Tuesday Tales: From the Word BONE.

New TT imageWelcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the blog stop where books are born and written  based on weekly word or picture prompts. This week’s word is BONE.

I find it hard to believe September is here and that we’re only seventeen days from the first day of fall. Around here, the summer continues with the same heat and humidity of July and August. I’m hoping a long hot summer won’t mean a long cold winter. With that thought in mind, I’m plunging you back into the winter of 1667 in New France, continuing with The Price of Courage, Book Two of the Canadiana Series. 

On a flat, packed surface, using snowshoes was reasonably simple, but in deep fresh snow like this, it took a great deal of effort and going up or down hill presented an additional challenge. Lucien’s first winter had been a nightmare, the pain in his hip bones at the end of each long day enough to make a grown man cry. But he’d learned and mastered the art, just as he’d learned to ski—his life had depended on it. If these men had been traveling three days—longer given the length of the storm—the first day must’ve been excruciating. Even with prior deaths at the estate, they would’ve been provisioned for the winter. Why the rush to leave now?

There’d been blood on Bouchard’s hands. Animal or human? His stomach clenched. He would find dead men at the estate, of that he was certain, but he doubted the cause of death would be fevers.

Cresting the hill, the trail continued northeast. Lucien stopped and sniffed. There was smoke on the wind.

“Do you smell that?” he asked.

Yves nodded. “Yes, and it’s not from a campfire. Maybe they smelled the smoke this morning and went to check. That could explain their coming from that direction.”

Lucien shook his head. “Possibly, but I find it easier to believe they caused the fire and were running from it,” he answered grimly. Campfires rarely got out of hand, but when they did, they could cause a great deal of damage even in winter.

Moving again, they’d walked little more than an hour, the smell of charred wood growing stronger as they pushed north, when Okwaho’s eagle cry warned them he was nearby. They stopped, waiting for the Mohawk to join them.

“Did they send anyone?” Lucien asked as soon as the scout was close enough.

“Not long after you crested the hill, two of the men came back—no packs, just muskets,” the Mohawk answered. “I growled like a wolf to get their attention. When they turned toward me and saw nothing, I howled. Both men screamed, made the sign of the cross, and fell over themselves in their haste to get away. I waited, but no one else returned. I have been watching behind me, doubling back to be sure.” He sniffed the air. “Burned flesh. Not good.”

“You’re sure?” he asked the scout, knowing instinctively that the Mohawk was right.

That’s it.  Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

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Midweek Tease: From Hello Again FREE Today only August 29, 2018

Good morning! Welcome to the last post of official summer. Since today is the last day of my five-day giveaway for Hello Again,  my paranormal romance suspense based on a Native American myth, I thought I would share a scene from it.  Thanks again to Angelica Dawson and all the other fine authors who make this weekly post a reality.

The Blurb:

For Charley Winters love means loss and pain. She’s spent the last five years struggling with her grief. Existing, not living. Drawn to Saskatchewan, she travels west take the job she’s always wanted. But life gets complicated when she’s rescued from a vicious tornado by her dead husband’s double, a man who makes her feel things she hasn’t in years. Add to that a native myth, a shaman, a green-eyed wolf, and her husband’s ghost … Can she lift a millennia old curse and find joy and love again?

Your Tease:

Crossing the floor of the tiny one bedroom apartment that had been her home for the last forty-six months—but who was counting?—Charley stood in front of the dormer window, staring out at the dark, ominous evening sky, the hot, humid August weather presaging another storm. There’d been one every night for the past two weeks, and her nerves were shot. She hated thunderstorms, especially those accompanied by blinding lightning and rain that pounded down so hard on the roof, it was a wonder it didn’t come straight through.

In the distance, wolves howled as they did every night, their plaintive wails reminding her of the day Mike died. Had the animals always done that? She didn’t remember hearing them when Mike had been with her, but then, she’d had other things on her mind. She envied the animals their freedom. They could run and roam and yet here she was stuck in time and place, waiting to cash in her chips and join those she’d lost.

Being cooped up for hours on end inside the small space that was her home got to her, and if the power went out, plunging her into the dark, Lord help her. Mike had teased her about her fear of storms, but nothing he’d invented about spirits bowling or angels playing jacks had been able to assuage her terror. During the night, when he’d been home, he’d held her tightly, but there’d been more stormy nights without him than with him, and she’d yet to learn to cope with the anxiety they produced.

