This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Witches Be Burned by Stacey Kennedy


Witches Be Burned is a well-crafted paranormal romance.  Initially, I wondered how I would keep all the characters straight.  There is an index of characters involved in the series.  Also, Kennedy made it easy to follow who did what. 

Kyden, a heroic and Elite Guardian, is on a mission to find out who the vampire is whom tore apart the mortals with no regard for a simple meal of blood.

Nexi, a Spirit Witch and new to the council, is Kyden’s love match.  She wants to use her powers to help find and fight the vampire.  Kyden would prefer she stay at a safe distance.

Most of the conflict is between the Good and the Bad of the Earthworld and Otherworld, yet I find little conflict between Kyden’s and Nexi’s romance other than the possibilities of them losing the battle.    

I enjoyed the multiple werewolves, witches, and other paranormal beings and their quandaries.  I would have liked more conflict in the love between Kyden and Nexi.  Although, I must say the intimate moments between Kyden and Nexi were heart racing!


Happy reading,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Interview with Patrizia Murray

Alexis: Today we are chatting with Contemporary Romance author Patrizia Murray  

What was the strangest thing that inspired a story for you?

Patrizia: My husband & I met on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. The occasion was a wiener Roast for my whole office. We were all adults, & had a lot of liquor, but we had designated drivers, & no one was drunk or disorderly. However, it happened that the spot in the country we had chosen for our gathering was on Indian land, & we were raided by the RCMPolice (in Canada) They confiscated all our liquor & stayed to make sure we all vacated the area. There are laws that state non-residents of the reservation can’t bring booze onto the reservation. This was the basis of my first novel, Mia’s Blind Date.

Alexis: How long did it take you to write your most recent release? Why?

Patrizia: I’m a very fast & prolific writer. I am an avowed pantser, & suffer somewhat from ADD. I write the way I read, working on several books at once. When I get stuck on a scene or direction for one, I Just start working on another book for a while till I get stuck on that one. I’m usually working on 3-5 books at a time. I publish 5-6 books a year, between my two names. The shortest time I have worked on a book is 48 hours, when I wrote my book on 9/11, & the longest maybe a year, working sporadically elapsed time is different, as I have a full time job, so have to fit writing in when I can. If I could work on a book every day, I think it would only take me a couple of weeks to finish.

Alexis: Everyone has their own writing process…how they come up with ideas, how they name their characters, how they choose the setting. Can you describe your writing process?

Patrizia: I name my characters by choosing given names from my husband’s & My family trees. I get surnames from towns, neighborhoods & areas where I grew up. I choose settings from my past, my home town, my grandparents’ & other relatives’ towns where I spent time growing up, my college city, my current home town & surrounding towns, & places I have visited. I don’t really have a writing process per se. Stories spring from my mind almost fully formed & I can’t get the words down as fast as my mind can make them up. I once had a dream of an opening scene, which I used for Lucinda’s Grooms. Once I had that opening scene, the rest of the book just wrote itself. I only wish I had more time to get the words down on paper. I already have two more sequels to Lucinda fully formed in my mind, at least two more in my Olympic series, & three more in the Ladies Who Lunch series. One thing I do as a process, is write the main story as quickly as possible, without much dialog or description. Then once that’s done, I start at the beginning and add all the dialog & description, which usually doubles the word count. Then I start at the beginning again, looking for continuity, whether the story flows well, & how everything fits together.

Alexis: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Patrizia: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. News & sports stories, newspaper columns, essays, speeches for politicians, editorials, textbooks, blogs, grant proposals, you name it. However, I only started writing fiction about five years ago. I wish I had done this years ago.

Alexis: What made you chose your titles?

Patrizia: Most of my titles have a woman’s name in them. Justine’s Auction, Mia’s Blind Date, Freddi’s Collection. That’s for continuity between the books, although all are stand-alone. there are other titles, but the majority have my heroines’ names.

Alexis: Patrizia, thank you so much for visiting Happily Ever After Thoughts. It was a pleasure to have you.

About Patrizia:
Patrizia Murray is the pseudonym of an Arizona columnist, editorialist, and reporter, an author of essays, poetry and children’s stories, and published song writer. She loves sunshine, family, Christmas, golfing, reading, cooking, entertaining, all kinds of music, (especially classical, which she listens to while writing), singing, playing piano, bridge, and attending live theater and concerts. She is married with one son, and tries to write at least two hours a day, when not working in her husband’s business, and enjoying her other interests.  or or  Facebook.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Saturday Chores

