Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Author Lisa Medley's Reap & Repent Dream Movie Cast: Get Your Free Copy Today!

Lisa Medley's Reap and Repent Dream Cast
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: Big Cedar
Date of Publication: March 3, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9908856-2-7
Number of pages: 328
Word Count: 84k 
Cover Artist: Sweet and Spicy Designs

Deacon Walker: Actor Jensen Ackles 
They see death. Can they share a life?
#‎FREE‬ to download until May 3rd
Oh, I have thought about this a lot, and I have the perfect cast lined up for the Reaper Series.

Deacon is a burned-out reaper who’s spent the last hundred years quietly doing his job until demon soul poachers invade his territory. When he meets Ruth Scott on a routine reaping, he begins to question all he knows to be true. Photo credit

Ruth Scott: Actress Natalie Portman

Ruth Scott is a recluse who has always had the ability to see the auras around people she meets. Her ability has been a lifelong social handicap. When she meets the reaper Deacon, she learns her handicap may be her calling instead. Photo credit

Kylen Larsen
Kylen is a reaper who’s been possessed by a demon for the past century. Instead of enjoying the sweet hereafter, he’s been poaching souls and raising hell. Photo Credit: Found on

Nate Blackburn
Nate is a witch who’s helped Deacon through the years, asking very few questions. His trust and friendship are put to the test when he learns there’s much more below the surface than he’d ever expected. Photo credit

Maeve: Actress Jessica Szohr 
Maeve is a reaper with secrets of her own. Will she sacrifice everything to save the souls of Meridian and her reaper colleagues?Photo credit

Olivia Evans: Actress Emilia Clark
Olivia Evans is in the final stages of cancer when Kylen accidentally saves her from demonic possession. When he rescues this innocent soul, Kylen rediscovers his mission—and his heart. Photo credit: daenerys_targaryen_by_marinavictoria-d542m2d.png (852×937)

Want to see what they’re up to?

The end is near…

Book Description:

Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.

Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.

A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.
Reap and Redeem                 
The Reaper Series
Book 2
Lisa Medley

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Big Cedar
Date of Publication: March 10, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9908856-4-1
Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 80k 
Cover Artist: Sweet and Spicy Designs

Book Description:

He’s a reaper who has given up on saving souls. Will a dying woman be his salvation?

After a century of enslavement to pure evil, Kylen Larson is finally free. But he’s long past caring. The only woman he ever loved is dead, and he’s tormented by memories of the horrors his demon parasite forced him to commit. Now, he lives for nothing more than hunting down the infernal creatures invading Meridian, Arkansas, and destroying them.

Olivia Evans is in the final stages of cancer when Kylen accidentally saves her from demonic possession. When he rescues this innocent soul, Kylen rediscovers his mission—and his heart. All he wants is to help Olivia stay alive. He’ll just have to fight off an invasion from Hell first…

Reap and Reveal
The Reaper Series
Book 3
Lisa Medley

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Big Cedar
Date of Publication: April 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9908856-6-5
Number of pages: 302
Word Count: 78k 
Cover Artist: Sweet and Spicy Designs

Book Description:

By day he saves lives in the city he loves. Can he save souls too?

Nate is an EMT, a witch and a newly inducted member of the Reaper Authority Force. What he's not is a reaper. With unexplained abilities, his true nature lies somewhere in between the angels, demons and reapers he finds himself involved with. When he's paired with the reaper Maeve, he struggles to find his place in the rising war to save the souls of Meridian and the world.

Maeve has tried to hide her reaper handicap--her toxic reaper energy--from her colleagues. But when she's possessed by a fallen angel and forced to poach souls for Hell, her greatest weakness might be the only thing that saves her.

Nate uses his growing powers and his innate magic to find Maeve. He'll do whatever it takes to save her, revealing more than he ever imagined in the process.

About the Author:

Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them, because monsters need love too.
She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.

She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday's Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: This Weeks Traveller is New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

This week's guest is New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller. Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. She has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. 

Kristen: Traveling is an eye-opening adventure, and one of the things I love to do most. I live in northern California, though I’ve seen every corner of the state. I’ve driven through forty-six of fifty states in the continental US, visited Mexico, Canada, Ireland (both southern and northern), and the Azores Islands (ruled by Portugal). So when I was given the opportunity to talk about a few places I’d travel if I could, I jumped at the chance!

Since THE WEREWOLF WEARS PRADA takes place in San Francisco, I spent a considerable amount of time researching the ins and outs of the city. I live about ninety minutes away and drive there often, but I’m fascinated by parts of the city I don’t know. 1-I’m dying to go to the speakeasy Bourbon and Branch. It actually ran during Prohibition in the 1920’s, and is still going strong. There are “House Rules” like no texting, no standing at the bar, leaving quietly, etc. Awesome.

