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It’s NaNoWriMo Time with an Excerpt from A Demon’s Tale

Yup! I’m actually doing NaNoWriMo this year, and very excited about it I am too!  This is the first time I’ve participated in a couple of years. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. The challenge is to write a 50K word novel in a month. While my novels are always well over 50K, to be able to get that much done in a month means enough momentum to carry on to the end.

 

I’ve had the pleasure of participating in NaNoWriMo several times when my schedule has allowed it. Those times have resulted in Body Temperature and Rising, book One of the Lakeland Witches Series, The Tutor, which is a contemporary erotic romance, and a SciFi novel called Piloting Fury, which I’m still rewriting and deciding upon a home for.

 

This year I’m writing another novel in the Medusa Consortium series. This novel is a story readers have asked for, it’s the Guardian’s story, A Demon’s Tale. With the Guardian’s permission, here is a rough excerpt from Day One of NaNoWriMo and the prologue of the novel. Enjoy.

 

Guarding Her Sleep: Excerpt from A Demon’s Tale

He watched her sleep, something that he did every night, something that, until very recently, he had enjoyed immensely, for there was always the possibility that when she slept, she would dream, and perhaps in those dreams, she would visit him.  Truly, he treasured those visits. They were a time of getting to know her, of learning to understand her a little better so that he might become a more suitable companion, might better realize what behavior would be most pleasing to her.

 

In truth it was only in dreams that his constant, though unavoidable, presence was not a violation, however unintentional that violation might be. In the beginning, it mattered less, in the beginning when he was still angry at her for what she had done to him. But the anger was nothing compared to the mourning at the loss, her loss, what she had done to herself because of him. Mourning, such a very human experience, one of which he could not have imagined himself capable. And yet he had mourned, had hated it, had raged against it, that thing that made no sense to him, that loss that was so needless, that terrible, irreversible loss for which, in his solitude, to his horror, he came to realize he was fully to blame.  Blame had always been a thing he had thrust upon others, never a thing he had felt himself, never a thing he could have understood until she did what she did, until she made the sacrifice she had made. Because of him.

 

It was in dreams that he had slowly come to realize his need for her forgiveness. It was in dreams that slowly she began to give it. It was in dreams that, for the very first time, he found himself wondering at his true nature, doubting just how well he understood it even after so very long. It was in dreams that he could sooth her, comfort her, and he knew better than anyone just how very hard she battled to heal, to learn how to live now that she had been changed, to come to grips with her own losses and to fight for the protection of those she loved. The knowledge of what she brought to him in dreams, of the weight she bore in no small part because of him meant the guilt that he thought he could never feel was his constant companion driving him to seek redemption in pleasing her, in being useful to her. The irony of it all was not lost on him – a demon seeking redemption. How often had he wondered if perhaps he only dreamed such insanity. And yet when she came to him in dreams, he wanted nothing so badly as to be redeemed for her sake. When she came to him in dreams, he believed that perhaps in time, she would forgive him and come to feel more kindly toward him.

 

Yes, he had anticipated her dreams, longed for them and now, as he watched her sleep, he fervently hoped that she would not dream, at least not that kind of reality wrapped within a dream that had brought her to him. For to his horror, dreams were the one thing from which he could not protect her. The very thought made him frantic, made him rage, that he was so helpless against a violation greater than any he had ever committed in all his years. When these dreams came upon her, he could not free her, he could not protect her, he could only watch impotently while her worst nightmare grew into a reality he could not stop.

 

That the one who had come to her aid seemed as invisible, as incorporeal as he was
did not ease his worry, for the one who called herself Glinda was unknown to him. While everyone believed her trustworthy, he did not know her, he did not understand how she was able to pull his dear Susan from the depths of the nightmare when he, who was her constant and intimate companion could not, when he, whose power Susan and her companions had called upon with confidence could only watch her suffering. Who was this Glinda? Who was she that she could stand against the gods themselves and why did he find that even as he was grateful for what she had done for his dear Susan, he hated her that she could do for her what he could not.

 

The Gossip from Grace Manor

It’s time for a bit of a catch-up sesh at Grace Manor, so grab a cuppa, pull up a chair, and get comfy. There’s gossip, news, free reads and giveaways in October’s Hopeful Romantic newsletter. Mr. Grace and I are just back from a fabulous mini holiday in Rome, tacked on to a conference in which he was involved.

 

Our first task upon returning home was to put our bed back together so we would have a place to sleep. Yes, that’s right, Grace Manor is getting a long overdue makeover, and while the paint job in the bedroom was done, the bed was not.

 

 

A week and a half later, the new flooring is down and painting is done in the kitchen, lounge, master bedroom, stairway and entryway. Now the actual redecorating can begin, a task I don’t mind saying I find more than a little intimidating.

