Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Moonstone" by Marilee Brothers First Chapter

A sickly mom. A crummy travel trailer. High school bullies and snarky drama queens.  Bad guys with charming smiles. Allie has problems. And then there’s that whole thing about fulfilling a magical prophecy and saving the world from evil.
Welcome to the funny, sad, sometimes scary world of fifteen year old Allie Emerson, who’s struggling to keep her act together (not to mention her mom’s) in the small town world of Peacock Fats, Washington. A zap from an electrical fence set off Allie’s weird psychic powers. The next thing she knows, she’s being visited by a hippy dippy guardian angel, and then her mysterious neighbor, the town “witch,” gives her an incredible moonstone pendant that has powers only a “Star Seeker’ is meant to command.
“Who, me?” is Allie’s first reaction. But as sinister events begin to unfold, Allie realizes she’s got a destiny far bigger than she ever imagined. If she can just survive everyday life, in the meantime.

My Review:

Moonstone is the first book in the Unbidden Magic series, and it's a great start to a new series for me. The author's writing style grabbed my attention immediately, making this an absolutely engaging adventure. Ms. Brothers does a fantastic job of setting this story up for the next book and the series. The ending left me ready to dig into book two.

Chapter One 

      One minute, I’m on a ten foot ladder adjusting the TV antenna on the twenty-four foot trailer behind Uncle Sid’s house where I live with my mother, Faye. The next minute, I sail off the ladder, graze an electric fence and land face-down in a cow pie. Swear to God. 
      Though groggy and hurting, I rolled onto my back. A window in the trailer cranked open and I heard my mother scream. “Allie! Ohmigod! Somebody call 911!” 
 I was surprised Faye managed to open the window. She’d spent most of the last two years in bed since, at age thirty-one, she Retired From Life. But really, call 911? We had no phone and I was the only other person in the area. Who was she talking to? Blaster the bull? I smiled weakly at the thought of Blaster in a phone booth, punching in 911 with one gigantic hoof. 
      Okay, technically, I landed in a bull pie, not a cow pie. The mess dripping off my face was compliments of my Uncle Sid’s prize bull, speaking of which… 
      It was then my wits returned. I felt the ground vibrate, heard the rumble of hooves. I reared up to see a half-ton cranky bull racing toward me, head down, mean little eyes fixed on my prone body. 
      Faye continued to scream shrilly. I moaned and crawled toward the fence, looking over my shoulder at Blaster who bore down on me like a runaway train. When I tried to stand, I slipped in the wet grass and landed on my belly. Oh God, he was just inches away. I wasn't going to make it! I rolled into a ball and screamed, “No, Blaster! Go back! Go back!” 
      Laying on the wet grass, trembling with terror, I watched as Blaster stopped on a dime, blew snot out of his flaring, black nostrils and released a thunderous blast of flatulence—that’s what my teacher, Mrs. Burke, calls farting—and, of course, the reason Uncle Sid named him Blaster. 
      “Back off, Blaster,” I said between shallow, panicky breaths. “Good boy.” 
      I hoped the “boy” comment wouldn't tick him off, what with his fully-developed manly-bull parts dangling in full view as I lay curled on the ground looking up. Yuck!
     Suddenly my vision narrowed and grew dark around the edges. It was like looking down a long tunnel with Blaster front and center, bathed in light. A loud buzzing filled my head. The next moment, Blaster took a tentative step backward, then another, walking slowly, at first, then gradually picking up speed until he was trotting briskly backwards like a video tape on slow rewind. 
       Mesmerized by the sight, I sat up and watched Blaster’s bizarre retreat back through the tunnel. At that precise moment, I should have known something strange was going on. But hey, I was a little busy trying to save my life. 
      As I crawled under the fence, my vision returned to normal and the buzzing faded away. I stood and swiped a hand across my sweaty face. At least, I thought it was sweat until a trickle of blood dripped off the end of my nose. Surprised because I felt no pain, I touched my face and found the blood was oozing from a puncture wound in the center of my forehead. 
      I glanced up at Faye who continued to peer out the window, her pale face framed in a halo of wispy blond curls, her eyes wide with shock. She inhaled sharply and I knew another scream was on its way. I held up a hand. “Come on, Faye, no more screaming. You’re making my head hurt.”
     “But, but, the bull….he, he…” Faye began. 
      I wasn't ready to go there. “I know, I know.” 
      I staggered around the end of the trailer and banged through the door. Two giant steps to the bathroom. I shucked off my clothes and stepped into the tiny shower.
     “You okay, Allie?” Faye asked. 
      She peered through the open doorway, paler than usual. Her right hand clutched the locket that held my baby picture, the one that makes me look like an angry old man. The only time she took it off was to shower. 
      “I’ll live,” I muttered. 
      “Weird, huh? Blaster, I mean. I heard you yell at him. Bulls don’t run backward, Allie.” 
       When I didn't answer—what could I say—she waited a beat. “Use soap on your forehead. Did it stop bleeding?

