An obsession with the past becomes his love story.
Obsessed with RMS Titanic from a young age, Lucas Thompson has spent his life studying the shipwreck and turning his passion into a career in marine archeology. But, on the one-hundred-year anniversary of the voyage, he’s drawn to the ship’s resting place by a strange sonar ripple that hurtles him back in time. Luke wakes in the year 1912 as a passenger on the grandest ship in the world.
It’s there that he meets Quinton Hawthorne, the man who sacrificed himself to save passengers during the sinking, including Luke’s great-grandmother. He also comes face-to-face with Lucinda Hughes, the very woman who raised him on her stories of the ship. With his inside knowledge of the impending disaster, Luke feels a responsibility to change history and develops a plan to save the doomed ship and its passengers.
Things quickly fall apart as Luke begins to fall for Quinton, knowing that it can only end in heartbreak. Though he’s determined to save Quinton, he’s also faced with a dilemma. Should he save the ship or allow destiny to play out?
April 11, 2012 4:27 pm
Lucas Thompson took a deep breath, allowing the salty sea air to penetrate every inch of his being. As the ship bobbed gently along the waves, Luke knew that this was where he was meant to be. He closed his eyes and stretched out his arms to let the fine spray mist over his face and soak into his dark gray T-shirt.
“Reliving a movie moment, are we?” a voice said behind him. He turned to see Kyle Stanton, Master of the Vessel, standing there with his hands stuffed into his coat pockets. Kyle was an average-looking man, with his dark-brown beard and constantly mussed hair. He wasn’t very tall, but he was strong and seemed to take every opportunity he could to prove so.
“Just taking in the air,” Luke replied. Kyle raised an eyebrow at him.
“Do you mean the nearly forty-degree air?” He began shrugging off his thick jacket. “Come on, Luke. You know better. I can’t have the head man getting sick on me.” Luke rolled his eyes but welcomed the warmth when Kyle placed his coat over Luke’s shoulders. The amount of cologne lingering in the fabric nearly choked him, but he endured it, if only to save Kyle’s feelings.
“Being out here clears my mind. Besides, there’s a whole team of people, and any one of them could take my place on Alice if they needed to. They’ve all been properly trained.” Kyle wrapped an arm around Luke and began to lead him down into the ship. He stopped at the base of the steps and turned to look at Luke.
“This is your expedition,” he said sincerely. He reached up, almost as if he wanted to touch Luke, but stopped himself. “You’re the heart and soul of this trip. You and this crew have been good to me over the past couple of years, you know. I’d follow you anywhere.”
“And what better opportunity to prove that than this wild goose chase?” Luke laughed and handed Kyle his jacket. “Thank you. I’m really glad the gang’s with me on this.” He turned to go to his room, the grin never leaving his face.
Luke pushed the door to his quarters open, shoving at it with his shoulder to widen the entrance. He’d been having to slip in and out of the narrow opening due to the stacks of boxes piled all around the room. Scrolls of maps and schematics littered every surface and boxes of records were stacked so high that Luke feared a paper avalanche might happen at any minute. Even the bed was buried somewhere under the journals and books. As much as he would like to excuse the mess as part of the expedition, both he and his friends knew better.
This was Luke’s collection, formed over the last eighteen years. It was his life’s work, which had started when he was only eight years old. Luke crossed the room and looked over his belongings, eventually coming to stand in front of the culmination of it all—his maritime archeology degree. He smiled sadly.
“This one’s for you, Gam.” Next to the degree hung an old black-and-white photograph of his great-grandmother, Lucinda Hughes. It had been taken back in the thirties and showed Lucinda posing on the beach, a soft breeze lifting her curls and a dazzling smile lighting up the camera. Luke touched the frame, then backed away. He had a lot of work to do before they reached the site.
For fans of the unsinkable ship and time travel romance, The Depths of Time is a must-read. It’s an emotional, page-turning story full of hope, loss, and love.
When Luke finds himself on board the Titanic, he’s lost and confused. Until he meets Quinton. The man has always fascinated him, but meeting Quinton in person has a much bigger impact on Luke. Falling in love wasn’t part of Luke’s plan. Once he falls for Quinton, he knows he can’t leave the man to die.
The Titanic has always been a fascination of mine. I can’t think about the horror of that night without wanting to cry for all the lives lost. In Lori Fayre’s The Depths of Time, the story of Titanic gets a somewhat happy ending.
Lori Fayre was born and raised in a small South Georgia town. Her debut novel, “The Devil’s Maverick”, was a novel nearly six years in the making. An obsessive consumer of romance, Lori knew it was the only genre for her. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, drawing, or binging Hulu with her husband and Yorkie.
Genre: Time travel romance, Scottish Historical Romance
He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.
It is 1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…
Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.
The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion.
Will they find Duncan’s uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?
“Storm coming,” Lewis said laconically. “I can smell it.”
Duncan studied the sky. If anything, the clouds had sunk even lower, dark and menacing they seemed within touching distance. What little wind there had been fell away, and sweat dewed Duncan’s face, his neck.
“Best increase our pace,” he said.
“Won’t help,” Lewis said. “We’ll be caught in it anyway.”
Duncan gave him an irritated look.
Lewis merely shrugged. “One does not die of rain or thunder,” he said. “I recall—”
Whatever Lewis remembered was drowned in a clap of thunder. And just like that, the storm was upon them. Daylight disappeared, replaced by a murky half-light that made it difficult to see much more than the road before them. Rain fell in torrents from above, and all around lightning flared.
Duncan’s horse baulked, shying from something Duncan could not see. He heard Lewis call out, tried to locate his man but could not make out anything but the whipping branches of the trees. Now and then the darkness was seared with light when a bolt of lightning flashed too close, and every time that happened, Duncan’s mount skittered sideways, throwing frantically with her head.