She’d spent more than one night in the garage checking the school’s various vehicles, as well as those of the staff who’d stayed at the academy during the break, but there wasn’t anything more to do there. Matilda’s engine had been washed and cleaned and looked like new. She’d even managed to do a little bodywork and repainting. Dad would be proud of how well she maintained that car.

Moving to the table, she turned up the portable fan, hoping it would cool her, knowing if she had another one of those dreams, she’d combust, fan or no fan. This past month, when she’d finally dragged herself to bed, so exhausted she could barely keep her eyes open, she dreamed of Mike, but those experiences were as different as night and day from the usual ones she’d had for almost four years now. In those, she tried to apologize for her part in his death, while he begged her to be happy, listen to his last wishes, and move on. Occasionally, she’d relive memories of happier times, but inevitably those ended with her in tears and filled with loneliness, so profound it sucked all the joy out of her.

She was depressed—had been ever since losing everything that mattered to her. She’d tried to set it aside, rise above the pain, but it was a futile effort. She’d gone to grief counselling, had taken the antidepressants that left her in a fog, incapable of thinking coherently, of functioning properly, and in the end, had given up on all of it. Life like this was her penance.

Miri claimed it was more than that. She was convinced Charley was being haunted, and she probably was—by her own guilt—but recently she had to admit there was something else going on.

These new night visions were wildly erotic dreams, so realistic that she’d swear they were actually happening. Since when was she so consumed with sex that she imagined having intercourse with what had to be her husband’s ghost? It was as if she’d morphed into some kind of succubus, an insatiable creature who couldn’t get enough of the man who infiltrated her deepest dreams. While the love making was similar to the special moments she’d shared with Mike, there was something different about the taste, the texture, and the scents she remembered. It was wilder, resulting in an earth-shattering climax each time, followed by hours of dreamless sleep.

The slightly furred chest she’d fondled, less hairy than she recalled, was smooth except for rough skin near the heart, but otherwise, the phantom who drove her wild was the man she loved. She prayed she didn’t cry out in her release, but no one had looked at her oddly or commented. Of course, with Miri and Lory, the other teacher on duty during the vacation period, at the far end of the hall, there was no one to hear her anyway.

While in the past she’d shared everything with Miri, these dreams or whatever they were, she kept to herself. The last thing she wanted was Miri dragging her to see yet another psychologist.

At first, the dreams had frightened her, but now, they brought comfort. What was happening to her? Had that damn biological clock of hers gone off, reminding her she’d be thirty in a few months? The last time her hormones had played havoc with her was when she’d been pregnant, and she was pretty damn sure her night visitor wasn’t the Holy Ghost.

It didn’t really matter who or what was behind the dreams. She’d never fall in love again. There was no room in her heart for anyone other than Mike and the twins, and casual sex was definitely not in the cards.

Hello Again in e-book format is free to download today. It’s also available through KU!

Don’t forget to check out the other MidweekTeasers.

#MidWeekTease August 29, 2018


 


Tuesday Tales: From the Word FUNNY

New TT imageWelcome back to Tuesday Tales, the blog spot where books are born. This week our writing prompt used to add to our work in progress is FUNNY. I’m continuing with my historical romance, The Price of Courage. Lucien and company seem to have met some unsavory men–just how unsavory is yet to be seen!

Okwaho nodded and disappeared into the brush. Even though Lucien knew he was mere feet away, the brave was invisible.

Hefting his pack onto his shoulders, Lucien attached his arquebus to its side, and using the sinews woven into a rope, tethered the sled at his waist.  Yves geared up beside him.

Instead of turning south toward the village, the men followed Bouchard’s trail. The toboggan skimmed over the snow with ease requiring little effort to tow, unlike the traîneau the others dragged, its wooden runners sinking into the soft snow.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” he said, as they trudged along. “Those men aren’t who they say they are. They’re running from someone or something, and I don’t think it has anything to do with people dying of fevers.”

Yves nodded and crossed himself, his musket at the ready.

