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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fashionista Friday: Polka Dots!

Have A Little Faith In Me


Book Two of the DuChamps' Dynasty Series. 
Book One, Been Loving You Too Long is available at Amazon. 

On the surface, Kaitlyn DuChamps is everything Grant Ashworth despises—a spoiled heiress with a bad attitude serving out her sentence on the farm as she tries to meet the terms of her uncle’s will. Brat or not, there’s no denying that she’s beautiful. Even as they snap at one another, he wants her, and it doesn’t take long for him to realize that there is far more to Kaitlyn than she wants the world to see. 

Kaitlyn wears her bad attitude like the armor that it is. She forged it herself from the ugliness, from the pain and betrayal of her past. No one gets in, no one sees the real her, and no one gets past her carefully constructed defenses. Even as she gives in to the heat between them, to a passion with Grant unlike anything she has ever experienced, Kaitlyn tries to keep her emotional distance. 

But Grant sees through her, digging at her secrets, chipping away at the walls...and when her past comes calling, she has to decide just how much she trusts him.

Grant stood in the middle of the living room, sipping a glass of bourbon and looking far more appealing than any man had the right to. His blonde hair, just a tad too long, brushed the collar of his white dress shirt, and the grey trousers he wore were perfectly tailored to him. He’d shed his muddy cowboy boots in favor of black dress shoes. He’d also shaved the burnished gold stubble that had only intensified the rugged masculinity of his chiseled features.
Approaching him, Kaitlyn was thankful for her heels and for the nanometer of height advantage they’d provided her. She’d judged him to be just over six feet, and with her heels, she was an inch above that. It wasn’t much but she’d take it. Gesturing to his glass, she asked, “What do I have to do to get one of those?”
“Use those long legs of yours to walk across the room, pick up the bottle, tip it to roughly a ninety degree angle and pour the contents into a glass of your choosing,” he replied. 
“How long did it take you to become this much of an asshole?” she asked. 
“Grant, pour Kaitlyn a drink and stop being difficult,” Margaret commanded as she walked through the room. 
Kaitlyn watched his jaw firm. In his eyes she saw a flash of several emotions—irritation, resignation but above all, she saw the love and indulgence he had for his mother. Maybe he wasn’t all bad, she thought. He moved toward the bar and returned in a moment with a glass of bourbon for her, no ice. She smiled, remembering what Thomas had said about watering down perfectly good bourbon. “Thank you.”
“So do you wear those heels because you feel insecure or because you want to make men feel insecure?” The question was asked with a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes, but the dimples were there. Damn the man for being that good looking, she silently cursed. 
Kaitlyn’s smile was dazzling when she fired back, “Worried about your shortcomings?”
He stepped closer to her, so close that she could feel the heat from his body. “Not at all. I’ve always liked tall women—long legs and a world of possibilities.”
The challenge in his green eyes, accompanied by the spicy scent of his cologne and the delicious heat of his body forced Kailtyn to acknowledge that any advantage she’d had was long gone. He’d effectively turned the tables on her and she was smart enough to know when to back down. Without a word, she turned and retreated to the dining room and the relative safety of his mother as a chaperone.

About the Author
Seraphina Donavan is a hopeless romantic with a wicked & oh-so-dirty mind! Those things, combined with her love of writing, prompted her to take the leap and transform those fantasies into written words on a page. As a curvy girl herself, Seraphina has made it a point to celebrate those women with delicious curves with her work through writing and the hot men who love them.

She currently has 11 published books & is working on many more..

