Anatomy of A World of Gothic: House at the Edge (Greece) by MM Jaye

Introduction

My participation in the A World of Gothic series was my proudest moment as an author last year. Talented, award-wining authors penning suspenseful stories with a definite Gothic vibe, each set in a different location around the world, all taking place in a remote, awe-inspiring mansion. As a number of amazing titles have been available since the series launched last April, I felt I should bring them to your attention again, from a different angle this time. So, each week, I’ll invite one of the series’ authors here, spotlight her book and focus on the heroine, the hero, and the backbone of any good Gothic story, the house/castle/mansion that tends to hold the key to solving the mysteries piling up.

This week, it’s my turn. I published House at the Edge last May, and although the setting is again Alonissos, my favorite Greek island, the ambiance is a complete one-eighty from my usual summery scenery. Read on for a complete breakdown of House at the Edge.

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House at the Edge

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Genres: Gothic, paranormal, mystery romance
Purchase links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / iTunes / Kobo / B&N 

Description

He wants her out of his house. The house agrees…

After losing everything—her family, her home, her sense of self—former heiress, Daphne Alesi, has no choice but to start anew. Broke, unwanted, and suffering from a rare condition that makes defining her emotions mind-numbingly difficult, the only thing she has left is a strong will to survive.

Starting over on a remote Greek island, in the dead of winter, just because it was her grandmother’s birthplace might be a foolish plan, but staying in England is not an option.

The people of Alonissos are far from welcoming, not least the brooding recluse whose home she literally invades. The infamous House at the Edge is rumored to host a ghost—the soul of the enigmatic owner’s deceased wife. But it will take more than an angry spirit to send Daphne fleeing.

Being emotionally detached has some benefits, after all.

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I’ve done a Q&A with the other authors in the series, but it would be weird to answer my own questions, so I’ll just segmentize the anatomy.

What writing a Gothic means to me.

This was a challenge. But although I live a consciously drama-free life, since it threw my way enough challenges to make me not seek out more, writing-wise I’m a thrill-seeker. When Alicia Dean called for submissions for the A World of Gothic series, I jumped in without even thinking it through. I had no clue about the story I’d write. And the mystery suspenses I’d read were books published in the mid-twentieth century, not exactly fresh stuff. All I knew was that my heroine had to be stranded in a remote place, the setting should be the exact opposite of warm and fuzzy, and the hero had to be mysterious and aloof, casting a shadow of danger. Oh, and a ghost should be lurking somewhere. Cakewalk. Not. But a delicious challenge it was.

My female lead: Daphne Alesi

I love writing complex characters, and I don’t limit this only to my male heroes. I needed a plausible reason for Daphne to go to a remote Greek island in the dead of winter and stay there despite everyone’s negativity. Also, the biggest driver for me to write romance is the healing power of love to damaged characters, and their denial both that they are damaged and that they need healing. So Daphne had to be immune to everyone’s logic. The islanders efforts to chase her off shouldn’t scare her. But that would only be true if she wouldn’t emote. As in suffering from an emotional disorder. Once I reached that conclusion, it was easy to research and decide she’d suffer from alexithymia–inability to decipher emotions and react accordingly. On the other hand, since she’d lost everything back in England and was desperate to find her roots in the island her great-grandmother gave birth to her grandmother, deciding to move to that island and then stick mulishly to her decision despite looming dangers made more sense.

My male lead: Manos Varnezis

Owner of a remote mansion? Check. Ruggedly handsome and aloof? Check. A reclusive widower with a traumatic past? Check. Okay, good stuff for the Gothic vibe this story needed, but he sounded kind of cliche. I dislike standard romantic heroes whose wealth is a static thing, and they do nothing but sulk. Manos had to do something constructive with his life. So I made him a certified speech therapist, working with kids with learning or speech difficulties online. The power of the internet gave that recluse the ability to do something useful with his life and made him a more developed character for my book.

The chemistry between the two? It was a slow build, but a fire that erupted out of nowhere (hello, ghost!) made it burn hotter than the flames. Daphne imposed herself in Manos’ residence as the cook he didn’t know he needed, and she gradually reminded him that he actually needed human interaction as well. Love bloomed, but the house wasn’t down with that. Then things turned ugly.

