Saturday, March 29, 2014

Guest Author Nancy Jardine: Women’s Work is Never Done! @nansjar @KMNbooks #books #historical

KAREN: Welcome multi-published Nancy Jardine for her launch party fun! After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks was released on March 25, 2014! Do you have your copy yet? If not, please feel free to use the direct links below to grab a copy of this fantastic book, and while you're here, please enjoy a behind the scenes post from the author. Take it away, Nancy...

NANCY: Hi Karen, it’s lovely to be here during my launch tour for After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks (published 25th March 2014), Book 3 of my Celtic Fervour Series of Historical Romantic Adventures set in Celtic /Roman Britain AD 71-84.

Finding a brand new topic about Celtic/Roman Britain, for each of my tour stops, is quite challenging this time around, since it’s the third book of the series and I feel like I’ve talked about almost everything! However, I wanted to write somewhere about the different kinds of work done by my young Celtic female character, Ineda, who appears in Books 2 and 3. In 2014, many would feel her life choices were very restricted compared to what a woman can do now but in her time Ineda is actually at the forefront of innovative thinking, as you’ll find out…

In Book 2- After Whorl: Bran Reborn- Ineda is very frustrated. She can’t spend her days as a healer tending to the sick at Witton, the large Celtic settlement of roundhouses which the Roman Army has herded her people into, since the resident old crone won’t allow her position in the tribe to be threatened. Instead, Ineda needs to find a new task to keep her occupied. Most young women would be content to do the usual women’s work of tending to the hearthside, keeping the fire constantly lit in the roundhouse, which isn’t as simple as that sounds. Generally speaking, women would also be seeing to the preparation and cooking of food; weaving cloth on the upright loom; cleaning clothes and children- the Celts thought to have been quite particular about their hygiene. Some of the women may also have been formerly warrior trained, but the Roman Army encamped outside the settlement walls have forbidden the Celts to take up arms. She can’t properly train in weaponry, or keep practising even if she wanted to.

She detests the Romans, wants them gone from her land and vows to do anything she can to thwart their dominance. One way to make that happen is to help Venutius, King of the Brigante Celts, get enough knowledge of Roman infiltration to enable him to organise successful uprisings. Spying
means needing to be able to move around easily and that’s a dangerous undertaking when every step is monitored by a Roman patrol.

She persuades Bran, formerly known as Brennus of Garrigill, to help her trade leather, furs and specially produced cloth from goat wool (like cashmere) with the Roman scum since they will not exchange money with a woman. The organisation of their goods supply chain was quite innovative 2000 years ago, though, and Ineda finds she has a fine head for business. Unfortunately, their trading excuse is curtailed when they are set upon and Ineda disappears.

Book 3 finds Ineda learning new skills. Taken prisoner, and forced to become the personal slave of tribune Gaius Livanus Valerius of the Legio XX, Ineda learns how to exist in a Roman garrison fortress of some 5000 men with almost no women. She is quick to learn the Latin tongue that is the universal language of the fort and uses it to haggle for supplies at the small market stalls inside the fort. She listens and learns a lot about the Romans surrounding her and she finds a way to still…spy! 

Thank you for letting me share a little of Ineda with your readers today, Karen. Your readers can learn a lot more about my spirited Ineda in After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks which is available from Amazon.

Nancy Jardine’s novels can be found in paperback and ebook formats from:
Amazon UK author page    Amazon US author page  Crooked Cat Bookstore; Waterstones; Barnes and Noble; Smashwords; W. H. Smith; and other book retailers.

Nancy can be found at the following places:   Blog    Website   Facebook  Goodreads   About Me   LinkedIn   Twitter @nansjar  Google+ 

Nancy’s writing time is shared with regular grandchild minding duties, tending her large garden, ancestry research and leisure reading. She’s currently writing a family saga based mainly in Scotland, and Book 4 of her Celtic Fervour series. She’s delighted to be able to share that Topaz Eyes (Crooked Cat Publishing) an ancestral-based mystery, is a finalist for THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE Fiction 2014. After Whorl: Bran Reborn - Book 2 of her Celtic Fervour Series (Crooked Cat Publishing) has been accepted for THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2014- the most prestigious prize for historical fiction in the UK.


After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks 

by Nancy Jardine

Pursued by Rome.
AD73 Northern Britannia

After King Venutius’ defeat, Brennus of Garrigill – known as Bran – maintains a spy network monitoring Roman activity in Brigantia. Relative peace reigns till AD 78 when Roman Governor Agricola marches his legions to the far north. Brennus is always one step ahead of the Roman Army as he seeks the Caledon Celt who will lead all tribes in battle against Rome.

