Dark Hollow Lake

Dark Hollow Lake
Collection One
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal Anthology
with stories by
Krystle Able, William Joseph, Melinda Terranova, Bigitte Ann Thomas,
H.N. Donnelly, Casia Courtier, Jennie L. Morris, C.J. Warrant, Pasithea Chan, K. Moore
Dark Hollow Lake isn’t your ordinary resort town. Beneath the murky waters and hidden within the mountainous forests, there are more secrets buried in Dark Hollow Lake than anyone has ever cared to uncover. Until Now….
Join Cruel Ink Publishing on a vacation to Dark Hollow Lake, Tennessee.
10 Authors. 10 thrilling novellas.
All taking place in our not-so-quaint resort town.
Come for the ski slopes and beautiful lakeside cabins.
Stay for the murder, mystery, and mayhem.
Included in Dark Hollow Lake: Collection One,
Dance of the Mourning Cloak by CJ Warrant
Ossified Vestiges by Jennie L. Morris
The Descent by William Joseph
Knock Twice for Yes by Casia Courtier
The Demon Rite by H.N. Donnelly
Wolf Moon by Melinda Terranova
Killer at Dark Hollow Lake by K. Moore
Deep Waters by Brigitte Ann Thomas
Iris Viola by Pasithea Chan
The Legend of La Lechuza Part One by Krystle Able
$10 Amazon
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Odd Voices

Odd Voices
An Anthology of Not So Normal Narrators
Genre: Short Story Anthology of diverse YA voices
with stories by
K.C. Finn, Kell Cowley, Eddie House,
Mary Ball Howkins, Tonia Markou, Jack Bumby,
A Rose, Colby Wren Fierek, Oceania Chee, Catherine Johnson
In every new story we pick up, we’re seeking an exciting original voice. So why are there still voices we don’t hear from nearly enough? Why are there characters that so rarely take centre stage? In this collection from Odd Voice Out press, we discover the stories of twelve teenagers who stand out from the crowd and who’ll not easily be forgotten.
With settings that range from Scotland to Syria, Mexico to Mauritius, Africa to Russia, these stories take us to all corners of the globe and into the lives of young people with their own unique circumstances and perspectives. Characters dealing with issues of culture and class, exploring their sexuality and gender identity, or letting us into their experiences with illness, disability or neurodiversity. Their tales span all genres and can’t be reduced to labels. These are stories about bending the rules and breaking the law. Stories of fighting for survival and finding your place in the world. Stories of family solidarity, unlikely friendships and aching first love told by teenagers who don’t always fit in and aren’t often heard.
With a foreword by award winning YA author Catherine Johnson, this anthology brings together the top ten stories of Odd Voice Out’s 2019 Not So Normal Narrators contest, as well as bonus stories from in-house authors Kell Cowley and K.C. Finn.
Teens of Tomorrow Writing Contest Information:
YA Fiction’s March into the Future
Open for Entries: Friday 21st February, 2020
Deadline: Monday 31st August, 2020
Prompt: Future-Focused Diverse Teen Fiction
Prize: £200, £100, £50 (First, second and third prize respectively)
Publication: A dedicated anthology will include the top ten tales, available winter 2020/21.
Wordcount: 2000 – 5000
Internationally open to entrants aged fourteen and above.
We stand at the dawn of a new and uncertain decade. Here at Odd Voice Out press we are calling for short stories that reflect the socio-political issues that young people are dealing with now and will continue to tackle in the coming years. Entries submitted to our Teens of Tomorrow contest can be any genre – fantastical or realistic – and they may be set in the future, the present or even the past, provided that they centre on forward-looking teenage characters grappling with the world around them, the times ahead of them and the roles they personally aspire to play. Send us your utopias, dystopias, protest stories, political thrillers, social satires, climate fiction and prophetic steampunk.
Turn the hashtags trending today into a powerful YA story of tomorrow!
Any inquiries to oddvoiceout@gmail.com
The Full Details
Your short stories with ‘odd voices’ must be written for a YA audience (that’s around 12 to 19 years old), but other than that they may be set in any genre or time period. This means that relevant content which is sexual, violent or contains extreme language will be accepted, provided it is somewhat moderated for a teen audience, rather than for adults (think about movies rated 15, compared to 18).
Our contest is open to writers aged fourteen and over from all nationalities and backgrounds (you should be at least fourteen years old by the closing date for entries). Entries must be no more 5,000 words long and be a minimum of 2000 words. Your entry should not have been previously published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online, or have won or been highly placed (e.g. shortlisted or semi-finalist) in another competition at any other time. Longlisted stories are acceptable, provided they have not been in print or online in full.
After our closing date of Monday 31st August, we will select ten finalists to feature in an anthology collection that will be made available in ebook and print editions, to be released alongside our usual book range. The winning entry will also receive a £200 cash prize, whilst second and third place will receive £100 and £50 respectively. All ten finalists will also be invited to participate in social media promotions, live events, interviews and broadcasts as per the promotion schedule for the anthology.
To cover prize fees and reading time, there is a small entry fee of £4 per story, payable via PayPal at the time of entering. Authors may enter up to five different stories, but must pay the entry fee for each one as a separate entry and transaction.
Co-authored stories are accepted, up to a maximum of two authors per story, and in the event of winning, authors would share the prize money evenly.
Odd Voice Out is an independent literary press, publishing YA and crossover stories filled with unique characters thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Our genre-bending books take contemporary social and political themes and explore them through a range of historical, futuristic, surreal and supernatural settings. Our diverse young heroes are never your typical leading guys and girls, but are flawed insecure misfits struggling with everything from racial and sexual identity, to body issues, disabilities, mental health and worst of all, being teenagers growing up in worlds gone mad.
$25 Amazon gift card
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Mermaidia

