Thursday, December 13, 2018

Get the Calloway boxset for two days only #$1.99 (Books 1-3)

December 13, 2018

The Calloways of Rainbow Bayou Boxset




It includes the first three books in the series:
When the Right One Comes Along (Ridge and Buffy)
Too Good To Be True (Luc and Delilah)
Only the Heart Remembers (Nick and Brenna)

What a deal! The #newrelease the Calloways of Rainbow Bayou Boxed Set (books 1-3) is on a quickie sale for $1.99 (regularly $7.99) Pick it up today.
This book will get you started on the series (currently seven books including the newest release.) If you love stories with love of family and community, a bit of suspense and of course, hunky heroes with a heart of gold, you’ll enjoy the Calloways.

Genre: Womens fiction/ romantic comedy/ romantic suspense/small town military romance

Blurb:

In the small town of Rainbow Bayou, the Calloways are larger than life, a military family that doesn't see obstacles…only possibilities.

Excerpt from Only the Heart Remembers

Brenna and the stranger left the safety of the wall and step by excruciating step trudged toward the bedroom. Every muscle in her body complained as she struggled to keep him upright. They pushed against each other like two adversaries in an Olympic wrestling match but managed to stay upright until he toppled onto the massive oak bed, cursing as he landed.

 She placed the covers over him and spoke in a soothing voice, “Easy, there. You’re okay now, just rest.” The lines between his eyebrows eventually eased as he slipped back into unconsciousness.

After checking the fire and gathering up the soiled linens and pieces of clothing from the floor, she stuffed them into a garbage bag and placed it in the laundry room until the power was restored. But when she returned to the bedroom, Brenna found the big man shivering violently under the covers and thrashing about.

What was going on? She stretched more blankets over him. His complexion looked gray in the light of the candle instead of its earlier bronze and he was hotter than Hades.

“This just keeps getting worse.” They both needed rest. Had it been just two hours? It felt like two days.

The rain still lashed at the window panes with the lightning not as frequent and farther off, but Brenna knew there was more bad weather to come. They’d predicted several days of this as the low moved across the lake. Ironically, the presence of the big man in her bed seemed to lessen her fear.

An hour later he groaned and tried to rise but Brenna stopped him. “You need to rest.”

“I need a shower,” he said, sounding remarkably clearheaded.

He might, but he wasn’t going to get one. “You’ve been sick and I’m not about to let you get in the shower.” There she went again in that voice fit only for children, a voice even she didn’t recognize.

With a touch of petulance, he said, “But I always take a shower every night before bed. You know that.”

Her eyebrows rose and her head tilted studying him. She knew that?

“Well. . . not tonight, okay?”

He swung his legs to the side of the bed and stood, a trained decathlete would run a poor second to his sculptured beauty. Then he strode down the hallway. Brenna just stared after Hunky Burglar as he took off in the direction of the bathroom once again. Was he moving on instinct or did he remember? She followed since there didn’t seem to be much else she could do. He seemed to have come out of his stupor in command of all his faculties.

A sharp noise came from outside as they reached the living room. All at once, he pushed her against the cabinet, extending his hand as if it held a gun. He crouched low, searching the room, a sleek muscled panther sniffing the air placing himself between her and some mythical threat.

“Hey, it was just a limb hitting the roof,” Brenna said, careful not to startle him. Each sleek powerful line of his body was rigid with tension. If anyone had told her she wouldn’t be laughing at a naked man crouched in her living room with his finger pistol, she wouldn’t have believed it. He obviously took this protection business seriously.

She tried again. “Come on. Put the uh, ‘gun’ away.” His intensity was spellbinding. She placed her hand tentatively on his arm and said, “I think it’s okay now.” He dropped his gun hand to his side and rubbed his head with the other.

After securing a promise from him to call if he needed her, Brenna left him in the bathroom. She didn’t hear a large body hitting the floor so she waited. He’d finished brushing his teeth and was running a washcloth over his chest when she opened the door.

