The Diary – one year anniversary!

The DiaryWell, technically it’s been longer, since The Diary was initially published under another title, but last year on August 13th I was republishing the freshly-edited version of my suspense gothic romance. I thought I was done with it, I was and still am very proud of this book, but over time its magic has clung to my subconscious. Which is why I wrote Celebrity, another novel that shows how The Diary would be turned into a Hollywood movie. BTW, Celebrity is FREE this week, so if you want to grab a copy, all I ask for in return is a nice review 🙂

BUT this is not where the story ends. Prompted by readers, reviewers and my own urge to continue weaving stories about Hunter’s and Serena’s adventures, I have decided The Diary is the first book in a hopefully prolific series. So right after I finish editing my work-in-progress (I’ll treat you with a sneak peek next week! 🙂 ), I’m going to start writing the next Hunter and Serena book. No, I don’t have a name for the series yet, so if you’ve read The Diary, I would love to learn your impressions and ideas in the comments, as well as your suggestions for the next book in the series.

Until next week! ❤

Thank you_The Diary

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Fall in love with several new heroes – FIVE books at 99 CENTS!

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Derrick and his powerful brethren live among humans in secret. With his predestined future, everything goes according to plan — until he falls in love with a human woman. Now Derrick must choose between his people and his heart in this swoon-worthy complete series.

Publisher Description

FALL in LOVE with a New Hero!

For four thousand years, creatus have concealed themselves from the humans who hunted them almost to extinction. Unwittingly, one creatus will endanger them all…

Many questions surround the origin of these sentient beings who are stronger than humans, eat differently, and live longer. But they were created just as we were, maybe even before us. It is from them we obtain our fairy tales–and our nightmares. They are the reason we believe in superheroes–and monsters. Because…they exist.

In the past, creatus kept the human race safe from an anonymous distance. But now Derrick must come out of the darkness to save a woman he has no business loving, even if doing so may threaten his entire race.

The Creatus Series is not your normal paranormal story…it’s a realistic romantic mystery based on the myths you’ve heard your entire life. Prepare to believe…

The Creatus Series Boxed Set contains all five books in the Creatus series.

REVIEWS:

“This story is completely unique, and is definitely not generic sex and vampires. In fact, I think Creatus will redefine the paranormal genre. Creatus has intrigue,suspense, romance, and tremendous depth.” — Top #500 Amazon Reviewer Vine Voice

“This book could easily classify itself as romance / mystery / suspense / thriller… I’m not a big Twilight fan, but I did enjoy the first movie… I found Creatus reminding me somewhat of Twilight, but with actors I loved.” — New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda S. Prather

”…well written, compassionately told, and creates characters that make you want to know them better. It is the foundation for a great series, and I believe it will be quite popular.” — Sweet Mystery Books.

BUY IT TODAY FROM AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE, iBOOKS, GOOGLE PLAY, KOBO

Are you in on this Top 5 favorite TV shows?

Hi guys!

Summer is here, holidays are the lights at the end of the work tunnel, and some of us might actually have some free time for relaxation soon. 😍

As most people, I enjoy a good TV show, but since my hubby and I have SUCH different tastes (he likes the typical guy thing: crime, drama, things blowing up, blood and gore all over, and I prefer rom-coms and chicklit), we have some trouble choosing stuff to watch. Nonetheless, we both enjoy family shows, and those are the winners in my Top 5 favorite TV shows. 

So, let’s start with

#5: TWO AND A HALF MEN – the CBS show that basically paid Charlie Sheen to play Charlie Harper (which is 100% Charlie Sheen), and get awards for this! Not your average family show, but it certainly teaches us a thing or three about family, and how disfunctional things can get. Sick at times, rarely serious, always lough-out-loud funny!

Two and a half men

#4: SIREN – a new show from Freeform that–well–shows promise, not because of the newbie actors who are sometimes quite bad at it, but because the storyline is super original. At least, it’s nothing I’ve seen/read about before. I can’t decide if this show is horror, fantasy, or just an unlikely romance between man and mermaid, but so far I am hooked by the gorgeous settings and eerie atmosphere. The downside is that the first season, which just ended, had only 10 episodes, and the next season is scheduled for 2019. 😦

Siren

 #3: OUTLANDER – the rising star of Starz, which is already 3 seasons down, with season 4 expected this November. I was in love with the books loooooong before they became TV material, but at first I wasn’t sold on the show. However, the exceptional actors and incredible settings bring to life beautifully the powerful love story of Jamie and Claire, as well as their adventures while they try to change history. Diana Gabaldon certainly did!

Outlander

#2: THE MIDDLE – No wonder the first episode starts with Frankie dressed as Wonder Woman. Anyone who raises even one kid — not to mention three — is a hero! This is a perfect family show about your average imperfect family. For someone who doesn’t have kids yet, I wonder if I should take parenting lessons from this show… 🤔 Probably not, but it’s still fun and cozy.

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And now drum rolls please…

#1: THE KING OF QUEENS –  another winner from CBS! When I first saw this show I told my husband “We have to sue somebody. These people stole our life story!”

You guessed, the resemblance between this show and our life is so uncanny I could swear we served as inspiration, except the show started airing in 1998, and hubby and I got married in 2006. Still, I can’t believe there are three people in this world to resemble us so much, from funny, good-natured Doug, to loud-mouth, pushy Carrie, and… Arthur.😑 The only difference is that he isn’t living in our basement. Other than that, the similarities are downright spooky. Hubby gets an eye twitch whenever we watch it. 😀 Whether or not you have an Arthur too, this show is definitely one you have to watch at least once in your lifetime!

King

I hope you guys liked my Top 5 fav TV shows, and if you’d like to help me expand my list do let me know in your comments what shows you like and why. ❤

 

Review: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden

929As most of you probably know by now, I’m a voracious reader and a total book addict. Which is why I’ve decided to make a special section on my blog to post reviews of my favorite books. Since I have thousands of books I like – literally – probably I won’t be able to write about all of them. Not in this lifetime anyway. But speaking of that, Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha is one of those books you must read at least once in your life.

A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.
In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

I’ve read this book for the first time about ten years ago, and I confess I was lost in the storytelling more than in the depth of the characters. However, when I’ve reread it again recently, I discovered how much feeling the author has poured into it. As a longtime fan of Japanese literature, I sensed the difference in the writing style of American author Arthur Golden, who sometimes exaggerates in his efforts to showcase the solid research he’s done about the Japanese culture. However, even if not perfectly accurate, Golden paints a vivid picture of the Geishas and creates a compelling plot that’s definitely worth reading. The story is powerful not just because of the controversial and emotional subject, but also because it’s exotic and gives the reader a good insight into a mysterious, almost forbidden world – the life of a Geisha. That alone makes this book worth reading, not only for entertainment, but also because it’s an interesting piece of history cleverly disguised as bestselling fiction. Five stars!

I also recommend the following books, written in a similar style and guaranteed to draw you in:

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And a selection of movies you should see at least once in a lifetime, from one movie aficionado to another:

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Review: Some Lucky Woman by Carmen DeSousa

Morning, peeps! I don’t know about you, but spring — when it’s finally sunny and warm as it should be! — always puts me in the mood for reading some chicklit. So a couple of days ago I picked up Some Lucky Woman by Carmen DeSousa — I went for the audio version, because this is my favorite format. The only thing I can’t do while listening to a book is vacuum, but one of these days I plan to buy myself one of those new silent vacuums.2307321_orig

Anyway, this is my second book by Carmen DeSousa, after Love Like Crazy, and I’m not just hooked, but amazed of how versatile this author can be. She tackles the chicklit genre just as well as she does young adult, suspense, and paranormal romance. With this audio book, she literally had me laughing out loud from the first paragraphs, in such a well written scene that is enhanced by a great narrator, whose interpretation is suitably quirky. Jana is your average woman with high intelligence and bad luck in love. Add a cheating ex-husband named Dick in the picture… Go figure! After she divorces him, her professional life becomes her focus, and soon she becomes a successful writer — that’s what I call living the dream! Her love life on the other hand is inexistent. That is, until she meets the handsome Adrian…
Overall, I thought this was a lovely, light-hearted journey that kept me smiling and wishing I were Jana, even in the trickiest of situations, which she treats with the best weapon she has : humor and sarcasm. Not to mention I was thrilled to see there’s a second book in the series: Down on Her Luck. Can you guess what I’m doing today? 😀

If this book appeals to you, I’ve also put together a selection of similar books you might like. I’ve read and LOVE all of them — reviews to come! ❤

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The Easter Bunny brings you The Spring Book Fair!

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Reading is trendy,

Reading is cool,

The Easter Bunny

Has presents for you!

Because it’s spring and it’s sunny, and there’s nothing better than to sit in the park and read a good book, eNovel Authors at Work and eBookBetty have joined forces to make your spring amazing! Below you have a listing of free and 99 cents books, AND an invitation to enter our giveaway, to win one of these awesome prizes!

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Here are the book deals we put together for you, available through March 25. After you check them out, don’t forget to scroll down the page and enter our giveaway!

