Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Christmas in July, Free Books, Great Reads


Christmas in July is wicked fun, and you could score a $75 gift card in addition to scoping out some cool holiday reads. Take your mind off this hot summer! Hurry and take advantage of the Christmas in July Fete!


There are also two OTHER GREAT Promotions 

going on right now that are wicked good.

This event has a cozy mystery for you. Grab a cup and cuddle up with some mystery. 


And you can get free reads here that will knock your socks off. CLICK HERE


Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Reading and Reviews (Winters and Winters)

I'm an author, but I'm also a reader. From time to time, I'll share my reviews of present and past reads. My available time to read is limited because I write, but I love to curl up with a paperback or an eBook at night for the last hour of my day. 

I tend to read what I write, but not exclusively. Besides Romantic Suspense, I read crime and law novels, once in a while a true story, WWII historicals, mysteries, and mainstream character driven books.

I'm on a Larry A. Winters jag right now with his Jessie Black legal thrillers.

Informant (Jessie Black Legal Thriller Book 1) by Larry A. Winters


Prosecutor Jessie Black has an airtight case against Tyrone Nash, a gang thug who shot a man behind a bar in West Philly. But what should be an easy trial turns complicated when Nash somehow intimidates her eyewitness, and he recants his testimony on the eve of the trial. Now Jessie's only move to stop the killer from walking is to call a witness she had hoped to avoid—Reggie Tuck, a smooth-talking jailhouse snitch who claims Nash confessed to him during a short time they shared a cell. Worse, there are other people with an interest in the trial—people intent on silencing Reggie's big mouth, permanently.

Soon Jessie and Reggie find themselves trapped in a courthouse taken hostage by armed assailants. She must find a way to keep both Reggie and herself alive long enough to learn who they are, and how to stop them. But is Reggie Tuck's life worth protecting at the risk of her own?


Another fun read by Larry Winters. Jessie's personality stays true to form. Reggie Tuck steals the show in this book. The entire scenario was just a touch difficult to suspend belief, but because of the characterizations and the twisty plot, I was able to accept it. The only thing that had me scratching my head was a timeline issue for Detective Leary who's outside the courthouse and trying to find a way to help. But that's a sidebar. Overall, this is another good entertaining novel.





Silenced Witness (Jessie Black Legal Thriller Book 6) by Larry A. Winters

Life is good for Assistant DA Jessie Black. She just brought another murder trial to a successful conclusion. Her reputation is growing as a top prosecutor in Philadelphia. And she’s engaged to a strong, handsome man she loves. Now it’s time to step back, plan her wedding, and look forward to a bright future.

But when a young man is brutally butchered in his own home, the courtroom calls to her. Especially when the police are desperate for help. Hal and Kristina Nolan, a clever husband-and-wife team of defense attorneys, have filed motions to block key evidence and keep a critical witness off the stand. Jessie knows she needs to go to trial and beat them at their own game. Because if she fails, their client, a remorseless human monster, will stroll out of the courthouse a free man.


This is my favorite so far in this series I will continue to read. I really need to drop back and read them in order I suppose, but it hasn't messed with my enjoyment. I'm a little lost on the relationship between Jessie and Detective Leary but not so much to disturb me. The villain in this book is complex and one we can love to hate. Jessie's personal life with her upcoming wedding causes more conflict for the story. And the clever husband/wife law team Jessie comes up against is so believable I think I saw them on a billboard in Phoenix. Enthralling read.



Monday, July 24, 2023

Victoria & Violet – It Started With A Dog Walk… by Rachel Brimble


Rachel Brimble is always a welcomed guest on Discover... Her muse really opened the door for her on this book. You'll want to read how inspiration knocked.

My new book Victoria & Violet is my 28th published novel and it also represents a long-held ambition coming to life. When my first novel was accepted by The Wild Rose Press back in 2007, I was well and truly caught with the writer bug and haven’t been able to shake it off since. Writing is an addiction, a compulsion, and one many published authors (myself included) have surrendered to knowing there is very little they can do to escape the need to write…even if we do try on a frighteningly frequent basis!

