31 July 2013

Astraea Press Cover Reveal for author Wendy Knight

Join me in Astraea Press's celebration of their first cover reveal; Wendy Knight's Fate on Fire novella, Feudlings in Sight! Available Thursday on Astraea Press, Amazon, and all other major ebook retailers!

Blurb: Boys of war suck at romance. Charity Delyle has lived in the shadow of her Prodigy cousin and his powerful Guard since the day she was born. And she doesn’t mind—really. Except that being in Hunter’s shadow means that he can’t see her. And she’d like that to change. Hunter has one purpose in life: Protect the Prodigy, or die trying. That means a social life, school, and even Charity come last until the war is over. For the most part, he’s okay with that—he can lose everything if he has to…except his seer. Starting at a new school should be much safer than living in a war-ravaged Carules headquarters. But this new school is different than the others. Friendships are forged and destinies are questioned, and Hunter’s decision could cost them all everything they’ve been hoping for.

Excerpt: “Okay, do you want to practice the ones we learned last week or just start new ones?” She had carefully color-coded the spell book with sticky tabs — spells they had mastered, spells they had practiced, spells that would come in handy one day — she was very organized. And if the Council ever found out she put sticky tabs in a book that was over three hundred years old, they would kill her completely dead. “Learn as much as you can, Shane. Gonna be hard to find a place to practice in the mountains of Utah, surrounded by Normals.” Hunter idly traced spells in the air, letting them fizzle and die without igniting them. “Well, alright.” Charity flipped to the red section — spells that would come in handy one day. She started at the top. “This one is called an Al-able.” The odd word rolled awkwardly off her tongue. “It’s like… it looks like it’s sort of a flat triangle of flames.” Hunter and Shane both walked over, studying the spell in the book before tracing it slowly into the air. The spell wouldn’t actually ignite until they lit it with the flames roiling through their blood, but they both wanted to make sure they could do it correctly so as not to explode them all to pieces or something. “No, no, Hunter. Less harsh lines. Softer.” Charity glanced down at the page and then up at Hunter’s disaster of an attempt. Sighing she laid the book on the metal next to her and pushed herself to her feet. She took Hunter’s hand, trying hard to ignore the way her own blood seemed to explode into flames. There’s no magic there, she told herself harshly. “Like this.” She led his hand through the spell until the air smoked and the image burned in front of them. She looked up, got caught in his gold eyes. He watched her, an unreadable look on his face. It made her heart stutter in her chest. Before he could say anything she dropped his hand. “Now try it on your own. I can’t do everything for you, you know.” Charity grinned playfully, dodging out of the way as he tried to push her over. She rescued the book from the twisted metal and perched, watching them expectantly. “Go. Do something.” Shane rolled his eyes. “Give the girl a book and she’s suddenly the boss.” He moved away several feet so he wouldn’t accidentally ignite her. He’d done it before, and Charity didn’t relish the idea of it happening again.

BIO: Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S. You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

Twitter: @wjk8099
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight Blog: www.writethroughthenoise.blogspot.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009940.Wendy_Knight
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30 July 2013

Tuesday's Tales 30th July - Bargain

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.
This week's 'tale' is from the third chapter of my current, untitled, WIP. And is written to the prompt 'Bargain'

“If he thinks Adrian can sweeten the bargain by offering me up like a lump of meat on a butcher’s slab, he’s even more out of his arrogant mind than usual.” Samantha stormed round the converted pool house, her arms flapping like the sails of an old-fashioned windmill.

“I’m no more charmed with this proposal than you are,” Rafe snapped back. It offended him to witness Samantha’s aggravation at her father’s demand even though his own fury equalled hers. He disliked being manipulated every bit as much as she did.

“He’s not even my father! How dare he call me here and make such a stupendously outrageous demand. Did you know that after his work, his main ambition is to play hopscotch with my life?” She spun round when she reached the far wall before stalking back to where he stood. “And how come neither, if what you say is true—” She stopped long enough to all but drill a hole through his chest with her finger. “If what he claims is true,” she amended rapidly when she caught his scowl. “—that neither of us had any inkling about this relationship?”

