Monday, May 22, 2017

New Release! Murder the Light by @AshKrafton #urbanfantasy

Simon Alliant is back with Ash Krafton's newest novel, 
Murder the Light!  

International bestselling author, Ash Krafton, is playing with magic in her newest series, THE DEMON WHISPERER. The series debut Charm City introduces the exorcist mage Simon Alliant. For Simon, magic isn't just a curiosity or a skill. It's the source of a bone-deep addiction.

Fighting demons is dirty work but someone has to do it. Sometimes, you win. Sometimes, the demons fight back...and every once in a while, the demon wins.

That's because that particular demon is all your very own.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned-especially the woman scorned by the King of Hell himself.

Chiara has been abducted by her own mother: an Enochian defector who has taken up arms against the Light. Luminea will use Chiara to ensure the future of her empire and to burn away her painful past with the man who'd stolen everything from her, so long ago.

Unknowingly, that's exactly the guy to who Simon turns for help. He makes the ultimate deal with Chiara's father to get her back...but he'll have the Devil to pay.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Looking for a Hero #MFRWauthor #writing #characters

 Blogging is an opportunity for authors to connect with readers. Despite being writers, blogging is an entirely different style of writing and often stumps us. To help our authors blog consistently, thoughtfully and with purpose, Marketing for Romance Writers is announcing the 2017 Blog Challenge. Each week, authors use our writing prompt to create a meaningful blog post. We'll be posting every Friday... join us as often as possible.

Week 18: "The Ideal Romance Hero"

When I think of the ideal romance hero, I imagine a man who is flawed or in need of redemption. Isn't that the perfect hero for a woman to rescue? There's more...brave, honorable, loyal, and funny. He needs to make me laugh. Very important. What else? He doesn't necessarily need to be handsome. I know, most women look for Mr. Tall, Dark and Sexy, but I look for more than a person's face to make them attractive. Intelligence is far sexier. That's not to say that I don't mind a good-looking guy. I'm just pointing out that its not necessarily a priority.

Let me give you some examples of what I think of as a romance hero. I'll use characters from movies and television as examples, since those are the ones that most people can easily relate to.

Han Solo 
Movie: Star Wars (Episodes 4, 5, 6 ,7)
Occupation: Smuggler
Portrayed by Harrison Ford
This man has been my hero since I was a child. I fell in love with this scruffy-looking Nerfherder right alongside Princess Leia. When he first met Luke Skywalker, Han was all about making a profit to save his hide from Jabba. It was a long road of redemption for this guy as with each turn, he thought about his own welfare before anyone else. But, it was difficult not to fall in love with the charming and witty rogue even when the rational side of your brain keeps telling you that he's not the type of guy for a decent girl. That doesn't stop Princess Leia from nudging Han and encouraging him (in her own sassy and sarcastic way, of course) to be a better man. By the end, this roguish hero redeems himself by returning to rescue Luke right when he needs help, thereby saving the galaxy from the evil Empire. And, that's just the first episode. In my opinion, Han has more developmental growth than any other character in these movies.

Indiana Jones
Movie: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; 
Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark; 
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 
Occupation: Professor and Archaeologist 
Portrayed by Harrison Ford
You might think I have a thing for Harrison Ford (and, really, you're not wrong), but its just a fact that when I think of heroes, these are the first two that pop into my brain. I grew up wanting to be an archaeologist because of this guy. He's probably one of the inspirations for my love of history and learning languages. Indy is a lot of things. Brave, intelligent, resourceful, quick-witted, loyal and with a sense of humor and humility. He's a tweed-jacket wearing professor as well as a whip-cracking adventurer. But, he's also a man with faults. He doesn't always have the answers. He makes mistakes. Misjudges people and distances (as when he tries to jump across a chasm). He has a strained relationship with his father. He falls kinda easily for a pretty face, and on the same note, he's not a decent fellow at first to any of the ladies of his acquaintance. He's stubborn and materialistic (think fortune and glory). And, he hates snakes. Really, Jock. He hates 'em. Even Reggie. In each movie, the character development grows as Indy learns about his place in the world, his abilities, his strengths and weaknesses, and his relationships with those close to him, whether its Marion, Marcus or his father which makes falling in love with this guy inevitable.

