Thursday, October 27, 2016

#RomanticTravel to La Ville Lumière + Seeking Hope @JMMaurer1

Welcome J.M. Maurer, who is sharing her book and a favorite travel destination!

It has been far too long since my last visit to Paris, but I can still say that I love France!

My romantic travel picture is a photo of a painting I did. I am not a painter, but with the encouragement of a couple glasses of wine, I tried my best. La Ville Lumière will always be one of my favorite romantic spots.

In the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, we meet Jessica Winters. She is determined to dig her way out from under the dark clouds of depression and once again find the light of life, love, and happiness. With help from Dr. Matthew Moi, a psychiatrist/sex therapist who has been secretly in love with her for years, she finds herself living again. But with someone out to get Jessica, Matthew pledges to stop at nothing to protect the love of his life. In time, he seizes an opportunity for a safe haven at his family home in France. With their wedding on the horizon, will he get Jess to safety in time? Will things end tragically, or will their journey to The City of Light be more than romantic?


Seeking Hope (Emerging From Darkness Trilogy Book 3), contemporary romance 18+

I’d been given promises in the past, all of which were broken.
Inevitably, they broke me.
I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though.
I couldn’t.

Matthew Moi was different.
His dimpled smile and witty sexual banter has held me spellbound since day one.
Falling in love with him came easy.
Marrying him—a dream come true.

Now, he wants something I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for.
As I struggle, he faithfully remains at my side.
Through it all, his protective nature shields me from an evil I didn’t see coming.

Together, we have it all—love, passion, trust.
Apart, the possibilities are endless, even death.

Seeking Hope is the final book in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, and as such, is not intended to be a standalone. The trilogy reads as: Seeking Love, Seeking Redemption, & Seeking Hope.

Follow Jessica and Matthew’s captivating and steamy love story from the beginning—start the trilogy for FREE today!


Excerpt:

Late September

For the first time in a long time, I had an itch to do something ridiculous—two things, in fact. One was the reason I was sitting in the back of a musty old van. The other might just be the solution to my Holly problem.
At least I hoped so, because while my mind should have been racing with thoughts of my upcoming wedding, it wasn’t. Instead, I was thinking of my best friend. Problem was, no matter how I launched my plan to help Holly move beyond her commitment issue with Burdick, it wasn’t going to go over well. And the more I thought about her, the more I dreaded the growing possibility of a headache. I’d just gotten over a nasty headache and was now attempting to shake off the likelihood of another when the van rolled to a stop and the driver’s voice muttered in the distance.
“We’re here.”
Okay, Jess. You’ve got your plan and it’s a good one.
I was about to remind myself to stick to said plan when the driver hopped out and moved to my side of the van, his open door ushering in a blast of autumn air that chilled my skin. I shivered and scooted to the edge of my seat, waiting for what was to come next. The shrill of metal sliding over metal pierced my ears as the door slid open, and rough skin wrapped a secure hold on my wrist. This was it.
“End of the line.” His gruff tone registered somewhere between the brief time it took him to pull me out and when his tall, burly features came into full view. He snickered as I pulled the hem of my pullover down and worked to smooth it out. Judging by the way his eyes scanned up my body, I presumed his outburst had everything to do with my appearance. After all, this was the first time I’d pieced together an outfit for such an outdoorsy occasion. Eventually, he calmed and took my hand, turning it palm up. “You don’t want to forget this.”
Instinctively, my fingers clasped a tight grip around the cold steel as I stood, staring down at the black metal, hoping I’d do it right. I’d never held a gun before. They all made me nervous. Fact was, with a gun in the wrong hands, things could quickly turn ugly.
I knew all about ugly.
Drawing my attention his way, the driver stretched a tattooed arm, pointed a finger, and then offered his last words of advice. “Never give up.”
I swallowed back a lump of fear, absorbing a deeper meaning of the phrase, and took off running. For what seemed like forever, I ran up and down hills, climbed over a few sizeable rocks, jumped a tiny brook, and pushed forward until I needed to recharge and bring my thoughts back into focus.
At best guess, I’d been in the woods for several hours, alternating between steady jogs in the direction I was supposed to go and quick respites to catch my breath. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, but as far as I could see, there was nothing but dense forest—and me. Panting, I leaned against a tree and listened to the rustle of withered leaves moving with the breeze.
One thing was comforting: I hadn’t run into anyone. Yet.
Crack.


