Connect with Sara on facebook, on twitter @SaraBrooke8, and on her website. Sara welcomes feedback and questions from readers.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

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Giving Thanks as an Author by Sara Brooke (paranormal romance and horror author)

Image: www.theatretulsa.org
Image: www.theatretulsa.org

We’ve just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States and since that respective day is when we say “Thank You” to those who’ve touched our lives, I’d like to share my thoughts with you.

As a relatively new writer (my first novel was published mid-2012), it’s amazing how much I’ve experienced in such a short time.

I’ve seen my books skyrocket to the bestseller list on Amazon and stubbornly refuse to move for close to 18 months before slowly descending down in the ranks, I’ve done countless interviews with many different blog sites, and I’ve been able to realize my dream to entertain readers all over the world.

Sara Brooke
Sara Brooke

But perhaps the most poignant and influencing element of this career thus far has been the people I’ve met who, without hesitation, have supported me and my work.

Companies like Lachesis Publishing have found me among the ranks of  writers hoping to being traditionally published, and never for a minute, do I take that for granted.

My agent, Mel and a tireless team are working endlessly to bring my reality show to fruition, while others focus on the Bloodmane Chronicles Pilot—writing and rewriting so that the pilot treatment is as good as it can possibly be.

4114spRicmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_There are others—lawyers, writers, friends, artists, editors—who never ask why. They never doubt me. They just continue to press forward in hopes that our dreams will be realized and the numerous projects we are involved in (new media, reality TV, fiction, etc.) will get that sought after green light deal.

Sometimes, I look in the mirror and wonder, “Will I let everyone down? Will this all work out?” and then my fiancé and best friend Benjamin Kane Ethridge (also a horror author– and a damned good one) rubs my shoulders and tells me to relax. It will all work out the way it should.

Perhaps, but the future won’t be bright if I don’t have help and support – so in this blog, I am thanking my closest personal team—Steve, Anthony, David, Judith, Adam, Mel and Tim. And my beloved Ben . . . thank you for all that you do. Thank you for betting on this horse.

The-Awakening-Book-1-The-Bloodmane-Chronicles-by-Sara-Brooke-500x724You can get Sara’s Lachesis Publishing release – The Awakening: Book 1 Bloodmane Chronicles at Lachesis Publishing, as well as amazon.com, barnes and noble, kobo, and iTunes.

You can Like Sara’s facebook page  – called, The Bloodmane Chronicles . Connect with Sara on facebook, on twitter @SaraBrooke8, and on her website. Sara welcomes feedback and questions from readers.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our Lachesis Publishing facebook page.

 

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DEAL OF THE WEEK: Children of the Old Stars by David Lee Summers (science fiction)

Children-of-the-old-starsOur DEAL OF THE WEEK is CHILDREN OF THE OLD STARS by David Lee Summers. Only .99 cents. This week only!

CLICK HERE TO BUY

What it’s About: 

The Cluster is a vast alien machine that destroys starships indiscriminately in its quest for something or someone. Commander John Mark Ellis, disgraced and booted out of the service when he fails to save a merchant ship, believes the key to stopping the Cluster is communication. Clyde McClintlock believes the Cluster is God incarnate. G’Liat is an alien warrior whose own starship was destroyed by the Cluster. All together these three set out to solve the mystery of the Cluster before it finds the object of its quest.

Get CHILDREN OF THE OLD STARS right here at Lachesis Publishing for only .99 cents!

You can purchase David Lee Summers’s books at Lachesis Publishing, on amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

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NaNoWriMo – not quite – but close! What we’re doing to get creative by LeeAnn Lessard and Joanna D’Angelo

BARNETT-LACHESIS-LOGOLeeAnn Lessard: I have been with Lachesis Publishing since it was the original owner’s dream in 2005. I started as a contract employee and grew within the company until a few years ago when I took over with my business partner Joanna. Now I’m the Publisher of this great little treasure of a publishing house. At first I made sure to make time in my schedule to keep writing. However as I took on more responsibilities within the company, writing had to be put aside. Well, I’ve decided now is the time to put writing back into my life. Not full time but a little here and there. So I challenged my business partner and Editor in Chief here a Lachesis Publishing , Joanna to do the same. This way I have someone to keep me accountable and to complain to when things get a little tight for time. Joanna and I also decided to share our creative journey with you. I’ll let Joanna to tell you when and how often we’ll be blogging about it.

