Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lane McFarland Celebrates Latest Book with Giveaway


I'm so happy to welcome my friend, Lane McFarland today. Lane's latest Scottish Medieval, Elsbeth, is out tomorrow, Oct. 1, and it's a delight. If you haven't read any of her earlier ones, be sure to look them up. 
 
Hi Lane. So glad you're here.

Thank you so much for having me today, Barb! 

~~I want to celebrate Elsbeth's release with a giveaway of one of my ebooks to someone who leaves a comment~~

Great! Don't forget to comment, everyone. This is a super opportunity.

Tell us a little about you and your books.

I’m a historical romance book junkie. I love to throw my imagination into years gone by, research dark periods of strife and violence, justice and quests for freedom, and dream of what it might have been like to have lived and survived during these hostile periods.

My DAUGHTERS OF ALASTAIR MACDOUGALL series begins in May 1297, a time of unrest between Scotland and England. It has been such fun to research this period and imagine living amongst the clans.

ELSBETH is the fourth and youngest of the daughters, the last book in my series. I’m really excited her story will be released tomorrow, Oct. 1!
Here’s a little about the book…

Elsbeth recoils at the violent Scottish rebellion and the bleak plight of orphans. After losing her betrothed in the conflict, she sets her course to become a nun, sheltering innocent victims from the cruelties of war. But when Brandon arrives at the abbey, he shakes her convictions and stirs provoking emotions she buried long ago.

She has a hard time reconciling her desire for peace and Brandon’s desire for revenge. Her former betrothed’s pacifism was diametrically opposed to Brandon’s violent traits.

However, Brandon possesses admirable characteristics Elsbeth cannot overlook. It would be hard not to take note of his handsome, rugged demeanor. His men admire his strength and leadership, and he is a ruthless warrior whose mere presence commands respect. But he is also honest, caring, and patient. He places others’ safety and concerns before his own.

After English soldiers murder his family, Brandon seeks revenge and leads numerous clans in Scotland’s fight for freedom. Bent on the annihilation of English oppression, he is resolved to a life of solitude, vowing never to marry and chance the pain of losing loved ones again. 

Elsbeth realizes not only children are affected by war, but stalwart warriors are also hurt and abandoned. She longs to heal Brandon’s spirit, help him live again, and prays she can reach him before the damage already done has set in stone.

Oh, love the cover. Would you please share an excerpt from ELSBETH?

In this scene, Brandon McLeod and his men have arrived at the abbey to escort the sisters to safety.

A loud bang sounded outside.

Elsbeth jumped from the bench and spun toward the solar door. That was the courtyard gate. Who would arrive at this time of night in a blizzard?

An insistent knock rattled the heavy front door. The urgent noise reverberated down the corridor. She eased from the solar. Legs shaking, she hurried across the hall and peeked out the small window overlooking the abbey courtyard. Her gaze swept the interior walls. Dense snowfall hid any sign of intruders. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary.

Someone beat the dark wood again. If a traveler trapped in the storm sought shelter, she couldn’t deny sanctuary and leave them in the fierce squall. With a deep breath, she shoved the iron bolt to the right and eased open the door.

A gust of wind buffeted the heavy door and shoved it against her body. The turbulent storm swirled a blanket of snow, and stinging ice crystals pelted her eyes. She held up a hand to shield her face and squinted into the courtyard.

Large men shrouded in darkness appeared just beyond the landing. One man stepped forward. His fur-cloaked shoulders spanned the width of the door, and his piercing dark eyes peered over a thick woolen cloth wrapped around his face. He pushed the hood from his head. Snow and ice covered him from his shaggy hair to his rugged boots, and the hilt of a sword protruded over his back, another dangling from his hip.

He’s a warrior.

Familiar resentment bubbled into her throat, and she choked on the bitter taste.
As he advanced, his gloved hand tugged the cloth from his face. Her breath caught at his intense scrutiny, his commanding presence. An overwhelming urge to slam and bolt the door nearly overcame her, but her feet remained rooted to the spot.

