Cover Design: T.E. Black Designs
These heroes will prove themselves worthy of your attention, and affection. From scorching hot firefighters to dashing police officers, there is something for everyone.
Kiss him. Don’t fall in love.
Break a spell with a kiss. Karina has heard and seen enough weird stuff for this request to sound legit.
At 16, Karina has a shot at adventure–and an odd first kiss – when she’s called to Whyland, a kingdom in another dimension, to save a guy she barely knows. Why her? No clue, but she’s happy to help, and kissing Sian isn’t torture, even if he isn’t to be trusted. Karina’s smart enough not to fall in love – or at least to tell herself not to.
Once in Whyland, she realizes that risking a broken heart is the smallest of her problems. When truths are unraveled, Karina will need to stand between an ancient darkness and the kingdom. But what hope does she have against mysterious powers when she can’t even control her own heart?
If you like fantasy and adventure with a dash of romance, give Kissing Magic a try. This novel is recommended for listeners 13 and older. This is book two in Portals to Whyland series but you can jump straight into it without listening to book one.
Originally from Brazil, Day Leitao lives in Montreal, Canada. She likes stories with action, humor, and heart.
For more information, for a free novella, and to get news and updates, go to https://dayleitao.com
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author
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I’m pleased to announce the release of my latest historical romance. The Viking’s Witch is set in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual love story with adventure and paranormal elements.
In my last blog, I discussed how the book came about, the research involved, and the conflicts that take place in the story. Now I’ll give readers insight into the origins and development of the characters, as well as Odaria’s magic “witch” powers.
The Viking’s Witch is a traditional historical romance with paranormal elements set in Scotland in 803 A.D. The heroine, Odaria, is what they called a witch back then—nowadays we’d call her a psychic and a healer. Here’s the plot summary:
The Viking’s Witch
Scotland, 803 A.D.
About to be burned at the stake by her fellow villagers, Odaria does what any betrayed witch facing certain death would do. She calls down a curse. Within seconds, rampaging Norsemen raid the village, capturing everyone except her.
But her reprieve is short-lived, and Odaria lands in the clutches of the Norse leader Rothgar. Can she remain true to herself and fight her growing attraction to this domineering man, or will she fall under his influence and be used for his ambitions?
After Rothgar witnesses Odaria’s powers firsthand, he strikes a bargain with her. The raven-haired beauty will use her magical abilities to help him with his quest in exchange for safe passage off the isle. But can this cunning woman be trusted, or is she using him to exact vengeance on her village?
Together they must fight bloodthirsty villagers, battle a mutinous band of Norsemen, find a missing Norse ship, and learn to trust each other…before time runs out.
Interviewers have asked me how I can create such interesting and diverse characters for all of my books. They want to know where Rothgar and Odaria came from. Well, there’s no real way to answer that other than, I just made them up. (Chris Hemsworth from Thor is pretty much what I envisioned Rothgar to look like—even though I wrote the book long before the movie came out!)
When I create my heroes and heroines I always give them “baggage” and flaws—along with problems to overcome. This way, they can grow and change over the course of the book. Odaria is a strong-willed “witch” who is tired of being abused and ridiculed by the people in her village. She swears she doesn’t need anyone’s help to get by. Rothgar was once a powerful warrior, but a personal tragedy has softened him and left him broken and unwilling to love anyone again.
When they first meet, they each play off the others’ weaknesses. Odaria has no qualms about standing up to Rothgar and arguing with him, and he respects her willful and fearless behavior. Eventually they realize that they need (and want) to be with each other forever.
I like to introduce secondary characters and subplots into my books to flesh out the story. I’m often asked about the secondary Norse character, Nordskog. He’s not the type of “hero” one would typically find in a romance, but he serves an important role in the story. Where did he come from? Well…
I used to work with a woman whose last name was Nordskog and I told her that one day I’d use her name in a book, so I did! Nordskog is a violent, vicious berserkr and has a history with Rothgar dating from Rothgar’s old fighting days. Nordskog’s hatred of Karnik draws him closer to Rothgar’s side as the story develops. After Odaria helps heal his leg, Nordskog displays a protective fondness for her, as well. He’s an impulsive brute, but he’s not stupid. He knows that Rothgar is wealthy and will reward him for his services and loyalty.
But if readers thought Nordskog was bad, the antagonist, Brennan, is even worse.
Brennan has been described by one reviewer as “a perfectly evil villain” which was exactly my intention. I wanted to portray him as an arrogant, self-righteous SOB—but not have his character be too over-the-top. Brennan is a lying, murdering, religious zealot—and that makes him dangerous to Odaria and the other villagers.