Joanna D’Angelo: Thanks LeeAnn. I have to tell you I’m glad you’ve challenged me. I’ve been mulling this over for a while. I’ve always been a writer – but my writing has been in different arenas. And since I became Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing, I haven’t had much time to write (aside from the apple polishing I do on our authors’ wonderful books). That being said, I’ve always got ideas percolating, and I have one in mind that I really want to tackle. The idea is definitely “me” :). I can’t wait to share my journey with all of you.crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76

Our challenge is not quite NaNoWriMo, (National Novel Writing Month) but it’s a good step in a creative direction for us individually. If you are taking part in NaNoWriMo, we wish you all the best!

LeeAnn and I will be blogging here once a week (usually Fridays) to update you all on our own personal creative journeys. Let’s get writing!

cheers!

LeeAnn and Jojo

DEADLY-SECRETS-COVERScreen Shot 2015-11-01 at 9.49.09 AMLeeAnn Lessard writes under the pen name Leeann Burke she is the author of the romantic suspense DEADLY SECRETS. She is also the Publisher of Lachesis Publishing. Connect with LeeAnn on facebook.

Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing

Connect with Joanna on twitter@JoannaDangelo, on facebook and on pinterestHer facebook page is: Love Romance Novels (on facebook) Her other blogs are: thepopculturedivas and therevolvingbook

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The Five Happiest Moments Of My Writing Career by Greg Ballan (science fiction thriller author)

Greg Ballan
Greg Ballan

Every writer has those special moments that mark his or her career. Whether big or small, they mean something special and will stay with them forever. Here are Greg Ballan’s Top 5 Happiest Moments of his Writing Career.

1. I glanced over at the clock on my monitor, it was three in the morning. I’d been wrestling with a database for work nearly five hours and getting nowhere. Saturday night (Actually early Sunday morning) was the only real quiet time I could find in our noisy household of two teenagers, a live in Mother-In-Law and a toddler that was on a reverse sleeping schedule. The stress of managing work/ home and adjusting to another child plus trying to find some motivation to finish a manuscript I’d begun was starting to weigh me down. After my horrible experience with a previous publishing enterprise, and the endless waiting to hear back from a publisher on my submitted manuscript continually had me on edge. I was at the point of throwing in the towel and giving up on writing completely.

41fXU5f2QSL._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_I was mentally exhausted and my eyelids felt like 400 grit sandpaper. I’d tackle this project after I grabbed a few hours of sleep. Out of habit I checked my E-mail one last time and there it was, sitting in my in box; that e-mail from LBF Publishing that I’d been waiting for yet dreading since I’d put all my hopes into this one basket. My mouse arrow hovered over that e-mail for a good thirty seconds as I worked up the courage and finally made that all important double click. My heart was beating like a trip hammer as the email opened, there were the words I’d only dreamt about. YES! LBF loved my story, they loved the setup and the concept. This final sentence was “Great job!” I felt fifty pounds of gloom melt off my shoulders and a sense of real pride, a publisher found merit in my work. I forwarded the e-mail to a few close associates who’d supported and encouraged me, telling them my dream had come true. A minute later I got an e mail back from my dear friend and author, Ed Williams. Congratulations you’re going to be a published author. I am so proud and happy for you.” I still have both e-mails and will never delete them. I value my friend’s wisdom. His guidance and encouragement was vital in making my book a success and the kind words of praise from Jackie, the publisher at LBF was the shot in the arm my sagging confidence needed. This was truly the happiest moment in my writing career – the night my manuscript was accepted by a real publisher. All the headaches and prior battles evaporated, I had taken the first step on what was to become a fantastic journey I’m still travelling.