There are five secret bars inside, with moving bookcases and trap doors. Even cooler? You have to know the password to get in. There’s a library bar (be still, my heart!), and a basement bar that is rarely seen.

Every time I look through pictures of the place, I get ideas for werewolf clubs and secret underground societies.

2-Belleek Castle, County Mayo Ireland. 
My family and I traveled there two years ago, and stayed for a night. The place feels so magical, it’s hard to describe. Lush forests surround the castle. Armory in the basement. A bar made out of a Spanish Armada fleet ship. A ghost who tugged on my hair while I slept. No joke.
We’re so excited to go back.
For San Francisco Wolf Pack #2, I set part of the book in Ireland, in a place that resembles this castle. It was really special to go back and visit through pictures.

3---The third and final place I’d visit is easy. I’ve been an avid collector of all things Titanic since I was ten, years before James Cameron’s movie hit the screen and caused mass Titanic hysteria. I would go back to 1912, even though it’s not a possibility. I’d sail the ship from Southampton to Queenstown, and then disembark so I wouldn’t have to experience the tragedy.

The Werewolf Wears Prada
San Francisco Wolf Pack 
Book 1
Kristin Miller
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Entangled
Date of Publication: 4/28/15
ISBN: 9781633752641
Number of pages: 230
Word Count: 67,000
Cover Artist: Curtis Svehlak

Falling in love bites...

Melina Rosenthal worships at the altar of all things fashion. Her dream is to work for the crème de la crème fashion magazine, Eclipse, and she'll do much anything to get there. Even fixing up the image of a gorgeous, sexy public figure who's all playboy, all the time. Even if he's the guy who broke her heart a year ago...
Even if Hayden Dean is a werewolf.

Since his father's death, Hayden's the heir apparent to the San Francisco Wolf Pack-well, once he settles down. Hayden isn't interested in giving up his partying ways, except he's pretty sure he's found his fated mate, and the fact that she's a non-shifter is bad news. Now he must find a compromise between the traditions of his wolf world and his certainty that Melina is his...before fate (or another werewolf) bites them both in the butt.

Available at   Amazon    BN    iBooks   Kobo

Excerpt: Chapter One

Life is not a fairy tale.

Melina Rae Rosenthal had lived her entire life repeating that mantra to herself. She’d kissed a long list of frogs, and put up with a lot of B.S. Today, however, made her question whether she’d been wrong, and incredibly bitter, all those years. She’d been asked out by one of the most eligible bachelors on the planet.

Prince Charming had finally arrived.

There was only one thing missing: a fairy godmother who’d wave a glittery wand in front of her face and turn her yoga pants into a puffy blue dress.

“I’ve got nothing to wear.” Melina dove into her walk-in closet, tossing leather pants and a fur poncho onto the bed behind her. “What am I going to do?”

Her best friend Colleen squealed from the bedroom, probably ducking for cover. Not very fairy-godmother-like. “Just calm down. You’ve been skipping around all day like Little Red Riding Hood on Redbull.”

“Not Redbull. Espresso.” Throwing hangers behind her, Melina huffed and shoved two coats apart. “I’ve had six today.”

“Six?” Colleen laughed—one of those witchy cackles Melina both loved and hated her for. She really was more like the Wicked Witch of the West than any fairy godmother Melina had ever seen. “You and Hayden must’ve really hit it off.”

Merely hearing his name made the hair on Melina’s arms stand on end.

Hayden Dean.

He was a San Francisco business mogul, millionaire, and model magnet. He was also scorching hot. Dark brown hair parted perfectly down the center with silky strands that nearly brushed his ears. Creamy chocolate eyes set against golden tan skin. Thick, swooping jaw, and a set of plush lips.

Totally Prince Charming material.

Before today, she might’ve settled for far less. She hadn’t had a date with a real man in months. The ones she’d gone out with had turned out to be mama’s boys, cat-callers, loud eaters, snorters, and scratchers. And if she went out with another guy who called her “Doll” she was going to scratch out his eyeballs.

She’d started to think the good ones were either already taken or dead.

“I’m telling you, it was magic. He’s not anything like you see on E! News.” They’d painted the famous Hayden Dean to be a stupid playboy. A chauvinist who cared for nothing and no one but himself. To her surprise, he’d shown her none of those things. “He’s unexpectedly…charismatic. And caring.”

