Archive for October, 2012

PEACHES FOR FATHER By Joanne Harris and giveaway!

October 31, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 7 Comments →

::::We are giving away a hardback copy of Peaches for Father Francis, a paperback copy of Chocolat, and a a bag of truffles. How do you enter? Go check out the Author’s webpage - come back here and in the comment section tell us something of interest you found on the Author’s page. Make sure to leave your email addy or to check back to see if you won. Winners will be picked November 7th.  ::::

PEACHES FOR FATHER By Joanne Harris

When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the beautiful French village in which eight years ago she opened a chocolate shop and first learned the meaning of home.

But returning to one’s past can be a dangerous pursuit. Vianne, with her daughters, Anouk and Rosette, finds Lansquenet changed in unexpected ways: women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea—and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the church, a minaret. Most surprising of all, her old nemesis, Father Francis Reynaud, desperately needs her help.

Can Vianne work her magic once again?

Buy your copy today!
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Anyone who has read Joanne Harris’ best-seller Chocolat will be familiar with the deliciously warm character of Vianne Rocher. In Harris’ latest novel, PEACHES FOR FATHER FRANCIS (Viking; Strict On Sale: October 2, 2012; $26.95; ISBN: 978-0-670-02636-4), it’s eight years later and Vianne receives a letter from beyond the grave from her friend Armande, summoning her back from her life on a houseboat in Paris to the quaint village of Lansquenet where she used to run her chocolate shop.

Upon returning with her daughters Anouk and Rosette, Vianne discovers that everything and nothing has changed in the small village. Her adversary, Father Francis Reynaud, still feels persecuted and misunderstood—only this time he needs Vianne’s help. Her one-time best friend, Josephine, still has an ambiguous relationship with Vianne’s lover Roux, and, unbeknownst to Vianne, has an eight-year-old son born just days after Rosette. And Lansquenet itself has changed with the arrival of a large number of Moroccans. The cultural mix is welcomed by some and resented by others.

Ultimately, Vianne is left to unravel the mystery of newcomer Inés Bencharki, who is part of the new Muslim community and is stirring up things. Inés insists on dressing in the traditional full black veil, under which “she seems as impervious to hostility as she is to gossip, scandal or offers of friendship.” Tensions between these two communities reach a fever pitch and it’s up to Vianne to rescue Father Francis and to discover what’s really going on in Lansquenet before it’s too late.

“Harris’s skill at vibrantly depicting the charm and eccentricity of rural French life is at the heart of this delightful novel…Harris has used this story as a plea for tolerance and understanding, but her message is not the least pedantic. Fans of the first two books will delight in becoming reacquainted with Vianne, her dashing man, Roux, and her clever daughters.”—Library Journal

“Like Chocolat, this book is a feast for the senses. Every page of the book is steeped in scents, colours and tastes, without ever tipping into the pretentious or showy. The writing is seductive and engaging throughout; and the magic, too, is intrinsic without ever being soppy or embarrassing. What is magic (or religion), after all, if not an ability to understand the human heart? Peaches for Father Francis is a wonderful return to form for Harris.”—Literary Review

“Absorbing and atmospheric…Joanne bravely tackles religious differences head-on but very sensitively. It’s expressive, rich, vibrant and even shocking in parts.”—Heat Magazine

“A delightful jumble of the sensuous sights, sounds and smells the author describes so well.”—Glamour

About the Author:
Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread Award-shortlisted Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated feature film, and eleven other bestselling novels. She is published world-wide, in approximately 50 countries, and is the winner of several international and UK awards. She is an Honorary Fellow at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and lives with her husband in Yorkshire.

Check out the Author’s Website

Author Eliza Daly & Gift Certificate Giveaway

October 30, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 22 Comments →

My Memorable Firsts

Thanks so much to Romance Junkies for helping me celebrate the release of my debut contemporary romance, Under Her Spell. After having written numerous books, selling my first book is a very exciting accomplishment for me. I’ll never forget where I was or what I was doing when I found out I’d sold. I was in a hotel room in Orlando reading Facebook. We experience a lot of firsts in life, some more memorable than others. I took a trip down memory lane and thought I’d share some of my other firsts. I have a horrible memory, so I really had to think hard on some of these. Here they are in no particular order.

The first book I wroteUnder Her Spell is the first book I published, but like most authors I didn’t publish the first book I wrote. My first book was a really bad rough draft for a romantic suspense, which is packed away in the depths of my basement, never to see the light of day again.

The first book I submitted. The first book I polished and submitted to agents was a romantic comedy titled Love Is in the Air. It was an RWA Golden Heart finalist. Yay!

The first romance novel I readLove Me Marietta, a historical romance by Jennifer Wilde. I read it twice when I was fifteen years old. I just looked up the author and learned that Jennifer Wilde was a pen name used by Tom E. Huff. Interesting…

My first car. A 1981 red Mustang with a sunroof. It was truly love at first sight and I just had to have it, even though I didn’t know how to drive stick. I learned real fast, so I could cruise the streets with Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” blaring out the windows.

My first job while in school. I started babysitting at the age of twelve and continued through high school while also waitressing and working at a grocery store.

My first job out of school. I worked for American Airlines in Milwaukee for two years.

My first emergency room run. I was a junior in high school and I was at a bonfire where I either sat in a patch of poison oak, which I’m allergic to, or they were burning it. I missed two weeks of school and I couldn’t wear makeup or contacts for prom court. Needless to say, I don’t have a copy of my prom pics.

My first husband. My first and only husband ever is Mark. We’ve been together 19 years.

My first house. We bought our first house a year after we were married. We still live there in the Milwaukee area.

The first movie I saw in the theater. Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This may have sparked my interest in spell casting.

The first time I moved away from home. I was 19 and I moved to Milwaukee to work for American Airlines.

My first cat’s name. Blanco. My dad was studying Spanish and chose the name. I’ve had a dozen cats since Blanco. I’m a huge cat person.

