Friday, January 17, 2020

Calling All #Readers! The 2020 Winter Games Are Here - #ebooks

Hi Friends, fans and #Readers:

We have a fantastic event in store for you - The 2020 WINTER GAMES



Winter Games is a month-long reader challenge, featuring up to 60 BESTSELLING & AWARD-WINNING AUTHORS

Readers, if you LOVE a challenge and are willing to write Amazon reviews for some Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors–Winter Games is for YOU!

Readers will be eligible for fantastic prizes including Amazon gift cards, swag, free books, and tons of fun! Click HERE to join our Facebook Reader Group.

Winter Games is Bigger, Better, Super Organized, and the best reader challenge on the planet!

💎 Winter Games’ hosts will post games, giveaways, prizes, and incentives along the way in our Author and Reader Facebook groups.

💎 A $200 GRAND PRIZE will be awarded to the READER who reads and posts Amazon Reviews for the most books. The Grand Prize will be in the form of a $200 gift card.

💎Additional prizes will be awarded to other reader participants, which may include swag, print books, and gift cards.

💎The most reviews on BookBub and/or Goodreads reviews as well as Amazon reviews.

💎The reader who attends and participates in the most Host Parties during the event.

💎The reader who interacts with authors and encourages other readers during the event.

💎 Smaller prizes will be awarded by the host during the month-long event, such as smaller gift cards, swag giveaways, digital copies, or Audible versions of various books written by participating authors.

Let's have some fun! I'm crossing my fingers you join the Winter Games, read some great books and win some fantastic prizes! 

Here's the link again for all
#booklovers and #readers:

See you there! 
 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

This Week's Word/s - in die vindictae - What do they mean?


Welcome to this Weeks' Word, or in this case WORDS.


In Die Vindictae
Which means in Latin:  Day of Revenge

This term has been used repeatedly in history and in the present time. 
Most recently you can find a song with the title Die Vindictae, by Phil Rey. From the album Kingdom of Illusions, this is an urgent, suspenseful rendition and pleasant to listen to: HERE

You can also find mention of In Die Vindictae in biblical references, specifically in The Expanded Text of Ecclesiasticus (if you care to dig into it that deeply). 

It's an interesting term because so many books, movies, plays and writings include the theme of 'revenge'. Here's a few examples from some great writers who wrote about revenge (and include the word in the title)


Of course, there's a gazillion books with the theme of revenge where the word isn't included in the title. 

My Gothic Romance novel, SOJOURN WITH A STRANGER contains a huge revenge theme, although the word is not in the title. 

The hour is upon us, the day is fading fast.
The maiden's made her choices; his seeds will soon be cast.
A male comes to the manor, with eyes of emerald green.
Raise the goblets; wave the banners, the Stafford heir undoes the scheme.
 

 

Setup: In this scene Lyman, Derek's brother, intends to seek his revenge on Raine for carrying his brother's child and, thereby, producing the first mail heir at Stafford House. Lyman convinces the Voodoo Priestess, Zaira to prepare a lethal concoction for Raine. With any luck, the potent herbs will kill the baby she carries, and her too. 

 

 

 Excerpt:

"I am prepared to pay a handsome stipend for your services, Zaira." He clasped his hands together and rocked back on his heels. "Call it a token of my appreciation."
 

She eyed him with suspicion. "What do I have to do?"
 

"Prepare a few teensy tinctures, nothing more. The same ones you prepared for our dear departed Lucinda."
 

"I won't do it. It's too late."
 

"Come now, Zaira, one tiny vial, that's all." He could not allow the bastard to come forth. Relaxing his stance, he lapsed into his charming tone. "I am prepared to double the amount."
 

She delivered the words at a snail's pace, aggravating him further. "You don't understand, Lyman."
 

"Enlighten me, what don't I comprehend?"
 

"The leaves have spoken; the plan set into motion long ago." Pausing she continued, "Wave the banners, the Stafford heir undoes the scheme."
Crushing his anger, he attempted to remain calm. "And?"
Her small voice caused him to cock his ear. "There is nothing you can do to stop it. The heir will arrive."
 

"Listen, bitch! You will prepare the tincture or I will strangle you, do you hear me, Zaira? I will deliver the poison to the emerald-eyed whore myself. If it aborted Lucinda's sniveling brats, the herbs will abort hers."