Buy links:

J.M. Maurer started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber. Holding a Bachelor's degree in nursing, she loves to write about strong characters and their struggles in life.

When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.

Social Media Links:





Amazon Author Page: bit.ly/AmznJMMaurer



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

#Romance Your Autumn Nights #Giveaway

Welcome to the Romance Your Autumn Nights
Kindle Giveaway! 

PRIZES
GRAND PRIZE – Kindle eReader + $25 Amazon gift card
1st PRIZE – $50 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
2nd PRIZE – $25 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
3rd PRIZE – $10 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
4th PRIZE – $5 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
5th Various swag items (5 winners – US only)





And please join our FaceBook Party for more chances to win!



Meet romance authors, talk about books, and win prizes! Authors at the Facebook party will be doing additional giveaways. Please stop by and join the fun!

~ Kris Bock

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Monday, October 24, 2016

#RomanticTravel Fall Beauty along #NatchezTrace with @pat_preston

Romance author Patricia Preston shares her novel and a favorite vacation destination!

I love autumn and the Natchez Trace in Tennessee has provided me with plenty of inspiration for the fictional setting, Lafayette Falls, that I’m using in my contemporary romances for Lyrical Shine. The drive is leisurely and stunning along the Trace in the fall. This is a national parkway so there are no stores, gas stations, power lines or commercial traffic on the Trace. It is steeped in history along with pastoral beauty. Great for photographers.

So if you want to get out on a pretty fall day for a drive and a picnic, check out these places.

Rock Creek. You can skip across the creek on square rocks. Fall Hollow is a lovely waterfall. I used it as a model for the waterfall in my book. It is an easy walk from the roadside. Jackson Fall is a larger waterfall and a longer hike from the road. There is also a portion of the original Trace that you can hike. This is the path Jackson’s army took on the way home from the Battle of New Orleans. One of my favorite overlooks is Baker’s Bluff which features a working 19-century farm. To learn more about all the sightseeing stops along the Trace, go to https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm     

New Release! One Week in Your Arms

My newest book, ONE WEEK IN YOUR ARMS, is mainstream contemporary romance filled with witty, charismatic characters. The fun, fast-paced plot features a secret baby, a billionaire baby daddy hero who needs a pretend girlfriend for a week, and a young doctor who is desperate to keep her child a secret. Unfortunately for the intrepid heroine, Marla, she needs money for her community clinic so she has no choice but to spend a week in paradise with the one man who can destroy her life. How can she say no? (Personally, I couldn’t say no. Could you?)

IT STARTED WITH A FLING...

Six years ago, Dr. Marla Grant gave into temptation with a gorgeous man. Now the medical director of Lafayette Falls Community Clinic and a single mom to a little girl, Marla finds herself in a dilemma when the funding for the community clinic is threatened by none other than the powerful man of her long-ago fling and unsuspecting father of her child...

Carson Blackwell has never forgotten bright, beautiful Marla. When he discovers that she works at the clinic his grandmother's foundation sponsors, it's the perfect opportunity to end to his ongoing infatuation and use his leverage to cement a new business deal. He needs a fake girlfriend for one week in Hawaii, and Marla is just the woman for the job. It's a win-win situation, until they realize the attraction between them isn't feigned, and the heat has never died down. Only the secrets they're both keeping stand in the way of a future together and a love that could last a lifetime.