The first time I flew and the first time I saw the ocean. I was 14 years old and my parents took my sister Sandy and I to California. I can still hear Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” playing on the ride at Disneyland.

My first rock concert. Def Leppard at the Green Bay Brown County Arena. I think I still have my Def Leppard sleeveless sweatshirt somewhere.

My first kiss. I was 13, but I won’t say who, since he might not know he was my first.

Please answer the following question to be entered to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift certificate.  The winner will be announced here November 1.

What are three of your most memorable firsts?

Thank you to everyone who stopped by today. Please check out the upcoming stops on my blog tour, ending November 27. I’ll be giving away a variety of gifts, such as e-books, writing journals, Amazon or B & N gift certificates, and Godiva chocolate on Halloween. If you comment on 5 or more of my 23 blog stops, and are a Facebook fan, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of two $25 Amazon or B & N gift certificates at the end of my blog tour. Winners will be announced on my website’s news page the end of November. My December Holiday Giveaway for my readers will also be revealed at that time.

ABOUT ELIZA DALY

Eliza Daly’s first attempt at creative writing was in fourth grade. She and her friends were huge Charlie’s Angels fans and she would sit in her bedroom at night writing scripts for them to act out at recess the following day. She was Kelly Garrett. Fast forward to the present, she’s still writing stories about beautiful women who always get their men. The journey from fourth grade script writer to published author wasn’t an easy one, but it was always an adventure and the final destination was well worth it.

When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home in Milwaukee working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband Mark, and her cats Quigley and Frankie.

You can find Eliza on the web at WebsiteFacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

Under Her Spell is available at Amazon, iTunesGoogle Play (Nook compatible) and Barnes & Noble (coming soon).

UNDER HER SPELL BOOK BLURB

When a series of failed relationships and business ventures have Monica Jackson doubting her self-worth, she turns to spell casting to attract positive energy and the opportunities needed to achieve her goals.  But can Monica’s belief in spells restore her belief in herself?

Monica creates a spell to find her soul mate, and one to ensure the success of her new romantic event planning company, Enhance Your Romance.  Monica is confident she has found her niche until divorce lawyer Reed Walker opens a practice next door to her office.  The anti-marriage slogan plastered on his office window, and his down-on-love clients, quickly prove detrimental to Monica’s business.  When his arrival appears to trigger a string of bad luck, Monica fears one of her spells sent negative energy into the universe and it has returned to her threefold.  Although Reed is beyond sexy, and she admires his self-confidence, she’ll do whatever it takes to get the universe back on her side, and Reed out of her life. No way is she losing another business.

Reed finds himself attracted to Monica’s beauty and her optimism. His job and his parents’ divorce have made him a pessimist, especially when it comes to love. However, he soon finds that Monica’s pro-love attitude is rubbing off on him, causing him to lose his edge.  If Reed doesn’t distance himself from Monica, he’ll likely destroy his reputation as a pit bull divorce lawyer.

Can Monica and Reed look past what they might be losing to realize the love they have found?

Buy a copy of the Book Today!

Romance Junkies Haunted House Halloween Contest

October 29, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

Romance Junkies Haunted House

We have a cavern with baby dragons, a monster bash, a magic shop, a graveyard and lots of giveaways!

Come check it out! http://www.romancejunkies.com/halloweencontest2012/halloweenmainpage.html

List of Authors contributing and where to find them:

LOBBY:

Cindy Jacks

Bronwyn Green

Mahalia Levey

Cassandra Carr

J.A. Garland

Amanda Anderson

Morticia Knight

Rusty Fischer

Magic Shop:

Donna Michaels

Laura Sheehan

Amanda Anderson 4

Patricia Leever

Delaney Diamond

Jami Gray

Jane Lovering

Ashlynn Monroe

Christine DePetrillo

Nina S. Gooden

Ronald Malfi

Hazel Statham

Library:

Lori Crawford 

W. Lynn Chantale

Marie Harte

Joey W. Hill

Dana Marton 1

LuAnn McLane

Jax Cassidy

Renee Field

Dalton Diaz

Lisa Carlisle

Kate Evangelista

Karenna Colcroft

Caverns:

Shay Lacy

Annabeth Albert

Synithia Williams

Raine Delight

Cassandra Gold

Kaylie Newell

Nina Pierce

Denysé Bridger

PG Forte

Suz deMello

Sarah M. Glover

Monster Bash:

Willa Blair

Gail Koger

Gregory Lamberson

M.A. Ellis &  Author Lisa Fox

Dana Marton 2

Cerise DeLand

Christina Courtenay

Ericka Scott

Lea Barrymire

Lena Hart

Anna DeStefano

Anya Breton

Amanda McIntyre

Graveyard:

Nicole Morgan

Brenna Zinn

Cindy Sample

Amanda Anderson 3

Bebe Balocca

Ann Mayburn

Jana Richards

Amanda Anderson 2

 

Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time at TEN BEACH ROAD in October by Author Wendy Wax

October 29, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

TEN BEACH ROAD is hitting the shelves anew this month as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Group’s READ PINK® program.

The READ PINK® program was created by my publisher, Penguin Group (USA) to promote public awareness of breast cancer and breast cancer research and to support and recognize the contributions of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®(BCRF) by connecting the cause to books written by, for and about women.

For the past two years, Penguin’s Read Pink donation has sponsored 500 hours of research time and I’m incredibly proud and honored to have my book on the shelves with the Read Pink Seal on the cover and information about BCRF in the back of the book.

But… it’s October!  My books usually hit the stores when temperatures are rising, school is out and we’re either headed to the beach or at least daydreaming about sand, surf and sun.  So this got me thinking about what makes a book a beach book, and why we should throw caution to the wind and read them all year long.   After all, if some fashionista somewhere can decree that white pants are acceptable all year long, then why can’t we do the same with beach books?

Not convinced?  Well, let me share my “Top 10 Reasons to Spend Time at TEN BEACH ROAD in October” list with you and see if we can get on the same page.  (Pun fully intended!)

