Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A Woman's Happiness Counts by Sadira Stone #romance #SingleMom #WickedWednesday

WICKED WEDNESDAY

It's my pleasure to have Sadira Stone on Discover... today. This is a wickedly good and insightful take on Wicked Wednesday.

Thanks for hosting me today, Brenda! Truly, the generosity of the author community is astounding.

For Wicked Wednesday, I’d like to address the reason many romance readers will shun my latest book, and why I wrote it anyway.

On page one, Anna Khoury, the heroine of Delicious Heat: Bangers Tavern Romance 3, discovers her husband is cheating on her and kicks his sorry butt out. The very next day, she discovers she’s pregnant with his child. Imagine her painful dilemma: the marriage has been rocky for a long time. Brock was a wonderful boyfriend but dropped the act as soon as the honeymoon ended.

What’s the best choice for her child? Sacrifice her own happiness and settle for a neglectful, cheating husband? Will that warp her child’s notion of what love is and scar the child for life? Or should Anna strike out on her own, work out the best co-parenting arrangement she can with Brock, and be a strong, loving single mom?

Anna chooses the latter—obviously, since she’s a romance heroine and needs to get free of this loser to find real love. 😉 But she faces a mountain of resistance from relatives—her own, her ex’s, and her new boyfriend’s, who find her very wicked indeed for prioritizing her own happiness. After all, she’s a mom now, and a good mother is always selfless, right?

That last bit is what I’m pushing back against, having felt the scrape of that outdated expectation my whole life. I’ll spare you the details; suffice to say I get where Anna is coming from and refused to accept lousy treatment from someone who should have loved me and our child. Instead of being selfless above all, I think a mother’s most important job is to be a strong, loving role model, especially to her daughters.

In my view, raising your child to believe women’s happiness doesn’t count is wicked.

And I’ve encountered plenty of women my own age and younger who call me wicked for that point of view.

Others would call me wicked for portraying a pregnant woman as interested in intimacy, even though many pregnant women feel very amorous, especially during the second trimester. But that old Madonna/you-know-what dichotomy rears its ugly head. Wickedly, I dare show pregnant Anna as a woman in love—all the way in love.

I’m bracing myself for the negative reviews.

Why write the book, then? Anna and Diego’s meet-cute scene appears in Christmas Rekindled, Book One in the Bangers Tavern Romance series, and readers asked for their story. Besides, no book will please everyone, so why not write the book of my heart?

I adored writing Anna and Diego’s love story. A sweeter, more devoted cinnamon-roll hero you’ll never find—and he’s a chef! How could Anna resist?

Thanks again, Brenda, for this chance to meet your readers.

Delicious Heat: Bangers Tavern Romance 3, is available from all major online booksellers. 

Order your copy of Delicious Heat today! https://books2read.com/deliciousheat


Sadira Stone

Contemporary Romance with Heart and Heat

Monday, January 10, 2022

Not on My Watch by Howard Gershkowitz #MuseMonday

MUSE MONDAY

How about a little information while you're being entertained? Please welcome my guest, Howard Gershkowitz, who has just that for you on this Muse Monday. 

Recent headlines in the news have pointed out a pattern of Medicare fraud at hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities across the country. From fake billing to unnecessary procedures, it seems we have an epidemic of greed at the very institutions we rely on for our care, especially for our senior citizens. A change in how the government processes payments to Medicare providers is at the heart of the problem. In an effort to reduce the amount of time that legitimate claims are paid, a policy of ‘pay first, question later’ has encouraged fraudsters to submit massive amounts of false claims with the expectation they will be paid quickly and, in many cases, move on before any investigation can catch up to them. One possible solution would be to slow payment processing down to allow for investigators to uncover fraud before the check is sent. Another would be to enhance the enforcement arm of the government to catch these tricksters before they can skip town. In the meantime, if you need care, you can do your part to make sure your bill is accurate and doesn’t contain questionable charges. If you receive a notice that a payment was made on your behalf from your insurance provider, look it over before filing or tossing it ensure it is legitimate and not a ‘ghost’ bill for appointments or procedures you never went to.

