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Monday, April 20, 2015

Furry Collaborators

 By Alison Bruce

It's seems to me that, these days, a cozy mystery isn't complete without a furry collaborator... or possibly a feathered one. The twenty-nine Cat Who... books by Lillian Jackson Braun come to mind. I haven't read Susan Conant's series, but with titles like Ruffly Speaking and Paws Before Dying, I'm going to have to check it out.

As much as I love cats and dogs, if I every go the cozy route, my furry companions would be...
A Rat and Mouse story.


RRRoll Up the Rim Gym
The pet store was out of hamsters.

My kids wanted a pet. They had Beta Fish but they wanted something more interactive. Though I grew up with them, my allergies ruled out cats and dogs. (Who knew that was the reason I had a perpetual “cold” as a child.) Ronnie the hamster was the solution, but Ronnie was recently deceased and the store wasn’t expecting to get hamsters for another couple of weeks. Rats, suggested the pet shop associate. Have to get two though. Rats are very social.

So Tiffany and Nicole joined the household. Then Nick (as Nicole turned out to be) left the house because we didn’t want baby rats and we got a second female called Nikki.

Nikki might have been social with Tiffany, but she had a “flee, flee, run away” attitude toward me. She’d rather spend her quality time napping or running in circles on the hamster wheel.

Tiffany loved to get out an about. She’d ride on my shoulder and explore my workspace while I wrote. She especially loved it when I set up my laptop on the dining room table. I set up a jungle gym for her, made out of Roll Up The Rim cups from Tim Hortons. She liked the smell of coffee and would often check out my mug.

Some day I’m going to work a scene into one of my books based on the time I scared away an evangelist because Tiffany was on my shoulder when I came to the door.

Mostly Tiffany inspired me by being a good listener. Writing is a solitary occupation. It's hard to find decent sounding boards for your ideas. If you talk out plot points to yourself, people might think you’re crazy. If you do it with a rat, they know you’re crazy and leave you alone to write.

A shorter version of this post was published online by cbc.ca - Canada Writes in May 2014.

Friday, April 17, 2015

He would defy the ancient vampire code to have her. She would stop at nothing to discover who was draining the blood of young women in town. VIPER: Sons of Sangue by Patricia A. Rasey

Kindle: http://amzn.to/1EbGTsf
iBooks: http://apple.co/1FqXuV0
Nook: http://bit.ly/ViperNook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/ViperKobo
Kane 'Viper' Tepes is one of the oldest living descendants of Vlad III. Vampirism is in his blood. So is being the President of the Sons of Sangue. Those who break motorcycle club rules that protect their coven are dealt swift punishment. No exceptions. Until one pretty little detective has him compromising his beliefs, and endangering his position as head of the MC.
Vampirism had Cara Brahnam turning tail and leaving behind her life in Pleasant. Now, ten years later, she's back as lead detective and wants to see the person responsible for draining the women of Lane County brought to justice, no matter what deal the gang of miscreants has struck with the sheriff. Or the fact that her number one suspect is the sole reason she fled in the first place.
Now someone has targeted Cara as the next victim and Kane must join in the hunt to find the ancient vampire that wants her dead.
“I'd say I was a tad enthusiastic in my summary, but totally necessary. What a fabulous story. Patricia A. Rasey knows how to grab the reader and not let go. Her motley crew of bad-ass bikers leaves the reader wanting more. Viper: Sons of Sangue (Book 1) by Patricia A. Rasey is high octane. A must read for all paranormal fans.” Book Obsessed Chicks.
A daydreamer at heart, Patricia A. Rasey, resides in her native town in Northwest Ohio with her husband, Mark, and her lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Todd.
Ms. Rasey is a three-time recipient of the Word Weaving Award for Literary Excellence and a three-time winner of the prestigious RIO Award Of Excellence. She is also a three-time EPPIE finalist and was a 2001 nominee for Romantic Times Magazine's Best Electronic Book. Additionally, Twilight Obsessions and Twilight Visions, two anthologies she was a part of, was nominated for the PEARL, the Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature, in the Best Anthology category. Her short story, In The Mind of Darkness won the P&E 2002 Horror short story category.
When not behind her computer, you can find Patricia working, reading, watching movies or MMA. She also enjoys spending her free time at the river camping with her husband and two sons. Ms. Rasey is currently a third degree Black Belt in American Freestyle Karate.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PatriciaARasey
Twitter: www.twitter.com/patriciarasey
BOOK TRAILER LINK: https://youtu.be/abtf1YAdmNc
WEB SITE /BLOG URL LINK: www.PatriciaRasey.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Celebrating Spring!

