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Thursday, July 31, 2014

My newest feature is Throwback Thursday, where I showcase the very first book or story ever written by some talented authors.  Today I'm happy to have Margaret L. Carter, author of Legacy of Magic. She's here to share a throwback to her very first work.

Throwback Thursday with Margaret L. Carter

I owe my first fiction publication to the great science fiction writer and editor Marion Zimmer Bradley, creator of the planet Darkover and author of MISTS OF AVALON. She edited numerous volumes of Darkover stories as well as an anthology series called “Sword and Sorceress.” My story “Her Own Blood” in FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER (1985), one of MZB’s earliest anthologies, wasn’t the first thing I’d ever had published. Previously, in the early 1970s, I’d edited two paperback horror anthologies (CURSE OF THE UNDEAD and DEMON LOVERS AND STRANGE SEDUCTIONS) and had a nonfiction book, SHADOW OF A SHADE: A SURVEY OF VAMPIRISM IN LITERATURE, released by an obscure small press. “Her Own Blood,” however, was my first professionally published fiction at any length. 

My experience in getting this story written and accepted involved a large measure of luck (or maybe Providence). When MZB sent out the call for submissions for FREE AMAZONS OF DARKOVER, her letter to me had the wrong ZIP code on the envelope. Somehow it took the Post Office about two months to reroute the letter to the capital of Maryland (which shouldn’t have been that hard to find, one would think!). By the time I received the letter, which came as a total surprise, the deadline was only a few weeks away. Nevertheless, I was so excited at being included in the call for submissions that I felt I had to whip up something, no matter how remote my chances of acceptance.

Since I’ve always been fascinated by the Ugly Duckling archetype—the character suffering from what looks like a handicap that turns out to be a gift—I decided to write about a girl who learns the truth of her birth as the nedestra (illegitimate) daughter of the local lord. As a result, she has inherited a laran (psychic gift) that makes her terribly sensitive to the pain of any nearby living creature. When she discovers this apparent curse gives her a latent talent for healing, she decides to join the Free Amazons rather than live in luxury in the lord’s household—thus tying the plot into the theme of the anthology. I was astonished as well as thrilled when MZB accepted this story, the first of many she bought from me.

Thanks to the Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Works Trust, you can buy “Her Own Blood” (as well as dozens of other stories from the anthologies, by many different authors) as a stand-alone e-book:

My husband, Leslie Roy Carter, and I had one collaborative story in another Darkover anthology, TOWERS OF DARKOVER. Together we’ve had a fantasy trilogy published, of which he is the primary author. In 2013 a prequel to the trilogy, LEGACY OF MAGIC, was released, which can be read on its own. Unlike most of the people in her country, Merina doesn’t admire sorcerers and want to become one. She detests magic because she thinks it ruined her mother’s life. When Merina’s fiancĂ© announces his plan to get trained as a healer sorcerer, her world turns upside down:

About the Author

Margaret L. Carter specializes in vampires, having been marked for life by reading DRACULA at the age of twelve. Her vampire novel DARK CHANGELING won an Eppie Award in the horror category in 2000. Other creatures she writes about include werewolves, dragons, ghosts, and Lovecraftian entities with tentacles. In addition to her horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance fiction, she has had several nonfiction books and articles published on the supernatural in literature. With her husband, retired Navy Captain Leslie Roy Carter, she has collaborated on a sword-and-sorcery trilogy, beginning with WILD SORCERESS. Her recent works include LEGACY OF MAGIC (a prequel to the trilogy), PASSION IN THE BLOOD (a vampire romance), “Bear Hugs” (an erotic romance shapeshifter novella), and SEALING THE DARK PORTAL (a paranormal romance with Lovecraftian elements). Explore love among the monsters at her website, Carter's Crypt:

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Today I'm happy to have Beverly Ovalle, who's stopping by during her blog tour to share her latest book, Touched by the Sandman, as well as to tell us her top ten writing tips, several of which should all be #1 IMHO! And be sure to enter her Rafflecopter giveaway (see the box at the bottom.)

Top Ten Writing Tips
by Beverly Ovalle

Let’s see, top ten writing tips.

1. If I won’t read it, I won’t write it. Okay, I will but that section will never make it to the publisher. I tend to write what I like to read and if my writing doesn’t interest me, why should it interest anyone else?

2. Double check! Kind of like double tap from Zombieland. Once is never enough. I reread my manuscripts about four times before I send in the final draft. I always find something to correct. Bad spelling and bad grammar drive me crazy. I don’t want to see it in one of my books.

3. Even if you are a total pantser like me, make sure your storyline doesn’t contradict itself.

4. ALWAYS make sure your hero and heroine’s names are correct. I once read a book where in the last chapter the hero’s name was different. ARRRRG!

5. Make sure the sex scenes can be followed. I admit I have one that I think I even confused myself. I rewrote the one scene like five times and had it checked by four people to make sure it worked. Sadly, on occasion it still causes confusion. Maybe if it had been an orgy…

6. Always have your writing space prepped. Procrastination is NOT my friend. I need my water and coffee, snacks (anything that won’t leave marks or crumbs on my keyboard!) and a box of tissues handy (allergies). My chair has to be comfortable and the curtains pulled to just the right spot. 


8. Make sure no one is home while writing. I tend to repeat what I write out loud. My husband has enough ideas without me giving him more!

9. Do my research before I start to write. Procrastination is NOT my friend. Research often leads to interesting but off topic information. Like Pinterest. I LOVE Pinterest. Come join me.

10. Write, don’t edit and just write. Separate editing sessions from your writing sessions or you’ll never get any decent amount of writing done.

Touched by the Sandman
By Beverly Ovalle

~A lonely woman's torrid sexual dreams and fantasy partner await her as a dominant reality in another dimension~
The sandman visits those that need him, assisting them to sleep. Until one night he meets a woman that he cannot help but return to time after time.
She is lonely. He comes to her as she drifts off to sleep, the man of her dreams. Awake or asleep, which is her reality?
He knows she is the one meant for him. He will find a way to make both of their dreams come true.

About the author
Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband Edmond of 24 years and two Chinese Water Dragons. Having her own Dragons is expected as she is dragon crazy and anyone that walks in her house can tell. Her son Nicholas visits when he is on leave from the Marines.  Her daughter Susannah visits from time to time to make sure us ‘old’ folks are alive and kicking.

Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

Beverly has been reading romances since her Aunt introduced her to the gothic romance in the fourth grade and is still reading every chance she gets. 

Connect with Beverly:
Amazon Author Page – 
Website/Blog –
Facebook –
Twitter –
Google+ - 
Pinterest –
Tumblr –
Blog –
Yahoo –
Goodreads – 
LinkedIn –
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5 book Lunchbox Romance subscription from Boroughs Publishing Group

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It's Too Yummy Tuesday!

On select Tuesdays I share delicious recipes either inspired by my books or that are just plain delicious! Today I'm happy to welcome back special guest Stacy Juba, author of  a romantic suspense mystery titled Twenty-Five Years Ago Today. She's here to share a recipe with chocolate in it! Enough said. Take it away, Stacy!


I love this recipe because it is super easy, looks impressive, and best of all, because it contains chocolate and nuts, two of my favorite ingredients!  The heroines of my mystery/romantic suspense novels, aspiring reporter Kris Langley from Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and personal trainer Cassidy Novak from Sink or Swim, would love this nut bark also as like their creator, they adore chocolate. 

And when I say it's easy, I'm not kidding. The recipe has just three ingredients. It's a great dessert to prepare for a holiday or a family gathering if you don't have a lot of time, but want to make something tasty. 

You'll need: 
Wax paper
12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sliced or chopped almonds

Lay wax paper on a cookie sheet. Also loosely cover a bowl with wax paper and melt chocolate chips in microwave for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds. (Check it in 1 and a half minutes as the timing can vary by microwave.) When done, the chips will still be slightly in their form, but when you stir them, they will become creamy.

Add nuts separately then stir again until the nuts are mixed into the chocolate. Clump the mixture onto wax paper on cookie sheet and flatten with rubber spatula. You want it to be fairly thin.

Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Pull chocolate away from the wax paper. Break into pieces and keep in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. 

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
by Stacy Juba
Should we dig for the truth when Pandora's Box is a coffin of buried secrets? For twenty-five years, Diana Ferguson's killer has gotten away with murder. When rookie obit writer and newsroom editorial assistant Kris Langley investigates the cold case of the artistic young cocktail waitress who was obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology, not only does she fall in love with Diana's sexy nephew, but she must also fight to stay off the obituary page herself. A unique blend of literary mystery, cozy mystery, and romantic suspense. Get in on the secret - join thousands of readers in discovering who killed Diana Ferguson.

Barnes & Noble:

About the Author
Stacy Juba loves to write stories about Characters at a Crossroads: individuals who are finding themselves and getting on the right life path after overcoming obstacles. Her goals are to entertain readers of all ages as well as inspire them. She has made numerous bestseller lists including GalleyCat’s Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and GalleyCat’s Mystery and Thriller Bestsellers. Stacy has written about reality TV contestants targeted by a killer, an obit writer investigating a cold case, teen psychics who control minds, twin high school hockey stars battling on the ice, and teddy bears learning to raise the U.S. flag. She has had a book ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Browse her website for more information on her mystery, romance, and contemporary fiction books for adults, teens, and children, guest author features and resources on how to build your own “character,” and for her book/product reviews and advocacy relating to Type 1 Diabetes.


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Blog Archive


6/3 Coming Soon-new blog feature! Throwback Thursdays with a twist--talented authors go back in time to share anecdotes and peeks at the very first book/story they ever wrote! Stay tuned.

6/2 Hot Shorts Amazon redux: My Secret Escort Lover, Vol 4 of the Secret Lover series, is now available exclusively on Amazon.


Upcoming Guests:

Angela Smith 7/15
JC Conway 7/17
Ayla Ruse 7/22
Andrea Cooper 7/24
Stacy Juba 7/29
Beverly Ovalle 7/30
Margaret L Carter 7/31
Jessie Clever 8/7
Ayla Ruse 8/12
Clare Dugin 8/14
Margo Bond Collins 8/15
Mardi Maxwell 8/19
Alisa Anderson 8/21
Jana Richards 8/26
Julie Shelton 8/28
Mardi Maxwell 8/29
Richard Brawer 9/18

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