Tag Archives: Champagne Books

The Aegis: Melinda & Damian

Will Melinda and Damian find happiness as they unite to fight the Dark Ones or fall victims to the Dark forces ranged against them?

Damian opened the door and called, “May I come in?”

“Please hurry.”

He quickly navigated the conglomeration of treasures and trash in Melinda’s shop, anxious for a first glimpse of his lifemate. He spotted her in the storeroom at the back of the shop surrounded by stacks of books. He stopped dead and stared. In all his years, he’d never seen such a sight.

His lifemate was sprawled upside down in a massive barrel, her bare legs waving in the air. He stepped closer. A brown silk skirt covered her face. Below her waist, she wore a black V-string, a mere wisp of shiny satin that revealed far more than it covered. He admired her long, shapely legs and firm bottom, then shifted a little for a better view. He grinned–his lifemate was a natural redhead. “You seem to be in a bit of trouble.”

“Don’t just stand there. Get me out of here.”

He stole a final peek, reached in the barrel, and grasped her around the waist. Heat sizzled between them as he lifted her out of the barrel and set her on her feet with her back to him. Her auburn hair fell almost to her waist in a tumbled mass of crinkled waves. Like most of the Light, she was a pale beauty of Celtic descent.

She turned toward him, her fair face flushed, her leaf green eyes burning with anger. Her sleeveless, scoop-necked black silk shell caressed her generous breasts, except where she cradled the book with the Aegis medallion. The skirt clung to the curves that he already knew well.

She cleared her throat to interrupt his perusal and gestured toward the front of the shop. “Thank you for your assistance. The shop is closed for the day. I’ll see you out.”

To buy The Aegis for $1.95 at Champagne Books, click HERE.

Tomorrow, A weekend pic.

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The Aegis: Meet Damian Sinclair

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.

AegissmDamian Sinclair savored the last of his rare filet of bison at the $10,000-a-plate benefit for the victims of the world’s latest natural disaster. He enjoyed dining in the Pool Room at the Four Seasons Restaurant when he was in Manhattan. The marble elegance and outstanding service reminded him of his past when waiters catered to their guests.

Accepting the invitation to the event, though, had been a mistake. He’d already dodged several men who wanted to talk business and a half-dozen women who’d made more personal propositions. He grimaced at the inane chatter of the nearby guests. Perhaps he’d finish the main course, make his apologies, write a substantial check and…The Call sounded.

Struggling to maintain his composure, he tossed his napkin aside and rushed to the men’s room. It was no surprise when the shift that would transport him to his lifemate came. He’d known what to expect for centuries.

In an instant, he stood outside an antique shop on a brick-paved street where the wrought iron-trimmed porches overhung the sidewalks–probably New   Orleans. The gold lettering on the glass of the door read Antiques & Curiosities, LLC, Melinda Kildare, Proprietress. Wherever he was, he was not alone. He could sense his lifemate and she was in distress. He reached out to her and saw only darkness. He knocked and waited for the invitation he needed to enter. He extended his senses into the shop and then heard her, barely a whisper.

“Help me. Please, help.”

Click cover to buy for $1.95 at Champagne.

Tomorrow, The First Meeting,  Rita Bay

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The Aegis: Meet Melinda Kildare

JunkThe Aegis, a Light Warriors vs vampires sizzling paranormal romance, is now available from Champagne Books and most outlets. Click the cover or HERE to read excerpt or buy for $1.95. Today, meet Melinda Kildare, the heroine of The Aegis. 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. Here’s an excerpt:

the aegis ecoverMelinda Kildare kicked back in her favorite bergère chair, sipped her Chablis, and eyed the chest-high barrel at the back of her shop. The eccentric heir at the estate sale this morning had encouraged her to bid on the lot. Several hours of exhausting work had yielded no treasures, but she would finish the job before retiring to her apartment upstairs. Alone, as usual.snorted.

She snorted. A girl doesn’t find her knight in shining armor crawling among stacks of musty boxes at yard sales or delving in dusty barrels in crumbling mansions, and men don’t fall for an over-educated antiquarian who backs out on dates to build her business. She sighed, gulped down the last of the wine, rubbed her arm, and forced herself back to work.

Near the bottom of the barrel, she spotted a leather-bound book embossed with an intriguing medallion. The familiar rush at the prospect of a new find overwhelmed her usual caution. She stood tip-toe on the stepladder and reached to retrieve the book. Her fingertips brushed the medallion, a light flashed bright red, and a jolt blasted up her arm. Startled, she tumbled face-first into the barrel.

More about Melinda and her predicament tomorrow.

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Welcome, Author Allison Knight

Allison Knight began her writing career like many other authors when  she read a book she didn’t like. Her children scoffed when she said she was also going to write a book.  After lots of rewrites and the support of her husband, she garnered a three book contract for her first    historical romances.

Today, with her husband’s continued support and to the delight of her children, she writes the genres she loves, musing about her writing life on her own blog or as a guest blogger and eagerly praising the growing digital and the convenience of an e-reader. Watch for Allison’s first contemporary romance for Champagne Books, “Betrayed Bride” coming in May of 2013.

