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My Top Five Favorite Romances for Valentine’s Day by Patricia Barletta (romance author)

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.04.38 PMEveryone has their own favorite romances, and everyone has their own favorite romance genres. For me, it’s historical romance. There’s something about reading a love story set in the past that adds a bit more fantasy and glamor. I’ve always been fascinated by history, not so much the political side, but the sociological side, learning how people actually lived long ago. The swish of silk petticoats, the flash of a steel blade, and the soft shadows of candlelight make my imagination run wild. I’m a pushover for a hunk in tight breeches and boots. Reading and writing about two people falling in love in a historical setting just seems to fit. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to share five of my all-time favorite historical romances, and not in any particular order.

52Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. How can you not fall in love with Mr. Darcy, the wealthy, handsome, shy and pompous, but ultimately honorable catch for all the single women of the neighborhood? The book wasn’t written as a historical novel, so the language and social mores are contemporary to Austen (which also makes it a good research tool for writers). Lizzie’s strength of character could make even twenty-first century women stand up and cheer. And Darcy’s desire to protect her family’s reputation despite their ditzyness and stupidity would make any woman melt. No wonder it’s still so popular after two centuries.

6459042-MMoonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain. Lady Sabrina Verrick turns highwayman in order to support her family and ensure that her younger brother grows up to inherit his Scottish title after they are forced to flee the British. But when she robs the devilishly handsome Lucien, Duke of Camareigh, she realizes she has twisted Satan’s tail, for he won’t rest until he’s caught the thief. I liked that Sabrina is a woman who defies society’s rules to fight for what she loves. And Lucien learns some valuable lessons from the sweet temptress who steals more than his jewels.

Shanna-1Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Although I loved Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower, I think Shanna is my favorite of all her novels. It’s a tale of a bold young woman who weds a prisoner of Newgate in order to free herself from the dictates of her father: find an aristocrat to wed or he would find one for her. When she abandons the hunky convict Ruark to the gallows, she doesn’t expect him to escape and come after her to demand his marital rights. The story starts in London, but most of the chase takes place on a Carribean island, and includes swashbuckling pirates, tropical seas, and sultry nights. Oh my!

692959Silk and Shadows by MaryJo Putney. Mysterious, devastatingly handsome, incredibly wealthy Peregrine (whose real name is Mikhail) has come to London from an exotic land to seek revenge for a wrong done to him twenty-five years ago when he was a boy of ten. I loved this hero from the first page. Lady Sara St. James, already betrothed, is part of his plan, for the man to whom she is promised is Peregine’s mark. But Sara is no retiring young miss, for she is intelligent and educated and older than most single women looking to marry. Her high principles and Peregrine’s lack of them in his pursuit for revenge make for a rousing, sensuous read.

3052626Highland Velvet by Jude Devereaux. Nineteen-year-old Bronwyn MacArran is the leader of her Scottish clan. When she is promised to a stranger by the English king, he is four days late for the wedding, so she sets her sights on another handsome face. But the knight Stephen Montgomery, her intended, doesn’t like losing what he’s been promised, so he jousts for her and wins, only to have Bronwyn hate him for winning, for being English, . . . and for being a man. It’s the Scots against the English, both out on the moors and in the bedroom, with a dash of intrigue and underhanded conniving thrown in. I loved Bronwyn’s feistiness, and Stephen is an honorable medieval knight to die for.

There are so many great historical romances out there, and fabulous authors who write them, like Eileen Dryer, Shana Abé, Laura Kinsale, Judith McNaught, Karen Robards, Hannah Howell, Laura Navarre, Patricia Grasso, Loretta Chase, and Joanna Shupe, just to name a few. I had a really hard time narrowing down my list to just five, so I went back to my keeper shelf, where I put books before the Kindle was even a spark in Amazon’s eye, and before Jeff Bezos came up with the idea to sell books online. Even before there was the internet. But some stories are timeless.

Moon Dark
Moon Dark

Here’s a disclaimer: Some of these roguish heroes aren’t politically correct. Except for P&P, the romances were written during the late seventies, eighties, and early nineties, when romance readers had different expectations. So if you pick up one of these stories, keep that in mind. And get lost in the passions of the past. Happy reading!

