Thursday, August 16, 2018

Dark Chocolate and Strawberries by Daryl Devore

Writers sit a lot. A lot! We hunch down over our computers or tablets or journals and write. Sometimes for hours on end. Some of us critique chapters of other writers or do beta reads, which means read the entire book looking for plot problems etc. But all of that involves sitting. So, it’s important that at some point we get up and move. What do I do?

I garden. I bake. I work out, but my most favourite thing is…I love yoga. Yoga is my chocolate. Well, sort of. Chocolate IS my chocolate, but yoga blisses me out just as fabulously.

Yoga is not something you learn overnight. It takes a while – as a matter of fact – years to learn.

I don't mean the pose. Anybody can do an adequate down dog after just a few weeks. It's what's going on in the head that takes years to learn.

I do Yin and Hatha. Every Yin needs a Yan and that's why I take Hatha. Yin is stillness. Hatha is motion.

I love Yin. Let me repeat – I LOVE YIN!!!!

Yin is a slower form. But that doesn't mean it's easy. The poses are held for up to five minutes. Settling one's body and mind takes practise. I've watched numerous people come to class, shift and fidget then leave disgusted that they didn't move or get any sort of workout. I want to shout at them – just because you didn't break a sweat doesn’t mean you didn't challenge your body. Take the time and savour the class. It will bring you bliss.

The poses are designed to put moderate stress on the connective tissues of the body (tendons, fascia and ligaments), aiding with circulation in the joints and improved flexibility. I can attest to having a damage knee re-stretched in Yin class. For the first few months, in saddle pose, my teacher said I looked like I was in agony. (Not exactly, but close). But over time, the tight connective tissue stretched and eased, making my knee joint less painful. I'm not claiming it cured my knee. The joint is still damaged, but it's less painful and easier to move – therefore improving my quality of life.

Then there's the meditative aspect of the class which leads to an inner silence. For the first year, holding a Yin pose for five minutes, my brain went over my day, planned out groceries or plotted the next chapter. After all, I had nothing else to do while I was "just lying there".

Now, I settle into a pose and my mind goes quiet. No thoughts. No craziness. Just - peace. Calmness. Sublime tranquility.

How has this helped my writing? It gets me up off my butt and out to class. I interact with real people, not just my characters. And that alone is a good thing. My body now moves more easily. I feel refreshed and energized and when it is time to sit down and write, I can clear my mind and focus on what needs to get done.

What's a naughty fairy tale like Red Riding Hood without Red, the huntsman, grandma and especially, the big bad wolf?

Esmerelda 'Red' Hood is summoned to her mother's executive suite only to learn her sweet granny is headed for a romantic cruise with a gigolo. Horrified, Red races off to save her grandma before it's too late.

On board, Red meets Andrew Woodsman and Willem Olf. One a cutie with the biggest puppy eyes and the other a dark, sophisticated predator. Her grandmother's warning rings in Red's ear "Never trust a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Even with the warning, Red has trouble choosing which man could be the big bad wolf and which could be her happily ever after.

Note: This book was previously published by New Dawning Bookfair under the title Sexy Red Hood.

Bio and Social Media Links
Two writers in one. Daryl Devoré writes hot romances with sexy heroes and strong heroines. Victoria Adams is Daryl Devoré's alter ego when she's inspired to write sweet romances with little to no heat.

Daryl (@daryldevore) lives in an old farmhouse in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a large salt water aquarium full of fish, a black cat named Licorice and some house ghosts. Her daughter is grown and has flown the nest. Daryl loves to take long walks on her quiet country road or snowshoe across the back acres, and in the summer, kayak along the St. Lawrence River. She has touched a moon rock, a mammoth, and a meteorite. She’s been deep in the ocean in a submarine, flown high over Niagara Falls in a helicopter, and used the ladies room in a royal palace. Life’s an adventure and Daryl’s having fun living it.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Rana: Teenage Queen by Liza O'Connor

