Sara Daniel Romance Author: June 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

.@CarolABrowne shares her favorite book - Precious Bane by Mary Webb #amreading

My Favourite Book
by Carol Browne

I keep few books in my house. I prefer to pass them on to my friends. However, there is one special book I will never part with and that is my 1945 hardback edition of Precious Bane by Mary Webb.

The book features an introduction by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, written at 10 Downing Street in 1928, in which he says of the author, “Her sensibility is so acute and her power over words so sure and swift that one who reads some passage in Whitehall has almost the physical sense of being in Shropshire cornfields.”

First published in 1924, Precious Bane tells the story of flawed heroine, Prudence Sarn, whose ‘hare-shotten lip’ means that as far as her neighbours are concerned she is cursed with ‘the devil’s mark’. It is only weaver Kester Woodseaves who can see beyond this disfigurement to the true beauty of Prue’s soul.

Prue’s goodness and gentle nature are in sharp contrast to her brother Gideon’s ruthless striving for worldly success, and descriptions of the landscape that sustains them are woven into the dramas of their lives to create a rich tapestry. Thanks to the author’s skill with words, it is safe to say that Nature is not merely a background to the story but also seems to be a character in it too. The narrative is, says Prue, “the story of us all at Sarn, of Mother and Gideon and me, and Jancis (that was so beautiful) and Wizard Beguildy, and the two or three other folk that lived in those parts…”

How to describe the style of the book? It depicts a rural England around the time of Waterloo (1815), a place of meres, country lore, dragonflies, looms and spinning-wheels. There is a fair scattering of dialect words (fascinating rather than baffling!) and curious customs such as ‘sin-eating’ and ‘telling the bees’. It is reminiscent of Larkrise to Candleford, had it been penned by a committee of authors that included Thomas Hardy, Dickens and Emily Bronte. It is a book to relax with and savour. The pace was slower in 1924 and they liked their paragraphs LONG! But the story is well paced, the heroine immensely likeable, and there’s plenty of dramatic conflict and jeopardy to keep you hooked throughout.

I have read this book many times and, having just opened it and looked at the first line of Chapter One – “It was at a love-spinning that I saw Kester first”, – I know I am going to read it again very soon! (If you want to try this book, please don’t spoil it for yourself and look at the last page. The ending is perfect!)

Mary Webb née Meredith was born in the village of Leighton on 25th March, 1881. She and her husband worked as market gardeners for a time and had their own stall on Shrewsbury market. She wrote five novels and a volume of essays on nature. Mary died on 8th October, 1927 and was buried in Shrewsbury.

Authors die but they are never forgotten. They live on in the work they leave behind. As Mary Webb said herself in her Foreward to Precious Bane:

“We are to-morrow’s past. Even now we slip away like those pictures painted on the moving dials of antique clocks – a ship, a cottage, sun and moon, a nosegay. The dial turns, the ship rides up and sinks again, the yellow painted sun has set, and we, that were the new thing, gather magic as we go. The whirr of the spinning-wheels has ceased in our parlours, and we hear no more the treadle of the loom, the swift, silken noise of the flung shuttle, the intermittent thud of the batten. But imagination hears them, and theirs is the melody of romance.”


Carole Browne writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover. Stay connected with Carol on Facebook.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ye Olde Caves of Nottingham - Guest Post by @SharonLedwith #timetravel #blogtour @Saphs_Books

Ye Olde Caves of Nottingham
Guest Post by Sharon Ledwith

In my middle-grade/young adult time travel book, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, my feisty group of adolescent characters’ first mission lands then in England in 1214 where they must find a young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens. Legend has it that one of Robin Hood’s haunts (besides the famous Sherwood Forest) was the village of Nottingham. When I undertook the meticulous research needed to craft my novel, I came across an interesting fact about Nottingham I had never known: beneath the houses, shops, and offices of Nottingham are hundreds of caves. My eyes bugged and imagination went into overdrive, while I gathered fact after fact about the Nottingham caves. In truth, it was similar to panning for gold nuggets.