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and I'm happy I can run the park in a short sleeved shirt. Spring is here! My favorite time of year. As I drive down Wydown to get my Cinnamon Dulce Latte, I gaze at the trees lining the road. Cherry Blossoms...

They bring to mind the avenue in Washington DC and the celebrations in Japan, which got me thinking about the history of such celebrations.

The Japanese turn out in large numbers at parks, shrines, and temples to hold flower-viewing parties. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom. Hanami is the centuries-old practice of picnicking under a blooming cherry tree and has become an annual event drawing people from all over the world.

The cherry blossoms symbolize clouds because of their nature of blooming en masse. The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality. For this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic and have been utilized often in Japanese art.

Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms; well over 200 species can be found there. The most popular variety is the Somei Yoshino. Its flowers are nearly pure white, tinged with the palest pink, especially near the stem. They bloom and usually fall within a week, before the leaves come out.

Japan gave 3,020 cherry blossom trees to the Untied States as a gift in 1912 to celebrate the nations' then-growing friendship, replacing an earlier gift of 2000 trees which had to be destroyed due to disease in 1910. The trees were planted in Sakura Park in Manhattan and line the shore of the Tidal Basin in Washington DC. The first two original trees were planted by the first lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda on the bank of the Tidal Basin. The gift was renewed with another 3800 trees in 1965. In Washington DC, the cherry blossom trees continue to be a popular tourist attraction - and the subject of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival - when they reach full bloom in early spring.

Other US cities have an annual Cherry Blossom Festival, including the International Cherry blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia, which features over 300,000 cherry trees. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City also has a well-attended festival. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the site of the peace conference that produced the Treaty of Portsmouth, for which the original Washington, DC cherry trees were given in thanks. Several of the trees planted on the bank of the tidal pond next to Portsmouth City Hall were the gift of Portsmouth's Japanese sister city of Nichinan.

I think it's time for a coffee break. I'm going to head down Wydown so I can celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossoms before they fall. What will you do to celebrate Spring?

Sisters Of Spirit - Lachesis Publishing
Mystical Connections - LunaDance Publishing
Passion's Race - LunaDance Publishing




Tuesday, April 14, 2015

She's a warrior genie forced into marriage in order to save her people. What she doesn't count on is actually falling in love with her husband . . .

