Sunday 31 March 2013

Sneak-Peek-Sunday again!


Hello! My apologies for skipping off to do fun activities last weekend which made me miss my Sneak-Peek-Sunday slot! It's now time again for more of these great little snippets in the Sneak-Peek-Sunday blog hop.

Today I've got more of Nara and Lorcan from The Beltane Choice. Here are the next 6 paragraphs...

 This continues from the last posting of the 17th March...

She hoped her defiance betrayed none of her actual feelings, since it was absurd she felt a craving for his touch. His presence behind her she could not ignore for the heat emanating from his powerful body scorched her. It galled that any contact from this warrior so easily stirred her. 

“Keep moving.”

Braving a glance behind her eyes connected with his. Though he held a potent fascination, he was not the best-looking man she had ever encountered. The tight, shuttered expression on Lorcan’s face annoyed her now. It seemed he no longer found anything about her tempting if the grim set of his lips was anything to go by. She stalked ahead which only yanked on the leash, drawing her back to him, yet it made no impression on her captor. His grip remained as tight as it had started out.

Nara blocked him from her mind. Any attraction would fade if she willed it so. During the last two moons she could have taken a warrior of Tarras as her lover. Some of the men of her home hill fort had been handsome enough, but she had not done so. No warrior had stirred her passion with just a look like Lorcan had done. Nobody at Tarras had even gained a single kiss from her…

The disappointment of not finding a mate at Tarras hurt badly, but the most discomforting thing was none of the men of her hill fort had made any determined attempts to woo her. Her lack of desirability to them was a bitter taste to swallow since feeling unattractive was not pleasant. Neither did being a prisoner. 

“Must you push me so fast? You make me stumble and fall.” 

I hope you enjoyed this little snippet! Please let me know what you think. 

Hop on over now to the other blogs participating in  

Buy The Beltane Choice from:


Since it's a  holiday weekend I've chosen 2 winners from yesterday's post. 

**Congratulations** to Jae Hall and Tiffany N. York. 
An ecopy of TAKE ME NOW is winging its way to you!

Thank you everyone who posted a comment - your participation is much appreciated.!


Saturday 30 March 2013

Flying FREE! Take Me Now ...

Hello everyone!

It's the end of the month again and FREEbie time!  In honour of my recent 39th Wedding Anniversary (29th March) I'm offering an ecopy of my fun, sensual romance - TAKE ME NOW - to one lucky commenter. 

Aela Cameron flies Nairn Malcolm to many exciting places in the world during the course of the story, in floatplane and jet. From Nairn's Scottish island base she transports him to London, Paris, Barcelona, Tallinn... Oman... even the Caribbean -  and along the way finds the saboteur who is causing him and his Adventure Sports businesses havoc.

Where would you like her to fly him to?  

To enter the draw for a *FREE* copy of this fun romance all you need to do, after you read the rest of the post, is leave me a comment in the comments box telling me where you would like Aela to fly Nairn to. 

Here's the jist of the story:

Nairn Malcolm’s looking for the impossible. He needs a highly skilled, enterprising aide who’ll be at his beck and call 24/7. No ordinary Jane Doe will do. He doesn’t expect the only candidate who drops in at his Scottish castle for an interview to be so competent…or so stunning.

Aela Cameron’s got exactly the right mix of talents to satisfy all Nairn Malcolm’s needs, and more. She loves the jobs he needs done, adores his castle, and finds his frenetic lifestyle energising. But she’s only looking for temporary: not to fall in love with the man.

Can Nairn convince Aela she’s tailor-made for him in every way…and not a passing fancy?

****  A few days ago TAKE ME NOW received this great review on 

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Funny--a great romance set in Scotland March 27, 2013
By Miss_Snark Format:Paperback
"Take Me Now" is a fun contemporary romance set in Scotland, a swift-paced story with humorous moments that will leave the reader laughing and sighing. All in all, the story has an amazing setting. Nancy Jardine does a wonderful job of transporting the audience to Scotland with breathtaking descriptions of the landscape. The author does a great job with dialogue, bringing the brogue of our hero to life within the reader's imagination.

