Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Gothic #Romance - Sojourn With A Stranger - #Ghost Excerpt

 About Sojourn With A Stranger

A ghost haunts the halls of Stafford House. When Raine Brinsley arrives and accepts a position as a house servant, the ghost is determined to let Raine know who murdered her. Derek and Lyman Stafford race against time to produce the first male heir and secure the title to Stafford House. The brothers will do anything to win…including murder.
A dark, Gothic novel with romance, mystery, suspense and thrills


Raves for this historical Gothic novel
"An absolutely wonderful book. I was captivated and submerged from the beginning to the end. This is not your typical love story but nonetheless spellbinding. Diablo is a master when it comes to historical romance and has proven once again that she is a delightful storyteller." Blackrose Reviews

"Diablo did a brilliant job with this historical romance novel. It had great romantic conflict, a bit of mystery and suspense and subtle paranormal undertones. She had me on an emotional roller coaster and by the end I was surprised to find myself liking Derek a lot." Book of Secrets Reviews

"Sojourn With A Stranger has a slightly gothic air with ghosts and witches of the tea-leaf reading, herbal-potion brewing kind. I loved how the paranormal aspects of the book were in keeping with the historical time period. The presence of bibles and laying-on-of-hands healing, the witchy midwife in the woods, the poltergeists of those wronged give the book that Gothic touch I so loved." D. Dunbar



Setup and Excerpt:
The ghost - Lucinda, once mistress of the manor - follows Raine to the family graveyard. 
 
Remembering her intent to find the burial ground, she switched subjects with the house servant. "Where is Lucinda buried?"
"In the family plot, left of the gardens."
"The area is enclosed by a wrought iron fence?"
Crete nodded. "Do you want me to accompany you?"
"Oh, no," she said with a wave of her hand. "I will find it."
"You'll be trudging through snow."
"And chilled when I return. Perhaps a bath would be nice―"
"Of course, child," she said. "We'll haul the tub to your room while you’re gone."
Raine rose and touched the woman's cheek. "Thank you for your kindness."


She donned a pair of boots, her cloak, and moments later trudged past the snow-capped gardens. The black fence loomed before her. She opened the gate and scanned several dozen granite markers rising from the ground. Taking one row at a time, she plodded through the snow and stopped to look at the names on the tombstones.


In the second row, she found three small headstones. Half-spent candles protruded from the snow, their bright flames in stark contrast to the dreary burial ground. How odd. Someone must have been there before her and placed candles by the nameless markers.
To her left, she spied a new marker. Lucinda's. She picked up a candle, stood in front of the woman's headstone and closed her eyes. Perhaps if she concentrated hard enough, she could call her forth.


The wind took flight and her heart fluttered like a captured sparrow's. She clasped her hands together and whispered a prayer. A keen whistle―or a woman's mournful wail—echoed around her. She had known cold in her lifetime; frost and snow were nothing new to the natives of Maine, but she had never felt the bone-numbing iciness gripping her now.


It dawned on her. The arctic blast did not come from the snow, but from Lucinda’s spirit. The ghost stood beside her, touching her shoulder. The firm pressure urged her toward the row of graves she passed moments ago. To test her disbelief, she pivoted to the left and the pressure intensified. Lucinda’s spirit wanted her to go right.


Her feet stopped of their own volition before a mammoth headstone. Etched in stone, the likeness of a stern-faced man gazed back. She lifted her head and scanned the writing on the marker: Lyman Stafford, born 1759, left the earth 1820. Husband of Lottie, father of Julian, Rose and Isabelle. Beneath it: Forever in Our Hearts.

 
An icy chill swept the land when the distant sun disappeared, and flurries of snow lashed about her ankles. She fought down the terror. Recalling her grandfather's words about spirits, she took a deep breath and called forth his strength.


She read aloud, aware of the hand pressing into the small of her back now. "Lyman Stafford, born 1759, Derek's grandfather, Julian's father." The heaviness of Lucinda's hand on her back-- for it could only be the ghost, Lucinda―vanished. The sun emerged again and the flurries stopped their frenetic motion. The woman had accomplished her mission, but what did her mission consist of? A subliminal message rattled Raine's befuddled mind, vague and murky.


She studied the man's headstone with the awareness a connection existed between him and Lucinda's tragic life―or tragic death―but the man had died before Derek's wife was born. Raine shivered, tightened the cloak about her shoulders and fled from the graveyard.



Monday, February 13, 2017

A Martyr In The Name of Love - The Story Behind Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day Romance Lovers!

Here's a little trivia about Valentine's Day. Did you know ....Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

A Martyr In the Name of Love?
The origin of this holiday for the expression of love really isn't romantic at all—at least not in the traditional sense. Father Frank O'Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, Ireland, tells the real story of the man behind the holiday—St. Valentine.