The end result of the information I gleaned is woven into my story, but I’d like to share some other interesting facts about these not-so-famous caves:

·         The earliest written record of Nottingham’s caves comes from a Welsh monk called Asser who when writing about Nottingham in 868 referred to the town as Tig Guocobauc, meaning house or place of caves in British. 
·         Nottingham has more man-made caves than anywhere else in Britain.
·         The exposed cliff of the sandstone outcrop made this an obvious place for the early citizens of Nottingham to make their home. The occupants of these cave houses were generally poor and the caves were known as pauper holes.   
·         Each cave is unique and created for a specific purpose; some even have elaborate carvings, pillars and staircases. 
·         The softness of Nottingham’s sandstone makes it easy to excavate with hand tools, and the structural stability means that excavated caves are safe to use, even with buildings above them.
·         Throughout the medieval period Nottingham continued to grow and prosper becoming a centre for trades such as wool manufacture, tanning, malting, alabaster carving and pottery production.  A number of these activities were undertaken in Nottingham’s caves.
·         Sandstone caves maintain a constant temperature of around 14 degrees Celsius/ 57.2 Fahrenheit and therefore made excellent cellars for the storage of ale.
·         At the start of the Second World War new caves were excavated and old ones reused to act as Air Raid shelters.
Believe it or not, few people in Nottingham are aware of this labyrinth, and fewer still have visited them. Unfortunately, in these modern times, a significant number of caves have been filled in with cement or bricked up, with others disappearing through natural collapse. There’s a special project underway called the Nottingham Caves Survey which hopes to survey and document all the caves under Nottingham, and bring awareness to this unique historical resource. I invite you to take a virtual tour if you dare:


When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.

Buy links:

Mirror World Publishing:

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

Follow the tour to read Guest Posts, Reviews, Excerpts, and Spotlights:

Enter the Giveaway:
· A signed paperback copy of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis
· A custom crafted Babel Necklace
· A signed trading card
· A signed postcard
· Two ‘The Last Timekeepers’ wrist bands
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Coordinated by:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Infiltrating her Pack #BlackHillsWolves #Shifter New Release from @DominiEastwick @DecadentPub

Infiltrating her Pack
Black Hill Wolves
By Dominique Eastwick

The mysterious and intimidating lone wolf, Z, has returned to Los Lobos. Descended from a long line of gifted yet secretive shifters known as Infiltrators, his people are the spies of the shifting world, rarely seen and harder to track.

Ripley Greystone has a big problem—her pack is Alpha-less and a local coyote band knows it. The safety of her pack rides on trusting Drew, the new Alpha of the Black Hills Wolves. But, admitting the reason for needing his help isn’t something she’s quite ready to do.

Drew senses there’s more to Ripley’s request to join his pack than what she leads him to believe. There’s only one way to know for sure—send an Infiltrator to spy on Ripley and her pack.

Forced to infiltrate her pack to discover its hidden secrets and protect it from the coyotes determined to claim the she-wolves for themselves, Z finds more than he expects—all the while fighting the need to claim Ripley as his mate.

A hairsbreadth divided them, and it took all the willpower he processed to fight the building desire to pull her into his arms. Her breathing quickened, and as he gazed into her blue eyes, her raw sensuality forced him deeper into the cavernous pit he’d fallen in when he’d first seen her.
The words came out on a whisper. “You feel it, too, don’t you?”
“This attraction?” Z raised an eyebrow.
          She closed her eyes. “It won’t work. I have secrets you could never understand.”
“We all have secrets,” he said then gave in to his animal nature and claimed her lips, though touching her nowhere else. He burned himself into her, forcing her to recant her words of denial.
It will work. He didn’t know how, but he didn’t think he could walk away from these feelings again. Having ensured the Greystones posed no threat to the Tao Pack, he could make his top priority the safety of his mate. His second would be to figure out the logistics of having a mate not of his pack.
Her deep groan rumbled through him, and every thought but Ripley faded. Passion swirled and something new, something different…something more, accompanied by a fizz running along his spine and through his nervous system, charging his powers. The urge to howl grew.

Award winning author Dominique Eastwick currently calls North Carolina home with her husband, two children, one crazy lab, and one lazy cat. Dominique spent much of her early life moving from state to state as a Navy Brat. Because of that traveling is one of her favorite pastimes. When she’s not writing, you can find Dominique with her second love…her camera.

Connect with Dominique:

Twitter : @DominiEastwick

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sharing Rachel by S.S. Hampton, Sr. #menage #eroticromance

Guest Post by S.S. Hampton, Sr.

Hello! Spring greetings!

Okay, that is a little too cheery for my usual nature.

But then, it is April. Winter is basically over, though here in Las Vegas (Sin City) winter usually means just a dip in the usual 100+ degree weather. If someone wants to see snow up close they have to drive out to nearby Mount Charleston.

Anyway, I am meandering.

