The Witching Moon by Loretta Rogers

Welcome to the Katherine Eddinger Smits blog. I’m inspired by interesting and unusual locations and my favorite books include settings so  fascinating that they make the story indelible in my mind. So, I decided to write a series of blogs about books from some of my favorite authors. They were kind enough to answer a series of questions about the settings of their books. The first I would like to share with you is my interview with Loretta Rogers, author of The Witching Moon and 17 other novels.

 The Witching Moon by Loretta Rogers

Book blurb: Sheen O’Reilly considers her gift of second sight a curse. Branded a witch, she wears a rope burn around her neck as a reminder of what happens to people who are considered different. Now settled in a remote homestead where she tends her animals and concocts herbal remedies, she knows “he” is coming but is powerless to stop him. “He” is Guthrie Tanner, who blames himself for the murder of his wife and the kidnapping of his young daughter. After an unsuccessful year of tracking his enemies, he has heard about a witch who lives alone on the prairie. While he doesn’t believe in supernatural nonsense, he is willing to do whatever it takes to find his daughter. What he doesn’t count on is the effect Sheen will have on his heart.

 Please tell readers a little about The Witching Moon.

As a toddler, Sheen O’Reilly, witnessed her mother being burned at the stake as a witch. To save Sheen from the same fates as her mother, Sheen’s father brings her to America. As she develops into her teenage years, her supernatural abilities increase.  Due to superstition and the ignorance of town folk, Sheen and her father are hanged. By happenstance, Sheen is rescued, but tragically her father dies. Considering her gift a curse, she travels to the western territories determined to live a life of solitude and away from civilization…until her empathic powers begin to intrude into her dreams and she is sought out by the hero, Guthrie Tanner.

 What is the setting for the book? Please describe it.

 The Witching Moon begins its journey in 1848 Ireland when the belief in witches and witchcraft was rampant. The story setting moves to Salem, Massachusetts. Although the witch trials took place two hundred years before Sheen and her father settled in Salem, the small villages were rift with superstition and cruel people who exploited those superstitions for personal benefit. Due to this turn of events, the heroine flees to Montana territory, 1868.

 Why did you choose this setting for your story?

Although Ireland wasn’t as rampant with witchcraft as England, Ireland is rich in Celtic history. The Irish believed more in Fairy Doctors than witches. Because the main theme of the story pertains to witchcraft, I moved the setting to Salem, Massachusetts, well-known for its witch trials; and then I chose Montana territory due to its isolation from nearby towns and civilization. Sheen O’Reilly is an empathic fairy doctor. Fairies generally live in caves and came out only at night. Montana is known for its underground caverns, caves, and even hidden strongholds.

Is this a real place, or did you create it for the story?

All settings for The Witching Moon are real places, including the underground caverns, and the hidden stronghold where the antagonist hides and eventually meets his demise.

Have you written other books in this setting, or do you plan to write more in the future?

 Bitter Autumn, a historical romance that I’ve recently submitted to my editor is set in Montana. Montana is rich in Native American history; and Fort Ellis, which is primary to the story and is one of the few surviving frontier forts from the 1800’s.

Is this the start of a series or a standalone?

The Witching Moon is a standalone book.

Anything else you want readers to know about the book?

 The Witching Moon delves into the life of a young woman who was bullied, and almost hanged because she was different and because of the ignorance of people. Sheen deals with guilt and shame, and wants to hide from who she really is. The hero, Guthrie Tanner, also deals with guilt for events that were beyond his control. He must put aside his own prejudices to seek help from someone who is different.

Overcoming adversity and survival is the central theme of The Witching Moon. Perhaps readers will see a little bit of themselves when reading Sheen and Guthrie’s story.

 Thanks so much for sharing about The Witching Moon. Here’s an excerpt:

A hideous mass of blackened, puckered flesh ringed Sheen’s neck. His blood turned cold. Guthrie had witnessed hangings when the Yankees had raided his father’s plantation in South Carolina. He’d seen the gruesome effects of a noose cutting deep into the flesh.

Fury flared in Guthrie’s soul. He lifted the coat from the ground and brushed it free of dirt and leaves, and then draped the garment around Sheen’s shoulders. He tried to hold her close. She drew back.

His gaze met hers. “My God, Sheen. Tell me.”

She gulped the sob building in her throat.

Sheen, breathing hard sank to the ground. She fingered the top button of her coat; closed now to hide the rope burn around her neck. She admonished herself to tell Guthrie the truth about her gift and be done with it.

Her voice quavered. “Are you in a mind to listen without judging me?”

Guthrie eased to the ground. He uncorked the canteen and poured water into the coffee pot, setting it on a flat rock next to the fire. “Tell me all of it, from the beginning. I need to understand who you really are and why anyone would want to put a noose around your neck.”

About Loretta C. Rogers:

Loretta Rogers Author Photo

Loretta is a fourth generation Floridian. She is proud of her Scots-Irish, English, German heritage. Once an avid horsewoman, she trailer trained horses, competed in endurance trials with her pinto mare, as well as rounded up cattle. Loretta was a certified diver and worked with the sheriff’s search and rescue dive teams; she was also a rape-crisis and suicide prevention counselor. Life experiences and the people she met along the way often show up as (fictitious) characters in her stories. She is a bestselling author of eighteen novels. Her books span the globe from the UK to Africa.

