Saturday, November 30, 2013

Red and Gold: giveaway

I’ve only lived in two regions in my life, the Mid-Atlantic and New England. This is the time of year when the differences stand out most strongly to me.
And the big deference to me isn’t the temperature - it is the color pallets. Today is the first day that I truly noticed the winter colors of the Mid-Atlantic: red and gold.
The bittersweet vine with the red berries in yellow cases. Holly berries with the trees surrounded with dried grasses standing starkly. The gentle whisper of wind through the grasses. 
It is lovely in the way that New England is in the fall with all her splendid trees blazing.
New England is all layered browns and grays. The sea is a flat green gray, crashing against gray stone. The soil is muted brown. The trees stand brown and leafless. The perfect muted winter palate.
Sometimes, here in Delaware, I forget it is winter because the colors are to vivid, to saturated. 
I don’t write much in this season and I don’t write much about this season either. But last year I did write a Christmas story set in the greater Boston area. I’ve never managed a Christmas story set in Delaware. I think the bright palate of our winter makes it hard for me to focus and think of Christmas.
 
              Rejoice:A Burden
 
I will be giving away 2 copies of my Christmas story to commenters!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Q&A With a Romance Author: Blended Families

by Danica Winters
 
To help spread the world about my latest release, Winter Swans, I have been answering reader questions. I loved the questions I received. Especially when they addressed the issue of blended families. I often write about the modern American family in which there are divorces, several marriages, step children and parents, and all those emotional issues that come along with the quest to find happiness.
I hope you enjoy this Q&A!
 
Q: I come from a blended family and am now thinking about getting married to my long-term boyfriend. My biggest fear is finding myself in a situation like my parents (I.E. having children, getting divorced, and having to face start my life over again). I don’t want to stop from living, but how do I get over my fears?
A: In my books, you may have noticed the presence of blended families. I, like you, have faced the reality that comes with the modern American family. We live in a culture in which happiness is one of our most valued assets (and rightly so). With this quest for happiness, comes the fallout of failed relationships, hurt feelings, and secrets. After facing the darkness, how do we move on?
A running theme in my books is the fact that we must constantly move forward. We can’t look to the past and use the memory of our injuries to shirk from the future. We all have fears and baggage and we should learn from not only our family’s mistakes, but from our own as well.
What can we learn from a failed marriage?
Many things, but first and most importantly is the Need to compromise.  We must learn to put others needs in front of our own. I’m not implying that we need to be doormats, but I am saying we must consider others feelings before we take action. Will your choice hurt the person you love? Will your secret come back to haunt you? Is it better to face the truth?
After compromise comes the need to Never resent the person you love. People make mistakes (and so do the characters in Winter Swans, Montana Mustangs, and The Nymph’s Labyrinth).  Lastly, we Must learn to truly forgive not only our loved ones, but ourselves as well. If you can learn to forgive (you don’t have to forget) those who have caused you pain, you will find it much easier to live your life and love with a heart not weighted by the troubles of your past.
Wishing you the best of luck with your upcoming engagement (I hope)!
-Danica Winters
About Danica Winters: Danica Winters is a bestselling author who is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. When she’s not working, she can be found in the wilds of Montana testing her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery, and painting are not her thing).  She always believes the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine.
Winter SwansWinter Swans
Series: The Nymph Series
Book 3
            Book 1: The Nymph’s Labyrinth
            Book 2: Montana Mustangs
Blurb: A curse that forbids her to love…A child that he must accept… And a battle that could get them killed…
After the death of his troubled ex-wife, the professional poker player, Chance Landon, finds out he is the father of a strange girl who carries even stranger secrets.
Swan-shifting nymph, Harper Cygnini, is a driven by the need to succeed in her professional life. When she meets Chance and his daughter, it becomes only too clear that there are things missing in her life—feelings and needs laid dormant after the mistakes of her past.
When Chance makes a choice that puts them all in danger, Harper must choose between her job and her heart. Chance may be the gambler, but should she risk making the same mistakes and pinning her hopes on a future that may cost Chance his life and his daughter—or is that one bet she is unwilling to take?
Purchase Links: ITunes | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Kobo

New Release:

Montana MustangsChristmas Romance (The Best Christmas Romances of 2013)
Short Story Anthology
Authors: Danica Winters, Jennifer Conner, Sharon Kleve, Casey Dawes

Blurbs:
Christmas Wishes-Danica Winters: For most, Christmas is a time for family, love, life, dreams, and wishes—but not for Lee Llewellyn, a mother who has recently lost her son to an accident and her husband to the resentment it caused.
In a chance encounter, she is given the gift of company on Christmas, but is she ready to move forward and start living again?

