Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Books Set in Pennsylvania #LongandShortReviews #BlogChallenge


This week's topic: Books set in my city or state




I live in what is considered northeastern Pennsylvania. The home of Yuengling beer, Anthracite coal and Pottsville conglomerate. This is the birthplace of the infamous Molly Maguires, Jack Palance and The Dorsey Brothers. Muhammad Ali's training camp was just down the road from where I live as well as the site of numerous Indian massacres and historic battles. Philadelphia is only a 2 hour drive away, Hershey Park is practically in my backyard, and the Poconos are nice place for a day trip. 

There is a lot of history in this area of Pennsylvania and as such, there are plenty of books set here, too.


Probably one of the most famous books (at least in this area) is Gibbsville, Pa by John O'Hara. The author of Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8 was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1905. I learned during my days of working at Waldenbooks (also in Pottsville) that John O'Hara's fictional town Gibbsville in his books was based off of the real-life Pottsville where he grew up. He included many of Pottsville's residents as fictional characters in his books. In fact, I was told about his stories by customers coming in to purchase his books. Apparently, many of our local residents would buy and read his books, just to see if they could identify the real-life inspirations for his characters!




One of the great novels of small-town American life, Appointment in Samarra is John O'Hara's crowning achievement. In December 1930, just before Christmas, the Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, social circuit is electrified with parties and dances. At the center of the social elite stand Julian and Caroline English. But in one rash moment born inside a highball glass, Julian breaks with polite society and begins a rapid descent toward self-destruction. 
Brimming with wealth and privilege, jealousy and infidelity, O'Hara's iconic first novel is an unflinching look at the dark side of the American dream - and a lasting testament to the keen social intelligence if a major American writer.


Another famous author born only fifteen minutes from my house was Conrad Richter. He grew up in the mining towns of this area listening to his family and neighbors relate tales of life and family history. These inspired him to write stories about the early American frontiers such as The Light in the Forest.


When John Cameron Butler was a child, he was captured in a raid on the Pennyslvania frontier and adopted by the great warrior Cuyloga. Renamed True Son, he came to think of himself as fully Indian. But eleven years later his tribe, the Lenni Lenape, has signed a treaty with the white men and agreed to return their captives, including fifteen-year-old True Son. Now he must go back to the family he has forgotten, whose language is no longer his, and whose ways of dress and behavior are as strange to him as the ways of the forest are to them. A beautifully written, sensitively told story of a white boy brought up by Indians, The Light in the Forest is a beloved American classic.

There is a local legend about Regina Hartman, a young girl taken captive by Indians. While her mother and brother were away at a grist mill one day, the Indians attacked their home, killing her father and brother, and kidnapping Regina and her sister, Barbara. Barbara escaped three and a half years later, but Regina spent several years longer living as an Indian, eventually forgetting her native German language. Years later, when the Indians were forced to return their white captives, Regina's mother went to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, hoping to identify her daughter. But after so many years apart, she couldn't recognize any of the captives as her child. After a suggestion, Regina's mother began to sing a song she often sang to her children when they were small. After a moment, a young woman in the crowd gave a cry of recognition. She stepped out of the crowd of captives, shouting, "Mutter! Mutter!" and ran into her mother's open arms. Mother and daughter were finally reunited.

This story always brought tears to my eyes. It's been written about in several books, but I read I am Regina when I was a teenager. Regina Leininger, who is believed to be the real-life Regina Hartman of legend, is buried in Berks County, not far from where I live. 


The cabin door crashes open and in a few minutes Regina's life changes forever. Allegheny Indians murder her father and brother, burn their Pennsylvania home to the ground and take Regina captive. Only her mother, who is away from home, is safe. Torn from her family, Regina longs for the pasat, but she must begin a new life. She becomes Tskinnak, who learns to catch fish, dance the Indian dance, and speak the Indian tongue. As the years go by, her new people become her family... but she never stops wondering about her mother. Will they ever meet again?