Patricia Barletta writes historical romance with paranormal elements. Her first release with Lachesis Publishing is MOON DARK and it’s the first in a new and exciting series called the AURIANO CURSE SERIES. You can buy it here at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, kobo, Barnes and Noble.

Find out more about Patricia Barletta and her books on her website:

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Top 10 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important for Authors by Joanna D’Angelo


You either love them or hate them. But every author needs them. BOOK REVIEWS. Here’s my TOP 10 LIST of WHY BOOK REVIEWS ARE IMPORTANT FOR AUTHORS.

1. Book Reviews help spread word of mouth about your book. They can get people talking, buzzing, and singing your praises. And word of mouth can translate into sales. So how do you get reviews? Well, you can ask other authors who have lots of reviews HOW THEY GET THEIR REVIEWS. You can GOOGLE: How to get book reviews . . . and peruse the more than 1 BILLION HITS that are ONLINE. Chances are, if you’ve thought of it – then MILLIONS and MILLIONS of OTHER PEOPLE have thought of it too. AND WROTE ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES on the INTERNET. You can ask family and friends. You can build a “STREET TEAM” either by yourself or with fellow authors and ask your team members to write reviews. (BTW you generally have to give your Team jewelry and swag and bake them cookies or take them out for a nice dinner and a movie or other nice stuff to thank them for all the promo they do on your behalf). You can ask fellow authors (do an exchange). You offer up your book FOR FREE in exchange for an HONEST review. You contact ALL the review sites out there, and by contact, I mean, follow up MANY TIMES so they actually get around to doing the review. You can pay for them. Yup, there are plenty of online sites that will do book reviews for a fee. Both RT and Publisher’s Weekly offer Paid Reviews on their sites. But guess what? Just because you pay for it doesn’t mean the review will be STELLAR. You pay for the SPACE. You don’t pay for the OPINION.


2. The more book reviews you get the more traffic your book has online and the easier it is for your publisher (or you if you are self-pubbed) to get those all important promo slots like Book Bub. Even though those promo slots are paid advertising they are VERY COMPETITIVE to get. Sales are important but reviews indicate traffic on sites like Amazon – and book promotion sites ALWAYS look at those. In fact many demand a MINIMUM number of reviews before they will EVEN consider you. So if you whine and complain why your publisher hasn’t purchased any BOOK BUBS or other BIG promo ops, THE REASON IS because you don’t have enough reviews and traffic.


3. Even mediocre or bad reviews help sell your book. At the end of the day, they are just ONE PERSON’S opinion after all. Even if your sister’s best friend gave you a harsh 1-or-2-star-rating or your Great Aunt Matilda gave you a so-so 3-star-rating on Amazon, it’s still worth while. Why? Because it balances all the 4-star and 5-star ratings you will get from other people. You need balance. Even the most popular, best-selling authors get 2-and-3-star reviews on THEIR BOOKS. If they didn’t get those not-so-great reviews then readers (or potential readers) will start to wonder about you THE AUTHOR. Are all those reviews legit? The same goes for ANY product that’s for sale. So, a few dud-reviews will help the average browser make their mind up without having to question if you have a huge extended family or if you got all those 5-star reviews by NEFARIOUS MEANS.


4. Reviews for a current release help you sell future releases. Yup. Readers who bought your book, liked it and reviewed it are letting you know that they are either established fans of your work or new fans who might very well pre-order your next book.

5. Reviews help to build your AUTHOR BRAND. The more reviews you get, the more buzz is out there about you and your books, the more people will NOTICE you. The more your NAME gets on people’s RADAR. The more they will SEEK YOU OUT online, or Google you, or visit your website, or click on that follow button on Amazon,  or sign up for your newsletter, or Like your page on facebook.

6. Reviews help you get noticed by other authors or publishers or agents. If you are self-pubbed they could land you a deal or an agent IF THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. Reviews might also get you noticed by a REALLY COOL bestselling author who is looking for contributors for her/his next anthology? Which will then lead to even more exposure and who knows, even a new BFF. Got it?