The Doctor
TV series: Doctor Who
Occupation: Time Lord
Currently portrayed by Peter Capaldi 
Ah, the Doctor! I have a few memories of Tom Baker with his incredibly long, multi-colored scarf from my childhood, but I didn't become a true Whovian until the reboot starring Christopher Eccleston. Each regeneration brings different qualities to the character but in essence, The Doctor is mysterious, adventurous, brave, extremely intelligent, eccentric, and compassionate. He's also rude, arrogant, cowardly, ruthless and selfish. He is full of hope and regret. He is both fun and terrifying. Throughout it all, his companions are what help him become a better person. He needs them. He can barely survive without them. It's proven in a few episodes that when he travels alone for too long he becomes rash, judgemental, wild and reckless. He needs someone to hold him back, like when Rose stops him from killing the Dalek in the 6th episode of the reboot. And, he also needs someone to push him in the right direction as Donna did in "The Fires of Pompeii" when she asked him to save at least one family from Volcano Day. He's the kind of guy that a girl would dream of going on any adventure with, but he'll keep her on her toes! There's very little down-time with the Doctor. Instead, there's running. An outrageous amount of running involved.

Nathan Drake
Video Game: The Uncharted Series
Occupation: Treasure Hunter
Voiced by Nolan North
I know I said I'd restrict this to movie and television shows, but I just had to include Nathan Drake in my list of heroes. I've never actually played the game (my husband did), but I watched it like it was a movie, especially all those wonderful cut scenes. Nathan Drake is another lovable adventurer (maybe I have type?) with an incredible sense of humor and sharp wit. He's fun, easy-going and charming. A bit roguish and rough around the edgings but in a boyishly adorable sort of way. As with any other well-drawn character, Nathan Drake has his flaws, too. He's had a rough childhood with only his brother to help him guide him to adulthood. He's a thief, a liar, and a miscreant. He's an extremely human character by making many mistakes in his adventures. His sarcasm is rather legendary. And he has an unhealthy obsession with treasure that leads him into unending trouble. However, he's loyal and extremely protective of those people he deems close to him such as Sully, Elena and his brother, Sam.       

Sam and Dean Winchester
TV Show: Supernatural
Occupation: Hunters
Portrayed by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles
I admit, I might be slightly obsessed with Supernatural in more ways than one and maybe I'll delve further into that obsession with a future blog post. Today, however, I'll try to limit my views on the main characters as romantic heroes. These two have been to Hell and back, literally. After their mother was murdered by a demon, their father kept them traveling throughout their childhood as he hunted the thing that killed their mother. Dean was taught to protect his brother, Sam, at all cost, a trait that continues into his adulthood. As adults, Sam and Dean continue their father's work and hunt the supernatural monsters that people don't know exist in this world thereby saving lives by sacrificing themselves. They are brave, loyal, trustworthy, resourceful, and strong. They're both gifted with a sense of humor that keeps the show light and fun-loving even during the darker moments. However, their lives are not exactly filled with black and white. They wade through several shades of gray as they determine who is good and who is evil, which isn't always easy. They make mistakes and sometimes need to make tough choices that aren't always right. They lie, steal and impersonate FBI agents to get to the monsters. They kill and torture and sometimes innocents are sacrificed or caught in the crossfire. And despite all the good they do, all the people they save, they suffer from guilt and regret for those they've lost. These are the kind of guys that you just want to hug close to your heart and keep them safe from the evil they expose themselves to.

Want some more heroes? 

Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly
John Crichton in Farscape
Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows
Tony Stark in Iron Man
Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
Rick O'Connell in The Mummy
Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean

What qualities do you look for in an ideal hero? Can you suggest any heroes that readers should either watch or read? I'd love to discover more heroes to add to my list!

