Amber Quill Press is offering a fifty percent discount on time-travel romances purchased today, December 12. Please check out my time-travel romance set in ancient Egypt, LADY OF THE TWO LANDS:
One minute, Hattie Williams is in a museum, sketching a gold necklace that belonged to Hatshepsut, first female Pharaoh of Egypt; and the next, she's lying in a room too archaic to be the museum, with a breathtakingly handsome, half-naked man named Senemut bending over her.
Hattie soon discovers she's been thrust into the body and life of Hatshepsut, with no way back to her own time. Tuthmosis, the heir to the throne, hates her; the High Priest of Amun and the commander of the army want to kill her and Tuthmosis; and the best bathroom facilities in the country are the equivalent of a cat-box.
To make matters more difficult, she's falling helplessly in love with Senemut, and soon, she's not sure she even wants to return home. To protect Tuthmosis from assassination, the lovers arrange to put Hattie on the throne. But, what should she do when she suddenly finds herself, an obscure artist from Chicago, crowned ruler of all Egypt?
Friday, December 12, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Two of my books from Amber Quill Press are on sale for 50% off Wednesday, November 19 to Friday, November 21.
Click here for LADY OF THE TWO LANDS, my time travel romance set in ancient Egypt: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/136-Lady-Of-The-Two-Lands.aspx
And click here for SINCE ALL IS PASSING, my romantic suspense: http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/209-Since-All-Is-Passing.aspx
Fifty percent off! For these three days only! Don’t miss it. Makes a great holiday gift…or a gift for yourself.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Who’s sick of winter already? Let’s see a show of hands!
Maybe it’s just a question of adapting, but these miserable near-freezing temps, endless rain and gray, gray skies are getting me down. Yes, I’m lucky that I don’t have to go out in it any farther than the mailbox, and for that I give thanks. But the weather outdoors seems to make the indoors more miserable than usual.
Anyone else notice that? It may be the same temperature inside, thanks to central heating, as on a sunny day, but when it’s nasty outside, it feels colder and damper than when the sun is out.
And although I’d rather drive in rain than snow, somehow snow falling is a cheerful thing to witness from inside a warm house, whereas rain is just…blah at best.
The only good thing about such a gloomy day is cozying up with a knitted shawl, sweater or cowl (or maybe all!) and a nice hot cup of tea. Sounds like the right idea, so off I go!
Monday, November 10, 2014
A wonderful surprise awaited me when I checked my e-mail this morning…a link to a new review for SINCE ALL IS PASSING. Any new review is a bit nerve-wracking as you can only hope the reviewer liked your book.
Well, this one did! So, please take a minute to check out this absolutely fabulous review for SINCE ALL IS PASSING:
It really made my day!
Monday, November 03, 2014
Hope to see you there!
Monday, October 27, 2014
Today’s gripe is about cheap stuff. In other words, consumer products made quickly and cheaply, not expected to have much of a life span.
When I was a kid (don’t groan, I won’t tell you a story I’ve told before), things were expected to last a long time, and if they stopped working, it was expected they’d be repaired.
Examples: a pair of shoes with a hole in the sole could be re-soled. A radio that stopped working could have a tube replaced and it would work again. Socks with a hole in them were darned.
My then-boyfriend (now husband) spent many hours working on cars that had problems, fixing vacuum cleaners or toasters or lamps. It was worth the effort put into repairing the items, because they were sturdy and would continue to give many years of excellent service.
But then came along the “disposable” society idea. Making things of cheap plastic and metals made the price low, so many people could afford the items. Along with the low price came the expectation that if the item stopped working, it was more economical to toss it out and buy a new one than to repair it. Soon, in fact, it became impossible to find someone to repair these items, even if you were willing to pay the price.
Thus, we can buy a printer so cheaply—sometimes cheaper than a refill of the ink it uses—that it makes no sense to have it repaired. Just pitch it and buy a new one. Cordless phone stop working? Throw it out and get a new one. Hole in your shoes? Into the garbage they go, and get a new pair.
For a generation like mine that worked for saving the environment, this seems like a terrible idea. Where do all those objects, many of them electronics, end up? Most of them go to a landfill. Just what we need, more garbage.
I’m not sure anything can be done to stop the flow of cheap, disposable items. But I reserve the right to bitch and moan about it! What about you?
Friday, October 24, 2014
Of course, the perennial thing to be happy about on Friday is, Thank Goodness It’s Friday. And today is no exception…I’m happy the week is ending, so we can all relax and let down our hair.
I’m also glad the rain stopped, at least for now. It’s been raining for two days straight, bringing us more rain in that short period than we usually get in a month. Oy.
I’m happy that my various medical concerns are all being fairly quiet and benign today. Yay!
I’m also happy that my family and friends are all fairly happy and healthy, with no crises on the horizon at the moment. That deserves a double cheer.
Just found out the Steelers game on Sunday will be televised here. If you’d asked me before their game last Monday night, I’d have said, “I don’t need to watch them play; I need more grief like I need a hole in the head.” But since they won on Monday, and impressively so, I’m cautiously optimistic they might just repeat the feat.
What else? I’m glad there are still some pretty leaves on the trees, although the past two days of rain has thinned them out.
Now it’s your turn. What are you happy about today?
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I haven’t done an edition of Monday Gripes for a while, so I decided it was about time.
First gripe: it’s not even Monday! I got so busy yesterday, I forgot. So technically, this is Tuesday Gripes.
One new gripe has to do with my English budgie, Jack. (Short for Captain Jack Sparrow, naturally!) It seems he’s made friends with a catbird he sees out the kitchen window. He has apparently taught the catbird some of the whistles Jack learned from hubby Dan, so they whistle and chirp back and forth to each other.
The problem with this: they do it at the crack of dawn (or “crackadon,” as my oldest daughter used to say), and they do it LOUDLY. It’s like having a bird alarm. Oy. Yelling “Shut up, Jack!” doesn’t work; nor does putting the pillow over my head (can’t breathe). So eventually, muttering dire threats about extinction of a species, I get out of bed and start my day. Naturally, Jack is delighted to see me up and moving, so he doesn’t understand my mood.
