Daphne Olivier: The Pegasus Project

Pegasus Project_Olivier

The Pegasus Project.

When Jack Randal lands a job with Bells Biological Research Centre, he sets off for the remote South African farm, unaware of the dangers lurking behind the high, electrified fence. It doesn’t take long for him to uncover a top-secret project. When a fellow scientist dies under mysterious circumstances, Jack zeros in on the Pegasus Project. Tension mounts as he probes the dark secret surrounding the genetically modified bio-fuel, and the time comes when he must decide whether to risk his life in order to prevent a global catastrophe.


Bernie Kemp stepped into the greenhouse, closed the door behind him, then leaned back against it and groaned. His head felt about to burst, and the air, heavy with the smell of earth and chemicals, made him gag. The sight of the plants, lined up in their dome-shaped tanks, all waiting for attention, made him feel a thousand times worse.

The hangover was his own fault. He should have listened to Anna. He could hear her voice right now, echoing in his head. “Hey, Bernie, put that bottle away. One more drop and you’ll be blotto. You’ve got to go to work tomorrow. You can’t afford another day off. Not if you want to keep your job.”

Anna was right. Trouble was, the blasted woman was always right. She never tired of telling him how lucky he was to land the job with Bells Biological Research Centre, or of reminding him that he’d never make the kind of money he earned anywhere else.

It was true, all true. But Anna didn’t have to put up with a boss who breathed down the back of her neck, or work with the monstrosities that grew in this greenhouse. Bernie stared at them now—long rows of grey-green weirdoes, each in its own airtight tank, most sprouting pods that looked more like mushrooms than flowers. Or brightly coloured toadstools, some red, some yellow, some purple, some a mottled nondescript shade.

Bernie had no idea why it was necessary to grow the plants in a state-of-the-art greenhouse where water, nutrients and temperature were rigidly controlled. Or why he was supposed to wear goggles, mask and gloves when working with them. Bernie gave a fleeting thought to putting them on, then shrugged. He was damned if he was going to strap that heavy contraption around his head. Not while it ached like hell. Who would know the difference? Not Brandt. The big boss seldom inspected the plants before midday, and the chance of anyone else passing by was next to nil.

Bernie didn’t ask questions. He did what he was told—no more, no less. His job was to measure the height of each plant, count the pods and record the data—a never-ending task because the bloody things grew so fast. It was a backbreaking job at the best of times, but today, with a sledgehammer banging away inside his head, just thinking about what lay ahead made him shudder. What he wanted more than anything was to crawl into bed and stay there until the hangover wore off.

What he wanted and what had to be done were two different things, but it occurred to him that it wouldn’t do any harm to take a nip of the hair-of-the-dog first. In fact, Bernie felt quite sure it would do him a great deal of good.

He reached into his pocket and brought out the half-jack he’d had the foresight to place there before leaving home.  He unscrewed the cap and took a quick gulp. The brandy rolled over his tongue and slid down his throat, burning all the way down. The second gulp spread a warm glow through his body. He hesitated, then shrugged and took a third big swallow. This time his vision blurred—not a good sign, but on the plus side his headache seemed a bit better. Yes, definitely. Not altogether gone, but faded to the point where he could almost bear it. That decided him. With a quick look around to make sure no one was near, he lifted the bottle and kept it pressed to his lips till the last drop was gone.

Bernie flung the bottle under one of the many trestles running the length of the greenhouse. No one would see it there, lying among the maze of vats and pipes and pumps that delivered just the right amount of water and nutrients into the tanks above. No one would see it, and the way he felt right then he didn’t give a damn if they did.

He stood swaying and blinking, doing his best to focus on one of the double images that kept swimming into view. Then, with a determined effort, he lurched down the centre aisle toward the bank of taps and dials that lined the far wall. He almost made it. Had it not been for the coil of hose lying on the floor he’d have got there, no trouble at all. But his foot caught in the tangled coils and he went flying, arms spread wide. Down he went with an almighty crash. Two crashes actually, because one of the dome-shaped tanks went down with him.

Stunned, he lay there staring in bewilderment at the splintered glass and the plant with purple and red pods that lay crushed and broken beside him. Then, with a curse, he pushed himself up to his feet.

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About Daphne Olivier

I have always wanted to write, but nursing, raising a family and farming got in the way, and it was only when I retired that I was able to follow my dream. From an early age, I read everything I could lay hands on—biography, fantasy, historical fiction, thriller, mythology, science fiction or the classics. My novels reflect this wide interest for I write in several different genre`—thriller, science fiction, YA, memoir and historical fiction. I live in a small town in South Africa with my husband and two dogs.

What inspired you to write your current novel?