My first novel, SHARING RACHEL, was released in October 2014 by MuseItUp Publishing, MuseItHOT Imprint. It will be followed by the sequel, PRAIRIE MUSE, in the summer of 2015. Both are erotic romances and are about a happily married couple and small business owners, Burt and Rachel Markham, who decide to explore their personal boundaries. Okay. Make that sexual boundaries.

And that brings about the question of how did I go from writing short stories and novellas about, oh, a ghost returned from the Ho Chi Minh Trail (The 24th of December, Journeys, 1992), ghosts and the Battle of the Little Bighorn (Gold Nugget, Dark Fire Magazine, 2004), a frustrated incubus trying to entice a young woman to leave a sheltering church (Imnachar, Intimate Journeys collection, Melange Books, 2011), and a young woman who agrees to become Death’s consort in exchange for the safety of her family (The Mistress of the Fourth Seal, Horror Bound Magazine, 2009), to writing Erotic Romance?

Welll, first, there is a difference between Porn, Erotica, and Erotic Romance. Or so I’ve been told (and read).

Broadly and simply speaking, Porn is for readers who do not need someone with them to have, ah, a good time, so to speak. Erotica has a plot and characters, and many times leaves the bedroom door open for readers to peek through. And Erotica does not require Happily Ever After (HEA). Erotic Romance has a plot and characters, and also leaves the bedroom door open at times, but most importantly, HEA is practically mandatory.

So, again, how did I go from writing about wars, ghosts, demons, and star ships (if sex was involved, it was more of a furtive sidelong glance as if to verify, “Yep, IT happened”) to writing Erotic Romance?

Somewhere along the way I probably encountered a writing and thought, “I can do better than that.” And the research began. Then the outlining. And throwing my hands up in the air. Then another start. And a completed short story that went nowhere except in a manila folder in my filing cabinet. And throwing my hands up in the air.

Then the idea of combining the two, then developing an outline, and Sharing Rachel was born.

It was during a 6-month writer’s block that I accomplished the research that helped provide a foundation for the novel. To tell the truth, the research was quite interesting. Here was a world I had come across before on the Internet, but never gave much thought to until I combined the two stories into one novel.

However, my confidence had been shaken by the writer’s block, so I asked a writer friend, Charmaine Pauls (The Winemaker, The Book Exchange, and Pryomancist, among others) to take a look. I wanted to know if the novel sounded believable or if it came across as some sort of middle-aged fantasy (more or less).

To my relief, she told me Sharing Rachel was believable. And she liked it. And Charmaine was the first to describe the novel as an Erotic Romance.

Okay. I have to admit, by then 50 Shades of Grey was big news and big bucks to boot. I discovered that Romance, and various sub-categories including Erotic Romance, enjoyed a huge readership. I am not sure why, but there is definitely an audience for Romances.

So, after SHARING RACHEL, I wrote PRAIRIE MUSE, and there is a third novel to write (after I get a couple more fantasies, horror, boomer story, and even a Christmas story out of the way).

It is not just the subject matter that is interesting, but I genuinely like Burt and Rachel Markham, an ordinary married couple in the heartland of Kansas. Yep, you heard me—no corporate CEOs and university girls and jet setting across the world. Just an ordinary in their 40s husband and wife driving an SUV who decide to explore their personal and sexual boundaries in the Midwest.

It is a story that any couple—rich, poor, or middle class—can truly experience if they want to explore their boundaries.

And that is how I came to write Erotic Romance.

Enjoy the spring weather and have a great week!


Sometimes people choose to live life to the fullest…

Burt and Rachel Markham are ordinary small business owners of a seed & feed store in a small Kansas farming and ranching community. Many years before, as young university graduates eagerly anticipating exciting overseas employment, a lifetime in Kansas was the furthest thing from their minds, particularly Rachel who was raised overseas and dreamed of going back. By July 2013 their twin 18-year old daughters, having graduated high school several months before, go east to attend a university. Burt and Rachel settle into their new life of an empty house and a predictable and unchanging routine that threatens to stretch far into the future. One summer evening Burt has an idea—but will Rachel accept the idea? If she does, will the idea add new excitement to their marriage, or destroy it?

A song of reserved exuberance began; the feminine voice rolled the sound of many of the French words. Rachel tilted her head to listen to the music.

“Edith Piaf, France’s premier singer back in the ‘60s,” she announced fondly. “She died of cancer. This song, it’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” or “No, I Regret Nothing.” It’s one of her most famous.”

