Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Blast & Interview: Chaos Broken by @RbkahTurner

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clip_image002Chaos Broken

Chronicles of Applecross

Book 3

Rebekah Turner

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Date of Publication: 22 April 2015

ISBN: 9780857992413


Number of pages: 225

Word Count: 80,000

Book Description:

The final installment of the Chronicles of Applecross trilogy finds Lora left in charge – and quickly losing control.

Lora Blackgoat is in charge. But after losing a lucrative contract, it looks like she’s also running her beloved benefactor's mercenary company into the ground while he's away on holidays. Her problems double when she discovers Roman, exiled nephilim warrior and current confusing love interest, is brokering a dangerous peace agreement.

When a new enemy emerges from across the ocean, threatening to tear the city apart, Lora finds herself taking on new and surprising allies, finally acknowledging the prophecy that haunts her and using it to her advantage.

Available at Amazon iTunes ARe Google Play


Headmistress Poulter hadn’t changed. She scared the crap out of me when I was ten and she scared the crap out of me now, even though I was a mature, genuine grown up and sitting in Blackgoat Watch’s big boss chair. Poulter’s body was all sharp angles under a shapeless dress, her iron-grey hair scraped into a tight bun. I was trying to pay attention, I was, but Poulter had been talking for a good ten minutes about her missing cat, Blinky, and I was finding it hard to focus.

Not for the first time I mentally cursed Gideon, my benefactor and boss of Blackgoat Watch, for ducking out of the city with my adoptive mother, Orella. They’d left Harken a month ago on a holiday to the sunny continent of Eral and Gideon had left me in charge of Blackgoat’s stable of Runners for hire. This meant I had to meet clients and smile and be nice. Which was hard. Especially when Poulter kept referring to Blinky as her missing pussy. Harder still was not fidgeting when Poulter fixed me with that look, the one that suggested she could see every sin I’d ever committed. And if I was being honest, there’d been a few since I’d last seen her at the age of 14, when I’d decided my academic career was over and my Runner career was about to start.

Reuben Crowhurst, a fellow Runner, sat beside Poulter wearing a suitably concerned expression that I suspected he’d been practising. In fact, his support for me in my temporary role as boss had been so efficient, I was suspicious that he was going to hit me up for a raise while Gideon was out of the country. He was also a griorwolf, not that he readily advertised the fact he could go all beast-monster if he lost control of himself.

‘Of course we understand how difficult this is,’ Crowhurst was saying. ‘Not only was he your pet, but the school mascot.’ He smiled at Poulter, giving her the full, charming Reuben Crowhurst treatment. I had to admit, he looked pretty smart today. His blond hair was brushed neatly, beard freshly trimmed, and he wore crisp charcoal pants and a snappy, velvet-trimmed vest. A ruby earring winked from one ear and he smelled of a very manly cologne.

One corner of my mouth curled up. If Crowhurst thought he could hit me up for a raise while Gideon was away, he was going to get an education. I tried to focus on the conversation, mentally calculating how much I could bill for searching for a cat. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be enough to see us out of the financial hole Blackgoat had recently fallen into, which wasn’t really my fault.

‘Lora Blackgoat. Are you paying attention?’ Poulter’s voice was a cane-crack across my thoughts and I gave a guilty jump.

‘Ah…yes. Pussy. I mean, cat. Missing. Blinky.’ I glanced down at my notes, which consisted of curly doodles and a couple of hex symbols. ‘That about sums it up, right?’

‘I can tell she’s not listening to a word I’ve said.’ Poulter shifted her glare to Crowhurst.

‘She always used to get that look, like nothing else mattered but her.’

‘I’m listening, I’m listening,’ I protested. ‘I’ll send someone over first thing tomorrow to start asking around. See if the neighbours have seen him.’

Poulter’s eyebrows pinched. ‘I’d rather you saw to this personally, Lora.’

Crowhurst gave me a significant look, which I knew meant I was supposed to agree with the client.

‘Of course,’ I said through clenched teeth. ‘I’ll look after this personally, Lady Poulter. First thing tomorrow.’

‘You couldn’t start today?’

‘Unfortunately, I’ve got another appointment this afternoon. But I can assure you, I’ll be there tomorrow, very first thing.’ I made a show of checking my notes. ‘Can you tell me if there’s anyone who’d want to do your pussy mischief?’ I kept my face straight, but a flush crept up Crowhurst’s neck. He shot me a warning look.

Poulter sniffed. ‘There have been a few troublesome students of late. One in particular. His name was Kalin and he led a rotten pack of them. I expelled him last term for stabbing a teacher with a pencil.’

‘What’s Kalin’s family name?’ I asked.

‘He had none. He was from the orphanage.’


‘I heard he disappeared last month. I don’t know the particulars.’

‘Rest assured, we’ll have answers for you soon enough about Blinky.’ Crowhurst stood, letting me know this would probably be a good place to end the interview. I stood as well, grateful that Crowhurst was around. If I had to be honest, he’d really stepped up and helped smooth over my rough edges when talking to clients. Maybe the bastard did deserve a raise.

‘Thank you for calling Blackgoat Watch, Lady Poulter,’ I said.

Poulter’s eyes narrowed. ‘Did Gideon really leave you in charge of this organisation?’

My chest burned and I realised I was holding my breath, trying to dazzle her with my dimpled smile. But Poulter didn’t look particularly charmed by it, so I exhaled and rubbed my cheeks with a scowl. ‘Yes. I was left in charge. Why?’

