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Star-Crossed with Scarlett, Available for Pre-Order

Star-Crossed with Scarlett

I’m excited to announce Star-Crossed with Scarlett is now available for pre-order. In this book, my two series House of the Cat and Middlemarch Capture collide with a character from each series getting together and going on a quest.

Here’s the blurb:

A dragon shifter determined to save his people…
…must sacrifice his potential mate.

The moment the resonance traps Ransom, he’s tossed into a living hell. Everything meaningful to him is in danger unless he follows the orders of a prince lying in stasis.

But that’s not the royal’s only demand.

Prince Kalim expects Ransom to deliver Scarlett—the woman Ransom’s dragon desires.

Captured by a dragon. Scarlett Mitchell can’t believe this twist of fate and, once she learns of the dragon-man’s quest, she struggles with the blast of excitement and yearning that seize her imagination. She’s the queen of lists and measures the pros against the cons in every decision—a lesson taught by experience. Life works better when she reins in her spontaneity.

She should turn her back on this dangerous journey, but she can’t.

Romantic sparks fly between Ransom and Scarlett as they travel to the final showdown with the prince. Painful secrets from the past poke at weak spots and emotions run high while a volcanic eruption threatens to annihilate everyone and everything in its path.

Two star-crossed lovers…

Courage, determination, and pure grit are required to save the day before this ill-fated quest turns into another impulse gone wrong, or worse—a death trap.

You’ll love this shapeshifter romance because it contains a fiery dragon, a sassy feline shifter, and a villain who wants it all. Failure is not an option.

Pre-order Star-Crossed with Scarlett

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A Research Visit to Barista Cats, Auckland, New Zealand

Barista Cats

These days, many families live in rental accommodation or high-rise apartments are unable to keep pets. Enter – a business opportunity. Barista Cats in Queen Street Auckland is one of the new cafes where animal lovers can go to have a coffee and get their pet-fix without having the responsibility of a full-time pet.

Barista Cats has fifteen cats who live at the café and mingle with the café patrons as they chill with a tea or coffee. All the cats are ex-SPCA cats, and all have had tough lives, so they lap up the attention and care they receive at the café. One is deaf while another is blind. One or two of the cats wobble as they walk or climb, but all are healthy and happy.

Barista Cats Cafe

A visit to the café must be booked online beforehand, and only children over the age of fourteen can enter the premises. They must be with a guardian.

Hi Cutie

A Barista Cat

On arrival, all visitors are introduced to each cat, and the rules are explained. The cats have loads of toys and different bedding, but most are happy to plop down and enjoy a stroke or two from their visitors.

Each session is one hour, and the café hosts special sessions with kittens. They also have yoga and movies several times a month. You get to do yoga or watch a movie with a cat on your lap.

Dinner Time at the Cafe

Want to chill out and destress? If you’re a pet-lover without a pet, this is definitely the place for you.

Military MenI enjoyed my visit, and some of my experience will go into my current, as yet unnamed work-in-progress, which is part of my Military Men series. Watch this space!

Interview with Author McKenna Dean #paranormal #romance

Interview with author McKenna Dean
Today, I’m excited to welcome McKenna Dean to my blog. McKenna Dean has been an actress, a vet tech, a singer, a teacher, a biologist, and a dog trainer. She’s worked in a genetics lab, at the stockyard, behind the scenes as a props manager, and at a pizza parlor slinging dough. Finally, she realized all these jobs were just a preparation for what she really wanted to be: a writer.

She likes putting her characters in hot water to see how strong they are. Like tea bags, only sexier.

Hi, McKenna! Your website tagline is “Paranormal lives here.” Please tell us a little about yourself and what made you write paranormal romance.

I’ve been writing for about 10 years now, having cut my teeth in fanfiction. I had a hard time settling down to one genre at first—I love so many! Romance, mysteries, science-fiction, historical romance… finally, I realized that most of my stories had that little extra twist that comes from the supernatural—and my experiences working with animals just lent itself to writing about shifters.

I also love exploring that sense of “other” you get with paranormal romance. It’s such a great genre for examining our social structure. Not to mention, my favorite stories center around found families and finding your tribe. Paranormal romance has such wonderful scope for world building, too.

You write several series, but let’s focus on your Redclaw Security books today. You’ve won awards with these books, so please give us a little background. What was the inspiration behind your series?

I’m so glad you asked! Redclaw Security is an elite firm of paranormal agents who investigate and solve shifter matters. Prior to the use of nuclear weapons in WW2, there were very few shifters, mostly of the mythological kind, such as phoenixes, dragons, and griffins. Nuclear testing activated dormant shifter genes in the rest of the population, creating the wolf, big cat, and bear shifters (and more) we all know and love. At the same time, artifacts of great power were triggered as well, many of which can only be used by those with the shifter gene. The Paranormal Council formed Redclaw to collect, study, and isolate such artifacts, as well as serve as a kind of law enforcement for shifters as they can’t take their problems to the regular police. The Redclaw books can be read as standalones, and each of them feature a member of Redclaw in some form or another, showcasing a different set of characters with each story.

I’m also working on the origin story of Redclaw. Set in the 1950s, the Bishop and Knight books feature a pair of human agents working within Redclaw in its early days. Henrietta “Rhett” Bishop is a former socialite in desperate need of a job, who’s been tasked with recruiting a brilliant but discredited scientist, Dr. Peter Knight, to work for Redclaw. I’m having great fun writing these stories, which I liken to Nick and Nora meets Warehouse-13. The first in the series, Bishop Takes Knight, should be out in June or July 2019.

I’m very excited about another planned series, however! Whereas the Redclaw books feature different characters within the agency, the Better off Red series is going to focus on the Major Shifter Crimes division within Redclaw. Tiger-shifter Morgan Delaney is in charge of MSC, leading her teammates fox-shifter Jason Fox (yes, people make jokes about his name), hedgehog-shifter Mark Mabry, honey-badger shifter Lex Reeder, and ocelot-shifter Perdita Hansen as they tackle the gritty crimes of the paranormal world. Her first big case on returning to duty after killing her ex in self-defense involves shifters being murdered for their DNA—and all signs point to wealthy industrialist Rian Stirling, who happens to be her boss’s half-brother—as well as her fated mate. I can’t wait to share those books with you guys!

What is your favorite paranormal creature to write? Do you like felines or wolves best, and what research did you do to write your shifters?

I’m a biologist and have worked as a dog trainer and a vet tech. Writing animal scenes are the easiest part of my stories! I do spend a fair amount of time online researching specifics—such as the length of a grizzly bear claw (Two to four inches) and whether or not tigers can purr (they can’t! Cheetahs are the only big cats that purr). Picking between the two is like asking me to choose between dogs and cats. Um, both? Though given the number of cat shifters I have in my stories, it looks like the felines are in the lead right now.

What comes next in the Redclaw Security series? Can you give us a few hints?

People have been begging me for bear-shifter Andy Grant’s story, and I promise it will come. I’ve been eyeing Morgan’s younger sister as a potential mate for him. Can you imagine how hard it would be to live up to your big sister, who’s a tiger-shifter and head of one of crack teams within Redclaw, when you’re ‘only’ a cat shifter and a forest ranger? Bridget is going to learn not to compare herself to her sister, and find love along the way.

Ask any author, and they’ll tell you writing is hard work. I like to have a cup of tea on hand before I start my working day. Do you have any rituals to get you in the mood to write, and what is your favorite time of the day to add to your word count?

My favorite time to write is in the morning, but that rarely happens. I hit the ground running and am at work by 7:30 am each day, often putting in ten to twelve hours. I like the idea of rituals, but mostly I’m sneaking writing in here and there, in between other things. My idea of heaven is a weekend in a cabin, where I take the dogs for long walks in the woods (the best time to brainstorm!) and write all afternoon and evening.

I understand you have a free story called Snowfall, which is part of the Redclaw Security series. How do readers get their hands on this and does it standalone?

Oh, that’s easy! You can sign up for my newsletter and get Snowfall for free when you do so. It’s a short story set in the Redclaw universe, but I love Paige and Nicholas so much I’m planning to give them their own full length story someday! And yes, like all the Redclaw Security books, it can be read as a standalone. The Bishop and Knight books, as well as the Better off Dead stories, will be more traditional series.

Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/c8GDYX

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

The best place is to follow my blog—I tend to post about once a week with snippets about life on the farm and upcoming plans. I’m far more disciplined about posting there than sending out a newsletter—most of the time those are featuring stories on sale. If you go to the right sidebar on my blog page, you’ll see the subscription box for the website. You might have to scroll down before you see it, especially if you’re on your smartphone.
http://mckennadeanromance.com/blog

Links:
Newsletter
Website
Amazon
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Instagram
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Snowfall by McKenna Dean Snowfall (A Redclaw Security Universe story)

The storm of the century. That’s what the forecasters called it. No problem. Peyton Grant was ready: books, food, wine, and a wood stove. The only thing she could have wished for was a little company. With heavy snow on the way, that was unlikely.

The last thing she expected was to run into celebrity, Nicholas Lang, stuck in a ditch near her house. What could a small-town veterinarian and a movie star have in common? The answer just might make all Peyton’s fantasies come true.

Get Snowfall, free at Amazon

Other books in the Redclaw Security series:
1. The Panther’s Lost Princess
2. Ghost of a Chance

Background Research: Meet the Alpaca

Background Research Alpaca

Love at first sight. That was me and the alpaca. “If we ever purchase land, we’re getting alpacas,” I told my husband.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I still don’t have any alpacas. Some of my characters, however, do own alpacas.

Facts about farming alpacas:

1. They’re closely related to the llama, although they’re not as large.

Alpaca at Sydney Royal Show

2. They are grazers. While they can survive in harsh conditions, they do better with quality pasture or hay.

3. Fencing suitable for sheep works for alpacas. While they don’t tend to jump, if they’re stressed by for example a dog, they’re very capable of leaping over a fence.

4. They should have trees for shade.

5. They require fresh drinking water.

6. Shearing takes place once a year, usually during the spring.

7. Most alpacas are shorn while lying down. They are shorn on one side and turned over to complete the shearing.

8. Alpaca fleece is soft and durable and highly prized.

9. Alpacas come in many colors—white, fawn, brown, gray and black. Their color does not usually change as they age.

10. They are usually fairly disease free.

11. They make good pets although they don’t generally enjoy being held, especially on the head.

Chocolate Brown Alpaca

12. Alpacas do not usually bite or kick, but it can depend on the individual animal.

13. They do, however, spit. The spit is regurgitated or recently chewed grass, and it’s normally stinky.

14. Alpacas are herd animals and do better with company. They can be run with sheep or goats, but they prefer other alpacas for company.

15. Gestation is 11.5 months. The cria is around 6 – 8 kilograms at birth and stay with their mother for around 5 – 6 months.

16. They seldom have twins.

17. High quality breeding alpaca can be very expensive.

Alpaca

Stranded With EllaDillon Williams from Stranded with Ella farms alpacas. Ella, the heroine of Stranded with Ella is learning to spin. She wants to spin alpaca fleece rather than sheep’s wool.

Stranded with Ella is book 4 in the Military Men series, and can be read as a stand-alone.

Background Research: Black Moon Dragon, a paranormal romance

Black Moon Dragon, my New Zealand-set romance, contains dragons or taniwha. In this particular book, I’ve used more Maori mythology than usual and terms that are perhaps unfamiliar to those who live outside New Zealand. I’ve solved this by including a glossary with links to a Maori online dictionary for those who’d enjoy hearing the proper pronunciation.

One scene in the book contains a powhiri, which is the ceremony performed to welcome visitors onto a marae. A marae is a meeting place. Sometimes the collection of buildings around a courtyard where the meetings take place are also defined as a marae.

This video below describes a powhiri and it is an excellent depiction of what a visitor might expect when they visit a marae.

Black Moon DragonBlack Moon Dragon is the third book in the Dragon Investigators series. It is due out on 21 May.

Her life has taken a turn to Crazy Town. She has caught a weird disease. Now, this scary big dude is offering help. There’s trouble here somewhere, right?

Available wide. Get your copy here: https://books2read.com/u/38xWa6

Behind the series: Dragon Investigators Series and the Moon Titles

Dragon Investigators series

When I wrote the first book in the Dragon Investigators series, the story was for an anthology, and the book had a different title. It was a fun one-off that I enjoyed writing since it was set in New Zealand and I made a foray into Maori mythology.