Living in Central Kentucky, Seraphina spends her time rescuing stray animals, working for a non-profit agency and dreaming of becoming a best-selling author. She lives in a home that has more character than working parts and enjoys spending time with her fur babies. Feel free to contact her with any questions or thoughts on your mind.. She loves connecting with her readers & hearing from anyone!
Buy Link

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Just Out of Reach

Just Out of Reach

by Belinda Stevens





When high school freshman Katherine Boyd meets David, her life is forever altered. Their romance experiences the turmoil of Mississippi in the sixties, family relationships that keep them apart, and political differences that threaten to destroy them. Through the death of JFK and James Meredith’s admission to Ole Miss, Katherine’s growth means being progressive in a traditional Southern family, accepting the loss of those closest to her, and learning to cope with her family’s darkest secrets. Just Out of Reach is the story of a young woman forged in desperate times and a love that changes her life forever.




There are certain events in life that leave a line of demarcation, the beginning of things, the ending of something else.  For me, meeting David was that line.


It all began my freshman year at Lancaster High.  What amazed me about the year 1961 was that my feelings for David emerged at the exact moment I became isolated from the soul of my town, my birthplace. I was apart from all that I knew or understood.  It all happened so fast that I felt split, like some multiple personality separating into many different identities.


The day we met, it was very cold. The student body had congregated in and around the arcade during morning break to get a glimpse of the falling snow, hoping that the ground would be cold enough for it to stick.  Lancaster High was nestled between the canal that separated my town from the residential area and its business district to the north.  LHS was made of red brick, with a newly erected concrete arcade leading directly to its front entrance.


As thoughts of a snow holiday raced through my head, Betsy and I noticed a couple at the far end of the arcade.  We automatically moved in that direction.  I nudged my best friend and whispered, “Who’s the guy with Linda?”


“Don’t know, let’s find out,” responded Betsy.  My friend continued to talk but I didn’t hear a word.  My eyes were fixed on the boy at the end of the arcade.  My heart was pounding so hard, it was all I heard. My reaction was a mystery, even to me.  It still is.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Belinda J. Stevens was born in Yazoo City, Mississippi, the gateway to the Mississippi Delta, in 1948. She grew up in the turbulent sixties, and has a true appreciation for the difficulties experienced by Katherine in Just Out of Reach, which is Belinda’s first novel. She is an attorney who currently practices law in Yazoo City and resides in Brandon, Mississippi with her dog, Humprey B.
Twitter: @BelindaSteven20
Readers, Belinda is giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate so follow her tour and comment often for a chance to win.  Find her schedule at


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Beyond the Book: Jack-o-Lanterns

Greetings! It is I, Prince Alan, hero of Madame Cantrell's fascinating novel The Enchanted. Recently, Princess Morgane and I visited with Madame Cantrell who made us welcome and served some delicious refreshments to us. As we were leaving her home, we saw a strange object sitting on her neighbor's porch. It looked like a pumpkin, but it was like no pumpkin I have ever seen before. It had an evil face carved into its side, and it glowed from within as if a fire burned inside it. I drew my sword to destroy the dreadful thing, but Madame Cantrell begged me not to. She explained that it was a jack-o-lantern and that it was only a regular pumpkin which had been carved into a fantastical shape. The fire that Princess Morgane and I saw was nothing more than a candle. Madame Cantrell explained the origin of this custom.

Long ago a people called Celts lived in present day Ireland. These people tell the story of Stingy Jack who invited the devil to have a drink with him. When they finished, Stingy Jack lived up to his name and begged the devil to turn himself into a coin to pay for their drinks. The devil did so, and Jack decided to keep the money. He put it in his pocket next to a silver cross which prevented the devil from changing back. Stingy Jack eventually promised to free the devil provided the devil would leave him alone for one year and not claim his soul if he should die.

The next year Stingy Jack persuaded the devil to climb a tree to pick a piece of fruit, but when the devil went up the tree, Jack carved a cross on the tree so the devil couldn't come down. Jack said he would remove the cross if the devil would leave him alone for ten years. The devil finally agreed.

Jack soon died and found that God had no use for such a one and wouldn't allow him into Heaven. The devil kept his promise and wouldn't allow Jack into Hell. The devil sent Jack out into the dark with only one coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a turnip and wandered through the world. People called him Jack of the Lantern which morphed into jack-o-lantern.