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ALLISON’S STORY

   Christmas is a special time of year and a great time to share memories, so I’d like to share the memory of one of my special Christmases with you.

   First though, I must tell you I was born at 8:20 in the evening on December 25th, and no, I’m not going to tell you the year. I will say I was born in one of the worst blizzards ever to descend on our state. But that’s neither here nor there.

   One wonderful Christmas memory stands out among so many and occurred several years ago. My DH took me to Hawaii, the big island for the week of Christmas. We stayed in a brand new condo on the west side of the island where the living room and patio looked out over a brilliant Pacific ocean. The apartment was so new that when I tried to bake something, the oven wouldn’t work. Maintenance arrived immediately. They had to remove the paper and tape obstructing the temperature gauge because we were the first to occupy the unit.

The next day, we went shopping and that evening when we attended a lavish Luau, I wore a beautiful muumuu, my DH a matching shirt. And, no I wasn’t impressed with poi.

But it got better.

The next day we drove along the coast, to visit a house of orchids. I saw blooms that were spectacular and nothing like the simple little orchids we have here in the US mainland.  After all that beauty, we took a side trip into the valley where they grew the taro roots for their poi. The trip down into that valley scared me to death. We were in a jeep type vehicle with no sides and nothing to cling to but my poor DH, who may still carry the scars of my nails as I hung on for dear life.

On Christmas day we went to Church to attend the services. The priest reminded us during his sermon that this was a special birthday and then asked if anyone else was celebrating a birthday with Jesus. My husband poked me and after a lot of prodding, I finally stood. I was the only person in that packed church who stood. I was wished a happy birthday by everyone around me while the rest of the congregation applauded. For the first time in my life, I got hundreds of birthday wishes. Believe me, if your birthday falls on Christmas, chances are great it will be forgotten in the excitement of the day.

However, my day only got better.

After church we drove to Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. During our visit I got to walk on an actual volcano. The pungent smell of sulfur permeated the air, and steam rose from countless vent around us. I stood on hardened lava not many feet from the edge of the crater of an active volcano. Wow!

But there’s more.

I’d already purchased a small standing rib roast to fix for our Christmas dinner. We learned long ago not to trust that restaurants would be open on holidays. On the way back from our visit to the volcano we passed a road side stand selling flowers. My DH stopped the car, got out and returned with the most gorgeous arrangement for our dinner table. In the center was a huge bird of paradise and surrounding it were twelve perfect orchids.

To make the day even more perfect, the rib roast was one of the best I’ve ever cooked and the sunset was magnificent. The perfect finish to a perfect day.

May y’all have many Christmas memories that are as wonderful and memorable as mine.

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WINDSONG

  Windsong cover sm (140x210)Martha Alwyn ab Brynn Ffrydd wants revenge against a powerful Baron without losing his king’s support. What better way to exact revenge than to kidnap the Baron’s long time mistress. But she is not what he thinks she is.

Shy, unworldly Milisent Mortimore has been confined for nine years by a brother who now demands she agree to wed a cruel, heartless man. Thanks to her father’s will, she has the right to choose her mate or her spouse will lose her inheritance.

When Alwyn kidnaps her desires flares and together they must struggle against the treachery of Alwyn’s current mistress, her brother and the man he wants her to marry.  In defying all three, Alwyn places his life at risk. Milisent saves him from certain death and together they celebrate their life of love.

Check out more of Allison’s stories at http://www.allisonknight.com/.  Tomorrow, Author Nikki Andrews.

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RELEASE DAY for INTO THE LYONS’ DEN & a Freebie

INTO THE LYONS’ DEN was released by Champagne Books today (Click cover to buy). The story is a paranormal shapeshifter novella about an abandoned, street-smart cat who makes a home for herself at an elegant Atlanta hotel until she’s lured back to Lyons’ Den where her host discovers that his Kitten has grown claws. Check out the blurb and excerpt below:

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     Wealthy recluse Anthony Lyons offers a mint to lure Marie Maxwell, Atlanta’s most sought-after event planner, to coordinate a wedding and reception for a “very special couple” on his isolated estate in the mountains of North Carolina. 

     Despite her sophisticated veneer, Marie’s a tough street-smart orphan without a past.  Adopted by the owners of the elegant Hotel Maxwell, she’s been raised in the business.  Known for her uncanny ability to “make things go right,” Marie accepts the challenge of planning a wedding for 200 guests in 10 days.