Since school is back in session, it’s important to set a good example for your kids by reading.  If you pick up TEN BEACH ROAD, you’ll be enjoying a sweat-soaked summer with Maddie, Nicole, and Avery as they rehab a dilapidated beachfront mansion in Pass-a-Grille, Florida.  Your kids will just think you are very smart and studious.

  1.   If you need something to warm you up, the men of TEN BEACH ROAD are hot.
  2. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why books that really take you away are necessary in the summer.  What better time for a good mental escape to the beach than a cold, rainy day in October?
  3. When you’re looking ahead to long cold months with the sun setting earlier and earlier each day, you can at least feel good that you have not lost everything in a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme like the women of TEN BEACH ROAD.
  4. If your neighborhood is getting too cold and windy for DIY projects, you can read about Maddie, Nicole and Avery’s work on Bella Flora and just tell your hubby that you’re in the “planning stages” for next spring and summer.
  5. Did I mention that there are some hot guys in TEN BEACH ROAD?
  6. Reading beach books in the summer can make you feel bad about not being quite bikini ready… but in October, you can pull out a big cozy sweater and some chocolate cake and know you have months before you have to worry about that again!
  7. If beach vacations are not just for summer, then beach books shouldn’t be either.  October is actually a good time to head to the beaches in Florida.  The crowds have thinned and the temperatures are still warm.  You could leave the kids with Dad, grab your girlfriends, a few copies of TEN BEACH ROAD and call it a book club weekend!
  8. Friendships are timeless, and so are troubles.  TEN BEACH ROAD is the story of three women who are thrown together when they lose everything.  It could be set in Aspen in March, Boston in December or Dubuque in May.  The story is about the women, their lives, and their bond.  So reading it in October wherever you live will work.  I promise.
  9. I think I have mentioned that there are some hot guys in the book, but it bears repeating!  If you’re looking for a way to warm up, there’s nothing better than picturing Joe Giraldi running shirtless on the beach.  (Not sure who Joe is?  Pick up the READ PINK® edition of TEN BEACH ROAD to find out)!

So, show the world the kind of woman you really are: brave, fearless, and bold.  Wear white pants after Labor Day, drink a Piña Colada in December and proudly show off your copy of TEN BEACH ROAD in October.  You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood, and you can be proud knowing you’re supporting a great cause!

OCEAN BEACH by Wendy Wax

Berkley Books/Trade Paperback/Original/Fiction

$15.00 ($16.00 Canada)

0-425-24541-1 978-0-425-24541-5

BUY YOUR COPY TODAY!

Wendy Wax introduced Madeline Singer, Avery Lawford and Nicole Grant and their story of friendship, family and triumph in her highly praised novel, Ten Beach Road, which USA Today cited as one of “six that belong in your beach bag.” It’s the first time Wendy, who was born and grew up in St. Pete Beach where the book takes place, set one of her stories in Florida.  For her latest novel, OCEAN BEACH, she returned to the Sunshine State, this time Miami, and she brought the cast of Ten Beach Road with her.

Wendy has lived in Atlanta for fifteen years and hadn’t been to Miami for some time before she began researching OCEAN BEACH. Her first memories of the famous resort city are from childhood. “When I was little, we stayed at the Fontainebleau Hotel and ate at Wolfie’s,” she says, admitting a bit of nostalgia for the now closed landmark deli.

She remembers her cousins had a well-known Italian restaurant, Gino’s, on Collins Avenue, just south of Wolfie’s, and that her father, who traveled the state, always brought home “real” bagels from Miami and stopped for a meal at the legendary Joe’s Stone Crab. The restaurant is famous for serving not only Ken Wax, but Will Rogers, Amelia Earhart, Gloria Swanson, Walter Winchell and Al Capone, who dined under the name Al Brown.

“Certainly, I remember my big brother getting married at the Diplomat Country Club, but most of my memories are of things like swimming in a salt water pool for the first time.”  She, of course, remembers working on her first feature film there, Night in Heaven.  The family dog, a Greyhound named “Blue Boy,” was retired from a Miami dog track, Wendy notes, adding “None of us could beat him to the front door.  Or catch up with him when he made a break for it.”

Today, she knows much more about the city, especially South Beach’s legendary Art Deco structures.  One home in particular caught her eye and, despite its need for extensive repair, inspired the creation of The Millicent, the fictional house at the heart of OCEAN BEACH, an Art Deco Streamline Moderne “credited” to revered Miami Beach architect Henry Hohauser.

There’s another slice of Wendy’s Florida past that complements her research for OCEAN BEACH. That’s her on air and behind the scenes work at Tampa television station WEDU, where she produced and hosted the program The Home Front, which aired on PBS stations across the United States.  In her new book, her protagonists film the first season of their reality show, Do Over.

More important to Wendy, however, is the collective past she explored—learning more about South Beach’s amazing architecture and the way the area developed, how the city played host and home to the rich and famous as far back as the early days of television, and the stories behind many of Miami’s restaurants and hotels, such as the Fontainebleau where she stayed as a child, unaware of its rich history of celebrity guests and ties to Hollywood.

“I have no trouble imagining Max and Millie Golden there,” says Wendy of the fictional comedy team who bought The Millicent shortly after they married.  “I’m sure they would have hobnobbed à la George and Gracie with friends like Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, and Ann-Margaret.”

Wendy read voraciously as a child and her love affairs with language and storytelling paid off beginning with her first shift at the campus radio station while studying journalism at the University of Georgia. She studied in Italy through Florida State University, returned home, graduated from the University of South Florida, and later worked at WEDU and at Tampa’s WDAE-Radio.

Wendy’s writing has been highly praised. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says she “writes with breezy wit and keen insight into family relations.” Her books have been featured in national publications such as USA Today and Women’s World, and at online book blogs and sites such as On A Clear Day You Can Read Forever, Luxury Reading, Night Owl Reviews and Fresh Fiction.  In 2011 she was honored by the City of St. Pete Beach, which declared May 12 “Wendy Wax Day.”

