Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Book Review: DATING THE UNDEAD by Juliet Lyons

Dating the Undead, a V-Date.com Novel, by Juliet Lyons
Published 2017 by Sourcebooks, Inc.

About the Book:
There's more than one way to keep a vampire up all night.
V-Date.com. It's the vampire dating site. And if you're a mortal who's getting a little too close to learning our secrets, I'm the guy who swoops in to make you forget. But don't worry: I only bite sometimes.
I was great at my job until I met Silver—sarcastic, sexy, spunky Silver. I can't bring myself to make her forget about our kind. About me. It's all I can do not to throw her down on the kitchen counter and have my way with her, fangs and all.
She says she's just looking for a good time, and I'm just the vampire to give it to her—over and over again. I went into this looking for a good tumble, but even I have to admit that things are changing between us. Good god, I want to hold her hand. In public.
MY TAKE:

LOVE! Recommend!

Oh wait, I need to write more of a review than that. Or do I? Yes, I really should.

So if Charlaine Harris took her True Blood series (which I love) and infused it with all the snark and sass of J.C. McKenzie's Carus series (which I also love) it might result in something akin to this new series by new-to-me author Juliet Lyons. Hot vampires, snarky humans, lots of sassy dialogue and sizzling sex...yup. This jumped itself onto my absolute favorite list for paranormal romantic suspense.

AND it's set in London.

AND the hot vampire has an Irish brogue. AND the author just alludes to it, but doesn't write phonetically. *swoon* on both counts!

Okay, perhaps I'm fangirling a bit, but I just finished this book and L-O-V-E-D it. Here's the basic story line:

Silver is the ironically named heroine, who lives and works in London. We learn right away that she's tough and funny and doesn't take sh*t from anyone, especially not boyfriends caught in the act of kissing another woman.

Logan is a vampire. In the vague setting of this book, vampires have been outed and live among humans pretty peacefully in most countries, especially in large urban areas. As in most paranormal stories with vampires, they're still a pretty secretive bunch, but for the most part they pretend things are normal - they're just immortal.

There's a dating website for human/vampire interactions, and Silver's stepsister urges her to sign up and give it a try. Silver never thought about dating vampires before her New Year's Eve kiss with Logan - is it always that way with vampires? She needs to find out.

The story unfolds like an origami puzzle, each layer leading to more questions and more answers that lead to even more questions. The first person narrative alternates between Silver and Logan, each POV thoughtfully labeled for the reader, although after a while it's obvious as the characters have distinct voices. More than anything else, it's Silver's snark and sass that makes this a truly enjoyable rollercoaster of a read - oh, and the sizzling hot sex. Can't forget that.

If you're a fan of True Blood (the books or the HBO series) and/or a fan of author J.C. McKenzie (lesser known but by no means less talented) you need to give this new series a shot. I know I'm headed back to Amazon to pre-order the second book in the series (available in October! My fav month for vampires!) and crossing my fingers for several more from this author. Five out of five stars, and looking forward to reading more!

Grab your copy on AMAZON.




Friday, August 11, 2017

Booksigning and Excerpt from DESCENT: Son of a Mermaid, Book One

I'll be signing books on Saturday August 12 from 10 to noon at the Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, MA. Mermaids and Pirates go together.... and the museum is filled with actual pirate treasure, as well as all kinds of cool facts about pirates and the pirate life...

In anticipation, here's an excerpt from the beginning of the story, when Shea's home is destroyed and he meets the grandmother he never knew ...
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ 

Guilty thoughts plagued Shea as he surveyed the damage to his former home. Why am I still alive? The flattened fields looked like an army of soldiers trampled them, leaving nothing in their wake. Broken hunks of wood and window dotted the yard, all that remained of the two-story farmhouse. Beyond the edges of the farm, everything was normal. The rogue twister only targeted the acres belonging to Tom MacNamara.

