Moms, It’s ok to be Touched Out.
Feeling “touched out” is a completely normal human emotion. Having small people constantly throwing themselves at you like little heat-seeking missiles that tend to spew snot, sweat, and mystery substances all over you, can be a lot to handle. I get it. I have two sons and a daughter on the way. And ALL my children are clingy. (I’m talking bubble-wrap-mixed-with-cellophane-applied-to-your-body-with-super-glue CLINGY!)
The oldest is ten years old and still loves to cuddle. It doesn’t help that he is 5’2″ and 150lbs. So, not only is he my much-adored first child who loves being petted, but he is the size of a Mexican wrestler. His cuddles are more like being manhandled by a sub-adult orangutan. My cherubic, blue-eyed five-year-old likes to wrap himself around me like a boa constrictor while jabbing small pointed knees and elbows into my fleshy bits. To top all that, I have an infant in my womb, who likes to plant her feet in my ribs and caress my bladder with her head. Sometimes, I am so over being touched – by anyone, and that’s okay, dammit. I have learned that it’s okay to take a step back when your kids want to be cuddly.
A few months ago, my oldest came to me with his arms outstretched for a hug. I knew he needed comfort, so I let him encircle my ribs with his arms, as I rested my cheek on the top of his head. But then, I explained to him that I needed some space and that I was tired of being touched … so, he was welcome to talk to me, but hugging time was over for a little while. Because I set this boundary, I can now simply shake my head and say, “Mom doesn’t want to be touched right now,” and my kids will accept it and keep their distance.
Doing this actually taught my sons to respect the personal space of other people because me being “touched out” helped them learn to better read the physical cues of others. Because I allow them to come back later for more hugs or cuddle time, they know that it’s not a personal rejection of them. They also know I still love them, but they’ve become more understanding and empathetic of my needs. This understanding has, in turn, made me feel more confident that my sons will be more compassionate toward their wives/significant others when it comes to the physical aspect of their relationship, and that makes me hopeful for their futures.
So you see, being “touched out” as a mom can be used as a constructive tool in teaching children to respect the personal space of other people. It’s not a flaw. It’s not a horrid affliction. It’s a gift – one that encourages boundaries and thoughtfulness toward others.
So please, give yourselves a break. Teach your children that you need space, and don’t feel bad when you just don’t want to be touched. It allows you to recharge and come back to the scene as a better mommy. An emotionally and physically drained mother doesn’t perform as well as a fully charged one. So, by taking care of your needs, you are taking better care of your children.
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Perma-free novella in the works.
I know, I know. I’ve been shady. Like, 100-year-old oak tree standing tall and strong under the midday sun, shady. Sorry about that. I’ve become a baby incubator and have 14 more weeks to go. But, to make you all feel a little less neglected, I’d like to let you know that I am writing. I have a permanently free straight southern romance novella sitting at 70% done. I’m not a one-trick pony, so I figured now was a good a time as ever to let you see what else I can do.
Welcome to a taste of Hearts Collide. (It’s the unedited version. Be patient with me. haha)
By: Allaina Daniels
The sound of Bryant’s shrill scream pierced Grace’s ears and her feet took flight through the park towards the sound. As his big sister she knew his cries by heart and at thirteen years old, he rarely cried at all any more. When he did it was because he was hurt. The noise she heard now was a mix of anger, fear, and pain all mingling together to create an alarming wail that sent adrenaline surging through her veins. She crested the hill that over looked the playground and saw the gang of local ruffians who preyed on the young and weak and her alarm turned to a rage unlike anything her sixteen-year-old body had ever felt before. Bryant was on the ground holding his face as Danny Grantham stood over him smirking. His brother, Travis, and best friend, Mark, were standing behind him laughing.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Grace yelled as she slowed down and began an angry march towards the boys. Her thick unmanageable curls bounded into her face and she shoved them back behind her ears. The late July evening was making her lose steam as the heat and humidity began to claim her energy.
“Well, well, well.” Danny smiled while standing up straighter and then turned to look at his crew, “Look guys, it’s the poodle to the rescue.”
Loud guffaws of immature laughter rose into the air and Bryant stood back up on his thin legs. Blood ran from his nose and a beautiful shiner blossoming beneath his eye. Squaring his shoulders, he looked up at Danny, “Shut your mouth you filthy piece of gutter trash.”
“Bryant!” Grace snapped and stepped in between him and Danny, knowing full well that she was putting herself between the fastest smart mouth in the south and a junk yard dog disguised as a handsome seventeen-year-old.
“What, Grace? That’s how he was born and what he will always be. Gutter trash.”
Danny reached around her trying to put his massive hand around Bryant’s throat and grace shoved him away, “Get back, Danny.”
“Like hell, poodle.” He snarled while shoving her back. She watched as his eyes narrowed in anticipation and felt her brother try to rush past her. He was almost all the way around when she grabbed him by the back of the shirt, snatching him back and letting him fall onto his butt causing a puff of dry summer dust to shoot up.
“Stay down, Bryant.”
A chorus of howls went up as Danny’s cronies pointed at Bryant. “Look at him, can’t even protect himself against a girl.”
“Shut up!” Grace stated trying her best to remain in control.
“Or what?” Danny taunted, “What are you going to do poodle?”
Grace’s hand flew out without thought and her great grandmother’s ring was the crowning jewel on her petite fist. Before she could even try to reign in her swing, it collided with the side of Danny’s face and he took two steps back.
Grace yelped, pulling her stinging hand back into her chest, as she looked on in horror while Danny starred at her wearing a stunned expression.
