Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cupid Reads Mind Over Matter by S.J. Clarke


Cupid Reads Mind Over Matter by S. J. Clarke

A mother faces her worst nightmare when she discovers her missing daughter is scheduled to die in mere days.


Excerpt:

Rebecca swallowed her shame, remembering what happened the last time they were in this room together, the day Dan left. No excuse justified their behavior. Not the two bottles of wine they shared, not the news that the rest of Dan's team were already packed up and gone, and certainly not her grief. Closing her eyes couldn't block the memory of the anger in that first kiss, or the desperation in what followed. Her lack of inhibition in those moments still tormented her, pushing her toward another drink every day since then.
Dan shook his head. He kept his expression neutral, but the clenched jaw gave him away.
“What are you doing here, Rebecca?” He kept his voice low and controlled.
Rebecca squared her shoulders and met his accusing stare. “Whatever it takes to get through each day without my daughter.” She walked over and grabbed the glass from his hand. “This has nothing to do with anything. You're here to help me find Bree, not to judge me.”
He looked at her and the pity on his face pushed her back to the wall.

About The Author

S. J. Clarke has published over fifty articles as a columnist and regular contributor for a variety of lifestyle and human interest websites. She is a grateful member of the Writers' Community of Durham Region, and proud to sit on the Board of Directors for The Ontario Writer's Conference.

Sandra also co-authored Touretties, a touching tribute featuring testimonials from patients and and their loved ones living with Tourettes.

Mind Over Matter, released in November, 2011 through MuseItUp Publishing, is her first novel.

For more information visit S.J. Clarke on the web:


Buy Links


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cupid Reads Traps by Larion Wills

Traps, suspense with romance



Traps by Larion Wills


     Returning from war, Ward wanted as little to do with people as possible and retreated to the forest. As a park ranger in the 70s, he tolerated the people while protecting the animals. Avoiding people as much as possible, he wanted to take pictures, write a book on the wild life, and stop the poachers. Having his publisher saddled him with a woman to retake the pictures he spends months on was an insult. Having her save his life when he fell into a trap set by the poacher was embarrassing, especially when he fell for her harder than he’d fallen into that trap. Ward wanted to stop the poacher; the poacher wanted to kill him, and Callie was caught in the middle. Little did the poacher know, she was as capable of fighting back as Ward and a private war started.




Excerpt:



“Is it against the law to trap with those?” she asked.
“It is here,” he said darkly.  “Damn poachers!”
She wasn’t sure if he meant it was against the law because he was there or because it was against the law in a federal park. She decided not to ask for clarification.  “I take it from your tone of voice you aren’t referring to the occasional deer out of season.”
“I’m not.”
 “Are many endangered species lost this way?”
“Yes.”  He turned and walked off again. 
Thinking he was too mad to give her more than the shortest of answers, she followed and received a surprise when he started talking.
“When the trappers started in this valley, it was teeming with otter, beaver, mink, and fox, anything with a pretty fur. Their numbers have dwindled to what you can count on your fingers. The same assholes poach bear primarily, cut out one small part of their guts, the gallbladder, leave the rest to rot. Other assholes powder the gall to sell as an aphrodisiac, both for money with total disregard to the fact they’re driving them into extinction.  A single gall will be worth hundreds of dollars in the right market. ” 
Callie made no comment, watching as he veered off, climbing up the bank to a tangle of logs left by some long ago flood. One hand went up to hold the lens he carried for her inside his shirt from sliding when he ducked beneath a log.  His knitted cap brushed the log and started a cascade of snow. 
Callie had an unobstructed view of him reaching up to brush the snow off he as stumbled slightly and the log above him fell.
For a moment, Callie couldn’t comprehend what had happened.  One second he was there; the next he was gone from sight, under a log and snow falling from the surrounding brush and trees dislodged when the log fell.  He was buried.
She took a step forward and tripped on the ski she forgot she had attached to her foot.  Kicking off both skies, she ran, floundering several times to her knees in the snow.  When she reached the log, it wouldn’t move.  She dug and found his head, buried face down in the snow, and he was unconscious, not breathing.
The log had his arms pinned under him, and the weight of it was close enough to his neck he couldn’t lift his head free of the snow even if he hadn’t been knocked out.  He was suffocating, and she couldn’t turn his head far enough to free his face.  Nor could she turn it far enough to give him mouth to mouth to start him breathing again.
She put his cap under his face to keep his mouth and nose free of the snow and scrambled over the log.  Reaching under it to press on his ribs in an awkward attempt at resuscitation, she accomplished nothing.  The log was too wide to reach high enough to force air out of his lungs, and his backpack was in the way. She could see why the log wouldn’t roll on down the hill over him.  His pack held it.  She emptied the pack ruthlessly, splitting open the bottom with the knife from his belt.  Indifferent to the cost of the contents, she tossed everything out of the way, scrambled back over the log to his head and pushed with her shoulder.  The log slid to his hips.  The weight off his lungs might have enabled him to draw in air, but the snow in his mouth and nose kept him from breathing freely.
She straddled him, working her arms under him to jerk her fists up into his diaphragm.  Water from melted snow and snow crystals sprayed from his nostrils and lips.  He still didn’t breath.
Changing positions again, she moved back to his head.  His arms could be broken, and moving them could maim him. She had to move them, pulling them above his head to draw air into his lungs.  She knew he could have broken ribs and pressing on them to force air out, clearing the passages more, could also drive jagged bone edges into his lungs.  With no other choice, she pressed.  Press on his lungs; drive the air out.  Pull up his arms; draw air in.  She could be killing him by doing it, but he would die if she didn’t.
Fear and panic didn’t hit her until he had coughed and sputtered his way back to breathing.  She sat with her hands in fists on her knees, staring down at him.  “Damn you,” she told him.  “I don’t want to feel.”
Her voice choked, and her eyes filled with tears.  Her body shook while she pulled in deep breaths catching in sobs. She wouldn’t feel.  Any emotion was a hole in the dyke, letting others flood through.  She wouldn’t allow it.  She hadn’t for three years, and she wouldn’t again.
She had the dyke repaired when he began to stir back to consciousness.  She had to get that log off him, and the job wasn’t going to be easy.  One end was hung up against a standing tree.  The log wasn’t going to roll or slide any further.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cupid Reads Cedar Woman by Debra Shively Welch

