Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Author Amey Zeigler

When I was nine years old, I had three goals. One of them was to be a writer. The second to serve a volunteer mission for my church. The last was to travel to Switzerland. For some reason I was obsessed with Switzerland. I knew they had four national languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh. And wanted to learn French so I could go there. Well, I ended up serving in Geneva, Switzerland in my twenties. And while I was working too hard to be much of a tourist, I promised myself I would come back some day. Earlier this year, my husband and I had a chance to go back and do all the things I couldn’t do when I lived there.


 The first thing I wanted to do was to go on the Chocolate Train up in the Gruy√®re mountains.
We left from Montreux and climbed up through a mountain pass. They served us hot chocolate and warm pain au chocolat with hazel nuts.


Of course they gave us little samples of chocolate to prepare our palettes for what was to come.

Our first stop was the Gruyere Cheese factory. All the milk is imported from cows grazing on these lush green pastures.


We had to stick our heads in the cut out!


The tour walked us through the process of making cheese. Those wheels of cheese weigh like 80 pounds!


Our next stop was the medieval town of Gruyere. We hiked all around. The weather was perfect.


Then at last we stopped at the chocolate factory. They walked us through an animatronic explanation of where chocolate came from. At the end, there was a chocolate sampling room. They taught us how to properly do a chocolate tasting, using all five senses.  I am smelling the chocolate in this picture.


Of course, they sold chocolate at the end. And we had to buy some!

The view of the Dents Du Midi across Lake Geneva was spectacular. 

The Swiss Rivera is one of my favorite places in the world. Favorites:

Place to eat: Les Trois Sifflet for fondue in Vevey. They came out with a bazooka sized pepper shaker and played an anthem.

Thing to do: Walking around the lake. It’s so romantic. Swans, flowers sunsets.

Place to visit: Chateau de Chillon. Lord Byron wrote a poem about a prisoner there and carved his name into the limestone dungeon walls.

***

Title: Baker’s Dozen 
Author/pen name: Amey Zeigler

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication:   December 15, 2017
   
ISBN: 978-1-5092-1838-7

Number of pages:  372
Word Count:  89507

Blurb:

Twenty-three year-old investigative journalist, Andy Miller is armed with her many disguises and creativity to take down the riff-raff of Saint Louis. When her stepbrother is murdered by the mob, Andy soon discovers she’s out of her depth.
Enter Hugh Donaldson who has reasons of his own for discovering the murderer. He’ll use everything in his power to achieve that, including lying to Andy about his past. Dangerous as he is attractive, his martial arts skills and his quirky ways raise Andy’s suspicions.
Although Andy balks at his lies, Hugh’s charms, twenty-inch biceps, and electrifying blue eyes are difficult to resist. Striking out on their own, Hugh and Andy try to outwit each other as they traverse North America tracking down people connected to the case.
As clues disappear and the body count climbs, Andy and Hugh must trust each other and use their combined skills to bring the murderer to justice.

Buy links:



Excerpt:

He stepped closer, lowering his chin, giving her a deep stare. His eyes had a depth Andy had never seen before. Knowledge and understanding and something else in those pupils.
“Your black belt won’t always save you, you know.”
Andy turned away. He continued to follow her.
For some reason, his persistence irked her. She thrust a hand to his chest. Rock solid. “Don’t. I could take you down if I had to.”
“I’m sure you could.” A cocky grin started at one side of his mouth, before spreading to the other. “Goodnight, then.” With a salute to her, he marched backward. When he rounded the corner out of sight, Andy found her phone and dialed Carla.
“What did the guy want?” Carla asked.
“Karate lessons.”
“Are you sure? I think he was into you.”
Andy changed the subject. “What did your mom
want?”
Before Carla answered, two men in rubber masks rushed Andy, sliding up beside her, grabbing her phone and purse. She immediately let go of the burner phone, but her tote! Everything she needed was in there.
She was not giving up her bag without a fight.

Author bio:

I wrote my first mystery with my best friend in fourth grade. I wrote, she illustrated. It also had a cute boy in it with spiky hair (because that was the style back then). Not much has changed. I love mystery. I love romance. I love suspense. I love action, adventure and comedy. But I want it to have a happy ending.
I love writing about different places because I grew up moving all around the United States. In my books, I want to explore the whole world.
Growing up, my poor mom had to be so patient with me as I always wanted to try new things. I played violin, drums, flute, piano, all before I was sixteen. I also discovered I don't have much talent for music.
When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was afraid to tell them I wanted to write because I didn't know how to write.
I am so grateful for my Sophomore year Honor's English teacher who gave me a star and five points (highest marks!) on my personal essay in the category for Voice. I wouldn't have hoped to have had enough talent to pursue writing otherwise.
I'd like to thank my college writing professor who gave me a C in Creative Writing: Short Story writing. I worked even harder on my own and published my first short story the next semester.
I adopt stray furniture left on the side of the road. I like to fix it up and give it a new home and look.