I’ve spent most of my life on a farm so when I set out to write a thriller I naturally turned to agriculture as a theme.  As GMOs are so much in the news these days, I set out to research the subject. And the more I discovered, the more fascinating the subject became. The Pegasus Project is the result of that research. It’s a story about the search for a bio-fuel that will replace our reliance on oil and what might happen if that research fell into the wrong hands.

Is there a hidden message in your story and if so what is it?

I didn’t set out to include a message, but hope that those who read it will be more aware of the pros and cons of GMOs and the effect they have on our lives.

How do balance writing with all of life’s responsibilities?  Which ones do you have to juggle?

I write whenever time permits and often get up in the small hours to catch up on my schedule.

What is your favorite quote?

Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit and stare at a sheet of paper till drops of blood ooze from your forehead.

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

Too much description and back-story in the opening paragraphs. If the author doesn’t hook me right at the start, I close the book and put it away.

What do you see as your next project and when can we expect it?

My latest novel, Thunder on the Veldt, (a story about the Anglo-Boer War) is due for release by Mélange Books in March 2014.

Keep in touch with Daphne:

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/daphne.f.olivier 

Website/Blog: http://www.daphneolivierdotnet.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  @Dafol2

Email: dafol@mymtnmail.co.za

Other books by Daphne Olivier:

The Peacock Throne –  published by Wild Child Publishers


The Kennaway Woman –  published by Mélange Books


The Way it was – published by Mélange Books



The Writing Process: What Is The Secret?

My Writing Process

This particular blog hop is all about authors offering others a glimpse into their work, their work schedules, and perhaps their innermost thoughts. Some of us are quite opposite our real life personas.

So who subjected you to this arduous journey through the innermost working of my mind?  The very talented paranormal author, Renea Mason, who single-handedly lured me into reading this genre. You don’t have to love paranormal, erotica or mystery to read her Symphony Series, you just need to love a damn good story.

Author of:

symphonyoflightandwinter_byreneamason-800x1200   TheImpostorsKiss_ByReneaMason-200x300 copy

Click here to find out how she does it!


Q. What am I working on?

I am currently finishing up the first in my historical romance series on the four musketeers. Yes, the FOUR musketeers. Each book concentrates on the love life of one musketeer. I have tried to maintain the flavor of Dumas and the Hollywood movies but follow the historical events of their real lives. The series begins with Athos and his love interest, Rosalind. I will be pitching the series to an agent and publisher at the Chicago Spring Fling Romance Conference in April.

Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Character development is my specialty so I concentrate on that more than other writing aspect. I like to throw a twist into every story. While my main characters stay true to themselves, the plot often gets in their way. So with each storyline, the hero or heroine must overcome some wrench I’ve thrown into their plans.

In Merry Christmas, Henry the MC is a museum guard by night and artist by day. An introvert, relationships do not come easy to him. He becomes infatuated with a woman in a painting and seems content with this one-sided affair. Until an element of magic changes his life. How does he deal with it? You’d have to read the book.

Henry small cover

Q. Why do I write what I do?

Writing is a way to express creativity and give release to your imagination. I have always been known for my imaginative stories. When I come across an item or old tale, turning it into a story is like putting together a puzzle. I take the original idea or object and combine the right touch of fantasy to create a piece of entertaining fiction. I have always been a history geek and my goal in historical romance is to make the past fun and exciting.

Ideas come from anywhere and I often stumble onto stories during my travels. Henry derived from a photo of a man staring at a painting, a bottle of wine and a brainstorming session between my sister and I. Some novellas on the back burner began with a visit to a bicycle museum, an old copy of the Hans Christian Anderson’s The Sandman, Barry Manilow’s song Could It Be Magic? and recurring dreams of family members.

The musketeers developed from an ending scene of Man In The Iron Mask when the musketeers charge the King’s men. As the smoke clears and the four are still left standing.  My sister and I began the “What if?” game and Magnificent Valor slowly took shape.

Q. How does your writing process work?

All plots begin the essential bottle of wine and brainstorming session with my sister and muse. She is often the mastermind behind  my ‘twists’ for each story. I need an outline to keep myself focused although it often changes as the characters take over or plot turns in a different direction.  Once I’ve begun, I post it for critique on a writing community website and the Coffee Talk gals add their expertise to help shape and refine the story. Then I pass it over to my mother, a retired editor and award winning journalist. If it passes her scrutiny, I consider it a finished piece.

Q. Who will we meet next week?

I love historical romance and short stories so I have chosen authors that will give insight to both the long and the short of their writing process.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The first three are friends and gifted writers I met on Scribophile.

Katie Stephens is a multi-published author whose short stories appear in magazines and anthologies including Spark and Mused. Her latest work, Home, will appear in the Spring issue of Mused.

