Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Trusting Patience with Jennifer Simpkins

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! Do you have your coffee ready? Before I introduce my guest for today, if you were participating in the Love Stories from Long Ago Blog Hop giveaway, the winners have been announced. If you didn't win, now don't you fret! You can still acquire Pulse and Prejudice in print, ebook, and audiobook! 

This week on Coffee with Colette, the gorgeous and talented Secret Cravings Publishing author Jennifer Simpkins has dropped by to tell you about the latest installment in her Patience Series Now this is kind of a change for me because I was a guest on her blog just last week (except she made me answer some rather tough questions....). Well, she has far more patience than I do, and she has this wonderful series to prove it! I just can't wait for you to hear about it! (See? I told you I don't have any patience!) Anything that includes a scorching hot kiss will have me turning the pages!

I first want to thank my fellow Secret Cravings writer, Colette for having me today. I thought I would talk a little about my Patience Series, and what made me want to turn it into a series.

As writers we are told to write what we know and love; because it’s a good possibility you will be involved with these characters for the next six months. Well, the small town of Patience, Tennessee, and all its quirky characters have been a part of my life for the last three years. I haven’t killed any of them yet, so it’s safe to say I love what I write.

As soon as I started Forgiving Patience, I knew it was going to turn into a series. I wasn’t sure in what order the books would come in, or who would even get their own story, but I knew once this group of friends became a part of my life there was no way I would be able to let them go after just one book.

What will you find in Patience, Tennessee? You will be welcomed with long-lasting friendships and a close-knit community. Gossip is a part of life, and is shared between friends at Cut & Curls, or sitting in a couple rocking chairs on a front porch, while sipping a glass of sweet tea—the house wine of the south. The quaint town is also filled with a sizzling romance…or two.

In Forgiving Patience (book one), you will be introduced to Jake and Anna. This is a story about second chances and forgiveness. Will Anna find love and forgiveness in Patience of all places?

Loving Patience (book two) released in April. In this book you will get to know Liza and Tex. Right off the bat, this couple has an instant spark. I had a lot of fun with them. I have to say it was one of the easiest books to write.

The newest release, Trusting Patience (book three) is about Jesse and Bradley, two friends who fight just as well as they love. The question is, will they risk their friendship over the possibility of finding love.

About Trusting Patience

After a scorching hot kiss that happened years ago, Jesse Daniels has wondered what it would be like to have something more with her longtime best friend. The only problem is, besides some mild flirting, Bradley Lawrence has never hinted at sharing her feelings. In fact, he doesn't even remember the kiss.

Bradley has many loves—his hometown, farming…and women. For the most part he lives a carefree life with no plans of changing—until he discovers the feelings Jesse has secretly had for him. Now, she is all he can think about, and it’s going to take a lot of convincing to get Jesse to see that he is a changed man. But in the end it all comes down to one simple fact—is it worth the risk of ruining their friendship over the possibility of finding love?


She sat down on the couch first, allowing Bradley to sit as close as he wanted to her. Big mistake. He wasn’t right on top of her, but he also wasn’t sitting on the far end either. For the

Monday, July 29, 2013

Tantalizing Talks! Summer Edition with Stephanie Judice

Good morning, dear readers! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  If you haven't already entered for the giveaways for the Love Stories from Long Ago blog hop, the winners will be selected Monday night for the eBook and Audiobook of Pulse and Prejudice, so you still have a few more hours to leave a comment!

When Stephanie contacted me after reading Alicia's Possession and asked me to participate in her Tantalizing Talks, of course I agreed.  I mean, come on!  Look how sweet and innocent she looks! Little did I know this would be one of the most challenging interviews I would face this summer!  Seriously - If my heroine were ice cream, what flavor would she be???  Challenging, yes, but also a lot of fun!  I hope you will agree.

Welcome, readers! Today, we have the fabulous Colette Saucier with her newest novel, Alicia’s Possession. Let me say first that I am not your typical suspense/romance reader. But, Alicia’s Possession has opened me up to a whole new genre! I was riveted from the first page. Set primarily on a lake house in the South, Detective Mason responds to Alicia’s call having overheard a gunshot across the water in the early morning hours. Convinced she has witnessed a murder, Mason is ensnared in a mystery with far too many loose ends for everything to be "as it seems." Even more so, he's ensnared by the sensual woman at the center of it all.

I pride myself on figuring out mysteries quickly, but this one kept me guessing till the very end, which made me a very happy reader. And the romance is HOT! Trust me when I tell you, this is a must-read! Let's hear what Colette has to say.

