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Monday, March 31, 2014

What's In a Name?

Shakespeare said a rose by any name would smell as sweet, but I wonder about that. If we called roses skunk cabbage would it affect our perception of them? I choose my characters’ names with great care simply because in my mind, certain names are associated with certain characteristics. For example, Phaedra sounds like a girl on an adventure while Jane is the heroine of a cozy mystery.
In my new mainstream romance Blue 52 my hero’s name is Richard Henry Lovinggood III, and they call him Hank because his father is called Richard and his grandfather is called Henry.  Let’s take a look at the meaning of these names.

Richard is derived from German and means powerful ruler. Have there been any powerful rulers by that name?  You betcha.  Think King Richard the Lionheart of England. It fits my story perfectly because Hank’s father was the president of the United States. Currently, Richard is the 124th most popular boy’s name in America.

Henry is my hero’s middle name. This name too is of German origin. It means power and ruler. Again, the name is appropriate because Hank’s grandfather is a powerful senator. There have been a lot of famous Henrys too.  King Henry II who established common law in England is one. Currently Henry is the 43rd most popular name for a boy.  

Do these names fit Richard Henry Lovinggood III? They sure fit his father and grandfather. Truthfully, at the beginning of the book they don’t, but by the end…. Well, that’s a story for another time.

Doctor How and the Illegal Aliens

Doctor How and the Illegal Aliens

by Mark Speed



Doctor How’s famous megalomaniac brother Doctor Who sold his fictional life story to the BBC half a century ago, painting himself as a lone hero. Disillusioned, their four cousins dropped out. For fifty years, Doctor How has held the line against the forces of darkness and stupidity. And he’s not that happy, since you ask.

Illegal aliens try to hack How’s Spectrel (TARDIS is a very rude word where he comes from), just as he suspects his estranged cousin Where has been compromised. When reports come in of mysterious attacks by alien creatures, Doctor How has to rely on his new companion Kevin, a petty criminal from south London, and Trinity, a morphing super-predator, as he counters this threat to humanity’s existence. Bungling agents from MI16, long desperate to capture the Time Keeper’s technology, hamper How’s efforts to combat the alien menace. Can Doctor How keep ahead of MI16, save Where and combat the alien threat?
“So is that your –”
“No it’s not my TARDIS, Kevin!” hissed Doctor How. “That’s a misnomer.”
“A misnomer.” Kevin looked at him blankly. “It means wrong name. It’s a misnomer put out by the BBC. TARDIS is actually a very rude word in my native language and nearly one in yours if you changed the ‘a’ for a ‘u’. A certain someone who will remain nameless thought it would be terribly amusing. According to the BBC, TARDIS is supposed to mean Time And Relative Dimension In Space.” The Doctor was now ranting wildly. “Can you believe the sheer gall of these people? Like they actually know, like they understand how the physics works?” The Doctor glared at Kevin, who shook his head.
“Let me tell you what it’s like. It’s like a troop of monkeys – and I mean monkeys, like baboons; not chimpanzees, not even apes – coming up to your very sophisticated saloon car with individual climate-control for each passenger, and a hi-fi system that would fool a bat. As you drive your state-of-the-art car through a safari park this troop of purple-bottomed baboons comes up to your car and calls it “Oog”. And then – and then – then they have the cheek to first of all capitalise the entire thing, so it’s not Tardis, it’s T-A-R-D-I-S, just to spell out the first letters of exactly what these monkeys think the physics is that they can’t even begin to comprehend. And after that they march down to another baboon who calls himself a lawyer and they register it as a trademark. So if I wanted to write my own biography, my autobiography, and I wanted the boneheaded human reader to understand the concept by way of using the word TARDIS, some baboon with a Technicolor™ bottom specialising in intellectual property law could demand money with menaces through the good courts of baboon society. And this,” spluttered the Doctor, “And all this after I saved your – forgive my crude colloquialism here – after I have saved your sorry collective Technicolor™ asses on more occasions than I can care to remember.”
Silence hung in the air. The Doctor was breathing deeply.
“You has got issues, innit?” said Kevin

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Mark Speed has been writing novels since he was fifteen. His comedy writing has appeared in newspapers as diverse as the London Evening Standard and The Sun, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. He performed his solo comedy, The End of the World Show, at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011 and 2012. He is currently working on the five-volume Doctor How series.
Amongst other postgraduate and professional qualifications, he has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from City University, London. In 1995 a chiropractor told him he’d never run again. Sensibly, he gave up chiropractors, runs every day and has completed several marathons and a couple of Olympic-length triathlons.
NLP founder Dr Richard Bandler called him a ‘polarity responder’.
One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card, so be sure to follow Mark's tour and comment often. You can find his schedule at

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Snippet Sunday

In this excerpt from Blue 52, my heroine runs to my hero after a savage attack.

“I came to tell you…” Kathryn fell silent as a spasm of shivering seized her. She tasted blood and realized she had bitten her tongue because her teeth wouldn’t quit chattering.

Hank fractionally raised her chin to look at the cut on her neck. She tried to stop trembling, but she saw he had gotten blood on his hand when he raised her chin. With a small cry, she wrapped her arms around him and squeezed hard. Hank picked her up and carried her to the living room. He sat down with her on his lap and cuddled her close.

Kathryn buried her face against his neck. With his arms around her, she felt safer. Hank would take care of her; she gave in to her fear and started to cry.


