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.

****

500

SEACREST Book BLURB:

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:

Amazon ASIN: B00G1TDBRI

Smashwords ISBN: 9781301029730

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

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/16pjh4ihttp://amzn.to/16pjh4i

Smashwords Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/369357https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/369357

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/17dYYY8http://bit.ly/17dYYY8

***

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 http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming releases THE SEACREST (2013), SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).

CONNECT/ONLINE LINKS:

Website http://www.lazarbooks.com

Blog1 http://www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com/http://www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com

Blog2 http://www.murderby4.blogspot.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AaronPaulLazarTwitterhttps://www.facebook.com/AaronPaulLazarTwitter (personal page)

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/629566.Aaron_Paul_Lazarhttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/629566.Aaron_Paul_Lazar

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/106903480874581085678/postshttps://plus.google.com/106903480874581085678/posts

Author’s Den: http://www.authorsden.com/aaronplazar1http://www.authorsden.com/aaronplazar1

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.

guiltypleasures

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.

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Stray

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.

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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.

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Nightlife

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!

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skinwalker

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.

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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: http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Up-Dead-ebook/dp/B00FOXWLM8/

Paperback from these booksellers:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/waking-up-dead-margo-bond-collins/1117526839?ean=9781493750467
Books A Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Waking-Up-Dead/Margo-Bond-Collins/9781493750467?id=5868658257083
Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Waking-Up-Dead-Margo-Bond-Collins/9781493750467
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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.

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Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575
Tumblr: http://vampirarchybooks.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/
Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/MargoBondCollins/

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead and Legally Undead to your Goodreads bookshelves:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18366353-legally-undead

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?
Blurb/Synopsis:
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

Insanity by Cameron Jace

Title: Insanity
Author: Cameron Jace
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected publication: December 20, 2013

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

Excerpt from chapter 1

The writing on the wall says it’s January 14th. I am not sure what year. I haven’t been sure of many things lately, but I’m wondering if it’s my handwriting I’m looking at.
There is an strange key drawn underneath the date. It’s carved with a sharp object, probably a broken mirror. I couldn’t have written this. I’m terrified of mirrors. They love to call it Catoptrophobia around here.
Unlike regular patients in the asylum, my room is windowless, stripped down to a single mattress in the middle, a sink, and bucket for peeing–or puking–when necessary. The tiles on the floor are black-and-white squares, like a chessboard. I never step on black. Always white. Again, I’m not sure why.
The walls are smeared with a greasy pale green everywhere. I wonder if it’s the previous patient’s brains spattered all over from shock therapy. In the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum, politely known as the Warneford hospital, the doctors have a sweet spot for shock therapy. They love watching patients with bulging eyes and shivering limbs begging for relief from the electricity. It makes me question who is really mad in here.
It’s been a while since I was sent to shock therapy myself. Dr. Tom Truckle, my supervising physician, said I don’t need it anymore, particularly after I stopped mentioning Wonderland. He told me that I used to talk about it all the time; a dangerous place I claim I have been whisked away to when my elder sister lost me at the age of seven.
Truth is, I don’t remember this Wonderland they are talking about. I don’t even know why I am here. My oldest vivid memory is from a week ago. Before that, it’s all a purple haze.
I have only one friend in this asylum. It’s not a doctor or a nurse. And it’s not a human. It doesn’t hate, envy, or point a finger at you. My friend is an orange flower I keep in a pot; a Tiger Lily I can’t live without. I keep it safe next to a small crack in the wall where a single sun ray sneaks through for only ten minutes a day. It might not be enough light to grow a flower, but my Tiger Lily is a tough girl.
Each day, I save half of the water they give me for my flower. As for me, better thirsty than mad.
My orange flower is also my personal rain check for my sanity. If I talk to her and she doesn’t reply, I know I am not hallucinating. If it talks back to me, all kinds of nonsense starts to happen. Insanity prevails. There must be a reason why I am here. It doesn’t mean I will easily give in to such a fate.
“Alice Pleasance Wonder. Are you ready?” the nurse knocks with her electric prod on my steel door. Her name is Waltraud Wagner. She is German. Everything she says sounds like a threat and smells like smoke. My fellow mad people say she is a Nazi; that she used to kill her own patients back in Germany. “Get avay vrom za dor. I an coming in,” she demands.
Listening to the rattling of her large keychain, my heart pounds in my chest. The turn of the key makes me want to swallow. When the door opens, all I can think of is choking her before she begins to hurt me. Sadly, her neck is too thick for my nimble hands. I stare at her almost-square figure for a moment. Everything about her is four sizes too big, all except her feet, which are as small as mine. My sympathies, little feet.
“Time for your daily ten-minute break,” she approaches me with a straitjacket, a devilish grin on her face. I never get out. My ward is underground, and I take my break in another empty ward upstairs, where patients love to play soccer with a hedgehog’s head.
A big muscled warden stands behind Watlraud. Thomas Ogier. He is bald, has an angry-red face and a silver tooth he likes to flash whenever he sees me. His biceps are the size of my head. I have a hard time believing he has ever been a 4-pound baby.
“Slide your arms into the jacket,” Waltraud demands in her German accent, a cigarette puckered between her lips. “Slow and easy, Alice,” she nods at warden Ogier, in case I misbehave.
I comply obediently and stretch out my arms for her to do whatever she wants. Waltraud twists my right arm slightly and checks the tattoo on my arm. It’s the only tattoo I have. It’s a handwritten sentence that looks like a thin arm band from afar. Waltraud feels the need to read it allowed, “’I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.’” I was told I have written it myself while still believing in Wonderland. “That Alice in Wonderland has really messed with your head.” She puffs smoke into my face as she mocks me.
The tattoo and Waltraud’s mocking is the least of my concerns right now. I let her tie me, and while she does, I close my eyes. I imagine I am a sixteenth century princess, some kind of a lucky Cinderella, being squeezed into a corset by my chain smoking servant in a fairy tale castle above ground, just about to go meet my Prince Charming. Such imagery always helps me breathe. I once heard that it was hope that saves the day, not sanity. I need to cool down before I begin my grand escape.

