Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Vase of Many Colors by Rachel Thoene

In the very small house, on the very grand hill, in the very small town author RachelThe Vase of Many Colors by Rachel Thoene Thoene – daughter of veteran bestsellers Bodie and Brock Thoene - masterfully explores the captivating notions of forgiveness and grace in The Vase of Many Colors. This beautifully written and colorfully illustrated family tale peeks into the world of the very bouncy girl and her old, crooked grandmother. A world where rainbows appear on the walls and simple flower-gathering is a nightly ritual.

And where broken things are mended with the gentle breath of love to become a masterpiece for all generations to enjoy.

In a world where broken things are tossed aside with ease, Rachel Thoene’s story is a captivating reminder of the power of forgiveness and grace to mend life’s cracks and create a Vase of Many Colors in you.

Themes of the Book

Finding forgiveness. Picking up the pieces after an accident. Learning to forgive yourself. The meaning of grace.


Rachel ThoeneRachel Thoene knows what it’s like to pick up broken pieces. As a site administrator at two alternative schools for at-risk students in an urban school district in Sacramento, California, she helps students put the pieces of their broken lives back together and discover success where there was only self doubt. As a mother, she finds new beauty in the hearts of her two children, Ian and Jessie. “Every person we come into contact with has the potential to be a beautiful and valuable work of art,” Rachel says. The inspiration for the story began as an email to a friend who was struggling with how to relate to her teenage son. When the story further developed, Rachel realized that the underlying message appealed to the experiences of adults and children alike.


One of the major themes of Vase of Many Colors is restoration. Can you tell us a little bit about what restoration means to you and how restoration is different than just forgiveness.
Restoration suggests that things are being repaired and made new again. When I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do with my mom and my Nana (Mom’s Mom) was to go visit antique stores. While they frequently searched for the exquisite and the rare and the beautiful, I always felt that some of our greatest treasures were the old chairs … the ones with the woven cane seats. They were old, dusty, tired and broken down, but when we would come across chairs like that, if they suited our needs, Mom would get them to an antique restorer who would tirelessly restore or repair the caning in the seat of these old chairs… it always amazed me how the new canes could make that old tired chair new enough and strong enough to hold our weight.. even though the rest of the structure was 100 – 150 years old… but the structural integrity of that chair was restored to a point where it could support a grown man’s weight. Same goes for stained glass windows… bits and pieces of colored glass would be cut to size to repair some of the stained glass windows we bought from those same antique dealers… it became an act of everything old becomes new again… plain old forgiveness can be too easy… simply brushing off a wrong, without really acknowledging that it caused broken-ness. But restoration is work…an art and takes delicate craftsmanship… if you restore someone or something, you are investing time and energy into righting the wrong.

Sometimes forgiving yourself can be the hardest part of all. How can you learn to forgive yourself when everyone else has already?
Humans have a tendency to continue the mental flogging don’t they? I have a terribly guilty conscience… and will lay awake at night mulling over and re-hashing scenarios until I have horrible headaches and my stomach and shoulders are in knots. And why? What does that accomplish? Sometimes I have to go back to folks I’ve wronged a couple of times and explain, “Hey, I’m still feeling this way about what I said or what I did… and I just want you to know that I’m having trouble forgiving myself.” My current boss and I have that kind of relationship and we just talk until we’re all talked out. He calls it “un-stuffing” and it has really helped me come to forgiveness of myself a lot quicker. Maybe the idea is to be thorough in your discussion of forgiveness and not so quick to dismiss the wrong. Folks don’t enjoy reliving painful experiences, but sometimes you have to cut away the infection to get to healthy tissue again. Then you’re truly clean and ready to start fresh.

Your parents are legends in Christian fiction. How has your upbringing affected your writing style?
WHOA! Yup. They sure are legends alright! And the funny thing is that I never saw myself as a writer… I expressed myself privately in poems and prose and could write really long letters and emails to friends… and when it came to technical writing and research I could really shine. But I sure never saw myself as a writer of their caliber. And certainly not of that level of self discipline. I grew up appreciating the art form and yet never wanting anything to do with it. It was TOO MUCH WORK! So I’m not sure I even have a style per se… I enjoy words… LOVE a good dictionary and my goal is to someday own an O.E.D. but when I write these days, it is to communicate a point or illustrate a message without putting people on the defensive. That’s a huge part of my job as a school administrator… communicate effectively without causing emotional trauma.

What was your inspiration for Vase of Many Colors?
Whew boy. My inspiration was my friend, Val and her relationship and the trials she was having as a mother with one of her sons at the time. But the story really became one of those divinely inspired sorts of messages… it just sort of fell out of me in an email to her… a sort of allegory or parable if you will, about how as mothers, even when our kids make dumb mistakes and bad choices, we can still pick up the pieces and help them put themselves back together again. Of course as I sat back and spent some time with the story, quite a few different messages sort of jumped out at me. And that continues to happen as I review it in relation to different audiences and different life scenarios.

Who is the target audience for Vase of Many Colors? Adults or Children?
Oh! Why limit it to just those two groups? I think the target audience is whomever has relationships with other human beings… some of my teachers have used it in their classes with their high school aged students and also with their own grandchildren. I have shared the story with school children and adults in difficult situations. It doesn’t really matter who you are or how old, if you deal with other human beings, you need to read this story. My boss has used it with staff members. I have shared it with some of my students who are teen age mothers and grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren…. The target audience is humans.

How can adults and children both benefit from reading Vase of Many Colors?
I think the story speaks to the fact that ALL of us have made, currently make and will continue to make mistakes. We will experience heartaches but WOW! The good news is that we can be forgiven, we can be healed, and we can be whole again. And it even applies to really deep hurts, like death of a loved one or a serious illness, loss of a job or other traumatic spiritual and emotional experiences… we’ll be all busted up to pieces but you know what? God can put us back together again. And when He does, we find ourselves staring into the old dark, musty closets of our past and wondering how in all heaven and earth He is going to take all that garbage and make anything good of it…. But He always does. And we never look the same but we’re new and improved… we might have a couple of emotional limps or scars left over but you ask any cancer patient who has beaten the disease and they will tell you that the scars serve as reminders of the battle and their courage to win and also as their reminder of their humanity. Those reminders cause us to be compassionate toward others who are experiencing the same or similar issues.

What book has most influenced you personally?
Oh boy. Am I being graded on this? Next question… do I have to have only one? I don’t think I can narrow it but if I had to I would say that the most currently influential book I have read is called “The Penny: A Novel” by Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford. Do you want me to do a full book report? It’s just one of those books that soothes your heart and your brain… like Chapstick after a really bad cold.

What book are you reading now?
I’m reading about six books right now but the most powerful book I’m reading right now is called “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. It’s a business leadership type book but has direct application in what I’m doing right now as a school site leader.

What do you want readers to know most about you?
Hmmmm…. I think I’d rather have them understand the importance of what I do as an educator for underprivileged and at-risk children. And then put my job into perspective with what folks do at home with their own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. We all share a responsibility to help shape and mold the young people’s lives and a good, solidly structured home, consistent behavioral boundaries and expectations for our children really do make a difference when they start the journey into young adulthood. But don’t be over-protective of your kids either. Let them make their mistakes in a safe environment, because the world at large can be a REALLY unforgiving place and sometimes, if we make mistakes out there, they can prove to be fatal… I want readers to HELP ME help my students…. And my teachers… help us continue to make a difference in the lives of our students and the communities we work in.

