Guest Author

#FiveOnFriday Karla Brandenburg’s The Twins

Please say hi to Karla Brandenburg! She’s sharing about her newest release, The Twins!

Karla Brandenburg is the author of contemporary romance, including her award-winning paranormal MIST series. Raised on the gothic romances of Victoria Holt and the horror of Stephen King, she is an avid reader and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Karla is a card-carrying cookie-holic, enjoys baking and travel.

Five on Friday – The Research Phase: what I learned while writing—and what inspired—THE TWINS.

  1. I wrote this book while I was recovering from hip surgery. What I DIDN’T know was that my surgery was completely different from a broken hip, and therefore the “write what you know” part of the recovery didn’t apply to what my hero had to go through. MORE RESEARCH! Thank heaven for helpful physical therapists and doctors!
  2. While I was recovering, I was given an app to use from the hospital. Imagine my surprise when I got a response to one of the comments I wrote as a note for my doctor! (They’d told me it was not interactive.) Visions of “You’ve Got Mail” danced in my head. I got on the phone with the app developer and learned how they’d developed it and that other applications it was being used for. Very interesting information, or at least I thought so.
  3. After I received the “push notification” from the nurse monitoring my progress with the app—the person behind the curtain in a manner of speaking—I also interviewed her to find out what her job was like. She was very gracious and offered me a lot of information that helped me to shape the job for the character I’d created.
  4. Palo Santo wood is protected where it grows (primarily Central and South America). Because it has been overharvested, growers have to prove that it is produced in a sustainable way. Products and scents can only be harvested from dead trees. Apparently, the scent is stronger after the tree dies. I ordered a talisman while I was writing and now own a cat carved from Palo Santo wood (did I mention I’m a cat lover?).
  5. I wanted to get the New Orleans dialect right. After watching an episode of Criminal Minds that featured “Will,” JJ’s husband, I loved the soft, sing-song way he spoke, but I needed more to add that Cajun flavor. I hunted down You Tube videos of Justin Wilson and picked up some distinct phrases, my ear for dialects and accents tuning in to the speech patterns to apply to my hero.

The TwinsKarla’s latest book, THE TWINS, is the second in the EPITAPH series.

Although she vowed never to go back, nurse Siobhan McCormick returns home after two family members have died and her brother’s life is threatened. Her new job introduces her to accident victim Jared Pierce, a man whose casual charm tempts her with the same bad decisions she made in high school.

Haunted houses don’t sell, and Jared Pierce’s family sends him from Louisiana to Illinois to make sure there aren’t any ghosts lingering in his great-aunt’s house. An accident on an icy road extends his visit from a few days to a few months.

Though the house is ghost-free when Jared arrives, a violent ice storm breaks apart a tree and releases the spirits of twin boys who were buried in the backyard. Temporarily disabled by his injuries, Jared needs his nurse’s help to give the ghosts peace. There’s only one problem. Siobhan doesn’t believe in ghosts. Will Jared earn her trust and affection or will Siobhan retreat into the safety of her job?

THE TWINS is available at the following book sellers on the web:

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/6946608

iBooks: https://itun.es/us/fTs7ib.I

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-twins-karla-brandenburg/1125834000

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/705913

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-twins-21

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y22Q7RH

To find out more about Karla and her books, visit her website: https://www.karlabrandenburg.com

#FiveOnFriday with Adam Mann

Please say hello to today’s guest, Adam Mann! He has a peek at his boxed set!

Profile:

Adam Mann (pen name) has worked for over 50 years in what is called “developing economies”. Most of the time his work has been with the thousands of small scale farmers, who have appreciated sustainable livelihoods, so that they now have enough food to feed themselves, and also some produce to sell so that they have a cash income.  That is why most of Adam’s novels are set in these remote rural locations.

Four years ago Adam finally retired and started writing and has now produced 26 fantasy romance and 7 historical books under his real name Mike Lord, nine of which have been traditionally published, and 24 self-published at Smashwords and Amazon KDP.

Mike Lord is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia.