The mother of a toddler and an infant when she decided to change careers, Wendy admits it may not have been the best timing in terms of productivity. “I’m still not certain why I felt so compelled to write my first novel at that particular time,” she says, “but that first book took forever.” Since then she’s written seven others, including Ten Beach Road, Magnolia Wednesdays, the Romance Writers of America RITA Award finalist The Accidental Bestseller, Leave It to Cleavage and Single in Suburbia. Her novel 7 Days and 7 Nights was honored with the Virginia Romance Writers Holt Medallion Award. Her work has been sold to publishers in ten countries and to the Rhapsody Book Club, and her novel, Hostile Makeover, was excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Wendy has just finished her next novel, which will be published in spring 2013. When not writing, she spends much of her time speaking to writer’s groups and book clubs, enjoying time with her family, visiting relatives in St. Pete, and devouring books.

www.authorwendywax.com facebook.com/AuthorWendyWax @Wendy_Wax

Witches and Other Spooky Stuff By Kathryn Meyer Griffith and a giveaway

October 27, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

:::We are giving away 3 ebooks. How do you enter? Just join in add a comment. Winners will be picked November 6::::

A Ghost Story by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Because most of us are terrified of dying and death, of losing all we know so well in this mortal plane, we want to know: is there life after death? Do ghosts walk the earth? Vengeful or benevolent spirits? Immortals such as vampires and werewolves? Does good always win against evil? As human beings we’d love the answers to these questions and if we can’t find them, prove them, well, then we’ll invent, create, worlds where we can.

Now I must say that I can’t be considered a true skeptic when it comes to the supernatural because at the tender age of sixteen I saw a ghost, or what I believed was a ghost. My great Aunt Mary had died two days before. Not unexpectedly. She was old, had been in a nursing home for months, and we knew it was coming. Before the nursing home, though, she’d lived ten years with my maternal grandmother, whose name was also Mary, and had been happy there. The night before the funeral I’d been sleeping in my bed and something – to this day I don’t know what it was – woke me and I wandered down the dim hallway to use the bathroom.

And there was my dead Great Aunt Mary standing at the end of the hall in an eerie pulsating ball of light. She looked so real, as if I could reach out and touch her and my fingers would feel flesh. She was gesturing excitedly to me and rattling off a string of words that had to be German because I couldn’t understand a word of it. The old woman had been an immigrant who’d never learned our language, which is one of the reasons she’d been so content living with my grandmother; they’d both spoken German. The only word I could understand was Mary as she kept repeating the word over and over. I assumed my aunt was calling for my grandmother, as if my aunt were lost, and looking for her favorite niece. It’s the only explanation I have for the visitation.

Why she appeared to me, I’ll never know, but she did. I remember thinking: It’s Aunt Mary. Oh my God! But she’s dead. Dead. When it finally hit me, I was so frightened I turned and scurried back to my bedroom and dived beneath my bed covers. To this day, my mind swears I didn’t see what I thought I saw…Aunt Mary’s spirit…but my heart and my senses chide me and say, yes, you did. You saw a ghost. A real ghost. So there.

Since that day I’ve never been able to laugh at the possibility of the paranormal existing. The thing is, because I consider myself a down-to-earth realistic person (even though I’m considered basically a horror writer even with the other genres I write) , if someone asks me if I believe in ghosts and such I often as not hesitate before I admit that I might have seen one. Might. No one wants to be thought of as unbalanced. Seeing spirits is only one step above seeing little green men or pink elephants.

I want to be taken seriously. I mean, I’m a writer, not a nutcase.

All toll I’ve been a writer of paranormal fiction for forty years and proud of it. I’ve written about spirits, benevolent and malevolent; ghosts; angels; demons and all manner of vampires and unexplained creatures; and even, once, a possessed gun, and a woods haunted by an entity that was an eternal killer. Can’t get more spooky than that, can you?

Happy Halloween!

***

Witches and Other Spooky Stuff

(Originally a 1993 Zebra paperback and

now a 2011 Revised Author’s Edition from Damnation Books)

By Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723553

http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79  

Now, first off, let me say, that by no means, am I or have I ever been a…witch. Nothing against Wicca but I’m just not one. I have no magical powers or cannot foresee the future. Nada.

I have seen a ghost, though. Right after my Great Aunt Mary passed away, the night before her burial, I saw her ghost in my parent’s hallway (I was sixteen and still at home) and, let me tell you, it scared the bejesus out of me. But she was just looking for my grandmother, whom she’d lived the last ten years of her life with, and I knew she meant me no harm. It was still a shock. She appeared in a ghostly halo of mist at the end of the hallway beckoning me…in German. I couldn’t spell German but I got the idea. She was lost, didn’t know she was dead and was looking for my grandmother, whom she’d loved so much in life. I ran, hid in my bed and pretended it’d never happened. Hey, but I know it did.

I have, though, always loved the eerie, the unexplained. The spooky. Horror.

Anyway, we’re talking about my book Witches-Revised Author’s Edition.

In 1991 I’d already been writing for about twenty years, on and off (though there was a long gap where I didn’t write because of a divorce, the finding of a full time job to support myself and my son, and a remarriage…life) when I contracted my fourth novel, my first of four to Zebra paperbacks, a romantic horror called Vampire Blood, about a family of vampires who ran a movie theater in a small town. I’d already had a fifth novel, The Last Vampire, completed and in with them when they asked me for another novel.

Got anything about witches, they asked. Witches are hot right now. Hmmm.

For many years I’d played around with an idea about a present day white witch who finds a diary of a long dead witch – either good or bad, I hadn’t decided – in her old house’s attic, or basement, or under a floorboard. The story would have been about the good witch reliving the other dead witch’s life through the diary. I’d always called that possible book Rachel’s Diary in my head.