The only sound that could be heard was the creaking of the old swing swaying back and forth on it’s chains in the soft breeze.
“Dude,” Travis stammered, breaking the silence, “You’re bleeding.”
Bryant Scurried to his feet as Danny’s hand traveled up to his oozing cheek and touched the gash that she had caused with her angry outburst. His green flecked eyes were unreadable which had her backing up and getting ready to run. She had never his someone in anger, not even Bryant.
“My God,” she thought, “I’m going to end up on the bottom of the river with my face on a milk carton. Why did I have to choose Danny Grantham as the first person I would assault?”
Before Danny could do more than blink at her in stunned puzzlement, the whoop of a police siren made them all jump. Grace turned and watched as the police chief unloaded his self from his car. The dread that had puddled into her stomach was now beginning to overflow. The urge to vomit hit her making sweat pour from her skin.
Placing her hand to her mouth, she gulped hard and looked up. Danny was staring at her with his head tilted to the side and concern in his eyes. It was such an odd reaction coming from him that she took a step back. The motion swayed her stomach and her late afternoon snack came lurching out her mouth, landing in a chunky mixture on both her and Danny’s shoes.
“Good Lord, Girl.” The chief said as he joined them, “What’s gotten into you? Do I need to call your daddy and have him meet us at Doc’s house?”
Tears caused by her nervous vomiting dribbled down her face and she shook her head, “No, I’m fine, Chief. I was just running and got too hot.” She lied.
He looked her up and down and then his eyes went to Danny. A smirk lit his face as he saw his puke cover shoes and then his face became serious.
“Boy, shouldn’t you be on the other side of town and nearer to home by this time of day? Are you bothering these good kids?”
“He was bullying me.” Bryant Sniveled.
Grace closed her eyes and shook her head. She knew that tone and instantly knew that her brother was lying but it wouldn’t matter. As the children of the counties prosecuting attorney, they were well known and heavily guarded by everyone who was anyone even remotely important.
“Oh really?” Chief Carson said while sauntering towards them, “Come on boys. Let me give you a ride.”
“That isn’t necessary, Chief.” Danny said.
“I think it is. Now you boys load up.”
Mark and Travis walked to the cruiser and Danny’s shoulders slumped in defeat, “What about my truck?”
“That’s not my problem. Now get in the car.”
Chief Carson tipped his hat at Grace and Bryant, “You two stay out of trouble.”
Grace nodded and watched as Danny walked away with the chief closing in on him. Bryant laughed when he climbed into the back seat.
“Look Grace. Now he is where he belongs.”
“Oh be quiet, Bryant.” She huffed, “Why did they even have you on the ground anyway? Why were you trying to fight them? Are you stupid?”
Bryant grinned, “I heard them talking about the girls in town and then they got to your name. Mark and Travis were laughing about your curls and Danny told them to hush. I knew what that meant, so I told him to quit thinking about you and that he would never be good enough for you.”
Grace swallowed then took a deep breath, “what?”
“He’s gutter trash. It is what Daddy says about all of the Grantham’s and you’re going to be an ivy league lawyer. He isn’t good enough for you.”
For the Second time in her life, Grace hit someone and as Bryant’s howls of pain echoed through the park, guilt ate at her. Only one thought circled her mind, “I’ve never had a boy like me and now the only one ever is going to more than likely end up spending the night in jail.”
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Egg-Cerpt Exchange with Kim Headlee
TITLE – The Challenge
SERIES – The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles
AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee
GENRE – Historical Fantasy w/Romantic Elements
PUBLICATION DATE – 7/11/2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 24 pages/6K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown
The gauntlet is thrown. One must die. Refusal is not an option.
Arthur the High King of Breatein has fallen captive of a longtime enemy, the Saxon warrior-princess Camilla, who lusts to avenge the death of her betrothed at Gyan’s hands and will stop at nothing, even the black arts, to achieve her goal. Because Gyan and Arthur have grown estranged, she fears that Arthur may side with Camilla and make her his new queen.
To meet Camilla’s challenge, Gyan must face all her demons—public as well as private.
WORLDWIDE AMAZON KINDLE LINK – http://getBook.at/The_Challenge_by_KIH_Kindle (Kindle Unlimited)
EXCERPT 1 (~70 words)
With a shudder Gyan recalled the rumor that Camilla had enlisted demonic aid…
She banished those thoughts, and their attendant fears, by pondering the irony that Camilla had tried to strike at her through Arthur. It might have worked, once. The passion that had colored the early years of their marriage was still celebrated in song throughout Breatein and Caledon.
These days, she wasn’t singing.
EXCERPT 2 (~180 words)
Myriad pressures—the constant threat of war and the effort to placate fickle allies, the loss of their son and uncertain parentage of their twin daughters, and the economic upheavals caused by raids and outbreaks of drought, crop failure, famine, and disease—had pounded a wedge between Gyan and Arthur that seemed as insurmountable as the walls of Camilla’s fortress.
Hand to hilt, Gyan lowered her gaze to the Ab Chlota, the river that separated her from her foe. She yearned for the simpler days of her youth, when her leadership duties had encompassed her clan, not the entire realm. And, she realized with a start, when Arthur had been warlord of the people who were her clan’s sworn enemies. Their marriage had transformed animosity to amity.
But she was no longer sure what he was to her anymore.
First and foremost he was the high king, however, and it fell to Gyan to find a way to restore him to the people… even if she could no longer hope that his love would ever be restored to her.
