Interview – K.K. Weil Author of Some Whisper, Some Shout

Give a warm welcome to K.K. Weil, author of  Some Whisper, Some Shout  to be released on August 16, 2017!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about K.K. and  Reed from Some Whisper, Some Shout.

KK, I see you’ve brought friends with you.  

Yes indeed, this is Reed, a talented musician, the hero and Jolie, the hard-working heroine of Some Whisper, Some Shout.

Wonderful.  Reed, do you mind answering a few questions?

Ask away!

What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you? I would say losing my father had a lasting impression on me. I made a lot of mistakes after he died; mistakes I’ve tried hard to fix. But I’m learning that sometimes doing better isn’t as easy as it sounds.

 What do you most value? I used to think my music was the thing I valued most. Since I started spending time, with Jolie, though, I’ve learned that my music alone isn’t worth a whole lot. She’s more of an inspiration to me than my beloved saxophone ever was by itself. So if I have to think of the thing I most value, I’d have to say it’s having someone who’s perfect for you to share the things you love with.

What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with? I want a woman who looks outside of herself and her needs to help others. Someone who might not realize that the things she sees as weaknesses are actually strengths. Someone who makes my existence better just by being present. In short, Jolie.

What do you consider most important in life? Now? After everything I’ve learned? I’d have to say honesty and accountability.

 What is your biggest secret? Ha, well, I’ve been keeping so many for such a long time, now that everything with Jolie is out in the open, I hope never to have any secrets again.

Your turn  on the hot seat Jolie. LOL

Who are you really? I think I’m someone with only a few desires. For my family to be safe, for the less fortunate to have more and to spend my life with someone who will take care of me while I take care of him in return.

Who were the biggest role models in your life? My grandmother, Mamie, is definitely my biggest role model. She taught me to be strong and confident and to see the best in people. I used to think I had nothing in common with her, but Reed has helped me to see that I’m more like her than I thought.

What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with? If you would have asked me that question a year ago, I would have said, without pause, that dependability and predictability were the most important qualities in a man for me. But there is so much more to life than what I thought before. While those things are still important, I now realize that dependability takes on many shapes, and what you think you need isn’t necessarily what’s best for you. I want a man who will be there for me, unconditionally, to grow with and change with. And I think I’ve found him.

  What kind of man would you never choose? A man who was dishonest down to the core.

What is most important to you in life? First, my family. Second, helping those less fortunate.

What is your biggest fear? That my brother will struggle with mental illness for the rest of his life.

KK, Tell us a little about writing this story. Was it fun or difficult?  Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?

Writing Some Whisper, Some Shout was both a joy and a struggle. I’m a pantser, so while I had a good idea of the premise and where I wanted the story to go, I didn’t know exactly how I was going to get there. There were so many joys – first, creating the main characters…Jolie was easy for me but Reed took more work. Since much of his story has to do with him hiding a secret, I had to figure out a way to let us get to know him without giving too much away. Once I was able to tell Part 2 of the story from his point of view, the pages just flew off the computer. Writing about Jolie’s creperie was so much fun, too. I love the boardwalks on the Jersey Shore and ever since I went to Paris, crepes have been a favorite of mine. Combining the two and coming up with funny names for the crepes was a blast. Third, one of my characters, Mamie, is based off of my own grandmother (though exaggerated). Coming up with lines for her was really a joy. Sometimes I could see my grandmother speaking when I wrote the dialog.

Now the struggle, if I can call it that. Some Whisper, Some Shout revolves around two major issues – mental illness and homelessness. After a lot of research on both topics, it was important to me to portray things correctly. Jolie’s mission in life is to feed the hungry, but she had to make it clear that, while she was friendly with these people, there was no way she could understand the hardships they’ve experienced. I also wanted to be sure to make her a reliable narrator. As someone whose family suffered with mental illness, her perspective on the subject was very important. While these are challenging topics, writing about them makes me love working even more.

Tell us a little about Some Whisper, Some Shout.

Devices. Jolie’s got tons of them. Coping mechanisms that ensure she’s not falling victim to the mental illness that’s taken hold of both her brother and father. Helping the homeless gives Jolie much needed consistency. But when a stranger struts into her Jersey Shore creperie, writing cryptic songs on napkins and then disappearing, her world becomes anything but routine.