The road was still visible, widening into a crossroads. Duncan wiped at his face and tried to take his bearings. They were at most a couple of miles from Bourne’s Island. Something crackled overhead. This time, lightning struck very close. Thunder roared, the ground shook.
Duncan’s mare reared and neighed.
“Easy lass,” Duncan said, clutching at her mane to keep his seat. She reared again, bucked, and Duncan was sent flying. He landed painfully in the gravel. His head connected with a rock and for a moment he lost consciousness. Long enough that when he looked up the horse was gone, racing back the way they’d come.
Duncan tried to stand. His head hurt, his face stung and there was blood on the knees of his breeches. Yet another clap of thunder had him jumping backwards, pain shooting through his left leg. The crossroads was a slurry of mud, and the ground tilted this way and that. Once again lightning flashed overhead and the road beneath his feet shook. He had to find cover but standing under trees in a thunderstorm was never a good idea. Duncan shivered and took a shuffling step towards the closest oak. At least it would offer some cover from the rain and lashing wind.
Step by careful step, he made his way over the crossroads. God’s fish, but his leg hurt, and to judge from how his vision blurred, the blow to his head had been hard enough to do some serious damage. One more step and he was at the centre of the crossroads, gaping at how the muddy water swirled around his feet. And then something changed. Instead of dirty brown water, wisps of bright colours coiled themselves around his feet. Green and blue bands tightened round his legs. He couldn’t move, transfixed by the colours. With a roar, the ground at his feet parted. Duncan fell, his last conscious thought being that Grandma Alex had been right: crossroads were dangerous places indeed.
Erin Barnes leaned forward to crank up the volume, squinting at the road before her. Her wipers swished back and forth like a couple of high-speed metronomes, but with the rain coming down in torrents they did little to improve visibility.
She took a right and lowered her speed as she approached the old crossroads. In weather such as this, the old gravel roads became water-logged, and she definitely didn’t need the complication of an accident. Not after this shitty day. Her hands tightened on the steering wheel. She threw a look at the rear-view mirror: no headlights following her. Idiot, she told herself, they wouldn’t dare.
“No, of course they wouldn’t,” she said out loud but the knot of tension that lived in her stomach remained where it was, an uncomfortable weight that had her glancing back the way she’d come over and over again. Steve might. He’d looked ready to throttle her earlier and he had a damned short temper.
Had her grandmother Emily been alive, she’d have told Erin that some crusades were best left alone—unless one was willing to pay the price. Crusade? Erin snorted. This was no crusade, this was her sinking her teeth into a story that would make her career as a journalist and avenge Emily’s death. Well, unless the story got her killed first.
She’d spent months getting an in on it, swallowing down the desire to throw up that afflicted her whenever Steve kissed her or pawed at her body. And now…She tightened her hold on the wheel, recalling just how quickly Josephine Wilkes’ expression had changed, from mildly interested to icy rage when she studied the pics in Erin’s phone. Okay, so she’d done a lot of illegal snooping to take those pics, using the hot romance between Steve and herself as a cover to access his family home on several occasions. Too bad Mama Josephine wasn’t as dense as her youngest son—but then, if she’d been that dumb she would not be heading the racketeering business she’d inherited from her husband years ago.
So here she was, driving madly for the safety of her home, south of the air field. Safety? Please! But now that they had her phone, now that they’d slapped her around a bit, maybe they thought she’d do the smart thing and just keep her head down. Huh. When she’d squeezed out of the narrow bathroom window and sprinted for her car, Erin had been as determined as ever to bring the Wilkes family down. Even more, actually, given that now it was personal, her face swollen and puffy after the repeated “love pats” from dear ex-boyfriend Steve.
Thunder crackled through the night and Erin jumped, the car swerving slightly. Shit! More thunder, and if anything the rain intensified, a veritable deluge that had her slowing her speed to a crawl. A flash of lightning illuminated the landscape and a huge bundle lying right in the middle of the crossroads. Was that a man? An outflung arm? Erin stepped on the brake. Too late. There was a dull thump when her fender connected with the object. For some moments, she just sat there, her hands clenched so tight round the steering wheel they hurt. On the radio, someone was singing about perfection.
From outside came a loud howl. It made her jump. Definitely a human voice and with a deep sigh Erin concluded her day had just gone from bad to worse. She’d just hit some poor idiot, although to be fair, it was just as much his fault as hers. What sort of moron would just lie on the middle of the road. An injured one, her brain told her, one that is even more injured now that you’ve run him over.
There was a gun in the glove compartment, and she tucked it into the waist of her jeans before getting out. One never knew, this could be one of Steve’s more subtle attempts at getting his hands on her, but the moment she thought it she dismissed it as ridiculous. Steve had little finesse, was way more into brutal intimidation. She shivered, uncertain if it was the rain or the thought of Steve that chilled her to the bone. The pile on the road groaned.
A man, she concluded some moments later. Dark hair plastered to his forehead, something that resembled a linen shirt stuck to his torso and long legs encased in weird pants and knee-high boots. Erin rolled her eyes. One of those Renaissance Fair types, she thought, placing a careful hand on his back to make sure he was still breathing.
“Hey,” she said, wiping at her face. “Are you okay?” Stupid, stupid question. The man’s eyes fluttered open.
“Hi,” she said, trying out a little smile.
“Hi?” He scooted out of reach and sat up, groaning loudly. He looked at her. His eyes widened. He blinked and looked again.
“Can you stand?” she asked him, wondering if it would be totally uncharitable to help him to the side and then drive off.
Aye? And what an odd accent. He sounded British, somehow.
The man lurched to his feet, took a step and promptly fell to his knees.
“Are you drunk?” she demanded. He clutched at his left leg and she was suffused with guilt. She’d broken his leg or something, and here she was accusing him of being drunk.