Buy The Witching Moon here:

Amazon  http://amzn.to/2FOSXUy
Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-witching-moon-loretta-c-rogers/1117077901?ean=2940148612582
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/the-witching-moon-2
iBooks: https://books.apple.com/pa/author/loretta-c-rogers/id510743856?l=en

Author Website: www.lorettacrogersnovels.com

Social Media Links:

https://www.facebook.com/loretta.c.rogers

https://www.amazon.com/Loretta-C.-Rogers/e/B004948XP2

 

Join Me for a Choose Your Own Adventure PNR Micro-Story

Like me, many of you probably stayed home on New Year’s Eve and quietly watched 2020 exit. While I believe everyone is happy to see that dumpster fire end, we missed having a rousing party. So, I thought in this post, I’d give you a chance to stage a bash in your imagination.

I call this a Choose Your Own Adventure Paranormal Romance Micro-Story. That’s because you get to pick the characters and decide what happens and because it’s short, only one paragraph. Even so, there are lots of possible combinations you can use to create the fete of your dreams. I hope you have fun!

Let’s get this shebang started! Pick one item from each of the six categories below and insert your choice next to the corresponding number in the story. Use the prompts or just pick the one you like best. That’s it. Easy peasy and you have your unique shindig.

  1. Your favorite color: (Heroine/Hero)

Blue: Queen/King

Red: Billionaire

Green: Scottish Highlander

Purple: Motorcycle Gang Leader

Yellow: Pirate

Orange: Movie Star

Pink: Sports Star

Gold: War Hero

Silver: Famous Novelist

Other: Superhero

2. Your Favorite Beverage: (Love Interest)

Water: Griffin

Coffee: Unicorn

Tea: Ogre

Juice: Fairy

Soda: Elf

Wine: Mermaid/Merman

Beer: Werewolf

Whiskey: Kelpie

Rum: Demon

Vodka: Witch

Tequila: Vampire

Other: Centaur

 3. The first number on your street address. Includes postal code. If no number, use 5: (Villain)

0. A Rival

1. An Enemy

2. An Ex

3. A Jealous person

4. A False Friend

5. Your Boss

6. An Evil Twin

7. A Random Stranger

8. A Crazy Neighbor

9. A Drunken Co-worker

4. Your Zodiac sign: (Conflict)

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18): Picking a Fight

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20): Telling their Secret

Aries (March 21 – April 19): Stealing their Money

Taurus (April 20 – May 20):  Poisoning their Drinks

Gemini (May 21 – June 21):  Getting them arrested

Cancer (June 22 – July 22):   Kidnapping them

Leo (July 23 – August 22):    Spreading lies about them

Virgo (August 23 – September 22): Casting a spell on them

Libra (September 23 – October 23): Shooting at them

Scorpio (October 24 – November 21): Trying to break them up

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Starting a fire

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19): Challenging them to a duel

5. The first letter of your pet’s name. (Action) No pet? Use a friend or family member’s pet name or select M.

A. Escape to a land in another dimension

B.   Hide in a magic trunk

C.   Change their identities

D.   Pay a fortune for ransom

E.   Find the key to an invisible lock

F.  Tame the Minotaur

G.  Outwit a rogue A.I.

H.   Sacrifice their most treasured possession

I.   Rescue a changeling from the fey world

J.   Learn a government top secret

K.   Stop a psychic killer

L.   Prevent a war between two kingdoms

M.   Discover a cure for a terrible disease

N.   Transform a frog with a kiss

O.   Acquire a rare, magical jewel

P.   Bind a demon

Q.  Develop and Drink a magic potion

R.   Spin thread into gold

S.   Make a deal with the devil

T.   Persuade a dragon to give up his hoard

U.   Pretend to be enemies

V.   Defeat an evil overlord

W.  Find and Raise Atlantis

X.   Shoot cupid with his own arrow

Y.   Swim with crocodiles

Z.   Appease a poltergeist

6. Favorite time of Day: (Resolution)

 Morning: Find the answer

Noon: Overcome the problem

Afternoon: Negotiate a compromise

Evening: Manage to get away

Night: Defeat the enemy

Here’s the template:

A (1) meets a (2) at a New Year’s Eve costume party. They are instantly attracted to one another but (3) causes a problem by (4). In order to be together, they have to (5) by the stroke of midnight. When they (6), they achieve their Happily Ever After.

To kick things off, I’ll start. Here’s my story: A (Queen) meets a (Merman) at a New Year’s Eve costume party. They are instantly attracted to one another but (an enemy) causes a problem by (challenging them to a duel). In order to be together, they have to (change their identities) by the stroke of midnight. When they (negotiate a compromise), they achieve their Happily Ever After.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and read your stories. You can add them in the comments. 

Thank you so much for playing!

This post was first published on the Pen Dames Blog.

https://pendames.blogspot.com/

Want a longer story? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you Siren of the Deep which is only available for subscribers.

http://katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com/

We Can All Be Butterflies!

