Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Today's feature is a sizzling Science Fiction Romance by Sandra Harris;
You can find her at:
Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/pz2b22u
Book 1 in the Selected Evolution Series
Do you really know who you are? What you are?
Earth: Near Future Experience has taught Sarah Rasmussen that hot guys don’t go for geeks like her. Their retreat speed is usually proportional to the value of her IQ. However, for every rule it seems there is an exception—or in her lucky case, two.
When confronted with the disturbing fact she has been genetically manipulated in order to save an alien race stranded on Earth for a thousand years, she needs the strength of the men’s devotion to deal with the life-changing news. But when she learns that the love of the two men she has come to care for deeply is not quite as it appears, it could shatter her heart forever.
Nick Bannister and Adam McKeoun will never stop fighting to convince Sarah she is their world, no matter what the source of their emotion. They will let nothing stand in their way of forging a happiness that will transcend any challenge, especially not a calculating and determined enemy bent on Sarah’s destruction.
Fear coated Sarah Rasmussen’s harsh, rapid breath.
Her feet pounded over the uneven, dirt track and she pushed her body hard to keep the pace up a rise. Through the thick, early morning mist the familiar stippled trunks of spotted gum loomed like every nightmare she’d ever had. Her heart beat a frantic rhythm against her ribcage and her ears strained to catch the slightest sound of her pursuer.
She pulled to an abrupt halt, heaving cold air into her starved lungs, then struggled against her desperate need for oxygen to smother her gasping breath and listen. Through the mist the echo of footsteps slowed, halted. Sickening apprehension corkscrewed through her stomach. A shiver prickled her heated skin.
She tried to force some semblance of calm over her panicking wits, but her instincts would not be denied. The fact that initially an unseen runner seemed to play cat and mouse with her had spooked her. They’d remained out of sight, had not responded to any of the hails she sent into the mist. She’d even taken a small sidetrack to try and throw them off.
The footsteps picked up again and the possibility of what might happen if she were caught speared a surge of black fear through her heart. Adrenaline charged through her body and she took off, feet flying over the rough surface of the track. The sole of her shoe landed heavily on a small rock. Her ankle collapsed and she lurched sideways, straining every muscle to remain upright. Twisting, burning sensation ripped through her right calf. She choked a cry as she tumbled to the hard ground, her running shorts and sleeveless top providing little protection. Every bone in her body jarred to the cruel impact.
A whimper of frustration and dread escaped her lips as the strangling pain of cramp throbbed through her leg. She made to stand. Agony tore through her lower limb and she collapsed back to the hard dirt. Desperation and pain stole her strength and for a moment she huddled on the ground in a limp mass. She dragged determination from the depths of her soul and pulled herself together, raised a shaking fist and pummelled it into the tight knot of her muscle. Again. Again. Her weak punches had no effect.
Footsteps approached. Terror twisted her nerves. Her skin felt like it wanted to crawl off somewhere and hide. She’d love it to do just that, so long as it took her with it.
Maybe I’m just being fanciful.
Her fears seemed to think otherwise, coiling nausea through her stomach. She pushed herself to her hands and knees. Sharp-edged pebbles and forest debris dug into her flesh as she crawled off the track. She thrust her back to the wide girth of a big gum tree and forced her breath into slow, deep inhalations. Heart faint and fingers trembling, she pulled her cell phone from a pocket again. And again hope died at the lack of coverage bars.
That shouldn’t happen. Not here.
She closed her eyes tight and bunched her fists against escalating terror.
Get a grip, Sarah. Get a grip.
The cool air brushed a clammy hand against her hot skin. A soft footfall and the rustle of clothing drifted through the mist. She snapped her eyes open. Gravel crunched. Her heart exploded into a wild gallop. Frantic, she scanned the ground for a weapon. Anything. A rock . . . sand . . . broken glass left by a careless hiker . . . anything. The smooth, pearl grey bark of a discarded ghost gum branch poked through yellowing clumps of grass. She lunged for it, wrapped her fingers around its width and lifted. The weight of the solid, four-foot piece of wood eased a little confidence into her mind.
Yeah, and now I’m being self-delusional.
Despite her doubts, her resolve strengthened. Looming shadows snatched her attention to the edge of the mist. Dark shapes moved towards her. Her heart leapt to her throat. She struggled to her feet, put her back to the tree and hefted the branch across her shoulder.
Two big, jeans and T-shirt clad men stepped clearly into her vision.
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Today I have author team, CD Hersh, on my blog to talk about Samhain, shifters, magic, and their new release, Blood Brothers.