Excerpt from One Week in Your Arms

She picked up the letter opener. Her heart palpitated in sheer terror as she slid the opener under the flap of the envelope. With the envelope open, she peeped inside to see one folded sheet of stationery.
After six years, what could he possibly have to say?
She pictured him, standing beside a black truck in the drive of Royal Oaks, an old estate belonging to his grandmother. She recalled the date. June twenty-eighth. The day they had said goodbye had been a warm, blustery day in Tennessee. A summer storm was heading toward the rolling hills near Nashville.
The wind made a mess of Carson’s unruly dark hair. His dark blue eyes were hidden by a pair of mirrored lens aviators, and his alpha-male physique tested the seams of his polo shirt.
“If I’m ever back in town, I’ll look you up,” he promised as their casual affair came to an inevitable end. For three weeks, they had been together and finally, the time had come for them to go their separate ways. She hadn’t realized it would be so difficult.
“Sure.” She forced a smile of goodwill. After all, they weren’t parting in anger, or in love for that matter. And it was unlikely that she would ever see him again.
“I had a great time,” she confessed boldly. She’d loved every minute of their brief, steamy affair. Talk about a summer break to remember. She grinned.
He gave her cheek a stroke. “You’ll make a great doctor.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah.” He grinned. “You certainly know all there is to know about male anatomy.”
“Yours, at least.” She laughed. Then she hopped up on her toes and gave him a quick kiss. “Goodbye, Carson Blackwell.”
She stepped away from him. Now was the time to face what was ahead. A grueling three-year residency. There would be no more time for long summer nights, tangled sheets, and sighs against swollen lips. She walked toward her small, sturdy hatchback. Before she opened the driver’s door, she looked up and met his gaze.
“Goodbye,” he called.
             At that moment, she’d had an odd sensation in her chest that her life was never going to be the same.

Buy Links:

Author Bio

Patricia Preston writes witty mainstream romances where love matters most. You are her reader if you like funny, passionate, feel good reads. Must haves in her writing cave include sweet tea and music. Besides writing, she loves music, history, movies, and anything containing chocolate. Her dream-come-true would be a townhouse in the French Quarter so she could party twenty-four seven. She never misses Supernatural or the Walking Dead. Sam, Dean, and Darryl fangirl!! She is repped by the Seymour Agency and currently working on a contemporary romance series, Love Heals All, for Lyrical Shine imprint of Kensington Books.  

Author Links:

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rachelle Paige #RomanticTravel and Contemporary Romance

Welcome to Rachelle Paige, who is sharing her book and a favorite travel location!

Civil engineer Kim Meyers has built a solid career on establishing order in the midst of construction chaos. Living off the coast of Georgia as a Midwest transplant, she’s made a life for herself amidst the waves, tourists, and palm trees of the Golden Isles. Keeping her focus on her work and her community, she hasn’t had time to stop and consider how much she’s already lost. Until her former flame, Landon Beau IV, swoops in and snatches up her next project.


Excerpt: 

Clack clack clack, the head council member’s gavel slapped against the folding table bringing order back to the room. The hum of murmured conversations shared between the locals dimmed. Planning commissions meetings had grown into increasingly crowded affairs as development of St. Simons Island exploded.
Suddenly, a familiar set of aqua eyes caught her attention.
What on earth was he doing here?
A spark electrified her, shooting down her back and through her limbs. No one could instantly make her crackle with awareness like Landon Beau could. For some reason the sizzle had lasted for more than ten years.
Kim didn’t know if she wanted to laugh or scream or cry.
But today she couldn’t let him distract her from her mission. She understood what she had to do. She needed to help the Society of Coastal Living, aka SCL, to save the stretch of land on the north end of the island near her grandmother’s house. She wouldn’t rest until the island had no more room for development.
Control. Order. Efficiency.
She had to stay focused.
The council member cleared his throat to address the crowded room. “We will be moving forward with LB Holdings, granting a preliminary rezoning permit for a subdivision. They have proposed a development that meets all the necessary specifications and requirements, and this committee feels will be a benefit to the island.”
Her chest seized as the words reached her. She had failed. An even worse, she’d let down her Grandma Rose.
Her vision blurred. She didn’t see the council members conclude the meeting or her fellow volunteers from the SCL get up and leave. The scrape of metal folding chairs being dragged against the floor echoed in her ears drowning out all other sounds.
LB Holdings would be tearing apart the land just down the street from Grandma Rose. Her quality of life would be destroyed. The rumble of trucks and crash of machinery would become a constant soundtrack for the next year on Grandma Rose’s wraparound porch, blocking out the sounds of the marsh. And the reward at the end would be a congested nightmare to get to and from her grandmother’s home. How could she have let her best friend down?
Why hadn’t she pushed harder? Why hadn’t she gone door to door to get support? Why hadn’t she done more?
Questions and regrets circled in her mind, keeping her gaze hazy and unfocused until a warm palm on her shoulder suddenly made her flinch. She jerked her hands up to a defensive position, palms out in front of her face, and then froze.
Standing before her, he was impossibly handsome with his chiseled features and sandy blonde hair styled without a strand out of place. His piercing blue eyes locked onto hers. She opened her mouth but nothing came out. Her gaze drifted to his lips, transfixed by the easy smile that made his mouth off-center.