Faceless by Katie Stephens                                   Final Letters by Katie Stephens

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K. E. Shade is multi-published author Kastil Eavenshade who loves fantasy and historicals. Her latest steamy romance includes pirates, stolen gold and a sailor who will risk everything for the woman he loves. 

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Samyann writes historical romances with a theme of reincarnation. Her first novel involves the Civil War and the Great Chicago Fire. 

Yesterday cover


Valeri Clarizio is a fellow Romantic suspense author from Melange-Publishing.  The series A Nick Spinelli Mystery finds the sexy detective solving murders, dodging danger and keeping his girlfriend/caseworker Shannon out of trouble.

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Samyann's Yesterday: A story of reincarnation

Samy Ann will be giving away a free copy of her debut novel to a random commenter. Question: If you were reincarnated, what time period would you want to come from?

Yesterday cover

In modern day Chicago, deja vu draws together a handsome mounted policeman and the beautiful young woman who saves his life. A tender love story pulls the reader back to previous lives and a time richly elegant. Yesterday is also a harrowing tale of escape through the American Civil War and The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In this historical romance, Mark fights through Amanda’s rejection to prove that she will love again as she once loved – Yesterday.


Yellow ringlets of flypaper dotted with black specks hung from thumbtacks pushed into the ceiling. A dim lightbulb dangled over the bed, trailing a knotted string. A hot, moist breeze from an open window lifted threadbare curtains and caused the string to sway. In the yard outside, a dog barked. On the pillow beside him lay a worn teddy bear, stuffing peeping from where its eye should be. House slippers slapped on the wooden floor.

“There, baby. Mama’s here.” She smiled wearily. Uncomprehending, Mark raised his eyes to the woman leaning over him. Loose blonde curls clung to her tear-streaked cheeks. His face was burning, breath coming in gulping gasps, and the rag she pressed to his forehead felt damp and cool.

The floorboards creaked under a heavy step. A man moved behind Mama and wrapped his arms around her. He whispered, “Honey, Calvin is gone.”

She closed her eyes, leaned her head back against his shoulder. “Calvin. Dear God.”

“Mrs. Gunderson is still in the other room.” The man wiped a red bandana across his brow. “She thinks Sissy might make it, but there’s not much hope for Joey.”

Joey? Is he talking about me?

Mama crushed the rag to her mouth, tears leaking from tightly closed eyes.

The soft glow from the bulb above him bloomed…bloomed and flooded the room with pure white light.

Dense blue fog swirled gently around him. Doors were dimly visible, but the numbers were wrong. 1732… 1751… 1764. Mark started to move to his left, then stopped, uncertain. I think—I think I died. But that was 1922. How the hell did I wind up here?  He turned the knob.

Buy Links:

Amazon   Audible   Kobo   Audiobooks.com   B & N   Downpour.com

About The Author

Samyann is a Chicago native. A lifelong fascination with the rich history of her city, coupled with an abiding curiosity about the intersection of past, present, and future, have led to the creation of a speculative masterpiece, Yesterday.


Aubrey: I am happy to introduce Samy Ann and her debut novel, Yesterday. What inspired you to write your current novel?

Samyann: After retirement from a busy life involving a great deal of travel, I found myself with a bit of time on my hands. As an avid reader, I wondered, like most people, if I had it within me to create—not ‘The Great American Novel’–but a story that had been in my mind for years. Inspiration was already there, in the simmering idea of a character fascinated with an antique clock and somehow involving a previous life. While researching the sounds and origins of clock chimes, I stumbled upon the story of St. Michael’s chimes and Yesterday, A Novel of Reincarnation, was born.

Aubrey: Isn’t amazing how an object and an idea in teh back of your head can turn into a novel? What inspired you to become an author?

Samyann: Quite frankly, I respect the whole concept of the profession and the idea of considering myself in that category is a little daunting. After all, throughout the history of writing, there are those that truly deserve the moniker ‘author’, i.e., Mark Twain, Tolkien, Shakespeare, etc., and I’m not so sure that esteemed group should include me. If I can bring pleasure to one person, let them escape, get lost, through my words to a different world, I’ve told a good story for that one person. Good enough for me.

Aubrey: And good enough for most of us. Is your novel part of a series?  Can you tell me a little about the world you’ve created?

Samyann: No, Yesterday is not a series. It is the story of a young woman who has experienced tragedy and loss in her life and fears loving anyone again as a result. Via an amazing act of courage, she saves the life of a policeman. As Yesterday unfolds, we learn that the heroine and hero of the story have led previous lives. The historical aspects bring forth the terrors of escape from American Civil War through The Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Aubrey: Is there a hidden message in your story and if so what is it?

