Thursday, September 24, 2020

Fantasy Romance with Alice Renaud


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-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romanceMarry in Green” is on pre order now and will be released on 1 November 2020. Alice has also written short stories: “The Sweetest Magic of All,” included in the BVS “Mystic Desire” anthology, out now, and “The Holiday Mermaid” in the BVS “second chance at love” anthology “Desire Me Again”, out 1 October 2020. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested! trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, “Music for a Merman,” is out now and the third, “Mermaids 

Love comes in many shapes

Some odder than others! I write fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen and mermaids, witches and water monsters, but I didn’t start off that way. My career as a writer began when I got my first short story published in a magazine. It was a realistic, sweet, contemporary romance story. For the next 10 years I carried on writing romantic and family-themed stories for magazines and got quite a few published. Then I decided to try my hand at longer fiction. I tried to write contemporary romance, Harlequin style. However it didn’t work, I produced three contemporary novellas (two billionaires and a sheikh) and didn’t manage to find a publisher for any of them. Halfway through my fourth attempt (a prince), I threw in the (silk) towel and decided to try something different.

Fantasy is my first love. As a child I devoured myths and legends, especially those of Brittany in France, where I grew up, and Wales, my mother’s homeland. I also loved Tolkien, Ursula LeGuin, fairy tales… I still love fantasy now. Terry Pratchett, Robin Hobb and Neil Gaiman are some of my favourite authors. But through my short stories I had discovered that I enjoyed writing romance too. I am a romantic at heart I guess; I was lucky to meet my soulmate in 2002 and we’ve been happily married these past 15 years. So fantasy + romance = fantasy romance. My first novella in the genre, A Merman’s Choice, book 1 in the Sea of Love series, was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. Book 2, Music for a Merman, came out in November 2019 and Book 3, Mermaids Marry in Green, is on pre order now and will be released 1 November 2020 (each book is a standalone story featuring a different couple). I am now working on the first book in my next series, Conjuring Love, which will feature time travelling warlocks and witches, demons, evil fairies, and at least one shape shifting unicorn. I have just realized that every story I wrote since Christmas 2019 has a unicorn in it. Because why put a horse in a story when you can have a horse with a big horn on its head?

Fantasy romance is very firmly classed as romance, as it has a love story at its core. But for me the “fantasy” is as important as the “romance”. My short story “The Holiday Mermaid” marries the two elements in a tender second chance romance, set at Christmas by the sea. This tale is set in the Sea of Love universe and completes the Sea of Love series. It is included in the brilliant “second chance at love” romance anthology by BVS, Desire Me Again, on pre order now for only $0.99.

Blurb For Desire Me Again anthology

The hopeless romantic believes that a soulmate exists for each of us. That there is one person who makes us feel how good it is to love them. For some couples, things trigger them to push that love away. They find out too late they’ve lost true-love. Sometimes genuine love deserves a second-chance at the happy ending that eluded them the first time.

Desire Me Again is an eclectic assortment of short stories exploring a second-chance at love. The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to read the work of talented writers you may not have read before. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving and thought-provoking stories.

Blurb for The Holiday Mermaid

The Holiday Mermaid, a seasonal fantasy romance by Alice Renaud: Adam fell for surfer girl Rowena the second he saw her. But just as their summer fling was becoming serious, she left him without any explanation. Now, with Christmas just a few days away, she’s back… and Adam discovers that she’s a shape-shifting mermaid, from a Clan that hates humans. Can he love her as she is? Can she brave her family to be with Adam for good, not just for Christmas?

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Arresting Jeremiah Cover Reveal

When threats escalate, will Jim and Calista succumb, or fight for a love they can’t deny?

Release Date - October 14th, 2020
Cover Artist - Kris Norris
Publisher - The Wild Rose Press
Genre - Romantic Suspense
Word Count - 98k
Heat Rating - 5 flames

Standalone Novel

Tags - woman in jeopardy, man in jeopardy, single mom, family, violent ex, investigations, police procedural, criminals, gangs, drugs, urban romance, HEA, no cliffhangers, standalone


Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.

Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.
Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Brenda Whiteside's New Exciting Novel

 2020 Character Interview

Beverley: What’s your name?

