Monday, July 14, 2014

Sharing Favorite Authors on International Authors' Day! #IAD

Normally, I love talking about books. But when someone asks who my favorite author is I get a little tongue-tied. There's no way I can pick only one favorite. It's worse if someone asks which is my favorite book of all-time. There are hundreds! No kidding! How could I possibly choose?

To celebrate International Authors' Day, I decided to share a few of the books written by some of my favorite authors. These are authors that I must read. When I hear they've published a book, I'll go buy it without even looking to see what its about because I know from experience it will be a great read!

 On Goodreads, I've tried to list all of my favorite authors (in no particular order). I know I might be missing a few and there's always more to add when I find a new author!

Wolf's Bane by Ash Krafton

Since becoming oracle to the demivampire two years ago, advice columnist Sophie has battled werewolves and survived a vampire attack (or two). However, not only was she powerless to save her lover Marek when he slipped to the brink of evolution, she also witnessed his transformation into a falcon, the symbol of Horus United.

Sophie’s quest to save Marek is further complicated when rock star Dierk Adeluf – who also happens to be the king of the Werekind – invites her backstage after a concert. Just when it seems she will find respite from heartache, Sophie is bitten by a werewolf and Dierk decides she is destined to be his queen.

Sophie is caught between the demivamps she loves and the Were who commands her to love him. Throw in his jealous wanna-be girlfriend and an ambush by witches, and there you have the big mess that Sophie calls her life. And, hello? Her soul mate is still a bird.

She’s supposed to be the girl with all the answers, but Sophie needs more than a little advice--she needs divine intervention.

~I'm currently reading this one!

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong

A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.

Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.

Uniting Savannah with Adam, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other lost-but-notforgotten characters in one epic battle, Thirteen is a grand, crowd-pleasing closer for Armstrong’s legions of fans.

Whisper His Name by Elizabeth Thornton

Breaking the code to her heart...

Independent and stubbornly unmarried, Abbie Vayle has always been a little too smart for her own good. But she may have gone too far when she starts her own rare-book business--and accidentally acquires an antique book in Paris with a mysterious code scribbled in the margins....

Someone wants the book back--and is willing to kill to get it. The only trouble is, Abbie no longer has the book. It's locked away in the customs house in Dover. Now it's a race against time as Abbie stays one step ahead of her pursuers. The last person she wants to confide in is her best friend, Hugh Templar, whom she knows only as a formidable scholar who shares her passion for Roman antiquities.

But as Hugh keeps turning up where she least expects him, a few things begin to dawn on her....Not only is Hugh surprisingly--in fact incredibly--handsome without his glasses on, but he's strangely "professional" in how he handles her mysterious enemies.

Hugh is clearly not what he seems. And soon Abbie realizes that neither is she discovers what it means to love with all her heart and soul.

Princess and the O by Felicia Forella

What’s a girl got to do?

Princess Acelin of Timoria is staring down the barrel of her self-imposed deadline to marry and grant her father’s wish, her thirtieth birthday is less than a month away. She has been wined and dined by royalty from England to Monaco and everywhere in between. And she has yet to meet her Prince Charming, the man who can give her the one thing she longs for…an orgasm. She’s beginning to wonder if she’s asking for too much.

Is he the man for the job?

Prince Nolan of Bermine is beginning his leave from the Royal Air Force when his father drags him to the birthday celebration of the woman dubbed “the Promiscuous Princess” by the press. And finds himself tied up in knots over her. Now he just has to exert enough control to prove to her that she can indeed it all.

A Night Like This by Julia Quinn

Anne Wynter might not be who she says she is . . .

But she's managing quite well as a governess to threehighborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge—in a singleweek she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playingan evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or mightbe a comedy—no one is sure), and tending to the wounds ofthe oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodgingunwanted advances, he's the first man who has truly temptedher, and it's getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel Smythe-Smith Might be in mortal danger . . .

But that's not going to stop the young earl from fallingin love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family'sannual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if that meansspending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she's aunicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to seehim dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril,he will stop at nothing to ensuretheir happy ending . . .

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

When Frederica brings her younger siblings to London determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, she seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society.

Lord Alverstoke cant resist wanting to help her

Normally wary of his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers, Lord Alverstoke does his best to keep his distance. But with his enterprising - and altogether entertaining - country cousins getting into one scrape after another right on his doorstep, before he knows it the Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled... 