In a society where many things are considered “disposable”, how does restoration figure into the mix?
MAN! So I work in the Educational Options Division of a school district in urban Sacramento California and we have, in our division, for many years said, “We are known as throw away students, throw away teachers and throw away administrators.” Meaning all of us, from the students through the administrators have at some point been considered throw aways… less than… not good enough for “regular education.” All of us, in one way or another, in our previous schools and/or jobs, didn’t fit the mold of what good students, teachers and administrators were supposed to look like so we were dismissed and “sent” to continuation schools where we would either be re-habilitated or just wait out the life of our professional careers. Well we have started a trend in our district, courtesy of Dr. Larry Buchanan, ret’d and Dr. Patricia Newsome, Acting Superintendent, of really building up the Educational Options Schools. So we are shifting attitudes and acknowledging our mistakes but moving ourselves toward a better, healthier future. It’s really a shift in attitudes that will change society… consider the “Green Movement” currently afoot in America… we change out our old incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy efficient fluorescent bulbs. We recycle everything from aluminum to plastic to motor oil. We see people trading SUV’s for hybrid vehicles and taking their own bags to the grocery store. We compost our garden and yard scraps. And yet I have two schools and am associated with two more which house over 1400 students who are considered to be “throw aways.” I have a CalSafe program on my campus which is a daycare center for teen parents… I have 18 babies and toddlers enrolled in that program right now and more on the way. Down the street from my campus, I know a woman who lives under a bridge because the older man she was taking care of passed away so the family fired her and she started drinking and can’t seem to hold a job. I have students enrolled in my school who have no place to call home but the back of an abandoned car or a filthy motel room, and I have a significant portion of my students who are enslaved to the Foster care system….

I could fill a semi-truck with the number of toothbrushes, pairs of socks and coats we’ve handed out over the years I’ve been here. Society has deemed that some of its own members are “disposable”. So how does “restoration” figure into the mix? It doesn’t figure into the mix… it IS the mix. We need to start cleaning up the souls we’ve thrown away and disregarded and judged and sentenced right here in our own neighborhoods. I’m afraid it’s a bit of a hot topic for me because there are some who start talking about “THOSE KIDS …. THOSE PEOPLE…” and they sort of get on their high horses and peering out through their glass houses and pointing fingers at all the systems, the government, the educational system, the welfare system and such… But THOSE KIDS aren’t THOSE Kids… They’re OUR kids…

If you want to clean something up, start with your own sock drawer. Then move to your t-shirt drawer and then your closet and your garage…. Restoration starts at home. And our churches, communities and schools are an extension of our homes. I’ve got to quit because I’ll get all riled up. I guess I’m kind of passionate about the issue.

Restoration is another word for healing… so let’s heal our families and our communities first before we start trying to tell other folks how to fix the rest of the world.

Purchase The Vase of Many Colors by Rachel Thoene HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 5:59 PM


The Return by Austin Boyd

(Navpress Publishing Group July 13, 2007)


Matt BronleeweAustin Boyd writes from his experience as a decorated Navy pilot, spacecraft engineer and an astronaut candidate finalist. Austin lives with his wife Cindy and four children in America’s “Rocket City”--Huntsville, Alabama, where he directs business development for a large NASA and defense contractor. His creative talents include inspirational fiction and poetry, finely crafted reproduction colonial furniture, archery and long distance cycling. He serves his community as an advocate for a crisis pregnancy center and as a motivational speaker in the area of lifestyle evangelism.

THE RETURN is part of the Mars Hill Classified Series with The Evidence and The Proof



Six years after completing a manned mission to the Red Planet, Admiral John Wells isThe Return by Austin Boyd set to make another journey to Mars. But this time his crew is not alone, as John's team encounters a secret colony comprised of individuals pursuing John Raines' strange religion, the "Father Race."

While John begins to uncover a web of lies on Mars, his wife and daughter are struggling for survival on earth. Now John must survive his dangerous mission and find a way back home, even as a shocking plan begins to unfold millions of miles away on earth.

Austin Boyd is back with his third thrilling novel in the Mars Hill Classified series, full of high-tech intrigue, memorable characters, and adventure that transports readers to another world.


With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle not their own. In the third installment of the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family--presumed dead these last six years--rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.

Wells will find himself in a race against time and all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Raines, and, if he's very brave, about himself.

"Austin Boyd is one of the brightest new voices in Christian fiction. His long association with the space program lends authenticity as he reveals the turmoil in the minds and hearts of those who are willing to risk everything by making that journey. In The Return, we learn that both human emotions and God's presence reach far beyond the pull of Earth's gravity."
-- Richard L Mabry, author of The Tender Scar

Purchase The Return by Austin Boyd HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 5:43 PM


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Collector 7: This Time Forever by Lucynda Storey

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a copy of The Collector 7: This Time Forever by Lucynda Storey


Lucynda Storey has been seriously writing since 1998, but has had a life long love of the written word since she was old enough to read “Dick and Jane”. She still has her first collection of short stories written in fourth grade, “Different Points of View from Shoes”.

Her tales have been well received. Simply Irresistible was a recommended read at Road to Romance, Reynardine won the ENDA for best erotic contemporary romance of 2004, and The Captive’s Release earned a recommended read from Fallen Angels Review. She is the secretary of her local RWA chapter and owner of Aspen Mountain Press
( . Her articles on writing can be found at and Excerpts of her novels can be found at

Her titles include:

The Captive’s Release (Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read)
Reynardine (4 Stars from Romantic Times)
Blind Devotion (Eppie Finalist and nominated by The Romance Studio for best fantasy romance CAPA)
Simply Irresistible (Road to Romance Recommended Read)
The Collector 7: This Time Forever

She has also written several novellas including:

Passionate Resources: Naomi
Mistletoe Wish
Bet Me
Things That Go Bump in the Night (Creatures of the Night, Creatures of Delight)

In December, her non-fiction project 10 Steps to Creating Memorable Characters was released by Lone Eagle (Watson-Guptill) and is available at book stores or via the web.

She taught junior high and high school for 17 years and has presented workshops on goal setting, brainstorming and developing characters for various writing groups.

In addition to writing and encouraging others to follow their dreams she is active in her community, volunteering with the local police force, helping pre-schoolers with arts and crafts and working with teens in a variety of organizations. If there is a free day to be had on a fall weekend, you would most likely find her working the concession stands at Invesco Field at Mile High to help raise money for her daughter’s high school choir, or traveling to Colorado Springs to visit her son attending the Air Force Academy.


Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I became a writer because I had all these stories going on in my head. I've always told and written stories since the time I could talk and hold a crayon. It was only when I was older, that I seriously persued writing and thinking that maybe someone else would like read the stories I had.

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love being able to create sexy men, the women who love them and the worlds they live in. Like most authors I don't like interruptions and doing promotional work can take up the precious time you have to write.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
These days it is more difficult. Right now I am running Aspen Mountain Press and a lot of my time is taken up with responsibilities to the company. I frequently take my AlphaSmart or my laptop, or an old-fashioned notebook and write when I have to wait for kids. I also get up earlier in the morning to try and get some of my personal writing accomplished.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
For each book it's been different. Usually an idea comes to me followed closely by one of the major characters. The world comes about because of the plot.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write romantic suspense, science ficion, and fantasy. I write the stories I write because that is what comes into my brain through daydreaming, music or dreams. Every once in a while I'll see something in the media and that will spark an idea. For instance, we just had an article in our local newspaper about witnesses in the witness protection program being killed. Just seeing that headline produced an "Aha!" moment and the ideas started coming fast and furiously.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That we have oddles of time and a real easy life, oodles of money, that writing a book is easy and anyone can do it.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are a composite of real people I've met or seen. I usually add other facets from my imagination.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Jack Smith and Amanda Bryne of Refugee are two of my favorites. Jack is a real macho cop with a heart for children and Amanda is trying hard to find her own internal strength after suffering emotional and physical abuse.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Bruce Willis, David Boreanaz or Brad Pitt could be Jack Smith. For Amanda, hmmm, maybe someone like Jennifer Garner. But if we're talking just making any ol' movie, I'd take Bruce, Brad, David Clive Owen, Eric Bana, Sendhil Ramamurthy, George Clooney, or this absolutely amazing man, Ashraf Barhom. For actresses I'd want Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Jodi Foster, Jennifer Garner, although a lot of the fun for me would be all the tryouts and readings that actors and actresses go through before parts are assigned. I always thought being a casting director would be great fun.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
That love really can conquer all. That there is hope in what sometimes looks like a hopeless world.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
If you really want to write, don't ever give up, don't let anything get in your way. If you want to do it, you will find a way.