A few years later, I started thinking about Hone Taniwha who was one of Jack’s co-workers and a friend. Blood Moon Dragon was the result of all that thinking. At the end of the book, I left Hone’s cousin Manu in a difficult predicament, which took a bit of consideration and more pondering. Recently, I wrote the third book in the series, Black Moon Dragon, and it is due for release on 21 May 2019.

The moon plays a big part in my Dragon Investigators series, hence my choice of titles. Before I started writing I had no idea there were so many types of moons. I know better now.

Here are the definitions for the types of moons I’ve used in my titles:

Blue moon – a blue moon occurs when there are two full moons during a calendar month. In Blue Moon Dragon the hero Jack’s control is tested during the upcoming blue moon.

Blood moon – this occurs when the moon is in eclipse. The moon’s orbit places it behind the Earth and in Earth’s shadow. The Earth’s atmosphere bends light into the shadows. The blue colors are scattered until only red remains, so we get a blood moon. In Blood Moon Dragon the blood in this romance is literal rather than an eclipse of the moon.

Blood Moon

Photo by Robert Wiedemann on Unsplash

Black moon – this occurs when there are two new moons during a calendar month, and this is relatively rare. In Black Moon Dragon our hero and heroine are both experiencing new things, which made this title perfect.

What’s next? Well, I’m not sure, but there are lots of other moons to choose from.

A wolf moon, which the tribal Indians named because wolves called during January. Source: Farmers’ Almanac.

A snow moon, which occurs during February when the full moon lights up the snowy panoramas.

There are pink moons, worm moons, harvest moons, frost moons, super moons. I’ve discovered loads of inspiration for the future and rather fancy working a frost moon into a story because I like the sound of a Frost Moon Dragon.

Watch this space…

Black Moon Dragon Available For Pre-order

At long last, the Dragon Investigators series has a new addition. I had a lot of fun writing this one, and I absolutely adore the hero and heroine together.

There is suspense, humor, dragon politics, and Maori mythology along with romance. If you’ve read Blood Moon Dragon, book 2 in the series, you’ve already met Manu. You’ll realize the predicament Manu was in at the end of Hone’s romance. In Black Moon Dragon, Manu finally gets his happy-ever-after.

Black Moon Dragon

Check out the blurb:

Her life has taken a turn to Crazy Town.

She has caught a weird disease.

And now, this scary big dude is offering help.

There’s trouble here somewhere, right?

Manu Taniwha. A billionaire inventor. Leader. Tattoos, bossy attitude, icy control. Man by day. Dragon at night. Magnificent. Oh yeah.

But what’s his angle?

Jessalyn Brown. A daypack of possessions. Debts. Half-blood with huge, fiery problems. Her only wealth is an old pendant.

She’d be crazy to trust this man, yet every instinct is propelling her to say yes.

What if he turns her into the cops? Or has nefarious plans for her body? She’s no dummy even if she is new to the city.

Finally, Jessalyn agrees to stay with him, but if this dragon gets out of line, she’ll leave in a heartbeat. Her way or the highway.

Stand well back because her flames are hot!

You’ll adore this dragon romance because it contains a grumpy billionaire taniwha with his mesmerizing tattoos and his dislike of, dragon politics, plus the strong, sassy woman who is about to burst out of her cocoon and kick dragon butt.

Pre-order at:

Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo | Nook |

Interview with Paranormal Author L. Danvers #vampires

Interview with L. Danvers

Today, I’m excited to welcome L. Danvers to my blog. Hi, Ms. Danvers. I’ve been checking out your website and you say, “My goal as an author is to offer you an escape from reality—one where you can explore new worlds, go on daring adventures, fight the bad guys and fall in love… all from the comfort of a cozy chair.”

This sounds right up my alley! Please tell us a little about yourself and what made you decide to finally push the publish button?

So, the first book I ever wrote was Stellix (later retitled Conspiracy Unleashed). I had left my job as a news producer, and even though the style of writing was entirely different, there was a part of me that just needed to write.

Months later, after binge-watching an embarrassing number of episodes of Ancient Aliens, I came up with the concept. I jotted down the idea, and my own curiosity about how things would play out led me to writing more and more. I never just sat down and said, “I’m going to write a book today.” It all happened very organically. (Of course, I’m sure it helped that I’ve always enjoyed writing!)