     “Yes, Mother.” I reached over and slid the door shut. 
      Deep sigh. “You don’t have to be snotty. I told you to be careful.” 
      The TV blared suddenly. Oprah. Not that I’m a spiteful person but I blamed Oprah for my swan dive off the ladder. Late last night, a sudden gust of wind knocked over our TV antenna. When I got home from school today, Faye insisted she had to watch Oprah. Like that’s going to change her life. I finally got tired of hearing about it and borrowed Uncle Sid’s ladder. Moral of story: never wear flip-flops on an aluminum ladder. 
     I turned on the water, stood under the weak stream and checked for damage. Other than a slight tingling in my arms and legs and the hole in my head, I seemed okay. 
     I toweled off my curly, dark-brown hair and pulled it back into a messy ponytail. When I wiped the steam off the mirror, I saw a dark-red, dime-sized circle the size of a dime in the exact center of my forehead. I touched it gingerly, expecting it to hurt. But it didn't. Instead, a weird sensation shot through my head, like my brain was hooked up to Dr. Frankenstein’s machine, that thing he used to make his monster come alive. I must have given a little yip of surprise because Faye said again, “You okay, Allie?” 
      “I’m fine,” I said. “Just a little sore.” 
      “Did you check the mail?” 
     “The first’s not until Friday. Today’s the twenty-ninth,” I said. 
     “Sometimes it comes early.” 
      The welfare check never comes early. The state of Washington was very reliable when it came to issuing checks. 
     “Yeah, okay,” I said, not wanting to burst her bubble. 
      Wrapped in the towel, I took two steps into the living room/kitchen, reached under the table and pulled out the plastic crate containing my clean clothes. I dug around and found clean underwear, a tee shirt and a pair of cut-off shorts. 
     I slipped into my bra, once again thinking how cool it was I finally needed one. Though I hoped for peaches, I’d managed only to grow a pair of breasts roughly the size and shape of apricots. Oh, well, apricots are better than cherries. Our valley is called “The fruit bowl of the nation,” hence, my obsession with naming body parts after produce. 
      I slipped into my treacherous flip-flops, headed out the door and spotted Uncle Sid darting behind the barn. Faye says Uncle Sid is not a people person but I thought he was just trying to avoid Aunt Sandra and her constant nagging. That woman’s voice could make a corpse sit up and beg for mercy. I trotted down the driveway, stopping suddenly when I spotted a pair of denim-clad legs sticking out from under the Jeep Wrangler parked next to Uncle Sid’s house. Legs that belonged to Matt, Uncle Sid’s son, older brother to spoiled brat, Tiffany. 
      How can one kid—Tiffany—be so annoying and the other—Matt—so totally hot? I tried to avoid Matt because of the way I get when I’m around him. Though I’m normally loquacious (last Wednesday’s vocabulary word that I copied and vowed to use at least three times), one look at Matt and I lose my power of speech. My jaw drops and my mouth goes dry. There’s just something about him—sleepy blue eyes, light brown hair that usually needs combing, a crooked grin and a sculpted rock-hard body. 
     It’s not some creepy incestuous thing since Matt and I weren’t real cousins. Sid was Faye’s step brother. Nope, we don’t have the same blood coursing through our veins. Matt’s was probably blue, while mine came from the mystery man Faye refused to talk about. 
     I tiptoed past the jeep to spare myself further humiliation. I’d almost made it when he rolled out on one of those sled thingies and grabbed my ankle. 
     “Hey, kid, how ya doin’?” 
     The warmth of his hand against my bare skin turned my normally frisky brain cells to mush. Sure enough, my lower jaw was heading south. 
     “Uh, just great, Matt,” I said, averting my eyes and licking my suddenly parched lips. He released my ankle and stood up. 
     “Good,” he said. “Your mom still got that…whaddaya call it?” 
      As I said the word, I felt my upper lip curl in a sneer. “So she says.” 
     “She getting better?” 
 “She’s trying to get social security benefits, you know, the one for disability.” The words tasted bitter in my mouth. 
     “Oh yeah,” Matt said. “I saw Big Ed’s car here the other night. He’s her lawyer, right?” My hands automatically curled into fists. I narrowed my eyes and studied Matt’s face, looking for a smirk or maybe a suggestive wink. Even though I didn't want to punch him, I could and I would. I knew how to punch. Faye had made sure. No problem. He’d moved on. Wonder of wonders, he was looking at me. I mean, really looking at me with those sexy blue eyes. His gaze lingered for a long moment on my chest. Whoa! Was he checking out my ‘cots? I was suddenly aware I’d outgrown my shorts and tee shirt. Not knowing what else to do, I shoved my hands into the pocket of my cut-offs and took a step back. 
     “Well, hey, I gotta go check the mail. See ya, Matt.” 
     His voice followed me as I headed down the driveway. “Hey, kid. If you ever need a ride somewhere, let me know. I got the Jeep running real good.” 
