Happy St. Patrick’s Day – The Fun Facts Lesson

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Photographer: Hongreddotbrewhouse

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Photographer: Hongreddotbrewhouse

I love when I get to post on a holiday! Here’s our history lesson for today’s celebration!

First up is the man himself – St. Patrick. Born in England, Patrick was captured and sold into slavery in Ireland. It was during his six years of enslavement that he was called to Christianity.

When he escaped, he returned to his family in England and became a priest. It was his goal to rid Ireland of paganism and so began his lifelong missionary work. He is credited with spreading Christianity to Ireland and also devising the Celtic Cross.

In Ireland up to the 1970s, the holiday was strictly a religious celebration. But it seems that now everyone is joining the American tradition and thinking about having a pint today.

And why are we parading, drinking Guinness and dying the Chicago River green?

Well when the Irish arrived in America, like so many immigrants, they weren’t welcomed with open arms. The stories of the Irish in New Orleans who were given passage to dredge the swamp lands and a coffin just in case they didn’t finish the job are some of the cases of injustice. I can imagine what the stories are like in New York and Boston when so many more arrived.

Soon however, the Irish of New York City realized that they were a powerful political force due to their sheer numbers. They held the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1762.

While the meaning may have been lost on the political front of the parades, keep one thing in mind. Kiss me, I’m Irish applies to us all today. At some point, we’ve all been in the minority.

Spotlight on Private Internship

SOR Private Intership VBT 2 BannerPrivate Internship by Kisty Clare

Sequel to Model Position

Sometimes sugar isn’t so sweet and secrets can be deadly…especially with matters of the heart.

Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna get the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—sweaty, practically shirtless and swinging from chains as he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish testing Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.

She knows she should get away fast. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and begins to unearth his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz.

~Excerpt~

PrivateInternship.v1-Final.v2.2He locks his rich, hot-chocolate eyes on me, and studies my every curve and angle, seems to be piercing right through my skin into the alleys of my mind and heart. Curious, he’s so curious. I sense him asking where I’m from and why it took me so long to find him, and what kind of art I do, and whether I’ve ever sold it or gotten a review, or who I know, who I hang out with, and how much experience I’ve had in galleries, in school, in the world, in bed. My neck heats up. Did I just think that? Or was that something in his head that crossed wires and invaded mine? He’s close to me now, still staring boldly, when suddenly I feel his inner questions stop. And a wall, like one of those metal store gratings, clatters downward and slams. Closed for business, closed for questions, closed for good.

This, all before we’ve exchanged one word. When I come back into myself, I’m embarrassed to realize that I’m wringing my hands—the old-fashioned hysterical Victorian damsel in distress kind of wringing. I stop, immediately. Rub my sweaty palms on my dress. Buck up! I scold silently. And I extend my hand. “I’m Sienna. I’m your new intern.”

Casper Mason doesn’t take my hand. The nerve. He’s standing there, boldly, legs wide apart in some twisted warrior stance, arms folded across his wide chest. Jaw jutting out rebelliously, eyes daring me…to do what? So after an excruciating few seconds, I retract my hand.

“My new intern?” Caz mumbles as though an intern is a radioactive space rock or some otherworldly object and he never ordered one. “Well, it’s about time. That last one was a disaster.”

Praise for Private Internship:

“Beautiful. Amazing. A fantastic read that left me wanting more.” -XoXo Book Blog

“A juicy read full of passion and magnetic chemistry that will have you hooked from beginning to end.” -From the Purple Matter Book Blog

Buy Links: Amazon  All Romance Ebooks    B&N    Kobo

~About the Author~

Kitsy Clare hails from Philadelphia and lives in New York. A romantic at heart, she loves to write about the sexy intrigue of the city, and particularly of the art world. She knows it well, having shown her paintings here before turning to writing. Model Position, her new adult novella is about artist Sienna and her friends. Living in a Bookworld says: “Beautifully written! We get to learn things about art & painting, which is refreshing. A colorful story from a promising new adult author.” Private Internship is the next in her Art of Love series.