So in 1991 or 1992 I began the witch book and it quickly metamorphosed into a story of a present day good witch, Amanda Givens,  who’s yanked into a perilous seventeenth century past by an evil witch, Rachel Coxe, to take her place…and die a horrible death as an accused witch. I had the idea then to actually send Amanda into the past to live (for a while) the other witch’s life. Of course, being a good witch, Amanda, changes the other witch’s unsavory reputation but still ends up in a prison waiting to die for Rachel’s earlier crimes. The story, simply put, would be how Amanda overcomes her trials and tribulations, finds her lost eternal love again in the past, and finds a way to return to the present alive. In the process, learning some important life lessons about accepting what life has dealt her and the value of sisters, friendships and the love of those around her. Or good versus evil and, in the end, good wins and is rewarded. I also threw in a few touches of humor in the form of three precocious witches’ familiars…a mind-reading and speaking cat called Amadeus, a mouse, Tituba, and a tiny bat, Gibbiewackett …all with feisty personalities and quirks of their own.

I was excited about the book as I was writing it and when it was done, pleased with it, but had no idea that over the years it’d become the jewel of my writing career and the book that my fans would love the best of all my books. I loved the cat face cover Zebra did for it (a rare occurrence as I’d learned the hard way that covers weren’t always what I’d envisioned and in the early days I had no choice but to accept whatever the publisher’s gave me…and some weren’t so hot, let me tell you!).

Witches came out in 1993 and did well. I noticed soon after as I went on to publish other books that I got the most response and admiration for it. Readers loved the three sisters, Amadeus and Amanda, Gibbiewackett and Tituba. In those days I was too busy working full time as a graphic artist, living my life and writing new books to notice. It went into a second printing in 2000 and after that, sadly, went out of print. But my fans never forgot it. I’d find comments on it and discussions on the Internet…even customer reviews raving about it years and years later. I tried talking Zebra into reissuing it but after Zebra and I parted ways there was no talking them into it.

Then in 2010 when Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, the publisher, Kim Richards, asked about all (there was 7 at the time) my out-of-print Zebra and Leisure backlist novels and if I’d like to have them reissued as new paperbacks and, for the first time ever, in e-books. Sure, that’d be great! I told her. And, as they say, the rest is history. Between June 2010 and June 2012 all 7 of them (and now another 3 of my Wild Rose Press novels and two short stories from 2007) updated, rewritten and with stunning new covers will be out again. All in e-books for the first time.

Of course, that’s meant a heck of a lot of rewriting. A lot of work. Those early novels go back twenty-seven years and were first written in the days of snail mail and on an electric typewriter before the Internet, e-mails and Windows Track Changes (for editing). Oh, boy, did they need revising. As of today I can happily say they’re all rewritten now except the very first one, Evil Stalks the Night, 1984; yet even that one will be completed soon.

I’ve often been asked what I think of e-books and I have to say it feels strange, all these years later, to be so into them. I think it’s fantastic to be able to put thousands of books on one little lightweight hand-held contraption and sell them as inexpensively as we do. I started publishing e-books four years ago and have seen such great changes in even that short a time. I love the editing process now. With Track Changes it’s truly a collaborative effort between the editor and the writer and it’s taught me far more about the craft of writing than the old way of just sending off the manuscript, being asked to change certain things, but then never seeing any of those changes or the basic edits until the book was printed and in my hand. Now, no more pages added by an editor (That actually happened in Evil Stalks the Night. The editor, who I never met, added three pages of his own and I didn’t even know about it until I held the book in my hand. And the three pages didn’t make sense…ech!) that I never know about or see until the book comes out. Yeah.

With a chuckle I recall a writer’s convention I attended in 1990 – yes, that far back – and the main topic back then was…OMG the electronic books are coming! They’re going to make us authors obsolete! Print books are going to die a terrible lonely death…etc., etc. Lack and alas, what are we going to do? Ha, ha. It’s ironic that 21 years later I’m in love with e-books. They’re the future. And I think there’ll always be room for print books as well as electronic ones.

So Witches…Damnation Books is rereleasing it April 1, 2011. I’m thrilled. The cover is still of Amadeus, the cat, and Dawne Dominique did an amazing job on it. My editor, Alison O’Byrne, helped me make it a better book than eighteen years ago. Of all my novels, I’m most proud of it. It’s held up pretty well. I hope it finds many more readers and fans.

So that’s the story of Witches…the little book that wouldn’t die.

Thank you!   E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net

Halloween. Ghost Brother (a ghost story
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00997JT1G#_ ); Running with the
Train (werewolves in the Grand Canyon
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00999IWMQ ); The Banshee and the
Witch (about a witch who wants to live forever
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0099781WE); and Too Close to the
Edge (another ghost short story
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00998TJ9M#

***

Kathryn Meyer Griffith has been writing for nearly forty years and has published 14 novels and 7 short stories since 1984 with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press in the horror, romantic paranormal, suspense and murder mystery genres… and all 12 of her old books above (and two new ones) are being brought out again between June 2010 and June 2012 from DAMNATION BOOKS www.damnationbooks.com and ETERNAL PRESS www.eternalpress.biz again in print – and all in  e-books for the first time ever! Learn more about her at www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith or  www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyergriffith or  www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith or www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyergriffith and http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486 .

 

My List of Ghost Stories by Stacey Coverstone

October 26, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 7 Comments →

My List of Ghost Stories by Stacey Coverstone

I love ghost stories, especially this time of year, because I equate Halloween with spirits.  As soon as October rolls around, I start reading all the ghost stories I can get my hands on.  When deciding what to write about for this blog, I noticed there are a lot of lists of favorite books, movies, etc. on the internet. The ones I’ve seen for ghost stories and their authors usually list the classics: Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Wilkie Collins, and the like.  That gave me an idea to create my own list of favorite ghost-themed stories that I’ve recently read and enjoyed.  The twist here is that a few of these authors may be well known to most readers, but some may not be.  They are all authors I’ve read on my Kindle (with the exception of one).  I hope you’ll give some of these haunting mysteries and romances a try this Halloween season.