She walked in wearing high heels and attitude. Steven looked up from his Wall Street Journal and their eyes meet. Former classmates, they re-connect, but is it truly by chance? Or something more calculated? Before long, she embroils him in her fight to defend her hospital—and her nursing career—from the clutches of a ruthless Boston medical syndicate run by her ex-husband. Their only chance to stop the takeover is to run a dangerous sting operation that could cost them their careers – or worse. 

Excerpt – prologue and chapter 1

Dateline; Boston, MA, September 8, 2021

In other noteworthy news, C & C and Associates, the local Medical powerhouse, has announced plans for another acquisition, this time in Texas. The merger, announced jointly today in the Boston Herald and Dallas Times, will be the eleventh major hospital chain to join the ever-growing empire of CEO and former corporate raider, Delbert Carter.

Dr. Harry Steinham, head of personnel for the conglomerate, spoke to reporters at a press conference at their downtown headquarters. “We are pleased to welcome Dallas General to our growing family of community-based facilities. Known for their long-standing commitment to superior treatment standards and charitable outreach programs, they represent the type of facility that C&C is excited to partner with.”

Asked about growing concerns in the industry about consolidations and declining levels of service to the poor and under-insured, Steinham commented, “We are committed to helping those who can’t help themselves.” When pressed about disturbing reports in communities already served by C&C’s affiliates, Steinham waved a stack of satisfaction surveys, claiming they contradicted the claims. “Anyone can download these from our corporate website and see for themselves. We provide only the finest care to our patients.”

Steinham indicated more acquisitions were already in the works, the next one likely to be in the Southwest again. C & C stock closed at a new yearly high today in heavy trading on the New York Stock Exchange. 

Chapter 1

Trouble walked in wearing high heels and attitude.Shoulder-length brown hair framed her smooth, high cheek bones. Stopping well shy of the register, she scanned the tables as if looking for someone to buy her a drink. When her eyes caught mine, they lingered a second too long. A half-smile creased her lips, disappearing so quickly I was unsure I saw it at all. Strolling casually to the periodicals rack, she picked up a Vogue and began browsing.

I sipped my coffee and tried refocusing on the Journal article in front of me, but there’d been something unsettling in her glance. Was I supposed to respond? Offer to wait in line so she wouldn’t have to? If this were a bar, with its clear, unspoken rules, the choice would be easy. I was unaware of such protocols at Starbucks however, especially ones located inside a bookstore on a rainy, September afternoon.

Buy Links:

https://gershwriter.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/howardgershkowitz

Contact information:

thegersh@cox.net

cell 602-882-4904

P O Box 25963. Tempe, AZ, 85285


Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Wicked Meal, Wicked Delight by Hanna Park #romance #travel #WickedWednesday

WICKED WEDNESDAY

Please welcome Wicked Wednesday's guest, Hanna Park. Food and romance in a wickedly beautiful setting. Enjoy!

A month in the Algarve of Portugal! Time spent­­––to enjoy life, to relax.

And to research an area rich in history. How can I describe the endless landscape, the walks on the Algarve cliffs? The ocean view goes on for days! And how about a romantic sunset stroll along the boardwalk? What more could an aspiring author need? Ah! Great food! Let’s talk about the food––always to die for––always, a wicked delight!

Bacalhau, Portuguese Cod Fish, made with simple ingredients and prepared to perfection––a family recipe handed down by generations.

On our first evening in Carvoeiro, the husband and I made our way to the Restaurante Casa Algarvia, a family-style restaurant recommended by our hotelier as authentic Portuguese fare. This restaurant became our go-to place for dinner because the meals were spectacular and the staff so very welcoming.