Mermaidia
A Limited Edition Anthology
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Love mermaids and all creatures aquatic? This limited time anthology is just for you! With more than 700 pages of captivating fiction, you’ll be enchanted by sirens, dive the depths with a mermaid, and fear whether the sea witch is friend or foe.
With stories from:
Catherine Banks
Kai Ellory Viola
Mia Ellas
Anthea Sharp
Kristi Lea
LA Fox
Nicole Zoltack
Mara Amberly
Raine English
Margo Bond Collins
Sara Elizabeth
Mikayla Symonett
Tricia Schneider
Merrie Destefano
Bokerah Brumley
Rachel A. Marks
and Pauline Creeden
Are you ready to dive in before your chance is lost forever? Then order this limited-edition collection of exclusive material from USA Today and award-winning authors
Including the following stories and more! Queen of the Island by Bokerah Brumley Fated to be together, Calder and his mate must overcome the evil nymph that would keep them apart. Seize the Storm by Kristi Lea An Isyre hides from the hunters who killed her family, as far from any ocean as she can be. The fire mage who discovers her secrets has a few of his own. Can they trust each other to face their pasts Touched by a Mermaid by Raine English A secret society. A sea witch bent on revenge. An ancient world in peril. Paranormal Maritime War by Nicole Zoltack A stolen selkie skin just might start a war between the merfolk, the selkies, and the sirens. Racing the Clock by Catherine Banks You will seduce the prince and convince him to give you his soul. If you fail, you will give me your soul for eternity.” The Church of Moon and Sea by Sara Elizabeth She must choose between two loves – the sea or the land. Fury by Merrie Destefano To survive, she made a secret deal in the Underworld. Soul’s Reef – Kai Ellory Viola A mysterious phenomenon. A weird cult. Vaccines needed at the end of the universe – Captain Holloway just needs to get through the reefs. The Sea of Time and Stars by Mara Amberly “A woman watched from just above the water line, her sleek blue hair drifting in the water around her. One moment she was there and the next she was gone; so quickly I could’ve put it down to my imagination or a hallucination from my injuries.”
**Only 99 cents until March 8th! **
**scroll through the slideshow to find out more about the authors!!**
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Queens of Wings & Storms

Queens of Wings & Storms
A Limited Edition Fantasy & Urban Fantasy Collection
Print Length: 1022 Pages
Publication Date: November 20, 2019
with stories by
Angela Sanders, Tina Glasneck, Claire Davon,
Adrienne Blake, Kyndra Hatch, D. C. Gomez, Jenn D. Young,
Kat Parrish, AJ Gala , Susannah Shannon, Angela Kulig
Searching for myths and magic?
Queens of Wings and Storms in a fiery collection of fantasy and urban fantasy tales from today’s bestselling and the hottest new authors.
Fly with dragons, witches, and burn whole kingdoms to the ground as you explore one new fantastical world after the next. From urban fantasy streets to forgotten lands, our heroines and queens are poised to rule it all.
One click today, before the fire is snuffed out
on this limited time offer.
Books by:
Angela Sanders
USA Today Bestselling Author Tina Glasneck
USA Today Bestselling Author Claire Davon
USA Today Bestselling Author Adrienne Blake
USA Today Bestselling Author Kyndra Hatch
USA Today Bestselling Author D. C. Gomez
Jenn D. Young
Kat Parrish
AJ Gala
Susannah Shannon
Angela Kulig
**scroll through the slideshow to find out more about the authors!!**
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Falling into Chaos

Falling Into Chaos
A Reverse Harem, Paranormal Romance Anthology
A collection of magical stories from
Liz Knox, Courtney Lynn Rose, Iris Sweetwater, Kendra Moreno,
Nikki Landis, A.K. Koonce, Kelly A. Walker,
Nikki Hunter & Lulu M. Sylvian.
Love is magical . . . and sometimes, that magic happens
with multiple people– at the same time.
Falling Into Chaos is packed with reverse harem
love stories twisted with a dash of the paranormal.
Whether you enjoy the light and sweet magic that comes with true love or the hot and heavy lust of shifters and more, this anthology has something to appeal to your tastes.
Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t like the idea of true love coming from multiple forms? Especially those with divine, otherworldly appeal!
Liz Knox is the paranormal pen name for international bestselling author Elizabeth Knox. She’s most commonly known for her mafia and biker books, however loves to dive into other worlds. As she releases throughout the year under her primary pen name, she hopes to start releasing under this pen ame regularly starting in 2020.
Courtney Lynn Rose grew up in Baltimore and is pretty sure she threw her ability to give a f**k into the Inner Harbor long before high school. Like almost every writer on the planet, she started writing at a very young age. Her “way with words” led to her being the go-to person for writing funeral speeches for a long time.
Today she lives in East Tennessee with her children and spends a majority of her time writing things that makes people smile while cutting their emotions deep, and running her own professional editing company. Her novels pull from life and bring to light the things she holds fiercely in her DNA–abuse and addiction survival, domestic violence, and above all, the notion and belief that love, loyalty, and friendship are the bonds which hold every relationship together.
Iris Sweetwater grew up in the south in a large family. She began writing when she was only four years old, finding a special love for poetry and telling crazy stories. As an adult, she spent a lot of time in the marketing world before finding her niche in ghostwriting and editing. Finally, she got to a point where she felt it was time to get her own work out there, so she began to self-publish. She hopes to make it a career one day to support her wonderful family on. She loves books, movies, dance workouts, chocolate, and little adventures
Nikki Landis is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning paranormal, reverse harem, & sci-fi romance author. She’s been addicted to romance and alpha heroes since she used to sneak her mother’s ‘bodice rippers’ as a teen and now writes her own. Nikki’s recent novel Refugee Road won the IPPY Gold Medal for 2017 BEST ROMANCE/EROTICA.
Bio-engineered to be the only redhead in a generation of blonds, Lulu M. Sylvian feels that “aliens” may actually be the best answer for a lifetime of being asked, “Where did you get that red hair from?”
She did not come into writing from years of scribbling words on paper. Her background is rooted in visual arts and making pictures. Encouraged to make those pictures out of words Lulu began writing just to see what would happen.
Kendra Moreno lives in Texas where the summers are scorching, and the iced tea is straight sugar. When she isn’t writing, she likes to go on real life adventures with her husband and son and hopes to one day scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef.
Nikki Hunter is a mom and wife, but also a Friends nerd. When she’s not writing she spends her time binge watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers while making her husband crazy.
A.K. Koonce is a USA Today best selling author. She’s a mom by day and a fantasy and paranormal romance author by night. She keeps the fantastical stories in her mind on an endless loop, while she tries her best to focus on her actual life and not that of the spectacular but demanding fictional characters who always fill her thoughts
Kelly A Walker lives in the South with her hubby, a teenage son, and two crazy dogs. She writes Southern Romance with a Sassy Attitude.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Soldiers of Fortune