7. Reviews can help us gauge what the “market” wants and what your READERS want. Okay, this is tricky. You’re a writer. You want to write what is important to you and what YOU ARE interested in. But your reviews might be a good way to figure out what YOUR READERS are interested in. And the reviews might help you SEE if your current series is working or what direction you might go next. Are they gobbling up your time-traveling-police-detective-vampire series? Do most of the reviews say: I CAN’T WAIT FOR BOOK 10. DON’T STOP WRITING THIS SERIES. THIS IS MY FAVOURITE SERIES EVER!!! Or I LIKE THIS TIME-TRAVELING COP BUT VAMPIRES ARE SOOOOO “ROBB PATTINSON AND KRISTEN STEWART”.  It’s a good way to get a sense of which way the wind is blowing


8. Reviews keep you humble. Yes, there are some really sucky reviews out there and some downright HATEFUL ones where you have to wonder if the reviewer actually read your book or is just OUT TO GET YOU or if it’s a jealous writer who secretly hates your guts and wants to POOP all over your 252 5-STAR REVIEWS. But sometimes, reviewers just might offer up some VALID points that can IMPROVE your writing. As writers we should always be HONING our craft. Getting better. Paying attention to what people have to say in a legitimate (not hurtful) way.

9. Reviews can toughen your skin. This is NECESSARY. Being in an “artistic” business can be ROUGH because EVERYONE things they’re a critic. And SOOOOO many people THINK that they can EASILY do what YOU do. If I had a buck, for every time I heard someone say they would EASILY rattle off a ROMANCE NOVEL, I could buy a new car. So BRING. IT. ON.

10. Reviews can put a BIG SMILE on your face. Tim Horton’s has run out of chocolate-chip muffins. Your heroine needs to get a backbone. Your dog just peed on your new rug. Your kids are home sick from school. Your car broke down. Your roast chicken “was just a tad dry” according to your Mother-In-Law. Yup. It’s happening. You are having a DAY FROM HELL. Then you go online and read a few really lovely reviews and SUDDENLY, your day is perfect.

But don’t make reading your reviews a habit. OR YOU WILL NEVER GET ANY WRITING DONE!

Cheers and Happy Writing!


Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing. She loves chai tea, social media, and good writing. 

Connect with Joanna on twitter@JoannaDangelo, on facebook and on pinterest.

Her facebook page is: Love Romance Novels (on facebook)

Her other blogs are: thepopculturedivas and therevolvingbook

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DEAL OF THE WEEK: Weekends by Lindy S. Hudis (mystery suspense)

WEEKENDS COVER 2OUR LACHESIS PUBLISHING DEAL OF THE WEEK is Weekends by Lindy S. Hudis (mystery suspense)

Buy it at Lachesis Publishing for only .99 cents this week!


An innocent-sounding family reunion at an exclusive California beach resort turns into a weekend of murder, deceit, exposed secrets and unexpected intimate encounters.

John Peterson has it all: He’s a respected, successful Beverly Hills entertainment lawyer with a loving wife and grown son, the strikingly handsome young film director Joe Peterson. John also has a secret and he decides to gather his disparate family members at the elegant Hotel Del Moor in picturesque Linda Bella, California for some luxurious fun, togetherness and re-connecting before revealing his secret. Unbeknownst to the family, a brutal serial killer is lurking in the midst of all the wondrous festivities.


The man woke up next to victim number twenty. He had tied her firmly to the bedpost by her wrists and ankles, then passed out. She was nude, her eyes red from crying, her face had a petrified look on it. Her nose was also swollen and bloody from the repeated blows to the face.

He met her at a local watering hole. She said her name was Lisa, and she was beautiful – just the type. The man smiled, nodded, and feigned interest in her pathetic little life. As she was babbling on and on about how she was an aspiring actress, he reached in his front, right pocket and pulled out his trusty pills. He plopped them into her drink when she wasn’t looking. He sat back counting the minutes until the drug took effect.

Getting her out to a taxicab was so easy, the cab driver just figured she was some drunk bar slut, and she was. The man ordered the cab to take them a sleazy, roach infested motel in Alphabet City, a seedy neighborhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Once there, he took the young woman, tied her up, and raped her until the sun came up. As she started to come to, and realize what was going on, she started to cry out for help. In New York, a woman can scream and scream until her face turns blue – nobody would ever come. That was the beauty of all this, the man thought. Just in case she did holler, he duct-taped her mouth shut.

