Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Interview with Kate Harvey - BURIED SECRETS by A. Y. Stratton

BURIED SECRETS by A. Y. Stratton
Witnesses to murder, bound to secrecy, denying their desire

Interview with Kate Harvey

Q What do you do for a living?

A I recruit volunteers and board members for several non-profit performing arts groups and help them raise money in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Q What is your background for that job?

A I love live theater and I feel fortunate to have seen a lot of plays and musicals with my grandmother when I was growing up. In many ways my job gives me a chance to show my appreciation.

Q You look very young to have such a big job. If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you,?

A I just turned 29.

Q I heard you’re engaged. Who’s the lucky guy?

A Uh-oh, that’s a bad topic. I broke up with my fiancĂ© about two months ago.

Q Do you mind telling me why?

A Not at all. The guy was a total and complete jerk. He looks good on paper, good job, attractive, well-
educated, parents are friends of my parents. But…”

Q But, what?

A I hate to put it into words, but he continued to call me cold and sexless, because-- well, because I didn’t seem to like, um, how should I say this? I never got used to his wham, bam, thank-you mam style of love-making.

Q Oh, that’s too bad. And have you met someone else?

A Yes. That’s the crux of this story, the way Nathan and I met. It happened the night decided I had to sneak into the criminal lawyer’s house.

Q Wait, you sneaked in? Like a burglar?

A You could say that, but I didn’t steal anything, only the papers that belonged to my grandmother. My grandfather hid his secret papers in the hidden drawer of an old bureau?

Q And the papers were that important that you actually figured out a way to break in and…?

A Yes, I mean no. I didn’t break in. I just figured out how to get in.

Q Oh, okay, I think. So how did you meet Nathan?

A In that lawyer’s house.

Q Nathan lived in the house?

A No. He sneaked in that same night, right before I did. He scared the life out of me, waving his revolver around.

Q What was he doing there?

A He was searching for anything that would incriminate the criminal lawyer. He had a really good reason to do that, but I didn’t find out what it was for a long time. Nathan asks questions, but doesn’t answer any.

Q So you and Nathan hit it off right away?

A Are you kidding? He was bossy and blaming. He said if I hadn’t been in that house, he would have gotten out of there before the murder, and avoided all that craziness of feeling hunted and in danger, afraid the police or the murderer would find out about us.

Q Wait a minute. What murder?

A Oh, didn’t I tell you? While we were each searching the house, once Nathan finally put away his revolver and let me get to work, we heard a woman talking on her phone, bounding up the stairs. I bolted into the wife’s closet, and buried myself behind her dresses. Did she have a lot of clothes! And that’s where Nathan darted too. We stood there, roasting in our winter coats, sweating from fear—at least I was scared. Nathan didn’t seem afraid at all. Just ticked off at me for my bad timing. Completely unfair judgment. Anyhow, we heard a woman talking on the phone and then hangs up. Then she barges into the closet. We figure we are cooked, but no, she changes her clothes and leaves. We can hear her on the phone again, talking from the bedroom. When the man arrives, he talks sexy, tells her how lovely she looks, how beautiful. And then he tells her to close her eyes. I’m thinking, oh, brother, they are going make love and we’ll be stuck, boiling hot, in the closet all night. But no, a gun goes off.

Q What did you do?

A We waited, of course. We’d get killed if the murderer found us. When we heard a car leave, we crept out of the closet. And there she was, this poor woman, blood all over her, all over the sheets, the bedspread. Sickening.
Nathan tried to get me to leave, but I had to find Nell’s papers. It was my only chance.

Q So the police came?

A No. But we both were sure the neighbors would call them. So we had to go. But first I had to find the papers. Nathan yelled at me to go, but stuck to the task, right there in the same room with body. Found the drawer and some papers, and ran down the stairs and out the door, bolting down the street.

Q Where were you going?

A To my best friend’s holiday party. Did I mention it was snowing out? Nate was afraid we’d leave tracks for the police.

Q Where did Nate go?

A He followed me right into the party, where he wasn’t even invited.

Q And what happened at the party?

A Nothing good. My ex showed up. And Nathan, oh, I can’t believe he had the guts to do what he did, but, you’re just going to have to read the book, Buried Heart, by my favorite author, A. Y. Stratton.  

Okay, I saw that question coming. No, I am not married, and I don’t have a significant other.  