Two hours interviewing the drop-dead gorgeous hunk, and Melina knew he was the one she’d been waiting for. The guy plucked straight from her dreams. He was tall, dark, and unquestionably handsome—more so in person, if that was possible—so staring at him while she fired questions about his personal life wasn’t the worst assignment she’d ever had.

And she could go off for hours about the trashy assignments she’d had from Celebrity Crush magazine. She’d worked as the Celeb Life & Style columnist for eighteen months, and longed to move up the ranks to Eclipse, the city’s leading fashion magazine.

Every article was one step closer to reaching that goal and leaving the unrealistic demands of her editor behind her.

“I’m stoked you two hit it off,” Colleen said, her voice laced with concern, “but they don’t call him Hook-Up Hayden for nothing.”

A subtle twinge in Melina’s gut warned Colleen might’ve had a point. All those stories about Hayden’s womanizing ways couldn’t have been terribly off-mark. But how could she turn down the chance to see for herself? Guys like Hayden didn’t come around that often, if ever.

“I think I can take care of myself.” Melina squeezed between two Gucci dresses. Exactly how deep was her closet? “If you got to know him, you’d see he’s different. Deep down, I don’t think he wants to be that way…the way everyone paints him to be.”

Colleen huffed. “You really think you know him? Deep down? After two hours in Starbucks?”

“Maybe, maybe not.” Melina’s fingers gripped silky-soft pleats. “Gotcha.”

She yanked a Prada gown off its hanger and burst into the bedroom holding it high. The dress was a gorgeous shade of eggplant. Grecian. Long and draping, with pleats on the gown and a dangerously low V-neck.

“Ooh!” Colleen crooned, jumping off the bed, her platinum blonde locks bouncing over her shoulder. “It looks like the one whats-her-face wore to that huge awards show last season.”

“Yes, but this one’s better. The V-neck is deeper, the skirt is tamer. The differences are subtle, but it’s striking, don’t you think?” She stroked the pleats, seeing the image take form. “I’m going to pair it with glittering gold Manolo Blahniks, nude lips, and the most fabulous earrings I can find.”

What better way to make a splash at the Silverlight Awards?

She still couldn’t believe he’d asked her.

Infamous womanizer Hayden Dean had leaned across their tiny table in the back corner of Starbucks, gazed deep into her eyes, stirring something in her chest…and whispered the words she never thought she’d hear: Be my date tonight?

Not only any date. His date to the Silverlight Awards. She’d walk the red carpet. Mingle with celebrities. Wave to the cameras. If she were lucky, she’d show up on E! News. The minute she’d returned from the interview, Melina had set her TiVo to record the event. Just in case.

“What do you think?” Melina bounced on her toes and met her friend’s bright blue eyes, practicing the show-stopping smile she’d give to the paparazzi that followed Hayden around. “Am I going to rock his socks, or what?”

“Wow, Mel, I don’t—I’m speechless.”

“Let’s hope he is, too.”

“I don’t understand why Hayden is going to the Silverlights in the first place,” Coleen said, her gaze raking up and down the dress. “He’s not in the film industry.”

“No, but I guess his father is on the Board of Governors and is getting some kind of honorary award for his work.” She shrugged, excitement pulsing through her. “Hayden gets two complimentary tickets.”

Colleen shook her head slowly. “And he asked you to be his date…”

Melina flinched at her friend’s disbelieving tone. “Why wouldn’t he?”

“I don’t mean it like that.” Colleen grabbed Melina by the arm and dragged her to the edge of the bed. They shoved clothes aside and plopped down, dangling their legs over the edge. “It’s just that…isn’t he still dating that Sports Illustrated model? You know, the one with the rack?”

“I’ve got a nice rack.” Frowning, Melina grabbed handfuls of her B cups and held tight. “Okay, okay, so they’re not as big as the other girls he’s dated, but at least they’re real! Doesn’t that count for something?”

“I don’t know.” Colleen shrugged. “I’m more of a leg girl.”

Melina snorted into a belly laugh. “I don’t think the size of my boobs matter anyway. He totally thinks I’m hot as-is.”

“Really?” Colleen beamed, snatching Melina’s hands off her boobs. “He told you that?”

“He didn’t say the words, but one glance and I could feel the chemistry. It was like—” How could she possibly explain their connection? It was crackly. Sparkly. Fizzling the air between them. “—Snap, Crackle, Pop.”

Colleen’s smile fell, and she cocked a thinly-plucked eyebrow. “You’re talking about the cereal? Sweetheart, I think we need to get you out more often. You shouldn’t feel anything close to cereal when you’re with a guy like Hayden Dean. You should melt. Like butter.”