Poulter glanced at Crowhurst. ‘You are helping her, aren’t you?’

Crowhurst gave Poulter a noncommittal shrug, then manoeuvred her gracefully out of the office, filling the air with easy small talk. I slumped back into Gideon’s chair, the leather squeaking. Opening the top drawer, I pulled out Gideon’s vodka stash and picked a glass that wasn’t too dirty. I poured myself half a shot. I was still staring at it when Crowhurst walked back in and frowned at the glass. I hesitated briefly before topping it up.

‘That doesn’t look like a great idea,’ Crowhurst said.

My eyes rose to his meet his steady gaze. ‘Were we in the same meeting? Come on. A missing cat?’

Crowhurst sat with a sigh. ‘Business is slow. We have to take any job we can for now.’

‘Business is more than slow.’ I nudged the full shot with a finger, watching the clear liquid slop over the edges. Blackgoat Watch had recently been slapped with a bill for back taxes. Gideon hadn’t been too worried, since I’d been offered a profitable contract by the Order of Guides, a militant organisation associated with the powerful Church of Higher Path. The Order had mistakenly taken my white hair to mean I was a Witch Hunter, despite my assurances that I wasn’t. I couldn’t sniff out a witch or warlock if my life depended on it. But the Grigori priest who ran the Order in Harken still wanted me to work with their Regulators for a season in a Witch Hunter capacity, hunting heretics, keeping the peace and generally poo-pooing all things fun.

With the earnings of my contract, Blackgoat should have been fine. But two things had happened in the last year to change that. Firstly, raiding pirates had affected sea trade routes and it was bad enough that the city was dragged into a recession. And the second reason? My contract with the Order was terminated after only three weeks. I was cited as being uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Not a team player. Of course, if anyone was to blame for this mess it was Gideon for green-lighting the idea in the first place. As if I was going to fit in with a militant religious order. Don’t wear skirts. Don’t wear heels. Don’t wear your hair down. Don’t show up drunk. All those rules had made my head hurt. Still, it had been quite unfair when everyone suspected me of starting the fire in the sacred library.

‘What do you think we should do?’ I pushed the shot glass aside. My moment of weakness had passed and now I just wanted to sulk in a dark room.

‘We’ll do our job,’ Crowhurst said. ‘Because we’re professionals.’

A crashing sound came from the ground floor, where Blackgoat’s reception and kitchen were located, and muffled shouts sounded through the floorboards. Crowhurst and I exchanged a startled glance, then sprinted for the door. Crowhurst yanked a dagger from his sleeve and I grabbed my goat-headed duelling cane. Downstairs, we followed the noise to the back courtyard, where a group of Runners shouted encouragement at two grappling men.

‘Break it up!’

My shout was drowned in a chorus of cheers and no one paid me any attention. Crowhurst tried to pull the brawling men apart and copped a jarring knock to his chin for his trouble. The Runners cheered louder and Crowhurst retreated, rubbing his jaw with a pained expression. I clicked the button on my arm-rig and a three-shot derringer snapped from my sleeve. I lifted an arm and fired once in the air, the sharp crack bouncing off the courtyard’s tall brick walls. The Runners fell silent and the fighting men drew apart, chests heaving and clothes dishevelled.

‘Everybody out.’ I shoved the gun back up my sleeve, then pointed at the two Runners who had been fighting. ‘Everyone but you two.’

No one argued. Stories about me had circulated around the city, to the point that they had entered a kind of urban legend status. Stories about the female Witch Hunter who could wield Outland weapons, guns that were a vast improvement on the flintlocks and wheellocks that operated within The Weald. Whatever mojo kept the realm hidden from the modern world also prevented modern machinery from working here. City philosophers had often cited this as a ‘state of grace’ and a sign of The Weald’s purity. I took it as a sign the city philosophers didn’t get out much. The fact that I’d never had trouble with modern machinery stalling inside The Weald was a little secret I’d tried to keep to myself. Being able to blend into the background was what kept you alive in the Runner industry.

The two fighters glared at each other, fists clenched by their sides. One was a slender man called Bone, while the other looked like a shaved gorilla and called himself Grubber. From his giant size I was pretty sure he was otherkin, but he hid it well enough I never asked. After all, it was common enough for otherkin to hide their unusual features, a result of their mixed blood of mystical races, especially with the prejudice that still existed in the city against them.

Crowhurst loitered, obviously thinking I wanted him to stay. Like I couldn’t bust balls on my own.

I served up a stern frown, channelling my inner Gideon. ‘What in hellfires is wrong with you two? What if a client had walked in and seen this pathetic excuse for professionalism?’

Grubber scowled. ‘He insulted my wife.’

‘What’d he say?’ I asked

‘He said my wife is so fat, I’d have to roll twice to get off her.’

Bone rubbed the back of his neck. ‘I meant it nicely. She’s just a lot of woman.’

I pinched the bridge of my nose and sighed. I was at a loss as to how to proceed, but when in doubt, I knew to start yelling at someone. I fixed Bone with a glare and raised my voice.

‘What’s wrong with you, making jokes about a co-worker’s wife?’

‘You know she’s sensitive about her weight,’ Grubber muttered.

‘Easy now.’ Crowhurst stepped forward, hands raised. ‘I’m sure it was just a misunderstanding. I’m sure she’s a real lovely woman.’