Samyann: I believe the hidden message would be to never give up hope, that love is a part of life that is there for the taking. You just have to open your heart and let it happen.

Aubrey: What an inspirational theme. What do you think reader will enjoy most about your novel?

Samyann: From the reviews I’ve received to date, I believe the reader will enjoy the 1800 period the most.

Aubrey: That would be me. So historical romance fans will also enjoy this. Did you use a critique partner or group to help with revisions and editing?

Samyann: Yes. I believe Yesterday, Chapter One was critiqued by close to eighty members of Scribophile.com. It had a great deal of input. The reason I kept the story open for critique was not only to polish the story, but also to listen to the input of my potential audience. People who write books also read them J.

Aubrey: Reader input can be invaluable to an author. What makes your novel unique? Why should I buy it?

Samyann: There aren’t very many good stories of reincarnation out there, plus there is a great deal of accurate historical detail. So, if you are interested in either topic, this story will be interesting.

Aubrey: What was the hardest part about writing this novel?

Samyann: Weaving accurate history into a love story.

Aubrey: The balance of research and plot is always a challenge. How long did it take you to write the novel versus revising it?

Samyann: It took 20 plus years of thinking about this story, about 2 years to write Yesterday, and about eight months of editing.

Aubrey: So this has been a labor of love. Which two mainstream authors would you say your work most closely resembles and why?

Samyann: Probably Jude Devereaux and possibly Nora Roberts, primarily because they are both authors of love stories and Jude Devereaux does a bit of time-travel.

Aubrey: I admire both of those authors. One Jude Devereaux book hooked me on a good romance. What piece of advice would you give a new author?

Samyann: Edit, polish, and edit again. When you are satisfied with the work, get it professionally edited.

Aubrey: Using an X meets Y approach, for example Lord of the Rings meets 50 Shades of Grey, how would you describe your novel?

Samyann: Wow. Yesterday isn’t like either of those books. It’s not YA and it’s not erotic … so … it’s a fairly wholesome love story historical in nature.

Aubrey: Is being an author your primary career?

Samyann: Given that I’m retired, I don’t really have a career. Writing is a wonderful hobby, however.

Aubrey: What is your favorite quote? 

Samy Ann: “When people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” -Neil Gaiman

Aubrey: What is your greatest writing strength? Weakness?  

Samyann: Focus, in answer to both.

Aubrey: Ha! I know what you mean. What is the strangest thing currently housed in your refrigerator?

Samyann: Well, a character in Yesterday defined it as either bad lunchmeat or good cheese.

Aubrey: We’ll go with the cheese. What is the one thing about a book that will make you close the cover and not finish it?

Samyann:  Misspellings or failure on the part of the author to edit. If I have the feeling that the author didn’t take the time required to correct minor issues, I don’t have the time to read the work.

Aubrey: What do you see as your next project and when can we expect it?

Samyann: Another exploration of romance and reincarnation involving Early 19th century during WWII. An elegant and simple time.

Aubrey: I love the WWII era. I can’t wait for the next one. It’s been wonderful having you here today. Good luck with Yesterday and your future novels. Are you having any giveaways today?

Samyann: I’d love to give away a copy of Yesterday to a random commenter. And I always appreciate another review. So far I have about 50 on Amazon, Goodreads and Audible.com. An author can never have too many reviews.

Connect with Samyann:

samyann.com     Facebook     Goodreads     @Samyann_Writer


Cait Jarrod's Anniversary Tour: Kidnapped Hearts

Cait Jarrod is sending her award winning Romantic suspense novel back out on tour. If you didn’t read it the first time around, now is your chance. She is celebrating with giveaways through February 24th. 

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Kidnapped Hearts Anniversary Jubilee

On sale at: Evernight Publishing

Available at Amazon

To celebrate the release of my debut book, I’m having a scavenger hunt. I will be on several blogs and sites from February 14th-23rd .  caitjarrod.com will have the list and links to direct you to the next site.

  • At each site, I will have an excerpt for either Kidnapped Hearts or an unedited excerpt from one of the sequels, Deceptive Heart’s and Mystic Hearts (a novelette).
  • In each excerpt, one word will be missing.
  • Write each missing word down in order by how they’re listed on caitjarrod.com. The words will form a question and the answer.
  • On the 23rdor after, go to cait.jarrod@aol.com to enter the grand prize raffle by entering the question and answer.  A winner will be picked on the 26th.

Each site has a raffle! 

Raffle for Cait Jarrod’s ebook copy of Kidnapped Hearts and Aubrey Wynne’s ebook copy of Merry Christmas, Henry will run until the 24th

Rafflecopter Link

 Upcoming releases in 2014: Entangled Love

 Kidnapped Hearts, Band of Friends Book 1 excerpt:

“You can be mad at me, but don’t you take your beef out on Pamela,” Steve growled.