I’m thinking a good revenge is to wake Jack up when HE’s asleep. Only problem is, once you wake him up, he’s delighted to talk to you. Apparently, he needs less sleep than I do!
Also, I’ll share with you a classic gripe. This drives me nuts, so even though I’ve previously mentioned this, I will repeat.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who, when driving, do not know how to merge. It sounds like a simple thing, right? Get your car from the on-ramp onto the main highway safely. Let’s examine how most folks do it:
Drive slowly up the on-ramp. Look to see if there are any cars coming—not that it will make any difference to your merging method. Lumber into the main highway lane, going 20 miles below the speed limit and forcing the car next to you to hit the brakes sharply to avoid hitting you. Ignore the horns blowing and rude gestures sent your way.
Now, pay attention, please. This is the CORRECT way to merge:
Check out who is coming on the main highway lane. Find a space you can fit into without hitting anyone. Accelerate smoothly on the on-ramp to match your speed to the main lane traffic. Carefully steer your car into that open space, without forcing the car behind the space to swerve or brake.
Yes, YOU must find a space to fit into and do it without disrupting the pattern of traffic. That’s the definition of MERGE.
There! Got that off my chest (again). What are your pet peeves, on the highway or in life?
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Please help me welcome guest blogger, author Mary T. Bradford. Mary’s book, “My Husband’s Sin,” is available from Tirgearr Publishing. Here’s the blurb:
“In the weeks following Lillian Taylor’s burial, her four loving children assemble for the reading of her will. For the grieving youngest sibling, Lacey, life is about to come crashing down as a deep secret is revealed. The fall-out affects every member and they struggle to regain the happy family unit they once shared. Each of the four, now adult, children take the reader on a journey as they try to come to terms with and learn to handle this huge revelation.”
Liz: Sounds terrific, Mary! Tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to become a writer?
Mary: Well, I am Irish, married and have four children. Family is very important to me and this reflects in a lot of my writing. I enjoy crafts, particularly crochet and cross stitch. So when I take a break from writing, I am still busy with my hands, crafting some project. Like all writers, I love to read. I have a golden Labrador called Buster and a cat called The Kitten. I had open heart surgery six years ago, that was a tough time, but I have recovered well. What inspired me to write were my children when they were small toddlers. I recorded all the antics they got up to and so my writing journey began.
Liz: Tell us what My Husband’s Sin is about?
Mary: My debut novel is centred about the Taylor family. Lacey, the youngest of the family is dealt a horrible blow at the reading of her mother’s will. She is devastated and the knock on affect on her three siblings shakes the family unit. Lacey has questions that need answering and at one stage, she must leave Ireland to search for some of the answers. Will the Taylor’s come together and unite, or do they fall apart and remain so?
Liz: If you were casting the movie version of My Husband’s Sin, who would you choose for the leading roles?
Mary: I would love the young actress, Amanda Seyfried, to play the part of Lacey in my debut novel. The solicitor, Mr. Philip Sherman, played by Jeff Bridges, then Sally by Michelle Pfeiffer and finally Robert, by Jason Stratham. The other characters, Willow and Cora, I have no idea.
Liz: Tell us about a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about?
Mary: I enjoy public speaking. I have my CC (Competent Communicator) from Toastmasters International and I started the advanced manuals. I also represented my local club Fáilte Toastmasters in competitions. Unfortunately, I no longer have the time to participate, but I may go back to it another time.
Liz: What’s your favourite comfort food?
Mary: A nice Irish stew (lamb pieces, potatoes and vegetables in a thick soup).
Liz: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
Mary: I would like to have been a primary school teacher. I worked in a school as an SNA and loved the classroom setting and children.
Liz: Are you an outliner or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Mary: I suppose I am a seat of the pants type. I know the main character and the end of my stories, but anything in between, I have not got a clue. I take my chances that the story will reveal itself to me as I go along.
Liz: What’s your favourite non-writer-related website?
Mary: That would be the Crochet Crowd (www.thecrochetcrowd.com). It is a fantastic site for patterns, ideas and chatting to other crafters. They have a Facebook page also that is worth checking out. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Crochet-Crowd/116482731742088?fref=ts
I must say a big thank you to Elizabeth for hosting me today. I really appreciate it, and loved the variety of the questions. I so enjoyed my visit to chat with you all.
* * *
To find out more about Mary and her book, visit these links:
Thanks for visiting, Mary!
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
There’s still time to register for Essentials of Romance Writing at Writer’s Digest Workshops. The course starts 8/7 and ends 9/18. For more information on what the six-week workshop covers, or to register, go here: http://register.writersonlineworkshops.com/Course?CourseId=1037-38 Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Thanks to Kemberlee Shortland, www.kemberlee.com, for tagging me in The Writing Process Blog Hop. Read about Kemberlee’s writing process here: http://kemberlee.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-writing-process.html
At the end I’ll be tagging a couple other authors, so please do follow those links to their blogs and interviews.
Click on the book covers to purchase any of my published books, or you can get them at my website: http://www.elizabethdelisi.com
What am I currently working on?
I’m working on the sequel to FATAL FORTUNE, called PERILOUS PREDICTION. In it, Lottie Baldwin’s ex comes to town, determined to get money from her one way or another. He winds up dead, and since Lottie’s the only person in town who knew him, she becomes Suspect #1. Can she use her psychic talents, along with help from her boyfriend Harlan Erikson, to find out who the actual murderer is before she’s railroaded into jail?
What makes my writing distinctive?
I like to write a mixture of genres—romance, time-travel romance, mystery, suspense. I don’t read in just one genre, so why should I write in just one? Also, I love infusing a touch of the paranormal into my stories. It gives them a little extra sparkle, an unexpected plot thread.
Why do I write what I write?
See above. I write what I’d like to read, i.e. many different genres, with a touch of the paranormal. Life is fascinating, with many mysteries to be solved. They say we only use a small portion of our brains’ capacities. So why not use some of that gray matter going to waste to develop psychic abilities? Why not believe in the paranormal? At least for the length of time it takes to read a good book.
