Category Archives: guest blogger

Summer’s Growth (by Tina Gayle)

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‘In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass…’

Now I know there are those who’ve called me ‘compulsive repulsive reading’. Compulsive repulsive my aunt’s fanny. Are you enjoying yourselves here, or aren’t you? Is it the same old thing every time? No it is not. And, once again, to prove the point:

Tina Gayle. Summer’s Growth. Contemporary romance with paranormal elements. A fabulous book I’d like to share with you. Nothing to do with erotic. All the ingredients for the type of read that’ll keep your behind riveted on the sofa till your bladder advises you otherwise. And even then…

For more about the plot:

‘Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it’s time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.’

Ready for a literary apéritif?

 

Mattie walked to the end of the table and sat across from him. Dread threatened like a storm on the horizon. She surveyed both sides of the table. None of the other council members were in attendance.

Mattie wiped her sweaty palms along the length of her thighs. What did he want? Jonathan didn’t usually hold a one-on-one meeting in this setting. Normally, they met in her office upstairs.

The muscles in her stomach jerked.

“In concise statement of the facts as I see them,” Jonathan spoke without preamble. “We have found your replacement, and we need to address the issue of your future.”

Her fears were relieved as to the topic of today’s meeting. She decided to address a number of other issues that should be discussed before her future. “Shouldn’t we wait until Amber Harrison accepts the job?”

“No.”

Startled, Mattie blinked. “Why?”

“Because no matter the outcome, you will still be replaced,” Jonathan declared.

“Yes, but what if Amber doesn’t work out?” For days, she’d speculated on how to approach this subject. “My nephew, Josh Clarkston is a lawyer. He’d make an excellent keeper.”

“No,” Jonathan’s rough voice commanded. “The wisest council will not be misled into offering such an important post to such an unworthy candidate. His character lacks the necessary virtues to accomplish the tasks we require of our keeper.

“As for your sister, Cynthia Clarkston, she never speaks of us without evidence of malice. We find no cause to reward her for her gum and insolence.” The rigid set of Jonathan’s jaw indicated he refuse to budge on the matter. “Like a Redcoat, she only wants what she can get from us. Her son has grown into a bad egg.”

“But…” Her stomach grumbled, mirroring her distress.

“Mattie.” His tone lower, he shook his head. “Many hours have been spent debating the matter. You’ve been a loyal subject since the age of fifteen, and you’ve paid your dues to your family. We hornswoggled you out of your youth. It’s time for you to relinquish control.” An indulging note bled through his words. “No one will ever be good enough to replace you.”

“Yes, but…”

Trust us child to find a soul who will honor your position. Nothing will remove your fears until you can reclaim your life’s mission and enjoy the rest of your days on earth.”

“But what if Amber doesn’t like it here? She’s a young college student from sunny California. Why would she move to Ohio where it’s cold? Even in the summer, we don’t have beautiful weather. The rain can last for days.”

“There is no dispute,” Jonathan growled. “Amber is a Winston. She longs to live here.”
“But you don’t get it. There’s no guarantee. Josh has lived here all his life. He’ll do a good job.” Mattie wished Jonathan could see her point. Things might not turn out like he’d planned.

“Besides Cynthia will be deeply hurt when she finds out everything is under the control of a stranger instead of her son. She won’t understand.”

“The Council’s point exactly. Cynthia cares only for gold, not for others. It’s best for the family to have someone else as the keeper.”

“The Council’s point exactly. Cynthia cares only for gold, not for others. It’s best for the family to have someone else as the keeper.”

The havoc this decision would cause in Mattie’s life washed bitter bile through her mouth. She swallowed, hard.

 

Summer’s Growth: Money and love. Violence, murder and mystery…
As I keep saying: normality? Where’s that, when it’s at home? And I thought my family was complicated! How can it be otherwise, when families are made up of individuals like us? How can our societies be otherwise, when made up of families like ours? How can the world be otherwise, being home to the societies we breed? I said the societies we breed, not the societies we need… Normality is elsewhere and you know what? Not a f***ing soul lives there. Okay, I’ll stop being ‘compulsive repulsive’ and get back to the Winston Estate.

Read more here : http://www.tinagayle.net/SGchapter.html
Buy Summer’s Growth  here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B8VXGLK

and what about some of Tina’s other titles:

CFO’s Affair:
Four women. One fatal car wreck. Everyone’s lives changed…

Sylvia Donovan is emotionally wounded from the unexpected death of her husband and still haunted by their last conversation: his request for a divorce and his confession of love for another woman. Her husband gone, her only daughter off to college, Sylvia faces the challenges of learning to live alone and move on with her life.

Vince Wilshire, enchanted with Sylvia, is more than willing to do what it takes to capture the heart of the hurting and untrusting Sylvia.

Can he help her forget the past and make her believe in love again?

Youthful Temptations:
Single again, Linda Clayton is ready to let loose and have some fun. Jilted at a party, she met a younger man, Vaughn Reagan. He has an active imagination and allures her into his life by tempting her with seductive games. 

