Readers' Heaven - Dariel's New Year Reunion: Last Day!

Hi, and welcome back to our New Year's Reunion! It's day seven, last day! Every day you take a look and comment, you'll receive extra points, so if you're new to the event, you'll want to take a look at posts from the last six days to catch up. Make sure you enter the Rafflecopter and include your email address in your comment. Don't miss a day, and have fun :-)
Rachelle Ayala
What You’ll Love about Vera and Zach from “Knowing Vera” by Rachelle Ayala
Zach Spencer: athletic, endearing, panty-melting, selfless , heroic, amputee.
Zach, Zach, and more Zach! He’s everything a girl could want from his panty-melting grin to his swimmer’s physique and roguish Aussie accent. More than that, he is every kind of wonderful combined in a hunkalicious sweetheart who puts other people first. He lost his leg in a rescue attempt, but instead of turning bitter or giving up on life, he decided to make his life more meaningful by caring for other people. He doesn’t look for sympathy or excuses, but lives his life to the fullest. He’s honest with his feelings and loves Vera even when she wasn’t very lovable. But he has self-respect and walks away when Vera shoves him one time too many.
Zach’s completely and unashamedly romantic. He remembers the little things Vera asks for and surprises her by giving her much more than his boomerang. Oh, and did I mention how talented he is??? Swwooonnn.
Vera Custodio: Vibrant, gutsy, sexy, caring, sentimental, tough.
Vera hasn’t had it easy. Death hangs over her family: her father, two brothers, and now, her beloved uncle is dying of cancer.  But Vera cares. She cares a lot about her mother and her niece, as well as her best friend, Maryanne and her baby. Then, there’s Zach. Even though Vera can’t admit to any feelings for Zach, she stood by him when he was injured. She sat at his bedside, sang to him, and helped the nurses care for him. Little by little, her heart opens to Zach, but when she finds a horrible family connection to him, she is determined to find the truth, no matter what dangers she might encounter. She’s just a little too crazy and a much too bold. Going to Australia, she meets shady characters and gets herself kidnapped and dumped in the ocean. But she’s strong and takes loving care of Zach as they struggle to survive and seal their love on a deserted island.
Vera’s my kind of tough chick: one who is daring, doesn’t love easily, but is true blue to the end for the one man she lets into her heart.
Here’s what some reviewers said about Vera and Zach.
“Zach is a loving hero, who made me want to love him. And Vera is a strong, though a little damaged, heroine.” A Generous Helping of Romance review
“Zach is totally swoon-worthy and a great hero who will take your heart. He lost his leg in an accident trying to save a friend is so great at dealing with it. Every woman should have a Zach in their life!” - Family Fun and Life review
“Well, Vera yes indeed have a love that can relate to many Filipina. As what I thought, I fully understand her dilemmas in falling in love. Avoiding and keeping herself from falling to someone, that is a very great challenge! ... My favorite genre was romance and I don’t want it plain, I want it lavish, catchy and r-e-a-l-i-s-t-i-c !  Well I can relate to Vera, the pain, agony and repentance she had experience, I felt the same while I read the pages.” Sleepless Gal review

Book Description:
Vera's dating Zach, casually, not committed, when she discovers her long-departed father is the killer of Zach's mother many years ago.
Meanwhile, Zach reevaluates his life after losing his leg in a tragic accident and realizes he's falling in love with Vera.
Can their timing be so wrong? Vera knows the relationship is doomed, but she cannot resist the tugging of her heart and Zach's panty-melting grin.
Caught in a web of family secrets and hidden agendas, Vera and Zach must depend on each other for survival. A dangerous killer is on the loose, and Vera must find the truth, wherever it leads, even if it destroys her chance for love forever.

Ann Gimpel
Buy Link: Taliesin Publishing
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All Romance E-books
Buy Link: Barnes and Noble
A modern day psychiatrist and a dragon shifter stranded in time can’t escape their destiny, no matter how unlikely it seems.

In a cave deep beneath Inverness, a dragon shifter stirs and wakens. The cave is the same and his hoard intact, yet Lachlan senses something amiss. Taking his human form, he ventures above ground with ancient memories flooding him. But nothing is the same. His castle has been replaced by ungainly row houses. Men aren’t wearing plaids and women scarcely wear anything at all.