How does the writing process work?
I’m an outliner. So once I get the beginning glimmer of a story idea, I start brainstorming. First, I write down the main plot points, main characters, and main settings, so I have a framework to work with. Then comes a chapter by chapter summary, with 1-2 paragraphs for each chapter telling what happens in that chapter. I also use this summary to make notes on things I need to research, lines of dialogue that I don’t want to forget…anything I need to keep track of. Finally, once the outline is done and I’m comfortable with it, I start writing!
After PERILOUS PREDICTION, I have the bare bones outline of another Lottie Baldwin mystery completed, called DEADLY DESTINY. And I’ve also begun a paranormal romance called KNIT A SPELL. After that, who knows? But whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be fun.
And now I’d like to tag the following authors. Please visit their blogs to read about their writing processes:
Monday, June 23, 2014
You still have time to get a kindle copy of my book, FATAL FORTUNE, for just 99 cents. The sale lasts until the end of June, so only about a week left..
Go here: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/ and check out the sale items on the right sidebar under “June Kindle Deals.” You can also go here to find out more about the book, and here to go straight to Amazon to get your copy.
While you're there, check out the other two 99-cent sale books for June: SWEET SEDUCTION by Stella Whitelaw, and UNQUIET DREAMS by KA Laity.
Great summer reading at a bargain price! Who could ask for more?
Monday, April 07, 2014
This week, I’m participating in a charity blog hop raising funds for Parkinson’s UK, an organization that raises awareness of Parkinson’s Disease, help those with the disease learn to cope with the challenges, give out information and search for a cure.
The blog hop has a theme of “Curves Rule.” So I’m posting cover art, a blurb and an excerpt from “All Work and No Play,” part of the Torrid Tarot series at Ellora’s Cave. I hope you enjoy it! See the end of the excerpt for a giveaway and a surprise.
All Work and No Play blurb:
Julie Preston worked hard raising her younger sister Emily after their parents died, and creating a career. She gave up simple pleasures like love and relationships. So when a friend drags her to a singles bar, Julie’s ready for anything. She meets a gorgeous guy and they spend several passionate hours together. There’s real chemistry there, but Julie regretfully sticks to her promise: a one-night stand, no strings.
When Julie hires a tutor to help Emily pass English, she’s shocked to find he’s the man from the bar. Seeing him in her house makes it hard to keep her hands off him, but he isn’t looking for a long-term relationship since he’s a singles bar patron. Right? How many miles can Julie jog before she gives in and jumps him?
“You’ve done a great job of raising Emily on your own,” Tanya said, breaking Julie’s reverie. “No one could be a better mother to her than you’ve been. But that doesn’t mean you can never take a break. Kick back and have some fun. You know what they say about all work and no play?”
“Besides making me the Eight of Pentacles? It makes Jane a dull girl. I know. But who cares?” Julie said and shrugged, maintaining a stony expression she’d perfected over the last few stressful years. “I’m comfortable with my life just the way it is.”
But now, after five years of struggle, deprivation and want, some innately female part of her rebelled, something deep inside wondered if she were still attractive to a man. Had she really turned into the dull “Jane” who was all work and no play? So she’d given in and let Tanya talk her into going out this night.
Unfortunately, the evening had turned into a colossal waste of time as far as Julie was concerned. The music was too loud, the smoke hurt her eyes and throat and the only man who’d approached them had sported a greasy comb-over and smelled like mothballs.
“Time to go.” Julie held up her arm and tapped her watch so Tanya couldn’t mistake her meaning. “I have to get up early tomorrow to get to that board meeting—”
Julie’s jaw dropped and she faltered to a stop in mid-sentence. The most gorgeous man she’d ever seen was heading across the tiny dance floor, straight for their table. He was over six feet tall, with curly dark hair, broad shoulders and a muscular frame, and blue eyes that pierced her soul.
Halfway to her table, two women intercepted him, homing in on him like a barracuda scenting blood in the water. One was a blonde with a buzz cut and a mini-skirt the size of a napkin, the other a redhead with a frizzy perm and wearing enough stretched-tight spandex to gird the globe. They each put a hand on his arm, grinning like crocodiles and pressing up against him seductively. Julie could almost see their claws sinking into him.
Rats. Julie felt a stab of jealousy. It figured—she was finally about to meet the only good-looking man in the place and those two floozies were going to bag him instead. But that was what she’d expected of this evening. Total failure. So why was her stomach roiling with disappointment? Maybe she’d hoped and expected him to be too smart to fall for such obvious tactics?
But wait. He was peeling their hands off his arm gently but firmly, an annoyed look on his face. They persisted, he shook his head, glancing in Julie’s direction. After a minute or two of back and forth, at last they shrugged, pouted and slunk off. He resumed his path for Julie’s table again, the smile returning to his face as he caught her eye once more.
Tanya glanced over her shoulder in the direction Julie was staring, then turned back and kicked Julie’s shin under the table. “Close your mouth,” she hissed, tapping her chin with the back of her fingers for emphasis. “You look ridiculous.”
Julie snapped her mouth shut and swallowed, suddenly disgusted with herself. She was practically drooling, for heaven’s sake. Had it really been so long since she’d been paid any attention? She smoothed her long brunette hair with a trembling hand and took a deep breath to steady her nerves. He was just a man. Admittedly, a good-looking one but just a man. A man she’d like to eat for breakfast…
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt from “All Work and No Play.” And here’s a surprise for you: Lila Duprés is the pen name for…me! Shhh. It’s a secret.
GIveaway: One lucky commenter, chosen at random, will win a PDF copy of “All Work and No Play.” Be sure to use your e-mail address when you comment if you want to be entered in the drawing.
