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Saturday, November 26, 2011

THE CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK SERIES - Swords, cats, Kick-butt heroines, all on a winter planet

Book One
by Vijaya Schartz
from Desert Breeze Publishing


Set in a world where a human transport crashed centuries ago, the Chronicles of Kassouk relate the evolution of a human community kept at a level of medieval development to serve a more advance race. Constantly battling to regain their rights, the human population struggles for freedom.


On the frozen plains of Kassouk, where a few aliens rule a medieval Human world, Tora, Human warrior trained by tigers, seeks her father’s murderer. But what she finds at the point of her sword confuses her. How dare Dragomir, the handsome Mutant, question her bloodline and her loyalties? And could a new enemy control the savage hordes of the fringe?

Dragomir offers to help, but Humans and Mutants are forbidden to fraternize under penalty of death... Should Tora trust her mind, her instincts, or her heart?

In the vortex of war, treason and intrigue, among blizzards, avalanches and ambushes, will Tora solve the mystery of her father’s death and unveil the secret of her birth? Can she and Dragomir escape persecutions long enough to save their planet from the invaders and fulfill their destiny?

REVIEWS:" exceptional tale that belongs in a place of honor on keeper shelves everywhere."  - Recommended Read Johnna Flores - Coffee Time Romance - 5-cups rating

"...this is one futuristic that you do not want to miss!" - Naomi - Fallen Angels Reviews - 5 angels

"...kept me enthralled from the first page...a thrilling science fiction romance" - Marlene Breakfield, Paranormal Romance Reviews

"...unique and extremely well constructed" -- Review by Tami Brady at Book

"I'm adding this to my 'keeper' shelf and on the 'to be re-read' list" - Niniri Theriault for The Road to Romance4 1/2 stars

" story that draws the reader in and keeps him/her reading... The characters' personalities are believable and well rounded." - 3 1/2 Tigers - Michelle Thomas - Gottawrite network


Tora knocked on the door. It opened on an impossibly tall, muscular man with shiny dark hair falling straight to the shoulders. His fine features included a high forehead, copper-tan skin, and a pair of compelling hazel eyes.

"I was hoping it would be you." A dazzling smile revealed pure white teeth. "Please come into the warmth of my humble home." He let her in and closed the door, eyes sparkling with intelligence, and something else Tora could not define.

"Do we know each other?" Tora had to ask, although she would never forget such a striking man.

"Not yet." He grinned. "Let me help you with your coat. It's warm in here."

Tora handed him coat and hat, noticing the pleasant temperature of the room. The small fire burning in the hearth could not provide such even heat, but she saw no other fire. "This must be the most comfortable cottage in the village. I feel no draft at all."

The young man smiled as he spread Tora's fur by the fire. She removed her mittens, sat on the fur and accepted a bowl of hot kawa.

"Who are you?" Intrigued, Tora tried to sound neutral.

The striking man sat facing her. "My name is Dragomir. What might be yours?"

Unnerved by the stranger's nearness, Tora tried to collect her thoughts. Dragomir looked about twenty-five. His melodious voice, smooth skin, foreign look, the unique quality of the white clothes and the refinement of his manners screamed high nobility. This was no farmer.

"I'm Tora, White Tiger." She felt a strange vulnerability in his presence, as if he could read her most intimate thoughts. She had to steady her voice. "What are you doing here? This is a dangerous place to be alone. Bands of Zerkers have been spotted just south of here. When the lake freezes solid, their invading army will launch itself onto the plain."

"I know." Dragomir held her gaze. "I can see why they call you White Tiger."

"Really?" Amused at his pretense of knowing her, Tora settled on the fur. When she changed position, the jewel on her sword handle caught the light of the flames.

Dragomir reached for the hilt.

Hand on the sword, ready to draw, Tora froze. In the grip of his hand immobilizing hers, she sensed great physical strength. For an instant, their eyes locked, then Dragomir relaxed but didn’t move. Tora now stared at the offensive hand covering hers. It had six fingers like hers!

She’d never met anyone else with six fingers before. Who or what was this man? What was she, for that matter? Questions filled Tora’s mind but her throat constricted, and she couldn’t talk.

Seemingly undisturbed, Dragomir removed his hand then casually opened his silky shirt on a well muscled, hairless chest. Tora skipped a breath. On the smooth copper skin hung a faceted gem, a twin to that on her sword hilt. Unhooking the scabbard, she brought the hilt to the light. Same size, same cut, same azure brilliance, same silver heart in the center...

Dragomir’s eyes flashed. "Where did you get it?"

Challenged, Tora finally found her voice. "It was my mother's. Where did you get yours?"she asked, a little too eager. "I've never seen another one before. I was told it was the work of the Godds." Barely containing her excitement, Tora hoped she would learn something about her mother.

"I received mine from the proper source." Dragomir looked grave, older despite a youthful face. "But I can't tell you about it."

Tora had no patience for games. "You can, but you won't. What are you hiding, Dragomir? You are obviously no peasant, so who are you?"

"A man on a mission." He looked away.

