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Dream Magic by Michelle Mankin

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Title: Dream Magic
Series: The Magic Series #2
Author: Michelle Mankin
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance

coverThe dreamscape is a place of magic and mystery and meaning. In that nocturnal realm, ideas, images, sensations and emotions drift on the currents of the unconscious mind.

Morpheus the Dream Falcon is most at home in that domain. By night, the one of a kind winged immortal soars on those winds, observing and sometimes even entering the slumbering thoughts of another. By day, he is a highly sought after mercenary feared by his immortal kin for both his unmatched ferocity and his wicked obsidian talons. None of his prey escapes him.

Cecilia Ramirez y Aguilera is the one he truly wants. But the striking oracle of the Court of the Light Immortals is closed to the handsome outlaw, even in her dreams. Broken by unimaginable losses, the seer is but a slave, subject to the whims of a master who is mad and without mercy.

Drawn together by fate, their impossible passion ignites. But will that be enough given the dangerous secrets each keeps from the other? Or will mistrust and the desire for revenge threaten to unravel the powerful magic that binds them?

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Excerpt:

When you compare the sorrows of real life to the pleasures of the imaginary one, you will never want to live again, only to dream forever. – Alexandre Dumas

Prologue

June 1998
Cecilia
“Hey, Mamá.”
“Hola, mejita.” My mother turned smiling indulgently at the ever present headphones around my neck and the huge stack of music and fashion magazines I toted into the kitchen with me. “Dinner’s almost ready.” She used a spatula to flip something that sizzled and released a deliciously garlicky aroma into the air. Plátanos. My mouth watered and my empty stomach grumbled. “What’s new in the entertainment world?”
“Not much.” I lifted the Rolling Stone magazine to show her the cover and made a face. “Except Star Angel is breaking up with Brad.”
“Chica doesn’t stay with any one man long does she?”
“I know, right?” I shook my head in disbelief of my favorite diva’s man eating ways. The blunt ends of my straight hair swished against my shoulders. The halter and loose linen shorts I wore weren’t cutting edge fashion like Star preferred and I dreamed about, but it was way too hot in the rainforest for haute couture.
“Didn’t those two have a child together?”Mamá asked returning her attention to the stove.
“Yeah. That’s the saddest part.” I set aside the magazine. I planned to finish the article later. Being an aspiring singer, I was interested in finding out where Star thought her present heartache would take her professionally. For now I followed my nose across the bamboo floors that were smooth against my bare feet. “Mmm, mofongo.” I smiled widely. Plantains mashed with garlic, chicharrones, and olive oil. My favorite Puerto Rican dish. I snatched a pinch from one of the starchy slices on the paper towel lined plate.
“No, Cecilia,” my mother chided, pewter eyes the same unusual moonbeam shade as my own glowing softly. “We’ll eat soon. Your papá should be home any minute.”
“Sorry, Mamá.” I blew on my prize to cool it, and returned to the table my father had built using wood from an Ausubo tree prized for its decay and termite resistant properties. I popped the crispy morsel into my mouth and savored the rich flavor for a moment. “What’s the special occasion?” I asked her before licking the salty garlic residue from my fingertips. Making mofongo was time consuming. It wasn’t an everyday treat. Blue marlin filets were laid out alongside the mortar and pestle she would use to mash the fried plantains. “And when did Papá go to the north coast?” Our home in the El Yunque Rainforest was far from the side of the island where that particular fish flourished.
“So many questions, mejita.” She flipped off the gas burner and turned to face me blotting perspiration from her forehead with a kitchen towel and lifting her glossy ebony hair away from her neck so the late evening breeze would cool it. “Did you and Millie get the herbs?”
“Si, Mamá. They were easy to find once we…after we…” Carajo. Shit “We have all of them. Everything on the list.” I pressed my lips flat, kicking myself for almost admitting how my twin had helped me locate them.
Unfortunately for me, my mamá knew me too well to overlook my verbal stumbling. Her grey eyes narrowed. I nervously shifted my weight from one foot to the other. I swore that woman was psychic. At least she had an unsettling ability to read me, even if that wasn’t her gifting.
“Cecilia Ramirez y Aguilera. You know better! Your papá and I have told you over and over again. No scrying! I…” She snapped her mouth shut as my papá appeared striding into the kitchen wearing only cutoff shorts. His six foot six inch frame overshadowed Millie who stood a full foot shorter like me. Hips swaying rhythmically, blissfully unaware of the trouble I had gotten us into, she was humming some silly tune I had composed for her when we were kids.
“What’s wrong, Panacea, mi preciosa?” My father’s voice had a lilting musical quality similar to my own. Millie had inherited his angelic beauty, not that I was jealous. I doted on my sweet sibling just as everyone else in my family did.
My father’s ruby-red gaze hardened as he glanced back and forth between my mamá and me. I gulped around the growing knot in my throat while twisting my hands together. I knew it was only a matter of time before he found out. He wouldn’t be deterred.
Millie shot me a questioning look. I gave my head a subtle shake cautioning her not to give anything away. I was always treading into troubled waters. I wanted to avoid dragging her down with me for once.
“Raphael. Don’t be mad.” My mamá held his gaze using her most soothing tone. “But I fear the girls were scrying when they went out for herbs earlier today.”
“What?” he roared his displeasure in a deliberately measured volume. If he chose to he could reduce a solid structure to rubble with only the power of his utterance. Nevertheless, Mamá’s colorful Fiestaware dishes rattled ominously on the open shelves. He snapped open his wings, fourteen feet of intimidating span, several inches thick yet as transparent as if they had been fashioned from flawless glass. Dazzling when reflecting direct sunlight, they were most mesmerizing on a cloudless night, when they sparkled with the light of the Creator’s stars.