EXCERPT 3 (~220 words)
Upon reaching Gyan’s side, Angusel thrust a scroll into her hand, his gaze softening. Her stomach knotted. It took all her strength of will to keep her hands from trembling as she broke the seal and unrolled the parchment to read its contents.
She had expected word of Arthur’s condition, couched in threats. Not this.
Camilla had issued a personal challenge to end the impasse by single combat in front of Gyan’s troops. If Gyan declined the challenge, violated the terms, or lost the fight, her crown would be declared forfeit.
Gyan crushed the parchment in her fist.
She beckoned Angusel and Merlin to follow her to the headquarters tent. Once inside with the flaps tied shut, she whispered the details.
“What will you do, Your Majesty?” Quiet worry colored Merlin’s tone.
What, indeed? She dropped the scroll onto the field table and, sighing, closed her eyes. Victory would be difficult to achieve if the rumor of Camilla’s demon-aided strength was true. Defeating her would permit Gyan to retain her crown… and the joyless life it had come to represent.
There had to be another option.
“Your Majesty?” She opened her eyes to find Angusel gripping the pommel of his sword with white-knuckled intensity. He thumped fist to lion-embossed bronze breastplate. “Let me fight for you!”
Interview of Gyan from The Challenge
What is the meaning of your name?
I am Gyanhumara nic Hymar, daughter of Hymar and her consort, Ogryvan. My mother, whose name means “song,” named me her “rarest song,” for I was fated before birth to be the only daughter she would ever bear. Those who do not ken the Caledonach tongue call me by many other names: Vennevria… Guanhumara… Ganora… Gwenhwyfar… Guenevara… Guinevere. I am none of those women.
I am Gyanhumara.
My kin and closest friends call me Gyan. You may call me “Your Majesty.”
As you wish, of course. Please describe your job, Your Majesty.
I am Chieftainess of Clan Argyll of Caledon, a position I inherited from my mother. When my husband Arthur was acclaimed High King of Breatein by virtue of his—our—victories over the Saxons, Scots, and other enemies of his people the Breatanaich, I became High Queen to rule at Arthur’s side.
Though I remain honored that Arthur’s people hold much love and respect for me, the added responsibilities have proven to be far more of a burden than I could have ever foreseen.
Do you have a favorite place to visit?
The Sanctuary of the Chalice on St. Padraic’s Isle. In the churchyard lie the bodies of the first men to die under my command. Their gravestones serve to remind me that war should only be pursued after all other avenues toward peace have failed. Inside the church sits enshrined one of the holiest relics of all Christendom… and the only means by which I have ever attained forgiveness for the mistakes I’ve made. And those mistakes are, indeed, legion.
This may be a sensitive question, but please tell us, Your Majesty, about your significant other.
Ah, Arthur, my life, my heart, my soul… my dearest love. How did we ever come to a point where we scarcely share an intimate word anymore? I blame the pressures of governing the people, of protecting them from invasions and famines and plagues and sundry other threats.
But most of all, I blame myself for the poor choices I have made that have widened our rift.
What is your most important goal?
I would give anything for the chance to set things aright with Arthur. Anything, even my very life itself.
What is your worst nightmare?
Ha! You have doubtless heard that in mere moments I must face in combat a woman reputed to be in league with a demon. Is that not nightmare enough for you?
Please forgive me, Your Majesty; I intended no offense. Thank you so much for your precious time, and I wish you success in this battle… and beyond.
(Gyan inclines her head, a slight smile bending her lips. The smile inverts as she tugs on her gloves, dons her helmet, claps hand to hilt, and strides off to meet her foe.)
Author short bio – 100 words or less.
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight 1st edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.
Author links – no more than 5
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE (Worldwide link) – http://Author.to/Kim_Headlee_Amazon_page
NEWSLETTER – http://eepurl.com/boiQ0z
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/KimIversonHeadlee
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/KimHeadlee
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Egg-Cerpt Exchange with Mary E. Thompson
Plump & Pretty
Big & Beautiful series, book 6
by Mary E. Thompson
New Release – will be available March 15 (preorder links are live)
Cover link: http://maryethompson.com/books/plump-and-pretty
Riley is a quiet woman. She likes to read, hides behind her books. She doesn’t date much and thinks no one would be interested in the quiet, plump girl with her nose in a book.
Connor was the high school hottie. Riley knew of him, but never knew him. So when he approaches her at a wedding she’s baffled that he knows she exists let alone knows her name.
Then he disappears, only to show back up a few days later, right when she needs someone to talk to.
Not someone to kiss though.
When everything Riley’s ever wanted seems almost within her reach she starts to wonder if it’s possible, or if it was just a dream all along.
I looked down at his large hand circling my smaller wrist. I’d never felt small next to a man, but seeing his fingers wrapped all the way around my arm, the tips resting against his palm as though I was a normal sized woman and not big, made me feel small. I looked over him again, taking my time with my appraisal, enjoying the view of his long, thick legs encased in denim, the drape of his wool coat covering his hips and upper body. His other hand gripped the arm of the chair as though restraining himself.
His blue eyes begged me to reconsider, to take his words at face value then dig deeper into the heart of what he was saying. His lips were parted, poised to continue his argument if I didn’t give him the answer he wanted. Out darted his pink tongue covering the edge of his lip before vanishing again. For some reason with the appearance of his tongue my brain stalled, forgetting momentarily what we were talking about.
“Riley?” he asked, his rich deep voice pulling me from my blankness.
“Sorry. Um, are you for real?”