Soldiers of Fortune: Volume 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
with stories by
Nicole Morgan, Desiree Holt, Krista Ames & Deelylah Mullin
Rhett Fortune settled on the small parcel of land he purchased in 1858 with his wife Clara and founded the beautiful landscape that surrounded his newly built home and what is now known as Fortune, TX. A veteran of the United States Army and as a Colonel who served with honor in the Mexican-American War, Rhett and Clara raised a large family. Sons and daughters, and grandchildren to follow, their clan grew throughout the decades.
Now in the 21st Century, two of their descendants remain at the helm. Chance Fortune, a former member of the Army’s Delta Force and co-founder of Soldiers of Fortune, has an innate duty to serve and protect. Working with his brother, RJ Fortune, a former Navy SEAL and wounded warrior, they take the cases that their government won’t. And vow to protect the civilians that no one else can.
They have quietly put out the word and now, after three years, other former brothers-in-arms have contacted them bringing situations that span not only the country but the globe. On Fortune family land they have built a facility out of the public eye for their office, a helicopter, a gun range, and whatever else they might need.
They are the Soldiers of Fortune… and these are their stories.
Including:
Rogue’s Return by USA Today & Award Winning Author, Desiree Holt
Sacrifice by USA Today & International Bestselling Author, Nicole Morgan
Operation Unknown by International Bestselling Author, Krista Ames
Rage Against the Machine by International Bestselling Author, Deelylah Mullin
**Only 99 cents!! **
Soldiers of Fortune: Volume 2
with stories by
Nicole Morgan, Krista Ames, Deelylah Mullin, Joanne Jaytanie
Sacrifice: Part 2 by Nicole Morgan
Ever Since she entered the picture, his mission has changed.
Eddie Peterson’s mission had been to take down the nearly untouchable drug lord, Rojas. Years of being underground, with no protection from his country, he is left to fight off the cartel on his own. It was a job he thought he could handle.
With Marissa Rojas nothing is simple. The only daughter of a ruthless drug lord leaves little opportunity for a wholesome upbringing. Her life is complicated and thanks to her bodyguard, Eddie, things are about to get a whole lot tougher.
Now, it is no longer Eddie’s mission that is in jeopardy. It is their very lives.
Operation Undercover by Krista Ames
Don’t get caught under the covers.
Killing Me Softly by Deelylah Mullin
With only gunfire and each other to keep them company, can Jorden and Luke save the innocents without complicating things?
When Jorden Mane met Luke Garrett, there weren’t wedding bells ringing, choirs singing, nor fireworks exploding—unless you consider the gunfire. But, as she got to know the mysterious man behind the stoic facade, she fell for him. Hard.
But, it didn’t matter. They needed to get to find El Capitan—the mastermind behind the decimation of the small villages they’d encountered.
As Luke Garrett used his special ops training to defeat the bad guys, he sensed a familiarity in the attacks—like they were the plans of a previous mission leader or commanding officer.
Which made him shudder at every turn.
It also made him have to think outside-the-box with regard to defensive tactics.
All of it made his head spin, but the constant was Jordan. He didn’t know when or how it happened, but he’d grown to care for her.
Which was a bad, bad thing when they were on the outskirts of the law.
Will Jordan and Luke make it through the next siege? Can they keep their feelings for one another out of the mix? Or will passion fuel the flames of their survival?
Dogs of Fortune by Joanne Jaytanie
The Baker Corp. has recruited Blair Sellick, a nationally known dog trainer with truly phenomenal skills, to provide exceptional training for service dogs. The project would supply highly intelligent animals as partners for victims of PTSD and other disabilities. Or would it?
The answer has disappeared along with Blair, her fellow dog trainers, and all the dogs.
Ex-SEAL and canine handler Zane Kelly is done with war, with dogs, and with the Soldiers of Fortune. Coerced, cajoled, and eventually intrigued, Zane finally capitulates to the Soldiers of Fortune recruiters for just one project, to find Blair Sellick. The mission is clear, the dog trainers are dying, and nobody has heard from Blair for weeks. Zane has failed only one mission, and that failure cost his canine partner Axel his life.
This time Zane has no intention of leaving anyone behind.
**Only 99 cents!! **
Desiree Holt is an Amazon and USA Today best selling author who writes exciting
love stories at many heat levels. She has been called the Nora Roberts of erotic romance.
Nicole Morgan is an international and USA Today bestselling author who has been writing since 2009 and is an author of erotic romance novels, which more often than not have a suspenseful back story. Erotic romance mixed with good old-fashioned whodunit.
Krista Ames is an international bestselling author of contemporary romances that make you ‘fall in love with happy ever afters’.
Deelylah Mulin is empty-nesting with her hubby, Mr. VampBard. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s likely at the movies or finishing a home improvement project.
Joanne Jaytanie writes romantic suspense and paranormal. A transplant from upstate New York, Joanne lives with her husband and Doberman, on the Olympic Peninsula with a panoramic view of the Olympic Mountains. In her prior life Joanne showed dogs and managed her husband’s forensic engineering firm.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Rational Creatures