“Marion looked scared to death, as if he’d seen or done something too horrible to forget. Catiche would say it was a Wendigo, but they aren’t real. I’ve tried to tell her that, but you know how superstitious she can be. My brother was telling stories around the campfire last summer and told one about the loup garou.” He laughed. “From that day on, you should’ve seen how funny our home looked with wild garlic strung in every window and at the top of each doorway to protect against them. She even added some to the camphor packets she sewed onto the children’s nightclothes.”

Lucien frowned. “I doubt cannibalistic spirits or werewolves had anything to do with whatever scared him. Let’s step up the pace. The sooner we discover the truth the better.”

With Yves by his side, he ran-walked along the flat surface following the trail. When they reached the base of a small hill, they stopped.

Maudit bâtard lied,” Yves growled. “They came from the north, not the south. Look at this.” The snow was heavily disturbed. He reached for a couple of small muskrat pelts the men had overlooked. “They must’ve fallen and rolled down the hill. These skins may not be the most valuable, but they would bring a fair price. Why leave them behind?”

“Good question. With the sun at their backs, they must’ve seen us first and brushed off as much of the snow as they could.”

The acid in Lucien’s gut boiled. Who the hell were these men?

That’s it.  Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

Release Day: Shades of Fury by Heather Renee

Welcome to a special Friday’s Featured Author. As you know, I like to help new authors whenever I can and today is no exception, so without further ado, let’s have a drum roll for this new adult paranormal:

Sale Graphic

Synopsis:

Taya’s just been named alpha-in-training. First order of business: avenging her twin brother’s death.

When Cord connected a rival pack to the disappearances of humans, he paid the ultimate price. Now it’s up to Taya to pick up where he left off and find justice for those who have been harmed.

As she closes in on her brother’s murderer, the threats only escalate. He wasn’t the only target, and now everyone she loves is in danger, further fueling Taya’s need for revenge.

With the help of an irresistible shifter named Liam, they set out in search of the only witch coven strong enough to set things right. Only Taya isn’t sure who to trust and if she doesn’t decide soon, she could lose not only her heart, but the people she loves most.

Fans of Ilona Andrews and Jennifer Ashley will devour this New Adult Paranormal Romance full of shifters, sass, romance, and unforeseen twists.

Cover

Rapid Release Schedule for Raven Point Pack:

Shades of Fury – August 23rd, 2018
Shades of Magic – September 13th, 2018
Shades of Deceit – September 27th, 2018

Buy Link:

Available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited
Download your copy at http://smarturl.it/ShadesOfFury

 

Teaser - SOFAuthor Bio:

Heather Renee is a USA Today Bestselling author who lives in Oregon. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels with a mixture of adventure, humor, and sass. Her love of reading eventually led to her passion of writing and giving the gift of escapism.

When Heather’s not writing, she is spending time with her loving husband and beautiful daughter, going on their own adventures. She loves to hear from her fans, so visit her website and the Contact Me link for ways to connect. http://www.HeatherReneeAuthor.com

Author Links:

Mailing listWebsiteAmazon

InstagramFacebook Author PageFacebook Fan GroupTwitter

 

 

Midweek Tease: Continuing with Same Time Next Year

MWTease15Good morning and welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease, made possible through the generosity of best-selling author Angelica Dawson. This is a great place to gt a taste of an author’s new book or even one from their back-list. I’m continuing with my latest release,  a second chance at love romance, Same Time Next Year. This book within a book is a look back at the summer of 1967, when two people fell in love but were torn apart by circumstances. As Twyla writes her memoirs and Michael remembers the past, will they overcome the obstacles before them and find one another again?

Here’s your tease:

Chapter Two

Same Time Next Year“Mother, you can’t be serious,” Billie all but shouted, glaring at Twyla. She paced the room, wringing her hands hard enough to peel off a layer of her sinfully expensive hand cream. “And when were you going to spring this on me?”

“I’m dead serious,” Twyla said. At the stunned look on her daughter’s face, she amended her words. “I’m committed to this, sweetheart, and nothing you say will change my mind. As far as telling you, I was going to do it on the weekend, after Lana’s graduation. I knew you would get upset.”

“Upset? I’m not upset … I don’t get it. You say you need a break, ‘alone-time’ as you put it, but really? You’re alone most of the time now. This is insane. It’s barely been four months since your surgery. I lost my father twenty-five years ago. I don’t want to lose you.”

Closing her eyes and counting to ten, Twyla took a deep breath. The poor girl had lost her father long before that; she simply didn’t know it. She sighed, praying for the courage to follow through and not cave in again.

Looking into her daughter’s concerned blue gaze, eyes so like his, didn’t make her small show of defiance any easier either, but it did increase her determination to go on with her plans.

“Darling, I love you, but you’re suffocating me. You may think I’m alone, but ever since I got out of the hospital, you’ve spent more time here than when it was your home. You’ve been watching me so closely that I’m beginning to think I should be getting measured for a shroud rather than a dress for Edythe’s big party in September. This is my life, for whatever time I’ve got left, and my heart’s set on going back to The Colonel’s Inn and starting a new book. I’ll only be gone a month.”

“A month! Have you lost your mind? Mom, that place is over a hundred years old. Wouldn’t you prefer something more modern? How safe is it there? You’ll be alone…”

“Billie, for heaven’s sake, relax. I’m not checking into the Bates’ Motel. The place is a popular tourist resort with locks on the doors and windows should some Freddie Kruger wannabe decide he wants to add a woman my age to his casualty list.”

Billie rolled her eyes. “Mother, you aren’t taking this seriously. What happens if you fall or get sick? Who’s going to make sure you get to the hospital on time? Is there even a hospital there?”

Had Billie always been so melodramatic? Strange that she should have so many of William’s characteristics and none of hers.

“They have electricity and everything. I’ll be fine. Caprice thinks it’s a great idea. She’s even offered to come up and check on me.”

“Don’t get me started! Caprice is your agent,” Billie answered through clenched teeth. She huffed out a frustrated breath. “Of course she thinks it’s a great idea. You haven’t written anything in over a year now. Why if you had a relapse while you were writing, she’d seize the opportunity to use it for publicity. You’re her best client. Your books buy those Malone Souliers she’s hooked on, and she isn’t ready to go back to no-name pumps.”

“Don’t be crass, Billie. Caprice isn’t the only one with a fetish for designer shoes. I saw the price tag on those Jimmy Choo’s you ordered last week.” Twyla shook her head. “I didn’t make this decision blindly. I phoned Doctor Rainier and discussed it with him, and he has no issues with it. The resort is just over an hour from Ottawa and one of the best heart institutes in the world. Should there be a problem, and he’s confident there won’t be, I’ll be close enough to get first class medical care.”

Billie harrumphed. “So you say.”

“Just this once, can’t you try to be objective?” Twyla asked, knowing this need to be in charge all the time came from William. “Ontario in the summertime has moderate temperatures and tons of sunshine. My pacemaker is working well, blood is flowing through my stents, and the bypass was a success. In short, I’m as good as new, and if I want to stay this way, I have to be active. You’ve been mollycoddling me long enough. It’s time you got back to interior decorating and living your own life. I appreciate your concern and I love you for it, but you have to let me breathe. I’m only sixty-seven years old. There’s plenty of life in this old girl yet, but if I just sit around waiting to die, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

Same Time Next Year is exclusive to Amazon and free to read in KU

Please check out the rest of this week’s teasers!

#MidWeekTease August 22, 2018


 

Tuesday Tales: From A Picture

New TT imageWelcome to this week’s Tuesday Tales, the blog stop where books are born. Each week, a small group of writers post a scene from their work in progress based on a word or picture prompt. This week is picture prompt week and the scene is limited to 300 words.

I’m continuing with The Price of Courage, my new Historical romance, Book Two in the Canadiana Series.

Jean Joachim, the leader of our merry band, supplies the prompts we use each week. Here’s the image I chose. brown bunnyWho doesn’t like a cute little bunny? Did you know that cottontail rabbits don’t change the color of their coats in winter?

Here’s this week’s tease.

Lanoie shifted his stance. The man fidgeted as if he expected trouble, reminding Lucien of a cottontail, brown against the snow, with nowhere to hide, no place to go. Innocent men didn’t behave that way.

“We should get going, Méderic. We have a long way to go before we make camp again.”