Coming soon from Wild Rose Press
BURIED SECRETS by A. Y. Stratton
Witnesses to murder, bound to secrecy,
denying their desire.

BURIED HEART by A.Y. Stratton
A perilous quest. An ancient Mayan codex.
Jealousy and desire.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Men Don't Marry Witches: Interview with a witch

“Men Don’t Mary Witches” – from The Misspelled Charm
by Shereen Vedam

Tell us a little about yourself, Charmaine.
Well, I’m from Ponce, a village on the southeast of Edensa. My mother died when I was a child and my grandmother, whom some have equated to a sorceress, brought me up. I was honored to apprentice with her. Unfortunately, she, too, died about six months ago. I miss her.

Um…haven’t you left something out? I’ve heard rumors (won’t mention names) that you’re not exactly a conventional villager.
My grandmother used to say that living apart, with a cat for a familiar and charms the sole source of income are the hallmarks of a charmist, a witch, and I’d best get used to it. But to be honest, I’m no different than my friend Katie who just had a baby, or Widow Horner who lives across the street. But people like Anson, the silver smith, spread whispers that I’m evil. And I toss worms off pathways after a rain just so people don’t stomp on them! Evil is as evil does, I say.

Sounds like you want to fit in.
I had begun to fit in, to help people, to make friends, despite the Ansons of this world, but then my spells started to go wrong. Now I can barely look my neighbors in the eye. Business is on the decline. And I go hungry more often than I eat. But I don’t need anyone’s pity. I’ll be fine. I just have to figure out what’s affecting my magic.

So, being a witch, with powers and stuff, if your spells were working properly and you could do anything without consequences, what would it be?
Nothing in life is free, everything has a price, and all actions have consequences. Besides, what everyone always wants, love, we can’t get by ourselves. It needs to be given, freely.

I was hoping you’d bring up the subject of love. Is your ideal man like yourself, unconventional, or are you looking for the perfect man, Prince Charming? 
All I would ask for in a man is that he be kind and considerate of other people and be able to look beneath the picture that society paints of a person. But it doesn’t matter what my ideal man is. Grandmother says that a witch can take a lover for a night but not for a lifetime. Her favorite refrain was, Men don’t marry witches, Charmaine.

So marriage is out for witches? Seriously? And there is no one who has caught your eye? Tempted you to fix your hair, straighten your dress, bite your lips, pack up your broomstick and sell your cat?
Well, a stranger recently arrived in Ponce. He’s a framer.

I knew it! Spill!

There’s not much to tell. He loathes me. But even when he becomes furious, Kord is scrumptious. Better than a warm flatbread stuffed with pungent goat cheese and sweet strawberry jam.

Unfortunately, he is convinced that I’m responsible for him losing his betrothed because of a charm laid on him to love another. I didn’t do it! But my grandmother might have. So, I think I should try to help him break this spell. Except, I really can’t do it. You see, one witch’s spell can’t be broken by another. And no matter how hard he fights this spell, sooner or later, it will win out. You see, magic never needs rest.

Oh, the poor sap. Well, I hate to leave on a down note. Anything happening in your life that will put a smile on our readers’ faces? Something you treasure?

The best part of my life is my cat, Justin. He’s a ginger Tom that my grandmother handpicked for me. She said he has magic in him and that he’ll help me when I need it most. And to break this spell on Kord, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Justin is also an excellent judge of character and he seems to have taken to Kord. And despite our differences, I’m starting to like Kord, too, and want to help him. Because no one should be compelled to love another. Love has to be given freely. Or it isn’t love.

Article first appeared on Emma Lai Writes Blogspot on May 11, 2012

Shereen Vedam is the author of heartwarming historical and fantasy romances that have a healthy dollop of mystery with a pinch of magic. Check out her website for her other books, become a fan on her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Playboy’s Challenge.. A trip into the past could profoundly alter the future

Playboy’s Challenge

Published: 08/07/2013 by: Jo Barrett

Highlander’s Series

Adam Sutherland thought he knew his parents.  They were like any other couple who were head-over-heels in love with each other.  It was sickening to witness, to be honest, but he never dreamed that their devotion to one another began in the sixteenth-century in the Highlands of Scotland.  And more importantly, he never thought he'd see for himself just how a trip into the past could profoundly alter his future.

