Thursday, May 31, 2018

Excerpt From "My Texas Heart"


Parking in the rural lot, Josh breathed in the clear, country air as he wandered over to the huge, fenced playground. He paused to watch his son and a group of his friends race their tricycles over the hard-packed trails that wove around the old oak trees dotting the quarter-acre space. Their squeals of laughter eased the pressure squeezing his chest. He sure hoped they’d find a place like this for Chad in California.
Situated on several acres of land, the daycare and pre-school were housed in several different converted homes so kids had age-appropriate experiences in a non-institutional setting. The center also had five separate large play areas plus an organic garden section. The owners had left one portion of the property in its natural state and offered outdoor adventure activities to the kids. Chad had thrived here and Josh knew his son would miss this place.
Josh waved to one of the attendants and opened the gate. He walked to where he would be in his son’s sight-line as he barreled down the path. Chad came to a screeching halt and vaulted off his bike into Josh’s arms. Burying his face in his son’s hair and inhaling the pleasant scent of little boy sweat and dirt, Josh hugged his boy tight. If the decision hadn’t already been made, this would have cemented it. He would move to California no matter the personal cost.
Standing, Josh cradled Chad on his hip. Chad leaned back, laughing, and Josh had to work to keep his balance. Chad was almost too big to be carried this way. Sadness punched Josh in the gut. He’d hoped to have another child by this time, and maybe another a few years down the road. He righted his son’s Stetson that had slipped to his back as he wriggled. The hat was a gift from his uncles, who the young boy idolized. One more reason to envy his brothers—they represented adventure and excitement and the kinds of jobs every boy dreamed about having when they grew up. The exact opposite of Josh.
“You ready to go?” Josh set the boy back on the ground. “I thought we’d have pizza. There’s someone I would like you to meet.”
“Pizza.” Chad hopped and clapped his hands. “At the place with the games?”
“Of course.” Josh said enfolding his son’s hand in his own, letting the warmth of the gesture flow through him.
“You’re bringing someone new to play with me?” Chad beamed up, openly curious and eager to know if this new person was interesting.
“I don’t know about the playing part. Not everyone knows how to play the games, but she’s a friend of mine and I hope you’ll like her.” Since Cindy refused to play the arcade games, Chad was familiar with the concept.
With the attention span typical of a four-year-old, Chad quickened the pace as they approached the door to his classroom, tugging on Josh’s arm.
“What’s the rush, champ?”
“I want you to see my popsicle stick birdfeeder. Mom said you could have it.” Josh didn’t miss the flicker of disappointment in Chad’s eyes. He needed to talk to Cindy again about how she phrased things to Chad. He was pretty sure she didn’t mean to hurt his feelings, but sometimes she didn’t appreciate how hard Chad tried to please her.
He kept his tone neutral. “That was really nice of mom to let me have something special you made. I bet you’ve made lots of nice things she’s kept.” Josh hoped the stab of anger he felt didn’t show. He wanted Chad to love his mom and tried to be careful not to drive a wedge between them.
“Yeah, she’s pinned a few of my drawings to the refrigerator and told me how nice they are.” His face brightened.
Josh breathed a quiet sigh of relief. Apparently she’d listened to some of what he’d said. When they reached Chad’s cubby, he knelt down. Chad cradled the brightly-painted, square structure in his cubby, little hands and carefully transferred it to Josh.
“Wow, son. This is gorgeous. You must have worked really hard.” He held the birdfeeder in one hand and hugged his son. “We may have to stop by the pet store on the way home and get some seed. You’ll have to help me pick out something they’ll like.”
Chad’s eyes and mouth went round while his brows lifted to his forehead. “You mean it? The teachers talked about what wild birds like to eat.” He stroked a finger along the edge. “Do you think they’ll come?”
 “Birds are pretty good about spotting food, so I bet they will. Especially something this pretty.” Josh twisted the square feeder back and forth to admire it from all sides. “I love all the colors. It should really stand out.” Josh stood. “Come on, let’s get your coat and go.”

