Thursday, March 21, 2013

Aubrie Dionne Author of Playing the Maestro Talks About Music

State of the Orchestra in Today’s World

One of the reasons why I decided to write Playing the Maestro was to bring attention to classical music. Sure, there’s smooching, romance, adventure, and wickedly evil deceit, but underlying all of the personal dramas is the story of a struggling orchestra and what it has to do to survive in today’s modern world.

With American Idol, sold out rock concerts, and Lady Gaga’s theatrics, classical music can seem very stuffy and boring. Less and less people go to orchestra concerts, and I consider classical music a dying art form. The NH Symphony- the first orchestra I soloed in front of in high school, went out of business years ago, and orchestras all over the country are struggling- the same struggles you’ll read about in Playing the Maestro.

The sad part is, classical music improves test scores, it makes kids smarter. It teaches them discipline, perseverance, and how to use their hands to do something other than play video games and text. It is totally worth it and essential to a well-rounded society. Besides that, it’s part of the classics like Pride and Prejudice in literature, and part of history. It shouldn’t die along with the white wigs and tights.

The main hero in the story, Wolfgang Braun, makes it his life mission to replace every video game controller with an instrument. We need more of these heroes today.

What do you think about the decline of classical music in today’s society? Do you think it should be saved? She’ll have to play her boss to come out on a high note…

Playing the Maestro ~ Maestro Series Book One

Melody Mires has sworn off dating musicians, but when the sexy European conductor Wolf Braun takes over her struggling symphony, her hesitation almost flies out the window with the notes of her flute—until he opens his mouth. Wolf is arrogant, haughty, and seems to have a personal vendetta against Melody. Oh, and he’s her boss. If she wants to keep her job as principal flutist, she’ll have to impress Wolf while simultaneously keeping her undeniable attraction to herself.

Wolf came to America to get as far away from his past as possible, and to recover some of the swagger he had as one of the world’s best maestros. He never imagined being forced to reassess the entire orchestra’s talent—and potentially fire anyone who doesn’t make his cut. Dating the attractive flutist is out of the question, but as their feelings reach a fever pitch, can they risk both their careers for a chance at love?

About the Author:

Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation--favorite character was Data by far--and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be "a concert flutist" when she grew up. She majored in flute performance at the University of New Hampshire on a full scholarship, then secured two teaching jobs at a University and a local community music school. While playing in orchestras and teaching, stories popped into her head, and she used them to make the music come alive for her flute students. Her students said they were so good, she had to write them down! Maybe they were right, who knows? Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.

She is represented by Dawn Dowdle and writes sweet and adventurous fantasy, science fiction, and contemporary romance.



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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Enjoy a Fun Quiz from Sharon Bayliss Author of The Charge


Sharon Bayliss has two wonderful items to share with us today! The first is a quiz centering on her new release The Charge.

The second being a query critique! Isn't Sharon awesome? All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment! What side are you on in the Charge?


When King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren's brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead. 

He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who's itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own.

A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all.

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID. 

An audio recording of Sharon reading from The Charge:

Purchase Links

NetGalley (free review copies):

Or the Goodreads "Add this" widget:

      The Charge

Giveaway: The giveaway is open from 3/1-3/31. Please feel free to include with your post!

About Sharon

Bio: Sharon Bayliss is a native of Austin, Texas and works her day job in the field of social work. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living in her “happily-ever-after” with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). You can connect with Sharon at and


Monday, March 18, 2013

Cover Reveal - Eye of the Soul by Terri Rochenski

Eye of the SoulEye of the Soul

Release Date: October 7, 2013
Adult Fantasy


That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. 

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. 

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Holiday Magick: 20 Holiday Stories with a twist


Holiday Magick: 20 Holiday Stories with a twist

People don't usually question holiday traditions or their origins, but maybe they should. Over centuries, explanations of how and why holidays exist may have been lost or changed.
Some holiday histories might only be known by a few individuals. Ancient magic spells could have influenced how we celebrate today. Fairies, zombies, or demons may have shaped our holidays.

Consider the following...