Who are your favorite authors?
I really like Laura Baumbach, Shana Abe, Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card, Michelle Hasker, Dawn Montgomery, Lizze T. Leaf and Lena Austin. But, the truth is, there are so many AMAZING writers I've been introduced to on the Internet that I couldn't list all the ones, like Sharon Maria Bidwell, who are on my auto-buy list.

What are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading The Pride by Joan Johnson and a mystery, The Shell Game by Jeff Buick.



When terminally ill Skylar Creighton tries to aid an injured homeless man who's been stabbed, his attacker follows him into her bookstore demanding a green crystal. When the victim shoves a pale green gem into her hands, the mysterious crystal sends her hurtling into the cabin of the Rand Edward Jamison's Red Sky, a pirate ship. The captain—she knows and loves from the yellowed pages of his own journals.

When Rand hears a noise in his cabin, his senses go on full alert. Finding an interloper, he's sure his enemy, Owain Cutler, has found an assassin. What Rand doesn't expect to find is his deceased wife Emma's reincarnation. When this stranger unleashes her tongue with her sarcastic retorts he's confused. Is she or isn't she Emma? And what is all this nonsense about traveling through time from the future?

Skylar's been fantasizing about Rand for years, and Rand's convinced she's his dead wife returned to him. Between her new love giving her a determination to live and his old one giving him the determination to save her life, she's shortly begging he ravage her like the pirate that he is. But then Cutler steals the sistrum, and he's after Emma - or is it Skylar? He enlists the aid of a Hudu woman to send her own to her own time, because he will not lose her again.

Now all Rand has to do is find a way to get to Skylar and keep Cutler from killing her in a future three hundred years away.


“Does striking a woman turn you on, Rand? Do you get off on making a woman helpless?”

He spanked her again. He didn’t know her expressions, but the meaning was clear. The Collector 7: This Time Forever by Lucynda StoreyEvery time she moved against him, his arousal became harder. “You know what you do, wench.” He grasped at something to say to her taunt. “You like the spanking I’m administering.”

“I’m sure you’d like to believe that,” she retorted.

He swatted her again. The heat of her buttocks seeped through the cotton of her breeches. “My statement can be proven.”

“Like hell.”

Grasping the waist of her breeches, he yanked them down. The scent of her arousal tickled his nostrils, inflaming his own desire to greater heights. Her cheeks were a lovely bright red, a thin piece of material barely covering her wares. He rubbed his forefinger along the seam of her ass, stopping when he touched the hot moisture between her legs. Rand leaned over and neared her ear. “I heard what you said, missy. About thinking you loved me.”

“You heard wrong,” she gasped.

“Then why are you wet with desire?” He stroked his finger against her damp folds. The heat of her flesh, her desire, her shortness of breath told him all he needed to know. Rubbing back and forth, he found a tight knot of skin and slicked her moisture around the hard nub. Her breathing came faster, her control slipping. She could argue all she liked, but the evidence was between her legs, beneath his fingertip.

“I…I…I’m not…I don’t … ”

Rand lifted her from his lap, the filthy breeches falling to the floor. “Your body says otherwise.” He crushed her against him, his mouth claiming hers. Forcing her lips to part for him, his tongue dueled with hers. He freed a hand from holding her and released his belt. His sword and pistol fell with a solid, muted thud to the floor atop his clothing. The erection Skylar caused sprang free, hard as a mast.

In a move that surprised him, she stroked his rod and moaned against his mouth. The motion nearly pushed him past him limits of control. Vixen! She thought her touch would weaken him, but Rand knew it was he who’d won, if he could last a few moments more.
The battle was over. He gripped the tunic she wore and ripped it from her shoulders, revealing her luscious, creamy white breasts encased in flimsy red. He pushed the material aside and dipped his mouth to suckle first one, then the other nipple.

His suckling earned him a lusty moan, the sound nearly driving him past his limits. He needed to take her, make her his, but not until she begged him, not until she stopped fighting him.

“Rand,” she whispered, tracing a finger down the seam of his shirt. “I need to feel you, all of you.”

He didn’t need an invitation. It was the acquiescence he sought, her lust-filled voice illuminating the depth of her need. He whipped off his shirt while Skylar released the undergarment she wore. Gods, she was beautiful, so feisty and full of life. He laid her back against the mattress and reveled in the wonder of her offering herself to him.

“Rand,” she moaned again, a touch of impatience in her voice. “Now, please.”


"Lucynda Storey has written a scorching adventure of timeless love. Rand and Skylar will burn your senses with their erotic love scenes and the plot twists will keep you glued to the story. I loved the way the story ended and want to read more of The Collector series and how lovers are brought together with magical artifacts. It’s an interesting and grand adventure well worth reading."
-- Night Owl Romance

4 stars!
"Ms. Storey created a beautiful love story with characters that had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The plot and characters described were very real. I could almost imagine myself going back in time with Skylar. I loved Skylar’s spirit, she wasn’t going to allow doctors to experiment on her when she knew she didn’t have much longer to live. She wants to embrace life just once more. Rand’s character, while lacking in history, was larger than life. Rand was everything that I imagined a pirate to be. Seeing him through Skylar’s eyes was a real treat as we are able to see all of his flaws. The sex between them was beautiful, hot enough to grab your partner for a session.
-- Just Erotic Romance Reviews

The Collector 7: This Time Forever by Lucynda Storey
ISBN: 978-1-59632-473-2
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Time Travel
$5.99 from

Purchase The Collector 7: This Time Forever by Lucynda Storey HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 3:32 PM


Monday, October 29, 2007

Larkspur by Ramona K. Cecil

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a print copy of Larkspur by Ramona K. Cecil.


Ramona K. CecilRamona K. Cecil lives with her husband in a small town in Indiana. Raised in rural Indiana, the daughter of poets, she’s written poetry since early childhood. Over eighty of her inspirational verses have been published by a leading company in the inspirational gift industry. A self-professed incurable romantic, Ramona’s love of God, writing, and history—especially the history of her beloved Hoosier State spurred her to attempt writing inspiration historical romance novels. Larkspur, her debut novel, won first place in Vintage Romance Publishing’s 2005 Vintage Inspirations contest. Since becoming a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in 2002, she’s penned five novels, four novellas and several short stories. Besides the 2005 win in the Vintage Romance Publishing contest, her writing has won awards in the Northeastern Indiana Opening Gambit Contest, American Christian Fiction Writer’s Noble Theme Contest, the East Texas Writers’ Association Contest and A Writer’s Toolbox Short Story Contest. Two more inspirational historical romance novels set in Indiana—both spin-offs of Larkspur— have been contracted by Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line. As long as God gives her stories, she plans to continue writing those stories in a way that exalts her Lord and touches the hearts and souls of her readers. Or as encapsulated in the tagline on her business card, writing “Romance. . .God’s Way.”


Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I'd written poetry since early childhood. I always loved making up stories in my head, but never really wrote them down. But even as a child I found the idea of one day writing books, alluring. When I was fourteen, our county decided to bury a time capsule on the courthouse lawn as part of a celebration honoring the man who donated the land for the courthouse a hundred years earlier. Everyone in the county was invited to write a letter to their descendants, and the letters along with sundry other items would be placed in the capsule, which would be buried on the courthouse lawn to be dug up fifty years later. My folks thought it was a neat idea, so we all wrote letters. I remember stating in my letter that one of my goals in life was to write books. It makes me smile to know God allowed me to see that goal met before they dig up that capsule.