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Josh Kincaid from “My Texas Heart” by Bonnie Phelps

5 Stars: This author has a way of painting beautiful word pictures and creating realistic, endearing characters. You won’t be disappointed with her work. Amazon Reviewer

Divorced from one woman who put her career ahead of everything – including their young son, Chad – Josh Kincaid isn’t about to make that same mistake twice. If he ever falls in love again, it’s going to be with a woman who puts family first. Chad is the most important thing in Josh’s life and he’ll do whatever it takes to be an active part of his life. But his ex has other plans and painfully shy Josh has to step up and fight for his son.

Feisty and driven, Fiona Reilly has plans. She left home to break away from the expectations that she marry and stay home to raise a passel of children. Nothing wrong with that life – it’s just not for her. Instead, she’s going to make something of herself and build a business to be reckoned with. In no hurry to fall in love, Josh and his adorable son capture her heart, forcing her to choose between her dreams and building the home she didn’t know she wanted.

Love has a way of messing up even the best of intentions…

Today I’m talking to Josh Kincaid from “My Texas Heart: The Texas Kincaids Book 3,” my just released Contemporary Romance. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

How old are you?

What is your relationship status?
Nearing the end of my divorce proceedings. Divorce in Texas isn't quick and since my wife and I haven't agreed on custody arrangements for our son, Chad, it's taken a year to finalize. Cindy, my soon-to-be-ex, wants to remarry and move to California. That part’s fine but taking Chad with her isn't.

What is people’s first impression of you?
Most people don't even see me. I'm shy. Have been my entire life and tend to fade into the background.

Name three of your favorite things.
Riding my motorcycle - makes people look at me like I'm mysterious and maybe a little dangerous. Creating an awesome piece of computer code. Playing catch with my son in the backyard.

Name three things that tick you off.
People who make fun of people who are different. I'm a computer security analyst so people who try to hack in and steal from our clients. My ex-wife and her new husband.

What is your best memory to date?
The day my son was born. I helped create this little human being. It made me realize I'm part of the human chain. I'm part of the past and the future and not an island.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
He found his strength and his voice. He's someone.

What was your first impression of Fiona?
Fiona was everything I secretly wanted to be... outgoing and friendly. Confident. Full of life and joy. She sparkles when she walks into a room.

If we could only hear your voice (but not see you) what characteristic would identify you?
If I'm nervous, then my stutter. Otherwise my natural hesitancy when talking to someone I don't know.

Are you close to family?
Yes and no. I love them and would do anything for them. I know they have my back as well but I don't think they've ever understood me.

If you could make any one thing happen, what would it be?
Get custody of my son. I want him to have a relationship with his mom - if she wants one - every child should know their parents love them but I want to get him out of that toxic environment.

What kinds of things do you always carry in your pockets?
The usual - wallet, keys, cell phone, but I also carry a USB drive and this thing that opens like a Swiss Army Knife but it's a miniature tool kit.

What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
Fiona made me realize that I never believed in myself. Growing up I saw myself as the square peg trying to fit in a round hole. My brothers are outdoorsy and loved the ranching life. They were good at sports. My oldest brother, Nate, played football in college and could have gone pro but chose to be a large animal veterinarian instead. My middle brother, Zack, is a national team roping champion on the rodeo circuit. Me? I was okay at sports but preferred to spend my time tinkering with computers or playing video games. I always felt like I was too different to be loved and truly accepted.

What would make you completely happy?
Marry Fiona, and along with Chad, build a future and family together.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Hop on my Indian Scout Motorcycle - preferably with Fiona wrapped around me - and tear along the Devil's Backbone. Leaning into the curves, the wind whipping in my face, complete freedom.

“My Texas Heart” is available through:
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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Reviews For "My Texas Heart" by Bonnie Phelps

Thank you to all of the amazing advanced readers of MY TEXAS HEART for your honest reviews. As an author it’s gratifying to hear your thoughts – I hope to improve with every book I write and your comments do help – and that my words spoke to so many of you. Following are a few snippets from some of the 60+ reviews posted on Amazon. 

Priced at $2.99 until June 4 - FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

4 Stars – Since most books I read involve a lead male character who is confident and often arrogant, I was interested to read a story involving a shy man who battled insecurities. This story really hit home for me in a lot of ways. Growing up, my parents divorced when I was at about the same age as Chad. While I was blessed to have 2 parents who really loved me, I do recall often feeling like a pawn they used to seek revenge against each other. I also had a stepparent who made my life as miserable as possible, so I could relate in many ways with this story. It is so well written, and the characters are easy to love (& hate, for those who definitely don’t deserve to be loved).

