Friday, June 23, 2017

WEDNESDAY JULY 19, 2017 @ MURDER ON THE BEACH



WEDNESDAY JULY 19, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

The Indie Experience at Murder on the Beach.  Discover New Voices Panel with Moderator Randy Rawls

Randy RawlsMCV EganTraci HallChristopher HawkeBarbara Fox

M.C.V. Egan will speak and sign The Bridge of Deaths. $15.00.

Traci Hall will speak and sign Ambrosia by the Sea. $9.99.

Christopher Hawke will speak and sign Unnatural Truth. $15.00.

Barbara Fox will speak and sign Mysteries In The Inn. $10.00.

Randy Rawls will speak and sign Justice Secured. $12.99.

Refreshments will be served

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Suzy Henderson: The Miracle of Dunkirk

Suzy Henderson: The Miracle of Dunkirk: The long-awaited movie, Dunkirk , by Christopher Nolan, which tells the story of Operation Dynamo, will be released in July 2017. Toda...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bizarre facts about Vlad III Basarab, nicknamed, Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), or  Dracula.




1. Bram Stoker didn’t make up the word Dracula for his book. DRACULA in Walachian language means DEVIL.  His father, Vlad II Basarab, was a member of a secret society known as the Order of the Dragon, which fought the Ottoman Empire. He was so proud to be a member that he had his name changed to “Dracul,” Romanian for “Dragon.”  Vlad III also got involved in the Order, which prompted him to change his own name to Dracula.

2. The name Tepes is the Romanian for “the Impaler.” It was a title given to him posthumously. Vlad III earned his “Impaler” nickname by killing thousands of Turks and others by the grisly method that he learned during his teens, when he was a political hostage of the Ottoman Empire in Egrigoz.

3. When Vlad’s father was called to a diplomatic meeting in 1442 with Sultan Murad II, he brought his young sons Vlad III and Radu along, having no idea that they fell in a trap. All three were arrested and held hostage. The elder Vlad was released but he had to leave his sons behind.
4.  It was during his hostage years that Vlad witnessed the impalement of his Ottomans' enemies. According to historical accounts, Vlad suffered much at the hands of the Ottomans. He was tortured for part of that time, and was locked up in an underground prison.  However, his younger brother, Radu, caught the eye of the sultan's son. Radu was released and converted to Islam, and he was allowed into the Ottoman royal court.

5.  In the 1400s, the region of Wallachia was under constant threat from its neighbors, the Turks. Vlad III sent an army to push the Turks out of his land. Eventually, though the Turks forced Vlad into a retreat—he was not done. As he retreated, he burned down his own villages along the way so that the Turkish army would have nowhere to rest. He even went so far as poisoning his own wells just so that the incoming Turkish army wouldn’t have the satisfaction.

6. When Ottoman diplomatic envoys had an audience with Vlad in 1459, the diplomats declined to remove their hats, citing a religious custom. Commending them on their religious devotion, Vlad ensured that their hats would forever remain on their heads by having the hats nailed to the diplomats' skulls.

7. Vlad tested whether his technique for dissuading theft or dishonesty worked.  He had a valuable gold bowl placed near a river crossing. The rule was that anybody could drink out of it, but it could not leave the square under any circumstances.  The bowl stayed put! It’s believed that during this time about 60,000 people lived in the town—yet during his entire reign, the priceless cup was never touched.  

8. Reports state that Dracula’s body was buried at a cemetery in the Snagov Monastery, outside Bucharest, where one of his brothers was a monk. But there are conflicting reports - some that his body was never actually found there, while others say that his possible remains were indeed found, but then disappeared. It is believed that the archaeologists searching in Snagov, (a commune outside Bucharest), in 1931, found Dracula’s remains. The contents were transferred to the History Museum in Bucharest, but they later disappeared without a trace, leaving the mysteries of the real Prince Dracula unanswered.

 It’s pretty likely that his body was just robbed at some point; as royalty, he would likely have been buried with treasure, making his grave a good target for grave robbers. And then there’s the other theory about why his body was never found: because he’s Dracula.