She spun away again, her hands cupping her elbows and stared out of the glass-panelled wall to watch the sunlight dance across the surface of the wind-swept pool.

“Cousins! How can we be cousins?  You’re Italian, and I’m as boringly British as they come.  Where’s the connection?” With her arms still firmly wrapped round her waist she shot him a glance over her shoulder. “Anyway, what does your fiancĂ©e have to say about this?  I bet she hasn’t remained silent at the prospect of bagging such a lucrative husband. I mean, think of the alimony when you both get fed-up with each other. Mind you,” she added, her hands imitating a windmill again, “she hasn’t got an idiot father standing over her demanding she marry you against her will, has she?”
Thank you for reading this week's offering, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.

28 July 2013

Snippet Sunday


It's been a while since I took part in Snippet Sunday, and it's good to be back.

This week my snippet follows on from Yesterday's Saturday Sample (post below this one) and comes from Honor's Dilemma
(exclusively available from Astraea Press for $0.50c)

“I know.” He positioned himself between her and a couple who’d stopped dancing long enough to enquire if anything was amiss. After assuring them his partner was feeling a little faint and would be quite well in just a moment, Vidal waltzed her to the edge of the dance floor and guided her into a secluded corner. He looked across the room, met the concerned glance from Lady Adversane, and gave a slight shake of his head before persuading Honor to sit down.

Prior to sitting beside her, he handed her his large linen ‘kerchief. “I am sorry to upset you. But I wanted to tell you myself,” he repeated.

“How long have you known?” She let the anger rise, take over, and push away her shock. He could have told her before tonight, she was certain. No one left the country on such a whim as this, surely?

“Honor, I love you.”

She wanted to deny him, to disbelieve the words that would have thrilled her before they’d stood up for the waltz, but she heard the truth, heard his anguish, and pushed down her anger. This man she loved, who loved her in return, was hurting, too.  Hadn’t she always admired his strength? Both physically and emotionally? And why hadn’t she ever stopped to wonder how each man would react when she chose one over the other? Now, as she looked into Vidal’s eyes, she saw the truth. This wonderful man, acting from love, had taken the choice upon himself. He’d shifted the responsibility away from her. Never had she loved him more.
You'll find lots more Sunday snippets HERE.
Honor's Dilemma, is the prequel to my best-selling Regency romantic suspense Vidal's Honor.

27 July 2013

Sweet Saturday Samples 27th July

It's been a while, but I'm so pleased to be back with Sweet Saturday Samples , and this Saturday I am offering a short sample from my current release Honor's Dilemma, published by Astraea Press, and the prequel to Vidal's Honor.

“What is it, Charles, what is wrong? Are you not well? Shall we sit down?” Honor tried to pull away, to see him more fully, but he tightened his hold on her.

“I asked you to dance this waltz with me, Honor, because I need to talk privately with you, and this—” He indicated the other dancers. “—is about as private as we can manage tonight.”

Her heart skipped a beat. Two men. She loved two men with equal devotion and had pondered long and hard whether to deny them both and marry for convenience, or to accept the first offer she received. For she knew, without knowing how, that very soon, either Vidal or Devlin would offer for her hand.

It was Vidal who increased the distance between them this time.

“What I have to say to you I didn’t want you to hear from anyone else…”

Never had Honor heard such anguish in Vidal’s voice before. “What is it? You are frightening me.” This was not going to be an offer for her hand, and something within her died a little death while another part of her wondered whether she’d misjudged Vidal’s affection for her. Perhaps she’d transferred her own feelings onto him and been mistaken in thinking he returned them.


The briskness of his tone startled her back from her wandering thoughts.

“You are not listening and I am running out of time. Pray pay attention, my dear.”

“Sorry, Charles, I am listening now. You have my full attention.” She wanted to weep, but managed to pin a smile on her face instead.

“I am leaving for the Peninsula tonight.”