People began to carve scary faces into turnips or potatoes and put them onto their window sills to frighten Jack and other evil spirits away. Eventually, this tale spread to Madame Cantrell's homeland, but there they use pumpkins for their jack-o-lanterns, not turnips.

Princess Morgane does not like these jack-o-lanterns, but my father the king is going to make some and see if he can frighten any of his nobles. (Sigh)  

Picture credit: By huk_flickr (originally posted to Flickr as pumpkin pie) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wild Times on Skidaway Island

Welcome to my blog. Karen Dove Barr is my special guest today. Karen and I share a vision of a world where humans and animals can co-exist in harmony. Readers, Karen is giving away
a $25 Walmart gift card to FOUR (4) randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a Grand Prize of an Apple iPad to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at

 Karen, welcome to the blog.
1.How did you find Skidaway Island?


            As a resident of Savannah I knew Skidaway Island was a tropical paradise separated from Savannah by miles of marshland and two rivers, one river being part of the Intracoastal Waterway.  The Savannah Morning News announced the State of Georgia agreed to build a causeway and bridge to the island after Robert C. Roebling, whose grandfather built the Brooklyn Bridge, donated the land he owned in the northwest quadrant of Skidaway Island to the State of Georgia for a marine science center and Branigar Corporation donated a piece of the land it owned on the western side to the State of Georgia for a state park.

            The announcement created a great buzz in Savannah, especially after Branigar Corporation announced it planned to build a luxury retirement development on some of its remaining Skidaway land.  I went to check out the planned home space and was greeted at the gate by a beautiful herd of deer.  The deer deserve a cut of the realtor’s commission because they sold me on moving to the island.

2.What's your favorite animal on the island?

            I love all the animals on the island but the masked bandit, against my wishes, holds a special place in my heart.  Raccoons are related to bears.  They are extraordinarily intelligent.  I put out cat food for feral kitties, but the raccoons get more than their share of it.  When I shoo them away, the cats run from me, but raccoons put on their “cute” face and beg to stay.  Raccoons have worked out that if they let the cats have the first bites I will go back in the house and they can then steal the rest.  They sometimes cooperate with cats, even sharing a food bowl under a cat trap I used to have the feral cats neutered and vaccinated.

            Maybe the raccoons knew they would be freed instead of making the trip to the vet.

            The raccoon on the cover of Wild Times on Skidaway Island , had a guilty expression on his face when I caught him eating out of the bird feeder.

3.  How did the island come to be an Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge?

            To become an Audubon-designated Important Bird Area, a community must apply and meet specific criteria.  Actually the six golf courses on Skidaway Island are the areas that attained Audubon Important Bird Area designation.  To qualify the site must support:

  1. Species of conservation concern
  2. Restricted-range species
  3. Species that are vulnerable because their populations are concentrated in one general habitant type or biome
  4. Species, or groups of similar species (such as waterfowl or shorebirds), that are vulnerable because they occur at high densities due to their congregatory behavior.

 4. What is the most important thing you'd like the public to learn from your book?

            I’d like the public to learn that there are unexplored consequences to protection of endangered species and that it takes more than increasing animal populations to successfully create a climate where animals and people coexist and thrive together.

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that it sounds like you live in a wonderful place. Readers, let's take a look at an excerpt from Wild Times on Skidaway Island.

Wild Times on Skidaway Island
by Karen Dove Barr
 Wild Times on Skidaway Island, Georgia's Historic Rain Forest, details life in a unique Audubon-designated, ecologically friendly refuge. There, golfers pitch balls around endangered great blue herons, mama raccoons march their babies across backyard decks where once Guale Indians trapped ancestors of the same raccoons, and residents dodge alligators and rescue snakes.
 Even the vegetation is wild. Three hundred-year-old oaks dripping Spanish moss and poison ivy surmount an under-story of wax myrtle and holly. Carolina jasmine, Cherokee roses, and endangered orchids grow wild in the rain forest. The book examines choices residents make when stared down by a bald eagle, when a red-tailed hawk mistakes a golf ball for bird food, when wakened at midnight by deer munching hibiscus. Wild Times on Skidaway Island educates about the species that residents must adapt to on this historic island.