Author website and social media links:

Twitter: @ameyzeigler



Thursday, November 30, 2017

Author Ann Gimpel

My favorite place in the world is Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. They’re still relatively pure and untouched. The wildlife is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. There’s no experience quite like getting out of a Zodiac raft, walking onto a beach, and settling on some ice -coated rocks. Baby seals come sit in your lap. Penguins come close enough to peck you. I’ve spent two months there, and I’m trying to find some justification to go back. I dream about the southern end of the world, and it’s featured in several of my books. Icy Passage, and the Bitter Harvest series.


Small ships (e.g. less than a hundred passengers) are the way to go. The huge cruise ships never let you go ashore. The trips I took have landings two and three times a day. The schedule is weather dependent. First trip there, we had weeks of 90 knot winds and 30 foot swells. It was wild and incredible. You truly get a sense of the power of nature in an up close and personal way. My other suggestion is to sign up for the sea kayak option. I probably should stop there. I could chat about Antarctica for hours. My friends have learned not to encourage me. LOL





***
Tarnished Legacy
Soul Dance
Book 2
Ann Gimpel

Narrated by Gregory Salinas
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins

Series: Soul Dance, Book 2

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 06-26-17

Publisher: Ann Gimpel Books, LLC



Tarnished Beginnings

Egypt is a haven for magic-wielders of all kinds. Vampires hold court, staying one step ahead of the priests who want them dead. Gypsy caravans roam the Nile, plying their wares.

Tairin Jabari was born in a caravan and has always believed she's Romani. Why wouldn't she? Her mother and father never suggested otherwise. The Rom have harsh rules. When Tairin's first shift catches her unaware at 13, her father disappears, and the elders move with deadly speed to punish her mother for mating outside the blood.

Hurt, lost, confused, and fearing for her own life, Tairin runs away, leaving her mother's smoking funeral pyre behind. With her survival on the line every single day, she and her wolf face hard choices.

Tarnished Legacy

Half Romani, Tairin's no stranger to hiding her mixed blood from gypsy caravans. What she can't hide is her perpetual youth, courtesy of her shifter heritage. She's overstayed her welcome where she is, but Germany is at war, and travel has become impossible for everyone targeted by the Reich.

Elliott's clairvoyance is strong. Seer for all the caravans in Germany, he catches Tairin eavesdropping outside their leader's wagon. He should turn her in, but he can't bring himself to do that. Instead, he interrogates her. Her magic is different, but he can't figure out quite what she is.

Any association between Romani and shifters is forbidden. Tairin should leave right now, tonight - before he discovers what she is and destroys her.

©2017 Ann Gimpel Books, LLC



About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.



Find Ann At:







Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Author Tessa Levy

Spotlight HTML


No One But You
Tessa Levy

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Filament Publishing

ISBN: 978-1912256051

Book Description:

The book is a fictional account of a young girl's story based on the true life of Tessa Levy, the author, who co-wrote the book with her youngest daughter Shelley Cassidy. From the post-war East End of London, to the high life of America and back again. It portrays a young girl's yearning for adventure and opportunity and ultimately love, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Tessa, the main character, was the youngest child of a large family and had the responsibility of caring for her beloved dying mother. When her father secretly marries another woman, who moves into their home with her three children, Tessa's world is shattered. She seeks solace from distant cousins whom she has never met in America, with whom she secretly commences correspondence. She reveals her situation and she is invited to stay with her cousins.

At the tender age of 17, she sets off on the adventure of a lifetime. A year and a half later, she returns to England as a glamorous young women, having fallen in love for the first time. However, she crosses the cultural divide and struggles to resettle, despite her family's best efforts to reintegrate her into their Jewish community in London. Eventually meeting the man she will marry, she suffers another painful premature family death.

She embarks on motherhood and a career, which she loves and excels at. However, life continues to challenge her happiness and she finds herself torn between the two loves of her life: the handsome, poetic and artistic Gus in America, and the charismatic, successful, but disloyal David in England, both so very different.