Here are some other Indian captive books set in Pennsylvania...

Dear America: Standing in the Light by [Mary Pope Osborne]Fireheart (Zebra Splendor Historical Romance) by [Candace McCarthy]1017099. sy475 MY LORD SAVAGE by [Elizabeth Lane]


This area is also well-known for the Molly Maguires. There are several books, movies and documentaries made about them. If you've never heard of the Molly Maguires, they were a secret group of Irish-American miners who were known for their violent conflicts. In the 1870s, twenty suspected Molly Maguire men were executed for the murder of sixteen men. The trial and execution took place in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. Legend has it, the Old Jail is haunted by spirits of the accused men and you can still see the handprint of one of them who claimed to be innocent up to his death. 


7225151211770A Molly Maguire Story by [Patrick Campbell]


I would be a very bad friend if I did not include author Ash Krafton's books in this list. I worked in the same mall as Ms. Krafton back in our days of retail in Pottsville. Her urban fantasy series is set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist whose work leaves her neck-deep in other people's problems. Thanks to her compassion, her gut instinct, and her magnetic charm, Sophie really knows how to attract little black clouds.
Marek Thurzo is no little black cloud; he's a maelstrom. Marek is Demivampire, a race with the potential to evolve into vampire. A warrior who's taken his share of spiritual damage, he hovers dangerously close to destruction.
He seeks salvation. She's driven to save him. But what if he can't be saved?

Bleeding Hearts: Book One of the Demimonde Urban Fantasy Series by [Ash Krafton]Blood Rush: Book Two of the Demimonde Urban Fantasy Series by [Ash Krafton]Wolf's Bane: Book Three of the Demimonde Urban Fantasy Series by [Ash Krafton]The Books of the Demimonde: An Urban Fantasy Series by [Ash Krafton]


And because this is my blog, I might as well throw in my book, Loving Boone, to this list, too. Boone and Beth-Ann's story begins in Tennessee, but their journey takes them to Pennsylvania.


Beth-Ann Miller returns to her Tennessee mountain home to find chaos erupting between her survivalist family and their shape-shifting neighbors. Her father is convinced the were-cougar clan is responsible for the murders occurring in their area. He interrogates one of the shifters, Boone Evans, Beth-Ann's childhood sweetheart. When Boone declares several members of his shifter family have gone missing including his little brother, Beth-Ann suspects someone else is behind both the murders and abductions.

Boone never expected to see Beth-Ann again. When she frees him from her father's cabin and promises to help find his brother, Boone doesn't plan on rekindling their passionate love affair or facing the pain of past mistakes. Nor does he plan on coming face to face with the man responsible for altering his family's life forever.

With men hunting the were-cougars, can Beth-Ann and Boone risk all to have a future together? Or is loving Boone too high a price to pay?


That's a long list this week, but I hope you find something that entertains you!



Be sure to check out the other blogger's suggestions at ...


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!
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Happy Reading!
~Tricia

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

MFRW Book Hooks: Loving Boone #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor #ParanormalRomance



I'm joining the Marketing For Romance Writers Book Hooks this week! Today, I'm going to share an excerpt from my paranormal shifter romance, Loving Boone. This is the first book in the Cougar Shifters series.




Blurb:

Beth-Ann Miller returns to her Tennessee mountain home to find chaos erupting between her survivalist family and their shape-shifting neighbors. Her father is convinced the were-cougar clan is responsible for the murders occurring in their area and interrogates one of the shifters, Boone Evans, her childhood sweetheart. When Boone declares several members of his shifter family have gone missing including his little brother, Beth-Ann suspects someone else is behind both the murders and abductions.

Boone never expected to see Beth-Ann again. When she frees him from her father's cabin and promises to help him find his brother, Boone doesn't plan on rekindling their passionate love affair or facing the pain of past mistakes. Nor does he plan on coming face to face with the man responsible for altering his family's life forever.