Contact links:

Website: http://www.adammannauthor.com

Social Media:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/719820?ref=ButterflyBooks

https://www.amazon.com/author/adammannauthor.com

Twitter:

@adammannauthor

@ButterflyBooks9

Latest Publication:

William Mary & Percy

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/697934

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/697935

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/697937

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/705268

Box Set:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/719820?ref=ButterflyBooks

Blurb:

A fascinating tale of love and passion, but not all at once!  William and Mary are effectively the accounting department in a property investment company (boring, but part of the story!).

The Company is taken over, and they are asked to prepare a report so they have to work late into the evening, and then visit a local restaurant, but not really a date.  Mary asks William to walk with her home as it is now dark, which he does, and is offered a bed for the night.

Mary is the prime initiator of what happens next but only after some time, but she does enough to keep William interested, when his next job is at Hyderabad in Pakistan. Mary visits William which effectively seals his fate.

But who is Percy, and what is Samantha?

Excerpt:

We said goodnight, but about half an hour later I felt Mary climbing into the other side of the larger bed with me in it!

She had to touch me as the bed was too small not to, and I noticed the soft fabric of her nightgown as she snuggled up to me, and put her arms around me.

I turned to face her, and she kissed my chin.  She smelt very feminine, without using any discernible perfume.

I put my arm on her waist, and then up to her back.

I was a bit startled as the back of her bra felt like canvas webbing through the soft nightie, but she snuggled up me again without saying a word.

I moved my hand to her bottom and found another canvas garment there, which was like a pair of knickers made from thick denim material.

“That’s my chastity belt,” she whispered, “Go to sleep,” she commanded.

 

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#FiveOnFriday with Me!

My guest author for today wasn’t able to provide a post, but it works out for me because I wanted to share something with you!

I’ve teamed up with 55+ fantastic medium to steamy small town contemporary romance authors to give away a huge collection of novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner!  You can win my novel, Plump & Pretty, plus books from authors like Marie Force and Carly Phillips! 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: bit.ly/small-town-rom-2

Good luck, and enjoy!

But it is Five On Friday, so I wanted to share a few things about the Big & Beautiful series that you might not know!

  1. I wrote the first eight books out of order. Plump & Pretty was actually the fourth book I wrote, even though it falls sixth in the series. Shapely & Stunning was eighth. The first book I wrote was Chubby & Charming though.
  2. I had no idea Tara and Olivia knew each other until I wrote the epilogue for Puffy & Precious. On top of that, I didn’t know why they weren’t friends anymore until I wrote about it in Round & Ravishing.
  3. When I first envisioned Abby, she was a skinny woman, and she was not going to end up as one of the friends with a book. By the time I revised Fluffy & Fabulous, I liked Abby enough that I wanted to give her a story of her own.
  4. I didn’t know Olivia’s full story until I started writing Curvaceous & Captivating. I knew she was divorced, but I wasn’t sure why her ex left.
  5. My two favorite couples have been Carrie and Drew, from Husky & Hot, and Olivia and Ethan, from Curvaceous & Captivating. They were the two that extracted the most emotion for me.

If you haven’t checked out the series yet, Chubby & Charming is free everywhere! And don’t forget to enter the contest to win one of two copies of Plump & Pretty, plus over 55 books from other steamy, small town contemporary authors.

I’m still celebrating release week today. Stop by and say hi to me and Ann Everett!

Have a great Friday!

#FiveOnFriday with Rachael Kosinski

Please say hi to Rachael Kosinski! She has five fun things to share with us about her novella, Nicholas!

Hello!! A thousand thank-you’s for having me. My novella, Nicholas, was released this past February 14th by MuseItUp Publishing. It was actually never intended to be published, written very, very fast, and basically not at all what it came to be. Therefore, I thought it might be fun to give a few fun facts about a Christmas gift that turned into a story on attempted regicide, German ambassadors, and thieves who steal stories.

1. Nicholas was originally supposed to be a story on how mistletoe became associated with Christmas. In the very beginning, I only had about a week to write my mom a Christmas story and I was really drawing on early mythologies. It was for a very brief time, but I considered having a blind druid girl getting visited by an angel who bestowed mistletoe on humanity—for some reason. I think she fell in love with the angel. Like I said, I couldn’t formulate a full plot fast enough, and had to brush it aside.