Photo courtesy of Michele Nelson

A little about me:

I'm an author of paranormal and gothic romance. Before the supernatural took possession of my pen I worked as an Assistant Manager and bookseller for Waldenbooks. After the store closed, I turned to writing as my next career choice. Now I write romance while taking care of my 3 young children. I live with my husband and 2 neurotic cats in the coal region of Pennsylvania.

I have a new book coming out at the end of this year called, The Witch's Kiss. It's Book 4 of The Merriweather Witches. If you haven't read the first three, you can get caught up now...

The Witch and the Wolf The Witch and the Vampire The Witch's Thief
The Merriweather Witches (4 books)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Which Books Do You Re-Read?

Recently, I wrote a post about the books that I've bought but never read. Today I was thinking about the books I like to read again and again and again. Because of my extremely long TBR list, I rarely re-read books, but there are a few that seem to call to me even after I've finished their journey. More often, when I go through my keeper shelves I'll pick a book to thumb through the pages and re-read a favorite scene or two. That always seems to brighten my day even if I don't have time to read the whole book. Like re-visiting old friends!

Here are a few books that I've read more than once (sometimes even 2 or 3 times!).
This Is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland

Gillian of Warewick knows no other treatment than the terrible physical and mental abuse issued by her father. When he arranges a match for Gillian with Christopher of Blackmour, she is fearful: Blackmour is rumored to be an evil sorcerer. When Gillian meets him, he proves to be far more of a man than her father is, yet he is unwilling to be a lover to Gillian. She finds that Blackmour has as many psychological scars to heal as she has physical scars. 

~I first read this book while I was waiting for my husband to get an MRI done because of a back injury. I sat in the waiting room surrounded by strangers and grew absorbed into the world of Gillian and Christopher. There were some very emotional moments in their journey. So incredibly emotional that I cried while reading. I had to get a tissue because I couldn't stop crying. It didn't occur to me until later that the other people in the waiting room were probably thinking I was crying over my husband's condition! But, because this story tugged at my heartstrings so much, I had to re-read it about a year or so later just to see if it was the book that made me cry or perhaps I really was distraught over Marc's hurt back. Just as before, I needed a box of tissues. Sorry, Marc. I knew you'd be okay, anyway.

The Heart's Desire by Gayle Wilson

Tall and lithe, Emily Fairfax was unaware of the power of her innocence. But from the first, Dominic knew the danger of their desire. For she alone could draw aside the mantle of despair that kept him safely hidden, and condemn them both to certain heartbreak....

A soldier's daughter, Emily thought she knew what furies drove men in the name of honor, until she met the enigmatic Duke of Avon, Dominic Maitland--a man with a tragic past and an empty future. A man who would grant her but one night to lie with abandon in his willing arms...

~This was one of the very first romances I ever read. I completely fell in love with Emily and Dominic. The story was romantic and suspenseful and I couldn't put it down. It was truly a page-turning experience. This is one book that I've read several times. I even bought it twice because I was afraid the pages would start to fall out. And as soon as it's available on Kindle, I'll buy it again!

The Devil's Lady by Deborah Simmons

Piers Montmorency

'Twas whispered that the mysterious Red Knight was more than mortal. Perhaps he'd even struck a devil's bargain to assure his warrior prowess. Yet Aisley sensed that Pier's shadows veiled a deeper secret.

Aisley de Laci

Like a whirlwind, Aisley descended on Dunmurrow castle to claim the Red Knight as her husband. And Piers knew his world was forever changed. But could a creature so full of joy and sunlight ever accept a life of passions draped in darkness?

~Here's another one that made me cry. I seem to like to re-read books that simply wrench my heart out of my chest. The good thing about reading romance is the happily-ever-after. Even though these characters go through such hardship, in the end everything turns out just fine. :)

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

~I wasn't going to include classics in my list, but I just can't help it. I keep this book on a prominent space on my bookshelf for the pure and simple reason that I reread it that often. It is one of my favorite books and also an inspiration for my writing. I can't get enough of this one!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.
With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

~I remember the first moment I opened this book. I was restocking the shelves at the bookstore where I worked. I had decided to read as many classics as I could, so when I saw this book I flipped open the first page and read. It seemed like I could clearly hear this woman's voice as I read and it drew me into the story. This book now sits right next to Rebecca on my shelf. Again, I re-read it over and over. I bought both of these on Kindle just to be sure I always have a copy. Even my husband read Jane Eyre! He's a pure Stephen King fan and rarely reads anything else, so that by itself is a testament to how often I read and talk about this book that it even interested him!