"I will prepare one, but don't darken my door ever again."


He smelled victory. "A trade, then. I swear to never call upon you again, but to ensure success, double the strength."


"No, Lyman, the remedy would kill the woman."


"Perfect!" He clapped his hands. "Let it kill the little slut." Advancing on her, he curled his hands around her neck. "Now are you going to prepare the tincture or must I kill you too?"


"Unhand me, you fool. If you kill me, you have no chance of success."


He shoved her toward the cupboard where she kept the vials. "Do not press me. You never know what I am capable of."


Zaira poured a drop of this and a drop of that into a vial, swished it around, and looked at the contents. 


"More," Lyman said.


She repeated the process, slid the stopper in, and handed it to him. With questioning eyes, she held her hand out.


"Oh, very well." He tossed the coin on the table. "I warn you, priestess, if the oil doesn't work, I return. You will pray for death before I'm finished with you."

 

* * *

 

Want to find out what happens to Raine and the baby she's carrying?
Download here for 99 pennies





Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Welcome #Author Lisabet Sarai With A New #Holiday Release

We welcome Lisabet Sarai today with her new Erotic Romance. We're still in the Holiday mode so I'm certain you'll enjoy reading CHERRY PIE AND MISTLETOE. Details below:


New Release!
Cherry Pie and Mistletoe
A Mature Holiday Romance
By Lisabet Sarai

Some Christmas traditions improve with age.

Blurb
At ten thirty on a stormy Christmas Eve, I really didn’t expect any business, but the sign for our diner out on the highway reads “open until midnight”, and I’m a woman of my word. Good thing I didn’t close; the half-frozen long haul trucker who wandered in really needed some hot coffee, not to mention a slice of my luscious cherry pie.

Something about the grizzled, bear-like man with the chocolate-brown eyes and ready laugh spun me back to my scandalous, sensual younger days. I hadn’t wanted anyone in years, but I wanted Dave Driver. Was I brave enough to act on my desire? And would he flee, screaming, from the amorous attentions of a white-haired little old lady? 



Excerpt

Before he could mention it, I refilled his empty mug. What was it about this guy? Ants crawled along my skin. Butterflies danced in my stomach. My nipples felt heavy and hard as polished stones and a hungry void pulsed between my thighs.

Our eyes met. Heat flickered through me. I held my breath.

“You got any cherry pie?” he asked at last. Had he wanted to request something else?
“Um—yes, yes, of course,” I gasped. Disappointment and relief warred inside me. After all, I wasn’t a girl anymore. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. “Best cherry pie in three counties, in fact.”

“And would you happen to have something to do with that, Marnie?”

“I certainly would. It’s my mother’s recipe—by the way, what’s your name?” I winced at my own boldness. “Since you know mine.”

“Dave,” he replied. “Dave Driver.”

I giggled. “You’re joking, right?”

“Nope. Guess I was fated to be a long-haul trucker.” Sadness tinged his smile. “Anyway, Marnie—how about that pie? It’s great talking to you, but I’ve got to be in Nebraska by Thursday morning.”

“Coming right up.” I cut him a more-than-generous slice and topped it with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. Ruby-red fruit oozed from the flaky crust. Fingers of creamy white dripped over the top and pooled on the plate. I garnished the whole thing with a sprig of fresh mint and presented it to him with a flourish.

“Very Christmas-y,” he said. “Looks delicious, too.”

“It is.” I watched him devour a big, gooey chunk.

“Wow! This is amazing!”

“Thanks.” It felt so good to be the cause of his innocent delight. “Glad you like it.”

“Why don’t you join me? Have a piece of your own?”

“I shouldn’t. It’s bad for my cholesterol.”

“It’s Christmas Eve, and you have to work. You deserve some compensation!”  He held out a moist forkful of cherries and cream. “Here, take some of mine, then.”

Giving in to impulse, I leaned over the counter, opened my mouth and let him feed me. Flavors exploded on my tongue: the sweet-tart burst of the fruit, the richness of the ice cream, the buttery lightness of the crust. Dave scrutinized my face as I chewed and swallowed, savoring every moment. I couldn’t stop licking my lips. His eyes followed my every move. A blush climbed into my cheeks, even as I chided myself for being immature and overly sensitive.