 

 

Any advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. Please be patient with me for the next few months. My goal is to have the lion share of the work done by my birthday in January. We shall see.

 

November and a Demonic NaNoWriMo

If you’re wondering why there have been no new postings of my interview with the Guardian on my blog, let me solve the mystery. The interview has become far more complex than I had expected and, after some serious consultation, the Guardian and I decided that I should remove myself from the interview for my own protection and sanity. He did, however, concede, that as far as the latter was concerned, we might already be too late. JSeriously, he needs to work on his sense of humor.

 

 

Don’t worry, however, the Guardian’s story will be told in its entirety. As luck would have it November is coming up, and that means National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo is one of my favorite ways to write a novel, when I actually can schedule it in. Turns out, this year, I can! A Demon’s Taleis now on the schedule to be written during November – or at least as much of it as I can manage. The premise of NaNoWriMo is to write a fifty-thousand-word novel in a month. While my novels are always at least twice that long, NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to focus my efforts and get a rip-roaring start to a longer story.

 

The chapter by chapter synopsis for A Demon’s Taleis finished, and I can tell you right now, the story the Guardian has shared is a doozy. I’m very excited to be the scribe who will be writing it. Here is the blurb.

 

 

A Demon’s Tale Blurb:

 

PI, Elise North, resurrects her career as an investigative journalist when she is asked to interview a demon. Imprisoned within the body of a vampire, this demon has a confession to make, one he hopes to manage without the knowledge of his jailor, whose friendship and hard-earned trust he doesn’t want to lose. In addition to his confession, he seeks to connect with an elusive witch called Glinda, who may be able to free his vampire/jailor from the nightmares that haunt her and threaten to become a reality. He knows that Elise is the only one who can keep their meetings secret from the vampire, who is his prison.

In book four of the Medusa Consortium Series, the Guardian, the demon imprisoned inside vampire and Scribe, Susan Innes, tells his own dark tale to a woman with an ulterior motive and a startling gift of her own.

 

 

Free Reads and Giveaways

 

Halloween Spooktacular EBook Giveaway

 

 

Forget the tricks! You’ll find only treats in this Halloween extravaganza. Get ready to fill your ereader with ghostly delights. To celebrate Halloween, check out Bookfunnel’s thrilling collection of speculative fiction sure to give you goose bumps and keep you reading way into the new year. From vampires to ghosts to monsters howling in the night, you’ll be sure to satisfy your Halloween fix with our FREE READS! Follow the link and feast on these reading treats.https://books.bookfunnel.com/halloweengiveaway/5qcgozv0s1

 

 

Kindle Fire Giveaway at theShadows and Spellcraft Urban Fantasy Book Fair

 

 

Best Selling author, Laura Greenwoodis hosting the fabulousShadows and Spellcraft Urban Fantasy Book Fair, a regular treasure trove for Urban Fantasy/PNR lovers. This is the perfect place to discover your next great read.

 

Be sure to check out the Shadows and Spellcraft Kindle Fire Giveawayat the bottom of the page! Just follow the link above and click on the covers or banners to find out more about each book!

 

 

Free Reads on my Blog

There are always plenty of free reads on a Hopeful Romantic, some finished, some not, but plenty to enjoy at your leisure. Here’s a listing of just a few for your reading pleasure.

 

 

 

Interview with a Demon

While there will be no more interviews with the Guardian on my blog, the interview as it stands will remain for your reading enjoyment with the whole story coming out in the fictionalized A Demon’s Tale which I will begin writing on in November. So if you’ve not read the interview yet, it’s still there for you to enjoy.

Interview with a Demon

 

Concerto

A remote location, a ruined Scottish manor and a mysterious pianist, these are the story ingredients that have inspired Concerto. Below you’ll find the link to the latest episode, which will contain the links to all the earlier episodes, if you’ve not read them yet.

Concerto

 

Other Free On-line Reads from the Medusa’s Consortium Series:

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 1

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 2

  

An Unexpected Encounter with a Vampire

 

Part 1 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

Part 2 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington.

Part 3 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

 

What are You Reading?

I’ve just begun the Wild Card Series, edited by George R. R. Martin, with stories, novellas and novels by some of the best SciFi/fantasy writers in the business, including the man himself. These books are soon to become a television series, and come highly recommended by Mr Grace. So far, I’d say the man has good taste. Here’s part of the blurb from The Epic Beginning.

There is a secret history of the world – a history in which an alien virus struck the
Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces – those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others became Jokers – cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

 

And what are you reading? Whatever it is, enjoy!

 

Don’t Miss the Halloween Spooktacular eBook Giveaway

 

 

Looking for a Spooky Read?