     Because my mouth had fallen open once again, I settled for a casual wave of acknowledgement even though I wanted to pump a fist in the air and scream, “YES!” As I trotted to the mailbox, the late April sunlight warm on my shoulders, I pondered this strange turn of events. Even though he called me “kid,” clearly Matt had noticed a couple of new bulges on my formerly stick-like body. Hmmm. Had my tumble off the ladder followed by electric fence zapping released some sort of male- attracting hormone? 
     In spite of my mini triumph Matt-wise, a dull headache began to throb painfully at the back of my skull. I opened the mailbox and, as predicted, Faye’s check had not arrived. There was, however, a familiar tan envelope from the Social Security Office of Adjudication and Review. Probably another form for Faye to fill out asking questions like, “Are you able to push a grocery cart?” “Can you walk up a flight of stairs?” Questions Faye had already answered “no” and “no.” 
     When I handed her the envelope, Faye sighed and dropped it, unopened, onto the pile of similar tan envelopes stacked between the bed and wall. 
     “Big Ed’s coming tomorrow. I’ll let him deal with it.” She looked pointedly at her watch. 
     I took the hint. It was time for Fay’s nightly ritual, two slices of peanut butter toast and two cans of Busch Light. The menu varied only on Thursday night. Big Ed night. He always brought burgers, fries and a fifth of Stoli. Not that I’m around on Thursdays. No way. But, when I come home on Friday, the place smells of grease and vodka. 
      Let me make this crystal clear. Big Ed is Faye’s lawyer, not her boyfriend. That’s what Faye said. He’s been working day and night on her case for two years. That’s what Big Ed said. Me? I have my doubts. 
     Later that night, I heard the sound of Faye’s rhythmic breathing and tiptoed back to the bedroom. I gathered up the empties and the plate littered with peanut butter-smeared crusts and tossed them in the garbage. 
     Tomorrow was Thursday, Big Ed night. I’d be staying with Kizzy Lovell, the town witch. That’s what a lot of kids called her. Since I wouldn't be home until Friday, I made sure I had clean underwear in my backpack. 
     As the evening wore on, my headache grew steadily worse. At ten, I turned out the light. I pulled the curtains back so I could see the night sky, a brilliant canopy of far-flung stars and a full-faced moon. I held my hand up to the window. Bathed in moonlight, my palm looked washed in silver, its tell-tale lines carved in dark relief by the unknown maker of my fate. I thought about the times Kizzy studied the lines on my palm and said, “You’re a special girl, Alfrieda. Like it or not, you have the Gift.” Every time I’d say, “What gift?” Kizzy would smile mysteriously and say, “You’ll see,” which really irritated me because, clearly, the only gift I had was the ability to get all A’s on my report card. Even that wasn't a gift since I hated Algebra and had to work my butt off. 
     I had no sooner wrapped up in my faded pink quilt and snuggled into the couch bed when I remembered the aspirin and glass of water I’d placed by the bathroom sink before I brushed my teeth. I groaned and switched on the light. The bathroom was only a few steps away. But in my present state—cotton-mouthed and head pounding with pain—the distance seemed as vast as the Sahara Desert. I swung my feet to the floor and turned my head slowly toward the bathroom. I could see the glass of water perched on the counter like it was taunting me, “Come and get me, Allie.” 
     I reached out a hand, thinking, “It would be a whole lot easier if you came to me,” and it happened again. The whole dark-around-the-edges, tunnel vision, buzzing-in-the-head thing. The glass teetered back and forth, danced a little jig across the counter and shot into the air for a moment before it slammed onto the floor and shattered into about a jillion pieces. 
     “What the hell’s going on, Allie?” 
     I looked up to see my mother standing in the narrow hallway. My hand, still extended toward the glass that wasn't’ there, shook violently. 
    “I dropped it. That’s all,” I said. “Go back to bed. I’ll clean it up.” 
     Faye’s eyes narrowed in suspicion but finally, she turned and trudged back to the bedroom. 
      When I opened the door and stepped outside to fetch the broom, I was greeted by a symphony of night music. Strangely, the pain in my head was gone. The soft spring air was alive with a chorus of crickets backed by a full orchestra of spring peepers, their mating songs accompanied by the tinkle of wind chimes. But, hold on. We don’t have wind chimes. We've never had wind chimes. I walked to the back of the trailer and stared up at the gnarled old apple tree next to Blaster’s pasture. Nudged by a gentle breeze, long silver tubes bumped together creating a melody with subtle variations as the air around them ebbed and flowed. It was stabilized by a dangling iridescent glass ball whose surface caught and held the moonlight. 
     Vowing I’d figure it out in the morning, I grabbed the broom, opened the door and froze. A woman sat on my couch bed. A woman with flowers in her long, dark hair, wearing a pink and yellow tie-dye dress embellished with a blazing purple sun. A woman, smoking what looked and smelled like weed. I opened my mouth, preparing to scream so loudly and shrilly, the shards of glass on the floor would shatter into even smaller pieces. 
      The woman said, “Hi. I’m Trilby, your spirit guide. Guess what? You just passed your first test. Isn't that groovy?”

