Category Archives: Suspense

Son of the Moonless Night Cover Reveal From Fab Writing Team CD Hersh

Fantastic Fridays

a blog for new reads

I’m super excited to share with you the new cover for Son of the Moonless Night from the amazing writing duo, CD Hersh. CD stands for Catherine and Donald and they write a terrific series of paranormal suspense romance books,The Turning Stone Chronicles. Check out the new cover and then check out the excerpt below. 

SON OF THE MOONLESS NIGHT_505x825

Thrust back into the world of paranormal huntress, Deputy Coroner Katrina Romanovski must unravel a string of murders she believes are vampire attacks. When she discovers the shape shifter she’s in love with is the murderer, she must reconcile her feelings for him, examine her life of violence against paranormals, and justify deceiving him in order to bring him to justice.

 

Owen Todd Jordan Riley has a secret. He’s a shape shifter who has been hunting and killing his own kind. To him the only good shifter is a dead shifter. Revenge for the death of a friend motivates him, and nothing stands in his way . . . except Katrina Romanovski, the woman he is falling in love with.

Deputy coroner Katrina Romanovski has a secret, too. She hunts and kills paranormal beings like Owen. At least she did. When she rescues Owen from an attack by a werebear she is thrust back into the world she thought she’d left. Determined to find out what Owen knows about the bear, she begins a relationship meant to collect information. What she gets is something quite different-love with a man she suspects of murder. Can she reconcile his deception and murderous revenge spree and find a way to redeem him? Or will she condemn him for the same things she has done and walk away from love?

 

Excerpt:

A crash in the alley stopped Katrina Romanovski mid-stride. Like the October mist swirling in off the lake, her gypsy blood stirred sending her intuition into high gear. Something unnatural was happening.

Go see what’s wrong. She heard her father’s voice as clearly as if he stood next to her.

On the heels of his words came her mother’s pragmatic warning in clipped British tones. You know what curiosity killed. Katrina pushed the ever-present warning aside. Mom never approved of Dad’s supernatural hunts and even less of his drawing her into them.

Pulling the oversized cross she always wore out from under her shirt, Kat looked around for a weapon. Please, not a vampire. I hate vampires! A piece of wood sticking out of the trashcan at the front of the alley caught her eye.

Grabbing it, she broke the end off into a sharp point. The mist-filled air filtered the light from the single bulb over one of the alley doorways. The wind swirled the loose trash around making a quiet approach difficult. Sidestepping the paper, with the stake in one hand and holding the gun she took from her purse in the other hand, she crept into the alley.

A roar echoed against the buildings, the sound nearly sending her running. That roar wasn’t a vampire. It sounded more like an animal. Kat inched closer. In the yellow pool of light from the back door of the building, a black bear, over seven feet tall, reared on its back legs and swung its paw at the man standing at the edge of the light. He crashed to the ground, shirt torn open from the slashing claws. Blood covered the fabric, and he clasped his left hand over his shoulder to stem the flow. The bear bent toward him, teeth bared in a smile. A wicked smile.

Kat aimed her gun, but before she could pull the trigger, a shot rang out. The flash of gunpowder lit the face of the injured man. The blast reverberated against the buildings. With an enraged bellow, the bear staggered backward against the wall. Shaking his head, the animal dropped to all four paws. Weaving like a drunk, he lumbered toward his attacker. The man took aim again, shooting the animal between the eyes. Animal and human collapsed on the dirty, littered pavement.

As she started to move forward, Kat’s gypsy senses crawled over her skin like angry red ants. As she slipped back into the shadows, the bear shed fur. Changing size. Then, finally, turning into a man.

Shape shifters. Her stake wasn’t any good against them, and her bullets weren’t silver. This one appeared dead anyway. Had the wounded man seen the shift? Tossing the stake aside, she paused by the shifter and quickly moved to the wounded man. Out cold. Still human.

When she touched him, his eyelids fluttered open. “Did I get it?”

“What?”

“The bear.”

 

Amazon buy links:

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00DUMODKI

paper back: http://amzn.com/1619353504

 

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2):

eBook: http://amzn.com/B00OVNFC8W

 

The Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3):

eBook coming soon

 

Bio:

c d herschPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

 

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first two books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. The third book in the series Son of the Moonless Night is to be released mid-May by Soul Mate Publishing.