He turned slowly, giving her another perfect view of his. . . physique and winked. His molten gaze made heat race through her limbs and pool between her legs. Heaven help her, but he was whoopee on a stick, totally boinkable.

And totally off limits.

“Sex is the mother of all distractions," her friend Godiva had said one evening and Brenna was keenly aware that this handsome distraction was blowing her fear away as effectively as a strong north wind.


Get the boxed set on all your favorite eBook stores








Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Constance Bretes Talks About Her New Release--The Christmas Ballet



It’s my pleasure to host Connie Bretes. I talked to her about her new release The Christmas Ballet. After you read her interview, I'm betting you'll be interested in her latest story. 

How would you describe The Christmas Ballet in only three words? Heartwarming and romantic
Do you listen to music while you write? Sometimes
What are some tunes on your playlist? It depends on what I’m writing and what scene I’m in. Lately, it’s been Like A Rock by Bob Seger.
What scene from The Christmas Ballet was the most fun to write? There were several, when Maria and Laura went down in the hill in a sled, and when Stefan told Laura he was taking her to the holiday office party.
How did come to be? What was your inspiration to write the book?  I love Music Box Dancer, by Frank Mills. I used to have his record with this tune on it, but my husband sold all our records and we didn’t have a record player. I found the music on a YouTube video one afternoon, and began imagining a little girl getting a music box with a ballerina in it for Christmas. Then it progress so that the little girl was a ballerina and she did her first solo with The Music Box.
What do you hope readers take away from your work? The enjoyment of reading a holiday romance.
What are you reading right now?  Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.
What writing advice would you give a fellow author? Surround yourself with other authors and don’t give up.
Quick Draw:
Jeans or sweats?  Sweats
Coffee or Tea?  Coffee
Chocolate or Chips?  Chips
Boxers, briefs or commando? briefs
Chocolate or vanilla?  Both


 Constance Bretes is an author of contemporary romance and suspense. Her romance books are often set in different parts of the country, but her favorite site is Montana. She retired from the State of Michigan after 38-plus years of service and now writes and researches full time. She is married to her best friend and has recently moved from Montana to Alabama. Her hobbies include basket weaving, sapphire digging, and checking out old ghost towns.






The Christmas Ballet By Constance Bretes
Constance has 2 $10 gift certificates to Paparazzi Accessories to giveaway during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You may find the tour locations here https://goo.gl/taJJDH.