Buy it Here    Amazon     B & N

A former teacher, coach and school counselor, Marilee lives in Washington State and writes full time. Her books include Castle Ladyslipper, a medieval romance, The Rock and Roll Queen of Bedlam, winner of the 2010 Booksellers Best award for romantic suspense, Moonstone, Moon Rise, Moon Spun, Shadow Moon, and Midnight Moon. Marilee is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Pacific Northwest Writers Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 

Twitter  @marileeb
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Seduced by Innocence is now released!

Seduction comes in many forms.
"Liquid fire poured into me, filling me with the intimate sense of him as he leaned in to claim my lips with his own. I reached for him, needing him closer, but my arms couldn't close the distance between us, which grew wider with each hitched breath. So close to finally feeling something real, something carnal and deep, I cried out in frustration, dropping my hands as he disappeared. My cries deepened into a frenzy of panic and my eyes flew open. I clutched my blanket and stilled myself to calm my racing heart.  

Just a dream. Always just a dream." 

 Rose Wintersong didn't have an ordinary upbringing. Raised in what most would call a hippy commune, but what is actually a powerful coven of witches, she never questions the life fate chose for her. 

Until she meets Derek O'Conner. 

Derek challenges everything Rose believes and forces her to see the secrets hidden beneath the whitewashed walls of her idyllic country life. 

Rose knows she should walk away, that the sexy martial arts instructor is bad news bred to create discord in her tight community… but the animal magnetism between them is impossible to fight. 

Caught between the passion of first love, and the steady beat of the life she's always known, Rose must choose between the innocence of her youth or the pleasures of womanhood—but lost innocence comes at a price, and Rose harbors a dark secret that could destroy everyone she loves—including Derek.  

Submit to the Seduced Saga as Derek and Rose face their future while unraveling the mysteries of their past.  

Look for these books in 2013
January 21, 2013 -Seduced by Innocence
February 14, 2013 -Seduced by Power
TBA-Seduced by Pleasure
TBA-Seduced by Pain
TBA-Seduced by Love(less)

Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for all ages and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal series The Forbidden Trilogy, her lower grade fantasy series The Three Lost Kids, and watch for her New Adult romance and fantasy books coming in 2013 including The Seduced Saga, Sunrise and Nightfall, Death by Destiny and The Fallen Trilogy and her next YA fantasy adventure, The Reluctant Familiar. You can find her books on Amazon, B&N and Goodreads among other fine retailers.