“Oh, there was definite melting going on.”

If Hayden had been any hotter, he would’ve melted the panties right off her body.

“All right.” Colleen nodded. “You better get your petite ass moving. He’ll be here in twenty, right?”

Melina gasped, shooting a glance at the clock on her bedside table.

Six o’clock.

“It can’t be that late already!”

She swept off the bed in a whirlwind, dug around in her drawer for a pair of Spanx, and dashed into the bathroom. Squeezing into the bodysuit, she leaned and tugged as the stretchy material inched up her body. With a groan, she wiggled into the stunning Prada dress. Colleen zipped up the back, oohing and aahing as Melina spun, excitement spearing through her. For the next fifteen minutes, she applied her makeup. Dried her hair. Straightened and smoothed down the fly-aways. If she hadn’t drained her bank account to buy this dress last week, she might’ve had the money to pay for a stylist. But things were tight.

As soon as she landed a job at Eclipse, she’d be fine.

Six-thirty came and went.

Glad to have a few extra minutes, Melina wiggled her size eights into her sky-high shoes and had Colleen strap them. She tweaked her hair. Reapplied her lipstick. Chose a pair of long silver earrings with chunky beads hanging off them. They were high fashion, bordering on gaudy, and they were perfect.

She checked the time on her cell, and just in case, scanned the log for missed calls. There weren’t any.

Nerves settled in, though there was really no room for them in her dress.

“I’m sure he’s having trouble parking,” Colleen said. But her voice didn’t sound so confident.

“Yeah.” Her lips twitched. “Parking’s hellacious around here.”

Melina shrugged off the doubt. As her toes protested the squeeze she’d put them under, she lowered herself onto the bed—keeping her posture straight so the dress didn’t crinkle—and then flicked on the flat-screen mounted to the wall.

“Look.” Using the remote as a pointer, Melina poked it in the direction of the television. E! News flashed over the screen. “People are already showing up.”

“I think they show up early and circle the block over and over again, waiting for the perfect moment to stop.” Colleen sat beside her, crossing her leather-clad legs at the ankle. She was long and lanky—probably six inches taller than Melina, who stood at five-foot-two on tiptoe—and hung her feet over the end of the bed. “I’m sure some like to be there first thing, and others like to make an entrance. From what I’ve heard, Hayden likes to have all eyes on him. I’m sure he won’t mind being late.”

It must’ve been Colleen’s mention of Hayden that made Melina see him emerge from a limo parked at the curb. The camera angle was distant and from the side, so she couldn’t be sure, but this man was the same height and general size, with the same complexion. He turned before she could get a good look at his face. He extended his hand for two blonde bombshells to exit the limousine behind him.

That couldn’t be right.

Blinking quickly to clear her head, Melina leaned forward as worry hardened into a ball in the pit of her stomach.

“Mel,” Colleen whispered, “is that…”

“I don’t think so.”

Colleen had either read her mind, or Hayden Dean was there with someone else. Two, to be exact. As the camera angle zoomed on Hayden’s look-a-like, Melina’s heart dropped to her Blahniks.

Hayden grinned and held up the hands of his escorts as they spun for the cameras, their green silky gowns hiding little of their curvy figures.

It was Hayden Dean. Playboy. Casanova. Pompous ass.

“Oh my God, Mel.” Colleen grasped her shoulders. “What a jerkhole!”

Melina nodded as tears pinched her eyes. She wasn’t crying for him. She wasn’t. She couldn’t be. She’d just been so freaking excited to be going to the Silverlight Awards. That had to be it. She’d spent all day building up tonight’s experience. She’d planned it all out in her head. Of course she’d feel deflated when the fantasy didn’t match the reality.

Cinderella wasn’t going to the ball after all.

Desperate to get a closer glimpse of the television and Hayden’s smug face, Melina crawled over the bed on her hands and knees. When she reached the end, the breath whooshed out of her lungs.

“Are you okay?” She heard Colleen say. “Mel?”

“I’m fine.”

Oh, she was far from the bland emotion. She wanted to rip out Hayden’s tongue and shove it where the sun didn’t shine. The man was a snake in—oh God, was that Prada? They would’ve matched. They could’ve been the perfect pair.

“I should’ve known better,” Melina mumbled. “I should’ve listened to my gut. Somewhere deep inside I think I knew all those magazines couldn’t be wrong.” She shook her head. “I gave Hayden Dean the benefit of the doubt, and two hours of my day. Those are two things he didn’t deserve. I won’t spend another second thinking about him.”