                            Dracula’s Mistress
                    
Publisher – City Lights Press
Genre – Paranormal historical/light romance
Blurb

From the day that the powerful, brave and merciless Vlad III Basarab, a descendant of the Draculesti family—better known to most people as the infamous vampire Dracula—ascends the throne, he knows only battles, betrayal and intrigue.

Evil grips the town of Targoviste, capital residence of Walachia. The secrets behind the stone walls of the palace are as dark and violent as a winter’s night, as terrifying as the prince’s deeds. Dead bodies, drained of blood and missing their little finger keep appearing in the streets at night.

Lovely, smart, determined, Angela Oltenescu ignores all the aggressive rumors and her mother’s warning regarding Vlad. Will she suffer the consequences of falling in love with a man nicknamed Dracula by his enemies—an infamous creature of the night?

Rich, sly, treacherous,  Marin Craioveanu, a powerful landlord, craves the same woman loved by Vlad. Marin's hatred toward the prince will make him an ally to Handsome Radu, Vlad’s brother and Sultan’s friend, ready to sell the country to the Ottomans to get rid of his rival.

Dracula’s Mistress will awe legions of fans of Gothic literature, paranormal and historical fiction
Buy link   Only 0.99$  Amazon.com
 

Author Bio and links
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire  Count Dracula  where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
High-school teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression  by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. Reading was, is and will always be her greatest hobby.
She has dreamed since childhood to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989, and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.
She likes to blend genres and thus she writes paranormal stories with a smidgen of mystery, history and romance. The reader will find suspense, dark themes, adventure, danger as well as sweet revenge. She calls her stories  “gothic” romance. Her writing focuses on rebirth, past life regression, karmic retribution.
                   Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.
Author Carmen Stefanescu's Links  http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/






             
Other books by Carmen: Till-Life-Do-Us-Part
 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Think Historical Romances Are Boring? Think Again!


                                                                      © Kelli A. Wilkins
A woman recently told me that she loved romances, but didn’t read historicals because they were boring. I replied, “Some of them might be, but not mine—far from it.” I’m not sure if I convinced her to try historicals, but our conversation got me wondering, why do some romance readers think historicals are dull?

Maybe they were turned off by boring history lessons in school, or they think nothing exciting happened in the days before electricity and the Internet. Perhaps they tried a historical romance ages ago and it was weighted down with hard-to-read language or endless “boring” details.

I write historical, gay, paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary romances. People often ask me how I can switch genres so easily. “What’s the trick?” they want to know. Well, the trick is… there is none. Writing historical romances is pretty much like writing contemporaries. I use the same basic storytelling techniques—an interesting plot, sympathetic characters, and the right mix of backstory, setting, and details that draw readers into the story and keep them there.

Just because historical romances are set in time periods before cars and cell phones, that doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make them boring. There is plenty of action, adventure, intrigue, danger, comedy, and sensual love scenes. And these are the same elements that go into making a compelling contemporary romance.

The key to writing an appealing historical is to create characters who are engaging and lively. I don’t have “stuffy shirts” making long-winded speeches about politics, law, or anything not crucial to the storyline. You won’t find me (or my characters) giving anyone a history lesson!

I bring my historical romances “out of the history books” and into the everyday lives of my characters. I focus on how the hero and heroine meet, fall in love, overcome their obstacles and challenges, and eventually live happily-ever-after. And they are far from shy when it comes to having fun in the bedroom! The heat levels in my romances vary from mild to super-scorching hot—depending on the characters and their storylines.

Some of my heroines are virgins waiting to meet the love of their life (Michelle from Loving a Wild Stranger), while others are curious and want to explore their sexuality (Odaria from The Viking’s Witch). Other heroines are far from virginal (Shauna from Dangerous Indenture) and aren’t shy about giving in to their desires, despite the so-called impropriety of the times.

As I’m writing, I only include the historical details and descriptions that are integral to the story. I don’t bog down the plot with a step-by-step procedure for churning butter, or go into an endless description of how to unfasten a corset (unless it’s befuddling the hero who’s eager to remove it!).

For example, when I wrote my western, Lies, Love & Redemption, I researched what life was like on the Nebraska prairie in 1877, all about general stores, and other elements of the Old West. I added some of the interesting things I learned into the storyline or weaved details into the background, but I didn’t use everything. It was important for me to convey the flavor of the time period while keeping the reader hooked and the plot moving.