"Shape shifter Delaney Ramsey’s daughter is missing, and she is bound by honor to protect the man she suspects of the deed. To bring him to justice, she must go against her code, the leader of the secret shifter society, and the police captain she is falling for."
CMR: Thank you for joining me today, CD. How does Samhain and its magic relate to your new book?
CD: Cathy, thank you so much for allowing us to post on your blog today.
Samhain, also known as Halloween, is an important night to our shifters because of the magic that is believed to be all around that night. Ancient Celts believed that the veil between the magic world and the real world was very thin on Samhain, and supernatural beings and the dead could cross over into our world. For our shifters Samhain is the night when their rings are bound to them. Also, if the incantation inscribed in the ring, which releases the magic that enables the wearer of the ring to shift, is read before midnight on Samhain, the magic is stronger than if read on any other day of the year. Once Samhain is past the magic can only be taken from the individual through death.
Samhain is also the night when the potential Promised Ones, of each shifter faction, are presented to their respective councils. At presentation their skills are tested. The keeper of the stone, Eli McCraigen, has been searching for the one, true Promised One for centuries. Until recently, none have proved worthy to unite the two factions of warring shifters and lead them to peace. Of course, the rogue shifter faction has been searching for their own Promised One, but for very different reasons than Eli.
When Blood Brothers opens Eli has just discovered not one potential Promised One, but two: Rhys Temple and Alexi Jordan. To his delight, they are in love. Never in the history of Samhain has such a discovery been made, and Eli begins to wonder if the prophesy about the Promised One has been misinterpreted all these years. He calls in shape-shifter Delaney Ramsey to help him mentor his new protégés. Unbeknownst to him, the rogue kingpin, Falhman, and his henchwoman Sylvia Jordan Riley have discovered Rhys, too. And so the battle begins.
Check out this excerpt from Blood Brothers:
Sylvia Jordan Riley winced as Falhman dug into her shoulder and extracted a bullet. He dropped the bullet into the trash and swabbed the wound. “You want to tell me how you got injured?” he asked as he reached for the needle to stitch the gaping hole.
“Chasing Promised Ones.” And the man who murdered my ex-husband.
“I hope it was worth this.”
“It was.” She’d torn Baron's killer to shreds, but that wasn’t the best part of her news. “I’ve found someone who shifted with me by using the power from my ring.”
Falhman stopped stitching and stared intently at Sylvia, his eyes glittering with undisguised interest. “Is he a rogue shifter?”
“I don’t think he’s any kind of shifter. He seemed startled when the shift occurred.”
“A non-shifter who can use the ring without the incantation? What’s his name?”
“Temple. Rhys Temple. There’s only one problem.” Sylvia paused then continued, “He’s in love with Baron Jordan’s niece, Alexi.”
“I thought that whole family was dead.”
“She’s the last one left, and I think she's on track as a Promised One.”
Falhman went back to stitching Sylvia’s skin with practiced ease. “Get rid of her and get him. If we can control someone with that kind of power, we can control the world.”
Sylvia looked at her superior. He made it sound simple. Kill Alexi Jordan and lure Rhys to the dark side. Piece of cake? Not if a Jordan was involved. From her recent dealings with Alexi, she knew there would be one heck of a fight if she tried to take her man.
Title – Blood Brothers, The Turning Stone Chronicles
Author – C.D. Hersh
Genre – Paranormal Suspense Romance
Heat Level - Sensual
Release Date: October 29, 2014
When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.
The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.
Amazon buy link for The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles): http://t.co/yW59QqvkLh
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Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.
Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first book of their paranormal romance series entitled The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) is available on Amazon. The second book in the series Blood Brothers is coming October 29, 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing.
Where you can find CD:
Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI
The Good Knight- An enthralling story, sympathetic characters and a visit to another time, another culture. What more can you ask of an author? – Medieval Mysteries (medievalmysteries.com)
Intrigue, suspicion, and rivalry among the royal princes casts a shadow on the court of Owain, king of north Wales…
The year is 1143 and King Owain seeks to unite his daughter in marriage with an allied king. But when the groom is murdered on the way to his wedding, the bride’s brother tasks his two best detectives—Gareth, a knight, and Gwen, the daughter of the court bard—with bringing the killer to justice.
And once blame for the murder falls on Gareth himself, Gwen must continue her search for the truth alone, finding unlikely allies in foreign lands, and ultimately uncovering a conspiracy that will shake the political foundations of Wales.
