Bear Of The Midnight Sun
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“And how did Blue Sapphire happen to catch Hollywood’s attention?”
Miranda forced a smile. She’d prepared to answer that question.
“The producer’s teenage daughter picked up the book and loved it. She left a terrific review, too.” Miranda chuckled nervously. “Anyway, she told her father she thought the book would make a great movie. He picked it up, read it, and agreed with her. Since the fantasy genre’s been ultra-hot the last few years and shows no signs of waning, he thought it was a good bet. He contacted me about a movie deal. I hired a lawyer to help with contract negotiations. And the rest is history.”
“And the book?”
“It didn’t hit the bestseller list until after the movie came out.”
“What involvement have you had with the script or with casting?”
“None,” Miranda admitted. She smiled and said, “Although Mr. Høgensdal is an awesome match for the hero’s role and Gal Gadot makes an incredible heroine.”
Steenbarger raised an eyebrow. “I think you two are close enough that you could call Sindre by his first name.”
Her dry tone elicited chuckles from the audience and a light squeeze of Sindre’s hand on her thigh.
“Do not chase her away before I get a ring on her finger,” Sindre’s deep voice purred.
Steenbarger’s eyes sparkled and she smiled with inspiration. “I have an absolutely fabulous idea!” She looked at the audience. “We’re in Las Vegas, right?”
“Right!” the audience shouted back.
“Surely, somewhere in the audience we have an ordained minister who has the authority to perform a wedding? Do we have somebody?”
Miranda’s heart pounded in her chest and she felt lightheaded.
I don't actually do a whole lot of crowing about my books in this blog, so I'll take a moment to focus on them.
I am considering entering a contest. My attempts last year met with disappointment, from contests that took my entry fees and didn't even reply with an acknowledgement thanking me for entering (much less return even the briefest of comments regarding my manuscript) to contests that returned less than favorable reviews. Last year I submitted The Falcon of Imenotash and Ulfbehrt's Legacy.
Strangely enough, I consider Falcon to be one of my best works, yet it doesn't sell and hasn't received any reviews. On the other hand, Ulfbehrt's Legacy--which I think is good, but not as powerful as Falcon--achieved nominal sales, but at least has two reviews: both positive. Them's the breaks, I guess.
Therefore, before forking over money for another contest this year, I asked some folks whose opinion I can count upon to be candid as to whether either of two of my titles--Daughter of the Dark Moon and/or Bear of the Midnight Sun--has any chance of competing. I'm not looking for flattery: I want honesty. I don't expect someone who doesn't like the genres in which I write to like either of those books. After all, why compete if the foregone result is failure? If I'm going to enter, then I want to have an actual and real chance of winning. Or at least placing.
If you haven't read either Dark Moon or Bear, then do so and give me your opinion: good enough to compete or not? (And don't forget to leave a review.)
The great thing about this particular contest is that my entries would be judged against others in the same genre and/or sub-genre. My fantasy romance won't go up against literary fiction or mysteries. Since I read--pretty extensively in the genres in which I write--I think my books are just as good (if not better). Of course, I think that. If I didn't, I wouldn't publish them.
That's the nail-biting crux of the matter: what do others think of my work? Opinions range from "this is trash" to "this is magnificent."
And ... here's the plug! Bear of the Midnight Sun goes live tomorrow October 31, those of you who pre-ordered the book will receive it and those who haven't pre-ordered can get it right away. As I usually do to encourage enthusiasm and help my readers save a little money, I'm offering the e-book at a discounted launch price of only 99 cents ($0.99). That price remains in effect through November.
As for the next book ... well, I don't know. I'm still languishing amid a dry spell with nothing calling out to me. It's early days yet. After all, I once went a solid decade without writing so much as a short story. These periods come and go. I am considering rewriting a fairy tale, à la "Skeins of Gold: Rumpelstiltskin Retold," and posting it as a freebie in thanks to my readers--a little end-of-year gift as it were. If I do that, you know I'll choose one of the lesser known fairy tales.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read--even if it's not my stuff. Build your vocabulary, stretch your imagination. Read.
This week's blog challenge prompts participants to write about their favorite apps.
I associate apps with smartphones, something I neither have nor want. But apps, being the vernacular term for "applications," applies to desktop, laptop, and other handheld computers, too. So, I'll play.
For what it's worth, I dislike Microsoft Word, although I use it all the time. I really detest the way it assumes it knows what I want. I really liked WordPerfect, but that's just not a viable program anymore.
I'd included Amazon's Kindle, because that's how I read most books these days, but I've got the device and don't need to download the Kindle Reading App.
I have a love-hate relationship with Gmail. For some weird reason, it makes me login at least twice, if not three times, to access any of my email accounts. That's a nuisance and just darned irritating.
I do use social media, although I don't particularly like it.
Being more or less a technophobe, I have no great affection for computers, regardless of how much time I spend using them. They're tools.
October Book Of The Month
The Barbary Lion
Once a king and now a police detective and always a hunter, Atlas Leonidus dreamed of his mate and knew the instant her foot touched the soil of his country. In order to secure her cooperation, he drugs, kidnaps, and imprisons his mate who had come to Italy for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. He's handsome and charming and utterly ruthless: a man who's 1,600 years old doesn't thrive for centuries without believing himself superior to everyone else and doing pretty much as he pleases.
Chloe cannot believe what her captor says, though the changes wrought in her own body give evidence to his wild words. Isolated, she becomes depressed. Rebellious, she breaks beneath his autocratic rule. But Chloe's smart and she's no doormat. Beneath the veil of meek obedience, she plots and schemes: all it takes is one mistake, one moment of inattention, to escape.
Upon discovering her escape, Atlas realizes what his cruelty has cost. He sends a hunter after her when he fails to find her. Dmitry, the hunter, has been searching for a mate for 800 years; he's lonely, too. Atlas hopes that Dmitry never learns that he did not complete the bonding ritual and that Chloe can still be claimed.
Tiger in the Snow
Tiger shifter Dmitry disgraced himself. Fleeing his disgrace, he travels to the Appalachian Trail and rescues the woman his tiger recognizes as his mate and claims her. Tessa acknowledges the blazing chemistry between them, but she's not sure she wants to be tied to this big, dominant male for eternity. Dmitry seeks redemption, but will he find it through Tessa?
People called to one another in short bursts of sound. Singly and in small groups they raced to the stone building where the shelter was obviously sturdier than the awning that flapped in the storm wind and where, she understood, the concert would continue. Clutching her purse, she followed the general trickle of people inside.
People pushed and shoved, trying to get in out of the sudden summer storm. She felt a tug at her shoulder and then a sudden lightness. She gasped and shouted, trying to pursue the thief.
“Stop! Thief!” she called to no avail.
But he was too fast and her pretty sandals weren’t made for running. She cursed under her breath. At least she’d had the foresight to keep most of her money and her identification in a money belt. Trudging back toward the building, she squeezed past several people who were nearly as wet as she. Rain pelted the pavement. She looked around a corner of a stone wall and gasped to witness a struggle, the orange burst of gunfire as lightning cracked overhead, and a man collapse onto wet flagstone. Another shot rang out, that time not obscured by the sounds of the storm. Screams erupted and people pushed and shoved — their good-natured jostling for a dry spot vanished — to flee.
She flattened herself against the stone wall in an effort to avoid being trampled. Her lungs heaved wet air scented with cordite, ozone, and panic. She yelped when a hand wrapped around her upper arm.
“My apologies for startling you,” said the man attached to that hand grasping her arm. His voice was charmingly accented. Dimly, she realized he spoke English. “You are American, yes?”
“Er, yes,” she said, wondering how he could know.
“You saw the shooting?”
She cocked her head, glanced at his hand on her arm. He obligingly removed it. She wrapped her arms around herself as though to contain her shivering.
“And you are?” she prompted.
He flashed a badge at her and said, “I am a detective with the city police.” He gave her a short bow and his name, “Detective Atlas Leonidus.”
She nodded curtly and replied in a trembling voice, “Yes, I saw the shooting. My name is Chloe Gardner.”
“You are cold,” he observed as she trembled. “Come, we will get some coffee and you will tell me what you saw.”
He saw the wariness in her eyes, but she accompanied him without balking. They dashed from overhang to awning to doorway and into a small shop redolent with the rich aroma of coffee. The detective guided her to a small table and bade her take a seat. She did and he walked to the counter to purchase their beverages. She took the opportunity to observe him: taller than the average Italian with tawny blonde hair worn long and caught at the nape of his neck in a short ponytail. His broad shoulders narrowed to a trim waist and taut ass. He moved with coiled strength, like an athlete or big cat.
The Whitemoon Warriors Series Book #1
Centuries of waiting...
For four hundred years, Charlie Matthews has waited for his revenge, becoming the very creature he seeks to destroy. When he finally returns to his Maker’s mansion, he knows the time is close. And only one thing stands between what he wants, and what he never knew he needed.
Leads to a single moment…
On Nessie Robinson’s eighteenth birthday, she gets an unexpected surprise. Her ex-best friend. Emphasis on “ex.” Since he left ten years ago, she’s had to deal with the overbearing power of their Master. With his return comes tragedy, and feelings she doesn’t want to face. But every moment makes them harder to ignore.
That changes everything
With one bite, Charlie and Nessie are forced to run for their lives. Leaving behind everything they’ve known, fighting for survival, freedom, and a chance at a future neither of them ever imagined.
I hate this room. Nessie dragged her feet through the door and entered her least favorite place on the entire estate. The white furniture and rugs only served to make her more anxious. One little accident, which would, of course, be her fault, and she’d spend the next several hours on her hands and knees scrubbing the entire room.
“Don’t slouch, Vanessa,” her mother chided from behind her.
She narrowed her eyes, ready to stick out her tongue at her mother until Master entered the room. Immediately lowering her gaze to the floor, the two of them bowed their heads as he passed them. She noticed a second pair of feet cross in front of her vision a few moments after and her stomach cramped. Logan, the younger male who usually fed from her, had wandering hands and a penchant for sinking his teeth to the bone. Vampires were assholes like that.
“C’mon, I haven’t got all day!” Master bellowed as he lounged on the sofa across the room.
She scrambled over to sit on the cushion beside Logan, her eyes focusing on her fiddling hands in her lap. Any moment now he’d snatch up her wrist and dig his ugly fangs into her vein. Her breaths came unevenly, her heart racing, her body bracing for the coming pain.
“You seem uneasy,” the man next to her said.
Her breath hitched as her gaze shot up. Not Logan. Definitely not Logan. That face, like a distant memory, yet so familiar. It was him. The vampire she had once called friend. Best friend, if she was being honest with herself. Before he disappeared on her, never to be seen or heard from for the last ten years. The one who’d left her here to rot like a forgotten piece of garbage. Vampires were assholes like that.
“It’s alright,” he said, reaching for her hand, which she snatched out of reach without a thought.
His eyebrows raised in surprise.
Shit. Slaves don’t behave like that. Your hand isn’t your hand when you’re a slave. She slowly held out her hand, staring at him. His face was exactly as she remembered. Dark, stormy eyes under thick brows that matched his perfectly styled black hair. His nose slightly veered to one side, and his lips were a tad too big for his face.
He glanced down at her offered hand. “Are you sure? You don’t seem like you want me to,” he asked, shocking the shit out of her. She wouldn’t be surprised if her jaw just fell off her face.
“Are you daft, man? You don’t ask her permission. She’s a fucking slave, for gods’ sake! What did those council members teach you!” Master’s eyes landed on her, and her body froze. “Come here, girl,” he commanded in a low tone that made her knees wobble as she crossed the room. Shit, now she’d done it. You couldn’t just hand over your hand like a good little slave, could ya, Ness?
As soon as she was within reach, he snatched her arm. She could already feel it bruising beneath his grasp. He yanked her down onto the unoccupied cushion, his other hand gripping her thigh to hold her in place. As his fangs jabbed into her wrist, she yelped. Even Logan’s bite had never been that bad. Like someone jabbing a needle into your vein and twisting. She clenched her teeth as Master took long, painful pulls. Don’t cry. Tears are weakness. Thankfully, it didn’t last long.
When Master released her, he shoved her off the couch. She landed on her ass on the pristine white rug. Son of a bitch! Now, there was a big red mark on the floor. “There. That’s how it’s done, boy!”
She risked a glance up at Charlie’s face. He seemed perfectly calm except for the slight ticking in his jaw. Was he upset at her ill-treatment? Or was it just a muscle spasm? Probably the latter. He hadn’t cared the last ten years, why care now, right?
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Book Of The Month