Author bio:

Rachelle stumbled into the world of romance novels in college; as a way to help speed up reading through Art History textbooks. After years in the professional world writing dry grant proposals and auction descriptions, she started writing the contemporary romance stories she wanted to read. Setting her books in some of her favorite destinations was her inspired way to require plenty of research trips every year with her family. 

Author links:


Fall #RomanticTravel:  I love Georgia’s Golden Isles, the setting for this book series. Jekyll Island is an especially romantic place with beautiful stretches of sandy beach begging for a lover’s stroll, bike paths galore perfect for bicycles built for two, and lodging at the Jekyll Island Club built by the millionaires of the Victorian Era. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Little Haunting: A #Halloween Ghost Story

Haunted: The Ghost Miner’sTreasure is on sale for the Kindle for $.99.

Jon and Tania are traveling with the ghost hunter TV show again, this time to the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, where the ghost of an old miner is still looking for his lost mine. The siblings want to help him move on—but to help him resolve the problem keeping him here, they’ll have to find the mine. And even then, the old ghost may be having too much fun to leave! It’s a good thing Tania can see and talk to him, because the kids will need his help to survive the rigors of a mule train through the desert, a flash flood, and a suspicious treasure hunter who wants the gold mine for himself.


A Little Haunting: A #Halloween Ghost Story

Some people swore that the house was haunted. Yeah, right.

“Let’s look around,” my sister said, pulling on my arm. “Mom and Dad will be busy for a while.”

“Whatever.” None of my friends were there to see me, so I followed her up creaking stairs and through musty rooms hung with cobwebs. I thought about sneaking away and hiding somewhere, to give her a scare.

Tania paused at an open doorway. I started to sneak past, down the hall.

She gasped. I looked back. She swayed in the doorway, eyes wide and face white. “What?” I asked.

“The ghost!” she hissed.

My stomach gave a flip. I pushed next to her and looked into the room. Nothing but dust floating in the light from grimy windows. Just for a second, she’d gotten me. But I couldn’t let her know that. I rolled my eyes. “Nice try.”

She kept staring ahead. “Don’t you see it?”

I snorted. “You can give it up now.”

“He’s right there!” She stepped into the room, slowly. She moved in a half circle, like she was skirting something. She reached out a hand to the empty space in the middle of the room. It was creepy. Does that sound stupid? Well, you weren’t there.

“Hello,” she whispered. “Can you hear me?” Her hand passed into a beam of light, looking dead white and almost translucent. She gasped and jerked back, like she’d touched something painful.

“Cut it out,” I said. “It’s not funny.”

She cringed back. Her hands clutched at her throat. “No!” She was half bent over backward. She should have fallen, but it looked like someone was holding her up.

I stood frozen in the doorway. My legs felt like water, but I couldn’t let her see that she was getting to me.

She thrashed, still scratching at her throat, and made a gurgling noise. Could something really be wrong?

She was my little sister. It was my job to protect her. I rushed forward. I reached out for her.

I slammed through a wall of cold. I struggled for balance as the room tilted crazily around me. Tania’s face swam in my vision, an arm’s length away.

Strange feelings swarmed around me, spewed up inside me. Anger. Hatred. Blood pounded in my head and I saw Tania’s terrified eyes through a haze of red. My hands were around her neck. Squeezing.

I couldn’t stop. Some part of me tried to pull back, but my rage was too great. I had to keep squeezing until those hated brown eyes closed and the body fell limp to the floor.

Her lips moved. No sound came out, but I could see her form a name. “Jon.” My name. Blue eyes bulged in her face. Tania’s eyes, pleading.

She was my little sister. It was my job to protect her. I fought back the rage. I struggled to control my hands. I forced them open, forced my arms to drop. The feelings welled up, battering me. But I was not him. I made my own choices. Her death would not be one of them.

The emotion faded. Tania slumped and I caught her. We stood trembling in an empty room. She gasped for breath, her face pressed to my chest. “What was that? What happened?” She looked up at me.