Now it was morning, and the man was bored. He got up, showered, and dressed. The woman looked at him, frightened and confused, as he pulled his jeans on. He checked his watch and realized he needed to move quickly. “See ya.” He sneered at her, and promptly walked out the door, leaving her tied and helpless. The man had a plane to catch.

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You can purchase Weekends at Lachesis Publishing for .99 cents or on amazon for only .89 cents.

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authors, blog post, erotic romance, erotica, Lachesis Author Guest Blog

How my rock groupie days turned into a book by Lindy S. Hudis (erotica and mystery author)


Lindy S. Hudis in 1987 (worked as a professional model)
Lindy S. Hudis in 1987 (worked as a professional model)

Today, I want to touch on my Lachesis upcoming release, “Backstage Pass”. It is the third installment of my erotica series, “Devon and Desiree”. I am sure you can surmise what the subject matter is from the title, but I will clarify with juicy details anyway.

I came-of-age in the ’80s. It was a decadent, wild and exciting time, especially for a rebellious teen-age girl like I was. I had an intense fascination with the heavy metal “hair bands” such as Motley Crue, Def Leppard, and Quiet Riot. I found the music to be passionate, loud and defiant, which is what being a teen is all about. The rockers were rebels, very cool and super sexy! As a teenage girl, I was in awe of their larger than life personas, especially when they performed on stage.

Motley Cru in their heyday Image:
Motley Cru in their heyday Image:

My friends and I used to attend heavy metal/hair band concerts, and we would often get invited backstage by the roadies and/or crew. (No! We did not give any sexual favors for our backstage passes! We just simply presented ourselves at the right place and the right time!)

A young Angus Young (AC/DC) image:
A young Angus Young (AC/DC) image:

My friend Rachel was in love with Angus Young of AC/DC and we got backstage and met him. My other friend Michelle was in love with Vince Neil of Motley Crue, and we got backstage and met him, Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx. (They were all very cool, actually.)


It was a fun and crazy time. Everything was accessible, not so in today’s world.

My upcoming novella “Backstage Pass” was about MY crush, and meeting the object of MY teen-age fantasies. No names shall be mentioned! (You will just have to guess!)

“Backstage Pass” was inspired by actual events that really happened to me in the winter of 1985 when I was seventeen. As I stated before, I will not name names to protect the no-longer-innocent, but let me assure you it was a lovestruck teenage girl’s dream come true. How many girls get to meet, and make out with, their teen-age rock star crush?

The Mid-South Coliseum Image:
The Mid-South Coliseum Image:

Without giving too much of my story away, let me briefly recount the unbelievable and amazing events of that cold, January night at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee. My crush was the lead guitarist of the band we were going to see. Their posters were plastered on my bedroom wall, my locker at school. I kept pictures of him in a keepsake box my night stand. (What can I say, I was a teenager in “love!)

Lindy S. Hudis today - still a rock goddess :)
Lindy S. Hudis today – still a rock goddess 🙂

My friend and I managed to get up to the front row. I tossed a teddy bear onto the stage and got his attention. I blew him a kiss, he gave me a “thumbs-up” gesture. To make a long and tantalizing story short, my friend and I got backstage passes and met him in the hospitality room.

He was friendly, down-to-earth and very, very cute! We chatted a few minutes, then went for a walk. We wound up making out in his dressing room!

I know what you all want to know! Did we do IT? Nah! I was from a very strict, religious family (most likely the reason for my rebellion) and losing my virginity to a rock star would have ruined my reputation at the conservative, Christian private high school my parents forced me to attend. However, it was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life, until then at least!

A few days later, I received an enormous bouquet of red roses with a card that said “To my favorite fan”. Did he send flowers to every girl he ever met? Who knows? But he certainly made ME feel special.

On a sad note, he and I met up a few years ago (we reconnected on Facebook). He’s become quite bitter in his “older age”. His band never scaled the heights of super-stardom, they were more a “one-hit-wonder” type. He also didn’t seem to remember me. I really didn’t expect him to, but it was sad to see what he’d become just the same. I will still cherish those memories, even if they have been somewhat tarnished.