Smut for Good: Curves Rule is a blog hop with prizes galore to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK as this is Parkinson’s Awareness week. To find more curves, and seek out further prizes please visit http://smutters.co.uk/smut-for-good and if you can take a minute to please visit the Smut for Good: Curves Rule Just Giving Page at http://www.justgiving.com/curvesrule and donate whatever you can to help us reach our target of £100 to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and to support the charity Parkinson’s UK http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/ who help those with the disease learn to cope with the challenges, give out information and search for a cure.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Please help me welcome author Jeff Gardiner. Jeff is going to tell us a little about his current releases, “Igboland” and “”Treading on Dreams.”
Liz: Hi Jeff, welcome! To start, please tell us a little about yourself, and what inspired you to become a writer.
Jeff: I’m a UK writer and editor, with three novels, a collection of short stories and a work of non-fiction to my name. I’ve also had many short stories published in anthologies and magazines. I’ve always loved reading and I had an Enid Blyton obsession as a kid. Then as a teenager the obsession turned to the fantasy writings of Michael Moorcock. As I got older my tastes widened and changed to writers such as Mervyn Peake and Haruki Murakami.
Liz: Tell us what your current releases, “Igboland” and “Treading On Dreams” are about.
Jeff: I’ve had an exciting year so far, with two novels being published close together.
“Igboland” is a tale of passion and conflict, set in Nigeria during the Biafran War. The story is told from the perspective of a young English lady.
Blurb for Igboland:
A new life begins for her thousands of miles from home.
Lydia and Clem Davie arrive in an Igbo village in Nigeria in July 1967 just as civil war breaks out, but Lydia has trouble adjusting to life in West Africa: a place so unfamiliar and far away from everything she truly understands.
Initially, most of the locals are welcoming and friendly, until one or two begin a frightening campaign of anti-white protests.
Lydia’s life is changed irrevocably after she meets enigmatic Igbo doctor, Kwemto, and war victim, Grace. Through them Lydia learns about independence, passion and personal identity.
Conflict and romance create emotional highs and lows for Lydia, whose marriage and personal beliefs slowly begin to crumble.
Will this house in a Nigerian bush village ever seem like home?
“Treading On Dreams” is a coming-of-age romance about obsession and unrequited love. Donny is at university and the woman he falls for is engaged to another, but their blossoming friendship gives him hope.
Blurb for Treading On Dreams:
Donny is obsessed with his housemate, Selena – but his love is unrequited. He enthusiastically accepts her willing friendship, which only fuels his deepening fantasies.
Jaz is their crazy landlord who likes sleeping with women – lots of them. He takes pleasure in educating the once innocent Donny in the hedonistic pleasures of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. It blows Donny’s mind.
Selena is engaged to Melvin – the perfect man – but is also keen to befriend the ever-demanding Donny ... until she falls pregnant and her wedding looms.
Donny expresses his true feelings at the wedding, causing mayhem and anger. But there remains a chink of hope: perhaps Selena’s marriage to Melvin is not quite as perfect as it seems.
Here’s where you can find more information about me, and order your own copies of “Igboland” and “Treading on Dreams.”
Jeff’s website: http://jeffgardiner.com/
Jeff’s Blog: http://jeffgardiner.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jeff-Gardiner/e/B0034QC3H0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Tirgeaar Publishing: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Gardiner_Jeff/treading-on-dreams.htm
Liz: They sound intriguing! Wonderful reads. Now, for some fun…if you were casting the movie version of “Igboland” or “Treading on Dreams,”, who would you choose for the leading roles?
Jeff: For “Igboland” Emma Watson would be perfect as Lydia, with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Kwemto – he actually has Igbo parents!
Nicholas Hoult would be good as Donny in “Treading On Dreams,” and I need someone young, bad and handsome as Jaz … perhaps Alex Pettyfer or Jack O’Connell (a brilliant turn in prison flick ‘Starred Up’).
Liz: I’d like to see those movies! Tell us about a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about.
Jeff: I have performed quite a bit on stage (all very amateur) – playing roles as varied as Dionysus and Salvador Dali! My greatest moment was as Danny in ‘Grease’.
Liz: I love Dali, but didn’t know he was the subject of a play. Interesting. Now, tell us what’s your favorite comfort food?
Jeff: Peanut butter on anything. Try it on malt-bread – it’s amazing (and gets stuck in the roof of your mouth for hours afterwards).
Liz: A writing question: are you an outliner or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Jeff: I like to have a basic outline, but I never over plan. I need room for flexibility and change. So I’m more of a ‘seat of your pants’ writer. (That makes me laugh because in the UK ‘pants’ means your underwear).
Liz: LOL! Who knew? Here’s a safer one. What’s your favorite season and why?
Jeff: Autumn, because of the beautiful colours (oh, and it’s my birthday). The summer means school holidays, so I get to spend more time with the kids, which is also brilliant.
Liz: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? Unbearable to think of, I know.
Jeff: Either an actor – I’d especially love to do voice acting for cartoons – or a rock star. The only problem with the latter is that I don’t play an instrument and my singing range is too narrow. We can but dream.
Liz: Rock star…I like it! While we’re talking about famous people, tell us about anyone famous you’ve met.
Jeff: I’ve met the writer Michael Moorcock and I swap emails with him. My book about his writings is coming out later this year, called ‘The Law of Chaos: the Multiverse of Michael Moorcock’.
Liz: And finally, what’s your favorite non-writing-related website?
Jeff: I love reading about classic rock music and prog rock. The best website is http://www.progrockmag.com/. My other obsession is Liverpool Football Club (soccer). The website I check daily gives gossip and rumours about transfers and players.
Thanks, Liz, for hosting me on you blog. It’s been lots of fun.
Liz: It’s been my pleasure! Can’t wait to read your two amazing novels.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Please help me welcome Kemberlee Shortland, the author of the Irish Pride series, Rhythm of My Heart, A Piece of My Heart, and Shape of My Heart. Below you’ll find the blurbs, excerpts, and yes—the covers!—for all three books. Enjoy!
RHYTHM OF MY HEART
Irish Pride series, book one
Artist Representative, Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career so that other women could have a fair chance at having their music heard. Having suffered rejection from callous men in the industry, she thought she would get away from ‘casting couch’ mentality. But when she finds herself in the office of Fergus Manley, all bets are off. Disgusted by his continual come-ons and lewd invitations, Eilis is looking for ‘the one’ who will take her career to the next level, getting out from under Fergus’s controlling thumb.