She was my little sister. It was my job to protect her. I grinned. “Gotcha!”

Her eyes narrowed. She punched my arm. “You jerk!” She stormed away.

I had protected her this time, but .... Nothing was ever the same again after that.




Chris Eboch’s Haunted series stars Jon and Tania as kids who travel with a ghost hunter TV show. This story was written based on a writing prompt for the opening sentence (and is creepier than most of the books, which are fun action stories). 

Chris's other novels for ages nine and up include The Eyes of Pharaoh, a mystery in ancient Egypt; and The Well of Sacrifice, a Mayan adventure. Read samples at www.chriseboch.com or her Amazon page

Friday, October 14, 2016

#RomanticTravel with guest author Iris Blobel

Romance author Iris Blobel shares her novel and a favorite vacation location!

~~  New Beginnings ~~
 
The chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger.

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.

Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.

But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?


♥♦♥ 5 STAR REVIEWS ♥♦♥

Sophie is barely a woman herself yet she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. After her father abandons her at a young age and her mother passes away, she's left to raise her 8 year old sister Mia on her own.
When Sophie and Mia inherit a house in Hobart, they pack up all their belongings, which sadly fit in a few suitcases and move. After meeting with the gorgeous and sweet lawyer, Mark, Sophie and Mia set out to make this their new home.
But after everything Sophie's endured, she can't help but to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. What if it's a mistake? What if it isn't her house? What if, this last shot at building a life is taken away from them in an instant.
Iris does an incredible job of creating characters you can't help but to be on their side as you hold your breath wishing for a happy ending.

***
Wow...what a tangled web we weave! Sophie has got it coming in all directions with the mystery of the testator.
These are the type of stories that I love...since it has a bit of everything in it. Not only do we get a bit of a love triangle but add some mystery and thriller to it. Now, that makes a perfect book by Ms. Blobel!
But let me remind you that this is nothing new since I find myself always wrapped up in this author's writing since she writes with emotion and feelings. Whether it be anger, happiness, sadness - you name it...Ms. Blobel gives us the whole package in her stories!

♥♦♥ EXCERPT ♥♦♥

     Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.
     Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”
     “Clara Catherine Bellinger.”
     Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”
     Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”
     The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.
     Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.
     Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr. O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”
     Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.
     With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”
     He met her gaze steadily. “Pardon me?”
     Sitting up straight, she repeated, “Why not? Why aren’t there any further details?”
     He rubbed his chin with his fingers, his unease now obvious, and although she almost felt sorry for him, she tried not to care. She needed to know more. And not just the what, but why and who as well.

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR IRIS BLOBEL ♥♦♥

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:

#RomanticTravel Hotspot

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to travel to the Australian Outback. One night, we sat by the campfire and with clear skies we were able to locate the Southern Cross, the Milky Way, as well as planets that were only visible due to the clarity of the atmosphere.


Since then I consider “stargazing” as very romantic.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

#RomanticTravel with Guest Diana Rubino

Historical romance author Diana Rubino shares her novels and a favorite vacation location!

THE NEW YORK SAGA by Diana Rubino
Poverty, Prejudice and Murder Won’t Stand in the Way of True Love

The New York Saga spans three generations of the McGlory family, starting in 1894 amidst the poverty and crime on New York’s Lower East Side, through the wild, boozy years of Prohibition, and ending in 1963 as the country mourned President Kennedy’s assassination.

In Book One, FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET, it's 1894 on New York’s Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. When Tom’s cousin is murdered, Vita’s father and brother languish in jail, charged with the crime. Can Vita and Tom’s love survive poverty, hatred, and corruption?

In Book Two, BOOTLEG BROADWAY, it’s 1932. Prohibition rages, the Depression ravages, and Billy McGlory comes of age whether he wants to or not. Musical and adventurous, Billy dreams of having his own ritzy supper club and big band. On the eve of his marriage to the pregnant Prudence, the shifty “businessman” Rosario Ingovito offers him all that and more: fame, fortune, his own Broadway musical.

Can anything go wrong for Billy? Only when he gets in way over his head does he stop to wonder how his business partner really makes his millions, but by then it’s far too late…

THE END OF CAMELOT begins on the day Camelot truly ended—November 22, 1963. The assassination of a president devastates America. But a phone call brings even more tragic news to Vikki Ward—her TV reporter husband was found dead in his Dallas hotel room that morning.