A glimmer lit his eyes, a spark of a challenge. He looked like the Connor Lee I remembered from high school, the one who never turned down a dare and who always got what he wanted.
He stood slowly, his hand still wrapped around my wrist. At his full height he towered over my 5’10” height by the eight inches I knew he was taller than me. Broad shoulders dwarfed mine with arms that were almost the size of my legs. Connor Lee hadn’t lost any of the definition or size he had in high school. It looked as though he’d perhaps gained even more size.
“Riley, I like you. I know we don’t know each other well, or really at all, but when I saw you, I knew I had to try to get to know you.”
“Why? I mean, really?” I stammered, not really sure what the hell was going on.
His free hand lifted and approached my cheek. I flinched, wondering what the hell he was doing. He looked into my eyes, peering close, then lifted his arm slowly, as though I was an animal that was spooked. I guess I was.
His palm touched my cheek and I brushed against it like a greedy cat wanting more. He stepped closer, the blue of his eyes darkening to a navy. The hand on my wrist glided up my arm, pausing at my shoulder before ducking under my hair and cupping the back of my neck.
Completely under his control my head tipped back, giving him full access to me. As his head lowered, my eyes drifted closed, a replay of our motions at the wedding. His lips got closer, my breath coming out in hurried puffs as I felt his breath on my face. A heavy pause filled the space, disappointment filling me as I realized he wasn’t going to kiss me like I thought.
“Riley,” he said, making my eyes open. His face was right in front of me, level with mine. His navy eyes bore straight through my body. I’ve never known a feeling of being devoured by a man’s eyes until that moment. He glanced down over me, my flesh heating with every flicker of his eyes. When they met mine again I knew I’d do anything he asked, and that one day he’d crush me.
“Riley? Can I kiss you?” he whispered, barely loud enough for me to hear.
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BL2V3EW
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/614174
Mary E Thompson grew up loving to read, spending many nights hiding under the covers with a flashlight to finish a book. As an adult she still stays up too late, but doesn’t need a flashlight any more thanks to her ereader.
When Mary’s not reading she’s playing with her two kids or living out her real life romance with her hubby. She has a weakness for chocolate, Buffalo sports teams, and wine, lots of wine.
Website – http://maryethompson.com
Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/maryethompson
Twitter – http://twitter.com/authormet
Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/metdaisy7
Character Interview: (at the beginning of the book)
Nickname – Riley Williams
Job – Manager of READ
Level of schooling – MS in Library Science
Birthdate – September 7
Birthplace – Hamburg, NY
Currently residing in – Winterville, NY
Favorite type of pet – Dog, but I don’t have time for one.
Favorite place to visit – The book store, any one.
Significant other – I haven’t had anyone significant in my life for a while.
Most important goal – To show everyone the joy of reading.
Worst fear or nightmare – That my friends won’t find happiness.
Favorite food – Do cupcakes count?
Wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between? Somewhere in between.
Secret desire or fantasy – To own READ.
What would you do if you won the lottery? Buy READ, in a heartbeat.
Conversational interview: (after the book)
Interviewer: Thanks for being here today, Riley. It’s pretty exciting to hear you just got READ. How are you feeling?
Riley (laughs): I’m great. This is the best day of my life. I never thought READ would actually be mine.
Interviewer: It sounds like a pretty interesting story. Do you want to share it with us?
Riley: Well, some of it is private, but I’ll just say I have the best fiancé ever.
Interviewer: Connor Lee, right? You two grew up together?
Riley (nods): Yeah, we did. We went to high school together, but we didn’t really know each other. He was dating a girl whose locker was next to mine.
Interviewer: So how did you get together?
Riley (smiles and gets a dreamy look in her eyes): He approached me at my friend’s wedding. I didn’t know he even knew my name, but he knew a lot more than that. He surprised me at every step, right up until the end when he asked me to marry him.
Interviewer: Does he like to read as much as you do?
Riley (laughs): I don’t think anyone likes to read as much as I do, but Connor does read. More now than before though.
Interviewer: How did you get into owning a book store?
Riley: I always loved to read. I was forever that girl with her head in a book. I knew I wanted to work with books so I got a degree in Library Sciences. When I was going through school I wanted to work though, so I got a part time job at READ. By the time I finished my degree I loved it so much I couldn’t bear to leave.
Interviewer (smiling): It sounds like you really love it there?
Riley (nods): It’s my favorite place in the world. Connor laughs, but when he talks about taking a vacation I talk about how many books I could buy with the money.
Interviewer (laughing): Books are pretty important to you. What else matters?
Riley: Family and friends, without a doubt.
Interviewer: Your friends are like a second family, aren’t they?
Riley: Definitely. I worry about them as much as I worry about my sisters.
Interviewer: What do you worry about?
Riley: That they won’t be happy. That they won’t find someone to share their lives with. My friends are mostly paired off, but Carrie and Charlie are still single. I worry about Carrie the most though because all she’s ever wanted was to be a mom. She’s starting to think it won’t happen.
Interviewer: Do you want kids?
Riley (shrugs): Eventually. We’re not there yet. I’d like to get married first.
Interviewer: When is the wedding?
Riley (smiling): April 21. We don’t want to wait.
Interviewer (eyes wide): Wow, that’s soon. Have you always dreamed of your wedding day?
Riley (shakes head): No. Strangely enough I barely thought of my wedding at all until Connor proposed. That’s another reason we’re doing it so soon. We’re keeping it small and are pretty laid back with what we’re planning.
Interviewer: If you never dreamed of your wedding, what did you dream of?