Creatus - Carmen DeSousa

FREE

The Amulet - Effrosyni Moschoudi

$0,99

The Job Blower - Melinda De Ross

$0,99

The Egg Basket - Cait London

$0,99

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FREE

This Piece of My Soul - Robyn M. Ryan

$0,99

No Perfect Fate - Jackie Weger

FREE

Ruse Romance - Suzanne G. Rogers

$0,99

We hope you liked the selection of books we carefully prepared for you. To enter the giveaway and take a closer look at the fabulously extravagant prizes, click on the image below, and find the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of the page. Good luck! 🙂

March 2018 Meme Designs 2-28-18 10AM - 4

 

Need an original, outstanding cover designer? Call Melinda De Ross

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Jpeg Melinda

Good morning! It’s definitely cold and wintry here this morning, but it can’t last. Spring is only 4 days away!

This morning, I would like to pay tribute to Melinda De Ross, and if you haven’t seen here here before, I would like to introduce you to this incredible cover artist, one who has created several covers for me over the years.

With Simon & Schuster’s recent decision to shut down the Crimson Romance imprint, many authors may be considering indie publishing books orphaned in the move. There are many steps and stages to Indie publishing, but one of the most important is finding the right cover. So, let me introduce you to mine.

WBB final coverIn my opinion, I believe an eye-catching cover is the first step to  attracting potential readers.  My most recent release, Wedding Bell Blues features on of De Ross’s covers. She worked with me to create…

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Review of The Diary from InD’tale Magazine

Good Sunday morning, everyone! It’s a dreary, cloudy day here, one of those days when you just want to cuddle with a good book, a huge mug of hot chocolate and a spouse/kid/pet by your side. Lucky you if you have all of that AND time to read. 😀

My day has suddenly brightened an hour ago, when I saw that InD’tale Magazine has finally reviewed my book, The Diary, which I submitted in August 2017. I was a little anxious  because I know this magazine is quite exigent, and The Diary is one of my best books, so imagine my delight when I saw it got a 4 star review from Majanka Verstraete!

Without any more preamble, here is the much-expected review:

The diary teaser

stars-4 GOTHIC:  In Transylvania, a castle is uncovered that once belonged to Erzsébet Báthory, the infamous Blood Countess. Cameraman Hunter Cole and journalist Serena Scott are called to the castle to make a documentary about the discovery. The more they work together, the more they’re drawn to one another, as Serena uncovers certain hidden depths to Hunter’s character. As tension lingers between them and the attraction between them grows, can they still keep things professional? When in a nearby village, two girls are tortured and killed in a manner very similar to Báthory’s modus operandi, Serena and Hunter fear they might have a copycat killer on their hands. Then the question arises: who will be next?

As far as murder mysteries go, “The Diary” is quite solid, with a few unexpected twists. The throwback to Báthory’s way of working is intriguing too, as the Blood Countess was certainly an interesting historical figure, although quite frightening and deadly too. The author shines when describing atmosphere, not just in the old, decrepit castle, but also in the nearby village. There’s a palpable sense of isolation for both characters, contradicted only by the growing bond between them. Fans of mystery novels, especially ones with a lot of romance and historic twists, will definitely enjoy this book.

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Monday Teaser: THE DIARY

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Hello, friends and fellow book lovers! I hope your week started as well as mine, because today I finally began writing again, after a pause of several months. The novel I’m working on is a complex thriller, probably the first in a series. And speaking of series, I have taken another important decision, based on the wonderful reviews and emails I have received from readers regarding my novel, THE DIARY: I have decided to continue Hunter and Serena’s adventures, and write an entire series featuring these amazing characters! I’m not revealing more at the moment, but I promise 2018 will be a year full of surprises. 😉

For those of you who haven’t already read THE DIARY, this is the blurb:

In the legendary Transylvania, a castle belonging to Countess Erzsébet Báthory is discovered. Cameraman Hunter Cole and broadcast journalist Serena Scott arrive to make a documentary about the discovery, and the sinister Hungarian noblewoman, known as the most prolific female serial killer in history. 
The two Americans could cope with roughing it in a fifteenth-century castle, with no modern amenities. They can even cope with each other, despite their initial mutual dislike for one another, which gradually turns into a mind-blowing attraction. The Diary Cover
But when two girls are tortured and killed in Báthory copycat style, the nearby village is shaken to the core. In terror, they wonder who will be next…

Author’s Note

Erzsébet Báthory (1560-1614) is a known historical figure and was a Hungarian countess, also known as Elizabeth Báthory, The Blood Countess or Countess Dracula. She has been labeled the most prolific serial killer in history, being responsible for the torture and murder of hundreds of young girls. The exact number of her victims is unknown, but is estimated at six hundred and fifty. It is speculated that she kept a diary with the names of all her victims, but if such a document exists, it has never been made public.
*This work is entirely fiction.