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love creating my stories and breathing life into my characters. I love hearing readers say my descriptions put them right in the story. I love history, so I actually even like the research. I also like to use my journey to publication to testify about the many blessings God has brought to my life by way of my writing. As far as things I don't like, I'm not a big fan of writing under pressure.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I try to do most of my writing and writing related work in the evenings Monday through Friday, while my husband works a late second shift job. We are empty nesters, and I try to keep the weekends open so we can spend time together.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Usually, something sparks my imagination. I ask the question, "I wonder what would happen if. . ." and it grows from there. Sometimes it's an interesting character, but more times, it's a tiny grain of a plot idea.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write mainly historical romance, although I'm working on a longer women's fiction historical. I love history---always have, especially Indiana history. I have written a few contemporary novellas and short stories. But everything I have planned for the future are historicals. The time period before the 1960's just seems a simpler, more romantic time to me.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That it is an easy, glamorous life with tons of money rolling in daily. Nothing could be farther from the truth, at least not for me. It's hard, hard work which I mainly do back in what I call my "cave" in comfortable ( think "sloppy") sweats. I've spent at least as much if not more, on my "writing habit" than what I've earned.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are all fictional, but often traits of people I have known find their way into these made-up characters.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
My favorite is Becky Hale, the heroine in Larkspur, because she was my first heroine. A close second would be Widow Riley, an old lady who appears in that story.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
It all depends on what story it is, and how I envision my characters. In my current work in progress, The Heritage, I could see Evangeline Lilly from the TV series, Lost, playing my heroine, Annie, while Christian Bale would fit the character of my hero, Brock, very well.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
That down through the ages, regardless of the era, people have always, and will always need God in their lives. And despite how dire your situation, or how conflicted your relationship with those you love, God can heal it, and mend fractured hearts back together.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Get in a good writing support group where you can learn and grow. For those who write Christian fiction, you can't do better than American Christian Fiction Writers. If God had not led me to this group, I would not be published today. I have no doubt about that. Also, have an open, teachable heart and be willing to take criticism. Then use that criticism to find your weak points and work to strengthen them.

Who are your favorite authors?
Gene Stratton Porter,Kim Vogel Sawyer, Louise Gouge, Di Ann Mills, Lauraine Snelling, and Liz Curtis Higgs.

What are you reading right now?
Louise Gouge's Civil War era story, Then Came Hope. I recommend it highly.



After watching her young cousin die at the hands of a prominent Cincinnati physician, Becky Hale declares war against conventional medicine. She returns home to Larkspur, Indiana, promoting a gentler, herbalistic approach to medicine, while preaching against the evils of university educated doctors.

Ephraim Morgan, fresh from Lexington, Kentucky’s Transylvania University, arrives at his cousin’s home in Larkspur with plans to set up a medical practice. What he hasn’t planned is finding a staunch adversary in his cousin’s pretty hired-girl, Becky Hale. When opposing medical philosophies collide on the Indiana prairie, will new love succumb to pride and distrust? Or will God provide a cure?


“Oh, Becky, wait!” The sound of Sarah’s quick footsteps followed her breathless warning.

Already at the top of the stairs, Becky froze just outside the open door of the guest room. Surprised to find a man standing in Sarah Jordan’s guest bedroom, she jumped back as if someone jerked her by the shoulders.

Tall dandy, was the first thought thatLarkspur by Ramona K. Cecil sprung to her mind. Dressed in a blue broadcloth coat and black dress trousers, he gripped the brim of a dark beaver hat. His black cravat, if a bit limp, was tied in an intricate fashion around the starched collar of his white linen shirt.

She felt the corners of her mouth pull down in a frown. The vision of Albert Covington, the young man in Cincinnati, who’d won her affections, then discarded them like a faded boutonniere, flashed before her eyes. She barely noticed the sound of hurried footsteps on the stairs.

“Becky,” Sarah’s breathless voice puffed beside her. “May I introduce my young cousin-----”

“Ephraim Morgan at your service, miss.” The dapper stranger dipped a bow. “Late of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, I’ve come to establish a medical practice here in Larkspur.”

Sarah’s hand on Becky’s back urged her across the threshold. “Ephraim, this is Becky Hale, my hired-girl.

Becky’s jaw slacked as she looked with disbelief into the dark eyes of the stranger who seemed the embodiment of the things she’d come to despise.

“I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Hale.”

He closed the distance between them in two long strides.

She involuntarily jerked when he took her hand. Bending his dark head, he brushed his lips against the backs of her fingers.

Yanking her hand away, she pushed it beneath her apron. “Mr. Morgan,” she managed to mutter, unwilling to acknowledge the title, “Doctor.” Her gaze fled his dark eyes. Hypnotically dark-----so dark, she could hardly tell the pupils from the iris.

“Becky, please bring up a pitcher of water so Ephraim can freshen up, and then you can help me prepare a fine breakfast for him.” Sarah’s voice had taken on a nervous tremor, suggesting she’d suddenly remembered Becky’s aversion to members of the medical elite. With a worried glance, she retreated down the stairs.

“I’ll get your water.” Becky walked to the washstand and snatched the ivory-colored china pitcher from its matching bowl. She couldn’t help imagining how much more satisfying it might be to throw the water at him rather than pour it in the washbowl.

A bemused look clouded the man’s swarthy features. “I thank you for your trouble, Miss Hale, and will endeavor not to be too much of a burden.”

For some reason, God had sent this man to Larkspur. Perhaps it was to test her resolve as a champion for gentler medical practices. With an adversary in Larkspur, her conviction would be less likely to weaken. Because she must accept God’s purpose in this-----and because he was Sarah’s relation-----she had no choice but to treat him with respect. However, she felt it only fair to warn him of her views.

She stiffened her spin, squared her shoulders, and fixed him with a glare. “Mr. Morgan, it is not for myself I’m concerned, but for those in Larkspur who are, or may become, ill. I must tell you, God has laid it on my heart to see no harm comes to them.”

The puzzled look on his face slipped into a frown, his dark brows pulling down into a V. When he spoke, his voice sounded crisp as the vacated shell of a locust. “My dear Miss Hale, you’ll be glad to learn I’ve laid my hand upon the Holy Bible, and in the tradition of Hypocrites, made a sacred vow to God to keep my patients from harm and injustice.” The tension along his square jaw seemed to relax and a smile tipped his well-formed lips. “I do believe we are in complete agreement.”

Warmth flooded her cheeks, rekindling her irritation. It’s because you’re angry. It has nothing to do with the way his mouth looks when he smiles, she told herself. Hadn’t she learned not to trust a handsome face?

Lifting her chin, she fixed him with a searing glare. “I wouldn’t say that, Dr. Morgan. No indeed, I wouldn’t say that.” Turning stiffly, she fled down the stairs, dimly aware she’d attached the prefix “Dr.” to his name.


"Ramona Cecil’s ability to make 1835 come alive is masterful. I could almost smell the wood smoke in the air as I traveled about the town of Larkspur. With characters that experience love, hope, forgiveness and a willingness to see past their own misconceptions, I didn’t want to leave this lovely story. I hope to see more by this fabulous writer. "
-- Sabrina Fox-Butcher, CFBA Reviewer

"Larkspur is a sweet, engaging romance, reminiscent of my favorite Grace Livingston Hill stories. Woven into Becky & Ephraim’s story is fascinating information about early medical practice. Strong characters make Larkspur an enchanting read."
-- Reviewed by Sheryl Root

"Ramona Cecil’s Larkspur is a delightful historical romance. The concept of what works best—traditional medicine or herbal treatment—not only fits the time frame in which the story is written, the same arguments are still heard today."
-- Barbara Warren, Blue Mountain Editorial Service

"Larkspur is beautifully crafted, intricately detailed, and so real I walked the flower-laden hills with Ephraim and Becky. Ramona K. Cecil creates magic..."
-- Kim Vogel Sawyer, multi-published Christian author and speaker

Larkspur by Ramona K. Cecil
ISBN-10: 0978536878
Publisher: Vintage Romance Publishing
Release Date: November 30, 2006
Genre: Historical
$11.01 from

Purchase Larkspur by Ramona K. Cecil HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 4:12 PM


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lisa's Gift by Mackenzie Mckade

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a copy of Lisa's Gift by Mackenzie Mckade.