Aspiring blues guitarist, Kieran Vaughan, is looking for his big break. But after suffering near bankruptcy at the hands of an unscrupulous business partner, Kieran is left picking up the pieces. He’s unsure if the debts will ever be paid or if he’ll ever have a chance to do something with his music. At his whit’s end, he’s about ready to throw in the towel and find a full-time job with real hours.
When Eilis discovers Kieran playing in a seedy pub in Dublin’s Northside, she knows he’s the one rare talent she’s been searching for. With her know-how and his talent, Eilis will finally get everything she’s been waiting for. Neither of them count on the powerful attraction from first meeting. Eilis is so rocked by Keiran’s forthright words that it sends her running. Kieran risks being arrested as he chases Eilis across Ireland.
Seeing what’s happening between Eilis and Kieran, anger wells inside Fergus and he steps up his pursuit of Eilis. Refusing to let Kieran get in his way, Fergus vows to add Eilis’s notch to his bedpost, whatever it takes.
Will Kieran be able to protect her?
Dublin's Northside looked far different by day than it did at night. Last night’s storm had been one of the season’s worst. Huge puddles hampered traffic, and trash had collected in the corners of doorways and blocked the gutters. The lingering breeze was still crisp and signaled the imminent winter. Wisps of dark clouds streaked the pale blue sky but remained reminiscent of last night’s tempest.
As the taxi drove through Dublin’s inner city, a blur of tacky euro shops, shoddy newsagents and off-licenses, all with shop fronts that had seen better days, flashed by.
Finglas wasn’t noted as one of Dublin’s prime locations. This was a large blue collar suburb in a rapidly expanding city. Lack in a pride of ownership was evident, as residents struggled to make ends meet, which gave the area a rough underbelly. The Little Man Pub was a perfect example of both.
Eilis wrapped her arms around her middle, instinctively protective. Was this the compromise she must face to get where she wanted?
When the taxi slowed at a junction, she pressed herself back in her seat. A group of out-of-work young men sipping something from a paper bag spun their heads and looked at her.
Just this once, just this once, she chanted to herself.
Just this one trip to find Kieran Vaughan and that would be it. She’d never have to come back to this place ever again. She could stay safely tucked away in her D2 house for the rest of her days. She’d worked hard for that house. She deserved it. She deserved it all the more now by putting herself through this.
Long ago, Eilis had vowed never to set foot in the Northside again. But if it took this one last visit to get what she needed, it would be worth it.
The taxi pulled around the corner and the now familiar entrance to The Little Man Pub came into view. Nicotine-stained curtains were pulled across windows, reflecting the unkempt street. The façade’s red and black paint was weather-faded to pink and gray. The ‘M’ on the sign hung askew and swung in the breeze, and the ‘P’ was missing altogether. Had she not been here last night she would have thought the place was shut.
She pulled some money from her purse to hand to the driver. “I’ll wait fer ye, luv,” he said, waving her money away. “Taxis can be hard to come by ‘round here.”
Eilis was suitably taken aback. “Thank you. I won’t be a moment.”
She swallowed hard, got out of the taxi then entered the pub.
Her eyes slowly adjusted to the dark room. The few men sitting around the bar turned their gazes in her direction. Understandably. A well-groomed businesswoman in the pub was surely a novelty. These men were long since retired, or long since employed. Their stubbled faces meant they hadn’t shaved in several days, or possibly weeks. The dim light hid the worst of their unkempt appearances, but nothing could disguise their unwashed clothes. A pong in the room wafted into her nostrils, causing her stomach to lurch again.
Shoulders back, she strode to the bar.
The same man from last night stood behind the counter. He was short and pudgy with missing front teeth. His disheveled appearance made him look like one of his patrons. Had he not been behind the counter she wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.
His striped brown and white shirt had frayed cuffs and was open to mid-chest, showing a sweat-stained t-shirt underneath. His brown trousers had seen much better days and were held together not with a button or belt, but with a bit of twine looping between his belt loops, his round belly spilling over. The only thing holding up the trousers was his equally round bum. It seemed to push the waistband up in the back as his belly pushed it down in the front. The sight would have been funny if her stomach hadn’t been flip-flopping.
Her voice cracked when she first spoke, but it picked up strength in her determination to make something of this horrid trek. “A-are you the proprietor?”
A broad gap-toothed grin creased the man’s face and, loud enough for his patrons to hear, he said, “I’ll be who ever ye want me to be, luv.”
His friends burst into laughter. Eilis felt the flush rise in her cheeks. Not because she was embarrassed, but from frustration. She just wanted to get this meeting over with and she wasn’t in the mood to spar.
She stood her ground. “I’m looking for the man who played guitar here last night. Kieran Vaughan. We have business. Will you please tell me where I can find him?” She looked the man in the eye, much as she could, considering she stood a good half-foot taller than him, even without her heels.
“No, miss, I doubt you have any business with himself. ‘Speshly a fine lass such as yerself. Now, if ye were to come home with a real man like meself, well . . .” He left the rest unsaid, the insinuation hanging in the air.
Her gaze never wavered as she stared the little man in the eye.
“Sir,” she smiled sweetly, honey dripping from her words. She leaned over the bar just enough to give him a glimpse of the swell of her breast through the opening of her blouse. “I doubt you have anything I would be interested in. Besides, you don’t really want me to find out why this place is called The Little Man, do you?”
This earned the publican long oohs and sniggers from the patrons, who were now on the edges of their seats waiting to hear the disagreeable little man's response.
Obviously taken aback by such a brazen retort, the man stood gaping and red-faced at her for a moment before he got his wits about him. He winked at the men around the bar. “Oy does like me birds feisty!” That only encouraged more laughter.
Eilis could have enjoyed the banter if only the man wasn’t so repulsive. All she wanted to do was meet Kieran Vaughan and get out of Finglas as quickly as possible.
When the laughing stopped, Eilis’s gaze never wavered as she said, “Well?”