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 1.15.00 PM2. The slight May breeze cooled the nervous sweat pouring from my scalp like a fountain. What in the hell was I doing at a Romance Writers convention? I had no business being here. I was about to meet my publisher face to face and some well known authors. I was a writer, yes, but not in league with the ladies I’d be meeting let alone meeting the people who actually brought my work to life.   I walked into the hotel and slowly walked up and down the corridor, “Greg?” I heard someone call out. My stomach lurched a bit, and I turned, it was Leeann Burke, my publisher.   I took a gulp of air, walked over whispering prayers, “God! PLEASE don’t let me make a jackass of myself or say something totally stupid,” which I have been known to do on occasion. I made it through the introduction without sounding like a moron . . . score one for me! I met Joanna D’Angelo, who was just as nice in person as in her e-mails. My mind puts voices to people as I read their e-mails, I had created a light, lilting tone for Joanna based on our back and forth e-mails and I was pleased to see I had come very close to her actual voice. We all boarded a shuttle and headed off to have dinner. Me, in the company of the Editor in Chief and CEO of Lachesis Publishing plus two very successful well published authors.

Despite my nerves the evening was amazing! Leanne and Joanna were simply spectacular; and talking with Hannah Howell was amazing. I was finally able to relax and enjoy the great company as we all laughed and conversed over several topics and Joanna served as the referee never letting the topics get too controversial or serious . . . I’ll never forget her catch phrase when things got potentially political; “Cats . . . let’s talk about cats!”   I had a wonderful evening and actually felt like I belonged. I felt like a real writer for the first time and that moment of realization was something I’ll always treasure. I also managed to grab a ‘selfie’ with Leanne on the way to dinner.

Viking warrior by michaeldaviniart
Viking warrior
by michaeldaviniart

3. I’d spent three years working on the “Lost Sons” (Viking warrior) project, my boldest undertaking so far, and an attempt to move beyond the characters of “Hybrid.” Lost Sons is a complex tale of intertwining characters and motivations, a character study of human nature embedded within a Science Fiction tale rather than the flat out action of Hybrid and Hybrid: Forced Vengeance. I wasn’t sure how my test readers would react to such a different type of story. I sent out the five hundred pages to my fifteen person test group and waited. After two days I got my first e-mail; “OMG! I Love this so far.” A few days later four other people weighed in on the story, all positive.  After a month of back and forth with my test group I had received favorable responses to my attempt at creating a ‘George R. R. Martinesque’ tale of depth and complexity. I took a risk and stretched my creative muscles and was rewarded by positive feedback from a very diverse and discerning group of readers.   I needed the validation and the reassurance that I could spin a complicated yarn that would make a reader pause and contemplate alternate possibilities in the evolution and development of humanity. I took a step out of my comfort zone and was rewarded with a well received story that will eventually make its way to the reading public.

hybrid-24. I was invited to be the guest of honor at a book club.   A family friend had recommended my second novel as the chosen read for his group. Since I lived in the next town over he decided it would be a huge bonus to have the author of their book in attendance. I graciously accepted the invitation; anyone who’d purchased twenty copies of my book at one time deserved an in-person thank you.

I arrived a bit late due to a case of nerves and found a crowd of people crammed around a long table, all with copies of Hybrid: Forced Vengeance. The books looked like they’d been through a war . . . littered with yellow sticky notes, curled covers and well worn bindings. This was a serious crowd! My friend had gone all out even serving my main character’s favorite foods which happened to be my favorites. I was seated at the head of the table and these people treated me like I was a celebrity. I spent a few minutes autographing books, shaking hands and even getting a hug or two. The book discussion began and I was amazed at how different people interpreted the saga of Erik Knight and what motivated him to act.   I listened intently as I scarfed down all of my favorite foods. I happily provided insight to the story as well as  my motivations for different scenes in the book and engaged each question that came my way. The group was thrilled to actually get the answers and insight from the author, something that usually didn’t occur during a book club meeting. Three hours passed quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting people who considered themselves ‘Fans’ of my work. I once again shook hands and exchanged some more hugs. I looked over at my friend and his wife – who were smiling from ear-to-ear. They said this was the best book club in years. I was glad for them but even happier for me; I saw firsthand how my words and tales had an impact on readers and how much deep insight the written word could invoke in people. I drove home feeling really good about the story and would always remember that night where I was a pseudo celebrity.