Central Bark at Christmas-Jennifer Conner: When Tennyson’s boyfriend left her for her best friend from high-school, all Tennyson received in the break up was her dog. She’s sworn off men and now is rebuilding her life. The only thing Par does is work. He barely has time to do anything he wants for himself other than take his dog to the dog park. When Par and Tennyson find an abandoned dog at the park named Duke. Will they find room in their hearts to take him in?
And can this Christmas season weave some special magic for the two of them?

Halo's Wish-Sharon Kleve: Halo Ann Carlyle wishes for a home, family, and a boat-load of pets. What she gets is a bruised hip, a lump on the head, a broken ankle, and her new yellow Honda Civic is demolished.
Rich McFarland, a sexy veterinarian, keeps showing up in the most unexpected places, promising everything she's ever wanted.Halo believes she only has time to pursue her career as a pet detective and must ignore her growing attraction to achieve her dreams.
Will Halo trust her heart, and find a way to get both before Christmas?

Christmas Hope-Casey Dawes: Clara Misowski is convinced Sam Richards’ cheese making operation would be a perfect stop for her culinary tour group.
He’s adamantly opposed to anything to do with a group of women on his farm.
Can she convince him to open his heart to company, Christmas, and maybe even her?

Check it out on Amazon!
 
 


Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Tumble Through Time + Givewaway

What year did Anna Devlin end up in? Go here for the answer: http://calliehutton.com/?page_id=8 Send me the correct answer at Calliehutton11@gmail.com, and be entered into a drawing for a $10 gift card from either Barnes & Noble or Amazon. This book is currently on sale at Amazon for .99 cents: http://amzn.to/18NkvAZ

Between Land and Sea + GIVEAWAY

I am happy to participate in the Goddess Fish Party Pavilion. Throughout the day, I will be posting different excerpts of Between Land and Sea. Follow my posts and answer the questions. At the end of the day, I will send one lucky person a $10 Amazon gift card. The more questions you answer, the more opportunities to win.

Visit my Amazon page and read the description.

Question 5: To whom will this novel provide hope and inspiration?

Email me the correct answer at guidoccioj@bell.net

GOOD LUCK!!


Excerpt

Barbara agreed to coffee. It was still early in the day and she could use a diversion from what she had just learned about Mirabella. As they walked along the main street, Graham greeted everyone he encountered on the way. Barbara noticed that most people, especially the men, gave her appraising looks. She was starting to feel better about her altered appearance. Andrew may not have approved, but there were other men who found her attractive.


Solange’s was nestled between a barbershop and an antique store. Barbara glanced about the caf√©, liking what she saw. Plants—either real or very good fakes—were scattered throughout the room. Little round tables with delicate-looking chairs were filled with pleasant, nicely dressed people, mostly women. The fragrant aroma of freshly brewed coffee added to the ambience.

Barbara welcomed the coffee, but declined the offer of √©clairs. Her human taste buds were still an unknown entity, and she was determined not to become addicted to any fattening foods. The conversation was a pleasant one and Graham did most of the talking. Barbara learned he had majored in art and had spent several years traveling through Europe. After a few successul shows, he decided to focus on the retail aspects of art. He still dabbled in acrylics and taught a few evening art classes, but he hadn’t put on a show in years. He was a widower with two adult children, one in Vancouver and another in Kelowna. He saw them a few times a year.

“It must have been hard to see them go,” Barbara said.

“Yes, but I couldn’t stop them from leaving.” He made a circling motion with his right arm. “Carden isn’t the most exciting place on earth, especially for young single people who crave a bit of adventure.” He winked at her. “And it hasn’t been that exciting for older singles either. At least, not until now.”

Barbara wasn’t ready to get involved with another man, not so soon after Andrew. Graham was definitely handsome with that salt and pepper hair and those two dimples that played around his mouth. And he was easy to talk to. But, and it was a big but, she didn’t plan on spending the rest of her life in Carden. Her Bella nature craved and needed a larger, more exciting arena like New York or Chicago. Starting a relationship would only complicate matters. Carden was only a short stop, a pit stop.
  


Exclusive Excerpt: Lucky Sevens, the Las Vegas thriller



LUCKY SEVENS, the crime thriller about a Las Vegas casino and the treachery that takes place there, makes its debut in print!