In Inverness for a year on a psychiatry fellowship, Dr. Maggie Hibbins watches an oddly dressed man pick his way out of a heather and gorse thicket. Even though it runs counter to her better judgment, she teases him about his strange attire. He looks so lost—and so unbelievably handsome —she takes him to a pub for a meal, to a barbershop, and then home. Along the way the hard-to-accept truth sinks in: he has to be a refugee from another era.

Never a risk-taker, Maggie’s carefully constructed life is about to change forever. Swept up in an ancient prophecy that links her to Lachlan and his dragon, she must push the edges of the impossible to save both the present and her heart.

Kheladin listened to the rush of blood as his multi-chambered heart pumped. After eons of nothingness, it was a welcome sound. A cool, sandy floor pressed against his scaled haunches. One whirling eye flickered open, followed by the other.
Where am I? He peered around himself and blew out a sigh, followed by steam, smoke, and fire.
Thanks be to Dewi— Kheladin invoked the blood-red Celtic dragon goddess— I am still in my cave. It smelled right, but I wasna certain.
He rotated his serpent’s head atop his long, sinuous neck. Vertebrae cracked. Kheladin lowered his head and scanned the place he and Lachlan, his human bond mate, had barricaded themselves into. It might have only been days ago, but somehow, it didn’t seem like days, or even months or a few years. His body felt rusty, as if he hadn’t used it in centuries.
How long did I sleep?
He shook his head. Copper scales flew everywhere, clanking against a pile that had formed around him. More than anything, the glittery heap reinforced his belief that he’d been asleep for a very long time. Dragons shed their scales annually. From the looks of the pile circling his body, he’d gone through hundreds of molt cycles. But how? The last thing he remembered was retreating to the cave far beneath Lachlan’s castle and working with the mage to construct strong wards.
Had the black wyvern grown so powerful he’d been able to force his magic into the very heart of Kheladin’s fortress?
If that is true— If we were really his prisoner, why did I finally waken? Is Lachlan still within me?
Stop! I have to take things one at a time.
He returned his gaze to the nooks and crannies of his spacious cave. He’d have to take inventory, but it appeared his treasure hadn’t been disturbed. Kheladin blew a plume of steam upward, followed by an experimental gout of fire. The black wyvern, his sworn enemy since before the Crusades, may have bested him, but he hadn’t gotten his slimy talons on any of Kheladin’s gold or jewels.
He shook out his back feet and shuffled to the pool at one end of the cave where he dipped his snout and drank deeply. The water didn’t taste quite right. It wasn’t poisoned, but it held an undercurrent of metals that had never been there before. Kheladin rolled the liquid around in his mouth. He didn’t recognize much of what he tasted.
The flavors are not familiar because I have been asleep for so long. Aye, that must be it. Part of his mind recoiled; he suspected he was deluding himself.
“We’re awake.” Lachlan’s voice hummed in the dragon’s mind.
“Aye, that we are.”
“How long did we sleep?”
“I doona know.” Water streamed down the dragon’s snout and neck. He knew what would come next; he didn’t have to wait long.
“Let us shift. We think better in my body.” Lachlan urged Kheladin to cede ascendency.
“Ye only think that is true.” Kheladin pushed back. “I was figuring things out afore ye woke.”
“Aye, I’m certain ye were, but…” But what? “Och aye, my brain is thick and fuzzy, as if I havena used it for a verra long time.”
“Mine feels the same.”
The bond allowed only one form at a time. Since they were in Kheladin’s body, he still had the upper hand; the dragon didn’t think Lachlan was strong enough to force a shift without his help. There’d been a time when he could have but not now.
Was it safe to venture above ground? Kheladin recalled the last day he’d seen the sun. After a vicious battle in the great room of Lachlan’s castle, they’d retreated to his cave and taken their dragon form as a final resort. Rhukon, the black wyvern, had pretended he wanted peace. He’d come with an envoy that had turned out to be a retinue of heavily armed men…
Melissa Keir
What’s Happening Now? Interview with Melissa
1.    First, looking back, how do you feel about your 2013 goals and how well did you do in reaching them? What helped or hindered your success?
I didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted. Life does get in the way. I went back to work full time this year again and it has taken up time that I didn’t have for writing. But I’m happy to have the rights back to three of my titles and be able to self-publish them. I loved the stories and they received many positive reviews so it’s important to me to get them back out to my readers.
2.    Life happens, and every writer is subject to its effects (positive or challenging). What personal (spiritual, emotional, physical, professional) life changes do you foresee affecting your writing this year?
The dreaded day job has kept me busy. I come home after a long day and writing is the last thing on my mind. With working during my lunch and any break time, I’m exhausted and not in a good place. I’m hoping that I can cut the hours down and have more time to enjoy life and write. J
3.    What have you learned about yourself recently as a writer (one random thing)?
I’ve learned that I write better in first person. I love getting into the character’s head and sharing their perspective with the reader.
4.    How many books have you published (include anthologies)? Tell me about them (genre, bibliography)
I have seven books published. Three I received the rights back to and am self-publishing soon. The covers are up on my website ( I also have three books in the Wilder Sisters Series about five girls who grew up in Amherst, Ohio but left after high school. They all return home to face their demons. My final story is in a flash fiction anthology titled “Hot Flashes”. All my books are contemporary romances and feature sizzling romances.
5.    What can we look forward to from you in 2014 (special projects, books and anthologies of course)
I have a brand new story coming out in January, titled A Chalkboard Romance. This is a third person story about a one night stand between a parent and teacher. I’m also re-releasing my books, Second Time’s the Charm, Three’s a Crowd, and Protecting His Wolfe with new covers and new content.
6.    Which of your books would you suggest to someone new to your writing and why?
Most people who are new to me read my Wilder Sisters Series. I love the connection between the sisters as well as the small town life. Forever Love is the first book in the series, although you don’t have to read them in order or all of them to fall in love.
7.    What’s your favorite online hangout (complete link – only one)?
My favorite online hangout is my facebook page. I love chatting with friends and sharing funny photos as well as what’s going on in my life. Be sure to stop by!