Nairn Malcolm is a wounded hero. Literally. The story kicks off following a motorcycle accident that left the poor man with broken limbs and ribs, not to mention a concussion rendering him almost nonsensical. His mental incapacity leads to some of the funniest moments in the book, right in the opening chapters. Nairn starts off cagey, an "ogre" in Aela's words, and the reader proceeds with a mental image of Shrek that proves rather apt. (Except, our handsome Scotsman is not, in fact, green.) However, his disposition improves as the story progresses and he gradually demonstrates that he has a sense of humor and a caring nature, in addition to being an absolute hunk......"Take Me Now" is an enjoyable read for those who like contemporary romances with swift pacing and entertaining storytelling.
(Full review on amazon and Goodreads.) 

which world destination do you think Aela should fly Nairn to next, and leave me a little reason why you think so. Good luck!

( Please leave me a way of contacting you (email address) in case you are my winner!)


Friday 29 March 2013

Familiarise Friday interviews Amber Buckley

Familiarise Friday's guest is Amber Buckley from Embrace The Darkness written by my Wild Rose Press friend Lily Gayle. 

Amber is a girl with a whole of of secrets and has some very  nice... colleagues....

(Love the cover-Lilly!)

I asked Amber some questions:

Describe yourself using only 6 words.
Tough, practical, determined, loyal, tenacious, and just a bit jaded.

Well, jaded doesn't sound so great. I'm sure that'll improve soon, though. Where are you from?
NC coast near Jacksonville (L. Gayle)

Jacksonville, NC. My dad was in the marines, stationed at Camp Lejune. Mom and I lived with his mom off post. Mom died when I was five and I stayed with  my grandmother until I joined the army. 

The photo you're sharing looks wonderful! 
I don't imagine you stay in Jacksonville any longer if you joined the army. Where are you currently living?
Asheville, NC. I'm a homicide detective. 

Mountains just outside of Ashville ( L. Gayle)
I've not visited North Carolina, yet, Amber but maybe someday I'll get to go there. This riverside/ lakeside photo of the mountains is spectacular. Very much to my taste! 

What would be your most favourite place in the whole world.
The beach. It holds bitter-sweet memories. The day my mother died, we'd just spent the day on the beach. My father had been injured in the Beirut bombing attack and was healing at a hospital in Germany. I got to talk to him on the phone that day. Then mom and I had a picnic on the beach. We were on our way home when the car broke down and…she…my mom was murdered.

Oh, heavens! That sounds awful. Sorry to hear about your mum. If not with her, who would be your ideal holiday companion if you took off on a sudden unplanned trip?
It's complicated. I should answer with something like, my partner, Reid. He's a great guy, when he's not being a smart-ass. But I find myself inappropriately attracted to Gerard Delaroche. He's witty, compassionate, and sexy as hell. He's also hiding a dark secret I'm determined to uncover. And, he's part of an on-going murder investigation. So, it'd be a conflict of interest.  Can we move on to another question? Please?

You have got a problem there! What’s your main occupation just now, if you're a detective?
I'm a former MP in the army and I'm currently working as a homicide detective for the Asheville PD.

Are you a gadget freak, or a technophobe?
I guess I fall somewhere in the middle. I love my smartphone and police issue laptop. But in my opinion, nothing will ever replace good, old-fashioned police work.

If I said I'm granting you a whole week where you can choose every single thing you want to do. What would that be? (I know you just said Gerard is a pretty hot but...Ahem...answers within reason for the average blog visitor please!)  
Solve this damn case and discover Gerard's secrets. I promised I'd find out who killed his employees and what happened to his other employee, Axle Travers. If Axle is a victim, I need to find him before the killer does. If he's part of this, then I need to bring him to justice. But this case is complicated, you know? I mean, Richard Baxter's body was completely drained of blood. What kind of sick freak would do that?

Who, or what, are you trying to avoid most just now?
My growing attraction to Gerard. Damn him! Why does he have to be so appealing? He's either a witness or a suspect and being around him clouds my judgement. But man, do I feel safe in his arms. his arms, you say? That  sounds pretty close. Okay, though, we'll change the subject. What new cuisine would you like to try?
Anything that doesn't come in  a fast food bag. I've devoted so much time to this case, I can't remember the last time I sat down at a restaurant and had steak or seafood—my favorites by the way.

Steak and seafoods rank high up in my favourites, too, Amber. It's been great having you answer my nosey questions. Thanks for doing that, and best of luck with that case of yours.
Thanks for having me today. And thanks for not asking any questions about the Lifeblood of America murders. It's an on-going investigation, and I appreciate you not asking personal details about the case.