I should’ve been home. Maybe I could’ve saved him. He turned from the flattened fields and saw a thin plume of dust rising along the road. A yellow cab. A shiver ran through him, remembering the last taxicab to come out this far from the city, bringing his dad home from the airport. Shea stayed in Oklahoma to mind the farm while his dad went to Cape Cod to bury his father and brother. A murderous wave rolled their fishing boat, killing them both in one fell swoop. It had been a hard few months for the men of the MacNamara family.

The taxi stopped halfway up the drive, where the John Deere tractor lay on its back blocking the road like some passing giant’s discarded toy. The rear passenger door opened and a wisp of a figure emerged, dressed all in black. Shea watched the woman lean in to say something to the driver before turning toward him. Tilting her head to one side, she cupped a hand to her mouth and called out, “Are you Shea Thomas MacNamara?”

He nodded, not trusting his voice. He watched her pick her way around the John Deere, walking the rest of the way up the graveled driveway to where he stood rooted. Spreading her arms wide, she gave him a sad smile. “Come give me a hug. I’m your Gramma.” When he didn’t move, she lowered her arms and sighed. “I guess boys these days don’t hug. More’s the pity.” She closed the distance between them and extended her right hand. “I’m Martha MacNamara. But you can call me Gramma.”

So this was the grandmother he’d never met.

“You’re sure to be having lots of questions,” she continued, as if sensing his curiosity, “but there’ll be plenty of time for catching up. First things first, let’s have a look at you.” She put both hands on his shoulders and squinted her eyes behind her half-moon glasses, nodding to herself. He could see that behind the lenses her eyes were blue, just like his dad’s were. Had been. “And how old are you now, lad? Fourteen, is it?”

“Fifteen,” he corrected, squirming under her scrutiny. “My birthday was Saturday.” He’d planned to spend the day in Oklahoma City, watching baseball and celebrating with his best friend. Instead, he’d spent the day sitting by the Hansen’s phone, waiting in vain for word about his father.

She cocked her head to one side, her eyes glittering brightly. “Is that so? Fifteen already? My, oh, my, how the time does fly.” She shook her head and took a step back when John and his father approached. Mr. Hansen and his sons had been checking to see if any farm equipment could be salvaged from the collapsed barn.

“Hello there!” Mr. Hansen reached a meaty fist toward Martha, enveloping her entire hand with a hearty shake. Even in the midst of the devastated farmland, it was hard for the big man to tone down his boisterous nature. “You must be Tom’s mother. My wife called to say you stopped at our house first. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

John sidled over to Shea. “She looks like she might be okay,” he whispered. Shea didn’t acknowledge John’s words or even spare him a glance. His eyes were riveted on the woman who claimed to be kin, sizing her up as she chatted with John’s dad. Mr. Hansen’s blond bulk towered over the thin, grey-haired woman with the sharp blue eyes, and yet Shea had the feeling the little old lady would be the victor of any argument. There was something odd about her, but he couldn’t quite put a finger on it.

She looked nothing like his father, for starters. Except for the eyes. And while her long braided hair was steely grey and her clothes screamed “old lady alert,” there were very few wrinkles on her face. Behind those half-moon glasses, her eyes looked clear. As he made his assessment, she turned those sharp eyes toward him, catching him with her gaze.

“Let’s not dawdle then,” she said, cutting off whatever it was John’s dad had been babbling about. “We need to get your things, dearie, and get a move on.” She kept her eyes locked with Shea’s.

Mr. Hansen was startled. “But surely you’re not leaving right away. Aren’t you going to stay for the funeral service?”

Martha narrowed her eyes. “Have you found my son, then?”

The big man shuffled awkwardly under her piercing gaze. “Well, as a matter of plain fact, no. But folks here thought it would be the decent thing to have a ceremony. Put some closure on this tragedy.”