Magpie: Magpie Muse MacKenzie and there’s a story behind my name. My brother and sister also have my mother’s maiden name for a middle name. I was born a month early, and my parents hadn’t decided on a name yet. My birth certificate was filed as Baby Muse Mackenzie. 

So, everyone called me Baby. Days before my fifth birthday, I had a sit down with my parents. I was too old to be called Baby. I was not a baby. They’d become fond of the name, but I threw such a hissy-fit and pouted so they had to relent.A couple of days later, I came in with an armload of my treasures I’d collected from around town and dumped them on the front porch, in front of my father who sat having a toke. ‘That’s it’, he says and lifts me up. ‘Let’s go see your mother.’As we’re walking to my mom’s café/bookstore, he told me about a bird found where he was born in Washington. He described a beautiful black and white bird who is very curious. When we got to my mother’s bookstore, he announced he’d found the perfect name. Magpie.

My mother wasn’t sure she liked me being named after a thieving bird. Dad explained magpies are overly curious, and it isn’t their intention to steal. When he put it to her that I flitted around town collecting other people’s castoffs, she had to acquiesce. I loved the idea of being named after a bird. That was that.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Magpie: Joshua, Arizona, an 1800s mining town, turned ghost town, turned hippie haven, and now a tourist town, hanging on the side of Spirit Mountain.

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

Magpie: Present day, but there are scenes from the 60's as seen from my father’s point of view in my story. These memories are critical in solving the mystery.

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

Magpie: My mother was a mystic and renowned in Joshua. She died when I was twelve. My father took it hard, turned to alcohol, and eventually kept company with a less than respectful woman. The woman was murdered in our kitchen when I was fifteen. On the same day, my teenage boyfriend disappeared. Now, they’ve found a skeleton in The Ravine, and a tourist walks into Joshua who looks like the missing teen.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Magpie: Now that the bones have been found, buried with one of my father’s knives, he’s bound to be a suspect. I’m out to prove he didn’t murder his girlfriend or the person in the grave.

Beverley: What conflicts are you facing?

Magpie: I’ve long suspected my father did murder his girlfriend and had something to do with my boyfriend’s disappearance. But I know whatever he did was to protect me, and I’d come to peace with that. Now, I’m worried he’ll be found guilty. And the young man, Zac, who shakes my very core by his resemblance to my teen love, is experiencing déjà vu moments and other feelings that make him believe he is somehow connected to the missing teen. Am I attracted to this man because of who he looks like or who he is?

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Magpie: Zac and I have a plan to prove my father’s innocence. As far as my attraction to Zac, I’m going to live in the moment and worry about the outcome after we find the real murderer.

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

Magpie: Although I didn’t inherit any of my mother’s mystical gifts, my brother, Harlan, and my sister, Elidor did. Their stories will be quite intriguing and filled with mystery and suspense.

Blurb for Secrets of the Ravine:

When a ringer for her long-dead love walks into her life the same day skeletal remains are found at the edge of town, Magpie MacKenzie can’t ignore what the universe is telling her…solve the mystery, or become the next victim.

Lawyer Zack Peartree’s life is orderly and entanglement-free until he visits purportedly haunted Joshua, Arizona, and meets free-wheeling shopkeeper Magpie. Despite experiencing troubling visions and odd moments of déjà vu, Zack’s instantly drawn to Magpie and to the unsolved murder which troubles her so.

Using clues from her father’s past and Zack’s déjà vu moments, Magpie and Zack race to solve the mystery, avoid a murderous fate, and to discover their future…together.

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Subtle or Intuitive Themes

Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader, do your stories ever have more subtle or intuitive themes?

Thanks, Rhobin. This is an interesting and thought-provoking topic.

In most of my books the theme and point are usually good triumphs over evil and women can be strong heroines, capable of becoming equals to their male counterparts.

Do they have more subtle themes? In A Cruise to Remember the underlying theme was Alzheimer’s. It showed how it affected people and how they coped. And hopefully how they could still a productive life. It also discussed and show amnesia and how a victim struggled.

In other stories perhaps the small things that show how the woman develops and her strengths could be more subtle themes.

Or in Targeted, there is maybe a subtle discussion of the First Nations (Canadian term) or American Indian, and some of their history.

