Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sheila Stewart and her New Release

Shiela Stewart is a paranormal suspense author with a writing history that stems back to her youth.  Always a dreamer, wondering if her stories would ever reach an audience, she was finally published in 2006 and hasn’t stopped since.  It is rare to find a stand-alone book as she prefers series stories. Her longest running series to date is her Darkness series, which is a vampire romance.

Her joy for scary suspense is evident in each of her books. She has had several accomplishments, including fighting for the top spot in the rankings with author Stephanie Myers, receiving glowing reviews as well as interviews on local television and reviews and interviews in The Romantic Times Magazine.

When not writing, Shiela spends her time with the love of her life, William, and their children and grandchildren. Her strong affection for animals is evident in the many cats she cares for.

Her favorite time of the day is at sunset.

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?
C.J.: C.J. Dowling the 2nd. I was named after my grandfather.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?
C.J.: It takes place in current time but shifts back to early 1900’s.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?
C.J.: Why wouldn’t they? I’m smart, Charismatic, handsome—all joking aside, my story is incredibly fascinating. I was born with the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. I know, I can hear everyone snorting and laughing. I’ve received that reaction all my life. I don’t why I can see spirits, I just know I can’t avoid them. You’re not alone in thinking I’m crazy. My family did as well. So much so, they sent me to psychiatrists and even had me committed. You’ll have to read my story to find out why they believe me now.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

C.J.: To put the dead to rest. I’ve been called to help put an end to a torturous spirit refusing to leave his house. He is not a nice man.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

C.J.: I want to put an evil spirit to rest, he is determined to stick around. Let me tell you, it’s not easy.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

C.J.: Yes, I do. I have to find what is keeping the spirit tethered to the house. And, I have a secret weapon who helps me.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

C.J.: I’m very stubborn. Some might say it’s a flaw, but I disagree. I’m perfectionist, again, some might say it’s a flaw. I have a wicked and sometimes warped sense of humor. And I’m a lover. I’ll just leave it like that. J

Blurb from Secrets of the Dead:

Jessica Coltrane is a die-hard sceptic who believes that ghosts and paranormal activity are nothing more than a figment of an overactive imagination. That is until she finds herself locked inside a haunted house with the enigmatic paranormal investigator C.J. Dowling.
Born with the ability to see and speak to the dead, C.J. Dowling thought investigating a haunted house would be a job like many others. He’s prepared for anything—except smart and sexy Jessica.

Working together in close quarters, C.J. and Jessica discover it isn’t only negative tension between the two, but sexual as well. Giving into their desires seemed like a good idea at the time, until they wake and find the spirits thought otherwise. Trapped with the ghost of a child long forgotten, an amorous entity that is threatening Jessica, and a powder keg of a spine-tingling mystery that might just be better left buried.

Excerpt from Secrets of the Dead:

Something tickled her nose. Using her hand, she tried to swipe it away and felt the brush of hair against her knuckles. Planting her hand, she felt the warm flesh beneath her palm.

Recognition hit and woke her with an angry slap. Eyes shooting open, she sat up quickly and instantly regretted it when the room spun wildly around her. Laying back down, closing her eyes, she waited out the dizziness the hangover caused. Her mind raced to the night before.

The soft ache in her loins reminded her of what she’d done. Carefully opening her eyes, she turned her head to see a naked C.J. beside her.

“Oh, God.” She looked over his naked body, remembering how good it felt having him inside her. She hadn’t been that drunk that she couldn’t remember the event, and lord, what an event it had been. They had literally torn each other’s clothing off. She’d been an animal, which was so not like her.

What did they do now? Would they go on as they had been, sniping at each other, treat this as a one-night fling and move on? In truth, the guy irritated the hell out of her, yet he’d made her feel so incredible the night before. How was she supposed to respond to him now, after sharing something so intimate?

“Dowling,” she spoke quietly. “Dowling.” When he moaned, she slapped his chest. “Dowling!”


“Wake up.”

“I’m awake.” He looked at her with a smile. “Morning.” Then his eyes went wide. “Holy hell.” He bolted upright and jumped to his feet, nearly knocking her over. “Oh, my God.”