Winner of the Best Native American Non-fiction for 2011

 Cedar Woman by Debra Shively Welch

Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, a daughter of the Lakota Sioux, opens the first high-end Native American restaurant in Central Ohio. 
This is her story. 
Born in May Hill, Ohio, Lena Cedar Woman travels to Columbus at age 12 after tragedy befalls her family. Here, in the capital city, a chance encounter leads her to her destiny. 
Walk with her as she changes the lives and fortunes of those she loves.
Follow her to powwow where she meets her half-side.
Rejoice with her at the grand opening of her restaurant. 
Cedar Woman allows the reader to learn the ways, and some of the language of The People, while also offering romance and discovery.





Cedar Woman, by Debra Shiveley Welch, is the entertaining story of a young woman: Lena Cedar Woman Young Bear, who is a daughter of the Lakota Sioux. We first meet Lena as she performs a cleansing ceremony on her restaurant Cedar Woman the first high-end Native American restaurant in Central Ohio.

"Facing the west, she extended the smoking bowl and intoned: 'Grandfather of the West, this is Cedar Woman. I ask that you keep my feet true and on the Good Red Road. I ask that you guide me on this day, and all days, so that I may continue on this path. I ask that you help in my daily life. Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related.'"

As a young child Lena sees a hummingbird caught in a spider's web, and proceeds to let it free. This is no ordinary child, the town agrees, as the bird then seems to follow her around. Cedar Woman is the story of Lena's life as she journeys from her home as a young girl to Columbus, where chance encounters lead her to her life's true path - that of an extraordinary woman.

Fully researched, filled with plenty of facts about Native American life and references to actual ceremonies and Native American Prayers, Cedar Woman knows of which it speaks. Written authoritatively in a poetic image-filled manner, this story draws pictures for you of peoples' lives and interactions, masterfully showing that, in the end, we are what we were in the beginning "Mitakuye oyasin, we are all related."

As a delightful bonus, included with the book are recipes of many of the foods mentioned in the story, including Fried Deer Liver, Cowichcan Candy (salmon/maple syrup and brown sugar candy), and Buffalo Stew featuring wild turnips.

To help in the use and translation of the Native American language used in the book, Welch also includes a dictionary with the meaning and phonetics. There are three dialects in the Lakota language and there is no standardized spelling. Welch chose the spelling and pronunciation of the words in keeping with the dialect of her sister, Julie Spotted Eagle Horse Martineau, who is of the Lakota Plains Native Americans.