Riley: The last few years I dreamed of owning READ.
Interviewer: You have that so what’s your big dream now?
Riley (shrugs): I’m not sure I have one. I’m happy. I have everything I could have ever wanted. A fabulous job, an amazing man, and great family and friends. What more could you ask for?
Interviewer: Nothing. Absolutely Nothing.
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Readers and Writers event 2016!
Hi guys! I will be going to my first every book convention/signing. I will have swag and books on hand for giveaway and sale! If you need a vacation or are around the Louisville Kentucky area, please come see me. I am so excited.
To get a ticket to the event click here: http://readerswritersevents.com/tickets/
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Egg-Cerpt Exchange with PJ Maclayne.
Character interview with Tasha Roeper, the main character of Wolves’ Knight
- What is your job?
I am currently contracted with Lapahie Enterprises to provide assistance with getting their physical security beefed up. I’m helping to train the students at the school sponsored by Lapahie in basic security skills, and I sometimes provide bodyguard services to the CEO, Dot Lapahie. My training with both my pack, the Fairwoods, and the Radferd pack of security specialists has given me a unique set of skills that I’ll be able to use to enhance the reputation of the Fairwood pack in the future.
- Where is your favorite place to visit?
I haven’t travelled much, and my bucket list of places to go is really small. I’d like to make it out the redwoods of California some day, and visit the Grand Canyon. I really enjoyed the year and a half I spent in Maine training with the Radferds, but it sure was nice to come home. I haven’t found anything yet to match the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, especially in the fall when the trees are turning colors.
- What is your worst fear or nightmare?
My worst fear is that I’ll somehow let the pack down. I’m not your typical pack female, and if I do something wrong, I can bring shame to the pack and make Gavin, my pack leader, look bad. I don’t have the strength or size that the males have, so I have to depend on my wits, training and skills in a battle. I know that one day they won’t be enough. But when I run into that opponent I can’t beat, I hope I’ll do some major dame before I die.
- What would you do if you won the lottery?
What’s the line? You can’t win if you don’t play? Okay, I’ve bought a scratch off ticket or two in my time, but the most I’ve ever won is $5. I think I used that to fill the tank of my motorcycle. If I ever had a lot of money, I’d make that trip to California. And I think I’d donate some of it to a veteran’s charity. I’ve had the privilege of fighting alongside quite a few men and women who served in the military, and although the pack takes care of its own, there are a lot of vets out there that could use some extra help.
- On the lighter side – what’s your favorite type of pet?
I’m a wolf-shifter. I don’t do pets. Can’t you just imagine it, some sweet little kitten hanging around the house, being freaked out every time I shifted into my wolf form? I’m a meat eater, and I’m sure a pet would be able to sense that. Maybe I could get away with a goldfish or something, but it’s never been something I’ve ever considered.
Wolves’ Knight Blurb:
Tasha Roeper knows what it means to protect your own. So when her friend, Dot Lapahie, CEO of Lapahie Enterprises, suspects that the Free Wolves are under attack, Tasha immediately signs on to lead the investigation and guard Dot.
But Tasha’s not convinced it’s the Free Wolves that are the target. She fears that her own pack—the Fairwood Pack—are the actual quarry and Dot is only a decoy.
The deeper Tasha digs, the more puzzles she uncovers.
Torn between tradition and a changing world, will Tasha risk everything to save a friend—including her own life—when old enemies arise?
“This isn’t much different than getting ready to go on a raid,” Dot said as she strapped on the belt that held her throwing knives.
“In a way; it is,” Tasha told her. “Only instead of going to your target, you’re searching for someone coming to you. Which can be even more nerve-racking.”
“I wish you two could come along.”
I will be, Tasha thought, but not officially.
“Chief agrees with you, but it wouldn’t look right,” Samantha said. She was double-checking Dot’s preparations. “You have to do this on your own.”
“Do you know how many times I bugged Gavin to let me run patrols with the Fairwoods?” Dot adjusted the shoulder harness for the revolver that the arms master had supplied. “And he’d never let me. I can’t believe he caved and agreed to this scheme.”
“I guess he realized how important this is,” Tasha suggested.
“Either that or someone blackmailed him. What do you have on him, Tasha?”
“Me?” Tasha fluttered her eyelashes and attempted to look innocent. “All I had to do was explain how important this is.”
“I’ll force you to tell me later.” Dot turned around slowly. “What am I missing?”
She didn’t look like the CEO of a growing organization any more. Instead, she’d gone back to her roots and looked every inch the warrior. From the combat boots on her feet to the cropped hair tinged with streaks of red, she was prepared for battle. Tasha decided it was a good thing that Gavin wasn’t there to see her. They’d never make it out the door. Nothing was sexier to a male wolf that a female prepared to do battle for her cubs.
“One minor detail.” Samantha reached into her pocket and pulled out a small, round container. “Pink stripes on your cheeks. Then you’ll be ready.”
A small cluster of people waited for Dot when she reported to the staging area for her patrol assignment. As she shook hands with her well-wishers, Tasha used the diversion to slip away. She had her own preparations to make.
Author Bio: Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Free Wolves’ stories, she is also the author of the Oak Grove mystery series. P.J. MacLayne can be reached on: Facebook https://facebook.com/pjmaclayne
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Cheerleading can be Murder, Cover reveal!
“Carissa Ann Lynch has done it again. She has me salivating while waiting for her newest release!” -A.D.
CHEERLEADING CAN BE MURDER
Horror High Series #1 by Carissa Ann Lynch
Coming April 5th from Limitless Publishing!