 

Where you can find CD:

Website: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://cdhersh.wordpress.com/blog-2/

Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cdhershauthor

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCDHersh

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/CDHersh

 

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Research – Not the 4-Letter Word I Thought – Guest Author Sandra Kerns

Whimsical Wednesdays

Today I’m thrilled to have fellow Colorado Romance Writer, Sandra S. Kerns, on Jessica Aspen Writes. Today, Sandra tells us about her research efforts for her most recent romantic suspense novel Her Master Diver. Sandra’s romantic suspense has sailed up the charts and in a very short time she’s published twelve books, the most famous being her Masters Men series that features not just suspense, not just romance, but a family of tough, alpha heroes. Who doesn’t want an alpha hero to fall in love with and solve crimes? No wonder her books have been so successful. Welcome, Sandra, and thanks for blogging!

Research – Not the 4-Letter Word I Thought

I have never liked research. Maybe it’s the word. I love learning, but tell me I have to research something and I shut down. I do it, it’s part of a writer’s job, but I’ve never enjoyed it. Until now.

While brainstorming with a friend about the first sister’s book in the Masters Men series, my friend came up with the idea to do a female Indiana Jones. Her idea was that it would drive her over-protective brothers insane. I took it a step further and settled on an underwater archaeologist. Thankfully, my friend got the research ball rolling. The next week she brought me a list with maybe five sites to check out. She was so stoked I had to follow through.

Those first websites set me on a path to pirates, shipwrecks, underwater archaeologists, and a Try Scuba session. Talk about cool research!

I investigated the educational requirements needed to become an underwater archaeologist. After that, I needed a shipwreck to interest my characters, a ship that offered more than pirate treasure. I found it here: http://www.staugustinelighthouse.com/LAMP/Research/lostships.

La Trinité was the lead ship in a French fleet in 1565 landing near St. Augustine, Florida. Through this article, I found John deBry, Ph.D., the director of the Center for Historical Archaeology. I contacted him and he surprised me by inviting me to visit him and discuss the ship over a glass of wine. My husband and I were in Cocoa Beach, Florida, so we accepted his offer.

John’s love for his profession was contagious. He recommended three books and I bought them before we were back at our hotel. He told me no one has ever looked for La Trinité even though it had a major effect on our country’s history. Next year, John will be part of a dive for the ship as part of the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine, Florida.

I also needed to understand scuba diving. I have several friends who dive and were happy to share their knowledge and love for it. They even sent me an underwater video they took. I still didn’t know what it felt like, so I did Try Scuba. I was a bit apprehensive, I don’t even snorkel, but I gave it a go. It was amazing. It gave me a sense of how my heroine would feel underwater, the terminology, and equipment used. It made a huge difference.

This is just part of the research I needed. I can tell you this project taught me to enjoy research because not only does it help with writing a story, it can also give you the opportunity to try new things. For the first time, the research was almost as much fun as writing the book. For that reason, Her Master Diver will always be extra special to me.

So, the next time you’re reading a book that takes you somewhere you’ve never been, think about the journey the writer took to bring you there.

Happy Reading!

Sandra

Her Master Diver by Sandra S. KernsHer Master Diver

Blaze thought leaving school would get her life back on track. It seems to be working as she’s invited on the dive of her dreams. Then life throws her into a storm, a break-in, hit and run, sabotage and murder all center around her. Can Blaze and her charismatic project manager unravel the problems surrounding the expedition, or will her Masters men brothers have to fly out to save the day?

 

Author Bio:

Sandra S Kerns

Originally from upstate New York, Sandra now lives in Northern Colorado where she writes romantic suspense. She belongs to Romance Writer’s of America and two of its chapters as well as Crested Butte Writers. She has won or placed in several writing awards including CRW’s Heart of the Rockies, Crested Butte Writers’ Sandy, and Kiss Of Death’s Daphne. She enjoys speaking at conferences and writing groups, as well as encouraging other writers, both young and old. While writing and talking about it are enjoyable, she really loves interacting with her readers on Facebook, Twitter and her website.