He looked at her. “I wish I was,” he said. “It would explain my hallucinations.”
“Aye.” His eyes narrowed. “Or are you real?” Once again, he stood, favouring his left leg. He was tall, well over six feet, and that shirt of his displayed an impressively broad chest. He was also bleeding from a gash on his forehead, his right sleeve was badly burned as was the forearm and hand, and he grimaced when he put weight on his left foot.
“Of course I’m real.” She grabbed hold of him when he swayed. He yelped and shied away, landing yet again on the ground.
“God’s fish!” he exclaimed. “You are real!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.
Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. Her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk, has her returning to medieval times. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. Her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, is a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands.
All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.
Tagline: An explosive enemies-to-lovers tale teeming with wicked secrets and fiery passion.
The only thing Destiny knows is her name, but who’s complaining? She lives in a beautiful million-dollar seaside chalet without a care in the world. At least until a psychic shows up at her front door claiming Destiny’s true identity is remarkable. She must remember who she is. What she’s meant to do. If that isn’t enough, her house isn’t her own, and her fate tied to a man in the distant past. A fierce, brooding Viking who’s too arrogant for his own good yet sinfully alluring.
Leviathan doesn’t believe in love, so the woman he saved shouldn’t be haunting his thoughts. Especially considering they barely got along. Yet now, thanks to the fire he used to keep Destiny alive, the feisty, stunning redhead is put in his path once more. Worse yet, she might be the foretold Sigdir who sparks the next Great War. That means she must die by his blade once and for all.
Will Leviathan be able to sacrifice Destiny to save everyone? Or is it already too late, and she’s found her way into a heart he didn’t know he had? Find out as they embark on an epic dragon shifter romance adventure across time in Viking Ancestors: Forged in Fire.
As dumbfounded as she’d been when she saw it from afar, Destiny looked up at the castle towering over her. It wasn’t a typical Viking structure but something more sinister yet somehow alluring. Blackened wall walks curved around dozens of towers, and spires shot toward the sky.
“Though he calls it the Realm’s, welcome to what everyone calls Leviathan’s Keep behind his back,” Freya informed. “Because he does so much for us. Gives us safe harbor.” She grinned. “He built it to Múspellsheimr standards to make its dragons feel welcome. All dragons, for that matter.” She glanced at Leviathan with pride. “It’s seen many battles over the years as dragons grew into their own, but in the end, it’s always been a place of resolution and accord. A place where dragons can act like themselves among their own kind.”
“Impressive.” She meant it too. This place was something else.
She eyed people as they made their way toward an ancient-looking grand staircase leading to a behemoth door flagged by massive torches. Though everyone looked normal enough, Viking to the bone, she could feel the fluctuating animalistic energy in the air. Leviathan nodded at many in passing but said little, his expression hard though his eyes were cordial enough.
“It might be safe, but he still doesn’t want them out in this unnatural weather, does he?” she murmured. “He’s worried about them.”
“Every hour of every day of every year,” Freya said softly. “Endlessly.” Her knowing gaze slid Destiny’s way. “Not many see that so clearly.” She considered her. “Or better put, feel it.”
“My necklace then?” Destiny hadn’t missed the shocked glances that went from her face to her collar. Again, she felt the urge to yank it off, declaring her independence, and again, just as swiftly, wanted it right where it was.
“You know better than to ask me that.” Freya stuck close, making it clear to all they were allies. Friends despite having just met. “You knew Leviathan better than most before I put that necklace on you.”
“Perhaps,” she murmured, but Freya was right. Whatever had happened between them had bonded them together in a way she knew damn well he struggled with. She struggled with.
Yet it had happened.
Was part of them.
And it was locking them together more readily than a collar ever could.
The inside of the castle took her breath away with its stark, towering, regal yet gothic beauty. A massive octagonal great hall led to several long, spiraling staircases going in different directions, rising up so high she wondered if there were an end in sight. Endless cathedral-like stained glass windows depicting sweeping dragons were made more magnificent by the shimmering ash beyond.
“Look at this place,” she whispered in awe, not sure what to admire first.
Four behemoth hearths hosted roaring fires, and huge bowls of fire hung like chandeliers as high as the eye could see. The air smelled of smoke, lust, and roasting meat.
“It used to reek of sulfur too,” Freya said out of the corner of her mouth, “but Leviathan whipped things into shape and taught this bunch how to get their dragon breath under control.”
She bit back a smile. “Glad to hear that.”
Everyone might appear Viking with fur cloaks and pagan looks, but there was no mistaking the fire flaring in many a cat-like eye. Dragons peered back at her with such strong curiosity she knew her collar had made a big impact.
Where Leviathan had remained in front of them to this point, now he fell in beside Destiny. Not to introduce her but rather, from what she could tell, to claim his territory. There was no grand introduction that a time traveler had arrived but rather a pointed sweep from his stormy gaze, lingering on select group of males before he gestured that she follow him.
“Seriously?” she said under her breath to Freya. “Was that Leviathan’s way of welcoming me?”
“Yes.” Freya chuckled and linked arms with her, again making it clear to all they were friends. “And I’ve never seen him do it. Not once with anyone.” She winked. “Let alone a woman branded by his scale.”
“Ah, so that’s the official name for wearing this around my neck?” She snorted. “Sounds like ownership if I didn’t know better.”
“But you do know better,” Freya reminded. “You know this is all for show because you and Leviathan don’t do forever.”
About the Author:
Sky Purington is the bestselling author of over fifty novels and novellas. A New Englander born and bred who recently moved to Virginia, Purington married her hero, has an amazing son who inspires her daily and two ultra-lovable husky shepherd mixes. Passionate for variety, Sky’s vivid imagination spans several romance genres, including historical, time travel, paranormal, fantasy and erotica. Expect steamy stories teeming with protective alpha heroes and strong-minded heroines.
Purington loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com. Interested in keeping up with Sky’s latest news and releases? Either visit Sky’s website, http://www.SkyPurington.com, join her quarterly newsletter, or sign up for personalized text message alerts. Text ‘skypurington’ (no quotes, one word, all lowercase) to 74121. Texts will ONLY be sent when there is a new book release. Readers can easily opt out at any time.
Cocky American Ad Exec, Bradley Connors, and his courageous ex-RAF fighter pilot husband, Janes Garrett, are back in London and once again separated through the power of time. With James stranded in 1956 during a polio outbreak, a world of homophobia threatens to keep him from the man he loves. How will he talk himself out of the trouble he’s unwittingly creating? Who from his past can he rely on to help him get home to Bradley? Will they be able to save their friends from the deadly pandemic or will they too perish in the attempt? And can they do all this while reaffirming that nothing can tear their love apart, not even time itself? Time Cures is a love story like no other. It’s a romance through time.
“Considering the length of time he was unconscious, I feel it imperative that he remain in hospital for at least the next twenty-four hours for observation. Provided no other symptoms manifest, he can be released to his family at that time,” Dr. Donaldson advised.
James was relieved that the diagnosis wasn’t worse. He knew Bradley was still going to be angry at him for getting hurt. Again. At least he would be angry – once Bradley got over being relieved – when James finally got around to calling him.
“Pardon me, Doctor,” the nurse interrupted before the doctor could make his grand exit. “But, before ya came in, the patient was showing signs of confusion and talkin’ all sorts a nonsense. I’m thinking he mighta banged his ‘ead a bit harder than he’s lettin’ on.”
“Confusion?” That got the good doctor’s attention.
“Yes, Doctor. He was spoutin’ some nonsense ‘bout needin’ to ring his husband, an’ seemed to think he had a telephone in that kit bag of ‘is.” The nurse pointed to James’ messenger bag while giving the doctor a knowing look.
“Is that so . . .” The doctor turned back to his patient, one bushy eyebrow raised inquisitively, much more interested in the young blond man now than he had been initially. “Do you remember your name, son?”
“Yes, of course. It’s James Garrett.”
The doctor nodded and asked another question. “Do you remember the accident that gave you that bump on the head?”
James thought about it, but just came up blank. He started to shake his head to indicate ‘no’, only the gesture made the dizziness and nausea worse. He groaned and dropped his head into his hands. “No,” he moaned.
“Well, that’s not a good sign,” Doctor Obvious surmised, his eyebrows knitting together so closely that they now looked like one long, hairy caterpillar creeping across his forehead. “Now, what’s all this chit chat about a telephone and a husband?”
“I just want to call him and let him know where I’m at,” James offered, feeling and sounding pathetic even to his own ears.
“You say you have a . . . Husband ?” The doctor very clearly emphasized the word ‘husband’ in a disbelieving tone of voice.
“Yes! I want to call MY HUSBAND, okay?” James was losing patience with the proceedings and his voice had risen commensurately with his annoyance level. “His name is Bradley Connors. We’re here visiting from the United States; Bradley has business with a big client here. We’re staying at The Strand Palace. He’s probably waiting for me there and, most likely, has already called the police to help find me. If you’d just let me get my cell phone out of my bag I can call him and he’ll come down here and take me to a different hospital where they’ll stop asking me idiotic questions . . .”
The doctor interrupted him before he could continue his rant. “Do you know where you are right now?”
“You mean the hospital? The nurse said it was St. Bart’s. Or do you mean London?”
“Righteo. And what’s the date?”
“Um . . .” James had to think a little about that, his memory going a little fuzzy on him. “I think it’s still Monday, right? August . . . August 14th?”
“Close. You got the date correct but it’s Tuesday. What about the year?”
“2017 . . . ?” James answered, starting to get a funny feeling about where all these questions were leading.
“Hmmmm,” was Donaldson’s only reply. Then he turned to the nurse with more directions. “Clearly, this is a much more serious case than I previously suspected. We could be looking at Traumatic Encephalopathy or, perhaps, some type of advanced psychosis. I’m going to call in Dr. Abbott for a psychiatric evaluation. Change the charge order to note a seventy-two hour hold.” Returning his attention to the patient he added, “never fear, young man. We’re going to take good care of you. Hopefully, by the time we’re done here, you’ll be in tiptop shape once more, back in full possession of all your mental faculties.”
With that proclamation, Dr. Donaldson spun about and started for the door.
“Wait,” James shouted after the departing man before he could exit. “What year is it, really?”
TAG has been writing for almost a decade, starting out with a hesitant toe in the realm of fanfiction before venturing into the scarier world of self-publishing original works. With an eclectic background as a lawyer, microbiologist, all-around nerd, and adventurer, TAG brings that off-kilter sense of humor, unbounded curiosity, a love of details, and astonishing powers of research to all their writing. If you are looking for a griping story, with compelling characters that deal with real world issues, then you’re in the right place.
Lily has been writing close to for twenty years, but has only ever (until recently) dipped her toes into writing fan-fiction. Lily is a born and bred Londoner and loves nothing more than getting lost in a book – whether it be writing one of her own, or reading something from one of her favorite authors. In her spare time, Lily likes to think of herself as somewhat of a disability rights activist, helping to create change for those that may not have a voice to speak up or, like Lily herself, those that may have been too quiet to stand up for themselves.
A mysterious inheritance and magical forces thrust Kara Malone through the ages to the Scottish Highlands of old. There she encounters Alaxandar McLeod, the dark stranger who inhabits her dreams.
Alaxandar leads the charge to learn the truth about the violent raids against his clan. When his horse almost tramples a beautiful stranger, he is beguiled but skeptical. Is she a spy, or worse, a witch come to lure him with her body and distract him from his quest?
With his clan ever leery of Kara’s presence, and the raids intensifying, Alaxandar must decide what is right for his family and his heart. Will Kara choose to stay with the stranger from her dreams made flesh, or the mission she vowed to complete?
She held tightly to her grandmother’s fragile hand, her fingers trembling. “The key is hidden with your grandfather’s picture,” Glynnis said with her last breath.
A loud rumbling shifted Kara Malone’s subconscious from that heart-rending scene to one where horses ran full speed, and men screamed. She woke with a start. Fully conscious of her surroundings, she identified the noise as thunder. The fury of the storm rattled the windows.
“Damn.” She swung her legs over the side of the full-sized bed as a bolt of lightning cracked outside. She clutched the edge of the mattress, bowing her head and breathing deeply. Dreams and nightmares had been her constant companions since the age of thirteen. This one shook her more so than usual because it involved not only the wild and handsome warrior, but the last moments with her grandmother, as well.
Pulling on sweats, she went downstairs to quench her thirst and steady her nerves. She headed straight to the antique liquor cabinet and a bottle of Asbach Uralt Brandy. The lining of her throat burned as the alcohol coated it. Her eyes watered.
They weren’t tears. She rarely cried.
She looked out the window. Sheets of rain showered the lawn. Mother Nature’s cleansing.
Clutching the glass, Kara wandered the well-known house in the dark, feeling like an intruder. Without her grandmother, the place would soon be unbearable. No more laughter while making bat-wing cookies for trick-or-treaters. No more hot buttered eggnog with that hint of Rum at Christmastime while wrapping presents in front of the fire.
Lurking on the threshold, she jumped as lightning lit her grandmother’s darkened bedroom. She hadn’t realized she’d come to this room, the sanctuary of her childhood when the nightmares had gotten so awful that she ran to Haskell and Glynnis’ room. They smiled, opening their arms and their hearts to give her peace from the frightening moments. No child should suffer the fear of the unknown alone.
A fluttering motion caught her eye. She turned her head. There was nothing there.
‘Tis the wee fairies ye see, little Kara. They protect the children.’
Glynnis had a story for everything. “There are no children here anymore, Grams.”
In another flash, the portrait of Haskell Malone brightened. Her grandmother’s weak voice echoed in her head. The memory of Glynnis looking so frail and worn lying in the hospital bed caused Kara to take a huge gulp from the tumbler. She hissed as it burned her throat and soothed her nerves.
The amber-colored liquid sloshed onto her hand as she slammed the drink down on the dresser. She licked it off before lifting the cumbersome frame from the wall. First, she lay the frame face down and slid the backer from its tracks. There were no magic keys taped to the cardboard or canvas. “I knew she was pulling my leg,” Kara murmured putting everything back together. She stood the portrait against the wall.
Rain battered the roof and wind bent trees almost in half with its force. Another bright burst of lightning and booming thunderclap caused her to jump.
“Get a grip.”
Nights of little to no sleep were making her hands jittery and her mind foggy. She looked at the frame again. A weird feeling came over her. Something didn’t seem right or was she imagining it? She flipped on the lamp and stared at the ornate, golden, hand-carved filigree on the frame. Glancing at the smiling face of her grandfather, she grumbled. “Do you know something I don’t, Grandpa?”
Kara ran her fingertips along the edges and touched the design until her forefinger scraped against an oddity. Moving closer, she concentrated on that area. She rubbed her thumb over it and pushed. A small gold key popped out of the design.
“Oh my God.”
Why would her grandmother hide the key in such a sneaky way? Glynnis had seemed to have all her faculties still intact before she passed. But surely, the story couldn’t be true.
Shaky fingers lifted the brandy glass. Clan stone, Scotland, myths, and legends. Glynnis loved the fairytales. Ancient Scotland was her favorite subject. She talked about the people with such familiarity. It was like she actually knew them.
“This is ridiculous,” Kara said. Marching over to the closet, she threw open the door and stared into the cluttered space. She pushed into the mess. “I swear the woman was a pack rat. You’d think she’d never heard of the Salvation Army or Goodwill.”
Ten minutes later, in the farthest recesses, her fingers brushed something. Blowing hair out of her eyes, she pulled the ten-by-eight-inch cedar box adorned with Celtic symbols into her lap. She recognized her grandfather’s handiwork in the intricate carvings. A Celtic wooden cross, which hung in the living room above the doorway, had also been hand-carved by Haskell. It was a grand hobby of his. Flipping the box over, she ran her fingers across his initials etched in the corner.
The tiny lock had the same shape as the key. An excitement—or was it fear—gripped Kara’s stomach. The room seemed hotter than before. Standing, she grabbed the dresser to fight off waves of dizziness.
Never drink on an empty stomach.
Crossing the floor, she sat on the edge of the bed and hugged the box to her chest. The combination of alcohol and sleepless nights caused blurry vision and the start of a major headache. She didn’t think she could deal with another shock right now. Placing the key on the chain around her neck, she tucked the box under her arm and went back to bed.
It’ll wait. What was one more day going to matter?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sloan McBride is a multi-published author whose books have been reviewed, and featured in RT Book Reviews. She is a romance author who leans toward the paranormal, adding suspense, and mixing in mythology with her Time Walker Series. She dances through the Highlands, making merry with the clans in The Talisman Trilogy, and turns up the heat in the crazy world of smokejumpers in the Men of Fire Trilogy.
Sloan lives in Illinois with her husband of 39 years and two children who have grown into adulthood. By day she is executive assistant to the majority owner of a dynamic law firm. By night, she puts on her writing persona and creates kick-ass heroines and the tortured men who love them.
If you’d like more information about Sloan, please visit her website at http://www.sloanmcbride.com where you can sign up for her newsletter to receive notice of new books, giveaways, and more.
Ever since the genre exploded in the mainstream romance world back in 1986, with the publication of Timeless Passion by Constance O’Day Flannery, I have loved time travel. It had always been my goal to write time travel in a unique way, and Dreamland certainly delivers on that! I love all the books I’ve written, but I have to admit, this one is my favorite.
Tell us something about the novel that doesn’t appear on the blurb or the excerpt.
Okay, obviously if the book is set in Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties, I had to mention someone famous. So…Dicen and Juliet go to a party and he sees a man that’s slightly familiar. Juliet tells him it’s John Barrymore, and he replies now he sees the resemblance to Drew. Juliet asks who’s that, and he replies “Just a girl I know.” I think the scene is hilarious!
How much research went into Dreamland?
I wanted this to be as authentic as possible so a lot of research went into the lingo. The 1920s was a completely unique time period, rich and beautiful as well as dangerous and frivolous. We as readers know what’s right around the bend for these people, how the world descends into the Great Depression, and we feel that live-or-die exuberance from the characters. And it’s heartbreakingly intriguing. That’s what I love about this book and these characters.
The Roaring Twenties lingo
Bimbo: refers to a macho man
Giggle water: liquor, alcoholic beverage
Half-seas over: shitfaced
Jake: okay, as in “Everything’s fine”
Big six: tough, like a six-cylinder engine
Keen: appealing, good looking
Balled up: messed up
Bee’s knees: great
Rummy: drunk man
Drugstore cowboy: man hanging around the street corners
Dicen Burke had it all. As lead singer in the world famous rock band, Dark Army, the world lay at his feet. But the path to super stardom warred with a painful past and during a performance the demons haunting him finally descended. Unable to stop the self-destructive path of alcohol and drugs, when he fell, he fell hard.
He wakes up in a world he doesn’t know. The Twenty-first century rocker is now in the 1920’s, lost and bewildered. He’s taken in by Juliet Fox, a beautiful woman trying to be a positive influence in her brother’s wild lifestyle among the Hollywood Motion Picture elite.
Dicen does his best to adapt, and with Juliet by his side, he discovers a world that offers him a clean slate. But when he’s pulled back to the present, separated by time from the one person that gives him a reason to live, will he find a way to push past his demons as well as find Juliet again?
“Hey you,” a soft voice commanded. “Open your eyes please”
He tried to obey, struggling to push past the lingering darkness that clung to him like a second skin. God, he felt horrible.
“That’s it,” she soothed. “Open your eyes. Look at me.”
Finally, he managed to raise his eyelids. An angel leaned over him, staring into his eyes. She smiled at him so he smiled back. He had always thought it would be demons that would come collect him when he died so it amazed him that heaven was calling.
“Ah, a set of beautiful baby blues,” she murmured, stroking his cheek. “Hello, handsome.”
He opened his mouth to say something but the words wouldn’t come. His tongue felt swollen, dry. He forced himself to swallow to try to get some saliva flowing.
She cocked her head. “Bad hooch I’m thinking. Gotta be careful of certain juice joints. Come,” she said, holding out her hand. “Let’s get you sitting upright.”
He hadn’t realized he’d been lying down but as she helped him up, he realized the halo around her head had been nothing more but the flickering of a street light accentuating the midnight hue of her hair. When he was vertical once more, he finally saw all of the woman’s features. Short bobbed hair held back by a headband made of crystal beads while dark eyes watched him from under thin, perfectly arched eyebrows. Her lips were a cupid’s bow, painted a deep red. Her skin a flawless pale shade that contrasted sharply with her heavily made up eyes.
“Like what you see?” she asked.
He blinked. “I always like my fans. Where am I?”
One of those thin eyebrows arched. “That hooch must’ve really made you balled up. You’re off Hollywood Boulevard, of course, belly up in an alley.”
He looked around, completely baffled. How the hell did he get here? Where was the stage? The screaming fans? Kieron, Van and Tony?
“Do you have a name, handsome?”
“Yeah, sorry. I’m Dicen Burke.”
He waited. He waited for the name to sink in, for her eyes to widen, for her to begin batting her eyes in an attempt to flirt her way into his bed.
“Juliet,” she said. “Juliet Fox. I was looking for my brother, Thayer, and figured I’d find him upchucking out here and instead I find a keen big six. Say, you’re no drugstore cowboy are you?”
“Excuse me?” Her lack of a response to his name, along with slang he didn’t understand, threw him.
“You know, a guy that hangs around street corners looking to pick up ladies. Just so we’re clear on the matter, I ain’t that kind of girl,” she informed him, the smile on her face lessening the harshness of her tone. “Have you seen another man out here, by chance, throwing up?”
She confused him. He shook his head and then wished he hadn’t when it throbbed. “God, I need an aspirin.”
I began reading my mom’s Harlequin Presents in the fifth grade, and from the first story I knew I wanted to write romance novels. I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate highrollers. I try to write characters who aren’t cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love. You can find me on the web at:
Julian St. John needs a wife. An oath to his deceased guardian must be kept. Miss Clarissa Andrews, a vexatious beauty, has dangled after him all season, but he has no intention of choosing such a she-devil.
Maine, Present Day
Author Claire Channing is desperate to write a bestseller. She moves into her grandmother’s abandoned cottage to write, but a local land baron wants to raze the place, and without the deed, the clock is ticking on how long she can stay. She thinks she’s writing St. Johnʼs story. But when she discovers an old prayer shawl and is transported to his Regency world, she falls in love with him—a man she thought she invented! But Miss Andrews is also real—and she’d rather see Julian dead than in another womanʼs arms!