She put her elbows on the table, folded her hands and rested her chin on them. She looked at Burt.

He listened. Maybe it was the title—the voice and music had a slow almost melancholy, and yet proud and defiant feel to it. The music and words added an authentic touch to the dim bistro. If he closed his eyes for a moment he might be able to imagine a rainy night in Paris, sitting in a French bistro with his wife in the shadow of Notre Dame Cathedral, overlooking the Seine River. Paris was a city he always wanted to visit; he knew Rachel and her parents had visited when stationed overseas.

“I’m not really hungry yet,” he said.

She nodded. “Like I said, after.”

Burt looked at the empty foyer. There was “After” again.

Rachel followed his gaze and touched his hand. “I don’t think he’s late yet.”

“I have a feeling he’s about as punctual as you always are,” Burt said with a small smile.
“Any last minute thoughts or rules?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Just feel him out and make a common sense decision. If he doesn’t ask to fuck you, how do you let me know you’re interested or not?”

She chuckled. “If I’m interested I’ll touch your foot with mine. If I’m not, I’ll kick you.”

Burt lowered his head and gave her a sarcastic look. “Got it.”

He looked at the foyer again. Saturday night, 7:00 p.m. They were really sitting in a French-style bistro waiting on a man who wanted to fuck Rachel with Burt’s permission. Would it really happen? Maybe Gentleman Nate was a jerk in real life—Rachel didn’t like jerks. She didn’t like men who were loud and pushy, profane or who spoke badly.

The waitress returned with their drinks.

“There’s not a wide variety of food because we follow the old European tradition of few selections, but each one is of loving preparation and excellent taste. Would you like to order something? The figs wrapped with grilled bacon is really good. So are the marinated mushrooms. Both are authentic French recipes.”

“Perhaps a little later,” Rachel answered. “We’re waiting on someone.”

“Of course,” the waitress said. “Just catch my attention when you’re ready to order.”

Burt took a drink of his beer and glanced at the TVs. Sports and news. She took his hand in hers, tilted her head and continued smiling at him.

Maybe Gentleman Nate wouldn’t show...

Click a vendor's name to read more of Sharing Rachel and other books by SS Hampton, Sr
MuseItHot Publishing - Amazon

SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.

He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a third. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.

In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint). He is currently enrolled as an art student at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.

Hampton can be found at:
Dark Opus Press - Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing - Melange Books -
Musa Publishing - MuseItUp Publishing - Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page - Amazon UK

Saturday, June 20, 2015

7 Paragraphs from One Night with His Wife @MySexySaturday @DecadentPub

Once again, her braid whipped back and forth with her emphatic denial. “The company is yours and Alex’s. I didn’t do anything except cook dinner and give you space to work. I came into our marriage with nothing, and I left with nothing, so I came out even.”

The whiskey burned in his gut without taking the edge off his nerves. He slapped the empty glass on the table. “You wasted ten years of your life with me. I don’t call that even.”

“I don’t call it a waste,” she shot back. “If we’d had a kid, then, yes, I’d take your money and put it in an account for his or her future, but that never happened. I don’t need or want anything for myself.”

He closed his eyes. “You should be thankful we don’t have a kid.”

“We had a deal, Luke. When you retired from the Marines, we’d start a family.”

“I got my leg blown off,” he shouted, opening his eyes to glare at her, hating the sorrow in her voice and himself for not being able to deliver on her dream. “We never took that scenario into account.”

She shoved her drink away. “Your leg is not the same piece of anatomy as your dick. Maybe you hadn’t noticed because you’ve been too busy being a dick.”
1. One Night with the Bride
--The One Night with the Bridal Party series can be read as stand alone books in any order, but this is the order for maximum enjoyment!

Friday, June 19, 2015

One Night With His Wife #newrelease #1NightStand #seriesfinale @DecadentPub

New Release: The final book in the One Night with the Bridal Party series

(1Night Stand - One Night with the Bridal Party #6)

As long as he refuses to accept himself as whole, one night with his wife will be his last.

After a grenade took Marine Luke Cox’s leg and ends his career, he cuts ties with his wife to free her from the burden he’d become. On the day his divorce is to be finalized, he travels to meet a woman for a 1Night Stand date—a woman who doesn’t care about his missing leg or his sudden wealth from a business venture. However, things don’t go as planned, and when he arrives for his date, he’s still legally married.