SM-CLUB-COVERMile-High-Club-1400x2100-500x724Inspired by those fun, free-wheeling days, I decided to write about them in a short story. I just want to make it very clear –  story has been embellished for erotic and dramatic purposes (wink)!!

You can get Lindy’s books at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, and kobo and iBooks

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Reading gives us hope . . .

We certainly believe that books give us hope. Telling stories keeps us connected in our humanity. And that is what makes books so precious. Happy Reading!

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The Book That Hooked You: Q and A with Sara Humphreys (paranormal romance author)

Author Sara Humphreys
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!

DarkPrinceAndTwilightTake 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.

51yUGe4gFHL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_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?

519fzSGfRAL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_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.

19291332Tell 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.13629778-202x300

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!

sarahs-angels31What 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.

51NkiYqTiGL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_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!
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.

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DEAL OF THE WEEK: A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison Bruce (light romantic suspense)

A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison BruceOur DEAL OF THE WEEK is  A Bodyguard to Remember by Alison Bruce – a romantic suspense with a light touch. GET IT HERE FOR .99 CENTS! THIS WEEK ONLY!



Prudence Hartley has the usual single mom problems: getting her kids to school on time; juggling a gazillion errands while trying to get a full day’s work done; oh, and don’t forget about dinner.

But Pru’s problems become a tad more complicated and a lot more dangerous when she finds a dead man in her house. Or a dead spy to be exact. Suddenly, a federal agent named David Merrick shows up and whisks her and her kids into protective custody. Pru has so many questions spinning through her brain she doesn’t know where to begin. How is she going to keep her kids safe? What was the dead spy looking for in her house? Why are the spies after her? Oh, and there’s one more question . . . just a pesky, minor thing. Why does Merrick have to be so damn sexy and protective?


Maybe he was just doing his job, but Sergeant Merrick was my hero. He coordinated the paramedics, police, ambulance attendants, and an intrepid reporter who came running when three ambulances, an EMT truck from the fire department and half a dozen police cruisers congregated at the hotel. More importantly, at least to me, he calmed Hope and Boone, assuring them that their mother was fine, even if she was sitting with her head between her knees, holding a bloody towel. He got them clear of the chaos and made sure they got safely to their father’s with a police escort.

“I’ll have a uniformed officer stay with them overnight.” he assured.

Once they were away, Merrick signalled the next set of ambulance attendants to help me onto a stretcher.

“We meet again.”

I focussed on the speaker. It took me a moment, but I connected the dots. He checked on us the night before.

“Bob,” he said, in case I forgot.

I nodded. “I remember.”

“It looks like you were wrong,” he said as he helped me onto the stretcher. “Bullet wounds are catching.”

Flashing his badge, Merrick managed to get to us shortly after we arrived at the hospital. He made sure Zeke and I were kept together and stayed with us, even after repeatedly being told by the attending nurses to leave. Then, when we were alone, Merrick asked the big question. “What happened?”

I knew what he was really asking.

“Why didn’t I hide in the bathroom with Hope and Boone? You think I didn’t lock the door properly, but I put the security bar on and everything. I called you as soon as I could. What took you so long?”

I took a dive off the edge of rationality into the deep end of guilt and second-guessing. I burst into tears. I hate it when that happens.

“Give her a break, Sarge,” said Zeke, raising himself up on his good elbow. “She saved my life.”

Merrick, who had taken my outburst calmly, raised an eyebrow.

“Well,” Zeke temporised, “she intended to save my life. She couldn’t know that I had moved out of the line of fire.” He tried to sit up. “I know, I never should have been in his line of fire in the first place . . . probably should stick to the backroom stuff . . .”

In the midst of my sobbing and Zeke’s self-flagellation, Merrick told us to calm down.

Big mistake. That might have worked on Zeke. Don’t know. Wasn’t paying attention. For me, it was like waving a red cape in front of a bull. All my fear and guilt transformed into anger directed at him. I grabbed him by the shirt-front and pulled myself up with the strength that comes with hysteria.