“What the hell?” The sofa stood on its end, two sitting chairs slammed up right against it, all pushed against the window. The coffee and end tables stood one on top of the other, in front of the fireplace.

Carefully, Jessie stood up, waiting out the dizziness. She had to rub her eyes to make sure she wasn’t seeing things. It looked like a hurricane had blown through. “How…”

“I need to check my equipment.” He flew off, still nude, and she got one hell of a look at his ass.

She saw her shirt by the fireplace, straps torn. She couldn’t exactly wear it in its condition. Spotting his shirt hanging over the couch, she grabbed it and put it on. It barely covered her, but would have to do for now.

“This is incredible. The meters went off the scale. The temperature recorded several degrees below freezing at one point. It didn’t last long, though, as it rose exponentially. And we slept through it all. Damn, I have never seen anything like this before. It’s phenomenal.”

“You’re naked, you know?”

“What?” He didn’t even look up.

“You’re naked.” She tossed him his jeans, hitting him square in the face.

Unaffected by it, he grabbed the jeans and slipped into them using his free hand.  It amused her to watch him shimmy into his tight jeans, jumping from one foot to the other. “The cameras!” He rushed to the video equipment as he did up his pants. “Do you know what this means?”

“That you were a busy boy last night.”

He looked at her, confused. “Beg pardon?”

“I don’t know how you managed it all alone, but I give you credit for a job well done.”

“You think I did all of this?”

“No, I know you did all of this. Boy, you’ll do anything to make me a believer.”

His eyes narrowed and his voice dipped an octave. “You think I did all of this just to make you believe there are ghosts here?”


“Fine.” Walking to her, he grabbed her arm and led her to the camera.

“Let go of me.”

“Not until you see this.” Taking her by the shoulders, he turned her to face the monitor attached to one of the cameras. “Watch.” He pressed play.

Folding her arms across her chest, Jessie glared at the screen. He’d recorded them having sex.

“Oh my God, you taped us making out? How could you?”

“I have my cameras set on timers that begin taping on their own. I didn’t know we were going to go at it like rabbits last night. Watch.”

“You will erase those tapes,” she insisted, then grunted when he turned her face back to the monitor. “What the hell?”

“Keep watching.”

She couldn’t pry her eyes away if she tried. The furniture lifted in the air, spun around wildly before they slammed in front of the fireplace and window. “Oh my god!”

“My sentiments exactly. I need to check the rest of the house.” He left her mesmerized in front of the TV.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

Alice Renaud and her Latest Novel

Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she's a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape-shifting mermen, water monsters and time-traveling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019. It is the first book in the Sea of Love fantasy romance series, inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second and third books, “Music for a Merman,” and “Mermaids Marry in Green,” are out now. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!

Character Interview:

Beverley: What’s your name? 

Bryony: Bryony Benetynn

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Bryony: On the Morvann Islands, a remote archipelago off the coast of Wales, the homeland of my people, the shifter merfolk.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Bryony: Over two days and one night, in Las Vegas.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Bryony: I think I’m the first openly gay mermaid in the Morvann Islands. When I fell in love with a sexy witch, Maia, my family couldn’t accept that relationship. Maia and I decided to run off to Las Vegas, where we could live and love in peace. My author wanted to tell my story for the BVS collection of LGBTQIA+ romance stories, “Rainbow Desire”.
Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Bryony: My goal is to make my girlfriend Maia happy. But I am worried that she is hiding something from me – or perhaps that she is getting bored of a life among ordinary humans… or even bored with me.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Bryony: When Maia’s ex, the hot warlock Ariel, turns up, I discover the truth about Maia’s hurried flight from London, and the providential casino win that enabled us to buy our house in Vegas. Also, I can’t help being attracted to Ariel… which of course creates a conflict with Maia.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Bryony: I don’t have time to come up with a plan… Maia turns up and the afternoon takes a turn for the better…

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Bryony: I work at the Gran Mar hotel. I take part in their mermaid show. I’m the only real mermaid in the tank!

Blurb for Rainbow Desire

Rainbow Desire is a celebration of life and love in its kaleidoscope of exotic rainbow colours. The stories within the book also reflect its vibrant shades of romance from light to dark. I hope you will enjoy the wealth of narratives in this glorious LGBTQ+ anthology.