For our very first meal in Portugal, we ordered Bacalhau. Our server, Christina, promptly warned us
that Bacalhau is salted cod, soaked for twenty-four hours to remove the salt and then roasted. This fantastic meal was served on a clay platter, loaded with sautéed peppers and onion, olives and baby potatoes, doused in olive oil, with sunny side hard-boiled eggs. This meal was wicked!!! We sampled many other beautiful dishes at Casa Algarvia, and I cannot fail to mention the Fish Cataplana, a seafood stew served in a hinged copper bowl––a mouth-watering delight!

The wine poured freely, setting my imagination on fire, giving me a home base for Tiegan and Tomás to meet. Finding Tiegan became a reality within those muted orange walls. 

Finding Tiegan

Book Blurb: 

A holiday in the Algarve of Portugal...sunshine...fun-shine. It's what I need. It's time to be me. Time to find the woman I was before the nightmares, outlandish dreams, and sleepwalking. But I wasn't expecting to find Tomás Ferreira, a man made for pleasure. And now, my heart throbs with unfulfilled excitement, fire burns in my belly, and swirling flames lick my thighs. I'm a glorious mess. 

Where did Tiegan Moss come from? And why is she suddenly here on the day of the dead, the day the door to the otherworld swings open, the day the veil is thin? I'd hidden in the shadows, content, a life barely lived. You've changed everything. You make me want. You make my blood sing. Lost in your kaleidoscope eyes, trapped in the pout of your lips, I can't escape. And I don't like it one bit. 

Can our two haunted souls find a future together? 

Book Excerpt: 

Three months is a long time, and I can’t eat out every single day. But I’m not much of a cook—I barely function in the kitchen. Back home, I live on prepared food and takeout. My mother’s voice rings in my head—Tiegan, sweetheart, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Aaron’s pretty face flashes through my mind.

I stroll the supermarket aisles, making a mental list of what to buy. I fill my cart with the basics: granola, orange pekoe, yogurt. I buy eggs. There are so many ways to ruin eggs. I find the coffee. I can’t live without coffee. As I pour the beans through the grinder, I close my eyes, breathing in the rich aroma of dark roast.

Taking center stage in the seafood section is a mile-high stack of dried, salted, and cured cod, bacalhau. Tomás Ferreira—what a charming piece of work. I can’t believe how taken I was by the moment. Why did I lose myself so completely? Physical attraction? Jet lag? The wine? It was the wine. I drank the whole bottle.

I wait at the front end of the store while the cashier rings me through. The entrance doors swing open. His scent hits me like a ton of bricks. My body reacts, hot and cold all at once.

“Tomás. How are you? How was practice today?” The cashier turns her attention away from my groceries. Apparently, they know each other.

“Looking good, Mary. The kids are working well together: team players, everyone.”

Holy hell! Can she not focus on the task at hand?

Buy Links: 

Amazon 

Barnes & Nobel 

Kobo  

iBooks


Visit Hanna Park at www.hannapark.ca

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Ripped from the Pages... #MuseMonday #Inspiration #RomanticSuspense

Have you ever experienced dèjá vu? Have you walked into a room and felt you’d been there before but hadn’t? Or met a stranger, yet you felt you knew them? In Secrets of The Ravine, The MacKenzie Chronicles, book 1, my hero, Zac Peartree has those moments. They lead him to believe he has some connection to a decades-old crime. These photos are of the real-life Arizona town that inspired my fictional town of Joshua, Arizona. Here’s an excerpt from the book: 

Outside the cantina, Zac browsed along the window displays of jewelry and art stealing glances of Magpie as she strolled away, toward the Apparition Room in the heart of Joshua. He wasn’t ready to go back to the hotel but didn’t want to share with her where he intended to go. He’d not told her about his visit to The Ravine earlier. Whenever the subject of the discovered body came up, her mood darkened, and she grew quiet. Besides, he had his own dèjá vu quandary he hadn’t figured out yet.

