Saturday, May 12, 2012

Time-Tantrums by Ginger Simpson

Okay, okay, I know Ginger is monopolizing the blog, but her free days on Amazon sort of came close together.  Time Tantrums is supposed to be free today and tomorrow, however, there might be a glitch.  Still, you must suffer through this post.  :)  If you enjoy a time-travel with an historical twist, then this is the book for you.  The book was previously released as Sister's in Time and one of Ginger's best sellers, but Books We Love gave the story a new life, cover, and title.

My name is Taylor, and I can't think of a better way to acquaint you with the two 'heroines' in this story than to use a previous interview.  We might not have put our best foot forward, but truth is truth, and let's face it...Mariah and I didn't much care for each other at the time.
 
Interview with Taylor and Mariah from Time Tantrums

Today, through the power of the pen…okay, the computer keyboard, I’ve been able to bring together my two heroines from Time-Tantrums.  I thought it might be interesting to the readers of this time-travel to hear from each lady personally about her thoughts on waking up in a new and strange era.  We’ll start first with Mariah Cassidy, our pioneer wife and mother of two children then go to our modern-day attorney, Taylor Morgan.

Ginger:  “Good Morning Mariah.  It’s very nice to have you here.  A reader can only imagine how strange it was to start off on a trip to town for supplies and awaken in another time and place. Tell us how you felt about it.”

Mariah: *runs her hand down her long gingham skirt and sits a little straighter on her stool.  “It’s very nice to be here, although it does bring back some frightening moments.  *glances around at all the equipment and leans back to study the cylinder-like mike.*

Ginger:  “Tell us a little about what happened the morning you woke up in 20th century Colorado.”

Mariah:  “There isn’t much I recall except packing a lunch for the trip and waiting for Frank to bring the wagon around.  The children and I had already done most of the chores indoors and were ready to go.” *sighs*

Ginger:  “Go on….”

Mariah:  “The last thing I remember is stopping next to a boulder so our son could… well you know.  A nest of rattlesnakes spooked the team and I reckon I was thrown off the wagon seat and hit my head. Frank did the best he could to manage the horses—”

Ginger:  “I’m sure it was a frightening moment for everyone, but tell us how you felt when you regained consciousness after the accident.

Mariah:  *widens her eyes* “Scared.  There I was in some big ol’ bed, in a room filled with strange contraptions—like in here. *gestures to speakers and control panel* “I had a tube in my throat, couldn’t talk, and a man I didn’t recognize at all sat by my bedside constantly and called me Taylor.  I swear, you don’t have any idea how exasperating it is not to be able to speak.  I had no idea then who Taylor was or why he thought I was her.”  *turns and smiles at Taylor, seated next to her*

Taylor:  “Well it wasn’t any picnic waking up in your archaic bedroom with your pesky husband bugging me, either.”

Mariah:  “Pesky?”

Taylor: “Yes, pesky.  The man wouldn’t take my word that I wasn’t his wife.  And how you lived back then with no cell phones, hair dryers or nail salons, I have no idea.  *Bends her knuckles and examines her manicure*

Mariah:  *swivels on her stool* “Your husband was insistent, too.  I must have told him a thousand times my name wasn’t Taylor.  It wasn’t bad enough I had to be in a hospital for such a long time, I couldn’t believe the… the tacky clothes he brought and actually expected me to wear them to your house.  I have doilies that cover more.

Taylor:  “You wouldn’t know style if it was forced on you…and it was.  Those things hanging in your… your armoire are a far cry from New York’s fashion center.  I couldn’t tell the difference between your daytime and nighttime wardrobe.”

Ginger:  “Ladies, ladies, we’re getting off track here.  Let’s get back to the interview.  Taylor, tell us about your first impression… in a kind way if you don’t mind.

Taylor:  “Can you imagine landing in a space in time where words like taxi, phone, radio, and Lexus don’t make any sense?  I felt like I came from Mars and spoke a totally different language.  Frank, Miss Priss’ husband, got frustrated with me.  How is that my problem?”