Mackenzie MckadeA taste of the erotic, a measure of daring and a hint of laughter describes Mackenzie McKade’s novels. She sizzles the pages with scorching sex, fantasy and deep emotion that will touch you and keep you immersed until the end. Whether her stories are contemporaries, futuristics or fantasies, this Arizona native thrives on giving you the ultimate erotic adventure.

When not traveling through her vivid imagination, she’s spending time with three beautiful daughters, a devilishly handsome grandson, and the man of her dreams. She loves to write, enjoys reading, and can’t wait ‘til summer. Boating and jet skiing are top on her list of activities. Add to that laughter and if mischief is in order — Mackenzie’s your gal!

Web URL:
Yahoo Group:


Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I never thought of becoming a writer until around 2001. An avid reader I devoured all of Iris Johansen's and Kay Hooper's books. I also watch a lot of CSI on television, which made me wonder if I could write a book as intriguing as these two ladies. My first book was a paranormal mystery. It has never been published, but the writing bug bit me and I'm now hooked.

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I enjoy the creative process, the ideas, the characters, and developing a story on a single idea. I’m not real tickled with deadlines and edits. Once I'm done with a story I like to move onto the next one begging to be written.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I’ve recently returned to the workplace. I have to admit that I’m not doing a very good balancing act. Every free moment is filled with either family or writing. My biggest complaint is that I don’t have enough time to read and there isn't twenty-six hours in a day.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Most the time I start with a vague premise. After that the characters take shape and it’s not long before they take over the story. Their world builds around them to accommodate their needs and situations.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I write futuristic, paranormal, fantasy, contemporary, western, and bdsm in the Erotic Romance genre. I was asked in 2004 by an agent if I could write erotic romance. I gave it a try and it appears it suits me. I love the freedom I have in this genre.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
Probably that we are wealthy and different from the average person on the street. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but we're just like anyone else. We have dirty laundry that has to be done and dishes in the sink we wish we didn't have to wash. The only difference is that we have a wild imagination and choose to put it down on paper--after the dishes are done, of course.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
The majority of my characters evolve from my imagination, but a few have been created due to certain traits or behaviors of individuals that have caught my eye.

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
That's a hard one for me. I loved the feistiness of Abby in Lord Kir, but the heart of Lacy in A Tall Dark Cowboy always pulls at me. My true favorite is a character out of my second book, which was never published. As you probably can tell I love feisty women. Tamara was everything I pictured a woman 'should be' in the ninth century. Strong, independent, and clever enough to find her way in a man's world.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
Oh my! I’ve never even imagined such a thing, but I’d have to say Patrick Swayze. He has that bad boy persona, plus he can move. The sensuality in his dancing would be a real plus. I wouldn't know who I choose for the leading lady, but I'd sure have my hand raise high.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Total fulfillment. I want to meet or exceed their expectations and take them on a journey of emotions. My goal is that the readers fall in love with each of characters and feel what they do as they grow and find the love of their life.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Don't give up. This business isn't easy, but it's the writers that keep writing that finally win in the end. We might never become a Nora Roberts, but if we can touch one person we have accomplished more than most people ever will.

I read somewhere that on average authors publish after writing their fourth book. THE GAME was my fourth book and my first published. So, don't give up!

Who are your favorite authors?
Christine Feehan, Iris Johansen, Stephanie Lauren, and Kay Hooper are some of my favorite authors. But, I have to admit there are many authors that I find enjoyment in their work. I can't believe how many talented authors are out there.

What are you reading right now?
I just finished Decadent by Shayla Black. If you like a good ménage, I highly recommend it. Next in line is Christine Feehan's Dark Celebration. I can't wait!



Friendship crosses boundaries and love becomes a triangle. Can Jana learn to trust—through submission?

When opportunity knocks, Jana Ryan knows it’s time to face her demons and return to the city she ran fast and far away from. Her homecoming isn’t exactly what she expects—she finds Lisa, her best friend, in a rather erotic position with the one man Jana has dreamt of since high school.

The redheaded beauty is everything Lisa promised Nicolas Marchetti. Jana is sexy and exquisite and he can’t wait to sexually dominate both women. The triangle with the gorgeous redhead and beautiful blonde is every man’s fantasy. Yet there’s something about Jana that makes him want her and her alone. His attraction to her is unsettling—it goes beyond the physical.

Only by conquering the trials ahead of them, can Jana and Nicolas find their way into each other’s arms. Forever.


Jana glanced back at Nicolas. He was staring at her. “What?”

“Do you want me to tell you what I see in you?” From the hungry look on his face she would rather not.


Again, he leaned back in the booth. That mischievous grin she remembered back when
she used to watch him with his friends slipped across his face. “Scared?”

Hell yes she was scared. She had always wanted this man. The years hadn’t changed anything. “Not interested.” She played indifferent, reaching for her wine and taking a sip. Then she released a heavy sigh to drive the point home.

A light danced across his features as his grin grew. “Liar.”

“Whatever.” She brushed him off with a tilt of her head. But if she thought that her impassive behavior was going to stop him, she should have thought again as she took another drink of her wine.

“You are scared—scared of the attraction between us.”

When his foot slid up her leg, Jana choked on the alcohol that chose that moment to go down the wrong way. Air. She needed air as her windpipe closed.

Within a heartbeat, Nicolas was by her side. “Gentle breaths.” He patted her back. “One and then another.”

I’m dying. She wheezed in a breath that went nowhere. She inhaled again, making a rather unbecoming sound like a cross between a snore and an asthmatic attack. The whole time Nicolas was there, talking, touching her softly.

It took a moment, but finally Jana could breathe again. Her eyes were misty and nose running as she excused herself and hurried toward the bathroom.

What the fuck! She leaned against the counter and stared at herself in the mirror. It was no mistake that Nicolas was coming on to her. And there was no mistake that Lisa didn’t mind. How Jana wished she could deny that he made her body burn. She had fantasized about being with him since she was just a teenager. What would it be like to make love to Nicolas Marchetti?

She couldn’t—could she?

Nah… She shook her head. It would be weird. He was Lisa’s boyfriend. But the fact was, she needed to feel the touch of a man. She wanted to find someone to love.

Nicolas just wasn’t the man for her.

Jana grabbed a tissue, dabbed her eyes, then blew her nose with a loud snort.

She needed a plan to get through dinner and then go home alone.

Concerned, Nicolas watched the bathroom door, and was relieved once Jana exited. He stood as she approached. Her eyes were swollen, her adorable nose red. “Are you okay?”

“Fine.” Sitting at one end of the crescent-shaped booth, she refused to scoot over, forcing him to sit at the other side. “The wine just went down the wrong pipe.” Picking up her glass, she hesitated then set it back down.

He slid clear around on the semi-circular seat until he was within touching distance from her. Her mouth went dry. She glanced at him, feeling her palms start to sweat.

The salad had arrived in her absence, and he busied himself tossing it, mixing the dressing and cheese, before placing a generous helping on her plate.

When he attempted eye contact she glanced away. She had grown distant, not that she had previously been warm by a long shot. He was back at ground zero.

Serving himself a heap of salad, he picked up his fork. “Where were we? Ah… Yes. I was just about to tell you what I see in you.”

“I wish you wouldn’t,” she said, looking down into her plate as she stabbed at a piece of lettuce.

“Strength,” he offered the single word.

Her head shot up. “Strength?” Their eyes met and he felt her surprise. Obviously she’d expected something superficial. Like how her eyes sparkled beneath the light like two crystals, or perhaps how silky her hair looked draped across her shoulders like a red curtain.

The salad was good, fresh and crisp, the dressing not too tart he noticed as he took a bite. He would have to remember to compliment Antonio later tonight.