The Good Knight is free at all Amazon stores Kobo Smashwords Apple iBookstore Barnes and Noble
Paperback at Amazon
Paperback at Amazon UK
With two historian parents, Sarah couldn’t help but develop an interest in the past. She went on to get more than enough education herself (in anthropology) and began writing fiction when the stories in her head overflowed and demanded she let them out. While her ancestry is Welsh, she only visited Wales for the first time while in college. She has been in love with the country, language, and people ever since. She even convinced her husband to give all four of their children Welsh names.
With over 300,000 books sold, Sarah is the author of 17 novels and 2 novellas, all set in medieval Wales. She is currently working on the next Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mystery.
Sarah’s web page: www.sarahwoodbury.com
The Good KnightChapter One
August, 1143 AD
Gwynedd (North Wales)
“Look at you, girl.”
Gwen’s father, Meilyr, tsked under his breath and brought his borrowed horse closer to her side of the path. He’d been out of sorts since early morning when he’d found his horse lame and King Anarawd and his company of soldiers had left the castle without them, refusing to wait for Meilyr to find a replacement mount. Anarawd’s men-at-arms would have provided Meilyr with the fine escort he coveted.
“You’ll have no cause for complaint once we reach Owain Gwynedd’s court.” A breeze wafted over Gwen’s face and she closed her eyes, letting her pony find his own way for a moment. “I won’t embarrass you at the wedding.”
“If you cared more for your appearance, you would have been married yourself years ago and given me grandchildren long since.”
Gwen opened her eyes, her forehead wrinkling in annoyance. “And whose fault is it that I’m unmarried?” Her fingers flexed about the reins but she forced herself to relax. Her present appearance was her own doing, even if her father found it intolerable. In her bag, she had fine clothes and ribbons to weave through her hair, but saw no point in sullying any of them on the long journey to Aber Castle.
King Owain Gwynedd’s daughter was due to marry King Anarawd in three days’ time. Owain Gwynedd had invited Gwen, her father, and her almost twelve-year old brother, Gwalchmai, to furnish the entertainment for the event, provided King Owain and her father could bridge the six years of animosity and silence that separated them. Meilyr had sung for King Owain’s father, Gruffydd; he’d practically raised King Owain’s son, Hywel. But six years was six years. No wonder her father’s temper was short.
Even so, she couldn’t let her father’s comments go. Responsibility for the fact that she had no husband rested firmly on his shoulders. “Who refused the contract?”
“Rhys was a rapscallion and a laze-about,” Meilyr said.
And you weren’t about to give up your housekeeper, maidservant, cook, and child-minder to just anyone, were you?
But instead of speaking, Gwen bit her tongue and kept her thoughts to herself. She’d said it once and received a slap to her face. Many nights she’d lain quiet beside her younger brother, regretting that she hadn’t defied her father and stayed with Rhys. They could have eloped; in seven years, their marriage would have been as legal as any other. But her father was right and Gwen wasn’t too proud to admit it: Rhys had been a laze-about. She wouldn’t have been happy with him. Rhys’ father had almost cried when Meilyr had refused Rhys’ offer. It wasn’t only daughters who were sometimes hard to sell.
“Father!” Gwalchmai brought their cart to a halt. “Come look at this!”
“What now?” Meilyr said. “We’ll have to spend the night at Caerhun at present rate. You know how important it is not to keep King Owain waiting.”
“But Father!” Gwalchmai leapt from the cart and ran forward.
“He’s serious.” Gwen urged her pony after him, passing the cart, and then abruptly reined in beside her brother. “Mary, Mother of God…”
A slight rise and sudden dip in the path ahead had hidden the carnage until they were upon it. Twenty men and an equal number of horses lay dead in the road, their bodies contorted and their blood soaking the brown earth. Gwalchmai bent forward and retched into the grass beside the road. Gwen’s stomach threatened to undo her too, but she fought the bile down and dismounted to wrap her arms around her brother.
Meilyr reined in beside his children. “Stay back.”
Gwen glanced at her father and then back to the scene, noticing for the first time a man kneeling among the wreckage, one hand to a dead man’s chest and the other resting on the hilt of his sheathed sword. The man straightened and Gwen’s breath caught in her throat.
He’d cropped his dark brown hair shorter than when she’d known him, but his blue eyes still reached into the core of her. Her heart beat a little faster as she drank him in. Five years ago, Gareth had been a man-at-arms in the service of Prince Cadwaladr, King Owain Gwynedd’s brother. Gareth and Gwen had become friends, and then more than friends, but before he could ask her father for her hand, Gareth had a falling out with Prince Cadwaladr. In the end, Gareth hadn’t been able to persuade Meilyr that he could support her despite his lack of station.
Gwen was so focused on Gareth that she wasn’t aware of the other men among them—live ones—until they approached her family. A half dozen converged on them at the same time. One caught her upper arm in a tight grip. Another grabbed Meilyr’s bridle. “Who are you?” the soldier said.