Hearts Through Time by Marie Higgins
A woman claiming to be a ghost from 1912 appears in a down and out lawyer’s office and begs for help in solving her murder.  This is a sweet, clean time travel romance.

A Gracious Plenty by Sheri Reynolds

A disfigured recluse finds comfort in tending her small southern town’s cemetery, where she hears the voices of those buried. A masterful tale not to be forgotten.

She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb (not an ebook)

A murdered 18th-century pioneer woman and a present-day escaped convict haunt the same Appalachian wilderness in this multilayered mystery.

Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite

Told in the voices of five women whose lives are bound when a murder takes place in rural Depression-era North Carolina, this novel spans generations and conjures the best of Southern folklore—mystery, hoodoo, and spirits who won’t rest.

The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

Set on a remote island in the Great Lakes, this is a haunting story of family secrets, ghosts, and strange things happening in a Victorian house.

More Than You Know by Beth Gutcheon

In a small town on the coast of Maine, an old woman begins her story: “Somebody said true love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen. I’ve seen both and I don’t know how to tell you which is worse.” An unforgettable novel that bridges two centuries, two intense love stories, and restless ghosts.

 Cape Seduction by Anne Carter

In this mystery set at an abandoned California lighthouse, photojournalist Rebecca encounters the spirit of a once-promising Hollywood starlet, Darla, who mysteriously disappeared in 1948.  Their two stories are told in alternating chapters, present and past, with Rebecca discovering a shocking 60-year-old secret.

And if these books aren’t enough to whet your ghostly appetite, several of my own novels, such as Secrets of Seacliff House, Big Sky, and A Haunted Twist of Fate include paranormal elements.  I’ve also published Haunt: A Collection of Short Ghost Stories, in case you’re looking for some quick campfire-type stories.  Please visit my website for blurbs and purchasing information.

Thanks for stopping by today and Happy Reading!

Secrets of Seacliff House
Contemporary Gothic Romance

Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!

For the past twenty-seven years, Kayla Grayson’s mother has refused to discuss Kayla’s absent father or explain why the two of them have been alone in the world without relatives.  A mysterious email sends Kayla to a Maryland beach town and her grandmother’s home, Seacliff House.  There, Kayla hopes to discover who she is and why her past has been shrouded in mystery.

When Tanner Bishop discovers an old diary among his grandfather’s possessions, his interest is piqued.  Some of the entries speak of Pearl, a young woman who abandoned her son and fled Maine for Maryland in 1958.  The journalist in Tanner wants to know what became of Pearl once she found her way to Seacliff House. But as the woman’s great-grandson, he needs to know.

Kayla quickly learns the whereabouts of her father and meets her formidable grandmother, while Tanner investigates his own connection to Seacliff House. Through a mutual interest in searching out their roots, romance blossoms. But events that cannot be stopped are quickly set in motion—including murder and a ghost sighting—to reveal secrets of the past that threaten the couple’s hopeful future.

Read an excerpt / Buy your copy today!

Haunt – A Collection of Short Ghost Stories
Only $.99 at Kindle

A burn victim meets the Good Samaritan who provided comfort in her time of need.  A newlywed encounters a malevolent ghost who forces her to play a terrifying game of treasure hunt.  And an innocent man is drawn into the mesmerizing song of a siren bent on revenging her murder.  These and other stories are what you’ll find in this collection of modern short ghost stories.

Buy your copy today!

Stacey

http://www.staceycoverstone.com

 

The Wonders of Fall by JoMarie DeGioia

October 25, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 9 Comments →

October is here at last! Living in Florida keeps the crisp cool weather and turning leaves away for another two months, but I’m so ready for Fall now. The stores are filled with adorable kids’ Halloween costumes and bags upon bags of candy. To be truthful, the stores have been stocked since August! Nevertheless, I love picking up piles of silk leaves to scatter around the house and decorating the front porch with plastic pumpkins. I’m currently burning a scented candle called Autumn Leaves from a famous New England chandler, and that really helps bring me into my favorite season. It’s a poor substitute, though. I miss New England and the rest of my family, but I really miss going apple-picking and choosing real pumpkins from the patch.

I’ve unearthed enough autumn recipes to get me through to Thanksgiving, but I need something more as the year marches toward December. Yes, I have lots of candles to get me through that season too, lol. And so many favorite holiday cookies to make I can’t even count. But I need more than recipes and candles. You may have noticed that this is the time of year when holiday-themed Romances appear on the physical and virtual bookshelves. Sprigs of holly and trailing red ribbons decorate so many new releases I’m at a loss over which one to choose first! I love a story that really brings the romance home within a celebration of the holidays. I don’t mean sleigh rides and buttered rum surrounded my sugar plums. I mean a gathering of family to enjoy the season and the romance of the hero and heroine.

In my upcoming Lachesis Publishing release, More Than Charming, we visit the Christmas holiday more than once. We also check in with favorite family members from the first two books in the Dashing Nobles series. The lure of hearth and home—and heart and heat —makes me gather these characters together. Of course, the hero and heroine indulge in more than eggnog and plum pudding! The couple grows closer even as danger swirls outside along with the snowflakes. Not to give too much away, but the next Christmas serves as the perfect time to conclude the series that began with More Than Passion.

Now I’m going out on the front porch to sit beneath the leafy autumn wreath on my door with a mug of warm spiced cider. Who cares if it’s 80 degrees outside? Hmm. Maybe I’ll drink it cold.

Thanks so much for dropping by. I’d love to hear from readers, too. Please email me at JoMarie@JoMarieDeGioia.com or visit my website, www.jomariedegioia.com

Scottish Highland Games-a Character’s Perspective by Nancy Lee Badger

October 25, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 10 Comments →

Caber TossI decided that today’s article on present day Highland Games needed a new perspective. Those that know me have read my views on why I volunteer at the New Hampshire Highland Games, which is where I got the idea for my Highland Games Through Time series.

