Friday, August 28, 2015

Top 10 Objects Dragons Like to Hoard- Guest Blog and Giveaway Chalvaren Rising by Paula Millhouse

Top 10 Objects Dragons Like to Hoard

10. Beanie Babies – because some day they will be worth a lot of money, you know. Dragons love beanie babies and use them to soften the floors of their caves when they sleep.

9. Playing Cards – dragons tend to get bored while waiting on their riders and like to keep themselves busy. They play poker, because dragons love the idea of gaining more treasure even at the risk of taking it from their fellow dragons.

8. Silver – good for fending off werewolves and vampires.

7. Princesses – it’s true, and this field of hoarding tends to draw in knights, another favorite object dragons like to hoard.

6. Chickens – tasty snacks, most dragons prefer their chickens roasted rather than fried.

5. Knights – the more knights a dragon hoards the more famous he becomes. And, he who has the most knights wins.

4. Water sources – good places for hunting and swimming, and water holes usually bring in other objects they love to hoard: see #7 and #5. Also great to catch female dragons skinny-dipping.

3. Books – it’s a well know fact that dragons love books, are literate, and enjoy listening to their princesses reading to them, if they can keep from setting fire to the pages.

2. Gold – good for trading, of course, but even better when it lures in unsuspecting treasure hunters, Knights and Princesses. Also good for Gansta’ Dress when hanging with the other dragons and trying to pick up females.

1. Jewels – dragons fancy rare gemstones, and love sparkly bling! It’s a little known fact dragons fancy wearing tiaras when no one is looking.

Chalvaren Rising
A Kingdom of Chalvaren Romance
Paula Millhouse

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing

Book Description:


With the love of Kort, Chalvaren’s warrior-prince heir, Mia Ansgar will seize her birthright and become the great dragon-riding wizardess prophesied to free that elven kingdom from her embittered sorceress kin.


Twenty-five years ago, Theo Ansgar abandoned the Kingdom of Chalvaren for a hiding place on another world. Some called him traitor. Some, thief. Now his fully grown daughter Mia must return to the land of her birth...and their war. 

It was the elf prince Kort Elias who brought her back. Theirs was an instant connection, an inescapable union of body, soul and sorcery, reminding Mia of what she truly is, and what she must become. There is also Magnus, destined to be more potent than any wyrm Chalvaren has ever seen, a three-day-old dragonlet Mia must nurture and then ride. And then there is the Dragonstone, an artifact of power nonpareil. Joined, they can tip the scales of battle against the wraith-possessed forces of darkness, of Mia’s own embittered kin. Redemption will be offered, the protected will become the protector, and an ancient prophecy will come to fruition, but only righteous love can conquer all.


“You said we could unite our auras and free the Dragonstone from my father’s protections…?”

Kort’s smile broadened. “That amethyst is the largest chunk of dragon ore ever known to the elves of Chalvaren. The legend around it, if you go in for that sort of thing, is that dragons themselves tore it from the Drahkos Mountains.”

It was luminescent, the most beautiful jewel Mia had ever seen. She blinked, her mother’s words pouring through her mind. Your One True Love… If she was willing to risk being forever alone.

Kort whispered close in her ear, “It’s a conduit for energy of all kinds, Mia. Plus it has a special attunement to…” He eyed her meaningfully. “The physical.”

She gulped. “So…? How, exactly…? I mean…” She searched Kort’s eyes and smoothed her other hand down the skirt of her purple dress to dry her palm. “What are you proposing we do to liberate the thing?”

Kort pulled her into a kiss.

Mia let him.

Their magic auras mingled, and she nearly lost her breath. She trembled in his arms and arched her chest into his. Kort held her tight, his hands drifting down her back. She let the warmth of his body flush through her, and the spark of desire she’d felt earlier when they melded their auras to cast the spell over Magnus burst into full flame. His touch destroyed her with need, and she pressed closer, mindless, reveling in the first kiss she’d ever experienced.

He plundered her mouth with his tongue, and Mia reveled in his mastery. When Kort broke away, she arched her neck so he could kiss her neck and he trailed hot moist kisses up to the crest of one pointed ear.