With men hunting the were-cougars, can Beth-Ann and Boone risk all to have a future together? Or is loving Boone too high a price to pay?

Excerpt:

          Boone returned her stare, his green-eyed gaze boring fiercely into her heart, her father's rage reflected there. It wounded her to see him look at her with such fury.
          Although they hadn't parted on the best of terms when she left for college, she had done nothing to hurt his people. And she didn't believe her father would either.
          But Boone stared with such accusation, he didn't need to verbalize his thoughts.
          She was one of them.
          Beth-Ann parted her lips, trying to think of something appropriate to say. Nothing seemed right. What words could she say to fix this? To fix what happened between them.
          There was nothing.
          So, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders.
          When she opened her eyes, he remained straining against his bonds and staring as if he wanted to cut her apart.
          But this was Boone.
          He'd never hurt her.
          She stepped forward. From the corner of her eye, she caught sight of her Uncle Travis about to protest, but she raised her hand to silence him. She stopped when she was an arm's length away from Boone.
          He kept his gaze fastened with hers, not even blinking as she approached.
          Beth-Ann gently pushed a few sweat-soaked strands of hair out of his face so she could view his injuries better.
          She gasped at the blood seeping from several cuts on his cheeks and around his eyes. Redness discolored his cheekbones from the impact of her father's fists and swelling was not far behind.
          His face was going to be one big bruise.
          Even as she stared, the flesh around his left eye was growing puffy.
          "You're going to need ice," she muttered, more to herself than to him.
          "I'm going to need that knife," he answered, nodding to the dagger still sunk into the floorboards.
          "Not here," she said with a shake of her head. Her father wouldn't kill him. It wasn't in his nature. "No one will hurt you here."
          "Not anymore?"
          She flinched.
          This wasn't the Boone she left behind. It was as if she gazed into a stranger's face expecting to see the boy she remembered. He might look the same, but his eyes had changed. His soul had changed. He'd been wounded in ways she couldn't comprehend.
          And, he had it right. Despite her beliefs, he'd been hurt by her father's hand. Geoffrey already inflicted injuries on him that might have killed a normal human.
          But Boone wasn't human, was he?
   


AMAZON







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!




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Be sure to check out the other Book Hooks!

Happy Reading! 
~Tricia




Friday, May 22, 2020

Ice Princess #Excerpt #FantasyRomance #FairytaleRomance


Ice magic and a passion that burns...

Princess Lily is determined to save her kingdom from the evil influence of the sorcerer in their midst. When she makes a stand, he curses her beloved to turn into a dragon and casts a spell that seals her in a block of ice where she sleeps for all eternity.

Eternity arrives earlier than expected when Rick Stamos tears down a wall to the tavern he's renovating. He never expects to find a woman encased in ice hidden in his basement. After melting the ice, he's more surprised when the woman wakes and claims he is her beloved.

Did the spell that kept Lily frozen for so long also curse Rick? Is he really her beloved or a stranger with the same face?

Excerpt:

He stretched his right arm toward the ice, his fingers splayed wide. He forced his tense muscles to relax, closed his eyes and concentrated on the warmth deep within. A flame flickered there, light in color, hidden deep inside him. Once he located the flame, he stoked it, encouraging it to grow, expand, fueled by his desire to bring the heat to surface. The fire sparked and lengthened, grew until the warmth spread to his chest. 


He focused the heat to travel through his arm to his right hand where his fingers spread open.


He placed his hand on the ice, closed his eyes and concentrated on heating his hand until he felt the solid block beneath his fingers soften. The ice melted beneath his touch. He blinked his eyes to watch the solid turn to liquid.


“Hey,” Pete said, smiling. “That fire-breathing stuff comes in handy sometimes.”