Why do people give red roses and cards on Valentine's Day?
Is there more to the story of Purim than is traditionally told?
Why do people wear green on St. Patrick's Day?
What happens to spirits that are captured during the Japanese Doll Festival?
Where does Santa get his helpers?
You may think you know the truth, but you can't be too sure.

Upcoming Holidays
Valentine’s Day
My Dearest Valentine, by Maria Martinez
Paper Hearts, by Jennifer Allis Provost
The Esther, by Meredith Morgenstern
Japanese Doll Festival
Doll Trouble, by Kimberley Long-Ewing
Las Fallas
Finding Fire, by Trisha J. Wooldridge
St. Patrick’s Day
Marked, by Keshia Swaim
Earth Day
The Keeper of the Trees, by L.M. Graham
Arbor Day
Planet Pattern Baldness, by Daniel A. Cohen
Sprite Start, by Dave Porteous
Memorial Day
Final Draft, by Kate Kaynak
Dragon Boat Festival
Autumn Moon, by DK Mok
Equinox This!, By Candace Sams
Columbus Day
A Land Without Zombies, by Nicole Zoltack
Masking Fear, by Daniel A. Cohen
Demons’ Day Off, by Rich Storrs
All Souls Day
All Souls Day, by Emma Michaels
Second Thanksgiving, by Kendra L. Saunders
Easy as Pie by Keshia Swaim
Christmas with the Krampus, by Owen Dean
The Toy Makers, by Jessica Porteous

I'm so excited for my short story to be in this anthology! I can't wait for it to come out. Here's the GoodReads link:

And here's another image. They commissioned an artist to make illustrations for each of the stories. Here's for mine:

And there's a FB page for it:

One last thing: Holiday Magicks is available for preorder.


Can you tell I'm excited? LOL

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Wicked Bag of Horror Tales - Ellie Garratt's Passing Time

A Wicked Bag of Horror Tales
Thank you for hosting me, Nicole. I'm honoured to be passing time with you and your readers today.

As with all writers, one of the more common questions I am asked is 'Where do you get your ideas from?'

I wish I could answer that question and then bottle it–I would be able to take a sip every time I needed an idea. The truth is there is no definite answer for any writer. The arrival of a story, scene, character, or plot seems to happen by some unknown magical process, often while you are doing the most unimaginative things–such as hoovering or waiting in a grocery store line. But sometimes they are actually given to you.

In 2010 I answered a call by Wicked East Press for their A Wicked Bag of Horror Tales anthology. However, this wasn’t a straightforward submission call. Eight writers were selected at random out of those who expressed an interest in the anthology. Then those eight writers, one of them being myself, were asked to submit a horror story prompt. The twist was each writer was given one of the other writers’ prompts. I can tell you I agonised over a prompt to submit, and was so nervous I submitted two. But that was nothing compared to coming up with a story for the prompt I was given.

My prompt was The run-down diner on a lost highway holds the horror within. Sounds easy enough. Well it took me over a month to come up with an idea, and where it came from was a complete surprise.
I was looking at road-trips in America–my other half and I were considering a trip that took in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. While viewing a map of that area, I glanced upon Death Valley. My immediate thought was that’s where my diner should be! Then I thought, but there has to be something sinister about this diner. It can’t just be rundown; it needs to be stuck in a different era such as the 1960s. And just for good measure, I’ll fill it with Russians. Because why would an American diner in the middle of nowhere be full of Russians?
And so that is how my idea for Dinning in Hell, the middle story from Passing Time, came to be. It appeared out of nowhere.

Are you ever asked where your ideas come from? Have you ever come up with an idea in an unusual or odd way? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Book Blurb
Nine dark fiction stories that may just give you nightmares.

A man lives to regret Passing Time. A father will do anything to save his son in Expiration Date. An author finds out her worst nightmare is back in The Devil’s Song. A woman gets more than the claim fee when she takes out vampire insurance in Luna Black.

In Dining in Hell, the Death Valley Diner becomes the wrong place to stop.