“Let me love you, Mia. You don’t belong here. You belong with me. Let’s use the power of our auras at the height of ecstasy to release the Dragonstone and go home.”

At the height of ecstasy? Was he saying they would make love?

Whatever this magic was—whatever its intent and whatever its danger—Mia wanted more. All of this had been foretold by her parents. Magnus had led Kort to find her.

She was ready to see where he led.

About the Author:

Paula Millhouse grew up in Savannah, Georgia where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, and the Intracoastal Waterway. As a child, Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south.

Paula lives with her husband at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains with their pack and pride of furry babies. In the southern tradition of storytellers, she loves sharing the lives of her characters with readers, and following her muse on the quest for happily-ever-afters in thrilling romantic fiction.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Spotlight and Giveaway Healing Fire by Sean Michael

Healing Fire
Sean Michael

Genre: Gay Fantasy, Dragon Shifter

Publisher: ARe Books
Date of Publication: August 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-943576-18-0

Word Count: 41,000

Cover Artist: Erin Dameron Hill

Book Description:

What will it take for a dragon prince to defy his father and fly on his own?

Prince Jules, the least favorite of the Dragon King's children, lives simply, banished to his rooms and the amazing adventures found in his books. He has never left the palace or shifted into his dragon form…he's never done anything.

Dragon shifter Lem is assigned to Jules as the prince's new bodyguard, and is determined to keep Jules safe from the Graithen, who killed the prince’s previous guardian. Lem grows to hate how the King hides Jules away, and longs to show him how to fly. His love for Jules also grows but it is forbidden, like so much in Jules' life.

When the Graithen attack again, though, everything changes.

Available at ARe


Lem was worried about the prince. Jules didn’t sleep. He didn’t eat. He didn’t do anything but lie in his bed. Lem knew how to defend Jules from outside threats. He did not know how to defend the prince from himself.
The little prince was never cruel. He barely spoke, he barely moved. Lem had been told that Jules used to spend most of his time reading, staying in his suite with his bodyguard Mabon.
Lem, of course, knew Mabon—all the bodyguards knew each other by sight—but not very well. The strong dragon had been older and had had more training than Lem currently did when he’d been called to the prince’s side almost two hundred years ago.
Lem knew they were very big wings indeed that he had to fill. He also knew, without question, that the blame would fall upon him should Jules die. And rightly so. He was the prince’s protector. He just wasn’t sure how he could protect Jules from himself, for surely that was what the danger was at this time. It made Lem think. What would Mabon have done?
There was a private courtyard off of Jules’ rooms, meant solely for the prince’s pleasure. Lem knew that no one else was allowed back there, not even gardeners. The area was completely cut off from the rest of the castle by high, windowless walls, and the only entrance was through the door in Jules’ quarters. Perhaps a little air, a change of scenery would be good. Decided, Lem went to Jules, the prince still curled up in his nest as he had been earlier this morning. And yesterday, and the day before that, and the week before that, since Lem had been here.
“Your Highness, let’s go out to the courtyard. I can hear the fountain, but have never seen it.”
Jules looked at him for a moment, the green eyes beautiful, if so sad. One slender hand waved as if to say, “go.”
Grunting, Lem girded his loins against his own training, which said he didn’t do this, that he was never to touch the prince if he could avoid it. He bent, picking Jules right up out of his nest.
“What?” Jules sputtered.
Dragons needed sustenance, sunlight. They needed it. Lem clung to that thought and stayed the course.
“We are going to the courtyard.”
He didn’t put Jules down. The prince would probably curl back up in his nest, or possibly find a nook or cranny to hide in, and Lem was not having that. He was taking his prince into the sunlight, even if it meant he was disobeying his prince’s wishes. His job was to protect and defend.
When Lem pushed through the door into the courtyard, he gasped as the sunshine touched his skin. It had been days. Days. He could feel it, energizing him, warming him. He had been so busy worrying about the prince, he’d forgotten his own need for the warm touch.
He wanted to close his eyes and bask, but he didn’t. As private as this space was, that didn’t mean impenetrable. There was still the air, and he was no longer guarding the door from Jules’ quarters. So he kept his eyes open, stayed aware, and walked toward the lovely fountain that had pride of place in the center of the surprisingly roomy courtyard.
“Can you feel the sunshine in your bones?” he asked even though he knew Jules could, the dull sheen on Jules’ skin already beginning to warm, to take on a hint of vitality.
It was obvious to Lem that he had done the right thing. Master Anselle had always told him to follow his gut. Worried as it had made him, he had. He sent a silent prayer of thanks and love to his teacher. Every lesson, no matter how strange or hard or simple, was proving to be useful in the guardianship of his charge.
Prince Jules lifted his face to the sun, the motion simple, instinctual. It gave Lem his first real look at the prince’s face.
Unlike the thickset, heavy dragons that made up Lem’s caste, Jules had the delicate, gentle features of the ruling class. Perhaps the most beautiful features Lem had ever seen. The sadness in them did not dim Jules’ beauty in the least.
Lem let himself memorize the fine cheekbones, the long, slender nose. He imagined Jules’ dragon would be quite small, but perfectly formed. He’d never seen a royal in dragon form, but had heard that their scales were impossibly beautiful.
Moving to the fountain, he took in the form of the tree that was in the center of it, water pouring from its boughs. Such wonderful magic!
“My mother formed this for me.” Words, actual words, offered freely. This was indeed a magical spot.
“It’s beautiful. Is the water healing?” Lem asked as he sat on the bench that wound its way around the fountain.