Claire must beat the clock to prevent a deadly tragedy, but can love beat the limits of time itself?
Linore Rose Burkard is a serious watcher of period films, a Janeite, and hopeless romantic. An award winning author best known for Inspirational Regency Romance, her first book opened the genre for the CBA. Besides historical romance, Linore writes contemporary suspense (The Pulse Effex Series, as L.R. Burkard), contemporary romance (Falling In), and romantic short stories. Linore has a magna cum laude English Lit. degree from CUNY which she earned while taking herself far too seriously. She now resides in Ohio with her husband and family, where she turns her youthful angst into character or humor-driven plots.
Sign up for Linore’s newsletter to be automatically entered in monthly book drawings. You’ll also receive a free novella, Coach and Four: Allisandra’s Tale, set in the days of King Charles II! Enter your email to join here: http://www.LinoreBurkard.com
In the fifth book in the Time For Alexander series, the Thief of Souls has stolen Alexander’s soul, and the druids have foretold the end of their world and have raised an army to kidnap Paul. They mean to stop Rome from invading Gaul and thus change the course of time. Meanwhile, an oracle tells Alexander and Ashley they must go to the Land of the Eaters of the Dead.
Paul has stowed away on their ship, and Nearchus has decided that now is the time to profess his love to Alexander. To further complicate things, Charidmus, an old foe of Alexander’s, recognizes him and realizes he hasn’t died. Ashley knows she must stop the druids, find the Thief of Souls, keep Charidemus quiet, somehow get Nearchus out of their bed, and time back on track – or the Time Senders are going to have a fit. There’s also a small matter of a human sacrifice with Alexander as the chosen victim. What’s a time traveler to do?
‘Who is Voltarrix, and what is a thief of souls?’ I asked Yovanix, the Gallic slave who had joined us on our voyage.
‘In Celtic myth, it’s a druid who can steal souls.’ He made a face. ‘I’m not explaining this very well. I’m not Celt you see. But if Anoramix was afraid of him, I would be frightened too. Anoramix was never afraid of anything, not even death. There’s one last thing I should tell you.’ He licked his lips nervously. ‘Selena told me never to trust you. She said you were really Persephone, the Queen of Ice and Darkness, and that your heart was like a stone.’
‘She was still upset about Anoramix,’ I said uncertainly.
‘She blamed you for his death and wanted revenge. She forbade me to tell you that Voltarrix is still seeking Paul. She said that Paul would never be safe, and that no one could protect him.’
‘What does he want with Paul?’
Yovanix spoke as if weighing his words. ‘If it’s true Iskander lost his soul, I think I know why. If Voltarrix captured Paul and put Iskander’s soul in his body, can you imagine what would happen? Paul can no longer call the moon, but he can grow up to lead an army. The Druids are starting to feel the end of their world approaching. They speak of only one thing now; stopping the Romans before it’s too late. Some think it’s already too late. Voltarrix is one of the old ones who believe that time can be twisted.’
‘Twisted?’ I echoed. My voice sounded odd.
‘The druids believe that time can be changed, like a river’s course. They can change it, slow it, or speed it up. With enough work, they can even make it flow backward. Time is the foundation of the druid’s religion’
It was starting to make sense. Time. The Aztecs had foreseen the date their empire would topple, and they had tried to turn back time with their ceremonies. Nothing had worked for them. Nothing would work for the druids. The Romans would take over and usher in the modern world. Unless a boy, who never should have been born, somehow changed time. It was conceivable – there were still two hundred years. After that, nothing would halt the inexorable march of the Roman Empire and the event that changed the world; the birth of Christ. But suppose the druids somehow managed to unite the Norsemen, Celts, and Gauls against the Romans? What if Paul were somehow the catalyst? Paul – with Iskander’s soul.
I took a deep breath. I would have to think about this. There were three people in the world who should never have been born: Paul, Chiron, and Cleopatra – and I was not supposed to be in this time or place. Anyone of us could, conceivably, change the world. A butterfly’s wings indeed.
Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories..
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genres: Paranormal/Suspense/Dark Fantasy/Time Travel/Alternate History/Wildest West
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Wild Ride — Strange dreams tell Nikos he’s meant to be more than a Secret Keeper, tracking the predatory Nightlings. Alexei, a time traveler from the past, has come to find Nikos and take him back to the year 2007. It’s going to be a wild ride…
Hell at One Dark Window — It’s the end of the world as we knew it. For most folk survival is all that matters, and the only justice to be found comes at the end of a pistol or the point of a stake. Barrett, a vampire and a highwayman, gets his kicks out of stealing from robber barons. He’s going to take his human lover, Nathaniel, and getting the hell out of Dodge. So to speak. All he needs is to pull off one last big job…
Blood Red — On the coldest night of the year, Ros is cast out of a village for the sin of lying with another man. He’s meant to go to his death, but stumbles instead into the enchanted garden of a Beast… a vampire Beast. Will the Beast find the salvation he’s sought for so long in the arms of a wise and willing story teller?
Sidetracked — An escort-for-hire, Devon’s just been humiliated and stiffed by his patron of the evening. When the subway taking him home switches tracks, Devon finds himself alone with a man in a white mask and gloves, a man who embodies every sexual fantasy Devon’s ever had. Is this a dream, or has he found himself Phantom Night Rider?
Willa Okati is made of many things: imagination, coffee, stray cat hairs, daydreams, more coffee, kitchen experimentation, a passion for winter weather, a little more coffee, and a lifelong love of storytelling. She is definitely one of the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
I’m pleased to share information about my new release, Journey Across Time, and the first book, Dream Across Time, with everyone. Journey Across Time is the second book in a renewed series of mine, which is now called Raritan Manor Ranch.