  About The Christmas Ballet:
Laura Hemmingway cut herself off from men and her family when the man she loved married her sister. She moved across the country and was doing just fine until she received a devastating call to return to New York. She had to face the death of her sister, her sister’s little girl, Maria, and Maria’s father, Stefan—the man she had once loved. She figured she would pay her respects and leave as soon as possible. She never anticipated on the beautiful little girl stealing her heart. And she never expected that seeing Stefan again after twelve years would stir up old feelings. Stefan’s life was complete. He had a successful career as an attorney, a beautiful wife and an adorable six-year-old daughter. Although he and his wife had been married in name only for the past several years, he cared for her deeply. Then her unexpected death brought him face-to-face with his former lover, and the guilt he’d carried for years. Stefan is still in love with Laura and wants to give her everything she deserves. He and Maria are racing against time to convince Laura to stay with them in New York. Can a little girl’s love, and the true magic of Christmas, help Stefan convince Laura to stay and give their relationship another chance? Content Warning: contains some sexual content Genre – Contemporary Romance Heat Level - Hot
Excerpt from The Christmas Ballet: He smiled as he thought about the look on her face when he’d stroked her. Maybe she was more interested in him than she either believed or cared to be. Then he thought of something. “One more thing, Laura,” he called out to her, and she stopped at the door and turned around. “On the nineteenth, the law firm is hosting the annual Christmas party. It’s quite grand and lasts all evening long.” “You want me to be sure to be available to babysit Maria,” Laura said. “No. I want you to plan to come with me.” “What?” “Remember that beautiful, green, velvet dress we saw at Macy’s? I want you to get that dress, and the accessories to go with it, and attend the party with me.” “Stefan, really. You know I don’t go to those types of events, and I don’t wear those kinds of clothes. I’m not comfortable with either of those things.” “You need to get comfortable.” He smiled. “This is not a part of a job for the nanny and teacher. It’s out of the range of the job description. You need to get Ginger to go with you. I’m not going.” She gave him a defiant look. “Laura, I want to take you to this event. I’m not taking no for an answer. I will arrange for Rhonda to take you shopping to help you get what you need. You will charge all the purchases to a credit card I will give you that’s for your use only. This is the first of many social parties you will be attending.” He watched her as she clenched her hands into fists and released them. “Who do you think you will get to care for Maria on these…occasions?” “Usually Lillian is available.” “Stefan, it’s my job to care for Maria, not be your date to your parties. I don’t like being told what I will or won’t do. I don’t like social parties, and I don’t like wearing expensive clothes. It’s not me, and you’re not going to change me.” “I don’t want to change you. I want you to attend an event by my side. It won’t hurt you to have some beautiful clothing to show your feminine side. I want the world to see the beauty I see. Be glad I want to show you off. Some men might decide they don’t want others to see what they see.” “Flattery doesn’t work with me. You can tell me what to do as far as Maria is concerned, but my personal life is off limits to you.” “That’s good to know. At least I know you won’t get carried away and escape my grasp by someone making flattering remarks to you. Your personal life interests me.” “Stefan, you just don’t get it. I am not going to this party,” she said, enunciating each word slowly and carefully. “Besides, your mother would be horrified to see me walk in with you.” Her face hardened as she stared at him. “Look at it this way—you’d be doing me a big favor.” “How?” She raised an eyebrow. “I’m not interested in the other women that come to this social party looking for an eligible bachelor. With you on my arm, it would send a clear message to all the others that I’m taken.” “God, you’re impossible. Ginger is more than capable of providing you that kind of service.” “I don’t want Ginger. You have the grace, quiet beauty, and finesse I want in a date, and I will not take no for an answer. After Maria’s recital, you and Rhonda will set a shopping date. And one more thing. When you get your hair done, I’d like you to wear it down.” He smiled at her. “This is not going to happen.” She put her hands on her hips and glared at him. “It will. I’ll just have Maria work on you.” He eyed her. “What?” Stefan grinned. “You heard me. You’d never turn down anything from Maria.” “Grrrr.” She growled and stomped up the stairs. He laced his hands and put them behind his head. Oh yeah, it’ll be a night she’ll never forget.

If you'd like to contact Connie or learn more about her other stories, here are her Social Links:
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Festival of Stars is reissued!


This is the book of my heart. Within its pages, I retell the ultimate romance -- taken from the Japanese folktales with which I had grown up, but 
set in the United States of contemporary times.

It took time to find a publisher who didn't tell me that mainstream readers wouldn't be able to relate to it because of its theme of biracialism and bigotry. Some editors to whom I submitted it literally told me that Asians didn't read! (You can imagine my surprise, as I looked at my mountain of books, and shared this story with Asian friends and relatives, all tripping over their own mountains of books.) This may have been the case with the publisher who eventually brought the book to market in 2007. It did not find its readers then.

So I have recaptured the rights to publish this work, and I think the timing is perfect. Times have changed a bit. It's okay to be different. And being biracial no longer confuses people. Just look at our entertainers -- who isn't familiar with Keanu Reeves, Nicki Minaj, Chrissy Teigen, Dwayne Johnson, Olivia Munn, and Meghan Markle? (Markle even proves that fairy tales might come true!)

Festival of Stars is a fairy tale set today -- one that Asians will recognize, but one so universal that the longing its characters feel is tangible. My characters must struggle with their heritage and what others think about them (those who love them and those who don't). Their own mixed ancestries serve to both bring them together and pull them apart.

In this year of diversity, now is the time for such a story. I hope you'll join half-Japanese Kristin Olafsson and half-Swedish Dare Borodin on their journey to find love and their heritage with the help of the star ravens.