‘You making fun?’ Grubber bristled at him. ‘You got something to say about my wife as well?’

‘Nobody wants to crack any more jokes about your wife,’ I told Grubber. ‘And this isn’t the place for you two to be fighting and breaking furniture.’ I stabbed a finger at Grubber.

‘Don’t be so sensitive.’ My finger shifted to Bone. ‘And you…keep your opinions to yourself. Now, both of you get the hell out of my sight.’

Grubber and Bone scowled at me, but I just planted my hands on my hips and glowered back. Just because they looked tough didn’t mean I couldn’t plant my velvet brocade boots between their legs and fell them like trees. Plus, right now I paid the bills and that pretty much ensured I got my way. Grubber and Bone righted the chairs and shuffled out of the courtyard, glaring at each other. Crowhurst bought his hands together in a slow clap.

‘Well done, boss. Saying things like you mean it. You’ll have this place ship-shape before Gideon gets back, no problems.’

‘Yeah, yeah,’ I sighed. ‘Except the best job we have on the books is searching for my old headmistress’s missing cat.’

‘You mean, her pussy?’ Crowhurst shook his head. ‘I nearly swallowed my tongue when you asked who’d want to do it mischief. You shouldn’t make fun of our clients.’

I snorted. ‘She did bring out the juvenile in me. But if we don’t pick up some jobs soon, Gideon will be coming back to a bankrupt company. Maybe I should turn this place into a bar and dice joint.’

‘You’d just drink and gamble the profits away,’ Crowhurst pointed out. ‘Maybe you should write and let Gideon know how bad things have gotten.’

‘No way.’ I righted a chair and sat down. My bad leg ached from the sudden rush downstairs and I ran a practised hand over the knotted muscles. A horse accident at sixteen had put me in a hospital with a fractured pelvis and cracked spine. My recovery had been long and painful, leaving me with a limp and an incurable fear of horses.

‘I can handle this,’ I said. ‘I told Gideon I’d pick up new work after losing the Order contract and I can’t let him down.’

Crowhurst folded his arms and gave me a slightly bemused smile. ‘You mind telling me how you lost the contract, exactly? You never did tell anyone, and Gideon wouldn’t say.’

‘It happened. Let’s leave it at that. But it really wasn’t my fault.’

‘I heard it was because you slept with a Grigori priest.’

‘Ewww.’ I make a gagging noise. ‘Really?’

‘Did it have anything to do with that big fire they had in their library?’

‘Just let it go,’ I snapped.

‘Whatever you say, boss.’

Tension rode up my neck and I rubbed it with a groan. ‘I really screwed things up.’

‘I’m sure you tried your hardest.’

I didn’t answer, because a small part of me wondered if I really did try hard enough. The fire had been an accident, but it had also been in a long list of infractions I’d committed while contracting with the Order. Fraternising with darkcraft users. Not adhering to the dress code. Illegal consumption of alcohol while on duty. Sacrilegious games of dice with the cooks inside the Order compound. The list was crowded. It had been a busy three weeks and I probably hadn’t been that rebellious since I was at school. Gideon had always said I had a problem with authority. Fortunately, his own vices were worse than mine, so we always got along just fine.

Crowhurst cleared his throat. I realised he was working up to saying something, but he looked worried about how I’d react.

‘What is it?’ I asked. ‘If you’ve got an idea, spit it out.’

He scratched his close cropped beard. ‘Someone approached me with a proposition. Initially I told them there was no way you’d be interested.’ He shrugged. ‘But now, seeing as we’ve got our backs to the wall, maybe you’ll consider it.’

‘What kind of proposition and from who?’ I eyed him suspiciously.

‘From whom,’ Crowhurst corrected absently. ‘And let me get more details. Make sure the money’s worth it.’

‘Sounds like something I don’t want to know about.’ I rolled my shoulders, trying to disperse my building tension. ‘So when you want to talk about it, bring beer to cushion the blow.’

In the distance, the city clock rang out to announce mid-afternoon and I knew had to get moving if I wanted to reach my destination in the Outlands that night. It wasn’t a paying job, but rather a chance to see Roman, an exiled nephilim warrior I was sort of involved with. Sort of. Gideon and Orella hadn’t been happy with my role in sneaking Roman to the Outlands, where he could recover from the madness some nephilim were cursed with. They were equally displeased with me shooting out every chance I got to see him.

‘I’ve got to go,’ I told Crowhurst. ‘I have that meeting tonight I told you about.’

His face darkened. ‘I should go with you.’

‘I don’t need a babysitter, thanks,’ I said. ‘And I wouldn’t go if it wasn’t important.’

Crowhurst made a disgusted sound. ‘Meeting up with your ex-Regulator lover boy isn’t more important than sticking around to keep Blackgoat running.’

‘I’ll only be gone the night. And it’s not just to see Roman. There’s an important sit-down happening and I was asked to attend.’

‘What kind of important sit-down?’ Crowhurst asked, eyeing me suspiciously.

I threw my hands up. ‘Just relax, will you? I told you, I’ll be back here tomorrow morning, bright and early to look for this freaking cat.’

‘Fine. But if you’re not here, I’m coming to get you.’

‘I can take care of myself.’ I stood and grabbed my cane. ‘I’m not kidding. And this job you mentioned? By all means, look into it. I’m desperate enough to try anything.’

A sly look slid over Crowhurst’s face. ‘I won’t forget you said that.’


