A few months ago, a group of Champagne Book Group authors from the Champagne/Carnal Passions/BURST imprints united to host author days at Coffee Time Romance and Love Romances Café. The group – a happy mix of fantasy authors with various gifts, talents and enthusiasm – clicked and decided to form a permanent blog focused on fantasy in all its forms. The webpage is called Worlds of the Imagination and the authors are The Fantasy Folk. I blog on Mondays on fantasy.
Occasionally, we visit among our individual blogs. Today, I’m visiting Dani Collins who is an RWA Golden Heart Finalist, a Romantic Times American Title Finalist, and the author of several books across genre. Check out Dani’s The Healer which is published by Champagne Books while you’re visiting. I’ll explain my unique method of writing (some might call it bizarre) and answer some bio questions. Click Dani’s hot cover to read my interview and comment to enter the giveaway of The Aegis.
I recently signed a contract with Secret Cravings to publish my first contemporary military romance, Search & Rescue. Looking forward to edits this month and publication in July.
Secret Cravings is participating in The RT Stay-at-Home Party (April 29th – May 6th). On Saturday, May 4th from 7 – 9 pm, the Secret Cravings authors visit Talking Two Lips Yahoo Group. Stop by for talk, blurbs and excerpts, books giveaways, and swag. Join the Talking TwoLips Yahoo Group to join the fun (Click the icon above to join.). See you there!
Tomorrow, Return to the Search for Aphrodite’s Island
In Her Teddy Bare, Diana Harper accepts an invitation “to attend a private event at Miss A’s island retreat to experience your most secret dreams and fondest fantasies.” Here’s an account of her arrival on Aphrodite’s Island from Her Teddy Bare:
Diana felt amazingly refreshed on the ride across the island to meet her hostess. Alex, Miss A’s hot attendant, had met her at the Miami airport, escorted her to a small luxurious jet, seated her comfortably, served her an iced fruit drink, then…nothing. He’d awakened her with a whispered, “Mistress Diana, we’ve arrived.”
When their small electric car turned into a driveway, the wild vegetation morphed into tended tropical gardens. Around a curve, she sucked in a quick breath. The sprawling villa would have been more at home on the slopes of Santorini. Situated on a cliff overlooking the sea, the terraces led down to a private beach on a lagoon. They stopped in front of an entrance that boasted fluted Ionic columns twice her height. Gauzy drapes covered the entrance where the carved doors stood open to the breezes.
The Santorini reference is to the Aegean island of Santorini (also called Thera) which is home to a volcano that has erupted several times. The caldera of the volcano is filled with water and small islands sit on the edge. The eruption of the volcano about 4,000 years ago was one of the largest in recorded history and destroyed the island and the civilization of Crete. Today, sparkling white buildings sit on the edges of the volcano and its slopes, looking out of the blue Aegean.
Diana departed for her adventure from Miami, so for the next week we’ll be looking for Aphrodite’s Island closer to home.
Yesterday, we left my heroine in my Light Warrior vs Vampire paranormal romance, The Aegis, upended head first in a mysterious barrel. So let’s see where it goes.
Melinda shifted to tip the barrel over, lost her balance, and fell back to the bottom, wedging her shoulder against the side. Wincing with pain, she stretched to hook her legs over the rim, slipped, and landed hard with a nauseating thud.
Time to regroup. She took a deep breath, then exhaled forcefully. The deliverymen had braced the heavy barrel in a corner, even wedged blocks at the base to make it more stable. Her cell was charging on her dresser upstairs, the shop phone was in the showroom. Her only neighbor had closed his shop and left for home hours ago. She was stuck, head-down, legs waving in the air, with no prospect for rescue.
Buy The Aegis at Champagne Books HERE.
Tomorrow, Damian to the Rescue, Rita Bay
SO excited that today is release day for The Aegis, a vampires vs Light Warriors paranormal romance, from Champagne Books. Check out the cover by Petra. Click the cover to read an excerpt or buy.
Melinda Kildare, antiquarian and rare book dealer extraordinaire, returns to her shop after an estate sale with a massive, sealed barrel. Too late, she discovers that the Aegis medallion that traps her head-first in the bottom of the barrel is the bait used by a family of vampires to capture and enslave women of power.
Light Warrior Damian Sinclair who has battled the Dark Ones for centuries answers Melinda’s call—the Call of a lifemate. While protecting her from the Dark Ones who pursue her relentlessly, he introduces her to passion, love, and her heritage as a Shield Bearer of the Light.
