Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Welcome to Laura DeLuca and Jessica

It's my utmost pleasure to have Laura DeLuca at Tattered Pages today for a stop during her Bookmark Blitz Tour. Whoot! We're celebrating her latest release Jessica which can be downloaded FREE at Amazon both today and tomorrow! Make sure to get your copy!

Wilbur was used to going to his college formals alone. He thought the Halloween Ball would be no different. He’s amazed when a beautiful girl in a Victorian costume displays an interest in him and even more amazed to find himself alone with her on one of the campus nature trails.

What Wilbur doesn’t realize is that another woman has her eye on him too. The White Lady returns every Halloween to take revenge on the men of the campus for her brutal murder. She has chosen Wilbur as her next victim.

**The first chapter of Laura DeLuca's new book, Morrigan (Release Date October 31, 2012), is also included with this short story**
Wilbur thought he was going to collapse when Jessica wrapped one arm around his waist. He could feel her fingers, soft as silk, touching the nape of his neck with her other hand, and it made his flesh tingle. She even went so far as to lay her head on his shoulder. Her hair brushed against his cheek and the fresh, flowery scent made his vision blur. At first he thought it was just his allergies, but then the whole room and all the people in it seemed to change. The woman all wore full lacy gowns with their hair piled up in fancy up dos, while the men waltzed beside them in tailored suits with long tails and top hats. Even the music had changed from the typical sappy love song to a classical ballad played by a string quartet. He swore he saw the musicians in the corner; their bows sliding effortlessly over the strings of their instruments while their fingers pulsated in perfect vibrato. Even the floor under their feet had changed from the faded gymnasium floor, marked with the lines and circles of the basketball court, to hand laid tile in intricate patterns reminiscent of a Victorian ballroom.

As they circled the dance floor in an oddly quickened pace, the faces of the dancers started to transform even more. The beautiful nineteenth century ballroom aged and decayed, as did the men and women that surrounded him. Grotesque monsters with bloated skin and empty eyes dragged their decaying limbs in slow motion. Wilbur watched them with growing horror, almost forgetting about the girl in his arms. The monsters noticed the stranger among them. They reached for him with fingers green from rot. Catching his breath in fear, Wilbur pulled away from Jessica and very nearly stumbled to the ground.

Author Bio:
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. She is the author of four young adult novels including: Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, and Morrigan and has many other works in progress. 
to see where Laura's headed next,
or go to one of these sites to contact her directly!

Monday, October 22, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons...

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Where Do You Want Your Nipple? Is FREE today and tomorrow on Amazon! Be sure to get your copy NOW!

I am humbled and blessed to have my dear friend and fellow writing pal, Mackenzie Crowne visiting today. Not only did she bring a fun, witty post filled with her wonderful voice, but also a story of inspiration and the shining example of how to exhibit grace during life's not so grand moments. I hope I can be just like you when I grow up, Mac. Or better yet, let's stay kids together! Yeah! I loves ya ta BITS!

Have you ever have one of those “when life gives you lemons” moments? I’m not talking about some random New Year’s resolution or a new hair cut or even that moment when you can no longer zip your favorite pair of jeans. I’m talking about one of those “holy crap, what am I going to do now? moments.
Before the fall of 2007 I hadn’t. I’d been happily wandering through life, enjoying the scenery while I meandered through whatever new adventure presented itself. Like J. Thaddeus Toad on his wild ride, life presented any number of fads and manias that drew my interest and, like Toad, I had a short attention span. Inevitably, some new bright and shiny notion would send me off in another direction. My switch from one mania to another was never a conscious decision exactly, it always just sort of…happened.
Over the years, I dabbled in many things. I filled my spare room with craft supplies at one point because a good friend was a marvel at producing gorgeous Christmas wreaths. I soon discovered, however, that I suck at crafting. The yard sale earned a whopping thirty-four dollars, but my spare room was clean of twigs and bows once more. Another time I purchased a used sewing machine from a charming, eighty-year old woman whose fingers were bent and curled with arthritis. The new valances over my windows were presentable, but I cringe whenever I come across an old photo of my boys wearing the results of my foray into the world of patterns and thimbles. Don't most people have one arm longer than the other?  Doctor Seuss would be so proud. I gave the old lady’s machine to a friend.
Oh, I occasionally got involved in something I felt strongly about and managed to see things through to an acceptable conclusion, but other than spending time with family and friends, the only one of my manias that hasn’t faded over time is my writing. I was ten when I penned my first short story and dreamed of sharing it with others. Unfortunately, like Toad, I never gave that lifelong passion the attention it deserved. Busy running in a million different directions, I treated my passion as more of a hobby than a burning need despite the persistent antics of the characters living in my head.
 Buy it here:  Digital and Print
Then, on a crisp fall morning five years ago, I faced my moment. It slammed into me like an out of control freight train within the confines of a small, windowless room. Facing a tiny sprite of a woman, an oncologist, J Thaddeus Toad and I were introduced to the concept of mortality and, from that moment on, Toad was on his own. After all, if I was going to make the effort to beat breast cancer, subjecting myself to physical disfigurement and debilitating treatments, then I owed it to myself to do whatever it took to bring my dream to fruition.
Breast cancer handed me an entire bushel of lemons, and while I wouldn’t wish the experience on my worst enemy, it forced me to make the lemonade, quenching a thirst I’d been ignoring for years. Five years later, I’m multi-published and while I could say mission accomplished, claiming victory and stopping there is so “Toad”. I don’t think that way anymore. I’m a survivor and with the concept of mortality firmly in place, I won’t be settling for just a piece of my dream. I want it all.
What about you? Got any lemons?  What are they and what are you doing with them?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happily Ever After – After forty two years

Listen up, ladies! If there's anyone who knows what it takes to keep romance alive it's author, Doris Lemcke, who's here with us today celebrating her 42nd WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! Whoo Hoo! Congrats, Doris on your outstanding example of living a true "happily ever after"!!

As an avid romance reader, I have to admit I sometimes read the end of a book first to determine if the end justifies the “read”. I’m not proud of it, but I can’t help myself. Even though my favorite book, Gone with the Wind had a doubtful ending, I never doubted Rhett and Scarlett would get back together. 

It’s this belief in lasting relationships that helps me build believable, flawed characters who overcome life’s trials and their own weaknesses to become a strong couple. In celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the day (today) John Lemcke and I promised to stay together “for better or worse” as long as we live, I’d like to share what I feel are the keys to “happily ever after”.
“Expect less” and “accept more”. The conflict that makes an exciting story is always due to expectations. A man and woman with crossed purposes struggle until they realize they’re stronger together than apart. People MUST change. Adapting to it means survival, and fighting it is a losing battle. 
In our nearly half-century together, John and I have dreamed dreams, seen them come true, and watched some of them fail. Each time, we’ve recovered and moved on—together. We’ve been happy, sad, angry, excited, bored and frustrated, but for both of us, our lives were better together than apart (I once moved the furniture so he couldn’t ignore me while watching TV—and it worked!).  We raised a fabulous daughter and rather than mourning our empty nest, enjoy watching her achieve things we never imagined. We built a life to suit ourselves rather than social convention; balancing each other’s weaknesses with our own strengths, changing the things we can and accepting those we can’t.
What doesn’t kill a relationship really does make it stronger—if you let it. Thanks for listening to my “not-so-sage” relationship advice. I’d love to know your secrets to “happily ever after”.


I'm a Michigan native now happily residing with my retired husband in sunny Southwest Florida where I'm a proud member of RWA, Mid-Michigan Writers and Southwest Florida Romance Writers. I've been in love with historical romance since I first read Gone with the Wind, and with the Wild West even longer.  Passion's Secret, Passion's Spirit and the Passion's Legacy Series are the fulfillment of a dream that waited patiently through years of stops, starts, heartbreak, happiness--and several careers--to come true. 
Passion’s Legacy - Not even Georgia’s founding family can keep its secrets hidden forever.

Follow the lives, loves—and haunting secrets of four generations of one of Georgia’s O’Grady family. Tempered by war, betrayal, love and loss, this brave and passionate family risks everything for love and leads us through the physical and cultural expansion of our great country—into a new century.

From the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, to New Mexico’s sacred Taos Pueblos, and the jungles of Cuba, meet the people who demanded their stories be told, baring their secrets—and sins to the world:

Book One - Passion's Secret
She’d never give in…Camilla Langesford has no intention of letting her ailing father’s Yankee partner steal their plantation. But Patrick O’Grady isn’t like other carpetbaggers. Claiming to be a soft Northern businessman, his powerful body, brooding Irish temper and pewter-gray eyes speak of a dangerous past. And his soul-searing kisses melt her frozen heart—until a deadly secret shatters it.

He'd never give up...Langesford Plantation is the former Pinkerton agent's last change to solve a mystery that's haunted him for four years. But he didn't plan on the chestnut-haired virgin with smoldering, green eyes and a fiery temper, dogging his every step. After a secret tryst in a hot-spring grotto, he discovers a treasure worth more than a cache of gold bars—until one night changes everything.

Patrick talked to her from the other end of the pool as he washed, his deep voice young and carefree. “I've heard of hot spring pools, but never thought I’d enjoy one in private with a beautiful woman washing my clothes,” he chuckled.
“Just your shirt, Mr. O’Grady, and this is an emergency situation.” But Camilla couldn't forget the sight of his bare chest, the corded muscles defining his strong arms, or his soft voice when he’d called her beautiful. Suddenly, she ached to reach out to something, or someone.
But certainly not a Yankee! She shouldn’t have brought him to her secret haven where she could lay on the fresh grass and dream of far-away places. Now, the position of the sun told her it was well past luncheon.
“You better hurry,” she called. “Or we'll be late and my honor will be severely compromised.”
“We wouldn't want to do that, would we Camilla?” warmed her ear, and her neck tingled from the caress of his breath.
She turned to meet his smoldering gray gaze and wide smile. A heartbeat later, she was in his arms, her palms resting against the still-damp, curling hairs on his chest.
Her heartbeat quickened at the feel of his warm, moist skin against her fingers, his strong thighs pressing against hers through the thin, cotton dress. And when he kissed her, his lips suckled hers, top lip first, then the bottom, while his tongue tickled them into a smile.
She knew she should stop him, but the heat that spread though her body wouldn’t be denied. She’d never felt anything so...right. With her eyes closed, the curves of her body molding against the sharp angles of his, her hands slid up the rugged landscape of his chest and her arms wrapped around his broad, sinewy shoulders. Then her lips parted to taste him.
Book Two - Passion's Spirit
Untamed Hearts, Worlds Apart
Raised by Santa Fe missionaries, half-Apache orphan Elena Santiago has vowed to avenge their murders the Apache way. But first, she must masquerade as a white woman to deliver a dangerous message across the country, into the land of her enemies. But more dangerous than the warning she carries, is her heart’s response to the untamed spirit behind Sean O'Grady's smoky grey eyes in a body that reminds her more of an Apache warrior than a soft, white “gentleman”.

Sean O’Grady has always dreamed of exploring the Wild West, but at twenty-five, he’s put aside his dreams to run his family’s Georgia plantation and wed his neighbor. When Elena arrives looking and speaking more like a Spanish lady than an Indian mission girl, he wonders if she's really who she say she is. Is she a virgin or a vixen? The question taunts him as he struggles with feelings he’s never felt for a woman before. Feelings that could get them both killed.


When Sean pulled away, Elena looked into his eyes wondering, is this what love feels like, or is it only lust? She decided that nothing as beautiful as the moment they’d just shared could be evil. But it could never be love, either. She had felt his passion press against her and ached for him to fill her. Now she was grateful that he hadn’t. They were from different worlds that still warred against with each other. He could never survive in her world and she refused to live in his.

As if he read her thoughts, he leaned into her, whispering so close to her ear that it could have been a kiss, "Why can’t you be Mary Louise? And I the Apache brave who will eventually claim you?” Then he turned to stare at the stream that patiently followed the course nature had carved out for it.

The question echoed in Elena's mind. For a moment, his heart had matched the rhythm of hers. The curves of her body had melted into the angles of his as they breathed the same breath and tasted each other’s souls. For a moment, they had truly been one body and one soul.

Now separated, the chilly breeze that stirred the pine needles at their feet told her that when she was with him, even angry, she was whole. And though he changed his moods faster than the mountain gods and was promised to marry a weak and silly white woman, part of her would always belong to this loco Gringo.

She also turned her gaze toward the river. "We can only be who we are."

The more I write about this family the more there is to tell. I’m currently working on two additional books about the Langesford/O’Grady clan:

Passion’s Seed – Flora DeBoucher, the beloved quadroon servant from New Orleans whose secret enslaves her.

Passion’s Promise - Lily O’Grady, the musical prodigy with dreams of becoming the next Lily Langtry, but must help free a nation first.

Thanks for visiting with us, everyone!