Many years ago in a state far away (Texas at that time), I started to write romance. Before that, as some of you may already know, I’d been into writing horror. Still am, but that’s a tale for another day under my other pen name. Anyway, at that time, I came up with ideas for a few stories that revolved around a particular family and a matchmaking cat who all lived in New Jersey. New Jersey is where I’d been born (even more years ago) and raised.
There was a house and piece of property up the road from my family’s place that I’d been enamored with and considered buying if it were ever to find itself on the market. Obviously, I never did make that particular real estate purchase since I live over two thousand miles away from it now, but I did the next best thing. I used it as the house in the series, though please note, I’ve taken artistic liberties with its architectural plans. 😉 The house on the cover does resemble what it looks like in real life. One of the pics I’ve included for this post is a blurry one, taken when hubby and I drove past it one day.
Some of you might notice that the first two stories (and the third one once it becomes available) seem familiar. The first three books in the Raritan Manor Ranch series had found a publishing home once upon a time, but alas, as some relationships go, that wasn’t meant to be a lifetime one. Back in their ex’s home, they had different titles and a different series name. Now the books have been given new life through Evernight Publishing. The fictional house and family in the stories have relocated to Nevada, word count has been added, the stories have been re-edited, and the current series title pays homage to a river in NJ that I grew up near. And, yes, the cat (who is modeled after my own fur baby) still plays a part in the stories.
Thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time! I do hope you’ll check out this series and my other books. 🙂
Blurb for the first book, Dream Across Time
A woman in love. A ghost in need. A man possessed.
Evelyn Sheridan is in love with Raritan Manor Ranch’s resident ghost, Quinn, but can only experience his embrace in her dreams.
Quinn VanAlder, who doesn’t realize he’s a ghost, loves Eve and wishes she’d stop saying they can’t be together.
While at the ranch, Alex VanAlder arrives for a visit, and Evelyn’s hopes rise. Perhaps she will be able to have a real relationship after all. Alex, though, has no interest in Evelyn. Yet, every time the house cat, Myrddin, comes around, Alex feels like a man possessed and wants Eve with a passion.
Caught between loving a ghost and putting up with a man who can’t make up his mind, Evelyn is at a loss. Can the magic of the ranch help Evelyn to stop being caught between two worlds?
A woman examining life. A man on a quest. Time restores his spirit and her love.
Trent, a man in the past on a mission to discover where he belongs, embarks on a spiritual journey. His spirit guide, to his dismay, is a frisky feline named Myrddin. During a ritual, the cat brings the soul searcher forward into Julie VanAlder’s world.
Julie is attracted to the newcomer on the ranch, but his strange mannerisms and speech dictate she use caution, especially when she learns where he’s from. A botched relationship, supposed time travel, spiritual mumbo jumbo…it’s almost too much for Julie to take.
Can Trent make her believe in destiny and win her love before it’s too late?
But now Trent doesn’t even look like he was ever affected by the car ride. Amazed at how much energy he had, she sat up and crossed her legs. Boy, what a sight he is.
Trent, shirtless and showing off his built body, strolled from the water, moving with precision. The women around her tittered, whispering fast and lewd phrases about “the hunk.” Her gaze swung to one group of females whose attentions and words confirmed their obvious appraisals of the man. She looked back at Trent. His quadriceps rippled with each stride, fighting against the sand’s resistance. He stopped and wiped his forehead. Beads of water trailed down his light brown skin, glistening on him like pixie dust. He bent over, then quickly straightened. His long black hair made an arc in the air, casting off the seawater. Trent ran his fingers through his slick and shiny locks.
Poseidon come to life. Beautiful Greek god incarnate. Julie sighed. No wonder he’s making the women flap their lips. If one of her girlfriends were nearby, she’d be chatting up a storm with them about him too.
Her pussy warmed, as did her breasts. He seemed to be a heady dose of sizzling hormones just by looking at him, making her body flush with desire that rolled into a burning need.
She shook her head. Stop thinking about how handsome he is!Just friends. That’s all it can be. With him or any man since I don’t want my heart broken again.
He sauntered over and retrieved a bottle of water from a cooler. After taking a long draught, he proceeded to dump the water over his head. He ran his fingers through his wet hair again. A mischievous glint twinkled in his eyes. His gaze traveled over her, then to the other sunbathers around them. A smile lit his face and faint lines creased around his deep brown eyes, slanted provocatively.
She lifted an eyebrow. “What’s that look for?”
He chuckled. “I am astounded by all the scantily clad women…showing much more than just an ankle.” He watched a tall, thin blonde dressed in a bikini walk by, his head turning as she passed. “How decadent and scandalous…arousing, actually. I may not be able to contain myself.” His gaze whipped back to Julie and he winked.
Drawn to him by his charm, Julie rolled her eyes and smiled back. She couldn’t help it. Talk about arousing. His six-pack abs were right there, two feet from her face. All she’d have to do was lean forward, extend her hand, trail a finger along the dark divots of the muscles.
An eccentric and eclectic writer, C.R. Moss pens stories for the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers Worlds of Possibilities.
More about C.R. Moss:
So what does she write? She writes stories from the light and sweet to the dark and deadly with varying degrees of sexual heat. Writing as C.R. Moss gives her and her muses the freedom to explore worlds of possibilities when it comes to love. And where does the tag line “Love & Lust in the Wild West” fit in? Well, for one, she lives in NV. Two, her stories take place, either in part or in full, in and around the Las Vegas area. In fact, even this website sports “a look of home.” The background picture was taken in an area just a few miles west of Las Vegas and happens to be the inspiration for the setting of the Double D Ranch Tales saga.
She also has a passion for penning dark fiction. Writing under the name Casey Moss allows her to slate other stories under Horror ~ Paranormal ~ Suspense ~ Thriller ~ Urban Fantasy. Visit: http://caseymossbooks.com/