Rosalind Cox tends to the horses on her cousin’s ranch resort, her love for the animals the only thing keeping her going since her husband turned his back on her. When he appears at her stables, all the longing and rising hope is crushed by the realization he’s only sought her out to gain his freedom.

She’ll give him what he wants, but she can’t resist taking one last kiss for herself. The kiss reopens emotions and attraction that neither can deny. To give in will only complicate the tangle as they try to unwind their lives. But even though Rosalind doesn’t care about Luke’s missing leg or his money, as long as he refuses to accept himself as whole, one night with his wife will be his last.

Buy Links:
1. One Night with the Bride
--The One Night with the Bridal Party series can be read as stand alone books in any order, but this is the order for maximum enjoyment!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Honeybun One and Done - #NewRelease from @samcheever #romanticsuspense

Giveaway Background


For a limited time there's a link to a giveaway for a Kindle Paperwhite eReader inside each copy of Honeybun One and Done! Get your copy today and play to WIN!


He’s a ONE and DONE kind of guy. Can she live long enough to find out if she’s the ONE?

Percy Honeybun and his honey, Brita Muldane just can't catch a break. They've danced around their relationship for years, unable to find a way to make it work. But their lives are intertwined through family and friends and they're just as unable to break completely away from each other. Maybe what they need is a life changing event to help them break through. Or maybe the life-shattering event they suddenly find themselves in, will end up breaking them instead.

"Dust off the edge of your seat because that's exactly where you will be while enjoying this thrill ride called Honeybun One and Done. If you are new to the Honeybuns, you are in for a treat. Although you do not need to read all of them to enjoy this one, I highly recommend it." ~Barbara Miller - Reader
She looked at the dead man’s name badge and swore. Brita thought she was looking at the uni who was supposed to have been at the front desk.

She moved to the window and looked outside, seeing the rusty metal fire escape hugging the wall a few feet down.

The killer had used the fire escape.

She left the bathroom and hurried toward the stairs, Moxie bouncing at her heels. She’d heard voices on her way upstairs so she knew that somebody was in the bullpen. First she needed to warn them, though she thought the killer was long gone. And second she needed to start a manhunt for whoever killed the Sarge and Brent Madris, the young uniformed cop in the bathroom. Madris had left behind a wife and two small kids. Rage flared at the thought. Brita would find whoever killed the two cops and she would make sure they paid for it.

Moxie ran to the bullpen door and stopped, yipping with excitement. Brita scooped her up and pushed the door open.

The stench hit her first. Feces, urine, and fear.

The first cop was draped over the copy machine, the whir and click of the copier a constant accompaniment to the flash of light each time the machine took another copy of whatever Detective Red Gordyn was lying on. Pieces of copy paper floated from the tray and scattered like flower petals across the already littered floor.

Alarm flashed through Brita, sending her senses into overdrive. The copier’s constant drudgery sharpened until it was like the roar of a train in her mind, each click at the end of the copy cycle twanging across her nerves like the cocking of a loaded pistol.

She searched for a pulse, finding one that was very faint. She would call for an ambulance but first she needed to finish securing the scene.

She settled Moxie onto the floor by her feet. “Heel,” she ordered in a harsh whisper. The doxie trembled, her frilly tail drooping on the floor behind her. Even Moxie’s overblown sense of adventure seemed to be outraged by the carnage in the station.

Brita crouched low and moved quickly past the first row of desks. She peered under each scarred wooden desk before moving on to the next and then the next. She found the second body lying face down between two desks. His desk chair was overturned behind him, the rusted wheel still spinning. She felt for a pulse on Detective Bill Bris’s throat but knew it was no use.

His slightly bulging brown eyes stared sightlessly ahead, a trail of blood coating the bridge of his pug nose from the hole between his eyes.

She found no more bodies and, by the time she reached the door to the interview rooms at the back, she was finally able to breathe.

Brita started to dial nine-one-one. As her finger hovered over the last digit, Moxie suddenly shot sideways with a growl and Brita turned. The little dog yelped.


Movement to her left. A blur of motion. Then Brita’s head snapped sideways and pain shattered outward, bringing her to her knees on the hard, dirty carpet.

She never felt her face hitting the floor.