No problem but we'll just share a few details about  - Embrace The Darkness:

An experimental vaccine gives vampire Gerard Delaroache hope for the first time in two centuries--until two people are brutally murdered, and he suspects a conspiracy between vampires and mortals. To solve the crime, he must put his trust in a beautiful detective. But is former soldier and MP turned detective, Amber Buckley, a threat to his existence? Or the answer to his prayers?

Amber Buckley and her partner are assigned to do follow up interviews in the Lifeblood of America slayings. Amber believes she and Reid are just new eyes on a cold case.  That is until she meets Gerard Delaroache. Something about him teases long-buried memories Amber would rather not chase. However, the two join together, falling into more than resolution of a murder case. It seems Amber has some dark secrets of her own.

 To find their way into the light, Amber and Gerard must first EMBRACE THE DARKNESS


He rolled his eyes and huffed. “Stop pretending ignorance. You know what I am.”
“A vampire. Really?” She wanted to scoff, but a chill shivered over her skin. He wasn’t dead. And she’d shot him.
Maybe he was wearing Kevlar. But wouldn’t Kevlar show through that tight-fitting shirt?
Perhaps not. Still, there had to be a logical explanation.
Ignoring the warning bells clanging inside her skull, she shoved the Glock back in its holster and reached for the beer she’d deposited on the counter. She took another long, hard pull on the bottle, hoping to douse irrational thoughts.
Gerard inhaled sharply. His eyes devoured her.
Despite renewed fear, she managed to set the bottle back on the counter without dropping it.
He’s not a vampire. He’s not a vampire. He’s not a vampire.
“I’d give anything to drink beer again,” he said in a reverent voice.
Amber nearly laughed aloud. Her shoulders sagged. Gerard Delaroche wasn’t a vampire, and he didn’t want to drink her blood. He wanted a beer. Like a normal guy.
Hell, he probably was normal. She was the one off her rocker.
“Want one?” She forced herself to meet his intense stare.
He smiled. “Can’t. Vampire. Remember?”
Like that was something a girl could forget. It wasn’t every day a hot guy claimed to be a vampire.
Hell, maybe he was a vampire. The man could stop bullets with his chest.
He took a hesitant step closer. She stiffened and took another cautious swallow of beer. He stopped three feet away. Good. Sexy and crazy was a dangerous combination.

Lilly Gayle writes paranormal and historical romance. You can find her at:

Web Links:

Book Trailer(s):

Buy Links for Lilly's books:

Lilly! It's great to have you and your friend Amber here today. Thank you so much for coming all the way to visit Familiarise Friday and my best wishes to you for tremendous books sales! 


Wednesday 27 March 2013

Welcome Wednesday says hello to Erin Thorne

Welcome Wednesday says a big hello again to Erin Thorne - whose character, Flora, popped in to 'Familiarise Friday' at the beginning of March. Today it's Erin herself who is answering my interview questions!

Erin Thorne is a lifelong resident of Massachusetts, where she lives with her family. She writes primarily paranormal fiction, and is the author of Diane’s Descent, a supernatural novella set in upstate New York, as well as Deals Diabolical, a collection of eight spine-tingling short stories. In addition, she’s written a book of short stories encompassing science fiction, fantasy, and horror, titled Behind The Wheel. Her work has also been featured in Adventures for the Average Woman (now IdeaGems Magazine).

Find Erin at: 

Hi, Erin. How long have you been a published writer?
I was first published in the October 2010 edition of Adventures for the Average Woman (now IdeaGems Magazine). I went on hiatus for a while when I had my son, but now I’m back up to speed.

What genre is your preference to write in?
I’ve generally written in the horror and paranormal genres, but my new book, “Behind The Wheel”, contains dystopian science fiction and fantasy as well. My next project is a fantasy trilogy; I like exploring different types of fiction, especially ones that have wilder elements.

I was fortuntate, yesterday, to feature an author who writes Dystopian YA/NA novels - though I personally haven't read much of that genre, yet. Do you also tend to read books that vere towards your own writing choices?
I read almost everything, from the classics to modern fiction. Growing up, I was a big fan of Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. I still am; however, I now enjoy a wide variety of literature, and even the occasional biography.

Tell us about your latest release, please.
My third release, “Behind The Wheel”, is a collection of nine short stories, one of which is in two parts. The tales range from science fiction to fantasy, with a little horror. It’s much more appropriate for an adolescent audience than my second book, “Deals Diabolical”, and enjoyable for adults as well. The story that gives the collection its title explores the phenomenon of self-driving cars; when you surrender control, who’s really in charge, and what might they do with you?