Audiobook Tour: Rational Creatures by Various Authors

Editor: Christina Boyd

Narrator: Victoria Riley

Length: 18 hours and 3 minutes

Series: The Quill Collective, Book 3

Publisher: The Quill Ink, LLC

Released: Jul. 18, 2019

Genre: Anthologies

“But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” (Persuasion, Jane Austen) Jane Austen: True romantic or rational creature? Her novels transport us back to the Regency, a time when well-mannered gentlemen and finely-bred ladies fell in love as they danced at balls and rode in carriages. Yet her heroines, such as Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Elinor Dashwood, were no swooning, fainthearted damsels in distress. Austen’s novels are timeless classics because of their biting wit, honest social commentary – because she wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. True to their principles and beliefs, they fought through hypocrisy and broke social boundaries to find their happily-ever-after. In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, 16 celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s heroines, brave adventuresses, shy maidens, talkative spinsters, and naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity. Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism. “Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; – that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” (Mary Wollstonecraft) Stories by: Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Jessie Lewis, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams
Buy on Audible  
CHRISTINA BOYD wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner, The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a commercial ceramicist. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England was made possible by actor Henry Cavill when she won the Omaze experience to meet him in the spring of 2017 on the London Eye. True story. You can Google it.
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Narrator Bio Victoria Riley is a British voiceover artist and audiobook narrator. Originally trained as a theatre actor, she gradually moved into voice work and is now happiest behind the mic. She loves classic literature and travelling the world. If she isn’t recording, she’s probably lying in a hammock in some far-flung place, reading book after book after book.
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  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Christina Boyd. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.     Guest Post
Feminism in the Hearts of Austen’s Most Beloved Females?
By Christina Boyd, editor, “Quill Collective” anthology series
Jane Austen’s novels evoke romantic imaginings of gallant gentlemen and gently-bred ladies. Achieving social, economic, and political equality amongst the sexes isn’t a concept one would imagine in a novel from the 1800’s, especially if the novelist was Jane Austen, whose characters are in pursuit of good matches and whose novels all end in weddings. How could a woman who was poor, never married, and lived with her mother and sister in a cottage on her brother’s estate authentically write about equality? Yet through her veiled wit, honest social commentary, and cleverly constructed prose in a style ahead of her day, Austen’s heroines manage to thwart strict mores—and even the debauchery of Regency England—to reach their fairytale endings. Have you never wondered about her other colorful characters like Mary Crawford, Penelope Clay, Charlotte Lucas, et al.—and how they came to be? In Persuasion, Mrs. Croft says, “But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” Those words have always struck me as terribly modern and I have wondered what Mrs. Croft might have been thinking of when she said those very words to her brother Captain Frederick Wentworth. It is not a reach that several of Jane Austen’s characters might have had feminist sensibilities, even if they yielded to the expectations of their sphere. Further, I like to speculate that Austen was cleverly revealing her own feminist discourse using “her fine brush” on her “little bit (two inches wide) of ivory.” When choosing authors for the soon-to-be released anthology Rational Creatures, I wanted strong women, not just strong writers. Like several of my Rational Creatures authors, Brooke West believes, “There is no singular way to be a feminist. Feminism, to me, is about the ability to choose. To choose whether to have children, to marry, to pursue a career, to wear a suit and tie or a frilly pink dress. It’s that choice that is so often taken from women and rigid expectations put in choice’s place. A woman deciding for herself is the simplest—and best—expression of feminism, to my mind.” West goes on to say about Mansfield Park’s quiet heroine, “Many readers find Fanny weak and boring. I’ll admit—I did, too. At first. But after another read, I found Fanny’s feminist spirit. She won my respect by showing a quiet and enviable strength. She was the victim of everyone’s expectations, but she stood firm in her principles, rejecting Henry’s offer because she knew it would not bring her happiness. Though her ultimate decision to marry Edmund seems predictable—exactly what one would expect of a young woman of her time and exactly the opposite of what one might expect from a tale with a feminist twist—I saw bravery behind her choice. Her choice to marry up when she’d always been told she’s lesser. Her choice to marry at all when it’s perceived she missed her only chance to avoid spinsterhood. Her choice to accept a man who overlooked her.” “The reserved inner strength of Fanny appears to be in counterpoint to that other memorable female character of Mansfield Park, Mary Crawford,” says author Jenetta James. “Where Miss Price is muted and seemingly beholden to others, Miss Crawford is outspoken, charismatic, and independent. Mary Crawford gets all the best lines, but there is more to her character than moral bravado. She is after all a discerning and mostly kindly critic who speaks plainly and lives honestly. The candor which Edmund reviles has about it the stamp of the modern, and in depicting it, Austen was considerably ahead of her time.” Moreover, it seems as unlikely that Austen’s least beloved heroine would forward or embrace any cause besides her own. “With societal conventions thrown aside to make way for a seemingly pampered heroine who, although innately good, appears oblivious to the problems of the world, we have Miss Woodhouse,” says author Anngela Schroeder. “Emma, willing to leg-shackle every other single creature in Highbury to another, refuses to do so for herself. ‘And I am not only, not going to be married, at present, but have very little intention of ever marrying at all.’ And why should she? She has all that is needed by a woman, or a man for that matter. She has fortune, connections, the adoration of her father, and management of his house where she knows that most women are ‘half as much mistress of their husband’s house as [she is] of Hartfield.’” In modern day translation: I don’t need a man or marriage to be happy. Author Lona Manning says, “Penelope Clay, the artful, designing young widow in Persuasion, tries to wheedle her way into Sir Walter Elliot’s heart. She has the ‘art of pleasing,’ and hopes he’ll overlook her low birth, her crooked tooth, and even her freckles. A ‘good’ woman was supposed to sit back and accept the extremely limited choices which restricted her life. Mrs. Clay, left with two children, was supposed to live under her father’s roof, and hope for some other offer of marriage to come along. But Penelope Clay does not sit back and accept this dismal fate. She is active; she smiles, talks, and charms her way into the household of the vain baronet. And why not! The opportunity is there, and it’s the rational thing to do!” In Pride and Prejudice,Charlotte Collins née Lucas seems the Queen of Compromise,” says author Joana Starnes, “because what can her marriage to a self-absorbed fool be but a compromise? She seems the archetypal Regency female who sees marriage as her only object in life, however unappealing the partner and however small the chances of happiness. “Yet should she be censured for her choices or applauded for having the courage to grab any weapon at her disposal and fight the system from within? What can she do with herself if she refuses Mr. Collins other than become a figure of pity to her friends and family, someone taken for granted and expected to keep house or help raise other people’s children for the ‘privilege’ of being tolerated in their home? “ ‘Not Charlotte!’ says Starnes. “She seizes the one chance that comes her way. And if that means indulging Lady Catherine with smiles and nods and playing the part of the model wife while she adroitly coaxes her weak-minded husband into doing her bidding, then so be it! Her envisaged reward is financial security and the privileges that come with being the actual head of her household. And there is always the promise of becoming the mistress of Longbourn someday…” Although the idea of “feminism” was coined long after Austen’s time, the contributing authors to Rational Creatures wrote backstories or parallel tales off-stage of canon, remaining true to the ladies we recognize in Austen’s great works—whilst stirring feminism in the hearts of some of her beloved characters. Surely that is why so many adore Elizabeth Bennet best: her moral strength to reject not one but two advantageous proposals, choosing love and respect over wealth and social status. West proclaims the project’s intent best: “I wanted to show Fanny as a part of the beginning [of feminism]—as a young woman who sticks to her morals and does not let anyone else tell her what her happily-ever-after must be. A woman who would think for and choose for herself.” Isn’t that one of the reasons millions have loved Austen’s novels and her rational creatures these last two-hundred years? I daresay, it’s those little bits that will endure another two hundred. “Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” Mary Wollstonecraft Giveaway
Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card
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Jan Selbourne