Character Name: Lora Blackgoat

Character Bio: Lora Blackgoat is a morally ambiguous smuggler and mercenary. Adopted by a witch-elf as a babe, Lora Blackgoat now works these twisted streets of Applecrross as a blade for hire for a satyr with no regard for social niceties.


Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?

Honesty. I have a wondrous gift for it, no matter how unappreciated. I have no worst qualities.

What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?

Nothing. People need to mind their own business.

What is your biggest secret something no one knows about?

No comment.

What are you most afraid of?

Horses. They have shifty eyes.

What do you want more than anything?

Money, freedom. Did I mention money?

What is your relationship status?

Depends on the kind of day I'm having.

How would you describe your sense of fashion?

Eclectically amazing. I leave people stunned by my choices.

How much of a rebel are you?

I'm not a rebel, but it's also not my fault if some laws are stupid.

What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?

Being able to chug a tankard of beer in twenty seconds flat.

What is your idea of happiness?

Winning whatever card or dice game I’m playing.

What is your current state of mind?

Slightly intoxicated.

What is your most treasured possession?

The dueling cane given to me by my benefactor, Gideon. Touch it at your peril.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My winning personality.

What is it that you, most dislike?

Mondays. People.

Which living person do you, most despise?

 The list is too long.

What is your greatest regret?

 Regret is for suckers.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Doing everything I tell him to.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Doing everything I tell her to.

Who is your favorite hero in fiction?

Don't read much.

Which living person do you most admire?

My benefactor, and adoptive mother.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

A new hip bone would be great.

What is your motto?

I'm not always right, but I'm never wrong.



Rebekah lives in sunny Queensland, Australia. An avid writer since she could scrawl on her bedroom walls, she has progressed from rainbow unicorn tales to stories of dark fantasy with lashings of romance and a sprinkling of horror.

Her vices include in-depth critiques of B grade action and horror movies and buying stationery she doesn’t need.




Twitter: @RbkahTurner

Book Blast, Giveaway & Interview: Pyromancist by @CharmainePauls

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Seven Forbidden Arts

Book 1

Charmaine Pauls

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Publisher: Satin Romance,

an imprint of Mélange Books

Date of Publication: 19 March 2015

ISBN: 978-1680460339


Number of pages: 252

Word Count: 101 000

Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Book Description:

When you play with fire, you get burned.

At the same time as mysterious fires commence to rage through Clelia d’Ambois’ home village in Brittany, France, she starts sleepwalking. Daughter of a Japanese orphan, Clelia’s heritage is riddled with dark secrets that threaten anyone she loves. In a recurring nightmare she sees Josselin, the haunted man who abandoned their village nine years earlier, come for her, but she doesn’t know why. All she knows is that she has to run. As fast as she can.

Leader of a paranormal crime taskforce, Josselin de Arradon is called back to his hometown with a mission–find and kill the firestarter responsible for Larmor-Baden’s blazing destruction. Sensing that Clelia is the key to solving the crime, Josselin kidnaps her to use her as bait. The battle doesn’t turn out quite as he expected. Nothing could have prepared him for the truth, or the depth of his desire for his prisoner.

This is Book 1 of the Seven Forbidden Arts series, but also reads as a stand-alone.

This book contains adult content with explicit language and consummated love scenes. Suited for an audience of 18+.

Available at Amazon BN Satin Romance Smashwords Lulu


Josselin had only spoken to her once. It was on a summer day after school. She had wandered to the dense forest at the back of the schoolyard because she knew that was where she would find him. She stood behind a tree and watched him–studied him–the movement of his hand as he smoked a forbidden cigarette, the manner in which he pulled his fingers through his dark hair, and the way he laughed loudly into his gang of friends, even if his eyes cried, or blazed.

That day, however, he wasn’t with his friends. He was with a girl. Her name was Thiphaine and she was the most popular girl in school. She was blonde and slim and beautiful with blue eyes and red painted fingernails. Clelia watched from her hiding place as Josselin slowly backed Thiphaine up until her body pressed against the trunk of the witch tree. It was a thuja occidentalis but the townsfolk had baptized it so because of its twisted and crippled branches. The setting was eerie for a romantic adventure, and yet, it suited Josselin. He seemed right at home, while Thiphaine looked around nervously. His hand went to her cheek, his palm huge and dark and rough against the porcelain paleness of Thiphaine’s face, while his other hand slipped under her blouse. His gray eyes looked like melted steel when he lowered his head.

His shoulder-length black hair fell forward when he pressed his lips to Thiphaine’s and he moved his hand from her cheek to brush it back behind his ear. Clelia remembered the deliberate movement of his jaw, the way the muscles dimpled in his cheek, the hand under Thiphaine’s blouse, all the while maintaining his composure while Thiphaine came undone under his caress. The beautiful girl made low moaning sounds. Her knees buckled, but Josselin, without breaking the kiss, grabbed her waist, pulling her so tightly into him that her back arched, keeping her up with his arm while he made her weak with his touch and his tongue.

Watching them ignited both yearning and pain inside of Clelia. The hurt she felt speared her heart. The aching in her soul was suddenly greater than the heat in her pores and on her cheeks, but she couldn’t tear her stare away from the forbidden sight. It was Iwig, a boy from her class, who broke the painful spell when he discovered her behind the tree.

“What have we here?” he said.

His eyes darted to the distance where Josselin and Thiphaine were embracing. He knew what she had been doing. He was a tall, blond boy with a strong build, and Clelia disliked him for his habit of hunting abandoned cats with his pellet gun.