     Marie soon discovers that an absent bride and groom is the least of her problems.  Her arrogant and exasperating employer displays far too much interest in her and her personal life, especially her lost years. Confronted with a mysterious stalker, two thwarted murder attempts, and dark shadows from her shrouded past, she finds an ally in an amorous feline of some unknown species.  But who’s got it in for her?  And what’s with Anthony and all the cats?

~~~

     Marie Maxwell’s internal warning system went on high alert. Someone was stalking her. That was particularly offensive since she was used to being the predator, not the prey. She sniffed the air, then inhaled deeply. Something peculiar, yet familiar. Dangerous.

     “Good evening.”

      Damn! No one could get that close without me knowing it. She spun around to find herself nose to chest with the most gorgeous male she’d ever seen. He was golden, from his close-cut hair to those oh-so-inviting eyes and that luscious tan. Her own ash blonde hair and blue eyes paled in comparison.

     “Pardon me if I startled you.”

     His voice was liquid gold, a baritone for sure. The black Armani tux was a perfect fit, hinting at a kick-ass body. His chiseled features, down to that cleft chin, would be the envy of a male model. He held himself with the assurance that came with power and wealth. He could be thirty, or even forty. Usually, she would be drooling but something about him set off alarms. Best to put some distance between them.

     “I am Anthony Lyons.” He offered his hand. “And you are …?”

     “Hired help. If you will excuse me, sir, I am needed elsewhere.” She bolted from her observation post behind one of the hotel’s palms, then forced herself to a sedate stroll through the dining area surrounding the dance floor. Her elegant black suit and discreet ear-clip set her apart from the guests swirling around her in designer formals and glittering jewels.

     A shortcut behind some props took her to a service area where she could monitor the event’s progress undisturbed. The bride and groom were on their way to Hawaii and the reception was winding down. A popular DJ blasted dance music for the post-reception partying. The couple’s parents relaxed at a table with drinks in hand and smiles on their faces. She breathed a sigh of relief but something wasn’t quite right and that set her on edge.

Available from Champagne Books –  http://champagnebooks.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=593  ($2.99)

BTW, this afternoon I’m visiting the Book Brew at The Coffee Thoughts Blog at Coffee Time Romance. Books about Second Chances are our topic. I’ll offer up blurbs and excerpts of His Obsession & His Desire (Books 1 and 2 of The Montclair Chronicles from Siren BookStrand), share a bit of backstory, and give away a digital ebook of His Desire. Visit The Coffee Thoughts Blog at http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/ 

Next week, A Final Salute to the Olympics    Rita Bay

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Allison Knight Presents Christmas in the Middle Ages

Many thanks to award-winning and multi-published author Allison Knight for contributing to Rita Bay’s Holiday Celebrations with her blog on Medieval Christmas. Allison is the author of the outstanding Song Medieval series from Champagne Books. WINDSONG is the latest in the series.

First, no one knows exactly on what day Christ was born. Pope Julius I selected December 25 way back in the 6th century. It might have been a play on words for the Druids celebrated the “Birth of the SUN” at that time and Julius declared the day to be the “Birth of the SON.” Since I write about medieval England, I’ll concentrate on their traditions. It’s not surprising to learn most of their traditions were influenced by the Druids.

Let’s start with the Yule log, a tradition in every castle and manor house in England. The Druids had a great reverence for trees, especially evergreens which you’ll see later. All trees were special and had spiritual meaning for the pagans. During the winter solstice, they’d selected a big log and keep it burning for the entire 12 days of celebrations which also included a lot of food, drink and games.

Back to the English Yule log. In the middle ages, the men of the household went into the woods searching for the perfect tree, then dragged it home and kept it burning for the twelve days of Christmas. If it burned for the full 12 days it brought good luck to the household. 

The English also followed the tradition of feasting and drinking. The host would toast his guests with Wassail, a strong hot drink of ale, honey and spices. Caroling came much later because the Church, which played a central part in everyone’s life, didn’t approve of it.

Even the breads they ate can be traced back to a pagan religion. The Druids baked bread to honor the God of the Harvest. At Christmas in the middle ages, they called their special bread the bread of life and inscribed it with a “J” for Jesus.

Gift giving had nothing to do with Christmas back then. This was a religious time and the peasants loved it. The food of the day was mince meat pies and yes, those pies had shredded bits of meat along with fruit and spices. They were much smaller and looked nothing like our pies today. The days involved all kinds of religious dramas played out in Church. In fact, the original Christmas tree did not come from Germany. Remember the evergreens I mentioned that the Druids held in such reverence. On the 24th of December, a big fur was place outside of Church and decorated with apples, hence the first Christmas tree. The play on the 24th was all about the fall of man and the part the apple played in his downfall.

The nativity crib was first constructed in Italy by St. Francis of Assisi in the early part of the 13th century, but it wasn’t part of the medieval Christmas tradition in England.

I’ll add one final note. December 28th was considered a day of extreme bad luck. You didn’t go any place or do anything if you could help it. Did I mention there was a lot of superstitions in the middle ages?

 Whatever your traditions, may I wish you all a Happy Christmas!

Award winning author, Allison Knight claims she’s married to the world’s greatest husband because he’s her greatest supporter and works with her on all her projects. The mother of four children, she retired from teaching to move south to warmer climes. She has written and published nineteen romances for both paperback and digital  publishers. Her third medieval romance from her ‘song’ series and a short story are available from Champagne Books, Inc.

Because she can never quite step out of teaching mode, she blogs often sharing the knowledge she gained writing and publishing in the romance genre. She also loves to talk  about the growing digital market.

You can find her at:

http://www.AllisonKnight.com

http://www.AllisonKnight.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAllisonKnight

She blogs once a month for The Writers’ Vineyard, http://thewritersvineyard.com

Thank you again, Allison. Tomorrow, the oldest surviving free-standing nativity scene.  Rita Bay

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