A serial killer wants to add another file to his collection in The Vegas Screamer. In Eating Mr. Bone, an undertaker could meet an unfortunate end. A con man meets his first ghost in Land of the Free. And will truth finally be set free in The Letter?
Book Links

About The Author
A life-long addiction to reading science fiction and horror, meant writing was the logical outlet for Ellie Garratt’s passions. She is a reader, writer, blogger, Trekkie, and would happily die to be an extra in The Walking Dead. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and online. Passing Time is her first eBook collection and contains nine previously published stories. Her science fiction collection Taking Time will be published later in the year.
Author Links

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Want a Kindle?

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Authors

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton

Blood Oath (Gabby Girls Adventure, #2)Return of the Dragon Riders: Book Two of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #2)Hidden HeartA Tale of the Other Kind (Therian, #1)AuraPrison NationFamily Magic (Hayle Coven, #1)The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)Shifting PrideFire Within (Guardian Witch #2)Fall of Sky CityReflectionThe Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Kailmeyra, #1)Kiss Me, I'm Irish (Time For Love #1)Grace DollThe Stone GuardianLegend UnleashedInnovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand EyesThe GiftedFor What It's WorthForbidden Temptation of a VampireOwlet (Society of Feathers, #1)Cascade Brides: The Complete SeriesTwenty-Five Years Ago TodayAlexander Drake's Extraordinary Pursuit

Giveaway Details
1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).
Ends: 3/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Feature - Turkish Delights by Liz Crowe

A young American woman comes face to face with her destiny in Istanbul in the 1960's and an epic dynasty is born.  

When Vivian Kinkaid turns around in her college classroom and makes eye contact with a man who was once her forbidden childhood friend, her life is changed forever.

A sweeping saga of family, love, loss and recovery—The Turkish Delight series begins with a special sort of magic. Then  Madame Eve works her miracles for the Deniz family, but even she can’t overcome the harsh realities that force this Turkish/American family all to deal with tragedy when one of their own is ripped from their close-knit circle.

 “The Turks” opens with best-selling classic romance for the ages.  Then ends with a thrilling novella that brings all the players back together.  Set in Istanbul, Las Vegas, and Southern California, The Turkish Delights series has it all—heat, heart, intrigue and a deep, family connection that transcends all barriers.

The Diplomat's Daughter
Turkish Delights
Blue Cruise
Tulip Princess
Flower Passage

Individual Blurbs for the books:

The Diplomat’s Daughter:

When Vivian Kincaid's eyes meet those of a hunky local at the Turkish university her father forces her to attend, it only takes her a split second to recognize her childhood friend. Levent Deniz was the servant boy who taught her to run the streets of Istanbul years before, giving outlet to her wild streak even as a child.

Now face-to-face once again as adults, the only thing standing between them and happiness is her father. The newly appointed Consul General for the United States has other plans for his only daughter. Ones that do not include a former servant, now successful entrepreneur and businessman. He will do everything in his power to keep them apart.

The Diplomat's Daughter is set in 1960s Istanbul and tells the story of pre-destiny, passion and the rebellious power of true love.

Turkish Delights (1NightStand)

The fifteen year age difference between Elle Kensington, expatriate American executive and Emre Demir, son of Istanbul's most successful businessmen, has not kept them from becoming fast friends as they toured Istanbul together. But the time has come for him to return to the U.S. to finish his master's degree, and she has just been named CEO of the pharmaceutical company that brought her to Turkey in the first place. Elle adores her adopted country, and is alarmed to find herself falling in love with the young man who's been her impromptu guide for the last few months.

She knows they can never be. She will return home to California within a month, leaving behind all she loves about the ancient city. In a rare fit of spontaneity, Elle has contracted with Madame Eve's 1Night Stand dating service, hoping to find a way to forget the dark, handsome young man who has captured her heart. Little does she know what awaits her in the ancient recesses of the Ottoman palace turned luxury hotel under the hands of her one-night stand masseur.

Blue Cruise (1NightStand, m/m)

Caleb and Tarkan were an odd couple—men from two different cultures—so in love, they were determined to overcome any obstacles. But fate had different plans for Tarkan. Shattered and unable to function a full two years after tragedy strikes, Caleb faces the hollow shell that is his life.