Once again, the Atlantic splits her heart. Her romantic adventure, back and forth between the two countries, ultimately answer the underlying theme of the book; whether it is possible to love two men in one life.

Amazon     AmazonUK      Filament Publishing

About the Author:

Tessa Levy was born in the in the East End of London, as the youngest of six children in a Jewish family; Russian immigrants to England before the Second World War. The author, like her brothers in the fashion business and her husband in the nightclub trade of Soho, made a success of her antique business – a truly entrepreneurial woman in an era when business was dominated by men - specialising in Imari porcelain and creating an established presence in the Kensington Pavilion.

Now in her 80s, Tessa resides in West London, opposite Hyde Park, and maintains one foot on either side of the pond. No One But You is Tessa Levy’s first book, based on real events, which brings to light a topical immigrant family story of displacement, hardship, disease and death, but also of inclusion, friendship, love and success. It crosses the divide not only between two cultural differences, but also two faiths and families.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Author Sorchia DuBois




Haunted Scottish Castles 

by Sorchia DuBois

As a financially-challenged writer, my midweek escapes usually don’t go much further than my own porch, but I have high hopes of broadening my experiences. If I had the option, I would point my toes in the direction of Scotland.
You can’t swing a dead cat in Scotland without hitting a haunted castle—though swinging cats, dead or otherwise, is not the best way to plan a vacation. When I was researching for my Zoraida Grey trilogy, I read enough about castles to know I belong in one. No single castle served as inspiration. Instead, the haunted castle in the series is a combination of many real castles. I took the tastiest bits of reality, added a touch of imagination, and steeped the whole thing in magic. The result is Castle Logan, home of the bewitching Logan clan.
While you can’t spend a night in Castle Logan, many haunted castles offer rooms for the courageous—or foolhardy—tourist.  Here are two.



Tulloch Castle Hotel

A very old castle, the original structure may date back as far as 1166. Tulloch Hill has been the site of human activity since the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The castle sits between two fault lines, which occasionally produce minor tremors, adding to the intrigue and mystery of the site. In the 1800s, Duncan Davidson, the 4th laird of Tulloch acquired the moniker of “The Stag” because he fathered at least eighteen children by five wives along with a number in excess of thirty illegitimate offspring. The Green Lady who haunts the castle is said to be his daughter. The story goes that she stumbled upon him and a female companion in a compromising situation. She fled and fell down the stairs.
The Stag succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 81. His fifth wife survived him—which fulfilled a prophecy of the Brahan Seer who predicted all five wives and that the last would outlive the laird. 
Recently, two female skeletons were unearthed during renovations. Local folklore says they may have been nuns.
For only £85 to £135 or $112 to $180 per night, you can spend a terrifying night in Tulloch Castle. Experiences reported include night terrors and a suffocating presence, the floating apparition known as The Green Lady, the appearance of two young girls and their mother in Victorian dress, and numerous unexplained bumps, bangs, touches, whispers, and so on.


Culzean Castle

The castle that most resembles fictional Castle Logan is real life Culzean (pronounced Cu-LANE) Castle. It sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea and has battlements and turrets galore. The caves beneath the castle reek with legend which I used to flesh out the history of Castle Logan.  You can even get a tour of them in the summer. Culzean Castle would be a deliciously spooky place to spend the night.
Back in the day—and by that I mean waaay back in the sixteenth century–– an unlucky chap was roasted nearly to death in the dungeons. His screams and the crackling of a roaring fire still trouble guests who visit the site—known as The Black Vault.
Ghosts include a lady in a ballgown, a mysterious piper, and a White Lady who may be the spirit of a mistreated servant girl.
It will cost a cool £150 to £375 or $200 to $500 per night—but Wow!

Tulloch Castle and Culzean Castle are only two haunted castle hotels. Any one of them would make a midweek escape to remember—if you survive.

***

Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones blurb

Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.

Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.


Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones Excerpt

We are in a land of green hillsides and bubbling brooks. Jagged ridges drop sharply to murky lochs and craggy mountains. The highway winds up the side of a hill and whips ninety degrees around, heading down the other side.

“You don’t suppose that’s it, do you.” Zhu sticks her head out the window like a puppy. The wind lashes
her long hair around her head. She points across a wide valley.

I suck in a sharp breath, and it’s all I can do not to stomp the brakes. On the very tiptop of a rocky crag, a castle overlooks the steel blue waters of a narrow loch. Gray walls and turrets cast long, dark shadows across the clustered houses of a village huddled beneath the curve of the hill. Flickers of green and blue shimmer around the castle walls, subtle but steady. The entire place glows with magic.