So there's a few on my list. I have to stop there or I'll just keep going. It was difficult to choose just these to share with you. I would love if you'd share your favorite books to re-read! Talking about books is one of my favorite topics and I love discovering new ones to read! 

What books do you like to re-read again and again?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Defending Sebastian... from The Witch and the Vampire #8Sunday

This week I'm participating in a blog hop. Be sure to check out the other authors of the Weekend Writing Warriors or check out #8Sunday on Twitter. Here's my 8-sentence excerpt from The Witch and the Vampire, the second book in The Merriweather Witches. 

“Stand aside, Miss Merriweather,” Frederick Dawes said brusquely. “The job is not done until he has a stake through his heart, and his head cut from his neck.”

Understanding dawned, and she sat up, leaning away from Sebastian as she turned to face the vampire hunter standing over him.

She looked up into his face. It was a kind face. A face showing concern for her welfare and delight over his capture. He thought to protect her from a monster, she reasoned, even as she suppressed the first murderous rage she had ever experienced. Sebastian’s hands tightened over hers as if in warning.

She opened her mouth, ready to cast a horrifying spell over the man, ready to destroy her soul to spew black magic.

The Witch and the Vampire blurb: To Buy Links
Melora Merriweather is searching for a fellow witch to protect her from a scheming uncle with plans of marriage. When her carriage overturns on her journey, she is rescued by a mysterious man whom she learns is the very person she seeks. But, he’s not the witch she thought he was…

Sebastian Collins should have left for London days ago. Now a snowstorm has trapped him with a woman who has come seeking protection, a woman who intrigues him like no other. And with each passing hour, his hunger for her grows…hunger for her kiss, her caress, and her blood. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Return to Baker Street #221back

Most of my friends know of my obsession with Sherlock Holmes. It began with reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic works when I was a teenager. I still re-read them. Just can't get enough.

But when it comes to television, I wasn't impressed with the idea of setting the famous detecting duo in present-day London. The stories are firmly set in Victorian London and in my strong opinion, that's where they belong!

Until I broke down and decided to watch the first episode of this new modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes starring Benedict Cumberbatch (who?) and Martin Freeman (isn't he a Hobbit?). Yeah, I'm usually a year or so late when it comes to new movies/television series. I suppose I wait until I hear about it so often from other people that I figure that if its caused such a buzz, it'll be worth taking a look. When I saw Sherlock was available on Netflix that I decided to give it a watch.

That was back in December.

OMG! I'm so glad I did. I had no idea what I was missing! The show is like a drug on which I'm happily and unabashedly addicted. I seriously cannot get enough, just like the books!

Being a contemporary adaptation, it doesn't follow any particular story from the books like other movies do. It's difficult for any book to be translated into a movie anyway. It's more like this show is heavily influenced by the books. The writers, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, (both of whom I greatly admire!) take the characters from the book and place them in modern day London where there's all sorts of mystery and mayhem for them to experience! And they must have fun writing these episodes! They are creative and brilliant!

Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective and John Watson is an Army doctor returned to England from the war in Afghanistan. The show also includes Mrs. Hudson, Irene Adler, Mycroft Holmes, Mary Watson, and of course, James Moriarty!

It's not just the mystery that pulls me into this show, but the interaction with the actors. The believable and well-drawn characters, the sharp dialogue, the quick glances, the humor, the shared friendship, the breathtaking excitement and suspense, and the devastating heartache. Oh, I could go on about why I like the show, but it's the same with the books. You've just got to experience it for yourself. And I encourage you! If you haven't read the books, give them a try! And if you haven't watched the show, well...what are you waiting for? There's 3 seasons available for you to get caught up!

I'm beyond thrilled to discover confirmation for Season 4! They're planning to air a Special which will begin filming in January 2015, with 3 more episodes which will be filmed later that year.

The waiting is, of course, horrible. Unlike most other fans, I actually didn't have to experience the wait long to watch Season 3 since that aired only a few short weeks in January after I got caught up on Netflix. Oh, I was so thankful, too! I don't think I could have managed waiting for long after watching the ending of Season 2!

Now I'm along with everyone else...waiting...waiting...

At least I'll have Doctor Who in August to fill a little of that void in my life.

Here's a little clip I found on YouTube. This is the Prequel to Season 3.