"He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time," Father O'Gara explains. " He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died."

"The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict."

Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine's actions while in prison.

In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter. He inspired today's romantic missives by signing it, "from your Valentine."
 

* * *
So while we celebrate Valentine's Day with candy, hearts and flowers, there's a story behind this lovers' day that has been all but lost...except in the annals of history. However you celebrate today, I'm wishing you the best Valentine's Day ever!


Check out some Keta's latest releases



Welcome #Author Veronica Lynch And Her *New Release* FOR KEEPS

Please help me Welcome awesome author Veronica Lynch to Keta's Keep. She's here today to share her new release FOR KEEPS with us! Special giveaway instructions below to win a zippered purse!

** For Keeps is on sale at The Wild Rose Press bookstore through tomorrow, 2/14/17 at 40% off.**

Title:  For Keeps
Author:  Veronica Lynch

Blurb: 
Meghan Muldoon is at a cross-roads in her life: struggling to balance the demands of a high stress vocation as an advocate for victims of violence with her feelings for Keenan Rossi, a man who wants to make their relationship permanent. 

On Valentine's Day, a series of routine crises force Meg to question staying in a profession which fulfills her both professionally and spiritually—or devoting the rest of her life to the one person who completes her.

Which one is For Keeps?

Excerpt:
    “Crime Victim Services. How may I help you?”
    The caller's voice was low, husky, and exquisitely male. “Do you know the difference between a barracuda and a victim advocate?”
    Her heart skipped a beat. “Lip gloss.”
    “Well damn,” Kee muttered. “You already heard it.”
    “An oldie but a goodie, pal.”
    “Aren't we all. How you doin' on this gorgeous February day?”
    Even though she heard the tease in his voice now, she was still smarting from last night's spat. “Not too bad. How's by you?”
    “Lemme tell you, cara. If I was any better, I'd scare myself.”

Buy links for For Keeps:
Amazon
The Wild Rose Press

Where to find Veronica:
Facebook 
Amazon Author Page 

Goodreads
Wild Women Authors Blog
Aprons With Attitudes Blog

Special tidbits about Veronica:
    I am addicted to iced coffee, true crime shows, ESPN's Mike and Mike and my four grandchildren who always make me laugh.
    All my books contain at least one scene which is based on a true event. This includes the excerpt in For Keeps.
    In October, 2016, For Keeps took 5th place in the International Digital Awards, [a published author contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers], short contemporary romance category. We are thrilled with this honor as re-reading this story brought back many memories, some of them fond. Heh heh.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Veronica.
Don't forget to visit Amazon and grab your copy of For Keeps!

AND...
*Veronica is giving away a small zippered purse with a Valentines theme to one visitor. Leave a comment below to be eligible to win the purse!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

#PassionateSquee - Decadent Deceptions In the Spotlight

Hi everyone, and welcome! I'm featuring Decadent Deceptions today in coordination with Cailin Briste's Passionate Squee promotion. Make sure you visit her blog CAILIN BRISTE and leave a comment! You could win one of three Amazon gift cards she's giving way. 




About Decadent Deceptions - Keta Diablo

* 35 ‘Five’ Star Reviews
* Special Content Alert: Voyeurism
* RWA Molly Contest Finalist (Erotica category)
* Red Carpet Review Top Award Nominee – 2014

Determined to win Morgan Gatewood’s love, Olivia Breedlove lures the decadent man into a game of cat and mouse. What began as a ploy to force him to commit, tumbles into a world rife with voyeurism, sin and murder. Morgan must not only beat Olivia at her own game but stay one step ahead of the scheming vixen once the serial killer has her in his sights.

Enter L’ Amour Immortelles, an affluent brothel, where no one is who they claim to be, and no one is safe. Enter the world of Decadent Deceptions where the hunted becomes the hunter to save the woman he loves.

This novel is scorchingly hot and includes scenes of bondage. There is a HEA and no cliffhangers.

Praise for Decadent Deceptions!

"Loved, loved, loved this book! Did I say I loved this book? I’m in awe of Keta Diablo’s gifted writing ability. She paints such vivid pictures with her words, and takes us into a beautiful romance with no lulls or heavy back story." 5- Stars!