Be sure to visit the posts for the MFRW's Blog Challenge!

I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

When I Need a Laugh #MFRWauthor

Blogging is an opportunity for authors to connect with readers. Despite being writers, blogging is an entirely different style of writing and often stumps us. To help our authors blog consistently, thoughtfully and with purpose, Marketing for Romance Writers is announcing the 2017 Blog Challenge. Each week, authors use our writing prompt to create a meaningful blog post. We'll be posting every Friday... join us as often as possible.

Week 18: "What makes me laugh out loud?"

Life gets stressful. That's true for any of us. There are days I know I'm near my wits end and when that happens I need a laugh. Desperately. Laughter is the best medicine, as they say.

Today, I awoke to a gray, dreary day. When it still looks dark outside, I have a difficult time crawling out from under the covers. I could hear my 11 year-old and 6 year-old already fighting. They hadn't even gotten out of their bedroom, yet. My 9 year-old had his head hiding under the pillow to block out the noise and chaos his siblings were creating. Wise move. The only one smiling was my 2 year-old. But, really, unless someone takes away his sippy cup of milk, he's always smiling!

Some day's just don't start off well and occasionally it keeps heading downhill. On those days, I know I need to put a halt on my crankiness and in order to do that I have a few tricks up my sleeves to turn my frown upside down.

What do I do when I need a laugh?

My kids

Usually, my kids are a fantastic source of laughter for me. They are goofy, fun and silly. I'm highly entertained by their antics, even when they're up to no good. However, this dose of laughter is usually provided on a daily basis. And, I do my best to make them laugh in return. I love to hear them laugh. Especially, those belly laughs that sometimes turn into snorts! Those are the best!

But, what do I do when my kids are driving me absolutely crazy....?

Graham Norton

When I need a guaranteed dose of laughter that even my kids can't provide (usually because they are the cause of my crankiness), then I turn to a TV program that has never failed me, yet. Graham Norton is the host of a British talk show aptly called The Graham Norton Show. Every week there are new celebrity guests on his couch being interviewed and you never know what is going to happen. There's a lot of laughs and hilarious moments. And Graham, himself, is just too funny for words! He's adorable!

Be sure to visit the posts for the MFRW's Blog Challenge!

I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Best Research Trip Ever! #IWSG #writinglife

The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day.

The Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

IWSG Asks: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

Although, its never made it's presence significantly into any of my published works, yet, the coolest research trip I ever made was to Bamberg, Germany.

A vacation, you call it?

Not for a writer.

Every experience that occurs to a writer can be used in a story and I knew going into this trip that I would use something of my experiences there in my stories in some way or fashion.

Several years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit some friends in Germany and we jumped at the chance. I love to travel! I'd already been to many places, but never to Europe. This was also my first experience on an airplane. I can't deny that I was nervous especially since I'm nervous about heights. We took a short flight from Philadelphia to New York. This was amazing! I was scared I'd have a panic attack in mid-flight, but the view was just so incredible that it didn't bother me. And I was in a small airplane! How cool is that?

The flight from New York to Frankfurt wasn't as much fun, but still an experience to remember. Stuck in the middle isle, nowhere near any windows, I couldn't see anything outside. Incredibly, the turbulence didn't bother me. It felt like I was riding in a bus driving down a bumpy highway.

And then we arrived in Germany. We stayed in a town called Bamberg. It's a beautiful, quaint town unlike anything I'd ever before seen filled with amazing medieval and gothic architecture. We strolled along the cobblestone streets in the Altstadt (Old Town). Seated on seven hills, the town was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire under Heinrich II.

There's a beautiful area known as Kleine Venedig (Little Venice) that used to be the fisherman's district. The medieval-style structures create a picturesque scene that is quite popular among the tourists.