“Well what, loov?” he asked, wiping the tears from his eyes with a dirty bar towel.
“Are you going to tell me where to find Kieran Vaughan?” He was trying her patience, but she did her best to keep the frustration out of her voice.
Then she sensed someone step up behind her and straightened instantly. Somehow she knew it was Kieran. The feral scent of him permeated her senses and quickened her pulse. Butterflies replaced the strange ache in her stomach that had been there just moments before.
She slowly turned and looked up at the most handsome man she’d ever seen in her life. She found herself instantly speechless.
She'd seen him on stage the night before and knew he was handsome. But this close up . . . Never before had she seen such blue eyes. As she gazed into them, they changed from the light steel blue to the color of storm clouds heavily ringed with gunmetal. That he had dark brows and thick lashes only made his gaze seem more intense.
“Ye’ve found him, loov,” said the little man, taunting her. “Now what are ye goin’ ta do with him?”
The hammering of her heart and the pulsing blood in her temples blocked out the noise in the room as she looked into Kieran Vaughan’s eyes. To her dismay, her knees actually quivered.
Something in the pit of her belly ached. No, something else. It was like warm melting honey running through her marrow. In that moment she longed to touch him, to brush the unruly wave of his dark hair away from his face, to feel his lips against the pads of her fingers, to . . .
When he spoke she almost didn’t hear him.
“Like the man said, now that you’ve found me, what are you going to do with me?” His eyes sparkled with unabashed mischief.
“Anything you want me to.”
* * *
A PIECE OF MY HEART
Irish Pride series, book two
Mick and Kate thought they were falling in love. Kate hadn't been just the girl next door. She'd been Mick's life, and he hers. When an unforeseen force draws them apart they're left with wounds that refuse to heal. Now, ten years on, Mick's father's will should have been straightforward, except his addendum was like ice water in Mick's face.
It's essential that Mick and Kate work together to save his family's farm. Mick doesn't count on his new manager being accused of murder, and Kate doesn't expect a dangerously seductive woman from Dublin to claim Mick is the father of her child.
Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again; however this newest revelation is too much for her. She is determined to finally say goodbye to her childhood sweetheart forever, but Mick has other plans for Kate's future. And none of them involve goodbye.
“What are you doing here?”
“Nice to see you too, Mick.” She opened one eye to look at him.
He stood just inside the solicitor’s office door. He’d expected Kate at the funeral service yesterday, but he couldn’t see any reason for her to be here today.
He scowled in her direction, then strode to reception. The clerk behind the desk turned a harried glance his way, continuing to sort folders beside her computer. “Can I help you?” she asked, not bothering to stop what she was doing.
“Michael Spillane to see Tighe Lynch,” he grumbled.
Finally looking up, the clerk said, “He’s expecting you. I’ll let him know you’re here.”
As the clerk reached for the intercom, he turned back to Kate. If this hadn’t been his father’s solicitor’s office and if today hadn’t been the reading of his father’s will, he would have appreciated the sight of her in her smart dark blue suit, white blouse with the Irish lace trim, and matching blue pumps. She sat calmly, her head against the wall behind her, eyes closed. She bent her shapely legs under her and crossed them at the ankle, her hands folded in her lap.
Her emerald eyes hid beneath lids edged with thick dark lashes. He knew the exact shade of them since he’d looked into them so often in the past. They were eyes no man could forget.
Her normally unruly black hair was pulled back in a twist and away from her heart shaped face.
When they were kids he used to love it when she left her hair down. The tight curls of it bounced over her shoulders like springs when she ran. He’d seen her like that once last year when he’d been home for a couple days during Christmas.
They’d been invited to join the Conneelys, but he’d convinced his father not to go. He couldn’t bear being in the same room with her for so long, but she’d delivered food and he’d suffered anyway.
He recalled how he’d stiffened just watching her walk across the farmyard. As he did now. He mentally shook himself. This wasn’t the time or place to get an erection. The business at hand was the will and what she was doing here now. Not the fact that just looking at her could make him stiff.
Clearing his throat, he repeated, “You didn’t answer my question. What are you doing here?”
Her eyes fluttered open. The look she gave him made his heart skip a beat. His groin tightened again watching her tongue smooth its way over her lips. She had no idea just how erotic that simple act was. She was about to speak when a door opened behind him. Both of them spun to face Tighe Lynch.
“Mickleen,” Tighe exclaimed, using the common endearment and thrusting his hand into his. “Welcome home, lad. I just wish it were under different circumstances. I can’t tell you how much Donal will be missed.”
Mick could only tip his head at the man’s kindness. Words were still too hard to come by.
Tighe grasped Kate by her shoulders as she stood to greet him and kissed her on both cheeks. “Kate. Lovely as ever. Won’t you both step into my office?”
Not one to stand on ceremony, Mick strode through the door ahead of Kate and Tighe and went right into the solicitor’s office. He knew where it was. Was it really only a little more than two years ago he’d been here to discuss his mother’s will?
His scowl deepened when Kate walked through the office door ahead of Tighe. He got the perfect look at her shapely bum as she was forced to step between him and the desk to the seat beside him. He shifted in his seat, crossing his legs and pulling his coat around him to hide his erection. He kept his mind on wondering why she was at the reading of his father’s will to keep his libido under control.
Surely, she’d earned a regular wage for the time she spent cleaning his father’s house and cooking his meals. She was hired help and would have been paid accordingly. So there should be no reason why she should be here today. Unless there was something the solicitor knew and wasn’t telling them. Yet.
“I thought this was just a formality, Tighe. Why is she here?” He couldn’t even use her name. Just the feel of it in his mouth would leave him tongue-tied.
Tighe stopped him with an upheld hand. “If you’ll both bear with me, I will explain.” The solicitor turned to a folder on his desk and opened it, extracting two documents. Holding one before him, he said, “This is your father’s will, Michael. It’s all very straight forward. In it, the farm, the stock, the land—almost everything is left to you.”
“We’ll get to that, lad,” Tighe said.
Tighe looked at Kate and held up the second document.