Reed can play the soul out of his saxophone, but he’s hiding something. Why else would he reveal so little about himself, or plan one secluded, albeit eccentric, date after another? And what’s in that backpack he carries everywhere? Then again, with her distressed brother missing, an estranged mother returning home, and a feisty grandmother acting weirder than usual, Jolie can’t decipher whether her suspicions are valid or dangerous delusions.

When inexplicable slashings of the homeless occur in her otherwise safe town, Jolie’s devices begin to fail.

Can we have a sneek peek between the pages of Some Whisper, Some Shout

 

“Come here.” Reed took my arm and pulled me toward him. Then he eased my shoulders down so I was sitting in his lap, straddling him. “Tell me.”

“Tell you what?” It was such an obvious stall tactic I would have laughed if I weren’t so sad and embarrassed.

“Jolie.” He watched me and waited for me to speak with that same expression he wore the first time he spoke—as if he already understood me. It made no sense. It was impossible, but it made me want to open up to him in ways I never did with anyone else.

“You must think I’m…”

“Crazy?” He chuckled.

That word. That word that I despised, that struck my last nerve. “No, not crazy.” I stood from his lap, but he was too fast. He held my hips in place until I sat back down on him of my own accord.

“Okay, not crazy,” he said once I was back where he wanted me. “How about stunningly beautiful?” He kissed my lips tenderly.

“I’ll take that one.”

“So do you want to tell me now?”

“I thought you said I didn’t have to,” I said, but, oddly, part of me hoped he’d push.

“You don’t.” He brought his face away from mine and waited for me to lead the conversation. He wouldn’t shy away from the topic. If I didn’t want to talk about it, I’d have to change the subject. For the first time, I wanted to discuss Tristan with someone other than Mamie.

“My brother is sick.” I couldn’t look Reed in the face. Instead, I found a small chocolate stain on his shirt that he must have gotten from one of Mamie’s pastries, and traced over it with my pointer. “He’s got”—I hadn’t spoken the word in so long I didn’t know if it would still fall from my lips—“schizophrenia.”

Reed sighed against my finger. “I’m so sorry, Jolie.”

“He was diagnosed at nineteen as soon as he started exhibiting symptoms. We knew what to watch for because, well, because my father had it too.”

He took my hand and brought my fingers to his lips, holding them there. I fought to keep the tears from my eyes. I’d already broken down once tonight. I didn’t plan on doing it again

Where can we get Some Whisper, Some Shout? Amazon and The Wild Rose Press.

About the Author:

K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is also a teacher. She enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.

It was wonderful having you with us today.  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Some Whisper, Some Shout. I look forward to reading your novel.

 

 


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Addicted to Love By Jennifer Wilck

Give a warm welcome to Jennifer, author of  Addicted to Love, released July 21, 2017!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Jennifer and her characters Dan Rothberg and Hannah Cohen from Addicted to Love.

Hello Dan, glad you could make it todayTells us about the real you—

      What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you? Stiffens, then makes a visible effort to relax. “That would be the death of my wife and my injuries related to that car accident. I got lost for a while there, and didn’t do a very good job of taking care of my daughter. I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since.”

 What do you most value?W Smiles. “My daughter, Tess. She is my compass—everything I do, I do for her and with her in mind.”

      What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with? Grins. “That’s easy. Hannah. She makes me a better person, lightens me up, makes me realize that life doesn’t have to be so grim and so serious. She’s smart and funny and is amazing with Tess, which is quite a feat considering Tess is a teenager. And of course, she’s beautiful.”

What do you consider most important in life? Taps his hand on his cane. “Finding a way to balance what you need and desire in life with what is good for you. Learning not to punish myself forever for one mistake I made. Learning to forgive myself. Sorry, that’s three things, but they’re all related.”

   What is your biggest secret? Takes a deep breath. “I was addicted to pain killers and put Tess’ life in danger.”

Meet Hannah Cohen from Addicted To Love.

Who are you really?

Who were the biggest role models in your life? Leans back in her seat. “Bubbe, my grandma. She was such a huge part of my life growing up—teaching me to cook, letting me talk to her about anything, giving me unconditional love. We share an apartment now and I can’t imagine a day without talking to her.”