“Sweet Mother Merryweather!” I cast quick glances from the twisting road to the castle. A green roadside sign reads Black Bridge with the Gaelic name Loch an Drochaiddubh below.

As we approach the village, the castle looms against the darkening sky, and the buzzards in my stomach do stunt dives. A tall black tower juts far above the rest of the castle walls. I squint, trying to focus on the tiny figure behind the crenellated fortifications at its very top. The back of my neck prickles as if unfriendly eyes are on me.

Get your own copy of Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones and get ready for book 2 in the series, Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen.




Sorchia’s Social Media Links

Blog/Website:

Twitter:

Pinterest:

Facebook:

Amazon author page:

Goodreads  author page:

Google +:


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Author Kay Phoenix

Hi, me again. 



Today, I'm actually headed off on my own midweek escapes adventure which I look forward to telling you about.


Here is a hint:



In the meantime, why not take a trip to Vegas, at least for a few hours, with this brand new anthology! 

Vegas...where love is always in the cards!

***

Title: Love for the Holidays (my story, “Time for Christmas”)
Author/pen name: Kay Phoenix

Genre:  Romance

Publisher: Sin City Romance Writers

Date of Publication:  Nov. 3, 2017

ASIN:  B07564WJQL
·         ISBN-10: 0998672157
·         ISBN-13: 978-0998672151

Blurb:  

(for Book) 
Love is always in the cards with Love for the Holidays. Las Vegas temperatures are cold in December, but the heat from these seductive holiday tales will keep you warm. Whether the hero is a casino owner, executive, playboy, or rancher, they’re no match for the ladies of Vegas, when Christmas magic is in the air

(For my story) 
Sparks flew when Andrew and Regina met the first time, but the discovery that he was her new boss snuffed out their budding romance.
Now, a job transfer makes their remaining time together much too short.
Can a hefty sprinkle of Christmas magic finally set them both on the right path? Will they realize that time, like love is a gift not to be wasted?


Buy links:




Excerpt:

Regina inhaled in a deep breath and tried to calm her nerves. What did he want to see her about? Hadn’t he just seen her? Good grief on Earth this was nerve racking and right before five o’clock.

Each step up seemed to take a week. Finally, she rounded the corner to his secretary’s desk. Pam glanced up at her over dark-rimmed glasses. She motioned over her shoulder. “He said for you to go on in.”

“Thanks.”

He was in his chair with his back to her, looking out the window. “Shut the door,” he said, and turned to face her, “and have a seat.”

Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. It wasn’t like she hadn’t been in his office before. She had, but never alone. Always for a team project. She glanced at the clock on the wall above his desk. Only ten minutes until quitting time. Did she do something wrong? Or, was this about starting a new, tedious project.

“So, Regina, I went over everything you did on the Clough account. Good job. But, I have a couple questions for you about the ATI account.”

She nodded. “Okay, what are they?”

“Great. Come over here. I want to show you what I’m looking at.” He motioned with his hand for her to stand beside him as if he wanted to show her something on his screen.

She joined him behind the desk, and was immediately aware of his close proximity. His fresh, woodsy scent was intoxicating. On his computer screen was a photo of the Tower of London.

Author bio:

Ms. Phoenix is a rare bird herself...a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. She belongs to Las Vegas Romance Writers and has served on the board for several years. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America with PAN status.

Prior to writing, Kay was a Graphic Artist for fifteen years in the casino industry and holds degrees in both Graphic Arts and Psychology. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling and photography. She is also involved in several Las Vegas non-profits, and is the current Chairman of a popular, long-running, local art show.

Kay has been blessed to be able to travel many places, which inspired her to host a weekly author spotlight called “Midweek Escapes” on her blog. It features guest author’s favorite vacation destinations, their travel tips, and, of course, information about their book releases and occasional giveaways.





Friday, November 3, 2017

RELEASE DAY! Love for the Holidays!

Can a hefty sprinkle of Christmas magic finally set them both on the right path? Find out in Time for Christmas by Kay Phoenix in the newest anthology by Sin City Romance Writers.

 Love for the Holidays!