Nicolas let her think about what he said before he continued. “Look at what you have achieved in such a short period of time.” He picked up the basket the waiter had set before them and offered her a breadstick, but she shook her head. “You’ve been alone since you were eighteen. Moved to a different state. Started a new life where you had no friends or family to rely on. You have a college degree and have a brilliant career ahead of you. How many people can say that?”

A warm sensation filled him when she smiled. “A lot of people have degrees.”

“True. But not all of them have put themselves through school,” he countered taking a sip of his wine.

She stabbed another piece of lettuce with her fork, but didn’t put it in her mouth. Instead she shrugged. “I was given a scholarship.”

“You earned that scholarship. Even so you did this by yourself—alone.” He placed his hand over hers. “Jana, Lisa says you are a strong, beautiful person. I know she’s right.”

A soft expression fell across her once-tight features as she extracted her hand. “Thank you.” She grinned, dropping her gaze once again to her salad plate.


Continuing to smile, she met his eyes. “You’re not exactly what I thought you were.”

He pulled his brows together. “What did you think I was?”

“Well, arrogant for one.”

Nicolas feigned surprise as he flinched at her words.

She giggled, the sound like bells swaying in the breeze. “Superficial and a whoremonger.”

He pressed his palms to his heart. “I’m hurt.”

“As if,” she said. Her eyes danced with laughter for the first time that night.

“Well perhaps whoremonger is accurate, because I sure want to taste your lips right now.” An ache began between his thighs, tightening and pressing against his black slacks. His sight was riveted on her full lips. How soft would they be against his? Would she whimper softly beneath his attack?

“Nicolas. I’m sorry, but I’m simply not attracted to you.” She swallowed hard, giving away the fact she lied. “If I’ve done anything to mislead you, I apologize.” Her hands left the table.

It was a challenge he couldn’t ignore.

“The thought of me pressing my lips to yours, of my tongue delving between them doesn’t make your nipples hard?” He waited only briefly before saying, “Tell me your breasts aren’t heavy. That a slight tingle hasn’t begun slowly filtering through them, aching for me to stroke them? Place my hot…wet…mouth on them?”

He trapped her gaze with his and paused. “Tell me you’re not moist just thinking of how my hands would feel caressing your body, stroking the flame that burns in your belly, building it into a raging wildfire. Because that’s exactly what I would do to you.”

With his last words her eyelashes lowered halfway, the thick fringe hiding how her eyes had grown steamy. The increased rise and fall of her chest was a dead giveaway that he had aroused her.

He continued.

“I would touch every inch of your body with my hands and mouth. I’d make you scream for me to take you. Then when every nerve ending grew so raw that your skin was alive, I would enter your pussy slowly until you tossed back your head and screamed my name.

“Nicolas,” he said his name in a whisper. “Your orgasm would explode as I filled you.”

“Stop.” She breathed the word.

What the hell had he done? His cock was rock hard. His palms itched to touch her. His mouth watered to taste her. This was torture and he had driven himself to this unbearable point. He couldn’t find the strength to release her from the hold he knew he had on her.

“Stop? Or do you really want me to lay you on this table in front of all these people? Grab your ankles, slowly parting your legs, before I bury my face between your thighs, licking and sucking your clit?”

Jana gulped down a gush of air. “Fuck.” She squirmed in her chair.

“Oh, doll, I will do more than fuck you,” he promised, the idea sending his hormones into a frenzy of desire.

“No. I didn’t mean— Oh shit! Just stop, Nicolas, stop.” She pressed her palm to her mouth. She mumbled through her fingers, “This isn’t right. You’re sleeping with Lisa.”

Nicolas’s hand slipped beneath the table. He cupped his hard erection as his eyelids grew heavy. God, I wish this was your hand, doll. “Lisa and I have an agreement.” He ran his fingers across his engorged cock. “There is no commitment between us.” He reached for her hand, removing it from her full lips, and she didn’t fight him. Instead her hand trembled. What would she do if he placed her hand between his legs, showed her how she affected him? He scooted closer to her.

Jana was almost his. He could feel her surrender in the softness of her skin, the way her fingers intertwined with his.

The server arrived with their main course and the moment was lost.

She jerked away from his touch. A light blush crossed her cheeks as her spaghetti was placed before her.


But the evening was still young and Lisa had promised to stay away the entire night.


"Lisa's Gift is erotic, sensual and sure to leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy after reading it. Mackenzie McKade is a mind-blowing
authoress who knows just how to burn up the pages for readers. Jana is so down-to-earth and real. Readers will definitely feel a kinship with her and all the pain she went through in her life. Lisa and Nicholas are hot, hot, hot, in both their personalities, and their sexual encounters. Do not discount Jana though; once Nicholas and Lisa break through her barriers, she becomes quite the wild cat. Jana just needs to let down her guard a little and let Nicholas take control. When Jana does, Nicholas will not know what hits him. Everything about Lisa's Gift was extraordinary, from the real life aspects, to the drama and especially the sex. I could not put this story down. The plot line of this story has Lisa giving Jana her wildest dream, was phenomenal. Sparks just jumped off the pages as I read. It will be
awhile before I find another story that affects me the way this one did. Mackenzie McKade is definitely a goddess of erotica and I cannot wait to read more of her stories soon."
-- Amanda Haffery, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

"Lisa’s Gift is very nearly perfect! I really enjoyed so many aspects of this very well-told story, including the heartwarming and poignant friendship between Jana and Lisa. While not quite my cup of tea in the elements of the very strong themes of dominance and submission that flow throughout this story, I found the threads of innocence and trust woven within these pages to be utterly wonderful. Be forewarned – other themes include F/M/F, foursome, BDSM, and very graphic sensuality. Nick is a great character as well, and his need to dominate is balanced by his concern and care for the women in his life. I’m not giving any of the delicious details of this plot away; you’ll just have to read and experience this jewel for yourself. Mackenzie McKade gives readers a thick, juicy slice of heaven in which to sink their teeth, and wraps a very moving premise up expertly in Lisa’s Gift. You’ll not want to miss a single letter of this one!"
-- Michelle, Fallen Angel Reviews

Lisa's Gift by Mackenzie Mckade
ISBN: 1-59998-497-0
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: April 10, 2007
Genre: Contemporary Romance
$5.50 from

Purchase Lisa's Gift by Mackenzie Mckade HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 3:25 PM


Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Gates of Infinity by Denyse Bridger

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a download of The Gates of Infinity by Denyse Bridger.



Thaer is a world that mirrors our own, but in many ways it is both the past and future of Earth. Magic and sorcery are commonplace, and beneath the vast sands of Cairos and the waters of Venicia, lie secrets that may hold the key to travel between worlds and time itself. All things are tied to the presence of a legendary pirate captain, a skilled mage, and a sorceress who has never known her true origins.

As the spells weave amid treachery, and betrayals both known and unknown, the tempestuous storm gates are opened and salvation or destruction looms in their swirling, fiery depths. Will time be turned inward, or can the Fate of two worlds truly rest on the success of a terrified reporter from modern day New York? A woman whose fate was written in another world and time, and who now holds the key to the unpredictable power contained within the Gates of Infinity?