Tora sighed. "I wouldn't doubt it. Whose side are you on?"

"There are more than two sides to this war, Tiger." Dragomir raised one eyebrow and took a sip of kawa. "Do you know which side you fight for?"

Tora sat up straight. How dared this upstart question her allegiance? "I fight to save my country from the invader." Why did she even bother to answer?

"Are you sure you are not helping a traitor open the way wide for your enemy, herding the population? A city can be easily destroyed with the appropriate weapons." He set down his bowl.

"I know of no weapon that can destroy a city." Tora controlled her temper. She resented being accused of treason.

"The Godds have such weapons, so do the Reptoids."

"Reptoids?" Tora remembered her father predicting a Reptoid invasion on his deathbed, along with a conspiracy, and weapons that could destroy even stone. "What can those weapons do?"

"Fired from faraway, they explode in a sea of fire."

If such weapons existed, the war could be lost before it started. "But Kassouk is the safest citadel on this continent. Besides, it's protected by the Godds themselves. They will fight the Reptoids for us."

Dragomir scoffed softly. "I wouldn’t be so sure."

Outraged by his insolence, Tora rose and drew her blade. She pointed the steel at his throat. "I do not like your insinuations, Dragomir, if that's your true name."

She expected him to go for the knife at his belt, but instead the man nonchalantly reclined on the furs in a graceful motion. One hand under his head, he turned the azure jewel in the light while his bare chest rose and fell under his even breathing. "I do not tell all I know, Tiger, but I do not lie. There are many facets to the truth, some of them hidden underneath, like on this jewel."

Confused, Tora stared at the man lying at her feet. He returned a steady gaze. Never in her life had she seen anyone more beautiful, not even a woman. Such smooth skin on perfect muscles, harmonious proportions, sublime grace despite his height, mystery in thick black lashes, and hazel eyes that could see all the way to her soul.

Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning Sci-Fi, Guns, Swords, Romance with a kick

Find Vijaya's books at:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Moldavian Moon, Book 1 - The Wolf's Torment, paranormal/werewolf romance

Pen & Muse: "A complete werewolf story through and through, Burkhart does it again with an amazing cast of characters, entertaining dialogue and plot."

Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars: "The Wolf’s Torment has it all, witches, werewolves, a vampire, princess and prince. This is paranormal romance at its finest.

Joy Cagil, Amazon Reader, 5 Stars: This novel is not only a highly entertaining page-turner but also it boasts its author's mastery of fiction. I loved it."

Dina Hickman, Amazon Reader: "Stephanie creates the perfect blend of romance and suspense in her novel, "The Wolf's Torment."

Romance Reviews: 3 Stars: "I would highly recommend THE WOLF'S TORMENT. You will find it satisfying, even as it leaves you hungering for more."

Keena Kincaid, Amazon Review, 5 Stars: "Ancient heritage and modern technology collide in the dark, tense tale The Wolf's Torment by Stephanie Burkhart."

Mona Risk, Amazon Review: 5 Stars: "I enjoyed this book enormously and read it in one sitting."

BLURB: It's 1865 in Moldavia, a country nestled against the shores of the Black Sea, and Crown Prince Mihai Sigmaringen returns after receiving an education in England. His best friend, Viktor Bacau joins him. Mihai is intent on modernizing his nation, but he's also a witch, and it's time he embraces his heritage. The tasks in front of him are many including getting married.

Lady Theresa von Kracken arrives in Constanta as Mihai's intended. Mihai has vowed not to fall in love again, but Theresa manages to break the battlements around his heart.

In an unfortunate twist of fate, Viktor is bitten by a werewolf. Viktor's transformation threatens everyone around him including his wife's safety and Mihai's happiness with Theresa. Viktor's bite is the wolf's torment.



Her voice was matter-of-fact, pricking at his faults, but damn if she wasn't beautiful in the firelight. The rest of his plans for the evening could wait.

He held up his glass. "Would you like a drink?"

"What is it?"


She clapped her hands and a smile tipped the corner of her lips. "I've never tried it, but it smells like it would be an interesting adventure."

He chuckled at her lightheartedness and went to the hidden bar, disguised as a closed shelf in the library walls, and removed a clean glass. He poured her the drink and gave it to her, his eyes sweeping over her face, probing her soul. Her emotions were an open book.

She wanted him to touch her. She ached for it. She wanted him to drive the loneliness away. The thought of sharing a more intimate embrace with her was enticing. He held up his drink and they clicked glasses, sipping the amber liquid.

She didn't gag or choke, but swallowed hard and narrowed her eyes. "What a crisp adventure. I do believe it's warming my stomach."

He chuckled and held out his hand. She gave him the glass. He put it on the desk, then leaned against it again.

A burning curious look came into her eyes.

"Come here." His voice was raw and husky. She walked toward him slowly, her hips swaying.

"What are you thinking?"

"I'm sorry you were lonely."

She stopped in front of him and he lunged out and grabbed her waist, pulling her closer, settling her between his legs. Her body pressed against his and she put her hands on his chest.
For an instant, an intensity stole into her expression, an intensity he hadn't spotted before.