“Good for you.”

Melina sighed. “I guess I just hoped—I just thought maybe for once, the fairy tale could actually come true for me, you know?”

As her legs cramped, she sat back. The ear-piercing sound of fabric ripping hit her ears. She stilled, slowly glancing down. She brushed her fingers over a rip in the Prada dress she’d spent her entire month’s earnings on.

Tears burning her throat, Melina glared at Hayden’s face on the television screen and realized two things.

By ripping her Prada dress, she’d just committed a fashion sin.

And fairy tales were most definitely real. They were. Maybe not for her, but for the girls on Hayden’s arms. They radiated happiness, their wide, innocent eyes taking in the fanciful scene around them. They smiled as she would’ve been smiling. If those blondes could live in a dream, she could too. She had control over her life, including who came in and out of it.

She should be blissfully happy too.

Why’d she have to wait for some dashing knight in shining armor to come riding in on a white horse and sweep her off her feet?

She vowed, then and there, in her torn Prada dress, that she’d make her fairy tale come true…without an arrogant Prince Charming like Hayden Dean on her arm, acting as if he was the one responsible for it all.

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. She loves chocolate way more than she should and the gym less. You can usually find her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Guest Blogger: Deleted Scene from Shereen Vedam's A Devilish Slumber

GUEST BLOG #3 – The Mysterious Ink Spot
A Deleted Scene: I fight alone

Hello! Thank you very much to Rachel Stapleton for inviting me to the Mysterious Ink Spot blog. My name is Shereen Vedam and I write fairytale-inspired Regency fantasy romances. Today, I’d like to talk about a scene that was cut during final edits. The reason for the deletion was to pick up the pace and stay focused on the main storyline.

Yet, this scene was one of my favorites, possibly because when I was very young, I too was a bit of a loner like Lady Roselyn Ravenstock. Like me, she pulled so far away from her society, her friends, and family that she became an island unto herself.

In the deleted scene, she has been invited to a dinner party to meet the hero’s mother. Having spent so much time alone, years in fact, Rose has become too used to her own company, playing silent games, talking to herself, reading accounts of the war in the newspaper, even singing songs without worrying about being overheard.

Here’s the EXCERPT of that DELETED SCENE:
As each course was removed and the next presented, conversation veered onto Rose’s hosts’ upcoming wedding. Seated next to each other, few minutes passed before the couple’s hands brushed one another.
Would she and Phillip ever feel that close? Not if the trouble with her sister came between them.
Don’t think of that now.
She focused on the groom’s mother. She appeared serene and not in the least high in the instep. At the other end of the table, the groom’s sister seemed lively and excited about her first Season. Rose had been that excited once. Especially after she met Phillip. She slanted a side-glance toward him, and realized his attention had not strayed from her.
While she watched the others, he watched her. Her gaze wandered across the table and made a discordant connection with his mother. Mrs. Jones, too, had noted Phillip's preoccupation. And it did not please her.
Feeling out of place, Rose stared at her plate and allowed the friendly chatter around the table to fade. Idly, she arranged her green peas in two rows of soldiers. Her hero, Randolf, marched through the snowy potato mountains to Corunna with his regiment, and watched in despair as many men of all ranks lost their lives to hunger, cold and despair.
“I hope you are not disappointed with the fare my nephew has laid out for your pleasure,” Mrs. Jones said.
The silence in the room interrupted Rose’s Peninsular campaign among her vegetables. Mrs. Jones’s gaze was fixed on her battleground. In fact, everyone at the table watched her. Her cheeks warmed. She had once again forgotten where she was.
“Perhaps if you were to advise us of your war strategy,” Lady Terrance said with a mischievous grin, “we might be able to join in your fight.”
“I fight alone,” Rose replied, far too fast.
Phillip’s hand covered hers. “Not any longer.”
“Hear, hear.” Lord Terrance raised his glass in a toast. “For, as of today, you have all of us to stand by your side.

Have you ever felt alienated, distanced, and living in a world all your own? When you want to be left alone, where do you go or what do you do?

A Devilish Slumber
The Rue Alliance
Book 1
Shereen Vedam

Genre: Regency paranormal romance

Publisher: ImaJinn Books/Belle Books
Date of Publication:  Feb. 19, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61194-609-3 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-61194-592-8 (print)

Number of pages: 224
Word Count:  85,000

Cover Artist:  Debra Dixon

Book Description:

Beauty awoke, and then the trouble began . . .