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Monday, June 15, 2015

#YAlit author @KaitlinBevis tackles Fear, Myths and Settling Wrongs #Persephone

Guest Post by Kaitlin Bevis
If you want to know a culture’s fears, study their stories. Fears resonate. They keep us talking, keep us telling the story, because as long as it’s a story, it’s happening to someone else. There’s a reason the Persephone myth is one of the five major myths taught to school children everywhere. There’s a reason echoes of this myth keep popping up in modern culture, sometimes as overtly as my retellings, and other times as subtle as Beauty and the Beast. We tell the same story over and over and over again because it scares us. Something about that myth leaves people feeling unsettled. There’s a wrongness to it that demands to be fixed. So throughout time, we’ve told it again and again, hoping that maybe this time, we’d get it right.

What is it about the Persephone myth that resonates so much with us? On its surface, the answer is simple. Persephone is, at its heart, the story of a mother searching for her daughter. As a mother, I can literally not even imagine the depths of the fear of not knowing where my daughter is, or worse, knowing exactly what horrible place she’s been taken to, but not being able to save her. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep her safe, and god help anyone who gets in my way.

But there’s more than that. There has to be, because as a mom, I get the universal fear behind the myth, but I was fascinated with it long before I became a mother. The most common audience for the Persephone myth aren’t parents, but children. Specifically children on the cusp of adulthood. Teenagers. And I know why.

The myth is incomplete. In the original telling, we know all about Demeter’s fears and motives. We trace her steps through history as she scours the globe looking for her daughter. We glimpse the politics of Olympus enough to understand Zeus’ motives for allowing Hades to take Persephone and the drastic events that had to take place before he relented and returned the missing girl. We’re there for Hades catching a glimpse of Persephone for the first time, and we get his rationale and his motives for why he took her. We even get motives from nymphs and primordial deities with such minor roles that they get written out of most versions of the myth. Literally the only voice missing from the Persephone myth is Persephone’s.

Persephone was silenced, but the impact of her abduction is apparent. Her mythology begins with her as an innocent, carefree, happy girl picking flowers and ends with her role as the Iron Queen, a major force to be reckoned with mythologically speaking. Her name even changes. She has the ultimate coming of age story and she doesn’t even get to tell it.

We’re not just afraid of losing our children, we’re afraid of losing our selves and our voices. And that fear repeats itself over and over and over again in Greek mythology. Ovid wrote an entire book about transformation in Greek mythology. Cassandra gained an awesome power, only to lose her voice and go insane. We pay the ferryman two coins to take us across the river because the potential of being thrown in Tartarus is less frightening than the thought of being stuck on the wrong side of the river, alone and ignored. Orpheus was featured just as prominently in Greek mythology as Hercules and literally the only superpower he had was the ability to make people listen.

I wanted to tell Persephone’s story. I wanted to get into her head and understand her transformation into the Iron Queen. I changed details here and there and I modernized the story, but I did my best to stay true to the spirit of the myth. One of the ways I did that was through the book titles. In the myth, Persephone was defined by her titles.

Book one, Persephone, is about her transformation from an ordinary girl named Kora, to Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld. It’s the story of her abduction. Her time in the Underworld changes her, but her story doesn’t end there.

I called the second one Daughter of the Earth and Sky because in the myth, Persephone’s value was placed in her role to other people. She was Demeter’s daughter, Zeus’ daughter and pawn, and Hades’ wife. The second book in the trilogy is all about Persephone trying, and failing, to balance all of her roles and the expectations that come with them without losing herself in the process. She starts the book clinging to the remnants of her old life and trying to make them fit into what she thinks her new life should be. She’s so afraid of who she might be becoming that she loses sight of who she is.

In the myths, it wasn’t until she came into her own as The Iron Queen that Persephone was referred to as a person in her own right instead of an object. Book three Persephone is a force to be reckoned with. Writing that, reaching that point with her character, was an incredibly awarding experience that settled the sense of wrongness hearing the myth had left me with. I can only hope reading it does the same thing.

The Daughters of Zeus, Book One

One day Persephone is an ordinary high school senior working at her mom's flower shop in Athens, Georgia. The next she's fighting off Boreas, the brutal god of winter, and learning that she's a bonafide goddess--a rare daughter of the now-dead Zeus. Her goddess mom whisks her off to the Underworld to hide until spring.

There she finds herself under the protection of handsome Hades, the god of the dead, and she's automatically married to him. It's the only way he can keep her safe. Older, wiser, and far more powerful than she, Hades isn't interested in becoming her lover, at least not anytime soon. But every time he rescues her from another of Boreas' schemes, they fall in love a little more. Will Hades ever admit his feelings for her?

