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Look Who Dropped By Today: Liv Rancourt with a Black Friday Freebie!

10393929_741902995903457_8400460691678991331_nBlack Friday FREEBIE!

From 11/28 – 11/30/14, The Santa Drag is FREE from Amazon! Reviewers have called this story charming and funny, so for a quick holiday pick-me-up, one-click The Santa Drag.

Blurb:

Things aren’t always what they seem, and this shopping mall Santa has a secret only true love can reveal. 

Mackenzie’s an out-of-work actress who takes a job as a shopping mall Santa to pay the rent. She fools everyone with her Santa drag, until the day Joe McBride walks into the mall. Joseph Timothy McBride – the real-life, got a soap opera gig and you saw him in Scream II actor. The only guy she ever really loved. Can Mack stay in character, or is it time to strip off the red coat and peel off the beard for good?

The Santa Drag is a 6,000 word short story about a Santa with a secret, stressed out parents in the mall, and one very handsome actor.

Excerpt:

On a particularly busy Saturday, I was tired and thinking more about a double shot of espresso than I was about the pile of kids who wanted to sit in my lap. The weak winter sun was making its circle over the atrium where the Christmas Village was set up, and my roommate Shauna was buzzing by every so often to giggle at me from the sidelines. She was trying to get all of her Christmas shopping done in one day, which was a good trick for someone with as many fertile brothers and sisters as she had.

“Come sit on Santa’s lap.” Maya, the photographer and kid-wrangler, invited the next kid in line approach my golden throne. Well, it was fake gold, but the kids didn’t know that.

“No,” said a little girl with a stubborn crease between her brows. She was dressed in Seattle’s version of Christmas formal, a stiff, red velvet dress, likely made from organic fabric dyed with beets and rose hips. On her feet were two-toned leather Mary Janes that probably cost sixty-five dollars. At least the green corkscrew ribbons tied around her blond pigtails looked like they belonged on a child. I made myself as approachable as possible, getting down to her level and producing a big smile.

“Come on, Thula,” her mother said, tapping one French manicured nail on her cell phone. “Go sit up there with Santa so we can take your picture.” She sounded as if this was just one more thing to knock off the list.

“It’s okay, sweetie.” Maya put on her encouraging smile. Maya was a tiny thing, barely bigger than most of the kids we saw, with long dark hair, a tiny gold hoop pierced through one nostril, and bugged-out eyes that looked like they’d been molded out of chocolate. She was non-threatening as an adult could possibly be. The kid stared at her and bit down on her bottom lip. At least she wasn’t crying. Yet.

“You want to come tell Santa what to bring you for Christmas?” I kept my voice pitched down somewhere under my sternum. It helped that I had one of those raspy lady voices that earned me a permanent spot in the tenor section whenever I sang in choir.

“No.”

Sometimes less is more when you’re dealing with preschoolers. We went back and forth for several minutes until the kid went from biting her bottom lip to letting it pooch out and tremble. Never a good sign. Finally, after a ton of coaxing, she was more-or-less close to me, squatting down on the other side of one of the big pretend presents that ringed my throne. That was good enough for her mom, and Maya snapped a picture.

When she was done, the little girl glared at me from behind the big, glossy red ribbon that topped the present. “Bring me a baby brother,” she bellowed and took off running.

Mom’s glare was meaner than the kid’s had been. Hey, it’s not like I made any promises.

The kid ran full tilt past the pseudo-Tyrolean houses that made the Village, and out through the crowds of shoppers. She stopped in the middle of an open space and cut loose,  her sobs echoing around the smoky glass dome that covered us. We could hear her carrying on until she and her mom got swallowed up by the Ross store at the end of the north hallway. The whole place fell into a bit of a hush when she was gone, as everyone exhaled in relief. This close to Christmas, none of us needed a crying child to ratchet up the stress level.

A young mother was next in line. She came into the Christmas Village and positioned a slightly damp baby on my lap, moving as if something hurt. The baby was so young that Mom still looked a little pregnant under her loose denim-blue shirt. Or maybe she was already pregnant with number two. I’m not so good with the principles of baby production. Well, I understand the basic concepts, but haven’t had that many opportunities to put them into practice.

The brief quiet was interrupted by a yodeling squeal that I recognized. I stared into the crowd until I caught Maya looking at me funny. I stuck on a smile as close to my normal, jolly-Santa shtick as I could get, and she settled back down behind her camera. The reason for my roommate Shauna’s squeal had me completely rattled. In the two or three beats I’d looked out from behind my wire-rimmed glasses as Mack-the-girl, I’d seen Shauna giving someone a big hug. A really handsome someone. Joe McBride. Joseph Timothy McBride. The actor. The real-life, got a soap opera gig and several commercials and you saw him in Scream 2 actor. The only guy I ever really loved.