Most of the terrible things Brennan’s done happen off-page and we learn about them through Odaria. Each time I wrote a scene for, or about, Brennan, I made him a little more unstable and psychotic, so by the end of the book readers see that he needs to learn his lesson and pay for what he’s done.
Odaria’s “magic” is the catalyst that sets the story in motion and helps bring about Brennan’s demise. When the book opens, Odaria is about to be burned alive for being a witch. She calls down a spell and curses the villagers while unknowingly invoking a Viking raid. Or so it seems…
Odaria uses her “powers” for self-preservation and to get revenge on the people who hurt her. Rothgar doesn’t believe in her “magic” and thinks she’s merely pretending to be a witch to frighten people. But after a highly-charged interaction with Brennan, Rothgar gets a taste of what Odaria could really do if she set her mind to it.
I loved showing readers (and Rothgar) Odaria’s powers of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and psychometry. The scenes that included the “magic” elements were a lot of fun to write. I’ve always been interested in psychic phenomena and other New Age/paranormal subjects, so it was easy for me to incorporate what I know into Odaria’s character.
I hope you enjoyed Part Two of this “inside look” at The Viking’s Witch. I’m happy to say that readers and reviewers fell in love with the characters and the book has received dozens of excellent reviews. (And it also won a Gold IPPY Award for best romance ebook!)
Here’s a mini-excerpt from The Viking’s Witch:
Odaria entered the gathering hall and mounted the stairs two at a time. Her lower body tingled and throbbed, craving Rothgar’s touch. She imagined his strong hands squeezing and stroking her as his hot mouth covered her breasts.
She raced into the bedchamber, lit a candle, and straightened the blankets on the bed. Now what? Should she undress and lie down? Should she wait and let Rothgar strip her? Did men like that, or would Rothgar rather find her nude and ready?
As eager as she was to make love, the thought of finally being deflowered set her nerves on edge. What if she did something wrong? How would she know how to pleasure Rothgar? No one had ever told her the secrets of lovemaking.
“There’s no need for me to be nervous,” she whispered as she paced the room. Even from inside the gathering hall, she could still hear the party in the courtyard. The music seemed to have gotten louder, and the men were cheering and singing. She went to the window and peered out. Two groups of men were tugging on a long length of rope, each trying to pull the other group down.
“I hope I haven’t kept you waiting too long,” Rothgar said from the doorway.
She turned from the window. “I wasna sure if I should take off me dress or—”
“I’ll take care of everything.” Rothgar locked the door behind him, then removed his tunic. “Come to me, my little witch.”
Order The Viking’s Witch here:
Link to all other platforms: https://books2read.com/u/4EQe0o
Read more about my romances on my new site: www.kelliwilkins.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.
Her latest historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements.
In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.
Kelli released her latest Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable in 2018. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.
If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.
Not just an author, Kelli is also an amateur photographer. Visit her pages on Shutterstock https://www.shutterstock.com/g/kelli+wilkins and iStock https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/kelliwilkins to view her photos.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor.
Visit her NEW website www.KelliWilkins.com or blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ to learn more about all of her writings.
It only takes one night.
Natalie Winters thought she’d married the man of her dreams…but her marriage ended way too soon in a nightmarish divorce. She even has to share custody of the dog! The stress is killing her, so she decides to take a night off and attend the Breakup Bash—a private party for women celebrating their breakups—with her friends.
Former executive security specialist turned bartender Rome Collier is drawn to the woman easily trading sexy banter with him. And if she wants the “Do Me” condoms she accidentally throws across the counter at him, she’ll have to claim them…personally. Their flirtation turns into so much more, and every scintillating night they spend together is better than the last.
Strong, protective…and hot, Rome is everything Natalie ever wanted in a man. All she has to do is convince him he’s more than a rebound.
Nina Crespo is giving two winners a signed print copy of a book from The Breakup Bash series (winner’s choice — The First Rule of Hookups or Rules of a Rebound) & a $10 Amazon gift card.
Her past was full of fake promises, but the passion she feels now is real…Maybe too real. Strong, protective…and hot, Rome is everything Natalie ever wanted in a man. Is he more than just a rebound?
“How much do I owe you?”
“We can settle up later. Before I forget, here’s your key.” Rome slipped it from his keyring and handed it to her.
Electric like tingles radiated into her palm. Rome sucked in a breath. A long moment passed as they just stared at each other.
He stepped back, breaking the spell. “Guess I should get to work.”