Situated on an artificial island in the Regnitz river, Bamberg's Alte Rathaus (Old Town Hall) was first mentioned in 1387 and redesigned between 1461-1467. There are two arched bridges connecting it to the mainland which separates the mountain town and the island town. This is a great area to people watch (for a writer that's wonderful research for creating characters!). I also spotted some guys kayaking in the river just below the bridge.

My husband and I stayed there for two weeks. We visited the cathedral, the monastery, and a brewery museum. We toured palaces and trekked a mountain forest to reach castle ruins. We visited caves and a racing track. We partied in a tavern that only played 80s music and drank a lot of beer! We strolled along the streets and wandered palace grounds. We also did some shopping (I loved the bookstores!) Also, we talked with a lot of people, learning about the area, the town, the history and the culture. 

Such as one day, my husband and I sat along one of the fountains in the center of the square to relax. While sitting there eating our ice cream cones, an elderly gentleman approached us. Somehow, the locals can immediately identify American visitors. He spoke perfect English and chatted with us. During our conversation, we learned that the man had served as a German soldier in WWII. He flew in the planes that attacked London during the Blitz and was shot down. He survived with injuries and was sent to one of the English hospitals where he recovered and formed an attachment with one of the nurses. Years later, after the war, he married the nurse and they moved back to Germany where they raised their family. I thought it was a charming love story. To this day, I'm so pleased that the gentleman decided to take some time out of his day to talk with us.

The German people are probably one of the most friendly people I've ever encountered. I never felt like a foreigner there. They accepted us with gracious courtesy and kindness. I had taken five years of German in school and had a fair grasp of the language, but as soon as I spoke they recognized my American accent. All but once the person I spoke with switched to English for my convenience without my even asking them to. Such as the day we took a tour through Schloss Seehof which I wrote about in one of my previous blog posts. The tour guide who showed us around the palace spoke in German until the other couple who were on the tour with us realized we were Americans. They asked the tour guide to give the tour in English so that we could better understand. The tour guide happily switched to English and the couple even added a few details for us on the tour. It was such a pleasant experience and I will never forget their kindness.

It was really an amazing trip and one day I will definitely use it in a story. As it is, I've set the beginning of my Regency paranormal romance, The Witch's Thief, in an area I recall from my trip there. Even the palace where the hero, Basil Merriweather, breaks into is heavily influenced on the combinations of the palaces that I visited in Germany.

So, I guess, I've used some of that research material already!


Be sure to visit the other writers in the 

I write sensual paranormal and historical romances. Interested in learning more about my stories? Sign-up for my newsletter where you'll learn about my new book releases, updates on my works-in-progress, writing tips, book reviews, contests, and other fun book-related info!
Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Release Day for Spellbound! #pnr #urbanfantasy #boxedset

I've been anticipating this boxed set for months and today it's finally here! Check out these awesome authors and their amazing books at a great low price. Here are some new-to-me authors as well as some of my absolute favorites! Paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans are sure to find something to love in this collection.

The Spellbound Boxed Set is a compilation of 20+ Full-Length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads! 


Authors include: Jade Kerrion, Joanne Wadsworth, Nicole Zoltack, Rachel E. Carter, Andrea Pearson, Alicia Rades, Sophie Davis, Michael J Ploof, Megan Crewe, C.E. Wilson, Kelly Carrero, Jess Haines, E. Blix, lexis Kade, GP Ching, Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos, Dara Fraser, Ash Krafton, Jim Johnson, Tom Shutt, Emily Martha Sorensen, and S McPherson

Readers of all ages will be swept away by this fascinating mix of existing titles and brand new content, full of pages brimming with faeries, witches, vampires, shifters, psychics, greek gods, angels, demons, and even ghosts!

With over a million words of fiction, this is your one stop shop for urban fantasy, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, shifter romance, vampire romance, elemental magic, time travel, and MORE from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling authors!

Although some of these reads may be gritty and dark, this is a collection of clean reads that anyone will enjoy!

Buy this collection for only 99 cents at: