At times I'm a romance writer, and at other times I'm a mystery writer. But no matter the genre, I tend to blend romance and mystery together. Which is what happened in Mostaccioli Murder. While there is a mystery to be solved, there is a romance thread that weaves through the book. It creates a new dimension for the characters and balances out the book. Best part, the preorder is only 99 cents until it goes live 12/10/2020. Get the promo price while you can.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
(Vampires in Europe, Book 14)
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~ TAKE A SNEAK PEEK~
Catalonia, Spain, 1859
XAVIER FLORES Prospero raced into Barcelona far ahead of his companions. He’d been in Madrid when he’d known, just known, that his Sire was dead. Every vampire on the continent would have known that someone powerful had died, but Xavier had known who it was—Vampire Lord, the Lord of Spain, Josep Alexandre, centuries old, a power beyond reckoning, and in an instant, he was gone. Xavier’s grief had been real, his fury unmatched. For if Josep was dead, someone had killed him. And that someone was now Lord of Spain, except . . . . His far-reaching sensitivity to the balance of power told him that the vampire who’d murdered Josep was too weak to rule, unable to contain the power released with the vampire lord’s death. And that left the territory leaderless, its vampires desperate and gasping for the strength and leadership they needed to survive.
By all accounts, the murderous fool had managed to escape the city before being killed himself, but the result had been utter carnage, as one vampire after another went on a killing spree in a bid for power. No one had managed to hold the territory—which encompassed all of Spain—for longer than a few days. Xavier hadn’t needed anyone to tell him the territory was in crisis. He was powerful enough to sustain himself and his vampire children without a vampire lord’s assistance, but most vampires weren’t. In every city and village he’d passed through on his race back to Barcelona—every place where one or more vampires had lived—he’d had to linger long enough to revive dying vampires, to share his blood and make them his, to save their lives.
And still the challenges and killings continued. It was a constant noise in his head, his instinct straining to forge a connection to one new ruler after another.
But he’d finally reached Barcelona, the center of Spain’s vampires because it had been Josep’s home for the hundreds of years he’d ruled. Racing down the crowded streets, Xavier ignored angry shouts and thrown objects from pedestrians protesting his horse’s thundering passage, until he pounded through the gates of Josep’s home, his mount’s hooves skidding on the polished stone in front of the dead vampire lord’s mansion.
Leaving the horse to the care of his companions, who’d been close behind him when they’d drawn even with the city and would arrive soon enough, he stormed up the steps two at a time and walked into a bloodbath.
The entrance hall, once a gaudy excess of gild and crystal, now stank of old blood and worse, much worse. The pink marble that had been imported from Italy to grace the floor was now dark red with blood stains, the grooves between the huge slabs still slick and shining. Jesu Crist, how many had died here? And why? Vampires didn’t bleed like that when they died, which meant humans had been slaughtered like cattle to feed . . . hell, he didn’t know whom. The instincts that had told him the territory was in turmoil hadn’t provided any names. It didn’t work like that.
Xavier walked deeper into the mansion, more cautious now. If vampires had been reduced to butchering humans, there was no telling what state they were in. He was confident enough in his ability to destroy anyone who dared attack him, but he wouldn’t enjoy having some feral beast of a vampire launch itself at him from hiding and sink fangs into his flesh. Dios mio, wasn’t that a disgusting thought?
He turned and found Chuy, his lieutenant and the first of his vampire children, moving slowly into the room, his expression reflecting the same revulsion that Xavier himself was feeling.
“Walk carefully, Chuy. I don’t know what’s going on here, but there are almost certainly a few mad ones lurking about.”
“Where will you go, my lord?”
“There’s only one choice, my friend. Forward.” At a grim nod from his lieutenant, Xavier strode deeper into the wrecked mansion, confident that his back was covered.
“Xavier.” A familiar figure appeared in the open doors to what had been Josep’s drawing room.
“Dênis.” It was an effort to keep the dislike from his voice, for all that he and this vampire shared the same Sire, and had lived in Josep’s court at the same time. “You’re alive.”
Dênis gave an elegant shrug. “The one who killed Josep was not a serious, or even intentional, contender for the territory.”
“What does that mean?”
“He attended one of Josep’s weekday receptions. You remember the kind. No one of significance ever bothered, but our Sire felt the need to socialize with the common man . . . for reasons of his own,” he added in distaste. “The assassin, for that’s what he was, maneuvered close to Josep and detonated some sort of magical device. It killed Josep instantly, along with several other vampires. And a few humans,” he said offhandedly.
“Magic. Are you certain?”
“Oh, yes. There was another sorcerer in the crowd. You know, the one who gained such favor with Josep when he restored Sakal’s magic.”
“Sakal?” he repeated and immediately wondered if the sorcerer was involved in this. He’d never forgiven Josep for making him Vampire. But that had been well over one hundred and fifty years ago. Had Sakal been plotting his revenge all this time? “Was Sakal at the reception that day?” he asked Dênis.
“No, he left two days prior for France, with Josep’s permission.”
“And where were you?”
Dênis chuckled. “I didn’t hire the assassin.”
“But you didn’t try to stop him, either, did you? Why did you not protect our Sire, as I would have?”
“You were always his favorite, Xavier. The one who had free access to the most beautiful women, the best horses and accommodations. Did you ever consider what it was like for the rest of us?”
“You let him die.”
“And now Spain is mine.”
“Do you believe you can hold it?” Xavier sneered. “Against me? There was a reason that Josep favored me.”
The other vampire’s expression hardened. “You’ll bow to me before the end. I might even make you kiss my feet.”
He snorted his opinion of that. “How many challengers have you killed so far?”
“More than I can remember. It’s amazing the weaklings who think they can hold power.”
Xavier stared at him lazily. “Yes, it is.”
Dênis growled, fangs bare. “Leave or challenge, you bastard.”
“I’m not the bastard here, Dênis,” he said. “Shall we do this in the courtyard? This building stinks of old blood.”
“Those refined senses of yours too delicate for a little blood?”
“Not as long as it’s yours.” An instant later the defensive shields he’d created from the power of his blood alone sizzled to life, as he deflected the spear of pure energy aimed at his chest. But it hadn’t come from Dênis. He swung his gaze to the right and caught a flash of blond hair. Sending a focused rope of his power to wrap about the fleeing vampire’s throat, he dragged the attacker back into sight.
The vampire emitted a high-pitched whine, struggling to grip the invisible rope around his neck, his eyes rolling white with terror as he silently begged Dênis for aid. Xavier could have told him no help would be coming. Dênis had never cared for those who looked to him for protection. Not even when the one seeking help had risked his life to help Dênis.
“It was a foolish move,” Xavier told the whining vampire. “Did Dênis tell you it would work? That your pitiful attack would be the distraction that gave him the kill? That you’d earn his favor and reward after he was made vampire lord?”
The pathetic vamp had pink tears running down his cheeks, when his gaze switched to Xavier, pleading for his life.
“Will you save him, Dênis? Please, proceed. I’ll wait.”
Dênis’s gaze filled with furious hatred for Xavier. Without so much as a glance, he flicked a hand at the begging vampire. A moment later the pleading vamp fell to the floor, blood soaking his shirt an instant before he fell into a greasy pile of skin and bone that betrayed his youth.
“And that,” Xavier said, pointing at what was left of a vampire who’d been loyal enough to risk his life for his master, “is why you will never be Lord of Spain.”
Dênis’s grin was a vicious baring of teeth. “No. That is why I will wade through your dust to the throne.” A crackling sword of flame shot from his hand as he moved with vampire speed, appearing so close that when he swung the blade, it would have taken Xavier’s head had he not snapped his shields up.
“You never did have a sense of honor,” Xavier said almost cheerfully as he formed his own blade, this one burning blue and gleaming like the finest carbon steel. “Don’t worry. You’ll be too dead to crawl.”
They fought blade to blade at first, fire against steel, heat against ice. Xavier could have taken his opponent in the first few minutes, but it had been a long ride to get there, and his muscles needed warming. And so he fought until he saw sweat beginning to roll down Dênis’s face, until he noted the strikes coming a little slower, carrying a little less force. Until he saw the knowledge in the other vampire’s eyes. Death was imminent, and so unnecessary.
“You should have fled in shame after permitting our Sire to die,” Xavier said.
“O diabo te leva,” Dênis snarled.
Xavier laughed. “The devil? It’s not me he’s after.” In an instant, he’d shifted from the almost comfortable strike, parry, strike they’d been exchanging. Knocking Dênis’s fiery blade aside with a casual blow, he spun the length of his own gleaming weapon in midair, sliced through his enemy’s neck, and stepped back to watch as the vampire’s gaze recognized his own death, then disintegrated into dust.
Xavier took the wet cloth Chuy offered him. Dênis had been old enough that his death was fairly tidy. But he’d been a big man—not tall, but thickly built—and Josep’s mansion had always been drafty. The dust that had been Dênis floated through the air.
“What now?” Chuy asked, taking the cloth and throwing it aside. This room . . . hell, the entire mansion, was so wrecked that one more piece of debris would hardly matter.
Xavier sighed. He’d hoped to rest in Josep’s basement quarters, but though he hadn’t yet made it downstairs, he doubted it was safe for anyone—human or vampire. “We’ll try my townhouse. It’s been some time since I was in this city. It may have escaped notice. The others?” he added, referring to the two vampires and one human who’d accompanied him to the city.
“Waiting outside, my lord. They have your horse.”
“Good. Let’s go. There’s nothing here for anyone.” It made him sad to realize that was true. He hadn’t cared anything for Josep’s riches. But seeing all this destruction somehow brought the loss home to him, made it real. His Sire was forever gone. And he would miss him.
The trip across the city to the townhouse where Xavier had lived for years, before his growing power had forced him to leave Josep’s city, was mostly uneventful. One misguided vampire chose to confront him, stepping out from a narrow and dark alley to issue his challenge. Xavier was tired and more than a little sad, but he stepped off his horse, handed the reins to Chuy, then confronted the foolish vamp. Without ceremony, and certainly without any resort to his vampire magic, he took two steps, pulled the excellent, but very ordinary, sword from the tooled, leather sheath at his hip and ran it through the challenger’s heart. The vampire’s eyes went wide in surprise, and a little betrayal, Xavier thought. Had he expected a magical battle, rather than cold steel? And had he believed he could win?
He sighed, took back the reins from his lieutenant, and mounted his horse. He wondered sometimes at the foolish arrogance of so many vampires, the ones whose Sires seemed to have taught them nothing of the world. Vampirism gave them a bounty of gifts—greater strength, enhanced senses, virtual immortality. But it bestowed those same gifts on every vampire. And as with every creature in nature, the strong would always triumph over the weak.
He was relieved, when they arrived at the townhouse, to see it undisturbed and intact. He paid a local retainer to see to it, but when one was absent for months at a time, all manner of destruction could occur.
As the sun rose and he drifted into his much needed daytime rest, he thought about the future, and knew two things. He would face more challenges in the coming days, but in but in the end, he would triumph and become the new Lord of Spain.
~ MEET THE AUTHOR~
D. B. REYNOLDS arrived in sunny Southern California at an early age, having made the trek across the country from the Midwest in a station wagon with her parents, her many siblings and the family dog. And while she has many (okay, some) fond memories of Midwestern farm life, she quickly discovered that L.A. was her kind of town and grew up happily sunning on the beaches of the South Bay.
Book One of her Vampires in America series, RAPHAEL, launched her career as a writer in 2009, while JABRIL, Vampires in America Book Two, was awarded the RT Reviewers Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance (Small Press) in 2010. She holds graduate degrees in international relations and history from UCLA (go Bruins!) and was headed for a career in academia, but in a moment of clarity she left behind the politics of the hallowed halls for the better paying politics of Hollywood, where she worked as a sound editor for several years, receiving two Emmy nominations, an MPSE Golden Reel and multiple MPSE nominations for her work in television sound.
D. B. currently lives in a flammable canyon near the Malibu coast. When she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. You can visit D. B. at her website www.dbreynolds.com for information on her latest books, contests and giveaways.
~ CONTACT LINKS~
Friday, October 23, 2020
Today, I wanted to share another Facebook Party Giveaway I will be participating in for Halloween. On Wednesday, October 28th, The Midnight in the Gardens Reader Group will be hosting a huge party with over 80 paranormal and suspense authors. The party will run ALL DAY and there will be lots of book giveaways!! Make sure to stop in and check it out.
Mark your calendars and make sure to join the group in order to participate! Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
just maybe, the new words are better than the old (but I am my own worst critic when it comes to that). I’m liking the story very much, which is unusual. By this point―the dreaded, saggy middle—I’m normally having serious doubts. Not so this time. Maybe losing the words and having to re-write them was a blessing in disguise, though I wouldn’t recommend it.
Monday, October 19, 2020
I'm excited today to be interviewing Lisa Fishback, who currently resides in Texas.
Lexi: How did you get into reading romance novels?
Lisa: My sister was reading Harlequin, so I started reading them around 13-14 years old. She also introduced me to other authors over the years. Her best suggestion to date was Lexi Post.
Lexi: You are so sweet! I’m thrilled that you like my stories. 💙
Lexi: What are you proud of?
