Winter-time, business, and new releases

Not saying we have it as bad as those of you getting snowed on but WOW did the temps drop this weekend! (And we’re already–slightly–warming back up).

And I finally got  Draft2Digital figured out. Their support was wonderful. 🙂 So if you’re an indie author and looking for a way to go “wide” I’d say give them a try.

Also, I’ve got a new freebie short story up, for Christmas entitled No Such Thing as Dasher. It’s a holiday themed short story. The synopsis is as follows:

coverideatestblondegirlsnowFor Avery, her holiday duties as a forest ranger oftentimes involve tracking revelers who have lost their way in her wilderness domain. After a camper clashes with a reindeer, however, Avery is shocked to discover the creature is defended not by Santa, but by the formidable, yet gentle, shapeshifting Lord of the Forest.

Can the magic of the forest bring together a ranger and a supernatural being, or is Avery destined to celebrate yet another Christmas alone?

An enchanting fairy tale to celebrate the magic of the season!

It’s available FREE at Amazon*. Also, it’s free at Kobo, Google Play, Itunes (thanks to the aforementioned Draft2Digital), and  Barnes and Noble.
Please note, there are some Amazon stores at which the story might not yet be free but I’m hoping they will come in line with the others before New Year’s. If it’s not free where you are, please check back.
I hope you enjoy this little freebie short story, and have a lovely Christmas!

movie Mondays–Christmas time

humbughollywoodEveryone does a list like this every year. The problem with Christmas movies, is… they’re all the same, all so darned sickeningly sweet, aren’t they? You have to have a stomach for those kind of things, and—call me the black sheep—I don’t. Make it a little different, maybe a tad . . . dark and I’m in. So here, then is my list of . . .

Top Five Christmas movies that don’t annoy me

1.The Nightmare Before Christmas

2. Bad Santa

3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

4. Christmas Story

5. The trailer for Rise of  the Guardians. (Because a) I just couldn’t come up with another Christmas movie that didn’t annoy me, and b) I’ve not seen the movie yet. Maybe it will annoy me when I see it).

Looks cute, doesn’t it? Runners up, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Grinch, the 1975 cartoon with Boris Karloff. Because, hey, Boris Karloff. 🙂

So what can you think of any others to add to this list? What are you favorite Christmas movies?

Holiday Blog Hop finale

holiday-blog-hop-3aFinal day of the Indie Writers Unite Blog hop. I hope you all found some great books, and maybe bought some as Christmas gifts?

If you want to see the rules for entering for the grand prize and all the authors and books involved–aside from mine–they’re up on the IWU Holiday Hop site here:

http://holidaybloghop.blogspot.com/

Thanks to everyone who followed me. I’ll get the winner up tomorrow (or Monday at latest depending on what happens this weekend. I mean, The Hobbit‘s coming out this weekend, isn’t it? *squee* Older followers can tell you weekends and blog time aren’t my strong suit).

Happy Holidays.

Jean Marie Bauhaus » Blog Archive » Other Writer Wednesday Indie Spotlight: Juli D. Revezzo

Whoops! need more coffee. I put this in the wrong blog. *facepalm*

I hope your day’s going well. I’m *gulp* doing some Christmas related stuff today. At least getting it started. Also, I just popped in to say *facepalm* I missed a spotlight yesterday. I was featured at Jean Marie Bauhaus’ blog. (Don’t you just love her name? :)) It’s here if you want to see:

via Jean Marie Bauhaus » Blog Archive » Other Writer Wednesday Indie Spotlight: Juli D. Revezzo.

Also…If you can find it, check out Bela Lugosi’s Dead by Bauhaus.

hehe. Sorry, Jean. I had to! Have a great, vampirey day all

Author Linda McLaughlin guest post

Another one from last December. The giveaway is over….

Our next guest, Linda McLaughlin, is here to tell us a little bit about her Regency romance novel, Lady Elinor’s Escape, and the era and area in which it’s set.  Miss Linda, why don’t you come on over here by the fire and, whenever you’re ready, tell us about your intrepid Miss?

Lady Elinor’s Escape
By Linda McLaughlin
Amber Quill Press

I’ve been in love with historical fiction for most of my life, and Regency romance is one of my favorite subgenres. In 2003, shortly before Lady Elinor’s Escape was released, I had the pleasure of a jaunt through the “Regency triangle” of London, Bath and Brighton. It was one of the most enjoyable trips of my life. The photo on the book’s cover was adapted from one I took during my trip.

Lady Elinor’s Escape is kind of a Cinderella story in reverse. Though Elinor is well-born, the daughter of an earl, like Cinderella she is trapped in an untenable situation, stuck with a crazy, abusive aunt rather than a wicked stepmother. Elinor’s only hope is to escape to London where she hopes to send a message to her father, who is currently stationed in Lisbon. While in London, she pretends to be a seamstress in the shop of her mother’s former maid, Mimi, who plays the role of Fairy Godmother. The hero, Stephen Chaplin, plays the role of Prince Charming, though his social status is below hers, yet another complication once he realizes the woman he rescued is really a lady.