“Sister, there’s not much time,” his deep voice resounded. “Yer life is in danger. Ye must flee.”
~~~

Thanks so much for being here today and congratulations!!

Where can readers find you?
 

I love to hear from readers! Here is my email address: mcfarland.lane@gmail.com
Website:  http://lanemcfarland.com
FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/LaneMcFarlandAuthor
Twitter:  @LaneMcFarland

Where can readers find your books? Here is my author page. You’ll find my books listed here.

Thank you for having me!


Monday, September 21, 2015

Linda Joyce Celebrates Re-Release of Bayou Born


Today is a special day for fellow Rose, award-winning author Linda Joyce. Linda's contemporary romance Bayou Born is re-released as a part of Amazon's Encore series.

Bayou Born is the first book the in Linda's Fleur de Lis series, and it’s a RONE Award Finalist. Bayou Bound and Bayou Beckons of the series are available. Linda is finishing the much-anticipated Bayou Brides. She also has a second series—The Sunflower Series. Book one, Her Heart’s Desire launched last month.

Welcome, Linda and congratulations! Please tell us about this special book.

In Bayou Born, you’ll meet Branna Lind and James Newbern in fictional Lakeview. There is a canine character, General Beauregard, who is very real. He is one of the three dogs in my family. He is very much a general—takes charge and full steam ahead. 

I hope you’ll enjoy the story of Branna and James: 

Branna Lind's self-esteem rests at the bottom of the Mississippi River. She’s canceled her "wedding of the decade" and refuses to say why. She wants life on her own terms—no ready-made job in the family business, no safety net of close-knit kin, and no more betrayal. Men are purely optional. 

College professor James Newbern prizes his bachelorhood. He knows beautiful women are high-maintenance trouble, and Branna fits that “type.” He is happy to avoid her until the college vice president assigns him to mentor the newest hire—Branna. 


Beau is certainly proud of his 'mom's' book.
Branna is on her way to a new life, but will the scars of the past send her running from love? Even if she faces the truth, will she ever convince James she truly is his "type"?


#southerncharm #smalltown #contemporary #romance

Linda loves to hear from readers. Please connect with her on  Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LindaJoyceAuthor
Twitter @LJWriter  https://twitter.com/LJWriter
Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Joyce/e/B00BODDROS/
Get your copy here: http://amzn.com/B0153Q7NX2
 

Monday, September 14, 2015

New Cover, Re-release, and Medieval Monday. What a week!


Hi Everyone. I have some great news to share with you--well, a couple of things. First, here's my newly re-envisioned cover for THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX. The book will be re-released SEPT. 22 as part of Amazon's select Encore Program for titles that did well enough on first release to warrant additional exposure. I love the new 'look.'
  
Second, welcome to Medieval Monday. This fall's format has changed, with each author posting excerpts from her or his book. Each excerpt will be built around a weekly theme. This first week--first meeting between hero and heroine. 


Since Stephen and Evie have know each other from childhood, my excerpt here features their first meeting in two years, after Stephen crushed a youthful Evie when he rejected her offer of friendship upon his return from Crusade. But the heart does not forget...and each has kept a special memory of the other. If only...


Rays from the afternoon sun beat at her sturdy traveling wimple. If only a breeze might pop up, to relieve the gathering heat. She longed to fan her hand before her face to create a bit of air movement. A pox on rules for ladies. With a sigh, Evie tried for serenity.
Finally, the large gate creaked, then groaned open as if it hadn’t moved in a score of
years. Evie swept through before the reluctant brother changed his mind. As she cleared the still-moving gate, a figure loomed before her, and she stumbled to a halt.
It couldn’t be. She must be mistaken.
Stephen.
He stepped forward, his mouth twisted in a chilling smile. “Greetings, little shadow.”
Breath knotted in her chest. His wide shoulders blotted the sun, but its rays cast a halo around him, shadowed his face. Not that she needed to see. Memory called up those mocking, amber-touched eyes, that square jaw and jutting chin. The hard lips that turned soft and warm at a touch.
With a gasp and shiver, Evie staggered back a step. His hand shot out to catch her, but
she batted it away, still unable to summon words.
God could not be so cruel to fling him in her path like this. Just when she’d congratulated herself on a successful plan. Just when—
What was he doing at St. Anselm Priory? 
                                                             ***