“Tragedy it is,” she agreed, taking her glasses off. She pulled a lace handkerchief from somewhere up her left sleeve and polished the lenses while they stood watching her. She took her time, rubbing first one lens and then the other, sliding the handkerchief along the brass while everyone else stood silent. She finally slipped the half-moons back on, her eyes sparkling more brightly. “But I’m afraid there will be no closure for now. Nothing is over,” she added cryptically. “It’s only just begun.”

Grab a copy on AMAZON
or come visit me at the Whydah Museum tomorrow.











Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Writing Wednesday: Peggy Jaeger new release, Passion's Palette




Today I’m visiting with Addie O’Malley, the beloved housekeeper from Peggy Jaeger's MacQuire women series. She's stopping by in honor of Jaegar's latest release in this series, Passion's Palette.

Addie’s been a  MacQuire family mainstay for over 50 years. She agreed to sit down with me today to discuss the youngest MacQuire, Serena, and the events rolling through her life these past few months.



Me: So, Miss O’Malley—

Addie: Call me Addie, darlin’ girl. Every one does.

Me: (Smiling!) I understand Serena’s come home for a visit. How’s she doing?

Addie: (Clucks her tongue and shakes her head) Faith! That child. I’ve told her mother more times than not that  the lass works entirely too hard. She’s way too thin for her already skinny frame and she’s got smudges under eyes. It’s good she’s come home to roost and rest for spell.

Me: Will she be able to rest, though? I’ve heard she’s recently gotten a commission for a mural she’s going to paint for Downtown City Hospital’s new cancer wing, and the dedication is in just a few months.

Addie. Aye. Well, the lass’s definition of rest isn’t the same as most others. But she’s home and that’s what counts, so I can put some meat on her bones and make sure she sleeps at night in a warm, freshly laundered bed. A wonderful artist she is, too. Many’s the painting she’s done that you have to look at twice before you realize it’s not a photo, but an actual oil and brushes work. The child’s been blessed by God, she has, with more talent than most. Her art’s what’s helped her get beyond that heartbreak of her younger years.

Me: Heartbreak?

Addie: Aye. (She clucks her tongue again, her eyes turning sad.) The lass went off to study in Paris, France, don’tcha know, when she was a mere slip of a child. Lost her heart and when it didn’t turn out well, we came this close to losing her, we did. (She hold up her hand, her index finger and thumb close together).  She’s never been quite the same since. I’ve told her mother it’s just not right for such a vibrant, beautiful lass as she to close her young heart off. Terrible afraid, she is, of getting it broken ag’in. But, ( she breaks into a sly smile) I’m thinkin’ that’s about to change, though,  and the reason’s that new veterinarian who’s just moved to town. She’s going’ta be gobsmacked for sure.

Me: Oh? Carvan’s got a new veterinarian? What happened to the previous one?

Addie: Ach, David “the walking appetite” Stapleton, you mean. Faith! The man thinks this house is his, coming and going every day, wantin’ me to bake and cook for him. I know he’s Tiffany’s godfather and all, but really the man needs a wife! I’m a mite too long in the tooth to be seeing to his every need. Now, what did you ask, darlin’? Oh, yes. The new man. He’s David’s partner. Name’s Seamus Cleary – and did you ever hear such a name? Seamus. I must remember to ask who his people are. He’s sure to have some in Ireland with a name such as that, don’t’cha think?

Me: Why do you think Serena is going to be gobsmacked by him?

Addie: Ah, there now, darlin’ it’s just me old romantic heart that’s picturin’ it. I’ve seen the way the man looks at Serena—as if she hung the moon and sun – and know that’s the look of a man who’s smitten. The lass stares at him as well, when she t’inks no one is looking. They make a fine pair, the two of them, when they’re in the same room. This Cleary lad is all big and brawn and sunkissed. The green in his eyes remind me of the fields back home, they do. Placid, and tranquil. Calm. That’s what the lass needs, a man who’s calm and solid. She’s got a fine temper, my girl has, and a wicked sharp tongue. She needs a man like Seamus to cool those angry fires.

Me: So you think the two of them are going to be an item? But I thought Serena had sworn off men.