An unstable lapis coffee cup tumbled to the floor shattering into jagged pieces in front of me. I took a step back and assumed a protective stance in front of my twin, not because Papá would ever hurt us. He loved us, both of us…only unequally. But he frightened Millie whenever he got angry.
Her pretty sea foam green eyes wide Millie pressed closer. She might be his favorite but I didn’t hold that against her. Unlike me, she was easy to love, and she was my twin. We stuck together. No matter what. Mamá said we were sympatico, dos uno, two parts that made up one whole. I took her trembling hand and squeezed to reassure her. I felt our emotions settling the instant we touched.
“Have I not expressly forbidden you from using your gifts?” My father’s angry red gaze skewered me.
I managed a submissive nod.
“I am extremely disappointed in you, my daughter. I don’t make rules to make your life difficult. You know they’re for your safety. I’ve told you countless times how violent our immortal world can be and how critical it is that we maintain our anonymity in it.” The golden skin over his bulging biceps stretched beneath the strain as he crossed his tensed arms across his chest. “Why take such a risk for a handful of herbs, Cecilia?” His gaze narrowed further. “Did you forget? Is that your excuse for disobeying me this time? Or do you think that you know better since you seem so ready to set out on your own?”
My mamá frowned as she rose from the floor where she had been scooping up the broken pieces of pottery. Millie’s fingers tightened in mine.
“I didn’t forget. I didn’t think…”
“That’s the problem. Most of the time you don’t think at all, Cecilia.”
His criticism made my stomach cramp, but I tilted up my chin defiantly. “You’re overreacting. It only took us a moment. It’s unlikely anyone was around to notice.” I didn’t have it in me to back down whenever he laid into me. So I just dove deeper into it.
“I know you think my rules are too confining.” He shook his head disappointedly. “That our home is a cage to you. That you desperately yearn for your freedom. What you fail to see is that everything I do is done out of love for you and your sister and a desire to protect you. I have years of knowledge and experience that you lack. Your mamá and I pray to the Creator daily that you and your sister will never experience what the worst of our kind have to offer.”
I sighed, ducked my head and mumbled, “I’m sorry I disobeyed you.”
“Your apology would be of little consolation to your mother and me if you’re both dead, Cecilia. You know as well as I do that even though it only takes a moment for you to scry, that act leaves behind a unique residue that another foresight gifted immortal can trace even days later.”
I nodded somberly my guilt increasing as I felt Millie shaking beside me. She had an active imagination, one fueled by her voracious reading habit. It didn’t take more than a suggestion of danger by Papá to set it in motion.
“Besides, using your gifts scares the mortals,” he continued. “It’s a delicate enough balance for us living among them and having them accept us as it is.”
“You’re right, Papá.” I nodded obediently.
His anger seemingly spent, his expression softened. He slowly retracted his massive wings. Though powerful enough to launch him and a passenger into the sky within a single heartbeat, they were completely invisible when tucked into his shoulder blades.
My mother set the shards of pottery she had gathered on the counter and tucked her curvy body into her husband’s rock solid side. Throwing his arm around her shapely shoulders, he pulled her closer. They had been married for over a century yet the passion between them remained visibly strong. “You leave me no choice but to punish you, Cecilia,” he declared sternly. “No television. No excursions to town. Not even to assist your mamá with her healings.”
“But Papá,” I began. “I have so much to do before I move…”
“No.” He shushed me with a sharp gesture. “I’ve been far too lenient with you. You need to learn once and for all to use better judgment.” His eyes flared, glowing red embers within a fire. Familiar with that look, I braced. “You will also sleep tonight in the guestroom without your sister.”
A very harsh punishment indeed. I didn’t sleep well when separated from Millie. Tears pricked my eyes, but I curled my fingernails into my palms refusing to cry. I wasn’t going to let on how much his discipline upset me.
“Is that really necessary, Raph? You know neither one can sleep when separated from the other.”
“I know, my love. That’s why I’m doing it.” He gently tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear as he peered down at her. “The lesson must sink in for both of them. They need to look after each other. One day soon, they will be on their own. I’ve tried my best to prepare them for the world they are so set on experiencing but obviously there are lessons yet to be learned.” His gaze returned to me. “There will be no more talk of you moving out, not until I see proof that you are maturing.” I knew his tone meant his decision was final, but he had been right when he said I was desperate to be out on my own. To be so close and to have that taken away…I couldn’t, I wouldn’t let it go.
“Papá, no,” I pleaded feeling my hopes and dreams drifting away. “We are nearly twenty one. You promised.”
“Nevertheless.” His expression grew sterner. “Your questionable judgment puts you and your sister at undue risk. You know she is your shadow forever looking to you for direction. I can’t permit it.”
I lowered my gaze my eyes stinging with the burn of bitter disappointment.
“Papá.” Millie moved forward placing her platinum locks on his shoulder. The light color matched his exactly, so rare for Dark Immortals. “Por favor.” She reached for his hand. “Please, don’t take this away from Cici. She has an apartment already and a waitressing job at the Blue Parrot.”
“I’m sorry. It’s no longer open for discussion, little one, maybe in time I will reconsider.” His expression troubled, he shook his head and his crystal clear wings emerged slowly forming sharp peaks over each shoulder. His focus shifted to the open window. His chin tilted toward it and his nostrils flared as if he had scented something unpleasant. He turned to my mother. “I’m going to make a quick pass above the trees to make sure everything is safe.” He placed a kiss on the top of her head and gently squeezed my sister’s shoulder before turning to me. “Set the table for your mamá . I will return shortly.”