Jules nodded. “But it cannot heal me.”

About the Author:

Sean Michael, often referred to as "Space Cowboy" and "Gangsta of Love" while still striving for the moniker of "Maurice," spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the Kama Sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to "Chicago."

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He'll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

For more information on other books by Sean, visit his official website:

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Interview- The Hybrid by Christine Murphy

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

Originally I am from the Midwest – Illinois – so I would be what you call a corn-fed girl.  ;)  I lived there up until the time I joined the military and then have traveled everywhere since.  I’ve lived in S. Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, Arkansas, Ohio, Maryland, England, California, and finally Florida.  My travels were via the Army and Air Force as I was both enlisted and officer.  So as you can see I am well traveled and experienced many adventures along the way included deployments and temporary duty in Germany, Italy, and Qatar.  Now that I am retired from the military (but not really retired now that I’m working a civilian job) I have finally settled in Florida and I do love it here.  Most of the genres I like to dabble in are paranormal and futuristic/fantasy romance with a bit of science fiction mixed in.  I write under my actual name Christine Murphy but I do editing, book videos, and book covers under CK Productions.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

To start, the second book in my Wild Clan Sagas is releasing in August 2015.  It is the second book in the series with the first being The Source.  This series started out originally as one novel but once I was done I found there were too many characters and plot to not write more books.  The plan is to have a total of four books, but who knows, it might end up more.  At the same time I am also working on my Midnight Riders Series.  Road To Redemption has already been released but I have two more books written – Road To Devotion and Road To Temptation which will start releasing this Christmas.  I am currently writing Road to Ravishment which should be completed by the end of this year.

Are you a mom?

I am a mom and have two boys.  Both of my boys, or I should say men, are in their 20’s.  The oldest just finished college with his associated degree and is in the Army National Guard.  He is currently transferring back down to Florida so is hanging out in my house again to he gets his feet on the ground.  His fiancĂ© is also living with us as she is going through her two year counselor internship.  My youngest son is in the Air Force and is currently overseas.  Once he is done with his year-long tour he and his wife will be moving farther up north.   I expect him to fly back to the States and visit everyone for Christmas during his break in tour.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

Juggling writing with parenting really isn’t an issue.  The challenge is more balancing my full time job, making sure I keep up on my workouts, taking care of the house work, and keeping the hubby happy.  Not to mention the weekends which are filled with chores I couldn’t do during the week, sightseeing, and other activities that end up being planned.  Finally with my oldest son and his fiancĂ© back in the house it adds to the distractions.  Needless to say I am making it work with at least an hour or two a day of writing.  Boy am I tired.  ;)