2. Nicholas was originally supposed to be a pirate. I played fast and dirty with this story a bit; I robbed from my previous cache of unused plotlines. I’ve always wanted to write a pirate story—it’s one of my goals but I also want to be quite well informed before I start writing it. Since I was about sixteen, I’ve had a Word doc labeled Jamie’s Mercy, which had the very basic plot of a young pirate who had to end up saving a bishop’s daughter. Nicholas was based on Jamie, the buccaneer virtuoso, but morphed into his own individual self once I stripped him of piracy and made him a master thief. I set him loose in eighteenth-century London instead of the high seas, and set him with the task of saving the newest monarch.

3. I had never been to London before writing Nicholas and was terrified I’d mess up. We’ve all met those people, haven’t we? You mention the word ‘British’ or ‘London’ and suddenly they cock their mouth with an “Oi! Fish an’ chips! Pip pip—cheerio! Top hats and monocles!!” I did NOT want to be accused of anything like that, as an American writing a book with primarily English folk in it. I do have English, Scottish, and Irish blood in me, but my family left a long, long time ago. I could’ve spent months on searching for correct eighteenth-century dialects (and actually did find a handy website that dates certain phrases for you—so you don’t have your 1700s-era thief say ‘You’ll never take me alive, coppers!’ or something embarrassing like that). Instead, I shied away from heavy British slang and just kept it pretty formal English. I studied in England for three months a couple years ago, after this was written, and am proud to say there are no gaping mistakes.

4. I screwed with Britain’s historic timeline without much care—until I got my publishing contract. If you ever do read Nicholas, you’ll see in the acknowledgements that I wave a banner screeching that I’m not a complete idiot, I did do research before writing my book. It wasn’t twelve-years’-worth-of-creating-an-obscure-network-of-historian-contacts research, but thorough enough that I wasn’t making ridiculous jumps in history. The England I wrote about is set hazily in the early 1700s—in actuality, Nicholas’s England is on some alternate timeline. The Palace of Westminster was destroyed by a fire in the early 1500s and destroyed again by another fire in 1834; by the time Nicholas was running around London, historically the palace had become the House of Commons and the House of Lords. I know this. I simply chose to imagine a history where this never happened.

5. The ending makes me cry. Almost always. No spoilers here, but I’m always a sucker for sophisticated flirtation. And storytelling. And incredibly touching shows of affection. And people finding happiness. 😉

Blurb:

Nicholas does not live an ordinary life. He is a thief, reputed to be the best in London. But no one—no one—has ever broken into Westminster Palace except Nicholas, of course, who’s visited every few nights for months and months in order to steal—not crown jewels, nor secrets—but stories. The crown princess spins yarns in a tower study and Nicholas sits atop the roof to listen through the chimney flute until one night, when things go wrong and Nicholas finds himself in the palace and knowing things he should not know.

Someone loathes the idea that the King of England is planning to step down for his female heir, and will go to horrendous lengths to ensure this does not occur.

Suddenly, Nicholas wants to do the exact opposite of the thief’s code: helping to save a princess, instead of stealing one. A thief with a moral compass. Who knew?

Excerpt from Nicholas

“Where did you go last night?” Squinting, Hugh gave the robes a little shake. “You pulled an Our Father. Why? What’d you do to your hand?”

Nicholas tugged off the handkerchief and displayed the small angry weal on his palm. “Slipped on the ice. Grabbed a cart.” His jaw set. “I explored last night. I didn’t get anything, but you know how everyone trusts a man of God—”

Hugh stared at the handkerchief lying on the floor, his mouth working at the purple, red, and gold embroidery. When his gaze met Nicholas’s again, they cooled to iron. “You were the intruder last night. The one everyone’s talking about.”

Nicholas finally snagged his vestments out of Hugh’s fingers. “What are you on about? Hugh, last night I went all the way to South Kensington.”

“Last night, you took my boat. Argh, you were the intruder and the priest they found! Are you mad! Are you saying the royal guard impounded my skiff?”