Lisa: Two things ~ my son and my career. My son is 33 years old and a very successful business banker. I was a single mother and let me tell you that is not an easy job, especially puberty years. That is a hard thing on a person but harder on the parent! I could not be prouder of the man he has become. As for my career, I have been in the travel industry for 36 years and with my current company for 30 years. I love my job and feel blessed every day. I have been to many great destinations because of this career and have never taken that for granted. We live on a great planet and I encourage everyone to travel!
Lexi: Your son sounds wonderful! I knew about your career as it was my inspiration for Angela in Heart of Frankenstein. But didn’t realize you’d been in that job for 30 years! Wow!
Lexi: What is your favorite color?
Lisa: Orange because it is such a happy color.
Lexi: That’s my husband’s favorite, too.
Lexi: What is your favorite book of mine? Why?
Lisa: I’m addicted to the Eden series, but my all-time favorite is Masque. I just love Synn and all the rooms, lessons learned, the many spirits involved; living and non-living.
Lexi: I’m humbled that it’s one of my books.
Lexi: Do you have any pets?
Lisa: 2 dogs. Misty is a 9-year-old Chinese Crested Powder Puff. She is smaller at 10 lbs than her breeds name is long! Nanu is a 2-year-old Morkie who weighs in at 6 lbs and is all kisses and snuggles. I always have 2 dogs. Dogs need dog companions as much as we need dog companions.
Lexi: What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Lisa: Don’t sweat the small stuff. In other words, if you can’t change it let it go. Hanging on to negative emotions is not healthy so think about it: Can you change the situation? If not, let it go and move on. This is a practice that does not come easy but when you do it often it becomes second nature to accomplish.
Lexi: I love that.
Lexi: If you could go on an all-expense-paid vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Lisa: Switzerland in general. Of all the places I’ve been this is my most favorite country. It is absolutely stunning in views, history, architecture, food. It has the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen.
Lexi: What’s your favorite holiday? Why?
Lisa: Thanksgiving. It was always my favorite time with my grandparents growing up and continues to be a favorite holiday focused on spending time with family and being grateful for our bond.
Lexi: Ok, time for the quick answer questions!
Spicy food or not spicy? Not
Beard or no beard? Beard
Hot weather or cold? Hot
Morning person or night person? Night
High heels or boots? Boots
Beach or mountains? Beach
Tattoos or no tattoos? Tattoos
Flip flops or sneakers? Flip Flops
Organized or chaotic mess? Organized
Sweet or salty? Salty
Lexi: Yay, this was fun! Thanks for talking with me today, Lisa. It was great learning more about you. 😊
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Wild Nights in Texas
(Lone Star Ridge, Book 3)
She can make Lone Star Ridge’s sheriff break every rule…
Meet The Author ~ USA Today bestselling author Delores Fossen is a former Air Force officer who's sold over 100 novels. She's received the Booksellers' Best Award for romantic suspense, the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award and was a finalist for the Rita ®. In addition, she's had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines. You can contact the author through her webpage.
Contact Links ~
Friday, October 16, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Are you ready to judge a book by its cover? There are some HOT covers here. But judge them for yourself! Is it hot in here??? Woo, baby!
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
A masterful historical romance from King Edward III's reign in the mid-thirteen hundreds.
Alice Perrers origin is not well documented and can only be guessed at. She has nothing and no rank in life, so she must survive by her own means.
King Edward III and Queen Phillipa have an arranged marriage, yet they truly love one another. Queen Phillipa's health is failing and her, so she remedies her inability to have physical relations with the King by finding Alice and setting her up as the King's concubine.
Alice is not well liked by the majority of the royal house, but King Edward won't let anything happen to her. Alice sets a plan with William de Windsor, possibly the love of her life, for when the King dies. She can only have confidence as the King's court accuses her with treason.
This is a remarkable rendition of an historical era of which records are not always complete. Anne O'Brien's research supplied her with gaps to fill in to create a dramatic story.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Today, I am excited to be interviewing Patty Way, who is talking with me from Pennsylvania.
And before we get started, I know your birthday is in October ~ so...Happy Birthday to you! 🎂 🎈
Lexi: How did you get into reading romance novels?
Patty: I've always been a reader. In school, I loved historical novels about royalty. Then I discovered Georgette Heyer at a bookstore when on vacation at the beach. From there, I moved on to Barbara Cartland, whose writing style was similar. Then I discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers and the rest of that group of romance writers.
Lexi: What are you good at?