Life changes during a pandemic. My deepest sympathies are with those who lost loved ones, or who are dealing with illness at this time. Even if the virus has not personally touched us, we have all been forced to adjust. Whether we self-isolate for protection, lose our favorite restaurant, or miss new movies and travel opportunities, we all experience upheaval in our daily routines.

My husband and I haven’t gone out to eat, visited friends or family, shopped in a store, or been to the dentist since March. So far, we are lucky and remain healthy, but we miss our children and grandchildren and being able to do normal activities without wondering if we are risking our lives. We don’t go to the post office. We pick up medications from the drive-through window at the pharmacy. We get all our groceries through curbside delivery. We watch church services on-line. The list is endless.

However, I refuse to give in to depression and anxiety. One day this will end, and I want to be ready.

During this time of isolation, I take inspiration from the butterfly. A universal symbol of renewal and beauty, she starts life as a poor, unsuspecting caterpillar who, without warning, loses everything.

Biological imperatives force her into a silk chrysalis, where her entire body dissolves and rebuilds her into a new creature. When she emerges with vibrantly colored wings, she must learn a new way to live and how to fly.

I embraced this new lifestyle by beginning an intensive exercise program. I also finished writing my fifth novel, with a central motif of a butterfly, and submitted it for publication. (Release will be in 2021.) To celebrate, my husband bought me a lovely butterfly necklace.

Being a butterfly means going on a journey into ourselves which turns us into a new creation ready for a different phase of life. It means taking the opportunity to push past boundaries which stopped us in the past. It means having faith that life can change again, and maybe it will be more beautiful than we imagined.

We can all be butterflies! Find transformation within this unplanned chrysalis, and when you emerge, you’ll discover your own gorgeous wings.

Thank you for reading this blog. I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know in the comments about your experiences with the pandemic. I’d love to hear from you.

What the Heck is a Beta Reader?

Chances are you don’t know what a beta reader is unless you’re a writer or friends with one.

Beta readers are usually the second people to peruse a story after critique groups or partners. Nothing is set in stone, but beta readers often provide their feedback before the novel goes to the editor.

Since they see the book before it is published, they serve a special function by finding plot holes, mistakes, and problems.

Beta readers are not other writers, but people who love books and reading. They tell us the boring parts, the places where they dropped out of the narrative for one reason or another, and many other things.

What qualities do you need? First, it’s important to like the type of work you’ll be evaluating. You’ll bring to the table an awareness of what fans of the genre appreciate. Also, you’ll have more fun with the process.

Being able to finish a book quickly is also helpful. No one expects beta readers to devour the book in a day, but we do prefer to hear from you in a reasonable length of time. Authors are anxious to release their books as soon as possible.

A critical quality is the ability to give honest reactions. We need to know where the work can be improved, and we won’t get mad at you for telling us. Please be specific. Just saying the book was great or terrible isn’t enough. Tell us exactly what you didn’t like and why. We can take it!

What you don’t need is expertise in grammar or punctuation or an eagle eye for spotting typos. Editors and proofreaders address those issues.

What do you get for doing this? You probably won’t get paid in cash. However, you will get the book for free, and your name may be listed on the acknowledgements page. I also give my beta readers paperback copies of the book, bookmarks, and other swag, and take them to lunch or dinner. I treasure my beta readers and treat them like solid gold, because that’s what they’re worth to me.

If you’re asked to beta read for someone, I hope you’ll consider it. It means the author trusts you with their baby before it is completely ready for the world, and they believe you can help them make it better.

Are you already a beta reader? What has the experience been like for you? If you aren’t, are you interested in trying it out or isn’t it for you? Do you have questions about anything I didn’t cover? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

This post was originally published on the Pen Dames blog https://pendames.blogspot.com/p/home.html

Witches and Fae

Fall is the time for witches, fae, and things that go bump in the night! It’s a spooky time when days grow colder and shorter, and the line between reality and possibility thins a bit more each day. If you’re like me and love the otherworldly, celebrate your appreciation of the paranormal. Check out these 83+ books available now on KU. They all look fantastic and I can’t wait to read them myself. https://books.bookfunnel.com/witchesfaeonku/wx98hs1m3e

How Do You Create Characters?

Most readers ask out of idle curiosity. Or maybe they’re fans and want to know more about their favorite heroine or hero.

When a storyteller’s family asks that question, they have an agenda.

Here is an actual conversation I had with several people close to me. Most authors I know have had this same discussion.

Me: I wrote a book.

Family: That’s nice.

Me: I found a publisher!

Family: You didn’t write about people you know, did you?

Me: It’s a romance.

Family: But did you include any relatives?

Me: A paranormal romance.

Family: No family?

Me: About mermaids.

Family: But did you—

Me: You’re not in the book!

The truth is, most of the time we don’t know where our characters come from. They may start out with attributes or personality quirks of people we know, but they grow and change and become unique. They are themselves, genuine, if insubstantial.

However, characters can be “real” people (or as I like to call them, the corporeally incarnated).