Ineda of Marske treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius, who is responsible for supplying Agricola’s northern campaigns. At Inchtuthil Roman Fort Ineda flees seeking fellow Brigantes congregating on the foothills of Beinn na Ciche.

Will the battle against the Romans bring Ineda and Brennus together again?


…She cursed her way over to another stall. Her idle life was so stifling. She needed some better occupation or she feared her head would burst open with frustration.
            Some days she could walk around the fortress and barely see anyone she recognised. This, however, was not one of those occasions. The centurion was not a man she could gain information from, but she knew others who were almost reliable in their consistency. Burying another groan, she prepared a smile for the man who acknowledged the departing centurion with a nod, the seniority a marginal, yet volatile thing.
            She had learned something of the levels of power in the legion. The centurion officially outranked the man who walked towards her, but the one who wore minimal armour did not think so. Tribune Valerius was rarely inclined to share any useful information with her but his secutore, Pomponius, was a blabbermouth when in a bad mood. She had learned how to extract useful information from the man, even though no one outside the garrison could transport messages for her, yet. She merely bided her time till she could do something about her lack of resources. Living in a fortress inhabited by more than five thousand soldiers did not make her task easy but she had not given up.
            Greeting Pomponius, she prepared to quiz the man, the expression on his face indicating great displeasure. That was good in that he was more inclined to divulge useful information when he was disgruntled. It was also bad because she always bore the brunt of his temper.
            Pomponius constantly bemoaned the fact that any triumph of Tribune Valerius reflected on the rate of his own progress and the lack of triumph on the part of his superior did the opposite. The secutore was ambitious and the tribune’s recent lack of advancement was a bone of contention.
            “Good day, Ineda. You are here to purchase something for Tribune Valerius?”
            There was no point in dissembling with Pomponius. He dealt with all the traders on the tribune’s behalf and regularly paid the accounts Tribune Valerius agreed to.
            “Yes. I need to acquire cloth for his bathing.”
            The short nod from Pomponius put a stamp of agreement on the purchase, though she would have argued otherwise if necessary.
            “Tribune Valerius is fair in his dealings to all, Ineda. I do hope you appreciate that?”
            She ignored the veiled threat and accepted the cut cloth from the trader.
            Pomponius bristled further. “I very much enjoy my task working for Gaius Livanus Valerius, I will have you know that, but there are times when he can be exasperating.”
            Ineda suppressed a smirk. Pomponius was indeed annoyed by some recent decision by Gaius. It was the perfect time to probe. “I am not certain of your meaning, Pomponius.”
            The huff of displeasure went along with serious squeezing of his eyebrows. “Tribune Valerius could be back in Rome by now, in a lucrative senior post. He has earned the transfer, yet chooses to remain in Britannia.”
            Tribune Valerius never shared such details with her. She knew full well that Pomponius was disgruntled because a relocation for the tribune might mean his own transfer to Rome.
            “Tell me again about these terms that tribunes serve?”
Link for YouTube Book trailer video:

Karen- thank you!

You're very welcome, Nancy. I wish you the very best success!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Karen Michelle Nutt's Spotlight on Wild Rose Press books #spotlight #rafflecopter #drawing @WildRosePress

Wednesdays are for showcasing some wonderful books from The Wild Rose Press! This is pure book promotion with 'to buy' links. You just might find a new favorite author! Also, this promo each week will have a rafflecopter for a chances to win prizes from The Wild Rose Press.

There are other fellow WRP authors doing this as well so check the end of this post for a list of some of them to visit. 

ISBN 1-60154-724-2

Read Excerpt
Read Reviews

Sleeping with the Lights On by Brenda Whiteside

Buy a copy at The Wild Rose Press

Sandra Holiday thinks she’s met the man to end her years of less than perfect choices; choices that not only derailed her travel-related career plans but also left her single and broke.

Carson Holiday, a Las Vegas country crooner with swoon-inducing good looks, spent his adult life pursuing a recording contract and love, never holding on to either. After eighteen years, he drops back into Sandra’s life, reigniting an attraction he can’t deny.
When Carson reappears, Sandra must choose again. Only this time, nothing’s as it seems. A secret admirer, a redheaded stalker, and an eccentric millionaire throw her on a dangerous path, with Carson her only truth.
As life confronts her with yet another turning point, will her decisions find her eternally sleeping with the lights on – or will she finally discover a way to turn them off?
I was born and raised in Arizona. Outside of Arizona, my travels had only gone as far as California, Nevada, and New Mexico until I married a man doing a stint in the Army. If the Army offered nothing else, we at least had the opportunity to see a good part of the world. And we found we liked moving around.
Our frequent moves continued into our civilian life. Our gypsy lifestyle has finally landed us in the northern prairies of Arizona. We're transitioning from city people to country folk. We share our rambling farmhouse with our son the farmer, his wife, my granddaughter and three dogs. Together, we’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.