Jan is the next in the series of authors from Black Velvet Seductions. She’s got a short story in the anthology Mystic Desire.

Author Bio

Jan Selbourne grew up in Melbourne Australia. Her love of literature and history began as soon as she could read and hold a pen. Her career began in the dusty world of ledgers and accounting, then a working holiday in the UK and Europe brought the history to life. Marriage and career put her writing career on the backburner, then on the point of retiring she changed direction to work as secretary for a large New South Wales historical society. Now really retired, she has published three historical fiction/romance novels.  Jan has two adult children and lives in New South Wales.

Tell us about yourself.

I live in New South Wales, Australia, now retired and have two adult children.  My working life was diverse, and I was fortunate to travel to the UK and Europe, giving me wonderful backgrounds for the books I wanted to write. However, it wasn’t until after I retired that I could finally indulge my love of writing. I have three published historical fiction books and currently working on my fourth.  

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

When I was at school.  I loved literature, writing essays, letters to friends and pen friends, and fun stories to entertain my children.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I like murder mysteries, a good who-dunnit and biographies as well as historical fiction and non fiction.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Adults

What is your current release or project? 

My current release Through the Veil is part of the Black Velvet Seductions supernatural anthology, Mystic Desire.

Tell us about the key characters.

Australia – 1875. Helen Finlay, daughter of a wealthy landowner and Marcus Townsend, wool classer, are in love and about to marry when a tragic accident kills Marcus. In 2018, Rachel Finlay, heartbroken over a disastrous love affair, discovers an old family photo album with details of this accident and gets the shock of her life. She knows these people, but she’s never met them. Turning her back on her dismal life she returns to the site of that accident and walks back in time to Helen – and Marcus.

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

A beautiful March day in 1875 ends in tragedy when the wagon carrying Helen and Marcus plunges down the mountainside.  Generations pass before Rachel Finlay finds an old sepia photo of a man and woman. She knows them but she’s never met them and now, for the peace of mind she desperately craves, she goes back to where it began. In time, through the veil, knowing she may never return.

Share an excerpt .

Sandra glanced at her watch. “Ten minutes before we are due at the bank. After that, we’ll have a drink at the club. We deserve it.”

            Rachel fingers clenched. “When we’ve signed whatever papers they need signed, I’ll be on my way.”

            Sandra stopped walking. “There’s still a lot to do. The Salvation Army is collecting the furniture tomorrow, the estate agent wants the keys after we lock up the house and there’s bound to be something we’ve forgotten.”

            Rachel shook her head. “You don’t need me to watch them carry out furniture nor do you need me to take the keys to the agent.”