1)    Your favorite vacation spot and why?    
     Although I do LOVE to go to the beach (particularly Destin), my favorite vacation destination is Amsterdam. The city is beautiful and so small we can walk it from end to end. Plus, it is conveniently located to Belgium, which must be the best-kept secret in Europe, and it is a lovely ferry-ride over to England.
     Also, Amsterdam has some other recreational benefits as well, which are probably best left for another discussion…

           2)   Three must-haves while sitting on the beach (if you were to have this luxury this summer)?   Continue reading.......

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Love Stories from Long Ago Blog Hop

Greetings! Welcome to Love Stories from Long Ago Secret Cravings Historical Romance Blog Hop!

Yes, I know Pulse and Prejudice - the vampire adaptation of the Jane Austen Classic - is a Paranormal Romance, but it is also a Regency Romance; and I went to the ends to the Earth (well, OK, England) to preserve the historical accuracy and to maintain the language and style of the time, all to ensure the complete eradication of anachronisms.

The Prize: Because this is a Blog Hop, of course I have giveaways! Pulse and Prejudice recently came out in Audiobook, and you can listen to the audio sample just there on the upper right. Do you see it? (Although the sample doesn't do justice to the narrator's range - he is amazing in the scenes with the prostitute and the dwarf!) Hence, I will be giving away a  FREE AUDIOBOOK  PLUS a FREE PERSONALIZED EBOOK to two lucky winners who leaves a comment below.  (Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you when you win.) Of course, Pulse and Prejudice is still available in print and all eBook formats.

I have a short excerpt to share with you from early in the novel. Here the vampire Darcy has been attempting to avoid Miss Elizabeth Bennet because he cannot deny his attraction to her, but he fears she appeals to his desires as a creature of the night and not those of a man.....

That evening after dinner, Darcy made excuses not to join them in the drawing room directly. When he heard music playing, he thought it then safe to join the others without the risk of being pulled into badinage with Elizabeth or being forced to face her. He did not know if he could suppress the shame that racked him from appearing on his face. Miss Bingley finished a concerto as he entered and immediately transitioned into an Italian love song. She smirked, quite pleased at the attention she received from one quarter, as Darcy stared in her direction while listening to her play and sing. She rose to polite applause then invited Elizabeth to the pianoforte as she smiled at Darcy and assumed the chair nearest him.
Elizabeth thumbed through the sheet music a moment then changed her mind and took her seat at the instrument. She began to play.
Darcy recognized the sonata within the first few notes. Beethoven. He had not heard it in years, perhaps not since before, but he did not recall it ever sounding so bittersweet. Miss Bingley spoke, yet he heard nothing but the haunting chords...strains of sorrow, longing, and unrequited desire. He had not wanted to watch Elizabeth, but he could not look away, the mysterious melody whispering to him. His mind returned to that morning, his hand on her face, his lips on her neck. He envisioned pulling her into his arms and holding her in a firm embrace, untamed thoughts of loosening her hair and running his fingers through the silken strands as he brought his mouth onto hers.
Elizabeth played only six minutes, ending as gently as she had begun, sending the room into silence. A few moments passed before she said, “I fear the first movement is all I remember.”
“That was beautiful, Lizzy,” said Jane. “I have not heard you play that piece in forever. Pray, what is it called again?”
Quasi una fantasia. I do not remember the last time I played it. I cannot think what made me play it now.” She turned her gaze from her hands on the keys into the eyes of Darcy.
They held the stare for a full minute, although it seemed an hour, as if pulled by lodestone. Darcy regained his senses and broke away, straightening his posture, standing, and stalking out of the room. Elizabeth shook her head to relieve the torpor. She stood and smiled at the others. “I suppose I cannot please everyone.”

In case you are curious as to the piece of music Elizabeth played, in lieu of a blurb, I have included the book trailer here since I used a portion of the Beethoven Sonata from the scene.

Now don't forget to leave a comment below to win the Audiobook or eBook of Pulse and Prejudice, and then be sure to continue on the Secret Cravings Historical Romance Blog Hop! I know the other authors have some wonderful things awaiting you!

UPDATE:   Congratulations to Liza and Monica!  They are the winners of my Love Stories from Long Ago Blog Hop giveaway (as selected by Random.org). If you didn't win, no worries! Pulse and Prejudice  is still available in print, ebook, and audiobook!