 “See?” he said gravely. “You should listen to me. Go get yourself some of your incredible cherry pie.”

I didn’t resist any more. I wanted the pie. I wanted him, too. Not much I could do about that second desire, but I could certainly fulfill the first. Hard as it sometimes was to believe, I was sixty four. Did I think I’d live forever?

With my pie and ice cream (a somewhat smaller piece than I’d given him), I perched on a stool inside the serving area. Facing each other across the counter, less than a foot apart, we ate in silence.

I tried without success to concentrate on the exquisite taste of the dessert in front of me, as Dave seemed to be doing. Instead, I was intensely aware of how close he was—and how paradoxically attractive. I watched his sensual mouth opening and closing around forkfuls of pie, the flick of his tongue over his lips as he gathered stray crumbs, the shift in his throat as he swallowed a mouthful of coffee.

He drained his coffee cup. He’d nearly finished. When he was done, he’d disappear into the winter night. He had a long way to travel before morning. His job probably depended on providing a reliable delivery schedule.

I was just a stop along the way.

DOWNLOAD THE BOOK AT THE FOLLOWING VENUES:

 
 


About Lisabet
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles,marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles and counting,in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her  (WEBSITE) along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog (BEYOND ROMANCE), she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads, Pinterest, and  TwitterJoin Her VIP Mailing List HERE
 
Thanks so much for visiting today, Lisabet! Can't wait to dive into Cherry Pie and Mistletoe!




 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

This Week's Word - Floriography (The Language of Flowers)

Hi, and thanks so much for visiting today.

This week's word is Floriography
(Or as the Victorians called it, The Language of Flowers).

And...they took the color and deliverance of flowers very seriously. (In the modern world, you can think of their use of flowers similar to the way we use emojis).

Flower language was popularized in France about 1810–1850, whereas in Britain it became popular during the Victorian era (1820–1880), and then traveled to the United States (1830–1850).

 Flowers Were Once Used To Deliver Messages...secret messages.

*  If flowers were given to a recipient upside down, it meant that they were meant to mean the opposite of what that arrangement typically symbolized.


*  If flowers were given to someone using the right hand, they were used to answer “yes” to a question. On the contrary, if they were given using the left hand, they were used to answer with “no.”


*  If someone received an arrangement of lupines, hollyhocks, white heather and ragged robin, they were being wished good luck.


*  If someone received an arrangement of delphiniums, hydrangeas, oleander, basil and birdsfoot, it was meant to deliver a more negative message, such as you’re heartless and beware!


*  If someone was given hyacinths, it could symbolize a few things, such as play, forgive me, or games.

In addition to the actual flowers, the ribbons added to the arrangement also held significance – specifically, if the ribbon was tied to the left, the flower symbolism had to do with the giver. However, if it was tied to the right, the message was about the giver.


When I was writing DECADENT DECEPTIONS, I knew I wanted to use flowers in the story, specifically, a rose. But first I had to find out what each color of the roses meant. In relation to the above about secret messages, I discovered roses had a language all their own. 

Here's how Victorians interpreted the colors of roses (this still remains true today).

Yellow Rose: Joy, Protection against envious lovers, Mature love
White Rose: Purity, Sanctity, Secret admirer, Mysticism
Red Rose: Sacrifice, Immortal love, Health, Memorial, Passion
Pink Rose: First love, Innocence, Healing
Burgundy Rose: deep passion, readiness for a commitment and unconscious beauty
Blue rose: mystery, the impossible, or the unattainable. 

Lavender rose: love and enchantment at first sight, regal majesty and splendor, wonder & impossibility.
 

The black rose is the one I decided to include in Decadent Deceptions. In the story, there's a serial killer and his calling card is a black rose. Either before he strikes or after he kills, he leaves a black rose in a conspicuous spot. 

A black rose is a mysterious bloom that conveys several meanings, so don't always think of it as morbid. While the color black has often been synonymous with death and mourning, it's usually used at funerals. But black roses do have a more positive meaning as well. They can stand for the beginning of new things and major change. Black roses can inspire confidence by signaling the birth of a new era and can bring hope and courage.