"I don't believe I've ever been this close to you."

"No, I don't believe you have either, but I rather enjoy it. I hope you do as well."

"Lent starts tomorrow."

"What do you say we do a little sinning tonight so we have something to be penitent for?"

Her face grew eager at the suggestion. Damn. His blood raced through his veins as his heart hammered in his chest. Desire for her overtook his senses. He had an intense awareness of her thrumming through his body.

"Such naughty thoughts, my Prince."

Desire smoldered in her eyes. He wanted to kindle that into a raging fire. For him alone. He claimed her sweet lips, crushing her against his body. She slid her hands up his chest and clutched his shoulders. Her body tensed, needing release. He deepened the kiss, refusing to let her escape. God, no, he refused to let his woman out of his arms. Mihai traced the soft fullness of her lips and she parted her mouth for him. Lord, her mouth was soft and sweet and giving. His tongue explored the recesses of her mouth, coaxing her to explore his.






Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series by Susanne Marie Knight

Who is Minx Tobin, you ask? Minx is a fitness instructor newly relocated to Los Angeles, California, who has a knack for solving puzzles--puzzles concerning dead bodies. For fun, romance, and... unexpected corpses, follow her adventures in this murder mystery series!

Blurb: Newly relocated Minx Tobin likes to help her friends. She also has a knack for solving puzzles. A huge puzzle in the form of a dead body soon gets dropped into her lap. Did waitress Brandi Evans murder her ex-boyfriend? Minx doesn't think so, but can she crack the Case of the Bloodstained Bistro?

Overworked Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris has his fill of woman... and dead bodies. The women he can handle. The dead bodies -- unfortunately they keep piling up. But on this particular case he meets a young woman that not only impedes his investigation, but she also has no interest in him. A healthy ego like his can't handle that. He'll have to keep an eye on Ms. Minx Tobin.

Praise for The Bloodstained Bistro:
This is the first in the Minx Tobin series by talented author Susanne Marie Knight and you'll be waiting for the next one, just to see what happens next. The hint of romance blended in, promises sparks will fly. I'm pleased to recommend The Bloodstained Bistro to any mystery fan. The interesting settings and characters will keep you reading. Enjoy. I did. Anne K. Edwards,

Knight's story is a delightful feast for the suspense's lovers soul. The writing is crisp, and the cast of characters are entertaining. The novel is sweet for romance readers with Gabe and Minx sharing a tender touch. "The Bloodstained Bistro" takes the reader along for the ride with Minx in the driver's seat. Stephanie, EZine Articles.

Minx and Gabe are a match made in heaven. I love mysteries. Combined with romance, they are irresistible. Luck in all you do.--Patricia A.

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO--it's fantastic! And I'm so excited to read the next book in the series. All the characters are wonderful!--Nancy W.

Susanne's new book is 'GREAT'!! VERY interesting! Congratulations to Susanne!--Michele T.

The Tobin woman had been surprised by his offer of dinner, but not as surprised as he was himself. Gabe drove onto Santa Monica Boulevard all the while wondering what the hell he had been thinking.

She'd been right; strictly speaking, about fraternizing with a suspect. He was mixing pleasure with official police business. Dynamite that was guaranteed to explode in his face.

He glanced over at his reluctant passenger. Sitting stiffly in the passenger seat, she held her handbag against her chest as if it were a shield offering protection.

Not that she'd need it against him; she wasn't his type. She was lean and athletic. He preferred his women to be of the buxom variety.

And, come to think of it, he might not be her type either. She seemed to have a preference for Brandi Evans' company.

"Where are we going to eat?" Minx asked, turning her dark eyed gaze on him.

Minx. What a helluva name. She hadn't like it when he used it. Her plump lips had turned down imperceptibly. He'd noticed though. It was his job to be observant.

He stopped at a light and looked over at her again. "I thought since we both seem to gravitate toward Valentin's, we'd go there."

She didn't comment. By the narrowing of her eyes, he could tell she was in a snit. Perhaps he couldn't blame her. She'd just eaten at the bistro last night, although she wasn't aware that he knew that fact.

He parked alongside Valentin's and turned off the engine before noticing the sign on the door proclaiming the bistro to be closed.

"That's strange," he said, more to himself than to the woman.

"It certainly is," she agreed. "I was just here last night. I sure hope it's not closed permanently."

Gabe started up the car again. "Maybe Valentin had an emergency." Whatever was the reason, he'd have to check it out. Later.

So now what? This little tête-à-tête with Minx Tobin was turning out to be a really lousy idea.

Book Trailer for The Bloodstained Bistro:

Buy Links:

Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Budapest Moon Series; Book 1, The Hungarian by Stephanie Burkhart

Happily Ever After Reviews, 5 Cups
"This is an excellent book and I think fans of both the paranormal and historical romances will really, really enjoy it."

Sizzling Hot Book Reviews, 5 Hearts
"I highly recommend The Hungarian, even if you aren't that interested in the paranormal such as werewolves. The romantic tale of The Hungarian is enough to win over anyone."