Will they find happiness as they unite to fight the Dark Ones or fall victims to the Dark forces ranged against them?
“The Aegis” Champagne Books, April, 2013
“Her Teddy Bare” Champagne’s Carnal Passions, May, 2013
“Search & Rescue” Secret Cravings, July, 2013
“Finding Eve” Champagne Books, September, 2013
“Into the Lyons’ Den” Champagne Books, 2012
“His Obsession” Siren BookStrand, 2012
“His Desire” Siren BookStrand,
Abraham Lincoln served as President from 1861-1865. He served through the Civil War, often sitting at night in the War Office to monitor the course of the War. During his Presidency he lost two sons, one to illness and the other to an accident. Scientists and historians speculate if he suffered from a significant disease. Regardless of the reason, Lincoln aged significantly while he was president. Check out these pictures taken in 1860 (on left) and 1865. What a change! Tomorrow, Pippa Jay at An Author’s Desk Rita
Instead of a refuge in England, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, found a prison. Her older cousin, Elizabeth Tudor, the Queen of England, did not trust her to live peaceably in England. Mary was a Catholic and there were still Catholics in England who wanted to see a Catholic on the throne. While in her prison, Mary was involved in two conspiracies-both of which failed. The Ridolfi plot in 1570 involved a conspiracy with Spain who would provide soldiers to place Mary on the English throne. In the Babington Plot of 1584, Mary conspired with Catholics in the assassination of Elizabeth which would have placed her on the throne. Mary was found guilty and sentenced to beheading. Elizabeth signed the warrant but refused to allow the execution. Her counselors, with the tacit approval of Mary’s own son, authorized the execution. Elizabeth was furious but helpless to do anything.
February 8th is the anniversary of Mary’s death. She died well dressed in a bright red chemise in 1587. When the executioner lifted her decapitated head for all to see, her head detached from her wig and went rolling across the platform. Her bloody voluminous gown started moving around to the chagrin of all, until her little dog popped out from his hiding place beneath her skirts. After he was crowned King of England, Mary’s son James who had not seen his mother since infancy moved her body to Westminster Abbey and interred her next to Elizabeth. The picture above is a death mask made soon after her death. More tomorrow, Rita Bay.
Virginia Poe (Mrs. Edgar Allan Poe) was noted for her beauty but the only picture known to be her that survives is her death portrait, a watercolor. Over the years numerous paintings have been offered up for sale but none have had any evidence presented to prove that the portrait is of Virginia Poe. Several years ago, a portrait surfaced purporting to be Virginia. This portrait, however, was produced by a descendent of Virginia’s family. No proof, except for the family traditions. If this were actually a portrait of Virginia, wouldn’t the family have come forward sooner? Don’t know, but check it out.
Tomorrow, Another Pic
When Lord Byron left England in self-exile, he visited fellow poet Percy Byssche Shelley who had embarked on a scandalous life of his own. At nineteen, Shelley had eloped to Scotland with a sixteen-year-old girl who bore his first child. Before she delivered the second child, Shelley had fallen in love with Mary Woolstonecraft. Encouraged by Mary’s half-sister Claire Clairmont, the three ran away to the continent together. When they were broke and returned to England, Claire introduced Shelley to Lord Byron with whom she had an affair.
In the famous summer of 1816, Shelley, Mary, and her sister Claire (at Claire’s instigation) leased a home on Lake Geneva in Switzerland near Lord Byron’s home. Claire had hoped to continue her affair with Byron. She was unable to trap Byron into a long-term relationship but became pregnant with his child that Shelley agreed to support. A guest, Dr. John Polidori, recorded a heavily-censored version of the summer’s activities. The book was later destroyed.
What does survive is an account of one evening when the partiers read Tales of the Dead, a horror anthology. Byron challenged his friends to write a horror story. Percy Shelley wrote a called A Fragment of a Ghost Story. Lord Byron starte,d but never finished, a Fragment of a Novel. John Polidori , according to Byron, wrote The Vampyre, the first English-language vampire story. Mary Wollstonecraft’s contribution was a story that, two years later, would be published under the title of Frankenstein.
When the summer of 1816 ended and everyone went their way, Percy and Mary with a pregnant Claire returned to England. Mary and Claire’s sister committed suicide. That same year Harriet, Percy’s deserted wife who was pregnant by a lover she mistakenly believed had deserted her, committed suicide also. After her death, Percy and Mary were married. They were not married for long. Shelley drowned off the coast of Italy when he was only 29.
Tomorrow, One of Byron’s Most Popular Shorts. Rita Bay