I've been writing all of my life. Early on my writing consisted mostly of the captions on my artwork. I was certain my destiny was to be an artist. In high school, my writing took on new meaning with the psychedelic age, and writing became an art in itself with loopy scrolls and color. It wasn't until after college that I found more satisfaction filling a blank page with words than an empty canvas with color. I left my paints behind.
Although I didn’t start out to write romance, I’ve found all good stories have to involve complicated human relationships. I’ve also learned, no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or mystery, all my books revolve around those two facts.  Website

Gift of the Realm by Mackenzie Crowne
Beneath the fairie mound of Dunhaven’s Door, two dreamers meet their destiny…
After a decade of trying to outrun her debilitating dreams, Keely returns to Ireland to face the ancient ring of stones and the man haunting them. Within the stones, she embraces her fairie heritage and her mystical gifts. But can she trust the handsome Halfling who shares her dreams and holds her heart?
When Keely reappears in his life, Colin’s fairie blood threatens to gain the upper hand. Compelled to assist the lovely Halfling, he agrees to help her break the three-hundred-year-old curse on their families, but he’ll do it on his terms—as a black wolf.
Together, two Halflings can stand against any power, but only love can break the bonds of bitterness. Will Colin’s arrogant plan to outwit the King of the Fairies doom Keely for eternity? Or is their love enough to break the curse? 

Raised in the Boston area, Mac and her husband live in Phoenix where they raised two rambunctious little boys into wonderful men. Dirt bikes and ESPN are the order around their house, and life at the \'Testosterone Ranch\' more closely resembles one of today’s wacky reality shows, than yesterday’s \'Leave It To Beaver\'. The grandmother of two, Mac\'s love of the romance genre has been a lifelong affair. A bout with breast cancer strengthened her resolve to see her stories shared with others. As of today, Mac is a four-year survivor, living her dream.  Website


A Second Chance at Forever by JM Stewart

The Wild Rose Press

Recently divorced and working two jobs, Angela Lewis has no room in her life for love. Yet when her childhood crush finds her at the nightclub where she works as sexy stripper Candy Cane and expresses his interest, Angela can't resist. She only wants one night to live the fantasy her alter ego provides.

Alex McKinley is still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life, and one night with Candy is exactly what he needs. He gets more than he bargained for, however, when he discovers she's the little sister of his best friend. Suddenly little Angie's all grown up and driving him crazy.
The more time he spends with Angela, the more Alex finds himself falling for the woman she's become. She makes him want to live again. But can he convince her to take a chance on him?

JM Stewart pens passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. Her heroes are strong but sensitive. Nice guys are her idea of a fantasy. Her heroines are more Cinderella than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They’re real people, with real fears, emotions and problems. Website

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter to win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Wild Rose Press! 
Good Luck!!


Check out these websites for more TWRP book spotlights:
Vintage Vonnie 
JM Stewart

Monday, March 10, 2014

On St. Patrick's Day Everyone Is Irish! #readmeimirish @KMNbooks @Kemberlee @miriamnewman @dmtoft

Party with 14 authors on St. Patrick's Day! We'll be giving a away a Irish themed tales and the grand prize winner will receive a piece of the Emerald Island! Everyone is Irish on March 17th!

Line up:

Kemberlee Shortland - Shape of My Heart, book three Irish Pride Series
Deb Stover - Mulligan Stew, book one Mulligan series
Harry McGilloway - I Will Sing My Songs for You
Christy Nicholas - Ireland: A Guide to Hidden Ireland
Paula Martin - An Irish Inheritance
Miriam Newman - Deirdre
David Toft - The Cycles Turn, book one The Kyklos Trilogy
Alexis Harrington - The Irish Bride
Cathy Mansell - Shadow Across the Liffey/Her Father's Daughter
Bride Wade - Watchers, book one Matt Costello Mysteries
Carolan Ivey - Wildish Things
Cathryn Le Veque - Black Sword
Pat McDermott - A Band of Roses
Karen Michelle Nutt- Lost in the Mist of Time

Monday, March 3, 2014

Islands for Sale, Cheap by Naomi Bellina @TheGoddessNaomi @KMNbooks @HarlequinBooks

KAREN: Please welcome Naomi Bellina! She's pens saucy, sinful and sweet tales. So what's your pleasure? Naomi is sure to have a story just for you!