Thank you for having me on your blog. I hope everyone has a wonderful and fulfilling New Year.
Jade Kerrion

Eternal Night ebook "What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships...these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive."—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King “Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy. Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker. Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires. As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be? E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber. Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss. Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.” Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain. Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.” Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul. “Go deep,” Tera said. But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason. Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons. The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free. Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul. She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble. Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?” Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.” Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?” The icrathari nodded again. Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss. Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul. The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man. She closed her eyes and remembered love. As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake. At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig. Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch. Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much. And he was dead. She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations. Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?” Tera nodded. Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.” “There’s more. Go deep.” She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome. She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon— “Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?
E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon
Beth Trissel

Scottish Time Travel Romance Novel, Somewhere My Lass

Blurb: Will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?

'‘The MacDonald comes’ warns Mora Campbell when Neil MacKenzie finds the young Scotswoman lying unconscious at the top of his stairs after he discovers his murdered housekeeper slumped at the bottom. Mora’s claim that she’s his fiancĂ© from 1602 and was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, through ‘the door to nowhere’ seems utter nonsense. Neil thinks she’s addled from the blow to her head until his life spirals into chaos and the avenging Highlander shows up wanting blood. Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past, but he must also remember. And fast. 

Although Niall’s kinsmen believe he’s dead, and Mora is now destined to marry his brother, she’s convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right. The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. The only problem is how to get back to 1602. An ancient relic, the ultimate geek friend, and a little Celtic magic help pave the way back to the enormous challenge that awaits them. If they’re in time.

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Donna Reynolds said…
Thank you so much Dariel you did fantastic pulling this together and Thank you to all the authors for doing this as well as the giveaway.
Donna Reynolds said…
BRKingsolver said…
Happy New Year, and thank you!
Unknown said…
Thanks for the great giveaway!! jasdarts at hotmail dot com
Unknown said…
So this is the end ... of Christmas (yesterday), New Year Celebrations & this giveaway. But it is also the beginning of school, new beginnings, new hopes and yes a new year of the daily drudge (hopfully with more moments of pure joy than last year). I thank you for the opportunity to participate in this generous giveaway. I'm looking forward to all the terrific stories that will be told this year. May inspiration be yours,
gv said…
Thanks to you and all the authors for doing the giveaway! aly underscore 313 at yahoo dot com
Thanks so much for hosting all of us, Dariel and for your great idea for a reunion to kick off 2014!
Melissa Keir said…
Thank you for having me on again! :) What a fun time to look back and see what's coming up!