Patty: I'm good at listening and offering suggestions. At work, my friends used to call me Dr. Way because I was their psychologist! I am also good at writing letters and keeping in touch with friends and organizing group events, such as group lunches, group vacations, I've even been a wedding planner and photographer for several friends' weddings. And I'm good at deciphering legal jargon, interpreting legalese into layman's terms, circumventing Medicare and health insurance issues for family members.
Lexi: It sounds like you were a very valued member of the office. People like you are needed in every office, I think. You are obviously a very good listener.
Lexi: What makes you happy?
Patty: The little things...Being outside, dreaming of living at the beach or being at the beach, warm and hot weather and high humidity, when I don't have to make decisions and when I have time to myself.
Lexi: I'm with you on the warm weather. It's one reason I moved to the Caribbean. If the healthcare had been better, I'd still be there!
Lexi: What types of romance do you like to read?
Patty: Historical, paranormal, time travel, and erotica (aka ~ mature adult).
Lexi: What are you proud of?
Patty: Working at the same place all my career (over 40 years) and being respected by and friends with the professionals (judges, attorneys, police) I worked with.
Lexi: What’s your average day look like?
Patty: Get up 6 - 6:30 a.m., breakfast and my time (reading, Facebook, emails, taking walk) until 1:00, when my brother and I get my mom (she's 99, has dementia, can not walk, can barely hear and is mostly incontinent) out of bed. I wash her, dress her, we get her on the potty chair, then to her chair. The afternoon is spent with me getting her lunch, eating with her (she takes most of the afternoon to eat) sitting with her, then getting supper for her, and helping her eat. After supper, I help her with her dentures, sit with her until around 7, then get her ready for bed. After she is in bed, 7:30 or 7:45, I still stay in the same room as her, usually on my laptop or watching t.v. My bedtime is between 11 and midnight. I sleep in the same room with her to make sure she is all right during the night.
Lexi: Wow, your day is full of giving to your mom. You are a saint. It's so wonderful of you to help her in her time of need.
Lexi: What is your favorite color?
Lexi: What is your favorite time of day?
Lexi: Do you have any pets?
Patty: Two cats - Punkin, a Maine Coon mix, and JJ, a small Tuxedo.
Lexi: Your two kitties are so precious!
Lexi: Are you single or in a relationship?
Lexi: What initially draws your interest to a book? (Author, cover, blurb, etc?)
Patty: Author and topic.
Lexi: Do you have a preference between e-books or paperbacks? Why?
Patty: Paperbacks, I read very few e-books.
Lexi: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Patty: I identify as an introvert but most consider me an extrovert.
Lexi: What is your most treasured possession?
Patty: Photos and personal items of my ancestors.
Lexi: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Patty: On the beach in a beach house where the weather is warm all year long.
Lexi: How often do you read?
Patty: As often as I can. 4 days of the week for an hour each time.
Lexi: What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Patty: Talk to my cats, get dressed, and drink coffee.
Lexi: You sound like me talking to the cat in the morning. 😀
Lexi: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Patty: “Be still and know that I am God; for lo, I am with you always.”
Lexi: What kind of car do you drive? If you had your choice, would it be that one or something different?
Patty? Jeep Patriot and Jeep Renegade.
Lexi: What did you think you'd be when you grew up?
Patty: Secretary, wife, and mother.
Lexi: What's your favorite holiday? Why?
Patty: Christmas. I love the Christmas season. The joy and merriment, shopping, happy people, decorating, and the feeling of good anticipation.
Lexi: Do you dream at night? Do you remember your dreams?
Patty: Yes, several times a night. Always in color and I do usually remember them.
Lexi: Patty, I loved learning more about you, thanks for sharing! Before I let you go, let's do the quickie questions.
Dark-haired hero or light-haired? Dark hair; long dark hair.
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate.
Hot and spicy or sweet and salty? Hot and spicy.
Spicy food or not spicy? Not too spicy.
Beard or no beard? Beard or 5 o'clock shadow.
Hot weather or cold? Hot.
Chest hair or no chest hair? Chest hair.
Morning person or night person? Morning.
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
High heels or boots? Boots.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Cats or dogs? Cats.
Hero with long hair or short? Long.
Rent or own? Own.
Working or retired? Retired.
Blonde heroine or brunette? Brunette.
Coor or eat out? Eat out.
Recliner or easy chair? Recliner.
Sweet or salty? Sweet.
Lexi: This has been great! Thanks again, and happy birthday! 😊