If you’re a regular follower of my blog here on Happily Ever After Thoughts then you all know what a creature of habit and routine I am (really, it’s the only way to get everything done WITHOUT forgetting anything!). Saturdays, after a long week at the day job, are usually reserved for cleaning house (you know, dusting and such…although why I bother I don’t know…I live in Arizona…you dust and five minutes later, you have to dust again!) and doing laundry and I try to start as early in the morning as I can. Oh, there are a few Saturdays here and there where I’m out of the house first thing (and I love those Saturdays because I meet friends for breakfast) BUT the chores and the laundry always get done on Saturday (Sunday is reserved for other chores).
            However……this past Saturday, I…broke my routine (I know, you’re gasping right now, surprised and shocked!). Yup, stepped right out of that habit and didn’t clean the house (until Sunday….I did do laundry because, well….laundry waits for nothing).
            What did I do instead, you’re asking (still flabbergasted I could do such a thing)? I read. An entire book! Okay, so it was one of mine, but still….it had to be done. I hadn’t looked at it or touched it since the beginning of 2008 because that’s when it was first published but I’ve since had my rights returned to me so I read it again to get it ready to be released again.
            Two things occurred to me while I read Angel in the Moonlight for the first time in seven years: I still really liked the story and got caught up in it once again (like it was brand new and written by a stranger), but the most amazing thing (and yeah, this surprised me, but really, I’m such a sucker/sap for that happily ever after that I shouldn’t have been surprised)….I cried at the end. I KNOW! I cried….sniffles, tears and everything! It was not pretty!
            So if you want a chance to cry over a happily ever after like I did, Angel In the Moonlight will be available on Amazon soon (with a beautiful new cover).
            And now, back to my usual routine….

As always, happy reading!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Martini Club 4 – The 1920s

Martini Club 4 – The 1920s

Amanda McCabe, Alicia Dean, Kathy L Wheeler and Krysta Scott have a unique friendship. Yes, they are all romance writers, and at different stages in their writing careers. But every Friday night, schedules permitting, they meet at the Martini Lounge in Edmond, Oklahoma where they chitchat, plan retreats to get away and for just a general get away. Over a period of time the idea to create a series of stories where the Martini Lounge would serve as a backdrop—well, as writers, that was inevitable. So here we are with our first go at it. Welcome to 1920s New York City where four young women run away from England excited to make their own way in a new world.

All four stories are now available for the pre-order price of **$0.99** until February 26, 2015, the official release.

Rebellious: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Amanda McCabe

Blurb: Can an aristocratic lady melt the cold heart of a Russian gangster? 

Lady Jessica Hatton fled her high-society London debutante life for one of investigative journalism in New York—only to be relegated to the fashion pages. Searching for a juicy story leads her to Club 501, the city's most glamorous speakeasy—and its handsome, mysterious owner, Frank Markov. But his past of war and revolution puts their hearts—and their lives—in danger... 

Excerpt: “Do you smell that, Meggie?” Jessica Hatton cried as she leaned into the cold, salt spray wind, her t-strap shoes perched on the lowest rung of the ship's railing.  She'd lost her hat, and the short strands of her hair blew into her eyes, but she didn't care.  England was far behind them.  They had escaped.
          “It smells like freedom!” she shouted, and threw up her arms.  It felt like she could fly all the way to America.
          “I only smell old fish,” Meggie said.  “Now come down from there, Jess.  If you tumble into the drink, it will all be over before it even starts.”
          Jessica laughed and shook her head, but she did climb down.  She spun around to see Meggie stretched out on one of the deck chairs, the glossy mink collar of her coat drawn close around her.
          The sky was grey and dismal-looking, the water not as glassy-smooth as when they slid past Ireland yesterday and headed out to open sea.  Several of the passengers had retreated to their cabins, but Jessica couldn't stand staying inside.  Not when there was so much to be seen.
          “It smells like fish and freedom,” Jessica insisted.  “But we can go in now.  Maybe Charlotte and Eliza will want to play some cards or mah-jong.”
          “Finally,” Meggie grumbled as she swung her feet down to the damp deck.  But her smile was broad.  Jessica knew Meggie was loving it all just as much as she was.
Bio: Amanda McCabe wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen--a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject...)
She's never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOK Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Oklahoma with a menagerie of two cats, a Pug, and a very bossy miniature Poodle, along with far too many books. 
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network--even though she doesn't cook. 

Ruined: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Alicia Dean

Blurb: She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans... 

After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped. 

Former boxer, Vince “The Fist” Taggart dreams of marrying, having a family, and living a quiet, peaceful life. But when a girl he's known since childhood disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza is the key to finding his missing friend. 