Things you might want to know:

Cameron writes books that he can’t find elsewhere, basically to amuse himself. Everything Cameron does is for fun, so don’t take him seriously. Never call him a writer. He hates that. He prefers the word: Storyteller, or the boy next door who claims he can tell stories.

If you like his books, horaaaay! He loves ya too. If ya don’t, hoooray! Now we know in advance that this relationship isn’t going to work.

Although his books are ordinary on the surface, they hold many secrets that he might reveal one day. What matters the most to him are characters struggling to find their identities and place in the world.

Things you don’t need to know:

He celebrates his birthday twice a year, the day he was born and Friday the 13th. He wants to live in a bubble house. He is a damn good guitar player. He is damn good architecture college drop out. He likes boats, beaches, bears, beards, bananas, bars, barfights, beans, bikes, bones, butter, babes, bakery, blizzards, and pirates (he thought it was spelled Birates when he was a kid.)

And honestly, writing in third person sucks! It’s so fake. 

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Highlight hosted by Good Choice Reading Blog Tours

Author Interview with D.M. Sears

Welcome today to D.M. Sears, author of Eden’s Mark and Eden’s Darkness, the second novel of the Ellethny series–forthcoming in 2014!
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• Tell us a little about yourself.
Let’s see, that is kind of hard. I usually don’t talk about myself, but since you asked…

I am a mother to a 12 year old daughter. I start with that because she is my life. This whole book series began because of her (it was a bedtime story). We live in Mid-Missouri, which most of you probably think is boring, and you are right! However, I love it here, the country is peaceful.

I am a baker on the side, when I am not working or writing, and recently was told my name about town is Cupcake Diana! I sing a lot, used to sing for weddings and such, now it is reserved for the unfortunate souls in my car and karaoke!

• What inspired you to write your latest release?
The Ellethny Series began as a bedtime story for my daughter when she was young. Her middle name being Eden, I thought it would be exciting for her. As the years went by, the story unfolded into this world that I never knew was inside my head. The voices began to scream at me until I wrote them down, gave them names, and a place to live. They are perfectly happy now ;).

