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Archive for March, 2019

Stranded With Ella – A tale of a ghost, a landslide, and pink hair…

Stranded with Ella by Shelley Munro

 

Stranded With Ella, book 4 in the Military Men series is out today!

 

Why should you read this book?

It has a quirky heroine with pink hair.

It has a grumpy alpha soldier hero.

There’s a ghost.

It’s set in New Zealand.

There is danger.

Romance and spicy love scenes.

A happy-ever-after ending.

Grab your copy at your favorite online book retailer.

Chilling Out With The Hippopotamus

Hippo under water

I snapped this underwater shot of a hippo and loads of little fish at the San Diego Zoo earlier this year. He was standing on the bottom of his pool and every few minutes, he’d lift his nose to take a breath of air. We watched him for a long time.

While this hippo is in captivity, we’ve also been lucky enough to see hippos in Africa. Here is a link to a prior post about hippos that includes photos and facts about the animals.

If you’re a romance reader, think about checking out Hinekiri, the second book in the Alien Encounter series. Hinekiri and Richard, accompanied by Killer, the talking dog, visit Africa to check out the animals and the migration of the wildebeest.

Cover Reveal: Stranded with Ella, Military Men #4

At long last—a new addition to the Military Men series.

The Military Men series features three NZSAS soldiers who met during training and became close friends. There is love, adventure and a good dose of humor in the first three books. The heroes are all military men and their heroines are equally strong with a side of sassy determination.

I’m really excited to show you the latest cover in the Military Men series. Stranded with Ella features Dillon Williams (Summer’s brother) and Ella Liddington-Walsh, a woman with pink hair and a love of vintage clothing.

And NEWSFLASH, there’s a giveaway to celebrate my cover reveal. Scroll down for details!

STRANDED WITH ELLA

Military Men, #4

Release Date 20 March 2019

Stranded with Ella by Shelley Munro

Here’s an excerpt from INNOCENT NEXT DOOR that introduces Dillon and his brother to the reader. Note: There are a few F-Bombs in this particular excerpt.

“Summer!” a masculine voice hollered. The angry sound echoed and bounced off the walls in a too-familiar manner.

“Oh, no,” Summer muttered. Somehow, she didn’t think closing her eyes and pretending she was asleep would solve this one.

Nikolai slithered from the bed and pulled an ugly-looking gun from under the bed.

“Don’t go. Did you lock the bedroom door?”

“No.”

“Summer!” The second voice sounded a shade deeper but just as angry.

“Shit, there’s two of them,” Nikolai said, and he grabbed his jeans and yanked them on.

“Unfortunately.”

Nikolai cast her a strange look, but the thump of heavy boots outside the bedroom forestalled his questions.

“Don’t come in!” Summer shrieked. “I don’t have any clothes—”

The door burst open and crashed against the bedroom wall. Two huge men paused at the threshold, and the four of them stared at each other with varying reactions.

“Fuck,” Nikolai said in a fierce undertone.

Summer nodded.

Yep, this was a situation that called for a stronger word than “shit”.

She tugged the covers up to her chin and considered crawling right underneath to hide. She thought about it for all of two seconds and cast away the cowardly idea. Someone needed to referee. She was the lone candidate.

“What the hell are you doing?” Dillon, her oldest brother, roared. He balanced lightly on his toes, his biceps bulging beneath his T-shirt. His dark hair stuck up, appearing as ruffled as his temper.

Josh, her other brother, folded his arms across his broad chest. He didn’t smirk but the glint in his baby-blue eyes said he wanted to. “Oh, it’s obvious what they’ve been doing,” he drawled, confirming her supposition. The louse thought this was funny.

“Tarei.” A pulse throbbed at Dillon’s temple, and he looked as if he wanted to haul Nikolai from the room and beat him to a pulp. “Jake said Summer was here. Didn’t expect you too.”

“Sex,” Josh added helpfully.

Summer swallowed despite her best efforts to keep her anxiety contained. Her week just kept getting better. Murder, a little sex, and a fistfight chucked in for good measure. She had it all. Who needed to read the Sunday tabloids?

“I don’t want to think about my sister and sex in the same sentence,” Dillon snapped.

“Especially with him.” Josh shifted his weight and clenched and unclenched his fists. The ever-present humor in his baby-looking face riled Summer. Time to take control.

“Out,” she snapped, trying to ignore the fine tremor of nerves that shook her limbs.

“Fine.” Dillon glared at Nikolai. “He can come with us.”

“I don’t think so,” she returned sweetly. If they laid one hand on Nikolai, so help her… She would Tae Kwon Do her two soldier brothers. “Nikolai stays with me.”

Dillon and Josh exchanged a glance.

Summer narrowed her eyes. “He stays with me. He’s seen me dress before.”

“I don’t think they want to hear that, sweetheart.”

“Fuck, no.” Dillon jerked his head toward the door. “Out, Tarei. You’re coming with us.”

“You do know Nikolai?” Summer glanced from brother to brother. Their hard faces gave away little, but she guessed they weren’t telling her something big. Fine. She’d worm the information from Nikolai the minute she got rid of her brothers.

Summer sat and made a show of grabbing the covers. The sheet slipped dangerously close to flashing her nipples.

“Aw, Summer!” Josh said, starting to back away. He grabbed his brother’s arm and yanked.

Dillon resisted until Summer made another move. “The kitchen in five minutes,” he ordered. “A second longer and we’ll come back and drag you out.”

Her brothers exited the room, their remarks to each other peppered with enough swear words it was a wonder her mother didn’t make an appearance with her bar of soap.

The Giveaway:

One reader will win a paperback copy of Enemy Lovers, a cute plus Kiwi, and an olive soap that comes complete with an Evil Eye good luck charm all the way from Greece. (It’s the bar of soap Summer needed for her brothers!)

The giveaway is open to all readers including International. Complete the rafflecopter below with at least one of the options and you’re in the draw!

Stranded with Ella Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Owls ~ The Research and Maori Lore

For the last year, I’ve been obsessed with owls. I have no idea why, except that I like their cute faces and huge eyes.

Owl

Photo by Rúben Marques on Unsplash

My current work-in-progress is Black Moon Dragon. I was writing away, and suddenly, an owl appeared. Since this dragon romance is set in New Zealand, the owl was a ruru or morepork as they are more commonly known. An owl made an appearance in Journey with Joe (this was a pink owl) and I also wrote one into Stranded with Ella. None of this was conscious, but I clearly have owls on the brain!

In Maori mythology, the owl is a bird of the Underworld. The Maoris thought this because the morepork is a nocturnal bird, it has big, round eyes, and is a silent hunter.

Before the arrival of the white man in New Zealand, the Maori considered the arrival of the ruru a bad omen—a sign of death. They dreaded its powers and the people thought the bird was connected with witchcraft or makutu. Rumor said the ruru ate dead men’s fingernails and these became part of the owl’s eyes, which is why no one ever ate an eye.

The Taranaki Maori used to eat owls, thinking that by eating the birds they would prolong their lives. They did not eat the eyes. The Maoris in other areas considered eating owls distasteful.

While some tribes thought the bird a bad omen, others considered the appearance of an owl a family protector. They could protect, warn, help and advise on important matters.

One last thing about the owl—the first Maoris viewed the owl’s big, round eyes and adopted this wide-eyed look for their hakas (war dance or challenge).

While visiting England, my husband and I had a chance to fly owls, and we held a morepork. They are a small owl, much smaller than I’d realized. It was a rare privilege since although we often hear the owls call, they are seldom seen. Read about our visit to the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Center.

A morepork’s call is very distinctive. Early European settlers thought the birds where calling More pork. More pork, hence the owl’s common name.

Source: Maori Bird Lore by Murdoch Riley

Shelley and a Morepork (New Zealand owl)

This is a photo of me holding a morepork (ruru) during our Exmoor visit.

Interview with Paranormal Author Nicki Ruth

Interview with Nicki Ruth

Today I’d like to welcome paranormal author Nicki Ruth.

According to Nicki, she is a romantic at heart who loves a bit of history, a splash of adventure, and all things paranormal. She enjoys stories about vampires, werewolves, and other shifters, with a healthy dose of romance. Her first book, Dark Blooded Desires, started as a dream and ended as a dream come true. She is currently writing on her balcony that overlooks a parking lot.

Nicki, hello and welcome. Please tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.

I started writing in 2017 after an intense, steamy dream which included a lone vampire looking out into the vast blackness of space. That turned out to be my first book, the first six chapters I wrote in one night at 1 am. This, despite not having any creative writing background. A friend of mine asked their friend that edited professionally to take a look at what I’d done. I was blown away when they said I had the gift of story-telling (my punctuation is another matter. LOL)

Then 2018 came and took a pretty bad turn. I hated my job, my relationship imploded, and along with an emotional medical issue, I was incredibly overwhelmed. But I continued to write and it was my best therapy. It turns out that writing is my escape from the world and a major stress reliever. Now I want to provide an escape for my readers as well.

Dark Blooded Desires is the first book in the Bonds of Damurios Series. I scooped this next bit from your blurb: “Debut author Nicki Ruth weaves an action-packed vampire thriller that mixes blood, magic, and sizzling romance set in a new futuristic fantasy world.” By the sounds of this, you’ve twisted and woven several genres together, which I love as a reader. What was the spark behind your story?

I love dabbling in all types of myth and lore. You’ll often find me glued to the history or discovery channel with my own “what if” scenarios. But I wanted to go in another direction from typical vampire lore for my story. I started with Babylonian history which I briefly sampled. Many have asked, but aren’t vampires supposed to be cold, aren’t they dead. Well mostly. In my world, they have their own “blood” planet similar to our “water” planet, Earth. I kept their immortal, non-aging life and supernatural ability since that’s the best part of being a vampire (right?).

But I really start borrowing from Hindu and Japanese mythology, as well as my unique twist on the ‘genie in the bottle’ lore in book 2. As the series progress, I’ll also be throwing some gods into the mix so it’s going to be fun!

Vampires! What is it about vampires that made you want to include them in your writing? What’s the attraction?

What’s NOT to love about vampires! They’re my absolute vampire paranormal species. When I was a child I fell in love with Bram Stokers’, Dracula (the movie), and was heartbroken when (SPOILER ALERT!) he died. I wondered why Dracula couldn’t have his love? And what if he survived and had his happy ever after?

I prefer the True Blood type of vampires than the Twilight types, and I keep that theme in my books. My vampires are not afraid to shed blood and can be quiet ruthless. Who doesn’t love a vampire who would do anything for his/her love?

What sort of research did you do during the writing of Dark Blooded Desires?

I researched a good bit of mythology from Greek to Hindu to Aztec. This was no burden for me as I love history. But it does take up a lot of time. I once spent three hours researching male Babylonian names. Three hours!
I also rewatched Star Trek (the Chris Pine version) to re-familiarize myself with some futuristic concepts. This too was also no burden since I’m a Trekkie. I already read a lot of vampire stories, so I knew what I wanted to do with my vampires.

Who is your favorite fictional vampire and why?

OMG. Just one? I mentioned Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but for books I loved Kresley Cole’s Lothaire; Xadist from JR Ward’s BDB, and Eric from True Blood.

As you can tell if you’re familiar with these characters are very flawed and can get a bit bloody. LOL.

I understand you have a free prequel to Dark Blooded Desires. How do readers get their hands on this?

The free prequel, A Vampire Loves Forever, is available on my website, www.nickiruth.com. You can also look out for it in upcoming Bookfunnel or Prolificworks promotions

What is the best place for readers to learn more about you and your upcoming paranormal romances?

These days it would be social media. I’m usually active on Instagram and Facebook and tend to post updates there first. I’ve also had a couple of readers email me directly, and I was glad to answer their questions.

My Instagram is authornickiruth and Facebook is Nicki Ruth

Thanks so much for visiting today, Nicki!

Dark Blooded Desires He was just a ruthless vampire out for vengeance. Until her.

Alone, asleep, and adrift. That’s how Alexios finds the woman he takes aboard his ship. But she’s not all she seems. Her face is a reminder of a past he’d long tried to forget. A reminder of his failure to save those he’d sworn to protect. But he’s on a mission to find and kill his sire for years of torment. He can’t allow the beautiful creature to distract him from his centuries-long vendetta. Even though her teasing smiles and taste of her blood lights his body afire.

She hungers for blood, and him.

Davina, if that’s even her name, wakes up having no clue of who she is. All she knows is that dreams of fire, blood, and destruction stalk her waking moments. Something sinister churns within but she refuses to succumb to its dark desires. Only Alexios, the handsome vampire Captain, calms the roiling waves of her urges and kindles her passion.

The answers are closer than they think.

When Davina loses control, it becomes imperative Alexios help her control the darkness within. But ancient forces plot to destroy them both and time is running out. Will they solve the mystery of who she truly is and stop her from becoming the monster she fears? Or will the world be ruled by her dark blooded desires?

First in the Bonds of Damurios Series, debut author Nicki Ruth, weaves an action-packed vampire thriller that mixes blood, magic, and sizzling romance set in a new futuristic fantasy world.

Purchase Dark Blooded Desires from Amazon (or borrow from Kindle Unlimited)