Vaughn is thrilled to find a woman who doesn’t want children. He offers Linda a job so he can spend his days with her. Now, if he could only convince her to forget their age difference and enjoy the nights in his arms.

 

How to woo a reluctant bride (by Lyndi Lamont)

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When I first learnt that Lyndi Lamont was a librarian, I thought; that’s my kind of woman! Hélène, my third wife, was a blockhead. I don’t think she’s ever read a book in her entire life. She thinks she’s smart, but a person’s face’ll always tell you if they’re bright or not.

Take a look at her on the book cover. She’s got something! She’s bright alright. Tilt of the chin: challenging. Hands on her waist… and the time it’ll take you to open all those buttons to get at her soft flesh…

Love the title. Hands up all those who think ‘How to woo’ is a brilliant opening? Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re thinking about sex practically all the time, aren’t we? They’ll slip a suggestion of it in anywhere to sell almost anything nowadays   (barring pet food, for now…), and not because we’re a bunch of pervs. No. Simply because it’s a natural need we suppress most of the time, but instead of making us civilized, it’s led us to morph into a pack of uptight brutes doing horrible things to each other to replace the one thing we should be doing so we stay balanced and think straight. But I’m yapping too much. Again. I’m not? Well!

How to Woo a Reluctant Bride. A steamy romance. Here’s the summary:
London, June 1885. A marriage of convenience, nothing more…until darkly handsome Evan Channing and demure Lydia Blatchford meet. The rules are simple for an arrangement such as theirs. There should be no misunderstanding, no illusions of anything more. But the rules are about to change…

 

She broke off at the injured look on his face. “Forgive me, but surely you understand this marriage was never my preference.”
He turned away from her and ran a hand through his hair. “Yes, I know, but I hoped you had become resigned to it.”
“I have. At least I have tried to be,” she said, the words tumbling out of her mouth. “That’s why I think it best just to plunge ahead. Once the banns have been read thrice, we can wed almost immediately.”
He turned back, a frown still marring his forehead. “Will that give your mother enough time to plan?”
She shrugged. “All I need is a new gown.”
“But won’t society think it odd we married in such haste?”
She looked him in the eye. “Let me make one thing clear. I do not give a fig for what society thinks. If you supposed you were marrying a social butterfly, let me banish that notion right now.”
He smiled at her. “Harry said you were sensible, but this surprises me. I’m happy to agree to a short engagement.” He stepped closer, towering over her. “The sooner I can make you mine, the better.”
Her heart pounded and her breath caught as he lowered his head and touched his lips to hers for but a second before backing away. She drew in a deep breath. Her first kiss and it had been over almost before it was begun. She didn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed.
“Shall we go inside and discuss the wedding plans with your parents?”
“Not yet. There is something else I’d like to say.” It was now or never.
“Yes, my dear, what is it?”
She licked her lips then plunged ahead. “I know how these things work. Arranged marriages, that is. I won’t expect fidelity from you.”
His shocked expression surprised her. “Is that what you think, Lydia? That I’m marrying you with the intention of cheating on you?”
“Perhaps not now,” she said. “But in a few years. It’s not as if ours is a love match. I won’t cut up a fuss if you decide to take a mistress. As long as you are discreet.”
“How very… sophisticated of you,” he said, his tone dry enough to parch a desert.
She took a deep breath before continuing. “And once I’ve produced the requisite heir and spare, I assume I’ll be free to seek my pleasure elsewhere.”
The thunderous look on his face startled her and she stepped back.
“You will do no such thing,” he said fiercely, reaching for her. “Our union may not be a love match now, but I fully intend to see it turns into one.”
Before she could say a word, he pulled her into his embrace, trapping her arms between them as his encircled her shoulders and waist. Covering her mouth with his, he kissed her with a heady combination of passion and anger. Her resistance crumbled in the face of his onslaught. She clutched at his lapels and returned his kiss, even parting her lips when his tongue probed them. Overwhelmed by the sensations his lips provoked, she let her eyes drift shut as she clung to him.
When he let her go, he was still visibly upset. “There will be no more talk of infidelity. Have I made myself clear, Lydia?”

 

There’s only one way to know if the darkly handsome Evan Channing stuns his betrothed, Lydia Latchford, in ways you’ve never even thought of yet. I’ll tell you one thing, though: his bedtime reading is the Kama Sutra… And by the sound of things, his bride-to-be isn’t that demure after all. There’s a good read waiting for you, no doubt about that!

99c is all it’ll cost to get your copy of How To Woo A Reluctant Bride at:
Amazon   Barnes & Noble   iTunes   Kobo   Smashwords

Find, follow, like and share Lyndi online at:
http://www.lyndilamont.com
http://www.facebook.com/LyndiLamont
https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont
http://www.lyndilamont.com/blog

It wouldn’t be gentlemanly of me to ask you, Lyndi, if you’ve personally worked your way through all the positions in the Kama Sutra. But I bet I’m not the only one who’s dying to know…

Dawnflight by Kim Headlee

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As a man of taste, I like a good read now and then. Helps me flee my world. Reorder my thoughts. A man I know and respect – believe me, there are few – once told me: don’t just read the same genre all the time. If you’ve finished a sci-fi book, make the next one a historical novel. And so on.