Finally, it is worth noting that a percentage of royalties are donated to "Operation Smile."

Fully entertaining, Cedar Woman is a story that reaches far beyond the boundaries of its pages.

Reviewer: Wendy Thomas, Allbooks Reviews. www.allbooksreviewint.com
Title: Cedar Woman
Author: Debra Shiveley Welch
Publisher: Saga Books http://www.SagaBooks.net
ISBN: 9781897512
Pages: 179
Price: $15.95
For more information: http://www.DebraShiveleyWelch.net
 


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cupid Reads Man Theory and Other Stories by Vicki Batman


Man Theory and Other Stories by Vicki Batman

"Ouch" - Who knew a yoga class would be so dangerous...and romantic?

"Man Theory" - When a geeky co-worker espouses his theory on love, a friend risks her heart.

"Tommy and the Teacher" - A young boy steals from the school’s book fair causing interesting possibilities to arise.





Excerpt from Man Theory:

"I have a theory about love.”

Ethan's statement knocked me from the proverbial mountain top. Eyeing him, I clapped my hand across my mouth to stifle a giggle.

From Day One at our new jobs at Prime Designs, Ethan and I had forged a friendship. I was the artsy-heartsy, emotional gal. Him--the technical, by-the-book pal. We ate an occasional dinner, watched a movie, whatever. Traded small gifts like coffee, a magazine, music. However, Ethan had never made an overture toward me.

Translated: Nothing intimate.

I'd said to myself, "Rats."

For work, we'd traveled to Colorado Springs to attend a workshop on web design innovations. After check-in, I'd joined him at the bridge crossing the lake to decide about lunch before the meetings commenced.

My six-one geek wearing rimless glasses, leaned against the railing, and stared into the sparkling blue waters of the high mountain lake, and the feathered fowl paddling by.

Have his feelings changed? I asked in disbelief, "R-really? A theory...about love?"


Site: http://vickibatman.blogspot.com

Buy links: Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble

Friday, February 10, 2012

I'm a Guest Author at Muse It Up Publishing

February is the month of romance. What better romantic couple to symbolize this month than Romeo and Juliet? But what if their names were Ralph and Alice? Somehow those names just don't convey romance..LOL..

Visit the Muse It Up Publishing Blog today to discuss naming characters in my essay on What's in a Name?

Muse It Up Publishing is also holding a contest every month. Check it out at the Muse It Up Bookstore. Hurry and enter today to win the January free e-book.



Be sure to return to this blog every Tuesday and Thursday in February to see what Cupid Reads. Check the sidebar for the schedule.





Happy Valentine's Day to You!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cupid Reads Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris


Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris

Richelda Shaw’s privileged life changes for the worse after James II’s daughter and son-in-law usurped his throne. When her parents die she is left penniless and alone, holding on to the oath she gave her father to reclaim their ancestral home.

Richelda entrusts her heart to the parson’s son Dudley, but he is not all that he seems. Her wealthy aunt saves her from poverty, and wishes to arrange her marriage to a dashing Viscount, whose care and attention make Richelda think and feel against her wishes.

However, as she travels a new path in London, she never forgets her oath. But hidden danger lurks and when she tries to find a legendary treasure trove she must also fight not only for her life but for true love.