 When she's not writing, she runs Daring Books Design & Marketing with her husband, Dmytry Karpov, where they help authors with all manner of marketing, editing, and design needs until such a time that their brilliant children take over the business for them. 

She lives with her three little girls who think they're ninja princesses with super powers, her two cats who think they're gods (and probably are), her two dogs who think they're humans and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner. 

Website  http://KimberlyKinrade.com 
Twitter: @KimberlyKinrade 
Facebook: /KimberlyKinrade 
Amazon: http://Amazon.com/author/kimberlykinrade 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4687115.Kimberly_Kinrade 

If you're an author looking for help in marketing, editing, design or self-publishing, check out http://DaringBooksDesign.com 
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Joya Fields “Hereafter” an excerpt of this contemporary romance

Welcome to an Excerpt form Hauntings at Inner Harbor "Hereafter"  
by Joya Fields

When by-the-numbers accountant Rob Morrison, a skeptic of all things paranormal, moves into a new apartment and discovers it is haunted by the corporeal ghost of a beautiful woman, he must hastily reconsider his beliefs and revisit his painful past.
With no memory of her time on earth, Angie Barsotti doesn't understand why she’s compelled to visit the same apartment every night as a ghost caught between two worlds. If she’s to have a chance to move on, she needs to find the missing pieces of her life and death through the man who lives there…if only he’d believe in her.
Together they struggle to find the truth about her death and stumble upon a very pleasurable way to time travel, hopeful they can prevent her death. But someone doesn't want them to discover the truth. And if she’s human again, will she have any memories of her time as a ghost…and more importantly, will she remember the man who helped her find her way?

Joya Fields has had over 100 stories and articles published in local and national magazines and her debut novel, BENEATH THE SURFACE, a romantic suspense, released in January, 2012. LOVE DELIVERED, a contemporary romance, is also now available.
     Over the years, Joya has taught arts and crafts, worked in public relations, owned a daycare center, helped her children raise prize-winning 4-H livestock, competed in three marathons, and even spent a year as a Baltimore Colts cheerleader. Joya loves spending time with her high school sweetheart/husband of over twenty years, two very supportive children, and a pug who follows her everywhere.

Angel’s body tingled. Her skin rippled with electricity, and she recognized the signs that she’d be transported soon. Yes. Finally. She closed her eyes, wishing she could rush the transition from her world to his. Cool air prickled her skin and she stood in the man’s dark apartment. With moonlight shining through the sheers, she could make out his form on the sofa. He jumped up and faced her. She wanted to speak, but she couldn’t. “The electricity went off again,” he said. She frowned. He stepped closer. “Ghosts don’t exist.” No. He couldn’t banish her again. She needed something in this world. The lights flickered, sizzled, and then went off again. Please don’t tell me to go away; it makes me go away. She might not have a voice in this world, but she could at least think it. She would not go, not when potential answers waited in this place. The man stepped closer. “What are you doing? Angie, why do you keep coming here?” Don’t tell me to leave…don’t tell me to leave. Pictures flew into her mind. People smiling and laughing. A tree in the corner with white lights and boxes under it…. He’d called her Angie. “You know me?” Her words came out a whisper, but at least they finally came out. Tears tracked down her cheeks. The electricity flickered on, and then, stayed off. The air stopped sizzling. She blinked to adjust her eyes to the darkness again. “Christ, this can’t be happening.” He moved his fingers over something in his hand and then pocketed it. She closed the distance between them and grasped his upper arms, pleading him with her eyes because her voice had left her again. “Yes, I know you.” He glanced away and looked out the window, let out a huff of breath, and then gazed at her. “Your name is Angie Barsotti and you used to live here.” No wonder the place felt so familiar. Her spirits lifted. He could help her find out who she was, help her find out what was going on. “And,” he dragged a hand through his hair. “You died and I don’t believe in ghosts.” Cold air, cold as ice tore through her, ripping her from the apartment.

Monday, January 7, 2013

A Guest post by Author Eleanor Beaty

Welcome to a wonderful Guest post about how an author chooses names for the characters.  I have always wondered where the names comes form, was it their first love?  Perhaps their best friend? Read on and lets get some insight.