Like everyone, I’ve been treated badly by some people during my life. When someone wrongs me, I make them a villain in one of my novels. (Disguised, of course.) I don’t know if karma will pay them back in life, but in my stories, bad guys get what’s coming to them. (And I enjoy it.)

Historical figures may play roles in our books. This is tricky because we must research every detail and stick to the facts as much as possible. If we make a mistake, an alert reader will catch it. Every time. Still, some people are so intriguing, we need to tell their story. If the writer happens to be a descendant, sharing the person’s tale with the world is even more compelling.

In Loretta C. Rogers’ newest historical romance, Bitter Autumn, the protagonist, Birdie Mae Dix, was inspired by the author’s ancestor, who was captured by Indians as a child and later escaped. Not only is this fascinating story based on a real person, but Ms. Rogers even has her great-great-grandmother’s diary to learn how this remarkable woman thought and felt.

For more about Bitter Autumn, check out Loretta C. Rogers’ post on the Pen Dames website. Here’s the link: https://pendames.blogspot.com/2020/05/bitter-autumn-by-loretta-c-rogers.html

Where do we get our characters? They show up in many ways, but in case you’re wondering, you probably won’t end up in someone’s book unless you do something extraordinary or piss off a writer.

 

 

Katherine Smits March 2020 Blog Feature: Flossie Benton Rogers & the Wytchfae Universe

Today’s blog features my friend, colleague, and mentor, Flossie Benton Rogers and her Wytchfae novels. I recently reread and reviewed Mind Your Goddess, the KCT Literary Award 2019 Blue Prize Top Finalist.

Mind Your Goddess is a fully developed paranormal romance set in the enchanted Wytchfae and Florida in the Roaring 20s.

I’m talking about the 1920s. I just realized we’re in the 20s again. What will historians dub this decade? The Ailing 20s? The Isolating 20s? The Hoarding 20s? I sincerely hope they will nickname the decade something much better. Maybe we’ll even manage an updated version of the Roaring 20s, one where we come back from this upheaval better and stronger. We’re all anxious and wondering what life will be like on the other side of the crisis. We wouldn’t be human if times like these didn’t stress us. Despite that, I’m keeping a positive attitude, and wish, along with staying safe and healthy, the same for you.

Mind Your Goddess by Flossie Benton Rogers Five Stars *****

Mind Your Goddess Cover

 

Flossie Benton Rogers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind Your Goddess is the third exciting Wytchfae book by Flossie Benton Rogers. Some writers create towns, cities, or worlds where their characters live, love, and fulfill their destinies. Ms. Benton Rogers created a complete universe and has located six (soon to be seven) tales there.

The Wytchfae is an enthralling nexus where every god, goddess, witch, warrior, supernatural creature and possibility exist. Greek, Roman, Celtic deities and more live there. Time travel? Yep. Runes? You bet. A Demoness? Absolutely. Add Succubae, a Lamia, and a Janus, and you get the picture. This is a mythology geek’s fantasyland!

 

Mind Your Goddess Blurb:

The Goddess Epona is breathless over a lover’s tryst with Eshigel, the dark Guardian of the Between. Before she can meet him, she must hear the pleas of her Dark of the Moon supplicants. Strange requests originate from a captive little girl and a succubus seeking revenge. Then Epona is attacked and abducted.

Epona awakens stranded in the human realm of the Roaring Twenties. With her powers nullified, she assumes the guise of a flapper in a speakeasy. Knowing the little girl is nearby, Epona seeks to save her.

Eshigel rushes to find his missing Goddess. To gain information he undergoes a dangerous rite involving a half woman and half serpent Lamia. After locating Epona, he vows to protect his flapper Goddess from the demons set on her destruction. Can a Goddess and her dark Guardian overcome misfortune and reclaim their love?

 

Here’s my review:

This book has everything I enjoy. First, it’s an amazing love story. Epona (Eppie) and Eshigel share a fascinating history which is only mentioned in Mind Your Goddess. I’d LOVE to read the story of how they got together, but we’ll have to convince Flossie to write it first. (You can contact her to ask for it here: https://flossiebentonrogers.com/contact/ )

When Mind Your Goddess begings, the couple have resolved their past and now are madly in love. But Eppie disappears, and Eshigel realizes he’s to blame. Nothing on earth (or in the Wytchfae cosmos) will stop him from rescuing her.

Meanwhile, Eppie, stripped of her gifts, copes with life in Sapphire Beach, Florida in the 1920s. This is a major endeavor because she has landed in the clutches of a Speakeasy owner who uses her as a dancer in his establishment. Dressed in a fringed frock, she must shake her booty to the Charleston and endure sweaty-handed left foot lugs who drag her around the dance floor while she attempts to restore her divinity and find a desperate child psychically begging for help.

Eshigel’s detective work to figure out what happened to Eppie is brilliant. Yet, before he can locate his lover, he must survive the challenge of the snakes. If you think this part couldn’t be half horrifying, half erotic, you would be wrong. The Lamia is gorgeous and hot, and though Eschigel has made a lot of mistakes, she eventually supports him in his quest and gives him the information he needs to find his goddess.

When Eshigel and Eppie get back together, sparks fly for them and those in their way. The book has a satisfying ending which wraps up most of the plot points and includes a Happily Ever After.

