Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Scottish Vampire Myth by Karen Michelle Nutt @KMNbooks #giveaway @RebeccaJVickery

The Myth

The Baobhan Sith, (pronounced baa’-van shee), are Scottish blood-sucking female fairies betrayed in Scottish mythology. She’s usually a beautiful seductress and like the faeries, the Baobhan Sith uses her feminine allure to entice night travelers to follow her to a secluded area so not to be disturbed. She has very sharp talons to puncture the neck so she can suck the blood from her victims, but there are other tales where she’s able to suck the soul or life force from the men she attacks. There is another myth where the Baobhan Sith can steal the sexual potency from her victims.

Like the vampire legends of old, the Baobahn Sith can’t tolerate the sun.
In my story, Soul Taker, I have taken creative license with the Boabhan Sith (Scottish vampire) myth incorporating my own twist to the story.

My character, Garran MacLaurin is a Grim Sith in my tale. His transformation took place following the battle of Culloden where his cousin Alexander betrayed him and his men by leading them into an ambush. Fallon, his maker, was the first Baobhan Sith to create what is now called the Grim Sith sept, the male species of this vampire clan.

Excerpt from SOUL TAKER of Garran’s transformation:

The demon then dragged him back by his arms, not caring how the rocks and bramble sliced through his skin on the way. The minion threw him at the she-devil's feet.
She grabbed him by the hair, forcing him to look up at her as she bared his throat. With her fingernail, she caressed his exposed flesh.
"What are ye?" Garran rasped out, but for the moment, she ignored his question.
"Ye are a strong one, my pet. Ye are afraid. I can smell it, but I know ye will fight me to yer last breath. I like that. It excites me." She closed her eyes and moaned in pleasure, a sound Garran only heard when coupling. Yet this woman could conjure ecstasy from a scent. Her eyes snapped open and her light soulless eyes stared at him. "Ye want to know what I am? I am a Bobhan Sith or as some humans call us, Vampyre."
His eyes widen in disbelief. He knew of the legends and the warnings his father gave him. "Nay." He shook his head. "It is no' possible. The Bobhan Sith is a monster for stories to scare the young lads from wanderin' too far from the keep."
Her wicked laughter made his skin crawl. "So, ye have heard of my kind?"
"I will no' submit to ye."
"Oh, but the beauty of it is, ye will." Her hand held him still, her strength that of ten warriors. She took his throat, piercing through the flesh. He beat at her, trying to pry her loose, but it was as if she were made of steel. He could feel his life ebbing away. Pain and a sick feeling of euphoria overpowered him as he listened to her slurp. His hand fell away, paralyzed. He was dying and with death, she would bring him back as a monster like her. He prayed she would drain him dry, so his soul would be released.
He closed his eyes, trying to shut out the sound of gulping. Would it never end? Then, he realized in horror it was he who drank greedily.

About the Book Soul Taker:

No soul is safe…

A vampire from the Grim Sith sept is sucking the souls out of young women from the Boston area, but this sinister crime is far worse than a vampire seeking substance. He’s selling the souls to the highest bidder and it seems business is booming.

A vampire, a werewolf, and a Necromancer are a most unlikely team, but Garran, Harrison, and Isabella plan on putting a kink in the dubbed Soul Taker’s plans. It’s personal now. One of their friends has fallen victim to the Soul Taker’s charms, but to stop him from hurting anyone else, their efforts may involve raising the dead.

About the Author:
Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband, three fascinating children, and houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.
When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”. You can also check out her published cover art designs at Western Trail Blazer and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing.
Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

***Giveaway****: 5 Audiobook Giveaway of Soul Taker. 5 winners! Good Luck!

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Soul Taker Audio Book Giveaway! Stop by each of the blogs for more interesting tidbits about Vampires, Werewolves, and Necromancers. Each day you tweet and leave a comment, you’re entered for another chance to win. 

July 18-25 Soul Taker Audiobook Giveaway!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Could the daughters of Downton Abbey cope?

Imagine the daughters of Downton Abbey losing their home, their parents, their wealth, their status, their friends.
This is what happens to the characters in my historical novel, Kitty McKenzie.
Kitty has lost everything, and as the eldest daughter, she has to now provide and care for her younger siblings, a task she has no experience or knowledge of how to do. From a life of privilege she is faced with all kinds of adversities to overcome.
How will she manage to cope with these new challenges when the only decisions she used to make was what dress she needed to wear and what book to read after dinner?
How was she to create a home for them all, and an income?
She never realised that buried deep inside her was an inner strength that would come to the fore and allow her to manage, even prosper, in an alien world of the working class.

Could Mary or Edith from Downton Abbey have coped so well? I'd like to think they would.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Seduction In The Shed & A 77p Book Sale

My novel How Do You Spell Love? is on sale today with the book available for just 77p on Amazon.

It's a contemporary romance with a twist - there's a spot of magic in the air and it's looking as though a love spell may have gone horribly wrong...

Here's a short extract, taken from a scene between Summer and Tom, in the shed on her Yorkshire allotment....

“So, how was your weekend with your parents?” Tom asked as he settled into a deckchair, looking every bit at home in her allotment shed. Even in a suit.
“It was good,” replied Summer, her back to him as she filled the little kettle from the bottle of mineral water she’d brought with her, searching for matches to light the small bottled gas stove. Now they were both here, alone within the cramped confines of the shed, she felt awkward.
She jumped and tried to turn to face him. It was then that she realised he was close. Very close. Standing right behind her in fact.
“Summer,” he repeated.
“Yes,” she just managed to utter.
“Is there anything between us?” For a few seconds he was silent and Summer held her breath. “Or at least the potential for something between us?”
So. The moment of truth. Summer could ignore the fact no more.
Her back still to him, she replied, “Yes, there’s something.” 
Would now be a good time to admit about Rob leaving? But Tom was still with Lucy, wasn’t he? If she admitted she was no longer in a relationship but he still was…
Before she could say anything else she felt his arms slip slowly around her waist, she felt him lean in close, a gentle kiss on her neck. Part of her screeched that this wasn’t right – she’d only just split from Rob and hadn’t, for want of a better phrase, yet achieved closure on their relationship. She wasn’t even sure how she felt about him leaving yet. Was she upset? Relieved? A bit of both perhaps?
Tom kissed her again, this time on the opposite side of her neck. The goodie-goodie voice in her head continued to shout, this is wrong, this is wrong. He’s involved. It’s too soon.
She chose to ignore the voice and turned in his arms, meeting his lips, kissing them hungrily. After a few moments he led her across to one of the chairs and gently pulled her down onto his lap.
 “There’s something you should know,” Tom said quietly.

About the book:

How Do You Spell Love?

Kat can’t help wishing there was more to life than this. What happened to her dream job? What happened with Nathan?

Summer is wondering where her life is going too… battling the developers of a controversial housing estate and working out why boyfriend Rob is increasingly distant.

When the developers win the battle and move into town everyone’s life is turned upside down.

Kat meets building site project manager Alex. She enjoys his company far too much, even though he’s on the town’s most hated list.

Summer meets Tom who has plenty of relationship troubles of his own, so things could get really complicated.

Soon everyone is keeping secrets, lives change and hearts are broken. Is everything falling apart, or does life just work in mysterious ways…

Sunday, 22 June 2014

H is for Historical Fiction - favourites

The following list is of historical fiction chosen at random from my bookshelves. Each of them have one thing in common – in future, I will read them again.


It would be interesting to know if anyone else treasures a book on my list.


Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

Sara Dane by Catherine Cookson

Sharpe (series) Bernard Cornwell

The Red Kimono by Christina Courtenay

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Nightingale Sisters by Donna Douglas

Call Nurse Mille by Jean Fullerton

Angelique (series) by Sergeanne Golon

A Bargain Struck by Liz Harris

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer

An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

The Far Pavillions by M.M.Kay

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullogh

Gwenevere by Rosalind Miles

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

The River Road by Frances Parkinson Keyes

Vail d’Alvery by Frances Parkinson Keyes

Katherine by Anya Seton

No Angel by Penny Vincenzi

All the best,

Rosemary Morris




Guest Blogger at Romancing the Pen

Today I am Angela Kay Austin's guest at: http://www.com/romancing-the-pen.

I hope you enjoy it,

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Guest blog: Elise Cyr - Writing Medieval Romance: A Debut Author’s Perspective

I didn’t realize just how much I didn’t know when I first started writing my medieval romance Siege of the Heart. I came at it in a roundabout way: the origins of the book were distinctly fantasy but I found the worldbuilding too overwhelming. Better to fit my story events into a historical time period—a readymade framework to build my book around.

My heroine Isabel was no damsel in distress, my hero definitely a knight, and I wanted a period in history full of drama and upheaval. I settled on the Norman Conquest of England.

I found researching the time period particularly difficult because of its transitional nature. I focused my efforts on the late Anglo-Saxons and the post-Conquest era, and often had to make inferences on what happened in between. To compound things, since history is often rewritten by the victor, it was sometimes difficult to take the accounts of the Norman Conquest at face value. I’m a history enthusiast, not a trained historian, so I often found myself swamped by facts, but unable to find the ones I needed to serve the story.

In some cases, I just needed to do some more digging. But in others, I came to realize the information I was looking for simply didn’t exist. At first, those gaps in my research scared me. How could I write about something I did not definitively “know”? But at some point along the way, I stopped seeing the gaps as obstacles and started seeing them as opportunities to make my story as uniquely mine as possible.