            “This happens every time,’ Sandra snapped angrily. “You drop everything in my lap and walk away. What’s bugging you Rachel? You’ve been edgy and downright rude to Greg.”

            “Stuff Greg. Nothing’s bugging me and if I want to leave now I will.”

             “For once in your aimless life, this is not about you, this is about Aunt Frances and all she did for us,” Sandra threw back at her.

            “I know what Aunt Frances did for us and you love taking charge and basking in the accolades after.”

            Sandra’s cheeks burned. “You don’t care about anyone except yourself. You drink too much, you can’t keep a job for more than a year,” she jabbed Rachels’s chest,“It’s no wonder you fall for the arseholes of this world.”

            “Shut up Sandra!”

            “No, I won’t shut up. Why do you fall for no-hopers with balls as big as their egos then drink yourself stupid when they drop you?”

            A lump formed in Rachel’s throat. Because I can’t find what I’m looking for.

Sandra threw her hands in the air. “Forget it, you are hopeless. Greg said last night you’d want to leave as soon as you knew what Aunt Frances was worth.”

            Anger dissolved the lump. “I’d rather be hopeless than a chardonnay sipping, social climbing snob without a bank account to match,” Rachel hissed furiously. “I’ll bet my last dollar that the first question Greg asks, after his oozing, ‘how are you, my darling’ will be ‘did you get everything fixed up with the solicitor?’ You can tell Greg– No, I’ll phone him myself to tell him in very plain language where he can get off and never to speak to me again.”

            Sandra’s mouth had dropped open in shock.

Rachel’s shoulders slumped. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to fight. Let’s get it over with at the bank and then I am driving up the coast.”

Several seconds passed before Sandra found her voice. “Why? What about your job?”

When Rachel didn’t reply Sandra closed her eyes in despair. “Don’t tell me you’ve lost your job.”

“I didn’t lose my job, I quit,” Rachel replied stiffly.

“Quit? When?”

After I recognised the man in the photo. “A few days ago. I’m driving to Grafton and perhaps go up the range to Glen Innes.”

             “Glen Innes?” Sandra repeated incredulously. “For God’s sake why and for that matter, what happened to your fear of heights and getting sick on winding roads?”

            “That’s for me to worry about,” Rachel replied. “I am sorry Sandra but I’m leaving after the bank.”

            Tight lipped, Sandra resumed walking, with Rachel following.

            Two long hours later, Rachel re-joined the Pacific Highway. She’d held it together at the bank and the awkward moment on the pavement before their curt goodbyes, but now as the car picked up speed, her throat ached with unshed tears. Their nasty argument and Sandra’s brutal words had cut into her like a knife. And, that horrible rhyme wouldn’t go out of her head.  Always the bridesmaid never the bride, loser in love empty inside. That just about sums you up Rachel. Never knowing what you want in life, alone in a crowd, disappointing your family, never good enough. Falling for men who win you over with charm and then wipe their feet on you. What did that psychologist say? “You are harbouring deep insecurity and guilt from your childhood.”  When I retorted, ‘What guilt? I had a wonderful, secure childhood,” she’d gone on about looking within myself and finding new interests and friends.  Friends? Sandra had been your best friend until she married that patronising, smooth talking “would be if he could be.” Rachel’s eyes blurred with tears. Now you’re driving north without knowing why and

            “Keep your eyes on the road!” a voice ordered as a semi-trailer roared past.

 “Oh shit!” Rachel swerved back to the left lane and glanced at the empty passenger seat. “Now I’m going mad!”

            “No, you’re not,” the voice said softly. “I will meet you there.”

            A mere suggestion of a hand brushing her shoulder made her shiver and it all became clear. She knew where she was going.

Do you have a favorite scene?

Yes, where she arrives at the Mann River Reserve, on the Great Dividing Range, and walks through the veil, to her former life.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Don’t give up, keep writing.

Social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jan.selbourne

Twitter https://twitter.com/JanSelbourne

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=jan+selbourne

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=jan+selbourne&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jan-selbourne-2817b6140/

Blog link:

Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h8t2y6

Purchasing links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/322Ziq3

Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/u/4j1AD2

Dee S. Knight

Dee is the second in the series of authors from Black Velvet Seductions. She also has a story in Mystic Desire.

Author Bio

A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex. Writing was so much fun Dee decided to keep at it. That’s how she spends her days. Her nights? Well, she’s lucky that her dream man, childhood sweetheart, and long-time hubby are all the same guy, and nights are their secret. For romance ranging from sweet to historical, contemporary to paranormal and more, join Dee on Nomad Authors: htpps://nomadauthors.com.

Tell us about yourself
I’ve been writing erotic romance for many years now and still love it. I married my high school sweetheart and use that as inspiration for all of the happily-ever-afters I’ve spun through the years. I write under three names: Dee S. Knight (erotic romance and a couple of ménage romances), Anne Krist (straight, sweeter romance), and Jenna Stewart (all ménage, some historical, some shapeshifter). No matter who I am at the moment, it’s all still romance.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?
After writing my first book, which came about as something of an accident. We were living in a small town in South Carolina while hubby finished up a consulting job. I was at loose ends for a couple of months and he suggested I use up some time by writing a book. I said okay—that sounds like fun. And like an idiot—because I didn’t know that’s not how it’s done—I wrote a book. I was hooked from that moment on.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?
I love all forms of romance (of course), but I also love legal thrillers, mystery, suspense, military adventures. There really isn’t a whole lot I won’t read. A look at my Kindle library would make people wonder about my taste, lol.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
Adults only. Even my sort of non-erotic romance is intended for adults.