Wearing the casting director hat

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Oh, Jamie. Disclaimer: I’m not a 50 Shades fan. At all. But Jamie would make the perfect Manos. The scruff, the piercing gaze, the baritone voice. It’s all there. In spades. And Zooey Deschanel would be the ideal Daphne. Quirky yet strong and determined with a skewed self-image, thanks to her ex-model, gorgeous mom who she hasn’t taken after, Daphne finds herself with nothing but fights to earn her right to happiness. They’d make a beautiful couple. I actually had Zooey in mind when looking for stock photo models for the book cover, and I think I nailed it 🙂

 

The antagonist: the House at the Edge (from the book)

The rain was falling in sheets, forcing me to squint, but I couldn’t take my eyes off the house. The ground floor was dressed in dark natural stone, while the upper level’s façade bore the signs of neglect with streaks of brown, angry scars on a once pristine white surface. Shafts of gray granite lined the domed windows, and if the metal arched mullions weren’t a Gothic nod, the thick turrets pointing to the pewter sky made me think I had entered a portal to a different world—one miles away from a Greek island.

A dazzling white streak of lightning slashed between the beckoning lightning rods perched on the tips of the turrets, pulling me from my trance. I let the bike drop onto the brown slush and ran up the wide marble steps. Somewhat protected under the portico, I stood and stared at the dragon-shaped metal door knocker.

The thought that I was in over my head evaporated with the rumbling thunder, crashing behind me. No, there was no going back.

The greater setting: the island of Alonissos

The stereotypic image of a Greek island makes an unlikely setting for a Gothic mystery romance. But the Greek isles, removed from the throngs of tourists and frequent ship routes, can be quite inhospitable in the winter. Alonissos is no exception. It’s small with a population of just over two thousand, fighting recession like every other part of Greece. So an ignorant English-speaking girl who suddenly lands there, demanding to find employment when the island can’t feed its own would certainly not be welcome. And if she catches the attention of the island’s most eligible bachelor, hostility can turn to danger.

That’s it from me, today. Tune in next week for another awesome Q&A!

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Anatomy of A World of Gothic: Haunting at Spook Light Inn (Oklahoma) by Alicia Dean

 

Introduction

My participation in the A World of Gothic series was my proudest moment as an author last year. Talented, award-wining authors penning suspenseful stories with a definite Gothic vibe, each set in a different location around the world, all taking place in a remote, awe-inspiring mansion. As a number of amazing titles have been available since the series launched last April, I felt I should bring them to your attention again, from a different angle this time. So, each week, I’ll invite one of the series’ authors here, spotlight her book and focus on the heroine, the hero, and the backbone of any good Gothic story, the house/castle/mansion that tends to hold the key to solving the mysteries piling up.

This week, I’m delighted to present Alicia Dean who not only penned a fantastic novella but also edited the series. Her book, Haunting at Spook Light Inn, is set in misty Oklahoma. Read on for an inspiring anatomy of the book by the author herself.

Haunting at Spook Light Inn

by Alicia Dean
Genres: Gothic, paranormal, romantic suspense
Publication date: April 24, 2016
Purchase links:

Amazon US – Amazon UK

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Description

A Gothic Mystery Romance…

Amidst a blizzard, paranormal debunker Camille Burditt arrives at Devil’s Promenade in Oklahoma to research a supernatural ‘spook light’ phenomenon for her latest book. There she encounters a ghostly being, which she dismisses as a figment of her imagination. But as the apparition becomes too persistent to deny, Camille realizes the woman’s ghost is quite real—and that her demise was not accidental.

Declan Rush—the inhospitable, reclusive owner of the inn where Camille is staying—is linked to the deceased woman, but he is less than forthcoming. Despite his unfriendliness, Camille is oddly drawn to him, even though she suspects his connection to the spirit might be that of killer to victim.

When another suspicious death occurs, Camille intensifies her investigation. She has precious little time to ferret out the truth. Not only is her book deadline looming—she’s desperate to discover if the man she’s falling for is a murderer.

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Q & A with Alicia Dean

Hello, Alicia, and welcome back to my blog!

Hello…I am so thrilled to be here. Thank you for featuring the series on your wonderful blog.

Haunting at Spook Light Inn is a great suspense read with a definite Gothic vibe. What does writing a Gothic story mean to you? What are the core elements such a story should incorporate?

Writing a Gothic story, to me, is almost like paying homage to the great classics from decades ago, stories by Victoria Holt, Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis A. Whitney, and other authors whose stories I devoured as a young girl. The elements needed in a gothic are; a young girl away from home and family, maybe who doesn’t even have a home or family, a brooding hero, a remote, spooky, potentially haunted dwelling, a mystery that intrigues and endangers the young heroine, gloomy, rainy or snow weather, and lastly, it’s always nice to toss a ghost into the mix.