In this thrilling and sensual adaptation of the classic love story, Elizabeth Bennet and the citizens of Hertfordshire know Fitzwilliam Darcy to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man, but they never suspect the dark secret of his true nature. He is not a man at all – but a vampire.

Pulse and Prejudice

Friday, July 26, 2013

What Does Jennifer Simpkins Want to Know?

Greetings, dear readers! The lovely romance author Jennifer Simpkins asked if I would agree to an interview for her blog this week, and I just couldn't say no - especially as she is joining me for Coffee on Tuesday!

So do you want to know what she asked me? I'll give you a tiny morsel, then you can continue reading. And be sure to stop by on Tuesday when she visit me!

Picture Today I have the very talented Colette Saucier here to answer a few questions and tell us all about her books.

Jennifer: What genre do you write? Is there another genre you want to dabble in sometime in the future?

Colette: I have been breaking the cardinal rule for authors by not sticking with one genre, or at least sub-genre. So far, I’ve published a Paranormal Regency Romance – Pulse and Prejudice – a Contemporary Romance – All My Tomorrows – and now with my new release Alicia’s Possession, a Romantic Suspense with (very) light bondage and mild Dominance and submission. Currently I am working on another Romantic Suspense entitled The Widow, as well as a sequel to Pulse and PrejudiceDearest Bloodiest Elizabeth – so I am still jumping genres. I can only write what comes to mind!

Eventually, I would like to write in genres outside of romance as well, such as literary and metaphysical fiction. I want to write about authentic lives and realistic characters, and they do not always end in Happily Ever After.

Jennifer: Do you remember a specific time when you wanted to be a writer, or have you always known?

Colette: The first story I remember writing was when I was eight, and by junior high, I had begun writing romantic novellas – although they rarely had a happy ending! – that were being passed around among my classmates. Even then, I gravitated to Romantic Suspense. Still, I never considered writing as a career until the last few years.

Jennifer: Which one of your heroines are more like you? Such as looks, hobbies, the type of guy they’re interested in, etc.       Continue reading........

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bound By Blood: Shane KP O’Neill and The Dracula Chronicles

Martini à la Colette: Very dry and a little dirty
Good evening, dear readers! 
Thank you for joining me for my Happy Hour feature, Cocktails with Colette, which I will have on Thursday evenings occasionally to introduce you to my friends who write in genres other than romance. So grab those martini shakers (remember - just a gentle shake) as I introduce our guest.

Tonight Shane KP O’Neill, author of The Dracula Chronicles, visits all the way from NORWAY! As someone who cannot bear snow, I find the thought of living someplace so cold quite vexing, especially when he is originally from Ireland! (As many of you may recall, I am kelly-green with envy that my daughter will be spending the entire month of August in Ireland.<<grumble-grumble>>This after spending last August in Scotland!)

Although Shane and I  have both written vampire novels, they could not be more different. Whereas I have written in the Paranormal Romance genre, Shane's Dracula Chronicles get our hearts racing for a completely different reason, through horror! Tonight he's going to tell you about his calling, which took years for him to answer. Lucky for us he finally did!

I recall vividly the first horror novel I ever read. My parents had gone to see The Exorcist, and I wanted to see it soooo badly, but they (rightly) refused because I was far too young; so I checked it out at the library and read it! (Shane would probably say that was rather cheeky of me! He also says he "fancies" my books - I love it when he talks all Britishy to me!) I confess, reading The Exorcist freaked me out! But it led me to read Carrie and other Stephen King novels, which eventually led me to Bram Stoker and other horror authors, which naturally led me to Shane and his vampires!  I consider it a privilege to introduce this welcome addition to the vampire genre to any of you who haven't already had your blood chilled by his prose....

The Birth of The Dracula Chronicles

I have always loved the horror genre, I mean really loved it. When I started reading books seriously in my early teens my friends and I would pass around or recommend one horror novel after another. We all loved heavy rock music and we all loved horror novels. Of course, in the mid-1980s we were spoiled with both. Heavy rock was truly in its heyday and so was the horror genre. To me they seemed to go hand in hand. There were so many great books to choose from back then, from masters like…
• Stephen King
• Dean Koontz
• Robert McCammon
• Shaun Hutson
• James Herbert
• John Saul
These were just my favourites, but there were many others. And then we also had a huge catalogue of movies to keep us entertained. Times were good. Not only did we have movies that materialised from the books written by that select group above, but we had John Carpenter and Wes Craven among others feeding the monster. On top of that we had a host of classic horror movies from previous decades featuring the likes of Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Vincent Price and even this was just the tip of the iceberg. I would safely say the amount of horror movies I saw in my teenage years alone must have numbered in the many hundreds.