“This is the addendum to the will.”
“Addendum?” she asked.
“An addendum means that instead of making up a whole new will, Dad just changed it.” Mick, not looking at her, directed his statement to the solicitor and waited for the shoe to drop.
Leave it to his father to make this more difficult on him than it already was. Wasn’t it bad enough he couldn’t get rid of the tremendous feeling of guilt for not spending more time with him? He never wanted to believe—or admit—his father was that sick. Sure, Kate called him regularly with updates. He heard everything she’d said, but why the hell hadn’t he listened to her!
“Changed the will?” she asked. “Is that right, Mr. Lynch?”
“In a manner of speaking,” Tighe replied. “It means he added something into the original will.”
“When was this?” Mick asked.
“If you’ll allow me, I’ll read what Donal has bequeathed. If you have any questions we can go from there. Right?”
Both Mick and Kate nodded agreement. Tighe read the will as it stood and then the addendum. Mick couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “That bastard!” he muttered. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the wide glares both Kate and Tighe gave him at the curse.
“Mr. Lynch.” Kate’s voice came on a whisper. “What does this mean? I don’t understand it.” Her eyes were big as she clutched the arms of her chair now, knuckles as white as her face. Gone was the cool Kate he’d seen in the waiting room. In a matter of minutes she’d gone from radiant to ashen. He was sure he wasn’t looking too good right about now either.
“Yes, can you explain it in plain English?” he asked. Why do will readings always have to be so damn dramatic?
“In plain English, your father left everything to you, Michael. However, the addendum states if you try to sell the farm, I have instructions to give everything to Kate.”
* * *
SHAPE OF MY HEART
Irish Pride series, book three
Gráinne has moved back to Dublin to get her life straightened out. She dreams of college and a better life. She’s working for her brother, Kieran, in his newly reopened pub, The Blues Tavern, but the money isn’t enough to support herself and pay tuition. Moonlighting at The Klub! as an exotic dancer seems to be her answer fast money.
John ‘JD’ Desmond is a detective working undercover in the Blues Tavern. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor Wade. JD had intended to get Gráinne to snitch for him, but when he falls in love with her, things get complicated.
When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to go on the run until Wade can be apprehended. Wade lives up to his nickname, The Hunter, and JD and Gráinne quickly find themselves at the end of a gun and running for their lives.
Over the next couple hours JD tread lightly around Gráinne and peace settled between them. He hadn’t had the opportunity to talk to her again with the evening prep, but as he looked at his watch he knew her shift ended soon.
He’d tried almost every tactic he could think of to get her to reveal more about herself and he was getting anxious at her continued aloofness. He didn’t want to have to resort to seducing her. While the idea of getting her into bed was appealing, he just preferred to do it under other circumstances. He fancied her like hell, but he couldn’t let his libido get in the way of his job. She was his best hope at getting the information he desperately needed. So he’d have to resort to another tactic if he was going to get her to talk. Blackmail was one he was loath to use, but at this stage in the game, he had little choice.
There was a lull in the pub now that the afternoon crowds were gone and the evening prep had been done. If he was going to confront her, he had to do it now.
Gráinne stood at the end of the bar flipping through a magazine. The twinkling Christmas lights over the back bar shone on her dark hair. As she moved, the highlights reflected like electric current through the strands curling around her face. His heart thumped a little harder looking at her.
He reminded himself he wasn’t here to bartend. He was here to gather information. His future depended on it. He couldn’t afford another wasted day so it was now or never.
His pounding heart made it suddenly hard to breathe. He hated having to do this to her.
“Gráinne, can we talk?”
“Talk?” She put her magazine aside. “About what?”
“I think you know.” He locked gazes with her. He could tell she was nervous by the way she started fidgeting.
Then she turned away, refusing to look at him for longer than a millisecond. “My love life is none of your concern,” she told him, reminding him unnecessarily of their previous discussion.
“That’s not what I’m talking about.”
“Then I don’t know what you mean.” She spun on her heel, intent on leaving the bar area.
He grasped her arm. To his surprise, she didn’t struggle. But something odd happened as he loosened his grasp. He felt something powerful pass between them. His fingers tingled as he touched her. It radiated up his arm and shot through his body.
For the second time today, he felt himself stiffen, and wished that circumstances were different, that she was naked beneath him and gazing up at him with eyes he knew would undo him.
She glanced over her shoulder, but not directly at him. “Let me go.” Her barely audible words shook him back to the moment. It wasn’t a command, but he couldn’t help noticing her words were tinged with pleading.
“Will you stay to talk with me? I think this is important.” His own voice was softer now. When she relaxed he reluctantly released his hold. She kept her gaze averted, her arms folded protectively in front of her, refusing to look at him. He knew she was waiting for something, anything, to draw her away.
Reaching under the bar, he extracted the black plastic sack he’d brought in with him today. He knew the item inside would shatter any peace he hoped to make with her.
He looked at the sack for a moment, thinking about what could never be between them. There was a job to be done and it didn’t include getting emotionally involved. He hoped the more he reminded himself of this fact he’d eventually come to believe it.
Sighing, he extracted a black velvet bra and held it up for her inspection. She only cast it a side-glance.
“I take it you know where I got this.”
“Well then, I have no idea.”
He saw her swallow hard then move over to the taps to pour herself a cola. She swallowed deeply from the glass.
“I think you do. Let’s not . . . dance . . . around the subject, Gráinne. We both know where I got this, and I’d lay odds at Paddy Powers your brother doesn’t know what you’ve been up to.”
His heart ached as he forced himself to goad her.
The look she shot him would have incinerated the average man, but he wasn’t average. He was a man with a mission, and Gráinne was the only one who could help him.
“By that look, I’d say I’ve hit the nail on the head.”
“So, what of it.”
“Why haven’t you told Kieran?” he asked, trying to keep his voice calm.
“I somehow doubt he’d understand why I’m . . . moonlighting.”
JD chuckled lightly. “Moonlighting? Is that what they’re calling it these days?”
“Just stop. What do you want from me? Not that it’s any of your business what I do on my own time.”
