Thursday, September 30, 2021

Friends to the End Inspiration and Excerpts


I'm still celebrating the release of FRIENDS TO THE END. Today, I'm sharing a few new excerpts and the inspiration behind my brave protagonist.
The idea for the characters in this book came first. At the time, my sons had lost a few of their friends to various tragedies. Then there were nightly news stories about the senseless shootings of innocent people, some of the victims being children. Zachary Thompson was born from the idea of wanting to write a story that helped kids deal with loss, but I didn't want it to be an issues book. I wanted it to be a way to escape reality, even if just for a little while. The idea to tell Zach's story through a ghost story came later.

Friends to the End is a story about friendship, confronting one’s greatest fears, and finding the inner strength needed to face the unknown, which comes in handy when one fights ghosts. 

Peek between the pages:

One more peek between the pages...

My bewildered gaze slithered from Dom to Josh, finally coming to a stop on Morgan as I tried to decide if they were crazy.

“If the house is invisible, how do you expect to find it?” I asked.

Morgan sat on the stoop next to me. “It’s not always invisible. My brothers saw it once. They said it’s a big house with a long porch. It vanished before they could set foot on the first step, and I’m glad, too.”

“Why? What would have happened if they were on the steps?” I asked. Not because I believed an old ghost story had any truth to it, but I was curious to know what she’d say.

Morgan had to pick her jaw up from the walkway before she could answer, and when she did her voice came out in a high-pitched squeak. “If they had been on the porch or worse—” she swallowed loudly “—inside, they would have disappeared with it.”


Did I mention there's still time to enter the release celebration giveaway? 

Friends to the End
C.L. Colyer
Publication date: September 27th 2021
Genres: Action, Adventure, Middle-Grade, Supernatural

Zach doesn’t believe in ghosts…but he should.

Twelve-year-old Zach is convinced he’ll never be happy without his best friend Jeremy by his side. But both of their lives changed with a bang five months ago, and as far as Zach’s concerned, it’s his fault Jeremy will never see his twelfth birthday.

When Zach moves with his family to a Chicago suburb, he quickly becomes friends with a group of thrill-seeking kids trying to find a disappearing haunted house. But Zach’s not worried. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, so he follows them into a wild, dangerous encounter that becomes a battle to decide what’s real and what’s not.

Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble


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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Chatting with Jill Piscitello, author of Homemakers’ Christmas

I'm thrilled to have Jill Piscitello with me today. She has a sweet holiday romance available this holiday season, and I'm excited to learn more about Jill and Homemaker's Christmas. So without further ado.

Hi Jill! Thanks for being with us today. Can you tell us what are you working on now?

My novella, Tinsel and Tea Cakes, is in the final stage of editing. This novella will be included in the Christmas Cookies Series published by The Wild Rose Press. I’m also in the final stages of editing a cozy mystery manuscript.

How fun! I'm looking forward to hearing more about your WIP! What are you reading?

I’m currently reading One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. I love all things mystery and am thoroughly enjoying the first installment of this series.

What are you passionate about?

Literacy – At the moment, STEM is front and center. The value of a STEM curriculum is indisputable. However, literacy is the foundation of everything. Reading comprehension and the ability to communicate in writing impacts success in every other subject.

Now, for the speed round...

eBook, paperback, or audiobook? Dog-eared paperbacks

Favorite season? Colorful, Crisp Fall

Dogs or cats? Cats, Cats, Cats

Night on the town or cozy evening in? Cozy evening in

Favorite fictional world? Gilmore Girls Fall

Stilettos or flipflops or sneakers? Slippers

Cake, cookies, or pie? Chocolate chip cookies

Favorite junk food? Salt and vinegar chips

Favorite thing to do to relax? Nature walks

Beach or mountains? Beach

Thanks for being with us!!

Homemakers’ Christmas
Author: Jill Piscitello
Genre: Sweet Holiday Romance


A recent error in judgement has deposited Cricket Williams, her daughter, and a son spiking a high fever into a homeless shelter. A touch of Christmas magic is sprinkled upon her family when an eccentric volunteer invites them into her New England farmhouse. Blindsided with the proposition of a contractual living arrangement, Cricket is seized with renewed hope for her future.

Boris Glynn is in town visiting his grandmother but harbors a secret that will impact her life and the lives of his dearest friends. Complications arise when he is unable to restrain himself from pursuing his grandmother’s beautiful new neighbor.

As Cricket begins to succumb to Boris’s attention, her new world is shaken by a series of events that have the potential to destroy her plans for a fresh start.

Grab your copy!

About the author:

Jill Piscitello is a teacher, author, and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.

A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes.

Connect with Jill: Website ~ Twitter  ~ Facebook  Instagram

Monday, September 27, 2021

Release Day! Friends to the End

It's hard to believe it's release day! Time flies when publishing a book. I big thanks goes out to my talented editor Nancy Sparks and to the entire Wild Rose Press team for helping bring this book to you. Friends to the End had a bit of a journey from first draft to publication, and like many of my books, I was fortunate to have my wonderful critique partners to help along the way. There were so many people who read bits of this story over the years. Too many to list here. But I would like to say a special thanks to my close writer friends and critique partners Kym Brunner and Katie Sparks, to my family for their continued support, and last be definitely not least, Xpresso Tours and the lovely bloggers and Instagrammers who are participating in the Blitz. You rock!

Friends to the End
C.L. Colyer
Publication date: September 27th 2021
Genres: Action, Adventure, Middle-Grade, Supernatural

Zach doesn’t believe in ghosts…but he should.

Twelve-year-old Zach is convinced he’ll never be happy without his best friend Jeremy by his side. But both of their lives changed with a bang five months ago, and as far as Zach’s concerned, it’s his fault Jeremy will never see his twelfth birthday.

When Zach moves with his family to a Chicago suburb, he quickly becomes friends with a group of thrill-seeking kids trying to find a disappearing haunted house. But Zach’s not worried. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, so he follows them into a wild, dangerous encounter that becomes a battle to decide what’s real and what’s not.

Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble



“We were going to look for the ghost house.” Dom adjusted the faded NY Yankees baseball cap he wore. “But Morgan has to be home by five.”

“We’ll never make it there and back in time, and we never leave a man behind,” Josh added, dropping a backpack on the grass next to him. It landed with a clunk.

“Ghost house?” I repeated, picturing a boarded-up, decrepit building built during the Civil War or something.

“Haven’t you heard the stories?” Josh asked, eyes wide in amazement.

I shook my head.

Dom walked over to our open garage, grabbed my skateboard out of one of the boxes, and said, “It’s known as the disappearing house.”

My bewildered gaze slithered from Dom to Josh, finally coming to a stop on Morgan as I tried to decide if they were crazy.

“If the house is invisible, how do you expect to find it?” I asked.

Morgan sat on the stoop next to me. “It’s not always invisible. My brothers saw it once. They said it’s a big house with a long porch. It vanished before they could set foot on the first step, and I’m glad, too.”

“Why? What would have happened if they were on the steps?” I asked. Not because I believed an old ghost story had any truth to it, but I was curious to know what she’d say.

Morgan had to pick her jaw up from the walkway before she could answer, and when she did her voice came out in a high-pitched squeak. “If they had been on the porch or worse—” she swallowed loudly “—inside, they would have disappeared with it.”

“That’s a myth,” Dom said as he rode the skateboard down the driveway.

“It is not!” Morgan shot back.

“Come on, how is a solid person going to disappear?” Dom asked from the sidewalk.

“The same way the house does! Duh!” Morgan shook her head as if Dom was the loony one.

“Isn’t the whole thing…um…you know…a myth?” I asked. There were no such things as ghosts, and buildings didn’t just go poof and disappear into thin air. “I mean, you don’t really believe in—”

“The house is real, dude,” Josh said.

“And we’re going inside of it.” Dom did an Ollie, lifting all wheels of the skateboard off the ground.

“No, we’re not!” Morgan shook her head as if that reinforced what she’d said. A dark auburn curl snuck out from under her baseball cap. “We are,” Josh confirmed. I was with Dom and Josh. Not the part about believing in disappearing houses, but if one happened to exist and I managed to find it, I’d want to see inside of it, too.

To celebrate, I'm giving away a gift card. Enter below!

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Chatting with Randy Overbeck, best selling author

Welcome to my blog!

I'm excited to welcome fellow Rose Randy Overbeck back to my blog. If you missed his guest post on who needs love anyway, you can read it here. Today, Randy shared the inspiration behind his series, a little about himself, and a peek between the pages of SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER.

Without further adu...

Randy, what inspired you to write this book?

In 2019, the Wild Rose Press launched the Haunted Shores Mysteries with my story about Darrell, the teacher and coach who sees ghosts and the ghost of a huge black student haunting a high school. BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE was so well received by readers and reviewers that it became a #1 Amazon best seller! 

Then, last year, the publisher released CRIMSON AT CAPE MAY in the middle of the pandemic, a story featuring the specter of a bride murdered on her wedding night, who stalks Darrell, still bleeding in her white wedding dress. This second entry has won three national awards and, by now, the series has amassed more than a dozen 5-Star reviews from national and international reviewers.

As I pondered the third installment, I realized I wanted to keep all the critical elements of the series—cold case murder, ghost, romance and resort—but I also wanted to give my readers something different. On a break from my brainstorming, I was thumbing through family pictures and came upon a photo of my grandkids playing on a playground. 

Staring at the images of the smiling faces, it hit me. What if the mystery was about the death of two kids? Two kids whose ghosts haunt Darrell to find justice for them?

The rest, as they say, is history. Our last trip—pre-pandemic—was to the Florida Gulf coast to find a suitable location for my narrative and I found a great one. 

Thus, SCARLET AT CRYSTAL RIVER was born. Well, that and hundreds of hours of writing, revising, re-writing, editing, re-writing…well, you get the picture. I’m pretty happy with the end product and I hope readers are too.

Who are your favorite authors?

I have many favorite authors, but the one I’d like to share is William Kent Kreuger, award-winning author of the best-selling Cork O’Connor series. Not only is Kent a remarkable mystery writers with intriguing stories set in stunning locations populated with unforgettable characters, he is also a supportive writing colleague. I’ve had the pleasure to learn from him at a few writing conferences and I always come away inspired and with new, practical ideas. Also, he helped me get started by providing a great blurb for my first, BLOOD ON THE CHESAPEAKE.

“For those who enjoy a mixed bag in the books they read, Randy Overbeck has performed a nifty literary feat. Within a web woven of threads from a number of genres—a bit of romance, a lot of mystery, and a good deal of old-fashioned ghost whispering—he’s written a pretty solid social commentary. Blood on the Chesapeake is a tale to be savored in a darkened room, with an eye to all the possibilities lurking just out of sight. The first of three in a projected trilogy, it’ll be a hard wait for the books that follow.”

How could he not be my favorite? And his writing keeps getting better and better, like I strive to accomplish. His works have won awards like the Edgar, the highest award for mystery writers, and legions of fans. I’m proud to be among them.

Tell us something unique/quirky about yourself.

I don’t know if this is quirky or unique, but here goes. I know many writers enjoy, prefer and are happiest as hermits, just them and their computers, pecking away to make their stories come alive. While I like my alone time—and need hours of it to create—I also love being out among “the people.” I’m fortunate to be a comfortable—and pretty good—speaker and I’ve had the privilege of giving more than 175 “author talks” to all kinds of groups and organizations, large and small over the past several years. 