Kim Headlee. Her synopsis pulled me in, so now I’ve got a new read:

‘Gyan is a Caledonian chieftainess by birth, a warrior and leader of warriors by training, and she is betrothed to Urien, a son of her clan’s deadliest enemy, by right of Arthur the Pendragon’s conquest of her people. For the sake of peace, Gyan is willing to sacrifice everything…perhaps even her very life, if her foreboding about Urien proves true.

Roman by his father, Brytoni by his mother, and denied hereditary rulership of his clan because of his mixed blood, Arthur is the supreme commander of the northern Brytoni army. The Caledonians, Scots, Saxons, and Angles keep him too busy to dwell upon his loneliness…most of the time.

When Gyan and Arthur meet, each recognize within the other their soul’s mate. The treaty has preserved Gyan’s ancient right to marry any man—but Arthur does not qualify. And the ambitious Urien, Arthur’s greatest political rival, shall not be so easily denied. If Gyan and Arthur cannot prevent Urien from plunging the Caledonians and Brytons back into war, their love will be doomed to remain unfulfilled forever.’

Good, isn’t it? To the right there’s an excerpt. For those who’d like to know a bit more about the author:

Kim comes from Seattle but now lives on a farm in Virginia. She’s also a screenwriter and she’s working on some pretty impressive writing projects.

Dawnflight’s being featured in the Eggcerpt Exchange. I’ve found a few other books to add to my list and I’ll be sharing them with you here. Cos I’m a nice bloke, aren’t I?

 

*

Gyan let Arthur initiate the attack. While advancing to meet the blow, she stumbled, fell, and rolled to her stomach. As expected, he quickly moved in to claim the victory. The crowd cheered. But before she could feel the prickle of his sword on her neck, she twisted aside and hooked his legs with hers. Luck favored her; with a startled yelp, and equally startled noises from their audience, he went down. She scrambled to her feet and pinned him under the point of her sword. Amid the overall roar of disappointment, she could pick out phrases like “Trickery!” and “Not fair!” But the taunts didn’t bother her; victory had never tasted sweeter! Her only regret was that Ogryvan and Per and the rest of her clan couldn’t savor it with her.

Studying Arthur for a reaction, her grin soured. For several seconds, he stared at the sky as though stunned; whether physically or mentally, she couldn’t tell. Her concern rose as she wondered if she had injured him. Finally, he shook his head and attempted to sit up, but her sword barred his way.

“I concede the match, Chieftainess.” He released his sword and waved his open hand. “I won’t try anything unique. You have my word. Thank God my enemies aren’t half as devious as you are.” His grin could have stopped the sun in its course…and it was having an arresting effect on Gyan’s heart as well. “But I wouldn’t advise using that move in battle. Much too risky.”

“Oh. Yes, I—I know.” Chiding herself for how silly she must sound, she sheathed her sword and thrust out her hand. He tugged off his gloves and accepted her unspoken offer, gripped her forearm, and hauled himself up.

Pain stabbing her arm forced a strangled gasp from her throat. He shifted his grip to her hand and gently turned her arm to expose the underside. A long cut lay perilously close to one of the veins, seeping blood. He traced the vein lightly with a fingertip.

“When did I do this?” His voice was a hoarse whisper.

Staring at the cut, she wondered the same thing. Probably during their initial clash, though she really had no idea. She shrugged. Even that motion made her wince.

“Chieftainess, I didn’t mean to—” A stricken look shattered his bearing. He squeezed her hand. “God in heaven, Gyanhumara, I am so sorry.”

She wanted to reassure him that she’d be all right; the wound looked clean and wasn’t much deeper than a scratch. In fact, it was the least of her concerns. Enchanted by the sound of her name on his lips and mesmerized by his gaze, she felt the world seem to collapse to just the two of them. His face hovered over hers, his lips a handspan away. The warmth of his nearness had an intoxicating effect. She was acutely conscious of the tugging of her heart, as though it was trying to pull her closer to him. It wasn’t an unwelcome idea.

*

I said she was good, didn’t I? And I’m not the only one who thinks so:

4 ½ stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times (1st edition), November 1999

Winner (tie), 1999 Blue Boa Award for Excellence in Romantic Fiction, Historical category

Romantic Times Nominee—Best Innovative Historical Romance of 1999

Honorable Mention in SF Site’s Readers’ Choice Best SF & Fantasy Books of 1999

Finalist, 2000 Golden Quill, Historical category

Finalist, 2014-2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2nd edition), Religious Fiction category

You can get your copy via:

Kindle | Print | Audiobook | Nook | Kobo | iBooks

If you’re based in Europe, via:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BLNN6XS

https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00BLNN6XS

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B00BLNN6XS

https://www.amazon.it/dp/B00BLNN6XS

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B00BLNN6XS

You can follow Kim Headlee on:

Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

and/or subscribe to Kim’s blog:

kimheadlee.blogspot.com

Don’t ever let it be said that I only think of myself!