Ties That Bind_TRRTUESDAY'S REVOLVING BOOK is TIES THAT BIND (Book 3 in the 101 Nights Series), fantasy romance by KellyAnn Zuzulo.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/…/B0097CPWV4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-have-and-to-h…/1114999315
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/520152
All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-everafters-1748489
Boroughs Publishing Group:http://boroughspublishinggroup.com/authors/Kellyann-Zuzulo
The first kiss between Amani and Jason, from To Have and To Hold
When hot-tempered Amani Zarin makes a deal with her uncle to save her beloved homeland, she becomes America’s first desperate genie housewife. To rescue Jinnistan she must become an ambassador, navigate conniving board members, hostile ex-lovers and nosy suburban neighbors, and since their chemistry will literally save her world, she and her new husband must find a way to achieve wedded bliss, at least for . . .101 NIGHTS
For the good of her homeland Amani has accepted her marriage and is settling into life among humans, but she is about to be tested...by Jason's people and her own.
Amani’s relationship with Jason is steadily improving, and things have never been hotter behind closed doors. Amani’s found friends. She’s feeling a little more at ease among humans. For that reason, she is reconsidering her backup plan that could destroy their world. But just as everything seems perfect, a hurtful secret is revealed and Jason is threatened. And then the real problem shows up.
Biblio Belles: "Refreshing read"
Book Nerds Anonymous: "I can't wait to see what happens next with these two!"
Kellyann Zuzulo is an editor and author. Her novel, The Genie Ignites, was a finalist in the 2013 Abalone Awards, which recognizes “Outstanding Ethno-Cultural Romance.” Her latest release is Ever Afters, the fifth book in her 101 Nights series from Boroughs Publishing Group. As a freelance editor and writer, Kellyann edits both fiction and non-fiction books and builds and rehabs content for clients with blogs, brochures, websites, and more. Kellyann is a member of International Thriller Writers, Backspace Writers Group, and Romance Writers of America. She lives on the East Coast with her husband, three children, and two terriers.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Four years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. It's payback time. But has he lost his one chance at love?

MontanaMan_600FRIDAY'S FANTASTIC FIND is the historical western romance MONTANA MAN by DeANN SMALLWOOD
Ben rose from the river, and like a dog, shook the water from his eyes. This was his third bath since he’d left Yuma Territorial Prison, and still the stench lived in his nostrils. Immersing his pain-wracked body, he reveled in the clear, cold water of the lazy moving Colorado.
Four years. Four years chained to stone floors and walls in a dark, crowded cell where daytime temperatures rose past 110 degrees. The prison, more aptly called ‘Hell Hole’, lived up to its name. He’d gone in a boyhe’d come out a man. Four years paying for a crime he didn’t commit.
Wisteria pulled on the wagon reins, her heart racing. On the rocky bank, lying on one, outstretched arm, fingers trailing in the river, was the body of a man. She jumped down from the wagon and with trepidation tried to move him, begging him to assist her.
“Can’t,” he muttered.
“Mister, I don’t know who you are, but ‘can’t’ isn’t working. Let me tell you a couple cant’s-I can’t lift you and I can’t leave you here to die.”
I live in Colorado with my husband and my two Yorkie kid dogs: Stormy, four pounds, and Eli, six pounds. I’m a native of Colorado, but I’ve lived several years in Wyoming and Montana. I draw from these beautiful states for most of my books. My Western Historical Romances are: Montana Star, Sapphire Blue, Unconquerable Callie, One Shingle To Hang, and Wyoming Heather and One Shingle To Hang. Tears In The Wind is a contemporary romance. Then I changed genres from my beloved romances and wrote, under the pen name of D. M. Woods, my first suspense/thriller: Death Crosses The Finish Line. The second book in this ‘death’ series, Death Is A Habit, came out January 8, 2014. I am currently working on the third book in the ‘death’ series, Death Walks C Dock. I am also working on another Western Historical Romance, Montana Man. It features the characters readers came to know and love in Montana Star. Truly, I mean it when I say my greatest pleasure next to writing is having my books read and enjoyed. There are many more stories just waiting to be written
I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Smallwood's realistic and fast-paced novel. There was not a single place where the story bogged down, and I never had any doubt about the time and place in which the story occurred. This fictional tale, where the heroine rescues a hero just released from prison and near death, provides a pleasing change from the boy meets girl, boy gets girl, they live happily ever after. Montana Man is not something the reader feels was written to meet word requirements or to fill a mandated outline. The heroine, Wisteria, (love the name) makes sacrifices that might cause her to forfeit the love she feels for Ben (the hero), and although he's embroiled in memories from a painful four years in prison and a vendetta still to be met, she becomes his reason for living. The author certainly knows how to illicit emotions and put the reader into the character's shoes. Not only does Ben see the score evened and find the peace he seeks, there is much more in his future he didn't see coming. I read the book in one sitting, it was that good. Bravo DeAnn Smallwood. You write a great story. mizging01