As she disappeared around a corner, he headed down Cutway Street on a sharp decline and in the direction of The Ravine. The sun, a memory fading behind the mountains, left the air with a sharp bite. Why he wanted to look on the site once more mystified him. After hearing Magpie had lived in The Ravine, and her father still lived in the same house, he’d had a strong desire to visit with this new knowledge. He hurried, as what little light left would soon be gone.


Instead of following the road around the bend, he left the sidewalk, cutting between two buildings, hoping for a viable shortcut. The descent wasn’t terribly steep, and as he cleared the structures, he could see the mishmash of houses below in The Ravine. No one fenced their properties so ducking around and between houses didn’t present a problem. Within minutes, he spotted the little wooden house with the neon peace sign and the house where the man had waved from the dormer window. He paused.

Three vehicles, headlights on and engines running, blocked a visual of the victim’s burial site.
At this distance, and in the dimming light, all he could make out were five people, but not who. Phoenix cops? Two crates, or maybe plastic boxes, were loaded into a van. Everyone got into the cars, and doors slammed. He shivered. The vehicles bumped along, headlights jogging crazily over the rough road and houses, as they made their way out of The Ravine. The van and a car continued when they hit pavement toward the highway and Phoenix, while another turned left toward the switchback leading into Joshua. He pulled his coat tighter. The engine noises faded. The quiet of The Ravine engulfed him.

Even if the body was identified as Mark Donaldson, he doubted Magpie would experience closure. In a short time, he’d come to know that much of her personality. If after all of these years the disappearance of her teen love still affected her—and that was obvious by her actions—she wouldn’t be content. She’d insist on understanding how he died and why he ended up in an unmarked grave. Was he somehow involved with Callie’s murder and met the same fate? Or had he wandered into the middle of the woman’s murder and been killed as a result? Zac wanted the answer.

Lights came on in the house with the dormer; jarred the quiet from his head. That home kept drawing his attention.

“Good view, huh?”

He jumped at the voice behind him and whirled around.

“Oh! You,” the woman blurted then stepped back.

He could’ve said the same thing to the drunken female from the night before. Irene something. Maybe Blake.

“Didn’t mean to startle you.” She brushed gray strands of hair from her plump cheeks.

“I didn’t hear you.” He wasn’t on a road and wondered where she came from. “You live here? Am I on your property?”

“No. I’m a real estate agent.”

That didn’t explain her reason to creep between houses at dusk, and in an area that didn’t appear to be a prime spot for home sales.


Blurb from Secrets of The Ravine:

The lies can haunt. The truth can kill. 

When a ringer for her long-dead love walks into her life the same day skeletal remains are unearthed, Magpie MacKenzie can’t ignore the universe’s warning…solve the mystery or become the next victim. 

After Lawyer Zack Peartree visits purportedly haunted Joshua, Arizona, he’s instantly drawn to the free-wheeling shopkeeper. His attraction thrusts him into a dangerous present embroiled in her past. 

Using clues from her father’s life and Zack’s déjà vu moments, the couple plunge into a treacherous race to save love and avoid a murderous fate.



Find out more about the book here:

AMAZON BUY LINK

BOOKBUB

GOODREADS

BARNES AND NOBLE BUY LINK

WALMART BUY LINK



Monday, December 20, 2021

War and Christmas: Inspiration by Anne Krist #MuseMonday

MUSE MONDAY

War can inspire all kinds of literature. Join Anne today to see how it inspired her Christmas story.

It might seem strange to use war as a muse, but that is what Jan Selbourne and I did in our duo book Finding a Christmas Miracle. In Jan's A Miracle in the Outback, an Australian soldier on his way back to camp stops to help a woman who is not only in great need but also in danger. In my story, The Miracle of Coming Home, it takes a paranormal experience for PFC Tom Stabler to find himself when he comes home for a week at Christmas. The common point in both our stories is the war in Vietnam.