So…please welcome Iona Mackenzie. She is a devoted daughter, antique dealer, and a woman who has yet to find a man with whom she cares to share her life. Iona’s a bit stubborn. Pretending to be a villager from 16th century Scotland, she spins wool while demonstrating her ancient spinning wheel as a volunteer at the New England Highland Games. In book #1 in the series, My Honorable Highlander, she asked her best friend to help. That friend, Haven Mackay, disappeared. A letter is placed in Iona’s hand by an old crone, and everything changes.

Nancy: “What’s in the letter?”
Iona: “Trouble. If I am to believe Haven, she’s stuck in the past, in Scotland. And, she’s pregnant!”

Nancy: “What’s wrong with that? Weren’t you the one that kept telling her ‘When you find love, hold on tight.’?”
Iona: “Sure I did, but I didn’t think she’d jump back in time to 16th century Scotland to do it! I have a bad feeling about this.”

Nancy: “That’s right. Gossip has it you have the sight. What are you planning?”
Iona: “Quiet! Any rumor of witchcraft could get me killed. First, I’ll visit Dorcas Swann. I have a feeling she is involved.

Nancy: “Right. She gave you the letter. How did she get it?”
Iona: “Never you mind. I have to get back to the historical village. My dad was looking for me to help him in Clan Village, but I need to talk to Jake.”

Nancy: “The blacksmith?”
Iona: “Yes, he knows Haven and he might help if I can drag him away from his furnace. He loves making wrought iron things. He sells leather goods and swords, too.”

Nancy: “Swords? In this day and age?”
Iona: “Sure. Why dress in a kilt without a sword on your back or a dirk at your hip?”

Nancy: (looking around) “I see what you mean. The Highland Games are full of good looking men in sexy kilts. There is a perfect example. Who is that?” (heart flutters)
Iona: “I might have to ask that handsome giant for help. He’s a suspicious hunk of male, and I think he works for the witch. He said he knows Haven. ”

Nancy: “Is he an athlete? He sure is big enough to ‘throw the hammer’ or ‘toss the caber’.”
Iona: “True, but I have a feeling he isn’t used to the games. He stares at everything…the bagpipers, the country dancers, and even the marching bands seem to make him uneasy.”

Nancy: “Maybe you should buy him a Scottish ale at the beer tent or take him inside the concert tent. Nice and cool…dark in there, too.”
Iona: “You sound like Haven! Matchmakers will be the death of me.”

Nancy: “Doubtful, but you might want to watch out for that suspicious man in the black hooded cloak. He keeps staring at you.”
Iona: (shivers) “I’ll be careful. Thanks for the warning. Well, nice talking to you, but I have to get back to my spinning wheel. Thousands of visitors to please, and then I will save Haven. Somehow.

BOOK BLURB
With a letter in her hand and a Highlander at her back, what could go wrong?

When his clan convicts Cameron Robeson of treason in 1598 Scotland, the last thing he thought his cousin the Laird would do was banish him to the future. With a certain woman on his mind, he plans revenge while surrounded by the sights and sounds of the modern day New England Highland Games. His plans go awry when a comely redheaded lass wearing the Mackenzie plaid lands at his feet.

Iona Mackenzie is worried about her friend, Haven, and searches for answers among the tents at the games. Whom can she trust to help? Her father? The handsome blacksmith? Or, the tall, golden-haired Highlander? Romance takes a back seat because saving her friend is her priority, no matter how great Cameron can kiss.

When a magical amulet and an angry sorcerer send this unlikely couple back through time, more than one heart will be broken. Danger, intrigue, and threats surround them, and feelings between Iona and Cameron grow hot and steamy. They fight the sorcerer and search for Iona’s friend, the woman he vowed to steal from his cousin. Will the strong-willed Highlander and the present day witch stop fighting long enough to listen to their hearts?

More About the Author

Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of dirks and broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic &Paranormal Romance Writers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.Nancys Latest Release

CONNECT ONLINE:
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My Banisher Highlander follows the story that began in My Honorable Highlander.

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A Scary Story by Shelle Sumners

October 24, 2012 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →

I have a very scary Halloween story to tell you.

When I was growing up, my grandmother taught me how to use a sewing machine and make clothes. Oh yes, I know how to sew. And I do not like it. Trying to follow pattern instructions, correctly insert a zipper, hand-sew a straight hemline—these are things that make me sweaty and cranky and give me migraines. And still, I made almost all of my daughter’s Halloween costumes as she was growing up. Because she was my kid, it was her one childhood, and I’m a masochist.

I don’t mean bedsheet ghost costumes. I mean Marie Antoinette, with layered skirts and elaborate pearl-and-rose festooned wig. A Dorothy costume that was a real, tailored little Dorothy dress, not the blue-gingham polyester, one-size-fits-all, sack-like thing you could buy at Party Fair. I even made her ruby slippers—perhaps not brilliantly engineered, but it was kind of magical that she left a red-glitter trail all over our neighborhood, trick-or-treating.

The year my daughter was nine, we decided she would be a flower fairy for Halloween. The body of the costume was easy; I had a long, gauzy, watercolor-patterned skirt that we pulled up to her neck and cut holes in, for her arms. She wore this over a leotard and tights, with store-bought fairy wings. The special thing that pulled the whole costume magically together was the headpiece I made for her—a tiara of silky, autumnal flowers and leaves. I shaped a sturdy headband from florist’s wire, covered it with purple felt, and hand-sewed onto it dusky roses, ivy, and maple leaves (some of them sparkly with crystal glitter), creating a halo of autumn beauty to frame my little girl’s lovely face.

So, perhaps you’re wondering when this story is going to get scary. Here we go.

While I was sewing the fairy headpiece over a couple of nights, I’d sit on the couch and watch TV. On breaks, I’d stick the sewing needle into the arm of the couch, get up, put my daughter to bed, putter around, etc. The night I finished the headpiece, I stuck the needle in the arm of the couch and, apparently, forgot about it—until Hobson found it.