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

Some of the descriptions in the books are from experiences I may have had such as riding on underground trains as in The Source and The Hybrid when I was in England.  Another experience came from camping in log cabins on the waterfront of a lake which was incredibly peaceful when I was in Tennessee visiting family at Christmas.  That was where I came up with the idea of The Wilds and where the Rogue live in what was known as Canada.  Some of the personalities –both good and bad – I have used with the characters of my books from people I have meet through the years, especially while I was in the military.  Some of the emotions that I have experienced I have captured and integrated in my books.  I find it very therapeutic to work out real life issues this way in the imagination of my books.  I can fight an enemy which may be a negative emotion in real life that I want to get rid of.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

The central premise of The Wild Clan Sagas, including The Hybrid is that no matter how advanced civilization becomes or what challenges face us love is the most important factor.  Love and family is everything to fight for no matter what the cost.  In the Hybrid, Sara longs for love and Justin has lost his family and has been captured by BioGen.  Together they find each other and escape.  They are fated to become lovers and only as a team will they find their freedom to escape to The Wilds.  They will be free to love who they want and be with their family without the influence of a futuristic government determined to use them as nothing but genetic material for procreation.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I would like all the readers out there, be that they enjoy romance, paranormal, historical, science fiction, or any other combination to enjoy the many creative materials out there.  Since I have started writing I have met so many great people and appreciated there feedback, critiques, and suggestions for my books.  All of the support has really made all of the effort in my writing worth it.  I am dedicated to provide imaginative and quality material for my readers to enjoy.  If nothing else in life I hope my writing inspires everyone out there to reach for your goals in anything you endeavor in.  I hope you enjoy my work and that it brings you enjoyment.  May all of you find your purpose in life and someone to share all of your success and adventures with.

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

I would have to say JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. and all of her incredible men in them.  The writing was both exciting and dark and I like all of the brooding males running around.  There was no pansy cutesy hand holding and love scenes.  No, the character interactions are raw and more realistic including the male view on “feelings” and the way they think.  The writing captured both the masculine and feminine (and some in between).  There was not fear in taking the scenes to the extreme of the sensual or the disgusting.  All of it was fascinating and kept my attention for hours.

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

My favorite genres when I was younger was science fiction/fantasy but as I grew older I got into romance.  After a while I found that I lived some sub-genres than others in the romance realm.  My favorite I have found are the paranormal or superhuman realm of romance such as those written by JR Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood and Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunters.  These books captured my imagination and I liked all of the brooding males, action, and dark enemies to fight, not to mention the incredible heroines that end up with the guy.  I also enjoyed The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer because it touched the young woman in me from back in the day.  I might try another area of the romance or science fiction genre’s but paranormal romance is my favorite.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

In the Hybrid there is a supporting character known as Daman.  He is a Companion controlled by a Handler and who entertains the Gens of BioGen.  His Handler believes he is completely under their control but he is actually the leader of Defiance.  A group of underground criminals and escaped Companions who wreak havoc against BioGen and anyone else they can gain benefit from.  Daman has recently taken over Defiance and is striving to move the group onto better things such as supporting the Rogues in their battle against BioGen.  Although he works secretly against the government entity he is still enslaved to them because of a tracking device in his neck.  He is a survivor, fights with everything he is, and is determined one day to have his freedom and those who he considers friends and family.  He will have his own book later in the series – The Companion.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

The Hybrid is the second book in The Wild Clan Sagas.  The first book was The Source where Nathan is a rented Companion for Crystal who is a rare Source.  Love is forbidden but the couple quickly fall in love.  Nathan is determined to free her from the abuses of BioGen and so their adventure begins in their escape to The Wilds.  The next book after

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

My most current project is finishing with the advertising and other items still pending for The Hybrid.  Most of the work is done but there is always one more detail or one more location to get the word out to my readers that I have another novel that has been released.  My other current project is writing the newest novel in The Midnight Riders Series – Road To Ravishment.  I am excited because it is the fourth in the series and involves Mace – a hunk of a blond-haired, emerald green-eyed biker who will do anything to protect the Spirit Heart he is assigned to protect.  Kayla is that Spirit Heart who is determined to destroy the demons trying to find her and steal her soul.  She is a DJ by night and hides among her technology from the Scythian Spirit Demons.  When she runs into Mace she initially thinks he is the enemy because she trust no one even when he is trying to save her.  Needless to say the tension between these two is incredible going from outright enemy to red hot lovers.  I can hardly wait to finish so the novel will be ready to release to the world.