There's no denying the effect the war had on the lives of everyone living during the 1960s and 70s. Jan was closer to the action by virtue of Australia's location. For those of us in the U.S., the war felt a million miles away. We watched, fascinated and shocked, on the evening news each night. Everywhere we turned, Vietnam slapped us in the face. For years afterward, I tried putting it from my mind. I refused to write about it until I finally broke down and wrote Burning Bridges, which has its root in the time period.

Because the war was, well, what it was, how could any of us write the story of our youth and not pay homage to the place the war had in it?

The Miracle of Coming Home in Finding a Christmas Miracle (Anne Krist and Jan Selbourne)

Blurb
Jan Selbourne lends her award-winning writing talent to A Miracle in the Outback. Nick Saunders helps a woman in desperate need. He doesn’t know it, but he needs her help, too.

In award-winning author Anne Krist’s The Miracle of Coming Home, Army PFC Tom Stabler experiences the paranormal at home for Christmas. Will it help heal him or will he need a miracle to do the trick?

Buy link
Amazon Kindle

Excerpt
Awake now, Tom wondered if he’d ever adjust to the feeling of safety again, ever truly believe it existed. He feared he’d always be peering into shadows for the hidden enemy or listening for the almost silent, deadly snick of a landmine trip.

Falling back on the pillow, he stared at the posters on the opposite wall, illuminated by weak moonlight shining through the window. One was for a rock concert held in Omaha four years ago. He’d wanted to take Susan Swensen, but her father wouldn’t let her go the hundred-plus miles into the city with him. Too far, he’d said in his thick Scandinavian accent. Too much can go wrong with a car. Young people can get stranded. Alone.

The last was said with a long, thoughtful stare right into Tom’s soul. How had the man known of Tom’s evil intentions to fake a car breakdown in order to make time with his daughter? Eventually, when she was accepted into nursing school, Mr. Swensen had let Susan go to Omaha. By then, Tom had gone much farther. All the way to Hell, in fact.

The other poster hailed the Fighting Hawks, his high school football team, on which he’d been the star linebacker. Those were heady days. He’d made a great linebacker at the university, too, but a lousy scholar, which was what put him on academic probation and placed his ass squarely in the middle of that worthless strip of land called Vietnam.

Now he wouldn’t even make a linebacker. He skimmed his hand down his chest and across his stomach. Lean—skinny almost. Where once had been bulk there was sinewy muscle. He could still run, though. Oh, yeah, he got lots of practice running. From firing position to firing position, from cover to transport helicopters—black birds hovering over open kill zones to lift guys out of danger or drop them in—and from helicopter back to cover. Some days it seemed he ran the whole damn time.

It felt that way now. But what the hell was he running from?

About Anne and where to find her
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.

After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website (www.nomadauthors.com). Fortunately, Dee’s high school sweetheart is the love of her life and husband to all three ladies! Once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity.

Website
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Sweet ‘n Sassy Divas

 

Friday, December 17, 2021

With the Sun in One Hand and the Moon in the Other by Janina Grey #FearlessFriday #romance

FEARLESS FRIDAY 

Welcome my guest Janina Grey to Discover... She has a great Fearless Friday post you'll not want to miss.

How many people can say they’ve held the sun in one hand and the moon in the other? I can. And my life has never been the same since.

It was sunset, July 5, 2001, Sydney, Australia time and I was standing at the very top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Back home in the United States, my family and friends were celebrating Independence Day and the birth of our nation. For me, I was celebrating the rediscovery of my own independence, my rebirth.

As I stood at the top of the bottom of the world, I had no idea I was foreshadowing how my life would turn upside down—and how I would come out on top—over the next few years.

I was a 39-year-old mother of a precocious three-year-old daughter and sensitive, inquisitive
seven-year-old son. My husband and I were together 20 years, experiencing the normal ups and downs, with more downs of late than anything. He spent a great deal of time traveling for work, going to Jets games, and going on golfing trips, while I dove head first into being a full-time mom and full-time journalist working from home. I was burning out fast and needed a break. So when some Macintosh chat room Internet friends I’d known for four years invited me to their wedding, I said yes,—even though it meant a three-week jaunt around the world without my babies.