When Walt and Carol Culin topped their house at The Landings with a coated metal roof they were confident the roof would be problem-free for a hundred years.  Walt’s contacts as head of an industrial coating company helped him get the latest technology.  Even a hurricane shouldn’t destroy their unusual–looking roof.
But nothing in Walt’s Princeton-educated background prepared him for dryocopus pileatus, the pilated woodpecker.
Male pilated woodpeckers are fixated on the notion that female woodpeckers are attracted to the stud with the noisiest pecker. Usually the woodpecker has to be content with drumming on a hollow tree to resonate his sound. Walt and Carol’s metal roof, however, raised the bar for the local woodpecker population.  Walt and Carol were regularly awakened by mate-seeking woodpeckers as soon as they moved into the house.
Walt ended up having to make a run to Toys ’R Us for rubber snakes. Glued to the chimney alongside a big fake owl, the snakes allowed Walt and Carol to catch some winks in the early morning during woodpecker mating season.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
 Karen Dove Barr, Attorney, was recently recognized by the Georgia State Bar for providing legal assistance to military families and service members.  She has practiced in the field of family law in Savannah for 34 years.


Summerset Abbey


by T. J. Brown






Reminiscent of Downton Abbey, this first novel in a new series follows two sisters and their maid as they are suddenly separated by the rigid class divisions within a sprawling aristocratic estate and thrust into an uncertain world on the brink of WWI...

Rowena and Victoria, daughters to the second son of the Earl of Summerset, have always treated their governess’s daughter, Prudence, like a sister. But when their father dies and they move in with their uncle’s family in a much more traditional household, Prudence is relegated to the maids’ quarters, much to the girls’ shock and dismay. The impending war offers each girl hope for a more modern future, but the ever-present specter of class expectations makes it difficult for Prudence to maintain a foot in both worlds.

Vividly evoking both time and place and filled with authentic dialogue and richly detailed atmosphere, Summerset Abbey is a charming and timeless historical debut.

EXCERPT:  A lump rose in her throat as she caught sight of the ornate casket, draped with a full spray of lilies, carnations, and palm fronds. The only reason she was here, clutching Rowena’s and Victoria’s hands in hers instead of shrinking into the background with the other servants, was the kindness of the man who lay inside. After Prudence’s father had died, her mother, who had worked at Sir Philip’s estate as a girl, had been sent to attend to Rowena and Victoria’s ailing mother. When his wife died, Sir Philip asked her to stay on to help raise the girls, and Prudence, exactly between his daughters in age, became part of the family. Prudence, who volunteered her time at several different poorhouses in the city, knew exactly what happened to young girls left alone in the world. She would forever be grateful to Sir Philip for not allowing that to happen to her.

She blinked away her tears and occupied herself by looking at the rest of the congregation. Only a few looked familiar. Among them were Rupert Brooke, the high-strung and handsome young poet; Ben Tillett, the iron-jawed union leader; and Roger Fry, the controversial artist responsible for bringing London’s shocked attention to postimpressionism some years prior. These were some of Sir Philip’s friends, a motley collection of artists, intellectuals, and misfits.

Because the Earl had arranged the funeral, most of the people in attendance were his peers, men from the House of Lords and others from the cream of London society.

Sir Philip would have hated it.

The beautiful gold arches and polished marble of St. Bride’s Church gleamed, just as they had the few times the family had attended church. Sir Philip had chosen St. Bride’s because, as he used to say, “Sir Christopher Wren built the kind of church that God might actually enjoy.”