Celine’s eyes misted. “You’re right. You’re the asshole. I’m sorry Pamela.” I’m out of here.” She tossed her napkin on the table, grabbed her purse, and stepped over the chain link fence, separating the patio from the sidewalk, her heels tapping on the concrete as she trotted away.

 Pamela slumped in her chair. “For heaven’s sakes.”

“You gonna go after ______?” Paul asked Steve.

“No.” He chugged the beer, dropped the empty mug back to the table, and took off.

 “Damn, the sexual tension that flows off them is stifling.” Jake rubbed Pamela’s hand. “Are you okay?”

 Jot down the missing word. And don’t forget to check caitjarrod.com for the next site.

 About The Author

Cait Jarrod Pic copy

Cait Jarrod

As a child, I entertained myself for hours playing pretend, but not with dolls and such. I created stories and pictured them in my mind, sometimes even acted them out, my well preserved secret until now. I spent years after leaving school trying to figure out my niche. Not being a literary enthusiast, I never thought my childhood pastime would lead in this direction.

In life, one door closes and another opens, so I’m told. This was true for me. I lost my mother, my best friend, to cancer. After a year without her, I picked up her favorite hobby…reading. After one book, a romantic suspense, I was hooked. In the past, I’d fall asleep after a few minutes of reading. Now, books rank up there with a good red wine. It didn’t take long for my childhood muse to come back in adult version urging me to put the scenes in my head on paper.

Why do I write romantic suspense? I love writing and creating the meet-cue (the point where the hero and heroine meet) to the blossoming of the romance. Add a suspenseful plot or a good mystery to the equation and the perfect book is born to curl up to and lose yourself in, taking you away from reality, troubles.

I hope I have provided you with the escape similar to the ones I conjured in childhood and rediscovered as an adult, and I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I have loved creating them.

Cait’s debut novel, Kidnapped Hearts, won awards in the categories of Best Happily Ever After and Best Suspense.

Cait lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters.

(If you’d like to contact Cait to say hi, share a story, or make a comment, click here.)


Ava Stone fans: Review of A Scandalous Past

Review: A Scandalous Past

by Ki Pha 

Note: Ki Pha is a guest reviewer for Coffee Talk Writers. This review was originally posted on doingsomereading.wordpress.com


A Regency Historical Novel – Book Four of the Scandalous Series…
After years of abuse at the hands of her mother, Cordelia Avery knows the only way out is marriage to the perfect man. A man who will allow her all the freedom she has ever craved. And she has the perfect man picked out. The scandalous Marquess of Haversham might not be perfect to anyone else, but taking the man’s black reputation under consideration, Cordie believes she’ll enjoy all the freedom she’s always wished for in his disreputable arms. If only she could get her heart to go along with the plan and to stop leaping whenever Lord Adonis…er…the Earl of Clayworth is nearby. But the very proper earl is most assuredly the wrong sort for her purposes.

Brendan Reese, the Earl of Clayworth, has no intention of ever marrying again. He’s still trying to clean up the mess his first wife left him, even years after her death. To all the world, Clayworth is the epitome of the perfect English gentleman, and he so wishes that image was the truth. But the truth, as it often can be, is ugly. After all, a perfect English gentleman would never have a traitor for a mother. And unless Clayworth can find the evidence his late wife hid, he could face the gallows himself. But a chance encounter with the reckless Cordelia Avery gives him the best lead he’s had in years to finally putting his family’s past to rest. Unfortunately, focusing on anything other than Miss Avery seems a nearly impossible task.


A Scandalous Past (Scandalous book #4) By Ava Stone

Audible Narrated by Stevie Zimmerman

Published: 2011   Publisher:  Night Shift Publishing     POV: Third person

Setting: London and Derbyshire, England; 1814

Wow! I was really surprised by this book! I got an audio version and gosh it was fantastic.

This was filled with lots of action, humor plus suspense. I was surprised there were some POVs from the secondary characters. It was great to have a view into their heads/thoughts and a different perspective.

So our heroine, Cordie, is miserable without her best friend Olivia (Livvie). Ever since Livvie created a scandal and got married to the Duke of Keltfield, her mother has banned her from seeing Livvie ever again. So Cordie is banned and practically imprisoned in her home except when being dragged to teas and boring social events. She endures endless reprimands at the hands of her mother. Everything Cordie does is wrong. Not being pretty enough, not catching a gentleman, dancing with the wrong dude, talking with people beneath them… yady yady yada.  She’s always getting backlashed from her mother’s blundering mouth. The worst possible person ever!!! And there is a secret too!!! Argh~ I was so not seeing that coming and hated her even more! She should be punished by the hands of Cordie’s husband! But anyways….