Since dealing with the death of her sister and her abandonment by Sir Phillip Jones, the man who professed to love her, Lady Roselyn Ravenstock has lived as if sleepwalking. Mired in grief, she sequestered herself in her home, avoiding all callers. Then she meets Mrs. Helen Beaumont, and Rose starts to come to life . . . until Helen is murdered. But this time, Rose isn't going back to sleep. Vowing to avenge her friend, Rose dons a costume and goes out into the night looking for a killer.

Sir Phillip, the Regent's favored spy, returns from war determined to win back the woman he was forced to leave three years ago. But when he witnesses Rose covered in blood, racing from a brutal scene while gripping the murder weapon, he goes on a desperate mission to unravel what he hopes is a case of mistaken identity.

The investigation leads Rose into a world of enchantment, where people can re-shape their features, fires are begun with a snap of fingers and objects move of their own accord. But the real magic is the blazing attraction that is re-awakened between her and Phillip.

Will Rose ever get her happily-ever-after? Possibly. But first, she'll have to convince Phillip of her innocence-before the killer strikes again. . . .

Available at   Amazon   Google Books   BN   Chapters

Excerpt: A Devilish Slumber Chapter One

Midnight, Wednesday, April 8, 1813, London, England
A SCREAM RIPPLED across the misty, dockside air.
Sir Phillip Jones's pulse lurched at that mournful cry. Gripping his walking stick, he raced down the hilly road of the deserted warehouse district in Wapping. A second muffled scream rang out and was then abruptly cut off. No longer concerned about keeping his movements covert, he ran toward those terrified shrieks. Rounding a corner, he tore past a man staring toward where the screams had come from.
"Imbecile," the large man grumbled from behind him.
Phillip was ten feet away before it registered that the man had sworn in French. By then, the woman who ran out of a warehouse gripping a bloody dagger had captured his focus. For a split second, her face was clearly highlighted by a stray shaft of moonlight piercing the mist. He stumbled to a halt, his chest heaving for air as stunned recognition sank in.
The lady started and swung toward him. Had he spoken aloud? Pulling her hood up, she then sprinted off into the night.
Phillip instantly gave chase, but when he reached the open warehouse door through which she had fled, he pulled back. If that had been his Rose, he knew where she lived.
Rapidly retreating footsteps behind him suggested the irate Frenchman, probably a sailor, was also prudently withdrawing from this possible crime scene.
Inside the warehouse, despite the wide open door, it was pitch black, but that coppery scent of fresh spilled blood was unmistakable in the chilly sea air. Instead of blindly stepping in, Phillip pulled out his candle and circular silver tinderbox from his pocket. He had not survived the dangers of being an intelligence officer for the past five years by acting foolishly during a crisis.
He methodically placed the candle's wick end into the hole on the lid and struck the flint until the candle lit. Then, with flickering candle attached to the tinderbox's socket, he cautiously proceeded inside, his walking stick, with a sword hidden inside, raised to act as a club. If someone lurked within this warehouse, he would need blunt force, not blade finesse.
The warehouse was empty except for the victim who was slumped on the grimy floor, blood pooling at her side. Her throat had been slit. Her eyes were wide open as if in shock. He lowered his weapon, placed his candleholder on the ground, and knelt to check for signs of life. Her arm was limp and there was no pulse at the wrist, and not even a hint of a breath. Her skin was still warm, but her spirit had been effectively extinguished.
With a defeated sigh, he searched her reticule and found calling cards which confirmed her identity. This was indeed Mrs. Beaumont, the woman he had come to meet tonight. Not many from this riverside section of London could afford the luxury of calling cards. Her gown was serviceable, but not of high fashion. He strode restlessly around the empty warehouse, kicking aside empty crates and litter, poking at the walls in search of a hidden door, anything to prove that Rose was unlikely to be the culprit of this crime.
Anger built as he returned, empty handed, to the body. With a grunt of frustration, he flung his weighty walking stick across the room. It struck the wooden wall with a satisfying bang and then clattered as it rolled across the hollow chamber.
Shoulders set with resolve, he proceeded with his last distasteful but necessary search. He examined the underside of Mrs. Beaumont's sleeves and delved into her bodice. Nothing. He then lifted her gown in case she had strapped something to her limbs. Disappointed there too, he removed her boots and stripped off her stockings. Finding nary a clue, he carefully redressed her, making sure she would be respectably covered before the river police arrived. All the while, words rang through his mind. That cannot have been Rose running away.
As he re-positioned her arms at her side, he noticed one of the lady's clenched hands. Pulse speeding in anticipation, he raised her fist for closer study. Probing with his forefinger revealed something held inside her fist. He pried her fingers apart until they revealed a scrunched-up handkerchief. Drawing his candle holder closer, he carefully spread apart the material on the floor. There, on the top right, was a small, black, neatly embroidered crest of a raven.
That further evidence of Rose's guilt left him in choking silence as he battled the urge to compare it to the handkerchief now burning a hole in his breast pocket. Finally, knowing he had no choice, he pulled out the other and gently unfolded it beside the crumpled one. The two crests were a match. His handkerchief had been a gift from Lady Roselyn Ravenstock.

