Kc Sprayberry: Pony Dreams


Pony Dreams Event Banner Copy

Title: Pony Dreams     Author: Kc Sprayberry

Publisher: Fire and Ice, an imprint of Mélange – http://www.fireandiceya.com/

Cover Artist: Stephanie Flint  https://www.facebook.com/sbibbphoto

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 ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Abigail Weston’s starry-eyed dream is to become the first female Pony Express rider. Ma, Pa, and six overprotective brothers won’t even let her near the corral to train mustangs for the mail venture, so she gives up her dream to sneak out and talk to the ponies, teaching them to accept her weight on their backs.

Then her life changes and all her dreams are dust. Or are they?

Buy Links:

 Geotargeted Amazon Link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00HTQNE7Y

Book Links: 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20457013-pony-dreams?ac=1

Trailer:  http://youtu.be/-euw91_O4kc

Excerpt:

Late May, 1860 near Carson City, Nevada

If anyone had asked me to describe fifteen, I’d tell them it was near an impossible age. Everyone expected me to act like a lady and wear dresses all the time. I had to pin up my hair instead of letting it swing in the breeze in two long braids. Ladies didn’t run around without a care in the world, nor could they allow the sun to tan their skin.

Being a lady stinks.

What I wanted deep in my heart was to wear pants and train horses from sunup to sunset. No one in my family listened whenever I begged them to let me help with training the horses, so a lady I was. They told me to get about my chores. To stay out of trouble, I did those awful, everyday, jobs but with hate in my heart. That was all I, Abigail Grace Weston, faced—never-ending, boring housework day in and day out.

I would never get a break from this boredom, as a lady in the nineteenth century never had a chance to think for herself, nor did she really run her home. A man always took care of a lady. This was one of the strictest rules I learned at an early age. No one ever let me forget it, no matter what dreams I had, like the forbidden desire to one day becoming a Pony Express rider.

Kc Sprayberry

KcSprayberry copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

KC Sprayberry started writing young, first as a diarist, and later through an interest in English and creative writing. Her first experience with publication came when she placed third in The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge contest while in the Air Force, but her dedication to writing came after she had her youngest child, now in his senior year of high school.

Her family lives in Northwest Georgia where she spends her days creating stories about life in the south, and far beyond. More than a dozen of her short stories have appeared in several magazines. Five anthologies feature other short stories. She has four books that are Amazon best sellers: Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice. Her other novels available are: Take Chances, The Ghost Catcher, Family Curse … Times Two, Secret From The Flames, Where U @, The Wrong One, and Grace.

AUTHOR Links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Blog: http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Website: www.kcsprayberry.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

JacketFlap: http://www.jacketflap.com/profile.asp?member=kathispray

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KcSprayberry/posts

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

Authorgraph: http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

AUTHORSdB: http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/5230-k-c-sprayberry

Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

Premier Fantasy author Belinda Mellor

I’d like to welcome world traveler and fellow author Belinda Mellor. Her debut novel, Silvana The Greening was released in December of 2013.

Aubrey: Tell us something about yourself and your travels, Belinda.

 Belinda: I was born in England, lived for many years in Ireland and now live with my family on a lifestyle block near Nelson in New Zealand; a place we came to on holiday some years back and forgot to leave. I studied theology at uni and applied spirituality a few years later, and have been known to teach from time to time. These days I do a fair bit of freelance editing, when I’m not goat milking or egg collecting.

Aubrey: Sounds like you keep pretty busy at home. How did you get interested in writing? Or have you always considered yourself an author?

Belinda: At the age of five I won a school award for ‘free expression’ and have not stopped writing since.  In 1998, I was a winner of an inaugural Ian St. James Literary award, 3rd overall, and one of the twelve finalists whose short stories were published in an anthology ‘At the Stroke of Twelve’ by Collins (as they then were). It was quite a big deal, with celebrity judges and presenters and fairly substantial prizes.

Since then I have had numerous pieces published in magazines and newspapers and a play for children performed by a theatre-in-education company.

AubreySilvana-The Greening is your first published novel. Before you go, tell us a little about your story.

Belinda: It is a gentle fantasy spanning 30 years. It tells the story of Fabiom, a young nobleman, and Casandrina, a tree spirit – a Silvana.

Since the four-year-old boy had hidden, terrified, beneath her tree, Casandrina hoped Fabiom would dare to love her when he came of age. But risking his life, or his sanity, to win a Silvana’s hand is only the start of Fabiom’s problems. A bitter mother, economic espionage, feuds with other holders, and the unwanted attention of a powerful woman will test their relationship.

Besides true love, Silvana is a story of growth, silk-making, archery, poetry, and the beauty of nature.