Addie: (She waves her pudgy, gnarled hand as if swatting a fly.) Aye, she has until now. But she just needed to find the right man to match her is all.

Me: And you think Seamus Cleary is that man?

Addie: (Smiles, knowingly) Well now, we’ll just have to watch and see, won’t we? ( With a wink and nod, she laughs).

Me: Addie, you’ve been with the MacQuire’s for quite some time, haven’t you?

Addie: Aye, darling. Know where all the bodies are buried you could say. (She laughs and her entire body shakes with it) I was a sixteen year old gal just off the boat from Dublin when I got a position as nanny to Alaina. The most beautiful babe I’d ever laid eyes upon. A shock of curly red hair the devil himself couldn’t equal. I came with her to her new husband’s house and helped raise her two beautiful daughters. And I’ve lived long enough to see the next generation come about, with Tiffany. Ach, there’s a devil child for ya.   Calls me the old lady behind me back and doesn’t think I know it. But for all her serious and adult ways, the wee lass can be an absolute treasure. Powerful good she is with horses, too.

Me: What do you think about Alaina’s new husband, Senator Nobel?

Addie: One’a’the foinest men I’ve ever had the pleasure t’meet. A true nobleman, he is, so he’s aptly named, aye? And loves my girl to no end. Fell in love with her the first moment they met and hasn’t left her side in all these years.  It’s pleased I am that she finally consented to marry the man after 10 years of his courtin’ her. And now he’s running for the top job. President of these beautiful United States. He’s got me vote, that’s for sure. A true and legal citizen I am these past twenty years.

Me: So you think he’ll win? That would make Alaina the First Lady.

Addie: Aye, and what a wonderful First Lady she’ll be, that’s Gods truth. I’m lookin’
forward, I am, to cooking in the White House kitchen.

Me: Well, hopefully you’ll get your chance. I want to thank you for sitting down with me today and giving me a little glimpse into Serena’s world. She sounds like such a great girl.

Addie: That she is. And you’re most welcome, darlin’. Stop by to the house, any time. I’ve always got something bakin’ or on the stove simmerin’. The Lord above knows David Stapleton drops by any time the fancy hits him – usually square in the stomach!




Excerpt from Passion's Palette:


            Their eyes met and Seamus registered the silent “O” of surprise on her mouth.
            "I'm sorry I startled you," he said, drawn to her as an errant moth would be to a ghost of moonlight. "Addie told me you were out here."
            Serena reached over to her sketchpad, open at her feet, and closed it with a flick of her toe. He was rewarded with a lengthy view of thigh as she stretched.
            "Working?"    
            "Doodling, mostly. I wanted to do some preliminary sketches for a commission I have."
            "Mind if I sit?" he asked, and without waiting for an answer, did.
            When he reached for the pad and said, "May I?" she shot her bare foot on top of it.
            "Sorry." Serena reached over and grabbed the book. When it was safely tucked behind her back, braced against the tree, she added, "I'm a little schizoid where my work is concerned. I don’t let people see it when it’s in the planning or beginning stages."
            He looked across at her, lifted one brow slightly, then glanced around. "This is nice," he said. "Quiet. Peaceful."
            "Private.”
            A fist of pure desire punched him in the stomach, the muscles contracting in response to the challenge in her eyes.
            "Was there something you needed to see me about?"
            He considered her again, before replying. For someone so young she could act as regally as the most aged dowager.
            And she was young; much younger than he was. It wouldn't do to start anything with her. Besides, she was a client. He had to keep it professional.
            But dammit, those eyes speared right through him, impaling him with their beauty, and were hard to ignore. As was the gentle swell and shift of her breasts with each breath beneath her barely modest halter top. And her legs, well, just forget about those. Legs like that were destined to be his downfall.
 ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

About the Author:

Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s. 

In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. 

In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader's Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and is a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.



Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0




Instagram: https://instagram.com/mmj122687/