"First Lady Kills President Lovinggood"
December 29, 2018

Thirty years later Hank Lovinggood embarks on a quest to prove his mother's innocence and punish the killers who took his family from him.  Together Hank and lovely physicist Kathryn Sinclair confront an implacable, twisted, merciless enemy who'll do whatever it takes to hide the truth forever. 

Buy Link:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Saturday Sample: Her Kind of Man

Her Kind of Man is a publisher's bestseller, and is on sale for only .99 at


Kara laid the kitten beside its mama, but before she could get to her feet, Ross gave her a little push and toppled her over into the hay. A second later he stretched out beside her.

"What's your hurry?" he muttered. He closed his eyes and teased Kara's lips with his own. "Hold me."

Kara didn't mind if she did because Ross felt good in her arms. The fragrant, warm hay that kept her safe from curious, prying eyes gave her a sense of security. Her arms slipped around Ross who kissed her again.

Punch-drunk from the destruction of so many hopes and dreams, kissing Ross still sent little shivers up and down Kara's spine. Her body felt warm, pliant, and alive. She made no protest when Ross grabbed her bottom to pull her against him.

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 fiancĂ© 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.

Fashionista Friday: Who Wore It Best?

Thursday, March 27, 2014


by Krystal Shannan



It’s just a game…right?

Olivia Hampton never thought she’d run into the guy of her dreams at a Gaming Convention, but when Harvey MacLaughlin introduces himself a woman can’t help but notice. He’s six and a half feet of tall-dark-and-yummy. Plus, he's a gamer too. But, how do you tell the man of your dreams you decimate him at Soldier’s Call, the most popular FPS game of the year, almost every night?

Harvey MacLaughlin was interested in Olivia the second she stepped on the plane. When he sees her again in the convention hotel, introducing himself becomes priority number one. He may have started out just looking for company, but what he finds in the beautiful Olivia Hampton may be more than he ever dreamed.

Will a secret between them ruin their budding relationship? Or will Harvey take another path and turn the game on her?


“The wheels are turning, Liv. I can see them. What are you thinking?”

“I was trying to decide if I should invite you back to my hotel room.” Whoa! Where did that come from?

His eyebrows raised, registering his surprise, and his pupils dilated, indicating he was very aroused. She licked her lips and swore she heard a low growl come from his chest.

Oh my God. He’s so sexy.

“Here we are, guys,” their waitress appeared with two plates heaped with steaming food. “Waffles and strawberries for both and then an extra plate of eggs and bacon for you.” She set the protein-filled plate in front of Harvey. “Also, a glass of orange juice.”

Liv reached and took the glass from her hand. “Thank you.” She sipped the sweet juice and stole another glance at Harvey. He met her gaze with silence.

What was he thinking now? She’d put it out there. Did he think she was crazy? Who sleeps with someone they’ve just met? Oh, God. He must think I just jump in bed with anybody.

“I’m sorry. That was really forward of me. I don’t...I just...” Now sentences wouldn’t even form. Her cheeks were hot with embarrassment. No doubt her face was redder than a tomato. “I’ve never done this before.”

“Done what? Gone out with a guy for dinner or slept with him?” His mouth didn’t curve into a smile, but his eyes twinkled with amusement. “I wouldn’t have a problem accepting your invitation if you chose to extend it.”

Liv took a bite of waffle, enjoying the crunch with the syrupy sweetness of the strawberry topping. She stared at her food and continued to eat in silence. His fork clinked against his plate too as he ate.

He wasn’t pushing or asking. He’d merely said he would accept if she offered. No pressure. But, what if she was terrible in bed again? What if there was something wrong with her?

Wouldn’t it be better to know right off the bat, instead of completely falling in love with a man and then finding out they didn’t want her because she sucked in bed? Her heart couldn’t take another bashing like Todd had dished out.

But, she didn’t want Harvey to think badly of her for being willing to fall straight into bed with him either.

She kept chewing and staring at her food. A few minutes later her plate was empty. She hadn’t said another word the whole time she’d been eating. Taking a deep breath, she looked up. His plate was clean too.

He was sitting casually in his chair, leaning back a little —watching her. He was gorgeous. She wanted to touch him. To feel him touch her. Damn it. I don’t know what to do.

“Can I walk you back to your room, Liv?”

“Yes.” The answer came before she thought about it.

He smiled and stood, extending his hand to help her up from her chair. She took his hand and fought the urge to shiver at his touch. He dropped some cash on the table and led her to the door. It was everything she could do not to plaster herself to his side on their way out of the restaurant.

The light breeze outside pushed the spicy scent of his cologne over to her. She took a deep breath and wanted to run her free hand across his chest. I’m going to maul him on the way across the street if I’m not careful.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Paranormal Romance author, Krystal Shannan, lives in Texas and is married to the love-of-her-life. They have a spunky young daughter who believes in fairies. Krystal professes to loving shoes, but avoids wearing them at all costs. She teaches in the public schools and writes as much as she can in her free time. If any more spare time can be squeezed from her day, she enjoys reading romance in all genres, but especially paranormal. If it has a 'Happily Ever After', she's on board!

She is an active member in her local RWA chapter DARA.

Krystal Shannan

Putting Magick in Romance one Soul Mate at a Time.

Contemporary Romance
Indie Published

Available now @

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 Krystal will be awarding a necklace pendant depicting the cover of Harvey to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at