“A peeping tom,” he said, taking a step toward her.

When she tried to back away, he grabbed her long braid and tugged it painfully, causing her to yelp.

“Not so fast, witch.” He grabbed her arm and hauled her so that she stumbled into him. “You like to watch, don’t you?” He grinned. “How about a taste of the real thing?”

She opened her mouth to scream, but he had already brought his down and kissed her so hard that his teeth split her lower lip. In reflex her free hand shot up, aiming for his cheek, and collided with its target. The force of the blow shot Iwig’s head back and froze him in his action, but only for a second, before Clelia saw his arm lift. Not able to free herself from his grip, she cowered instinctively, but instead of his fist coming down on her, another pair of arms grabbed Iwig by his shoulders and flung him to the ground.

When she looked up, she stared into the face of Josselin, and what she saw was frightening. His features were twisted into a terrifying expression, and before she could say anything, Josselin bent down and lifted Iwig by his jacket lapels. Iwig’s legs dangled, flapping like fish on soil, while his arms flayed in the air as if swatting flies. Josselin let go of one side of the jacket, his fist arching and hooking under Iwig’s chin, while at the same time unknotting his other hand from the fabric of the jacket. The impact sent Iwig flying through the air. When he hit the ground, she could hear the loud thump as the air was knocked from his lungs. Josselin moved forward, his arms away from his body, his fingers flexing, his shoulders pushed forward, until he stood wide-legged over the submissive body of Iwig. Iwig lifted his hands in front of his face, mumbling pleas for mercy.

“If you ever touch a girl in that way again, I’ll hang you from a tree under a pack of wild boars and watch them eat you from your feet up to your useless dick, until they rip your stomach open and your insides fall out and you beg me to die,” Josselin said.

He spoke very softly, but the woods had suddenly gone quiet. His voice all but echoed in the absence of the sound of birds and wind. From the corner of her eye, Clelia noticed Thiphaine who stood to the side, hugging herself.

“And if you ever lift your hand to a woman again, I’ll cut off your balls and make you eat them and then I’ll feed you to the boars. Do you understand?”

Iwig tried to scurry away on his elbows, but Josselin stepped on his jacket.

“I asked if you understand.”

“Yes. Yes,” Iwig said. He had started crying.

When Josselin lifted his boot, Iwig scrambled to his feet. He didn’t look at Clelia before he ran down the path in the direction of the school. Only then did Josselin turn to her. She shook from head to toe while Josselin studied her quietly. After a moment he walked to her, took her chin in his hand and tilted her head.

“You’re bleeding,” he said, trailing his thumb over her lower lip.

And then he did something that shocked her wildly. He brought his thumb to his lips, slowly, his gray eyes holding hers prisoner while he slipped his finger into his mouth and licked it clean, tasting her blood.

Clelia couldn’t move. She stood still, unable to speak or blink.

He took a white handkerchief from his coat pocket and wiped it over her mouth before pressing it into her hand.

“He won’t bother you again, but you’d better go home.”

She only nodded. He was much taller than her, so that she had to crane her neck to look up at him. He shifted and then his face was obscured by the shadows with the sun at his back. She remembered wondering if he had forgotten about Thiphaine, who still stood to one side, silently observing, her eyes wide. Clelia looked from Thiphaine to Josselin. When life finally returned to her legs and she started to hurry down the path, he said, “What’s your name, girl?”

She stopped. “Cle … Cle…” Her teeth chattered.

He frowned. “Take a deep breath. You’re in shock.”

She did as he instructed, and found her jaw relax slightly.

“That’s better. Now, tell me again.”


His lips twitched. “The witch?”

She flinched. That was what her classmates called her.

He didn’t show any kind of emotion. Only his smile became a little bit more pronounced. “How old are you?”

“Fourteen,” she said through parched lips.

“You’re too young to wander alone in the woods.”

When he said that, his voice became soft and dark again, like when he had spoken to Iwig, and without sparing either of the lovers another glance, Clelia sprinted home and curled into a ball on her bed with his bloody handkerchief in her hand.


Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be?

When I was in second grade I wanted to become an airhostess so that I could travel the world and fly. (I loooove to fly). Somewhere in fifth grade I decided to become an archeologist because I was fascinated with ancient civilizations and their mysteries and legends. In eight grade I was consumed with the stars, and dreamt of becoming an astronaut. So I studied communication … and become a journalist.

For years to come, I searched for my true life purpose, having done many different jobs in various companies, knowing that none of them was the job. Writing has always been central to my heart (I need books and words for my soul) and my professions–my life passion–but, with all the bills that had to be paid, I never considered being a full-time novelist as a career. When I looked back at my passions–my love for traveling so I could visit faraway gothic castles, and for stars because they hold romantic meaning and inspire new worlds with endless possibilities–I realized that it could all be condensed into one, all-consuming passion: romantic literature. I remembered my happiest moments, as a child in the dusty old town library, discovering hidden treasures, inhaling the perfume of ink and paper. I took the plunge, and when I did, everything fell into place. At last, I am a writer.

When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?

I always had the notion in my adult head that I had to publish a book to be able to call myself a writer, when, in hindsight, it is really something that is in your blood. In reality, I considered myself a writer already in second grade, when I dreamed up stories in class and pretended to be a poet.

How long did it take to get your first book published?