5 Stars – A great story about compromise and trust, and adjusting your dreams.

5 Stars – This touching story will have you in Josh's corner and cheering for a positive outcome for the parties on hand.

5 Stars – It had me captivated from the beginning with the hot steamy scenes.

4 Stars – I was surprised how much I liked this love story. I am so used to reading about the alpha male who so consumes the heroine that nothing else matters to her. Don't get me wrong Josh still had that strength to his character but he was not overwhelming, in fact he felt like an everyday man that we would meet today - and that made him hot.

4 Stars – Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride. I felt so many emotions while reading this story – I laughed, cried, felt anger, and of course love.

4 Stars – An emotionally engrossing read that will for sure pull at your heartstrings! A moving passion filled storyline that is enjoyable, intense and at times hard to put down! A must read with an amazing HEA and is well worth the read and more!

5 Stars – This was a heartfelt story that was enjoyable. The characters were engaging. The book was emotional and I can’t wait to read more from this author!

5 Stars – I adored Josh, but what's not to love about a quiet, sexy, nerdy, motorcycle riding single dad?

5 Stars – Very entertaining, captivating and interesting sexy read. I could not put it down. Wonderfully written with strong, intriguing characters.

5 Stars – This definitely had a well thought out storyline and I was totally enthralled in the story. Highly suggest this book.

"My Texas Heart" is available in eBook through:


Friday, May 25, 2018

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Better To Marry Than To Burn” by Michal Scott

Freed Man seeking woman to partner in marriage for at least two years in the black township of Douglass, Texas. Must be willing and able to help establish a legacy. Marital relations as necessary. Love neither required nor sought.

Caesar King's ad for a mail-order bride is an answer to Queen Esther Payne’s prayer. Her family expects her to adhere to society's traditional conventions of submissive wife and mother, but Queen refuses. She is not the weaker sex and will not allow herself to be used, abused or turned into a baby-making machine under the sanctity of matrimony. Grateful that love is neither required nor sought, she accepts the ex-slave's offer and heads West for marriage on her terms. Her education and breeding will see to that. However, once she meets Caesar, his unexpected allure and intriguing wit makes it hard to keep love at bay. How can she hope to remain her own woman when victory may be synonymous with surrender? 