About the Author:

Once upon a time, Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She’s a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily-ever-after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rachael's Reviews: Brody Lane Gregg's Beyond the Skyline

Warning: This book made me cry and yet I highly recommend it. Why? Because it is a beautiful evocative story of a family touched by abuse, crime and redemption. ​I have to admit it is not exactly my genre and ​at times I felt the sadness almost unbearable but it was written in such a way that you were hooked in and the character development! 

​​Beyond the Skyline is Alex Lane’s experience of trading a Juvenile Detention Center and a life of crime for a stable home environment with brother Brandon's family. Alex finds himself attending high school and making new friends, he even falls in love with the pastor’s daughter. Throughout the book Alex writes about his feelings for each character and his fear of reverting back to his old criminal ways.

What I didn't see coming was the end. One if his new friends includes a naive stoner who sadly places Alex in a life changing predicament. The fact that the book was a diary of his life was brilliant. As a matter of fact I wrote the author to ask if it was based in some truth or fact. Amazing job Brody!

Go Buy it Now!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday's Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: This Weeks Traveller is Malay A. Upadhyay

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

This week's guest is seasoned traveller Malay A. Upadhyay. Today's journey is all about the story of Kalki Evian which was inspired as much by legend and characters in real life as the places Malay has travelled to over the years. All three, in his opinion, hold a mystery - a story - worthy of narration. The ones to feature in the book range from contemporary Milan to Catania in ruins, from futuristic San Siro to a retired Arena di Verona, from post-apocalyptic volcano Etna to a snowladen sunrise on Himalayas.

Place 1: San Siro, Milano

The iconic stadium of Milano retains its structure but has now been equipped with virtual reality. As one approaches it, a giant cuboidal structure comes into view, angled with one of its ends towards the onlooker and pinned to the ground by four tall pillars on its corners. Both the pillars and the sides are patterned with floors of passageways – curving around the pillars or slanting straight along the sides. Each ends somewhere along its base to a gateway – entry or exit, while the other escapes somewhere within the walls. The exterior is now all in glass, flashing with running bands of colours as people cover the distance – major sponsors, details of the organizers, rules of conduct et al. As the wide space that stretches between the stadium and the first set of metallic fence creases in, it brings along a growing wave of cheers from within. The match is about to begin. Once in, escalators carry people upwards with more advertisements flashing by the sides, and sounds that sufficiently eclipsed all else. “So basically,” as Qin sums up in the story, “Ads have become more like personal conversations, which means no two persons are seeing the same ones.”

That is the beauty of this virtual space. It isn’t bound by the first three dimensions of space. Our individual projections can overlap if seen from a third eye. Only, there is no third eye, except for the organizers with monitory purposes.

At the next right on a curving pass, an open gateway rises upon a few steps. The staircase is covered by huge walls that only reveal the northern sky to onlookers at first but as they draw closer, the huge stadium unravels itself. Suddenly the cheer is no more a cheer but a giant pot of boiling roar that comes from a slanting tapestry of people that appear to stretch for miles. This is a larger stadium than any that could have been imagined in the days now long gone. The path and the walls around soon melt into two seats fixed amidst an ocean of that crowd, distributed along three tiers. Wait, “melt”? Yes, and that’s not nearly the biggest change in how the game of football exists in this new world.

Place 2 - The bedroom. Theme: Baarish

Hold her hand now, look at her, let her look at you, for it takes the span of one blink. The wood begins to dissolve on the walls and for a split second, one observes a blank coating of what is now revealed to have been some form of glass all along. Immediately thereafter the colours emerge again on those glassy walls and begin to curve with fluidity and to spread as waves, resembling a drop of ink diluting itself in a bottle of water. Before you know, the room has turned to a rainforest on the edge of a lake. The latter comes to view first on the front wall as a body of water stretches out three-dimensionally till a very distant horizon where it merges with dense rainclouds. The surface is rippled with raindrops and bears little still waves of flowing water. On either side of you, the walls fashion few huge leaves surrounded by many smaller ones stemmed on to trees and hedges that make up a dense jungle view. The show stealers, however, are the static rainfall and those crystal clear raindrops hanging by the edges, which collect onto the grooves of those bent leaves whose very veins shine under a faint hint of light from above. The resolution is so clear that one can see a hint of one’s shining reflection in each miniscule drop. The roof carrying the rainclouds along its length has gaps through which sunrays seem to appear even as the giant star stands hidden behind. And yet, you are still in your room. And you are given an additional option: Play. Blink, and it comes to life.