hybrid-500x7245. This is probably the most important moment for me personally as a writer, the completion of Hybrid: Armageddon’s Son. I take great pride in finishing another tale of Erik Knight but this story had a more personal significance. This story was a tribute to my father. I’ve made no secret that the character of Erik Knight is based on me in my early twenties and the character of Martin Denton is based on my father, James Ballan. I lost my father when I was twenty-four years old, he died suddenly and I never got the chance to tell him how important he was in my life or how honored I was to be his son. There’s a scene in Armageddon’s Son between Erik and Martin where they admit that they have a father and son type of relationship. Erik says the things to Martin that I wish I would have been able to say to my dad before he passed. In a way the scene is a tribute to my father and allows me the chance to say the things to my dad I never got to say when he was alive. There’s never perfect closure when a family member passes but in the dialogue between these two men who’ve shared so much, have such contrasting personalities yet complement each other, is my way of honoring my father. Seeing this scene in the pages of a book will be me paying a long lasting tribute to the man who taught me so much and will, without a doubt, be the happiest moment I’ll ever have as a writer.

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Question of the Week: What’s on your keeper shelf?

mister-mm_450This week we’ve been spotlighting JoMarie DeGioia a wonderful historical romance author who writes for Lachesis Publishing. Yesterday, JoMarie blogged about her favourite historical romances. Today we are asking the question: What’s on your keeper shelf? Tell us about one of your favourite books. A book that you love so much you can’t even begin to remember how many times you’ve read it.

I love romance novels, and I have a soft spot for historicals. I have many beloved books, but one of my favourites on my keeper shelf is ROMANCING MISTER BRIDGERTON by Julia Quinn (from the Bridgerton Family series. All the books in this series are yummy by the way.) The reason why I adore it is because the hero and heroine are friends and have known each other their entire lives. How do you go from that to a love story? Julia Quinn makes that happen so beautifully and seemingly effortlessly. Which is the mark of a damn good story – it reads as though it was plucked from the heavens and given to us to enjoy. I also love that the heroine has a job. In Regency England. I love that she’s not a raving beauty and isn’t physically perfect or petite or any of the qualities that heroines so often possess in historicals. I love that she supports the hero and wants his dreams to come true. I love that the hero sees her for who she truly is – from the inside out. This is what makes a wonderful, heart-stopping romance novel. At least in my book! So stop by and share what your favourite book is – romance or mystery or horror science fiction or literary fiction and tell us why? And you could win an e-copy ofPride and Fire by JoMarie DeGioia.

pride-and-fireJoMarie DeGioia is the author of the Dashing Nobles Series, which follows the love stories of four dashing gentlemen of the ton in Regency England.

You can get her books right here at Lachesis Publishing, or on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Itunes.

OUR DEAL OF THE WEEK is Pride and Fire by JoMarie DeGioia. (Regency Romance)

GET IT FOR .99 CENTS RIGHT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING. THIS WEEK ONLY.

CLICK HERE TO BUY.

Connect with JoMarie DeGioia online on her web site and on facebook and on twitter.

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Why I Re-released The Cupcake Coven by Ashlyn Chase (light paranormal romance author)

Cupcake Coven Cover-edit (2)

The Cupcake Coven (a new and improved version) has been RE-RELEASED!

YOU CAN PURCHASE THE CUPCAKE COVEN RIGHT HERE at Lachesis Publishing

 CLICK HERE TO BUY IT!

OR GET IT ON amazon, kobo, ARe and BookStrand and very soon on B&N.

Because I took down my self-published version of THE CUPCAKE COVEN and gave it to Lachesis Publishing (only because I’m a terrible business person, and would rather write more books than keep track of sales, distribution, etc.) B&N is making sure Lachesis has the right to republish it. It’s in their review process, so it will be up very soon.

I’m actually glad these outlets make sure our books are legit. I’ve heard about some unscrupulous imposters stealing book rights and republishing them under their own names. This is, of course, illegal. Copyright infringement carries a penalty of $250,000 and 5 years in jail. Don’t even think about it! Readers WILL contact the book sellers or authors to report when book they already read and loved has popped up again–usually with a different cover.

My cover is the same as before. Because it’s so unique I hope readers will recognize it as a book they’ve already bought. Although, if they want to buy the new version too, I won’t be upset. (wink)
I love the new book. I paid for an editor before, but my new Lachesis Publishing editor did an even better job

That’s why I’ve decided I love traditional publishing instead of Indie publishing. I have a whole new appreciation for all the work a publisher does for me, and they take the financial risk! Yes, I give up some of the royalties, but as far as I’m concerned, they earn their share.