I’m interested in what other people do in their writing. Check them out with me.
Connie Vines
Judith Copek
Diane Bator
Fiona McGier
Dr. Bob Rich
Anne Stenhouse
Victoria Chatham
Helena Fairfax

Skye Taylor

Rhobin L Courtright

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Fiona McGeer and her New Release

 I've been an avid reader since I was five, when Mom taught me to read. I've always written stories in my head, when bored, or occupied with some other task like baking or cooking, driving, and even sleeping, since I've woken up with entire story arcs and well-developed characters demanding attention.  I used to think that everyone had characters talking to them all of the time.

A few years ago, I decided that my head was getting too crowded, and that some of the people and their stories had to be written--so they'd live in books, and readers' heads. I feel like they are telling me their secrets, and then once the book is done, they're happy to have been heard, so they're quiet. But then the next characters start to talk, demanding their turn. I like the noise.

I write romances involving strong, independent women who enjoy casual flings..  Enter the equally strong, independent man who decides this is the woman for him. He has to convince the heroine that he's the one for her. I love happy endings.

Character Interview for Worth the Wait

Beverley: What’s your name?

Tonisha: My given name is Tonisha Gaines, but everyone calls me by my stage name, Nisha.  My late grandfather, whom I loved a whole lot, used to call me Toni.

Beverley: Where did you grow up?

Tonisha: My parents are both rich, powerful, and politically-connected CEOs, so we lived in various mansions around the country when I was growing up. When I was a pre-teen, we moved permanently to Newport Beach in California. They're still there, though I was living in L.A. recently.

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

Tonisha: The present day--before the Co-Vid pandemic.

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

Tonisha: I'm the only child of two driven and wealthy Black parents, so I was kind of spoiled. I was always messing around with the piano and the guitar, and writing my own music. I always wanted to be a pop star, so I had my own studio in the mansion. My plans almost got derailed when I started hearing this voice in my head, when I was fourteen. At first I didn't tell anyone. Then when it got so I couldn't ignore it because it was so insistent, I told my mom.  She freaked out, of course, and she and dad took me to a very expensive psychologist.  He diagnosed me with multiple personalities--schizophrenia--and started me on heavy doses of anti-psychotic drugs.  As long as I was consistent about taking them, even though the voice didn't stop, at least I was able to ignore it--mostly. When I was 17, my parents found a manager who was supposed to be the best in the business, and signed a contract giving him license to oversee my music career.  He's kind of a pig. We had a brief fling, but he doesn't really like females once they get to be legal age. He's been a domineering asshole to work for, so I get back at him by partying a lot, taking recreational drugs for fun, along with drinking too much.  Does it all interact with my maintenance drugs?  Sure.  But even though I usually can't remember what happened the next day, I've been told that I have a really good time. Those are the kinds of themes I write my catchy pop songs about.  That's been my life for the past 12 years.

Beverley: What’s your goal in this story?

Tonisha: My manager dragged me out of L.A. because it's been a while since my last new album. I told him I write better when I have some quiet, so he rented this property in some wilderness area of Maine--of all places!  Lot of trees and critters, no night-life at all. He told me I have to write enough songs for a new CD, or he'll end our contract. Probably not, since he's been making so much money off of me for so many years. I just wanna have a good time.

Beverley:  What conflicts are you facing?

Tonisha: 1- I've been having kind of a writer's block on new songs.  So, I've been doing lots of partying with the session guys my manager hired to work with me. Then I woke up this one morning lying naked in the snow, outside of a big mansion. The only warmth was coming from this really hot man who was also naked. He has the most gorgeous green eyes!

2-My manager sent me to see this local Maine psychologist who's been giving me different drugs. I feel lots better, physically, but the voice in my head is getting louder again. Not sure that's a good idea.

3-I have no idea how to find the sexy man with the green eyes. I don't even remember his name! But I feel drawn to him, with these intense feelings, as if we belong together.  Totally weird, right?

Beverley: Do you have a plan for resolving them?

Tonisha: Uh, no? I don't usually solve my own problems--my manager does. But he wants new songs, and wants me back on my old drugs.  And for me to never see the hot green-eyed man ever again, which makes me so unhappy that I've been writing some sad songs. He's not gonna like that.

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

Tonisha: Do you ever hear a voice in your head? Do you listen to it, or ignore it? I really need some advice here, and I can't talk to my parents, or anyone hired by my manager. I don't have any friends. But I'd really like to find that sexy green-eyed man again.  Maybe he could answer my questions.