How much research did you have to do for it?
I always have questions that arise when I write a story, and for the stories in “Behind The Wheel”, I researched everything from Caesarean birth procedures, to the life cycle of frogs, to how many litres of water a human needs daily.

Sounds like me. I'm so easily distracted when doing research and I always do far more than I need to! Were there any triggers which led to the plotlines for the stories?
Yes; one of the stories, Spoiled Pets, was based on an actual event, up to a point. We took in some tadpoles, and something unexpected happened. This prompted me to wonder, what if it had gone far worse? “What if” tends to be my point of departure, beginning the whole process.

Who are the main characters in some of your stories?
There’s a family named the Cranes in Behind The Wheel, whose adventures span the storyline. After The End features a troll family consisting of a matriarch, Froska, and her sons. High Maintenance highlights the unique life of a girl named Amy, from her difficult birth to her teens.

Do the names for characters just pop into your head as soon as you start a book?
They usually don’t. Sometimes, I’ll use actual names, but with the first and last switched around. If it’s in a foreign setting, I look up traditional names for that country. Flora’s Tale takes place in Germany, and that’s what I had to do when writing it.

What about settings? Do you tend to write about places you’ve been to…or just ones you would like to visit?
Both! Shades of Lupine was set in my nine-year-old self’s backyard, the protagonist’s rural drives in The Gathering were based on my jaunts in Connecticut, and of course, the abovementioned story is in Germany, where I’ve never been, but would love to visit.

What’s the biggest challenge your characters have to face?
I’d say Amy from High Maintenance has a big one. She has to come to terms with what she is, what that means for the people around her, and the impact it’s going to have on her future. She’s strong and smart; if she wasn’t, she’d succumb to despair at her discovery. She has some huge decisions to make, and they’re going to take some creative problem solving.

Who is your favorite character/s in the book? Why?
I like the girls in Shades of Lupine; they’re based on myself and a friend, and writing this story allowed me to recapture some of the fun we had, and the way we used to see the world at the ages of nine and ten, respectively.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a fantasy trilogy. The main character, Balen, starts out as a carefree young man, with no real direction. He discovers a secret about his family; the manner of discovery puts his foster-family in danger, forcing him to seriously think about his future. It also attracts the attention of a corrupt network that’s been gaining control of the land one town at a time. He begins to understand the importance of his decisions, and also what could happen if he fails to realize his potential.

What is your favourite time of year?
I love the Spring and Autumn; they’re usually not too cold in Massachusetts, and they have the most appealing smells.

Where would be your most ideal location to write about?
I don’t think I’ve discovered it yet!

What’s your favourite place to write?
A quiet room, where I can work without distraction or interruption, is the best place for me to write. It doesn’t matter where it is, as long as it’s peaceful. This doesn’t happen often, so I usually write whenever and wherever I can.

Great answers, Erin.  Below is the  blurb and a short extract from 'Behind the Wheel'. Thank you for sharing that with us, today.

Behind The Wheel:
A family discovers who's really in charge when they buy a car that drives itself... The characters from a well known fairy tale live on after their story is over... A docile species of farm animal transforms into a pack of ruthless creatures, bent on the destruction of humankind... A werewolf stalks a young girl's backyard... Tiny pets, rescued from certain destruction, are not what they seem... Enter a land of fantasy, and learn more about the hidden side of the world you take for granted.

Excerpt, from the book's title story, Behind The Wheel:

Jason slouched into the passenger seat, pulling his hood up and keeping his eyes on his phone. His mother got in; he responded by looking out of the window. Halfway to the supermarket, she attempted to engage him in conversation.

“So, is there anything special you want at the store?”


“You sure? What about those spicy nacho chips you like, we could grab some of those.”


“It’s kind of neat, being driven around like this. There’s even a little map where you can see your progress. Cool, huh?”


Denise played the last card she could think of. “Maybe you can drive it sometime. Take it to a friend’s house or something. What do you think?”

He liked that idea, yet stifled his approval as much as possible. “Sure.” Denise saw the tiny spark of interest and smiled. Her grin straightened, as they sailed right past the grocery store.