Finding his notes, Vikki realizes her husband was embroiled in the plot to kill JFK—but his mission was to prevent it. When the Dallas police rule his death accidental, Vikki sets out to find out who was behind the murders of JFK and her husband.

Vikki falls in love with Aldobrandi Po, the bodyguard her godfather hired to protect her. But he's engaged to be married, and she’s still mourning her husband. Can they find happiness in the wake of all this tragedy?

An Excerpt from FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET

As Vita gathered her soap and towel, Madame Branchard tapped on her door. “You have a gentleman caller, Vita. A policeman.”
“Tom?” His name lingered on her lips as she repeated it. She dropped her things and crossed the room.
“No, hon. Another policeman. Theodore something.”
No. There can't be anything wrong. “Thanks,” she whispered, descending the steps, gripping the banister to support her wobbly legs. Stay calm! she warned herself. But of course it was no use; staying calm just wasn't her nature.
“Theodore something” stood before the closed parlor door. He’s a policeman? Tall and hefty, a bold pink shirt peeking out of a buttoned waistcoat and fitted jacket, he looked way out of place against the dainty patterned wallpaper.
He removed his hat. “Miss Caputo.” He strained to keep his voice soft as he held out a piece of paper. “I’m police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt.”
“Yes?” Her voice shook.
“I have a summons for you.” He held it out to her. But she stood rooted to that spot.
He stepped closer and she took it from him, unfolding it with icy fingers. Why would she be served with a summons? Was someone arresting her now for something she didn't do?
A shot of anger tore through her at this system, at everything she wanted to change. She flipped it open and saw the word SUMMONS in fancy script at the top. Her eyes widened with each sentence as she read. “I can’t believe what I’m seeing.”
I hereby order Miss Vita Caputo to enter into holy matrimony with Mr. Thomas McGlory immediately following service of this summons.

An Excerpt from BOOTLEG BROADWAY (my favorite passage, which made my aunt cringe)

Pru had kept closemouthed all day about what she was giving him for his birthday. He badgered and hounded her, but she wouldn’t give in.
As Ma began divvying up the rum cake, the doorbell rang, and Da came back with a long box. “This thing’s heavy. What’s in here, Pru? Billy’s tombstone?”
Billy cut the ribbon with the cake knife and slid the lid off. Wads of tissue paper filled the box. As he removed the last layer of covering and revealed what was inside, they all gasped—a sculpture of a naked man, in all his masculine glory—and fully aroused. He had one hand on his hip and one foot upon a pedestal on which was inscribed in bold letters, “BILLY.”
“Oh, crap.” His face turned red hot.

An Excerpt from THE END OF CAMELOT

Billy came down the stairs for a nightcap and glanced into the living room. He noticed the glow in the fireplace, Vikki’s eyeglasses and the anisette bottle on the table. The couch faced the other way, but nobody was sitting on it. “Where’d they go?” Then he realized they hadn’t gone anywhere—and they were on the couch, but not sitting. Before he got out of their way, he placed a long-playing record on the phonograph. Jackie Gleason’s “For Lovers Only.”

Purchase THE NEW YORK SAGA

About Diana
I'm a self-confessed history nut, my favorite eras being Medieval and Renaissance England, and all American history. I've written several novels set in England and the U.S., two time travel romances, a vampire romance, and an urban fantasy, FAKIN’ IT which received a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. I'm a longtime member of Romance Writers of America and the Richard III Society. In my spare time, I bicycle, golf, play my piano and devour books of any genre.

My #RomanticIdea – a romantic place to visit

Arizona is one of my favorite vacation spots; the Southwest with all its red beauty is such a change of scenery from Cape Cod, my home of salty ocean spray and sand dunes.

One town in particular I enjoy visiting is Tombstone. Right out of a movie set, it’s a true Old West town with its dusty streets, saloons, and the O.K. Corral, where the famous 30-second gunfight took place in 1881, with cowboys on one side and the law on the other. The Bird Cage Theatre, opened the same year as the gunfight, is a charming Victorian theater, bar and poker room. Stepping inside it’s easy to imagine the dancing girls with low-cut necklines and short skirts, the whiskey-swilling miners at the long bar, the bawdy burlesque shows on the stage.