I love the challenge to hook the participants and I thrive on the chance to engage everyone in the audience. Not that the pandemic is easing—we hope and pray—I have twenty more scheduled in the next few months and I can’t wait to get back out there.


Author: Randy Overbeck
Genre: Paranormal Mystery


All Darrell Henshaw wanted was to enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife, Erin, in the charming town of Crystal River on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. Only a pair of ghosts decide to intrude on their celebration. And not just any ghosts, the spirits of two young Latino children. Unwilling at first to derail the honeymoon for yet another ghost hunt, Darrell finally concedes when a painting of the kids comes alive, weeping and pleading for his help.

When he and Erin track down the artist, they discover the children’s family were migrant workers the next county over. But when they travel there, their questions about the kids gets their car shot up and Erin hospitalized. Torn between fear and rage, Darrell must decide how far he will go to get justice for two young children he never even knew.

Grab your copy today

Peek between the page

Darrell ran harder, finishing the loop and circling back to Erin. She was so engrossed in her paperback he managed to sneak up behind her. He leaned and in and grabbed another long kiss.

She kissed him back, smiling. “Now that’s better than a little fictional romance.” She got up and stretched her long legs.

 “You ready for some waves?” he asked.

“If you’re up to it, let’s do a mile or so on the sand first.”

“You’re on.” Darrell gave a gentlemanly wave of his hand.

“I’ll race you.” 

Erin took off like a shot, and Darrell hurried after her. Since the beach was small, they covered the same ground Darrell had a few minutes earlier, passing the family sandcastle builders, another jogger, and the same strolling couples. As usual, she was quick, and he had to hustle to keep up, using some fancy footwork to sidestep sunbathers as they ran. When they got to the north end of the beach where Darrell had turned to double back, Erin headed for a little spit of land that strutted out into the water. He looked beyond and saw what she was headed for. Accelerating, he passed her.

Ahead, at the far end of the beach, a pair of young kids, he’d guess about six, sat in the sand as the waves rolled over their legs. Their small hands busied with a primitive sandcastle. One had long, brown hair tied into pigtails, and the other had a full head of brown hair, unkempt and in need of a trim. He came up to them and stopped, Erin a few seconds behind.

The kids wore street clothes, not swimsuits, but he didn’t think much about it. Then he noticed something about the young boy. His right leg was stuck out at a grotesque angle, as if it had been broken and never set. Both kids giggled at the gurgling water that rolled up around their bare feet and pooled in the makeshift moat they’d dug around their sand creation. The castle was crude, a nearly round construction with seashells sticking up like turrets. The two kids glanced up, caramel eyes wide and pleading with half smiles of white teeth. 

In unison, they said, “Ayudaños?”

“Huh?” Darrell said.

“Cute castle, huh?” Erin stared at the sand and looked up at Darrell. “I wonder who made it?” Her eyes roamed around the area. “Out here on this spit of land it isn’t going to last very long.”

“Those kids—” he started, pointing to the pair. When he looked down, the sandcastle sat alone, the gulf water flowing around the construction and into the crude moat.

His glance darted out to the waves, thinking they’d abandoned their work and ran into the water, even in their street clothes, though he wondered how the boy could have run. 

No girl or boy.

Oh, God! The same two kids? “You vill have two visitors.”

“What’d you say?” Erin asked, her gaze meeting his.

The ghosts. Erin hadn’t seen them! 

Shit, he couldn’t tell her. Not now. Not here.

“Nothing,” he managed around the lump in his throat and glanced back down at the sand.

There at his feet, the crude sand construction they’d been working on, complete with the three blue seashells sticking out of the top, sat alone on the sand. He reached down and grabbed one of the small seashells as the prickle on his neck returned and sizzled. Then he sensed something else, something ominous. No, not ominous, malevolent. More of Natalia’s warning came back to him.

“I see a malevolence, a great danger lurking nearby.”