What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with?   Blushes. “Dan. I never expected to fall for an older man—he’s older than me by about twelve years—much less one with a teenaged daughter. But there’s something about him that I can’t resist. He listens to me, he’s patient and caring. And oh my gosh, sexy as…I don’t even know what! Have you seen his eyes???”

What kind of man would you never choose? “I can’t say ‘never.’ If you’d asked me a few months ago, I’d say someone like my brother, who’s a drug addict. But months ago, I didn’t know how hard my brother worked to get clean. And months ago, I didn’t know Dan was also an addict. He’s clean now too. In fact, he went so far overboard to get clean on his own, he gave up anything he thought he liked because he was afraid of becoming addicted to it—including me. He’s found balance now, and I’ve realized that you can’t say ‘never’ to anything.”

What is most important to you in life? “Honesty and communication. And second chances.”

What is your biggest fear? “It used to be being around my brother. Now, we’ve fixed our relationship, so I don’t think I have one. I’m happy. And Dan helped me get there.”

 Jennifer, tell us a little about writing this story.  Was it fun or difficult?  Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants? I loved writing this story. I’m always drawn to “tortured” heroes of some sort and Dan was a doozy. He’s got layers and layers to him that were fascinating to peel away. And Hannah was a great counterpoint to him. Bubbe and Tess were so much fun to write—I laughed as I wrote (luckily no one saw me). I’m a pantser, so my characters always manage to surprise me a little bit along the way, and the characters in this book were no exception.

What is Addicted to Love about?

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

 A sneak peek between the pages of Addicted to Love.

“What are we looking at?” She whispered out of the side of her mouth, pursing her lips together and giving him an insane urge to kiss them.

“What?”

“I assumed since we’re standing here you must be looking at something, and I wanted to join in the fun. Or did you not realize we weren’t moving?”

Her nostrils flared and she bit her lip, and Dan realized she was trying not to laugh. Now he really wanted to kiss her, to capture her mouth with his, to make her his own. Before he could act on it, his stomach growled.

“Was that yours or mine?” She looked over at him, eyebrow raised.

His lips twitched. His breath hitched. He couldn’t keep his amusement to himself any longer. It bubbled in his chest and he let it out as he shook his head.

“Okay, while I am older than you, I’m not old enough to be senile. Yet. So yes, I did know we weren’t moving. But thanks for that. And yes, my stomach growled, because I’m hungry. Except I think I need to put eating on hold for a moment, because what I need, more than anything else right now, what I’ve needed all night long in fact, is to kiss you.”

Addicted to Love can be found at:  Barnes & Nobel, Kobo,  Amazon, and The Wild Rose Press.

About the Author:

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. When she’s not writing, she loves to laugh with family and friends, is a pro at finding whatever her kids lost in plain sight, and spends way too much time closing doors that should never have been left open. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and doesn’t share her chocolate.

She writes contemporary romance, some of which are mainstream and some of which involve Jewish characters. All are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Wilck-201342863240160/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWilck

Website: http://www.jenniferwilck.com

Blog: http://jenniferwilck.blogspot.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jenniferwilck/

 

 


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Peggy Jaeger Talks Food & Passion’s Pallette

Give a warm welcome to Peggy Jaeger, author of  Passion’s Palette, fifth book in the MacQuire Women series released today August 4th 2017! Happy release day Peggy!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a homemade Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate and let’s find out a little about Peggy Jaeger and Passion’s Pallett.

Peggy, I’ve read a few of your books.  I love the large noisy families and cooking that seem to be a common theme in most the books I’ve read. Do you like to cook?

Food and family play such major roles in my writing. It doesn’t take endless hours on an analyst’s couch to figure out where those two themes hail from. I am the only child of divorced parents and as a child I was a latchkey kid, a term I don’t think is used any more. It meant I was all alone, on my own, every day after school. My parents worked and my mom couldn’t afford a babysitter after I turned 8. My mother and stepfather didn’t usually arrive home until after 7 each night, so I had to fend for myself if I got hungry. Back then, putting together a seven course meal wasn’t going to happen, so I learned how to open a box of macaroni and cheese and not burn the pot when I made it! A few years down the road I’d elevated to making spaghetti and hand rolled meatballs. In my teens, I started experimenting with sauces. So, you can see this was procession of learning skills. My love of cooking developed and grew as I did.

I hated being an only child (still do!). I always wanted brothers and sisters, people my age living in the same house with me. Siblings I could learn from, maybe even teach something to – like cooking – who’d be there to support and love me. People I had a connection – a DNA connection – to.

Didn’t happen.

Oh, I know exactly how you feel!  I’m an only child too, raised by a single parent.  Wasn’t much fun. Sorry for the interruption, go on.

So, I married a man with a big family and started writing my own romance stories centering around families, their relationships, and their lives. I have to admit, it’s been fun.

I also learned to cook really well. I would never flatter myself and say I’m a “chef” but if I ever find the time, I think I’d like to go to cooking school to better my skill set. Most of what I learned about cooking I learned, first from cookbooks, and recently from cooking shows. God bless the food and cooking channels! And You-Tube! This is just one bookcase in my home that houses some of my 120+ cookbooks. You’ll even see on the very top a cookbook by my favorite author, Nora Roberts.

 

Luckily, I have a husband who can eat anything and is always up for trying a new dish.

In PASSION’S PALETTE, the 5th book in my MacQuire Women series, I tell the story of artist Serena MacQuire and veterinarian Seamus Cleary. This is the second prequel in the series and it goes back a little in time to the beginning of their lifelong love affair. In the book, Serena has come back to her childhood home for a much-needed rest and to start planning a mural she has been commissioned for. Her old nursemaid and housekeeper, Addie O’Malley is worried about Serena. The girl looks so exhausted and she’s way too thin, so Addie makes Serena’s favorite dish, veal piccata. It’s a relatively easy dish to make and it just screams comfort food. Served with mashed sweet potatoes or rice, it’s a delicious meal that feeds the soul. Just the thought of it warms Serena’s heart and gets her taste buds watering. The thought of Seamus Cleary does that, too!

 

Food plays such a big role in my stories because I believe there’s nothing stronger that holds a family together as sitting around a dining room table, sharing a meal…or two…or ten. We all have such busy lives that sometimes we lose touch with those who mean the most to us. Sitting at the table, discussing your day, sharing a meal that’s been made with love and care, is a gift we should give ourselves every day. Every single day.

And here’s my gift to you: Serena’s favorite recipe, Addie O’Malley’s Veal Piccata.

Ingredients:

8 small veal culets, pounded flat

2 eggs, beaten slightly

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup all purpose flour

2 Tablespoons REAL butter ( never margarine!)

½ cup dry Sherry

1 Teaspoon lemon juice – or the juice of one lemon that you squeeze yourself!

2 Tablespoons capers ( you can eliminate these if you don’t like their pungent taste)

1 cup chicken stock

2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt, to your taste

Ground white pepper, to your taste

Method:

  1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish.
  2. In another baking dish, add the beaten eggs.
  3. Dredged the cutlets one at a time first thru the egg mixture, then the flour mixture, coating both sides with flour. The egg makes it stick to the cutlet
  4. Add the oil to a big sauté pan and heat until hot
  5. Cook the cutlets one or two at a time, 2-3 minutes per side until both sides are golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set them aside on an plate. Cover with aluminum foil to heel hot.
  6. For the SAUCE: add the chicken stock, Sherry, lemon juice and capers to the sauté pan and scrape off all the left over cutlet bits from the bottom of the pan into the mix.
  7. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by about a third. Add the butter and mix it into the sauce, then swirl the parsley through out right at the end. Add some salt and white pepper to you taste
  8. Place the cutlets on a large serving dish and pour the sauce over each piece, coating it.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Tell us a about PASSION’S PALETTE

Talented and witty portrait artist Serena MacQuire is successful in everything but love. Her gift for capturing people on canvas is rivaled only by her fiery and legendary temper. A tragedy from the past keeps her heart securely locked away, preventing any man from getting close enough to claim it.

But Seamus Cleary isn’t just any man. After he left his professional football career to become a veterinarian, his bitter wife ended their marriage. Now, as he starts his life over in a new town, love is the last thing he’s looking for. The more he tends to Serena’s horses, though, the more he realizes her own heart needs tender care and healing as well.

Will he be the man who finally unlocks and claims her heart?

How about a sneak peek between the pages of Passion’s Palette?