Aubrey: Is your novel part of a series?  Can you tell me a little about the world you’ve created?

Belinda: Silvana started life as a single novel – spanning fifty-odd years – a fantasy biography of Fabiom, the Lord Holder of Deepvale in the land of Morene who risks everything for the love of a Tree Lady, Casandrina, the Silvana of the title. But, over time, the story grew and grew so that, in the end, it became two novels and Fabiom and Casandrina’s son, Lesandor, became the main character in the second. I called the two parts The Greening and The Turning after the two main festivals of Morene’s year, marking the start of spring and autumn. I am currently editing the second book and – all being well – it will be out by the end of this year. That was supposed to be it, until a couple of months ago when I suddenly knew what happened next! So now I am writing Book 3, tentatively called Restoration, which will be another generation on.

Aubrey: What inspired you to write your current novel?

Belinda: As for inspiration, I’d have to say a mixture of love of nature – especially trees, romanticism, and a fondness for classical history and mythology. The society Silvana is based on borrows heavily from Ancient Greece, which I think complements the dryad-like nature of the non-human characters.

Aubrey: What do you think readers will enjoy most about your novel?

Belinda: The feedback I’ve had since The Greening was released has been interesting, to say the least. A number of people have told me that they don’t normally read fantasy but really enjoyed reading the book and want to know when part 2 will be out. So that’s great! As for what I’d like them to get – well, Fabiom falls in love with the wildwood and is happy to be lost there, and that’s what I want readers to feel: in love with the story and the characters, and happy to be lost in their world.

Once heard, the song of a Silvana can never be forgotten.

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Buy Links: 

Print copies: http://shop.copypress.co.nz/shopn/spi/copyp_12214

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Silvana-The-Greening-Belinda-Mellor-ebook/dp/B00HE5J4Z6

Excerpt:

“I have made a decision,” Fabiom said, half reluctant to reveal his intention yet wanting, needing, to share his thoughts with someone. He was well aware that if he did not take this opportunity there might never be another.

Nalio stayed silent, waiting for him to continue.

“It’s fifteen days to my seventeenth birth anniversary.” He looked at Nalio meaningfully and indeed there was little need for him to say more.

Nalio almost laughed. “Sleep in the woods? You are joking? You’re not joking, are you? Fabiom – you can’t. How can you even think of trying to win a Silvana now?”

“Now? It’s not as if there’s any other chance. It’s fifteen days from today or not at all.”

“My advice? Choose not at all.”

“I can’t. Truly, Nalio, I can’t. I tried –”

“What do you mean, you tried?”

“I came here to the woods to say farewell, to accept I had to live in the world of men and take up the responsibilities my father left me. Instead I found another piece of amber, and the words would not come.

“That night, I tried to imagine my life if I didn’t at least make the attempt, and I couldn’t – I couldn’t imagine anything.”

“You risk much. Only son of a high house. Heir to a grand holding and a deal of responsibility.”

“I know all that,” Fabiom replied rather shortly, challenging Nalio to tell him something he did not already know.

Nalio did not oblige. “May I ask why? I mean, I know we all daydream about doing such a thing; I certainly did, even after I met Eifa. I doubt there’s a boy who hasn’t. But fantasising about wedding a Silvana and actually presenting yourself in the woods on your seventeenth birth eve are two very different things. And that difference is what makes most of us forego the imagined delights of being in the arms of a Tree Lady – for the sake of our continued sanity, or our life, for that matter. 

Keep in touch with Belinda Mellor:

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Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BelindaAnnMellor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/belindamellor9/silvana/

Website/Blog: http://silvanathegreening.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bmellor1

 

 

Aubrey’s Ageless Romance Café: The Other Boleyn Girl

Aubrey’s Ageless Romance Café

by Aubrey Wynne

In this literary world, a handful of stories will stand the test of time. A modern classic novel holds the attention of every generation with a thoughtful plot, complex characters and a scene or two that lingers long after the final page.

These books will never be traded in at the paperback store or sold for a quarter at a garage sale. An ageless romance is passed on to your sister, then to her daughter who loans it to a friend. By the time it makes it back to your shelf, the pages are yellowed, earmarked and appreciated. And every so often, when you need to be reminded of the remarkable power of love, you dust off that old friend and peruse its pages again. These are the stories I want to share with you in Aubrey’s cafe.

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The Other Boleyn Girl

By Philppa Gregory

Published:     Publisher:  Touchstone    POV: First person

Setting: England: Tudor Court 1521-1536

 Are there any Tudor fans out there? Prepare for a heavenly read of historical fiction. The Other Boleyn Girl, the first book I read by Philippa Gregory, consumed my time and thoughts until the last page. It revolves around the older sister of Anne Boleyn. The twist in perspective grabs the reader immediately. The little known life of Mary Boleyn brings a unique and fascinating picture of the Tudor Court and Henry VIII.