Hobson is our cat. Hobson ate the needle. How did we figure this out? Hobson, ordinarily very good-natured and friendly, stopped eating, purring, and lap-sitting. And although he is a black-and-white cat, he began to look distinctly green. Glassy eyed. Our vet told us he had a virus, and it would pass. So we took him back home and waited a day or two, in vain, for Hobson’s purr to return. We went back to the vet and recoiled in horror when an x-ray revealed the ghostly white silhouette of a sewing needle lodged in his intestine.

I know, right? Scary. Obviously, I didn’t feel too good about this.

Hobson had surgery and got his appetite and purr back. He forgave me instantly, because he is a cat and naturally a very serene and zenlike creature. And perhaps he felt that a one-thousand-dollar veterinary bill was punishment enough.

So, this is a scary story with a nice ending. There is no sad little tuxedo-cat ghost gliding silently through my house; just a sweet, live one. And we are very, very careful not to leave bite-sized, gleaming, sharp objects lying about. EVER. Happy Halloween!

Shelle Sumners lives and writes in Bucks County, PA. Her debut novel Grace Grows is a Featured Alternate selection for Doubleday, Literary Guild and Rhapsody Book Clubs and is being published internationally. It has a companion soundtrack of phenomenal original songs that appear in the story, written and performed by her husband, singer-songwriter and Broadway actor Lee Morgan.

www.shellesumners.com

BELLA FORTUNA by Rosanna Chiofalo

October 24, 2012 By: Romance Junkies Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 3 Comments →

Now that my debut novel BELLA FORTUNA is out, readers have often asked me, “What was your inspiration and motivation for writing about a wedding dress seamstress/designer who’s also planning her wedding in Venice?”

My wedding six years ago definitely was part of the inspiration for my heroine Valentina DeLuca’s wedding. I remember the enormous pressure I was under to get my own wedding right, especially since I was planning it all myself. Though it was a stressful time, it was also a wonderful time, and I’ll admit, part of me wanted to relive those special days when I was immersed in looking at photos upon photos of lacy wedding dresses, bolder-than-life flowers, and fairy-tale-like venues. What better way to capture once again that moment than by writing about a heroine who also happens to be a wedding dress seamstress/designer and who is trying to create the perfect gown? But I also wanted to go deeper and show what could happen when a bride-to-be gets too caught up in trying to have the perfect wedding, or in Valentina’s case, the perfect dress.

Many brides lose sight of what their weddings are truly about: a milestone in their relationships as well as a special occasion to commemorate their love and commitment to each other. Instead, brides fall prey to ensuring nothing goes wrong at their weddings and making only the right choices where their dresses, flowers, and catering menus are concerned. But what brides forget is that life is imperfect so how can they expect their weddings to be perfect? Of course it’s natural for everyone to want the best on their wedding day and hope that all will flow smoothly with no major disasters occurring. But as almost every bride I’ve spoken to will confirm, there was always something that didn’t go the way they’d expected. And most of the brides did not dwell on what didn’t work out, but rather on what did. So one of my hopes for readers as they read Bella Fortuna is that if they are planning a wedding, the novel will help them realize and stay focused on what’s truly significant: their love for the man they will spend the rest of their days with.

Another one of my motives for writing about a family of wedding dress seamstresses/designers was to showcase the amazing skill and art of sewing. I truly believe being a seamstress is akin to being an artist. For just like an artist, a seamstress envisions first in her mind what her finished creation will look like. With painstaking effort, a seamstress works until her project matches the ideal vision she had at the onset. When coming up with the idea for Bella Fortuna, I was also inspired by my mother’s seamstress skills and her love of creating beautiful clothes.

My mother sewed much of my wardrobe when I was a child. When I was a schoolgirl and my friends complimented my outfits, I took pride in telling them that my mother had sewn the clothes. I knew I was lucky to have a mother who could create for me any style of clothing I desired. She could also replicate fashions in magazines. Even when my mother was copying a fashion from a page in a magazine or the few times she chose to use a pattern, she always put her own unique twist on the clothing she created. The true artist that she was, she used her creativity to put her individual stamp on her finished piece.

My mother learned to sew when she was as young as seven-years-old. Her father was a tailor of men’s suits, and he had taught my mother and her older sister how to sew. She often told me if she didn’t get a stitch right or even iron a pleat correctly in the completed trousers of the suit she and her father had sewn, she was instructed to do so again and again until it was perfect. Like many other seamstresses and artists, my mother always strived for perfection when she was sewing. While so many of her clothes came out close to perfect, she realized that perfection wasn’t the sole purpose for sewing. She loved just as much the process of stumbling when her stitches didn’t line up correctly.

Whether you’re planning your wedding or another occasion in your life, remember that some of the bumps you’ll inevitably hit are part of that special moment. And like a skilled seamstress who’s in control of the direction her stitches follow, ultimately it’s up to you to steer your destiny and make the most of every minute.

 

BELLA FORTUNA

by Rosanna Chiofalo

Kensington Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing
August 28, 2012 / Trade Paperback / Original / Fiction

$15.00/ 978-0-7582-6322-3

Author Residence: Forest Hills, NY

 www.RosannaChiofalo.com

www.Facebook.com/RosannaChiofaloAuthor

 

In BELLA FORTUNA, an enchanting debut novel set in both Venice and New York, Rosanna Chiofalo draws upon her own cultural heritage and experiences as a first-generation American growing up in Queens, NY.  Readers are transported alongside Valentina DeLuca, a 30 year-old dressmaker, as she travels from the sidewalks of her close-knit New York neighborhood to the canals of Venice in what turns out to be much more than just a destination wedding trip. With its strong, stereotype-defying characters and evocative descriptions, BELLA FORTUNA is as much a tribute to Italian American culture as it is a stunning story about love, luck and second chances.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Rosanna Chiofalo is a first-generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s. Since graduating with a B.A. in English from Stony Brook University, she has worked as a Copywriter and Copy Director for several New York City publishers.  Rosanna is a member of the Romance Writers of America and The Order Sons of Italy.

 

Readers can visit her website at www.RosannaChiofalo.com

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