Gradually, Prudence became aware of a young man staring at her from across the aisle. Her eyes darted in his direction, then away. Moments later, unable to help herself, she glanced back to see whether he was still looking at her. He was. She turned slightly and stared fixedly at the bronze candelabra to the left of him, her cheeks burning.

Victoria leaned around her to whisper to Rowena. “Look, Lord Billingsly has noticed our Prudence.”

“I’m right here,” Prudence whispered, and gave both their hands a hard squeeze for emphasis.

She didn’t look his way again.

Once the service started, Prudence sank into a well of grief that threatened to drown her. The waves of it lapped at her from all sides, covered her head, and made sight almost impossible. Inside, her heart broke and a waterfall of sorrow poured from the cracks. On one side, Victoria sobbed quietly, while Rowena’s stiff resolve buoyed her from the other. She clung to their hands as the service passed in a blur of speeches.

They remained that way until it was time to get into the ornate black and gold funeral carriages that would take them back to their home in Mayfair for the reception. Behind the carriages stood a line of motorcars; most of the wealthy guests had long given up their carriages for the convenience and speed of automobiles. The Earl himself had several, and Sir Philip’s sleek Eton-blue Belsize sat idle in the carriage house, but the Earl insisted on traditional horse-drawn carriages.

“Miss Tate will ride in the staff carriage.” The Earl’s voice brooked no opposition and his square jaw firmed. Prudence knew that look. Rowena’s pretty face held the same expression when she got all stubborn about something.

Victoria’s eyes widened. “Prudence rides with us.”

“Nonsense. The Duke of Plymouth wishes to join us and there isn’t enough room.”

Prudence placed her hands on Victoria’s shoulders. Tension vibrated through the young girl’s slender body and Prudence’s stomach knotted, sure that Victoria was going to throw a fit, the kind she used to throw when the family still called her baby and she wanted the biggest sweet in the shop. Even at eighteen, Victoria wasn’t above a tantrum or two if she thought the situation warranted it. But her waiflike face suddenly fell and her lower lip trembled.

“It’ll be all right,” Prudence whispered. “I’ll go back with the staff and meet you at home.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

TJ Brown is proud of her two children but coming in a close second is the fact that she parachuted out of a plane and beat the original Legend of Zelda video game. Her young adult historical about Harry Houdini’s illegitimate daughter came out in June from Balzer+Bray. She also writes adult historicals under TJ Brown. She resides with her husband and way too many pets in Portlandia.


The author will be awarding autographed copies of books two and three of the series, A Bloom in Winter and Spring Awakening to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour (open internationally) so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at

You can also win a $50 Amazon gift certificate by entering at the following link:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Snippet

Welcome to Snippet Sunday. My excerpt today is from Her Kind of Man. In this excerpt, my heroine Kara and her sister Katie are talking about a man they went to school with. He always had a crush on Kara, but from the sound of it, Kara never thought he was anything special. Surprisingly, Ross turns out to be exactly her kind of man.


“I bet he didn’t go because you were going with someone else. Ross always reminded me of a devoted, old spaniel. He adored the ground you walked on, and I think he still does.”

Kara chuckled when she remembered Ross’s lovesick behavior. “That’s a pretty good description. Every time I spoke to him I expected him to duck his head and blush. One word from me and he was too tongue-tied to put two syllables together.”
Is it possible she’s finally found Her Kind of Man?

Ross Williams has been in love with Kara Cochrane since they were kids so when Kara's fiancé Brandon Miles cheats on her and calls off their wedding—Ross steps in to rescue the damsel in distress.
A heartbroken Kara just wants to get on with her life and hunky Ross provides her with a definite distraction—that is until she starts falling for him. Big time.

But a devastating family secret threatens to destroy everything that Kara holds dear—including her relationship with Ross.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Saturday Sample

Welcome to my Saturday Sample. Today I have an excerpt for you from a novel I'm ready to submit. It's called Rest Thy Head. Please leave me a comment and tell me what I need to revise before I send it in.  In this excerpt, my heroine meets my hero for the first time.

She entered the barn, a big white structure with a center aisle and stalls on either side.  Just inside the door she saw a dark haired man dressed in jeans and a long sleeved, checked shirt brushing a pretty chestnut mare.  “Hi,” she called. 

The man half turned toward her; wow, he had blue eyes to die for.  The blue was so intense that it reminded her of a blue diamond that she’d seen at the jewelry store.  “Yeah?” he asked.

“I’m Peyton O’Malley.  I’m supposed to meet Patrick for a ride.”

“He isn’t here yet.  You can sit on the bench under that tree outside and wait for him there.”

Instead of leaving the barn, Peyton stepped toward the man.  “What a beautiful … horse.” 

The man quickly averted his face, but Peyton had seen the dreadful red scars that covered the entire left side of his face.  They looked like burns.  “Wait outside,” he commanded, scowling at her with the good side of his face.
Picture By Countercanter (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Fashionista Friday: Smart Look

Vogue Taiwan September 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Echo of Prophecy

Echo Prophecy (Echo Trilogy, #1)

by Lindsey Fairleigh






“…we only see what we want to see…what we expect to see…”


Discover what’s hidden—a powerful, mythic race, an ancient Egyptian prophecy, and a love strong enough to shatter the boundaries of time.

Alexandra Larson isn’t human…but she doesn’t know that. As far as Lex is concerned, she’s simply an ambitious and independent archaeology grad student with a knack for deciphering ancient languages, especially the various forms of Egyptian. When she’s recruited to work on her dream excavation, her translating skills uncover the secret entrance to an underground Egyptian temple concealed within Djeser-Djeseru—the famous mortuary temple of Queen Hatchepsut. Lex is beyond thrilled by her discovery…as is the enigmatic and alluring excavation director, Marcus Bahur.

As the relationship between Lex and Marcus heats up, a series of shocking revelations leave the young archaeologist reeling. Once Lex discovers the truth of her ancient Egyptian roots—the truth of her more-than-human nature—the people she trusts most make one final, terrifying revelation: Lex is the central figure of a four-thousand-year-old prophecy. She is the only thing standing between the power to alter the very fabric of time and an evil megalomaniac…who also happens to be her father. As events set in motion over four millennia ago lead Lex and Marcus from Seattle to the heart of Egypt, the fate of mankind depends on one thing: the strength of Lex’s love.


“I thought you might like to see this,” Marcus said softly as he set a flat, wooden box on top of the papers scattered on my desk. Through the glass top, I could see an impeccable, hieroglyph-covered stone tablet.

“Marcus,” I said without taking my eyes from the object in front of me. “Is this—”


“But where’s the other one? You said there were two.” I was leaning closer to the glass, trying to get a better look at the box’s contents.

“It’s unrelated to our present work.”

I barely heard his words, entranced as I was by the slab of smooth, gray-green schist.


“Can I open it?” I interrupted, eagerness evident in my voice. I looked up at him, pleading with my eyes.

Marcus grinned and nodded.

“Oh. Wow.” With the glass lid removed, the artifact was even more amazing. Shaped like a closed parabola, the dark stone tablet looked like it could have been carved only a few days earlier. Every inch was untouched by the usual rigors of time. “Where’d you say you found this?” I whispered.

“I didn’t,” Marcus said, avoiding the question.

I gently closed the glass lid and faced him. “Okay, he-who-can’t-answer-an-implied-question, then where did you find it? And when?”

Across the room, one of the other men coughed in a way that sounded suspiciously like an attempt to cover up a laugh.

The corner of Marcus’s mouth quirked, but I couldn’t tell if he was hiding a smile or a frown.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book--as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she's not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats.
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Lindsey will be awarding a $15 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Use this address to enter the contest: