Tag Archives: Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame launch party with Nancy S. Thompson: Celebrating The Mistaken

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Huge congratulations to my Sapphire Star Publishing sister and hugely talented author, Nancy S. Thompson, as she celebrates her first book birthday with the launch of The Mistaken!

Can I just say upfront that I absolutely adore the title of Nancy’s novel. It is so clever and intriguing, and perfectly perfect, and I’ve adored it ever since it was announced. Awesome!

Introducing: The Mistaken

Tyler Karras is an honest man, a transplanted Brit living the American dream, but his charmed life takes an unexpected turn when his brother, Nick, is coerced into joining ranks with San Francisco’s Russian mafia. Ty intervenes to secure Nick’s freedom, yet only succeeds in incurring their wrath. With no choice but to accept Nick’s new life, Ty returns to his own, but his dreams are dashed when his wife—pregnant with their first child—is killed, the victim of a reckless crime.

Despondent and bitter, Ty macerates his grief in alcohol. From the depths of the bottle screams a voice, howling for vengeance. His target is a stranger, the woman who drew his wife toward her death. He doesn’t know her, but he’ll find her, and when he does, he will make her pay, for a deal has been struck with Nick’s Russian associates, enslaving her into a life of sexual bondage. But as Ty moves forward in a cloud of alcohol, he mistakes the wrong woman for his intended victim, and now all his plans have gone straight to hell.

With his eyes made clear by the stark reality of his mistake, Ty is driven, compelled by remorse and a relentless sense of guilt to make amends and protect Hannah Maguire, the innocent woman whose life he has derailed. He vows to keep her safe and out of the Russians’ hands, but they’re holding Nick as leverage to force Ty to complete their deal. Once again, he must fight to free his brother, miring all three lives in further jeopardy. But Ty can’t do it all: save the girl, his brother and his own soul. One of them must make the ultimate sacrifice.

Nicky says: I am hooked. Tell me more…

Sit back and enjoy: Excerpt of The Mistaken!

Tyler dropped my hand and turned away from me, sitting straight along the edge of the sofa. With his elbows resting on his knees and his fingers steepled between his nose and upper lip, he struggled to find the right words. Unable to sit still, he stood and paced the floor.

“Hannah, I’ve explained that you—by proxy, of course—have a price on your head, that you’d been sold already. I’ve been trying to get you out of this deal, but these people Nick and I are mixed up with are reluctant to renegotiate. They’ve already received payment from their client and are just waiting for me to deliver you to them. I’ve explained to Nick’s boss, Alexi, that I’d made a mistake, that I had misidentified you, that I had the wrong girl.”

Ty shook his head and kept his eyes pinned to the floor.

“From the beginning, Alexi knew I was intending retribution against Erin, and since he would directly benefit from it, he was only too willing to accommodate me, but essentially, he doesn’t care about the reasoning behind the plan. All he cares about is that I owe him his, uh…merchandise. Merchandise he’s already sold and been paid for. He only cares about closing the deal. I told him I would repay the price his boss, Dmitri, had accepted, with interest, and he could refund the money to his client. But he’s not willing to do that. Nick said it’s not about the money for Dmitri, it’s about power. They can’t allow themselves to be screwed with, to look weak.”

He stopped pacing, stuffed his hands in his pockets, and stared out the window.

“I told Alexi I would never turn you over—an innocent girl—to be used that way. At this point, I couldn’t even do that to Erin.”

Tyler’s focus wavered and he choked up. He looked down at his feet and continued, his brow knitted tightly together.

“We argued over this point for some time without coming to an agreement, so Alexi felt…  He felt it…necessary to secure some kind of…insurance policy—leverage, you might say—to compel me to complete the deal by our prearranged deadline.”

Tyler dropped his hands to his sides and tightened them into fists. He glanced over his shoulder and looked me in the eye.

“Hannah, Alexi has my brother, and he will kill him if I don’t comply.”

Nicky says: Fantastic! I can’t wait ~ I’ve got my Kindle copy right here and am dying to get reading. As no doubt you feel the same, dear friends and readers, here’s the vital info:

You can buyThe Mistaken on Amazon.com Kindle as well as Amazon.co.uk Kindle with Amazon paperback coming soon; plus you can find The Mistaken in Barnes and Noble Paperback and Barnes and Noble Nook Book. In the next two to three weeks, The Mistakenshould become available at Sony, Kobo, iBooks, Diesel Bookstore, and Baker & Taylor.

Now tell us a bit more about you, Nancy…

About Nancy S. Thompson

Nancy is an interior designer with her own business since 1997.  A California transplant, she currently lives with her husband of 21 years near Seattle, WA.  They have one son together, a college freshman at ArizonaStateUniversity.  She was recently contracted as a freelance editor for Sapphire Star Publishing.

Visit Nancy’s blog, follow, and leave a comment during her book tour between October 18th & November 1st for a chance to win an ARC of The Mistaken.  Plus, 5 runner-up winners will each receive an ebook copy. 

You can also find Nancy on her publisher’s website, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook.

Follow Nancy’s blogtour

10/18: Mark Koopmans

10/19:  Alex J. Cavanaugh & Arlee Bird

10/22:  Carrie Butler & Jeff O’Handley

10/23:  Julie Musil

10/24:  Donna Weaver & Melissa Maygrove

10/25:  Matthew MacNish

10/26:  LG Smith

10/27: Aimee Jodoin

10/29:  Heather M. Gardner

10/30:  Lisa Regan

10/31:  Jennifer Hillier

11/1:    Angela Peart & Livia Peterson

11/19:  Arlee Bird

Last but not least ~ Praise for The Mistaken and a fabulous trailer

“A deliciously slow burn that builds to a ferocious crescendo, Nancy S. Thompson’s THE MISTAKEN kept me riveted until the very last page. Tyler Karras is a complex and flawed protagonist, and his redemptive journey makes him the perfect anti-hero. This psychological suspense is a standout, and I can’t wait for Thompson’s next book.” ~ Jennifer Hillier, author of CREEP and FREAK

“Nancy S. Thompson’s debut novel, The Mistaken, is a first-rate thriller full of hair-raising twists and turns.  Pursued by the police and the Russian mafia in San Francisco, brothers Tyler and Nick Karras are fascinating, fully-drawn, desperate characters.  The action is non-stop.  Thompson’s taut, intriguing tale of revenge, mistaken identity, kidnapping and murder will keep you enthralled and entertained.”  ~Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of DISTURBED and TERRIFIED

“Fast-paced and emotionally gripping – once the ride begins, you won’t stop reading until it ends.”  ~Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of CASSAFIRE and CASSASTAR

Huge congratulations on your launch day, Nancy. Wishing you every success and a huge amount of sales!!! Rock on… 🙂

Hall of Fame celebrates with Dana Mason: Launching Dangerous Embrace!

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Today, we’re partying in honour of my Sapphire Star Publishing sister, the one and only Dana Mason! Dana launches her debut novel, Dangerous Embrace today and I am really excited to be part of the launch day extravaganza.

Dana shares her road to publication…

When I started writing Dangerous Embrace, I had no idea it would lead me here. I didn’t even think I could get my best friend to read the story. Until Dangerous Embrace was sent out for editing, Amy and Katie from Sapphire Star Publishing were the only two people, besides myself, who had read the novel from beginning to end.

When Sapphire Star posted the Month of Romance contest on their website, I decided to take the leap and submit. It was my very first submission for Dangerous Embrace, and the novel wasn’t even finished. I was still in the process of revising and editing. Fortunately they didn’t require completed manuscripts for the contest.

I couldn’t believe it when on the morning of March 10, 2012, I received the email from Amy offering me a publishing contract. I remember getting out of bed in the wee early hours of the morning and creeping into my office to check my email. While I didn’t think I had a chance of getting a positive response, I still hoped.

The rest is history…

…indeed! In fact, this is where it all begins. HUGE congratulations on your launch day, Dana, I am so excited for you. This is a tremendous moment and I hope you’re having the best time… ever! Here’s an excerpt of your masterpiece, let’s take a look…

Dangerous Embrace: the excerpt

Sarah pried open her heavy eyelids and turned, trying to focus on the clock. “Ow, dammit!” She clenched her teeth and looked down at the sling tied to her arm. The smothering realization pressed on her chest. When the nausea hit, she flung the covers off and rushed to the bathroom, fighting to get to the toilet before her stomach heaved.

When the painful dry heaving stopped, she lay back on the cold tile floor, exhausted, and waited for the room to stop spinning. Her ragged breaths roared in her ears and seemed to echo in the quiet room. When her breathing slowed, the silence ebbed around her in waves, but when footsteps approached the bathroom door, she tensed again.

A bead of sweat dripped down her scalp and at the same time someone tapped at the door. Her pulse spiked and she fought like hell to remember who brought her home from the hospital.

She closed her eyes. “Who’s there?” The waver in her voice pissed her off. Gawd-please don’t let me be pathetic in front of whoever this is.

A hesitant and completely unfamiliar man’s voice said, “Are you all right? Do you need something?”

Sarah sucked in a hard breath. “Um…” She exhaled slowly. “Who are you?”

“Mark Summors.”

She stiffened and tried to sit up. “Do I know you?” she asked her voice pitching.

“I can explain if you open the door.”

She steadied herself against the bathtub. The sling had slipped up her arm, exposing the trail of bruises. She swallowed another wave of nausea and tried to put the pieces together. Mark Summors? She glanced around for something to use as a weapon just in case, then she wanted to laugh-and cry. Who the hell was she kidding? She rolled her eyes. Good plan, Sarah, take on a strange guy with a toilet brush.

“Can I come in?”  His voice was muffled as if he was resting his face against the door.

“Go ahead.” She clamped her mouth closed to suppress a shiver, then said, “It’s unlocked.”

The door eased open and a cup of water shot out at her.

“Oh, thank you,” she cried out, relieved to wash the disgusting film out of her mouth. She snatched the cup out of his hand and gulped it, letting her eyes lift above the rim to see his face.

“Ah.” Sarah choked and inhaled the water. She set the cup down, almost upending it as she dropped it. “Oh my God!” She would never forget those intense blue eyes, just like she would never forget the smell of her attacker’s breath. They were all thrown together in the same horrifying memory.

Wow! You have totally got me hooked. I can’t wait to read the whole book, it’s all ready and waiting for me on my Kindle!

And for all of those out there duly intrigued, as me, you can get your very own copy of Dangerous Embrace on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Last thing… let’s hear about you, Dana Mason, the author! 🙂

About Dana Mason

Dana Mason started writing to prove to her computer geek husband and her math & science geek kids that she actually has a brain; it’s just a right functioning brain instead of a left. She’s lived all over the country and uses that experience in her writing and character studies. Her debut novel, Dangerous Embrace, is the first in a contemporary romance series about a group of friends from Northern California who learn just how short life can be when you don’t hold on to what’s important. Second chances don’t come easy…but sometimes love is worth the risk.

When not writing, Dana specializes in professional development and training. She’s also a board member on the local Art’s Council and does what she can to support the art community.

As an avid reader and movie watcher, she always requires a happily ever after ending.

Visit Dana at her website or blog, follow her on Twitter, find her on Facebook or check out her author pages at Sapphire Star and Goodreads.

Rock on, Dana, I hope you have a terrific launch and I’m sending you big, completely harmless but loving hugs!!!

Hall of Fame launch party with Linn B. Halton and J.K. Hogan

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Yes, today it’s a double celebration as not one but two of my amazing fellow authors over at Sapphire Star Publishing celebrate the launch day for their books.  Meet Linn B. Halton and J. K. Hogan!  Pour yourself a cuppa (or something sparkly, if it’s late enough in the day!), sit back and enjoy as you get to meet these exciting new authors…

STOP PRESS! Just had news that the lovely Linn B. Halton can’t be with us today as she is currently touring Europe:

So she’s asked Hilary Marks from The Restaurant @ The Mill to visit on her behalf…

Welcome, Hilary!

Hello Nicky – it’s fantastic to meet you!  My name is Hilary Marks and stepping in for Linn B Halton.  As you say, Linn’s on a tour of Europe at the moment, the lucky thing!  Some big wedding anniversary celebration, so it’s all rather romantic – castles, a chateau here and there …

Anyway, I’ve come to tell you a little bit about The Restaurant, it’s out now and is published by Sapphire Star Publishing.

Nicky: Yes, tell us more about The Restaurant. What’s the story here?

Why did Ben and I open a Restaurant?  Well, it’s a long story and it’s the reason why Linn began writing this novel.  Let’s just say Ben and I both have things from the past that mean it’s hard to let go. I wish it wasn’t like that, but that’s life.  However, the wonderful thing is that The Restaurant @ The Mill is our dream and it’s thriving.  It’s been very hard work and it hasn’t all been easy, but the building itself lends an ambience and with Ben’s brilliance as a chef … well, we’re both very proud of what we have achieved.

Nicky: But it’s not just about you and Ben, is it? I gather there are plenty of things going on!

Ah, you want to know about the other ‘stories’ within this story ….

Well, we have some lovely regulars and then, of course, there is Sadie, our head waitress.  She’s learning the trade and although she’s very new I think she’s going to do very well.  She has this ‘friend’ Sam, she’d like him to be a boyfriend really but it’s complicated.  He used to be her sister’s boyfriend before her sister had a serious accident.  The story of Sadie’s sister Mya is told in Linn’s novel, Touched By The Light, which is a psychic romance.  It’s both sad and uplifting, but it left Sadie and Sam with an awkward association, they still rely upon each other so much.  I’m sure we’ll find out what happens before we get to the last page of The Restaurant.

There’s Thomas too, he’s a friend of mine – very attractive, very wealthy and very lonely.  Funny how when we look at other people’s lives we tend to focus on the successful bits and don’t always see the heartache they hide so cleverly.

Isobel and David live nearby and often come to dine.  Isobel is a writer and after a lifetime of bringing up her family it’s how her time to devote to her passion!  The problem is that whilst David is the love of her life, he’s decided to take early retirement and I get the feeling he’s often in the way … I hope they do sort it out.  They are a lovely couple, I’d hate to see them drift apart at this stage in their lives.

Charlotte and Nick are struggling. They might be newlyweds and having their first baby, but life is taking its toll on them.  Nick was involved in an accident and it’s changed him – I wonder if Charlotte will ever get back the ‘Nick’ with whom she fell in love …

Now Grace is a fabulous lady, she’s a medium and features on the TV programme ‘Spirits Live’.  This rather distinguished gentleman seems to have come into her life, his name is Lawrence and it’s obvious they’ve known each other really well in the past…

Nicky: What a colourful cast! I have to confess to having met them all by now and I’m totally wrapped up in their stories. But someone is still  missing, right?

You want to know about Sarah?  There isn’t very much I can tell you, the spirit of Sarah wanders the Mill and when we bought it the previous owners warned us of her presence.  She doesn’t trouble us at all, although she’s often felt by people who come to visit us.  I haven’t seen her myself, but I think Ben has  – I’m sure Linn knows all about that!

Nicky: Well, well, I’ll just have to read on to find out more….

It’s been lovely to be here with you Nicky, thank you so much and if you ever want to come and dine with us – The Restaurant @ The Mill will have a table especially reserved for you!

Nicky: Thanks so much, Hilary, I will. I know how much pride Ben takes in his work, sourcing only the freshest ingredients every day (and the very best wines, I hear!). I look forward to meeting you there!

Wow, what a post! I have goose bumps of excitement. But there’s more… don’t miss the excerpt below! First of all, though, Hilary wanted to share how you can find out more about her author, Linn B. Halton. You can visit Linn’s author page over at loveahapyending.com.  You can also find Linn on Facebook and Twitter and, of course, at Sapphire Star Publishing. Linn is also present on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com!

Nicky: Thanks for that, Hilary. Now then, let’s have a read of the opening page of The Restaurant @ The Mill:

The first time I walked around the flour mill at Huntingbridge in Gloucestershire turned out to be a life-changing moment. Reminiscent of the first time I met my business partner, Ben Adams. The initial thought that struck me on both occasions was “Great, not perfect, but I can work with this.” It was enough to clinch the deal for me.

You see, I thought I had a “perfect” life once a long time ago. I married Josh, the man of my dreams, only to find out one failed marriage and a broken heart later, that everything could change in an instant. What you saw depended upon where you were standing when you admired it. If you were on the outside looking in on someone else’s life, it was only natural to form an opinion based on the façade you saw. What I eventually discovered was that even when you were on the inside looking out, it was easy to be fooled into thinking everything was fine. On that fateful day many years ago, what I hadn’t appreciated was that what we had was in fact a love triangle and knowing that would have given me a whole new perspective.

Everyone around us believed Josh and I had an enviable life, because we looked like the perfect couple. For two years and four months I thought so too. Then I found out Josh was cheating on me, and had been for quite a while before I eventually discovered the truth. The other woman, who had also fallen under the irresistible spell of my attentive husband, obviously had a completely different viewpoint from where she was standing. What was so poignantly sad and particularly cruel was that even after their affair I continued to remain oblivious to the fact that my life was a sham. Josh continued to be the kindest, most thoughtful, and loving man that I had fallen in love with—and that, above all else, hurt the most. How could he deceive with such blatant disregard to anyone else’s feelings? Had he ever really loved me? Or did he only love himself?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I was hooked after this, and I have been following the story of The Restaurant @ The Mill ever since…

HUGE congratulations to Linn on the launch of her second novel with Sapphire Star Publishing. Here’s to a tremendous launch!

You can get The Restaurant @ The Mill now from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com!

And here’s today’s second launch in the Sapphire Star Publishing family. Get ready for…

Fire On The Island by J.K. Hogan

She who wields the mark is the barrier between man and monster.
She is the daughter of gods, the mother of man, protector of all.
Vigilati Usque Ad Mortem”

All Isla Macallen wanted was a simple existence on her little Scottish island, free from her mother’s insanity and the prying eyes of neighbors. What she got was embroiled in a war for the souls of mankind. A war of good versus evil, of witches versus demons, and Isla learns that she alone can end it.

Dr. Jeremiah Rousseau was a self-proclaimed nomad, traveling the world researching paranormal phenomena. He doesn’t expect his research to lead him to Scotland, and to the woman who will turn his world upside down.

Together with a facetious shapeshifting animal spirit guide, Jeremiah and Isla discover that she is part of an ancient bloodline bred to protect the gateways between the human world and the spirit world, to keep evil demons from destroying them. They must find the key to defeating Alastore, the demon king, and closing the gate before Samhain, when the veil between the worlds is lifted. As the war for their souls wages around them, Isla and Jeremiah will risk it all for love—a love neither had ever thought possible.

Are you intrigued? Does that stunning cover grab you? Want to read on? Well, J.K. has sent this excerpt to get you hooked good and proper. Enjoy!

Isla had stopped at the edge of the porch and stood, frozen, staring out into the rainy darkness. Beyond her, Jeremiah could see the silhouette of a man. His face was in shadow, but from the luminescent eyes swirling with shadows, he knew it was Alastore.

When the man stepped forward into the dim light cast through the open door of the house, it became clear that he had a victim. Mhairi Mackay stood in front of the demon, and he had a strong arm locked around her neck.

Jeremiah surged forward, determined to protect Isla’s only remaining family, but Marduk stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. With a silent shake of his head, Marduk encouraged Jeremiah to think first and act with care.

Trust nothing, question everything, because things will most definitely not be as they seem. Marduk’s earlier words came back to him, and Jeremiah gave the man a quick nod to let him know he understood.

Isla lifted a foot to step down off the porch. “Think, Isla. Breathe. That’s not really Mhairi. She’s at Sacred Hearts, guarded by doctors and nurses that didn’t even want to let us in at first, remember?” he said in a low tone.

He saw a shudder rack her slender body but, much to his relief, she stayed put. Three pairs of eyes fixed on the pale, glowing arm that had the projection of Mhairi in a headlock.

Alastore threw his head back and cackled, before pinning each of them with a hard glare. “You think you can defeat me? I will lead you to your graves like lambs to the slaughter.” His voice was demonic, and they could hear the echo of pure evil behind it. It sounded like a dozen demons living inside one body, speaking in unison.

Without warning, he wrapped his free hand around Mhairi’s head and twisted in opposite directions. They heard a gruesome snap before the image of Mhairi crumpled to the ground.

A strangled cry ripped from Isla’s throat as the three of them bounded off the porch. They ground to a halt as Alastore threw his hands up toward the sky, and the pelting raindrops burst into incandescent flames.

The pellets of flame singed their skin, forcing them back to the shelter of the porch. Isla wailed as the spectre of Mhairi seemed to dissolve under the onslaught of fire and rain combined. Alastore’s head swiveled back to face them, his eyes gleaming with madness and hatred, pierced through to Isla’s soul.

“The little witch thinks she can defeat me! I, who can make the sky rain fire?” He took a step forward and Isla stood her ground. He glared at her with his mouth turned up in a gruesome sneer. “I will burn your life!” he spat at her.

“You’ll watch everything you care for turn to ash if you fight me!” He turned his cutting glare to the two men standing shoulder to shoulder on her right and absently gestured toward them. “These will die. Everyone will die.”

Facing Isla again, he gave her a sickeningly sweet smile. “And you, my dear…You will watch things fall apart. And then, you shall be mine.” She shuddered when he licked his lips and leered at her.

Isla would never be able to explain what came over her in that moment. As she focused on the images the demon pushed into her head—the pain and suffering, the dead and dying—it was the thought of Alastore turning his wrath upon Jeremiah that sparked the bone-deep anger inside her.

Storming off the porch into the maelstrom of fire and rain, she felt the breeze on the nape of her neck, when Jeremiah reached for her and missed. Storming toward Alastore, she stopped a few feet in front of him.

The balls of fire raining from the sky seemed to roll off an invisible shield around her and fury radiated from her body. “The hell I will!” she growled at him, gathering her energy low in her chest, preparing for a strike.

Marduk’s deceptively calm whisper drifted over to Jeremiah. “He’s goading her for a reason. Pushing her buttons. He may be trying to funnel her energy into himself, leaving her vulnerable for him to take her. Alastore does nothing without reason. Stop her.”

Jeremiah palmed the shotgun and whispered back to Marduk. “If I shoot him, it’s not going to stop him, right?” He waited for the other man to nod before continuing. “But it’ll hurt.”

Giving him a devious grin, Marduk nodded again. “It sure will. When he’s in corporeal form, he’ll feel the same pain a human would, he just won’t die. It will send him back to the locus to recharge.”

“Good enough for me.” Jeremiah pumped the forestock of the shotgun, drawing Alastore’s attention. The demon snarled at him but didn’t seem overly worried. That didn’t bode well.

Bracing the buttstock of the twelve gauge on his shoulder, he took aim and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Cursing, he expelled the dead round and pumped again. Trigger pull, nothing.

Howling with laughter, Alastore returned his attention to the 110 pounds of livid woman that stood in front of him. He cocked his head, like an animal hearing a strange sound. “So pretty, and yet so easy,” he began, “just like your mother.”

“Christ,” Jeremiah hissed as he saw flames spike out from Isla’s fingertips. She was playing right into Alastore’s hands, but she just couldn’t see it. Shoving the shotgun into Marduk’s hands, he turned toward the house.

“I think he’s somehow jamming the gun. Maybe if I find something with no mechanics, he won’t be able to stop it.”

“Hurry.”

Well, duh. Jeremiah bounded into the house and began tearing through cupboards and rifling through drawers. He thought about grabbing a knife, but he didn’t think any of them should get that close to the demon.

Inspiration struck when he found an unopened bottle of vodka, dusty and forgotten in a cabinet. Grabbing a kitchen rag, he ripped it in half. Emptying a third of the bottle down the sink, he stuffed the rag down into the neck, making sure that it was in far enough to soak up the alcohol.

He snagged a lighter from a drawer and rushed back outside. “Get her out of the way,” he ordered Marduk as he passed, not even stopping to make sure the other man heard him. He didn’t need to stop, because Marduk ran to catch up with him as he was lighting the rag on fire.

Marduk grasped Isla by the shoulders and yanked her back into his arms as Jeremiah tossed the burning bottle at Alastore’s feet.

The projectile immediately exploded, engulfing the demon in a huge wall of fire. The surge of heat was so intense, Jeremiah backed up several steps. He stood, watching as the skin melted off of Alastore’s corporeal form to reveal a blackened skeleton.

An inhuman screech rent the air as Alastore pointed a bony finger at them. “You’re mine,” he croaked as what was left of him dissolved into ash and flame.

“Yeah, yeah, and our little dog, too. Got it,” Jere grumbled.

“Hey!” Marduk’s indignant tone said he didn’t appreciate the dog reference, but Jeremiah didn’t much care. Pulling Isla away from wolf-boy, he enveloped her in a tight hug. Resting his chin on the top of her head, he allowed the shudders he had been suppressing to roll over his body. Giving her one last squeeze, he set her away from him and brushed past her, stalking into the house, slamming the door behind him.

Doesn’t this just have everything? Passion, romance, intrigue, fire… well, I can’t wait to read the entire book! HUGE congratulations to J.K. on the launch of Fire On The Island!! Fire on the Island is available now from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Find out more about J.K. on her website or over on her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing. J.K. is on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads, too!

Now raise a glass and **cheers** to J.K. and Linn!

Hall of Fame Celebration: Gary Kassay Launches Murder In Silence!

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Please join us in celebrating as my fellow Sapphire Star Publishing author, Gary Kassay, launches Murder in Silence, the first book in the Duke Becker Series! I’m partial to a cracking crime thriller, so I can’t wait to get stuck into this one later today… Meanwhile, I give you:

Gary Kassay!!!

First I would like to thank Nicky Wells for inviting me to her Hall of Fame blog.  It is an honor to be included here and to be a part of the same family with Nicky, Sapphire Star Publishing.

You’re welcome, Gary, I’m excited you’re visiting today, on such a big and important day for you! Tell us a bit more about your work…

The first of the Duke Becker series, Murder in Silence, is being released on today!  Let me give you a little background on myself and the inspiration for Inspector Duke Becker.  Back in 1982 I was in training with the New York Transit Police Department for the Canine Unit.  The training was intense and probably the best time I ever had.  One day an event occurred and I immediately thought to myself what a great plot for a book! (No, I am not going to tell you what that event was…it would spoil everything.)  In any case, I thought about that book till 2004, 22 years of developing the plot, characters and dialogue.  The result is Murder in Silence and the sequels that will follow.

22 years… wow, Gary: good things come to those who wait! And what a fabulous cover! Can we have a little excerpt to get a flavour for what’s in store?

Of course! Here is a small sample from Murder in Silence…I hope you enjoy it!

The front door opened and Ms. Marielle Wilson, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch, entered Dudley’s looking as if she was ready for a night at the Academy Awards and this was the red carpet. She looked to be in her thirties, which I knew she wasn’t, with long, silky blond hair that framed her oval face. She was pretty, but way too thin for my taste. Her eyes were a very deep blue, probably colored contacts, and her lips were ruby red. I figured that she was about 5’10” without her heels, which now made her closer to 6’2″. Her dress was made of some iridescent material that sparkled and was the exact shade of blue as her eyes. There was no broomstick or flying monkeys present.

Somehow she must have known who I was because she walked directly up to me. I stood up. “Good evening, Ms. Wilson. Would you care for a drink or would you prefer we get a table for dinner?” She gave me a smile, which had the effect of sending chills down my spine. Something about those white, perfect teeth, of which there seemed to be too many, and the total insincerity in her smile made me think of her not as the Wicked Witch from Oz, but as a shark. Beautiful but dangerous.

“Actually, Inspector, I’m on my way to dinner with someone in…um…about twenty minutes, so let’s just stay here.”

At that moment, I was happy that we were on dry land because if we had been in the water, I had no doubt that I would be eaten alive.

Wow! I certainly did enjoy the excerpt, and can’t wait to read more on my Kindle tonight! Congrats on launch day, Gary, and I hope it goesfantastically well!

Murder in Silence is now available in Kindle and paperback editions from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

Let’s find out more about Gary Kassay, the man behind the book:

Gary Kassay, author of the Duke Becker Series, is a former member of the NYPD Transit K-9 Unit.  Besides a career as a Police Officer, he has been the owner of a commercial photo company, an X-ray tech for humans and animals, and a TSA employee. He now resides in Casper, Wyoming with his wife Raella, three dogs, and one black cat.

When Gary is not working on the next installment of his Duke Becker series, he enjoys spending quiet times with his wife, writing the Duke Becker series, reading, and when there isn’t snow on the ground, a good round of golf.

You can follow Gary on Twitter and on Facebook, visit his website or blog. Gary also has an author page at Sapphire Star Publishing and a Murder in Silence fan page on Facebook.

Now, then, crime written by an ex cop: the epitome of ‘write what you know’! Do you have any questions for Gary? Let’s hear them…

Double Party in the Hall of Fame today: Give it up for Linn B. Halton and Amy Gregory

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Yes, today it’s a double celebration as not one but two of my amazing fellow authors over at Sapphire Star Publishing celebrate the launch day for their books.  Meet Linn B. Halton and Amy Gregory!  Grab a cup of tea (or something sparkly, if it’s late enough in the day!), sit back and enjoy as you get to meet two fabulous new authors….

Welcome to the Hall of Fame: the lovely Linn B. Halton!  Linn launches her novel, The Quintessential Gemini today…

I’m so honoured to be here with one of my favourite authors, the effervescent Nicky Wells! This is one rocking lady for sure and she always keeps me smiling.

I thought I would ask Katherine Dale, who is The Quintessential Gemini, to introduce herself first…

“Where do I start? It’s all rather messy actually; my life is falling apart simply because I chose NOT to listen to the fabulous astrologer Mark Ainsley-Thomas. He’s been telling me for a while that there are big changes to come in my daily horoscopes. I know I’ve buried my head in the sand and put my own spin on what that might be – now I’m paying the price. No job, no man in my life except for No. 4, my faithful cat, and when I need Mark to tell me how to put it all back together, his forecasts have become obscure … after 25 years of being my one daily ‘constant’, I feel he isn’t there for me anymore – how will I cope?”

So over to the revered Mark Ainsley-Thomas himself, I have to know what’s happening…

“Well, since acquiring a new agent, the dreaded Harriet Wensworth “Agent to the Stars”, she thinks my future lies in the US. How on earth does the woman think I can produce daily, weekly and monthly forecasts if I’m jetting around the world all the time? I’m an astrologer for goodness sake, not an A-list celebrity! The woman is driving me insane with all these talk show appearances. We’re taking on a new astrologer to help out, but I really do hate letting go of the reins – even though he’s very talented and I knew his late father, an eminent astrologer. I never thought fame would turn me into a TV face, I’m not even sure I like this new role of mine.”

Ah, I’m beginning to understand what Katherine has instinctively picked up on; there is a new guy writing the daily and weekly forecasts. His name is James Kingman and I’ve met him briefly, what a hunk! But not only doesn’t he know it, he’s fragile – he lost his business, most of his money and his long-term girlfriend has moved out now she no longer considers him to be successful.

“A new job helps take my mind off my financial worries, but can I deliver? My style is so different to Mark’s and he’s a really hard act to follow. He’s not only a brilliant astrologer (and astronomer) but he’s so … charismatic. My readings are good, I know my stuff, but I don’t wrap it up in the same way, it’s rather plain by comparison. I also answer the Emails that come in to the website and there’s a woman who keeps asking questions. Her name is Katherine and even though she is one of our paying customers and receives all her personalised forecasts by Email on a daily basis, she’s a real pain. I don’t know what this lady wants, but I’m getting rather exasperated. She can’t really live her life according to her daily horoscope, surely?”

The Quintessential Gemini is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn in the UK with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes about:  Life, love and beyond … but it’s ALWAYS about the romance… Linn signed with the amazing Sapphire Star Publishing in 2012.

Many of the paranormal events that feature in some of her books are real life experiences. Linn is also a featured Author on http://loveahappyending.com/ and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups‘on the website’s magazine-style blog.

You can visit Linn’s author page at loveahappyending.com as well as at Sapphire Star Publishing.  Linn also has her very own website and blog, and she Twitters and Facebooks as well!

Wow, thank you to Linn for introducing Katherine, Mark and James. I can’t wait to meet them!

And now it’s over to the amazing Amy Gregory: Welcome to the Hall of Fame!  Amy is launching Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure today…

Amy, I think I heard you say that there’s a lot of ‘you’ in your books.  Tell us some more!

Something I’ve always wondered over the years when I read a book is, just how much of what is written on the page is from the author themselves.  Not one to read mysteries or suspenseful books, I stick more to the light-hearted, fun love stories.  When reading those, you can see personalities emerge: how much of that personality is directly from the author?

Well, (as I blush) I have to say in all my books, my personality is glaringly obvious.  I have a wicked smart-mouth, that I don’t apologize for very often, and a naughty sense of humor…yeah,I  don’t apologize for that much either.   I love to laugh and want nothing more than for those I’m around, either in person or clear across the Internet, to laugh with me.  I’ve learned to tailor myself to be polite around those who I might offend, and I have my close friends who I can totally just be myself around, all varying degrees of me.

That’s really fascinating! Is this a conscious choice, a strategy that you have, or does it just kind of… emerge?

My characters are all very different and I don’t think long and hard about their personalities before I start writing, I have a premise and I just go.  I see them come alive as I type, but going back and reading each scene, then each chapter and finally the book as a whole, I’ll start laughing.  Looking at things they’ve said or done and I’ll think to myself…oh I have soooo done or said that!  Or they’ll do things I can totally see myself doing, then I’ll start cracking up.  Just me and my laptop, a cup of coffee and silence, but I’ll have tears running down my face as I picture the scenes in my head.

What can I say…life’s short, enjoy it!

LOL, I like your style.  Let’s hear some more about the book you are launching today:  Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure

From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she’d retired from not once, but twice.  Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded men.  She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men.  Unfortunately, they were all the same, all after one thing, and she had absolutely no use for them.  Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across.  Occasionally, she had to resort to her sass—and her brother.

Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits.  When she stood toe-to-toe with the sex in jeans, she knew right then and there that the man her adoptive mother always told her was out there, was now standing right in front of her.

Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy.  He’d heard all the old standbys, She’s out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it.  Good things come to those that… Yeah, he’d heard them all.  The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track.  All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his.  Forever.

If it was only that easy.  From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him.  An overwhelming need to protect her.  A girl he’d just met.  Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong.

Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she’d buried a long time ago.

And here’s the really exciting bit!  Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure is now available in from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk!

Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions.  When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series.  When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles.  “In bits and pieces,” she says.

Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created.  I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. – Amy Gregory

Find out more about Amy on her blog, or on her Sapphire Star Publishing author page.  Amy is also on Goodreads and you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Now then, open that champagne, my friends, and let’s toast these two amazing authors!  **Cheers** 

Wishing you both best of luck on launch day, ladies ~ Rock On!

Hall of Fame Party: Mandy Baggot launches “Taking Charge” with Sapphire Star Publishing

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome you to the Hall of Fame celebration party as Mandy Baggot launches Taking Charge with her publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing.  Let’s open the floor to Mandy to introduce herself and her book…

Well, here I am on Nicky’s Hall of Fame! Thank you for having me Nicky! Wow, Taking Charge is my fifth novel and it hardly seems possible. In the four years since my first novel was published, I’ve brought you a hot film star, an ice-skating god, an ex-Army/underwear model/escort/personal trainer, and a delicious rock musician. So what have I served up in Taking Charge?

Cole Ryan, hunk and gorgeous male hero in Taking Charge

Well, today I am introducing you to Cole Ryan. He’s handsome, athletic, intelligent and has a great sense of humour. He’s also sensitive, passionate and loyal. But besides having Cole as the hero of the piece, there are also some other equally gorgeous specimens of manhood in the shape of the Portage Panthers ice hockey team. Here are some of the main players! We have:

Mickey!  He’s tawny haired, well built and works as a mechanic. He’s easy-going, laid-back and takes life as it comes. He doesn’t really worry about anything. He lives for simple pleasures like beer and discounted pizzas. He has a good, honest heart and he’s a good friend to have. He’s a little bit of a joker and sometimes this makes him seem a bit dumb. He isn’t stupid though, just good-natured and content with his spot in life.

Brad! Brad is the ex-boyfriend of lead female character, Robyn,  and although he is the complete opposite to Cole in looks, he is equally gorgeous. He’s tall with short cropped blonde hair and he’s a police officer. He’s athletic in build with biceps like grapefruits, and he’s the character with the ice blue eyes! He likes to help people which is why he’s good at his job; but he does have a temper and can fly off the handle if he’s rubbed up the wrong way.

Henrik!  Until Cole joins the team, Henrik is unrivalled as the Portage Panthers’ best player. He’s recently moved to America and works at the local supermarket. His English isn’t the best and he sometimes gets teased by the team when he gets phrases wrong. He’s tall with brown spiky hair and some designer stubble he goes to great lengths to get just right. He’s a real ladies’ man and the crazy one of the team. He does what he wants and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. He loves hot-tubs and no one in Portage knows what nationality he really is!

So, that’s some of the boys! I hope that’s intrigued you enough to find out more!

It certainly has… and that’s why there’s a little more info about Taking Charge below.  But meanwhile, Mandy has another treat for us, haven’t you?

I certainly do!  OK, the last thing! To give you a flavour of the music of the town I have included a playlist of songs in Taking Charge. And here I am performing one of them for you!


Taking Charge:  Is going back Robyn’s only way forward?

American-born Robyn Matthers is going home. With her dad in hospital, his roadhouse in ruins and the ice hockey team slipping down the league, she needs to take charge. But does she have the strength to do it?

Cole Ryan is a hockey player on a personal mission. He’s tall, dark, hot and Robyn’s noticed! But can she trust her feelings – or his? And what will Cole do when he finds out the truth about her?

With an ill father, a trailer trash step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Can she start again? Does she really want to? And can two people really fall in love in three days?

You can buy Taking Charge on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com from today! And don’t forget to join the party on Twitter using hashtag #TCParty–see you there!

About Mandy Baggot

Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube:  check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man.

Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more about the launch (including the full blog tour schedule!!!) on Mandy’s website. You can also check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing.  Mandy is on Facebook and on Twitter (of course!), and she has author pages on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com and Goodreads.

A big congratulations to Mandy on her launch date for Taking Charge. Now what we’d like to know is… have you ever taken charge of an impossible situation?

Hall of Fame Party: A.L. Jackson launches “Pulled” and “Take this Regret” with Sapphire Star Publishing

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome you to the Hall of Fame celebration party as A.L. Jackson launches not one but two books with her publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing.  This is a momentous occasion both for A.L. and her publisher, as the release of Pulled and Take This Regret marks the first offering of the brand new US publishing house.  Let’s open the floor to A.L. to introduce herself and her books…

“A huge thank you to my friend and fellow Sapphire Star Publishing author, Nicky Wells, for inviting me onto her blog! I can’t say how excited I am with the re-releases of Pulled and Take This Regret today! It’s been an incredible journey to publication day and it feels amazing to bring these books back.”

Pulled ~

Melanie Winters and Daniel Montgomery shared a love they believed bonded them together for life.  After the tragic loss of their daughter, overwhelming grief and misguided guilt distorts the truth, and their relationship ends in unanswered questions.

For nine years, they drift through life, each unable to forget the one who holds their heart.  Now, when their lives again intersect, will the power that drew them together be enough to heal the wounds from their past?

Pulled is a story of attraction and separation, of destiny and duty, of a love so strong it refuses to give up even when all others have.

Take This Regret ~

There are some mistakes we make that we will regret for the rest of our lives.  For Christian, it was the day he betrayed Elizabeth.

Christian Davison has a plan for his life.  He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm.  Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.

After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life.

For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.

When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgivable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate.  Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?

They say everyone deserves a second chance.

Whoop whooop! Here’s where the party starts. Huge congratulations go out today to A.L. Jackson and Sapphire Star Publishing.  In particular, raise your glasses and toast the amazing A.L. Jackson on her launch day.   You can now buy Pulled and Take This Regret in Kindle edition from Amazon, and the paperbacks are out, too:  Pulled  and Take This Regret.

Moreover, you can join the launch party on Twitter via #pulledparty  from 8 a.m. Pacific Time or 4 p.m. in the UK, do stop by and say hello… and you’re welcome to party in the comments below, too! 🙂

About A.L. Jackson

A.L. Jackson first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she had been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Find out more about A.L. Jackson at her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing or on her blog.  You can also follow A.L. on  Twitter or find her on Facebook and Goodreads.