 

Get ready to fill your ereader with this ghostly delights. 

To celebrate Halloween, we have a thrilling collection of speculative fiction sure to give you goosebumps. From vampires to ghosts to monsters howling in the night, you’ll be sure to satisfy your Halloween fix with our free reads!

 

 

 

No trick!

This is a serious Treat!

So go ahead, indulge and follow the link 

 

And you might just find a scary, sexy PNR treat in the totally delicious mix from yours truly. Go on, you know you want to.

 

 

https://books.bookfunnel.com/halloweengiveaway/5qcgozv0s1

 

 

 

McKenna Dean Launches Ghost of a Chance with a Giveaway & Tour

 

 

Ghost of a Chance

Redclaw Security Book 2

by McKenna Dean

 

Madison has put together some really awesome Prizes 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.

 

 

 

About Ghost of a Chance:

 

At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.

 

A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.

 

With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they both harbor secrets that might tear them apart.

 

Ghost of a Chance is a paranormal romance story.

 

Amazon Buy Link:https://amzn.to/2nbVC33

 

Ghost of a Chance Excerpt:

 

For some reason, he glanced back at Sarah where she waited by the door. The backlight of falling snow through the glass in the shadowed hallway created the suggestion of a black-and-white photograph. The only spot of color was the bright red scarf at the collar of her coat and the wine-dark lipstick she wore. She leaned against the wall with her eyes closed. Something inside him clicked, as though recognizing a scene from a movie. His heart stopped a beat, flipped over, and thudded again with increased intensity.

 

No. It couldn’t be. Not her.

 

He hurried away, head still reeling at his reaction.

 

When he returned with an armload of clothing, she was nowhere to be seen. Her laptop sat by her shoes, one pretty little pump turned over on its side. As expected, he discovered her in the living room, staring at the pictures on the wall. “There you are.”

 

She jumped at the sound of his voice.

 

“Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” He adjusted the heap of clothing piled over one arm and held out a pair of snow boots.

 

“She had so many photographs of me.” Sarah took the boots almost automatically, and indicated the walls covered with pictures, ones Casey had seen many times.

 

That had to be it. Why she felt so familiar. Why she seemed to be the one. Relief washed over him. Obviously he’d spent too much time alone if he thought Sarah Atwell was his destined mate.

 

 

The Panther’s Lost Princess

Redclaw Security Book 1

Amazon Buy Link:https://amzn.to/2LSf9UL

 

 

 

 

About McKenna Dean:

 

McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.

 

She lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family, as well as the assorted dogs, cats, and various livestock.

 

She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.

 

McKenna Dean’s Social Media Links:

Newsletter:http://eepurl.com/c8GDYX

Website: http://mckennadeanromance.com/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B075CRHQ7B/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/McKenna-Dean-Author-262328784224302/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/McKennaDeanFic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mckennadeanromance/?hl=en

Tumblr: https://mckennadeanromance.tumblr.com/

Email: mckennadeanromance@gmail.com

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Redemption of the Shrew Launches with a Tour and Giveaway

The Redemption of the Shrew

Scandalous Kisses Book 4

By Barbara Monajem

 

Barbara has some wonderful prizes to giveaway during the tour. Please be sure to enter with the Rafflecopter below. There is an opportunity every day to enter for your chance to win one of the fabulous prizes. So join us for a fun blog tour journey and be sure to enter every day for your chance to win. You may find all the blog tour locations here.

 

 

 

 

About The Redemption of the Shrew:

Nothing is more painful than rejection—particularly when completely naked!

 

Gloriana Warren doesn’t want to wait for marriage. Beneath her shrewish exterior is a kindhearted woman who uses her fortune for good. It doesn’t matter that the man she’s set her sights on claims impoverishment. She’s in love and determined to marry him. But her attempt at a moonlight seduction ends in disaster.

 

French marquis Philippe de Bellechasse has had it up to his gorgeous dark eyes with being pursued by lusty ladies. His escape to England from the violence of the French Revolution took a toll on his finances as well. Gloriana may be gloriously naked, but he’s just not ready to submit to her seduction.

 

But when a precious family artifact is stolen, Philippe must convince Gloriana he’s not the guilty party. He’ll steal it back for her, but on his terms. Gloriana, believing he despises her, has plans of her own. Working at odds is dangerous, but working together can be more so. Is Philippe willing to risk his heart again for a deliciously tempting shrew?

 

Amazon Buy Link

 

 

 

The Redemption of the Shrew Excerpt:

 

A clandestine meeting, particularly where nakedness is involved, is best arranged for a moonless night.

Or so Gloriana Warren told herself, for her mother would never have uttered such a scandalous dictum. Unfortunately, it was tonight or never. Tomorrow, the man she had sworn to love forever would leave Lancashire and return to London—without her. They wouldn’t be able to marry for years because of his stupid scruples about money.

Men and their tedious pride! She and the Marquis de Bellechasse loved one another. They shared the same lofty ideals. She had a substantial dowry. Marrying now made sense. Not only that, her mother would die happy.

So Gloriana was taking matters into her own hands. She had planned the upcoming encounter in glorious detail—every word, every gesture. As she emerged from the summerhouse to greet him, he would stand and stare at her, transfixed by her beauty.

“Darling Philippe,” she would say, reaching for him, offering herself without reserve. “Love is eternal. It cannot, must not be denied!”

“Ah, ma belle,” he would respond, his hand on his heart, his voice throbbing with desire. “I adore you. What a fool I was to think we could wait for years. Even another minute is too long. Tonight, I shall make you mine!”

She would fling herself into his waiting arms, swept away on the tide of his passion.

She wasn’t sure exactly how it would go after that, apart from plenty of kissing, but judging by her previous experience of Philippe’s kisses, it would be the most thrilling experience of her life.

She sneaked out the French doors, arms full of blankets, and glanced back up at Garrison House. Not a glimmer of candlelight showed in the windows. She hurried through the rose garden and skirted the lawn, keeping to the bushes and out of the moonlight. In the secret room under the summerhouse, she and her darling Philippe would be safe. Tomorrow they would announce their engagement to Mama. They would send for a special license and be married within a week.

Ten minutes later, she had set up a makeshift bed under the summerhouse and removed all her clothes. Shivering more from excitement than from the chilly night air, she waited for Philippe to arrive.

Tonight would be the most perfect night of her life.

~~~

The Marquis de Bellechasse left his horse in a convenient copse and made his careful way forward, pausing at the edge of the trees. Garrison House was reassuringly dark, but moonlight reflected off the ripples on the lake. The summerhouse gleamed white on its little knoll, exposed on all sides. He paused, listening. No sound disturbed the darkness except a nightjar complaining from a nearby oak. He hoped and prayed no one else was up and about tonight. He couldn’t afford to get caught with Gloriana Warren, but nor could he bring himself to ignore her passionate plea to see him once more before they parted.

He loved her—to the point of folly, judging by his current behavior. He had already said farewell, and yet here he was, trespassing on her brother’s estate at midnight to say it again. He dreaded her inevitable tears.

The door to the summerhouse stood wide open, which meant Gloriana was here already. Fine. Best to get it over with now. He took a deep breath and set out across the lawn.

He had almost reached the doorway when she came into view, rising from out of nowhere, her face pale, her hair loose around her bare shoulders. He halted, staring, his heart thundering. She continued to rise, her breasts round and luscious in the light of the moon. His eyes slid helplessly down the curve of her hips to the darker patch at the apex of her thighs . . .

Mordieu. He shook his head and began to back away. “No, chérie. We must not do this.”

She set her feet on the floor—she must have emerged from a trapdoor—and beckoned with those sweet arms, smiled with those lush lips. “Philippe, my darling, please come to me. I love you so much.”

“No, ma belle, I cannot.”

“But love—” She faltered, then continued toward him, arms wide. “Love is eternal. It must not be denied.”

Sacrebleu, she was declaiming like a shoddy actress on the stage. The thought revolted him. Surely his idealistic Gloriana could not cheapen herself so. Anguished, he put up his hands to fend her off. “It is not possible, Gloriana. Not yet. It would not be right.”

She hurried forward, her breasts jiggling enticingly. “Truly, we mustn’t delay. My mother may not have long to live, and seeing me married well is her dearest wish.”

He didn’t care in the least about old Lady Garrison, who was the worst sort of snob. He shook his head. “No. To wait is best.”

“Philippe, I cannot wait. I need you now.” She reached for him, her nakedness inches away.

He gritted his teeth and took another step backwards. His imbecile cock was reacting to her, but he had long ago gained control over its demands. “I am sorry, but I must go.” He turned away.

She wailed, a sharp, keening sound, and immediately a shout came from nearby. Her brother? No, he was in London. A gamekeeper?

Whoever the man might be, he was lurking here on purpose. So much for love, Philippe thought. Gloriana was just another lust-crazed woman trying to trap him into marriage. He turned and ran. Pursued by shouts and then shots, he reached his horse and galloped away.

 

 

 

 

About Barbara:

Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young, then moved on to paranormal mysteries and Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa).

 

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups. She used to have two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks. Asparagus pudding proved to be pretty horrible, and she is too fumble-fingered to make socks. Now she just sticks with writing books. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

 

 

 

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The Romance Reviews

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