A big wave rushed in, rolling over their ankles and leveling the mound of sand, leaving the beach empty. As if nothing had ever been there.


About the author
: Dr. Randy Overbeck is an award-winning educator, author and speaker. As an educator, he served children for four decades in a range of roles captured in his novels, from teacher and coach to principal and superintendent. His thriller, Leave No Child Behind (2012) and his recent mysteries, the Amazon No. 1 Best Seller, Blood on the Chesapeake, Crimson at Cape May and Scarlet at Crystal River have earned five star reviews and garnered national awards including “Thriller of the, “Gold Award”—Literary Titan, “Mystery of the Year”— and “Crowned Heart of Excellence”—InD’Tale Magazine. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, Dr. Overbeck is an active member of the literary community, contributing to a writers’ critique group, serving as a mentor to emerging writers and participating in writing conferences such as Sleuthfest, Killer Nashville and the Midwest Writers Workshop. When he’s not writing or researching his next exciting novel or sharing his presentation, “Things Still Go Bump in the Night,” he’s spending time with his incredible family of wife, three children (and their spouses) and seven wonderful grandchildren.

Connect with Randy:
Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  YouTube
Tik Tok @authorrandyo

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Chatting with Helen C. Johannes, author of Frederick Fly-Catcher

Hi! I'm thrilled to have Hellen C. Johannes with me today. We're chatting about writing, books, and a little about her. Plus, she shared an excerpt from her adorable chapter book, Frederick Fly-Catcher. 

What inspired you to write this book?

I grew up with Fairy Tales (The Big Golden Book), Disney movies, and Looney Tunes, loves that didn’t diminish with adulthood. When my children came along, our house was filled with books, and many an evening was spent sharing a story or an animated film. Somehow it seemed only natural that I would decide to write a story of my own, one I could envision as an animated film with lots of action and humor.

How did you come up with the concept and/or characters for the book?

We had been living in the vicinity of ponds and could hear the frogs at night, and that may have been the inspiration for the setting. The characters, however, simply presented themselves on the page—as my characters tend to do—revealing their personalities as they interacted with each other. My job was to make them as frog-like as possible, to perceive the world through their senses, to describe things from their experiences.

What is your favorite genre and why?

Give me a mystery to solve or a save-the-world plot, throw in some romance or wow me with some totally engaging characters and a dash of humor and I’m hooked. My recent book list includes The Murderbot Diaries, Project Hail Mary, The Thursday Murder Club, the Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus/Trials of Apollo series, Claire LeGrand’s Thornlight, Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Dance Away With Me, Nora Roberts’ Whiskey Beach, Penny Reid’sBeard Science, Alan Bradley’s Flavia DeLuce series, TE Kinsey’s Lady Hardcastle series, Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey series, to name a few.

Where were you born/grew up?

I’m a military brat, so I grew up moving. My father never hesitates to tell people I went to 12 schools K-12 and still made the honor roll in each. I became an expert packer, keeping safe the few constant items that, when I unpacked, meant ‘home’ for me. My first places to locate, after my new school, were the local library, the movie theater, and the comic book store. Idyllic memories from my childhood involve spending my allowance on Saturday matinees or the latest Scrooge McDuck and nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie adventure (later to be known as Ducktales).


Frederick Fly-Catcher
Author: Helen C. Johannes
Genre: Children’s Fantasy Chapter Book


“A fun adventure that was a hit with my nine-year-old!”

What happens when Frederick, a champion fly-catcher, is confronted with a human? After all, humans are dangerous! And worse, this human is carrying a thing of troublesome, powerful magic. What if Frederick can’t get it to stop?

This fast-paced chapter book will entice young readers to keep turning pages to find out what happens next. Connecting with Frederick’s frog’s-eye-view reminds children to treat all creatures with respect and to be open to friendships with new or different people. Parents can use the story events as jumping-off points to talk with children about problem-solving and teamwork strategies as well as simply being kind.