Can she escape the grasp of the god of winter's minions? The Underworld is a very nice place, but is it worth giving up her life in the realm of the living? Her goddess powers are developing some serious, kick-butt potential. She's going to fight back.

Author Bio: Kaitlin Bevis spent her childhood curled up with a book and a pen. If the ending didn't agree with her, she rewrote it. Because she's always wanted to be a writer, she spent high school and college learning everything she could to achieve that goal. After graduating college with a BFA and Masters in English, Kaitlin went on to write The Daughters of Zeus series.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo with #HistoricalRomance #preorder @DominiEastwick

The Incomparables: 6 Heroes of Waterloo and the 6 Ladies They Adore
This limited edition box set includes 6 scorching romances that commemorate the 200th anniversary of the June 18, 1815 Battle of Waterloo.

From the Duchess of Richmond’s ball in Brussels to the Battle of Waterloo and beyond, join these six unforgettable heroes as they journey back from the physical and emotional trials of war and discover the passion that thrills the body can also heal the heart. 

Coming June 18th from bestselling and award winning historical romance authors Cerise DeLand, Sabrina York, Suzi Love, Lynne Connolly, Suzanna Mederios and Dominique Eastwick.

Read more about this steamy collection!

Interlude with a Baron by Cerise DeLand
Emma wants only an interlude with the man she’s adored for years. But Drayton Worth has spent five years riddled with guilt for hurting her—and he’s determined to have more than a few nights in her bed.

Tarnished Honor by Sabrina York
Daniel Sinclair is a broken man with war wounds that are physical and spiritual. He’s weighed down by grief and guilt and tormented by his tarnished honor. When he meets Fia Lennox, a beautiful and brave Highland lass in dire need of his protection, he sees in her his chance for redemption…or utter damnation. Because despite his valiant attempts to resist her, he cannot.

Love After Waterloo by Suzi Love
When Lady Melton and her son join Captain Belling and the last wounded soldiers evacuating from Waterloo to London, she expects clashes with army deserters but doesn’t anticipate how falling in love with the antagonistic captain will change her life.

Dreaming of Waterloo by Lynne Connolly
Paul “Lucky” Sherstone daren’t even let his wife too close because of his headaches and the living nightmares he can’t dispel. Hetty hardly knows the man who comes back from war, but one thing she does know—she still wants him.

The Captain’s Heart by Suzanna Mederios
A man who is determined to fulfill his duty at the expense of his own happiness, a woman who wants only one taste of true passion, and a case of mistaken identity. Can Captain Edward Hathaway and Grace Kent overcome the guilt that continues to haunt them both and find true love?

For Love or Revenge by Dominique Eastwick
Captain Roarke Wooldridge is about to find out that sometimes love does heal all wounds.But when his need for revenge collides with desires he never believed he would feel again, will he be able to put aside the scars of Waterloo to embrace his future?


For Love or Revenge
By Dominique Eastwick
Captain Roarke Wooldridge returned from Waterloo a different man than the one who left. Captured and detained as a prisoner of war, he endured both torture and betrayal at the hands of his captures and a single traitorous turncoat. Now those who survived the nightmare of that cellar in France are determined to get revenge.
The widow Lady Alexandra Grafton is quite content to live out her life in the country cottage her husband left to her in his will. Having been married to a man with one foot in the grave, Alex has no desire to enter the confines of marriage or its bed again. But when a handsome, haunted captain crosses her path, will she take a chance on love?
Can two people scarred by their past experiences find in each other the solace they so desperately crave? Can the power of love outweigh the desire for revenge or are their wounds too deep to be healed?

Read an Excerpt!

“She is utterly—amazing.” His face lit with genuine love as he spoke of her. Getting back to his feet, he moved to his chair on the other side of the hearth. “Perhaps when you are in town for the season, I can introduce you to her. I think she would enjoy your friendship. She complains about the lack of honorable people within the ton.”
“One of the many reasons I stay away. It took very little time for the shine to dull on ton life. But I think I would very much like to meet her.”
If he felt Alex and he would run into one another out in society, his family must be part of the ton. His manners and speech spoke to a man who had been well-educated. “I would like that, as well.”
She couldn’t remember the last time she had looked forward to parties or balls. Unfortunately, shortly after her marriage, her husband had placed her in his country estate, fearing she would take a lover and try to hoist her bastard off as the earl’s. But, she would never have cuckolded him or caused him embarrassment. Life in the country fit her best. And he had treated her far better when they were away from the expectations of society. The few times they’d been required in London had been the most miserable of her married life.
Alexandra hadn’t attended a season in nearly ten years. And that had been for her own. Bad memories had a way of keeping a person from returning. During her marriage, she hadn’t wanted to be paraded out as the young countess, a title she never quite felt comfortable with. And after the earl passed, she saw no reason to head into town for the season when everything she wanted lay within these walls. She had no desire to remarry, and, as children required the act of copulating, she had long ago resigned herself to a life without them. Although she had desired children, she was long past hoping for them. Until now, that is, when this handsome captain had come into her life, weakening her knees and causing a pool of desire to form in her belly.
Picking up a fan from the side table, she waved it near her overheated face and neck, the temperature of the room having suddenly risen.
“What about you, Captain? Are you married?”