Your main female character, Camille, is a paranormal debunker—a skeptic. Can you give us more clues about her personality? Which are her strengths and weaknesses and what made her a good fit for your story?

Camille is intelligent and caring, but she’s a little damaged. Not only is she a skeptic about the supernatural, she’s a skeptic about love, and she doesn’t trust easily. Her strengths are that she’s tenacious and unafraid. Those might also be her weaknesses. She often gets involved in situations she should leave alone, and she takes risks she shouldn’t take. She is a good fit for the story because she is cut off from her only family, a sister who stole her fiancé, and she needed to get away from her home environment. And the ghost in the story needed someone who would take up her cause, and once Cami believed, her tenacity enabled her to do just that.

Declan Rush is a brooding recluse—a character often found in Gothic stories. What chemistry were you going for between the two main characters?

Their chemistry came out of not only a physical attraction, but their identifying one another as wounded souls. Camille saw how fiercely loyal Declan was to his deceased sister, and that he was an honorable man, unlike her former fiancé. Declan saw that Camille was caring and strong, and he was drawn to her in spite of his reluctance to become involved.

Which actors did you have in mind when writing those two characters or who would you like seeing portray your characters should the book ever became a film?

I love this question, because I always choose ‘models’ for my characters and usually, they are celebrities, although a few times, I have simply come across a photo of a ‘regular’ person who was right for my characters. In this case, Stephen Amell was my inspiration for Declan and Allison Williams, for Camille. Aren’t they lovely? 🙂

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(Both images are licensed for re-use)

They’re lovely and quite fitting! The story is set in Spook Light B&B. Could you give us a brief description of the house as seen in the book?

I also love this question, because, in a gothic, the house itself is a character, and the description is important. Later, I describe the interior, but this is my character’s first glimpse:

I peered through the snow-dusted windshield at the large house looming in the evening dusk, and an unwarranted shiver of foreboding washed over my flesh.

From behind the wheel, my driver, Rita, made a sound that was somewhere between a squeak of trepidation and a sigh of admiration. “It’s huge. And gorgeous, but kind of creepy, don’t you think?” Her eyes were big and round behind the lenses of her black cat-eye frames.

“It is indeed.” The sprawling structure was a combination of Southern plantation and Greek revival architecture; painted white and trimmed in a darker colored molding—perhaps forest green. The exact color was difficult to make out in the descending dusk. Narrow, darkened floor-to-ceiling windows peeked from between a portico of six Doric columns. Hanging by chains above the porch, a wooden board flapped in the icy wind. Spook Light Bed and Breakfast. The sign should have been welcoming, yet apprehension clawed at my heart.

Ooh, I felt it all over again. Last but not least, the greater setting—Oklahoma. What are the area’s elements that played into the story?

Well, the most critical element was the Spook Light itself, which is an actual supernatural phenomenon in that area of Oklahoma. There is an actual ‘Spook Light Road’ although the B&B in my story is fictional. Other elements are that the area is pretty remote, with dirt roads and lots of trees and a deep darkness. (My sister lives in the area, and my friends and I took a trip there as I was beginning to write the story, so we could see the area first hand) Also, while Oklahoma doesn’t get a ton of bad weather, a few times a year, we usually experience a pretty hefty blizzard, especially in that part of the state, and the weather played a big part in my story.

Thanks for talking about Haunting at Spook Light Inn, Alicia. What are you up to writing-wise these days?

You’re welcome.  I loved being here! Ha, that’s a loaded question…I’m actually involved in and behind on several projects. I’m finishing up a paranormal/romantic suspense set in Africa for an anthology, I’m writing a Martini Club 4 story for a series with three of my writing friends, and next, I’ll be working on a straight suspense that was requested by Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer line…if they haven’t given up on me by now. Thanks again for having me!

About the Author

Alicia Dean Tin Man BW

I write in a variety of genres, among them, paranormal and romantic suspense. I live in Edmond, Oklahoma and am the mother of three grown children. I love creating spine-chilling stories that keep readers on the edge of their seats. I am a huge Elvis Presley fan, and I love MLB and the NFL. If you look closely, you’ll see a reference to one or all three in pretty much everything I write.

If I could, I would divide all my time between writing, watching (or rewatching) my favorite television shows—such as Dexter, Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Justified, and True Blood, along with a lot of the older classics; I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, both Bob Newhart shows, etc.—and reading my favorite authors…Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Lisa Gardner to name a few.

Connect with the Author

Site: http://aliciadean.com

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean

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Anatomy of A World of Gothic: Ghost in the Rain (Scotland) by Marie Treanor

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Introduction

My participation in the A World of Gothic series was my proudest moment as an author last year. Talented, award-wining authors penning suspenseful stories with a definite Gothic vibe, each set in a different location around the world, all taking place in a remote, awe-inspiring mansion. As a number of amazing titles have been available since the series launched last April, I felt I should bring them to your attention again, from a different angle this time. So, each week, I’ll invite one of the series’ authors here, spotlight her book and focus on the heroine, the hero, and the backbone of any good Gothic story, the house/castle/mansion that tends to hold the key to solving the mysteries piling up.

This week, I’m pleased to present Marie Treanor and the first book in the series, which takes us right to the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Read on for an inspiring anatomy of the Ghost in the Rain by the author herself.

Ghost in the Rain

by Marie Treanor
Genres: Gothic, paranormal, romantic suspense
Publication date: April 24, 2016
Purchase links:

Amazon US – Amazon UK – B&N – Kobo – iBooks

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Description

A haunted Highland house, battered by storms and murder…

Notorious rocker Dan Stewart isn’t anything like Dr. Kate Yorke imagined. Arriving at his remote home in the Scottish Highlands to research some valuable letters – only to discover he’s forgotten their appointment – Kate soaks up the Gothic atmosphere of Invershiel House. But it’s the owner who truly fascinates her.

Reclusive and abrupt, Dan is haunted by the deaths of his fellow band members, especially his one time lover Islay Lamont, whose shade seems to flit around the grounds in the rain. But the ghost is not the only mystery Kate encounters. Light bulbs disappear around her – and only Dan knows she’s scared of the dark. Then she trips over a dead body which inexplicably vanishes.

It becomes a race against time to find the identity of the body and the killer. And to discover if she and Danny have any kind of future together. Or even at all…

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Q & A with Marie Treanor

Hello, Marie, and welcome back to my blog!

Thanks, Maria! Lovely to be back.

What does writing a Gothic story mean to you? What are the core elements such a story should incorporate?

I’ve always loved Gothic tales, from atmospheric romances to downright scary stories, so I suppose it was inevitable I would come to write them! For me, they are a combination of spooky, threatening setting, and a dark, dangerous hero, preferably with a tragic and/or wicked past. There has to be a genuine danger to the heroine, and a paranormal element always helps with atmosphere.

Your main female character, Kate, is a Cambridge researcher—a scholar down to business. Can you give us more clues about her personality? Which are her strengths and weaknesses and what made her a good fit for your story?

Kate is obviously very bright and determined. Though far from the sweet, passive heroine of old who screamed a lot and waited to be rescued, she has her own kind of unworldly innocence, isolated as she is in her academic bubble, surrounded by the past, which is, of course, what takes her to Invershiel. Relationship-wise, she’s vulnerable, having been hurt and let down before – and someone like hard-living rocker Dan is way out of her comfort zone. She’s also basically kind and extremely curious by nature, and not afraid to pursue that curiosity.  And she wants to do the right thing.

Dan Stewart, on the other hand, is a brooding recluse—a character often found in Gothic stories—but this one is a rocker with a wild past. What chemistry were you going for between the two main characters?

The chemistry of opposites! Kate is wary of him for so many reasons, and yet she’s very aware of his physical attractions. He also surprises her constantly. She’s drawn to the hint of wickedness about him, and yet is unexpectedly comfortable in his company. They’re very different people with very different pasts, thrown together by chance.

Which actors did you have in mind when writing those two characters or who would you like seeing portray your characters should the book ever became a film?

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(Image by Wikimedia Commons)

I had a definite picture in my head of how Dan would look, but I never had an actor in mind. I’ve just been looking through LOADS of pictures of Scottish actors (I do feel he should be a Scottish actor!) and I can’t find one who really fits. Dan is one of those big, loose-limbed men, not really good-looking but definitely sexy. Actors like David Tenant, Gerard Butler, James MacAvoy, and Ian Henry Cusick are really too handsome, though I suppose they could be roughed up a little in make-up J.

ETA: Marie and I agreed that Luke Evans would make a great Dan (his Welshness, aside).

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Kate would be easier – maybe Emma Watson or Jessica Brown Findlay, or someone else both beautiful and strong in appearance.

ETA: I chose Jessica Brown Findlay (Images are labelled for reuse)

The story mostly takes place in Invershiel House. Could you give us a brief description of the story’s setting as seen in the book?

It’s an old, stone house, medieval in origin and added to throughout the ages. Obviously, it’s full of ghosts, real and metaphorical! Here’s Kate’s first glimpse of it:

“I could barely see the house for the horizontal rain blasting across my windscreen. What I could make out was dark and bleak and about as welcoming as a leaky roof, but since I was already late for my initial appointment—thanks to appalling single-track roads and foul driving conditions—I took the next turning and bumped my poor old car up the muddy track towards Invershiel House.

“I thought this might once have been a gracious driveway, for in front of the big, turreted house itself, it widened into a large, tarmac area with two four by fours parked near the imposing front door. I parked my poor little car next to the others, grabbed my bag, and made a dash for the entrance. I bolted up the steps to the wide porch, which was flanked by two stone columns, and rang the bell.

“While I waited, I turned and gazed through the rain at the lowering Highland hills, their summits lost in mist and cloud. Even in this foul weather, the scene held a strange, grand beauty that caught at my breath with sheer awe. I felt very small and insignificant.”

Last but not least, the greater setting—Scotland. What are the Scottish elements that played in the story? Give us some examples of the book’s Scottishness.

Well, there’s the rain :). We get a lot of that, especially in the west. And the Highland scenery is spectacular. Then there’s our history, which is long and often bloody! Kate is there for particular historical documents, but the whole house is steeped in a much broader past.  Related to that, we have many ghost sightings, especially in old houses and castles (though obviously this is played up for tourist purposes!)

But of course, Scotland is much more than pretty scenery and Highland lairds! Dan himself is a Lowlander (as, indeed, are the vast majority of Scots!), the product of a rough Glasgow housing scheme where money is short and unemployment high. Like most countries, Scotland is a place of contrasts, not least the down-to-earth versus the esoteric, aggression versus kindness, and it was great fun to play with that in GHOST IN THE RAIN.

Thanks for talking about Ghost in the Rain, Marie. What are you up to writing-wise these days?

My pleasure, Maria! Thanks so much for inviting me. And by the way, I love your HOUSE AT THE EDGE.

Writing-wise, I’ve been a bit quiet over the last few months, having to concentrate on other things – but I have plans to write more in my historical Gothic series, Darke of Night, and my paranormal suspense series, The Gifted. Looking forward to that!

About the Author

about-marieMarie Treanor lives in Scotland, in a chaotic house by the sea, together with her eccentric husband, three much atoo smart children and a small dog who rules them all. Most days, she avoids both housekeeping and evil day jobs by writing stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.

Marie is the award-winning author of over forty sexy paranormal romances – Indie, New York and E-published.

You can find out more about Marie and her books on her website: www.MarieTreanor.com.

Subscribe to her New Release Mailing Listhttp://www.marietreanor.com/marie-treanor-newsletter/

Catch more latest news on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Marie-Treanor-Paranormal-Romance/105866982782360.

Follow on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MarieTreanor

And on Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/marietreanor/

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A soul-soothing romance: The Amulet by Effrosyni Moschoudi

I love reading romance, but it’s usually gritty, edgy stories that I’m attracted to. However, there are times when I need to submerge myself in the undiluted beauty of a wholesome, sweet story, and when it comes to that, one of my go-to authors is Effrosyni Moschoudi. For that reason, I wouldn’t let a new release of hers go by unannounced in this space.

The Amulet

by Effrosyni Moschoudi
Publication date: November 14, 2016
Genres: Romance, Romantic Comedy, Paranormal Romance
Purchase links: Amazon USAmazon UK   Paperback: Amazon USAmazon UK

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The Amulet is a romantic comedy of angel magic and tantalizing descriptions of Greek food. Read it at your own peril; it’ll make you feel ravenous (not to mention all loved-up!)

When Katie loses her Athens office job, a gypsy woman hands her an amulet for good luck. Next, she gets hired as hotel receptionist on the Greek island of Sifnos and everything seems perfect, except for the overbearing hotel owner, Mrs. Matina. One of the guests, heart-stoppingly handsome Aggelos, keeps saving the day whenever Katie needs help. As she falls in love, she grows all the more intrigued by him and his quirky friends, including a little girl who keeps turning up on her own. Add a psychic, half-mad elderly woman into the mix and you’re in for a few laughs. Things are not what they seem in this small, family hotel and get even more complicated when the gypsy woman shows up again. Will Katie ever work out that Aggelos is a guardian angel that came with the amulet? And if she does, will she be able to keep him? It may take a miracle. But on an island as magical as Sifnos, anything is possible!