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Catch up on the series with Strange Magic:
The Magic Series #1

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The Author:

Michelle Mankin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Records series of novels.

Rock Stars. Romance. Redemption.

Love Evolution, Love Revolution, and Love Resolution are a BRUTAL STRENGTH centered trilogy, combining the plot underpinnings of Shakespeare with the drama, excitement, and indisputable sexiness of the rock ‘n roll industry.

Things take a bit of an edgier, once upon a time turn with the TEMPEST series. These pierced, tatted, and troubled Seattle rockers are young and on the cusp of making it big, but with serious obstacles to overcome that may prevent them from ever getting there.

Rock stars, myths, and legends collide with paranormal romance in a totally mesmerizing way in the MAGIC series.

Catch the perfect wave with irresistible surfers in the ROCK STARS, SURF AND SECOND CHANCES series.

Romance and self-discovery, the FINDING ME series is a Tempest spin off with a more experienced but familiar cast of characters.

When Michelle is not prowling the streets of her Texas town listening to her rock or NOLA funk music much too loud, she is putting her daydreams down on paper or traveling the world with her family and friends, sometimes for real, and sometimes just for pretend.

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Other Books by Michelle Mankin:

BRUTAL STRENGTH series:

TEMPEST series:

(also available in audio)

The MAGIC series:

(also available in audio)

  • TWISTED MAGIC

FINDING ME series:

(also available in audio)

ROCK STARS, SURF AND SECOND CHANCES series:

  • Outside (also available in audio)
  • Riptide
  • Oceanside 

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#YOURENEXT by R. l. Weeks

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#yourenext

What happens when someone decides to play a dangerous game on the world’s biggest networking site? It gives everyone else a gateway to do the same. Follow the accounts of three sets of people as they all play their parts in the #yourenext hashtag with dire consequences.

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#yourenext (3)Join R. l. Weeks and guests for a #YoureNext release day party!
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Show your support for R. l. Weeks.
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R. l. Weeks is a fantasy and horror author living in Exeter, UK. She grew up in Devon surrounded by local folklore which she incorporates into her writing.