“Shut up.” Rick forced his concentration back to the heat he controlled with his hands. It was a trick he had discovered when he was a teenager. He’d accidentally burned down the shed in their backyard because Rick’s temper flared when he found out that Pete had ‘borrowed’ his bike and returned it with two flat tires.


Since then, he tried to keep his power under wraps, but on occasion and with no one other than Pete or Steph around, Rick tested it. It was like a muscle. To keep it under control, he had to use it from time to time, to maintain his discipline so it wouldn’t flare to the surface without warning one day.


It would be more than embarrassing if he burned someone’s car on the highway if they cut him off. Road rage sent to a whole new level with a guy who could spark flame from his fingertips.


It took some time to melt the ice. There was an entire casket full, but after a while the clothing on the woman’s body became visible.


She wore a long white, velvet gown trimmed with lace and satin. Her hands were folded over her chest with a single rose clasped between her bejeweled fingers. She was elegantly dressed as a woman of nobility and placed with great care before her body was in some way submerged in water and frozen.


Rick wondered if she was someone of importance. A woman lost within the pages of history and time.


The ice near her head melted away revealing a face of rare beauty. Perfect, pale skin with red-rose colored lips. Her midnight black hair cascaded in waves around her face and shoulders, dampened by the melting ice. Matching black eyelashes swept down over her cheeks.


Rick wished he’d known the color of her eyes. As he stared at the woman, a humming began in his blood, a strange sense of familiarity itched in his brain.


Had he seen this woman before?


It was obviously not possible. Perhaps he’d seen a woman with her likeness somewhere. An actress on television or a movie. Or someone in the tabloids.

Pete whistled with appreciation from his elbow.


“I have to admit,” Pete said. “She’s hot for a dead girl.”


Rick rolled his eyes.


“What?” Pete said as if seeing his brother’s reaction. “You don’t think?”


“No,” Rick said. “I admit it. She’s beautiful.”


“More than beautiful. She’s exquisite. Like a porcelain doll. And the way she’s posed in the block of ice.” Pete paused and leaned over her for a closer look. “She reminds me of someone.”


“You, too?” Relief swamped Rick. He wasn’t the only one with this nagging sense of familiarity. “She reminds me of someone, too, but I just can’t place her face.”


“Snow White.”


“What?”


“You know,” Pete sighed. “The fairy tale. Snow White and those dwarfs. Or maybe Sleeping Beauty. I get those two mixed up. There’s a lot of comatose gals in fairy tales.”


“That’s not what I meant,” Rick said, shaking his head. “I meant a real person. Not some imaginary fairy tale girl.”


“Maybe she’s not so imaginary.” Pete waved his head. “Maybe one of us should kiss her.”


“What?”


“Kiss her to break the spell.”


“You’re insane.”


“You never know.”


“Yeah, you’re right. You never know anything. Ever.”


Rick continued to stare at the woman as the ice melted into puddles of water on the stone floor. He eased back the heat in his hands and then folded his arms across his chest.


“I wonder who she was.”


“A princess. Maybe a queen.”


Rick glanced at Pete with a raised eyebrow.


“Well, she must be someone important. Look at the way she’s dressed.” An exact echo of Rick’s earlier thoughts.


Rick bent over the woman, taking in her beauty once more and the deep suspicion he knew her. His gaze swept over her face and form, then fell to the rose. It was a rose in full bloom. Not wilted with age, neglect or natural decay. A rose with full, blood-red petals on a stem laced with sharp thorns.


How could a flower remain in such perfect condition in these types of circumstances?The whole situation seemed incredulous. If Rick hadn’t known better, he’d say this whole thing had been set up as some prank.


He pried the rose away from her cold fingers, taking the flower in his hands to inspect more closely.


“I guess she could be nobility,” Rick said. “But she—”


A gasp stopped him from speaking. The sound came from the woman.


Both Rick and his brother stumbled back a few feet, stopping to stare at the now breathing woman on the remaining block of cracked and melting ice.


“Did she?”


“Yeah, I think.”