Ginger:  “It must be alarming to wake up in a place totally strange and then have to be without the usual comforts.”

Mariah: “It’s equally as frightening to wake up in a place full of gadgets you know nothing about.  I almost fainted when the basin in Taylor’s kitchen growled at me.  And I had no idea that ice boxes had come so far.  Frozen meat, sodas, and what about that little device that opened cans all on its own?  My goodness.  I tell you what though; I’ll never be able to describe the thrill of flying.

Ginger:  “Oh, that’s right.  You flew in an airplane, didn’t you?”

Mariah: “Yes, David arranged for me to have that most wonderful experience.

Taylor:  *Her face red, her jaw tense*  “What other wonderful experiences did David arrange for you?  Did you sleep with my husband? *Hands move to hips*

Mariah:  *Lowers her gaze* “Not of my own will.  Remember, he kept insisting I was you.  *turns accusing eyes to Taylor*  “Well, you slept with my husband!”

Taylor:  “It’s not my fault.”

Mariah:  “Then whose fault is it?”

Taylor: *Points to Ginger*  “I didn’t write the story, she did. I was on my way to work, minding my own business when she dragged me into her plot.  It’s her fault.”

Mariah:  “Yeah, it is her fault.  Frank never would have thought of sleeping with someone else. We were perfectly happy until she dreamed up this combination time-travel historical. *cast a stony gaze at Ginger*

Ginger:  *checks her watch*.  “Oh dear, we’ve suddenly run out of time.  This has been very interesting, but we’ll have to say goodbye for now.  All I can say in closing is Time-Tantrums is available now.  Visit Amazon.com and take advantage of the amazing price (either free or at a very competitive amount.)  Thanks for joining us.  I’ll be back next time with a book that features only one heroine.  I think you can see how "tantrums" worked it's way into the new title.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Sarah's Heart by Ginger Simpson


Hi,
I’m Sarah Collins, and I’m here to tell you that my… well Sarah's Heart is my story, but actually Ginger Simpson’s book, and is free today on Amazon.  When I shared the idea with Ginger, I couldn’t really decide which genre best suited my experience, so I guess I’ll let you read and decide if historical, women’s fiction, romance, western, or perhaps some other category strikes your fancy.  If nothing else, the cover by Michelle Lee has to leave you breathless.  But then, a little about the story:
After my folks died, and I found myself alone and pursued by an ugly and unscrupulous banker, I decided to sell what I could, buy a wagon and team and head for California.  I truly would've re-considered my actions had I known the wagon train I traveled with would be attacked by a war-party and I’d be the sole-survivor.  God knows I tried to save my friend, Maggie, but to no avail.  After what I’d been through, I hardly expected a snakebite to take me down…and it might have had it not been for Wolf.  Not the animal, of course, Grey Wolf, a half-breed who really had reason to leave me right where he found me, but he didn’t know that at the time.
If you think prejudice runs rampant today, it’s not anything new, trust me.  Try traveling with someone of mixed blood, especially when people hold the Indians in such low regard.  Here’s a little excerpt to show you what I mean:
Set Up – Wolf and Sarah are traveling to Independence but stop for rest at a mission along the Oregon Trail.  The army arrests Wolf on suspicion of stealing from the post, although he’s never been there.  Sarah is left alone with the priests and nuns, wondering if Wolf will ever return or if staying to help teach the children is her fate.  She’s just taken three little girls on a flower-picking outing and they’re returning when…
As they trudged along the grassy path back to the mission, the unmistakable spots of a painted mare caught Sarah's eye. She hurried the children inside, handing them off to a passing nun, and then ran around to the front. Her heartbeat echoed in her ears.
It had to be Scout tethered to the hitching rail alongside a black horse with a patch of white just below its forelock. Both wore no saddle, and the dappled mare greeted her with a friendly nicker. Sarah approached, brushed her hand down the animal’s muzzle and turned toward the church entrance.
Wolf stood in the doorway, his dark hair hazed gray with dust and his left eye swollen. Blue, purple and yellow hues tinged his cheek, but the bruising did little to detract from his handsome face.
Sarah ran to him, flung herself into his arms, and hugged his neck. “Oh, am I ever glad to see you. I was worried sick you wouldn’t come back.”
Sensing him stiffen, she realized her forwardness and quickly backed away, fixing a crooked grin on a face that burned with embarrassment.  “Forgive me. I’m just so excited you‘re here.” She nervously picked at her fingers.
He smiled then winced, dropping the puffy lid of his injured eye. “I would have been back sooner, but the army took its time in proving I wasn’t who they thought I was.”
“Thank God, they finally believed you.”  Sarah blinked back happy tears.
“Oh, it wasn‘t my word they trusted.  The quartermaster was on leave and the only person who could identify the man who stole the rifles and ammunition. Luckily, my description didn’t fit the details he’d provided for the wanted poster. I’m missing a scar running the length of my face, and my eyes are the wrong color. I never thought I’d be so grateful to have hazel ones.”
“Or me so thankful to see them again.” 
Still reveling in their moment of closeness, but pained by his obvious discomfort at her show of affection, she took a composing breath.  “You must be so tired. Come in and wash up.”
“How are you?”   His gaze drifted over her.
  “The people here have been wonderful to me. I couldn‘t have been in better hands. From the looks of your eye and cheek, you didn‘t fare nearly as well.”
“Just further proof that half-breeds aren’t any more appreciated than full-bloods.”  He opened his mouth, working his jaw back and forth. “The beating is a reminder from the guards in the stockade that I don’t measure up to their standards.”
Sarah reached to touch his bruised face, but he grasped her wrist, holding it in mid-air. “It’s all right, I’ve gotten used to it over the years. It’ll heal.” He gave a half smile and released her. “I sure would like something to eat.”