Mary catches Henry’s eye at the tender age of fourteen. Henry Tudor was not always the fat, unpleasant king presented in the numerous portraits of dusty history files. Once a handsome king, he caused flutters in the hearts of women young and old. The athletic monarch played tennis, hunted and jousted. He was competitive, fit and loved women and adventure. In today’s world, I would compare him to Prince Harry.

So the dazzled Boleyn falls in love with the ruler of England. Yes, she has a slight moral qualm over betraying her Queen. But Katherine of Aragon does not see Mary as a threat. She accepts her husband’s weaknesses and looks the other way. Mary’s husband, William Carey, is not so forgiving. But what can he do? He accepts the bribe offered, and for the most part, keeps his mouth shut. Even when Mary becomes pregnant with a child that is most likely not his.

Enter: little sister Anne just returned from her stay at the French court. The younger Boleyn is sophisticated, witty and flirtatious. An immediate enmity grows between the sisters. In the back of Mary’s mind echoes the warning Anne gave as she left for France. “Anyone can attract a man. The trick is to keep him.”

I do not need to list the details. Readers who enjoy this genre already know the basic facts and timelines. What I found fascinating was the attitudes and inner thoughts spun by Gregory. The research is flawless; her interpretation captivated me. She did not choose one of the many opinions explored throughout the centuries. Instead, she combined several. And in my creative mind, it made perfect sense.

The rivalry between the sisters rang true: they fought, even hated each other at times then worked through their problems as families often do. Mary’s affection and loyalty for her sister falters but never dies. Anne is relentless in her quest to win the king’s heart. She plays the game well and wins for seven long years. Mary tries to move on and even leaves court. Yet each time, Anne relentlessly pulls her back into the plotting and intrigue. Mary even throws herself on the King’s mercy at one point to save her sister’s life. Yet in the end, nothing can save Queen Anne. She burns too many bridges, refuses to hold her tongue and allows paranoia to take control of her life.

I am a history geek like most historical romance writers.  The stories created in my head to fill in the gaps in history provide countless hours of diversion during long trips or boring conferences. Yet nothing prepared me for this novel. Philippa brought the Tudor court to life in a way I had never before experienced.

The conversations rang in my head after I closed the cover. Images popped into my mind’s eye throughout the day and I could not wait to get home and read more. When the movie came out, I jumped for joy. Sadly, it did not do justice to the book.

This is the first novel I have given five mugs. I am not a harsh reviewer but to give a work a perfect score means there was no piece of it I would change. The complex characters, excellent pacing and riveting plot mesmerizes the reader. I did not skim a paragraph of this novel. I did not edit in my head while I read it. I just sat back in the glow of Gregory’s words and enjoyed darn good story.

5 mugs copy

About The Author

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Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in history at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant world wide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer, and now lives with her family on a small farm in the North of England.

Her knowledge of gothic 18th century novels led to Philippa writing Wideacre, which was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time – one of the many instances of Philippa’s work appealing to very different readers.

The trilogy was followed by The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation, and by Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol produced a haunting novel of slave trading and its terrible human cost. This is the only modern novel to explore the tragedies of slavery in England itself, and features a group of kidnapped African people trying to find their freedom in the elegant houses of 18th century Clifton. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came two of Gregory’s best-loved novels, Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with painstaking research and passionate verve.

The flowering of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway best-seller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published in 26 countries with more than a million copies in print in the US alone, this is becoming a classic historical novel, winning the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002, and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and a film is now in production starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster and a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4’s Time Team.

She lives in the North of England with her husband and two children and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel, Virgin Earth), she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia. Fifty-six wells have been built by UK donors to date.

Connect with Philppa Gregory at www.philippagregory.com

Note: Book cover, author photo and bio were taken from Amazon.com. Both cover and photo are linked to the original source. Click and enjoy. 

Meet historical fiction author Carmen Stevens

Interview with historical fiction author Carmen Stevens, debut novel Anne.

By Aubrey Wynne

carm

 Carmen Gross, pen name Carmen Stevens, was born in Fargo, ND, March 1992. She currently resides in Detroit Lakes, MN, where she works and attends college full time. Carmen published her novel “Anne” in July 2013-an exciting, richly written historical work about a young English girl who makes many bad choices throughout her life and then struggles to find redemption.

Aubrey: I am pleased to introduce  Carmen Stevens. As a history buff, I am always intrigued by a captivating story with historic base. I love being able to fall back into the heroin’s time period and feel as if I’m there. As an author, the research can be as exciting as the actual story. What do you think readers will enjoy most about your novel, Anne

Carmen: I think that a reader who likes historical fiction will be delighted further when they find out that my book contains English history, mystery, tragedy, and suspense. The title character is very complex and I think it would be difficult for the reader to ascertain what move she will make next.