The book is available now digitally, and will shortly be published as a print book (I'll let you know, I promise). I especially like the cover. It's adapted from the 1857 woodblock print by the great Hiroshige, "The Tanabata Festival in the Flourishing City," from the series One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo. If you, love this traditional art form as much as I do, I hope you will love the cover as much as I do. (I'm also just a skosh fond of the cover designer -- my spouse, Mike.)

This is the book of my heart. I hope it will be one of the books of yours.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Years ago, Jacquie Rogers and I came up with an interesting idea for a series of workshops to pitch to our local conferences that might also help our book sales. We decided to look at various myths and legends that are commonly explored among our author friends, and how they morphed around the world depending on location. We decided that the Silk Road, with its ancient trek for travelers and merchants, would be a good place to start. She would take the western cultural myths and I would take the eastern ones, and it would be fun.

The first workshop we pitched and presented to a local writers' group was on faeries and dragons. This was a great place to start, particularly because Jacquie had a series of faery romances she was writing at the time. If I recall, the dragons part was because dragons are fun. (I dare you to say otherwise.) We gave the workshop, got feedback, and we were off.

Over the next few years, we gave a series of workshops along the same theme with different topics: ghosts, angels, demons, werewolves/shapeshifters, vampires, water beasties ... somewhere along the way, we managed to explore a lot of mythology. Never much money, but it was fun. And somewhere along the way, Jacquie realized her interest was really in writing westerns. And I realized my interest was actually in those myths, not a surprise, considering my college major was in anthropology. So I continued to add to the original workshop material, because hey! It was cool!

We continued to give those workshops from time to time to yet more writers and thought nothing more of it until I was laid off from my longtime position at a magazine and found myself editing for myself full time. And as I gave one of these workshops, an audience member commented that I had so much information, and it occurred to me that I had time at long last — time to expand.

And so the workshops became books.

Here's the first of the series, Ghosts Along the Silk Road ... and Beyond, with Dragons Along the Silk Road ... and Beyond not far behind. Check it out!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire 
by Kayelle Allen
**FREE March 23, 2018  - March 27, 2018 ONLY **
About the Book: 
When the immortal Pietas is marooned on a barren world with no food and few survival tools, he knows it could be worse. He could be alone. But that's the problem. He's not.
Half a million of his people sleep in cryostasis, trapped inside their pods and it's up to Pietas to free them. He can't release one at a time. It's all or nothing. He's facing over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortals who will call on him for rescue and he has no way to answer.
It's not all bad. The beautiful telepathic warrior he's loved for lifetimes is at his side. He's bonded with a sentient panther. He hates humans but the one dumped on this planet with him has become a trusted friend.
Before Pietas can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, he must take back command from a ruthless enemy he's fought for centuries. His brutal, merciless father.
Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever... "WARNING"
Contains humor, sweet romance, betrayal, angst, vengeance... and a ginormous, sentient black panther who wants to be Pietas's "kitty."
Genre: science fiction, sci fi, scifi romance, action adventure, space opera, military science fiction
ASIN B077BRSRP4
ISBN 1981328327
Released: Dec 27, 2017
Publisher: Romance Lives Forever Books
Pages: 236
Print pages: 297
Wordcount: 75,831
Suggested keywords:
Kayelle Allen, Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire, science fiction romance, immortals, Pietas, sci fi, space opera
Suggested hashtags:
#SciFi #SpaceOpera #Pietas
Buy Links: 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Time to Get Motivated!

Okay.  The Otherworld Diner blog has been a little sparse lately, and I take responsibility for that.  To be fair, I've had some health crises and other 'real life' issues that not only impacted my writing here, but just my writing in general.  So it's time for me to pick myself up, dust myself off, and get this blog back into good form.

So, Dear Reader, this is where you come in.  I'm going to try to spend more time working on getting my writing mojo - and hopefully yours - back in gear.  What would help make that happen for you?

For me, it's going to be getting my butt back at my computer and writing every day.  But I need some suggestions from you about what you'd like to see here in this blank space we've been presenting. 