Sandra S. Kerns, authorWebsite: sandrakerns.com

Twitter: @sandraskerns

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SandraSKerns

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sandrakerns96/

Google+: Sandra Kerns on Google+

 

 

 

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Filed under romantic suspense, Suspense, Whimsical Wednesdays, writing craft

It’s here! Ghosts of Christmas Past is released!

Moonday Mania

a blog where we celebrate!

I’m stepping out of my self imposed blog hiatus to whoop it up about releasing my latest book, Ghosts of Christmas Past. (See, I am working and not just having a fun summer holiday.) I’m a little nervous about it because there are no shifters, witches or elves. It’s not a fantasy romance nor is it a twisted fairy tale romance. What it is is something completely different. A contemporary Gothic romance.

And, it’s got a New Adult vibe. So, I really should call it a New Adult Contemporary Gothic Romance.

Oh, I forgot, it’s also a holiday romance. So let’s add that in. A New Adult Contemporary Gothic Christmas Romance. I don’t like to do anything uncomplicated.

It’s shorter than my fantasy books and a little longer than the shifter romances. In fact, it was supposed to be a novella, but it missed the mark and came in at over 40,000 words, so it’s officially a short novel. I toyed with the idea of calling it a novelette but ended up sticking with short novel.

And it’s the first in a series of short novels about the Pierce family in Appleset, Massachusetts. All of these books will be centered around holidays and all of them will have some kind of supernatural element. Maybe the series title will give you a clue as to what kind of supernatural element. Haunted Holidays. 

Yep, they will be ghost stories. With all the suspense and horror of a ghost story, tempered by the heat of the romance. Because there is some romance. Okay, more than a little. The heat level in this book is spicy, hotter than my steamy fantasy novels but maybe not quite hitting the heat level of the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods shifter romances.

I had a lot of fun writing this one, it was a nice break in between all of my books. I started it in late 2012, after I’d finished Goldi and the Bear and before starting Prince by Blood and Bone. Then it had to sit a while while I wrote Prince by Blood and Bone and published both it and Golid and The Dark Huntsman. Last fall, when I had planned to publish it, I was instaed wrestling with Prince by Blood and Bone’s edits. And this one had to sit by the wayside. But it’s finished now, and it’s something new and different. So I hope you give my venture into the modern Gothic a chance.

To get it off to a good start I’m offering it at 99 cents for the month of August, then I’ll raise it up to it’s regular price of $2.99, so get your copy today!

ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspenGhosts of Christmas Past

A Haunted Holidays Novel

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss. 

And that’s not Jen’s only problem.

 The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.

I’ve pushed published everywhere and it’s available today at:

Available now: Amazon,  Barnes and Noble, IbooksAllRomanceEbooks and Kobo at the limited time price of 99cents!

Goes up to $2.99 on September 1st, 2014

Add to your Goodreads shelf.

Join my new release newsletter for early information on specials and new releases! Click HERE to sign up.

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Filed under ghosts, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Haunted Holidays, romance, romantic suspense, Suspense

A Voodoo Dream—Is It a Nightmare?

Welcome to Whimisical Wednesday

a blog for fabulous writers

It’s Whimsical Wednesday, the day I may or may not blog and you never know what to expect. Today, on Jessica Aspen Writes, I’m lucky to showcase romantic suspense author, Alana Lorens. I met, Alana, at Margie Lawson’s Deep Immersion workshop. Up on Margie’s Mountain there is magic and mystery in the air. Why else would so many of the women I met up there have become such terrific authors? Including, Alana. You may remember my showcasing her previous romantic suspense books in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series, Conviction of the Heart, and Second Chances. (Click HERE for the post) And I know you’ll want to check out her other books (written as Lyndi Alexander) as well (see her bio below for more info.) Without further delay…here’s Alana!

A voodoo dream—is it a nightmare?