Into the Myth, published by CHBB, One Way Out and See No Evil, published by Vamptasy, are available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle.

She wants to write novels to inspire and help young people in the same way that fantasy books helped her. Horror is a genre that she wants to bring people back to.

‘It’s such a deep genre. It’s so much more than just scaring people; it gives them a sense of empowerment. I’m obsessed with the reality of the human condition and the darker shades of humanity. I try to tell my stories from a different viewpoint.’

R. l. Weeks

 

 

Mate Me, Hate Me, Date Me, Love Me

by Chris McHart

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Title: Mate Me, Hate Me, Date Me, Love Me
Author: Chris McHart
Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance

 

Mate ME Cover finalWhen his father, King Harold, forces Prince Gerome to mate a complete stranger in order to save his unborn child, he complies with a heavy heart and says goodbye to all his dreams of finding love. Gerome’s hurt and treats his mate the way he’s been taught all his life: through power and submission. But with Luis, it doesn’t work.

When Luis is mated off to a stranger, his world ends. He was a carefree student one day and the next a vampire prince demands his submission. He can’t run, but he can hide and hate in silence. So he withdraws until only a shell remains.

Neither of the men has any chance of finding love together until a friend intervenes. Can Gerome forget what he’s been taught all his life, and is it possible for Luis to forget what’s happened to him? Will they ever find their own happy ending? Or can love blossom where only hate exists?

*Please note that this story contains a scene that *could* be seen as dubious consent*

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Author Bio

Chris lives in Germany, together with her husband, slave, Dom, partner in crime, and muse (all in one person, not even she’s that kinky!). She loves her husband, men in kilts and Scotch Whisky. Her idea of a perfect evening is to curl up with her laptop and write (the other options are not suitable to post them in public).

Visit her blog, or friend her on facebook and join her author group there.

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Spring Countdown Blitz – Day 12

 

Swan and Shadow by Kaki Olsen

 

 

“Aislin is cursed. A regular college student at night and a swan during the day, Aislin can only break the curse by finding her true love. But when her beloved discovers the truth, will his fear override their love? This modern adaptation of Swan Lake will help you discover what love really means.”

 

~ AMAZON ~

 

 

 

Kaki Olsen is always on the brink of another adventure. If she couldn’t be a writer, she’d be a full-time musician or travel guide and she would take her lunch breaks at Fenway Park. Until that happens, she speaks both Spanish and English at her every-day office job, but she has vacationed enthusiastically in such places as Istanbul and Ireland. She has lived in five states, but will always refer to Boston as home.

She regularly contributes academic papers on zombies or wizards to Life, the Universe and Everything, a sci-fi/fantasy symposium originated at her alma mater, Brigham Young University. Her published works have appeared in such magazines as Voices and AuthorsPublish.
She is a doting aunt and librarian of two bulging bookshelves.

~ TWITTER ~ FACEBOOK ~

 
 

 
 
What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

When I have a meaning to a specific story, I stick with it and it’s very hard to depart from that.  I wrote this story to illustrate the bravery of the main character in choosing a less-than-ideal life, but wound up writing a different choice for her that showed her to be brave in a different way.  It’s what my interpreter trainer would call intra-lingual interpretation, where you have to look for different meanings or definitions to express the same word when you can’t identify what you need to say.

 

Which of your personality traits did you write into you characters? (Deliberately or accidentally)

One of the few things that I’m very good at in personal interaction is giving advice while listening well.  Both of my main characters have that trait, but for one of them, it doesn’t manifest until she has to befriend someone she thought of as her antagonist.  I also turned one character into a fashion enthusiast, which is another one of my hobbies.

 

 

Excerpt #1

“How was work?” I asked after another round of Crazy Eights.

I’d cleverly invented a summer job at a day camp to explain my sister’s long absences.  The fictional employer even had Fourth of July festivities and was something of a slave-driver.

“You know,” Aislin joked, “running around like a chicken with its head cut off.”

Everyone laughed at that and Sosi paused in mid-shuffle to respond. “I’m surprised you had to work.”

“I get holiday pay to kid-herd,” Ash said with a wave of her hand.  “We made patriotic lanyards, listened to one of the counselors do his George Washington impression…”

“Torture with benefits,” Avril chuckled.  “I’m jealous.”

“Why?” I teased.  “We had that lady who called the fly-overs alien invasions.”