For me this was the only genre that mattered, in book form and on the big screen. It followed naturally then that when I decided I wanted to write, it would only ever be as a horror writer. I was always a writer, in one degree or another, learning my craft from a very tender age. The very first stories I penned, I actually wrote by hand in those days, were all tales of the macabre that I would read to my best friends doing my utmost to shock and abhor them. The expressions my words brought from their faces were like a drug to me, and that irrepressible need to be appreciated as a writer was here to stay.

But horror was not the only love in my life. I also had a deep relationship with history and all things to do with it, which grew stronger within me as time passed. In time this manifested itself into an amalgamation of the two. And the focus of that became Dracula.

I have been aware of Dracula the vampire for as long as I can remember. I saw my first Dracula movie when I was a young teenager and was forever hooked. At the age of 16 I wrote a Dracula story of about 50,000 words which is likely to end up in Chronicle 8 or 9 of The Dracula Chronicles. Dracula the man I did not discover until I had just turned 21.

I had just moved to England where I knew few people and had no social outlets. Those were the days before us peasant folk had any concept of the Internet or the technological boom that was to come. That left the likes of me with the local library. And on my very first visit to the library in my new town I discovered the works of Radu Florescu and Raymond T McNally, the two Harvard professors who achieved fame as biographers to the great Vlad Dracula.

I read their books a half a dozen times each and then hunted down any other books on my new favourite subject. Over time I digested quite a few and formulated a picture of the man in my mind that I was so desperate to write about. Of course I wanted to write about Dracula the man and Dracula the vampire in the same book, or series of books, as my project evolved into over time. In late1992, after many years of reading and researching my subject, I wrote twenty chapters of my new concept. Then for twelve years I didn’t look at it again.

During my 12-year hiatus from writing, the horror genre changed noticeably, and in the years since. The genre was carved up into dozens of sub-genres with a variety of names under monikers such as paranormal fantasy and romance and urban fantasy. This was okay I suppose, as there are so many directions once can move in within the horror genre. But it didn’t sit so well with me, and especially with my favourite area of horror, the vampire.

I grew up as I have said earlier watching movies with Christopher Lee and reading books from Stephen King and Robert McCammon where vampires didn’t come out in the daytime. They didn’t sparkle under the sun, they weren’t romantic creatures or broody. They didn’t fall in love with mortals, they fed on them. They burned or vanished into dust when touched by sunlight. They were a far superior race that preyed on us weaker humans.

Now I accept that in the wake of Harry Potter the powers-that-be in the film industry saw a huge market open for exploitation, i.e. teenagers or young adults as they seem to be categorised these days. They are there to make money, naturally. But did they have to fill the void left by Harry Potter with a series that virtually destroyed the vampire as us connoisseurs knew it? This left an indelible mark on me. I yearned like so many others for a return to the much darker, more traditional vampire. And there are none as traditional as Dracula himself.

But I wanted to do something really serious with this subject and with my ideas. I wanted to create something awesome and mind-blowing that people will remember always. To try and explore the darkest recesses of the mind, the heart and the soul both in the characters in my books and in those reading them. It was my aim to shock, terrify, abhor, offend, mesmerize, arouse and captivate everyone who would pick up one of my books. I wanted to write a scary-as-hell horror novel with real monstrous vampires, but that could only be a part of what I was looking to create. My desire was to build a world to rival Tolkein and C.S.Lewis where my reader could escape to and become lost in. I wanted to build something that Dracula was central to, but that was so much bigger than him. And I hope now I have succeeded in doing that with The Dracula Chronicles.

In 2004 I took it up once more and over the next eighteen months produced the novel, Reckoning Day. This book is based entirely in December 1986, the same month I left Ireland, and was centred on the resurrection of Dracula. It is a full-blown horror story full of vampires (of the darkest variety) and satanic ritual. It was epic in scale and was well over 350,000 words by the time I finished it.