“What the heck?” She double-checked the map. Sure enough, the little checkered flag that marked their goal corresponded to the store’s location, but it was now receding into the distance behind them. Tapping the AutoDrive’s off switch was useless; the car was driving itself, and wasn’t yielding control. Feeling a small jolt of anxiety, Denise tried maneuvering the steering wheel. It was loose, spinning around without any connection to the tires. Was this a programming glitch, or was the wheel just there for show? The salesman had said it was functional in emergency situations, and this was starting to feel like one.

A loud click, broadcast in stereo from all doors at once, signaled the AutoLock’s activation. Denise yanked on her handle, to no avail. “Jason, see if your door’s locked.” He pulled, gently at first, then harder as it continued to resist him.

“What’s going on?”

“I don’t know, honey.” She was desperately endeavoring to maintain her composure. Not wishing to alarm her son, she said, “I’m sure it’s just a bug, nothing to worry about. I’ll call Dad and let him know where we are; maybe he can get us some help.” She tapped her phone’s screen. Nothing happened. The power button wasn’t responding either. Removing the battery and replacing it usually did the trick when it froze up, but it didn’t work this time. “Jason, is your phone working?”

He was already tapping and shaking it. “This thing sucks. It’s two years old, I need a new one.”

“Mine’s not working either.” They locked eyes momentarily, then Denise dropped her gaze. “I don’t want you to panic, but we might have a problem here. We need to find a way to stop the car, or at least signal for help.”

“Maybe we can make a sign.”

“Great idea! I have a pen in my purse.” She dug the black ballpoint out, and pawed through the pocketbook’s contents looking for paper. “You don’t have a notebook or anything, do you?”

“No.” The boy was showing some initiative now; he checked out the back seats, which were still immaculate. The family’s efforts to keep the new vehicle clean had succeeded all too well.

“Hang on, the driver’s manual is still in here!” Denise grabbed it from the glove compartment, and tore the cover off. “You make the sign, while I look through this. There might be something about an emergency shut-off or something.” She pored through the thin book, discovering nothing useful. During her second perusal, her son handed her the cover, which now bore “HELP” in thick black letters. It would do.

She waited for someone going the opposite way to pass her. There wasn’t much traffic headed in that direction. In fact, there seemed to be none. It was starting to become more congested on their side, though, so she held the sign to the windshield. The car in front was too far away for them to see if they’d been noticed. She went to the back of the minivan, shoving the paper against the wide window. The occupants of the AutoDrive following them looked terrified; could they be having the same issue?

She put the sign down and was in the act of waving her arms, when everything went dark. Denise froze.


That got her moving. She bolted to the front, laying a hand on her son’s shoulder. “I’m here.” He looked pale and sickly in the green light of the dashboard. It was the only illumination; all of the windows, including the windshield, had AutoTinted themselves completely black, shutting out the view of the outside world. The pair could feel their metallic prison gliding down the road, rocking them gingerly around corners. They had no choice but to trust that the satellite responsible for AutoDrive’s guidance was still operational.

Buy links for "Behind The Wheel":
B & N
Best wishes to you for success in your writing career, Erin.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

State of Emergency

I love being able to promote many different genres on 'Nancy's Novels' and today's treat is from a genre that hasn't been featured very much, as yet, on this blog.
I'm delighted to welcome Summer Lane who is sharing her YA/NA Dystopian romance novel 
- State of Emergency. 

What would you do if the world as you know it ended in an instant? How far would you go to survive? 
Cassidy Hart is your typical High School graduate: a little shy, a little sarcastic, and a little naive. But when an electromagnetic pulse takes down the United States, she's forced to kick into full survival mode when she gets separated from her father. Yeah. Things suck. But with the help of a handsome soldier named Chris, she just might find her dad without getting into serious trouble. Emphasis on might. Oh. And there's the matter of avoiding getting killed in a world that's quickly turned into an active war zone. It's going to change Cassidy's life. It's going to be a major pain in the butt.

An excerpt to share... (prologue)

I don’t know how it happened.  Nobody does. There are only theories, empty rhetoric and doomsday prophecies. None of them are right, but none of them are completely wrong, either. They all have a grain of truth. All I know is where I was and what I was doing when it happened.

The day had started out like every other day of my life.  I hit the snooze button on my alarm about five times before dragging myself out of bed. I combed back my unruly red hair, threw on some clothes, and went into the kitchen. As usual, my dad hadn’t gone to the grocery store, so breakfast consisted of burnt toast and a teaspoon of olive oil.

Because fatty acids are supposed to be healthy for you.

And because there’s nothing else to eat in my house except a can of string beans from 1999.