As for what led me to publishing, I’d chalk it up to an uncharacteristic amount of courage. Beta readers enjoyed the story, and I told myself that if they liked it, others would, too. A successful indie author graciously offered her time to advise me about self-publishing, and the rest is history.

Curses and Crowns is a vampire romance while in the past you’ve written fantasy and sci-fi. Why did you venture into paranormal romance?

Funny enough, it started with me watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. I am one of the few millennial girls who didn’t read Twilight as a teen, so I never got into the whole vampire craze.

But last year, I decided to give The Vampire Diaries a shot, and I realized I’d missed out on a fascinating genre. I read a bunch of vampire romance and urban fantasy books and realized just how much I loved the stories.
An idea quickly came to me, and it has been an absolute blast to write in this new genre.

Your vampires sound gritty and dangerous. What is it like to be a vampire in the world you’ve built in Curses and Crowns?

In a word: dramatic.

Now, there are various vampire kingdoms presently veiled from the human world. But in Crescent Cape, where the story takes place, there is a blood slave village where humans offer weekly blood donations so that the vampires have access to a consistent food source. However, the vampires are permitted to venture out on hunts in the mountains beyond the boundary.

Meanwhile, Prince Aiden, one of the most menacing vampires when on the “real stuff,” has given up human blood entirely and only drinks artificial blood crafted for him by a witch from a local coven.

Add in three vampire siblings, an older brother who’s an immortal werewolf and a tempting human who has an unusual hold over the prince, and we have one heck of a wild story.

Having said all of that, though, my books are YA-friendly. So while the vampires are dangerous, the story is not gory and does not go into unnecessary detail.

The genres you’ve chosen to write all require lots of worldbuilding. What is your favorite thing about building a world for your characters?

Honestly, I do a lot of the worldbuilding as I go. I love discovering the world I’m creating as I’m writing it. My stories are fairly fast-paced and full of action because that’s what I enjoy as a reader. But, of course, the rules of the world the characters live in play an important part in what drives them.

If you could spend a day with a fictional character and decide what to do, who would you choose and where would you take him or her?

Oh my goodness. That’s a hard question! I’m going to have to go with Doctor Who on this one (preferably as played by David Tennant) because he could take me ANYWHERE in time or space. I’d let him surprise me!

I understand you have a free story called Blood Heirs, which is the prequel to Vampires of Crescent Cape. How do readers get their hands on this?

Yes! It’s a bite-sized origin story and gives readers a glimpse into how the vampire siblings, the Blood Heirs, and their immortal werewolf brother came to be. Readers can grab a copy here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/j2dl7bb4hr

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

They can join my Readers’ Group at www.ldanvers.com/subscribe. They’re also welcome to join my fiction and fandom Facebook group, Gather with L. Danvers.

Thanks, Ms. Danvers!

L. Danvers is the author of YA-friendly paranormal romance, fantasy and science fiction. She writes what she likes to read, so her books include memorable characters, tons of action and are real page-turners. And, of course, there’s plenty of romance in there, too!

Curses and Crowns Readers, here is the blurb for CURSES AND CROWNS. Check it out today.

A cut-throat competition.
A romance to die for.

Danielle Parker’s life was a dream. Until it became a living nightmare.

Ripped of her memories of how she was kidnapped from her family, Danielle is whisked away to the mystical Crescent Cape—a kingdom ruled by vampires, where she is to live out her human life as a blood slave.

She’s not going down without a fight.

But her plans are thwarted when she’s selected to compete for the prince’s heart.

The winner will be turned into a vampire and taken as his bride. And the losers’ blood will be fed to the princess-to-be to complete her transition.

As much as she’s disgusted by the idea of the competition, and as dangerous as Prince Aiden is, she can’t deny her attraction to him—or to his troubled brother, Julian.

Will she be able to resist the brothers’ charms? Or will she find herself pulled into the dangerous world of the vampires of Crescent Cape?

A romantic and thrilling new series that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals and The Selection.

Purchase Curses and Crowns, Book 1 in the Vampires of Crescent Cape series (also available in Kindle Unlimited)

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.