“Decadent Deceptions is a thoroughly sensuous historical erotic romance. Keta Diablo’s rich backgrounds set off the antics of her characters to perfection. I always enjoy Ms. Diablo’s work and this book was no exception." 4.75 Stars

"This was a hot, erotic read, with a little bit of spicy voyeurism thrown into the mix. The characters Ms. Diablo created were fun, witty and even zany at times. They were a joy to read and I found myself sad when the novel ended just because I loved the characters." 5 Stars

Setup and Excerpt:
Morgan has escorted Olivia to L'Immortelles, an elegant brothel, where she can watch couples engage in amorous liaisons. In the carriage on the way home, tension between the unrequited lovers reigns

Nothing stood between Morgan and Olivia in the carriage except pale moonlight and a vacant air that hissed with tension.
Olivia waited as long as she dared and then attempted to relieve the awkward quiet. “You’ll never believe it, Morgan, I recognized someone tonight.”
His head turned sharply as he looked at her. “Who?”
“I don’t believe I’ll tell you. It might spoil things.”
“What do you mean, spoil things?”
“It would no longer be my private little secret, and besides, it’s one thing to watch someone—”
“Spy on someone you mean.”
“Oh have it your way,” she said. “I was about to say, it’s one thing to observe someone fornicating; it’s another to reveal their name.”
“Who was it, Olivia?”
“Not telling you.” She ran her hands down the front of Cain’s shirt and changed the subject. “Oh, nothing in the world compares to desire or love.” 
“There is one thing better.”
A short laugh left her lips. “What might that be?”
“Unrequited lust, desire or love.”
Olivia stared, arrested by the raw male potency emanating from the man. Had he just challenged her, knowing she hungered for what she’d witnessed tonight? Damn the cad. He didn’t think she had the courage to take this to the next level. Or did he mean he didn’t give a fig’s leaf if she relinquished her virginity to another man? At that possibility, her heart sank.
“How poetic.” Without missing a beat, she attempted to decipher the meaning behind his words. “Do you read poetry?”
“Hardly.” His gaze narrowed. “Why...do you?”
“I adore Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s love sonnets.”
“So Cain tells me.”
At his dour response, she continued. “Do you want to know what I observed tonight?”
“No.”
“But I have questions.”
“Ask your nanny.”
“Pardon?”
“You heard me.”
“You know perfectly well I no longer have a nanny, and why are you behaving so rudely?”
“I’m tired.”
“Well, bear with me, we’re almost home. The questions couldn’t make a man of your repute uncomfortable, and I’m baffled.”
He blew air through his lips. “Very well, what is it?”
“Why is it so smoky in there, and what’s that sweet smell accompanying the smoke, and—”
“Opium.”
“Opium! Good heavens, Morgan, you took me to an opium den?”
“No, I took you to a fucking den, at your request I must remind you.”
She blushed and directed him back to the subject at hand. “The woman smoked it.”
He shook his head. “You are such an innocent, Olivia. Of course she smoked it. They all do.”
“Why?”
“It’s stimulating, enhances the sex.”
“Oh, I had no idea.”
“What else? You said questions.”
“The first couple—”
Caught off guard, his eyes widened. “You watched more than one?”
“Two,” she said, feeling superior. “And therein lays the problem. The second couple, including the man I recognized, performed exemplary, comparable to the pictures I’ve seen.”
He rolled his eyes.
“I mean to say, they progressed as I imagined.” Here, she paused. “Until he spanked her.”
Morgan swallowed hard. “You enjoyed that; didn’t you, Liv?”
“Most certainly not.”
“Did you imagine he was spanking you?”
Concentrating on controlling her breathing and mistrustful of her voice, she shook her head. His inflection had changed on the last question along with the sensual line of his lips when he pressed them together.
Recovering from the sudden rush of dizziness and all in favor of goading him further, Olivia continued. “Then, they, you know, did it. Beyond ravenous, he flung her onto the bed and took her from—”
He shifted in the seat, his voice thin. “What is your question about the first couple?”
“Well they never consummated it. He merely....” She licked her bottom lip, Morgan’s proximity searing her senses. Talking to him about such intimacies and feeling the way she did about him unnerved her, yet she pushed onward. She’d touched a chord; she sensed it, her intent from the beginning. Pressing on with her heart in her throat, she blurted, “He pleasured her without using his penis—thoroughly, I might add—and he still paid her.”
“Thoroughly, did he?”
“Without question.”
“Continue, Olivia, I know you’re going to tell me every tawdry detail, whether I want to hear them or not.”
She leaned forward, softening her voice for effect. “He suckled her first and next, placed his head between her thighs.” She searched his eyes to read his thoughts, but his magnificent features were staid. “And then, he licked her—”
“Enough, I get the picture.” He lifted his hand between them. “What is your question?”
“While there can be no doubt she was wholly, unconditionally satisfied, what did he get out of it?” Shifting back into the seat, she paused. “I mean, why did he squander good money to do such a thing without, you know...?”
“Without fucking her, Olivia, isn’t that what you mean?”
Her nipples hardened and a shudder raked her. “You needn’t be so crude. I just wanted to know why he bothered.”
“Because he likes that! Jesus!”
“Don’t be such a ninny, Morgan. You did promise Cain you’d tutor me; take me under your wing so to speak.”
“I’m reneging on that part of the bargain,” he replied. “I don’t want to tutor you, hear all about your voyeurism. I’ll make sure you get to the next appointment in two weeks and safely home again and that’s all. I don’t want to hear every blasted detail of what you saw. Do you understand me, Olivia?”
“Perfectly,” she said.
The carriage rounded a corner on two wheels, eliciting a scream from one of the horses. “Something must have spooked one of the—”
The transport swerved. Hurtled from the seat, Olivia ended up on the floor at Morgan’s feet. He reached for her and pulled her into his lap until her legs straddled his hips, her breasts pressed against his chest. Whatever had happened outside, the driver seemed to have everything under control.
How she wished she did.
Their eyes locked and time stopped on the periphery of some distant plane. Morgan’s hand tangled in the long hair at the back of her head, and he drew her to him, his mouth demanding and ravishing. Her heart quickened. His tongue parted her lips and swept through every crevice as if to memorize the taste of her. She pressed her body against him, reveling in the feel of every hard muscle of his chest and the strong thighs beneath her. He quit her mouth and bestowed breathless, titillating kisses along her neck and throat, sending tremors through her blood.
“You like that, don’t you, Olivia,” he whispered against her ear. “And this,” he said, slipping a hand down her pants to massage the juncture between her thighs with his fingers.
She clenched her teeth and stifled a moan, her pleasure peaking in a delirious state. Oh, God, yes, she almost moaned aloud.
His fingers caressed the outer folds of her sex, bare flesh against bare flesh. She twisted beneath him and clung to his shoulders, her nails digging into his taut skin. She had to stop this or soon he’d take her on the seat of the coach. She strained her hips away from him, but he would have none of that. His erection prodded her belly, and his free hand slid to the small of her back. He held her immobile and forced her to acknowledge his physical desire. Guiding her hips in a slow rotation, and with his fingers still stroking her sex, Olivia’s body throbbed and quivers of ecstasy surged through her.
“Morgan, please, you must stop,” she groaned.
“Isn’t this what you wanted? Isn’t it why you went to Immortelles?”
“No. I mean, yes.”
“Touch me, Olivia.”
God help her, she wanted to.
“Do it,” he said.
She allowed her hand to wander between their bodies and close around his manhood through his trousers. She gasped, the sensation of touching him both shocking and delicious.
“Say it, Olivia. Say you want me inside you. Give in to your desire. Admit you lust after me like I lust after you.”
It was so erotic, so decadent, her on his lap with him caressing her most private parts and she stroking his manhood.
The carriage stopped. He removed his hand from her pants and set her back onto the seat with an all-knowing smirk. For Olivia, it was like a dream. It couldn’t have happened, yet why did she burn all over, hunger for more?
She straightened her clothing and tried to recapture the same haughty air she had assumed earlier. “Well, here we are.” She placed a hand on his forearm. “Thank you, Morgan. I do appreciate your assistance.”
His smirk evaporated, and he looked as though he’d like to strangle her.
“I’m confident that at the conclusion of this adventure I’ll recognize more of Cain’s friends. Yours too,” she continued, pretending nothing had passed between them, yet dying inside. “I’ll be able to come to a sensible decision.”
“Think nothing of it,” he said, and she knew he was doing his best to control his anger.