What in Satan’s own hell was she doing at the priory? Stephen’s eyes narrowed.
Lady Evelynn of Chauvere.
Hadn’t she plagued his dreams throughout last night as he slept off the healing decoction Brother Gerald forced on him?  Perhaps the delirium yet gripped his mind. God knew the dagger hole in his leg pained enough.
               “How come you to be here?” he growled as he stalked close, ignoring the pull of the half-closed wound. “Your brother told me you were safe with your cousin at Rosemont.”
He recognized that flicker of guilt before she bit her lip and notched up her chin. It reminded him of her expression as a child when he and Henry caught her in pranks. “What trick did you play to escape your cousin’s protection?”
               Her sudden, innocent expression confirmed his suspicion. “I have Henry’s permission to return. Davy brought me the message yesterday.”
She nodded toward the young squire who had turned up last night at the priory with Stephen’s own message from Henry. Was it possible she’d been summoned home, as well? His letter hadn’t mentioned it, only that his father lay gravely ill again.
               He beckoned to the leader of the troop. “Captain, under whose orders do you travel?”
               Clearly uncomfortable, the old knight stepped up. “My Lady Marguerite directed me to escort Lady Evelynn here. Said I was to see the lady delivered and return home by nightfall.”
               “Running late, are you not?” Stephen knew the distance between Rosemont and St.
Anselm; the party should have reached here by mid-day. It was possible the men who attacked him last night had menaced others. But these guards carried no trace of battle.
“I thought it wise to travel slow, my lord. I didn’t want to arouse suspicion over armed guards moving fast, what with the unrest abroad.”
Stephen nodded, relieved. “You acted wisely. I doubt any troops are in the area.
However, it’s better to take care.”
“As to that, we saw evidence of many horses not far from the village,” the captain admitted. “Looked to be a large party, what with the grass flattened the way it was. Gave me some concern over safety hereabouts.”
The old solider likely meant the patch of trampled underbrush where Stephen had been ambushed. Unwise to mention the attack, however. If the captain thought his charges were in danger, he’d be reluctant to leave. Stephen intended to send Evie back to the castle immediately.
“My men’s work,” he said. “They tried to find a shortcut last night but succeeded in
getting lost. You’ll have no trouble returning in good time, so long as you leave now.”
Evie stepped forward to turn the full blast of her smile on the older man.
“Yes, captain. If you set out immediately and ride quickly, you can reach Rosemont. The duty to me is discharged. Please assure your good lady that I am well pleased.”
               Stephen didn’t like the sound of those words. No way in hell was she staying at the priory. Even if Henry had ordered her home, which he didn’t for one moment believe, he refused to risk his men’s safety, and hers, by allowing her to remain. Her presence might jeopardize the operation. He couldn’t permit that.
“Lady Evelyn will accompany you back,” he announced, unmoved by her frown. “The
group she intended to join has been delayed. The lady cannot wait here alone.”
Her clenched lips and flared nostrils warned him that she intended to argue, but this was no time for foolishness. She must leave before more of his men arrived. He’d allow nothing, no one, to interfere with the plan; he was too close. After all the years when the trail lay as cold as Prince John’s heart, a clue finally had surfaced. Evidence that put within reach the murdering bastard responsible for hundreds of deaths.  For Sorya’s.
“I don’t believe you heard me, Sir Stephen.” Evie’s words dripped honey. “I’m going
home on orders of my brother. If the travelers Davy were to join haven’t appeared, then he
can accompany me.” She shot a glance toward the youth, deep in conversation with the maid.
The back of Stephen’s neck tingled, and he clenched his hands. God’s blood, she made
him so angry he longed to grab those soft arms and shake some sense into her. 
“You are not remaining at the priory, and you are not traveling to England.” The words came out in a growl. He stepped forward, and she tilted back her head to meet him eye to eye. “Must I tie you to that horse?”
She leaned in. “Just you try, Sir Stephen-the-Bully.”
He glared and crossed his arms against his chest, daring her to continue.
“Do as you think you must.” She echoed his stance, her crossed arms pushing her plump breasts higher.
Not that he noticed, blast her.
 “I vow I will return the moment I’m free,” she added. “You have no authority over my movements, for you are no relative of mine.”
“And I thank God for it. How Henry has put up with you all these years I do not know. A more troublesome, contentious wi...woman I’ve never seen.”