With a hip resting against the tabletop, he browsed through her paints and brushes, lifting one color pot, then another. “So. You’re an artist.”

She nodded.

“What do you paint?”

As he opened and closed the pots, Serena observed his hands, silently assessing the length and width of his fingers. Her mind registered the dexterous movements of each action, the deliberate, studied way his hands performed each task.

“Portraits, mostly.”

His eyebrows rose. “This is pretty big equipment for a portrait. Where do your pictures hang? In castles?”

“Three do,” she told him, charmed when his neck reddened. “But this stuff is for a mural I’ve been commissioned to do for a hospital.”

His eyebrows lifted. “Impressive. You must be good.”

Allowing a smidgeon of playfulness to creep into her voice, Serena gave him a shrug that rivaled his own and repeated his words back to him. “Better than some. Not as good as others.”

He returned her smile with one of his own.

Serena’s heart giddyapped.

Buy Links

 

More about the Author:

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s.

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader’s Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

Website/Blog: http://peggyjaeger.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peggy_jaeger

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Peggy-Jaeger-Author/825914814095072?ref=bookmarks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/peggyjaeger/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13478796.Peggy_Jaeger

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/

I can’t tell you how many times I wondered while reading your books, if you were really from a big family. You answered so many of my questions, so glad you stopped in. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Passion’s Palette.

 


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Interview – Nancy Northcott, Author of Warrior!

Give a warm welcome to Nancy Northcott, author of  Warrior (The Light Mage Wars Book 2)!

Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Nancy and  Warrior.

Why do you write what you write?  Ie. Contemporary, paranormal,  suspense, etc.

I write what I like to read.  I’m a very eclectic reader, so I tend to be an eclectic writer.  I loved comic books and fairy tales when I was growing up, so writing mages is a natural for me.  Though the magic functions one way in my paranormal romances and another in my historical fantasies, the characters in both genres have magical abilities that function kind of like superpowers.

The mysteries I loved growing up—I was a serious fan of Nancy Drew—and the thrillers I gravitated to as an adult funneled me toward romantic suspense.

(Tena here) Ohh… I loved Nancy Drew.  I still have that whole collection.  Back to Warrior, what inspired this particular story?

I’ve always been interested in archaeology, and it seemed a natural fit for my geek hero, Will.  He has a couple of black belts, an encyclopedic brain, and a serious love of all things related to science fiction, fantasy, or comics.

His heroine, Audra, is part Cherokee.  I come from North Carolina, where the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation resides, so Audra seemed a natural way to expand the cultural range of my characters.

Do you see yourself in your characters?

Not exactly, though there’s a little of me in all of them. I’m into science fiction, fantasy, and comics, as Will is, and I took martial arts. I would never be an archaeologist, though, because, hey, bones. I don’t even like handling bones in meat, so actual people bones are something I’d rather avoid. And let’s don’t even think about mummies!

Audra is quiet, as I tend to be, in new surroundings, but she’s a geek girl at heart. As a result, she and Will are surprised to discover some common interests.

The hero and heroine of the next Light Mage Wars book, Nemesis, which I’m writing now, are not geeks but builders.  They met in the Seabees, the US Navy’s construction arm. My parents met while they were both in the Navy, though not in the Seabees.  But my dad liked to build things, and I enjoyed helping him.

What do you want your readers to take away from your books?

I want them to have a good time, to feel immersed and relate to the characters because that’s how I like to feel when I read.  When they get to the end, I want them to feel satisfied.

Tell us about Warrior.

A Woman Tormented by Darkness

Archaeologist Audra Grayson is finding out-of-place relics that could torpedo her already shaky career.  Now brilliant, sexy consultant Will Davis is sent to take over.  Worse, working on the site strengthens the evil shadow that nearly ruined her before, and she fears he not only suspects her of fraud but thinks she’s crazy–unfit for the job.

A Mage Who Must Oppose it At All Costs

Will magically senses the darkness in Audra when they meet, and he vows to ignore their growing attraction.  When deadly ghouls target her project, Will realizes they want the odd relics to open a portal for demons from the Void between worlds, making everything on Earth an endangered species.

The Fate of the World at Stake

With ghoul attacks escalating and mage traitors in league with the enemy, time is running out for Will to stop the portal from opening. The chemistry between him and Audra threatens to combust, but the darkness within her may give the enemy its chance.  If she’s its victim, he must free her.  If she’s its ally, he must destroy the love of his life.