That’s why I’ve come to love the medieval time period so much. Despite the difficulty in researching this part of history—with so much of the historical record lost to the passage of time or skewed to certain subsets of society—writers have a lot of latitude in bringing their stories to life by navigating that line between historical fact and fiction. At the Romantic Times convention this year, author Sarah Zettel said (paraphrasing) it’s the constraints that make writing fun. She was talking about the science in science fiction, but the history in historical romance works the same way. 

Writing Siege of the Heart, I learned a tremendous amount, about the time period and about myself. I hope everyone enjoys the manner in which I was able to bring the historical setting and my characters to life.

About Siege of the Heart:

He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.

Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.

For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.

Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?

CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.

December 1066
Northern Gloucestershire, England

At least she now knew the truth.
It was little comfort though, as Isabel Dumont watched the messenger ride out of the bailey. She let out a breath, a feathery cloud on the cold air. The messenger had declined her offer of hospitality, and she did not ask him to reconsider. Instead, she had seen to it his horse was watered and had pressed a gold piece into his palm to ensure his silence.
Snow had threatened all morning. Now it fell around her in fat flakes, but she did not move. She did not think she could. Her limbs felt heavy, almost waterlogged. Like the time Julien had knocked her headfirst into the river in a moment’s foolishness. And then pulled her back to shore.
That had been ages ago. Her brother’s message now had the same effect, leaving her winded and frozen in place.
Captain Thomas, who handled the training of Father’s men-at-arms, stamped his feet beside her. “My lady, if you wish it, I will make the announcement—”
“No!” The word ripped through her chest and rang in her ears. “No. You will say nothing. To anyone.”
His eyes widened. “But this cannot be kept secret.”
His disapproving tone cut through the numbness that suddenly filled her. She twisted away from him and looked out past the gates. The graying countryside swallowed all sign of the messenger. If only his words were as easy to erase.
“Your father—” Captain Thomas began.
She balled her hands into fists. “Do not say it,” she whispered.
Captain Thomas shook his head. “I must. Your father is not coming home. I know it was not the news you hoped for, but Julien’s message…”
He lifted a hand toward her shoulder, and she gave him a sharp look. He stopped mid-motion, his fingers dangling awkwardly, before resting his hand on his belt. She turned on her heel.
Captain Thomas hastened after her. “Wait!”
She wrapped her woolen mantle more securely around herself. She would not discuss it further. She could not. Not when she could scarcely think.
“My lady, please—”
She slipped her hand to the hilt of her sword—one of her father’s cast-offs—and the brush of the leather-wrapped handle against her palm made it easier to rein in her breathing. “You said there were reports of the Welsh attacking tenant farms to the west?”
“Yes. I was going to have Kendrick and some of the other men scout the area, but—”
“Good. I will join them. Tell the men to make ready.”
Captain Thomas’s mouth tightened. For a moment she thought he would disobey her, but he slowly turned toward the castle to do as she bade. Lord Bernard Dumont, thane to the king, had fallen. Now it fell to her to ensure the safety of the Dumont lands. Captain Thomas, of all people, should know what that meant.

About Elise Cyr:

Elise has always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. She writes primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.

She lives in New Mexico with her husband and the sweetest dog ever. When she’s not writing, she hikes, bikes, cooks, and (of course) reads. Siege of the Heart is her debut medieval romance. You can follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out  her blog.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Historical Novel Society's Review of Far Beyond Rubies

FAR BEYOND RUBIES published by MuseItUp Publishing has been reviewed in the Historical Novel Society's magazine "Historical Novels Review."

"Inside Riverside House in England in 1706 the seventh baron, William Kemp is heard shouting at his 18-year old attractive half-sister: "Bastards, Juliana! You and your sister are bastards." He plans to banish them from Riverside. William has not only inherited the title but is claiming the estate as well. Juliana knows that under her grandpere's will she was the rightful heir. Juliana has to prove her legitimacy and her claim.

Juliana and her sister flee Riverside to seek legal counsel in London. With William in pursuit, Juliana meets a suave gentleman named Gervaise. He has recently returned from India, having amassed a fortune and a dark complexion to boot. He offers to help Juliana in her quest as he is immediately besotted by her, for she reminds him of his late Indian wife. His proposal leads to more than a helping hand.

Rosemary Morris has penned a magnificent historical romance with superb, intimate descriptions and politico-religious conflicts of the era which immerse us into an elite society. The inclusion of snippets about Indian customs, religion and cuisine give the story a unique flavour. While the ending is predictable, the plot twists in Juliana's and Gervaise's quest and the evocative narration of the sexual tension between them keeps us turning the pages. Highly recommended.

Waheed Rabbani

(Far Beyond Rubies is available as a paper book and an e-book from the publisher, Amazon and elsewhere.)