I hope you'll pick up a copy and enjoy the read.  I appreciate "likes" on Amazon if you truly enjoy Sarah's Heart.  I loved writing for you.

Weekly eBook Winner





Congratulations to the weekly ebook winners in Books We Love's annual Spring Fling Event!

This week's winner is James Van Hooser.

James wins his choice of any two Books We Love ebooks or Spice ebooks. He also receives TEN extra entries into the Kindle Fire drawing May 31. James, please visit our website http://bookswelove.net/ and make your two choices, then email the titles to bookswelove@shaw.ca

Remember, only subscribers to our newsletter are eligible to enter our contests, so if you're not a subscriber go here and sign up now. Find the entry form for Spring Fling there too!


Congratulations James!



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Character who Keeps Coming Back


The character who keeps coming back; most writers have them. The book that can’t or won’t be finished--there's at least one on every writer’s hard drive. My particular dark horse always returns in the first warm weather, this year occurring in March. Her sweet German nickname is Blumchen and she’s here again, sucking up my waking hours. Needless to say, I’m reediting and reimagining scenes and conversations I’ve visited many, many times. I’ve journeyed to this imaginary world regularly, at least once a year, since 1986.

A complete reworking doesn’t take place every year, at least not since the first decade. Blumechen's is the first book I ever completed, although a satisfactory ending, I think, still eludes me. Like Constanze of my Mozart’s Wife, this young heroine insists on speaking in the first person, which both narrows and deepens her POV. It’s like writing pinned inside her dress. What's more, she belongs to the cast of characters already familiar to readers who are interested in Mozart and his circle of musicians, dancers, con artists, noblemen, Masons, and various stage-struck hangers on.

I’ve heard authors talk about having a “channeling” experience with their characters. There are many tales of automatic writing and spirit dictation, which sounded at first as if they should be taken with great handfuls of salt. However, after the experience I have had in writing this old and perhaps never-to-be-finished novel, I know channeling does happen. Ordinarily it takes a period of work to make your character dolls start moving independently, but in this case, it appears I was the vessel chosen by a voice from the past. She wanted me to tell me about the events of a single, intense summer, and I've tried to give her my attention.  She came at night, during a time when I was still working in an office, and kept me awake for most of the night. As you can imagine, this eventually lost me my day job, but that's all water under the bridge now.