Prologue

1693

Nine year-old Richelda Shaw sat on the floor in her nursery. She pulled a quilt pulled over her head to block out the thunder pealing outside the ancient manor house while an even fiercer storm raged deep within. Eyes closed, remained as motionless as a marble statue.
Elsie, her mother’s personal maid, removed the quilt from her head. ‘Stand up child, there’s nothing to be frightened of. Come, your father’s waiting for you.’
Richelda trembled. Until now Father’s short visits from France meant gifts and laughter. This one made Mother cry while servants spoke in hushed tones.
Followed by Elsie, Richelda hurried down broad oak stairs. For a moment, she paused to admire lilies of the valley in a Delft bowl.  Only yesterday, she picked the flowers to welcome Father home then arranged them with tender care. Now, the bowl stood on a chest, which stood beneath a pair of crossed broadswords hanging on the wall.
Elsie opened the great massive door of the great hall where Father stood to one side of an enormous hearth. Richelda hesitated. Her eyes searched for her mother before she walked across the floor, spread her skirts wide and knelt before him.
Father placed his right hand on her bent head. ‘Bless you, daughter, may God keep you safe.’ He smiled. ‘Stand up, child. Upon my word, sweetheart, your hair reminds me of a golden rose. How glad I am to see roses bloom in these troubled times.’
Richelda stood but dared not speak for she did not know him well.
 Putting an arm round her waist, he drew her to him. ‘Come, do not be nervous of your father, child. Tell me if you know King James II holds court in France while his daughter, Mary, and William, his son-in-law, rule after seizing his throne?’
‘Yes, Mother told me we are well rid of King James and his Papist wife,’ she piped up, proud of her knowledge.
With a sigh, Father lifted her onto his knee. ‘Richelda, I must follow His Majesty for I swore an oath of allegiance to him. Tell me, child, while King James lives how can I with honour swear allegiance to his disloyal daughter and her husband?’
Unable to think of a reply, she lowered her head breathing in his spicy perfume.
Father held her closer. ‘Your mother pleads with me to declare myself for William and Mary. She begs me not to return to France, but I am obliged to serve King James. Do you understand?’
As she nodded her cheek brushed against his velvet coat. ‘Yes, I understand, my tutor told me why many gentlemen will not serve the new king and queen.’
‘If you remain in England, you will be safe. Bellemont is part of your mother’s dowry so I doubt it will be confiscated.’
If she remained in England! Startled, she stared at him.
Smiling, he popped her onto her feet. ‘We shall ride. I have something to show you.’
*****
Before long, they drew rein on the brow of a hill. Father pointed at a manor house in the valley.  ‘Look at our ancestral home, Field House. The Roundheads confiscated it soon after the first King Charles’ execution.  Richelda, I promised my father to do all in my power to regain the property.’ Grey-faced, he pressed his hand to his chest. ‘Alas, I have failed to keep my oath,’ he wheezed.
Richelda not only yearned to help him keep his promise to her grandfather, she also yearned to find the gold and jewels legend said her buccaneer ancestor, Sir Nicholas, hid.
She waited for her father to breathe easy before she spoke. ‘If we found the treasure trove you could buy Field House.’
 ‘Ah, you believe Sir Nicholas did not give all his plunder to Good Queen Bess,’ he teased.
 ‘Elsie told me legend says he hid some of his booty in Field House.’  The thought of it excited her.  In his old age, when Sir Nicholas retired from seafaring, is it true that he put his ship’s figurehead, Lady Luck, in the great hall?’
‘Yes, for all I know she is still above a mighty fireplace carved with pomegranates, our family’s device.’
‘I would like to see it.’
 ‘One day, perhaps you will. Now, tell me if you know our family motto.’
‘Fortune favours the brave.’
‘Are you brave, my little lady? Will you swear on the Bible to do all in your power to regain Field House?’
To please him and excited by the possibility of discovering treasure she nodded.

Buy Links
Amazon US and Amazon UK Kindle Print
     Barnes and Noble
     Bookstrand - Mainstream
     Sony-e-reader
     Kobo
     Smashwords
     and online booksellers

New Releases from MuseItUp Publishing
    Tangled Love. 27th January 2012
    Sunday's Child June 2012
    False Pretences October2012

Author website www.rosemarymorris.co.uk
Blog http://rosemarymorris.blogspot.com
 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cupid Reads Hauntings of the Heart by Joselyn Vaughn


Hauntings of the Heart by Joselyn Vaughn

When lost love shows up on your doorstep, what do you do?  Minnie Schultz slams the door in his face. She and Gordon Anderson have a history—close to ancient history, given the fifty years since their last encounter. After all that time, it might seem like water under the bridge. But the water pours from the plumbing in Minnie’s bed and breakfast, the Lilac Bower, uncovering all the secrets and heartache between them. With the help of some paranormal investigators, an Elvis impersonator and a couple of nosey friends, can Minnie and Gordon find the future they were meant to have?


Hauntings of the Heart Trailer


Review:

Buy Links:



Contact Links:



Friday, February 3, 2012

My Interview by I.B. Nosey....WOW!


Interview at Gum Drop Island  


Check out this week's outrageous interview at Mishaps at Gum Drop Island. I.B. Nosey interviewed me about my short story, The Good Neighbors, and it is pure fun. M.M., the creator of this madness, is a talented writer. She penned a fantastic world for children in her book Gum Drop Island. This site is a very special showcase for her amazing characters.--oh, and authors who are willing to be grilled by I.B. Nosey.