The story poem that begins the novella: The Gates of Infinity by Denyse Bridger


ocean kissed sands wink diamonds into the night
the whisper of waves caresses
nerves taut with panic
the sea-foam surf is a balm to
troubled spirits
and the abyss of down-soft waters
beckons as a lover's embrace

out there, somewhere, is a ship
using stars to guide a course to
eternity, too, has a path to follow
and a destiny to fulfill

standing on the rooftop of a
once-thriving inn
I wonder at the fate that pulls me ever closer to death
isolation has become a way of life
, my existence
against all my efforts to turn away from the void before me

the sea calls to me, pulls at my soul with seductive purpose
I hear voices carried on the misted winds
promises that I can't quite define
but which haunt my heart and inflict greater agonies

I turn away to pursue the sandman of my dreams
despite the knowledge that there will be no respite there
no escape from transient demons and specters
no shelter in the arms of Morpheus

eyes close and breaths lengthen and deepen
then he comes to me, the devil who torments my being
with sensuous murmurs and erotic promises
he shows me what my life is without, what I deny within myself

the dream begins.....

the gentle sway of the ship is the rhythm of passion and sex
the lap of waves the stroke of a lover's tongue over a swell of quivering flesh
the surge of the tide is his possession of my eager body
the fall befits our writhing ascent into heaven

who are you? I ask in mystified wonder
am I afraid of his answer, or anticipating it?
he laughs, a hearty, faintly mocking reverberation of humor
and my blood runs cold, then hot with rage

he is magnificent, this proud pirate who steals
with the exquisite skill of a thieving seducer claiming his virgin prize
dark hair streams and smoky eyes gleam with anticipation
and this is what I have been born to desire?

lover.... friend.... enemy.... destiny....
his hands have taught me love and pain
his heart has scarred me with hatred and unbearable pleasure

mentor.... destroyer.... confidant.... father....
you drove me to his arms, intent on betrayal
and in the end it was I who was betrayed, by myself

he touched me, and I was whole in his hands,
balanced on the edge of discovery and despair
I went willingly to his bed and his heart
asked desperately to remain prisoner to his destiny

he kissed me, a soft caress that vowed so much more would follow
and I stood before him, naked in all ways, desiring
things I could not yet name, but knew within me
and he held me with his gaze, searching for deceit, finding only trust

his hands stripped me of everything, while giving everything back
his mouth, soft, wet, suckling at my breast, gave me the taste of euphoria
hot, rigid velvet sheathed within my clutching body tortured me with ecstasy
and his possession defined my being and made me what I am

sorceress.... companion.... seer.... hope....
I am Mahjrah's mate, and his life is mine, as mine is his
though we both have often wished it were not so

and I have betrayed my beloved captain.....

comrade.... strength.... protector.... deception....
what we did was wrong, yet it, too, was predestined in so many ways
Mahjrah made you my champion, and that story is as old as time itself

and now I stand before him again, waiting and afraid
trembling with need and terror, and reawakened love
yes, I love you, Mahjrah, always and only you
and somewhere inside you, I feel the poison of my treachery

you are uncertain, even as you stand solid and ever strong
the serpent of doubt and suspicion has bitten deep
that venom mingles with the heart's blood of our bond
and I do not know which will emerge as the stronger power

still, you have taken me again, in passion and welcome
my body has been reclaimed, even as my spirit hides in shame
try as I may, I cannot forget the rapture that you gave me
and all I am able to offer you now is the frightened shell I have become

you deserve far better, you have asked for little,
given everything without question or price
until now, when a challenge far greater than others removes our choices
now you charge me with the task of finding our home

I have always thought my home was in your eyes
but the romanticism of that whimsy is a joke in the face of this harsh reality
you demand a gateway to another life
and I must find a way to obey this command

our world....
close enough to touch, to feel....
the parallel of this prison in which we have been trapped.....

Part Two: a short scene...


The captain heard Gianni's yell of warning in the instant before the ship was scooped from the ocean, twirled on an invisible hand, then dropped. As the vessel plummeted from the sky and began to spin, voices rose in terror. They crashed into the sea seconds later, and men sprawled across the decks, clinging in horror as the reason for their peril began to coalesce.

Rising up from the raging waters was a swirling, spraying inferno of ocean. As the tempest solidified, the second ring began to appear, forged by magics he understood on only the most basic level. Fire, impossible though it was, crackled to life on the writhing surface of the ocean, and it, too, began to ascend slowly on either side of the vortex. He knew, instinctively, that when the tongues of fury met at the apex of the portal, the configuration would be fully shaped and at its most powerful.

The storm-gate, now under the control of the woman he loved, and his sworn enemy.

And they were to go willingly into that demonic force. And hope Veranna would be drawn through the portal with them.

Screaming to be heard above the torrential winds that were speeding their headlong rush into the void, he ordered his crew to tie themselves down and stay alert.

A short distance from them, The Pharaoh's Ghost struggled as they did...

The Gates of Infinity by Denyse Bridger
ISBN: 978-1-59578-348-6
Genre: Fantasy erotic romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Cover by: April Martinez
$4.50 from Liquid Silver Books

Purchase The Gates of Infinity by Denyse Bridger HERE!!

posted by Rachelle
at 3:36 PM


Friday, October 26, 2007

Passionate Kisses by Denyse Bridger

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win an e-copy of Passionate Kisses by Denyse Bridger.


Passionate Kisses is a Passionate Kisses by Denyse Bridgercollection of seven short stories, three of which have been previously published. In this single volume you'll meet agents who risk not only their lives but their hearts as they struggle to survive in an often harsh and heartless world; a jaded Colonel returning from the Civil War who finds solace for his soul in the arms of woman he's just met; a vampire who unknowingly condemns all of his kind to the eternal night; a couple who live busy lives that often keep them apart, so they make their own special magic hidden away in the mountains

The collection includes the following tales of erotic romance:

ANY OTHER WAY, (Contemporary, previously published by Amber Quill Press): Protected Federal Witness, Carlos D'Alejandro and Agent Jade Whinton have had a relationship of convenience over the years, but when the people they love are killed, these two unlikely lovers are forced to face a truth neither of them has been willing to examine too closely, that their passion is more than intense attraction…

DESTINY MET (Post-Civil War): As the soldiers of the defeated Confederacy slowly make their way to the broken South, a jaded hero finds unexpected comfort in the arms of a lovely woman who has waited a lifetime to meet her destiny…

BOUND (Contemporary, previously published by Amber Quill Press) : Halloween is the setting for a very private party between two lovers, one of them a world-class, sophisticated intelligence operative who's trying to teach his young and innocent lady that curiosity can sometimes take you places you'd be better not to go…

PERDITION (Historical vampire): Set in the ancient city of Alexandria, approximately 300 B.C., a High Priest in the Temple of Ra is seduced by an enigmatic woman who gives him immortality. Later, in the court of Pontius Pilate, at the trial of a man revered as the son of God, the Priest whispers a word of advice into the wrong ear, and condemns all of his kind to an eternity in darkness…

DREAM SEQUENCE (Contemporary, previously published by Amber Quill Press): Two modern lovers, living often separate lives, discover that making time for romance isn't always easy, but the romance of their secret getaways is purely the stuff of dreams…

1-900-SURPRISE! (Contemporary): Late home from a Congressional Hearing, agent Martin Fowler decides to introduce his young lover, Daniella Renault, to the intimacies of sex via the telephone…

THE HUNT: (Contemporary/Vampire) Nicholas is ancient, and his current lover, Callandra, is one of the few women he has known over centuries who not only enjoys the hunt, she glories in it. Tonight, their lust for blood and each other will take them to a murky underground nightclub, where the vampires will quench all their hungers...


I am a native of Atlantic Canada, and I’ve been writing for what seems a lifetime. As my readers know, I also refuse to be confined to a single genre, preferring to explore in many. While my special favorites are always historical, I’m developing a fondness for contemporary tales, as well. Fantasy is also an element of just about every story, whether it’s the fantasy of romance itself, or an exciting new world to learn about and understand. So, it’s my hope that every reader will find something to enjoy in my books, and will want to stay with me through the journey and see just how far we can stretch our creative dreams.