What book are you reading now?

When I’m not into my writing I’m working on Cat’s Lair by Christine Feehan – one of the Leopards Series.  She is an incredible writer as well and I’ve enjoyed her books for year.  She was my first paranormal romance writer that I indulged in before JR Ward or the others.  Her Dark Series with the Carpathians was the first time I got into the series format and since then have always been fascinated with series.  I think the multi-book format allows a writer to better develop not only the characters but a whole complete society and structure for the characters to exist in.  That is why I have gone toward the direction of series writing.  The Source started as a single book but after writing it I realized it has so many characters and plot lines that I could continue to build on and work with. 

The Hybrid
The Wild Clan Sagas
Novel 2
Christine Murphy

Genre:  Futuristic Romance

Publisher:  KnightFall Publishing

Date of Publication:   August 1, 2015

ISBN:  9781311085313

Number of pages:  200
Word Count: 139,328

Cover Artist:  Christine Murphy

Book Description:  

Sara, a hidden Hybrid disguised as a BioGen Monitor, will find an enslaved Justin being experimented on.  She will help him gain his freedom and in the process will gain her own.  Trust will grow between them and from that trust will blossom a love which will give them the power to escape BioGen.

Excerpt 1: 

At first she refused to look at the inside of the room. Instead, she shoved the door closed and took a deep breath. Finally, she focused in enough so from the corner of her eyes she could see the room was the same, unchanged from the past. Same sterile white walls, white floor, silver equipment with the many wires and probes, and same medical trays with the shiny silver scissors and scalpels. All of it in her mind were instruments of torture. All she knew was she had to get a grip or she would soon be the one on the table being experimented on.
            Distracted she nearly jumped a foot when the Gatherer dressed in white surgical scrubs stepped into view and called out, “I’d be careful if I were you. Even though he’s strapped down this male is a fighter, especially with the amount of hormones and drugs we have pumped into him. He’s already taken out two Monitors and several guards.”
            Immediately on the alert Sara spun around to face the male. In her mental state she had unintentionally wandered straight over to where the exam table was located. Glancing up her intention was to quickly back off, but the moment she looked at him she was frozen in place. Every cell of her being focused in on what could only be called the most incredible male she had ever seen. Lying on an exam table, which was tilted up at a 45 degree angle, he was strapped down by his feet, ankles, waist, and his head.
            Sara couldn’t help notice every inch of his body was hard muscle encased in tanned skin and every inch of that body strained to escape the bonds. The only area remotely covered was his pelvic area and even that was barely a scrap of white material. She had read books, she had seen pictures, she had heard whispers from other Monitors who had been privy to seeing a male of such caliber. Nothing did justice to those words or images to Sara. This man was virile and obviously aroused, she was sure, by whatever cocktail the Gatherer had given him.
            Feeling a rare blush creep up to her cheeks Sara had every intention of turning away until she looked into the male’s face. The breath immediately left her as she beheld the most handsome face she had ever seen, which was saying a lot, considering what she had seen before were prime examples in books and on-line programs. Even scowling furiously while he fought to free himself he still was incredible with his thick layered raven black hair and eyes of a multi-hued hazel which seemed to see straight into her soul..
            Meeting those eyes, she gasped and the air that had left her lungs rushed in with a vengeance. Her world seemed to upend for a moment in time as the chiseled features of that face registered in her mind. There was no mistaking the strong jaw, the cheeks, the nose, everything that marked this man as one of the mysterious Wilders, the founding family who had rejected BioGen’s requirements. Deep inside she knew she had to do something to save him, but no matter what she did she was damned. Save him and reveal herself, leave him and know he would die.
            The fire she had fought to keep deep inside seemed to sense the presence of the man and heat rushed through her system. In a panic, and knowing her eyes were going to change, Sara tried to look away, but something kept her sight glued to the incredible man before her. Coming to her senses she finally managed to lower her gaze but not before the male’s eyes widened in surprise and then narrowed like he had found his own prey to hunt.