COVER DESIGNER: Redbird Designs
||| SYNOPSIS |||
Getting on the cheerleading squad is hard enough without a psycho on the loose…
For Harrow High freshman Dakota Densford, life should be easy. All she has to worry about is talking to cute boys and remembering her locker combination. But when cheerleading tryouts draw near, she learns the cards are stacked against her—spots on the varsity team are limited. Dakota faces her competition head-on, but when her life is threatened, that takes the competition to a whole new level.
High school is never easy, and freshman year is off to a rough start…
Between Dakota’s uniform being ripped up and masked vandals trashing another girl’s house, everyone is suspect. To complicate matters further, Dakota has a thing for Andy McGraw, but she finds him locking lips with another girl.
The harassment continues, and when Dakota finds suspicious flyers inside her best friend’s locker, she doesn’t know what to think. The principal’s unfeeling, overachiever daughter, Brittani Barlow, will do anything to secure her place on the team. But Dakota’s neighbor, on the other hand, definitely fits the profile of a sociopath.
Cheerleading has become a game of life and death.
||| CARISSA ANN LYNCH |||
Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1MFqBf9
Limitless Publishing: http://www.limitlesspublishing.net/authors/carissa-lynch/
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Egg-Cerpt Exchange with Michelle Abbott
Author Michelle Abbott writes new adult romance. She currently has four books published.
Two injured, stubborn souls meet unexpectedly. Will they save each other from their demons or have they been too damaged for too long to see past the pain?
Growing up, all Jem knew was hatred and the pain from his father’s fists. Taunted by the kids at school, he was alone, until a girl with carrot coloured hair sat next to him.
She was his angel, and he knew he’d love her forever. But Jem’s father hurts him in a way he never expected by taking him away from her.
Now eighteen, scarred inside and out, Jem trusts no one and has worked hard to ensure he’ll never be helpless again. But then he runs into his angel. The only problem is she doesn’t recognize him. Jem needs her to remember him, to show him that their time together meant to her what it did to him. For once in his life he wants to have mattered to someone, to her.
Devon is attracted to the muscular, tattooed, pierced hottie standing by the pub quiz machine. That is, until he punches a guy clean across the bar for daring to touch him. She’s had her fill of violent men and intends to avoid this one at all costs.
Excerpt from JEM
She’s walking beside me and I can’t keep my eyes off her. Back when we were kids she was taller than me. Now I tower over her by about eight inches. I can’t believe I’m getting to spend time with her, even if it is to apologize to her friend. In fact, I think I should thank him. She hugs herself and rubs her arms.
“Are you cold?”
“Yes. I left in a hurry and didn’t bring my jacket.”
I tug off my sweatshirt and put it over her head. She pushes her arms through the armholes. I run my fingers through her long hair to loosen it from the neck of my sweatshirt. Her hair is soft against my fingers. I’ve always loved her hair. The color is darker; it used to be carrot colored, now it’s a deep copper red. I feel her body tense. Too much touching. I reluctantly step back out of her space. She looks cute in my sweatshirt. The hem reaches her knees and the sleeves cover her hands. She’s looking straight ahead and she’s not speaking. There’s so much I want to say to her. I want to know what’s been happening in her life all these years. Has she had a good life? What kind of things does she like doing these days? Did she ever think of me? I frown as her words come back to me. She said Quinn is her neighbor. Which means she not here on vacation. She lives here.
“Are you okay?”
At the sound of her voice I realize I’ve stopped walking. “How long have you been living here?” I ask. Her hair hangs over her eyes and my fingers itch to sweep it away from her face so I can look at her green eyes.
“A month. I used to live in London.”
I know. “So, if Quinn isn’t your boyfriend, who is?” Tell me so I can hate him.
She turns and continues walking. “No one. It’s just me and my son.”
I fight to keep the stupid grin off my face. I tap my fingers against my leg. I’m full of nervous energy. “It must be hard raising him on your own.”
“It’s not so bad, he’s a good kid.”
I nudge her. “He’s got a good mum.” She smiles at me for the first time and it makes me feel like I’m four years old again. I want to skip. I slide my phone out of my jean’s pocket. “Let me give you my number so you can call me if you ever need any help, or a babysitter.” She hesitates and bites her lip, a frown forms between her eyes. Oh come on. I want a way to keep in touch with you.
“I already have a babysitter. Quinn.”
I smile at her. “You should never put all your eggs in one basket.”
She unlocks her phone. “Okay, give me your number.”
I watch her slim fingers as she keys my number into her phone. I stop her before she can put her phone away. “Call me, I want to make sure you’ve got my number right.” And that way I’ll have your number.
Link to Book Trailer https://youtu.be/nTdu_5ywpJ4
Interview with Jem
I work at an amusement arcade, fixing the machines when they go wrong, handing out change and that kind of thing. It pays my bills, it’s local and the hours suit me.
- Currently residing in…?
Hemsby in Norfolk. I’ve got a trailer right by the sea. There’s nothing like walking along the beach every morning. It keeps me calm.
- Level of schooling, or self-taught?
I had to quit school when I was small because my father moved us all at the last minute after someone reported him to social services for child cruelty. He never enrolled me in another school. I taught myself all I need to know.
- Favorite food?
Don’t have one. I eat to live, I don’t live to eat.
- Most important goal?
To get Devon to remember me and love me again. To take care of her and show her that I never forgot her and never stopped loving her.
Michelle Abbott lives in the UK and hates describing herself in 3rd person.