Time Travel
Pages 154
Word count 38776
Rated Sensual
ISBN 978-1-61217-720-5 Digital


“Who are you?” Her voice was nothing more than a wispy rasp. A rasp he would love to hear under very different circumstances.

“I thought you knew. You looked like you recognized me before.”

She shook her head. “No. You canna be…Adam?”

He gave her his most charming smile as he moved closer. “Have we met before? Because I’m certain I’d remember a beauty like you.”

She blinked a moment then looked over her shoulder at the brook then back at him. “You are Adam Sutherland, are you no’?”

“You have my name, now may I have yours? ’Cause once I figure a few things out, I’d like to give you a call.”

“A call,” she said, her face blank.

“I thought we could go out to dinner, or catch a show.” He glanced down at his rumpled tux. “I clean up pretty good, trust me,” he said with a wink.

She almost smiled again, an enticing crooked grin, but it quickly vanished. “You doona recognize me then?”

“As I said, honey, you’d be hard to forget.”

He slid his arm around her waist and eased her into his embrace. His lips brushed against her temple as he took in her scent.

“Make that impossible,” he whispered, savoring her heady fragrance.

A Reason to Fly...A single flight can change your life.

A Reason to Fly

Published: 08/07/2013

Nate Thomas is sick to death of constant business trips and crowded airports. Then, before a customary Monday morning flight, Nate is forced to alter his carefully-arranged routine. His unplanned encounter with Annabelle, a confident and quirky kiosk clerk, permanently alters his worldview. Instantly, every trip is an occasion to anticipate, just to see Annabelle's smile as she hands him change and intrigues him with her peculiar philosophy on customer habits.
Over coffee and bagel breakfasts, clandestine observations of eccentric passengers, and occasional electric brushes of fingers, Nate realizes that his growing attraction to Annabelle is quickly turning into something weightier than he ever expected.
But after so many pre-flight hours in Annabelle's company, Nate arrives at the airport only to learn that Annabelle has quit her job as a clerk without warning. Can he muster the confidence to track Annabelle down outside of the airport bubble, or has he permanently lost his reason to fly?
Rating: Sweet
Page Count: 40
Word Count: 8263
978-1-61217-891-2 Digital
I looked up from my hands to see her face. She was just a girl, a low-wage airport employee, but she had the most beautiful face I’d ever seen, with wide, blue eyes and bee-stung lips. Her profound words flowed from those lips for the second time, piercing my momentary stupor.

She smiled a kind, amused sort of smile. “Riddley’s or Zenith?”

That was the question, wasn’t it? The new or the old, the certain or the tentative. What I’d already had or what I had never tried. Go ahead, leap over the edge, be bold, be daring…

“Hard decision, right?” she asked, with no sign of mirth or condescension.

I could only nod in agreement, lost once again in her eyes.

“See, the thing is, Riddley’s is old-school, right? But old-school isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Zenith’s all shiny and modern in its little cigarette-case package. Life is all about the packaging, you know. Sadly, most people never really consider the crucial point.” She leaned on her elbows from behind the counter, staring as if she understood the weight behind my decision.

“And what is the crucial point?” I was surprised I found my voice.

“The taste. Does the packaging make it taste better or worse?”

I considered that for a moment. “It makes no difference, unless the company puts more resources into making it look better, emphasizing less on the taste.”

“Exactly. Wrappers are meaningless. It’s about what lies inside, the same as people.”

Moondrops...a dark family secret threatens to end their happily ever after


Published: 08/07/2013 by: Sarita Leone

A lifetime of struggling due to her father's poor decisions has left Elise Fulbright with no illusions about men. She's smart, independent, and determined not to rely on anyone--ever.

Hugh North has learned the bitter lesson that women will do anything to better their stations in life, so he steers clear of those who might see his title as a step up the societal ladder.

When an elderly benefactor pens a letter that throws them together, both are willing to reconsider their cynical viewpoints...until a dark family secret threatens to end their happily ever after before it can begin.

Rating: Sweet
Page Count: 106
Word Count: 26242
978-1-61217-828-8 Digital

He did not pause when he walked through a wide doorway into a small sitting room, so she didn’t, either. Unfortunately, she followed so closely on his heels that when he stopped she nearly barreled into his back.
Not the most polished way to make an entrance, she thought as her cheeks grew warm.

“The young lady with the letter, Madam.” The butler gestured Elise further into the room, then turned and left.