 



#LovefortheHolidays #SinCityRomanceWriters  #HolidayRomance

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Author JoJo Christophor

My favorite vacation is cruising. I can visit several exciting vacation destinations and experience several different cultures in one week, or one weekend. Depending on the length of a cruise you have mixture of sea-days (where you stay aboard) or days when you visit a port of call. Each port of call has shore excursions you may choose, they usually last 3-4 hours, or longer. I highly recommend doing the excursions sold by the cruise line. If you’re more adventurous you can hook-up with the locals and do your own thing. But, remember if you do, the cruise line is not responsible if something goes awry. You could find yourself waving to the ship as it sails away because you didn’t get back in time. (Have seen this happen)    

The best part of cruising for me…I can do as little, or as much as I want and I only have to unpack once. Cruise ships have adult areas, depending on the cruise line it may be called, Serenity, Solarium, or Sanctuary. There you can lounge for hours; I used these areas to rejuvenate my body, mind, and yes, write.

Price depends on the length or the cruise, and your cabin. I love windows. A cabin with a balcony is best for me. I enjoy the sunrises and sunsets, and of course the ocean’s deep blue waters churning into an amazing aqua color as the ship stirs up the ocean as it glides through it.

I tease my husband, telling him he shouldn’t be left home alone. If he is, we’re booked on another cruise. Right now we have 4 cruises lined up through April of 2019. I’m smiling as I write this, because my hubby is searching for a September 2019 cruise. Here I am, trying to lose the ten pounds I gain from the cruise we just got back from.


Each night when the cabin steward is making up your cabin they leave a small animal made from towels.  I believe you can attend a class while on board for animal towel making, and some cruise lines sell a book.  Here are a few of my animal friends.


            This is the atrium of one of the cruises we took over Christmas. 


When hurricanes don’t play nice you get a lot of ships in one port of call. My camera didn’t get them all, there were six ships docked in Cozumel. Shopping  that day reminded me of Black Friday. 

***



  
Title: Love for the Holidays
Author/pen name: JoJo Kaloian w/a JoJo Christophor

Genre:  Romance

Publisher: Sin City Romance Writers

Date of Publication:  November 3, 2017

ASIN:  B07564WJQL
·     ISBN-10: 0998672157
·     ISBN-13: 978-0998672151

Number of pages: 350
Word Count: 65,000 

Blurb:

(for Book) Love is always in the cards with Love for the Holidays. Las Vegas temperatures are cold in December, but the heat from these seductive holiday tales will keep you warm. Whether the hero is a casino owner, executive, playboy, or rancher, they’re no match for the ladies of Vegas, when Christmas magic is in the air.

(for my story) When Lyon Black learns he has a daughter Clover Collins hopes their rekindled love is strong enough to overcome her secret. Only together can they find a family Christmas in A Christmas to Remember by JoJo Christophor.
  
     The first published work by JoJo Christophor

Buy links:


Excerpt:

 “Clover?” Her name rolled across his tongue as if savoring a fine brandy. She stood as tall as her five-foot-four frame would allow, and stepped out of the shadows.
“Hello, Lyon.”
By his intense stare, she couldn’t tell if he was in shock or glad to see her. She hoped for glad. Either way it didn’t diminish his incredible handsomeness. The barrier she’d built around her heart seemed to melt away. A longing she thought had disappeared flooded to the surface. 
“Wow. Clover. It’s really you?” The corners of his mouth turned up as his dark emerald eyes roamed over her body and settled on her face. “You have no idea how many times I wondered if you still lived in Vegas.” 
What? 
Had he admitted he thought about her? 
She held out her hand hoping it didn’t shake like the rest of her body.
Lyon took it and sparks from his touch shot through her stomach to her lower body. She heard him gasp. Did he feel the sparks too?
“Is this how you greet an old friend?”
He reached for her. 
The heat emanating from his body was a bitter-sweet reminder of how he used to make her feel. She closed her eyes and allowed his hug to give her a sense of belonging. She’d forgotten how his spicy male scent made her head spin. 
He remembered her.
No, she couldn’t go swooning over Lyon despite what her heart was telling her. Protect Amy’s identity. That was her goal. She wouldn’t let Lyon get the chance to reject her daughter like he had rejected her. 


Author bio:

JoJo Christophor writes contemporary and paranormal romance.
Her family and friends told her she was too dramatic, and her head was filled with lofty dreams. She viewed those comments as good things.  JoJo put her so-called “dramatic-lofty-dreams-trait” to work. She began to listen to the stories bouncing around in her brain. They would keep her up at night until she started putting those stories on paper. When she ended up owning a travel agency her Muse jumped for joy. She would be able to see those parts of the world where her stories took place. 
JoJo lives with her loving husband and a very mouthy cat. If she’s not working or writing you will find her on a cruise ship sailing with her husband.



Author website and social media links:

Visit JoJo online at http://www.jojochristophor.com