Reader's Favorites, 5 Stars
"This book is extremely entertaining. The plot is sensual and romantic."

Coffee Time Romance, 3 Cups
"Ms. Burkhart tells this tale in such a voice that we can practically feel the waves of emotions both characters are feeling coming off the pages."


Katherine Archibald is in search of a grand adventure. A young woman in late Victorian England, she wants to open up a book store in London and travel Europe hunting down rare books. Love isn't on her map.

Enter Matthias Duma. The Hungarian count captures Katherine's attention like no other man before him with his unusual gold-malachite eyes, his exotic features, and his command of the night sky.

After a night of intrigue during Katherine's birthday, she discovers the map does include love in the legend, but will the map lead her to Budapest and the dark, brooding Hungarian she's just met?

The door squeaked open and Katherine peeked over the top of her book. A tall, muscular man walked in wearing a white button-down shirt and holding his blazer. He paused, as if surprised to find her, and then walked toward the window, his stride easy. He moved with wolf-like prowess, his long legs taking cool, calculated steps as his unusual eyes surveyed her. Katherine bit the inside of her lip, returning his measured perusal with one of her own. His silence was unnerving, yet intriguing.

His eyes drew her to him -- malachite green with a gold ring around the iris. Dynamic. Expressive. Even now, as he looked at her, they softened and grew translucent. He stopped in front of the window and casually threw his blazer onto a nearby chair as if he owned the room.

"Hello," he said.
"You're staring."

"I am? I thought you were staring at me."
He chuckled. "Perhaps I was admiring you."

"Who else is here?"

Katherine pursed her lips as her insides warmed from the deep silkiness of his voice. He smiled and walked to her chair, slowly gliding around it, tracing his finger over the leather headrest, skirting her curly hair.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"And who is inquiring?" She tried to sound cool and composed, but she had to fight the nervous temptation to play with her hands.

"Romeo, perhaps?"
"Then my name is Juliet."

A teasing smile graced his lips as he walked out from behind her chair and glanced at a bookshelf before turning to look at her again.

"Would you fall for Tristan?"
"Only if my name were Isolde."

He walked over to a wooden table near the window and ran his long finger over a clay mock-up of Excalibur lodged in a stone. "What do you think of Arthur? Do you think it suits me?"
"Only Guinevere would believe your name was Arthur."

He crossed his arms, his eyes sparkling in the sunlight. "Would you believe my name was Matthias?"

"I might, if--"
"If what?"
"If I knew more about you."









BUDAPEST MOON BOOK 2 - The Count's Lair

Winner: Silver in the Reader's Favorites Contest, Romance: Sci-Fi/Fantasy category


"This is one of the best werewolf books I have ever read. If you enjoy the Werewolf legends, or just romantic relationships, The Count's Lair is a wonderful read."

LONG & SHORT REVIEWS, 5 Stars, Fennel
"Want a recipe for a great story? Take an awesome writer like Ms. Burkhart, stir in her intimate knowledge of Hungary, her innate ability to create wonderful characters, a book-full of suspense, mystery and passion and you get a book you can’t put down."

The Count’s Lair is filled with suspense, mystery, passion, and the paranormal.

Those who love paranormal romance with a dash of suspense and mystery will fall in love with The Count’s Lair.


Count Anton Varga is haunted by the curse of the moon. It tugs on his emotions, ravishing his soul. Anton abhors the beast he must learn to tame if he is to find peace. 

Lady Amelia Andrássy is an accomplished pianist, but her life in Budapest had been filled with heartache. When Amelia faints in the Duma's bookstore, it's Anton's strong arms that cradle her fall. His unusual indigo eyes spark with hers, replacing their individual loneliness with the promise of feral passion. 

After a two month separation, Anton is ready to walk into Amelia's life again, but is Amelia ready to fan the spark they shared into a flame? 

Count Varga looked like a tamed jackal. His hair was wind-tussled, and his overcoat accented his muscled physique. His scarf hung casually over his shoulders, too, as if it were just for show. She was completely disarmed by his full red lips, more vulnerable to his presence than she would have thought. Anton draped the cloak over her shoulders and snapped the front clasp. Sparks of warmth jumped off him, saturating her body. His smoldering sapphire eyes found hers. She adored his attention.

Bryant handed her a pair of gloves, her hat, and her scarf. She hung the scarf around her neck and put on her hat.

"Are you ready?" Anton asked.

She nodded, and he escorted her to his auto. The cold winter air nipped at her cheeks. It was only the first week of December, but Anton hadn't joked about the temperature.

They got in the back seat of his auto, and the driver took off. The auto was warm. Amelia put her gloves in her lap.

"Some people have set up a tent in the middle of the market and are selling goulash and warm apple wine. Do you mind having lunch there? I thought we'd take in the market's ambience."

"Not at all."

"I've missed you." He turned in the seat to look at her.

She smiled. "I've missed you, too."

"Did you get your invitation to the noble's ball?" he asked.

"Yes. I got it today."
"May I escort you?"