First Kiss Excerpt

Caesar looked at Queen. His eyes glistened with unshed tears. She gasped then swallowed hard, unnerved by the sight. Her lips trembled.
Reverend Warren smiled at Queen then addressed Caesar. “You may kiss the bride.”
Kiss? Queen flinched. There’d be no kissing in this marriage. She’d promised to be his wife for two years with sex provided at agreed upon intervals. At the end of two years that requirement would end and she’d be free to live as she chose. She could go anywhere she pleased, especially with the respectability of missus before her name and Caesar’s promised severance. No. This coupling made them business partners. Business partners did not kiss.
She extended her hand to seal their arrangement. He returned the handshake but instead of releasing her, his too rough fingers imprisoned hers and pulled her to him. With his other hand he captured the back of her head and secured her mouth to his.
A squeal of surprise parted her lips. His thick tongue swept into the shelter of her mouth. The assault ambushed her with pleasure and vanquished her resistance.
Her hands rose, as if of their own volition, and pressed against his chest. The firm muscle beneath his shirt coaxed her hands to linger, to explore—however discretely—the muscle beneath her palms and fingertips.
Caesar broke off the kiss.
The embrace didn’t last more than a few seconds, but Queen swayed, robbed of reason and resentment.
Reverend Warren handed Caesar the marriage certificate and shook his hand. Queen stood, mouth gaping, startled by the confusion roiling through her mind, amazed by the moisture roiling in her sex.
With a simple kiss, this bull of a man had exhumed the sexual hunger she’d thought buried.
“Thanks for being available, Pastor.” Caesar shook the minister’s hand. “Mother Maybelle.” He hugged and kissed the older woman. Again, their affection stirred an unexpected sympathy in Queen’s chest. She sucked in a breath to dispel it.
He gripped Queen by the upper arm and hauled her back to the wagon.
 “What’s the rush?” she asked.
He hoisted her up to the seat by her waist before she could object. She swallowed the gasp elicited by the press of possession in his grasp.
 “Daylight’s burning,” he stated. “Don’t want to be caught out after dark.”
Queen eyed his lips, their fullness still remembered against her mouth. She shifted several times but found no relief from the pressure pulsing along her labia. Good Lord, how was she to make sense of so strong a physical reaction to this stranger? Had celibacy left her defenseless against physical contact from anyone?
Or was this physical attraction genuine? She’d heard of people who derived pleasure from both men and women. Could she be one?
His throaty baritone interrupted her thoughts with an occasional question or comment. She could only listen, still stunned, still roused by the command in his embrace. 
“Over there to the west lie the pastures where my cattle graze...”
Images of him lassoing wayward steer transformed into images of him performing a similar round up with her. Damn that kiss. Her labia quivered in drenched delight. She’d never survive this exile if a simple kiss could awaken desire.
Her gaze stole to his fly and a bulge that had her mouth-watering. Closing her eyes didn’t bring relief. A wave of anger crashed over her. How had he done it?
“What woman-loving woman taught you to kiss that way?”
His massive head jerked back as if she’d slapped him. “Well, that’s a first. I talk about cattle, and you ask about kisses.”
“No man knows how to kiss like that. Only women do.”
A bushy eyebrow rose over a countenance suddenly darkened by suspicion. “How would you know? Your experience has only been with women...or so I understood from your letter.”
Embarrassment warmed the tips of her ears. She brushed her fingers along the excited flesh, uncomfortably aware a similar excitement troubled her nether lips.
“All my pleasurable experiences have been with women.” Until your amazing, conquering kiss. “I’ve known the brutality of male lips and tongues and...” She looked down at his bulge again. “Certain appendages.”
“Brutal, eh?” He smirked. “So you’ve chosen my brutal lips and tongue and appendages over those of the brutes you knew in Philadelphia.”
“If you must know, yes.”
He angled his head and eyed her. “But isn’t the adage better the devil you know?”
She fisted her hands in her lap. “Not for me it isn’t.”
He put his attention back on the road. “Well, if you must know, my wife Emma trained me.”
His features softened. Queen glimpsed melancholy in his smile.
“Our first kiss was nectar.” He closed his eyes and inhaled. “Each kiss after that tasted sweeter than the one before.”
She had her suspicion confirmed: ecstasy did look good on him.
He cleared his throat and flicked the reins against his horse’s rump. All traces of sadness vanished. “You needn’t worry. ‘Twas memory of her I embraced before Reverend Warren. Not you. ‘Though...” He looked her up and down. “I had not expected such a warm response from an ice princess.”
Ice princess. Her belly clenched. The phrase shouldn’t have hurt. She wanted the arctic between them. The unanticipated thaw created by that kiss proved she needed a frozen emotional wasteland between them more than ever.
He let his scrutiny linger in her lap. “Where else do your fires burn?”
She squeezed her thighs together and kept her sight on the horizon. “I wouldn’t recommend you try to find out.”
“Oh wouldn’t you, Mrs. King?”
The wagon heaved to a halt. She turned in time to see him put on the brake, but not in time to prevent him hauling her against him. His body suffused hers with an erotic heat.
 “Better To Marry Than To Burn” is available through:

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with FBI Agent Devyn Nash from “A Dose of Danger” by Kim McMahill

Today we’re talking to FBI Agent, Devyn Nash, from “A Dose of Danger (Book 1 in the Risky Research Series),” a Romantic Suspense by Kim McMahill. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

When researcher Grace Talbot and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss they are targeted by a group dedicated to controlling a diet product industry worth billions. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?

What is your relationship status?
For the first time in my life I’m in a healthy relationship with a wonderful man. The main problem, though, is that he lives in another state so we don’t see each other all the time.