“Did you call me a witch?”
                                                                 ~~~~~
 The book cover won't change until the new release date, so if you pop over to pick it up for $2.99, you'll see the current (soon-to-be-former) look. 

Please stop by and visit me:
 Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor
  or 
my personal page:  http://www.facebook.com/barbara.bettis.758
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BarbaraBettis
 
Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Phoenix-Barbara-Bettis/dp/1628304316/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442247256&sr=1-1&keywords=the+heart+of+the+phoenix

And here are fellow Medieval Monday authors who are posting excerpts today:
Jenna Jaxon:
Mary Morgan:
Ashley York:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

G.E. Taylor Makes DESPERATE DECISION Her Second Release



Today Im happy to welcome G.E. Taylor with her brand new release DESPERATE DECISION. Congratulations, G.E. Please tell us a little about your book

Be glad to. Here's the blurb: 
 
Allison Norths flight to freedom is dangerous and desperate. As she scrambles into the strangers car crying drive, she prays to God this is not her last day on earth. Usually not a gambler, this move is high-stake gambling. Bruised, battered, and with no money, she needs a place to hide and heal until she finds work as a pastry chef. When the stranger offers her shelter, she takes it even as fear rushes up her throat and threatens to choke her. Would she live to regret her decision?
Mason Franklin cannot believe his eyes but, with her urgent cry ringing in his ears, he presses the gas and the car leaps forward. What had possessed her to do such a dangerous act? He intends to find out. But no amount of probing loosened her tongue. Just when he decides to let her go, he accidentally sees her bruised body. Angry that someone did that to her made him want to meet the coward. He offers her shelter. Under his roof, he discovers she is the pastry chef who could not only lift his business to the top, but who built up a need in him that only she can satisfy. The wild passion they share can only lead to one conclusion.
This is your second published book. What was your first?

To date, I have two published works. My first book, THE LADY MENTOR, was published September 2014, and DESPERATE DECISIONS  July 2015.

What draws you to this genre?

I love reading and find that Im drawn more to the contemporary romance stories more than others. I write in this genre because while I like it, I can use any issue in todays culture, and society and build my story. Im familiar with the language and customs and dont have to do a lot of heavy research like other genre requires.

What inspired you for this particular story?

The notion that loves can transcend any barrier. One day I  was at a picnic in the park with my family and while there I saw an inter-racial couple nearby who appeared very devoted to each other. The idea took hold that this could be my next book. I came home started plotting and thats how Desperate Decision came to life. Heres a glimpse of it.

Excerpt

The cold November air hit Allison hard, chilled her bones, and caused instant goose flesh to rise and cover her skin. She hunched over momentarily trying to ward off the chill. Her eyes scanned the train station as a possible place to hide, but she discarded the idea immediately.  It was too open. The streets across from the apartment were busy and not easy to cross.  Estimating her chance of crossing them before being captured, the odds were against her. She would not have the time or the strength to do it before they caught up with her. Moving as fast as she could, she walked across the courtyard, down the embankment to the sidewalk.

Several cars and other vehicles waited at the stoplight. Making a desperate decision, she stepped up quickly to a car and yanked the handle. The door opened and she scrambled inside, slammed the door shut, and locked it. The light changed from red to green. The driver, startled, pressed the gas. The car leaped forward only to stop abruptly. Several horns blasted behind him instantly. 

What the fuck!            
 
 Drive! Please drive, she begged.

The sound of her voice carried a desperation that commanded him to obey. The car leaped forward as two people, a man and a woman, dashed into the courtyard. They hurried through the wrought iron gate onto the sidewalk looking up and down the street, peering into cars as they drove by. Allison eased down on the floor of the car until the strangers car circled the green and headed toward South Street. Her heart pumped furiously, and she swallowed with difficulty. Lifting her shaky hand, she eased herself upon the seat. She had no idea what she would say to this stranger when he stopped his car. He must think she was insane or had escaped from somewhere. She hadnt. This was the first time in her life that shed ever done anything like this.