Meilyr stood in the stirrups and pointed a finger at Gareth. “Tell them who I am!”
Gareth came forward, his eyes flicking from Meilyr to Gwalchmai to Gwen. He was broader in the shoulders, too, than she remembered.
“They are friends,” Gareth said. “Release them.”
And to Gwen’s astonishment, the man-at-arms who held her obeyed Gareth. Could it be that in the years since she’d last seen him, Gareth had regained something of what he’d lost?
Gareth halted by Meilyr’s horse. “I was sent from Aber to meet King Anarawd and escort him through Gwynedd. He wasn’t even due to arrive at Dolwyddelan Castle until today, but …” He gestured to the men on the ground. “Clearly, we were too late.”
Gwen looked past Gareth to the murdered men in the road.
“Turn away, Gwen,” Gareth said.
But Gwen couldn’t. The blood—on the dead men, on the ground, on the knees of Gareth’s breeches—mesmerized her. The men here had been slaughtered. Her skin twitched at the hate in the air. “You mean King Anarawd is—is—is among them?”
“The King is dead,” Gareth said.
By Elle Hill
Genre: Science fiction romance Heat level: Sensuous
Back cover blurb:
“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”
No one knows exactly what happens to these seventy Tithes, but everyone knows who: the “unworkables,” those with differing physical and mental capacities. Joshua Barstow, raised for twenty years among her town’s holy women, is one of these seventy Tithes. She is joined by the effervescent Lynna, the scholarly Avery, and the amoral Blue, a man who has spent most of his life in total solitude.
Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.
How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.
The lights in the Great Room went out.
No flickers, no dimming, no sizzling sounds—nothing. Just darkness where light used to be. A man cried out and several people gasped. “It’s all right, everyone,” Marcus called. Really, he was beginning to annoy Josh, too. He didn’t know that. No one did. “I’m sure this has—”
A whooshing sound, like air displaced, sliced through the room. For a tiny, tense moment, no one spoke.
“Is it an angel?” a child’s voice asked.
Several voices broke out then, some in shouts, some in startled cries, one or two in terror.
Just like the night before, the fold and crack of feathered wings in motion breathed through the room. Weak light from the multiple hallways leaked through the perimeters. Now that her eyes had adjusted to the sudden darkness, Josh found she could identify vague outlines.
Someone a few seats down leapt to her feet and hurled herself toward Josh, perhaps seeking the sterile safety of the kitchen. She stumbled over Josh’s outstretched legs and hurtled to the ground. Josh gasped in pain.
And still, the snap and sigh of wings overhead.
Josh wanted to stand up, to defend herself. She wanted to shrink into the upholstery, to make herself as small as possible. In the end, she sat still, trembling in indecision.
“The angels!” someone cried in something like terror, or perhaps ecstasy.
“Keep them away from me!” Someone—she thought it might be Len—shrieked.
Several people jumped to their feet and pushed their way through the room, seeking some kind of safety. The woman who’d tripped over Josh lay whimpering on the ground.
Whump, whump . . .
A warm arm encircled Josh’s shoulder. She shrieked before realizing it belonged to Blue. The baggy sleeves of his black tunic partially covered her head. She turned to him, and he pressed her closer.
I don’t think I want to court you, she remembered him saying, and almost sprayed laughter. Who knew they’d practically snuggle later that day?
The thump of wings grew closer. An outline of a human-sized object hurtled through the air and the darkness toward her. What had to be its wings spread around it, moving and tilting. Some stray ray of light gleamed whitely off the area where eyes should be. They seemed fixed directly on her.
* * *
Book buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Tithe-Elle-Hill-ebook/dp/B00MVCPJFG
With the release of The Highlander's Tempestuous Bride only weeks away, today is as good a time as any to introduce you to the characters who have been in the most recent Tuesday Teaser blogs.
Gilda Macrory: At sixteen and the laird's daughter, she is aware she will marry soon to benefit her clan. But she is caught unawares by a young man who steals her heart. Though she knows he must belong to the neighboring Macraig clan who has been at odds with her clan for over fifteen years, she hopes to meet him again on the beach along the firth.
Ryan Macraig: Just returned home after a 10 year absence, he wants only to rejoin his family and learn the ways of his clan, ready to someday step into the laird's shoes. Matrimony is not on his mind. Until he meets Gilda. He sees her leaving a tiny cottage on the beach, and though he knows she is a Macrory, he believes her to be the healer's granddaughter, not the daughter of the laird. Even so, he dares defy his father and the clan feud to see her again.
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