As I took off from JFK, I questioned what the heck I was doing. I soon learned that I was finding myself. I was redefining myself. And looking back now, I was possibly saving my life.

Fueled mostly on Red Bull and Boag’s beer, throughout the next three weeks I experienced the magical land of Oz, with stops in Sydney, Adelaide, Queensland, Wollongong, and lots of places in between. I stood on the cliffs of North Head and watched the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean, went to an actual Aussie Rules Footie game (Oi! Oi! Oi!), hiked the Blue Mountains, petted kangaroos at the late great Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, chatted with magpies, did shots of tequila with fellow Macintosh geeks, and drank flat whites and recited poetry with a friend while fruit bats rested high above us in the trees of the Royal Botanical gardens overlooking Sydney Harbour.

In the final leg of my adventure, we climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge at dusk. When we reached the top of the bridge, I stretched out my open palms so the tips of my fingers “touched” the rising moon to my right and the setting sun to my left.

Standing at the top of the bottom of the world, I was reborn. Holding the sun and moon empowered me, making me realize my resilience, my power. I truly could accomplish anything I desired. I was fearless.

LOVE IN THE FOREST Blurb:

Step into the mystical and magical forests of Upstate New York, where Earth and Sky camp photographer Brooke Meadows has taken refuge from the demons of her past as she uses her ability to communicate with the dead to heal loved ones left behind. 

Unable to cope with the loss of his wife and daughters three years prior, Josh Quinn, CEO of the number one dating site Quirkyflirt.com, is ordered by his board president to take a break from his Big Apple Headquarters. He finds himself at Earth and Sky Retreats, where confronting his grief has led him to experience a life-altering transformation and re-evaluation of reality. 

Will Josh leave behind his fast-paced, high society life in the concrete mountains of New York City, for the magical, bewitching world Brooke reveals to him in the foothills of the Adirondacks? 

Will Brooke acknowledge and accept her own journey of transformation and healing as she and Josh explore the winding paths and summits that lead them to find love in the forest? 

LOVE IN THE FOREST excerpt: 

“See? I told you.” Brooke laughed as they ended a very fast-tempoed rhythm beat out on two djembes they had selected from the music closet in the rec room.

“You’re good. I never would have thought I could do this.” Josh stared at his hands resting on the drum head.

“You have to trust me. Trust yourself. Trust the drum. And trust your heart.” She stared at him, suddenly uncomfortable as his gaze turned to her lips while she spoke. Even after she stopped talking, his eyes never moved. “It’s what I tell all the kids I teach when they’re here. Trust your heart. It’s good advice.” Trying to explain herself only made it worse.

As she babbled on, Josh offered a lopsided grin. “Uh-huh. I see.”

“Yeah, well. I don’t think you do.” The flush of her cheeks was spreading to the rest of her body.

“Thank you.” Josh put down his drum and pocketed the sunglasses he had placed on the seat beside him. He leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees, sharing her personal space as he stared into her eyes.

“For?” Her breath caught as she noted, being this close, that his baby blues might actually be baby teals, something she’d never noticed before now.

“For teaching me how to drum,” he said, his voice barely audible.

“You’re welcome,” she said in a breathless whisper. She cleared her throat and continued. “It’s getting dark. Storm’s blowin’ in.” Brooke’s voice cracked and she swallowed thickly. “We should go.”

“We should, shouldn’t we?” His words came softly, cloaked in a husky timber.

“Yes.” She answered too quickly as he took another step closer.

Her legs grew wobbly as he filled her personal space with a velvety soft reality she’d not known in an awfully long time. He was so close she picked up his scent. He smelled of fresh air, and rain . . . and man. 

Excerpt From: Janina Grey. “Love in the Forest.” Apple Books.

BUY LINKS

You can grab your very own copy of LOVE IN THE FOREST by following these links: 

Barnes and Noble:
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-in-the-forest-janina-grey/1139804111?