 Blurb for Worth the Wait:

   The Northwest Maine Pack is settling down since Diego, the new pack leader, is almost done healing after challenges to his leadership. His wife, Saoirse, presents him with a welcome surprise. John, son of the late pack leader, has headed out to Boston, to live with Freddie, Saoirse’s bestie, whom he met at her wedding to Diego. This leaves a gap in pack security, so Diego asks if anyone from the family of Canadian hunters is willing to fill in for him.

Grant volunteers.  He's been haunted by the memory of the black she-wolf he saw on the pack grounds. His wolf tells him she is their mate, but he doesn’t even know what she looks like as a human.

Nathan has been without any real love in his life, since his family disowned him years ago, for telling them of his secret duality. But when his wolf senses an unfamiliar she-wolf, and they mate, the next morning, the woman has no memory of anything they did the night before.

Everyone has been waiting a long time for what they want the most. But the path to true love is rarely an easy one. Especially when you are a werewolf.


Excerpt from Worth the Wait:

Nathan woke up with a start, immediately aware that the chilly morning air was way too cold for two naked humans with no blanket to share. In fact, he'd been dreaming of being trapped in a refrigerator, and not only was he shaking, but so was the female his arms were draped around. Memories flooded his brain, and he looked curiously at the sleeping woman, whose back was plastered against the front of him, as they spooned while they slept.

     What should I call her? I have no idea what her name is!

     He cleared his throat, audibly.

     "Um, honey? Sweetheart? We need to move into the mansion. I don't know if you've noticed, but it's really cold out here. Our body heat melted the snow, but we're both wet and shaking."

     He sat up and she rolled onto her back, to give him his first look at her face.
     God! She's gorgeous!

     Her skin was almost the same dark tan as the color of his fur when he was a wolf. Her hair was a mass of long, black curls. Her lips were full, and her lashes were long and thick. They began to flutter, as she struggled to open her eyes. Her eyes blinked open, then closed again, as the morning sun shone directly into them.

     Nathan was sitting next to her, but moved slightly, so that his body was blocking the sun that had blinded her.

     She opened her eyes again, and he was lost in the depths of their dark brown color, as she regarded him intensely for a quick moment. She sat up quickly. "What the hell? What are we doing out here in the cold?"

     Her voice was low and sexy, despite her irritation, and the chattering of her teeth. Nathan fought the urge to lean over and kiss her, and instead responded to her question.

"We fell asleep out here. I wanted us to change and go into my apartment last night, but you were so tired after our long night together, that you fell asleep out here. I didn't want to disturb you, so I just wrapped myself around you, to generate as much body heat as we could." He gave her a sheepish grin. "To tell the truth, I didn't even feel the cold after I shifted. And you didn't shift, but fell asleep right away. So I guess that's why you didn't feel the cold until now."

     "And why, exactly, are we naked out here in the woods, lying in the snow? I mean, what the hell kind of party was it, anyway?"

     "Party?" he asked.

     "Yeah. I assume I met you at some party in--what did you call it? A mansion? So where's everyone else? Didn't anyone think to check on us, after we decided to frolic au naturale in the snow?"

     He smiled, shaking his head. "I was running alone when I saw you, on the other side of the fence. Don't you remember?"

     She shook her head. "Nope."

     His eyebrows rose. "You don't?"

     "No, and I'm freezing my ass off out here. Let's get somewhere warm, preferably where my clothes are, and then we can chat. Maybe over some hot coffee, hopefully."

     He got up and reached out his hands to help her. She took the hands in both of hers, to stand up, and Nathan felt as if her touch included an electrical shock to his skin. He looked into her eyes, which were now dark and stormy, reflecting her mood, and he wanted to lose himself in their depths. She was quite a bit shorter than him, with her head coming barely up to his shoulders. Her nipples were dark pebbles on the round globes of her shapely breasts. They were standing close enough that his hardening cock bouncing off of her thigh could not be missed.

     "Down, boy! I'm not into morning-after sex. Especially not when I'm in danger of losing all feeling in my fingers and toes. Let's get into that mansion of yours and we can talk about whatever comes up." She gave his cock a sideways smirk.

     He began to walk toward the clearing, to find his clothes. They kept up a good pace, which slightly warmed them both up. But it was still undeniably cold.

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