“Are we sure they’re not?” Ethan countered. “They’re probably waiting for the 1812 Overture.”

“What about the scavenger hunt?”

Aislin dug her list out of her shorts pocket and scanned it for effect. “I got everything.  The guy wearing a flag as a skirt was the hardest one, but he was at the Charles/MGH stop.”

“No fair,” Ethan protested.  “We couldn’t use the T.”

“You had the whole Esplanade and worked in teams,” my sister pointed out.  “How did the petition go?”

“Ask the boys,” I suggested.  “We were trying to find a World War II veteran.”

“One hundred and thirty-seven signatures and an offer to post on an animal rights website,” Darren announced.  “I bet we could have gotten more if we hadn’t stopped for lunch.”

“And just what are we saving the Pacific narwhal from?” I asked.

Darren and Ethan exchanged looks and said, in unison, “Surfers.”

 

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Spring Countdown Blitz – Day 11

 

A Savage Ghost by Donna K. Weaver

 

 

Lia Savage reluctantly puts her dream of opening a dessert boutique on hold to help her dad remodel a castle he’s inherited in Washington State. Soon, a specter targets her younger sister.

Lia enlists the help of strapping Coop Montgomery, the head gardener and her former crush. As they search together for a way to rid the castle of its ghost, the romance she used to dream about with Coop kindles. But Lia’s gentle giant means to stay in Washington while she’s determined to return to California. She must find the courage to face both the ghost and her future.

With Coop. Or without him.

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A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Army veteran, karate black belt, and online gamer. Author of the Safe Harbors series; Second Chances 101, Book 5 in the Ripple Effect series; and A Savage Ghost.
 

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Q&A with the Author!!!

 

 What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

 

Like most writers I know, I begin to doubt myself. I have thoughts of, “Wow, this is terrible. No one’s going to like these characters or this storyline. This has to be the worse thing ever written. Why do I even bother?” Those are the days this song’s my theme song:


 

 Which of your personality traits did you write into you characters? (Deliberately or accidentally)

 

I think there’s probably a lot of my traits that shows up in my characters. From being a black belt to hating crowds to being in love with Irish castles. Yeah. But, unless you know me, you won’t know which.

 

 
And a snippet!

 

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Spring Countdown Blitz – Day 10

The Sun Still Shines by Jodi Orgill Brown

In a candid and witty memoir, Jodi recounts how her life was transformed when, as a thirty-three-year-old wife and mother, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Unwilling to accept her new fate, Jodi’s family searches for a doctor who will join their fight against the odds. But when the surgery that could save her life thrusts her into battle with a devastating spinal fluid leak and facial paralysis, even her own children fear her new appearance and physical failings. Jodi perseveres, even with an injured body and spirit. Interweaving the inspiring, provoking, and sometimes disturbing, Jodi reveals the hells and highs of her journey as she fights for hope and purpose—and life.

~ AMAZON ~ SMASHWORDS ~

 

Jodi Orgill Brown is inspired by people who live fulfilled lives in spite of their struggles. She loves spending time with her muses, namely, her husband Tolan, and their four children, Trenden, Lindi, Casen, and Daven. Her favorite outing locations include Hebgen Lake, Montana, Hawaii\u2019s North Shore, the rolling hills and woods of Virginia, the Weber River Parkway Trail, and even her own backyard.

When she is not writing, reading, or enjoying family time, you’ll find Jodi visiting neighbors or having lunch with a girlfriend on 25th Street in Ogden. She loves learning principles through analogies and she discovers inspiration all around her, from nature, stories, friends, and especially from her children.

Jodi holds a BA in communications from Brigham Young University, an MS in organizational communications and leadership from the University of Utah, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She is the founder of Amplio Development, and is dedicated to living and teaching personal improvement. She resides in northern Utah with her husband and their four children.

Book Jodi as a keynote speaker, consultant, or presenter:
Email: ampliodevelopment@gmail.com
Website: 
www.ampliodevelopment.com

10 Favorite Things

10. The salty smell of the ocean
9. The reflection of the evergreen trees and hills as seen in Hebgen Lake (Montana)
8. The chirping of crickets and the sight of fireflies on late Virginia nights
7. The sounds of water trickling and falling over rocks and down riverbeds and streams
6. The statistical impossibility and reality that all four of my children inherited confederate blue grey eyes from their grandfather, their only recessive-gened relative
5. The coalescing of two people to form one perfect small human
4. Nature, which turns decay into dirt which grows and harbors life
3. Words strung together to form poetry in motion
2. Ten intertwined fingers linking together to form one whole
1. The transformational power of unconditional love

Q & A with the Author:

When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?