About the Author:

Christine Murphy started her writing career at a young age even before she was putting words to paper.  Living in the Midwest left her with plenty of time to read and develop her creative mind.  Her first short story was written in grade school and was in a fantasy-type style.  Later she took an online course in writing and created another story based on the adventures of a Native-American youth searching for her purpose in life and filled with lots of symbology. 

Science-fiction fantasy was her main reading preference but quickly shifted to romance.  In the beginning she preferred Contemporary Romance but that didn't last long when she discovered Christine Feehan and JR Ward.  Paranormal Romance had infected her and she read as much of it as her voracious mind could adsorb. 

Eventually Christine joined the work force, and although she continued to read, she didn't pursue her need to create her own worlds other than in her head.  Her imagination continued but reality kept her busy including a successful medical based career in the military.  Working as a clinical laboratory scientist she was stationed in several locations in the United States and in numerous areas of the world including England, Italy, Germany, Africa, and the Middle East.  Finally her career brought her to a small town outside the Tampa Bay area in Florida.  This is where she finally realized time is too short to put off those enjoyments in life especially when her husband was struck with leukemia.  He successfully recovered but it made her decide she wanted to pursue writing which seemed to be put off her whole life. 

Within two years she had completed an entire series - The Sphinx Warriors Series, and started the first book of The Wild Clan Sagas.  Currently she continues to write from her Florida home while looking out her back lanai to a small pond where the wild-life gathers and the flowers bloom in exotic pinks and purples. This is her place of peace and freedom she has searched for all her life and where her husband and crazy African Gray Parrot, Raider, hang out with her.  It’s the place where her creativity runs wild while she spins tales of adventure and passion. She captures the unique characters, civilizations, conflict, passion, and love in her writing from the fantasies which still spin in her head.  She captures the strong, spirited, and powerfully attracted characters and all of their adventures and share it with others who are searching for that very thing to make their lives more exciting.

If she accomplishes nothing else in life, she hopes to share the romantically magical worlds and the lovers she sees with all of the passionate readers out there.  Her next projects are continuing to work on her Wild Clan Sagas and her Midnight Riders Series as she partners with KnightFall Publishing and CK Productions.

Red Sage: 

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Interview and Giveaway-Conner by Miranda Stork

Are you a mom?

Not yet, but I’m planning to be quite soon! My partner and I are trying for a baby at the moment, and it’s incredible how excited I am about it. I think, even writing aside, there’s no greater moment in life than when you get to hold a little mini-me in your arms and guide them through the world. And maybe get them into reading as early as possible, hehe. J

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

Almost everyone in my books has something about them that I’ve based on someone I know or have known. I don’t think it’s possible to not base a book’s story or characters on actual knowledge of people you know or something that has happened to you. The writing always has a much more vivid colour to it when it’s taken from actual events.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

I never really thought I had one until other people pointed it out and let me know after reading. I’ve found a couple of common messages and themes in my books – the first one is almost always a kind of ‘warning’, whether it’s about how humanity is treated, how nature is treated, or a bit of both. The second message is always one of hope. That no matter how rough things look, the outcome can always be bright when it’s fought for. I think I pull on my own life experience for both of these themes, and I hope it comes across in all my books.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

Lots! I love sports, and still play netball, years after school, haha. I enjoy most sports (which is good, because I’m in a sports-mad household!), and I love walking near to where I live in North Yorkshire. It’s the most beautiful countryside, and just snapping a few pictures or looking around castles or manor houses is something I do quite a lot. I also have a passion for films, old and new, silent or otherwise, and I’ve seen probably too many! I’m a bit of a geek too, so I love video games sometimes, and game modding (creating new parts for a game using scripts and so on).

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

This is kind of a yes-and-no answer. Until recently, I really wanted to have a go at a post-apocolyptic, dystopian genre, as the genre fascinates me. It can have real undertones of modern life and fears (which I guess also makes it somewhat gothic), and people’s natures can be picked out almost to a caricature with the worst or best elements, which I love doing. But I have had an idea in the last couple of weeks or so that I’m starting work on, so that untackled genre may soon be under my belt too.

