Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
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Thursday, April 11th, 2019
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 |

Monday, April 1st, 2019
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)

Monday, March 25th, 2019
Exploring Ponsonby, Auckland

This week, I decided to do my writing session in a different place. I ended up in Ponsonby.

Ponsonby Road

Ponsonby is an inner-city suburb, around 2 kilometers from the city center of Auckland. The origins of the name Ponsonby are a bit murky, and my search didn’t produce a definitive answer on how the place got its name.

Ponsonby is one of the original suburbs of Auckland. In the 1950s and 1960s, the area was a low-cost housing area, but these days, things are very different. It’s a thriving suburb with expensive property and lots of cafes and restaurants.

Huge mature trees grow on the grass verges, casting shade while the pedestrians get glimpses of the harbor and the Sky Tower. I particularly loved the wooden bungalows and villas that lined some of the streets—a reminder of an earlier time with their white picket fences.

Row of Bungalows

Wooden Bungalow

Bungalow

Mature Trees

The mature trees that grow in the area are beautiful and the shade is welcome during the hot summer.

Old wooden church

This old wooden church is a Samoan church these days.

View of Sky Tower from Ponsonby

The Sky Tower is visible from many parts of Auckland. This is the view from Ponsonby.

I had a fun morning exploring Ponsonby, and I managed to get lots of work done too. Win-win!

Wednesday, March 20th, 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.

Monday, March 18th, 2019
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.

Saturday, March 9th, 2019
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

Monday, March 4th, 2019
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.

Friday, March 1st, 2019
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)

Monday, February 25th, 2019
The Writer’s Map ~ An Atlas of Imaginary Lands

The Writer's Map

I adore maps. All maps, but especially antique and fantasy maps.

A few months ago, I spotted a book called The Writer’s Map, An Atlas of Imaginary Lands. The cover drew me in, and I had to check out a copy. The book, edited by Huw Lewis-Jones, features a series of articles by experts in the map-drawing arena. And of course, it’s full of colorful illustrations of maps from books such as Treasure Island, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and other maps from popular classics.

I particularly enjoyed the section about the creation of the Marauder’s Map from the Harry Potter series and the design of the original letter inviting Harry to attend Hogworts.

I think this is a book that most readers and writers will love. I certainly did.

You can check it out here at Amazon.

But, given the price showing of $249.94, you’ll probably want to check your local library or The Book Depository where the price is much more reasonable.

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019
The Emotion Thesaurus is Here. Grab your copy today!

As writers, we all have our favorite writing methods. For instance, some swear by Scrivener, while others write in Word or Google docs. Some prefer to draft longhand, using colorful gel pens and notebooks.

Most of us have a favorite writing book (or ten), too. These books have helped us understand storytelling better, demystifying certain aspects of writing. Well, today I’m taking part in welcoming a new writing guide into the world: The Emotion Thesaurus (Second Edition).

You may have heard of The Emotion Thesaurus before, or even have a copy. The original’s lists of body language, thoughts, and visceral sensations for 75 unique emotions made brainstorming character expressions and reactions so much easier. It quickly became a bestseller.

Now, there’s a bigger, better second edition. Angela and Becca have added 55 NEW emotions such as Euphoria, Vindicated, and Schadenfreude. (And that’s not all that’s new, either…the book is almost twice the size as the original.)

Anyway, if you’re interested in checking it out, you can read some of the reviews on Goodreads or find information here.

One more thing to tell you about…are you ready for this?

GIVEAWAY ALERT!

Wish you could attend a free writing retreat, go to a conference, snag a seat at a workshop, or have your professional membership to a writing organization paid for? Of course you do!

Well, at Writers Helping Writers, one lucky winner will get one of the above, up to a $500 US value.

This is the giveaway of a lifetime, so hurry over to enter!