New Orleans is a fabulous old city of the South, a culturally-rich city that draws from roots in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. The French Quarter, in particular, is often recognizable by its cast-iron balconies the french quarterand its colorful streets full of delightful little shops where one can find objets d’art and many other interesting things.  new orleans blue doors

But New Orleans has a darker side, also long set in its history. As anyone who’s been following the current season of American Horror Story: Coven knows, voodoo has been practiced in the city and surrounding areas for many years, and the name most associated with voodoo in New Orleans is that of Marie Laveau.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines voodoo as: A religion practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries, especially Haiti, syncretized from Roman Catholic ritual elements and the animism and magic of slaves from West Africa, in which a supreme God rules a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.

voodoo alter museum  As in most practices, the majority of those who practice this religion use it for purposes of good—to heal the sick, to help the hungry, or those addicted to alcohol or drugs through direction of spiritual energy and protective amulets called gris-gris. But there are those who use its arts for evil, to gain personal power, to mete out revenge, and to harm others. This is the picture many Hollywood films have used to demonstrate voodoo and its practitioners, often with dolls stuck full of pins or blood-soaked curses.

voodoo dreams by alana lorensVOODOO DREAMS is the story of two separate lawyers from Pittsburgh, who innocently jet off to the city of New Orleans at Mardi Gras to escape their worries and troubles, only to find a whole lot more waiting for them there—as well as the possibility of love.

When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can’t wait to get out of Pittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious—but handsome—lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.

 Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He’d much rather devote himself to her—especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.

Strangely compelled to follow the riddle’s clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?

Excerpt:

The voodoo priest Copper placed the boat in the fire, and it vanished in a burst of white flame.

“Damballah has received your petitions!” he proclaimed. “We shall now glorify him!”

He bent before the altar and reached into a screened box. A flourish of drums preceded a moment of reverent silence as Copper drew out a huge gold-flecked python. He held the undulating snake up in the firelight. The monster had to be at least ten feet long.

A dancer moved forward to take it from the priest. It curled around her as Copper oiled his hands from a jar on the altar, then massaged the snake.

“Great God Damballah, we hail your presence among us,” he intoned. “Those who have gathered pray your blessings upon us and the granting of our deepest desires.”

The dancers slowly weaved forward in a line, backs undulating in rhythm, giving the appearance of a snake themselves. In sharp contrast, Brianna now stood still, eyes closed.

Evan wanted to call out to her, but found his voice missing. Again.

What was it with these ooga-booga guys anyway? The next one that shut him up would have his attitude seriously adjusted.

Copper moved toward Brianna, a silver dagger in his hand. Where had that come from?

The dancer with the snake followed close behind him.

Evan tried to jump up but found himself stuck to the bench.

Copper took Brianna’s hand, turning it palm up. A slice of the dagger slit her finger. She didn’t even react.

Red blood collected on her finger, and Copper held it over the snake’s head until it dripped onto its nose. The snake’s tongue flicked out, tasting the blood. Copper pulled gently on Brianna’s arm until it was extended. The snake inched up Brianna’s stiff arm, poking its ugly face around the back of her neck, slithering down her other arm until it graced her like an evening stole. She shifted to bear its weight, standing with her arms out as if crucified.

His own skin crawled, as the snake moved around Brianna’s bewitched body. She’d shared with him how much she’d hated all the snake depictions at the museum. How could she calmly let this happen?
VOODOO DREAMS is FREE!!! December 17-21 at Amazon.com 

Bio:  Alana Lorens dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain, but settled instead for inspired excursions into fictional places with fascinating companions from her imagination that she likes to share with others. She has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida, with a list of eclectic publications from horror to tech reporting to television reviews. She writes urban fantasy and science fiction under the name of Lyndi Alexander. The Elf Queen, her first novel, was released by Dragonfly Publishing in July 2010; the series continued with The Elf Child, The Elf Mage and The Elf Guardian. She’s now working on the space opera Horizon Crossover series, and a YA trilogy, The Color of Fear—the first book, WINDMILLS, was published by Zumaya Publications this summer.  Writing as Alana Lorens, she produces romance and romantic suspense, including the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series, standalone novels of romantic suspense,  CONVICTION OF THE HEART, SECOND CHANCES, and the latest, VOODOO DREAMS, released by The Wild Rose Press in October 2013.

She is a single mother of seven, with two special needs children at home with her in Pennsylvania, and she volunteers at her local shelter for domestic violence victims, believing in every person’s right to be safe.

For more information, see Alana’s website and check out her Facebook page to become a friend!  Happy holidays to you and enjoy!

all photos in this post (with the exception of the cover for Voodoo Dreams) are credited to Alana Lorens

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Filed under guest post, Magic, romance, romantic suspense, Suspense, Whimsical Wednesdays