What is people’s first impression of you?
People see me as a no nonsense, hard-as-nails FBI agent. Most think I’m cold and unapproachable and few try to get close to me. That impression was so ingrained for so many years that I was starting to believe it, and then came Gage…

Name three of your favorite things.
Nothing can compare with the object of my affections, Wyoming Sheriff Gage Harris, but I also love raw chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate and peanut butter ice cream straight out of the carton.

Name three things that tick you off.
I have little tolerance for bullies, hypocrites, and weasels of the humankind.

What are you most afraid of?
I’m most afraid of failing. In my line of work, when I fail people die.

Are you close to family?
I was an only child, so I didn’t have much family to start with. I was very close to my parents. When your dad is in the military and you live all over the world it’s helpful if your mom is your best friend. Unfortunately, my parents died in a boating accident, at least that’s what the authorities called it, shortly after I graduated from high school.

Do you care about what others assume about you?
I never cared about what others assumed about me until recently. As I mentioned earlier, I’m pretty infatuated with a handsome and rugged lawman, and I finally have a girlfriend in my life for the first time since college, so I’m definitely trying to be a better person.

What kinds of things do you always carry in your purse?
I don’t carry a purse since I need to keep my hands free in case I have to reach for my gun. I go through life pretty lean. My badge is usually clipped to my belt and I have a phone in one pocket and a little cash stashed in another.

What inner doubt causes you the most difficulty?
Until my current partner, Nick Melonis, I went through a new partner about every six months. I was starting to take it pretty personally, and I couldn’t help but doubt myself. Was I that hard to be around? I still worry that my new man and best friend will leave me like everyone else in my life, but the longer they stick, the more my confidence grows.

What would make you completely happy?
First, I have to bring to justice a deadly group who has been manipulating the diet product industry for profit at the expense of many lost lives. Once that’s done, if I could spend the rest of my life with Gage Harris, I would die a happy woman.

“A Dose of Danger” is available through:

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Friday, May 18, 2018

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Prince of Jiran” by Sylvie Grayson

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Sylvie Grayson, and an excerpt from her SciFi/Fantasy Romance, “Prince of Jiran, The Last War: Book Five.”

Shandro, Prince of the Penrhy tribe of Jiran, disagrees with his father, Sovereign Pollack, on nearly every issue that arises between them. But his goal is to uphold the family values in spite of Pollack’s conniving moves as he deals with the hotbed of competing nations surrounding them.

Then Shandro is sent on a mission across the mountains into Khandarken to bring back Princess Chinata, a bride for Emperor Carlton’s Advisor. In exchange, Jiran and the Penrhy tribe are given a peace agreement, protection against invasion by the Emperor’s troops. This seems a good trade, as Carlton is hovering on their borders with his need for more land. However, not far into the journey, it becomes apparent someone is not adhering to the terms of the peace accord.

Near the tribal border, Shandro and his troops have come under direct attack from unknown forces. He digs deeper into Chinata’s background to find strong ties to the New Empire. Is it too dangerous to bring Princess Chinata into Jiran? Or as her escort, does Shandro become her defender against the Emperor’s troops?