“I’m not a cop. I’m a mother,” I shouted, hopping bare footed onto the cold floor. “I didn’t hide with my children because I figured that whoever it was, they were looking for me. If they found me, they wouldn’t go looking for my kids too. I didn’t know if you’d get there in time to stop Hope and Boone from becoming hostages and I wasn’t going to risk it. I wasn’t going to risk Zeke dying either and I would have done the same for you.”

I spoke in a rush, losing volume and air as I went, losing momentum as I realized the attention I was drawing. Not one of my shining moments.

I started to collapse. I tried to steady myself using my handhold on Merrick’s shirt. He grabbed my shoulders to brace me. He didn’t lose his cool for an instant.

“Call a nurse,” he told Zeke. “She’s bleeding.”

I gave a choke of laughter. There were at least two nurses, an orderly, and three men in uniform ranged behind Merrick.

My vision got blurry. I blinked to clear it, refocused, and noticed that Merrick was wearing red and green plaid pyjamas. I let go of his top and smoothed out the soft material.

“Flannel,” I said, and passed out.

Like what you’ve read so far? You can get your copy of  A Bodyguard to Remember at Lachesis Publishing as well as amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.


Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. In addition to writing, she is the Publication Manager of Crime Writers of Canada and part-time tech guru to the technology-impaired.

Alison writes mysteries, romantic suspense and historical romance. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations and to learn from adversity–traits she hopes to pass on to her children, Kate and Sam.

You can connect with Alison Bruce on her website and on facebook and twitter.

You can get your copy of  A Bodyguard to Remember at Lachesis Publishing FOR ONLY .99 CENTS. THIS WEEK ONLY. You can also purchase your copy at amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

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Fun Friday: Books and stairs make great pairs!

Don’t you just love finding cool places to shelve your books?












stairs-made-into-bookshelves-16We love the idea of turning your stairs into book shelves. So cool. And very eye-catching. Not to mention a great use of “dead space”.

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The Revolving Book: Q and A with Tule Publishing (romance fiction) (small publisher)

logo-topWe’re so excited about our new ongoing series here at Lachesis Publishing featuring interviews with professionals in the publishing industry. We’ll be chatting with editors, agents, publishers, PR people, cover artists, book reviewers, librarians, author assistants, and more! Our first Q and A is with the wonderful folks at Tule Publishing. Our Q and A today features the Tule Team and author C.J. Carmichael who is one of the founding authors of Tule Publishing.

Three of Tule Founding Authors (from left) Megan Crane, Jane Porter, C.J. Carmichael
Three of Tule Founding Authors (from left) Megan Crane, Jane Porter, C.J. Carmichael

How did the concept of Tule Publishing come about? Where did the name Tule come from? And when did it launch?

Tule Team: Tule was founded by authors, for authors, in the hopes of putting writers at the forefront of their publishing careers. The founding author, Jane Porter, named the company after the valley in central California where she was raised.

C.J.: I was one of the first authors Jane contacted about writing for Tule, along with the fabulously talented Lillian Darcy and Megan Crane. We had in mind starting out with stories about cowboys, in a Montana setting, so clearly a road trip was in order. The four of us met at my family cottage on Flathead Lake and then drove down to Livingston, Montana and Paradise Valley. Lillian, Megan, Jane and I fit perfectly into my medium sized sedan. I’m sorry to say our luggage was another matter . . .

Cover_Porter_TakeMe-314x450The end result of our time together was the birth of the Montana Born imprint, the fictional town of Marietta, and four “Copper Mountain Rodeo” novellas—the first stories ever published by Tule. (And, by the way, Jane’s novella, Take Me Cowboy, won a RITA for best novella in 2014.)

What kinds/genre of books do you publish and do you do both print and ebook? Where are your books distributed?

Tule Team: Tule Publishes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and we are acquiring additional subgenres of romance including paranormal, historical, erotica, and light inspirational for 2016. Tule is a digital first publisher and select titles are available as print-on-demand. Our Cover_Carmichael_PromiseMe_REBRANDED-300x450books are distributed through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, and Smashwords.

C.J.: I’m happy to say the Montana Born imprint remains a reader favorite. All the books I’ve written for Tule have been for this imprint. If any aspiring Tule authors out there love writing heartwarming romance in a western setting, this may be the area you should target.