Blurb for Love Comes in Many Shapes

Bryony, a shifter mermaid, has run away with sexy witch Maia, and now they're living the dream in Las Vegas. But Maia is hiding a secret. When her ex, a super-hot warlock, turns up, Bryony can't fight her attraction to him. Will she choose him? Or Maia? Or both?

Excerpt from Rainbow Desire

Unlike the other mermaids, Bryony had her own changing room. She’d insisted on it as part of her contract with the hotel. It was little more than a broom cupboard, but she could close the door, and that was all that mattered. No one could see her change into her aquatic shape. No one could discover that, unlike the girls in swimsuits giggling outside, she was the real deal. A shape shifting mermaid from the Morvann Islands in Wales.

She checked the clock on the wall. Twenty-five minutes to go. Damn, she’d cut it a bit fine. She kicked off her sandals and peeled off her shorts and T-shirt. Her skin was darkening, turning a pearly grey, and thickening. She wiggled her fingers and toes, as if that would make the webs grow faster. She wished there was a way to accelerate the shifting process. Perhaps she’d ask Maia to do some research. One of the books of spells she’d brought from London might contain the answer.

A rap on the door. “Ten minutes!” the stage manager called out.

“Coming!” Bryony could feel her tail pushing at last through her buttocks. Her curly brown hair retracted into her skull. Her nose was flattening, leaving only a single nostril that she could close at will.

Finally, she was ready. She opened the door. The other mermaids were already lining up, shuffling forward on their fake fish tails. Bryony padded along the corridor on her webbed feet to join the back of the queue.

“Off you go, ladies.” The stage manager lifted the black curtain, revealing the ladder that climbed the side of the tank. The lights were dimmed, to hide their entrance. One by one the fake mermaids shimmered up the rungs of metal and dived into the aquarium. Oohs and aahs rose from the invisible audience in the theatre.

Bryony grabbed the ladder and made her ascent, a lot slower than her colleagues. Webbed hands and feet were not designed for climbing. At last she made it to the top and plunged headlong into the cool water.

The lights brightened. A stunned silence greeted her. She was used to it. She didn’t match most people’s idea of a mermaid. She swam to the bottom of the aquarium and pressed her face to the glass.

The vast room was full of people, lined up on the rows of seats, or around tables in the bar area. And Maia sat in the front row, less than a yard away. A huge smile lit up her lovely face. Her blue eyes sparkled. “Now that’s the best mermaid I’ve ever seen!” she said in a loud voice.

She did this every night. “We French call it la claque, ma cherie,” she’d said. “Friends posing as theatre goers, who clap and cheer to encourage the rest of the audience.”

The warm glow in Bryony’s chest spread through her limbs. Maia always had her back. She was lover, best friend, and cheerleader rolled into one. “My girl,” Bryony whistled, in the language of the merfolk, and blew her a kiss.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Augustina Van Hoven and her Latest Release

Augustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and pets.   She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy.  When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines. 

Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Nicholas: My name is Nicholas Harwood

Beverley: Where did you grow up? 

Nicholas: I was born and raised in Dante’s Hallow, Maine.

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Nicholas: This story takes place around All Hallows Eve in 1879.

Beverley: What’s your story/back story?

    Nicholas: I come from a long line of apothecaries. My grandfather moved the family here from the old country. We have always understood the truth about the supernatural and we have taken on the task of protecting others from the things that go bump in the night.

Beverley: Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Nicholas: It’s not just a story about me. It’s a story about what evils are really out there and the good people who are willing stand up against it and protect others who can’t protect themselves.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

      Nicholas: I’m trying to keep the dead quiet during All Hallows Eve, but I’m warned by one of them that a great evil is coming and I have to stop it.

  Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Nicholas: There are witches in town who are trying to raise a dead coven member. I have to stop that from happening, but I need help.

  Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

  Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Nicholas: Not really, what’s coming is beyond my skills. Fortunately, there are others who are willing to help.

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Nicholas: I have the ability to see and speak with the dead.

Blurb for Harbinger

On All Hallows’ Eve, the barrier between the living and the dead is thinnest.