“The best thing I could do was to relax and enjoy the ride, so that’s exactly what I did.”

Grab your copy today!

Amazon  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Apple  |  Universal link


Air bubbles roared past Frederick. Horse legs crashed through the water all around him. Heart hammering, he dove for the mucky bottom.

Kersplash! Something big plunged past him.

Frederick tucked his long legs, rolled, and kicked away. One cattail stem smacked him in the face, another in the knee. He pulled himself across the third and braced his legs against it while it swayed.

He opened his eyes at the roiling surface, head out and body in. His nose smarted. Whatever had thundered through the pond was gone. Already the algae was closing ranks, filling the holes punched into it.

Frederick heaved a sigh and crawled onto a floating twig. He looked around for his friends—and froze.

From the reeds opposite, a pair of eyes stared out.

BLUE eyes.

BIG blue eyes.

Frederick pretended he was part of the twig.

The eyes blinked. They widened to June bug size.

Huh? What does something big enough to stir up a pond have to fear?

The eyes looked beyond him, over the cattails. It was thundering again. Louder. More horses. The blue eyes opposite sank into the reeds.

Frederick clung to his reed. Queen Mama always said—there was a time for diving and a time for sticking. The time for sticking was now.

“The boy crossed here!”

“And went out here!”

“Follow him, you idiots!”

Three horses plunged into the water and galloped through the pond.

Frederick hung on while his twig bounced back and forth with the sloshing waves.

When the water stilled, Frederick looked straight at the reeds.

The blue eyes had surfaced. Now they rose. And rose. Over the top of the reeds appeared a thin, green-streaked face.

A human! A small human!

About the Author:
Helen C. Johannes writes award-winning fantasy inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading and the amazing historical places she’s visited in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. Multi-published, she writes tales of adventure and romance in fully realized worlds sprung from pure imagination and a lifelong interest in history, culture, and literature. Warriors on horseback, women who refuse to sit idly at home, and passion that cannot be denied or outrun—that’s what readers will find in her adult books: Brave men, bold women—hearts in search of home. Fast-paced, fanciful, family-friendly fun inspired by her own children is the hallmark of Frederick Fly-Catcher.

Keep in touch with Helen
Contact email: helen.c.johannes(at)gmail(dot)com

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Fun Facts about Friends to the End

Just eleven days until the release of my middle-grade ghost story FRIENDS TO THE END!

Fun fact about the book... 

Wayward Lane and Grimace Grove Cemetery are based on stories I heard of a small cemetery not too far from my house. Drive down the road at night and you just might see the ghosts of those buried there. 

Another fun fact...

There are 100 copies of Friends to the End up for grabs on Goodreads. Follow the link below to enter!

Good luck with the giveaway!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Chatting with Sydney Winward about her new book A Breath of Sunlight

I'm thrilled to have Sydney Winard with us today. Sydney is the author of intriguing paranormal and fantasy romance. I thoroughly enjoyed her novels Root Brew Float and Blood Born, and then I saw she has a book on fae. I can't wait to read it! And the cover is stunning!

Let's jump right into the interview...

Can you share with us what are you working on now?

I’m currently writing book 3 in the Sunlight and Shadows Series. I can’t tell you who it’s about, otherwise it will give away some big spoilers! But I have found it a challenge to write a story about two very broken people with dark secrets, and how they overcome the past that still haunts each of their lives.

What's your favorite genre and why?

I don’t have a specific genre I like to read the most. I’m more of a mood reader and will read the genre that best suits my current reading mood. Lately, I’ve been on a historical romance kick, reading books set in the late 1800s. Currently, I’m reading a novella by Amber Daulton titled Forever Winter. Other genres I enjoy are paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary with a heavy romantic element.

It's always fun to learn more about the authors we love. Tell us something about yourself and how you became an author.

I’ve always wanted to be an author, and I was weirdly obsessed with books and author events even at a young age. Christopher Paolini was my author idle for a long time, continuing to inspire me to reach for my goal of one day becoming an author. I wrote story after story, needing that constant creative release, until I started becoming serious about writing and wanted to cross that line from writer to author. I never intended to write about vampires for my debut series, but when the muse calls, you listen. I’ve written paranormal and fantasy romance, with some historical fiction sprinkled in there. I just go wherever the muse calls me! I’m getting an itch for writing about dragon shifters, so we’ll see if that happens!

by Sydney Winward

She will protect him with her last breath.

Don’t show compassion for men. Never save a man’s life. And no matter what, never fall in love with someone you must ultimately kill. But some rules are meant to be broken, even if it means risking your life by betraying your valkyrie sisters.

The plan was simple—attack the Pits, kill the male slaves, save the women. But when Skaja runs into a fae man she can’t kill, she instead breaks all the rules to save him.

Prince Calle was sold into slavery by his jealous brother, and he would do anything to taste freedom again, even put his trust in a dangerous valkyrie. To protect his people and gain the throne, he and Skaja must trust each other. But neither of them expected trust to turn into something more, and the cost of love has a much steeper price than either of them anticipated.

Peek between the pages…

“This is beautiful,” she murmured. “What does it mean?”

He watched, transfixed as she touched him. It had been so long since he’d touched another, other than embracing Cian a couple of months ago, however fleeting. He craved the contact that made him feel alive again.

“It’s tradition for Sun Fae to cover their scars with tattoos,” he explained. “Only, we do not get to choose the tattoo, nor the accompanying color. Gold is the highest honor. Next is silver. Then bronze. All the way to black, which is disgraceful. This…” He traced a part of the star but made sure not to brush against her as he did it. “…is a word repeated over and over to form the star. It says ‘sacrifice’ in our tongue.”

One more peek (because sometimes, one just isn’t enough!)…

Calle gasped and shot up into a sitting position. He clawed at his throat to remove the boot, but instead of finding a rough leather boot, he touched soft, warm skin.

“Shh,” Skaja soothed as she touched his hands, his face, his hair. “It was only a bad dream.”

Her face finally came into focus in the darkness. Pinched, concerned brows. Pursed lips. Hair falling across her forehead.

He shook his head, suddenly aware of the perspiration that clung to his skin. His back ached where he’d been whipped. His throat still burned for air. The slave brand on his forearm rippled with heat. “N-n-no. It w-w-wasn’t a d-d-dream.”

“It was,” she said in a soothing tone, and for the first time since they’d met, her eyes were kind and gentle. Her fingers stroked either side of his hair. She was touching him… And not just an uncertain, awkward touch. A compassionate caring lingered in her caress, and he couldn’t help but lean into her hand.

She stilled.

“Please don’t stop,” he whispered.

A pause. But then her fingers continued their exploration. Her light touch skimmed his hair, his eyebrows, his nose, his cheekbones. They hesitantly touched his earlobe before she more daringly traced the shape of his long, pointed ear.

His heart slowed into something calmer. Something safer. The fear in his soul settled to the bottom of a clear, placid lake. The pain in his back and throat ebbed. The burn on his forearm died slowly like a waning fever.

He breathed in Skaja’s scent of jasmine and cool midnight skies and breathed out a river of calm. She was right. It was only a dream.

Yet, it had felt so real.

A flash of darkness passed across his mind, and as if he once again found himself in the deep ravine of the Pits, his hands began trembling. Skaja’s gentle touch trailed from his ear, to his shoulder, down his arm, before she clasped his hand. Her touch felt so good. Like a breath of sunlight after being caged in the darkness for so long.

About the author:
Sydney Winward is a fantasy and paranormal romance author who dabbles in the occasional historical fiction. She loves building complex worlds filled with magic, strong characters, and emotional stories that can make you laugh and cry.

Sydney is the author of The Bloodborn Series, and when she’s not writing, she’s reading, thinking about stories, or going on adventures with her children. She lives in Utah with her husband, two amazing kids, and one stubborn fish.

Connect with Sydney
Twitter  |  Facebook  |   Instagram  |  Website

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Chatting with Peggy Jaeger, author

I'm excited to welcome Peggy Jaeger, author of steamy romance and more, to my blog. She's telling us a little about the research she did before writing A Pride of Brothers: Aiden, a little about herself, and sharing a peek between the pages of her new release. So without further ado, let's jump into the interview.

Tell us about the research you did before writing this book.

Since Aiden is a Private Investigator I wanted to make sure I got the details of his job correct, so I did extensive research on line about what PIS can and can’t do, legally. Move and TV PIs break the law every single day according to the rule I discovered they must abide by. For instance, they can’t just tap someone’s phone to gather evidence. And they are not allowed to photograph people in the privacy of their homes or hotel rooms. This was interesting because every single PI show I’ve ever seen shows them doing just that.

Who is your favorite author?

Hands down it is Nora Roberts and her alter ego J.D. Robb. I lovelovelove her In Death books because they are a long running series about a married couple who, on paper, don’t look like they should ever be together ( A by the book cop and a former criminal). But the Roarke and Eve are written so perfectly that the series is a joy to read and re-read.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.

Nervous, introverted, scary-smart, organized, insomniac

Author: Peggy Jaeger
Genre: Romantic Suspense, NYC romance, Forced proximity
Heat level (if over PG13): R - steamy

About the book

Blurb: Lexi Buckley wants answers about her younger sister's death. The police have labeled it a suicide, but Lexi doesn't believe it. Stymied in her investigation, she doesn't know where to turn next. After a chance encounter with a private investigator, she thinks her prayers have been answered.

Aiden Keane has never been an answer to a prayer before, but he agrees to help Lexi. A quirky combo of brains and beauty, the pixie blonde makes him feel things no professional ever should for a client.

When their investigation puts Lexi's life in jeopardy, her safety becomes his number one priority. The hard part is not falling for her.

Read it today!

Peek between the pages

Were you close with your sister?” Aiden asked.

Not the way we should have been. Not at the end.

“We had a sizable age difference between us. Almost ten years. I was the big sis. The oldest.” Her lips trembled when she pulled them into a sad line. Rolling her eyes she added, “The bossy one, according to her. She was the baby and took full advantage of her status from the moment she realized it.”

“And rightly so.” The corners of his eyes crinkled. “I’m the youngest of my brothers and I’ll can tell you with one hundred percent honesty, my oldest brother is the bossiest one of us. I think it comes with birth order. Although he takes his so called right uber-seriously. Especially at work.”

This time her grin was steadier. “What kind of business do you all own together?”

“We a run a private security company.”


“Personal bodyguards, if a client needs protection from something. Background checks for employers. Mostly we do investigations.”

“What, like private eyes? Like on television?”

He laughed. “Nothing so glamorous. The fast cars and hot babes are all fantasy. It’s a lot of boring research, computer work, and surveillance, but yeah, you could say I’m a private eye.”

Lexi’s entire mood turned on his words. The sorrow flew, the hurt dissolved. Even her nervous trivia-speak went dormant. She sat bolt upright, her knees bumping against the tabletop when she shifted. Excitement shot from her system as she turned her body, placed a hand across his forearm and declared, “Oh, my God. You’re the answer to my prayers.”

About the author
: Peggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances and rom coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Connect with Peggy
Pinterest  |  Goodreads  |  Instagram  |  BookBub  |  You-Tube

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Just Twenty Days Until It's Here!

Hi Lovely Reader!

It's hard to believe that it's September already. But I won't complain, because autumn is just around the corner and it's my favorite season. Plus, this year, I have a book coming out. 

While I impatiently wait for the release date of FRIENDS TO THE END, I thought it would be fun to take a poll. Join the fun below.

Happy reading!