This isn’t your typical Regency romance. Much of the action takes place in the shop, showing a different side of the Regency. Not everyone lived in a grand town house with servants at their beck and call. Staying with Mimi gives Elinor a taste of “real life” and the experience makes her a stronger, more compassionate person.

Oh, I forgot to mention the book was a Finalist in the Regency Category of the 2005 Golden Quill Contest, sponsored by the Desert Rose Chapter of RWA.

Blurb:

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a ‘rescuer’ of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled by guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

Read an excerpt:

(Note: Elinor has run away from her abusive aunt who hit her the day before. She meets Stephen Chaplin at a nearby inn.)

“Excuse me, madam, but I could not help overhearing you say that you must leave for London immediately. Allow me to introduce myself. Stephen Chaplin, Esquire, at your service.”

Elinor turned to face the gentleman who had suddenly appeared. She stared at him through a haze of black, taking advantage of her veil to get a closer look at this tall, dark-haired, seemingly well bred gentleman. He was above average height, with finely chiseled features, and while he could not, strictly speaking, be deemed handsome, there was something in the intense scrutiny of his light brown eyes that drew her to him. By the cut of his bottle green Superfine coat, which emphasized his broad shoulders, but was not so tight as to hamper movement, and his casually tied neckcloth, she surmised he was no society dandy.

“How do you do?” she said politely, extending one black-gloved hand.

“Fine, thank you.”

As he took her hand and bowed over it, Elinor savored the warmth of his touch for a moment. It had been a long time since someone had touched her out of kindness. Suddenly realizing she was clutching his hand, she withdrew hers. He studied her, his gaze seeming to penetrate the veil, and she could only stand like the veriest lump under his scrutiny.

“I beg your pardon, madam, but what did you say your name was?”

“Eli—” Elinor broke off and feigned a cough, panic bubbling up inside. Her name. Dear heavens, she needed a new name. If she told him who she was, he would never agree to take her to Mimi. She stared down at the gentleman’s yellow nankeen trousers and shiny brown boots. “Brown,” she stammered. “Ellie Brown.”

“Mrs. Brown, may I offer my assistance? I’m heading for London myself and would be pleased to convey you as far as Chippenham, where you may pick up another stage coach.”

Relief flooded through her at his offer, but could she trust him? No proper young lady rides in a closed carriage with a gentleman who is not related to her. The words of her governess rang in her ears. “I do not think—”

“Of course, you are cautious,” he interrupted smoothly. “Any genteel lady would hesitate to trust a strange gentleman.”

“But I am not a lady,” she blurted. If Aunt Sarah learned that a ‘lady’ had been here, she would know where to look for her. “I am merely a seamstress.”

“Really,” he drawled, doubt evident in his tone.

“Yes, I have a position awaiting me in London.” She was surprised, and a bit uncomfortable, at how easily the lies flowed from her lips, but they were necessary.

“Then you had best accept my offer, lest your position go to someone else. Miss Wainwright can vouch for me. We traveled here together from London. Nancy,” he called out. “Over here.”

A young serving woman who was obviously in the family way approached them. “What can I do fer ye, Mr. Chaplin?”

“I have offered to convey Mrs. Brown to London, but she is not sure I can be trusted.”

Nancy giggled. “Oh, ma’am, ye’ve naught to fear. Mr. Chaplin’s the finest gentleman I’ve ever met. And we gets quite a few gents here at the Horse and Cart.”

“Yes, I expect you do.” And not all of them honorable, Elinor thought with a glance at Miss Wainwright’s belly.

Elinor pondered her choices. It was either Stephen Chaplin in a closed carriage or back to Aunt Sarah’s cottage where, at best, she would be locked in her bedroom after today’s escapade. And at worst…

She remembered Aunt Sarah’s pistol and promptly made up her mind. Stephen Chaplin was undoubtedly the lesser of two evils.

“Very well, sir, I accept your escort.”

“Would you care for some breakfast first?”

The inn was warm and she’d like nothing better than to settle near the fire and break her fast. Her stomach felt like it was stuck to her backbone, but she shook her head, afraid to stay a moment longer.

Scant minutes later, Mr. Chaplin led her outside to a closed traveling carriage standing in the inn yard. He must be a gentleman of some means, she mused, to have his own carriage. He supervised the loading of their luggage then held out his hand to help her into the carriage. As she stepped up, the wind caught her veil and blew it upwards. For a second she had a clear glimpse of his startled face.

He had seen the bruise.

Oh, poor Elinor. I’d go with Stephen, myself, how ’bout you gals? Well, care to give us a little peek at the trailer, Linda? I hear tell it’s very well done. 😉

Lady Elinor’s Escape is available in e-book format from Amazon Kindle Store and Barnes and Noble eBookstore. A trade paperback is available from Amber Quill Press and Amazon.com.