Today on KMN Books, she's here to chat about her new release and the behind the scene adventure of creating her exciting tale! Enjoy!

Islands for Sale, Cheap by
Naomi Bellina 

Writing Her Wild Protector was a lot of fun because I got to do a whole bunch of research. Fun research. Tara and Marshall go to an island in the Bahamas and I had to figure out which one. If you're like me, when you hear Bahamas, you think of Nassau, Freeport, maybe Abaco. There are actually a lot of small islands in the area and you can buy one. Yes! Your very own island. Think of what you could do with that.

Some of them come complete with building, marinas, docks, electricity, rainwater and septic tanks, everything you need to start your vacation in paradise. Some of them only come with a beach, vegetation and a beautiful view. Your choice, depending on your budget. Start buying those lottery tickets now!

After many (too many!) enjoyable hours perusing the real estate pages, I finally picked out my island, Pierre Island. I changed the name because, well, it's my book and I can do that. It was great to have this visual image as I wrote, though of course I altered a few things to fit the story. Now, I had to get my hero and heroine there.

Luckily, one of the women in my RWA group knows all about small airplanes and reminded me, my people couldn't just hop on a jet and fly into the local airport. Only certain islands in the Bahamas have airports and they can't all accommodate large planes. Then I did more research on boats and aircraft, which is the subject of another blog post.

If you have a few minutes, find a website with islands for sale and look around. It's always fun to dream!

Enjoy this excerpt from Her Wild Protector. It will be out March 3rd as part of the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Box set from HarlequinE, at a great price! Visit my website for updated buy links, and thank you for reading:

The boat finally pulled up to a scruffy-looking dock and Tara scrambled out of the craft, never so happy to see dry land in her life. She was so delighted to be standing on firm ground she paid little notice as Marshall hauled their luggage out of the boat and the vessel departed.
When the sound of the motor totally receded, the sudden stillness snapped her to attention.
She was alone, on what looked like a deserted island, with a strange man. A very strange man. Not far up a path she saw a small house and behind that, she could make out another one-story structure and what looked like an outbuilding. Other than that, there was nothing in view except nature.
Island fever set in. Tara had the overwhelming desire to jump up and scream for that demon boat to come back and get her. She would happily vomit all day to return to civilization.
Marshall peered at her over his sunglasses. “You look a little green. Are you still seasick?”
“I’m better. There isn’t a boat anywhere here, on the island?”
“No, there is no boat.”
“What if something happens and we need to leave suddenly?”
“I can call and a vessel will be here quickly. We’re perfectly safe. We have food, water, electricity and internet access. What are you so worried about?” He grabbed his suitcase and started walking.
Tara gripped her own and rolled it along the uneven path. “I don’t know you, I don’t know who or what this so-called government agency is and I don’t appreciate being dragged from my home to come here.”
Tara wasn’t a whiner and generally despised people who did, but right now she didn’t care. If Marshall thought she was going to be a quiet, passive girl who did whatever he told her to, he had another think coming.
They reached the first house and Marshall led them to the kitchen. He rolled his bag to a corner, then made a call from the phone on the wall.
“We’re here,” he announced to whoever was on the other end, then hung up. He took off his glasses and rubbed his forehead.
“What are you doing?” he asked her. Tara had plopped her suitcase on the floor and was frantically digging.
“I need to brush my teeth. Now.”
“Bathroom’s down that hall,” Marshall said, pointing the way.
She located her toothbrush and paste and gave her mouth a vigorous scrub. Better. Her oral hygiene complete, Tara went into the small living room and took a look around. The couch, loveseat and easy chair looked old but comfortable. There was a television and stereo, a bookcase, a small desk and a few nondescript pictures. Several shells and other knickknacks decorated the room but otherwise it looked as impersonal as a hotel suite. She plunked down into the chair and crossed her arms over her chest.
“Can I at least call someone and tell them where I am?” Her bout of nausea had left her cranky. Marshall sat at the desk, his laptop open. He turned toward her.
“Tara, I don’t think you’ve grasped the gravity of this situation. No, you can’t tell anyone where you are, you have to keep hidden and you have to stay with me. I’m your best shot at staying alive. If we don’t figure out how you’re able to see the Metamorphs’ other forms and reverse that process, the rogues will keep coming after you until you’re dead. Your life is in danger. What proof do you need besides being attacked by a vicious cat?”
“I’d like to meet someone else from DOSA. Someone normal.” The minute the words were out of her mouth, Tara regretted them. Marshall said nothing, but his jaw tightened and his lips compressed.
“Dr. Freeman will be here shortly to examine you. Will that suffice?” His tone was cold as an arctic breeze.
“I don’t like having my fate in someone else’s hands. I prefer to make my own decisions and I’m tired of you bossing me around.”
“And you know what? I’m tired of being your babysitter. I should be out hunting for Denzel. I could find him and convince him that if he doesn’t back off and keep the other rogues off our backs, we’ll make sure he never sees a dime of the money he’s supposed to get. Instead, I’m stuck keeping track of you and hiding out on this island.”
“Then just take me home and go find that big cat.”
“Those are not my orders. Besides, do you really want to go back to your apartment? Have another rogue break down your door?” Marshall rose and he went into the kitchen. He opened then slammed the refrigerator door closed.
“I wasn’t going to go to my house. I can stay at a hotel.” Her voice quivered, much to her disgust. Tara had really had enough of this arrogant man and his condescending attitude. She was tired, scared, and the thought of someone babysitting her was just too insulting.
“For how long? I know your funds are limited. What, you’re shocked we’re aware of this? I know you made a bad investment..." he began.
She leapt to her feet. That was the last straw.
"No, I didn't make a bad investment, my husband did. I made a bad decision, trusting him."
Marshall turned to her and his expression softened slightly. Maybe he could tell she was at the end of her rope. "We know a lot about you and so do the rogues. They'll find you wherever you are. This is where you'll be the safest and it's not the worst place in the world to spend time. Try to trust me, just a little bit. "
She stood glaring at him, her hands in fists. Anger and shame filled her heart, as it did whenever she thought about her last days with Karl. He'd assured her that the deli he wanted to sink money into was a winning proposition. The woman he'd partnered with knew what she was doing, he promised. But within six months all their money was gone and the creditors were knocking at the door.
Tara could have forgiven Karl for that. Everyone makes mistakes. What she could not overlook was coming home sick from work one day and finding her husband in bed with his ex-partner.
Tara had left him. The asshole had never even apologized, declaring the affair was her fault because she had been such a ball-buster and did not give him enough support. He'd carried the pathetic routine all through the divorce proceedings, and although they had little property left to fight over at that point, he'd ended up with most of it.
Trust him indeed. It would be a long while before she trusted any man again.
“Come on, I’ll show you to your bedroom. I need to work on the computer for a while, but then you can use it, if you’d like, as long as you don’t send out personal information. We have television and plenty of books here. Dr. Freeman will be along in a few hours.”
As soon as Tara saw the bed, an overwhelming desire to lie down washed over her. The sheets smelled freshly laundered, even from across the room. A light breeze blew through the open window and somewhere in the distance a bird chirped. She rolled her suitcase to a corner and let it fall with a thump.
“I think I’d like to take a nap,” she said.
“That’s a good idea. You know where the bathroom is, if you need to use it. There are towels on the shelf. Help yourself to anything else you need. You saw where the kitchen is located.” Marshall turned to leave. “I’m sorry I lost my temper. I know you didn’t ask to be put in this situation,” he said, his back to her. “I appreciate you working with me.” He closed the door gently behind him, and Tara’s last thought before sleep claimed her was that the view of her protector was as nice from the back as it was from the front.

Naomi lives in beautiful sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical calico cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets, but finds she is drawn to romance because her characters insist on canoodling, and sometimes even falling madly in love. So she lets them. Occasionally, however, they go to dark and strange places. She lets them do this also. Most of her stories will surprise  readers with unexpected twists and turns, because isn't that what makes life exciting?

Her interests include dancing, hula-hooping, drumming, and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play, have fun, and indulge in the pursuit of passion whenever possible. She hopes you enjoy her stories and would love to hear from you at naomibellina(at)live(dot)com.

Her motto:  Never pass up the opportunity to have an adventure!

Provocative tales of love, lust, passion and magic

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Once Upon A Word: READ AN EBOOK WEEK: MARCH 2 - 8

Once Upon A Word: READ AN EBOOK WEEK: MARCH 2 - 8:   EVERYONE LOVES A SALE  and FREEBIES are utterly FANTASTIC! Please take advantage of READ AN EBOOK WEEK to find bargains  and discounted finds!

I'm offering Eli: Warriors for the Light (paranormal/fallen angels/romance 
for FREE March 2 thru March 8, 2014
[Use Coupon Code RW100 during checkout] 

And a for 50% off... I'm offering Mr. O'Grady's Magic Box (sweet tale of second chances)

50% Off
[Use coupon code REW50 during checkout]