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Bio:

When she was little, Rachael Kosinski wanted to be a paleontologist, an astronaut, a nature photographer, and the next Jane Goodall. Instead of being a new link between man and chimp, or discovering a planet suitable for sustained human life, or maybe even winning renowned fame by stumbling across an undiscovered dinosaur, Rachael finally decided that, if she never became a writer, she would simply die. Eight years later, she now possesses a quirky knowledge of world mythology, an addiction to coffee, and a penchant for making over-expressive faces at her laptop.

Contact Links:

https://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com

https://goodreads.com/rachaelkosinski

http://the-girl-who-draws-with-words.tumblr.com

http://twitter.com/rekosinski

#FiveOnFriday Mind Control with Staci Troilo

Staci Troilo is here with us today! She interviewed her hero, Vinnie, and man does he get around!

I’m choosing to focus on Mind Control, book two of my Medici Protectorate series. I thought we could do a Q&A with Vinnie, the male protagonist. Book one, Bleeding Heart, was set in Western Pennsylvania, but book two has five different settings. We’ll have a question pertaining to each locale.

Q: So, Vinnie, this novel starts out in Western Pennsylvania. What brought you there?

A: The Brotherhood has been tasked with protecting the Notaro family, sole descendants of the House of Medici. Most of the world doesn’t know they exist, but there’s a group of people after them who want to control them or eliminate them. The Notaros live and work in Western Pennsylvania, so that’s where we were sent.

Q: But you didn’t stay in Pennsylvania. You traveled to West Virginia next. Why?

A: Our mentors were released when John Notaro, their father, was killed. My brothers and I took over to protect the next generation—the four Notaro sisters. After we learned the identity of one of their enemies, our boss decided we needed to speak to our former mentors because they might have more information for us. The first one we visited was my old mentor, Marcus. He lives in West Virginia, and that’s where we went.

Q: You weren’t there long. Things kind of awkward between the two of you? Hmm? Nothing to say to that? Okay. Well, you left West Virginia and traveled to Atlantic City. For what reason did you go there?

A: Nico’s old mentor has a hotel and casino there. He also had some useful information for us, so the trip was well worth it.

Q: Useful how? Does he know who’s after the girls? Come on, give me something. No? Fine. From there you went to New York. Why was that?

A: That’s where my brothers and I lived after Mike rescued us from the orphanage. We spent our teen years there, and that’s where we met our mentors and completed our training. It only made sense to regroup there before making our next move.

Q: The next move being traveling to Italy. Why?

A: Based on the prophecy, the socio-economic and political climate, and the intel we gathered, the Notaros’ enemies are there. We could have run and hid the sisters somewhere else in the world—we certainly have the resources—but it’s more important to end the conflict so they can resume some semblance of a normal life. If the situation is going to come to a head in Italy, then we wanted to be there in plenty of time to have the high ground. In fact, I’m late for a security briefing. I have to go.

So, there you have it. Five cities, five questions, five not-so-revealing answers. Here’s hoping the Brotherhood can get the job done so the Notaro sisters can live safe and happy lives.

Mind Control

Three decades. Two continents. One secret that could cost him everything.

Too. Many. Secrets… and Vinnie Falco is buried in them. He works undercover day and night to keep watch over Jo Notaro, whose fiery temperament matches her boundless energy and unparalleled beauty. Jo is unable to withstand the endless scrutiny and constant surveillance, so when Vinnie’s ever-watchful gaze lingers too long, she can feel his touch—and she doesn’t know if she loathes it or loves it.

Vinnie’s job to watch Jo goes much deeper. He’s a vice president of an international corporation, a front for a secret organization—the Medici Protectorate—which continues a tradition going back nearly 500 years to guard the Medici line. Jo and her sisters are the descendants of the Medici and someone wants them dead.

But Vinnie has another secret he’s desperately trying to hide. A secret that could push Jo too far away for even him to save her.

Mind Control Universal Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/STmindcontrol

About Staci

Staci Troilo has always loved fiction, ever since her parents read her fairy tales when she was a young girl. Today, her interests are much more eclectic. She loves getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about her, visit http://stacitroilo.com.

Connect with Staci

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