Being nineteen, graduated from high school and unemployed, I didn’t have much to do besides surf the internet looking for interesting stories and reading my stack of books from the library. Lately I had applied for a multitude of different jobs, including a flight attendant, car washer and hotel manager. Needless to say, none of those positions panned out.

I’m more of the independent type, getting paid by my dad to help him out with his job as a private detective. He’s been letting me poke around in his cases since I was a freshman in high school. I’m good at it, too. Criminal justice, that is. I even wanted a degree in it, but since I’m flat busted broke and stuck in a two-bedroom home with an empty refrigerator, my options are kind of slim.

Anyway, after I looked for a few jobs online, I closed my laptop and started cleaning the house. My dad and I lived in a small house in the outer suburbs of Los Angeles. Culver City, to be exact. It’s about ten minutes away from Hollywood. The land of spray-on tans and yoga classes.

It’s a nice place to live as long as you don’t drive about five miles in the opposite direction. In that case you’ll end up in the middle of a ghetto. A visit to the grocery store might end up becoming a drive-by shooting.

Unsurprisingly, I’m an introvert.

So that day, that regular, average day, turned out to be a day that not only changed my life – but everybody else’s.

It was the day technology turned on us.

It was the beginning of a major pain in the butt.

A little about Summer Lane;

Summer Lane is the author of the YA/NA Dystopian Romance, State of Emergency. She is a freelance writer, publicist and lover of all things feline. Summer is also the author of Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between.

In her spare time, Summer is the creator of the online magazine/blog, Writing Belle, in addition to being a frequent contributor at NA Alley, a website dedicated to all things New Adult. 

Summer began writing when she was 13 years old, due to the fact that the long afternoons after school were somewhat boring, and writing stories seemed to make the time pass a little quicker. Since then she has written many books about jungle cats, secret agents, princesses and spaceships. She is also a non-fiction writer, but her debut novel, State of Emergency, is her favorite book yet. You can find Summer hopping around on the Internet by following her on Twitter @SummerEllenLane or swinging by Writing Belle.

Summer's Website | Blog | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads

Thank you, Summer, for sharing with us today. Best wishes with all of your writing projects. 


Monday 25 March 2013

77p / 99c Topaz Eyes and The Beltane Choice price slash!

*****Fantastic e-book sale!*****
My Crooked Cat books are available from Amazon at only 77p / 99c for the next four days in the Crooked Cat Easter Sale! (25th - 28th March)

77p   Amazon UK 

99c     Amazon US

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.
Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.
Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?
As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.

77p    Amazon UK 
99c    Amazon US  

Can the Celtic Tribes repel the Roman army? AD 71

Banished from the nemeton, becoming a priestess is no longer the future for Nara, a princess of the Selgovae tribe. Now charged with choosing a suitable mate before Beltane, her plan is thwarted by Lorcan, an enemy Brigante prince, who captures her and takes her to his hill fort. Despite their tribes fighting each other, Nara feels drawn to her captor, but time runs out for her secret quest.

As armies of the Roman Empire march relentlessly northwards, Lorcan intends to use Nara as a marriage bargain, knowing all Celtic tribes must unite to be strong enough to repel imminent Roman attack. Nara’s father, Callan, agrees to a marriage alliance between Selgovae and Brigante, but has impossible stipulations. Lorcan is torn between loyalty to his tribe and growing love for Nara.  
When danger and death arrive in the form of the mighty Roman forces, will Nara be able to choose her Beltane lover?

Friday 22 March 2013

Teun Zeger's been nabbed for Familiarise Friday!

Familiarise Friday's guest is the delightful Teun Zeger from Topaz Eyes by...Nancy Jardine! 

Yes, I know that's me, but since I'm off for a fun weekend away from home (read away from the internet as well) I left the guest spot empty. Then I decided the blog looked so lonely. 

Teun's desperate to speak to you anyway! 

I know what you look like Teun (isn't he a lovely man?) but for the readers describe yourself using only 6 words.
Tenacious, dedicated, hardworking, loyal, focused, motivated
I'm hearing Keira Drummond might also call you a pain in the ass? 
Probably. She thinks I'm too negative and to distrusting.

Where are you from?
I was born in Rochester, Minnesota, but brought up in California - so people tend to think I’m Californian since I’ve picked up a bit of an accent from living in Sonoma.