"I would like that," she replied. She'd like it a lot. Too much for her own good, but she wasn't prepared to admit that to him just yet. He already had unsettled her. It was exciting to be in the presence of a man so confident and secure. The last few weeks with Mikel, she'd thought he had avoided her because of the success of her piano concerts.






BUDAPEST MOON BOOK 3 - Danube in Candlelight

5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

Book Trailer on You Tube:

Set in Budapest 1922, The Hungarians are recovering from the war. Adam Varga is Hungarian to the bone and becomes an architect to help rebuild his nation. Morgan Duma returns from England also intent on helping to rebuild her country.

After a tragedy happens to her mother, Morgan discovers her father is a werewolf. She begins to question who she is, becoming more reckless, moredaring, and her choices more bold. When Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf, requests Morgan accompany him to the summer ball, Morgan has to decide which man will best fit her life.

Morgan drew in a deep breath as the knot in her shoulder tensed. Adam had a point. How could she be so self-centered, dwelling on her high-strung emotions? Perhaps it was a cover. Perhaps she couldn't face the real issue because it mortified her. She didn't want to think about it now. Morgan turned her head away and reached over her shoulder to massage that tension-filled knot.

"Turn around." Adam's voice brooked no debate. She liked a man who commanded authority. Morgan turned, and he massaged both her shoulders. Heat from his hands trailed down her back. Her core warmed. Her body relaxed, reacting instinctively and with a desire she couldn't hide.

"Did I hit a nerve?" he asked.

"A nerve? In my neck?" She took a step backward to be closer to him.

"No. About your father. Is your real fear about what will happen to your mother once he turns her?" Adam kept his voice low and leaned close to her ear.

She closed her eyes briefly and faced her anxiety. "Yes."

"Morgan, our fathers' condition has a host of positive traits -- heightened senses, for example, but the best trait is the healing factor."

"I understand, Adam. That healing factor will help my mother recover from her awful injuries, but it comes with a tradeoff -- she's going to become a werewolf."

"Is it better she become addicted to morphine? That addiction is a beast in itself. Which would you prefer she'd become? The soldiers hooked on morphine have vacant eyes, and their hands tremble for their next fix. Do you want that for your mother? Fighting something she can't win against, or do you want her dealing with a manageable condition? Both our fathers are good men. They've managed it."

Morgan pursed her lips. Adam's tone was laced in objectivity and confidence, offering her a plausible reason for her father's actions. Morgan didn't want a shell of skin and bones that resembled her mother -- she wanted her mother well, both emotionally and physically. Why had she been so selfish not to see that?

"It doesn't bother you that you have these traits?"

"I'm comfortable with who I am."

Morgan spun around, pressing the length of her body against Adam, curving her hand around the nape of his neck, and bringing his lips to hers. Their mouths met in a searing kiss full of desire. Want. Warmth. Pleasure replaced Morgan's emotional pain, and she deepened the kiss between them by sweeping her tongue into his mouth.

Adam groaned, wrapped his hands around her waist, and tugged her closer. Morgan continued the kiss, nipping his lower lip with her teeth. A blast of heat from his body washed over her like an ocean wave, sending pleasure spiraling through her. God, she had never felt so wonderful.

He threaded his hand through her hair and then yanked her head back. His mouth fell to her neck. Shivers of delight followed the hard, demanding kisses he placed on her skin.

"Adam, God, don't stop..."

He did just that. He withdrew his hand from her hair, sliding it down the side of her body to rest at her waist. She looked into his golden eyes blazing with the flames of desire. Adam drew in a deep breath.

"Damn, Morgan, I am a man, and I have more control than that."

She placed her hand over his heart. "You enjoyed it. Don't deny it."







Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Telomere Trilogy Book One: Revelations of Tomorrow

The crew of Daring Star salvages a load capsule and finds the beaten body of Jetta McCree. Turns out Jetta's discovered her employer has developed a biochemical droplet and is contracted with terrorists to manufacture on a large scale. Captain Noah Bonney fights off corporate security forces, her ex-husband's pirate fleets, and carnivorous beasts to keep the young woman safe and transport her to the safety of the Imperial Home Port.

But the adventure brings to surface demons Noah's been suppressing and secrets from her people's history she's tried to forget. Now, she must face them if she's to reconcile with her daughter and keep the love of her life from leaving. With 450 years under her belt and nothing but eternity ahead of her, she's built a thick shell… one she's not sure she can break.

Several loud shrills broke the silence. Smaller forest creatures rustled the canopy and cleared but. Blasts replied to those shrills and Matthew's body went cold. A scream of both fear and pain shattered the quiet.

Then nothing for what seemed like eternity.

Scouts broke through, the fear, so evident on their faces, overwhelmed them into a deathly silent run for life. Still, Matthew willed her to appear. She'd be one of the last, to ensure as many as possible returned.

Another shrill and two dark forms, similar to the images on the virtual screen rose above the canopy, arched, then dove back in. Several of Makai's men aimed and shot. Three more popped out and zoned in on their direction.

"They're coming!" Makai stated the obvious.