Tell us about the Tule Publishing team. Who are the folks at Tule?

The Tule Editorial Team: (From left) Danielle Rayner, Lindsey Stover, and Meghan Farrell
The Tule Editorial Team: (From left) Danielle Rayner, Lindsey Stover, and Meghan Farrell

Tule Team:The Tule Publishing team consists of Jane Porter, founder and CEO, Sinclair Sawhney, senior editor, Lee Hyat, art and design, Meghan Farrell, managing editor, Lindsey Stover, marketing and editorial manager, Danielle Rayner, editorial assistant, and Shevawn Maida, head of finance.

C.J.: As a founding author I sit on the Advisory Board for Tule, which means I contribute ideas on the strategic planning level. (It also means I occasionally get to leave chilly Calgary for a few days and travel to sunny California.)

instaHow many authors are on your roster? Who are some of your authors? In addition to established authors, do you also publish new or emerging authors?

Tule Team: Tule has published books by over 60 authors of both previously published writers as well as debut authors. Some of our authors include: Jane Porter, Megan Crane, C. J. Carmichael, Lilian Darcy, Kelly Hunter, Sarah Mayberry, Carole Mortimer, Carol Marinelli, Jackie Ashenden, and Katherine Garbera. We are very excited about our newest debut author, Susan Sands, whose first novel came out with Tule this past June.

C.J.: The Tule author roster is one of the most supportive, friendly and fun-loving group of authors I’ve ever worked with. And that attitude filters down from Jane, whose first concern is making authors feel valued and supported.

Montana Born (Tule Imprint)
Montana Born (Tule Imprint)

What is your submission process? Do you also take pitches at conferences? Which conferences does Tule attend?

Tule Team: We do take submissions and we ask that writers:

Familiarize themselves with our imprints.

Select the imprint they are submitting for.

Southern Born (Tule Imprint)
Southern Born (Tule Imprint)

Send us their bio (with links to any websites or social media you have).

Send us a synopsis of their book and a first chapter.

We don’t require that they have an agent, but if they do, send us their contact information and we can forward a copy of our author contract.

The desired word length for a novella is 30,000-40,000 words. For a single title, it is 45,000-90,000 words.

When ready, send submissions to:

Holiday (Tule Imprint)
Holiday (Tule Imprint)

Tule does take pitches at many conferences we attend. Some examples are: Book Expo America, Emerald City Writers Conference, RWA US, Australia, and New Zealand, the London Book Fair, California Dreamin’ Writers Conference.

C.J.: Those Tule editors do get around, even to such exotic locales as Calgary. Just last week Danielle Rayner was at our When Words Collide Festival talking about Tule and taking pitches.

What were some of the greatest challenges that Tule faced in the beginning? How did you overcome them?

Tule Team: A great challenge Tule faced was outsourcing many of our duties to outside vendors as the team tried to navigate the digital market. The bulk of production, marketing, and design are all now in house. Another challenge was predicting and acclimating to the changing digital landscape.

Cover_Crane_AGameOfBrides-306x450CJ: Tule offers something unique to the author—the opportunity to dip your toe in the Indie Publishing business without having to learn all the ins-and-outs of cover design, formatting and distributing to digital platforms, not to mention finding appropriate substantive and copy editors to ensure the superior quality of their stories. As an extra bonus, Tule authors become members of a supportive group of writers who share knowledge and cross-promote generously for one another.

When someone says “small publisher” what does that mean to you?

Tule Team: A publisher that does everything a major house would do, but on a smaller scale. We publish 8-15 titles per month with a staff of seven in-house members.

Cover_Darcy_TheSweetestThingC.J.: Rather than trying to be everything to every writer or every reader out there, Tule knows where it’s strength is—and focuses on that. You can see that commitment to quality in their book covers. I think they’re among the most appealing in the business. I also appreciate the effort the Tule Team goes to in order to ensure the author is happy with her title and her book cover.

What can we look forward to from Tule in the next two years?

Tule Team: More amazing books by talented authors! Our goal is to publish the best commercial fiction out there, and we look forward to expanding our reach into different subgenres of romance. 