She loves to write new adult romance about heroes who begin as the underdog and are protective of their girl.
She’s an avid reader of romance, is addicted to coffee and loves wine and chocolate, so yeah, not the most healthy eating and drinking habits 🙂 She spends way too much time online when she should be writing. She collects teddy bears and occasionally knits a couple of rows on a sweater she started years ago, which she may eventually finish in time to wear for her funeral 🙂
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Egg-Cerpt Exchange with Linda Nightingale
By Linda Nightingale
A novel about people who love horses…
From The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Editor: Mary Harmony
Tagline: An English aristocrat and a Virginia socialite go head-to-head—and feet-to-feet—in a battle for ownership of a very special horse.
Keywords: Horses, 3-day Eventing, equine, equestrian, horse lovers, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, gothic, books, writing, reading, new releases, The Wild Rose Press, horse books
Digital Price: $4.99
Print Price: TBA
Becca McQuaid came to England to find the perfect horse but instead met a darkly mysterious challenge in Austen Heath, Baron of Hampton. She’s determined to buy Austen’s stallion Gambler’s Choice. He’s determined not to sell, but the rivals are thrown together by an accident that leaves Austen with a broken leg and the threat he’ll never ride again.
Austen Heath has the title, heritage and manor house…but not the fortune. Becca is wealthy. Her charms are irresistible, but he believes she’s shopping for a Ladyship to go with her money. He has another reason to hold the sexy blonde at arms’ length—the unexplained disappearance of an old friend everyone thinks was his lover. When her body is discovered on his property, he becomes a suspect in her murder.
Rebecca McQuaid was in England for one reason.
To find the perfect match.
Size was important. Becca was a tall girl. Money was of no consequence whatsoever. Becca was a wealthy girl. Heart mattered most. He must have the heart to go the distance. She dreamed of a partnership that would last a lifetime. But looks did rank quite high on her list of priorities.
“I simply can’t ride an ugly horse. That would be like dating an ugly man.” Tossing her long blonde hair over her shoulder, she laughed and winked at her friend.
Meg shot her a frown, her tone accusing Becca of being an uncivilized colonist. “Rebecca McQuaid, you say the damnedest things.”
An appreciative chuckle turned her around to squint into the sun. A tall, elegant, dark figure of a man on a magnificent horse caught her imagination mid-stride. She couldn’t see the rider’s face, but she knew he’d overheard the exchange with her friend. He saluted her with a tap of his whip to the brim of his hat as he rode past. Excitement capered over her, and she smiled. The horse’s muscled, blood bay rump glistened. The stallion was sixteen-two hands, fit and impeccably groomed.
“Nice buns. That one’s good-looking enough for me.” She elbowed her friend. “Who is it?”
Meg shaded her eyes. “Gambler’s Choice and Austen Heath. Both horse and rider satisfy your criteria, my dear girl.”
“The horse is handsome.” She wished she had gotten a better look at the bay, but he was a mahogany blaze in the morning sun. “Are you telling me the rider is?”
“That’s the general consensus, but Austen hides in that rambling, dark mansion of his.” Meg studied the pair picking up a trot along the arena. “Fierce competitors. Hard to beat at Intermediate. We’ll see how they handle Advanced.”
“An Advanced horse?” Becca wriggled her shoulders. “I’m in the market.”
“Look elsewhere.” Meg’s finger jutted at Becca’s nose. “Austen won’t sell Gambler for love or money. Guaranteed. Not even for the kind of money you’re willing to spend.”
“Meggie.” She linked arms with her friend. “Everything has a price.”
Meg balked like a donkey. “You’re in a different world, princess.”
“Well, not everything. Love doesn’t have a price.” Pain wrenched her heart as a memory of the breakup with Daniel flashed through her mind. The hurt was too fresh to even think of another man. “But I’m not in the market for love.”
Becca had found that the best way to protect her heart was to play spoiled little rich girl. She had that part down pat, and, as Winston Churchill had said, There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. She was looking for a horse to fall in love with and help mend her broken heart.
Born in South Carolina, Linda has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston. She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.
Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award. She is the mother of two wonderful sons, a retired legal assistant, member of the Houston Symphony League, and enjoys events with her car club. Among her favorite things are her snazzy black convertible and her parlor grand piano. She loves to dress up and host formal dinner parties.
Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com – Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.
Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ – Lots of interesting guests & prizes
Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03972_A_5-Y
Embed: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/03972_A_5-Y” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
In a blood-stained white robe, Austen drove a knife down on a chopping board. What was he chopping in the middle of the night? Blood leaked from what appeared to be a heart. Sickness rolled in her stomach. Dane sat at his feet, watching his master. A noose of fear tightened around Becca’s neck. Did the heart he diced for the dog belong to the missing Julia? Her stomach flipped. Get a grip, Becca. Your imagination is running away with you. Her phobia didn’t listen. A chill slithered down her spine. She backed away from the door, collided with a table. The mastiff lurched to his feet, barking. Becca froze, unable to tear her gaze from the bloody knife.
Agonizingly slow, Austen turned on one crutch, knife in hand, the gory blade raised. “Stay, Dane. Ah, Becca. Come in. There’s something I’ve been meaning to show you.”
A shudder ploughed through Becca. Her voice shook. “What is that?”
“A beef heart. What did you think? Ah…” he whispered a laugh. “You thought I was dicing Julia’s heart to feed to the dog.” Gripping the knife, he paced her retreat. “I do believe you’re afraid of me.”