Noah broke through at a full run. Her clothes were bloodied. Several slashes left the protective jacket hanging from one shoulder. She screamed in defiance and turned, her large blast barrel pointed, aimed. A large creature broke free low to the ground. She shot and a smoke trail followed it to the creature's chest.

The shrill pitched higher, in pain right before its chest exploded. The impact blew Noah back several feet. She scrambled up, turned, and ran again, this time with a limp. Several more creatures broke free from the tree line. Matthew didn't think. He ran for her, aimed his gun and shot as he went. He reached her, where she crouched to shoot again and grabbed her. Yanking her up, he dragged her until she turned and joined him in the retreat.

Only fifty or so yards. We can make it.

Twenty-five yards.

Claws clamped on his shoulders, with the opposing claw piercing into his back. He screamed. Noah screamed with him in shocked surprise. He was lifted and then the beast slammed him into the ground and clamped its teeth into his upper arm, shoulder, and neck in one bite. His second scream ended muffled in the dirt.

Loud blasts erupted into the silence. The animal's claws released. It tumbled off and took a large chuck of his shoulder with it. The wound sizzled in his ear, his body started to convulse uncontrollably. The world tipped and rolled. His hearing echoed, and then all that remained was a loud constant roar.

Purchase Links:

The Sisters Callaway by Theresa Stillwagon

You don't need to come from the same place, or have the same parents, to be sisters. Jessie, Megan, Liz, Allie, and Kelly are The Sisters Callaway.

Book 1 -- Saving Pale Moon

Jessica Callaway isn’t happy. Maybe meeting her birth mother now would be a good thing.

And it would be if only for her brother.

Blake Hunter doesn’t trust her. Why is she here now, after finding out about Abby twenty years ago? She does look like his adopted mother, but he plans on keeping a cool head until the verifying blood tests are done.

Jessie senses his distrust, but she is still way too aware of him. The mere sound of his voice sets her on edge. When her birth mother tells her Blake is adopted, she relaxes her guard and decides to enjoy her time in Texas. With all the horses surrounding her, especially Pale Moon, she’s in heaven.

Unfortunately Blake isn’t as accepting as the other Hunters.

Has she done the right thing coming to Texas? Or has Jessie made the biggest mistake of her life?

Buy links

Book 2 -- Renovations

Was she making a big mistake?

Megan Callaway now owned Green Oaks Plantation, with all of its outbuildings and forest of trees and grass – and problems. She planned on changing it into a bed and breakfast. Yet she didn’t have complete control. She would have to agree on everything with Andy Perry, the president of the local historical group.

The man didn’t want to see anything change on the property.

Megan wanted to demolish all the outer buildings except an old-fashion outdoor kitchen.

Sparks fly every time the two get together.

But it’s not until her past starts catching up to her, things get interesting.

Would Megan really be able to let go?

Buy links

The Sisters Callaway Book 3 -- A Difficult Choice -- Coming in July, 2012

Teresa Medeiros ~ It's All Related...

So excited to be asked by Tami Dee to post my Related Books here at ONCE UPON A SERIES :). I have a short attention span so I don't usually write trilogies, just "duets". I'm working on the second book of a new "duet" right now, which will begin on December 27th with the release of my new historical romance THE PLEASURE OF YOUR KISS. are my related books (My Kissin' Cousins? :)) in the order in which they're intended to be read. I should add that all of my books stand alone as single titles as well so it's not necessary to read them in order, although you might get more context that way.

Some Like It Wicked
Some Like It Wild

After Midnight
The Vampire Who Loved Me

One Night of Scandal
A Kiss to Remember

Breath of Magic
Touch of Enchantment

THE FAIRY TALE SERIES (Which are linked by theme alone and can be read in any order)
Charming the Prince
The Bride and the Beast
A Kiss to Remember

You can learn more about all of my books here and read Excerpts:

Happy reading,
Teresa Medeiros

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Roarin' 20's

Book One: The Floating Palace, a historical, inspirational romance

ELLIE DUNKLING'S life long dream has been to work on one of Lake Champlain's steamboat, the Ticonderoga. There's only one problem. Men, not women, are hired to work on ships. Ellie, however is determined to change that. After all, it is 1923 and far from the dark-ages.

Captain PHILIP LAWHORN is a man's man. When Champlain Transportation Inc. informs him a woman has been hired to work on his ship as stewardess, he's anything but pleased. First, he doesn't appreciate the fact someone's hired on his twenty-eight-member crew without his knowledge. Secondly, how is he supposed to handle this company mandated -- sure to be -- disaster?



"Excuse me, captain?"

Philip whirled on his heel. A petite woman with a creamy complexion stared at him with wide, hazel eyes. "Yes?" The lady hesitated then put one foot into his room. She held out a gloved hand, which he took automatically. No matter how glad he might be for a distraction, passengers weren't supposed to be in his quarters. He made a mental note to have a word with his crew later. For now, he had to find an inoffensive way to get rid of this interloper.

"What can I do for you, miss?"