Nicholas Harwood has inherited an unusual job—keeping the dead quiet. For several nights before All Hallows’ Eve, he pours a potion derived from a family recipe on the graves of the late residents of Dante’s Hollow to keep the dead from walking. So far, he’s been successful. But something—in addition to snow—is in the wind, and he can’t stop it alone. Nicholas and his unlikely group of companions—a druid sorcerer, a witch, and a ghost or two—are locked in a power struggle with rogue supernatural powers intent on unleashing great evil. 

Excerpt for Harbinger

“Here, Grandpa Sullivan, this should keep you calm.” Nicholas Harwood filled the cap of the old whiskey bottle with his potion and poured it over Grandpa Sullivan’s grave. He grabbed the brim of his hat and tilted his head toward the stone marker before moving on to the next.

In a few days, it would be All Hallows’ Eve, when the barrier between the living and the dead is at its thinnest, and spirits could escape their resting places and wander freely among the living. The potion, an old family recipe handed down from father to son, helped keep them asleep. Nick’s grandfather brought it with him from the old country; his father used it, and now the task of quieting the dead fell to him.

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Monday, October 4, 2021

M. Lee Prescott and her Latest Release

My “day job” is as a professor at a small New England liberal arts college. My scholarly work centers around social contexts within which children learn and I am the author of three works of nonfiction. My current research examines the impact of mindfulness on readers and writers, work that brings me tremendous joy and satisfaction. I live on a beautiful river. When not teaching or writing, my passions revolve around family, yoga, swimming, walking, canoeing, and teaching mindfulness to people of all ages.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write?  And why?

M. Lee: Contemporary romance, mysteries, women’s fiction and young adult historical fiction.

I write what I love. I was fortunate to grow up in an incredible, loving family. The romances all revolve around loving families and communities, reflecting so much that I cherish. I love to read mysteries so my two mystery series sprung from my love of the genre and the fun of figuring out “whodunnit.” Same thrill, different process. My other books have come from interests and passions over the years.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

M. Lee: Oh gee—that’s hard to answer. My love of reading was definitely instilled by my parents, but all the hundreds of amazing authors I’ve encountered have certainly influenced me. College professors certainly encouraged my developing writer’s voice. Then a “push” came from a writers’ group of teachers. We formed to explore our own writing process so that we could bring that excitement to our work with young students. I found I loved writing and have never stopped.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

M. Lee: Reading and experiencing life! I get ideas everywhere.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

M. Lee: Little Lucy (now I’m dating myself).

M. Lee: She was a plucky little gal and I saw myself in some of her antics.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?

M. Lee: Ruth Fishel, a treasured spiritual teacher and writer. I’ve been reading and rereading her wonderful little book, Wrinkles Don’t Hurt: Daily Meditations on the Joy of Aging Mindfully for eight years and its teachings never grow old.  

Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?

M. Lee: Read, write, take a long walk, have lunch with a dear friend, spend time with family.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

M. Lee: Lady Love, number five in the Ricky Steele mystery series and a holiday romance set in Horseshoe Crab Cove, number seven in the Morgan’s Fire series, as yet untitled. 

2020 Character Interview:

Beverley: What’s your name?

Maggie: Maggie Williams

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Maggie: Saguaro Valley, AZ

Beverley: During what time period does your story take place?

Maggie: Present day

Beverley: What’s your story/back story?

Maggie: I was raised by my dad, Ned Williams, a veterinarian and Saguaro Valley’s most famous wrangler. The summer after my senior year I had an amazing one-night stand with Ben Morgan, the oldest son of Ben and Leonora Morgan, the Valley’s wealthiest landowners and owners of Morgan’s Run Ranch. The next day Ben left town and never looked back. My heart broken, I departed for college only to discover six weeks later that I was pregnant. I then came home, gave birth to my beautiful daughter Emma and went to work in the stables at Morgan’s Run.

Beverley: Why would someone come up with a story about you?