That’s why Cordie decided to find a mate, and fast! After ditching a certain Captain seeking for her hand, she planned to find a husband just like Livvie’s; a rogue, a rake, a man whore! She will finally then get her freedom and do as she pleases and get to see her friend without being dictated and controlled. But when she meets the Earl of Clayworth, everything about him is wrong. He doesn’t know his deceased wife was her elder sister’s best-friend! He is a controlling, scrooge, stuck up, uninteresting but very very handsome; Lord Adonis! She knows he’ll never give her the freedom she craves and from what she’s heard, he’s a cold and heartless man! He will never do. But Marcus, the Marquess of Haversham is a wildrake, full of passion and energy, and will do immensely. She will get her fill of adventure and freedom when she marries him. At least that’s what she thinks.

Our hero Brandon, the Earl of Clayworth, is broken and has demons of his own. Plus he has a sister and nephew to look after and is happily widowed. Except for fruitless search for his mother’s traitorous letters his dead wife spoke of. First, he must find ‘the Lion’ who supposedly holds the letters Second, will “they” return the letters to him once he found them? And now the Little minx, Miss Avery, is catching his attention and not in a good way.

She’s interesting and the first lady to ever diss him, and for that overbearing rake Haversham! But she holds the clues to his lost letters and he’ll use any means to get them back. He just wasn’t expecting to fall so hard for her during his time escorting (and stalking) her. But she makes things very difficult indeed, being wild and all.I love how Brandon is very protective of Cordie even though she hates him. He’s not going to stop shadowing her; she keeps putting her life in danger with scandalous and compromising situations. He’s focused and determined and well, I love it when he’s jealous because of Haversham.

However, Cordie can get on my nerves when it comes  to annoying Brandon with her escapades. But then Cordie is a very bold and determined character. She’s not going to fall prey to her true feelings for Brandon because she knows he’ll never give her leeway if they’re married. Although she feels for Marcus (Haversham) and wants to be with him for “good” reasons, her feelings towards Brandon are even more dangerous every time he’s around her. I found that very fascinating because she really likes Marcus when they first meet. There was an immediate attraction between the two, which gave me pause and confused me at the same, because I didn’t know who was going to be the hero. That and the POVs of Cordie, Brandon, and Marcus got my mind swirling. They worked but I thought it was going to be some ménage or something because both dudes wanted the girl and well, she liked or was confused with both dudes.

I can honestly say that I was hating Marcus as the story hit the halfway point. I really loved him in the beginning and then when he admits his feeling towards Cordie, I was lost. Like the heroin, I didn’t know whom to love more, Marcus or Brandon?! But as the story went o,n I just wanted him to leave and do as he promised: wait till Brandon was through with his two weeks with Cordie.  SPOILER: And then that scene when he brought Cordie to his house and his reaction when she bailed!!! I thought I was going to have to beat him up, especially with his own secret out! Sheeesh~ But my love came back around for him because well, he was a gentleman to the every end, so it’s all good and repaired.

Maybe my anger should be directed at Cordie. Even in her naiveté, she was leading the poor man on a leash. She was pretty good at making herself look, err act…. experienced in the realm of flirting and…… such….. This is what caught Marcus in the first place. If only he knew! But I really did like Cordie and her witty, humorous banters and thoughts. I wouldn’t do as she did but it was practical, I guess. What I found hilarious was when she didn’t know what the “bulge” was when Brandon kissed her. It was the out most hilarious thing ever!

Oh, the lovable secondary characters. If you didn’t read the past 3 books you might not know who they are or how huge of a role they play in the series. But they were a fabulous bunch of guests and really did have a great part in driving this story forward.

There is a suspense element to the story concerning the letters and Brandon’s ex-wife’s secret, but the main focus is on the courting and growing relationship between Brandon and Cordie. Brandon did forget about those two troubles because of his determination to get Cordie but all is well.

So over all, this was a very enjoyable read and listen. And well, Stevie Zimmerman with her accented narration of the book is just fantastic! I wouldn’t mind listening to her read more Regency romances.

This audiobook was won as a gift by the author.

5 Mugs from CT – A sip of divinity, very near perfection.

5 mugs copy


Ava Stone

The author of several Regency Noir Romances, Ava Stone first fell in love with Mr. Darcy, Jane Austen and Regency England at the age of twelve. And in the years since, that love has never diminished. If she isn’t writing Regency Era romance, she can be found reading it.

Her best-selling Scandalous Series is filled with witty humor and centers around the friends and family of the Machiavellian-like Lady Staveley, exploring deep themes but with a light touch. A single mother, Ava lives outside Raleigh NC, but she travels extensively, always looking for inspiration for new stories and characters in the various locales she visits.