She withdrew her hand and lifted her chin. Determination sparked in her eyes, and Philip hoped what he'd heard about redheads wasn't true. The last thing he needed right now was a hot-tempered, stubborn woman -- however beautiful she may be -- to upset things even more. He took a step closer and held out his elbow. "Let me escort you back to the purser's desk to find someone to help you locate your stateroom."

The woman frowned as if he spoke a different language. Finally, she smiled. Her whole face radiated warmth that enveloped him. "I don't think you understand. I'm Ellie Dunkling, your new stewardess."

"My... my what?" So much for distracting him, she was the distraction.

"Your new--"

He cut her off with a wave of his hand. "I heard you, but I don't agree." He wheezed, "You are not a steward."

Her arched brows drew together. "There must be some misunderstanding. Mr. Trembley said you were expecting me."

Expecting her? Not hardly.

"Lady." He shook his head. "You have no idea." The situation was so ludicrous he was tempted to pinch himself. However, the only thing he was sure to wind up with was a bruise for his efforts. Before him stood an elegant woman in a long, drop-waist garment, insisting she had a place of employment... here.

If there had to be a stewardess, shouldn't it be a frumpy, gray-haired spinster with thick round glasses and a substantial waistline? At least then he wouldn't feel as uncomfortable about the dirty, difficult responsibilities she would need to carry. Nor would he have half the worry over the reputation of his crew and boat, or even the state of his heart for that matter.



"Ms. Carter must have done her research because from the very first page until the last, you feel as if you are right there with Ellie and Philip and the crew. You are given vivid word pictures of settings and the tone of this novel flows so smoothly with the time period. Ms. Carter inserted colloquial speech from that time in just the right spots and you didn't have to turn back to the glossary to refresh yourself on the definition of terms. Her prose just works, effortlessly, and stays with you long after you finish reading. I give Ms. Carter Five Stars for Outstanding Fiction¦ definitely a keeper on my book shelf. I look forward to reading the next book in this series."

Joanne Troppello -- "It only takes a mustard seed..." Blog
Rating = 5 Stars

"In this wonderful romance by JoAnn Carter, the reader is plunged into the world of 1923, where a woman may work but definitely not on a hectic steamboat surrounded by men. With three dimensional characters and a gripping storyline, this novel is a page turner and a kindle keeper. Fist in a new series, Ms. Carter once again doesn't disappoint. She leaves the reader wanting more and eagerly anticipating the rest of the books in the series."

Clare Revell -- The World Can Wait Blog
Rating = 5 Stars

"This was my first time reading JoAnn Carter and a friend suggested that I read The Floating Palace and I am so glad that I did... This is the first book in the Series and I know one thing for sure I will be reading the 2nd in the series as soon as it comes out. JoAnn Carter makes you feel like you are right there perhaps as Ellie working on the ship and her interactions with others. If you like Historical Romance then this book is for you.. An excellent job!!"

SimplyJewels -- Review posted at Barnes & Noble
Rating = 5 Stars

Purchase your copy today at: or at or

Stay tuned for information coming about book 2, Mercies in Disguise. This story will be released Feb. 15, 2011 through Desert Breeze Publishing.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The O'Briens of Ballycashel

Series Blurb: Well, I don’t really have one, for the simple reason that I never planned to write a series. The first book, In Sunshine or in Shadow, was a story that had simmered in my heart for years. It was meant to be a single story.

But my characters had other ideas.

In In Sunshine or in Shadow, there’s a scene between my hero, Rory O’Brien, and his 10-year-old daughter, in which he tells her that one day he’ll let her return to Baltimore to visit her late mother’s family.

Click! Even as I wrote that scene, I knew Katie would have her own story.

But …

There’s another little girl in In Sunshine or in Shadow, seven-year-old Ashleen Desmond, my heroine’s daughter. And I wasn’t yet ready to leave Ireland behind.

Thus was born the second O’Brien story, Coming Home.
Let me take you to Ballycashel, the wind-swept, West-of-Ireland village where my stories take place…

In Sunshine or in Shadow

A Valiant Survivor of Famine and Tyranny

Siobhan Desmond will do anything to keep the tattered remains of her family alive, even if it means working for the new landlord – a darkly handsome stranger with secrets in his eyes and pain in his smile. As she watches her village return to life and begin to thrive under Rory O’Brien’s care, she comes to understand his true nature and soon finds herself falling under his dangerously sensual spell.

As danger ignites all around them, Rory and Siobhan fight to right the wrongs of the past – and protect their newfound love.

“In Sunshine or in Shadow is a classic Irish romance at its very best.”
~TCM Reviews

Coming Home

“A woman’s love is strong, more powerful than all the ghosts in Ireland..”

Daughter of an Irish village girl, step-daughter of the landlord, Ashleen O’Brien has lived between two very different worlds. But after a year in America, she yearns to return to the green land that is her heart’s home.

War and betrayal have taken everything from Cavan Callaghan – his home, his family, and the woman he loved. A hero of the Irish Brigade at Antietem, he’s searching for the family he never knew.