Her heart gave an unexpected thump in her chest when she saw the tall, handsome man crossing the room to greet her. The kind of man every woman dreams of but most rarely meet, he moved with fluidity and grace that reminded Elise of a jungle cat. A very large jungle cat. He stood a full head taller than she did, and she was forced to tilt her head back to meet his gaze.

He inclined his head, reached an arm out and, without touching her, drew her into the room and over to the hearth. An older woman stood before a low chair close to a crackling fire. Elise noticed the sewing basket beside the chair and felt an instant connection to its owner.

“You have come. I hoped you would, my dear.”

Friday, August 02, 2013

Obsession...A desperate mother risks everything

by Sharon Buchbinder
Published: 08/02/2013 

A year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive. She's finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney. But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent's worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the "Chosen One."
Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help. Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord's right-hand man. Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover--and falling in love with her.

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 288
Word Count: 71392
978-1-61217-867-7 Paperback
978-1-61217-868-4 Digital
"Who are you? Who is that giant? What did you say to him?"
The pony-tailed man flashed a grin, the smile reaching his sky-blue colored eyes, giving him an appealing boyish look. “The big guy’s name is Tio. I told Tio to truss Raul up like the pig he is and to bring him to Isabel Ramirez. She’ll know exactly what to do with him.”

“Who are you?”
The movie-star-handsome man stopped, bent down until he was eye-to-eye with Angie.
“I found your passport tossed onto Raul’s desk, Angela Edmonds from the U.S. of A. I like that name. You look like an angel.”
She shook her head and the street twirled. “I’m no angel.” She steadied herself on his well muscled, naked arm. Rather than creeping her out, the skin on skin contact with her rescuer reassured her that he was a real human and not an angel conjured up in fevered religious delusion and desperation. “You sound like an American. You haven’t answered my question. What’s your name?”
“Torres.” Still holding her ID, he strode to the driver’s side of the car, hopped in and flashed a dazzling grin. “You could call me your hero because I’m taking you to see the woman who can help you find your son. My name is Alejandro Espinosa Santoyo Torres. But most people just call me Alejandro.”

Fire and Flame...He was furious. God help her, she enjoyed it.

Fire and Flame

Published: 08/02/2013 by: Anya Breton

Sara McKenna longs for a career in television--far away from the violence of her Fire witch heritage. But when her father is struck down through a typically savage stroke of fate, Sara is summoned home by her father's second-in-command--her childhood rival, Fire witch Brent Conley.

Brent failed to protect the only man he's ever respected. He refuses to fail his former priest's haughty daughter. Sara must produce a pure-blooded child to continue their coven's line, and Brent intends to personally see to that duty.

Although Sara will fulfill her duty, she has every intention of returning to her media career, without letting Brent steal her heart. But when Brent sees Sara again, he realizes just how much he's missed her--and how much he wants her to stay. Will Brent be forced to free the one thing he's always wanted to possess?

Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 288
Word Count: 69169
978-1-61217-883-7 Paperback
978-1-61217-884-4 Digital

She had to admit it hadn’t been terribly bright to ditch Brent, considering the attacks during the trip home from Pennsylvania. But she couldn’t spend the rest of her life cowering because the children of her father’s murderer wanted to harm her.

“God forbid something should happen to Fintan’s princess,” Sara drawled nastily. “His riches would go to the cousins and then where would you be?”

“Please tell me you at least had someone else to protect you last night.”

“I stayed in the populated areas,” she said rather than answer him directly. Her gaze slid away.

“Sara,” he said in a low, warning voice that drew her attention back. “Did you have someone else to protect you?”

“You have no right butting your head into my business. So just—”

“I’m high priest now. I have every right until you swear fealty to someone else. Now answer the question, Sara. Were you alone last night?”

“Get out.”

Brent’s eyes blazed a split second before he stalked across the room. He grabbed hold of her biceps, hauling her onto the tips of her toes. The motion allowed him to pin her with the malevolent swirling of his darkened gaze.

“Did you do your duty with someone else to avoid doing it with me?” he all but shouted. Brent’s nostrils flared like a cartoon bull about to charge.

A flare of exhilaration shot up Sara’s back. He was furious. God help her, she enjoyed it.