The words refused to penetrate. Instead they seemed to buzz, like a swarm of bees, round and round inside her head.

“I beg your pardon? What do you mean, you are leaving? You said only last week you were going to the country for the summer.”

“I am leaving for Portugal—” He pulled his fob watch from his top pocket. “—in less than two hours.”

Her legs buckled and she fell against Vidal’s chest, all thought of dancing forgotten. The flash of brightly coloured gowns swishing past and the sparkling light from the overhead crystal
candelabra faded into a misty grey. The gay rhythm of the waltz music transformed into a cacophony of harsh sounds to Honor’s ears.

“Why?” She’d known that choosing between the two men she loved above herself would cause her grief, but never had she anticipated it would be the other way round, that one of them would walk away from her first. The shock of Vidal’s action robbed her of rational thought for a moment while she continued to cling to him, fearing their imminent separation.
Thanks for coming by, and I'd love to hear from you. For more samples from some great authors please click Sweet Saturday Samples

24 July 2013

Tribute to the Greatest Generation

Tribute to the Greatest Generation

By Jeff Salter
Very much appreciate Sherry’s gracious invitation to appear here today.
Important and timely
            Have you ever read a novel which seemed so important and timely that you could hardly contain your enthusiasm about it?  Have you ever WRITTEN such a story?

            Well I have.  At least it seems that important and timely to me.  No, not FOR me — because this novel is my tribute to the Greatest Generation … and those still living are leaving us all too quickly.  I’m a “baby boomer” — my parents and teachers (and practically every adult I knew) were among that generation which struggled through the Great Depression and sacrificed during World War II.
About the story
            Called to Arms Again was released on May 30 from Astraea Press.  Of the seven novels I’ve completed so far, this was my third written and my third fiction book published.

            It’s the story of a young newspaper reporter looking for a new angle for her Veterans Day special section.  Who better to give her a fresh perspective than a bunch of old war dogs who’d been there and back.  Not only does Kelly Randall learn what the Greatest Generation was made of, but she soon discovers a great deal about her own mettle.

            My story has action, comedy, romance, plenty of the ‘can-do’ spirit, and an unashamedly healthy dose of patriotism.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll cheer.
I need your help

I haven’t gone ‘all-out’ with promotion of my first two novels – romantic suspense and romantic comedy – because they’re mostly enjoyed by readers of those genres.  But the sky’s the limit on promoting C2AA — this story appeals to readers of both genders … from ages 19 to 90!

If you were born before about 1930, you ARE part of the Greatest Generation and you’ll find yourself (and your siblings and friends) in my story!

If you’re a Boomer (born after WW2) — your parents, aunts, uncles, and teachers were members of the greatest generation.  Buy this book and read it, because you’ll recognize these characters.  And if you have living parents or other relatives, tell them about my story.  Please remember, the WW2 generation – both those who served in the military and those who sacrificed on the homefront – are dying at a rate of about 2000 per day … so there is an urgency to let them know about this story which honors them!

If you’re the child of a Boomer Generation parent, you need to read this so you’ll understand what your grand-parents (and their siblings) went through and how they prevailed.

            Read it!  Pass the word!  Get this story into the hands of everyone who loves Freedom!

Don’t you agree that artist Elaina Lee did an outstanding job on my cover for Called to Arms Again?
Called to Arms Again

By J. L. Salter
Hook & Blurb:
            Grit doesn’t fade away ... it just becomes crusty.  With harrowing elements right out of today’s headlines, this story reaches back into the sturdy heartbeat of people raised during the Depression and tested during World War II.  Though the old uniforms haven’t fit in many decades, their resilient spirits still have that same intensity which helped save democracy.
            Needing only a fresh angle to write her Veteran’s Day special, Kelly discovers first-hand that the Greatest Generation still has enough grit to fight back.  While all the authorities are occupied during a massive Homeland Security drill, an urban gang of thieves targets an isolated retirement subdivision ... figuring the crippled geriatrics would offer no resistance.

