Guest Author

#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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#FiveOnFriday with Madison Michael

Please welcome this week’s guest, Madison Michael! I think this book is right up my alley!

I have lived in 5 unique regions of this country and thought I would use my Five on Friday spot to tell something about what each taught me.

#1 New England  – Beacon Hill walks, leaf peeping, apple picking, small town charm, how to eat lobster, how the other half lives (Newport – see “Bedeviled”), ice cold oceans (Maine). I once saw Julia Child at the farmers market!

#2 The South – southern accents, southern hospitality, Carolina beaches, hushpuppies, Asheville, friends for life, cooking versus heating.

#3 The Mid-Atlantic States – blue crab, Buck’s county beauty, avoiding deer in the road, dog walking, sushi, Jersey tomatoes, small-town living

#4 San Francisco, CA – shopping, eating, olive oil and old-vine zinfandel, wineries, spas, beaches and stunning beauty, surfing at Mavericks (see “Bedeviled”), Big Sur and butterflies.

#5 The Midwest – You can take the girl out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the girl. Architecture, impressionists, hot dogs and pizza, lakefront walks, winter hibernation, small theater companies, old friends, coming home.

Bedeviled

Beguiling Bachelor Series
Book 3
by Madison Michael

BLURB

Charlotte is on the run…

Charlotte Roche escaped dangers lurking in Boston by accepting a job in Chicago. A new name, a new beginning – all built on lies. Thinking she is safe, Charlotte drops her guard and sets her sights on her ruggedly handsome and wildly sexy running partner, Alexander Gaines. Can she advance their relationship from the track to the bedroom and still maintain her charade, or will Alex’s probing questions pierce her carefully rehearsed story?

Alex, with unrevealed secrets of his own, struggles to hold the irresistible Charlotte at arm’s length. But when Charlotte sustains a suspicious injury, Alex seizes the opportunity to cuddle up to the sassy beauty. Does he dare risk his reputation, his fortune, his friends, and his heart?

With exposure imminent, they appeal to their friends for help. Join Alex and Charlotte, along with characters you’ve met and loved in “Bedazzled” and “Beholden”, as they tackle the maze of half-truths and cover-ups threatening the lovers.

How can they build a bond with deceit on both sides? With malevolent forces advancing, is their love Bedeviled?

EXCERPT

“You look so beautiful,” he told her in a husky voice. “I have been wanting to do this all night.”

His head lowered to hers, pulling her close against him as he leaned back until all her weight was leaning on his and she had no choice but to twine her arms behind his head or the tree trunk. His lips captured her slowly, softly pressing against hers. One hand rested low, on the curve between her back and her behind. The other came up to tangle in her short hair, holding her head still as he deepened the kiss. His lips demanded response, plundering her mouth with his tongue. He tasted of expensive wine and Alex as his tongue explored the recesses of her mouth, hot and insistent. Her breasts were flattened against his rock-hard chest, her hips tight against his as he held her to him.

When he lifted his head, shadowed by moonlight behind him, Charlotte was unable to read his expression. Unsure and unsteady, she waited, catching her breath. Blood was coursing through her veins, hot and urgent. Her heart was pounding from just one kiss.

“God, I want you,” he rasped, the words torn from him, raw and insistent before he dipped his head to kiss her again. She returned the kiss, opening her lips to his insistent ones, entwining her tongue with his, increasing the pressure against his mouth as she ran her hands up into his hair. She held fast to him, feeling his hand move from her hair to the nape of her neck, down along her bare arms, tracing a pattern there with his fingers. The feel of his hands on her skin was warm, strong and sure. She had longed for his touch and now desired it everywhere.

Alex lifted his head reluctantly. “If we don’t get back in that car now,” he told her, his voice hoarse with longing, “I will not be responsible for my actions.”

He lifted her away from his body, steadied her and then hefted himself away from the tree and wrapped his arm around her shoulders to lead her back to the car.

She felt bereft without the solid warmth of him hard against her. Neither of them said a word until he opened her car door and closed it again, without allowing her inside. Instead, he pushed her gently against it.

“Sorry, I can’t make it home without one more.” Alex took Charlotte’s mouth in a searing kiss that took her breath away, sucking her lower lip into his mouth then sliding his tongue over it and into the moistness of her mouth. He kissed her senseless until she would have happily made love there in the sand, and the world be damned. She wanted this man as she had never wanted anything before.

Charlotte kissed him passionately, running her hands up and down his muscular back as she tightened her hold on him, wanting to get closer, to feel his bare skin, until finally they mutually agreed to some restraint and dragged apart from one another. He kept his fingers touching her lightly until she got in the car and he closed the door behind her.