He pulled into the parking lot at the supermarket, flung his door open, and walked around his car to the back right door. His long strides reached it before Allison got out. As she pushed against the door, he pulled it open.  He was furious with her for not only scaring the living hell out of him, but for doing this unthinkable act. What could have possessed her to do it? Shed better have a damn good reason.

With both feet firmly planted on the blacktop, she was ready to stand, but she could not lift her body. He stood solidly in her path, one arm resting on top of the door effectively cutting off her escape. Dressed in black jeans, cream polo shirt, and light black jacket, his body allowed little room for her to move. 

Allison looked up at him and swallowed nervously. He was lean and taller than Douglas, so she would say he was over six foot tall. His face was deeply tanned, his blond hair shaped his head perfectly, and straight brows enhanced his cold blue eyes that were not looking at her in a friendly way. His nose was straight, jaws firm and square, his lips slightly full and sensual. His hard eyes concentrated on her steadily.  A strong current of anger radiated from him. She felt it, and cursed Douglas fervently in her mind. There was a leached control about him that frightened her. Most of all, she needed to be on her way. The quicker she apologized, the faster she could leave, she decided.

Im sorry, very sorry, I startled you back there, she said sincerely.  Thank you for helping me. Again, Im truly sorry. Ill leave you now.

Like hell you will! Not so fast, he stated, not moving an inch as he continued to look at her. Despite the anger that ran through him, the sound of her voice drew his attention. It reminded him of warm honey. He liked it, and he could hear genuine regret in her tone. She was also very nervous, and she should damn well be, for the stunt she just pulled. He wasnt ready to let her walk away from him. Her skin was light brown, and he wondered what her eyes looked like. The huge dark glasses she stared at him through hid them very well. 

His eyes on her were unnerving. She couldnt help but move restlessly in her seat. If only he would move. Each minute he delayed her was making it easier for Douglass friend to find her.

What made you do such a foolish thing?"
Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldnt have done it. The thought of how close she came to involving him in an accident made her stomach turn.

Care to describe the circumstance?

Very tense! I want to know who is chasing her and why.
Is there a special place you like to write?


I especially like a room which I use as my work room.It has large windows and Im able to see the sky and trees which I enjoy. Whenever I get tired I put my feet up, relax and look outside. My family knows not to touch anything in my room but it doesnt stop them from wandering in there from time to time until I throw them out. My room is a pretty peaceful place

Any challenges with finding writing time?

Yes. Time management remains a challenge for me. Even though I sometimes get up at four or five in the mornings, lately it has not been consistent. Yet that is the best time for me to write. Later than that makes no sense, for me. There are too many activities- work, and family. Still, I manage to get in some writing time, just not what I want it to be.

Whats your next project?

I am currently working on Surrender My Heart another contemporary romance, which I want to complete very soon.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Read a lot of books in the genre which you like. See how the story unfolds, how the characters are treated.

Excellent advice, G. E. Often we forget that reading is important, too.

More about G.E. Taylor

I became hooked on reading romance novels during my teen years and my attempt at writing began in high school. All of my manuscripts were mailed under my bed. Eventually, I threw out most of them. That was painful especially since Id hand written them first, then typed them on my old typewriter.
In college I majored in English but ended up with a Master in Social Work and a Master in Education.
Though I had these different career paths, I never gave up my passion for writing. Now Im much more committed to it and writing full time. Ive drawn on my years of practicing social work to give my work authenticity and realism.
I live in New Jersey with my family.

Website: http://bit.ly/1E6pNal
Facebook: www.facebook.com/getaylorauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/getaylorauthor
Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1JiQNqC
Nook: http://bit.ly/1NHOJ0K
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1MTrlOA

 It's been great having you here, G.E. I hope you'll come back again soon.