“Weshould get to work.” She tucked the key into her front pocket. “I just need to get my toolbox from the garage.”
“See you out back.”
Natalie retrieved her purple toolbox with black trim then joined him on the deck. She sat it next to his nearly identical yellow and black one on the picnic style table situated near the left corner. He’d moved her tarp-covered grill to the far corner on the right.
Rome measured the height and width of the door frame. “The plywood isn’t as wide. We’ll have to nail in two-by-fours to take up the slack.”
She shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand as he pointed to where the two-by-fours would fit. “Makes sense to me. I’ll get started on taking down the broken door.” As she opened the lid to her toolbox, the top tray divided into two. Screwdrivers were lined up on the left side. Wrenches and pliers on the right. In the tray underneath was a hammer, a small hand drill with assorted bits and a digital measuring tape.
Rome peered over her shoulder. “Nice. Very nice.” He’d put on cologne when he’d gone home to change, and his tantalizing sandalwood and citrus scent wafted in breeze.
She faced him. “I showed you mine, now show me yours.”
He quirked a brow. “Sure you can handle it?”
“Would I ask if I couldn’t?”
His deep chuckle was like a wicked caress running over her bare skin. “True.” Eyes never leaving hers he moved closer. Body heat and attraction filled the small space between them.
As he leaned in and reached back, his chest grazed her breasts. “What do you think?”
What did she think? If she sat on the table, they could reenact what happened in the storeroom. But they were talking about toolboxes. Weren’t they?
Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.
Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel.
Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.
Stay connected with Nina on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or through her newsletter.
It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival. Despite a former occupant’s fervent warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic known for her explosive predictions, to communicate with the apparition.
Construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing. Could it be Prudence, Judge Hiram Grey’s first wife, who disappeared during a fiery Vietnam War protest that destroyed parts of the campus? While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident at the Fall Festival leaves Hiram in a coma and another dead body to investigate. Kellan’s research digs up a tale of horror and pain about the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family, forcing April to accelerate her plan to capture the elusive killer and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.
Release Date: October 1st, 2019
5th in Braxton Campus Mysteries
Pre-Sale Link: http://bit.ly/HHGhost
Hunkering behind a weathered, illegible headstone in Wellington Cemetery’s oldest and scariest graveyard, I remained silent and stationary amidst a slew of exhumed corpses. Though surrounded by slender, tall white pines, a gnarly and knotty willow tree’s sweeping canopy of dying branches furtively brushed my neck. After an onslaught of howling winds furiously whipped my quivering skin, I peered over the loosened tomb marker and gawked at the mounds of freshly flung dirt. Why had a ruthless monster dug up so many coffins near the Grey mausoleum?
Skulking two rows away, the determined villain’s soulless eyes glowed like burning coal. The chilling tone of St. Mary’s somber church bells blasted—midnight’s fortuitous arrival. Its ominous beckoning prompted my unsteady feet to falter, crunching a pile of decaying leaves and foolishly revealing my secret location. Suddenly enshrouded in fog and hovering near the nameless gravestone, the rogue’s flowing black and gray robes resembled billowing smoke from an overworked chimney. “I hear you breathing, Ayrwick. Come out, come out wherever you are. I’m not finished with this game.”
“I don’t know who you are, but your obsession with me has spiraled out of control.” As an aloof moon cast an eerie luminosity, I cursed my new modern, sporty aviator eyeglasses for clouding over. Apparition or figment of an overwrought imagination, I couldn’t be certain; nor did I care at that moment. “You can’t be real. My mind is playing tricks on me.”
The ethereal bogeyman glided inches above the churchyard’s hallowed ground. The soles of its feet would vaporize upon stepping in the sacred dirt of the meandering pathways. “Are you ready to die?” the menacing, shrill voice taunted while hunting and cornering me in the darkness of my desolate hiding spot—the cold, melancholy resonance frightening all the bats, owls, and other nightlife creatures into hurried seclusion. The masked phantom narrowed a sinister gaze and brandished a mammoth-sized, razor-sharp scythe that cut swiftly through the crisp air and aimed with precision for my neck.
<<Message from the author: Oh, no! Will we lose Kellan to this assailant? Is this the book opener? The murder scene? The climax where Kellan confronts the killer? Stay tuned to find out… you know I love to include cliff-hangers and shockers, so be prepared!>>
James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com
What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 900 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, there is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.
Websites & Blog
Website | Blog | Next Chapter
Social Media Links
List of Books
Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)
Braxton Campus Mysteries
Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)
Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)
Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)
Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)
Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)
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