About Decadent Deceptions (Erotic Romance/Suspense)

* RWA MOLLY CONTEST FINALIST


Olivia Breedlove’s father couldn’t control her while he was alive, but continues to try even after his death. Thaddeus’ Will stipulates that in order to inherit her portion of his estate, Olivia must marry a respectable man of means within six months of his death. There’s one caveat, however – under no circumstances can that man be someone like Morgan Gatewood.
It’s been ten years since Thaddeus banished Morgan, a notorious ladies’ man, for kissing a much younger Olivia in the garden during a family function. But now that Thaddeus is gone, Morgan’s back─and Olivia still wants him. She also wants her inheritance. A bit ahead of her time for 1850’s Savannah, Georgia, Olivia sets out to find a loophole to get what she wants. Her scheme to make Morgan jealous by asking him to help her locate her future husband─by escorting her to the local brothel so that she may observe and evaluate men with a talent for pleasing women─ doesn’t go as planned.
Morgan still has ravenous feelings for Olivia, but keeps them to himself as he doesn’t want to interfere with her inheritance. The stakes are raised with a killer on the loose murdering prostitutes in the brothel, and it appears that Olivia is next on the killer’s list. 


DOWNLOAD ON AMAZON 99 CENTS

AVAILABLE ON ALL VENUES AND PAPERBACK
 



Sunday, December 29, 2019

This Week's Word: APACHE


This Week' Word is APACHE

I used to post This Week's Word every week. Visitors really seemed to enjoy coming back every week to see which word would be posted. Sometimes the word would be an unusual word from the dictionary, one you might not be familiar with. Hopefully, it would be a new word you could add to your own vocabulary. Sometimes, the word would relate to a book I've written or a book I'm in the process of writing. When I wrote CHASING THE DEAD, I had to learn about the Native American tribes that roamed the southern plains of Texas, and the surrounding areas of southern Arizona and New Mexico. While their customs and beliefs might seem foreign to us, they were part of their every day life.

The Apache were one of the fiercest tribes in Indian Territory and, one of the most superstitious. There is a lot of information on the Net about their beliefs and superstitions regarding the dead. Below are just some.
Belief in Ghosts:
Native Americans warned others of the danger of the ghost world. One of the reasons that burial rites and ceremonies were so important in Native American culture was that it was a common belief that errors by the living during these ceremonies would cause ghosts to hang around and cause trouble.

The Apache believed ghosts almost always chose the night to strike. They often appeared in human guise in dreams or as black, amorphous objects. They made whistling noises to frighten their victims; therefore whistling at night was discouraged.

The Kiowa Apache’s reaction to death was immediate and violent.  Close relatives wailed, tore their clothes and exposed their bodies without shame. A widow would dress in blackened clothing, usually old flaps from tipis and she remained dressed like this until relatives told her it was time to stop mourning. The Apache also believed that ghosts were the malignant parts of the human soul, whose only purpose was to seek revenge and wreak havoc. (This is exactly what happens in my Western Romance, Chasing the Dead. Read the blurb below)

Mythology of the Apache:
*  Spiritual Leader:  they called him The One Who Lived Above

*  Goddess of Death – She controls all the souls that pass on to future worlds. The road to this otherworld crosses over her shoulders and is symbolized through the Milky Way (a trail made by departing spirits.)

*  The Apache will not utter the name of a dead person for fear of angering the Goddess of Death – and she might then forbid them entry into the other world. 

Raves for Chasing the Dead"I just finished reading this book and highly recommend it." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"What a fantastically original plot and story idea! If you like westerns, American history, the native American Indians or just want a read with some seriously sexy Bannister boys (cowboys!!), well then this one is for you." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"I found myself unable to put this novel down once I got started. I found it engaging and entertaining. With never a dull moment, I would definitely recommend it to anyone." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"I was pleasantly surprised to see that this wasn't just a western romance. It also has paranormal elements as well. That's not the only reason I would rate this a 5 star book." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

"Diablo has kept the romance bones in the usual order- ankle connected to shin then knee etc etc - and fleshed them out with an Apache / Mexican / Cowboy overlay. Which I really like." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About Chasing the Dead 
In 1884 New Mexico, Madrid Arrende finds herself kidnapped by the Apache. Determined to rescue her, her wealthy father realizes there is only one man capable of bringing her back alive...Deacon Bannister. Deacon doesn't give one whit about the large sum of money Don Erasmos Arrende has offered him to find his daughter. He only cares about bringing the woman he left at the altar a year ago home.