• Was there a certain moment of the book that was your favorite to write?
I enjoyed the moments when Eden really has to think about things, come to terms with her life, her reality. We all have these moments and my goal was to create the link from character to reader, hopefully I did that.

• Who is your favorite author?
I have more books than I can count, so picking one is too tough. I will say, I read Eon and Eona by Alliason Goodman, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and the four books in the Inheritance Cycle by Paolini at least 15 to 20 times a year, if not more. I am also an Anne Rice, Christine Feehan, J.R.R Tolkien, and P.C. Cast book lover too!

• Tell us one thing about yourself that people would be surprised to find out.
I am the biggest nerd you have ever met! I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Legend, Hobbit, and all those Sci-fi movies! My movie collection is full of them and that makes me happy. I also game, no really, WoW, Diablo 3, etc…love it all =D.

• Do you have any advice for anyone hoping to write their first novel?
Just keep at it! Nothing comes easy, and your first novel, novella, etc. is the same. You will find your groove and when you complete that work of art you toiled over forever, the feeling of pride and accomplishment will flood you!

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Eden's Mark

Eden’s Mark, Book One in the Ellethny Series

What would you do if you had to save a world you knew nothing about?

Eden Arik was a typical teenager who lived the typical teenage life…until the pale eyes showed up in her dreams. The birthmark, Eden had always ignored, burned at the new nightmares, raising questions about her past. Eden finds out she is more than a mere human that is destined to save a world she never knew existed. Her only solitude is the woods behind her house where she meets a mysterious stranger with steel eyes. With the help of her guardians, two unlikely shape shifters, and a vampire who can bring her to her knees with one glance, Eden goes on to search the secrets of her past, present, and future. Along her way to discovery, Eden comes across Circenn; her grandmother, consort to the Darkness and the evil magic he possess. Circenn will stop at nothing to bring Eden to the darkness so she can harness her granddaughter’s limitless power. Seduction, power, and death pave the way towards Eden’s destiny and the fate of Ellethny.

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Eden’s Darkness, Book Two in the Ellethny Series (Forthcoming)

Time waits for no man, or so they say. Darkness has but a little time to find a vessel to inhabit so he can find his true form, only problem is…Eden is the key. She is tied to his future, giving him his true form, or casting him back into the shadows for another millennium. Circenn is mad with jealousy at the revelation and wants to destroy her granddaughter more than ever.

For Eden, things just go from bad to worse. Terrifying nightmares of death and betrayal surrounds Eden, nightmares about her beloved. With a child on the way, she must protect the future ruler of her new home and raise an army to defeat Circenn and Darkness.

The life she hoped would be hers hangs in the balance in the second installment of the Ellethny Series. To be released in Feb/March 2014 from Solstice Shadows.

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About the Author

DMSEARS

D.M. Sears lives in Missouri with her daughter and one crazy cat. Her first paranormal fantasy, Eden’s Mark, was recently published by Solstice Publishing. D.M. Sears is a Director of an early childhood center and bakes cupcakes on the side. She loves most genres of books and has just signed a publishing contract for Eden’s Darkness, Book 2 in the Ellethny Series, which will be out Feb/March 2014.

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Connect with D.M. Sears

Twitter: @DMSears1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diana.sears2
Website: http://myrissaeden1.wix.com/ellethnyseries
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Five Types of Regency Romance Heroes by Giselle Marks

Welcome today to Regency Romance author Giselle Marks, here today to discuss Five Types of Regency Romance Heroes.

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Are there 5 types of Regency Heroes?
By Giselle Marks

I had a great deal of difficulty writing this article, because no matter which way I categorise Regency heroes there are always some that fit into more than one category or do not fit in at all. So with the caveat that this only covers the majority but not all Regency heroes, this is what I came up with:

1. The Byronic or rakish:- this is where the dark brooding hunks of manhood go. So Heathcliff, Mr Rochester, and my favourite Jasper Damerel, Justin and his son Dominic Alastair all slot in here. (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, by Emily and Charlotte Bronte. Venetia, These Old Shades and Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer.