“I need your help.”
A single brow arched over her eye. “With what? Wait, let me guess,” she seethed, throwing her hands on her hips. “You want a private show. Or you want me to entertain some friends. And you’re going to use this,” she fingered the bra he still held in his hand, “as a bribe to get me to do it for free.”
“Not quite. While I wouldn’t mind a private show, it’s not entertainment I’m looking for.”
“What’s this?” Kieran suddenly appeared behind the bar, startling them both. JD saw Gráinne’s face go pale, and thought she would faint then and there.
* * *
Check out these and dozens of other fabulous books at Tirgearr Publishing. You’ll be glad you did!
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Today I’m happy to introduce you to author Annette Drake. She has answered some interesting interview questions, and you’ll also find info on her book CELEBRATION HOUSE, available from Tirgearr Publishing. Annette, take it away!
1) Welcome, Annette. Tell us a little about yourself, and what inspired you to become a writer.
Books have been some of my closest friends. I think it’s just a natural extension to write. Also, I have all of these voices in my head. That’s only okay if you’re a writer.
2) Tell us what CELEBRATION HOUSE is about.
CELEBRATION HOUSE is a paranormal romance about a woman who moves to a small town in Missouri and restores an antebellum mansion, which she then opens as an event venue. It combines my love of old houses and the American Civil War with my background in cardiac nursing.
3) It sounds wonderful! If you were casting the movie version of CELEBRATION HOUSE, who would you choose for the leading roles?
It’s frightening how much time I’ve spent thinking about this!
For the main character, I see Sandra Bullock. For Maj. Stewart, only Hugh Jackman. There’s one scene where Carrie walks in on a poker game in the kitchen. In this scene, I’d love to see Ryan Lewis and Macklemore as two of the ghostly Civil War soldiers.
4) Ooh, that’s one movie I’d have to see! On a different topic, tell us about a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about.
Yikes! I don’t know if I have one. Um, uh. Okay. Got it. I’m a fast typist. It used to be 100wpm, but now more about 60 wpm or so.
5) What’s your favorite comfort food?
There’s a chocolatier in my community who makes these amazing triple chocolate biscotti. I dip them in my coffee in the morning and yum! This is how I like to start my day.
6) Yummy! Getting back to writing, are you an outliner or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I’m evolving. I’m less a seat-of-my-pants and more of an outliner now. For instance, I want to write two sequels to Celebration House, and I have a general idea of how the two books start and end. But to write a strict outline, ugh! I don’t think I could.
7) What’s your favorite season and why?
I love fall because it’s the season of state fairs and the long hot days of summer are behind us and, of course, because of Halloween. This is my favorite holiday. Dress up in costumes and beg for chocolate? What’s not to love!
8) If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I can’t imagine not being a writer. I’ve often asked myself if I knew I would never make a penny with my writing, would I continue to write? And the answer is yes. I will always write. That is who I am.
9) Tell us about anyone famous you’ve met.
Many years ago, when I was a journalism student at Truman State University, I attended a press conference where Elizabeth Dole spoke. Her husband was running for president. Again. Mrs. Dole was so polished and poised. We were all leaving the meeting room, and I dropped the small recorder I used for note taking. The batteries hit the marble floor, and all of us jumped at the loud noise. For just an instant, I saw the tired woman beneath the façade. I’ve never forgotten that.
10) And finally, what’s your favorite non-writing-related website?
I like CraigsList. Is that crazy? I like to look up farm-related items so I can see what horses might be available or who has chicks for sell. I’m a farmer currently without a farm. Ah, but some day.
Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself. After recovering from her own heart surgery, she realizes she has a special gift: the ability to see and talk with the dead.
Now, with her new heart failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.
Carrie’s work is cut out for her. The 150-year-old Greek revival house is in need of serious repair. Her sister, Melanie, tries to bully Carrie into returning to Seattle, predicting her “little project” is doomed to fail. Finally, Carrie’s health gives out on her, requiring emergency surgery.
But she will not give up. Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s original occupants, especially Maj. Tom Stewart, the handsome Civil War soldier who died a hundred years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.
Then there’s the builder of the house, Col. Bartholomew Stratton. If there’s one thing this 19th century horse trader cannot abide, it’s the living trespassing on his estate. He delights in scaring these intruders away, even if they are paying guests.
Will Carrie finish restoring Celebration House or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?
Annette Drake’s work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences. CELEBRATION HOUSE was published in August 2013. BONE GIRL, due out next month, is her second novel.
Annette is the mother of four children and makes her home in Washington State. She loves libraries, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.
Monday, January 27, 2014
I am SO sick of winter already. Not just the snow—we didn’t get as much as some other spots in the US, though we got a respectable amount. But the cold is not only painfully uncomfortable, but potentially dangerous.
A couple of weeks ago, we got up to find there was no hot water. Somewhere along the line,the hot water pipe had frozen. Eventually it thawed, and luckily caused no permanent damage. But now we have to remember to leave the water running (at a drip rate) at night on bitterly cold nights, so we don’t end up with frozen pipes again.
Then we had a day where there was no heat. I called the oil company, and they said, “Oh, you’re out of oil.” Since we’re on automatic delivery, this should have happened. But that’s an argument for another time. They came out within a few hours and put some oil in the tank—due to the demand, they couldn’t fill it. We’re down to 1/4 tank or less again and just hoping they come out tomorrow as promised and fill the tank. I’m not even going to say how expensive that is.
The woodburning stove is getting a real workout. We had it going almost all weekend long. I’d use it myself during the week, but I never earned the Firestarter badge in Girl Scouts. So I just end up wearing lots of sweaters and drinking lots of tea.
Shoveling the walk or scraping ice off the car becomes a race against time: can we finish before frostbite sets in?
Just getting up our steep, bumpy driveway is an exercise in terror: how fast do I have to go when I make that 90-degree turn into the driveway, and how much fishtailing do I have to endure to make it to the top?
But there’s one thing that’s positive about this frigid weather, as long as I don’t think what this says about my storm windows:
Jack Frost was here!