Kitsy loves to travel, draw, read romance, speculative fiction, and teach writing workshops. She also writes YA as Catherine Stine. Her futuristic thriller, Ruby’s Fire was a YA finalist in the Next Generation Indie book awards. Fireseed One, its companion novel, was a finalist in YA and Sci-Fi in the USA News International Book Awards and an Indie Reader notable. Her YA horror, Dorianna, launches in fall, 2014. She’s a member of SFWA, RWA and SCBWI.

Subscribe to Kitsy’s newsletter so she can send the link to preorders as soon as they are live.

~Author Links~

Facebook   Twitter    Pinterest    Blog    Website 

Put Private Internship on your Goodreads TBR list

~Giveaway~

Kitsy is giving away one ebook copy of Private Internship and one ebook copy of Model Position (book one) during her tour.

For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Spotlight on Kismet by Serena Fairfax

SOR Kismet VBT BannerWhen a feisty 21st century girl shakes hands with 400 years of history what happens next? In London on a buying spree, Jo Farrer, who runs a fashion shop from her cottage, wanders into an ancient churchyard and is hooked by an epitaph on a gravestone immortalizing a notorious seventeenth century French highwayman and womanizer.

Pre-occupied by thoughts of him, her van skids in an unfamiliar residential area, demolishing the original cast iron railings of an upscale, Victorian town house. Dazed and shaken, she’s rescued from the wreckage by charismatic tycoon, Ed Amery who she recalls hounded Kim, her former fiancé, out of office. Further shock encounters with Ed occur at a seminar designed to provide advice to budding entrepreneurs and at the stables owned by her uncle Roger, where Ed’s filly is in training.

Subsequently, Ed reveals that Kim was a computer hacker who’d defrauded Ed and transferred millions offshore where he’d bolted.

Keen to open a conventional retail outlet, Jo rents a boutique within a luxury country house hotel complex only to learn later, to her dismay, that Ed’s her landlord and he, reluctant to accept her as a tenant, challenges her skills. She’s also jealous of Ed’s apparent romantic involvement with Cait.

An unlucky gemstone, a fancy dress ball, a fashion shoot, unsavory disclosures, equestrian sketches, a bloodstock auction and the enduring, Casanova legend of the mesmerizing highwayman, who plays Cupid, mingle to intrigue the reader in the highly charged erotic clashes between Ed and Jo. The setting is the idyllic English countryside of hawthorn hedges, bluebell woods and may blossom.

sf-kismet3

 ~Excerpt~

Here lies Du Vall, Reader, if male thou art,

Look to thy purse, if female, to thy heart.

Much havoc did he make of both, for all

Men he made stand and women fall.

The second Conqueror of the Norman race,

Knights to his arm did yield, and ladies to his face…’

Who were you? Jo nudged her white minivan through the press of traffic, her thoughts tantalized by the mildewed epitaph she’d glimpsed just an hour earlier on a ravaged headstone. The shade of the ancient London churchyard had been a welcome respite from the unseasonably hot May day and her haggling with veterans of the rag trade. She glanced in the rearview mirror, her cobalt-blue eyes dancing with pleasure at the pile behind her that semaphored contemporary and classic labels. And what would Du Vall have made of it, she mused. If she half closed her eyes, she could see him now, a virile bandit, and her lips curved in a wry smile that this man, long dead, long forgotten, could stir her blood. I’ll Google strip-search you, she resolved, running a hand through her ribbons of golden hair, as she itched to unlock him from the dusty pages of history.

“Dammit—should’ve taken a left at the lights,” Jo muttered. Her ditzy preoccupation with lady-killer Du Vall had diverted her into unfamiliar territory, an upscale residential area where cream, stucco-fronted Victorian villas, edging a tree-filled garden square, soared behind gleaming black railings.

The dusty road suddenly glistened with a treacherous oiliness. The van began a wild tango. Jo’s hands tightened over the steering wheel. Her heart pounded as she closed her eyes in the grim realization she was skidding. In a space of seconds, there was a crunch of metal as the van surged through cast iron railings, the windscreen raced to meet her as she was flung forward, shards of glass raining down. She slammed the brakes and the vehicle shuddered to a stop, straddling a steep drop across a basement well. This isn’t meant to happen. But the seat belt had saved her from a gory end. Slowly she opened her eyes, nausea creeping over her as she started to shake.