So began this tulip-time, and now we're into green May and Blumechen is back again, stamping her little foot and calling for rewrites and editing. She insists I do my best work, despite the fact that the story is a humble “historical romance.” I hasten to add that it’s "romance" in the original sense of the word, in the way Romeo & Juliet or The Scarlet Pimpernel  or Wuthering Heights are "romances." I’m not using the modern commercial sense of the word with a happily ever after ending . I’m using the old-fashioned bloody insanity of a love affair, the madness which can so easily end in tragedy. IMO that's the true nature of the beast, and exactly what makes completing a tale of a hopeless passion so very, very difficult.

--Juliet Waldron




Juliet Waldron is the author of several historical novels set in the erotic, exotic18th Century:

Mozart's Wife
Genesee
Red Magic
All available from BWL







PAGAN GUEEN is free today and tomorrow in kindle! by Vijaya Schartz

Don't miss this incredible deal. Get PAGAN QUEEN for free in kindle today and tomorrow HERE. And since it's book 2, you should first read book 1, PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE (get it HERE). Book One features the very same main characters a few years later. The next books in the series will skip a generation and feature new heroes and heroines.

CURSE OF THE LOST ISLE SERIES:PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE:
http://amzn.com/B007K1EGAM
806 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland)

From history shrouded in myths, emerges a family of immortal Celtic Ladies, who roam the medieval world in search of salvation from a curse. For centuries, imbued with hereditary gifts, they hide their deadly secret... but if the Church ever suspects what they really are, they will be hunted, tortured, and burned at the stake.



As the Vikings raid the coast of Alba, Pressine of Bretagne sets out to seduce King Elinas of Dumfries, chosen by the Goddess to unite the tribes against the foreign invader. Elinas, still mourning his departed queen, has no intention to remarry. Head-strong and independent, Pressine does not expect to fall for the very attractive, wise and noble ruler... Furthermore, her Pagan nature clashes with the religious fanaticism of the king’s Christian heir, who suspects her unholy ancestry and will stop at nothing to get rid of her.

PAGAN QUEEN:
Download it free at:
http://amzn.com/B007Z8F7IA
810 AD - Alba (Ancient Scotland) - Queen at last, Pressine brings victory to her beloved Elinas and prosperity to their growing kingdom. But she has to contend with the intrigues of Charlemagne's bishops, spurred by her Christian stepson. While Elinas, on the battlefield, remains unaware of his son’s machinations, Pressine fends off repeated assaults against her life. She also fears the curse that could bring her downfall. For the love of Elinas, she will tempt fate and become with child. But when her indomitable passion challenges the wrath of the Goddess Herself... can she win that battle?

What the reviewers said:

"Schartz paints a realistic picture of life in a medieval castle, with all its smells, tastes, visuals, and feelings, and as always, all the primary, as well as the secondary characters are well-developed and interesting. I'm looking forward to the others in this series." Roberta at Manic Readers - 4 1/2 stars

"The exciting battles and period details also drew me in as did the intrigue surrounding Elinas' son trying to prevent him from marrying Pressine... I'm very much looking forward to finding out what's next for Elinas and Pressine when the series continues with the release of Pagan Queen." - 4 stars - The Hope Chest Review

Vijaya Schartz writes medieval in futuristic and fantasy settings as well as straight medieval historical novels and historical fantasy.  She also writes science fiction for women, with kick-butt heroines and romantic elements.

Find out more about Vijaya and all her books on her Amazon page HERE 
And on her website at:
http://www.vijayaschartz.com/

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ellie's Legacy by Ginger Simpson - Historical


Today, May 6th, is a free day on Amazon for Ellie's Legacy.  Although this book is a "previously published" work, re-releasing it through Books We Love gave me an opportunity to go back through and touch up parts that I've since learned needed some attention.  This book, previously Sparta Rose, was named the best historical read of 2009 by one of the most esteemed romance sites on the Web, Love Romance Cafe.  My reviews for SR have been positive, but I choose not to list any of them with this new version as I'm anxious to see how Ellie's Legacy fares.