A ghost is terrorizing the Apache village and the young maiden, Sacheen, has been banished by her People for unleashing Uday's wrath. Now, Deacon, Madrid and Sacheen must flee for their lives across the rugged New Mexico landscape with the evil spirit in hot pursuit.

Will they make it back alive to Madrid's father's hacienda or will Deacon lose Madrid forever? 


Thanks so much for visiting today!


Friday, December 27, 2019

"Little Women" Opened in the UK today! #Movies and #Books

The story behind Little Women all begins with Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, the home of the book’s author, Louis May Alcott. 


The new film, Little Women, opened in the UK today. It’s not surprising the director of the movie, Greta Gerwig, brought the cast and crew to Orchard House before filming. She wanted the women in the film to realize how Louisa and her family really lived. 


Here are the actors in the new film:

Saoirse Ronan plays Josephine "Jo" March (Alcott’s alter-ego)

Emma Watson is Meg (based on Louisa’s real-life sister Anna)

Florence Pugh is Amy (youngest sister May)

Eliza Scanlen is Beth (namesake of Elizabeth).

Marmee is played by Laura Dern

Meryl Streep is the formidable Aunt March 


Good things to know beforehand if you ever plan to visit Orchard House, although the house has a tour guide and will provide you with lots of information.


* The Alcotts’ home has been preserved largely as they left it, down to Louisa’s needlework kit with her name embroidered on it.

* The kitchen still has the soapstone sink and a bread board that artist May used to practice pyrography – burning pictures into wood.

* May’s paintings and drawings also adorn the dining room, parlor, Louisa’s room and her own bedroom. In the family’s study there’s a portrait of May, who spent her last years in Europe.

* The girls’ father Amos was an idealist teacher who championed vegetarianism, social justice and women’s rights but whose financial mistakes kept the family in poverty.

* The house was already 200 years old when he bought it in 1857 and named it after an orchard of 40 apple trees within the grounds.

His wife Abigail, or “Abba”, always stood by him, despite his inability to support her and their daughters. Being without him would be like “living without breath”, she wrote in her journal.

* Louisa managed to make money by selling stories before eventually writing Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo’s Boys. When her health began to deteriorate, she took safe harbor in Switzerland. She died at age 55.

* The sisters also used the dining room as a stage, performing home-made plays for friends and neighbors who gathered in an adjoining parlor. Below is a picture of Louisa's bedroom. 




For those who will never get the chance to visit Louis May Alcott’s home, you can find the book HERE  where Alcott dispenses immense knowledge about their lives and Orchard House. 
 
If you’re not a fan of Coming-of-Age stories (the official genre of Little Women), I have a book from the same era (set in the United States) on special this month.


 SOJOURN WITH A STRANGER

A dark, Gothic romance


"This story has everything & then some–romance, birth, death, voodoo, adventure, psychic ability. I could not put it down! Not once!"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


"Sojourn With A Stranger is absolutely wonderful! I was captivated from beginning to end. The characters blend together effortlessly while keeping up the normal love hate relationship they seem to share.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


"Diablo excels at creating characters with depth and charisma and then placing them in unusual, sometimes uncomfortable, situations. The story is outstanding, the characters are delightful and the hot intimate scenes are tastefully described in such a way that is sure to set fire to your heart.” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Raine Brinsley is penniless after her are parents drowned at sea. She's sent by the local minister to Stafford House to apply for a job as a servant. Despite the alarm bells going off in her head, she accepts the offer of employment. She has one goal in mind, to return to her beloved grandfather in Maine. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About Sojourn With A Stranger:


Lord of the Manor, Derek Stafford, has his own dilemmas to worry about. His wife committed suicide some time ago after several babies were stillborn. Derek and his brother, Lyman, race to produce the first male heir of Stafford House. The winner will receive not only the title to the eloquent manor but also an enormous sum of money from their wealthy father.
Derek decides the beautiful Raine will make the perfect surrogate. If only he can convince the young woman that signing a contract to bear his son will serve both their needs: She can return to her grandfather and he'll inherit a life of wealth and luxury.

But dark stirrings are afoot at Stafford House. A ghost haunts the halls of the manor and the spirit is intent on exposing her killer to Raine. Steeped in murderous plots, Derek and Raine face insurmountable odds of achieving their dreams.

And fight the insatiable hunger between them.