EXCERPT from THE DIARY

There are certain dreams where one knows that one’s dreaming. Those dreams where one can even choose and control what happens in the dream—the chances of actually fulfilling some of the fantasies each of us have.
Then there are the true nightmares, which seem more real than any reality one has ever known. The kind of dreams that swallow you whole, consume you, enslave your mind and bend it to their own illusory will.
The girl lay on the table in the torture room, her cuffed hands and feet struggling weakly, rattling the rusted chains. Her body was a mass of wounds, cuts and burns. Blood had clotted in rivulets all over her flesh. She didn’t have the strength to scream anymore, just whimpered pitifully from time to time. I stood helpless in the doorway, unable to move or to utter a sound, feeling trapped in my own terrified body.
The Countess stood looking down at Romelia, eyes glinting with cold-blooded madness, just like the knife she used to caress the girl’s naked body. Her splendid silk gown was the same color as the blood staining the blade. Her hair was piled up high, exposing the milky white, graceful curve of her neck. Her beauty was staggering, but poisonous—the beauty a demon is gifted to lure the innocent to their destruction.
Her red lips stretched into a wicked smile as she ran her finger over one of the girl’s wounds and lifted it to her mouth. When her eyes met mine, I looked into the abyss of evil, as paralyzed as the victim of a snake that mesmerizes its pray.
“It’s not only their blood I need,” she said in a low, sultry voice that chilled my bones to the depths. “I need their fear, their cries. I want to test their pain endurance. It’s fascinating how long they last, some of them. Others are a disappointment.” She shrugged her elegant shoulders. “Their minds just shut down. Their eyes become dull, even duller than they usually are.”
She grabbed the girl’s hair and lifted her head, putting her face close to the young woman’s.
“Wake up!” she shouted, but then let the head drop in disgust when she got no reaction. She sighed.
“This one is gone. Better end it. It’s no fun anymore.”
So saying, she put the knife to the girl’s throat and pressed the sharp edge into the soft flesh, bit by bit, as though cutting into a loaf of bread. When the girl’s body began to convulse and her blood gushed, my own scream seemed to tear me apart from the inside.