So why is Victoria & Violet a realization of a long-held ambition? Well, ever since I started writing novels, I vowed that one day I would write an historical novel that included real people and real events. The trouble was, I was TERRIFIED to tread this particularly treacherous path. As much as I might devour fiction with real characters and events, I wasn’t sure how the authors went about creating the story, what they could and could not assume of the real people and events or if everything was down to poetic license.

And then Violet came along…

I was walking my dog one day and struggling with the plot I was writing – my dog walking tends to be problem solving time as much as fresh air time! However, instead of my imagination/consciousness solving my plot problem, a young woman started invading my thoughts and eventually she was speaking to me…endlessly. I knew she was a maid, she had an area in her life where she felt entirely trapped and she was working for a young Queen Victoria.

My heart started pumping a little faster, my stomach knotting with a nerves and excitement – the time had come. I was ready to write a book with real people and real events – and it would be set in the court of Queen Victoria. Violet was her housemaid and the story would revolve around the women’s relationship as well as the romance between Violet and courtier James Greene, assistant to the queen’s private secretary, Lord Melbourne.

The stage was set!

During the writing of this book there were mind blocks, moments of panic and moments of pure joy. Yet, most of all, there were days of writing like I was taking dictation as these wonderful characters told me their stories. In fact, every scene with Queen Victoria was the easiest to write. Why? Because what I had already learned about her over the years, plus my intense research for this book, I felt I really knew who Victoria was at around the age of twenty-one when Victoria & Violet is set. At this time, Victoria was joyous, romantic and so full of hope that she would come to be the one of the best monarchs Britain had even seen.

I really hope her optimism and Violet’s determination come across on the page with as much verve, passion and love as I felt when I was writing…happy reading!

It should be a dream come true to serve the Queen of England…

When Violet Parker is told she will be Queen Victoria’s personal housemaid, she cannot believe her good fortune. She finally has the chance to escape her overbearing mother, a servant to the Duchess of Kent.

Violet hopes to explore who she is and what the world has to offer without her mother’s schemes overshadowing her every thought and action.

Then she meets James Greene, assistant to the queen’s chief political adviser, Lord Melbourne. From entirely different backgrounds and social class, Violet and James should have neither need nor desire to speak to one another, yet through their service, their paths cross and their lives merge—as do their feelings.

Only Victoria’s court is not always the place for romance, but rather secrets, scandals, and conspiracies…




“She…” Violet hesitated, feeling foolish carrying out the queen’s instructions when James was quite clearly busy and not at all happy. “She suggested we take a picnic.”

“A pic…” His eyes widened before his cheeks mottled. “It’s December!”

“I can pack some hot soup and bread. It will be…fun.”

“Fun? I can’t take myself off for a picnic when there is so much to do. What on earth will the workers think of me?”

His mood made her decidedly uneasy, but she could not defer on the queen’s request. She lifted her chin. “I’m sorry, James, but if the queen commands it, we cannot refuse. Besides, it will be last time you will see me for a while.”

He dropped his hand from his hair, his dark eyes boring into hers. “What are you talking about?”

“I have to go home. My mother claims my father is ill. Not that I believe a word of it, of course. But still, I must go.”

“Your mother is exerting her power again?”

“I have little doubt.”

He exhaled heavily, his gaze softening. “Give me an hour and I will come. Where shall we meet?”

“In the folly.”

“Very well.” His gaze dropped to her lips before he reached around her toward the door and opened it. “You should go.”

He stood so close, Violet could see flecks of blue in his eyes, smell the subtle maleness of him. Her treacherous heart swelled with silly, dangerous love. She forced a smile and ducked under his arm and through the open doorway. 

Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin). Her latest novel, Victoria & Violet is the first book in her new Royal Maids series with the Wild Rose Press and released 17th October 2022.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association as well as the Historical Novel Society and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here:





Thursday, July 20, 2023

Journey of a Novel: WWII Romance


I grew up listening to my mom recount memories of growing up in the 1940s. Phoenix was a small, Southwest town with single lanes and closeknit communities. The war ended, soldiers came home, and Hollywood documented American life in the most romantic terms. Through my mom's stories and watching old movies, I fell in love with the era. My mom and dad met, fell in love, and married in the 1940s. Their story, of two poor without a mother and one without a the basis of Post-War Dreams. And to put my mom at ease, yes I did fabricate a few things.

I labored on this romance novel for years. What was originally Honey On White Bread was the first full length book I wrote. No one wanted it. So, I put it away and went on to publish several other books. I found my niche in romantic suspense and most recently cozy mystery.

But eventually, I dusted it off, rewrote and edited it, and published it as Post-War Dreams. It's the book of my heart. The story unfolds in two points of view. Claire is a senior in high school, mature for her age, taking care of her alcoholic father. Her mother died when she was a toddler. Her point of view is first person. The other, in third person, is Benjamin who wasn't able to finish high school because he had to go to work to support his mom, brothers, and sisters who struggled to survive after his father abandoned them. 

I’m sharing two short excerpts today from Post-War Dreams.


Claire shook back her hair and lifted tresses the color of a summer sunset from her neck with a flourish. “I’d definitely like to pursue a career in the movies.” The word theatrical came to mind while her smile dazzled him. “This contest should be a lot of fun.” She stared directly into his eyes, the dark brown of hers simmered. “Do you go to the movies?” 

“Now and then.” 

She dipped her chin and gave him a beguiling upwards glance. “I bet you’re a Rita Hayworth man.” When he only shrugged, she continued, surprising him with her flirtatious tone. “Come on, now. We all have our favorites.” 

“Yeah, she’s…okay.” The words he could use for the sexy, red-haired actress he’d leave unspoken to the young Claire. “Do you dance and act in addition to singing?” 

“I will.” She nodded, quite serious. “I think it’s best to be well-rounded, if you’re going to have a chance in Hollywood. I don’t exactly have any credits to my name yet, still, I’m pretty sure I could act, if given the chance. As far as dancing, yes, a few lessons will be in order, eventually.” 

“So, it’ll be off to Hollywood for you after graduation?” Unusually confident for a high school girl, he could imagine her hopping on a bus to follow her ambitions. Pity. “Not interested in hanging around Phoenix to raise a family?” 

“Oh goodness, lots of time.” Once again, she pushed the hair from her silky-smooth neck with a flip of her fingers. “Following your heart should be first.” 

And who will steal your lovely heart, lovely Claire? 



“But…but you can’t love Susan.” My voice, soft as a whisper, didn’t betray the rising fear boiling up from the pit of my stomach. 

He gripped my arms with emphasis. “No, I don’t.” 

My stomach calmed a bit, the fear at a simmer. “Does she love you?” I had to convince him his thinking had clearly gotten off course. 

“No. I mean I don’t think so.” 

“Is she demanding you love her?” Love was everything. Without love, this wasn’t our problem. 


His hesitation cheered me on. My panic churned barely below the surface as I led him down the path of reason. “Well, then, Benjamin, why—” 

“Claire, she’s pregnant. I’ll have to marry her.” 

“Marry?” I choked on the word. Fear and panic erupted. “Oh, God, no. Benjamin!” The tears toppled and flooded my cheeks. “This is her problem.” 

“You know it isn’t, Claire.” His words were thick and strained. “I have to take responsibility.” 

“No, Benjamin, no!” I slapped my palms to his chest as if I could stop this madness with a physical barrier. “No, you don’t.” 

He encircled my waist, gently caressed, but held me firm until my tantrum played out. 

I folded into his chest, but my anger still had some steam. I balled one hand into a fist and hit his chest. “Why? Why do you always have to do the right thing? Why?” I swiped away tears so I could see his reaction when I glared into his face. 

His chest heaved as he stared into my hostility with calmness. “You wouldn’t love me if I didn’t.”

BOOK LINKS:  paper  ebook


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Reading and Reviews (Winters and Black)

I'm an author, but I'm also a reader. From time to time, I'll share my reviews of present and past reads. My available time to read is limited because I write, but I love to curl up with a paperback or an eBook at night for the last hour of my day. 

I tend to read what I write, but not exclusively. Besides Romantic Suspense, I read crime and law novels, once in a while a true story, WWII historicals, mysteries, cozy mysterym, and mainstream character driven books.

Here are some of the books I've read recently or in the not-too-distant past. Maybe you'll discover a new book or author. 

Burnout (Jessie Black Legal Thriller Book 1) by Larry A Winters 

Years ago, Assistant DA Jessie Black's successful prosecution of Frank Ramsey—a serial killer known as the Family Man—put her on a path to stardom at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. But now an ineffective assistance of counsel claim threatens to overturn the verdict.

The claim alleges that Ramsey did not receive a fair trial because of his lawyer, a public defender named Jack Ackerman. Jack, an excellent lawyer, committed himself to a mental institution days after the trial. No one knows why.

Now Jessie must return to the courtroom to face the killer and his new lawyers—a dream team of high-powered attorneys with mysterious motives for taking his case. Unless Jessie can stop them, they will overturn the verdict, destroy a good man's legal career, and put a vicious killer back on the street.

Jessie's only chance to keep Ramsey in prison is to defend his defense attorney and prove Jack's sanity. And to do that, she's going to need to find out what really happened at that trial.





This is my second Jessie Black novel. I’m not reading them in order, obviously. Doesn’t matter. I’m hooked on this series. Jessie is an easy character to get behind and follow her adventures. I love characters that are fleshed out so thoroughly that I feel like I know them. She is not so kick-ass she comes off fake. She’s just tough enough and smart. The story is involved and well rounded. An enjoyable read.

Death by Pins and Needles (Holly Swimsuit Mystery Book 2) by Susie Black


The last thing Mermaid Swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected to find when she opened the closet door was nasty competitor Lissa Charney’s battered corpse nailed to the wall. When Holly’s colleague is wrongly arrested for Lissa’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth sticks her nose everywhere it doesn’t belong to sniff out the real killer. Nothing turns out the way she thinks it will as Holly matches wits with a heartless killer hellbent for revenge.





The world of swimwear sales is a lot more cutthroat than I imagined. In fact, I didn’t know such a huge world even existed. This is the second book in the series and since I read the first, I’m learning even more about what I thought might be a glitzy world. Ms. Black makes that world come to life. The amateur sleuth, Holly, certainly knows the ins and outs all the while solving the murder. Ms. Black’s books are full of standout characters who guide you through the mystery. You don’t need to read book one to enjoy this second book in the series.


Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Wicked Adventure by Anne Hamilton Fowler


Welcome back, Anne Hamilton Fowler. Such a fun guest and a fun post. Enjoy!

The following wicked adventure is just one of the many in the life of MAL (short for Margaret Anne Louise), the name often utilized by friends when referring to any of my nefarious deeds! 

I suspect many of you reading this adventure know the drill. Whether called the airplane scheme or something similar, it was still just a pyramid. Back in the eighties this was a very popular illegal money- making activity in North America, one that thrived in Toronto. You’ve blocked from your mind all recall of how it worked?  Burned were you!? Let me refresh your memory. An individual invests $2200 and is then responsible for attracting (luring) other like- minded investors into the game. If the investor is successful and “brings in” the required number of people to the group, he/she rises to the top of the pyramid and receives a large cash payout. 

Since the venture required recruiting skills, it looked like one made to order for MAL. Owner of a well known personnel agency, she was a seasoned recruiter with over 25 years of experience. A meeting was attended where details of the game were skillfully laid out by the current top of that particular pyramid. The fact that it was an endeavor severely frowned upon by the Toronto constabulary didn’t deter those of us who had visions of grandeur and dreamed of a $17,600 reward. After all, it’s not like we’re robbing a bank we told ourselves. And, we are recruiting adults who know what they’re getting into, don’t they?  Certainly, my recruits were under no illusions and I had made very clear the possibility that they could lose their money. This rationale was how I justified my actions and participation in the scam. Unfortunately, many investors across the city did lose their money when they were unable to produce the required number of recruits. Was MAL one of those people? Surely you are joking! She made the operation a fulltime career bringing her friends, clients and colleagues on board. Most of them achieved one payout and stopped. But MAL was obsessed with the whole hype surrounding celebratory parties, expensive lunches and thrilled by the challenges involved. The buckets of money didn’t hurt either. Using the mantra of Winston Churchill…she KBO! 

The venture became such an obsession that for several months most of her workday was devoted to planning, prospecting and strategizing. 

Expanding the scope of the game, MAL then began to sponsor recruits who had many contacts, just not the $2200 investment money. Choosing her partners wisely, she fronted them the entry fee while they all went about recruiting people interested in joining the venture. How was the $17,600 payout at the top split? Half to the investor and half to MAL.  Meetings were expanded from one night a week to four and the money rolled in! 

The operation raced on for about ten months until one fateful evening the weekly Tuesday night meeting at MAL’s office was raided by the police. It seems someone had talked to the wrong person (whose brother was a cop) and a mole had been installed in the group. Two weeks later we were invaded. 

“Where is Anne Fowler,” one detective asked.

“She’s not here,” stammered a terrified group member who was so rattled that she peed her pants turning the office chair where she was sitting into a write off. 

Succumbing to meeting and presentation exhaustion, MAL had fortuitously taken that particular night off and another person was substituting in her stead. The police thinking that they had nabbed “The Queen of Pyramids”, as Anne had become known, were most definitely not amused!  But after receiving a panic-stricken phone call at her home, “The Queen” knew the jig was up. 

Accompanied by her lawyer, the following day she visited the police station for booking. Unbeknownst to MAL, her group was just one of many operating in the GTA and police were currently on a mission to locate and destroy, determined to shut them all down.  Perhaps they could make an example of the big fish they had just landed. 

The day finally arrived when MAL met the judge. The court scene was like a keystone cop skit. Picture if you will, terrified defendants, all who’d been at the meeting that fateful night, as they sat shaking in their seats. The prosecuting attorney, a particularly nasty woman disliked by all who knew her, strode aggressively back and forth in front of the magistrate. Known for his sarcastic wit, the judge was not her fan either. The case was presented and MAL pled guilty. 

Had punishment using the eighteenth - century guillotine been available in Canada, I believe the PA would have asked for it to be used.  She was most certainly out for blood and looking for major fines to be levied. But as the judge looked down at the terrified defendants, he decreed that they had been sufficiently punished by losing their $2200 and fined them each a token $100.   

With a twinkle in his eye, he then turned to a tearful MAL and inquired, “Did we serve tea and homemade cookies at our parties?” It seems that he had recently prosecuted several groups who had evidently held their  meetings in church basements and served refreshments.

 MAL felt it prudent not to tell him about the celebratory bottles of champagne and expensive lunches or just how much money she had made on the venture.    

The judge then said, “Well I hope this will put an end to your social gatherings” and proceeded to fine MAL $1,200.   

When one considers the carefully hidden jack-pots she had accumulated, this was certainly letting her off easy. The PA was apoplectic having expected a minimum of a $25,000 penalty or even jail time to make a suitable example of this woman’s evil deeds. We all left the courtroom that day and breathed a collective sigh of relief. 


Some of you may have read one of Brenda’s blogs called Fearless Friday and recognized my name from a submission that I made last February. You are now scratching your head and saying, “how do MAL’s exploits mesh with what we read in February about Anne’s humanitarian work in Honduras!?” To find the answer, you’ll need to read my memoir “I’ve Worn Many Hats”! Because the direction of my life changed so drastically, I wrote the book in two sections: life before Honduras and life after. The following reader response pretty much sums up the reaction I have received to the book: 

“Her candid account spanning decades of a long bumpy life evokes many emotions; laughter, empathy, shock, admiration. As I read the first half, I kept going back, re-reading and thinking, “she did what?!” In the second half of the book, I discovered what had inspired her to make such a drastic life change and accomplish “all this.” Anne’s memoir is hard to put down, in fact I read it twice! Bravo!” 


Born and raised in Toronto I grew up an only child in a traditional middle class Canadian family of the 40’s and 50’s. But my life has been anything but traditional! After finishing school my career included flight attendant with American Airlines, model, travel agent, world traveller, sales and marketing and almost 30 years in Human Resources as an entrepreneur/ business owner. I closed my company and retired in 2001 to take up another role, that of humanitarian. As someone once said when they described my various life pursuits during their introduction of me as that night’s speaker, “and she’s only 108 years old”! I live 6 months of the year in Honduras where I have spent the past 22 years developing a variety of community health and education programs.  

My web site: has the link to order on Amazon and the  book is available in both e book and paperback. 

To contact me: use Messenger under Anne Hamilton Fowler, or email:

Monday, July 10, 2023

Inspiration in Her Dreams by Fiona McGier


How fun to have Fiona McGier on Discover... for Muse Monday. And let me clue you in: all of her books are on sale at Smashwords in July. I've also heard some are free. Leave a comment and ask her about them!

Hello, I’m Fiona McGier. Have you ever wondered how authors get the ideas for their books?

For me, the answer is often dreams--vivid and convincing dreams, which show me the story arc my characters want me to write. One time I dreamed of a brilliant Black female scientist doing research into the brain chemicals involved with intelligence. Once she succeeded, her boss sent her home with orders to tell no one. When she balked at that she became the target of murderers sent to silence her. The dream also had the Mayan prediction of the end of time in 2012 as part of the setting. I started to write Keesha Brown's story but got stalled during the second chapter, where I had to introduce a man for her. I was going to have him be a Native American doctor, but it just wasn’t flowing out of me. So, I put it aside. 

Months later I had another dream in which a tall, pale man with white-blond hair spoke directly to me. Never before or since has a character spoken so boldly to me like that. He told me I was having writer's block because I was giving Keesha the wrong hero--it had to be him. Then he smiled, showing me his fangs. "Oh no," I told him, "I don't write vampires. They're too overdone. There's nothing more to say about them." He shook his head, still grinning, and told me, "Research the Mayans." I woke up the next morning and did just that.

What I found was that the religious and public rituals of the Mayans all involved blood sacrifices. Leaders would pierce themselves in various places, many of them sensitive, intimate areas, to produce blood collected on paper or fabrics, or in urns, to be offered to the gods. I wondered why the Mayans regarded blood as life—then I remembered those fangs in that sexy blond guy's mouth and saw him nod at me. Of course! Vampires were the Mayan gods! 

I pulled the manuscript up, tossed out the second chapter, and the rest of Prophecy of the Mayan Undead wrote itself. My vampires are intelligent and articulate because they are the ones who have what it takes to survive eternity. We all think we want to live forever but in reality, life is precious because it's ephemeral. Anything taken for granted loses its value. My supporting vampire characters include a 700-year-old Spanish teenager who crossed the Atlantic with Columbus, and his chosen mate for the last two-hundred years, a Russian man forever in his early twenties. The hero is Yuri Kozakov, brought across in his late twenties by Rasputin in the waning days of the Romanov Empire. César has lived for centuries in the Yucatan Peninsula surrounded by ancient Mayan structures, supporting himself as many vampires do, by being a part of the supply chain of illegal drugs that have no effect on the eternal ones, but render their cattle more controllable. And all are working in various ways to support the return of the Mayan gods as predicted for December 21, 2012. 

Blurb: Keesha wants to find a way to increase the intelligence of humans to save the world. What she finds is the secret to eternity that comes from the stars, and a love that can save her. Ying never expected to discover her own humanity in the arms of an alien--he never expected to fall in love. Can they join forces with others on Earth to face the return of the Mayan aliens and save humanity? 


Yuri is a Russian vampire who has been searching for years for someone to help him research what causes vampirism. He engineers a meeting to Keesha because he thinks with her intelligence, she can find his answers. Once he meets her, he is surprised to have his body respond to her generous curves, since he had thought himself to be "past all that". When she doesn't show up in the coffeehouse they had agreed to meet at, he goes to her apartment to find out why. When he finds evidence of a fight, he’s determined to find her.

     He quickly searched her apartment for anything that might give him any clue as to where she might have run to. Then he remembered the boyfriend.
     Of course. She’d have run there first. Now where is her computer? I can break into it and hopefully find an address or phone number for him.
It didn’t take him long to find what he searched for. With one final look around, he promised the air that he would make someone pay for the damage done to her piece of mind.
     If she’s been harmed, I’ll tear the limbs off the persons responsible and laugh while they bleed to death.
     A few minutes later, Yuri scaled the side of the building Dan lived in, up to the penthouse. He stood on the balcony watching and listening as Dan made a phone call.
     “Is it done yet?”
     He listened, and then responded in a petulant voice.
     “You said it would be done already. I know you are just waiting until they call you to tell you it’s done. Every minute that she’s still alive is another minute she could find someone to believe her about what’s been going on. That would jeopardize the plan.”
     He listened again and then sighed heavily.
     “Fine. Just let me know when it’s done, all right?”
     Yuri felt the growl start somewhere deep inside of his soul. He watched until the perfidious boyfriend turned his back to the balcony to pour some brandy into a snifter. He didn’t have time to turn around before Yuri sank his teeth into his neck to sip the blood while he delicately sorted through the recent memories.
     Two men were pursuing her. They chased her for days. They found her today. They are driving her to a desolate place so they can kill her. She knows too much. We can’t let her ruin all these centuries of planning.
     With a start, Yuri broke off the contact to stare at the man who collapsed at his feet.
     Centuries of planning? He’s mortal and too young to have even seen a half a century. What is this all about?
     “Danny-boy? When are you coming back to bed?” Two naked blonde women stood in the doorway leading to what apparently was the bedroom. They stared in shock at Yuri standing over the object of their desire.
     Throwing himself across the room, Yuri grabbed a wrist of each of the girls and twisted, forcing them to kneel in front of him.
     “Look at me,” he commanded aloud, while exerting enough mental force to capture their minds but not to destroy them. He created the memory of watching as Dan collapsed while pouring himself the brandy. No one else was in the room.
     He let go of them both, then turned and walked back to the balcony. Determined, he gathered his strength and took a deep breath, then imagined himself riding the night breezes out of the city. And he did.Universal buy link:

But for the month of July, since I self-pubbed this book on Smashwords, it’s half-price, so $1.49, ONLY if you purchase it at Smashwords:

Author BIO:

I write romances that involve strong, independent women who don't mind casual flings, but who are not looking to fall in love. Enter the man who decides this is the woman for him. I think that how they ultimately both realize that they have found the one is the most interesting part of a romance. I read and review romance because, as I've told my long-time HEA, the only men I'll cheat on him with live in books. Some I write, some I read. And he's okay with that. Phew!

Website:  (1st page is my blog.)

Friday, July 7, 2023

Ripping Out Roots by Kathleen Buckley


I love fearless stories of uprooting and going on an adventure. Enjoy Fearless Friday with Kathleen Buckley on Discover...

As my friends know, I am not a spontaneous person. Like most Capricorns, I tend to grow both roots and moss. But in December, 2007 I ripped out my roots. 

That month, a longtime friend and I visited Albuquerque, New Mexico. The vacation began  with bad news: my friend’s eighteen year job was ending. But on the second day of our trip, she found jobs in her field in the classified ads while I was reading one of those real estate magazines. I discovered Albuquerque had cheap real estate (by Seattle standards), and the cost of living was correspondingly low. She could rent out her Seattle house. She made the decision to move almost overnight. 

While we were figuring out how she could clear out her house, get a job, find a place to live in Albuquerque, and move herself and her cats, it occurred to me that I no longer loved Seattle: too big, too expensive, terrible traffic, and I had sinus infections and bronchitis more often than not. If I ever planned to retire, now was the time to get out. 

We’d been friends for thirty-five years. I hesitantly asked if she’d consider sharing a house. She would. We spent the time we weren’t in museums cruising neighborhoods. Back in Seattle, we house-shopped online and found about two dozen that looked promising. In mid-February, we flew down for four days to check them out. 

There was a house that looked great in the pictures online, like something in Spain or Italy. In person, it was…problematic. The scariest words I’ve ever heard in connection with real estate were, “…and the new addition is 100% up to code.” Bobby Unser’s first house was too far from shopping, hospitals and, well, everything else. There were two houses with casitas but they needed someone with major remodeling skills. 

We put in an offer on our first choice: two houses on a double lot, walking distance to the zoo and downtown, only to discover the owner had already accepted an offer. Our second choice was also gone. We got our third choice, actually the perfect fit for us: on a street that T-bones at both ends, with houses built in the mid-1950s in the pueblo style. My friend got a job within walking distance. 

Our casa needed some work, especially electrical, as houses in 1955 did not have microwaves, computers, printers, dishwashers, and phones that need to plug into an outlet. There were no kitchen appliances. My friend and her oldest stepdaughter came down to work on the house while I arranged to ship our houses’ furniture. They got by with a microwave, a Sunbeam electric skillet, a foam ice chest and a Mrs. Tea.   

All the linoleum tile in the original part of the house and the addition was toast. Her stepdaughter helped me put down ceramic tile over the slab in the old part of the house, and taught me to put down the rustic cherry tongue and groove flooring in the addition. The hardest part was loading and unloading the rented air compressor for the nail gun.

I never contemplated moving from Seattle until I heard myself saying, “If we both moved and shared a house…” 

How did I have the courage to tear up my roots? I have no idea, but I haven’t regretted it for a moment. My roots and my writing (stalled for years in Seattle) are flourishing in New Mexico’s arid but artistic soil. My eighth historical romance (lots of historical detail, no explicit sex scenes) was released in December, 2022. 

Here's the blurb for the eighth, A Peculiar Enchantment. Despite the cover it contains no fantasy or paranormal elements: Love is the most peculiar enchantment.


What can you look forward to, when your only relatives call you ugly, unbalanced, and a scandal?  What would you do if your only friend was threatened? Adelaide, forced to live as her half brother’s dependent, knows. 

Replaced as a marquess’s heir presumptive, Gervase Ducane should have taken up some career or married well, or both. He has wasted his chances and now his time is running out. At the house party Ducane was meant to court a well-dowered young lady. Adelaide was ordered to stay away. Sometimes when you least expect it, magic happens. 

After a varied career which included bookkeeping, a few years as a security officer, and many years as a paralegal, Kathleen Buckley began her writing career after moving to New Mexico. Her ninth book, By Sword and Fan,  will be released on October 18, 2023. 

A Peculiar Enchantment buy link:

Website: Powder & Patch & Peril