Give me some ideas!

Ask a question!

Suggest a list!

Anything - literally ANYTHING - is open for discussion.

For my part, I'm probably going to bore you with my journey back to writing.  At least to a certain extent.  So look for more here....

And those of you who used to post regularly... help!!!

Jeannie

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Want to Improve your Writing? Here’s a Writing Tip from C.J. Burright


One of the best writing classes I’ve taken is Fearless Writer by Laura Baker. In that class, Laura helped me figure out exactly what types of stories I wanted to write by unearthing the themes that matter most to me in life. Pinpointing that one element has really helped me focus my stories and express my belief system through my characters.  This is the mission statement I came up with during the class that conveys what I hope to achieve with every story:

I write because I want to create romantic stories that convey themes that matter to me through emotionally stirring characters, both with and without paranormal elements. I feel especially connected to characters who need to overcome their fears to find happiness, acceptance, worthiness, and love, whether that fear is of rejection, being hurt, or being vulnerable. I love creating opposing romantic characters who demonstrate the positive effects of compassion, connection, and the power of self-acceptance. My goal is to give readers a story with characters they want to root for, laugh with (or at), and fall in love with.

Dangerously Dark definitely incorporates broken characters who must scale emotional battlements before they realize they’re perfect for each other, and for love. There’s laughter and banter, struggles and romance, all culminating in a HEA. Figuring out what you’re passionate about, what motivates you to write, and incorporating that into your stories will be what keeps you writing on those tough days when nothing seems to be going right, when the rejections roll in and sales fall flat. The message you’re driven to share with the world through your stories matters.  I highly recommend any class taught by Laura, but if you get a chance, take Fearless Writer. You won’t regret it. Promise.

And C.J. knows what she’s talking about. Here’s an excerpt from her new release Dangerously Dark.