The belt slipped, and Austen’s robe parted to his waist. The man’s body would tempt a nun. She retreated. He advanced.
“I couldn’t sleep. That happens quite often. I decided to prepare Dane a special treat.” He tossed his hair out of his eyes, the cruel smile and the condescending tone returning. “Ah, Becca, Becca, you’re thinking I killed Julia because she was pregnant.”
“Yes. No. Put away the knife, please. I can’t think.” She labored for breath.
Austen flung the knife clattering to the floor. The startled dog leapt back. Trembling, Becca stood her ground. She’d chewed the inside of her jaw raw.
“There, Becca,” he snarled. “You can come in now.”
Blood smeared the polished oak floor and the horrible knife. Her stomach ached, and bile stung her throat. She forced herself to look at anything but the stained blade.
Austen halted, leaned against a wall. “I appreciate your confidence and trust. A month of living together has taught you nothing about me.”
Dane disobeyed the command to sit, returned to lick his master’s fingers.
“There, there, son.” Austen glanced at the dog. “I’ll soon finish your treat. First, I must convince Becca that I am not a murderer.”
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Egg-Crept Exchange with Carmen Stefanescu
Shadows of the Past
Anne’s relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world–one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil’s vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve’s soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.
The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.
The peal of the church bells from the abbey tower startled Genevieve. The sound added to her mounting anxiety.
The massive abbey loomed over the stone paved path. All the nuns were at evening mass. With a bit of luck her disappearance would go unnoticed for a few more hours. The Abbess would assume she was cleaning the toilets as ordered.
Fear skittered through Genevieve when she turned away from the abbey towards the path leading to town. Nothing stirred. She hesitated. Evil emanated from the forest surrounding the abbey. With a shiver, she leaned against the solid oak gates that flanked the abbey’s main path. They had hidden her from detection for the past couple of hours, but how much longer would she be safe?
The mountain shadows grew thicker and closer.
She moved her weight from one leg to the other. They ached from so much standing, but she lacked the strength to return to the gardener’s cottage and wait for Andrew’s arrival as planned. Genevieve closed her tired eyes. The image of old Ryan, slumped dead in his chair in his cubicle, caught life in her mind and made her whole body ripple with fear.
She’d rather wait for Andrew here, outside.
Had he forgotten his promise? What if something terrible befell him during the last three days, or he had changed his mind? Why should he risk all for an ordinary nun?
Had his folks talked him into giving her up, made him see reason? Helping her out of her predicament meant a huge risk for him — losing his family, his friends and his position among his peers. His words echoed in her mind. “I will risk everything for you, even life, if necessary.”
* * * *
“Anne, Anne, wake up. Wake up, please,” the insistent voice whispered next to her ear. The touch of a hand, on her shoulder, startled Anne.
She opened her eyes, still half between sleep and reality. Her gaze stopped on a stranger, a woman, by her side.
The moon’s pale face, the only light, filtered through a small gap in the tent’s entrance; yet the stranger’s whole body emanated a kind of soft ray, a yellowish halo making her figure and face easy to discern.
A long, dark robe, similar to those worn by nuns in monasteries centuries ago, covered her body. No traditional headdress covered the woman’s red hair, which fell loosely over her shoulders in long, heavy tendrils and continued down her chest and back.
Anne stood up and studied the intruder with open curiosity. The stranger’s wax pale face looked corpse like. Anne opened her mouth to ask her who she was. She looked Anne straight in the eyes, placed her forefinger on her lips and whispered, “Hush, come. Follow me.”
Anne’s eyes widened.
The woman, moving away from the sleeping bag, appeared to glide above the ground. Her bare feet didn’t make a sound.
As if hypnotized, Anne followed the illuminated silhouette heading into the forest, without questioning her own actions.
An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her. The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.
/ / / / / / / / /
Character interview -Genevieve
- Please, have a seat. Make yourself comfortable Miss…
“Genevieve. My name is Genevieve, but Sister Clementa, the Abbess, and some of her followers call me The witch.”
- Tell me, Genevieve, where are you living?
Genevieve ( a small sigh escapes her lips. Then she shrugs) “Well, for the moment I reside at St. Mary’s Abbey. On top of a mountain in Britain, in the…cursed forest.”
- Do you have any schooling?
Genevieve (nods and pats and invisible crease of her dress) “Kind Old Bertha, who took care of me after my family perished, taught me to read and write. Not only English but also Latin. And, most important, she taught me how to prepare healing potions from plants and herbs. Perhaps that’s why the Abbess hates me so much. A peasant girl of the 13th century is dangerous if she knows more than her superiors, I think.”
- What are your worst fears or nightmare?
Genevieve (throws a shy look around her. She shivers and her voice is small) “I fear the cursed forest. This forest is responsible for what happened to my family. My father’s odd behavior, the death of my siblings. All the evil that lurks in it.
My nightmare – the Abbess, sister Clementa, who threatens me all the time with sending me to the stake. I can’t understand why she wants me out of the way.”
- Is it anything that you secretly desire?
Genevieve (blushes and wrings her hands. Then she looks me directly in the eyes. Her voice is strong now. ) “To become Andrew’s wife and grow a family. If his family agrees….If the Abbess lets me go… If God forgives me for giving up being a nun…..If I escape alive from the forest…. If….”
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.
She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989, and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.
Shadows of the Past, paranormal/light romance/light mystery/light horror was released at the end of 2012 by Wild Child publishing, USA.
Carmen Stefanescu’s Links:
And look! Carmen has even given us a nice little promo video to watch!
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