I will admit to being an unapologetic Georgette Heyer fan so many of the examples I will use are from her novels. I think the Byronic is the largest group of heroes in Regency Romances and they are frequently so predictably written that they lack depth to their characters.

2. The Martial:- former soldiers, sailors or even possibly pirates and duellists. So Hugh Darracott, Jack Staple, Caleb Armitage, Richard Sharpe and my own Edward Charrington. (The Unknown Ajax, The Black Moth, Death of a Fop, The Sharpe series, and The Fencing Master’s Daughter. The first two by Georgette Heyer, the others by Sarah J. Waldock, Bernard Cornwell and me, respectively.)

I have added Richard Sharpe here, knowing perfectly well that he is not considered a Regency Romantic hero as Bernard Cornwell writes historical fiction not historical romance. Here I confess to sitting on the fence because I try to write historically accurate Regency Romances. I often find the martial characters like Sharpe and Horatio Hornblower more interesting because they are implicitly capable leaders and have more to them than a title and a social standing.

3. The Corinthian:- this group includes the sportsmen, the expert riders, whipsters and those who have specialist interests or hobbies. So here we have Beau Wyndham, Sir Waldo Hawkridge, Matthew Lotherwood, Marquis of Bradbourne (The Corinthian and The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer and The Grand Passion by Elizabeth Mansfield.)

The flattering terms Corinthian and Nonesuch from Heyer’s titles say it all; these are men’s men who are admired for their sporting prowess. I wonder whether their brides were so happy for their husbands to engage in dangerous sporting activities after their marriages.

4. The Understated:- the quiet non-flamboyant man. I put Gideon, Duke of Sale, Gervase Frantin and George Knightley into this group. (The Foundling and The Quiet Gentleman by Georgette Heyer and Emma by Jane Austen.)

These are men who do not have to yell out their orders to get things done. They are practical, charismatic men without the complicated temperaments of the brooding Byronic heroes. Not so sexily romantic but would probably have made excellent loving husbands.

5. The Decided:- also called the waiting bridegrooms. These are men who have made up their minds on the lady they want quickly but may have a wait before she can marry them. Colonel Brandon, Lord Henry Marchnight, Lord Worth and Lord Farndon can all be put in this group. (Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer, Lady Polly by Nicola Cornick and my own The Marquis’s Mistake)

Circumstances may have prevented the hero proposing earlier, such as the bride being much younger than himself, his financial situation, parental opposition or other temporarily insurmountable obstacles.

I have left out a number of Regency heroes who could be placed in more than one group and have largely decided to keep to the period and traditional Regency Romances for examples. There are sub-groups and exceptions but most of the most memorable Regency heroes fall into these groups.

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Books by Giselle Marks:

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The Fencing Master’s Daughter by Giselle Marks

Edward, Earl of Chalcombe, walking home, is attacked by footpads. He attempts to defend himself but is bludgeoned to the ground. Death seems inevitable when a fat ugly man carrying a stick and a beautiful slender young lady appear.

The young lady stumbles and picks up his dropped foil, dispatching one footpad and injuring another. The fat man belabours a third with his stick. The footpads flee, leaving their deceased comrade behind. The rescuers bundle Edward home.

The young lady, Madelaine summons the Bow Street runners. Refusing reward she provides no address. But Edward fascinated by both Madelaine’s beauty and swordsmanship intends to pursue the acquaintance. Edward seeks his rescuers and the culprits who wish to terminate his life. Offering the elusive Madelaine marriage but she repeatedly declines. Her father accepts an invitation to visit his estate with her over Christmas as he takes a liking to Edward.

As Edward pursues Madelaine, the attempts on his life continue. The sinister French spy, Major Furet, discovered as the arch nemesis in both Edward and Madelaine’s stories. The mystery intertwines as their romance progresses and Madelaine eventually reveals the secret making her refuse to marry him.

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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?

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About the Author

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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.