Adem Broussard is happy enough, as owner and chef of his restaurant on the Turkish southern coast. But a tall, American Adonis he saw once, years ago on a Turkish Blue Cruise haunts his most erotic dreams, and he hopes contracting Madame Eve's 1NightStand service for an unconventional date will help him forget.

When Caleb caves in to his friend Elle's insistence that he return to Turkey and exorcise some of the demons that haunt him, he reluctantly climbs on board a private yacht for a special 1Night Stand Blue Cruise. There he comes face to face with the man who remembers him well…and helps him heal.

Tulip Princess (1NightStand, BDSM)

Lale Deniz was always prone to wildness. But when her family is ripped apart at the seams, she becomes more reckless than ever. Desperate to stop her self-destructive slide, her parents step in and send her to America to live with her brother, Emre. Just the chance, she thinks, to escape the tragedy suffusing her Istanbul home.

Andreas Michos, Greek former NFL star, the recently divorced athletic director at UNLV, floats through life seeking fulfillment. He has reason to doubt his own abilities as a natural Dom and has given up finding his perfect mate. Until he agrees to a 1Night Stand.

Set against a backdrop of ancient cultural clashes and Mediterranean family dynamics, Lale and Andreas meet in Las Vegas at the Castillo resort for their date. But it seems Madame Eve and destiny will both fail this time, unless Lale and Andreas are willing to relinquish enough control to discover what happiness can be found inside the soul of the other. Will stubbornness keep them from connecting, or can they let go long enough to heal?

Flower Passage (final novella, m/m/m)

What would you do if the lover, brother, son, and friend you thought you'd lost forever was returned to you?

Brutally battered, emotionally and physically for the past two years, Tarkan Deniz has escaped his captors. When the Deniz family discovers the shocking truth they rally and do everything in their power to bring him back safely. But all have been affected by the tragedy of his loss and must come to terms with the new reality, each in their own way.

When Happily Ever After seems like a man can bring healing to all, but will he ever be the same man again?

Flower Passage is a story of love lost and regained, even if it takes a slightly different form than before.

print anthology: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author.  When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications.  Her ground breaking romance sub genre: “Romance for Real Life” has gained thousands of fans and followers, interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)

Her beer blog is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high powered real estate offices.  Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Sweets Blogfest - My One and Only Sweet

To celebrate the release of their sweet love stories, Kelly Hashway and Beth Fred are hosting The Sweets Blogfest today. Be sure to stop by their blogs for a chance to win ebooks of Love All and The Other Marlowe Girl.


So I'm going to talk about a sweet that's dear to my heart - my hubby. We met the first day of classes freshman year of college. I complained to him about being a chemistry major and not being too fond of science (I wanted to work in a forensic lab, or even be a CSI). We became friends and over Christmas break, he  asked me out on AIM. During Easter break, he said "I love you" for the first time - on the phone.

But he more than made up for that when he proposed. We had been dating for two years and four months to the day. Since we were poor college kids, we don't go out on dates often so we tried to go out for our monthly anniversary at least. Todd told me to dress up because we were going to eat at a nice restaurant for dinner. It was a beautiful April day but the weather people had said there might be rain so Todd pulled over at a park to get an umbrella out of the trunk so we wouldn't get our nice clothes wet if it did rain before we got there. Imagine my surprise when he comes around to my window with a cape and a Phantom from POTO mask on!

Now, this was shortly after the movie had come out and we both loved it - saw it on Valentine's Day. Todd took me out of the car and sang two songs from the movie, before getting down on one knee and telling me how much he loves me and how I make him a better person and how he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Then he pulled out the ring box. Of course I said yes! (and yes, I was crying a little!)

*sigh* That's my sweetheart!


And if you want to check out another sweet romance, be sure to look at my Woman of Honor. It's now available for print! Woman of Honor tells the story of Aislinn, a girl who dreams of becoming a knight and finds love as she struggles to achieve her goal.