First Kiss Excerpt

As the Penrhy riders approached the foothills, it began to snow. The flakes came down like feathers, lingering in the air and landing leisurely on leaves and branches, ending with a flourish on the bare ground. Shandro rode with Haggskyll in the centre of the troop, the women following in pairs behind them, surrounded by mounted guards.
The falling snow was beautiful, and Chinata seemed particularly taken with it. Shandro heard her soft voice among the cries of the other women, and reined in to glance around. Her head was thrown back as she tried to catch a flake on her tongue. He laughed and she glanced his way, colour flooding her cheeks.
His smile widened. She self-consciously looked away as Haggskyll nudged his horse. Yah, best to mind his business and not get too attached to the woman. But he couldn’t resist looking back now and then as the flakes came faster, covering the ground in a pristine white blanket. As late afternoon approached, the boughs of the trees held a light dusting and the wind became stronger. They rode on, the women less excited, tucking their cloaks tighter and pulling shawls and scarves close.
By dusk it was a full-blown blizzard. He couldn’t see two feet in front of him. Kiggundu had already called a halt, fixing his sights on a clearing at the side of the track in front of a deep cave. It looked like a good spot. They immediately began to set up camp, the men rushing to get shelters erected before it was completely dark.
The cooks arranged their gear in the entrance to the cave and lit the fireheat. Soon water was bubbling and hot drinks were available. It was one of the few times Shandro ever saw his men line up and patiently wait. It was damned cold.
Where was the Princess? He glanced around and saw Haggskyll talking to Lena outside a small tent. That must be where the women were. He walked in that direction, watching Kiggundu set the guards and work out the night shifts among his men. It was a rough night to do guard duty, but they had to remain alert. There had been too many signs that all was not right on this journey.
Haggskyll raised his head as Shandro drew close. His cheeks were red. From the cold? Perhaps not. He had the distinct impression his guard had been about to kiss the woman. By the graves. Didn’t he have a discretionary bone in his body? Bad enough that he cut a wide swath through the women back home.
“Hagg,” he growled in irritation. “Take Lena to fetch some tea for the Princess. The cooks have the fireheat going and a line is forming already.” The guard turned away and held out his hand. Lena placed her fingers in his big fist and walked by his side toward the cave.
Shandro stared. So that’s how it was. Hagg moved damned fast. Turning, he lifted the tent flap and stepped inside. Chinata was removing her cloak, the fur covered with an outer layer of snow.
“Let me help,” he said, stepping forward and removing it from her hands. He gave it a good shake through the tent opening before handing it back to her. “That should do it. It’ll be dry by morning.”
Her cheeks turned a becoming pink and her gaze skittered to the side. “Thank you.” Her voice sounded soft, breathless. But that’s how he felt when he was near her. Breathless.
“Can you make yourself comfortable here? It’s just until you’ve had dinner. We’ll bed you down in the cave. It’s warmer and better protected. Some of the men will sleep here.”
“Oh, I see. I wondered…”
“Yah, we don’t want you sleeping in the cold if we can help it. We won’t always find a shelter, but we’ll do the best we can.” He pushed a damp strand of hair back from her cheek. “Has it been a hard day?”
She shivered at the touch of his fingers.
“Are you cold?” His voice was low. “Can I warm you?”
She glanced quickly away. “No, no. I’m fine.”
“Chinata.” She looked up as he lowered his head. It was just a fleeting kiss, no more. A mere meeting of mouths, yet his heart was galloping in his chest by the time he lifted away. She remained motionless, as if frozen in place by his action, so he lowered his head again.
Her skin was tender to the touch, long dark lashes brushing her cheeks as her eyes slowly closed. He pressed his lips to her soft mouth, then to a suddenly red cheek and against each eyelid. Moving back, he knew he’d stepped over some line. This woman was promised to another, and it was his job to bring her through the border without harm. His breath came in and out harshly as his lungs laboured in confusion and regret. He was worse than Haggskyll. “I’m sorry Princess. It won’t happen again.”
Was that disappointment he saw in her eyes? He ducked under the tent flap just as Lena appeared with a covered tea bowl. “She’s waiting for you,” he said in a surprisingly steady voice and walked away.

“Prince of Jiran” is available through:

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Meet the Characters – An Interview with Pietas from “Bringer of Chaos” by Kayelle Allen

Today we’re talking to Pietas from “Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire (Marooned on a Barren World),” a SciFi with a bit of Romance by Kayelle Allen. Let’s get started. I’m sure our readers are eager to learn more about you.

Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire

When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that's the problem. He's not.

Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it's up to Pietas to free them. He can't release one at a time. It's all or nothing. He's facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals who will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.

It's not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he's loved for lifetimes is at his side. He's bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.

Before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he's fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever...

Pietas, how old are you?
In the Bringer of Chaos series, I'm still fairly young. Not quite two thousand. I was born in 2620 (Terran dating) and the story unfolds in 4536.

What is your relationship status?
I pair with Joss Avaton, my best friend and mentor in weaponry. The woman is a genius weapons designer. Imagine "dating" a woman who's a master telepath and a weapons designer. That could be dangerous, no? Fortunately, she's also even tempered and has a sweet spirit. And she loves me.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
This again... Very well, I suppose you mean what I look like. Tall (seven Terran feet), long, straight white-blond hair, blue eyes, fair. Like most of the scientist class, I have a slender frame. But I was enhanced with warrior class strength. I have an ant's strength and a bulldog's tenacity. I can pick up more than I weigh, and have agility and speed.