Amazon:

amazon.com/Love-Forest-Janina-Grey/dp/1647162394/

Soul Mate Publishing
soulmatepublishing.com/love-in-the-forest/

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Website:
www.janinagrey.com quirkyflirt.com
Email: janinagrey143@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/janinagrey
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/18967836.Janina_Grey
Instagram: @janinagreyauthor
Twitter: @janina_grey
Bookbub.com: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/janina-grey

Janina Grey BIOGRAPHY

Janina Grey has been writing since she could hold a crayon, and there has been no stopping her since. Journaling, short stories, poetry, newsletters, news, feature, columns, Op/Eds, and press releases have kept her busy her whole life. But it was the sweet Harlequin romances she read in her downtime that stayed forever in her heart and gave her the inspiration to write her own contemporary romances now published with Soul Mate Publishing. 

By day, Janina guides domestic and sexual assault survivors down their path of healing and empowerment. But in the wee hours of the morning, she hunkers down at her childhood writing desk with Imagine Dragons, Coldplay, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, or Led Zep streaming through her earbuds while she brings to life her characters as they face their real-life sorrows and successes, and best of all, their happily ever afters. 

Growing up on Long Island and living periodically in Tennessee as a youth has given her the opportunity to meet many different types of people and experience many different lifestyles. After moving from Long Island to settle in the Mohawk Valley in Upstate New York with her family, she found the support needed to pursue her writing endeavors with Central New York Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America. 

When Janina is not writing, she may be marching for women’s rights, kayaking, camping, drumming, or dancing around the fire. 

With her two children grown, she and her husband, David, share their 113-year-old Mohawk Valley farm house homestead with a few resident spirits and a very squawky murder of crows.


Monday, December 13, 2021

A Moment’s #Inspiration by Janet Raye Stevens #MuseMonday

MUSE MONDAY

How fun...a WWII story that is also a paranormal suspense. Let's hear where Janet found her inspiration and all about the book.

My new book, A Moment After Dark, a World War II-set paranormal suspense, is a culmination of both my interest in the odd and otherworldly and WWII history. Blame it on my childhood. As a kid, I loved TV shows like The Twilight Zone and especially the supernatural and soapy daytime drama, Dark Shadows. How I loved the spooky settings, gothic suspense, to-die-for costumes and hairdos, and vampire and unlikely sex symbol, Barnabas Collins! I also lived in a public housing project, populated for the most part by WWII veterans. Practically every dad, and some of the moms, had served in the war in some capacity. I grew up hearing their stories and became steeped in the history of that singular moment in time. When I started writing fiction years later, it made sense my life-long interests would inspire my stories, particularly A Moment After Dark, a historical romantic suspense with a paranormal twist, set in the first week of December, 1941. 

A Moment After Dark blurb: 

She sees the future with a touch. A powerful gift in a time of war.

The enemy wants her. The Allies need her. 

When Addie Brandt touches someone, she sees their future, and it’s rarely good. Mocked and teased her whole life, Addie hides from the world in her family’s funeral home. But when her second sight shows her a horrific vision of an attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval base, the gruesome images are too intense to ignore, and she tries to raise the alarm. Will anyone listen?

 

Federal agent Jack Dunstan needs a miracle. He’s still reeling from the betrayal that nearly decimated his team of agents with paranormal powers, a vengeful Nazi spy with a terrifying ability of his own is out to destroy him, and he knows it’s only a matter of time before America is drawn into the war raging around the world. Hearing rumors of Addie’s vision, he seeks her out, hoping she could be the miracle he’s looking for.

 

Addie’s not sure she trusts Jack Dunstan. He’s rude, cocky, and insists on calling her curse of second sight a “gift.” But if she wants to save lives and prevent a terrible disaster, she has to put aside her fears and learn to embrace her ability. 

With the US on the brink of war and an enemy agent hunting her for her power, Addie must learn to trust Dunstanand herselfto stop an attack that could change the course of history. 