Buy Link:

The Santa Drag is available exclusively from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Santa-Drag-Liv-Rancourt-ebook/dp/B00PG7W6KO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415974210&sr=8-1&keywords=santa+drag

Liv Rancourt Bio:

I write romance: m/f, m/m, and v/h, where the h is for human and the v is for vampire…or sometimes demon. I write funny. I don’t write angst. When I’m not writing I take care of tiny premature babies or teenagers, depending on whether I’m at home or at work. My husband is a soul of patience, my dog is the cutest thing evah(!), and we’re up to three ferrets.

I can be found on-line at all hours of the day and night at my website & blog (www.livrancourt.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). Come find me. We’ll have fun!

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Look Who Dropped By Today: Rocky Rochford

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. While as a Canadian I celebrated Thanksgiving in October, I still have a lot to be grateful for , including wonderful friends like you. Today, I’d like to welcome Fellow Solstice author, Rocky Rochford who’s here to tell you about his latest writing projects. Welcome Rocky.

Author Photo - Black & WhiteI’m Rocky Rochford and I’m a Scuba Diving, thrill seeking, sword collecting, rum swigging writer. I don’t choose what I write, but write what chooses me and to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. A writer is what I have been from day 1 and will continue to be so, until the day I’m nothing more than a corpse in the ground, but even then, odds are my bony hand would continue scribbling away for eternity.

Now as for my works, I am an author of many genres, I’ve recently released a Poetry Collection. I have written a number of short stories, both stand-alone pieces and part of a continuing series. As far as genres go, I write Fantasy, Adventure, Thriller, Psychological Thrillers, Espionage, YA & Supernatural, and today I would like to talk about my latest works to be released. Two latest installments as part of the Entwined Saga, which sees its Witch Protagonist Matthew Radley on a race against time to save someone he’s never even said hello to.

The Entwined Saga Biog: This is the Life story of one Matthew Radley, a troubled soul at the end of his life. Unable to go on, he commits the act of suicide to end it all, but Death is just the Beginning of the End for Matthew. First you will watch him die and then you will understand why.

Life deals us different hands, for Matthew he was dealt the worst, from the age of 16 he has no choice but to watch his life spiral out of control. The Entwined Saga is a story of Life, Love, Corruption, Magick and Death.

Current Installments in the series:

*Dead on the Floor

*The First Glance

*I Watched Her Die

*Burning For You

*Save Her

Here’s a quick peek at my books:

Available in paperback:51-c0XnmTPL

Phoenix Risesa Deep Water novel: (Full length novel)

Terrorism, Betrayal, Revenge & Cold bloodied Murder, that’s just the opening chapter. In this tale of Mayhem, Chaos & Destruction, Death rains down from the skies, will anyone survive?

http://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Rises-Deep-Water-Novel/dp/3854382375/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1416761419&sr=8-7&keywords=rocky+rochford

The Spirit of IrisPart of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles: (Full length no23273194vel)

Set in a world much unlike our own, on a lonesome planet at the end of the universe, an epic battle between good and evil is about to come to pass. Living in a medieval era, the inhabitants of the world find themselves up against the dreaded Shanzi, vile creatures of pure darkness who seek one thing, the annihilation of that which is good. There is only one who can stop them, a young boy by the name of Zach who must Rise up against the forces of darkness and drive them back to the shadow existence from whence they came.

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Elohim-Spirit-Rocky-Rochford/dp/1625261292/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1416761121&sr=8-4&keywords=rocky+rochford

http://solsticepublishing.com/the-rise-of-the-elohim/

downloadDead on the Floor Part of the Entwined Saga: (Short Story)

The beginning of the End starts now. For some of us, Life can be cruel, dealing us a losing hand and for Matthew Radley, a young Wiccan practitioner that is exactly what he got. After a lifetime of chaos, pain and losing himself, he finally got everything he wanted, the woman he loved, the future he desired and a reason to live, but in a single moment he lost it all. Unable to take the pain and no longer desire to live, Matthew takes the one thing he has left, his own life. For Matthew, his story has to end, in order for it to begin, his story has no happy ending, for his is a life of Love, Magick, Corruption, & Death and only asks for understanding.

http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Floor-Rocky-Rochford-ebook/dp/B00NOBCNIO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1416761121&sr=8-2&keywords=rocky+rochford

http://solsticepublishing.com/dead-on-the-floor/

Hour of DarknessPart of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles: (Short Story)6a0120a583300a970c01b7c6f43ee1970b

With the Shanzi King’s return to Mares looming on the horizon, ready to unleash an eternity of chaos, three of his most trusted and dangerous generals take to the World of Oceania to begin preparations for the return of Darkari, the Dark King of Death. Shaymon, bringer of diseases. Stavros, the always hungry wolf. Mongra, the maker of war. Each one desires nothing more than the total eradication of all humanity. But to do that, each must find a place in the world they seek to destroy.