What is people's first impression of you?
That I'm arrogant and a narcissist. That's fine. I dislike drama. Plus, you can't miss friends you never have.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
I'm immortal. "Vacant."

Now on to something lighter, what is your favorite drink?
Ultras are unaffected by alcohol, so we drink to share time with friends. What else... I fill my cup with sugar and stir in a little coffee. Not a tea drinker, though I like it better than coffee. Hmm. I am fond of chocolate milk.

What is your favorite food?
My father used to ask that, but only to deprive me of it as punishment. I'll tell you what I told him. Porridge. Cold and congealing in the bowl.

What is your favorite song?
Forged in Fire. It's a warrior's chant, sung slowly in a minor key, often after a battle. It's in bonus content at the end of Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire.
Cast out upon a barren world, all hope of home forsaken now.
The rage of war has here begun. The vanquished cry as victors rise.
An Ultra's life is borne in grief.

What is your most prized possession?
A metal canteen-style cup given to me by Six. He offered me water and after I drank, told me he wanted me to keep that cup when he was gone. He said every time I drank from it I should remember not all humans were my enemy.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Spend the first half of it wondering that very question. I am not given to idleness. A king cannot rule an immortal race by practicing sloth. I understand the value of downtime, but I find it impossible to tolerate. Although I would trade almost anything for a chance to go fishing with Six, kick back on the bank of a slow river and point out to each other what shapes the clouds are making. No matter what I chose to do, I'd accomplish it with my panther, Tiklaus. The cat and I have a strong emotional and telepathic bond. Seeing the world through that panther's eyes has opened an entirely different universe.

“Bringer of Chaos” is available through:

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Giveaway for everyone

Here is a free adult coloring book to download and print, based on Pietas. If you like dragons, you will love this. It contains both purchased and licensed images and original art. Feel free to share the link with friends.

Friday, May 11, 2018

First Kiss Friday – An Excerpt from “Grace's Turmoil” by Peter Perrin

Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Peter Perrin, and an excerpt from his Contemporary Romance, “Grace's Turmoil (Book One of Not Too Old for Love).”

The inspiration behind my writing
Almost five years ago, my granddaughter self-published two novels on Amazon, at the age of fourteen. I was impressed with this and decided to try writing a novel myself. I thought that if she wasn’t too young to be published maybe I wasn’t too old. Also, I thought it would be a good mental exercise for my then sixty-nine-year-old brain. How much exercise I could never have imagined.

I believed the younger generation thought most people over the age of sixty had one foot in the grave, and were just killing time until the grim reaper claimed them. But, I knew that wasn’t the case for many people, so I looked for a way to write something to show them in a positive light.

Even though at this time I had never read any romance novels I decided to write a romance, with the hero and heroine both being over sixty. And, I came up with the idea of my characters being residents at a retirement village that was pretty much a private 5* hotel. There was a lot of scope for activities and relationships and I was sure the idea would work.

Unfortunately, I had virtually no previous writing experience or training and no idea about planning, etc. So, the book started off as a series of conversations, and developed from there. My inexperience meant that sometimes I ran into a dead-end with the plot line. Then I had to throw away material as the story just didn’t work properly. This meant the book took a lot longer than I had expected it to.

Before I started on the novel proper I created separate Character Portraits for both the heroine and hero. Then I created virtual interviews with them. Also I looked at how certain star signs are supposed to work together, or not. From that I came up with the idea the heroine would be a Pisces and the hero would be Aries.

Astrologically it is claimed that for these two signs when their minds link it is magical. They stimulate each other, both in sexual and non-sexual ways. And they are also inclined to irritate each other. This gave me a strong feeling for how they would get on in the story and why at times they wouldn’t.

My decision to set my book in a retirement village was a brave one. It meant that much of the action would either be based there, or start or finish there. But, I felt that by doing so I had a perfect excuse to have so many mature people in one location, trying to get along with one another. And in some cases, they would be trying to do a lot more than that. I went to visit a retirement village and was impressed by the facilities. It was that establishment that gave me the idea of having my imaginary village (The Grange) set in a seventeenth-century mansion that had been converted into a modern retirement complex with first-class facilities.