Slowly the virtual leaves begin to twirl, bend and spring back under the force of proxy raindrops that have begun to fall around into oblivion. They simultaneously shake, led perhaps by a sort of wind that seems to push the rainclouds as well. It is virtual, electronic and confusing. Turn on the sound. Leaves began to crackle. The wind begins to blow by as the ripples spread on the lake. The raindrops begin to hit an invisible ground, the clouds expressing their thunderous intent. The entire transition is smooth, brought to our house by Scinoi Bee, under the authority of a lady whom few have ever heard of. Those who have, refrain from admitting so. Bask in ignorance, for Hope Leosword already has you tethered.

Place 3 - Post-apocalyptic Mt. Etna, Sicily

Thunder sounds loudly. It feels too cold for comfort. To the amazement of Qin, the mysterious reservations of Friuli & continuing loquaciousness of Bree, the ground reveals an apparent field of near-black gravel that seems to slip beneath them. Its slope is gradual further downhill on one end but nearly exponential as it curves upwards on the other. Intermittent blocks of stone shine in absolute black over the ground which itself is draped in a gradient of black, brown and red, surrounding them. Somewhere far downhill, faint patches of green show while the horizon is bordered with ripples of black. There lies the dark Mediterranean Sea, calm and hollow, but too far. The biting chill so high up on the mountain rises further as much above, the peak stands, tall and commanding against the radiant night sky, gleaming on its edges in bright red. Every now and then its insides grumble and send an added shiver down our spine. It feels as if Earth would move or hiccup at any time beneath our feet and even the firm solidity of its surface cannot be trusted. Wind is fierce and worsens both the cold and the wavering ground. Clouds are thick under the roof that has vanished well and truly over the dark humiliation of that covering of fumes and gases. The sounds are majestic and any intrusion is faint, as Qin realized when Bree spoke less than a foot from him, “You wanted to know about me? Here it is.”

It had been a shout but was subdued by the thunder and roar in the sky when they stood there that day, faced with a challenge. Qin looked at the tumultuous peak, flashing out warnings every second. He turned to Bree and asked, “A volcano?”

“Mungibeddu - my love, my tragedy, my home,” was the reply. That was Etna, the jewel of Sicily.

Place 4 - Sandakphu, Himalayas

We’re in India. We’re on the Himalayas. And the wind is always cold here too, though without the anomaly of fiery lava. It revels in the absence of obstructions of an urban sprawl. The lone house, the hut, is made of wood, distinct in its snow-laden roof slanting down upon creaking doors. It stands singularly erect in a cluster of three huts further away. Thick uneven snow on ground creates a wave in the darkness that precedes dawn. There, in a distance, is another hut - the smallest - that flickers over a single candle flame somewhere inside. A very old woman lived there once, several years back. Her noodle soup – steaming, bland and life-saving - would still be distinct in any traveller’s memory. It was nothing short of an elixir in the freeze that prevailed outside. It was such remembrance with which Qin had wished, above all else, that he could tell her just how much her culinary effort in a lost world meant to each and every individual who had ever arrived at Sandakphu from the farthest corners of the world. That faint flickering view at the back of the hut hides the path that brings trekkers up to this peak. In front, land stretches some fifty meters in length and some fifteen degrees in incline. Beyond that, it slopes down sharply from three sides. Nothing lies beyond its softly curving horizon ahead, except the darkest a sky can be, adorned with the twinkle of brighter stars. The only sound is a howl – the hollow wave of the wind as on a desert. For, at that edge, one stands facing the valley beyond – a valley so deep, its end can never been seen. Nor can one wish to see it, for every pair of eyes remains fixed upon the distant mountain range that stretches ahead – many, many miles away. And each of those pairs that looks at it inevitably focuses on one peak in particular - Mt. Everest. There it stands, humble, unassuming, quiet.

Qin, though, was not allowed that moment of awe as he limped up to the edge, bruised and battered. For, as he felt in that moment, the added chill was brought not by the wind, the inspiration brought not by the rocks. These were the embellishments of a silhouette that interrupted the continuum of horizon on that edge. The silhouette was that of Kalki Evian.