A Hero for Tonight - Hot contemporary romance

A Hero for Tonight

Published: 08/02/2013 by: Roni Adams

US Marine Reserve Shane Donovan dealt with a lot of harsh realities while being deployed, but it was almost a welcome relief to be away from Krista Saunders.  She'd been an annoyance since they were kids, and becoming a business partner in the Apple Basket market store with his mother only keeps her underfoot, and in his way--especially when the two women think his love life the amusing topic of date.

From the safety of her status as the one woman he'd never look twice at, Krista has mocked and tortured Shane with every start and end of his brief relationships.  But calling him selfish was a lot easier before he became a Marine and was deployed for a year overseas.  Now Shane's back, and old annoyances don't seem so annoying anymore.  In fact, they seem downright sexy.

Rating: Hot
Page Count: 226
Word Count: 59230
978-1-61217-872-1 Paperback
978-1-61217-844-8 Digital

Shane emerged from downstairs with a clothes basket in his hands. “Here.” He handed her a gray sweatshirt. “The bathroom is through there.” He pointed to a mud room on the other side of the kitchen.

Krista took the shirt from him. “Thanks.”

In the bathroom, she stripped off her sweatshirt and slipped Shane’s on. It was the USMC shirt that she’d seen him wear a million times. Wearing it felt incredibly intimate, and she almost yanked it back off.
Ever since their kiss the other night, she’d had a hard time thinking of anything else. Dinner had been fun, but strange as she once again caught him staring at her several times. And when her gaze met his, she’d known exactly what he’d been thinking.

Since the sweatshirt fell almost to her knees, she slipped off her denim shorts, but left her underwear on. If Shane was any other guy, there was no way she’d emerge from his bathroom clad only in a sweatshirt, underwear and socks, but kiss or no kiss, this was Shane. She had no worries about him taking it as an invitation when she opened the door and walked back into the kitchen.

The way his gaze zoned in on her bare legs and slid slowly up leaving a trail of warmth behind gave her second thoughts.

Desert Exposure...She follows her gut--he follows the rules

Desert Exposure

Published: 08/02/2013 by: Robena Grant

Desert Heat Series

She follows her gut--he follows the rules.

Rachel Copeland's fearless spirit makes life an adventure. Yet when her grandfather goes missing, she finds herself embroiled in an undercover sting operation with a by-the-book detective. Their partnership should be a disaster, but the spark between them is far from boring.

Detective Michael Delaney is hot on the trail of a drug kingpin, and fears Rachel's grandfather may be involved somehow. That doesn't mean he's ready to accept Rachel's help, though. Despite her sharp intuition, she's an ordinary citizen and he shouldn't risk her safety. But as they work together, his respect for her grows...and so does his attraction.

Stolen cameras, a criminal seeking revenge, a cabin at the Salton Sea, and one fluffy white dog make for a complicated case. Can Michael find Rachel's grandfather and solve the case in time? Or will Rachel's impulsive spirit get them both killed?

Rating: Sensual
Page Count: 294
Word Count: 75268
978-1-61217-874-5 Paperback
978-1-61217-875-2 Digital

“Oh, dear God.” Rachel didn’t look back. If she was about to die, she didn’t want to see the bullet coming. Another burst of gunfire sounded. A bullet lodged in a tree trunk above her head. She squashed the backpack against her chest, keeping Ralph in place, and pumped her legs hard to get over the slight rise.

Once down the other side, she darted through a field of date palms and got to the old truck, which she’d parked off the main drag. Opening the truck door, she slid into the seat and shoved the key into the ignition. With a quick gasp for air she tossed the backpack onto the floor of the truck. Slick with sweat and trembling with fear, her fingers shook as she turned the key in Grandpa’s old truck.

“Please start. Please start.” It leaped into action. She yanked on the zipper of the windbreaker, and let Ralph out onto the seat. He ran to the open window and barked.

“Shh, Ralph,” she whispered. “Good boy. Lie down.”

There was no sign, or sound, of movement. She pressed the accelerator hard. The truck roared across the unsealed track, and out from under the cover of tall date palms like a raging bull released from a rodeo pen. She headed for the highway and toward the safety of Grandpa’s cabin.

“Oh, hell, oh, hell...oh, hell,” she said, and tried to slow her panic. The empty camera case still hung around her neck and it bumped against her chest. Pulling the strap over her head with one hand, she gripped tight to the steering wheel with the other, and then shoved the case on top of the backpack.

I risked my life for a freakin’ camera?