“Jeez,” he stated with a rough chuckle as he folded himself into the bucket seat, “I hope there are no cops out, cause I am planning to break speed records getting you home.”

Available on Amazon

Other books in the Beguiling Bachelor Series – a steamy, Comtemporary Romance Series

Bewildered – a prequel, short story  How can Sloane choose between two hunky millionaires?

Bedazzled – Can Wyatt overcome tradition and family to seize Kelli for his own?

Bedeviled – Randall is just not part of Sloane’s plan when she claws her way back into society, but she is definitely part of his.

Bio for Madison Michael

Madison Michael traded 28 years in Fortune 500 tech and management positions for a chance to spend her days with sassy heroines, sexy, rich heroes and nothing but happy endings. Growing up the daughter of a librarian, she learned to love books, especially classics and romances, and spent winters cuddled under blankets losing herself in books

Madison is the author of three novels in the Beguiling Bachelor series, as well as several short stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.

After living in the northeast, southeast and the west, Maddy returned to her Midwest roots. She lives in Evanston, IL with two feline editorial assistants and great views of Chicago’s famous skyline.

Madison welcomes your feedback at maddy@madisonmichael.net

Website: http://www.madisonmichael.net

Blog: http://www.madisonmichael.net/blog

FB: http://www.facebook.com/madisonmichaelromance

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15221601.Madison_Michael

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/madisonmichael_

#FiveOnFriday Curse of the Healer by Ashley York

Please give a big welcome to Ashley York! She’s sharing five great things about history and her new release, Curse of the Healer!

Five Things to Know About My Novel

1-It is set in Ireland, Éire, more than a thousand years ago! Not a lot or artifacts or written manuscripts to go with from that far back but rest assured I am a historian. I take my job of recreating the time and place for you very seriously.

2-Warriors kick ass…arse! Heroes tend to be well-built in all time periods but let me just say, my warriors don’t have to go to the gym, don’t have to play any particular sport, don’t think at all about how their bodies look. These guys are fighting just to survive! Life was freaking hard. Those things alone create heroes that are drool worthy.

3-Feminism did not exist. However, in this culture women had rights. They may need protection from other hard ass warriors that may seek to dominate or abduct them but their own men (i.e. brothers, fathers, husbands) knew their value. And that value was very high for a lot of reasons: the continuation of their tribes; all the times the men were away and the woman had to keep things going; and, on occasion, when they needed to fight alongside the men. We all know women multi-task better than men. In this civilization that comes through loud and clear.

4-This is just the first book in my new series so I’ll be keeping you entertained with new and old characters that you’ll love with more books to come.

5-I love this time period so much, I may need to keep writing about it right up until the Normans invade near the end of the 12th century. What I’m saying is that there may be more than three books in the series.

Curse of the Healer

After the death of Brian Boru in 1014, a legend arose of a healer so great she could raise a man from the dead, with a power so strong it could make any warrior the next high king of Éire…and to steal it away from her, he need only possess her. 

Fated to be a healer…

Aednat has spent her entire life training to be the great healer, knowing she must remain alone. When she meets Diarmuid, the intense attraction she feels toward him shakes her resolve to believe in such a legend. If she gives in to the passion he ignites in her, can she settle for being less?

Destined to be his…

Diarmuid of Clonascra is renowned for his bravery in battle. Only one thing daunts him: the prospect of taking a wife. The safest course would be to keep his distance from Aednat, the bold, headstrong healer who’s far too tempting for his peace of mind. But his overking orders him to protect her from a group of craven warriors intent on kidnapping her to steal her power.

What starts as duty for Diarmuid quickly transforms into something more. Aednat’s power might be at risk, but so is his closed-off heart.

BUY LINKS – Curse of the Healer

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Curse-Healer-Descendants-High-King-ebook/dp/B06XC1J99P

iTunes   https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1210186885

KOBO   https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/curse-of-the-healer

Ashley’s Bio:

Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.

Connect with her online at:

Website: http://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com

Email: ashleyyork1066@gmail.com

Twitter: @ashleyyork1066

#FiveOnFriday with Alyson Reynolds

Alyson Reynolds is with us today, sharing about her new novel, Waiting To Breathe! Say hi!

Five things to know about my newest novel Waiting to Breathe:

  1. Sometimes life gets in the way and makes you grow up faster than you should ever have to. WtB is a story about overcoming those obstacles and learning how to trust and love yourself again.
  2. Twins always make a story fun. The first book in the WtB duet is about Olivia Crawford. Her twin brother Finn gets his story told in May when the second half of the duet, Waiting to Fall, is released. Double the trouble, double the fun. Right?
  3. The beach is one of the best places on earth. Not only for me, but for my characters too. I’ve spent more hours than I can count laying out in the sand. All of the characters in WtB have a special connection to one of my favorite places.
  4. There’s a thing about a cupcake. Honestly, I had a boyfriend that used to call me shortcake and for years it was a running joke. I never kept in touch with him after we broke up, but he was a great guy and I wanted to remember some of those good times.
  5. Love can find you when you really don’t want it. Olivia fights her attraction to our swoony hero Nate for as long as she can, but sometimes you just don’t have a say in these things.