Excerpt: Eliza lifted her gaze, then looked away when she met his eyes. They were just too…striking, too blue. “I’m afraid you’ll have to speak to Oscar. He handles all my transactions.” She could never have a normal outing with a man. A lump of regret rose in her throat. She turned and started up the stairs.
Vince caught up to her in a few steps and grabbed her arm, taking the bag from her at the same time. “That was a lousy thing to say.”
She opened her mouth to accuse him of going around Oscar so he didn’t have to pay. But that was ridiculous. He hadn’t taken what he’d paid for the first time. She lifted a hand and rubbed her forehead. His attention confused her. What was his angle? He didn’t want sex. Did he think she was hiding something about Cynthia and if he spent time with her he could draw it out? “What do you want from me?”
“A picnic.”

Bio: Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.
Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

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Reckless: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Kathy L Wheeler

Blurb: Lady Margaret turned Lady Bootlegger… 

Singer Margaret (Meggie) Montley needs money…fast. Her friend is in a dire situation with nowhere to turn. While Meggie is on the brink of stardom, it’s not soon enough to save her friend. 

Harry Dempsey is out to avenge the deaths of his father and brother at the hands of a ruthless gangster. But trouble spirals out of control when Meggie Montley shows up the night he meets his nemesis to settle the score. Saving the impetuous woman from a crime lord might be easier than saving her from her own reckless behavior. 

Excerpt: Meggie launched herself from her hiding place and threw her arms about Harry’s neck. Locked in his muscular embrace, she rested her chin on his shoulder. His arms tightened around her. “Oh, Harry. I came as fast as I could. Just as we’d planned.” The words, she’d intended to carry, came out breathless.
“Fast, huh?” The whisper was against her ear where no one else could hear, raised goose prickles over her entire body. “Guess I’ll have to do something about that.” He lifted his head. “What are you doing with my girl, Joe?”
Joey’s hands flew into the air, indicating his surrender. “Sorry, Dempsey. Had no idea she was anyone’s quiff—” 
Meggie’s cheeks burned, and she stiffened at the insult. Harry’s one arm gripped her closer. The other shot up, jerking her body like a rag doll. She couldn’t see Harry’s face with her own now buried in his neck, but she felt the corded muscles contract.

Bio: Kathy L Wheeler (also known as Kae Elle Wheeler) writes both Contemporary and Historical Romance. She was born in Presque Isle, Maine.  How she ended up in Texas, then Oklahoma is as much a mystery to her as anyone. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a BA in Management Information Systems and a minor in Vocal Music.
She is published through The Wild Rose Press. She loves to travel.  Ports of call include a three week stint in Europe covering Madrid, Barcelona, Avignon, Paris, Koln, Amsterdam and London.  Other exciting places she’s visited are Grand Cayman, Puerta Vallerta, Mexico, Vancouver, Canada, and roaming from one romance writing conference to another nationwide.  You may have met her in Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, New York or Atlanta.  She is a member of the Oklahoma RWA Chapter, Dara, and The Beau Monde. Kathy lives with her musically talented husband in Edmond, Oklahoma. They have one grown daughter and one bossy cat, Carly!
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Runaway: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Krysta Scott

Blurb: Can she prove her innocence before more than her dreams are destroyed? 

After escaping an arranged marriage, Lady Charlotte Leighton lands on a new shore, determined to realize her dream of opening her own bakery. But her plans are shattered when her former fiancĂ© follows her to New York. Now, she finds herself in a fight for her freedom. 

Haunted by a string of failures, Detective Felix Noble is determined to solve his latest case. But his efforts to find a murderer are jeopardized by a forbidden attraction to his number one suspect. While he’s certain Charlotte Leighton is keeping secrets, instinct tells him she’s not the murderess he first believed. 

Excerpt: Long thin fingers curled around a glass and lifted it from the tray. Charli followed the direction of the drink. Derrick Chaunce, or as the local duffs referred to him, “Slick”, grinned, exposing yellowed teeth.
“You … You…” Her throat closed. The rest of her diatribe wouldn’t budge.
He winked. His thin hair slicked back in the latest fashion exaggerated the gaunt cheekbones and sunken eyes, tinging him with an unhealthy, dilapidated look. He gulped the whiskey. A bit of the amber liquid escaped through the gap in his teeth and down his chin. Her stomach lurched.
“Thank you, sweet cakes. Put it on my tab.” He skulked off.
Charli whirled around. How did the bounder get past Tiny? Ira fumed about customers who ran up a high tab without reconciling at the end of the night. Now she would have to explain yet another charge added to Slick’s mounting debt. She sighed and rolled her eyes to the heavens. The customer was always right. Even when they were wrong.

Bio: Krysta Scott is a family law attorney in her false life. After years of writing and winning contests, she is now taking the plunge into publishing. A fan of sci-fi and dark stories surrounding people in crisis, she also enjoys way too much TV including Vampire Diaries, Breaking Bad, and Sherlock. Runaway is her breakout story.

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