When Humans first arrived on Hope

As Earth’s population overran the available supply of food, and women had become a scarcity most men could not afford, many chose to take their chances going to another planet. While the first planet named Hope could not survive all the privileged non-working people who arrived, a hardworking group from the original Planet Hope secured a ship and left the planet they now referred to as ‘Hopeless’ and found a new planet which, they again named Hope.  (You know the saying that Hope springs eternal…)

This time, they would return to the ways of older times. No more democracies, parliaments, congress, or house of lords. The captain of the ship declared he and his crew would split up the small planet and each would be “Kings” of their lands. They divided up the livestock and the few women so each Hold would have at least one woman, and sufficient livestock to grow their herds.

Upon landing on Hope, a contingency of very small humans met the tall humans, claiming they already lived on Hope, but would welcome their company. They even offered to show the colonists the best spots to build their holds.

Since they were barely half the size and a quarter of weight of the arriving humans, the newcomers didn’t fear them, and accepted them as guides to their new homes. Later, when they saw the beautiful petite women of these small people, most of the kings, and the ministers took a beauty for their wife. Nor did any of the tiny men object. Thus, for the first two hundred years, Earth humans thought the little humans were harmless and weak.


Rana is only sixteen when she becomes queen. Her first challenge is to quell an internal coup while a massive army storms the gates of her castle. Her enemies believe her to be a child, but she has powers they’ve never suspected. She also has great dreams for her people, and she will do whatever is necessary to make them happen, even marrying a prince she does not want.

Rana’s father stared at her a long time. She saw nothing familial in his hard, black eyes. Finally, he sighed. “Come to the window and I will tell you my concerns.”

He was her father. She had loved him all her life, but she no longer trusted him. She walked to a different window on the same wall. “Tell me where you need help.”

He sighed heavily and stared out at the expansive grounds of the castle. “The left wall has been breached and the men are entering the shed. They will find a secret tunnel into the main castle. I have men posted at the tunnel door, but it won’t be enough to stop them from entering and killing the citizens hiding in the cellars.”

“Why would they kill citizens?”

“Because they have orders to find you and the citizens will not tell them where you are.”

She closed her eyes and focused her thoughts, calling banshees from the ground and sending them into the tunnels. She feared for the soldiers guarding the tunnel door, but better a few men die than the women and children. They were the future of the kingdom.

Certain twenty banshees could handle all who entered the tunnel, she refocused on her father. “What else?”

He rubbed his neck. “This would be easier if you could tell me what you can do.”

“What else?”

When he didn’t answer, she focused on the battle outside. “Those catapults seem to be doing a lot of damage.”

A burst of pain erupted from his chest. “Aye, they are.”

She focused on the ground beneath the heavy machines. A moment later, the ground shook, and a crevice opened along the line of catapults. She watched with satisfaction as the machines disappeared. Mother had let her practice opening a half-inch crevice in the vegetable garden once, but this was her first attempt at allowing her power out at full force.

Adrenaline surged through her body at just how powerful she could be. She was about to close the crevice except it cut off over fifty percent of the men attacking her kingdom. She decided to leave it.

“What else?”

She looked to her father, expecting him to be overjoyed with her abilities. Instead, he stared at her in horror. “What are you? You aren’t my daughter! I didn’t create you!”

His words stung like a whip. She stepped back from the pain as her body filled with a sickening sense of danger. A moment later, arrows shot through the narrow windows, one slicing through her father’s neck.

She watched in confusion as the giant man who had loved her all her life, save today, fell to his knees. Blood pumped out the exit side of the arrow, turning the walls bright red.

She remained where she was, tucked to the stonewall and watched his life spurt out of him.

Had he not attacked her with such words, she might have realized the danger came from outside in time to save him. But now, there was nothing she could do for him.

When the fountain of red stopped, she crawled beneath the arrows that still showered through the windows, to be closer to her father.

She slowed time so she could safely approach him and grip his hand. Dull eyes opened and stared at her, prompting her to speak before he died.