Excerpt

When Katie arrived back at Hotel Asimi the sun was slowly gliding towards the horizon against a pastel-coloured sky. She was strolling past the hotel’s thatched umbrellas, making her way towards the entrance when her jaw dropped. Sitting on the bottom step was Aggelos. He was holding an orange juice carton, drinking through a straw thirstily.

Katie put her hands on her hips and gawped when she stopped to stand before him. ‘Aggelos! How did you do that?’

Aggelos beamed at her and pulled a long tendril of silky hair back from his brow. ‘How did I do what?’

‘How did you get here before me? It was a good five kilometres out of Asimi where I left you. Did you hitch a ride?’

Aggelos pointed at his feet. ‘Yes. On those babies.’ He chuckled and winked. ‘I’m a fast walker.’

‘But . . .’ She scratched her head. ‘You can’t be faster than the scooter I was on, surely.’

Aggelos stood and scrunched up the carton, then hopped up the few steps to the bin. He tossed it inside and shrugged when he returned to her at the bottom of the steps. ‘Nah, you’ve been gone ages. I bet you wandered around the village and lost track of time.’

‘I did buy an ice cream . . . and lingered at the village square for a while,’ she mumbled.

Aggelos tilted his head. ‘See? Not Superman, after all.’

‘I never said you’re Superman. But, I have noticed you tend to save the day.’

Aggelos put up a finger. ‘Now, that’s a compliment and a half! Thank you, Katie.’

Katie heard the sound of her name on his lips again and it made her knees weak. Earlier, when he was drinking his refreshment she couldn’t take her eyes off his pouted lips around the straw. She’d tried to imagine there and then how it would feel to kiss them. Now, as he gazed at her, his wide smile exposing perfect pearly whites, she shifted her weight from foot to foot, wondering if she had it in her to ask him out. She decided it was too soon. After all, she’d never done this sort of thing before. As she contemplated all that, Aggelos was telling her about the beauty of the places he’d explored that day. She kept nodding and making the odd comment and, all the while, marvelled at his perfectly sculpted features.

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A book that will warm your hearts and tantalize your senses!

MM Jaye

Fate Awakened is LIVE (99c for a limited time)

Fate Awakened, the second (standalone) book in the Greek Tycoons series is LIVE on all Amazon stores. I’ve set the price at 99 cents for a limited time only. The regular price for this full-length novel will be at $2.99. Also, if you’ve missed Fate Captured (Book One in the series) now is your chance to dive into this Aegean-drenched, award-winning story since you can get it for FREE until Sunday! Both books are available in two heat versions: Clean and Spicy. All books guarantee an epic HEA. No cliffhanger. Scroll down to see some teasers and read an entire scene of Fate Awakened.

Fate Awakened (Spicy romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Fate Awakened (Clean romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Fate Captured (Spicy romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Fate Captured (Clean romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Fate Awakened combined

Book Description

He’s in a gilded prison.

Alex Argiros looks like he owns the board room, yet he’d trade his bespoke suits for scrubs in the blink of an eye. But he’ll be damned if he plays into the hands of his nemesis before securing his late father’s legacy. About to seal the deal that will finally set him free, the last thing he needs is a new, fresh-out-of-college PA. Especially one that feeds his associates with home-made pies and his mind with wild, wicked thoughts.

She’s on a mission.

Monica Mitchell has come to Athens, Greece, with a single goal: to prove to her childhood crush that her adult self has grown out of the habit of flashing her underwear and looking like a zombie flick castoff…in public.

The catch? She has to hide who she is.

Easy as pie. The demure PA looks nothing like the red-haired disaster magnet Alex once knew. Still, their explosive chemistry soon leads to bone-melting passion. But when her family pulls the rug from under Alex’s feet again, she knows she has to come clean or face his devastating wrath.

She knows but needs just a little longer to savor his searing kisses…

 

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Teasers

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Excerpt

Of course, he would be here, Monica thought as she slowly rose to her feet, holding his piercing gaze. It wasn’t twelve o’clock yet. The day wasn’t over. In the next hour, she could see him turn into a frog and still not bat an eyelid.

No, that’s two different fairy tales.