Come on over for the fun and a few giggles!
                                                                                  



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cupid Reads Secrets, Lies and Love by Roseanne Dowell


Secrets, Lies, and Love by Roseanne Dowell


A dilapidated Queen Anne Victorian, a dead body, and an ex boyfriend complicate life for Meghan Shelby when she returns to her hometown after a ten year absence.




Excerpt:

Meghan loved this time of year, though a little too hot to start school in her opinion. Why they felt the need to go back in August was beyond her. She remembered her mother complaining about it years ago. “What was wrong with starting after Labor Day like they did in my day?” Her mother used to rant and rave for weeks before school started. Even got on the School Board. Not that it changed anything. School still started the last week in August. Meghan smiled at the memory.
Now that she thought about it, it was silly. Like they took the last week of vacation away from the kids. Bet the teachers didn’t like it either.
Meghan pulled into the school parking lot. Not much had changed here either. New landscaping, new windows, but that was about it. The old building looked pretty much the same.
Her footsteps echoed in the empty hall. She’d never been in the school when it was empty before. The strong odor of wax and other cleaning products prickled her nostrils. The clean smell lingered through the first few days of school.
It had been a long time since she’d been to the principal’s office and she stopped outside, took a deep breath and held it. Here goes nothing. Mr. Duncan said look for Mr. Mac.  He must be new in town. It wasn’t a name she remembered. So what was the worse he could say? Letting out her breath, she hurried inside, before her nerve left her. A man stood with his back to her, unpacking a box of books.
“Excuse me. I’m looking for Mr. Mac.”
 “I’m Mr. Mac.” He turned toward her.
Meghan’s breath caught in her throat. “Patrick!” The word slipped out of her mouth, before she could stop it. The love of her life stood in front of her, even better looking and sexier than she remembered. Her heart skipped a beat, her legs turned to jelly, and she grabbed the edge of the desk to steady herself.
Patrick smiled at her. That easy smile she remembered from long ago. The smile she used to love. It lit up his eyes.
“Little Meghan Shelby. Not so little anymore I see.”
Heat burned her cheeks as Patrick looked her up and down, apparently taking in every inch of her. He remembered her. After all this time he knew who she was. Would wonders never cease?
“Uh, um...” Oh crap. Now wasn’t the time to get tongue tied. “You’re the principal here?” Lord, could she work for him. See him every day?
“Yes, I am. I heard you were back in town. Are you staying then? Do you want to register your child?”
“Huh?” Her child, was he nuts? “Uh no I’m here about the secretarial position. Mr. Duncan was supposed to call you.”
“Really? You want the job?”
“Yes, didn’t Mr. Duncan call? He told me to come right over.”
 “If he did I didn’t hear the phone. I’ve been in and out of the office.” He nodded toward the stack of books. “Too busy around here this time of year.” Patrick grinned and motioned her into his office. “So tell me about yourself. What qualifies you for the job?”
Qualifications? Think damn it. What was the matter with her? She’d lost all train of thought. “Well, I’m computer proficient. I’m good with math. And I love children.” What more could he want?
“I see. So why do you want the position? Tell me about your education.”
His deep voice sent shivers down her spine. Meghan couldn’t take her gaze from him. All sense of reason flew out the window. She had the most God awful urge to reach up and push his dark hair out of his eyes. “I’m a former Math major, have two years of college. I’m a quick learner.” Finally, she looked away.

Available at Amazon.com http://amzn.to/zZznVG



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cupid Reads




Ahhhh, tis February--the month of romance. It's a busy month for Cupid because all his matchmaking talents are used to promote love and romance this month. But Cupid does have some time to relax during the less hectic eleven months of the year, so of course, he reads. The entire month of February, Cupid will share, what else, his favorite romantic stories. 


Please join us every week to find new books of romance mixed up with some mystery, ghosts, the Old West, and so much more. Discover a new romance and read an excerpt. Below I have listed the books and authors and the dates they will appear. 


See you in February... Don't forget to bring chocolates and roses with you.





FEBRUARY

  • Feb. 2 Secrets, Lies, and Love by Roseanne Dowell
  • Feb. 7 Hauntings of the Heart by Joselyn Vaughn
  • Feb. 9 Tangled Love by Rosemary Morris
  • Feb.14 A Soldier's Valentine by Kay Manning
  • Feb.16 Man Theory by Vicki Batman
  • Feb.21 Cedar Woman by Debra Shively Welch
  • Feb.23 Traps by Larion Wills