Bouchard nodded. “You’re right. Are there seigneuries the way you came?”

“A few,” Lucien answered, his gut churning. That was an odd question. If they lived and worked nearby, they would know that for themselves. “Most recently, we camped under a large spruce a couple of hours from here. Sadly, the snow will have obliterated our earlier trail.”

No need to tell them they’d arrived by canoe, that vessel well-hidden along the shore.

Bouchard removed his mitten, his hand grime-covered, the copper-tang of blood mixed with God alone knew what filling Lucien’s nostrils. Had the man never heard of soap? Swallowing his disgust, he shook the filthy paw.

With a nod of his head, Bouchard indicated they should leave. Lucien and Yves stood there, watching until they were out of sight.

“Okwaho,” he said as the brave moved out of the brush to stand beside them once more, the loaded toboggan at his side. “I’ll take the sled. You hang back to make sure no one returns. Something’s wrong. There’s no estate by that name in the records we were given, but a prisoner ship that bore that title docked in Quebec three years ago. If you’re both agreeable, we’ll take a slight detour and follow their trail. I want to see this supposed La Jeunesse Oublige seigneurie for myself.”

“Okwaho will follow when he can. Those men smelled of death,” the Mohawk said, his nose wrinkled in disgust.

“The question is whose,” Yves added.

That’s it. What do you think our men will find? Don’t forget to check out all the other posts on  Tuesday Tales

 

Midweek Tease: More From Same Time Next Year

MWTease15Welcome to the Midweek Tease, made possible by Angelica Dawson.  I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, but I’m back with another tease from my new novel, Same Time Next Year. Normally, I tease in order, but today, I’ve decided to jump ahead a few  weeks in the story.

 

Same Time Next Year“Where’s Lana?” Mary asked, carrying a tray into the room.

Twyla swiped at her tears and smiled, trying to hide her sorrow.

“You know her. She’s always on the go. She brought me a present. Pictures recovered from my old camera and copies of all my old forty-fives that I can play on my computer.”

Mary picked up the photographs. As she flipped through them, her face changed and filled with sadness.

“That’s him, isn’t it? The one in the animal print swimsuit. He’s Billie’s father and that’s got to be his sister. Lana looks like her.”

Twyla choked on the mouthful of coffee she’d taken.

“Where would you ever get an idea like that?” she asked. Could she lie and claim they were relatives?

Her heart pounded frantically in her chest. The doctor claimed the sensation was normal. Apparently rubatosis, the idea that instead of a steady thump, your heart was playing a rock song to remind you that you’d survived, wasn’t uncommon in people who’d gone through what she had.

“Other than the fact she looks like him?” Mary shook her head. “I’ve worked here for fifty years. Mr. William was a good man, treated you and Billie well, but his heart was in that box from the Department of Defense he spent hours with. Twyla, it’s time you set the past aside and did something for yourself. William would want to see you happy. If that’s the man you love as much as whoever it was he mourned, you have to at least try to find him. You’ve been alone too long.” She picked up the tray and left.

Was Mary right? She’d made promises to William, too, but was it time to find the answers she needed?

“July,” Twyla muttered, now committed to the idea. “If I’m going to go back, it has to be then. I promised I would. Maybe it’s time I kept my promise.”

The Blurb:

A novel within a novel.
For three short weeks, Twyla Lancaster was the fairy tale princess who’d found her prince, but just like that, reality ripped them apart. Now, fifty years later, she needs to know why the only man she ever loved broke his promises. As she writes her memoir and learns more about that summer, she realizes things were not what they seemed.
Hormones raced, promises were made, but Twyla left Michael Morrison high and dry, and within weeks, married someone else. Grieving the loss of his parents and her betrayal, he turned his back on love, focusing on his military career. Now, goaded by his sister, he agrees to attend a wedding and reunion, knowing Twyla will be there. It’s time to find out why she lied to him all those years ago.
The moment the star-crossed lovers see one another, love blooms between them, but when Michael discovers Twyla’s secret, he’s devastated. Is love enough to erase fifty years of pain and betrayal?

Same Time Next Year is available through Amazon, and free to read on KU!

Please visit the rest of this week’s teasers.

#MidWeekTease August 15, 2018