But I had no room in this story for all the 15th Century material I had written years before that centred on Dracula’s conversion from man to vampire and his early years as a vampire. Hence I re-wrote those chapters in a new book, Bound By Blood, which I got done in six months and 260,000 words, and The Dracula Chronicles series was born. That only covered the period from Dracula’s death in 1476 to 1612. I still hadn’t written

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spy Catcher - Upcoming Regency Romance by Lindsay Downs

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! This week on Coffee with Colette, fellow Secret Cravings Publishing author Lindsay Downs has dropped by to tell you about the upcoming Regency Romance, Spy Catcher I can hardly wait until July 30th so I can get my hands on this one - and I know you're going to want to mark your calendars as well! At least Lindsay was kind enough to give us a sneak peek....

      All her life Debbi was raised and trained to be a lady’s maid for the daughter of The Duke of Carlisle, Lady Aleece Taylor. Never in her one and twenty years did she question why this happened, until one fateful day.
      Spy Catcher, a Regency romance, is releasing on July 30 from Secret Cravings Publishing.

About Spy Catcher

While acting as chaperone to Lady Aleece at a house party, little does lady’s maid Debbi realize how her life will change.

Not prepared to fall in love nor see a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to her, Debbi’s world begins to turn upside down.

After several attempts on her life, and a run-in with yet another look-alike, she uncovers her true heritage, as the unknown daughter of a countess. Having been raised and trained as a lady's maid, but educated alongside her employer, Debbi begins to wonder in which world she truly belongs.

Only when her new love's life is threatened does Debbie claim her rightful place to do what’s necessary to save him.
Available for Pre-Sale July 30th, 2013,  from Secret Cravings Publishing in all eBook formats. Coming soon to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine eBooks are sold.

Excerpt from Spy Catcher

“I still don’t understand about this person claiming to being my husband,” Debbi said taking a bite of toast.
“Mayhap I can answer that particular question for Lady Debbi.” The speaker then set her attention to the Duke of Carlisle. “I pray you will forgive me for this untimely intrusion but I fear the time is right to set the record straight.”
The duke, already having stood when he noticed the lady enter, smiled, nodded then walked over and offered his arm to escort her to where Debbi now was standing.
“Lady Debbi Overstreet, I have the honor of introducing the Countess of Bowes, your mother.”
On hearing the last two words Debbi grabbed for the table, missed and started to collapse to the floor. All that prevented her from doing so was a quick-acting Langdonly who caught her.
With a thank you smile she steadied herself and took her seat.
“But…but I’m an orphan so you can’t be my mother.”
“No Lady Debbi, what the Countess says is true,” the duchess said then glanced over her shoulder to her husband. “Brandy,” she ordered.
Simon walked to the sideboard and poured a little in a glass then slightly diluted it with water. Returning he passed the glass to his wife.
“Here, take a few sips.”
After downing half the drink Debbi peered at the woman, “I still don’t understand, why now and why wasn’t I told years ago,” Debbi paused to glare at the woman claiming to be her mother.
“It was all done for your safety. Now sit while I and Jenelle explain,” the duchess insisted. Then added, “all your questions will be answered, of that I am positive.”
Over the next hour the duchess and countess explained to Debbi why everything had been done the way it was. This time however, Jenelle didn’t leave out how she became pregnant and who the father was.
“Then I must leave now for this monster and his son must not only be stopped but punished for what they’ve done,” Debbi said as she rose, headed for the stairs and her room to change.

About the Author


What does it take to be a bestselling author? Determination, skill, talent, luck or taking a risk with a venture into a totally new genre. For me it was a little of some and a lot of the others.

In 2008 when I got two books published I thought it was due to skill; little did I know it was more luck than anything. Over the next three years I wrote, submitted, got rejected. I then did what I tell everyone who asks; I wrote some more. I didn’t give up.

More on a dare than anything I tried my hand at a regency, one of the most difficult genres because of the rules, which I might add I broke almost every one. Within two days of its release the book was on a best seller list and stayed there for two months.

Turns out it is all of the aforementioned.

After two failed marriages, one from divorce while with the other died unexpectedly, I decided upon retirement to move. That opportunity came in September 2012 when I migrated to Texas.

For me, as a multipublished author, it was one of the best things I’ve done to date. Now, every day I can write, creating stories to take my readers to places they can only dream about.

I’m also a member of the Published Authors Network (PAN) by the Romance Writers of America (RWA).

Where you can find me:

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/lindsay.downs.7
Twitter- @ldowns2966
LinkedIn- http://www.linkedin.com/home
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3210224-lindsay
A Jessica Sales blog- http://ajessicasalesnovel.wordpress.com/
Murders and Mysteries blog- http://murdersandmysteries.wordpress.com/
Secret Cravings Publishing Author Page- http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=products_all&filter_author=175