Is that where you live now?
Hah! More like out of a suitcase! I've an apartment in San Francisco, my base city, but I travel to my Boston and London labs fairly regularly. That means I’m not in the apartment all that often. I stay in hotels everywhere else. And right now, apart from staying one overnight at my uncle's house in Rochester, Minnesota, I've been in hotels for weeks.

What’s your main occupation just now?
It should be running my three laboratories - I’m an industrial chemist, and my labs do a variety of experimental testing and routine checks - though recently I’ve been trekking around the world with a fantastic woman called Keira Drummond in search of my family’s treasures. We’re on a treasure hunt to find the Tiru Salana jewels before the hired thugs, who’ve been tailing us, get them first. I told you already that I'm tenacious? Now that I've started, I want the quest to be over and all the missing items found. I'm also a bit preoccupied just now with working out who in my new found third cousins are trustworthy. Right now I'm a Doubting Thomas and don't think much of any of them. The bast**** (sorry!) are hiding too many secrets. I'm not stopping till I solve all these puzzles.

What makes you happy?
It used to be the thrill of getting my laboratories set up and running smoothly, but now I’d just be happy to be anywhere so long as Keira's by my side. I’ve just discovered what it’s like to have one woman who matches me perfectly!
I think she matches you very well, Teun! 

You've been granted a whole week where you can choose every single thing you want to do. What would that be? 
This would be assuming the Tiru Salana hunt is over, since there’s going to be no leisure till that happens? 
Well, I’d like Keira to introduce me to all the fantastic European cities that she’s already been to. She’s a fabulous tourist guide and speaks so many European languages. She’s just blown me away with her competence! I’d wine and dine her in all the venues she can’t afford to go to normally, and sometimes we’d just hang out *wink*  You don't need those details here...

What’s your favourite reading material?
I guess I'm a bit of a nerd. I read Scientific American, National Geographic – magazines like that. I don’t get around to much in the way of fiction, but if I do read any it’s generally science fiction.

You’re going to begin a new hobby. What would it be?
That would definitely be to learn to speak Dutch. My grandparents were Dutch though I never learned any of their language. Now, having met my new European cousins, I think I owe it to my ancestors to learn Dutch, and maybe some German as well.

Who, or what, is the love of your life?
Last week I would have had trouble answering that question, but today it’s without a doubt Keira Drummond. I love everything about her- even her sometimes too trusting optimism...though actually she reads people better than I do!

What is your biggest goal for 2013?
Make that plural! I’ve lots of goals. Get the treasure hunt over; keep Keira safe from the lunatics who are harming my family to the point that someone has already died; and marry Keira as soon as possible. 

I haven’t asked her yet, so I guess that’s another goal. 

Thanks for answering my questions, Teun. Good luck with that quest for the Tiru Salana Jewels and with your plans for Keira. 

Topaz Eyes:

A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.

Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.

Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?

As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.

“Would you ditch the mystery, Jensen, and just enlighten me as to what you think I have that interests you? And tell me why you couldn’t have asked for it in the letter you sent to me? I came here of my own free will – granted – but I’m not hanging around any longer if you’re going to drag this out, for I’m damned sure I’ve no idea what you’re referring to.”
            Jensen’s reply lacked emotion, his face a blank screen, his gaze focused on Teun as Keira regarded the by-play.
            “Teun. It may come as a surprise to you, but you actually know more about this invitation than Keira. At least you knew from my letter I had something of family interest you might be glad to take back to the USA with you. Keira had no such suggestion made to her.”
            Tension rose in the room, which didn’t only radiate from Teun.
            Keira sat uneasy, also unwilling to be in the dark any longer. “Would you please explain why you think I may have something you want, Herr Amsel?” She found herself reluctant to use his first name, considering the antagonism now mounting.
            “All in good time, Keira. And please call me Jensen. I don’t set out to be anyone’s enemy. I believe each of you can provide access to items belonging to the collection. All the pieces are likely to vary in monetary value but, viewed as a complete entity, it will make an impressive display. It’s a historic set… and unique.”

Topaz Eyes available from:
Amazon UK author page for all novels author page for all novels


Wednesday 20 March 2013

Welcome Wednesday's guest is Barbara Barrett

My Welcome Wednesday guest is one of my Wild Rose Press fellow  roses - Barbara Barrett. Barbara has a brand new release due out this coming Friday (22nd March) - And He Cooks Too - so I've invited her to tell us a bit about herself. 

Just pre-launch she's been having a very busy time... 