On the Caribbean island of Maurray, spoiled-rotten, fifteen-year-old Hanna wakes up to a nightmare. She is not the daughter of an aristocrat but the orphan of a Gypsy. She is the descendant to a mystical Gypsy tribe. Their magic is strong and has lasted six hundred years. Ornella, the tribe’s guardian, arrives at the island with her mutt, Count Dracula, to guide Hanna. Hanna is told she must embrace her heritage or die at the ripe age of seventeen. But Hanna does the unthinkable, she chooses death. She hates Gypsies and would rather die. What she doesn’t know is that her death will destroy the entire tribe. What she also doesn’t know is how persuasive Ornella can be. The nightmare begins.

I am Brazilian born and raised, of American parents. I live in Sao Paulo with my third husband and children. I studied at the American school in Brazil, in boarding schools in Switzerland and the US. I have a BA in English Literature from FIU. I published a YA trilogy in Brazil and another YA novel in Turkey in 2001, now in its fifth edition. My passion is history and spiritualism. Besides Veiled Mist, I have another YA novel, Fallen Ruler, being released soon.

Twitter @ eleanortbeaty

paper book • Kindle

A Guest Post From Eleanor: Names – How to pick them.

     Picking names for characters can be fun. I don’t have a specific method and when I wrote my first novel, which took place on another planet, I invented most of the names by playing around with sounds. I had rows and rows of post-its on my walls with possible names to be used. Just letters thrown together, some sounded exotic or nice, others mean and some simply didn’t work.
     The funny thing is that some of the names I thought I invented actually existed in languages I had never heard. And sometimes, they popped up in the future. One of the main characters from my first novel was called Niva. A few years after the book was published there was a Russian car called Niva. Unfortunately, the car was of terrible quality. Nyx, the name I gave the main character, is now the name of a video game.
Also in this novel, I wanted to honor my two kids by using their names backwards. My son’s didn’t work, but my daughter’s did, and it sounded good for the antagonist. Gosh, I really didn’t think that one through. It took her a few years to catch on, or maybe it was her brother being a brother telling her she was a monster in my book. She came to demand an explanation. Until then, I hadn’t stopped to think what I’d done. I tried to explain that I didn’t do it on purpose, I really didn’t, as she was a very sweet child, so I didn’t have an ulterior motive. To this day I still hear, “You named the bad guy after me.”
     I tried to make it better by saying that he wasn’t that bad and he became good in the third book. Nope! It didn’t fly. That is one thing I can’t take back. It’s out there. It’s set in stone. And when I release book 4, the argument will be rekindled. I tried naming a candy in my new book after her, but it wasn’t enough to make her forget my first mistake.
     I learnt a valuable lesson. Now I’m more careful with names and I don’t honor anyone, or if I do, I don’t announce it, just in case. However, now I do sometimes chose some names based on people I have met or know, because of how I feel about them. Or how I perceive them.
     In the last few years, I’ve noticed that in some cases, people’s personalities matched their names. Or people with the same name have certain similar personality traits. This, of course, is my opinion, and in my opinion, most of the John’s I know are kind so I used the name John for several characters in Veiled Mist.
I have never used my name for a character. I use to hate my name when I was a child. Eleanor didn’t feel right. It felt like it belonged to someone older. It wasn’t a common name and many people got it wrong in Brazil, where I’ve lived most of my life. I was tortured by it and kept asking my mother why she chose that name. Her usual answer, “Because it’s a lovely name”, only made me angrier, so she came up with a very glamorous reason that managed to shut me up. It was a noble name. She had named me after a queen. My mother loved history and she loved the French. The queen was Eleanor of Aquitaine. I was impressed. A Queen!
     So now I could tell people that I didn’t have the name because of the song Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles, the only other Eleanor people in Brazil knew. They would immediately blurt out the song when I told them my name, then proceed to sing the first few lines.
     ‘Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been, Lives in a dream
      Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.’
     No, I didn’t leave my face in a jar by the door. God that was annoying. Few ventured to another Eleanor, Roosevelt. But it was Queen Eleanor that I proudly stuck with. Although no one really knew who she was either. Only when I went to college, and took a medieval history class, did I find out the truth about Queen Eleanor. She was a troublemaker.
     At fifteen, she became the Duchess of Aquitaine, and thus the most eligible heiress in Europe. Her first marriage to the King of France she had annulled, after having two girls. She was considered too feisty and, therefore, not popular with the French court.  Her conduct was repeatedly criticized by church elders as indecorous. She was always butting in on the King’s affairs and their marriage became strained. She asked for an annulment and got it.
     Her second marriage was to Henry II of England, and although she gave him 8 children, she was still not the submissive type. After years of arguments she ended up supporting her sons to go against their father, France against England. She was later arrested and locked up in a tower for sixteen years because of her constant intrigues. When her son Henry died, he begged his father to release Eleanor and he agreed, but she was watched like a hawk. She outlived her husband and 6 of her children. When Richard I, known as Richard the Lionheart, became King he left her in charge while on a crusade. She signed -'Eleanor, by the grace of God, Queen of England.' I think that’s when she was the happiest. She lived to the ripe age of 80, which was out of the ordinary in the 1100s.
     By the end of my course I wasn’t sure how proud I was of being named after Queen Eleanor. Although, I could see similar personality traits but very few and very faint. Minute!
I still try and tie a name with a personality when I chose names for my characters, but not always. Sometimes just the sound of a name is enough to invoke an image of the character. I don't think there is a science to picking a name. It is an adventure full of fun coincidences. Are all Johns' nice?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Caris Roane "Gates of Rapture" Preview