It took about six months after completing the manuscript. I made the mistake of blindly targeting publishers without doing research about the kind of books each one published. The result was a pile of rejection letters. Impatient, and deciding that I didn’t want my first story to die in a young grave, I decided to go the self-publishing route. I learned a great deal during the process, which helped me to understand the market better, leading to a successful submission and landing a contract the second time around, which took only three months.

Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?

Besides writing full-time, I am also a mother to two young, beautiful children and a housewife, which requires the constant juggling of chores and priorities. My deadlines are tight–producing a novel every quarter–so I am often writing a new book while editing a different one and marketing another. Time management becomes crucial in ensuring a healthy balance between work and family life.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

My newest book is Aeromancist, Book 2 of the Seven Forbidden Arts series, which is due for release in July. I’ll sum it up as: His lust condemned her to death. Now, he’ll do everything in his power to save her.

Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?

I write romance novels for Satin Romance, an imprint of Mélange Books (an American publisher), and literary short stories for Solstice Publishing and Severest Inks (a British publisher).

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?

It takes me three months from start to end, to where I am able to deliver a polished 100 000-word manuscript. It takes roughly four drafts before I deliver the final product.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

I am releasing three more erotic romance books in the Seven Forbidden Arts series this year, as well as one novella. Also scheduled for publication in 2015 are three short stories in the literary and romance genres. Over the next two years (2016 and 2017) I will be completing the Seven Forbidden Arts series, in which there are eight books in total.

What genre would you place your books into?

My books vary from sensual to erotic romance. Most of them have either futuristic or paranormal elements, but the main focus is always on the romance and the development of the relationship between the protagonists. I’m also a big gothic fan, so my books are full of real-life castles, mysterious settings, eerie landscapes and dark, alpha male heroes who obsess about their women.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?

I believe that you have to write what makes you tick. Whenever I tackle a new romance, my heart starts beating faster. I tend to listen to my body when I write. When endorphins flood my brain, causing those sensations you feel when you fall in love, I know I am writing what I am supposed to be writing, what I write best. If it feels like there is a heavy stone in my stomach, I know it is better to move on to a different idea. In the end, I write what I enjoy to read.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?

I love Josselin in Pyromancist for his irresistible French looks and accent, his dark sexuality and his pure heart. I adore Lann in Aeromancist for his latent strength, his seductive Russian manners and for his admiration of the beauty of the female soul and body. And then there is Sean, a Scottish rogue, but that is only in Book 4.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I always had a notebook in which I jotted down stories and poems. I loved writing essays in high school. My inspiration comes from an inborn passion. The spark of excitement I feel around books becomes a flame when I walk into a library and smell the ink and the leather covers. Reading always inspires me to write. Whenever I finish a good book, I want to jump in and start creating a new story.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

I start at 9am every day and finish at 6pm, whether I’m inspired, or not (with the exception of the days when we have school activities in the afternoons). I sit down at my desk and do not allow anything to distract me from my task. I divide my daily time between marketing, writing and editing, ensuring that I do my writing during my creative peak, which is in the morning. Once a week I reward myself with a morning excursion (some me time) to recharge my creative energy, to take a break from my characters, and to touch base with the real world. Weekends are dedicated to my family. I have to write in silence. I find music too distracting. And I prefer to be at my desk, in my study, where interruptions are minimized.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

I read and appreciate every, single review.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?

I choose the title after I have finished the book. More often than not, the title reveals itself while I am writing the story.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

Places are a big source of inspiration for me. I like to travel, and always keep a travel log so that I can remember all the details of interesting, mysterious or unusual places to use as backdrops in books. For names I sometimes use baby name books, or I choose a name for its meaning to fit the personality of the character. For example, in my futuristic erotic romance novel, Between Fire & Ice, I named the hero Ciro, or Cy for short, which means sun, because he is from the Atacama Desert and possesses all the fierce characteristics of a fire element personality, while Elena, the heroine, was named after the moon. She is from the Patagonian glacier lands. Hence the title, also (fire and ice).

For Pyromancist (or firestarter) I used a different technique. When I visited Larmor-Baden and Vannes in Brittany, France, I carried a notebook with me and jotted down all the captivating names that I saw on office plaques in the city streets. I took note of attorneys, doctors, financial advisors and other services providers, as well as shop names. This is where I got Erwan, Iwig, Lann, Dréan, and various other names that I used in the Seven Forbidden Arts series from. Josselin (or Joss for short), the Pyromancist male protagonist, was named after the village of Josselin. In real life the village was named after the Josselin Castle, which in turn was named after a powerful line of French royal heirs.

I have also asked my readers to name my characters in the past. This is how Emilio in the futuristic erotic romance, The Astronomer, was named, as well as Zenna in the paranormal erotic romance, The Winemaker. I give a description of each character’s physical and personality traits and ask the readers to suggest names, which I then put up for voting. The name with the most votes is used. To thank the contributor of the winning name, I have also named one of the characters in the same book after that reader.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?

Place names I always know beforehand, because it is important for me to know where the story is going to play off, and this I can’t change easily once I am into the story. I like to work with existing locations, even in my futuristic books. Although I do plenty of research and I am pretty sure what my characters are going to be called before I start to write the story, it has happened that I decided to change a name halfway through a book, mostly because the name either didn’t work with the character (it would keep on jumping off the page and scream at me), or if I realized that the name has been used in another story.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?