Over to Barbara:

I’m doing my first presentation on writing today. My audience will be students of the Stetson University Lifelong Learning program in Celebration, Florida. Its mission is to provide residents of the community and nearby areas “…an educational place for intellectual discussion while interacting with other mature adults in a social environment.” Whoa! Am I up to that? Count me in for the “social environment” part. But “intellectual discussion” and “mature adults”? Gonna hafta work on that part. 

Actually, I’m delighted to have an opportunity to talk to a group of my peers about my passion, writing. Am I nervous? Well, yes, but mainly that I’ve put together too much information for the time period and I won’t get to finish it. Worse yet, I’ll race through my presentation and not do justice to the writing of romance novels. 

The timing could have been better, I admit. My second book, And He Cooks Too, for The Wild Rose Press, officially launches this Friday, March 22. The bulk of my time should be devoted to promotion right now. And I could have skipped volunteering to host my book club’s monthly meeting two nights ago, although the effort helped me attack my spring cleaning as well as successfully try out a new dessert recipe.  

But as I’m discovering as a newly-published romance novelist, Life happens. You either make yourself crazy tying yourself in knots fighting it or you go with the flow, realize you can’t do everything and focus on the priorities. 

Like today’s commitment. Although I know I can handle last-minute, emergency situations if required, I’d rather plan ahead and be prepared. That’s why I started putting my thoughts together about today’s “lecture” weeks ago. PowerPoint is an incredible tool for doing that, not just for visually presenting those thoughts to a large group but also for organizing those thoughts. It helps, though, to do a basic outline first – main topics and perhaps a few sub-topics. Then translate them to PowerPoint slides. 

The hardest part was deciding what aspects of writing this audience might want to hear about. Once I decided the focus of my presentation, the rest fell into place. I’m comparing today’s talk to a wine tasting, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and maybe just enough fun stuff to get “buzzed” about the topic. I’m including some general information about the romance fiction industry, a smattering of the elements of romance novel writing and finishing by describing my own publishing journey. 

Then and only then did I allow myself the “fun” of deciding the theme and layout of my slides. From past experience, I knew once I got to this aspect of the presentation, I could easily get lost in the details of color, font, insertions, animation, etc. As it turned out, I stuck with a fairly basic layout, although I am using a dark purple for the header and, in selective places, a deep rose for font color. I resisted the urge to use little hearts for bullet points. A little “cutesy” goes a long way, and it’s important to me that the romance fiction industry receives the respect it deserves. 

So, all that remains is to pack my computer and giveaways and head out. Wish me well. Oh, did I mention I justified a new pair of shoes for this experience?  

That sounds like the lead up to a fantastic experience, Barbara. I hope all goes really well with it! 

 Here's the blurb and a little excerpt for us to enjoyfrom 'And He Cooks Too':

Three men, three lies. One thought it was for her own good, one did it for his own good, and the third nearly destroyed her career. Blacklisted by the city's finest restaurants, Chef Reese Dunbar must now put the resuscitation of her battered reputation in the hands of yet another man. The television experience Nick Coltrane's cooking show offers is her best option for restoring her name and becoming the Big Apple's super chef. But after giving her body and heart to him, her trust is put to the test when she discovers that Nick has lied about the real reason he brought her on board, and worse yet, Nick can't cook.

"I checked you out before I accepted this job."
"You knew?" he asked, his voice catching.
She gave him a Mona Lisa type smile. "I do my research, Nick."
The spicy beef dish he'd just consumed seemed to congeal in his stomach. Had she checked out his cooking credentials also?
"I can see you on the stage." She laughed. "Maybe more than behind the stove."
Lady, you don't know how right you are. "Ah, well, cooking's my new love."
"Where did you do your training? The Internet didn't mention that."
Great. She had him. The only way he could think of to deflect this conversation was to play dumb. "Huh?"
She leaned in, revealing more decolletage. "Cooking school. Which one did you attend?"
He struggled to come up with a response, but his mind was elsewhere. Mesmerized, he watched as she played a finger around the rim of her margarita glass, picking up stray salt particles. How was a guy supposed to think up a plausible story to explain his origins when his brain was otherwise engaged?
She touched her fingertip to her lips. Nick couldn't speak. His eyes locked on her lips as other parts of his anatomy were unlocked. Was she coming on to him?

Photo by Leslie Sloan
Contact Information for Barbara Barrett

Twitter: bbarrettbooks

My best wishes for a great release of your new novel, Barbara!