*A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this book will go to help the Colon Cancer Program at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in honor of Charles and Leona Vespia

SYNOPSIS: Luca “Lucky” Lucazi is a man who lives for the job, until the job starts to threaten his life. A former Navy Seal, Lucky is ideal as the head of security for Lucky Sevens Casino. But when major names at the casino start falling victim to deadly and suspicious "accidents" Lucky must find out if a crazed killer is on the loose. Now Lucky must fight his way through a cast of eccentric characters only Las Vegas could spawn, and his own battle with alcoholism, before his lover Brooklyn - the sweethearted stripper - becomes the next victim. But when Lucky faces off with illusionist Christopher King, endowed with real magic powers, will his luck finally run out?

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT:


The house lights went up for a moment and now Lucky could see in full detail The King’s garish wardrobe. He dressed in royal capes and robes like he was a modern day Merlin. Jewels dripped off his neck and his fingers. He even used a scepter in his act instead of the proverbial magic wand.
The King addressed the crowd thanking what he called his “gentry” for coming to watch feats of magic unearthed from long ago. Then he set up an oversized black satin body bag directly beneath his feet.
            “Chain my wrists and ankles,” he told Shae.
            When Shae missed her cue King went on the verbal attack.
            “Lock me up!” he hollered.
            She took a double set of handcuffs which she used to bind King’s hands and feet as he asked, or rather demanded.
            “Now zip me up.”
            Shae lifted the body bag up over King’s head and zipped it closed. King’s muffled voice could still be heard calling out instructions. He asked that a hangman’s noose be set around his neck. The other end of the rope hung from a crane at the top of the stage where a technician waited to start it.
            The bagged body of King rose up in the air. The rest of them watched and waited. It was supposed to be a simple escape trick. King would use a hidden key to get out of his binds then slip out from the body bag and appear somewhere else in the theater. Lucky had seen it all before. King was eccentric to say the least but at the moment he looked to be in some sort of trouble.
King’s body twitched like a fish on a hook. Muffled sounds escaped through the satin bag. No one could make out what he was saying. Something had gone horribly wrong, Lucky could sense it.
            “He’s suffocating in there!” he stood and shouted.
            “It’s part of the act. I’ve seen it before,” Shae told him. “He’s a showman.”
            The lack of organization on set truly amazed him. No one seemed to have a clue on where they were supposed to be or what they were supposed to be doing. The professionalism was non-existent and it presented a true problem in trying to get things done, even important things like saving Chris King’s life.
            Lucky turned and stared up at the stage. The body bag had gone still. The crowd had gone wild. Lucky moved on to the stage in a bound and tackled the bag to shake it off the hook.
            He felt the body of King inside through the satin covering. He was completely still which was not a good sign. Now that the bag was off the crane a crowd of onlookers from offstage gathered around.
            “He’s not going to be inside,” Shae said. “The whole reveal is that when the bag is opened King has vanished and appears out in the crowd or as one of the masked assistants.”
            Lucky wasn't satisfied with that answer. Shae swayed on her heels barely able to stand. She obviously had too much liquor in her to make a sensible decision.
He removed the noose from around the top of King's neck which took some doing. It was wedged on pretty tight and Lucky tore up his palms on the rope fibers just loosening it alone. Then he produced a small switchblade from his pocket and began cutting at the bag.
            “Wait, what’re you doing?” Shae asked. “You can just zip it open.”
            “He needs air immediately,” Lucky said. “You people need to stand back.”
            Lucky waved his hand at the crew to get them to step backwards. The satin and nylon resisted him fiercely as he tried to cut the bag but he finally punctured it enough with the tip to start hacking away with the teeth of the knife.
            Lucky shook his head and then pointed up at the Russian acrobat Fareid.
            “You get down here and help me save your hero.”
            Fareid squatted down next to Lucky. “What do I do?”
            “Help me pull this apart.”
            They each grasped a side of the slit Lucky had made in the body bag and pulled. It fought them but they won. As it gave in they produced a large hole in the bag which started to reveal an embroidered belt fitted with a shiny crown buckle.
            “That’s him!” Shae shouted.
            “Holy shit!” Lucky said, his voice shaking.
            They pulled apart the rest of the body bag until King could be removed completely. He was very still and wasn’t breathing. His arms and legs had been cuffed and chained together. Bruising around the wrists was prominent as though he’d been struggling hard against his binds. Lucky feared they hadn’t gotten to King in time and he’d suffered asphyxiation from the noose around his neck.
As much as a pill King had been Lucky couldn’t just leave him to die.
LUCKY SEVENS is available at Smashwords; Amazon; and Barnes and Noble