Maggie: Because I’m strong, resilient and hardworking. With my dad’s help, I’ve raised Emma, who is now four years old. I nursed her through a devastating accident that left her wheelchair-bound and continue to provide a loving and nurturing home for her.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Maggie: To be strong for Emma and to resist the charms of Ben Morgan, who has returned to Morgan’s Run to recover from a heart episode. I’m trying to find a way to tell him about Emma without having my heart shattered again.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Maggie: My conflicting feelings about Ben, to whom I’m drawn like a moth to a flame. I’m crazy in love with him while trying to protect myself and Emma from hurt. I’m also weighing the risks of a new surgery that may help Emma to walk again. Post-surgery Emma still cannot walk and is facing grueling months of physical therapy that does not appear to be helping. Endeavoring to keep her positive while working full-time and sorting out my feelings for Ben are all major conflicts in Emma’s Dream.

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Maggie: I have lots of help with this. Team Emma--my Dad and Ben’s family (parents and five siblings) step in to help with Emma’s post-surgery recovery. I slowly move toward allowing myself to love Ben again, although the road has a number of bumps and rolls!

Beverley: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Maggie: I have an amazing community of friends and family who support Emma and me no matter what, most especially my dad, Ned Williams, the kindest, steadiest person I know. Emma’s Dream and all eleven of the Morgan’s Run books are, at their heart, about family and community. I am very fortunate, indeed.

Blurb for Emma’s Dream

A woman is the last thing on Ben Morgan’s mind as he comes home to Morgan’s Run, his family’s ranch in Saguaro Valley. Doctor’s orders, he’s home to heal, but the sooner he can get back to Santa Barbara, the better. Then he runs into Maggie Williams on Main Street, prompting vivid memories of a magical night, and Ben’s ailing heart skips a beat. 
Father of her beloved five-year-old daughter, the eldest of the Morgan sons is the last person Maggie expects to have crashed into her car and back into her life. For years, she has struggled to forget him and to make a life for herself and her daughter, Emma, the mirror image of a father, who is unaware of her existence. Now, here he is, looking more gorgeous than the day he ran out of town. Maggie swears Ben Morgan will never break her heart again.

Excerpt from Emma’s Dream

     As Ben Junior made his way into town, he passed familiar sights, largely unchanged.  Nothing changed much in Saguaro. The Town Garage had a fresh coat of white paint.  “Whoop-de-doo,” he said aloud, making a mental note to drop the Rover off for servicing soon. 

         As he turned right on Main and headed toward Gracie’s Diner, a horn blared and the clunker in front of him screeched to a stop.  Ben braked, but not in time to stop the Rover before it tapped the rear of the clunker. Ben swore under his breath and backed up, pulling over to park at the curb. As he did, the clunker’s driver leaped from her car, screaming and waving her arms.  He shook his head. Foolish woman had left her heap in the middle of the street.  Tall and slender, she wore Jackie O. sunglasses, a baseball cap pulled low on her forehead, a faded cotton shirt over blue jeans, and cowboy boots, the uniform for nearly every female rancher in the valley. 

         “Geez, Toto,” he muttered, patting the Rover’s seat. “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

         As she approached the Rover, Ben noticed her jeans hugged every curve, full breasts not quite obscured by the baggy shirt.  He couldn’t see her face, but he had to admit the rest of the package was intriguing and also vaguely familiar.  He approached as she bent to survey the clunker’s bumper. 

         “What’s the matter with you?” she screamed, walking in circles, arms still flailing.  “Oh, my God, oh, my God, what am I going to do?” 

         Ben stared at her back, astounded at what was clearly a huge overreaction. The clunker was fine, hardly a scratch on it, although it would be hard to tell with all the other dings.  Then, just as quickly as it started, the fire went out and she flopped down to sit on the curb, head between her legs, sobbing.

         “Hey, hey, it’s not that bad, is it?  We hardly touched each other.  No harm done.” He sat beside her, wondering whether he should pat her on the shoulder. Immediately she quieted and looked up at him. 

         “Oh, my God.  This just gets better and better. It figures.” 

         Ben Morgan, the one person she expected never to see again, sitting beside her in the middle of Main Street.  Could things get any worse?  She leaned forward, hiding her face, wondering whether he’d go away if she sat there long enough.

         “Maggie?  Is that little Maggie Williams?  After five years, I’m in town less than a minute and the first person I bump into is you.”

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