A Moment After Dark Excerpt: 

Addie Brandt, determined to raise the alarm about her vision of an attack on Pearl Harbor, goes to the police to report what she's seen—but it doesn't go as she hopes: 

“What do you expect me to do?” Sgt. Gillis asked.

Addie’s frustration and anger threatened to boil over. “Can’t you call the Navy or the FBI or someone?” 

“And tell them what? A fanciful girl thinks there might be an attack on one of our naval bases at some point in the future? I’m sorry, dear, that’s not what police work is. I can’t call anyone without something solid to go on.” Gillis held out his hand. “Or some kind of proof.”

She stared at his palm as if it held a bomb. Touch him? What good would that do? If the Sight showed her a vision, it would most likely be terrible. And whatever she saw might not happen for some time. She shook her head.

The sergeant frowned. “I thought as much. Why don’t you run on home, Miss Brandt, and forget this foolishness?”

Addie lost the battle to hold her temper. By golly, she’d do it.

Cool air tickled her skin as she stripped off a glove. Silence fell in the precinct. Addie’s hand hovered over Gillis’s and she cringed. She hadn’t held anyone’s hand since Mother’s, years ago, when the Sight showed her Mother was going to die.

But she had to. With the fate of so many hanging in the balance, she had to touch him.

She pressed her fingers against his. Instantly, darkness as black as pitch blanketed her mind. Horrific images flashed. Terrifying sensations beat against her brain. It took every ounce of strength she had to tear out of the Sight’s grip.

She opened her eyes to see Sgt. Gillis smirking at her. “Well? Where’s my proof?” he said.

Addie scrabbled her glove back onto her hand and shot out of her seat. The chair legs squawked against the floorboards. “I-I can’t,” she said hastily. “I’m sorry.”

“Crazy as a loon,” she heard one of the policemen say as she dashed across the room.

Burning with fury and humiliation, Addie flung open the front door and slammed into a wall. No, not a wall. A man. A powerfully built man, with shoulders as broad as an anchor filling his overcoat and a chest apparently made of iron. She looked up to see a face like Dick Tracy in the funny papers—all angles. Razor sharp jaw, full lips, crooked nose, black hair under a fedora perched at a rakish angle. And eyes the color of brown sugar. Curious eyes that kept her gaze a moment too long.

“Whoa, sister, where’s the fire?” he said, his voice as deep as the ocean. He smelled like the ocean, too. Fresh, salty-sharp, like he’d been born on Pott’s Beach.

She laughed bitterly. Couldn’t help it, after what the Sight had inflicted on her in the heartbeat she’d held the sergeant’s hand. Addie as Gillis, at the foot of a massive structure engulfed in flames. She’d ripped herself out of the vision before the burning structure collapsed and the scorching embers crashed onto her. Or Gillis, rather. But she knew with certainty the sergeant would die a fiery death.

Somehow, she made it around the big man she’d slammed into, mighty glad her hands were covered, and she couldn’t make contact with him. She’d had enough of the Sight for one day.

Besides, she did not want to know what could fell a Redwood tree of a man like him. 

Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Moment-After-Dark-Paranormal-Suspense-ebook/dp/B09MDQL14Z/ref

Other Booksellers: https://books2read.com/u/bOJBkN 

Janet Raye Stevens Bio & Social Media Links: 

Meet award-winning author Janet Raye Stevens, mom, reader, tea-drinker (okay, tea guzzler), and weaver of adventurous, occasionally heartbreaking, and stealthily romantic tales.

A Derringer Award nominee, Janet’s work has been recognized multiple times, including the Daphne du Maurier award and RWA's Golden Heart® award for Cole for Christmas. Janet writes mystery, time travel, paranormal, and the occasional Christmas romance with humor, heart, and a dash of suspense.

She lives in New England with her handsome better half and their equally impressive children.

Connect with Janet at: Website: https://janetrayestevens.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janetrayestevens/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/janrayestevens