Mind Your Goddess is book 3. The narratives connect by being part of the Wytchfae milieu, but they are all separate. As Ms. Benton Rogers said, “They all stand alone, with different characters. The parallel Wytchfae magical macrocosm is the entwining factor.”

 

Mind Your Goddess is FREE with Kindle Unlimited or 99 cents to purchase. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076XX9TPJ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Though you can read the Wytchfae books in any order, my recommendation is to start with Book One: Wytchfae Runes and find out what happens when Kelly falls for the Viking Ingvar.

Wytchfae Runes Blurb:

 Wytchfae Kelly O’Day’s job is to transition ghosts to the afterlife. The last thing she expects is to fall for one of them — sexy Viking Ingvar Hrothson.

Cursed to roam the earth as a restless spirit, Ingvar is hell bent to destroy the sorceress responsible. His war plan doesn’t include spending time with a bewitching flesh and blood woman like Kelly.

With their attraction approaching supernova, the couple must battle sinister forces and master manipulators of the unholy dark arts. More than lives are at stake. Will hell give them a chance?

 

The second book, Guardian of the Deep, is another of my favorites.

Guardian of the Deep Blurb:

 Forbidden love in the fae realm…
The Succubus Layla has one job: to seduce dreaming men. Although emotional attachments are strictly prohibited, Layla has powerful feelings for the Guardian of the Deep.
Samael is a dark lord charged with maintaining order in his submerged domain. The Guardian is enamored of Layla, and they fuel their passion in his undersea home.
With forces stirring against them, the fae world becomes dangerous. Samael suggests a hideaway in the human dimension – a 1950 Montana ranch. Layla is thrilled. They can escape the threat looming over them, and she can indulge her cowboy fantasies with Samael.
When Samael disappears before their rendezvous, Layla’s dream turns to a nightmare. Peril is closer than ever. She must call on her deepest reserves and risk everything for the truth to come out. Is her love strong enough to hold the bond with her Guardian of the Deep?

 Here’s my review:

When Layla, a succubus, becomes too involved with Sammael (Sam), Guardian of the Deep, someone decides to punish them. Their planned vacation to Montana becomes a nightmare for Layla when she finds Sammael there ahead of her with no memory of her or his life. He thinks he is a rancher who has spent his entire life on his land. Layla hires on at the ranch as his housekeeper to remain close to him and help him regain his memory.

Guardian of the Deep Wytchfae 2 is a stand-alone novel. The characters and plot are different from the ones in the other books, so you could read each book without having read any of the others. The continuity comes from the Wytchfae parallel dimensions containing magical creatures including witches, demons, goddesses, and mortals with fae blood. You can pick up any book for a complete story. However, you won’t want to read just one. Once you step into this alternate reality, you won’t want to leave until you have finished all the sagas, when you must exit sadly, until the release of the next enchantment.

I loved this book, which combined many elements dear to my heart. Sammael is a merman in his water form. Although the reader doesn’t get to see him in his other form for long, the glimpse is intriguing, and I hope Ms. Benton Rogers writes another book featuring him in his merman shape.

I also love horses and ranches. Most of the book takes place on the ranch. The incongruous idea of a beautiful succubus trying to cope with life on a hardscrabble ranch makes for some delightfully humorous scenes and conflicts between Layla and Sam.

Since Layla is a succubus, sex is an important part of the story. The artful love scenes portray just enough detail to add heat without sacrificing the romance.

Guardian of the Deep is a quick read that combines romance, paranormal and western themes. I would not have predicted the blend would produce such a tasty cocktail. Yum—something enjoyable for almost everyone.

Wytchfae list:

  1. Wytchfae – Runes
  2. Guardian of the Deep
  3. Mind Your Goddess
  4. Time Singer
  5. Lord of Fire
  6. Demoness Dreams
  7. Soul Weaver (Coming Soon!)

 

All books available from Amazon.

Flossie Benton Rogers’ Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Flossie-Benton-Rogers/e/B009VJ60EG?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Follow Flossie Benton Rogers on Social Media

Website: https://flossiebentonrogers.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FlossieBentonRogersAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FrostFyre

 

Katherine Eddinger Smits writes spellbinding stories of mythical, mystical, magical fantasy and romance. Sign up for her quarterly newsletter and receive a free short story exclusively for subscribers. Newsletters always include, contests, freebies and fun. http://katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com/

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Holiday Book Blizzard and Gift Card

Ho, Ho, Ho, it’s time for a Pen Dames Christmas Giveaway. So easy to enter: follow the link, select the number of your favorite song, and comment with 1,2,3, or 4. If the song you like best isn’t listed, write it in. One lucky reader will win signed copies of 5 books by award winning authors + a $25 gift card.

https://www.facebook.com/events/502698517002683/

@Pen Dames

#Giveaway #Romance

Dark Warriors cover

Dark Warriors by Flossie Benton Rogers ~ Valiant protectors and the bewitching women who love them across eternity

 

Mercy of the Moon Cover

Mercy of the Moon by Jennifer Taylor ~ Midwife Maggie Wilson vows to find the person who almost murdered her sister

 

Taming the Lyon

Taming the Lyon by Loretta Rogers ~ No one had prepared her for Africa’s beauty and dangers

 

A Heart Made for Love

A Heart Made for Love by Linda Tillis ~ The heart will find a way

 

WaterDreams_SM (1)

Water Dreams by Katherine Eddinger Smits ~ The mermaid myth transformed into a contemporary romance

Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/502698517002683/

Talons ~ Lori Titus

Welcome to the Katherine Eddinger Smits blog. This post continues the series featuring authors of A Darker Shade of Evil: A Demon and Devil Anthology. Many thanks to Muffy Wilson for compiling them.