C.J.: As for me, I plan to continue writing with Tule as long as they let me, and to build my own series within the Montana Born Imprint. Since I love writing engaging, heartwarming stories, in small town settings, it’s a perfect fit for me!

Debut author Susan Sands
Debut author Susan Sands

What advice can you give aspiring authors who are looking to get published?

Tule Team: Don’t give up. Keep writing, and keep submitting not only to publishers but to writing contests as another way to get your work noticed and in front of readers and editors. Write what you love, and build a social media presence now, while you’re trying to get published!

C.J.: Read books from the various Imprints that Tule offers. Figure out where your voice fits.

What kind of author is Tule looking for?

Tule Team: An author who can write a great story, has a unique voice and understands what the romance reader is looking for. An author who is willing to put themselves out there and understands the trials and rewards of the ever changing publishing market.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00050]C.J.: It’s a definite plus if a writer has a strong social media presence and is willing to work supportively with
the other Tule authors. Also, if you happen to have an idea for a great series…pitch that as well as the individual story. I’ve had a lot of readers tell me they love my Carrigans of the Circle C novels, for instance.

Thanks to the Tule Publishing Team and author C.J. Carmichael for joining us today! 

For more info about Tule Publishing you can go to their website, connect with Tule Publishing on facebook. Find Tule Publishing on instagram. Follow Tule Publishing on twitter.

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Jessica Penot is a psychologist and a therapist who writes horror and paranormal fiction

THE ACCIDENTAL WITCH COVERCirce-Jessica-PenotAs the author of Circe and The Accidental Witch, I have integrated many similar thematic elements into my work.  The biggest thing my books have in common is that they are about psychologists that are pulled into supernatural situations.  This is because I am a practicing therapist with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. Although my career hasn’t been as straight forward as my protagonists, I draw much of my character inspiration from my work.

Searcy State Hospital, in Alabama, now closed.
Searcy State Hospital, in Alabama, now closed.

In The Accidental Witch, my heroine is a psychologist working at a small inpatient psychiatric facility in rural Alabama. I wrote this book while I was working at Crestwood Behavioral Health in Huntsville, Alabama. Many of the situations Phaedra finds herself in are inspired by situations I found myself in at Crestwood. Although I am careful to keep the confidentiality of all my patients safe, I do use my experiences in my practice to inspire me. In Circe, my protagonist is Eric Black, A psychologist working at a haunted state psychiatric hospital in Southern Alabama. I drew my inspiration for Circe from working at Searcy State Hospital outside of Mobile, Alabama. The Hospital shares the same tortured history as the hospital in Circe and its haunted past continues to fascinate me to this day.

Tree of Life Behavorial Health (Alabama)
Tree of Life Behavorial Health (Alabama)

Recently,I opened my own clinic in Alabama. Tree of Life Behavioral Health has been my dream for a very long time.  It is a small clinic that offers sliding scale services for patients that can’t otherwise afford mental health care.  I base what the patient pays on what they can afford and am able to help the very patient population that Phaedra had to use magic to help in The Accidental Witch.  I work with another counselor and with my husband, our physician, and every day we feel we are able to make a difference in people’s lives.  Even my husband has said that there is no way you can work in this environment and not be inspired. I deeply love what I do and I can’t deny that Tree of Life Behavioral Health will probably appear somewhere in one of my next books.  Phaedra may even find her way into opening a practice of her own in my next book in that series and that practice may resemble the work I am doing now. My work is my inspiration and Tree of Life is the best inspiration I have had yet.

Image from The Tree of Life Behavorial Health Alabama website
Image from The Tree of Life Behavorial Health Alabama website

Find out more about Tree of Life Behavioral from the website or on facebook.  

Jessica Penot is the author of the paranormal The Accidental Witch, and the horror novel, Circe. Her books are scary and delve into the world of witchcraft but also the psychology of the human mind.

SPECIAL DEAL OF THE WEEK! You can buy Jessica Penot’s THE ACCIDENTAL WITCH right here at Lachesis Publishing for only .99 cents. You can also get it for this week only at .99 cents (or less) at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Kobo.

Connect with Jessica Penot online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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