Join Caris Roane and Vickie Ann in celebrating the launch of "Brink of Eternity"! From 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Thursday Caris will be doing random giveaways at this event,
 so keep an eye out for prizes and help spread the word!!

Giveaways will include E-Books, Swag, and Amazon Gift Cards. 

Book Blurb for Brink of Eternity:
Discover a secret, sensual world of winged vampire warriors—and the women they crave. 
Meet the Guardians of Ascension....

As a vampire and a warrior, Leto Distra is deadly. But after years of being forced to 
drink dying blood, he is now part beast—a wild savage thing lurking beneath the 
surface. With war on the horizon, Leto is determined to help the Guardians of 
Ascension destroy the enemy who turned him into a monster. 
And there’s only one woman who can help him.

Grace Albion is certain that she’s meant to be with Leto, but their future may be 
cut short by the impending battle. Now Grace must embrace her obsidian flame 
powers—and bind her powers with Leto’s—if they’re ever going to survive.  
With the fate of the world at stake, they must tap into powers they never 
knew they had…and unlock their deepest passions.

Sexy and thrilling, Gates of Raptures is the breathtaking final book in 
Caris Roane's Guardians of Ascension series.

Editorial Reviews:

Praise for the Guardians of Ascension series by Caris Roane… “Caris Roane powers into the paranormal romance genre with a sexy, cool, edgy, romantic fantasy that gleams like the dark wings and lethal allure of her Guardians of Ascension vampires. Prepare to be enthralled!”—New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian 

“Roane’s worldbuilding is complex and intriguing, and in addition to her compelling protagonists, she serves up a slew of secondary characters begging to be explored further. The Guardians of Ascension is a series with epic potential!”—Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars) 

“A super urban romantic fantasy in which the audience will believe in the vampires and the Ascension…fast-paced…thrilling.” —Alternative Worlds 

“A great story with a really different take on vampires. This is one book that is sure to be a hit with readers who love paranormals. Fans of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series are sure to love this one too.” –Red Roses for Authors Blog

“Ascension is like wandering in a field of a creative and colorful dream. There are many interesting, formidable, terrifying, beautiful and unique images. They surround and envelop you in a story as old as time.” –Barnes and Noble’s Heart to Heart Romance Blog 

“Incredibly creative, Ascension takes readers to another level as you learn about two earths, vampires, ancient warriors, and a new twist on love. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride, climbing until I hit the very top only to come crashing down at lightning speed. Once you pick this book up, clear off your calendar because you won’t be able to put it down. Best book I have read all year.” –SingleTitles.com 

From the Back Cover 
The great battle has finally arrived, where love will be tested…and a world will be won. 

A BATTLE FOR THE AGES As a vampire and a warrior, Leto Distra is deadly. But after years of being forced to drink dying blood, he is now part beast—a wild savage thing lurking beneath the surface. With war on the horizon, Leto is determined to help the Guardians of Ascension destroy the enemy who turned him into a monster. And there’s only one woman who can help him.

A LOVE FOR ALL TIME Grace Albion is certain that she’s meant to be with Leto, but their future may be cut short by the impending battle. Now Grace must embrace her obsidian flame powers—and bind her powers with Leto’s—if they’re ever going to survive. With the fate of the world at stake, they must tap into powers they never knew they had…and unlock their deepest passions.

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