Every romance genre has its fans. Some people like to read contemporary romances, others live for paranormals, and there are those who switch up genres and read anything that sounds appealing. I like writing historicals—but I also write contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and gay romances, too. Why? Because I enjoy writing about interesting characters that fall in love, whenever and wherever that may be.

If you’ve never read historical romances, why not give them a try? You might just find yourself swept away into the past…

I hope you enjoyed this inside look at writing historical romances. I welcome comments and questions from readers. Be sure to follow my blog for the latest updates and visit me on social media.

Happy Reading,

Kelli A. Wilkins

Here are the descriptions and links to my two newest historical romances,
Loving a Wild Stranger and Lies, Love & Redemption


Loving a Wild Stranger

A woman running from her past… straight into the arms of an untamed man


In a moment of desperation, Kathleen Stanton flees her pampered life in Kingston, New York and ends up stranded in a small town in the Michigan Territory. Out of money and forced to rely on her instincts, she impersonates a handsome stranger’s mail-order bride.



Committed to her deception, Kathleen calls herself Michelle and starts her new life with Luther in an isolated cabin in the wilderness. Luther can’t believe his luck when his beautiful bride arrives, but something doesn’t feel right about his new wife. Michelle has terrifying nightmares involving a man named Roger and is reluctant to talk about where she came from.


Luther’s friend, Redfeather visits and tries to convince Luther to send Michelle back east. Distrusting Michelle, he warns Luther that his bride is not what she seems. But Luther is in love with Michelle, and he is harboring a secret of his own—one that might force Michelle to reject him when she learns the truth.


Michelle falls in love with Luther and adapts to her new way of life. Together, they face off against brutal townspeople and overcome harsh living conditions. When they finally give in to their desires and agree to become a proper man and wife, a dark figure from Michelle’s past resurfaces and threatens to destroy everything.



Order your copy of Loving a Wild Stranger





Lies, Love & Redemption


Shot and left for dead, Sam Hixton stumbles into a general store on the Nebraska prairie and collapses into the arms of Cassie Wilcox.

Cassie’s world is turned upside down when the handsome stranger drops into her life. Sam is another complication she doesn’t need: her business is dying and her trouble with the townspeople is escalating. Yet she’s determined to keep the store open — no matter what the cost.

As Sam recovers from his injuries, he hides the truth about his identity and convinces Cassie to let him work in the store. He’s attracted to her and admires her independent nature but quickly realizes Cassie’s in way over her head. They fight their growing attraction, and Cassie questions whether she can trust her fragile heart to a mysterious stranger. Will he accept her once he knows about her troubled past?

Cassie resists Sam’s advances and represses her feelings until one fateful night when they give in to their fiery passion. Together, they work out a plan to save the store but find their efforts are thwarted—and their lives endangered—by the locals.

Sam’s secret returns to haunt him and pulls him away just when Cassie needs him the most. Will he regain her trust when she learns the truth?

Cassie has everything invested in the store—can she save it and find true love with Sam before it’s too late?

Order Lies, Love & Redemption
on Amazon  and on B&N 
Read more
about the book and get links to other platforms CLICK HERE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels.

Loving a Wild Stranger was released in January 2017. This historical/pioneer romance is set in the wilds of the Michigan Territory and blends tender romance with adventure.

Kelli's third Medallion Press romance, Lies, Love & Redemption was released in September 2016. This spicy historical western is set on the Nebraska prairie in 1877.

In 2016 Kelli began re-releasing her romances previously published by Amber Quill Press. Visit her website and blog for a full title list, book summaries, and other information.

Her writing book, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction is a fun and informative non-fiction guide based on her years of experience as a writer. It’s filled with writing exercises and helpful tips all authors can use.

If you like to be scared, check out Kelli’s horror ebooks: Dead Til Dawn and Kropsy’s Curse.

Kelli posts on her Facebook author page and Twitter @KWilkinsauthor. 
She also writes a weekly blog kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com  ,  Goodreads and Pinterest

Visit her website, www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings, read book excerpts, reviews, and more. Readers can sign up for her newsletter Click here.

CATCH UP WITH KELLI