 

Lorie Titus Talons Cover

BLURB:

Something has been robbing the dead from their graves. Sure that this isn’t the work of night creatures who usually feed off the living, Eli reaches out to Sharon. They have a past. She’s a powerful witch, and he’s sure that she can help him. 

Will the shadowy organization Eli works for help them? Or are Eli and Sharon just the latest prey in a game where the darkest powers have the advantage?

Lorie Titus

USA Today Bestselling Author and Bram Stoker Award Finalist Lori Titus is a Californian with an affinity for speculative fiction. Her work explores mysticism and reality, treading the blurred line between man and monster. She thrives on coffee and daydreams when she isn’t writing or plotting out her next story. 

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Available ***N*O*W*** in A Darker Shade of Evil: A Demon and Devil Anthology https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TK6LLCP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

☆.•°*°•.☆ Lock in the 1.99 price before it goes up! ☆.•°*°•.☆

or
Get it *F*R*E*E* on Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TK6LLCP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Featuring USA Today and International Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors and they’re coming in like Demons!

A Darker Shade of Evil Cover

★✩★Authors Featured in this Collection★✩★

Khardine Gray – USA Today Bestselling Author
Alone In The Dark
Dariel Raye – USA Today Bestselling Author
The Devil Upstairs
Lori Titus – USA Today Bestselling Author
Talons
Muffy Wilson – USA Today Bestselling Author
Succubus Unleashed
Keta Diablo – Bestselling Author
I Spy A Demon
Marilyn Harlow – Bestselling Author
Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend
Gracen Miller – Bestselling Author
Hex
Michelle Scott – Bestselling Author
The Demon’s Prisoner
Katherine Smits – Bestselling Author
Siren Descending

Like your romance a little on the devilish side?

Deadly demons, diabolical devils and other creatures of the night will hold you spellbound in this one-of-a-kind anthology. In a world of dark delights, they trifle in forbidden passion, suspense, and kick-ass battles. It’s all right here for you in this captivating urban fantasy and paranormal romance anthology!

Brought to you by USA Today and International Bestselling Authors, these stories of sexy alpha heroes and heroines will keep you turning the pages. Devils, demons and their lethal hunters will draw you into their conquests, twisted deceptions, scorching heat, and yes, even love.
Don’t miss A Darker Shade of Evil! One-click now will claim your copy!

* Heat Rating: Spicy to Erotic Romance
* No Cliffhangers
* Happily-Ever-After or Happy-For-Now

Warning: If you like demonic games, angelic interventions, and thrilling temptations, you’ll love this demons and devils romance collection of twisted proportions in A Darker Shade of Evil.

Get it *F*R*E*E* on Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TK6LLCP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

or buy for $1.99 for a limited time.

 

Bio Pic

Katherine Eddinger Smits grew up wanting to be a mermaid but discovered to her dismay this was not a viable career choice. Instead, she became a clinical social worker and helped veterans and their families.

Now she brings social work training and experience to her stories of mermaids, mages and magical creatures. Within the context of fantasy and romance, her novels explore real-life issues of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, and fears and phobias. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her books.

She is the author of four paranormal romances.

Katherine and her husband divide their time between Florida and West Virginia. Their children and granddaughters live in Virginia.

Besides writing, Katherine is a blogger, mom, Mimi, dressage rider, and clog dancer.

Sign up for her quarterly newsletter and receive a free short story! Newsletters always include contests, freebies and fun.  http://katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com/

 

Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend ~ Interview with author Marilyn Harlow

Welcome to the Katherine Eddinger Smits blog. This post continues the series of interviews with authors of A Darker Shade of Evil. Many thanks to Muffy Wilson for compiling these interviews.

Tagline 1:  A kiss on the hand may be continental, but demons are a girls’ best friend.

Tagline 2: Is love’s truth something to be cherished or feared?

Marilyn Harlow Demons Are A Girl's Best Friend Cover

BLURB:

When Rita Hawthorne hikes to the Hollywood sign as she contemplates her future in film, she meets stunning and persuasive Leo Baph. As they look over the city after sunset, her wishes are kissed into the darkness and carried unto the demon’s ears. 

Rita’s success happens overnight, and she credits Leo—her muse. They cohabitate happily for several years until Leo simply disappears one day. The only proof Rita has of his existence is a piece of parchment with some Latin words written on it—and a smudge of blood appearing on a line at the bottom. 

As time marches on, Rita remains youthful and vibrant, starring in roles for much younger women. Until one day, she notices crow’s feet. She manages to throw herself into her work for several more years before she realizes her career is on the downswing—and she misses Leo. 