Author’s Bio:

Linda McLaughlin sold her first romance novel in 1997 to Kensington Precious Gems. Since then she has written historical and Regency romance for Amber Quill Press and, under the name Lyndi Lamont, she pens steamier romance, including male/male erotica, for the erotic imprints of AQP. You can reach her online at:

http://www.lindamclaughlin.com
http://www.lyndilamont.com
blog: http://flightsafancy.blogspot.com/
Buy link: http://www.amberquill.com/LadyElinor.html

One commenter will win an electronic copy of Lady Elinor’s Escape.

Thanks for bringing us this intriguing tale, Linda! Good luck with it, and all you do, and… Don’t forget to leaven Linda a comment or question for a chance to win. 🙂

Five days and counting…Merry Christmas all!

Heather Hiestand–The Story behind Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas

Again, another one from last Christmas.

 

Oh, hi. Back again I see? No, no. Don’t worry about those rope ladders, we’re not being invaded.

No, today, we have an interesting guest for you, Miss Heather Hiestand, writer of romance and steampunk stories such as her latest, Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas. No, she’s not one of Santa’s elves but she’s could help him get around. *Points to roof* see, she’s all about early air travel—yes, almost like the contraptions my former master (yes I had one, centuries ago) tried to get me up in. Sorry. I think I’ll stay Earthbound.

Either way, I’m sure, should Santa show up early, he and my guest would have much to talk about. Anyway, she’s here to share a bit of history with us. Heather, you have the floor.

The story behind the Story

by Heather Hiestand

I adore Christmas stories and do my best to devote at least a couple of weeks in December to reading them each year. Being a writer, I also get ideas for holiday stories too. “Victoriana” my first published romance (and Christmas story!) came to me in complete form in a dream. It’s in the Holiday in the Heart anthology available electronically and in print. Last year, I wrote “Christmas a Go-Go” for Ellora’s Cave under my Anh Leod pseudonym and then this year published “Victoriana Adventure”—the January sequel to the original “Victoriana.”

This summer, I had bronchitis and it interrupted the flow of the Victorian-set Christmas romance novel I was writing. By the time I was well again, my toddler had given up napping and my free time was gone. I decided my brain needed something shorter than a full-length novel if I was going to ever get any writing done again (Tot playing at my feet quietly while I write? Not so much.) and I noticed there weren’t too many steampunk romance Christmas stories out there. Since I’ve already co-written one full-length steampunk novel, I thought I was just the writer to add to this sub-sub-erm-sub? genre.

The original idea came to me about a year ago, and the kernel was a girl finding a ladder waiting for her at her attic window. Above? An airship, with a life of possibility. Below, all the responsibilities of being a housemaid at Christmastime.

Excerpt:

London, December 24, 1892
Linet Fenna shivered in her attic bedroom as she stared out the open window. Downstairs, all was merry and bright with evergreen branches, mistletoe and handmade garlands festooning trees and mantles. Under the eaves here, wind blew through a crack in the undecorated wall and rustled in the chimneys above.
A fever had made the first housemaid take to bed just after breakfast and Linet, the second housemaid, had been run ragged all day by her demanding mistress and her ever-arriving family. Now, finally done with work, she just wanted to stare at the stars and dream.
“Close the window,” Ann-Marie said, coughing from her iron bedstead in the darkest corner of the room.
“In a minute.” Linet took one last breath of chilly air and had her hand on the sill when she heard a metallic chugging in the distance. The sound came from outside, and wasn’t likely to be Father Christmas.

What are you stuffing into stockings this Christmas? Leave me a comment below.

 

One commenter will win an electronic copy of my sweet holiday romance, “Victoriana.”*

 


Author bio:
Heather Hiestand is the author of seven novels as well as many novellas and short stories. Her imagination keeps her entertained with romance, mystery and futuristic/fantasy story ideas, many of which eventually become words on a page. She lives in Washington State with her husband and son. For more information, see her website at http://www.heatherhiestand.com.

Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas Blurb:
Housemaid Linet Fenna would rather be an air pirate than a servant. When she finds the ladder to an airship dangling outside her garret window on Christmas Eve, 1892, she ascends to the skies above London on her late father’s flagship dirigible, the Christmas. The new captain is someone she never expected to see again, a dangerous, sexy foe. Is the Fenna family nemesis offering Linet her heart’s desire or a dastardly trap?

Captain Andrew’s motivations are as foggy as the coal-soaked sky. Prime Minister Gladstone’s Blockaders, a horde of automen and a teenage girl named Hatchet want Linet to fail in her quest to discover what happened to her missing family, but she is determined to have a happy Christmas.

You can get Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas at the follow places:
Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Captain-Christmas-Steampunk-Smugglers-ebook/dp/B005WASTQK
Smashwords:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/96889
BN:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Captain-Andrews-Flying-Christmas/Heather-Hiestand/e/2940013314191

ARe:
http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-captainandrew039sflyingchristmas-624819-339.html

I love this premise, don’t you folks? Oh the romance of the Victorian age… 😉 Don’t forget to leave her a comment or question for a chance to win a copy of Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas! Thanks for being with us, Heather, good luck with Captain Andrew–I mean, with your book about the Captain– (why is my minion looking at me like that? I didn’t say a word.) Have a great holiday!

*Giveaway has ended