Alex just stood there and stared at her. “Did you send those faxes?” he grated.

Monica rolled her eyes. Him and his faxes. “I did send the faxes,” she said in carefully spaced words. “And who uses faxes nowadays, anyway?” She took a swig from her bottle, her eyes on him.

His frown was so deep, his brows almost touched.

Oh, this is fun.

On her way there, her anger had dissipated. Things had been moving too fast. She’d been working for him for just two weeks. How could she expect him to sort out his feelings when in just a couple of hours, she turned from the prim PA to a naked tease? Okay, she hadn’t done it on purpose, but still…

Without warning, Alex took hold of her arm and dragged her to a corner where the din from the street was not so loud.

“Listen, Monica,” he rasped, “I was with a woman just before.”

Patience, she reminded herself, squelching the flutter of disappointment that dared mess with the good place she was in. She arched her brows expectantly as she did when she took dictation from him.

“I see.”

He yanked her arm. “Dammit, didn’t you hear me? I was with a woman.

Extracting her arm from his grip, she gave him a sweet smile. “How can I help you with that?”

“You helped a great deal,” he hissed, “with your antics in the swimming pool and … after.”

“I’m sorry, I see no connection.”

Alex’s eyes darted to the street and he leaned closer. “I intended to be with that woman, tonight, but I … couldn’t, thanks to you.”

Goosebumps covered her as a strong feeling of possessiveness took over her.

Monica, one; other woman, zero.

“Should I feel sorry about that?”

Alex’s dark gaze lost some of its fire. “No, of course not. In fact, I’m the one who should apologize…” He run his hand over his hair. “However, it can’t happen between us.”

Although prepared, her heart sank.

“Dammit, not as long as you work for me.” His eyes softened and his hard grip on her shoulder became an intimate squeeze. “But if the deal with Roe is sealed, I will leave the company and then…” Raising his hands, he ran his fingers through her hair, fanning it out.

Monica’s breath caught in her throat. What was he saying? Was he actually admitting that he wanted them to be together?

His face hardened again, and he let his hands fall to his sides. “But until then, I’m your boss and you’re my assistant. No more … getting naked in my pool.”

Monica nodded and bit her lower lip, trying not to smile. He had all but said it. Well, that was as close an admittance as she would get for the time being. Because when the deal was sealed…

“Tomorrow, I’ll fly to London. I might as well be there, since Roe might come up with all sorts of delays again. And I can’t afford to have any more delays.” With a sigh, he cupped her chin and his thumb caressed her lower lip.

“I could always send him some of my orgasmic pie—” she ventured, aware that it was her beer-boosted nerve speaking.

Alex’s eyes darkened, and she could see the juggler’s fire reflected in their depths. Leaning down, he brought his lips a hairbreadth away from hers.

“Let me go home, little siren,” he said, his hot whiskey-smelling breath warming her already flushed face. “Otherwise, you’ll tempt me to follow you and then, believe me, I’ll show you what orgasmic truly means.” He snatched the beer bottle from her, took a long swig, handed it back and took off.

Monica swayed. She didn’t dare turn to watch him leave. She just stared at the bottle in her hand. Slowly, she brought it to her lips and licked its rim. That would be the last of Alex’s delicious DNA she’d sample for at least a week.

Oh, if pies could make Donald Roe sign the damn deal quicker, she would roll out enough phyllo to pave the road to London.

___________________________

If you enjoyed that, here are those links again:

Fate Awakened (Spicy romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Fate Awakened (Clean romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Fate Captured (Spicy romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Fate Captured (Clean romance): Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

 

 

 

Super helpful beats guide: Emotional Beats by Nicholas C. Rossis

There’s no better way to introduce this super useful book than give you the author’s book description right away. In the words of Nicholas C. Rossis:

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Publication Date: September 11, 2016

Purchase Links

Ebook: Amazon US Amazon UK

Paperback: Amazon US Amazon UK

Book Description

Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.

A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions, while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.

This book includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings.

________________

I don’t know about you, author friends, but when I edit my first draft, one major roadblock I need to overcome is finding fresh ways to show not tell feelings. I write in “deep point of view”, and I can’t have my characters be “surprised”, “sad”, “angry” or “frightened”. But they tend to “look” a lot or express their feelings through their eyes, and it’s only so many times one can “narrow her eyes” or “widen her eyes” before the reader will, well, roll her eyes.