Love and deception await Cavan and Ashleen along those emerald shores, as the ghosts of a past that can never quite be forgotten rise to threaten their newfound happiness.

“What’s not to love? Laughter and tears, and best of all … another happy ending! Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your wonderful tales with us!”
~ I Am Celt “Liz”,

Author Bio:

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of  Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

Twitter: @Cynwrites1

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Anatomy of a Madman and his series

My name is J. Morgan and I write series.

Did that sound like the start of a self intervention to you? Yeah, it did to me too. Sorry, but writing series is as much an addiction as well, reading them. Since that seems to be the case with just about everyone, I thought why not give my views on why readers seem to go gaga over books that seem to go on and on forever. My brain does not assume any responsibility for any of the things my fingers might say. It more or less gave up trying to reel them in a long time ago and disavows any claim to being in control. That said, let's get this thing rolling.

What is a series? I'm sure there's a technical definition for it, but this is the one I like to use. A series is a book that refuses to end and when it does, everyone gets upset over it. I use the book Blackwood Farms as a prime example of that last bit. If you don't recognize the title, think Anne Rice and the Vampire Lestate. The second question most commonly asked about series, is a trilogy a series? Nope. Three books does not a series make. I don't care how many lost books the Tolkien estate throws at us, all you got is three books and a big maybe on The Hobbit. It's a prequel, so fits in there somewhere, but you've still only got three books in the Lord of The Rings. Pet peeve, sorry for the rant. Let's move on before somebody tries to fight me on that. Another thing about what makes a series, then I'll move on to something else equally mindlessly drivelly. A certain theme has to run through each book of the series, or an underlying subplot that ties all the books together. If you have all that, then you've got yourself a series.

Please save all questions until the end of the lecture. That means you can put your hand down in back. Tami, don't make me call you out by name. There, I did it anyway.

Why do authors write series? I don't know, but I do know why I write series. So I guess, I'll just be answering for me and the voices in my head. I write them because the characters in my books just refuse to leave me alone. Another reason, people keep buying them, but I'd write them, even if they never left my computer. I love my characters and want to know what happens to them. Why else would I waste valuable TV viewing time writing about them? I wouldn't, but that's a whole different addiction in need of treatment. I think every writer would say the same thing. Maybe not about the TV stuff, but definitely about loving our characters. It's hard to turn loose of something that has dominated a goodly portion of time. These books don't write themselves despite what Stephen King thought up in Tommyknockers. By the time, I get to the last page of a book, I've already thought up a hundred more things I could do with the characters and do to them. Insert evil maniacal laugh here. As of now, I have two bordering on three series in the works. True, two of them are trilogies but I seriously doubt I'll be able to stop at three books. Like I said, writing series is addictive.

Why are series so popular? Same reason as why we write them. If characters can capture an author's imagination for more than one book, it stands to reason readers will pick up on that vibe and want more too. I know it seems like series are something new, but they've been around forever. Alexander Dumas had the Three Musketeers way back when. Pulp writers starting tossing them out in the first half of the 20th Century. Most of the great ones are still around. Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, the Shadow, Conan, just to name a few of the greats from the pulp era. My first series was The Hardy Boys. When I read all those, I started on my cousin's Nancy Drews. Yeah, I had a big crush on Nancy. I blame Pamela Sue Martin for that. Even TV and Movies picked up on our love to read endless books about our favorite characters. Between Star Wars and Star Trek, I have one wall covered in books. Again, reading series is an addiction.

Can you see the repetition going on here? No, Tami that was a rhetorical question and put your hand down. I'm not through yet.

To sum up this blog, people love series! As someone with one major series going, I can honestly say, I don't see that changing any time soon. Once a writer creates a world so rich in detail and imagination, it's hard to let go. That goes both for the author and the reader. How long do I see myself writing them? Well, that's the thing. I have a ton of series in my head, but I don't see myself writing any one of them forever. If it's one thing I've learned from reading series it's this. You get bored with them. You run out of ideas. They get repetitive. Before I go down that road, I plan to nip it in the bud. I don't want to disappoint anyone but my Love Bites series has a set number of books in it -- fifteen. After that, it's over. Sorry, but that's all the story the series has in it. The Southern Werewolf Chronicles only has three, but that could change. The Immortally series is another three off. But, I have a least two more series rolling around in my head. What are they? Well, that's for me to know, and for you to read about.

Thanks for letting me rot your brain. It's been fun and hopefully informative. Okay, Tami, now you can raise your hand.

A short Jmo Bio

J. Morgan -- that's me -- is an accomplished TV viewer with hours of drivel baked into his brain as a result. When not glued to the tube, he -- that's me again -- finds the time to write books about things some people find funny. When not doing those two things, he -- yep you guessed it, me -- pretends to write and watches DVDs. If you're interested in reading any of these series… Well, one series and a couple trilogies. Please check out the link below, which should take you to his -- yes, me again,, last time I promise -- author page on the Desert Breeze Publishing website. If for some reason it doesn't, then he -- oh, I give up -- was probably watching TV and put the link in wrong.

J. Morgan at Desert Breeze