What is your current release or project? 
Currently, I’m in Mystic Desire, a supernatural anthology by Black Velvet Seductions. I actually have two stories. An Awareness of Evil (as Dee) is about a psychic who senses a child is in grave danger, but she can’t quite see who or where she is. Life Saving (Anne) is about a man on the brink of ending his life. I won’t say more! BVS has put together a great group of writers for this anthology, and I’m very proud to be part of it! At the same time, I’m working on finishing Book 2 of the Good Man series.

Tell us about the key characters
In An Awareness of Evil, Amanda McMasters is a psychic who goes to the police asking for help in finding a child who is in danger. She can’t really tell them anything, however. As her sensations become more and more intense, she’s almost at her wit’s end. Amanda is a truly good person who wants to help when she can, and not “seeing” enough detail for the police to step in is very frustrating. Of course, there is a young, handsome detective standing by to encourage her. 😉

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
An Awareness of Evil: Only two things stand between evil and a small girl: the visions of Amanda McMasters and Detective Brendan Gilchrist. Neither can afford to be wrong.

Life Saving: Saving lives isn’t just for adults. Sometimes the innocent magic of a child can do the job better.

Share an excerpt

An Awareness of Evil:

                “There’s not much more frightening to a child than hearing a parent cry.” Amanda Masterson clutched her purse in her lap and tried to keep from twisting her hands. She stared at the nameplate on the front of the desk. Det. Donny Connor. He looked older than the other detective and probably had more experience but she wished she were speaking with the younger guy, doodling as he listened to her and his partner. He sat sideways to his desk with the chair pushed back onto two legs, looking as though he hadn’t a care in the world. But something told her that he heard every word.

                “I can imagine,” Detective Connor said in a low voice. He seemed as though he were trying to sound soothing but a note of frustration hit between his words. “And so, you heard someone crying.”

                “Not exactly.”

                Detective Connor blew out a breath, laid his pen on the desk and then picked it up again. “Ms. Masterson, you’ve been trying to tell us what’s up for the past fifteen minutes. Why don’t you just say it and let us decide what’s important or not?” The detective looked to his partner sitting at the next desk. Detective Gilchrist gave him a bare nod. So far, that was the most interaction she’d seen from him.

                Amanda took a deep breath and braced herself to tell the men what she’d been trying to avoid. “I don’t actually hear crying.”

                “You don’t actually hear—”

                “More like I sense it.”

                The detective slowly placed the pen on his desk again. “You sense it.”

                “Right.”

                Detective Connor stretched his arms and folded his fingers behind his head. “So you don’t see the person crying. You don’t hear anyone crying. You don’t actually see a child.”

                “That’s right.” She knew what was coming but knowing didn’t diminish the frustration. Or the pain in once again not being believed. “I’m something of a psychic.” She hadn’t meant to sound small, but that’s how it came out anyway.

                Detective Connor dropped his hands to the desk and jerked the pen off the notepad. “You’re psychic.”

                “Yes.”

                “I see. And you’re sensing that this child you can’t see or hear is frightened.”

                “I know it.”

                “Okay, where is this child? We’ll be sure to check it out, won’t we Brendan?”

                “Absolutely.”

                Now Amanda didn’t bother trying to keep her hands still. She squeezed her fingers and released. Squeezed and released. “I don’t know.”

                “Ms. Masterson, what exactly do you expect us to do? You don’t have any idea of who the kid is or how we can find it.”

                “Her. I’m sure it’s a little girl crying.” She shook her head and narrowed her brows in worry. “I don’t know. I thought maybe you’d had a report of a domestic disturbance or something I might be able to draw on. I’ve been sensing her for two days now. It’s getting worse. She’s scared and I don’t know how to help her.” Her voice had risen to the point that people at desks around them had stopped to look. Amanda took another deep breath. “Look, I’m sorry. If I had more information, I’d tell you. But I can’t keep this to myself anymore.”

                “Can’t keep what to yourself, miss? You haven’t told us anything.”

                “Amanda Masterson,” murmured the other detective. “I think I’ve heard that name before. Have you been involved in another police case?

                “Yes, last year in Spokane.” She had lived there until moving the eighty or so miles to Milford, Idaho. Once she had helped the Spokane police solve the murder case, she’d lost all privacy. People called morning, noon, and night asking for help in finding everything from lost dogs to lost keys. Or worse, more lost children. The stories had broken her heart and the constant requests had destroyed her peace. When her landlord told her she’d have to move or control the numbers of people banging on her door, she had little choice but to leave the Washington town. She’d chosen a smaller place in the more rural neighboring state. The last thing she needed now was to have the same problem start up again.

Do you have a favorite scene?
Yes. The final scene. *grin* I can’t say more.

What advice would you give a beginner?
There isn’t any better writing lesson than to write. Write, write. But not just for yourself. The hardest lesson is to give your work to an impartial reader and see where what you’ve written can be improved. There isn’t a writer in the world, from Stephen King to a kid in the fifth grade struggling over a writing assignment who can’t benefit from constructive criticism.

Social media links:

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

Twitter http://twitter.com/DeeSKnight

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/265222.Dee_S_Knight

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B079BGZNDN

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/dee-s-knight-0500749

Blog link: http://nomadauthors.com/blog

Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h8t2y6

Purchasing links

Amazon: https://amzn.to/322Ziq3

Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/u/4j1AD2

Lora Logan

Lora came to me through Black Velvet Seductions. She’s the first in a series of interviews with many of their authors.

Author Bio

Not unlike many of her characters, Lora Logan is attracted to tough, tattooed men, and is lucky enough to be married to one! The mama of three Maltese puppies, she is an animal lover and can be found most days snuggling with them while reading or writing.