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

Too many to count! At the moment, I’m working on the next book in my ‘Grim Alliance’ series, which follows several Reapers who collect souls, currently in a battle between good and evil – we all know how that goes. I’m also working on a historical novel about the life of Cartimandua, who was queen of a tribe called the Brigantes in Iron Age Britain. And finally, I’m working on that post-apocolyptic novel, but there’s no title for that yet!

The Athol Trilogy
Book 1
Miranda Stork

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Isara Press
Date of Publication: April 19th, 2012

ISBN: 978-1482795585
ASIN: B007VZO792

Number of pages: 297
Word Count: 80,924

Cover Artist: Miranda Stork

Book Description:

Erin is a young psychologist, with no time for anything but her work, and unable to remember anything about her past. She leads an uneventful life, but a lonely one, in which she secretly wishes for a soulmate...

Conner is an unusual patient who approaches her, thrusting her into a strange world of darkness that runs beneath our own. He believes himself to be a creature of legend-a werewolf. But he also draws Erin with a roguish charm, and an irresistible feeling that seems to bind them together...

Conner desperately tries to save her from an unknown evil that pursues her with a relentless passion that crosses centuries, an evil that once took her very soul away, somewhere in Erin's lost memories.

As she becomes more entwined in a series of events that will remind her of who she really is, will she make it away from the oncoming darkness unscathed...?

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Erin tossed and turned. Her bed sheets were tussled up, one pillow lying on the floor as she shifted her limbs in anguish. She was not sleeping well tonight.

...Something raced towards her, crashing through the branches and leaves. She was sobbing and running as fast as she could, but she was cold and wet, and her feet were cut and bleeding. Her clothes hung off her, soaked until they became dead weights.

A small clearing lit with brilliant sunshine danced in front of her, teasing her with the sight. She ran towards it, trying to scream for help, but her mouth was full of cotton wool, and no sound came out.
Behind her, the breathing and snarling became louder and louder until it filled and echoed in her ears. Frantic, she looked around for somewhere to hide, but all she could see were trees—no, wait! There was a small hut!

Crying with happiness, Erin sprinted towards it, but she was knocked flying by something large and dark.

She turned to stare, and backed away in panic. An eight-foot black creature with burning amber eyes glared at her.

“You must never go inside! NEVER!”

Erin shot bolt upright, cold sweat dripping from her forehead and running into her eyes. She took a deep breath shakily, and snapped her bedside light on, the reassuring light flooding her bedroom.

“Oh, Erin,” she murmured to herself, wiping the sweat from her brow with a shaking hand. Glancing around her warm, safe bedroom, she relaxed and breathed in deeply. She felt stupid for taking in Conner’s stories so much. She glanced over at the clock and groaned at the early hour.

Still trembling, she slid out of bed and reached for her pink silk dressing gown. She pulled it on with a wide yawn, shaking her head to wake herself up before making her way downstairs.  Her wool carpet felt rough and very real beneath her bare feet, the perfect antidote to help bring her back into the real world. Traipsing through the silent house, she pattered through into her kitchen.

Snapping the fluorescent above on, Erin waited as its humming light came to life, allowing her to see the small kitchen, blinking at the brightness. Its tiled floors and white walls stung her sleep-deprived eyes for a moment, but Erin shuffled across the tiles to open one of her maple cupboard doors, feeling her way around the kitchen table in the centre. The door squeaked in protest on its hinges as she reached inside to take out a glass. Her eyelids heavy, she paced over to her kitchen sink, and ran water into the glass. The cool water filled up with a gurgle that only made her thirstier.

A quick movement in the shadows outside of her kitchen window caught her eye, and she darted her head up for a look, scanning the blackness of her small garden. Her heart thudded into life, hammering against her ribs in a warning staccato. Squinting harder, she leaned against the glass, her breath steaming the reflective surface up. Nothing moved, not even a wind danced across the stalks of grass outside.

“It must have been a cat or something,” Erin muttered to herself. She turned away from the window, scooping up her glass once more to take a sip, when she thought she heard a thump from outside again. It was quiet, so quiet she wondered if it had simply been the pipes all along. Her skin prickled as she listened intently, so intently that the next thump against her kitchen wall brought a sharp gasp from her.