“I am your daughter! You taught me to care for our people. You taught me their safety comes before all else. I will not allow them to be conquered and enslaved. I will win this battle and make this kingdom a place of safety and happiness. I will do it in your name because you are my father, and before today, you loved me dearly.”

A single tear ran from the edge of his eye, off his cheek, and fell into the blood pooling beneath his head. His eyes slowly closed.

She placed her hand on his chest and smiled as tears of relief fell upon his chest. He had died in peace, not anger. His initial repulsion of her powers had not lasted. His last emotion had been relief.

About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Ghost Walker's Love Story by Liza O'Connor What happened to Jack?

What happened to Jack?

When Jack first met Alice, he seemed like a really nice guy. But when it came between her and his job, he chose his job.
Still, she would have stayed if his 'new job' hadn't been to assist the same sadist that had long ago tortured her friend Tobias. 
The evil man now wished to experiment on her.


Alice is a ghost walker: an ordinary person capable of separating her soul from her body. Unlike her fellow ghost walkers, she uses her ability trying to help protect the world from terrorists and madmen. Finding an FBI agent that she trusts, she supplies the information needed to stop several atrocities from occurring.

She believes she is safe from discovery. However, agent Jack Callaghan finds her with clever sleuthing and romances her with pure intent. Unfortunately, their unexpected union brings wrath down upon them from all sides. Her fellow ghost walkers believe she has betrayed their code of secrecy; the director and fellow agents question Jack’s commitment to the agency, and want Alice brought in so they can discover how she disappears at will. In this maelstrom of betrayals, Alice uncovers the truth about the three men who claim to love her and discovers which one holds true.

Warning: Alice is so dedicated to stopping terrorists that she will let nothing get in her way, not even when she discovers her body is being used against her will. Since she's not in her body when this happens, saving lives remains far more important!


To get Dr. Strovski to show them how to turn down the frequency disrupter she had to return to her body. The moment she entered the room she felt ill, however, the debilitating sickness she had felt in Jack’s apartment did not come. With her soul back in her body, her pulse strengthened.
As Dr. Strovski approached, she fluttered her eyes and then relaxed, pulling out of her body. She played this game over the next half hour until in frustration, he pulled a remote control from his pocket and punched in a code.
She opened her eyes for a moment and went limp again, certain he had only lowered the disrupter a small amount. With Tobias observing the doctor’s manipulation of the control, they played a slow and tedious dance.
Dr. Strovski was no fool, and on several occasions, he turned the disrupter to a higher level to verify she wasn’t tricking him into lowering the frequency so she could escape.
Tobias provided her the degree of alertness she was to feign.
Everything was going well when Dr. Strovski returned the power to full force and made a phone call.
“The package is ready for transport.” Dr. Strovski removed her monitor tabs, placing them into a long slender box that appeared to mimic her actual biometrics.
Tobias motioned for her to leave her body, but all the activity on her body was making it hard to concentrate. So, he pulled her soul from her body.
Now this is a useful new ability, he declared. I imagine you can do the same for me.
Rest assured, I won’t. That was most unpleasant! Alice complained.
Well, if I am ever in my body being tortured, I hope you will risk being rude and pull me out.
That goes without saying, but I wasn’t being tortured, and the sensation of being pulled out was extremely unpleasant!
You are out, so stop whining. We need to change our plans.
Why? Surely you know how to work that control device by now! Alice complained.
I do, but…
But what? You should steal it now and pop me out!
There is a problem. I cannot lift the device from his pocket. Whatever that disrupter is doing makes it impossible for me to materialize sufficiently to actually lift it.
His response terrified Alice. Then how are we going to do this?
Well, from his phone call and actions, Dr. Strovski plans to move you someplace else. That may provide us with a better chance to disrupt the disrupter. Just stay here with me until then.
Alice could tell he was scared, but his determination to rescue her overrode his fear. She was certain he would succeed, maybe not today, but eventually he would set her free again.


About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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