As the book developed so I came to know my characters—especially the main ones—and began to think of them as real people. At times I could really feel them interacting together as if I was present as an observer. At times I felt quite emotional when reading back some of what I’d written and that made me feel I must be doing something right. But the highlights were when, on several occasions, I looked over what I had written and thought ‘that wasn’t supposed to happen’ or ‘I never meant them to say that’. I had experienced what I had previously only heard about; my characters had written part of the story themselves. What a remarkable and deeply satisfying feeling that was.

I submitted a sample chapter to a publisher to see if it fitted with the sort of work they published, and it did. After a year of rewriting and polishing the manuscript I submitted it and fifteen months ago I won a publishing contract. Now, aged almost seventy-four, my debut novel, ‘Grace’s Turmoil’ has been published by Devine Destinies as Book One of a series called ‘Not Too Old for Love.’ And it is available from Amazon, both as an eBook and in paperback.

It seems that over recent years more and more readers of romance had become frustrated that all the heroines they read about were aged about twenty, whilst they themselves were on average at least ten years older. They were looking for heroines they could identify with. Women who had life experience and carried emotional baggage with them. Women who had experienced the pain of becoming a widow, or experiencing a painful divorce. In short, real women.

Unfortunately the book was finished before I knew so many romance readers felt like that, so I guess I’m lucky that my instincts drove me to write about the sort of people I did. Now it seems that there are a growing number of authors writing for this new market, which seems to be being referred to as Seasoned Romance, Second Chance Romance, and the like. I’m proud to be a part of that growing band of authors trying to respond to this demand.

This started out to be one stand-alone novel, but people who critiqued it along the way wanted certain characters to get their own book(s) later, so I decide to try my hand at creating a series in which each of the books would be stand-alone, but would be linked by at least one character from a previous book. There have certainly been enough interesting characters created to lead to another two books. This is exciting for me but has the downside that I’m going to have to write much quicker, and more efficiently in the future to make this possible.  But, at least I have now made a start on book two.

Wish me luck.

First Kiss Excerpt

They’d finished watching the first episode of Poldark. Alfred was feeling completely relaxed and comfortable in Grace’s company. He was aware she only wanted friendship, and even that seemed difficult for her right then. Still, he found it hard to accept they could only be friends. In fact—because she was so beguiling—his plan to play the field already lay in tatters. And he knew he wanted much more than she was offering—regardless of how long he had to wait for it.

Indeed, so strong was his attraction to her, he felt compelled to kiss her. He knew she would not want him to—but he believed it was sometimes easier to say sorry than it was to get permission. “Grace,” he murmured, and she turned to look into his eyes. He caressed her face with the fingertips of one hand. Then he brushed his lips against hers in the softest of kisses.
Grace jumped and pulled away from him. “What the heck do you think you’re doing?”
Alfred rubbed one hand over his face and let out a deep sigh. “I’m so sorry. The kiss wasn’t planned. I was overcome by a sudden need to do it. Please tell me I haven’t offended you.”
Grace pressed her lips together and shook her head slowly. “No…I’m not offended, but I am a tad disappointed…given what I told you about my emotional state after my divorce.”
Alfred hitched a breath and hung his head. He had let his desire put any future relationship with Grace at risk. With tenderness, he enveloped both her tiny hands in his and spoke softly to her. “There’s no point in denying that I feel a strong attraction to you. And I’m sorry if that makes you feel uncomfortable.”
“Yes, it does. But if you can promise to behave yourself in future, I’ll try to be your friend.”
A feeling of great relief surged through Alfred’s body. It looked as if he had not put Grace off altogether. Still, it was clear he was going to have to be much more circumspect in future. “Thank you, dear lady. You have my word as an officer and a gentleman that I will behave with absolute integrity in future.”
“Thank you. Even so, we should call it a night.”
Shuffling his feet, Alfred tugged at his beard before speaking. “Fair enough, my dear. But before we do, I must ask if you’ll let me buy you breakfast in the bistro tomorrow. By way of a peace offering, so to speak.”
Grace tipped her head to one side. She appeared to be giving his offer consideration. “Well now, let me see…”

“Grace’s Turmoil” is available through:

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