“Alright, what the hell is that?” Erin said aloud, more bravely than she felt. She slammed her glass down on her kitchen table, the clanging noise serving only to heighten the tension. Stories about women who lived alone and ended up as a victim raced through her brain. Shaking those thoughts from her head, she slowly made her way towards the back door. Her head ached with the pressure of her pulse against her temples as she took a deep breath and unlocked her back door, flinging it wide open. As she gazed out, her eyes adjusting to the meagre light from behind, her throat dried with panic. She didn’t expect to see anything. Maybe teenagers messing around. But not this.

Standing less than six feet away from her door was a large, black wolf-like creature. It stood on four paws, but two glaring eyes focussed on Erin, very human and aware. It rose up slowly onto its back feet as it continued to stare at Erin, daring her to defy it standing there and dismiss it as shadows.
Erin froze for a second, the blood draining from her body in an icy rush. The wind blew between her and the creature chillingly, echoing the dream-like state she felt. Her tongue was dry and swollen—even if she had tried to call for help, her throat would never have formed the words. The creature moved a fraction forwards, and her sense of self-preservation snapped back into life as she moved, swiftly slamming the door shut. She fumbled hurriedly with her lock, and stepped backwards towards the hallway, switching the fluorescent off by accident as her hand slid along the wall. She tripped over a chair leg, unable to see in the dark, and cried out as she hit the hard floor.

Shaking and winded, she crawled backwards to the hallway, hitting the far kitchen wall instead. Sobbing noiselessly, she reached up onto the top next to her. She moved her fingers gingerly until she touched one of her kitchen knives, left on the top from when she had made her dinner. There is no way on Earth this is real. I’m still in my nightmare. I’m still in my nightmare. I’m going to wake up in a moment. Clutching the knife to her chest, she swallowed back a cry, glancing back towards the kitchen window. What if there are more of them?

Outside, she heard the creature breathing heavily, snarling and snuffling at her doorstep. Erin yanked her knees up until she was in a foetal position, tirelessly glancing between the door and the uncovered window.  Hours passed, until eventually she heard the creature padding off, her head swimming with fatigue. Erin stayed up for what felt like hours, listening for the creature coming back, eventually falling into an uneasy sleep.

About the Author:

I'm Miranda Stork, and I'm addicted. Addicted to writing and reading books, anyway. And chocolate, but that's another issue - no interventions, please.

I live in the middle of a forest in North Yorkshire, spending my spare time as the wild woman of the woods, scaring small children and upsetting the sheep. On the days that I feel like being civilized, or I haven't got any unicorns to ride, I sit down and pour the tumbling thoughts in my head out onto digital paper. Mainly the thoughts and characters come out in paranormal form, with a good smattering of romance, because everyone likes a good cuddle. But you can also find strong elements of thrillers, myths, and even dystopia amongst the pages of all my novels. I've wanted to write books ever since I first realised that fairytales were not the newspapers of the fairy kingdom, but the imaginings of actual people who wanted to tell fancy made-up stories to other people. From that moment, I was hooked.

Why do I write? Good question. It might be easier to just keep the stories in my head, or even just to write them for myself. But I want to share them. There is no greater delight for a writer than when a reader devours your book, and declares, "Something in that novel resonated with me. And I want MORE." So grab your lucky clover and a baseball bat (there's some nasty paranormal creatures where we're going), eat the cookie with 'eat me' tagged on it, and enter through the tiny door into the world of Miranda Stork...


Reviewers Love Conner

"5 stars! One of the best novels I have read all year!" 
--Nicole Hill, Author of Legacy Forgotten, 5 Stars

"You are hooked whether you like it or not! A great read." 
--Maxi Shelton, Author of Sold Into Marriage, 5 Stars

"'Conner' took me on a wild, fantastic and exciting ride!" 
--Trish Marie Dawson, Author of 'The Station' Series, 5 Stars

"Conner is a must read for all werewolf fans. It has a fresh spin on wolves, 
and I thought it was great." 
--Fictional Candy, 4 Stars 

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