Award winning author Dominique Eastwick currently calls North Carolina home with her husband, two children, one crazy lab, and one lazy cat. Dominique spent much of her early life moving from state to state as a Navy Brat. Because of that traveling is one of her favorite pastimes. When she’s not writing, you can find Dominique with her second love…her camera.

Connect with Dominique:

Twitter : @DominiEastwick

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Silk & Scars #HistoricalRomance #NewRelease from @authorCassDean @DecadentPub

New Release from Cassandra Dean
Book Title: SILK & SCARS
Book Series: The Silk Series Book 3
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Published Date: 2 June 2015
Genre(s): Historical Romance, Sweet Romance, Early Victorian Romance

For over a year, Miss Gwendolyn Parkes and the Duke of Sowrith have corresponded. At first an error, the letters quickly became something much more, a friendship forged on like minds and perhaps the hope of something more…

When Gwen is compelled by her employer to attend the duke at his Dartmoor estate, she is devastated to find her beloved friend cold and imperious, even if he is the most handsome man she’s ever seen – despite his scars.

Edward, Duke of Sowrith, has longed to meet Gwen. Arranging her passage to his estate, he is tongue-tied when confronted with her quiet beauty. All too aware of the twisted ruin of his face, he allows fear to hold him silent…until Gwen’s safety is threatened.

Finally together, they grow closer until it seems they can never again be apart – but can a commoner and a duke find a happily ever after?

Other books in the series:
SILK & SCANDAL (The Silk Series Book 1) -
SILK & SCORN (The Silk Series Book 2) -


“Why did you write me?”

The quiet words gave him a degree of control. “I beg your pardon?”

Her tongue darted out to wet the plump flesh of her lower lip. “Why did you write me? Why did you write those letters?”

Stifling a groan, he cursed himself. Control yourself, man. “You were the one who made the error.”

“Yes,” she said. “But you didn’t need to write back.”

No, he hadn’t. Her letter had clearly been an error, addressed to her friend and full of the easy conversation of long acquaintance. He never should have read it, but he couldn’t help himself. It had been so full of life, so happy and joyous, and he’d wanted to experience that. “Because I liked them. Your letters.”

“What did you like of them?” A smile lit her face, a soft thing that seemed directed more at herself than him. “It was Etta, correct? She and her antics?”

A smile tugged at his own mouth, and he allowed it some expression but not enough to pull his scar. “No, I liked you. That is, I like you.” Heat rose along his neck.

“Oh.” A similar blush stained her skin. “Well. I like you, too.”

He couldn’t stop his smile then.

She drew in her breath.

Immediately, he wiped the expression from his face. He knew how he appeared when he forgot himself.

“Why did you stop smiling?” Confusion filled her voice.

Staring at the floor, he said, “I apologize. I know it’s grotesque.”

“What is grotesque?”

He dug his hands into the chair. “When I smile.”

“No. Edward, no—”

“Of course it is,” he said, and not even her calling him by his Christian name again lightened him. “I am scarred, Gwen. You cannot claim not to have noticed.”

“No, I have, I only—You smiled and I thought....You are so handsome, and when you smile, you are even more—” She cut herself off. A furious blush lit her cheeks.

She thought him handsome? A low boil started within him, and he could not tear his gaze from her lips.


Professional Bio – Long:
Cassandra Dean is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical and fantasy romance. Her latest novel, SLUMBER, is part of Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales and features Cassandra’s take on Sleeping Beauty. Her next novel, SILK & SCARS, is part of her popular Silk Series, featuring Victorian Era lawyers and their happily ever after.

Cassandra is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.

Visit Cassandra’s website at
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Follow Cassandra on Facebook at and on Twitter @authorCassDean
Contact Cassandra at

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