* * *



Thursday, February 2, 2017

Welcome LaSHANTA CHARLES #author with New Release

Please help me welcome LaShanta Charles and thanks for stopping by! I think you'll agree with me that her new release HEART OF A SAVAGE looks and sounds like a FAB read. Gotta love that cover!



Book Synopsis: Bailey Ross-O'Malley has spent her whole life catering to others. She used to enjoy it. Until her father died. In an attempt to protect her, her father chose Connor to be her husband, but that was a mistake. Connor was supposed to love her, be her rock – but some rocks need to be tossed as far away as possible. She only has one source of happiness now, her son, and if Connor doesn't get his way, he'll take that joy from her as well.



MMA fighter, Dominic Prince, has only one mission in life: forget his past. Forget the pain, the drama, and the loss of things taken away from him too soon. He's guarded and secretive and that's the way he likes it. He was doing a damn good job of keeping it that way. Until her. Bailey showed up and Dominic’s life became a minefield. He can't decide if he wants to kiss her or shake her, but he does know that he'll fight to keep her safe. He'll be as savage as he is in the octagon, outside of it.



Neither of them wants to accept it happening, but the past has a way of sneaking into the present. Hearts will be shattered and bonds will be broken. Will they survive it?


Author Bio: LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014.

She lives in Yelm, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She's a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, SLEEPING, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, SLEEPING, sexy alien romances, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they're extremely creepy, why do they need eight legs??



Email LaShanta at: lashantacharles@gmail.com



Genre: Romance – New Adult, Sports

Release Date: January 31, 2017



Don't forget to follow LaShanta on the net



Download your copy HERE ON AMAZON