  If you have positive suggestions for my further endeavors, please email me directly at mizging@gmail.com and let me know in private.  I'd prefer that method if you have issues with my writing.  I have no problem with constructive criticism, but I do take offense to the "snarky" types of reviews readers seem to be leaving these days as they do nothing to help me learn in this process of being an author.  Without readers there's no reason for stories, so I strive to bring you the best of me.  *smile*

Here's one of my favorite excerpts:


She walked to the counter. “I’d like to look at some of your sidearms please.”
One red brow arched. “Sidearms? Why Miz Roselle, what in the world are you going to do with a gun.”
“It’s a gift,” she lied. Her lips tightened into a thin line of impatience. She hated untruths. Why was everyone always in her business? First Ty, now Percy.
Men!
Percy moved to the weapons’ display case and gestured. “We have a large assortment. Will this be on your father’s account?”
“No, I’m sure I have enough money of my own.” She crossed her fingers and studied the guns in the new-fangled glass display.
“I’d like to hold that one.” She pointed to a shiny silver revolver.
Percy handed it to her. “It’s a beauty, just got it in this week. It’s one of those new Colts. A thirty-six caliber. But depending on who the gift is for, that big ol’ Colt might be a little too much. You might want to take a look at this new Smith & Wesson twenty-two caliber.” He gestured to another pistol.
Ellie eyed the blue plated weapon with rosewood grips and wrinkled her nose. “It looks so small in comparison.”
“Yes, but this one is a single action, seven shot model rather than the old cap and ball design. It’s much easier to load and fire.” Percy eyed her suspiciously, “Are you sure this ain’t for you Miz Ellie? If it is, I’m certain you’ll find the Smith more suitable to your abilities.”
A typical man’s attitude.
Her jaw tensed. When would people quit treating her like a child?
She held the revolver like an expert, measuring its weight and overall feel, but eyed the one to which he pointed, and then shook her head. The Colt was much more impressive. Its heavy weight wielded unbridled power in her hand. She turned and aimed toward the door just as it opened.
Ty Bishop.
“Whoa, don’t shoot,” Ty threw up his hands. His eyes widened. “Is that thing loaded?”
She quickly dropped the gun to her side, certain her face matched Percy’s hair. “No it isn’t, and what are you doing here?”
“A better question is what are you doin’ here. I thought…”
“I changed my mind, if that’s all right with you,” she snapped. “And why are you following me?”
“I’m not. Your pa sent me to pick up a few things he ordered.” With a huff, he turned his attention to the clerk. “Are they here, Percy?”
“Yes sir, Mr. Ty. Got those nails and rope in yesterday, same time as I got the new Colt Miz Ellie is holding.”
Ellie promptly laid the gun back on the counter. “I was just curious, that’s all.” She gave Percy a stern look then walked over to the yard goods.
“But…Miz Ellie, you asked…”
Ellie didn’t want him to spill the beans. “I came to look at material for a new dress, Percy. You must have misunderstood me.”
“But-but,” he stuttered. “You asked to see a sidearm.”
She forced a giggle and ignored the confusion on the clerk’s face. Ellie fluttered her eyelashes at him and waved a limp wrist in his direction. “Oh, Percy, you silly goose, why would I say that? I said I need some yardage—just a might longer than my arm. When you showed me the new guns, I didn’t want to appear rude.”

Thanks for stopping by, and kook for Sarah's Heart and Time Tantrums on their free days next Saturday.

THE TRIBULATIONS OF PRINCESS JASMINE by Vijaya Schartz

There is a cat in this story. Find all my BWL stories HERE My kitty cat Jasmine, a princess in my mind, has a dramatic story wort...