I do an in-depth psychological evaluation of each character beforehand, so that I know them inside out before I start to write the story. Their characteristics and personality traits determine how they speak, what they wear, what they eat, who their friends are, how they behave in stressful situations and what occupations they choose. It is therefore compulsory for me to have this outlined before I start to tell the story.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")

The central theme of my self-published literary romance novel, Between Yesterday & Tomorrow, is living in the present moment. Since I am fascinated by opposites–anything yin-yang, black-white, night-day, sun-moon–and how they compliment each other, I often use opposites to demonstrate a message of balance. To me, the secret of happy and healthy living is in balance, and I guess that is why it often pops up in my stories. In Second Best, a literary romance, the message goes deeper. This is the story about a juvenile criminal and a war journalist who help heal each other’s emotional scars after living through turbulent times in South Africa. The message is to never settle for second best in life. In the wine romance, The Winemaker, the Chilean wine cultivars are used as a personification of the personalities of the characters. The enigmatic and world-famous winemaker, Etán, compares Zenna for example to a Merlot, which is the pinnacle of his creations, the best he has ever made. His brother is a cheeky Bordeaux blend. And the descriptions get pretty hot. J The analogy between the wine and the woman Etán loves is sensual and worked really well. I didn’t have any message or morals in mind when I wrote the Seven Forbidden Arts series. This I wrote with the pure purpose of entertaining.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I love my Kindle because it is so convenient to travel with, and because I can buy a book with the click of a button and have it instantaneously available. Living in Chile, where I don’t have access to English books or stores, this is a definite plus. But smelling and touching a paperback will always be like meeting an old lover over who I am eternally sentimental.

What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?

I love the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelley for its firecracker plot where each action has a string of detonating consequences, and for the deep emotional content and deliciously gothic elements of the story. In present day literature, Lora Leigh’s breed novels, Lion’s Heat and Coyote’s Mate, are my favorites. Ms. Leigh did an excellent job of the characterization and creating both suspense and sexual tension in these books. I have read these stories a couple of times already, and am sure I will read them again in future. They never fail to enchant me.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?

I am almost always disappointed in a movie if I have first read the book, maybe because my imagination has already made up the graphic content and therefore my expectations are not met, and because the movie cannot portray the depth of detail of a book. The exception for me is Maleficent (with Angelina Jolie, directed by Robert Stromberg). I love fairy tales, especially Sleeping Beauty, and this movie exceeded my expectations by far. The acting, setting, script, costumes, special effects and message were all magnificent. One disappointment that comes to mind is the 2011 film of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher. I expected more, but then again, the book was complex and jam-packed with information that cannot be relayed in a 158-minute screening.

Your favorite food is?

Chocolate and coffee, hands down.

Your favorite singer/group is?

Def Leppard. I often listened to their song Love Bites ( early in the morning to get me into the right mood before sitting down at my desk to write Pyromancist. I also have a deep appreciation for Robbie Williams’ song lyrics.

Your favorite color is?


Your favorite Author is?

In the genre that I write, Lora Leigh and Anna Zaires.



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Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to France with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published six novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Chile with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

Read more about Charmaine’s romance novels and psychological short stories

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Series Blast & Giveaway: True Love Novellas by @Renee_McCoy

Presented by: Sparkle Book Tours
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Single, Saved, & Searching  - The True Love Novellas # 2

by  Renée Allen McCoy


Audience: General Adult - Genre: Christian Romance - Formats: E-book and Paperback - Publisher: FaytheWorks Publishing - Pages: 178 pages - ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-0983604655

ASIN: B00P6LD6UY - Date Published: December 23, 2014

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord. ~ Proverbs 18:22
"She’s getting married too?" asks the beautiful, intelligent, and single Elisha Maxwell who just received a wedding invitation from her last single best friend and her younger sister in the same week. As she stacks both invites on her kitchen countertop, she wonders when it will be her turn.
Challenged by a string of disappointing relationships, Elisha’s hope of finding Mr. Right leaves her feeling desperate and confused. Does such a man exist for her? In the wake of the most terrifying experience of her life, she is more determined now than ever to find him.
When she embarks upon a quest to change her single status to married, she finds something much more important along the way. Will she embrace the man of her dreams who seems the least likely of them all or go with someone who appeared to be her perfect match?
Single, Saved, & Searching is the second book in The True Love Novellas series.