Rick tilted his head, staring at the woman’s ample bosom rising and falling with each breath.


Then her black eyelashes flickered across her cheeks, sweeping up to reveal the greenest eyes Rick had ever seen on another human being. They were a deep, vibrant emerald color that appeared almost inhuman and yet so beautiful he couldn’t compare them to anything else.


The woman blinked and took another deep, gasping breath.


The rose fell, forgotten from his fingertips as Rick returned to the woman’s side and knelt beside her.


As soon as her gaze met his, she smiled. Her lips curved and her face brightened with love and warmth and radiance. An electric shock zipped through his arms and legs, settling deep in his chest. Rick knew at that moment he was lost.


“Ashford.” The woman’s voice was like a song of spring. Light, full of hope, happiness and renewal. “You found me.”



AMAZON


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Zombie Apocalypse - Where's the Toilet Paper? #LongandShortReviews #BlogChallenge


This week's topic: How I'd fare in a zombie apocalypse


I have to say, this topic feels fairly prophetic being that these topics were selected at the beginning of the year, before Covid-19 took root in North America. And although zombies aren't involved with the novel Coronavirus (that we know of!), the reaction of many made this pandemic feel like the beginning of an apocalypse.

So... how would I fare in a zombie apocalypse?

Well, first of all, I'd probably run out of toilet paper.



I truly didn't expect that everyone in the country would run in a mass panic to the grocery stores just for toilet paper. Obviously, there are more Supernatural fans out there than I know! While everyone was stocking up on tp, I was preparing to feed my four kids for two weeks. This was back in March when my children came home and said that school was cancelled for two weeks. Knowing that, I immediately ran to the grocery store to stock up on milk, bread, cereal, and frozen pizza. I was not aware that we were going to have a tp run. I was shocked when I got to the store to see the all food well-stocked, but the toilet paper gone.

Was there something that no one was telling me? The toilet paper was more important than food? I was baffled. Especially, when later the next week I saw YouTube videos posted with people fighting each other in the aisles and breaking into vehicles... all to grab as much toilet paper as they could. Fighting?!

Honestly, I'm still amazed. And horrified that people could behave in such a way.

Meanwhile, because I have 4 kids, I typically buy toilet paper and paper towels in bulk at least 4-5 times a year. I'd just stocked up in January, as per normal in my household. I had no idea that the stores would fail to re-stock for over two months afterward!

Yes, my poor little family eventually ran out of toilet paper. I had to go to several stores searching for it. And I cried. I admit it. I sat in my car and cried in the parking lot because of the callousness of so many people to hoard things. To act so selfishly. To think only of themselves and not of their neighbors. I just wanted to stay safely at home with my children, not scour the county during lockdown in search for the almighty tp. We had plenty of milk, eggs and bread. No one was touching those products. But the toilet paper was gone. And then I felt selfish for crying. There are so many people who have it so much worse than me.

To answer this week's topic, I doubt I'd survive long. I'm much too giving. I think of others before myself and clearly, during an apocalypse (or a pandemic), not many people do that. Of course, I'd try to survive as long as possible. I tend to view the world through rose-colored glasses, as they say. I'm fairly optimistic.

Even now, with all this quarantine and self-isolation, I'm keeping hope alive that they will find a cure or a vaccine that is safe to use and will work. I'm also happy that mother nature has had a chance to recover from the pollution of humans. I hope that people will learn from this experience and try to do better in our future for the whole world.

Yeah, I'm that person who tries to stay calm by saying, "It's gonna be okay. We'll make it." I'll give away my toilet paper to those who need it and I'll do my best to not get eaten by a zombie as I head to the library to wait for a vaccine.



Be sure to check out the other blogger's suggestions at ...


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!
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ONLY AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME!

Love mermaids and all creatures aquatic? This limited time anthology is just for you! With more than 1500 pages of captivating fiction, you'll be enchanted by sirens, dive the depths with a mermaid, and fear whether the sea witch is friend or foe.