Boothill Graveyard is the resting place of many of Tombstone’s famous and infamous (Jack Dunlap, AKA 3-Fingered Jack, shot during an attempted train robbery. Lived long enough to squeal on his friends who left him to die; Freddie Fuss, small boy who drank poison mine water; Louis Hancock, shot in a bar room brawl, the fight allegedly over a disparaging mark about a lady). Many of the simple headstones have descriptive epitaphs, such as “Here Lies Lester Moore Four Slugs From a 44, No Les, No More” and “Margarita, Stabbed by Gold Dollar.”

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the town and step back in time to the gunslinging Old West, cowboys, sheriffs, miners, ladies of the evening, and at night, a lingering ghost or more!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Fran Thomas #RomanticTravel Guest Post

Romance author Fran Thomas shares her book and one of her favorite vacation locations!


In my novella The Lady Is a Mayor, a young woman unexpectedly becomes the acting mayor of a small, quirky Florida town when the elected mayor disappears after emptying the town’s bank account. When a handsome northerner arrives with plans to build a hotel, the business owners are for the idea, but the nature lovers are opposed.  My Lady Mayor has to find a way to bring both sides together, save the town, and follow her heart.

Excerpt:
“I’d like to thank the Nobel Committee for this award.”
Geneva Price’s acceptance speech for the Peace Prize was interrupted by the shrill of the telephone. Her dreams of Scandinavians bearing gifts were shattered.
With one hand, she reached for the switch on the lamp at her bedside. With the other, she gathered a tangle of brunette curls away from her face. Squinting, she located the face of her alarm clock. Two seventeen.
“Hello,” she croaked into the receiver.
“Sorry to wake you, Geneva, but we…no, make that you’ve got a problem.”
The voice on the other end belonged to Sheriff Clyde Biggs.
Geneva sat up abruptly, her heartbeat going into overdrive.
“What is it, Clyde? Did something happen to Mom and Dad?”
“Shoot, no. Nothing like that. Didn’t mean to get you all riled up.”
Geneva’s heartbeat slowed but not by much.
“It’s Mayor Cramer,” Clyde explained. “He’s gone.”
“Gone? Good heavens, did he have a heart attack?”
“Not gone, dead. Gone, missing. Mary Sue Jeffers saw him loading up his car and called me. You know what a snoop she is.”
Geneva knew.
”I didn’t think nothing of it. Not until I saw him hightailing it onto the interstate just now with no headlights on.”
“Maybe he just forgot to turn them on.”
“That’s what I thought at first. I followed him and tried to signal him. He caught sight of me behind him and took off like a bat out of H, E, double toothpicks.”
“There’s got to be a perfectly logical explanation.”
“If there’s an explanation, it’s a doozy. I rode by his house, and the back door was open. That’s how anxious he was to make tracks. I locked up to keep Mary Sue out.”
A sharp pain shot through Geneva’s right eye.
“It’ll be all over town before noon tomorrow.”
“You know it. As president of the town council, I’m afraid it’s up to you to figure it out.”
Geneva sighed and ran her hand through her hair.
“Right. I guess I’ll start calling the others as soon as I get a cup of coffee in me. Thanks for the heads up, Clyde.”
“You bet. If I find out anything else, I’ll let you know.”

Bio: I am a native of Pittsburgh now living in a town in Florida not unlike the one I write about. A couple years as the editor of the local newspaper gave me plenty of material to work with. My favorite pastime is singing with a symphonic choral group. I also enjoy watching Dancing with the Stars and Project Runway.


Photo of Napa Valley, California, by Stan Shebs
via wikimedia Creative Commons License
A Romantic Place to Visit:

The most romantic trip my husband and I ever took was up the coast of California. We rented a turquoise convertible in San Francisco and headed across the Golden Gate Bridge and through the redwoods toward wine country. With the Beach Boys furnishing a soundtrack on the radio, we sampled our way through Napa and Sonoma. We made it as far north as Fort Bragg, a small town with a thriving artist community where I instantly felt right at home. Snuggling into a candlelit booth with a bowl of the best ever cream of mushroom soup topped off a beautiful vacation.