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Elohim-Hour-Darkness-ebook/dp/B00O4C4ZV0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1416761365&sr=8-5&keywords=rocky+rochford

http://solsticepublishing.com/rise-of-the-elohim-hour-of-darkness/

download (1)Don’t Turn Around – A short tale about Murder: (Short story)

I am Death.

And I am hungry.

And there you are,

Unaware of my arrival.

Don’t turn around.

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Turn-Around-Rocky-Rochford-ebook/dp/B00NY9T8W0/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1416761396&sr=8-6&keywords=rocky+rochford

http://solsticepublishing.com/dont-turn-around/

The First Glance – Part of the Entwined Saga: (Short Story)Matthew Radley had a life before he let it drain aw81Feypifs3L._SL1400_ay. On one typical Monday morning, it would never be the same again because that was the day he saw her. The beginning of the end had come.

http://www.amazon.com/First-Glance-Part-Entwined-Saga-ebook/dp/B00PUTJPES/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416760996&sr=8-1&keywords=rocky+rochford

http://solsticepublishing.com/the-first-glance-part-of-the-entwined-saga/

Today, I’d like to take a closer look at some of Rocky’s new releases.

download (2)Little Boy Death The Life of: (Poetry Collection):

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Death-Life-Rocky-Rochford-ebook/dp/B00PV0MV56/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1416761121&sr=8-3&keywords=rocky+rochford

Life is a wondrous journey we all undergo and it can be good or it can be bad. We are forever finding ourselves on moments that will forever shape us. In the form of Poetry this is a story of a life, the Life of Little Boy Death, a troubled soul from day one and now he is ready to share his soul with the world, letting his every fear, insecurity and nightmare be known. It is in the darkness of the soul, true beauty and depth can be found, buried deep within the years of torment, heartache and self-loathing.

burning for youBurning For YouPart of the Entwined Saga: (Short Story)

With time running out and Lorelai’s impending suicide drawing nearer with every sunrise, Matthew has started to change and even best friend Jess Tillman has noticed. After years spent being cold and callous, is Matthew’s heart beginning to thaw out?

Extract: (From Burning For You)

“Have you ever seen something, something you really wished you hadn’t? Something so bad that even the thought of it afterwards, is still more than enough to bring you to your knees? Something so bad that you close your eyes and pray as hard as you can to unsee it, but it never works? Yeah, me too, every day of my life.” – Matthew Radley, Deceased 2014

http://www.amazon.com/Burning-You-Part-Entwined-Saga-ebook/dp/B00Q389D8S/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1417095859&sr=8-6&keywords=rocky+rochford

I Watched Her DiePart of the Entwined Saga: (Short Story)I Watched Her Die Cover Art

From the moment he first saw her sitting at the bus-stop, Matthew wanted to see Lorelai again, but never did he expect to see her like this, standing on the ledge of the cliff, just about to kill herself. Unable to do anything to change the fate in store for her. Matthew would never be the same again.

http://www.amazon.com/Watched-Her-Die-Part-Entwined-ebook/dp/B00Q713HCE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1417095859&sr=8-4&keywords=rocky+rochford

71II8-uUc2L._SL1400_Save HerPart of the Entwined Saga: (Short Story)

More nights of watching her die came, but now they would come no more as the day of judgement has arrived. With time against him, will he be able to reach Lorelai in time? And even if he does, just what is he going to say to her to stop her from leaping to her death. Matthew has no choice but to be better than he ever has been before.

http://www.amazon.com/Save-Her-Part-Entwined-Saga-ebook/dp/B00Q38A7LK/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1417095859&sr=8-7&keywords=rocky+rochford

You can follow Rocky and keep up with all his works here:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/IamRockyRochford?fref=ts
Twitter: @RockyRochford

Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/RockyRochford
Goodreads.com: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7310280.Rocky_Rochford
Website:  rockyrochford.wordpress.com
Rabmad: http://www.rabmad.com/authors/Rocky-Rochford/

Thanks for joining me today on Living the Dream.

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Mid Week Tease: The Price of Honor

midweekteaseHello everyone. This week has been insane. Thanks Sandra fro the opportunity to share with readers about my latest release, The Price of Honor. The book is available for pre-order now and will be released on Monday, December 1, 2014. I hope things settle down soon, or I’m not likely to make it to Christmas!

Book Blurb: The Price of Honor

What price is a woman willing to pay to restore a man’s honor?

When her husband is falsely accused of treason and murdered, Isabelle de Caen vows to find those responsible and see justice done. Of royal descent, Isabelle is stunned when the king orders her hasty marriage to one of his favorites, a man she detests. To save herself from a fate too awful to contemplate, she disobeys the king’s edict and commits treason of her own to find the truth.