“Serena, wake up!”
“No, please, don’t! I beg you, don’t do this!”
“Baby, it was just a dream. Wake up now!”
My eyes were open, but I couldn’t see anything. I only heard Hunter’s voice through the ragged sound of my breathing. He was shaking me, murmuring words I could barely understand over the mad thumping of my heart.
“You were only dreaming,” he said again, taking my face between his hands and staring into my eyes. “It was just a nightmare. It’s gone now, do you understand? Look at me.”
Gradually, I brought his face into focus, concentrating on taking slow, deep breaths that cleared my head. When I nodded, he lowered his forehead over mine for a long moment.
“You know, being awakened by your screams in the middle of the night is going to make my hair gray prematurely.”
Though he tried to sound amused, I could hear the worry in his voice. I stifled a sob.
“I’m sorry, Hunter, I couldn’t help it. It was awful, the dream…”
I closed my eyes, unable to fight the shudder that shook me. He noticed and, drawing the sheet aside, pulled me onto his lap, rocking me gently like a child as he held me tight in his arms.
“I know, baby, I know. I was just kidding. What did you dream about?”
I burrowed my face into his shoulder, trying to get as close as possible to his warmth. I felt so safe and protected by the solid shield of his chest that my terror started to fade, even as I recalled the horrible dream.
“I dreamed of The Countess killing Romelia. She… She had tortured her, and then she started cutting her throat, slowly, agonizingly. She spoke to me. She said it wasn’t only their blood she needed, but their fear and their cries. She wanted to see how long they lasted.”
He stroked my hair as I spoke, keeping my face hidden into his shoulder. I dimly noticed that he had turned on the bedside lamp, which bathed the room in a soft, golden glow.
“It’s normal for you to have such dreams after all that’s happened,” he said, angling my head back with two fingers on my chin, to look down at my face. “You’ve taken this documentary too seriously. That alone was bound to give you nightmares, but Romelia’s murder is far worse than that. It triggered something dark in your subconscious.”
“Hunter, to me it’s obvious there’s a connection here. Don’t you agree?” I asked, staring earnestly up at him.
He nodded grimly.
“Of course there’s a connection. When a castle of The Blood Countess is discovered, a girl is tortured and killed in the same manner The Countess used on her victims. A blind man could see a connection, but what is it?”
I tucked my head under his chin again, unable to find a reply that would ease the frustration in his voice.
“I don’t know.” I sighed. “All I know is that I want to get the hell out of here as soon as possible. I know I’ll never forget this, but at least I want to be far away from this place.”
We sat in silence for a while. Finally, I raised my head again to look at him. The low light cast deep shadows over his face and under his eyes. His skin was pale under the two-day stubble.
“I’m sorry I woke you up. I know you need the rest as much as I do. But I really appreciate you coming to my rescue. Thank you,” I added, smiling faintly.
“You’re welcome,” he replied, his voice deep and husky.
At that moment, I discovered he was naked, except for a pair of black boxers. I had been sitting on his lap for at least a quarter of an hour, crawling all over him, but barely now the realization struck me. The smooth skin of his bare chest looked well tanned. His nipples were taut, dark against the dusting of golden hair sprinkled over his magnificent pectorals. It arrowed down over the length of his sinuous, muscled abdomen to disappear under the waistline of his underwear.
I swallowed hard, unable to keep my eyes off his body, so well sculptured it simply defined pure, raw masculinity. My gaze meandered up again and I noticed the tattoo on his left shoulder. It was a dark-gray snake curled around his rounded biceps. Its snarling head with demonic red eyes and bared fangs covered a good portion of the muscled shoulder. A triangle darted through the beast’s mouth, its top corner spearing its head.
“Any special significance?” I asked, indicating the tattoo with a motion of my chin.
“Just a little souvenir I brought from Saudi Arabia.” When I kept staring at him, he elaborated, “A cobra snuck up on me during my last mission in the Force. I was crawling on my belly during a hostage rescue mission, and the son of a bitch jumped right out of the sand. See? The eyes are drawn right where the fang marks were.” He put his fingers on the tattoo, where I could see two small, faint scars beyond the snake’s eyes.
“You were in the Army?”
He nodded shortly.
“Yeah, for ten years or so. But it wasn’t the life I wanted.”
I looked again at the tattoo. Then the light dawned on me. The triangle was in fact the Greek letter Delta.
“Delta Forces?”
He seemed surprised by my perceptiveness, but he nodded again.
I lifted my fingers to trace the marks on his flesh, invaded by an overwhelming feeling of tenderness. My heart melted as I thought of the pain and agony he must have experienced. He had been a soldier. A tough life, for tough men…
“You could have been killed,” I whispered, still touching him gingerly. Absurdly enough, I felt tears sting my eyes for the man who seemed to have such little happiness in his life. I wanted to cradle his head to my chest and comfort him like a child, to stroke his hair and show him the beauties of the world.
“I wasn’t,” he said gently.
He bent his head, lifting my hand to his mouth. His lips were incredibly soft on my palm, his hot breath sending shivers of arousal through my body. Our fingers interlaced and he looked up again. The intensity of his gaze was almost tangible, making my pulse accelerate as desire sizzled between us.

Available as eBook and paperback everywhere books are sold online, including AmazoniTunesBarnes&NobleKoboGoogle PlaySmashwords

Best Black Friday Book Deals You’ve Seen This Year!

Happy Friday everyone! Happy not because the weekend starts, but because today I have a big bundle of free and 99 cents bestsellers for you. So grab your virtual shopping cart and start browsing. 😉

creatus

FREE

In every myth, there’s a modicum of truth…

For four thousand years, creatus have concealed themselves from humans, who hunted them almost to extinction. Now, one creatus will endanger them all by falling in love–with a human. Prepare to believe the myths. Creatus exist!

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holiday m

99 CENTS

The betrayal of her cheating fiancé stole the joy of Christmas from Georgia Baxter. Finding Mark in bed with another woman was painful enough, but having to work with him three years later is worse. Especially since he’s determined to make her give him a second chance…

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the Ebb cover ABNA 533x800

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On a long holiday with her grandparents, Sofia Aspioti meets Danny Markson, a charming flirt who makes her laugh. Although she tries to keep him at arm’s length, worried that village gossip will get back to her strict family, she falls desperately in love. That’s when strange dreams about Brighton’s West Pier and a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her.

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aa-mimi

99 CENTS

Christmas is family time in small town, Carlton Grove.

A homeless pup adores a child, and his new master falls for her mom. This heartwarming tale about a puppy, a brave little girl and a single mom who can’t refuse her munchkin the chance to get to know her father creates a real page-turner.

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$1.99 NEW RELEASE – Special pre-order price!

If her husband turns up alive… she’ll kill him!

When Fiona lifts her head above the chaos of kids, carpools, and a million things to do, she discovers her husband is missing. As she searches for him, she is forced to realize her life will never be the same.

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