“A woman driver—surprise, surprise.” It was a deep male voice tinged with sarcasm and, emerging from a kind of fog, it took Jo several moments to grasp what was happening. The nearside door was wrenched open—strong hands reached across, unbuckled the seatbelt, and slowly tugged her into the solid muscle of his chest. She could feel the heat of his body, smell his musky male scent mingled with the sharpness of aftershave. Desperately trying to keep a fragile hold on herself, Jo’s heartbeats almost sped off the radar as the Good Samaritan’s eyes, silver-gray in a lean, sun-bronzed face, collided with hers as he steadied her upright on the sidewalk. And although she was five foot seven, he was all height, broad shoulders, rock-hard body and sensual mouth. He hadn’t shaved and was simply gorgeous.

Buy Links: Bookstrand Amazon

 ~About the Author~

Serena Fairfax spent her childhood in India, qualified as a lawyer in England and joined a London law firm.

Romance is hardwired into her DNA so her novels include a strong romantic theme. However, she broke out of the romance bubble with IN THE PINK, a quirky departure in style and content. She’s also written several short stories that feature on her blog.

Fast forward to a sabbatical from the day job when Serena traded in bricks and mortar for a houseboat which, for a hardened land lubber like her, turned out to be a big adventure.

Apart from writing and reading (all kinds of books), a few of Serena’s favorite things are collecting old masks, singing (in the rain) and exploring off the beaten track.

She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, which is a very supportive organization. Serena and her golden retriever, Inspector Morse, who can’t wait to unleash his own Facebook page, divide their time between London and rural Kent. (Charles Dickens said: Kent, sir. Everybody knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women).

Author Links: Site     Blog      Facebook      Twitter

 ~Giveaway~

Serena is giving away a eBook copy of Loving That Feeling.

For a chance to win please click here for the rafflecopter.

Something Different

I posted this on my Wattpad page and thought I’d share it on the blog as well. I dabble in different kinds of writing and this is one of my general fiction pieces with a southern flair.

Summary: Irene Gooden is facing the final moments of her life. As her breathing slows she remembers the days of light and darkness.

Lord Forgive Me for the Azaleas

By Mike James from Reston, VA, USA (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Mike James from Reston, VA, USA via Wikimedia Commons

It was a dream. A dream of cane syrup, of floured hands and rolled out biscuits.

Irene Gooden drew in a deep breath trying to smell them…real biscuits. It had been so long.

She broke into a fit of coughing only opening her eyes because of the concern in Liza’s voice.

“Rene, drink this.” The younger Ms. Gooden, as she was known in the little community of Battlecreek, Mississippi, pushed the straw between her sister’s lips.

Irene drank a few tiny sips and closed her eyes again. Biscuits and cane syrup.

When was that Liza? We must have been just girls. You and me and mama and papa.

Remember the fields? Mornings and afternoons in the fields. Bent over the cotton. Back strained and hands torn apart. Praising the Lord that we had been given another day.

Evenings in the front room rubbing down mama’s legs in the foot tub. The knots so hard it took both our hands to rub one of them loose. Papa sitting back reading from his Bible. Us trying to figure out the words at his knee. Boys all gone. Just the four of us left.

Going into town on Saturdays. Lowered eyes and ‘Yes, sir. No, sir’. Penny candy after the cotton was sold. Afternoons washing Dr. Lee’s clothes. He would give mama a nickel or two.

That was where Jack Butler was working. That’s when he seen us.

That’s when it was done written in the Book in Heaven.

There was a voice. A man’s voice. What was he saying? Ohhh. Drink this. Irene took a few more sips and opened her eyes. It was Dan. Liza’s son. Sweet man. He would often sit with her and read for a few hours. Dan, do you remember how you would read to me and your Uncle Dan when you was just a little boy?

Her Dan loved Liza’s son. They never had no children of their own, just Liza and Bill’s son. Love and Pride didn’t know that he wasn’t their natural born son. The four of them raised him up in the church and made sure that he got his lesson out. They was there when he graduated from high school and college. Dan didn’t live to see him make a doctor.

Did you know about Jack Butler, son? I was married to him before your Uncle Dan. He was an old man when I married him. He came looking to marry your mama and she was just a girl. Come to my papa one evening asking about her. Papa said she was too young to be getting married. Said I was the right age if he was set on Gooden gal for a wife.

So I married that old man and went to live outside of town. It was a cold place. It was all Jack’s doing. Nothing was ever right for him and he brought in the cold and the dark. He lived outside of the Word in all he said and all he did. I…I…shall not speak of it. Tears spilled from her closed eyes. She felt Dan’s hand on her own. “Aunty, Aunty? It’s alright darling. I’m here with you.” Dan was here. He would keep her safe.

Safe. Irene opened her eyes and smiled. She could see Dan and Liza next to her. She breathed in easily. She had been breathing easily for most of her life. It was this sickness. This last sickness that had taken her breath again.

Jack Butler had taken her breath. He had made sure that she didn’t know how he would behave. Didn’t know how badly he would hurt her or if this time would be the last time. I accepted that, Liza. I told you that before. This body was dust and dust it would return.

It was the azaleas. The only pretty thing out there on the edge of them woods. Those azaleas that grew without tending. Just grew cause they was my gift from God.

He tore them down. All over the yard. Into the wind and they was gone. I screamed and screamed. It was night before I went on in and started making something to eat. I just put as much rat poison as was in the shed into the cornbread. Jack Butler was a big eater and he had a belly full. It took him a while to die and two or three days for me bury him out in the woods.

It was for the azaleas, Irene gasped. He was tearing down the beauty in my soul. He was trying to kill my Spirit. Take my Joy. Lord, forgive me. Forgive me.

Irene could feel her body shaking. Feel the wetness on her cheeks. She wanted to cry out but there was no sound. It was Dan’s voice that calmed her. A voice so sweet. He was saying that it was alright. No more crying now.

Irene was able to sleep again. Dan sitting up on their porch. A yard full of azaleas. Mama rolling out biscuits and Papa reading his Bible.

Sympathetic Heroine or Nah?

Blogging over at the LLs today!

I’m polishing a novella for submission. Yes, I’ve been polishing it way beyond what should be needed for a 20,000 word piece but that’s me.

And I’ve got another one of those heroines who may not be easy to like. I don’t set out to create them they just speak to me.

There’s Amber Grayson Miller, a strong personality who likes to be in control. A reader said that Kevin should have dumped her in the first novella. Eek!

Then there’s Darcey St. Claire Guidry, a fashionista with panic attacks. Darcey’s been told to simply get over her PTSD. I think you know what the Psychology major in me says about that.

Anyhoo, I’ve got another one.

Young black woman wearing dress and sun hat, afro hairstyleTara Kirkland, the other woman. Does it matter that she didn’t know her lover was married? Should she have donned her detective hat when a prospective client asked her out to dinner?

Hmmm, it’s…

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Publishing Snafu – Just Between Us

I write romance as Vallory Vance.

I write erotica as Cecile Duval.

So this weekend, while under the influence of a muscle relaxer, the two worlds collided. Just Between Us, an erotic flash fiction piece. was published under the name of Vallory Vance. This is my public apology for anyone who picked up the work looking for a romantic HEA because you aren’t going to get one.

Just Between Us is the story of three roommates who become intimately acquainted one sunny afternoon. They don’t fall in love, at least not in this story. It is a story of exploration not only sexual but intellectual. As one of the heroes asks the heroine, “What did you expect a man who enjoyed watching his wife being pleasured to look like?”

Psychology graduate student, Mara Brighton, gets her answer and hopefully erotica readers will get theirs as well.

Now if you are interested, Just Between Us is available FREE from Smashwords with the coupon code, KR79L, until tomorrow!

Beautiful woman making a hushing gestureEve Calloway, a grad student in the study of human sexual behavior, has a paper to complete. And in all of the porno flicks she’d viewed there was nothing that made her want to take part in any of the acts she’d watched.
That was until one of her roommates caught her masturbating and the other eased his hands up her quivering thighs. Then research took on a whole new meaning.