AMAZON


Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Magic of #Shifters #Bookfair #shapeshifer



The Magic of Shifters!

Find a new shifter book to fall in love!
Dragons, wolves, cougars, and more...

Free ~ $0.99 ~ KU


Loving Boone: A Cougar Shifter Paranormal Romance (Cougar Shifter Series Book 1) by [Tricia Schneider]Under Her Skin (Lindi Parker, Shifter Shield Book 1) by [Margo Bond Collins]Beware the Violet (The Eulogimenoi Series Book 1) by [Maria Vermisoglou, Adriatica Creations, Milktee Studios, Sara Miller]Dragons and Mages: A Limited Edition Anthology by [Pauline Creeden, Amy Proebstel, J.E. Feldman, Becky Murray, C.A. King, Day Leitao, Jocelyn Dex, Joynell Schultz, Juliet Vane, Laura Greenwood, Majanka Verstraete, Margo Bond Collins, Mary Kit Caelsto, Nicole Zoltack, Sheri-Lynn Marean, Mara Amberly, Victoria DeLuis, Bokerah Brumley, Shereen Vedam, Melinda R. Cordell]

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Hero of His Own Story #LongandShortReviews #BlogChallenge


This week's topic: A villain that I wish could be redeemed and why


The Witch's Thief and The Witch's Kiss are tied together by the villain, Drake Merriweather, a witch who has turned to dark magic because he is obsessed with finding a way to bring back his dead wife. He blames himself for her death. He is a character torn apart by the madness of grief which leads to some poor decisions on his part. He is determined to find a spell to bring her back and to do that, he needs Julia Grey's help. He threatens her sister's life in order to get Julia to search for the hidden grimoire located within Merriweather Manor.

Drake is the villain of the story, although he's not necessarily evil. But he will do evil things to get what he wants. He's a character that has marked my heart and one day I would like to write his story and give him the redemption I believe he deserves. He has some very bad wrongs to right, however. With some help, I think he can do it.

I already have an idea of where his journey might take him. Once I've completed the several works-in-progress I have contracts for, I'd like to dive deeper into his story to give him the happily-ever-after he needs.

Fortunately, I've had emails and comments from readers asking about Drake's future. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one hoping for this bad guy to get his chance to become a hero.

The Witch's Thief

To save her sister's life, Julia Grey seeks a spell hidden somewhere within Merriweather Manor. Her position as a lady's companion affords her the freedom to search the house. But time is running out. The necromancer she's bargained with is growing impatient. And an unexpected appearance of a man from her past makes matters worse in an already complicated situation.

Basil Merriweather returns to England after ten years abroad to discover his childhood sweetheart living in his home. But, he's no longer the carefree man of his youth and she's hiding something - deadly secrets Basil vows to uncover even as he hides a dark secret of his own.

While neither Basil nor Julia will trust in the other, their hearts speak a truer language. In a grand attempt to save Julia's sister and Basil's life, the two must finally confess sinister truths. Will their admission help or hinder any future they may have together? Or will the necromancer destroy all in a vile attempt at revenge?

The Witch's Kiss

Marianne Grey is a ghost.

But, she's not dead. Cursed by a necromancer, Marianne searches for the elusive spell needed to merge her spirit with her physical body. She's not alone in her search. Her neighbor and best friend, Sage Merriweather, has vowed to help her break the curse.

Sage suffers from his own demons. Literally.

After surviving a horrific attack, a demon has bonded with him, mutating Sage's magic so he can only conjure fire. Until he can break the bond, he is a danger to everyone near him, including those he loves.

From the glittering ballrooms of London to eerily dark graveyards, Marianne and Sage battle forces of evil destined to claim their souls for eternity. Though their newfound love for each other may be the toughest battle of all.


Be sure to check out the other blogger's suggestions at ...


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!
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