Together with Tammy Falkner, Ava makes up 1/2 of the Lydia Dare Paranormal Regency writing team.

Feel free to contact her at ava@avastoneauthor.com

Picture and author bio taken from Julia Quinn’s Amazon author page: 


If you liked this review, visit Ki Pha at doingsomereading.wordpress.com

Winter Night Scavenger Hunt

Chase away the winter doldrums with some games and giveaways. Click on the photos of each blog and find the clues listed below. 
Scavenger Hunt copy
  1. Cute White Puppy in a Cup
  2. Leaves with the word LOVE cut into them
  3. Dish of Colorful Candies
  4. A Pencil with a note that says “You Make My Heart Glow
  5. Heart shaped pocket watch hanging in the trees.



But wait – there’s more:

Win your choice of one of the following ebooks: 

TheImpostorsKiss_ByReneaMason-200x300 copy   symphonyoflightandwinter_byreneamason-800x1200 valerie3  midnight  amazon-heat

  Henry small cover

Rafflecopter link:


Find your clues by hopping to these awesome blogs. Once you are done, click on the Grand Prize Rafflecopter link below:

Sponsored by:
GGEditingBadge.v3 copy

The Gals of Coffee Talk

Welcome to the Scavenger Hunt and February Cover Wars sponsored by Masquerade Crews. Can you find the answer to one of the questions on my page? Hint: look to the right. 

Coffee Talk Facebook Cover - left copy

Yes, I’m going to blow my own horn, or rather that of my author group. Coffee Talk is my fan club, support group and my closest online friends. These gals have pushed me when writer’s block hit. They took me by the hand and pulled me into the world of social media (sometimes kicking and screaming.) We help each other through rough times, personal and professional, and shout out our successes louder than our own family members.

And to sweeten the deal, they are some of the most talented new authors I have read in the past year.

No one can understand the trials and tribulations of an author like another author. After spending an hour getting that paragraph just right, my  husband smiles and says “That’s nice.” My Coffee Talk girls  say, “Post it. Let’s see what you’ve got.” Or “Woohoo! Love it when a scene comes together.”

When my first novelette, Merry Christmas, Henry,  hit Amazon, my family members and close friends each dutifully bought a copy. (Except for my mother who bought tried to for Christmas.)  My author group shared it on Facebook, blogged and tweeted it to the heavens. My sales showed it. There is nothing better than having your own personally invested Street Team promoting you. Through the supreme efforts of the Coffee Talk Writers, my first publication reached so many readers it won Best Short Romance of 2013 in the E&P Readers Poll.

We first met in Scribophile, an online writing community. Critiquing relationships grew into friendships. Soon we established a blog together. After a year of collaboration, we have established an active website that is a regular stop with Book Monster Tours. We showcase authors through spotlights, interviews and book reviews. With careful recruiting, we added nine reviewers to our site. Our members will soon have a dozen published works between us. Quite an accomplishment. And we’re just get starting. Our new website is almost up and running. Keep an eye us: our site will be offering more services throughout 2014.

So aspiring authors, want my advice? Find yourself a group of dedicated, like-minded writers. Support each other, share your talents and see how far you can go.

Coffee Talk Publications

  symphonyoflightandwinter_byreneamason-800x1200     best-new-series-2013-298x300     3rd       TheImpostorsKiss_ByReneaMason-200x300 copy

killer-temptation                           book-cover-original-11                          livingdeadgirl_800x1200

    Henry small cover                          shortstoryr

        valerie-twombly-eternal-flame-small           valerie3           midnight           amazon-heat

 src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/qkQkcFT-6Q0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>


Coming Soon:

Fatal Desire (Book 2 in the Guardian Series) by Valerie Twombly New release in March 2014

Between the Waters – Symphony of Light (Book 2) by Renea Mason

Second Wife by Kishan Paul

Magnificent Valor by Aubrey Wynne

It’s Your Love by Isabella Harper

KCAEC by Michaela Miles

A very special thanks and my undying gratitude to our social media guru Michaela Miles. 

An Affair To Remember Blog Hop and Giveaway

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There are so many great books out there that love that struggled to be. Remember the old movie, An Affair to Remember? Romance was calling their name but an accident and pride kept it from being fulfilled. Do you know of a book like that? Share that book with us and join us in a blog hop to help feature and promote books that determined love.

Click any of the pictures of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr below to view the trailer from An Affair To Remember. 


 In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am giving away two Valentine’s Day prizes. Winners will pick one of the two books below:

My short ebook romance Merry Christmas, Henry plus a $5 Amazon gift card:

Winner of the P&E Reader’s Poll:

  Best Short Romance of 2013

MerryXmasHenry2 (1) copy

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.