To me, this guide is a life saver. I’m definitely getting it in paperback because I want to be able to physically turn the page to the relevant emotion and see what kind of language beats best portray it. And if you need an example of the wealth of beats included in Emotional Beats, here it is:

Surprise

  • He shot up an eyebrow
  • He whipped his head around
  • She clamped her mouth shut, but her jaw went slack when she saw him. “You!”
  • His face remained a plank of wood, his amazement hidden by a slow breath.
  • His mouth slackened.
  • Her brows shot to her hairline.
  • She slapped a hand over her mouth.
  • He facepalmed.

And that’s just a selection.

Fastest one-click ever! Here are those purchase links again:

Purchase Links: Amazon US Amazon UK

MM Jaye

House at the Edge – A World of Gothic: Greece

I’ve done it, and I deserve a pat on my back. I’ve written my first Gothic mystery romance, formatted on my own and uploaded not only on Amazon but on iTunes, Kobo and B&N as well. (Still waiting for that B&N link, though.) This is a 38K-word novella, and it’s priced at only $0.99.

House at the Edge is the second novella in the “A World of Gothic” series of mystery romances written by authors from around the world. Last month, Marie Treanor presented her Ghost in the Rain, a gripping story set in the Scottish Highlands. This month, the Gothic tour stops on a remote Greek island, but unlike my contemporary summery romances, this time, the setting is in the dead of winter, and my heroine is almost dead inside. Who’s better to deal with a rumored haunted mansion? Read on for the blurb, an excerpt and how you can read the story for free.

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House at the Edge

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Genres: Gothic, paranormal, mystery romance
Purchase links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / iTunes / Kobo / B&N (coming soon)

Synopsis

He wants her out of his house. The house agrees…

After losing everything—her family, her home, her sense of self—former heiress, Daphne Alesi, has no choice but to start anew. Broke, unwanted, and suffering from a rare condition that makes defining her emotions mind-numbingly difficult, the only thing she has left is a strong will to survive.

Starting over on a remote Greek island, in the dead of winter, just because it was her grandmother’s birthplace might be a foolish plan, but staying in England is not an option.

The people of Alonissos are far from welcoming, not least the brooding recluse whose home she literally invades. The infamous House at the Edge is rumored to host a ghost—the soul of the enigmatic owner’s deceased wife. But it will take more than an angry spirit to send Daphne fleeing.

Being emotionally detached has some benefits, after all.

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House at the Edge – Excerpt

Darkness fell swiftly yet anything but silently. The vicious wind whipped my hair, its low keening whistle torturing my ears. Rain lashed my skin, my clothes quickly becoming a drenched straitjacket. I’d been pounding at the door for what seemed like hours, but the continuous rumble of the thunder that echoed long after it had clapped drowned any noise my fist managed to produce.

The question was burning me up. Who had pushed me out? Because I’d been pushed, there was no doubt about it. It had been neither my imagination nor a strong gust of wind. Hands. Human hands had shoved me out. I could still feel their imprint on my shoulder blades.

Clutching my sides, I trotted down the steps and peered at the top floor windows, dragging my sopping hair out of the way with one hand. Lightning slashed the sky, and that’s when I saw it. A fuzzy outline against a dimly lit backdrop, its head hidden behind a black cloak.

“Open the door,” I yelled at the top of my lungs, but the violence of the storm swallowed my voice. I scanned the ground for a stone. There was one near the barrel. I hurtled it toward the window. I missed. I couldn’t spot more loose stones around me, only half-buried rocks. Grasping a jagged edge, I pulled and pulled, but even though the ground was slushy, it wouldn’t give. Using my nails, I dug around the rock and freed it. Tears of frustration mingled with the rain in my eyes. It was too heavy. I could barely lift it, let alone throw it far.

Exhausted, I lifted my eyes to the window, high above me. Rain pelted down on me, but I knew what I saw.

The cloaked figure shook its head.

Then the light went out, and the window turned into a black hole.

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The next book in the “A World of Gothic” series will come out soon. This time, it’s Alicia Dean’s turn. Alicia conceived the idea of assembling authors from around the world to write Gothic mystery romances, and she also edits our books. In other words, everything that comes out of this endeavor we owe to her.

Keep an eye out for Alicia’s “Devil’s Promenade” – A World of Gothic: USA, out on June 30.

For updates on new releases, offers and giveaways, follow us on our Facebook page.

We need reviews, so if you’re interested in receiving a free copy in exchange for an honest review, please contact me at mmjayeauthor@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading!