Bikers – Babes & Books Blast: The Cicada Series by Belle Whittington

Check out The Cicada Series by Belle Whittington, and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway–the link is at the bottom of the page!

Part Two
of the Cicada Trilogy
by Belle

“The darkest days are ahead of us,” Andrew whispered as the
drape of shadows slipped away, allowing Blair to awaken. And in her heart of
hearts she knew it was true. The unmistakable signs were all around her,
growing within her. She was becoming something more than human. All she could
do was accept the inevitable.

“I’ve become a freak … an alien. I no longer belong to the
human world,” Blair told her true love, and he held her close, determined never
to give her up. “I’d stay in this darkness forever as long as I could be with
you.  Wherever you are … that’s my home.”
Everett meant every word. In fact, he’d willingly give up his own life to
protect the girl he’d always loved.

But there was a storm brewing … a firestorm so strong and
catastrophic that it could keep them apart forever.

That storm roared into town wearing a brown leather bomber
jacket and riding a motorcycle.

Ash was like a secret in human clothing … a dangerous
secret. Everything about him was mesmerizing – right down to the swirls of ink
that flowed over the smooth muscles across his chest and around his arms. Being
with him was like playing with fire.

Blair knew all about playing with fire.

She knew something else, too. A small quiet voice deep
within whispered that she really would be separated from everyone and
everything she’d known and loved.

Because some secrets run too deep

Belle resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small
inconsequential town with the smallest most inconsequential name. There in the
shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams of adventures and
secrets that she weaves throughout her stories. 
She studied literature at University of Houston and is quite sure that
she has the best readers and fans in the whole wide world.

(for free e-book autographs) ~
Pinterest ~    Google +  

Youtube ~  

Where my books are

Paperback &


Places that Inspired!
Readers of my CICADA
trilogy enter the story at the Sonic in a small, inconsequential, southeast
Texas town.
To those just passing through on their way to other places, Willis
appears to be a tiny town at the crossroads of IH-45 and FM 1097.  Many have nicknamed Willis as a “bedroom
community”, which generally means that most people commute to neighboring towns
for work.

as you may have guessed, there’s more to Willis,
than meets the eye.  This
mysterious town stretches its arms out into the great Piney Woods like antennae
searching for secrets that lay hidden in the unlikeliest of places.  It’s in those places, nestled beneath the
shady canopies of the pines and ancient oaks, you’ll find most of the places my
characters visit in FIREFLY.

Lake Conroe,
for instance, plays a role in the lives of the town folk of Willis and also in
the lives of my main character Blair Reynolds, her family, friends, and even a
foe.  For, you see, the murky waters of
Lake Conroe lap at the eastern boundary of the family ranch.  Not only has the lake provided hours of
enjoyment in the lives of many of the characters, but it also ends up saving
Blair in the ending chapters of FIREFLY. 
If you haven’t visited the lake, you should do so sometime … either on
vacation or by picking up my books!

Before my characters
prepare to travel to unknown territories south of the border, there are a few
stops in Willis where they even bump into actual residents.  If you’re considering a weekend trip to
discover where it all happens in FIREFLY, you’ve got to include The Pizza Shack on your list of “must
visit” locations.  You can even sit at
the same table where Ash and Blair share a pizza together after a run-in at the
local Walgreens.

Like most
coming-of-age stories, my characters grow and move on to different places.  In the case of Blair and her friends, those
places lie deep in the jungles of Brazil where another small, inconsequential
town called Cândido Godói harbors
secrets about the connection between them and the extraterrestrials that have become
a dangerous reality in their lives.  But,
to find out more about that, you’ll have to wait for the release of MONARCH in

Check out my books CICADA and FIREFLY, then plan a trip to
visit Willis, Texas!  Though the town may
seem small, the adventures are quite the opposite!  


Belle Whittington
is a Featured author at

To see the entire list of Featured authors for this event along with all the details visit the website..

eCopy of Firefly!!

Guest Post: A Regency Festive Season, by Giselle Marks

A Regency Festive Season

By Giselle Marks


“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens gave most of us our first indication that Christmas was celebrated differently in the past than how we do today. Charles Dickens wrote mostly in his own period and “the Carol” is set in three time-spans; past, present and future to make his point about celebrating Christmas with the proper festive spirit. It is easy to assume a Victorian traditional Christmas was how it had always been. But Christmas trees came to Britain from Germany with the Prince Consort Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and most of our favourite Christmas carols are only Victorian in origin.

This article is going out on or just after Christmas so I decided to discuss the celebration of Christmas in England in the Regency period. Both of my Regency novels touch on the festivities at Christmas and on St Stephen’s day which is now known in the Western World as Boxing Day. I very nearly made a serious mistake about that in “the Fencing Master’s Daughter.” As my heroine Madelaine is half French, I wrote the chapter headings in French. I correctly translated St Stephen to Stephan in French and no one noticed the mistake. I would have been correct for French speaking Swiss but the French themselves call that particular St Stephen, St Etienne. But luckily I spotted that mistake before publication.

Oliver Cromwell, who led the Commonwealth in Britain after the execution of Charles I, banned all celebration of Christmas throughout the country, a ban that caused riots and the taking over of Canterbury by the population who decorated all the building with holly as part of their protest. Christmas was reinstated by Charles II and the carrying in of a Yule log was resumed, along with decorating homes with fir branches, holly and ivy tied with colourful ribbons accompanied by parties and lavish festive food and drink to celebrate the twelve days of the feast of Christmas. Twelfth night, the 6th of January was the traditional day when all decorations would be taken down and life would resume as usual.

Many of the clergy still disapproved of the celebration of Christmas and in Scotland such festivities were discouraged by the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Christmas was not officially made a holiday in Scotland until 1958.

English Christmas Carols were first identified by a Shropshire chaplain, John Awdley in 1426 who transcribed “25 Caroles of Christmas” which were probably sung by groups of “wassailers.” Wassailers expected to be supplied with drink and food by their hosts, as a wassail was both a toast and the drink, frequently spiced heated cider. But reformers like Martin Luther authored Christmas Carols encouraging their use. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”, “The First Noel”, “I Saw Three Ships” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” are printed in Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833) by William Sandys which is slightly later than the Regency period

“Personent hodie”, “Good King Wenceslas”, and “The Holly and the Ivy” go back to the Middle Ages, and are among the oldest musical compositions still regularly sung. The favourite “Silent Night” was first performed in the Regency in Nikolaus-Kirche (Church of St. Nicholas) in Oberndorf, Austria in 1818. But did not appear in English until 1871 when published in a Methodist hymnal.

While Christian services became a large part of Christmas festivities in England, most British would enjoy a feast, presents and family parties to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. Most good landowners and employers gave some small presents to their tenants’ families and employees at Christmas as is shown in “the Fencing Master’s Daughter” where Edward gives a party on Christmas Eve for his tenants’ and villagers’ families. Here is a tiny sample of that book about the preparations for that party.

“The banqueting hall had already been festooned with greenery under cousin Almira’s direction and barrels of beer and cider had been placed on trestle tables at one side of the hall to settle after being rolled into position. The banqueting hall was not much used except for open days and was adjacent to Chalcombe Manor’s ballroom which would be used for country dancing in the afternoon of the party. Cousin Almira was directing a group of maids over the arrangement of garlands of beribboned greenery around the ballroom as footmen climbed ladders to tend the vast chandeliers arranging fresh candles in each holder.”

The family then attended Church and spent the Christmas Day itself largely by themselves but the following day held a ball for the local gentry. It is also traditional for landowners to hold shooting parties over their land either before or after Christmas Day as part of their social activities. In “the Marquis’s Mistake” I do not dwell on how Christmas was celebrated around the Duke’s seat of Langsdown Castle, as at this point in the story what happens to Alicia is more important. She has a fairly quiet Christmas in Aylesbury along with her family.

Here is a small snippet from the Marquis’s Mistake:

“Christmas came and was enjoyed by all, there was plenty of good food and everyone had a good time. They attended church in Aylesbury together and then sat down to a fine goose for dinner. Alicia missed Sebastian but she joined in with the children’s games playing spillikins and charades with delight. The girls were very pleased with their presents, mostly of new prettier clothes.”

But the giving of gifts was quite open in the Regency period and was not ascribed to Santa Claus or even St Nicholas, because those traditions are more modern. Whether you hold a Christian celebration, celebrate the pagan festivals of Yule or Saturnalia or perhaps practice any other religion, may I wish you a very happy holiday and hope you all enjoy your festivities in your own ways. As the Angels announced in Luke 2:14:-

“Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.”


The Marquis’s Mistake
by Giselle Marks


Devastatingly handsome Sebastian, Marquis of Farndon awaits a lady, a present from his best friend Stephen for his thirtieth birthday. Alicia Lambert fleeing from a forced marriage is shown into his room by mistake. Inebriated from celebrating his return to England, Sebastian disbelieves her protests and is reluctant to let her escape. Meeting him later in London, Alicia is relieved he does not recognise her. But when he pursues her and proposes marriage, she doubts his feelings for her are real. Sebastian wants to protect Alicia from the machinations of the blackguard Major Mallinder as he fears for her life and that of her aunt Maud. But will Sebastian’s natural intelligence be enough to deal with the ruthlessness of Alexander Mallinder?


About the Author

1ladies head

Giselle Marks has been writing for many years. She has written two Regency Romances and a Fantasy/ Sci-fi series with erotic content. Her first published novel, The Fencing Master’s Daughter was launched by Front Porch Romance in September 2013. Her second Regency Romance, The Marquis’s Mistake was released by them in December 2013. Her Fantasy series, The Zeninan Saga is currently being edited by Nevermore Press and should start appearing in the near future. They hope to release the first in the saga, Princess of Zenina in February to March 2014. Giselle is currently working on an erotic fantasy novella called Lucy, which she hopes will be available in next year and a number of other projects.

Guest Blogger: Aaron Paul Lazar, Author of The Seacrest

I Do Believe in Spooks!

Living in an antique home has its problems, especially when you’re not a handyman. My father taught me all sorts of wonderful things when he was alive, including passion for the arts, gardening, nature, gourmet cooking, and a good mystery. But he didn’t know much about mechanical, plumbing, electrical, or woodworking skills. Though I’ve tried to learn over the years with self-help books and advice from friends, I remain singularly unhandy, perpetually bowing with an unholy need to the whims of the local plumber and electrician.

Take, for example, the twenty-six windows that are crumbling as we speak. The six by nine inch panes are coming loose from their wooden mullions with alarming frequency. Or the floorboards in our bedroom, a lovely old yellow pine, that poke up like teepees when it’s hot and muggy. Yeah, they need to be treated with poly something-or-other, but for now, the moisture makes them swell. Consider the two wells that sometimes work in concert, except for the hundred times a year I have to run down to the cobwebbed cellar and reset the breakers or tap on the pump to make it work.
The disadvantages are many.

But, there are also benefits, such as the three working fireplaces. Or the soil that surrounds the property, rich and black, untouched by bulldozers. It’s not like the hard packed fill they put in new housing tracts. I don’t need amend this soil. I just need to keep up with the produce and flowers.

Most intriguing of all, however, is the rich history.

Our house was built in 1811 by Dr. John Hunt. I admit, compared to many homes in Europe it’s just an infant. But in terms of our country and its young age, 1811 isn’t exactly contemporary. Think about it. This house was built and lived in over fifty years before the civil war!

Imagine the births, deaths, dramas, romances, and heartaches that occurred within these rooms. Did the inhabitants suffer from small pox? Starvation? Were they affluent? How many horses or cows did they own? And how many ghosts linger in these plaster and lathe walls?

Let’s examine the past 100 years. We live on Hunts Corners, named for the original owner of our home. My daughter Allison and I have found his grave and that of his descendants in an ancient cemetery on a nearby hill.

According to an elderly neighbor, over seven people have died on Hunts Corners. Traffic accidents. Drivers not stopping for the all-way stop signs, or sliding on ice, or drunk drivers plowing right into the telephone pole. Sad to think about. Makes you wonder about their spirits. Did they ascend to Heaven? Or do a few guilty souls remain in the area, confused and wandering, seeking the path to redemption?

Recently, I began to ponder another death disclosed to me by a neighbor. We began to correspond after he read a few of my books. He’s a bright and entertaining young fellow who happens to be a voracious reader. We clicked. And we chat back and forth about books and life and sometimes about the history of our area.

It seems Hunts Corners has a mystery all its own, stemming from the early 1900s. As the story goes, my young neighbor’s great grandmother noticed something odd one day. (I’ll invent names to protect the innocent or guilty as the case may be.) While going about her daily chores, Mabel McAvey realized she hadn’t seen the young girl who lived next door in a long time. Anna no longer attended school, and rarely made an appearance outside the home. When she finally caught a glimpse of the girl, Mabel noticed a thickening in her middle, well-wrapped by heavy garments. She suspected the girl was with child. In that era, a pregnancy out of wedlock was unthinkable. Shameful. A sin. The family would endure public humiliation if news got out. So Anna was sequestered for nine long months as Mabel spied on her and watched the child grow in her belly.

When the time came for the baby to be born, there was no activity in the house. No child was seen. No doctor arrived. All was quiet.

Speculation grew. Was the child stillborn? Or worse, was she murdered by a family cloaked in shame? Rumors were that the little baby was buried behind Anna’s house.

Since then, there have been reports of children pointing behind the house, exclaiming about the “little girl in the weeds.” My neighbor’s six-year-old daughter “saw” her, with no prompting.

“Daddy? Who’s that little girl in the weeds? Can I play with her?”

My friend saw no one, and this happened many times. His daughter clearly saw someone out there.

So, although no adults have seen her, I think I might have, last winter.

I rose early to photograph our Christmas lights. They were unusually festive last year, better than all past years. We’d added a few light-up deer to graze in splendor on the snowy lawn, and I was bound and determined to capture the scene during the blackest of night.

It was a clear, chill morning. Five A.M. Not a breeze stirred. Most households were fast asleep. Few cars passed by.

I brought my trusty Canon Powershot outdoors and took dozens of photos. Later, when I viewed them on my PC, I saw the ghost. There she was, looking straight at me with wide open eyes. Filmy, transparent, but with a clear face and body. Only two shots revealed her, although I took dozens that morning.

These photos are untouched, straight from the camera card. And yes, I know there’s probably a scientific explanation. Maybe the light from the flash illuminated ice crystals in the air, causing a momentary illusion. Maybe it reflected off my frozen breath that puffed into the night. Maybe – who knows? She sure looked real. Can you see her? In the first photo, she has a long neck like ET and looks rather surprised. In the second, her Casper-like face is hovering over the car. See it?

Last night I woke to a tapping sound. Usually it’s Balto in his bed, scratching an itch and thumping up against the wall. I rose to check, but he lay still, mouth open, breathing evenly.

Could it be my grandson knocking on the door? I looked. No little boy stood silhouetted in the dark. All was quiet.

I tumbled back to bed, ready to snuggle in and resume the great dream I’d been having that took me away to exotic colorful locales and luscious meals.

The tapping resumed.

I rose up and stared outside. Headlights flashed by, briefly pouring cones of light into the darkness. Was that a flash of white? A face? Or simply a reflection on the rain-soaked street?

The tapping returned. Rhythmic. Evenly spaced. Over and over again.

Something was outside my window. On the second floor. Twenty feet above the ground.

Could it be the little girl, needing to connect with me and spill her story?

Icy fingers tap-danced down my spine. I burrowed beneath the covers and closed my eyes tight.

I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do believe in spooks.




They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Finn McGraw disagrees.

He was just seventeen when he had a torrid summer affair with the girl who stole his heart—and then inexplicably turned on him. Finn may have moved on with his life, but he’s never forgotten her.

Now, ten years later, he’s got more than his lost love to worry about. A horrific accident turns his life upside down, resurrecting the ghosts of his long-dead family and taking the lives of the few people he has left.

Finn always believed his estranged brother was responsible for the fire that killed their family—but an unexpected inheritance with a mystery attached throws everything he knows into doubt.

And on top of that, the beguiling daughter of his wealthy employer has secrets of her own. But the closer he gets, the harder she pushes him away.

The Seacrest is a story of intrigue and betrayal, of secrets and second chances—and above all, of a love that never dies.

Buy Links:


Smashwords ISBN: 9781301029730

Amazon Print: ISBN-13: 978-1493548675 ; ISBN-10: 1493548670 (coming soon)

Amazon Link:

Smashwords Link:



AUTHOR BIO: Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming releases THE SEACREST (2013), SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).





Facebook (personal page)


Google Plus:

Author’s Den:

My Top 5 Urban Fantasy Series

Hi, all!

Today I’m re-posting a guest post I recently did for Maryann Miller’s blog It’s Not All Gravy.

One of the things that I love best about paranormal fiction is its crossover potential. It’s not uncommon to find paranormal novels that have elements of mystery, romance, fantasy, or even science fiction. But because of this tendency, it’s easy to find a single novel filed under a variety of categories, and the catchall category for these kinds of novels is “urban fantasy,” a term that is even now being renegotiated (as I note in my review of The Urban Fantasy Anthology published by Tachyon Press‎). Terminology quibbles aside, though, the following books are the first in some of my own favorite urban fantasy series.


Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Book 1) by Laurell K. Hamilton
This was probably the first book I ever heard called a “urban fantasy”—though the term Hamilton used for it was “paranormal mystery.” In the early novels of this series, Anita Blake, is based more on the gritty noir detective than the romance heroine. Though the series shifts toward the erotic later, the early novels are still among my favorite paranormal mysteries/urban fantasies.



Stray (Shifters, Book 1) by Rachel Vincent
Stray is definitely one of the urban fantasy series that draws heavily from the romance-novel tradition. But I especially like the way Vincent deals with gender issues in the series—Faythe, the narrator, belongs to a race of big-cat shapeshifters that produces very few females, so she is a strong woman in a deeply misogynistic world.


Kitty and the Midnight Hour

Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville, Book 1) by Carrie Vaughn
The initial premise, a werewolf named Kitty, made me laugh out loud, and the first novel hooked me. I’m impressed by Vaughn’s continuing ability to keep the series going, despite moving beyond many of the romance-novel tropes that plague much urban fantasy.



Nightlife (Cal Leandros, Book 1) by Rob Thurman
What I love most about Rob Thurman’s books is that she is so very adept at lulling the reader into complacency, into accepting the narrator’s version of events, and then twisting the story in ways that are shocking and delightful. Nightlife does this beautifully, but so does Trick of the Light, the first Trickster novel. That Thurman manages to do it again and again is part of what keeps me coming back to her work!



Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, Book 1) by Faith Hunter
I’m a fan of shapeshifter novels in general, and of this series in particular. I like Hunter’s twist on the shapeshifter standards—in these novels, Jane shares her body and her consciousness with a big cat she calls Beast. Watching the two of them negotiating their shared life is almost as much fun as watching them work through whatever mysteries and problems come their way because of Jane’s job as bodyguard to vampires.


My own urban fantasy, Legally Undead, is due out in 2014 from World Weaver Press. In the meantime, check out my paranormal mystery, Waking Up Dead:

Waking Up Dead

When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, when she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up dead in Alabama?

Buy Waking Up Dead
Paperback and Kindle from Amazon:

Paperback from these booksellers:
Barnes & Noble:
Books A Million:
Book Depository:

About the Author

Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.


Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page:
Twitter: @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page:
Facebook Author Page:
Facebook Novel Page:
Manic Readers:

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead and Legally Undead to your Goodreads bookshelves:

Book Trailers for Waking Up Dead:

Cover Reveal: Bred by Magic by Diana Marie DuBois

Title: Bred by Magic 
Author: Diana Marie DuBois 
Series: Voodoo Vows
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher   Three Danes Publishing LLC
Release Date:  Feb 4, 2014?
What do you get when you mix magic with one of the most prestigious dogs in Germany?   You get something special and powerful.  In a time when witches were hunted down and burned a famous alchemist devised a plan to help protect them.  One particular puppy who is predestined for someone in our time learns all she can before heading on the journey of her life.
My mother always told me and my siblings that we were special. But, that’s something all mothers say…. Isn’t it? What you don’t always hear is that you’re part of the litter of Great Dane puppies destined to protect the witches and warlocks throughout time. We just have to find one another, before our time runs out….

As a young girl, Diana Marie Dubois was an avid reader and was often found in the local public library. Now you find her working in her local library. Hailing from the culture filled state of Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans; she lives with her three Great Danes and four spunky mutts.  Her biggest inspiration has always been the infamous Anne Rice and her tales of Vampires. It was those very stories that inspired Diana to take hold of her dreams and begin writing. She is now working on her first series, Voodoo Vows.

Places to find Diana