Aubrey: Anne sounds like a compelling story. What was the hardest part about writing this novel?

Carmen: For this novel, I had to really perform a lot of research on British history, since the entire novel takes place in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I also wanted the story to be as perfect as it could be, so I took many plot and character notes and paged through the notes enough so that today this book of notes isn’t in very good shape.

Aubrey: What piece of advice would you give a new author?

Carmen: I would tell them to work hard, be patient, and don’t give up. You will reap what you sow, eventually.

Aubrey: Good advice for all of us. Is being an author your primary career?

Carmen: No, it’s not. I’m currently attending college studying law; I’d like to be a paralegal.

Aubrey: What is the one thing about a book that will make you close the cover and not finish it?

Carmen: I won’t finish a book if it’s badly written or just doesn’t interest me anymore.

Aubrey: I agree. There are too many good books on my TBR list. If you could have a super power, which one would you want?

Carmen: I’d want to see into the future, I think. I wonder a lot about what the future holds for me and the rest of the world.

Aubrey: Describe yourself in three words.

Carmen: Shy, bubbly, and hard-working.

Aubrey: Thank you so much for joining us today on Coffee Talk. I wish you the best of luck with your debut novel.

Connect with Carmen:

Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/hisfic?ref=hl

Bloghttp://bubblymissy16.wordpress.com

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/obloomluvr

Tumblrhttp://animer20.tumblr.com/

Emailbubblymissy_16@hotmail.com

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Excerpt:

Prologue

She had not been there at the time. She had not the courage to go back. She knew how she could not, anyway. Why would she want to? Her father was nothing but a selfish, sadistic drunkard, always abusing her, always devouring that whiskey. Yet she knew the impulse to rush back and the sudden desire to do so.

Why did Anne suddenly feel like her life was changed?

Her young nose sniffed the thick air cautiously. Was that the stink of old London bathing itself in one of its filthy baths of smoke and fog, or the defective redolence of brick being eaten by a fast fire? Whichever it was, she had to turn back. If her learned instincts whispered to her truly and that comfortless beast of a house was crumbling down onto its firm foundation, perhaps her paltry father had crumbled down on his shaking foundation as well, within it. The horrible building had always been, after all, a rather disconsolate, unwieldy object for Anne in her rather unreliable life. Her father had been no different, yet she had still learned to live fluently and somewhat successfully in the fearful world of London. She knew strongly in her heart, thus, that she could continue to faithfully persevere, no matter what event fate would next throw her way.

Buy Links:

Amazon linkhttp://www.amazon.com/Anne-Carmen-Stevens-ebook/dp/B00E4D3HY0

Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anne-carmen-stevens/1117474326

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/372253

Cast Your Vote For Coffee Talk Writers Aubrey Wynne and Renea Mason

Best Books of 2013:
Editors and Predators Readers Poll

Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers Choice

Many of us are looking back on the Best of 2013. Bloggers, book sites and publishers are running contests to support the authors whose work stood out from the crowd. Two of our Coffee Talk Writers, Aubrey Wynne (Merry Christmas, Henry) and  Renea Mason (Symphony of Light and Winter) have been added to these lists. Aubrey has been nominated in the  Predators and Editors Reader’s Poll for Best Romance Short Story. Renea has been nominated for by The Paranormal Reveiwer’s Choice Awards for Best Paranormal Romance.  Please show them some love and support by clicking the links below.

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Henry, a shy and talented artist, moonlights as a security guard at a museum and loses his heart to a beautiful, melancholy woman in a painting. As his obsession grows, he finds a kindred soul who helps him in his search for happiness. On Christmas Eve, Henry dares to take a chance on love and fulfill his dream.

Click below to vote for Aubrey Wynne

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Symphony of Light Book One

One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.
Fundraiser Linden Hill has a knack for reading people. She always knows which conversations will put a prospect at ease, which drink will loosen a patron’s lips—or his wallet, and how cleavage will make a donor sweeten the deal. She’s even foreseen her dateless weekends four hundred and sixty-four times in a row.

But ten years after watching life drain from her former mentor’s and first love’s eyes, her skills for divining the predictable are lost. When Cyril returns, he’s still gorgeous, but this time he’s beyond human, far less dead, and pissed. His lack of memory drives him to desperate acts, and his turbulent re-acquaintance with Linden pulls her into his war with a creature hell-bent on his destruction. His group of six supernatural men share a tantalizing secret, but despite the hunger, it’s love that leads her to sacrifice everything to save him…

 Click on the box below to vote for Renea Mason

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