Waiting to Breathe

She’s broken.

He’s lost.

Olivia Crawford had been through the wringer. All she wants is to start over without any complications or anyone figuring out her secrets. When her twin brother Finn convinces her to move back home and finish her degree at his school, it’s just the push she needs to start over.

Nathaniel Ford is the golden boy of SCU. He seems like he has it all, perfect family, awesome friends and fraternity brothers, and a few buildings on campus with his last name on them. But things aren’t always what they seem.

From the first time Nate and Olivia bump into each other, literally, he wants more of her feisty attitude, but Olivia throws more walls up with each step he takes closer, and he isn’t sure he can break them down fast enough.

Amazon ➜ http://amzn.to/2ifFOuG

iBooks ➜ http://apple.co/2iMUgaF

Kobo ➜ http://bit.ly/2hA36Lg

Nook ➜ http://bit.ly/2ixSH18

Goodreads ➜ http://bit.ly/2ixSM4W

Excerpt from Waiting to Breathe

Nate

“Dude, you’re late.”

“I know.”

I tugged my shirt off over my head and threw it against the wall. Grabbing the bar so I could spot Finn, he shook his head at me.

“That’s the third time this week. Hitting on another young co-ed?”

“Actually no. I was setting up a study group and trying to stay out of Lila’s clutches, smartass.”

“You’re losing your touch then, Ford.”

If you only knew.

The little cupcake fiasco hadn’t gone over very well with Olivia. I grunted at him and watched him count his reps.

“So how’s Olivia doing? Getting used to her classes yet?”

“If she could find them, I’m sure she would be. I have no idea how she functions. I swear she has absolutely no sense of direction. It’s bad enough she’s text me twice this week because she was lost on campus.”

“But no more mishaps of nearly falling down a flight of stairs?” I asked laughing.

“No, thank goodness. I’m just glad she’s here. I didn’t know if she would actually come or not.”

“Why not? Last rep.”

“She went through some rough shit last year and I don’t think she really wanted to come back to South Carolina. Switch.”

Finn never said anything more than that and as much as I respected him for it, I wanted to find out more about his sister. He wasn’t willing to tell anything that was her business. The guy was locked up like Fort Knox with her secrets. But I had a feeling that it would go both ways if anyone was pressing Olivia for information on Finn.

I added additional weight to each side and tested it. The bar was heavy, but manageable. Finn just shook his head at me and stood there so I didn’t drop the stack on my face.

“Fucking showoff. So, why all the questions about, Olivia? Are you interested?”

“Your sister is hot. I’ll admit I’m interested as long as you don’t beat the shit out of me.”

“I just want to make sure this isn’t some game to you. Not that I think you would do that, but Olivia’s been through enough and I won’t let you fuck around with her.”

I stared at Finn for a minute before answering. “I’m not the guy you would have to worry about doing that. She’s not someone I would screw with just to see if I could, and not just because of you. Olivia’s…different.”

“Well then, you have my blessing to go for it, but I doubt you’ll get anywhere. I know for a fact that she’s off dating for the unforeseeable future. If you can convince her to go out with you then you deserve it.”

I lifted the bar into the rack and sat up. Finn stood in front of me with his arms crossed over his chest. He was built like a fucking tank and standing like that he was intimidating as hell.

“I do have to warn you though, if you make her cry I will beat the shit out of you.”

I looked up at Finn. He definitely wasn’t someone I wanted to cross. Ever.

“Noted.”

Meet Alyson

Romance writer. Wife. Mother of two. Avid reader. Queen of multitasking.

Originally from the south, Alyson likes to incorporate what she knows into her books. She’s lived not only on the east coast, but the west coast and a few places between. Alyson loves sharing stories about her crazy family to anyone who will listen. Her guilty pleasures consist of coffee, country music, brunch, breaking the rules, and pedicures. And she will always be a daddy’s girl.

When Alyson isn’t chasing around her two kiddos, she’s normally writing. Or reading. Her Kindle library is out of control. Alyson writes mainly contemporary novels and novellas with a few new adult stories is the mix.

Website: http://www.authoralysonreynolds.com

FB author page: http://www.facebook.com/authoralysonreynolds

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorareynolds

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/22slSBn

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authoralyson/

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