Against her better judgment, a middle-aged Rita trudges up the foothills to the Hollywood sign once again. There, she wishes for Leo to return to her, staring over the city after sunset. 

And he does—but he doesn’t look the way she remembered. 

After learning of Leo’s true self, can Rita allow herself to love him?

INTERVIEW WITH MARILYN HARLOW:

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

My favorite fictional hero is still Wrath, from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. He’s  a true leader, ya feel me? Really though, Beth is one lucky chick. I’d totally climb in his black satin sheets. I could probably put Roland Deschain, from Stephen King’s The Stand in this category, too. 

What is your most treasured possession?

My grandmother’s pearls. My mom’s diamond stud that I wear all the time. The quilt made from my mom’s T-shirts. 

Which living person do you most admire?

That’s a super hard question. I admire different people for different reasons. I admire my 6-12th grade band director for his dedication. I admire Liz Crowe for her tenacity. I admire Maddy James for her positive attitude. 

What is your greatest fear?

The progression of RA.

Who or what has been the greatest love of your life?

Mr. VampBard is one of them. He ‘gets’ me and puts up with my yammering about characters and plots. I also have to say that Oldest, Middle, and Youngest are my heart and soul. Even though they’re grown. 

What is your greatest regret?

Not being able to spend more time with my kids. I worked too much when they were growing up. Being a teacher meant putting in tons of hours—and I worked in a foster care facility, so I didn’t have summers off. 

If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?

Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia or Meg in A Wrinkle in Time. They were both brave and learned how to use their talents. 

Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

The Great Gatsby. I’ve re-read it yearly since 1985. The dichotomy between the decadent opulence of the 1920s and Gatsby and Daisy’s lifestyles in sharp contrast to their happiness always chokes me up. 

What is your favorite journey?

The Hero’s Journey, of course. Joseph Campbell brilliantly narrated it. 

What is your favorite quotation?

Write drunk, edit sober. –Ernest Hemingway.

Dogs or Cats?

Cats. I have three—two of them are black. 

What do you most value in a friend?

Space.

What quality do you most admire in a woman and/or a man?

Honesty and compassion.

Which book that you’ve written is your favorite?

Authors don’t have favorites—all their books are their children.

What are your writing quirks?

I am a methodical planner—but my plans always go off the rails. 

What do you do as a hobby?

Knitting and I’m dabbling in digital graphics. Learning Photoshop is proving to be a challenge.

Which are your three favorite books?

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

The Stand by Stephen King

Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

Music or images. Sometimes, I’ll be listening to a song and an entire plot lands smack-dab in the middle of my brain. Other times, I’ll be perusing a stock photo site and a story smacks me upside the head. 

What is your Writing Routine?

Choose music. Re-read previous scene (without editing!). Read notes for the scene I need to write. Write the scene. 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It depends. Emotional scenes exhaust me. Most others energize me.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

I can write a novella in a week—first draft, around 30K words. The editing takes three or four days before I can safely send it off to my editor. 

Do you have any Social Platform Links for your friends, fans, and readers?

Website: https://www.deelylah.com 

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeelylah/

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Deelylah-Mullin/e/B01LZ0HJPF/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VampBard 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vampbard/ 

MailChimp Landing Page (newsletter sign up) https://mailchi.mp/21f5717a8fac/deelylah 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/deelylah-mullin  

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/happily.ever.after.romance.syndicate/

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Depends on the book. Before starting Distilled, I researched bourbon-making for about a week. I decided what elements I wanted to include, roles different characters could have, and how I would create the world around those things. Sometimes, I’ll research as I’m writing. Like, Google Earth is a spectacular way to see a neighborhood for Contemporary. 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It turned me into a plotter. I used to think I could pants my way through any form of writing—after all, that’s how I did things in college and got As in my creative writing classes. But, when working on something like a novel, there’s too many balls in the air to not plan at least a little. Much different from writing short stories.

What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?

Having money to get things done. Cover art and editing are NOT cheap. I work a #dayjob as an editor for a literacy non-profit and that pays for my writing habit.

What are you working on now?

I’m on a paranormal kick. I have started using my paranormal pen name, Marilyn Harlow, to keep the divide with retailers. But, Marilyn won’t have her own social media—it’s not a secret that Deelylah = Marilyn.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I’ve always been a fan of Marilyn Monroe, and her movie, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” popped into my head while I was contemplating things for this book. I think it’s going to turn into a series. 

What inspires you to write?

I write every day. Sometimes, it’s a poem or song lyrics (with accompanying music) or it might be a chapter of a WIP. Maybe, if I’ve written a lot for work that day, I’ll create some other type of art. 

How did you conduct your research for Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend?

  Hrm. This one is a toughy. I’ve had the concept for this book for a while. I’ve looked up images to inspire me, but haven’t had to do much research, overall. 

What would your friends say is your best quality?

I’m honest and creative. Those qualities have made for some interesting conversations.

Are reader reviews important to you?

I read reviews and let them inform my writing moving forward. And, Amazon’s algorithms—Necessary evil of the business.

What do you do when you don’t write?