Childhood friend, Guy Poirier, an aristocrat in New France, has always loved Isabelle. When he discovers her hiding in his cabin aboard ship, he agrees to hide her from her fiancé and help her clear her husband’s name. It doesn’t take them long to realize there’s more at stake here than her husband’s murder. With the fate of the colony in their hands, can Isabelle and Guy prevent a war and find love in the new world?

You can pre-order The Price of Honor from Amazon

This week’s excerpt:

Susanne Ebook coverThe Price of Honor

Isabelle came out of the cabin, her emerald eyes bright with tears, and her cheeks damp, but she still took his breath away. Her eyes had haunted him for years and would continue to do so for the rest of his life. He reached for her to comfort her, gave her a quick hug, and then led the way up to the weather deck.

Just as Sophie was obligated to marry within a year of her arrival in New France, so was he, especially if he wanted to keep his land and acquire more. Children to populate the colony was the price the king exacted for his generosity. No doubt, with is mother’s help, he could find a woman who would be a suitable companion, bear his children, and maybe in time he would come to care for her deeply, but it would never be the gut-wrenching, soul torturing love he had for  Isabelle. Would such a relationship be fair to Sophie? After all she’d lost, she deserved to be loved for herself, not because she resembled a woman who could never be his.

Isabelle would never return his affection. Pierre had had her love, and any other she had to give would go to her children. Would she grow to love the chevalier? He hoped the man would treat her with the care she deserved. The memories of their brief time together would warm his heart on cold winter nights. Silently, he led tearful Isabelle from the ship.

She stopped to thank Monsieur Martin and wished him a safe voyage. “When you return to France, if your ship sails into Le Havre, be sure to come and see us at Caen. I’m sure that if you ever decide to visit New France, Sophie will be pleased to welcome you too.”

Isabelle walked a few paces ahead of him as she went towards the carriage, but instead of getting in on the side she’d gotten out, he watched her step around to the far side. Guy followed her, indicated to the waiting driver he’d help her in, and opened the carriage door. Isabelle stopped in front of the door and turned to Guy. “I don’t have the words to thank you properly for everything you’re doing for Sophie. Half of my heart is buried at Caen. The other half sails on that ship. You’re a good man, Guy Poirier. I wish you’d come back to Caen years ago. I’ll never forget you.” She stepped closer and raised her lips to him.

Acting on instinct, Guy took her into his arms, bent his head, and claimed a prize beyond price. The kiss began tenderly, but soon the longing driving him deepened it.

Isabelle didn’t resist his onslaught. Instead, she returned his ardor. This wasn’t a chaste kiss, but a kiss full of passion and longing for what could never be. He hardened as he pulled her more tightly to him. Suddenly, she pulled away. Her eyes brimmed with tears.

Without a word, she climbed into the carriage, and he closed the door. At its sound, the driver shook the reins, and the horses pulled away from the pier. She didn’t look back, but he stood on the dock beside Monsieur Martin until the carriage was no longer in sight. He turned and limped back to the ship. The memory of that kiss would have to last him forever.

He walked along the wharf and climbed the gangplank. He went to the forecastle to see if Sophie would like to join him for a noonday meal. He stopped at her closed door but the sounds of her sobbing tore at his heart. He’d leave her to mourn alone. Food was probably the last thing she wanted now.

Don’t forget to check out all the other teasers:

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Hump Day Hook: A Little Bit of Christmas

humpdayhookWelcome to another Wednesday and a chance to sneak a peek at what some of my author friends are writing. This morning, I’d like to offer my spot in the Hump Day Hook to the lovely and talented Christy Newton.

Christy has released several books, including her latest one, A Little Bit Of Christmas. I was fortunate enough to read a copy of this book yesterday. As she has done in a couple of her other books, Christy tugs at your heart strings with her realistic characters who undergo terrible losses and rise above them. This short novel is the ideal quick Christmas read when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of holiday activities.

Here’s a hook from A Little Bit of Christmas

“Oh honey! I’m glad I found you. I’m calling to ask if you have plans for Christmas.”
She bit her lip and looked down at the flour smudged floor. “Just going to rent a few sappy movies and stay home.”
“It would mean the world to me if you could come spend the holiday with us. We have plenty of room and well, quite frankly, it’s time we had a proper Christmas again. Nichole would have wanted it.”
She swallowed the lump in her throat. “I… I don’t know.”
“Please, I really need you.” Mellie sighed into the phone. “Nick needs you. I’m afraid if we don’t get him to start celebrating the season and showing emotion again, he may never recover from his grief.”
“He still won’t celebrate Christmas?” Her heart ached for her friend. Losing his twin sister had been hard on the whole town, but Nick had taken it the hardest.

Check out the other Hump Day Hooks at the Hump Day Hook Blog

See you next week!

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Look Who Dropped By Today: Courtney Rice Gager

Tess In Boots Blog Tour Banner

Good morning. It’s another blustery day, 18 º F, but it feels like 5º F with the windchill, and we have a month before Mother Nature supposedly gives birth to Winter. Take it from me, I think she’s had a premature delivery and I’ll bet anyone living in or around Buffalo New York would agree. Today, I’m pleased to be part of  Courtney Rice Gager’s blog tour and, a fellow author at Anaiah Press who’s here to introduce her latest novel, Tess in Boots, an Anaiah Romance

Bout the Book:

Tess Dougherty plans every aspect of her life right down to the last detail. But she doesn’t plan on running her boyfriend off by bringing up the topic of marriage before he’s ready. And she doesn’t plan to lose her job on the day she’s set to receive a huge promotion. So when her perfect world unravels, Tess makes a new plan: disappear.

Tess packs her bags and leaves her city apartment for a remote vineyard in North Carolina. At first, she’s put off by the slow pace of small-town life in the South. She’s especially irritated by Thatcher, the vineyard’s smart-mouth, dimple-faced farmhand. But she soon begins to appreciate the area’s charm, and Thatcher’s charm, too. She even swaps her trademark heels for a pair of cowboy boots. As Tess spends more time getting to know Thatcher, she finds herself loosening her grip on her old life little by little. Unfortunately, things on the vineyard aren’t as simple as they seem. There’s a secret here, and when the truth comes to light, Tess is forced to reconsider every plan she’s ever made.

Tess in Boots will be released December 2, 2014

Book Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22779717-tessinboots

Anaiah Press: http://www.anaiahpress.com/Tess.html

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NDBW6ZK

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tessinbootscourtneyricegager/1120200617?ean=2940046115178

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tessinboots/id911135042?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/468762

Excerpt form Tess in Boots:Tess in Boots Cover

I heard the sound of tires on the wet road, and looked up in time to see another truck slowing down to avoid crashing into the cow. The truck pulled around the cow and stopped alongside where I stood on the side of the road. The driver rolled the window down, and when I saw his face, I wanted to cry.

Thatcher.

It was not my day.

“You all right?”

I crossed my arms. “I’m fine!”

“Guess your GPS didn’t tell you to go around the cow, did it, Heels?”

I turned away from him and pulled my phone out of my pocket.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m calling for roadside assistance.”

“Good luck. Cell phones don’t work on this stretch of road.”

I turned around and glared at him. “What?”

“I said cell phones don’t work on this stretch of road.”

“I heard you. That’s insane.”

“Go ahead and try. Maybe you have some fancy magical cell phone.”

I rolled my eyes and turned away again, attempting to place a call. He was right. Nothing.

“Get in the truck, Heels.”

I didn’t budge.

“Come on, now. Get in.”

I turned around to see him hop out of the truck, walk around to the passenger side, and open the door.

There was no way I was getting in his truck.

“You gonna make me stay out in the rain all night?” he asked.

I put my hands on my hips.

“You know,” he said, “it ain’t right for a cow to stand in the road like that. You ever heard of Mad Cow Disease?”

I looked at the cow, then back at Thatcher, then back at the cow.

Was he kidding? I couldn’t tell. What choice did I have anyway? I was soaking wet, freezing, and miles from the vineyard.

I balled my hands into fists and took several strides toward the truck. “Fine. But I’m only coming with you because you look like an idiot standing out here in the pouring rain.” I got in the truck, and he shut the door behind me.

“Well, so do you, Heels.”

Click to see the Book Trailer:

Courtney Rice GagerAuthor Bio:

Courtney Rice Gager graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in creative writing. Courtney is also the author of The Buggy List. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.

You can keep up with Courtney through her social media links: 

 Website: http://www.courtneyricegager.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CourtneyRGager

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/courtneyrgager

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/courtney_rice_gager

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CourtneyRiceGager

Google+: http://www.plus.google.com/+CourtneyRiceGagerWrites

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/courtneyricegager

 Click on the link for your chance to win one of five Tess in Boots posters.

Watch for more great releases from  image

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Look Who Dropped by Today: David K. Bryant

This morning, I’d like to welcome David K. Bryant  who recently published his first novel, TREAD CAREFULLY ON THE SEA, with one of my publishers, Solstice Publishing.

Let’s start with a look at the novel.

Tread Carefully on the Sea cover pictureStep up the gangplank to an adventure tale set in the 18th Century, when the world made its money from conquest and slavery, pirates were the muggers of the sea lanes and life was fragile – with violence and disease never far away.

Tread Carefully on the Sea is the first novel by retired journalist David K. Bryant. Packed with historical atmosphere, it will take you on a voyage from Jamaica to the “New World” of the American colonies. The action comes as rapidly as the horrors in a ghost train, starting with the kidnapping of an aristocratic young woman on the night of her 21st birthday party by Captain Flint’s crew.

Amidst conspiracy, murder, cannonades, bare-knuckle boxing, disease, and a devastating storm, there is the chance for all the main characters to reveal the better or worse sides of their natures. This is a swashbuckle, yes, but it’s also a story about the strengths and weaknesses of believable human beings.

“I’ve written an escapist yarn in the tradition of high adventure but in much more user-friendly language than the old classics,” says David K. Bryant.  “It’s exciting, involving, a bit tear-jerking and is pure adventure and romance.”

A Look at the Main Characters: 

Captain Flint is a lonely man. His education, intelligence and wit leave him isolated amongst the pirate crew who sail with him. He feels more affinity with the hostages who are brought aboard his ship but he becomes trapped by the need to escape the consequences of the kidnap and the challenge to his leadership from one of his officers. Flint kills and schemes his way out of several dangers but there are two threats from which he cannot escape. The first is the failing health that he refuses to accept. The second is the scale of his own success as a criminal. He will never be left in peace to enjoy the proceeds of his piracy. In this story we learn what finally happens to him.

Captain Michael Townsend is the model of a disciplined and dutiful Navy officer. He is also a man haunted by something in his past; something that could ruin his future. The decisions forced upon Townsend by the kidnapping help him to resolve his inner conflicts but jeopardize the survival of those he wishes to protect. Townsend’s instincts are to put duty first but will duty deny him happiness?

Jessica Trelawny is the spirited niece of the Governor of Jamaica. She hates the conformity of 18th century society. Soon after she is snatched away from her home she puts her rebellious nature to work against the pirates. Captain Flint learns to admire her — and to regret that she ever came aboard his ship.

Jessica’s maid Libby becomes a prisoner simply because she is with her mistress at the time of the kidnap. She plays a major role in the fight-back against the pirates. Does she bring into use special talents inherited from her African origin — or is she simply a very clever woman?

Patrick O’Hara began life in the squalor of the Irish famine and by a fluke became an officer in the Royal Navy. He is thrust into a vicious bare-knuckle fight aboard the pirate ship. Whether or not O’Hara wins, the legacy of the fight is a power struggle threatening the survival of Captain Flint himself.

The Walrus is the huge black galleon stolen by Flint from a Spanish captain. It has a pivotal role in the narrative and a heart-rending demise when Captain Flint’s voyage of crime comes to an end.

Extracts From the Novel

As the shirt was removed, her eyes came level with a huge tattoo of an eagle on his chest. Ridiculously, that gave her renewed terror, as though the tattoo was worse than the man. There was certainly menace from the eagle. It stared at her, its talons outstretched and its wings spread wide. It looked prepared to pounce right out of his chest and claw at her face.

**

The cry that would have brought forth a dozen soldiers was about to leave the governor’s tongue – but remained unleashed as the pirate warned: “I wouldn’t do that, Governor, for the sake of your niece’s health.”

**

“Did you get the name of the ship?” demanded the governor.

“It was the Walrus, Sir,” the messenger replied.

“Captain Flint,” said Trelawny, and for the moment that was all he did say.

**

One of the stories that had evoked within the Royal Navy a sneaking admiration for the pirate chieftain was that he had captured a big Spanish galleon and made it his own. Now Townsend could see in front of him the confirmation of that audacity. The big ship sat on the ocean like she owned it.

**

“Britain came to this part of the world to find riches. It was very successful in doing so but it had a major problem. It was shipping around so many slaves and so much merchandise that it didn’t have sufficient military resources to protect its new-found wealth. So what did it do about the policing of its trade routes and the protection of places like Jamaica? It found it convenient to encourage the people you would call pirates…You had better hope that the King never turns against the Royal Navy in the same way that he turned against the privateers.

**

Reeling and with blood dripping down his face, O’Hara got up on one knee, then the other. By the time he was on his feet, Hugh was charging forward like a stag in the rutting season. Another head butt was imminent.

**

Flint bent his knees and placed his hands on them so that his face came level with Townsend’s. “That’s it, then” barked the pirate captain. “You don’t agree to my proposal. I don’t agree to yours. Our fates are intertwined.”

**

She didn’t close her eyes and her brain pitifully tried to distract her from reality by registering that the gunman was left-handed. His finger was going back with the trigger. Spontaneously, she said a few words of her native Ashanti. The phrase had been taught to her by Queen Nanny: “Do not fear death any more than you fear life.” If Libby was going to die, she wanted those to be the last words she said.

Find out more about this novel by visiting: www.davidkbryant.com

Buy link: http://amzn.to/1zs9ebu

About the Author: 

David, tell us a little about yourself:

DSCF0122I started writing fiction after retiring from journalism and public relations. I suppose the books waited their turn during all the years I wrote articles, features, speeches and promotional material for other people. My career included running a district office for a daily newspaper, helping to introduce professional PR into the British police service and promoting a major parliamentary Bill for Margaret Thatcher’s government.

I live in Somerset, one of the nicest counties in England, and am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife Stephanie and I have been married for forty years. We are proud of our two children Matthew and Melanie, grandson Henry, son-in-law Jamie and daughter-in-law Fleur.

What motivated you to write Tread Carefully on the Sea?

I was seven years old or thereabouts and I walked round the garden reading Treasure Island. When I got to the bit about the musket and cutlass battle I was so engrossed I walked into a tree. I was proud of my bleeding nose – I imagined I got it in a fight with a pirate.

What intrigued me most about that classic book by Robert Louis Stevenson were all the references to Captain Flint, a pirate king who was brutal, intimidating and quite likely an alcoholic – yet obviously very clever.

Without Flint there would have been no Treasure Island for he was the man who had buried the Treasure on the Island. Yet in that book we hear about Flint only in reminiscences from some of the protagonists because Flint is dead by the time the story begins.

Stevenson’s narrative tells us Flint took six men ashore with him to stash the loot. But, having apparently murdered the others, only Flint came back to the ship, giving him the security of being the only man who knew where the cache was.

There had to be a story around that. For me, Flint deserved a biography of his own. What’s more, it should answer all those other questions posed by Treasure Island. If, as Stevenson tells us, Long John Silver had lost his leg in the same broadside as Old Pew lost his ‘deadlights’, what were the circumstances of that broadside? And how come that Billy Bones, the first mate, came into possession of Flint’s map where X marked the spot of the buried loot?

It’s taken me a long time but now I have supplied my own answers. I hope you enjoy them and I hope you identify with the experiences of the other characters I’ve created when you read Tread Carefully on the Sea.

INTERVIEW WITH DEBORAH MELANIE (reprinted)

Thanks to my friend Deborah Melanie for interviewing David.

Deborah is at The London Cat

Deborah Melanie’s latest venture is The London Cat, a community where authors can be reviewed, interviewed and browse through beautiful book covers.

Deborah writes stories describing life in England. She loves to write about small market towns and close knit communities. Her stories are contemporary; often combining her interests in the paranormal, comedy and food.

Author Interview with David K. Bryant

Can you tell us how to came to be an author? Has it been an easy or difficult journey?

It’s a journey I didn’t know I was going to make. I spent my career in journalism and public relations, writing reams of stuff for other people. During that time I made one attempt at a book, a pirate story. Many years later I read it to my young son. Then in about 2010 when he was in his twenties he asked to read it again. I was ashamed to give him the sub-standard original so I set about re-writing it. It became Tread Carefully on the Sea, which has now been published by Solstice. It’s my first published book – at the age of 68.

What motivates you as an author?

This should be a simple question to answer but it’s got me stumped. Hoping not to sound trite, I think I want to produce something that people will enjoy. I want it to be good in terms of making sense, being exciting, having some originality and a believable set of characters. I think it’s important to create characters who readers can associate with, feel their emotions, understand their faults – and like.

How do you deal with rejection and setbacks as an author?

I think I can boast that I deal with them well. I approached 370 literary agents with Tread Carefully on the Sea. But I wasn’t going to give up until there was nobody left to try. Then I started sending to indie publishers who took direct submissions and Solstice took me on. God bless Mel Massey-Maroni (my editor-in-chief).

How do you deal with writer’s block?

While it’s very frustrating, I think you have to wait. All of a sudden when your mind is totally elsewhere, you’ll get an idea of how to continue your story. I think it’s worth always carrying a notepad around and writing down thoughts whenever they occur to you. And if you can’t write at that particular moment because you’re driving or something, then keep repeating the idea inside your head so you don’t forget it.

Do you have any motivational books or websites which you find useful from time to time?

I am so glad there is a thing called Wikipedia because it answers so many questions. Motivational books – The Odyssey, one of the oldest bits of literature around. It’s about a guy who spends ten years encountering all the dangers of reality and fantasy yet he never gives up.

Who has been the biggest influence upon your writing?

My dear brother Ray. He helped me get into journalism and he was an author himself. His main work was published in the 1980s and is still available from Amazon. It’s called Warriors of the Dragon Gold and is based on the Bayeux Tapestry. Ray died far too early.

Tell us about a typical day for you. Do you have any special routines which you strictly keep to?

I’m retired so my time is my own and a lot of it is spend hitting the keys I’m hitting now. I make a conscious effort not to leave my wife an ‘author widow’. But she’s very understanding and helpful with the books.

How have family and friends reacted to you as an author? Are they supportive?

Yes, they are supportive. They make constructive suggestions and have stopped me falling into a few traps.

Do you have a muse? If so, please could you tell us a little about him/her?

No, I don’t think so.

Going forwards as an author, what do you realistically hope to accomplish?

Recognition for being good. I’m not being conceited and saying I am good, but I would love the world to judge me so – and enjoy my work.

Thank you, David for joining me today. Best of luck in all your endeavors. Write on!

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Mid Week Tease: Coming Home

midweekteaseOn this fine wintery day, the best place to be is inside the house with the heat on and a hot cup of coffee in hand. Thanks once more to the lovely ladies who participate in this blog hop each week. Please remember to visit their posts today too.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is only 30 days away. While I have my outdoor decorations out, my living room is buried in bins full of what makes it Christmas indoors, and despite the cold outside and the snow on the ground, I’m not feeling motivated to decorate. That’s unusual for me since I love Christmas. Last week, I gave you a taste of my two holiday books, so this week, I thought I’d share a little bit more from Misty Matthews’s new release, Coming Home.

About the Book:

Home is where the heart is.Coming Home cover

Motorcycle riding, attorney Alana Stewart is a far cry from the shy, teenager who left Chance determined never to look back. Family obligations force her to return to the town that only holds bad memories for her. A stop at her former sanctuary brings an unexpected surprise…the new manager just might be what she needs to get her through the holidays.

When sexy, leather-clad Alana walks into the bookstore, Connor Tate, has a feeling he may be in for the ride of his life. Despite the fact that their lives are headed in different directions, they are drawn to one another. Connor is determined to prove to Alana that Chance isn’t the place she remembers, but will his efforts fail when she discovers he hasn’t told her the whole truth about himself?

Can they trust each other enough to take a chance on love?

Buy links:

Secret Cravings

Amazon

Barnes & Nobles

This week’s tease: 

Ten minutes later, Alana opened the door and noted her mother had been busy putting the final touches on her Christmas wonderland. The house was decorated more or less the way it had been for as long as she could remember, and the sense of nostalgia she experienced surprised her. Santas of various sizes, shapes, and styles posed in corners, wreaths hung on the walls, and fake snow—not a flake out of place—lay under the miniature Dickens Christmas village which had grown substantially in size since the last time she’d seen it. A short, white, wooden fence surrounded the village, no doubt to keep curious little fingers from playing with the breakable figurines.

Christmas had always been her mother’s favorite time of year, and she loved all the glitz and decorations that went with it. None of this had come to Austin when the family had come for the holiday. Alana noticed a number of familiar items as she moved through the room, but there were several new things too. A waved of guilt flooded her. What a sacrifice it must have been for her mother to leave everything behind for the sterile confines of Alana’s condo. A fake, designer tree, no matter how expensive, didn’t stand a chance against all this.

The empty corner of the room had been cleaned and awaited the tree, a real pine, not an artificial one. Christmas Eve, the whole family would gather to decorate it together. It was a Stewart tradition, one she’d tried to continue in Texas, but it hadn’t been the same. Pine-scented spray couldn’t compare with a natural evergreen’s aroma. When she’d been a child, once the tree had been decorated, they’d all gather in the kitchen to bake and ice cookies. Afterward, her father would sit down to read A Christmas Carol, until she and her sister, buried in a mountain of blankets and pillows on the floor, fell asleep. Melody always crashed after the Ghost of Christmas Past, but she usually managed to make it through the Ghost of Christmas Present. That particular tradition, the one nearest and dearest to her heart, was one she hoped she could persuade her father to revive this year. How could I have forgotten all this? God, I hope I’m not turning into a female version of Ebenezer Scrooge, putting my job above everything else.

The thought sobered her. Grasping what she’d ignored selfishly over the last few years, Alana realized why her mom had insisted she come home for Isabelle’s first real Christmas, one the child would understand and remember. She wanted her grand-daughter to experience a traditional Stewart Christmas with all the bells and whistles that made it great. Letting the memories wash over her, Alana thought about the past. And when the scene shifted to include images of future Christmases with Isabelle, she knew she couldn’t ask the family to give them up. It would be wrong to deprive that beautiful little girl of what she herself cherished. Since Melody was a single parent, they were all the family Isabelle had. Her sister adamantly refused to disclose the name of the child’s father, insisting he never learn of her existence. Alana disagreed. Although she was prepared to dismiss the thoughts of Melody’s secrecy for the moment, she did plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with her before the holidays were over.

Spotting the ugly snowman she’d made in third grade, she couldn’t believe her mother had kept it all these years. Gently reaching for the fragile decoration, she picked it up, remembering the day she brought it home. Her mom had made such a fuss about it and had displayed it so that everyone who came into the house could see how talented her daughter was. Alana had been so proud. Tears pooled in her eyes at the memory. When had she become so self-centered? Putting the snowman back where it belonged, she moved deeper into the house knowing where she’d find her mother at this time of day.

Check out the other teasers.