            Though Kelly’s widowed boyfriend came along only for a post-funeral luncheon, Mitch soon finds himself leading a mis-matched flanking team. Kelly’s good friend Wade has his own assignment, with a home-made mortar and lots of illegal gunpowder.

            Maybe it’s difficult to remember everyday things like taking pills, but these octogenarians have never forgotten it was up to them to defend family, home, community, and country.  The outcome of their courageous stand depends on the resolve and resourcefulness of an unlikely ensemble of eccentric elderly neighbors, several American Legion members, and others spanning four generations.
Buy Links:

Called to Arms, Greatest Generation, America, Patriotism, World War II, World War Two, World War, United States, Elaina Lee, grit, veteran, veterans, Veterans Day, Astraea Press, J.L. Salter, Great Depression, sacrifice

23 July 2013

23rd July - Picture promppt

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.
This month's picture prompt is a road scene, and while my tale for this week is a continuation from Regency I hope you will be able to envisage the type of road travellers experienced back in  1813

Last week my hero, Juan, was stranded at an inn after returning to England. This week he has been rescued by his friend Lord Charles Vidal, but now disaster has struck again...
Within seconds of him (Vidal) pulling Juan and their mounts through a gap in the bushes lining the road two horsemen came thundering round the corner and pulled up sharply.
“What ails you?” One of the men asked.
 The other urged his mount closer to the coach muttered an expletive before dismounting and peering into the coach. “Where’s your master?” he interrupted his companion and grabbed the groom’s arm.
Vidal grinned at the slow drawl his servant employed.
“Don’t waste my time man. That is my lord Vidal’s coach, is it not?”
“Aye.” His groom swiped his hat off and rubbed the back of his hand across his hair before he scratched his head and replaced the cap on his head.
“So —"
His groom looked about him then at his interrogator. “He ain’t here.”
Vidal choked back a laugh.

 “That is obvious,” the second man stated. “But where is he?”  

 The laugh died in Vidal’s throat when he saw the raised gun in the newcomer’s hand.
“He’s been gone these last fifteen minutes sir.” Real fear showed in his groom’s eyes, and yet the man still managed to defy his interrogators. When Juan shifted at his side he spied the gun in the Spaniard’s hand. He shook his head and held up one hand. His own pistols were still in the coach, they couldn't save lives with only one weapon between them. He watched the two men confer together then one turned and shot his fist out. The blow to his groom’s chin lifted him off his feet and slammed him against the stricken vehicle. In the next minute sunlight flashed off polished steel as the other man faced his second groom. A loud report shattered the air and the swordsman slid to the ground, landing on his own weapon.
Thank you for reading this week's offering, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.

16 July 2013

Tuesday's Tales 16 July

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.

Thank you for stopping by. This week's word prompt is court, my snippet is from Consuela's story, my sequel to Vidal's Honor. This scene takes place in England in 1813 when my hero, Juan, learns his brother has Consuela in his sights.
While he’d rushed back to Spain, his brother, Diago, had made his way to London, and according to his friend Lord Vidal, was even now attempting to court Consuela.
The only available room left in the inn was tiny, with a window locked down tight against the night air, so the room smelled of stale ale and other unmentionable odours. He smote one fist in the other and strode from the edge of the bed where he’d sat to the window and peered out.

“You been and gone and missed it by five minutes.” The innkeeper told him when he’d rushed in to enquire when the next coach left for London.  “Won’t be another ‘afore tomorrow afternoon.”

His enquiries into hiring a coach hadn’t fared any better.  It seemed there was a prize cock fight in the village just five miles down the road and every available vehicle for hire was already spoken for. Assuming there’d be no spare horses for hire either he’d not even asked, but now as he watched the shadows shift across the ground below his window he wondered whether the plan forming in his mind would land him in prison if he was caught.

Another day won’t make a difference.’ A silent voice in his head urged, but instinct told Juan the voice lied.  If he didn’t know better he could almost swear he heard Consuela calling out to him for help.
Thank you for reading this week's offering, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.

10 July 2013

Astraea Press Fanfest and Kindle Fire....