I do some yarn work—either knitting or crocheting. I paint a bit. And, we have the never-ending home improvement project. 

Tell us about your other books?

I have a series—Teachers’ Lounge—that is about a fictional town in Michigan. The school has a ton of teachers, apparently, even though the town is pretty small. There is a historical/paranormal/zombie story, which is the origin story for the town. Most of the titles are contemporary, but a few are paranormal. I started writing this series on a dare from a former colleague (I’m a retired teacher—but I now work for a literacy non-profit). 

Distilled is a stand-alone, and it’s set in Liz Crow’s Love Brothers world. It’s about distilling bourbon. The main characters have issues, and there’s a crazy ex on the loose. What couldn’t you love?

Manhattan Melody is the first title of the On Tour series. Three band members are rising stars, but we see their humble beginnings in Manhattan Melody. As well as Leo and Mia’s story. Leo is the bass player for the band and Mia is an adjunct college professor who bartends to make ends meet. 

Spark is the second title in the Mercy General series I co-write with Paige Prince. It’s about a firefighter who gets involved with the widow of a police officer—and her 5-year-old son. It’s a hard topic, but the end is TOTALLY worth it. 

A Howling Good Time is available in Romance Collections Guardian anthology. It’s a werewolf shifter romance, and they’re looking for the virus that causes the shift. 

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be?

I have three kids and three step kids—I’m a modern-day Carol Brady—yet, I never had an Alice. I want my goddamn Alice! 

Are there any nuggets of wisdom you can impart to aspiring writers?

Don’t overthink it. Sit your butt in the chair and write. You can plot or you can pants—or a combination of the two—but don’t put it off. I believe everyone has a story to tell. 

Oh, and get a good editor. They make all the difference.

What are your Top Writing Tips?

  1. Have a good editor.
  2. Make sure your covers look professional. 
  3. Have a plan.

Finally, what are we likely to find in YOUR nightstand? 

On my side table, there’s an alarm clock, my cell phone, and my watch. Maybe a stray hairclip I forgot to take out before my head hit the pillow. 

Deelylah Mullin

Marilyn Harlow is Deelylah Mullin–but Marilyn writes the paranormal stuff. 


Deelylah is the empty-nesting author of contemporary romance. 

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Get Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend
in
A Darker Shade of Evil

A Limited Edition Devil & Demon Fantasy Collection Kindle Edition

Available ***N*O*W*** https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TK6LLCP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

☆.•°*°•.☆ Lock in the 1.99 price before it goes up! ☆.•°*°•.☆

or
Get it *F*R*E*E* on Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TK6LLCP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Featuring USA Today and International Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors and they’re coming in like Demons!

★✩★Authors Featured in this Collection★✩★
Khardine Gray – USA Today Bestselling Author
Alone In The Dark
Dariel Raye – USA Today Bestselling Author
The Devil Upstairs
Lori Titus – USA Today Bestselling Author
Talons
Muffy Wilson – USA Today Bestselling Author
Succubus Unleashed
Keta Diablo – Bestselling Author
I Spy A Demon
Marilyn Harlow – Bestselling Author
Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend
Gracen Miller – Bestselling Author
Hex
Michelle Scott – Bestselling Author
The Demon’s Prisoner
Katherine Smits – Bestselling Author
Siren Descending

Like your romance a little on the devilish side?

Deadly demons, diabolical devils and other creatures of the night will hold you spellbound in this one-of-a-kind anthology. In a world of dark delights, they trifle in forbidden passion, suspense, and kick-ass battles. It’s all right here for you in this captivating urban fantasy and paranormal romance anthology!

Brought to you by USA Today and International Bestselling Authors, these stories of sexy alpha heroes and heroines will keep you turning the pages. Devils, demons and their lethal hunters will draw you into their conquests, twisted deceptions, scorching heat, and yes, even love.
Don’t miss A Darker Shade of Evil! One-click now will claim your copy!

* Heat Rating: Spicy to Erotic Romance
* No Cliffhangers
* Happily-Ever-After or Happy-For-Now

Warning: If you like demonic games, angelic interventions, and thrilling temptations, you’ll love this demons and devils romance collection of twisted proportions in A Darker Shade of Evil

Get it *F*R*E*E* on Kindle Unlimited https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TK6LLCP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

or buy for $1.99 for a limited time

 

Bio Pic

Katherine Eddinger Smits grew up wanting to be a mermaid but discovered to her dismay this was not a viable career choice. Instead, she became a clinical social worker and helped veterans and their families.

Now she brings social work training and experience to her stories of mermaids, mages and magical creatures. Within the context of fantasy and romance, her novels explore real-life issues of self-acceptance, body image, relationship dynamics, and fears and phobias. Mystery, suspense, and a little sex add spice to her books.

She is the author of four paranormal romances.

Katherine and her husband divide their time between Florida and West Virginia. Their children and granddaughters live in Virginia.

Besides writing, Katherine is a blogger, mom, Mimi, dressage rider, and clog dancer.

Sign up for her quarterly newsletter and receive a free short story! Newsletters always include contests, freebies and fun.  http://katherineeddingersmits.weebly.com/