While Lora begins every story with an outline, her favorite part of writing is the fact that her characters usually steal the show. She happily follows behind with a pen in her hand as they choose their own trajectory.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Lora Logan and I write ROMANCE, ROMANCE and more ROMANCE! I live by the philosophy to write what I’m given, which means I have a tough time sticking to one genre of romance. I write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and most recently paranormal romance. This is a bit of a taboo when it comes to writing but I can’t stop the characters that invade my mind and demand their stories be told- whatever their stories may be.

I am happily married to the most perfectly imperfect man and have three babies (maltese puppies, Josie, Rambo and Dixon.

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always been a writer, but when I knew I wanted to become an author is a different story entirely. It took a minute. There was a picture in my mind of how my life was supposed to end up. You know that narrative we all had to write in high school, where do you seen yourself in ten years? Well, my life went nothing like I had planned. After years, (and years, and years, and years), of failed fertility treatments I finally learned that children were not in the cards for me. It’s a difficult thing trying to figure out what your life is supposed to be when your missing something so profound. I spent years of my life just focused on being the best wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, employee…etc. While those things are certainly fulfilling, I soon came to the realization that there wasn’t much in my life that was just mine. So began the journey of figuring myself out. What was my dream? What made me happy and fulfilled as a person? After much soul searching, I found that writing fiction brings to me a purpose that I’d been missing. A chance to share with the world the scary inside of my mind, where these characters and their stories find life. My family is and will always be my main focus but being an author belongs to me.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

I try, I swear I do, to read outside of my own genres… I just love romance so much I can’t seem to stop myself! I would say that I read romance (all genres) 90% of the time. The other 10% is spent reading horror, self-help, and books on spirituality. When writing reading can take a backseat depending on where I’m at in my own process.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Adults. There is a fair amount of sex and cursing in my books although it depends greatly on the characters. I have a potty mouth but not all of my characters share that trait.

What is your current release or project? 

MYSTIC DESIRE is releasing on October 1, 2019 and is a collection of paranormal short stories. I was fortunate enough to join a group of very talented authors on this project and am so excited for its release. I loved working on this anthology and feel it’s a great opportunity for readers to find new authors they’ve not previously read. MYSTIC DESIRE has a little bit of everything, from sexy vampires, ghostly leprechauns, and lustful warlocks to enchanted artifacts. My story, CALLING ALL ANGELS is a tale of angels and demons.

I always have a lot of things happening at once in terms of writing. Currently I am finishing a contemporary romance novel and am set to begin working on a new series based off of my short story in MYSTIC DESIRE. I tend to write one project at a time while editing the previous one, that is my personal method although many authors can write more than one book at a time. I have a romantic suspense novel that is completed but needs some reworking and four other books that are outlined and waiting (not so patiently) to be started.

Tell us about the key characters

Elijah is immortal, his reality filled with the dark evils that attempt to take over the earth. He and his brothers fight to rid the world of demons that threaten the innocents. These demons whisper in the ears of the people to get them to fulfil their sinister acts. With the world full of so much evil, Elijah is consumed with it. Suffocating on it. That is until he meets Celeste. She is the perfect example of the innocence he is trying to protect. He soon realizes that something about her is different, bringing a peace to him that he’s never known. Their love is not perfect and Elijah soon realizes that the things he desires most could jeopardize the one thing he was put on this planet to do.  

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

MYSTIC DESIRE is a collection of short paranormal romance stories. This is a chance to read and discover the work of a diverse group of very talented authors. The themes in this book are varied, as are the collection of characters and artifacts, including Native American dream catchers, mystical jewelry, and characters such as lustful vampires, hot warlocks, a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, a zombie apocalypse and things that go bump in the night. From soft and tender love to hot passionate, kinky sex, there is something for everyone in this anthology.

Synopsis for my short story:

CALLING ALL ANGELS, follows Elijah, an immortal tasked with fighting against the evil that exists on earth. He finds peace when he meets his new neighbor, Celeste, but when he realizes that their love comes with a great cost, he is faced with choosing between his calling and a chance at true love.

I enjoyed writing this story because it explores the evil of the world that exists on a plain which we cannot see, and how that world bleeds into our own. A story not based on reality… or is it? Of course, this is romance – seem far-fetched? It’s not because the one thing that can rid evil in any reality is love.

Do you have a favorite scene?

There are two scenes that stand out in my mind. The first is the initial sex scene. It is a favorite because it changed as it was being written. As with writing project I have the story finished in my mind and in the form of an outline prior to starting it. This particular scene ended up changing entirely as if the characters didn’t appreciate what I was going for. I like when my characters take control of their own trajectory and this was certainly one of those times.

My other favorite was the end. Of course, I’m giving none of that away.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Just write it already! Maybe the most seasoned of writers can start a manuscript knowing exactly how everything is going to work and write it perfectly from beginning to end – but that is far from the norm. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met such an author. Write the story. Those holes in your story that you couldn’t work through in your mind will resolve themselves as the words are written. Your characters will develop into their own and you will learn them, how they respond, how they feel and what makes them unique. You will not be perfect, your story will need reworking. It’s an evolution that will happen naturally. If you’re anything like me, you will need an editor and they will help you not only with grammatical issues but also with the flow of your story. Your creativity is a gift, respect the gifts you are given and act on them. Lastly, the more you write the easier it becomes.  

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoraLoganAuthor

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

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18850117.Lora_Logan?from_search=true

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/loralogan

Mewe: https://mewe.com/i/lora.logan

Website: https://www.loralogan.com

Purchase Links:

MYSTIC DESIRE: https://amzn.to/322Ziq3

ALL SHE EVER NEEDED: https://t.co/9uii1BD7In