book links
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buy from barnes and noble
book trailer
Strong, black, educated, and responsible—those are the characteristics Elisha would love to have in man, to name a few. Blinded to the world’s standard of beauty, he’d be resourceful enough to create his own. Stand as a model of independence, an example of strength, an advocate of loyalty, and a pillar of integrity.
As she stared at her boyfriend through squinted eyes, Elisha wondered if she was asking for too much. Her friend Gina had told her yes while her other friend, Tonia, had emphatically declared no. Caught up somewhere in the middle Elisha wondered, what does my man say? After a dismissive grunt, she knew that he’d say he possessed all of those qualities and then some. But in her eyes, that was far from the truth.
Chauncey McDaniel was strong in the sense that he bench pressed more than her and one of her girlfriend’s weight, but when it came to knowing God’s Word and standing up for Biblical principles, he fell short. He certainly was black, as dark as they came, but not as educated as she would like and certainly not responsible enough to introduce him to her parents. Chauncey’s family was rich and he pretty much had everything handed to him, but the wealth still didn’t comfort Elisha enough to completely abandon her values.
“Why are you so quiet?” Elisha asked, noticing that Chauncey hadn’t spoken three words to her since they got inside of one of his prized possessions, a red convertible Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet. “Did you have too much to drink?”
“If I had too much to drink, would you be on the passenger side? Don’t say stupid things that don’t make sense.” He callously shook his head.
“I don’t even know why I’m with you. All of sudden you’re a drunk. You never drank when we first started dating.” Elisha sucked her teeth. “Leave it up to you to ruin a perfectly good evening.” She cut her eyes away from him and with folded arms sunk down into the soft leather-trimmed heated seating.
Chauncey grunted under his breath and then tightened his lips again. Soon he took the last busy street before the secluded, residential road Elisha lived on. After he parked in front of her garage, the neighbors who lived next door were just pulling out of their driveway. Chauncey casually waved as did Elisha before the neighbors disappeared out of sight. Chauncey then carefully looked at the darkened house across the street that shared the wooded dead end as Elisha’s home.
“Are they out of town again?” he questioned, as they stood at the front of his car.
Elisha glanced back and then remembered, “Oh yeah, I told them that I’d turn the lights on for them tonight.” She reached inside of her handbag and began fidgeting with the keys on her ring, and then started down her driveway.
Chauncey grabbed her by the arm and yanked her back. “That can wait.” The force in his voice was tighter than the grip on her arm. “I told you that we’d talk at home.”
With slightly parted lips, Elisha’s gaze on him drifted down to the hand he held her with.
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The Christmas Beau - The True Love Novellas # 1
by Renée Allen McCoy
Pages: 152 pages - Publisher: FaytheWorks Publishing, LLC - ASIN: B00AGAZNHE - Publication Date: December 1, 2012
Love suffers long and is kind… 1 Corinthians 13:4
“Why did I even come here for my vacation?” Charity Maxwell questions, initially regretting her trip home to Lewiston Springs for her Christmas vacation … that is until she finds out that an old flame is visiting too. With familiar emotions invading her heart, Charity desperately tries to keep her composure around a man with whom she shares a painful past.
Determined to make right his wrong, Milton Grayson passionately pursues Charity regretful that he lost her once and determined to not let it happen again. As a reminiscent whirlwind romance ensues between them, the pressure builds on a meddling family member who secretly plotted to separate the pair in the past.
Is their love true enough to withstand the evils that broke them apart the first time? Or will Charity’s anticipation of having a Christmas boyfriend suddenly be dashed to pieces?
The Christmas Beau is the first book in The True Love Novellas series that shares the love of God in and out of season.

book links
buy now amazon
buy from barnes and noble
“Girl, don’t be no fool,” one of Charity’s longtime friends, Yolanda, said before she crammed an appetizer into her mouth.
Charity sighed as she picked at the cucumbers and tomatoes in her garden salad. She had since called Elisha and apologized for not making it to her book fair. Instead, she decided to go out to lunch with some friends she hadn’t seen in a while. Since talking with Milton this morning, she still had reservations about meeting him later in the evening.
“Don’t listen to her, girl,” another one of her high school friends, Renita, chimed in. “We were just kids back then. That was so long ago. But look at him today. He’s a college graduate, an officer in the military—”
Decorated officer,” Charity corrected with a smile.
Yolanda rolled her eyes and shook her head as she reached for another boneless buffalo wing.
“Yes exactly, a decorated officer. And he’s come back home to get the woman he loves.” Renita smiled.
Yolanda mimicked a gagging motion with her finger in front of her mouth. “You two are living in la-la land. No man is going to come back for his supposed sweetheart,” she said with curled lips while her two friends looked on, “to start anything serious while he’s traveling the world over.” She sucked her teeth. “Get real.”
“What are you trying to say, Yolanda, that I’m not good enough?”
“Charity,” Yolanda started in a daunting tone, “I have dated plenty of guys in the military and some who work for Fortune 500 companies. And all they want to do is to play little childish games. Did it ever occur to you that maybe when we were kids back then,” she grimaced at Renita, “that all he wanted was a good time? Hence what I said, games.”
“You can’t believe that all guys are like that,” Renita challenged her.
“Hmmm, let’s see ….” Yolanda stared at the friend they referred to as the black Barbie doll with a soulful voice and said, “What happened to Jason?”
Renita abruptly closed her parted lips.
“Yeah, I thought so.” Yolanda smirked and then turned back to Charity. “All I’m saying is to watch yourself. You’ve saved yourself this long, don’t mess up now.”
about the author
clip_image015Renée Allen McCoy is a loving wife and mother, an author, but most importantly a devoted Christian. Having traveled to many parts of the world, today she, her husband, and their two children make Mississippi home.
Between caring for her family, Renée carves out time in her busy and sometimes unpredictable schedule to maintain a newsletter, Straight Up, a devotional blog, In His Name, and continue her passion for writing books.
To date, she has seven titles to her credit: The Fiery Furnace series (The Kiss of Judas, Confessions, and The Eleventh Hour), Soul Ties: Breaking Up with a Past That’s Killing Your Future (non-fiction), The Christmas Beau (The True Love Novellas, Book 1), In the Presence of My Enemies, and Single, Saved, & Searching (The True Love Novellas, Book 2). Renée has also written for the world renowned pocket devotional, The Upper Room, both in digital and print. She writes with zeal, knowing that faith works together in Christ.
With a heart to tell stories that will not only entertain, Renée hopes to enlighten readers to capture the message and power of God's saving grace. For more information about this charismatic author, please visit her at
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