UtopYA Authors Holiday Giveaway

Hello, and welcome to the Unofficial UtopYA Authors Holiday Giveaway!

What is this giveaway all about? Getting you — the readers — into the holiday spirit! Each day there will be a new prize pack being given away, loaded with awesome authors all united by the fantastic YA/NA Convention, UtopYA! We hope you’ll love our prize packs, but that’s not all that’s being given away. To top off the holiday spirit, we’re giving away TWO, that’s right, TWO fully loaded Kindle HDs! Two lucky winners will receive Kindle HDs, loaded with EVERY book being given away in the giveaway prize packs! So what are you waiting for? Check out today’s prize pack, and enter to win one of twenty-seven fantastic prizes! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 🙂

Without further ado, here are the amazing books in the Day 17 Prize Pack after the jump!

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Tagged for a Blog Hop by Tianna Holley

Author Tianna Holley tagged me on Twitter for a blog hop, and you can find her answers to these questions on her blog. You can also find her on Twitter as @holley_tianna (seriously–follow her! 🙂 ). Here are my answers to the questions, and now I will find five random authors on Twitter to continue the hop. Should be fun reaching out randomly to others and seeing what everyone has to say!

What are You Writing?

Right now, I am in the process of editing a young adult fantasy entitled Fairy, Texas (due out in 2014 from Solstice Shadows Publishing); editing a contemporary romance; and writing the sequel to Waking Up Dead. I’ve also started sketching out ideas for several other novels including a sequel to my forthcoming novel Legally Undead (World Weaver Press, 2014) and another contemporary romance. I have more ideas than I have time to write!

How Does This Differ From Your Last Work?

I used to write one novel at a time! Also, I just recently started writing contemporary romance novels; I’m in the process of learning all of the tropes and general guidelines for category romance novels. But the biggest difference is that I started my most recent novels by putting together synopses. By nature I’m a seat-of-my-pants kind of writer (a “pantser” in NaNoWriMo terms!), but I’m enjoying the process of figuring out the story ahead of time.

As for how writing a sequel differs from writing the first novel in the series? In the sequel to Waking Up Dead, Callie continues to solve mysteries–but we learn more about her own life and the lives of her friends. I’m enjoying the chance to make the characters deeper; I feel like I spent the first novel just barely getting to know Callie, Ashara, Maw-Maw, and Stephen!

Why Do You Write?

I write because if I didn’t, I might wither and die. In some ways, it hardly matters if other people read my books–I write them because I love getting lost in the story, in other people’s worlds and thoughts and dreams and problems and successes. If other people like what I write, it’s an exciting bonus.

What is Your Writing Process?

I have an office that I use for all my work: academic writing, fiction writing, editing, and online teaching. My desk is against a window so I can see outside. I’m surrounded by books and papers. I write directly on my laptop, but when I get stuck, I sometimes switch to handwriting; this seems to shift my brain onto a different track and helps me get over writer’s block. I don’t have a set time that I write, but I try to write every day, whether it’s academic writing, fiction, or my blog.

When I write fiction, I tend to think in “scenes.” Thinking in scenes means that I often write scenes out of order. When that happens, I use a separate file from the primary one and shuffle the scenes around as necessary. But the single biggest thing that I do to write? It’s narrating. I have an internal monologue—and sometimes dialogue–going on all the time. I think in words; when I have a mental picture, I practice translating it into words in my mind. I tell myself stories and I work out plot lines and I figure out arguments to make about literature. I think about the words to use to explain writing to my classes and I practice describing my surroundings. I think in my characters’ voices and in my own voice. When I get blocked, I go for a walk and let my characters take over for a while until I have another scene.

What I’ve learned in all my years of teaching writing is that writing is a deeply personal process; everyone has different writing rituals, and those rituals can change over time. I used to have to have a clean space in which to write. Now I just need a place to put my laptop (having a three-year-old child might have influenced that change). I used to have to set rules for myself: writing two hours a day, not going out to the pool in the summer until I had written three pages, and so on. I still use those when I’m stuck or resenting the need to write, but these days, the only rule I have for myself is this: Just write.

Waking Up Dead