A peek between the pages of Warrior:

Audra’s slow, answering smile hit him like a kick in the chest. Her eyes brightened, and the corners of her full, lush mouth curved upward.

Will wrenched his gaze away, to the thickets of loblolly bay and saw palmetto around them. “When we get back to the dock and have cell service, I’ll call from there and make the arrangements.”

“Thank you.” Walking slightly ahead of him, she rounded the burial mound. And froze.

“Will,” she said in a strangled voice.

On reflex, he stepped in front of her. The trenches should’ve been covered, but they were open, bare to the elements, and gouges revealed hasty digging along the sides. The tools they’d left in the tent were strewn over the site, as were broken bits of pottery and stone fragments.

The grid was destroyed, sandy soil jumbled into heaps in the trench. Rage bubbled into Will’s chest. He opened his senses wide, sending his magic outward to seek the intruder.

No one but the team seemed to be there. Good.

The students swore. Audra simply gaped, her face ashen. Stricken. She looked as though this were one blow too many.

Will jammed his fists in his pockets to keep from putting an arm around her.

The chaotic digging, the scattering of tools, was typical of ghouls. His extended senses caught a faint, barely discernible trace of magic.

Ghoul magic.

The trace was so faint that they must’ve left here hours ago, so at least there wasn’t that menace to worry about. Nor did he pick up any remnant of mage power that would imply the traitor’s presence here. Though that might’ve faded altogether.

Tears welled in Libby’s eyes, and Joe and Kevin wore matching scowls.

“Amateurs,” Will said coolly. “Can’t trust ‘em for shit.”

Everyone stared at him.

“Whoever did this,” he told them, “was either untrained or in too much of a hurry to take care. Or maybe just a stupid vandal. Whichever, we have to deal with it. Kevin, you got the camera?”

When the young man nodded, Will said, “Take photos of everything from every angle but don’t move anything until that’s done.”

“Why would anyone do this?” Libby asked. She looked dazed.

Despite Audra’s distress, she reached out to squeeze the young woman’s shoulder.

“People are always ready to sell artifacts,” Audra noted quietly. “Whether they have the right to them or not.”

“Yeah, well, some people are scumbags,” Joe said.

Will responded, “Can’t argue with that. But let’s get busy. Joe, take Libby and check the tent. Call out if you find anything. I’ll be right behind you.”

As the students started on their tasks, Will pulled Audra aside. “Any ideas what’s going on?” he asked quietly.

She shook her head. “This is a site like so many others around the country, except this one happens to be here. I don’t get this, Will. I have no clue.”

He wasn’t as good as some at reading Mundane moods, but her distress seemed sincere. Yet he could sense the darkness amping up around her. In contrast to her shock and dismay, the vibe he picked up was almost gleeful.

Emotions played over her face–shock giving way to grief, then anger, and finally settling into what looked like grim, hopeless determination, and he crossed his arms to keep from touching her. This urge to comfort a woman he barely knew, a woman with dark magic around her, was beyond stupid.

Audra crouched to pick up a broken potsherd.

Cursing silently, he noticed her strong, graceful hands as she gently brushed dirt aside. He’d seen enough yesterday to know her hands were capable in the field. Were they as capable in bed?

Shit. He was never going to know that. Shouldn’t wonder about it. Hooking up with her was not part of his plan, and she was not his wounded sparrow to tend. He couldn’t afford that kind of attachment–to her or to any woman.

If she was a pawn of the darkness around her, he needed a clear head to cut her free of it. If she proved to be in league with it, though, if she posed any threat to her students, he would have to destroy her.

You can find Warrior on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and ibooks.

About the author:

Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman.  Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy, history, and romance. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the magic, romance and high stakes she loves in the books she writes.

Reviewers have described her books as melding fantasy, romance, and suspense. Library Journal gave her debut novel, Renegade, a starred review, calling it “genre fiction at its best.”

Nancy’s Social Media links;

www.nancynorthcott.com

Twitter: @NancyNorthcott

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/nancynorthcottauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3468806.Nancy_Northcott

Thanks for having me today, Tena!

My pleasure Nancy!  Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Warrior!


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