To stay current with all my projects, (and they are many!), or to just say hello, please feel free to visit my website: Or, sign up for the monthly newsletter Romance and Fantasy. If you prefer to chat with me, and other readers, the newsgroup is open to everyone. Denysé Bridger News. I can also be found in MySpace at:

Passionate Kisses by Denyse Bridger
ISBN: 978-1-59578-372-1
Genre: Multi-genre Anthology (erotic)
Release Date: September 3rd, 2007
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Cover by: April Martinez
$5.95 from Liquid Silver Books

Purchase Passionate Kisses by Denyse Bridger HERE!!

posted by Rachelle
at 4:26 PM


Illuminated by Matt Bronleewe


Matt BronleeweMatt Bronleewe is a recognized producer, songwriter and author. The former member of the band Jars of Clay, has earned numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. His songs have recently been recorded by Disney pop sensations Aly & AJ, American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, and more. Bronleewe has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Michael W. Smith, International pop singer Natalie Imbruglia and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Bronleewe was raised on a farm in Kansas, where he lived until he left for college in 1992. At Greenville College in Illinois, Bronleewe formed the band Jars of Clay with his dorm roommate and two neighbors, and the group soon found success. Though Bronleewe opted to leave Jars of Clay early on to pursue an academic career, he soon found himself in Nashville, co-writing, producing, and playing music professionally.

To add to his list of accomplishments, Bronleewe has expanded his love of story telling beyond music into authorship. He is currently penning a 5 book series for Thomas Nelson Fiction. Illuminated, in stores now, begins the adventurous series about rare manuscripts and the mysteries within.

Bronleewe currently resides in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife and three children. He continues to write and produce music, and he also volunteers through his church to help disadvantaged youth in the community. Bronleewe enjoys reading, taste-testing good food and watching sports, as well as indulging his interests in art, architecture, design and science.



August Adams has failed his family before. He's sacrificed relationships in pursuit Illuminated by Matt Bronleeweof adventure, fame, and money. Now the very lives of those he loves depend on his ability to decipher a centuries-old puzzle encrypted in the colorful hand-painted illuminations that adorn three rare Gutenberg Bibles.

It's a secret that could yield unimaginable wealth, undermine two major religions, and change the course of Western civilization. Two ruthless, ancient organizations are willing to do anything to get their hands on it. And August has the span of one transatlantic flight to figure it out.

If he fails, those he holds most dear will die. If he succeeds, he'll destroy a national treasure.

The clock ticks, the suspense mounts, and the body count rises as August pits his knowledge and his love for his family against the clock, secret societies, and even Johannes Gutenberg himself.

"...this rare breed of suspense thriller combines mysterious hidden clues, secret societies, buried treasure, double agents, and the Knights Templar...if you turned National Treasure into international treasure, traded DaVinci codes for Gutenberg Bibles, married it to Indiana Jones, and added the pacing of 24 you'd be in the neighborhood of Illuminated...on a scale of one to 10, this one goes to 11."
-- Aspiring Retail Magazine

Purchase Illuminated by Matt Bronleewe HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 10:24 AM


Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Whisper of Humanity by Denyse Bridger

COMMENT on this post for a chance to win a download of A Whisper of Humanity by Denyse Bridger.


I am a native of Atlantic Canada, and I’ve been writing for what seems a lifetime. As my readers know, I also refuse to be confined to a single genre, preferring to explore in many. While my special favorites are always historical, I’m developing a fondness for contemporary tales, as well. Fantasy is also an element of just about every story, whether it’s the fantasy of romance itself, or an exciting new world to learn about and understand. So, it’s my hope that every reader will find something to enjoy in my books, and will want to stay with me through the journey and see just how far we can stretch our creative dreams.

To stay current with all my projects, (and they are many!), or to just say hello, please feel free to visit my website: Or, sign up for the monthly newsletter Romance and Fantasy. If you prefer to chat with me, and other readers, the newsgroup is open to everyone. Denysé Bridger News. I can also be found in MySpace at:



When Detective Faith Prentice is assigned as a liaison to the police force in Montreal, intent on helping the detectives there capture a killer who's MO matches one she's hunted at home in Los Angeles, she is ill-prepared for what awaits her in the beautiful jewel city of Canada's French province. Mysteriously drawn to her temporary partner, Adrian Blackthorne, she rebels against his allure, only to be drawn into an even deeper darkness when Adrian's past snares her--and she becomes a pawn in the deadly battle between the vampire Blackthorne and the powerful master he has long denied…


Julianna was seated at the bar again, her rage telegraphing itself to everyone within her orbit. She could feel the wide circles made to avoid her, and felt perverse satisfaction at the awareness that many of those present were decidedly afraid of her just now. She was almost spitting with indignation, and the 'wine' in her hand no longer appeased her mood in any fashion.

“Damn you!” she hissed in an undertone.

“I hope you don't mean me,” a new voice observed with mild amusement.

Startled much more than she should have been, Julianna swiveled the bar stool and smiled.

“Of course not, Adrian.”

Adrian surveyed her with a critical eye, and perched on the stool next to her. “Then who is in danger of damnation?” he asked with more curiosity than genuine interest. He had other concerns at the moment. But, winning Julianna's help usually meant having to ease into the need for it, so, he played the friendly game of banter.

“No one you need worry over, I assure you, mon amour.” She looked back at him, quickly and accurately reading his mood. “You didn't come here for conversation, Adrian. What is it you are trying to ask of me this time?”

“Have you seen anybody new here tonight?”

Suspicion flared within her, but it never reached her outer composure. “Many people drift in and out, Adrian. Am I expected to keep a record of them for you?”

“This one's a cop,” Blackthorne told her, his voice hard. “An out of town cop named Faith Prentice. Shiller told her she might like this place.”

“Perhaps she would?” Julianna suggested with a tilt of her head. “Many do.”

“Was she here, Julianna?” Adrian demanded, quickly losing patience with the verbal fencing.


Something in the flat reply sparked suspicion in Adrian, and he turned her eyes back to meet his when she looked away.

“When was she here?”

She glared at him, but offered no answer.

“Julianna!” He grabbed her arm, not bothering to be gentle, nor to masque his considerable irritation. “Where is she?”

She jerked her arm free of his grasp and considered her answer. She quickly decided it would be much easier to get the young woman out of her club than risk Adrian's wrath. There was a certain amount of enjoyment in the knowledge that this would deny Cartier of his prize, too. And, she added mentally, he would blame Adrian for that loss, not her.

“She is with Cartier.” She dropped the news with a toss of her head, and laughed as he rushed toward the back room…

….Cartier recovered quickly from the blow that had sent him reeling away from Faith, and he turned glowing eyes to the one who'd dared to strike him. Adrian! He should have known. Even through the lust-enhanced hunger, Cartier was aware of Faith inching across the floor in an effort to escape. The scent of her fear was as tempting as her passion of minutes earlier. He'd find this one again, he promised himself, if she were fortunate enough to escape him after all this night.

“You are going to push me too far one day, Adrian,” Cartier warned, his eyes still blazing fury at the younger vampire.

“Maybe,” Adrian agreed, one eye watching Faith's progress as he tried to fight down the urge to kill. “Tonight I intend to see that a friend remains safe.”

“This lovely creature is a friend of yours?” Cartier asked, once more taking firm control of both himself and the situation. “Your taste improves, Adrian.”

The mantle of ice had returned. Adrian knew there would be no further need to fight -- not tonight, at any rate. Cartier was considering another time and another venue for their next meeting. Adrian had no illusions about it being a pleasant encounter. If anything, he sensed death in the other's mind. True and lasting death. It was not the first time since Cartier's return that Adrian wondered when the master vampire would demand his retribution--in full. So far, despite frequent confrontations, Cartier had not seriously attempted to destroy him. Yet, Adrian felt the time was nearing.

“Take her, Adrian. You've risked more than you know for her,” Cartier whispered softly. He watched the wariness grow within the former knight's deep blue eyes then filter into Adrian's expressive features. The ancient vampire laughed quietly as Blackthorne grabbed Faith's arm and helped her to her feet. They were out of the room without another word being uttered…

A Whisper of Humanity by Denyse Bridger
Genre: Contemporary Vampire Suspense
Release Date: September, 2007
Cover by: Rene Walden-Wilson
$2.99 from Forbidden Publications

Purchase A Whisper of Humanity by Denyse Bridger HERE!!

posted by Rachelle
at 3:12 PM