A chittering echoed from beyond a sand dune. Whatever had made the noise remained out of reach for now, but not long enough. She slouched. So much for downtime.
Weariness shuddered through her. It would be so easy to curl up on the cool white sand beneath her boots and surrender. To let whatever monster came next do its worst and slip into oblivion for a while, despite the cost. Gripping the iron cross, its chain wrapped around her wrist, she closed her eyes. Relaxing for even a second was dangerous, but she was so tired, she almost didn’t care.
“Quinn.” Close, so close, the musical voice sang a shiver through her, more sinister for its serene softness. She didn’t want to open her eyes, didn’t want to know what new horror haunted her nightmares and knew her name.
With a resigned sigh, she faced the voice and froze. Zaire stood in the sand a foot away. He was different than outside the dream. His dark hair was shorter, in a skull cut. Same olive skin, same kiss-me mouth, but his eyes…she inhaled. His eyes, black velvet in life, now held an abysmal void, deeper and more potent than when he’d been a boy. The darkness there pulled at her, grasping for her soul.
She forced her attention to the rest of him, and her brain blanked while her body purred. Black leather boots. Trousers covered in blue-black metallic scales. And a shirt of the same iridescent material as his pants, only lighter. Black weapons hung everywhere, sword at his lean hip, knives strapped across his broad chest, on his belt, in his boots. The whip-end tail of one silver tattoo poked past his collar and licked his collarbone.
Lethal. Vicious. Magnificent.
He was her midnight fantasy and nightmare combined. Fantasy because he embodied everything she wanted. Nightmare because he wasn’t really Zaire. In her childhood, he’d snuck into her dreams, a dark presence watching over her, but whatever wore his face now wasn’t the boy from her past or the man she’d finally met. She gripped her cross tighter.
“Nice sword,” she said, her voice raspy with regret. “Come here often?”
He watched her with those fathomless eyes, unblinking, and she had the strangest impression that he memorized every detail of her. Probably searching for her weak points.
The chittering beyond the sand dune grew closer, and she nearly slumped beneath another wave of fatigue. Fighting a manifestation of Zaire along with whatever else came along made her want to cry.
“Why so sad, dearling?” Deep and soothing, his musical voice only added to her misery.
Dearling. She wouldn’t have minded Zaire calling her that, but she wasn’t about to put up with endearments from a demon, and dishonesty was a waste of time. The demons always knew the secrets she tried to hide.
“Oh, you know. All the usual.” Quinn straightened, pushing the exhaustion aside. “Nonstop nightmares. Delusions in the daytime. Trying not to ruin my mother’s political career. Figuring out what to do with my life. Meeting you.”
“Meeting me brought you sadness?” His voice lowered another octave. He shifted slightly, and his clothing shimmered, like dragon scales in the moonlight. His dark beauty squeezed her heart. What she wouldn’t give to have him be real and with her now, fighting the nightmares together. Calling her sweet names.
“It’s not you, not really. It’s the idea of you. Your existence. Knowing you want to leave.” She should kick herself. Conversing with a demon. Brilliant idea.
“Want and need are not always equal.” Flames danced in his eyes, stirring up annoying embers in her blood.
“Right.” She snorted. “I’ve been around the block a time or two, pal. You read my thoughts, manipulate my desires, and use them to tempt me into despair. Demons one-oh-one.”
He frowned. “I am not your…pal.”
Cresting the dune, a shadow raced toward them, white sand churning beneath it. In archetypal demon fashion, tendrils of fear preceded its arrival, which Quinn ignored. She had enough experience with fear to resist its pull, and the demon two steps away was much more treacherous.
And undeniably intriguing.
“Sorry about that. Do you prefer buddy?” She grinned at an unusual burst of energy. “How about chum, bro, dude, or ol’ chap?”
“Zaire will do,” he said stiffly.
“Nice Zaire costume, by the way. Pal.” She rocked back on her heels, biting her lip to keep from grinning like a crazy person. Typically, a demon staring at her with murderous intent would batter her senses with wave after wave of horror. Instead, she had the irresistible need to bedevil the demon.
Behind him, the darkness loomed larger, speeding closer with each heartbeat. A shadow man, common, familiar, and not particularly threatening. It couldn’t do much physical damage, not when she was ready. She jerked her chin at the phantom barreling down on them, five seconds away tops. Maybe that was what this Zaire waited for, backup. “Friend of yours?”
Smooth as any practiced dancer, Zaire freed a knife, pivoted, and threw it at the shadow three yards away, all before she could flinch. The darkness exploded into black and silver glitter, sparkling and lovely in the night.
He waited in silence until she met his gaze again. “I don’t have friends.”
A thrill coasted down Quinn’s spine, not the type of thrill she’d ever experienced in her nightmares. This one spun warmth all the way to her toes and back to her scalp. This demon was dangerous, and she wasn’t even referring to the blades strapped to every limb—weapons that destroyed other demons. He made her needy and achy and tingly in all the right places.










Some call him Purgatory’s Missing Prince. Demon Master. Overlord of Shadows. Only one woman may call him hers.

A master of dreams, a failure at life…

After another botched career attempt, Quinn Carmichael escapes to a remote lodge for a weekend recharge, needing respite…especially from the nightmares that haunt even her days. When a wounded, sexy-as-sin stranger faceplants unconscious on her kitchen floor, there’s something disturbingly familiar about him—as in he’s the boy from her childhood dreams. Mr. Dark, Dangerous, and Diabolical may be the key to unlocking the mysteries of her past and future, and Quinn isn’t about to let the opportunity—or him—escape without a fight.

His time is running out…

Known as Purgatory’s Missing Prince, Zaire’s existence has been one of endless pain, torture, and loss. Resigned to his fate, his final goal is simple—rescue his nephew before succumbing to the deadly darkness inside him. But when a fateful misstep brings him face-to-face with the one woman who could have saved him once upon a dream—the one woman he treasures above all else—he battles to keep his distance before he destroys her, too. But he would gladly sell his soul for just one taste.

Love draws them together, destiny will tear them apart

With ruthless enemies closing in, Quinn and Zaire must fight to save each other and those they care for before it’s too late—even if it means they’re doomed to live apart forever.

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