I’ve been a writer my whole life, long before I published a book. As a youth, I scribbled poetry in endless notebooks, wrote stories with heartbreaking endings, and teamed up with friends to throw a twist into every English writing assignment. I love the power of words. When I was in 8th grade, my English teacher had us write about our favorite author. I wrote a letter to the publisher and asked for information on my favorite author of the day, Jack Weyland. A few weeks later, Mr. Weyland called me on the phone! He later followed up and sent a packet of reference material to my home. My favorite author became one of my greatest inspirations. He writes powerful stories, but he also showed me that is he a real person. Today we are Facebook friends and recently he sent me a note of congratulations on my book reaching a #1 spot on Amazon.com. He continues to inspire me!

Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?

Yes, several projects are in the works. I’ve always thought of myself as a nonfiction writer, but I also love storytelling. Current and future projects include both. I am writing a sequel to my memoir, detailing the hard realities of my second life, post brain surgeries. In addition, I’m working on a nonfiction book that shares simple life-changing principles, akin to a modern-day book of parables. One of the projects I am most excited about is a creative narrative based on the real-life experiences of my grandmother, who lived one of the most incredible stories I’ve ever known. I hope to resurrect her strength by telling the lesser-known and humble heroics of her life.

 

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Spring Countdown Blitz – Day 9

 

Save the Last Dance for Me by Cora Lee

 

 

Picture1Mr. Benedict Grey is the only heir to a long-standing title, and he knows his duty: find a suitable girl, get married, secure the succession beyond himself. But if a gentleman could be called a wallflower, Benedict would fit the description perfectly. And for the past six years, he’s been out of Society more than he’s been in it. How will he find a woman to wed and bed when he can barely converse with the ladies of the ton?

Lady Honoria Maitland has promised her dying father that, before he breathes his last, she would find a husband to take care of her. But she wants a gentleman that loves her, not her dowry or her name. When she reunites with her old friend Benedict, she proposes a plan that will help them both: a faux courtship and betrothal. She can teach him how to woo a woman and simultaneously ease her father’s last days. But Honoria’s clever plan failed to account for Benedict’s heart…or her own. Is she strong enough to bear the loss of her father and her friend?

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A graduate of the University of Michigan with a major in history, Cora is the 2014 winner of the Royal Ascot contest for best unpublished Regency romance. She went on a twelve year expedition through the blackboard jungle as a high school math teacher before publishing Save the Last Dance for Me, the first book in the Maitland Maidens series. When she’s not walking Rotten Row at the fashionable hour or attending the entertainments of the Season, you might find her participating in Historical Novel Society events, wading through her towering TBR pile, or eagerly awaiting the next Marvel movie release. If you’d like to find out more about Cora or her books you can visit her website, sign up for her newsletter, or connect with her on Facebook or Goodreads.

 

 
Snippet #1:

“I would marry you, you know.”

She froze. “What?”

“If we were caught together. If I compromised you.” His eyes met hers in the half-light. “And not just because I’m looking for a wife now. I would have then, too.”

He didn’t have to explain when then was. She knew he was thinking of the day her mother died. He never did tell her how he’d gained entry into the house or how he found her bedchamber without disturbing anyone, but he’d managed to do both late that night. He’d sat with her and held her hand as she had talked of her mother, then cradled her against him when she’d wept. Only when she had calmed did either of them realize the potential for an immense scandal his presence caused. And even then he’d stayed with her until she fell asleep.

Her fingers tightened on his sleeve in response. Perhaps some of the old
Benedict still existed after all.

Ready for some Author Q&A?

 

What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

Lately it’s been focus. I was a teacher for a number of years, so a large portion of my adult life was regulated by bell schedules and after school meetings. I have a lot more freedom now, but my brain is used to unstructured time being down time. I have to consciously remind myself that writing time is precious, and that I can scroll through Facebook
posts later 🙂

Which of your personality traits did you write into you characters? (Deliberately or accidentally)

I gave Benedict (Save’s hero) my love of books and reading, though his taste is different than mine (he tends toward academic treatises and I gravitate to good storytelling). He also has a serious aversion to cold weather, which I share. We both returned home to cold winters after living for several years in warmer climates, and neither of us is particularly fond of the change 🙂

 

 

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