Silvana  The Greening by Belinda Mellor


Once heard, the song of a Silvana can never be forgotten.
Yet for every man who wins such a wife there are three destroyed in the attempt.
Sixteen-year-old Fabiom dreams of winning the love of a Silvana, one of the mysterious and powerful tree spirits who haunt the deepest groves of the wildwood. But when he is suddenly thrown into the political arena and expected to keep the family silk business running, everything changes. Fabiom fears he will have to put aside his dream, for such a quest is perilous and Deepvale cannot afford to lose its young lord.
However, the piece of amber he finds beneath the huge ash tree could change his mind. If one of the Silvanii is upset enough to weep golden tears at the thought of losing him, then presenting himself on the eve of his seventeenth birth-anniversary might not be so dangerous after all.
What Fabiom does not know, is that the fiercely guarded secrets of silk-making have been sold abroad, putting more than the economic stability of his holding at risk; it was the Silvanii who first gifted Morene’s people with those secrets, and they do not take kindly to betrayal.
Click the link below to enter the giveaway:
Click the link below to visit the rest of the Affair To Remember’s  Awesome Blog Hosts:

February Kindle Fire Giveaway

Sponsored by I Am A Reader Not A Writer

February Kindle Fire Giveaway

February Kindle Fire
Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)


Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

 All New Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Giveaway

 The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)

Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

Click below and enter to win one of the above prizes:


 Be sure to visit our host:  


In addition to the Kindle Giveaway, I will be giving away 3 novelette ebooks. Winners may choose one from the following:


Winner of the P&E Reader’s Poll:

Best Short Romance of 2013

MerryXmasHenry2 (1) copy

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.

Or choose one of Susan Stuckey’s  Kalieri Tales:


Kaserie, a slave girl possessing potential magical powers, is held by the ruthless and brutal Halurdow, who intend to corrupt her talent for their own use. She escapes and flees to the Temple of the Twin Gods where she must not only confront her formidable enemies, but also her own father. A Kalieri Tales Novelette


Ranger Thaenad, aided by a group of Black Wolves, rescues a group of women and children from certain death at the hands of the butchering worshippers of the Dark God. As he guides them toward safety, a traitor within their group exposes his every move to pursuing enemy forces. Are Thaenad’s skills and magic capable of neutralizing the traitor and overcoming the enemy?


Elderly and frail, Jezrei is tasked with the safety of more than twenty children when the City of Azraelis is attacked by an enemy bent on slaughter and subjugation. How can one old man hope to stand against an entire army?


The Halurdow conquer everything in their path, destroying and crushing the Kalieri wherever they find them. After conquering the Isle of Ipsen Watch, they are stopped by a magic shield protecting the Ipsen mainland. The key to this shield is the only survivor of the Halurdow attack on Island of Ipsen Watch: an old woman. A young shaman sits with the woman night and day, working to get the secret of the magic shield from her. Today, she will succeed.

Click below for to enter the book giveaway:



February Sponsors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Romance Through the Ages
  4. Buried Under Romance
  5. Author Inger Iversen
  6. Jenna Does Books
  7. Author Jennifer Laurens
  8. Author Bonnie Blythe
  9. Author Bella Street
  10. The Reporter and the Girl
  11. Author Brinda Berry
  12. The Storybook Kingdom
  13. More Than a Review
  14. Bea’s Book Nook
  15. Bookroom Reviews
  16. The One With The Fairy Tales
  17. MyLadyWeb: Women’s History and Women Authors
  18. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  19. I Heart YA Fiction
  20. My Devotional Thoughts
  21. Kindle and Me
  22. Clever Me
  23. Every Free Chance Book Reviews
  24. Author Karey White
  25. Author Aubrey Wynne
  26. Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
  27. A Leisure Moment
  28. Author Louise Caiola
  29. Author Christie Anderson
  30. Author Carol Malone
  31. Immortal Ink Publishing
  32. Author A. Wrighton
  33. Author Heather McCoubrey
  34. Attack of the Books!
  35. Rumor Has It
  36. Barb’s Wire – eBooks & More
  37. Author Linda S. Prather
  38. Tressa’s Wishful Endings
  39. Laurie Here
  40. Author Heather Gray
  41. Author Kelly Martin
  42. Author Brenda Maxfield
  43. A Southern Lady’s Book Blog
  44. Author Paige Ryan
  45. Confessions of a Librarian in Training
  46. My Nook, Books and More
  47. Lori’s Reading Corner
  48. Author Elizabeth Woodrum
  49. Author Kristin Wallace
  50. Author Jo Grafford
  51. Writer Wonderland
  52. Author Jaret Martens
  53. Author Christi Corbett
  54. Author Derek Rempfer

Ends 2/28/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.