So... would anyone like to win a Kindle Fire?  

Astraea Press is giving away 1 Kindle Fire to celebrate the AP Fan Fest on July 16th :)


9 July 2013

Tuesday's Tale - 9th July

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.
Thank you for stopping by. This week's word prompt is long, my snippet is from Consuela's story, my sequel to Vidal's Honor. This scene takes place in Spain in 1813 when my hero, Juan, and his men are under siege.

He monitored the men as in groups of four they started moving back. Not crawling on their hands and knees. Not walking. To do that would make them sitting targets. As he had done moments before, they crawled on their bellies keeping their weapons just above their heads.

His band of sixty men had been reduced to just over forty three days ago when they’d been ambushed. Juan still wondered how any of them had come out of that skirmish alive. Now he watched the survivors make for the small incline in the distance. How many men would survive long enough to welcome the end of the day?

The whistle and crump of another shell reduced the number by another six. They had to reach and cross the bridge before his brother’s men shelled it. He crawled to the dead, passed the rifles and ammunition to the living and moved on. Two of the injured were taken up by their colleagues. More like dragged along by their colleagues, Juan thought.

Inch by inch he advanced towards the knoll. Mud clung to his jacket and britches, his boots felt like lead weights holding him down, holding him back.

And the rain!

It took several minutes for him to realise the pounding of shells had stopped.

“Do you think they’ve had enough?”

The croak beside him came from his second in command, Jim. Dismissed, through injury, from the English army, Jimmy Smith had insisted in returning to Spain with him. Now wracked with a cough that had steadily worsened over the last week, he could hardly breathe let alone talk.

“Not them.” Juan spat out a wad of mud he’d almost swallowed. “Let’s make the most of our reprieve.” He grabbed Jim by the arm and half pulled and half carried him to the rear of their sparse covering.

While those who’d made it recovered, Juan assessed the distance left to reach the bridge. Dare he risk more men in trying to get there in daylight? What option did he have? The fact his brother’s men had ceased their asault may mean they were even now manoeuvring to better attack his men if they attempted to cross the river.

Thank you for reading this week's offering, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.

2 July 2013

Tuesday Tales - 2nd July

Welcome to Tuesday's Tales
A place where books are born.
Thank you for stopping by. This week's word prompt is sun, my snippet continues on from last week's offering in Consuela's story, my sequel to Vidal's Honor.

Memories of the horrific scene they’d come across in the woods still haunted her dreams.  The women and children, their sightless eyes staring up at the brilliant sun-lit sky… Piled in a heap like broken dolls.  “Do not ask me to share it with you, my lady, for it is not…” The understanding in her hostess’s eyes slammed into her like a musket from one of the guerrilleros guns.

“You know?”

The duchess nodded, leaned across to the nearest bell-pull and summoned a servant.  “Tea, and cake,” she ordered when the butler entered after a brief knock.  “I heard Charles telling his father one day and had the whole story from him.  I am so sorry, my dear.  No one should see such depravation, let alone become victims of it.”

Consuela still could not remember how the duchess had persuaded her to reveal the circumstances of her own widowhood, and now as the other woman patted her hand Consuela swallowed the comment she intended to make when the door opened and a maid entered and crossed the room to place a laden tray on the table beside the duchess.

She looked at the ring on her finger. Not the one her husband had given her, that she’d thrown away as soon as Juan proposed and slipped the large sapphire ring in its place.  No amount of urging on her part would persuade Juan to make her his wife before he left.  Sometimes she hated him for that reluctance, even though she understood his concerns.

“If my brother finds out we are married he will make it his mission of eliminate you as he did my wife and daughter. No, my dear, you are safer if you remain single.  In all honesty I should have resisted the urge to declare myself, and as for this ring…” He’d paced round the room before coming to sit beside her, in this very room days after they’d celebrated the New Year.  “Perhaps it would be best if you did not wear it in public.”
Thank you for reading this week's offering, and please hop on over to read everyone's offering for this week's Tuesday's Tales prompt.