Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Kisses and a Lucky Leprechan G*i*v*e*a*w*a*y Hop



Welcome to the 2nd Annual Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop
March 17th to 22nd
What better way to say Erin Go Braugh
Leave a comment for a chance to win one of 3 copies of my book, coincidentally entitled Kiss Me, I'm Irish. Talk about luck! 3 random commenters will be chosen to win either print or e-versions. And like a found piece o' gold, there's a bonus prize of a Kiss Me, I'm Irish Tshirt to a fourth winner! 

 burn out design, size 11-13

So read the excerpt below, kiss someone for luck, and leave a comment!


Kiss Me, I'm Irish excerpt
                                                   © 2011 Bella Street



What time is it? It was too dark to see a clock, if that was still something people used these days. Emily wondered how such a thought could be possible. These days. Yesterdays. The future. Goodness! Deciding to put off the theory of time travel and instead seek the hour of the day, she eased her legs over the side of the bed. A slight gap in the curtains at the window beckoned and she shed her blanket, keeping Liam's shirt about her. With careful steps she negotiated her way across the room, and peeked through the curtain gap. 

Bright sunlight washed over ramshackle structures and small brick buildings reflected in puddles of water on the black oily surface of the roadway. It must've rained sometime in the night. Across the street, a small child rode on some kind of self-propelled three-wheeled contraption. A woman with burnished brown skin walked past holding large bags in her arms. A moment later, a smooth machine sped past—but enclosed instead of open-air like Liam and Tinker's machines. She shook her head, stupefied. Could the world have altered so very much? In such a relatively short time? It felt as if she had windmills in her head, spinning with conflicting information and absurd occurrences. 
 
I just need to think this through, to get my bearings. A sudden desire for a breath of fresh air assailed her after hours in the stuffy room. Emily reached for the doorknob.

I wouldn't go out there alone if I were you.”

She spun around and saw Liam sitting up in bed, shirtless. Averting her gaze, she dropped her hand. “I...I just wanted some fresh air.” 
 
A sound of rustling reached her ears and Liam appeared at her side. She noticed he'd put on a white clinging shirt with short sleeves. The stubble was longer on his face now and his dark hair nearly resembled Tinker's style. 
 
He regarded her from under heavy brows. “I'll come out with you, but just for a minute.” Liam unlocked the door with careful movements, possibly to avoid waking his sister. Opening the door, he ushered her out first. Once they were outside, he closed it quietly behind them. The air was heavy and warm and smelled of a mixture of hothouse blooms and decaying rubbish. 
 
The light made Emily squint at first, but when she got used to it, she looked up and down the street, struggling to reconcile how she could be in another time. But how could a dream or hallucination be so fantastic and detailed? She turned to her host. “What are all those poles with strings on them?”

His brows arched as if it were the last question he expected. “Those are power poles. You know, they carry electricity from house to house. It's how we turn on the lights without...a flame.”

Electricity,” she said slowly, looking back up at the wires. “I once attended a house party in Surrey where they had a Galvani machine. We all held hands in a circle and one of the members turned a crank on the machine. Then we each received an unpleasant electric shock. Is it anything like that?”

He stared at her without answering. Emily returned his gaze, realizing this was the first time she'd seen him in full light. His hair was coal black and mussed from sleep. His skin, tan and ruddy, as if he were a field laborer. And his eyes were the intense blue of a milkwort blossom, with a telltale darker ring around the outer edge of the irises. Of course! With a name like Liam she should've realized it sooner. He wasn't a gypsy at all.

He was an Irishman.

That meant this was some form of purgatory. Jem, Donnelly, and Our Lady of the Portal had had their revenge after all.



Friday, March 16, 2012

Hop Through St. Patrick's Day For A Kindle Or Nook!


This is the second of three blog hops I'll be doing to celebrate the wearing of the green. This one is hosted by Carrie Ann Ryan and is ONE DAY ONLY.
Carrie will be choosing two random commenters from among all those commenting at the 120 blogs listed below--including mine! Every comment you leave is counted as an additional entry to win one of two grand prizes:

Grand Prize 1: Winner's Choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
Grand Prize 2: Winner's Choice of a $90 Amazon or Barnes&Noble Gift Card

So chop chop!

Three commenters here will also be randomly chosen for a chance to win one of three copies of my sweet, paranormal romance Kiss Me, I'm Irish (natch). Winners will have the option of an e-copy or print version. Open to international commentors, too! An excerpt is at the very end for a peekaloo.


So leave a comment with your email and then hop to the next blog for more chances to win!

Kiss Me, I'm Irish excerpt

                                              © 2011 Bella Street



What time is it? It was too dark to see a clock, if that was still something people used these days. Emily wondered how such a thought could be possible. These days. Yesterdays. The future. Goodness! Deciding to put off the theory of time travel and instead seek the hour of the day, she eased her legs over the side of the bed. A slight gap in the curtains at the window beckoned and she shed her blanket, keeping Liam's shirt about her. With careful steps she negotiated her way across the room, and peeked through the curtain gap. 

Bright sunlight washed over ramshackle structures and small brick buildings reflected in puddles of water on the black oily surface of the roadway. It must've rained sometime in the night. Across the street, a small child rode on some kind of self-propelled three-wheeled contraption. A woman with burnished brown skin walked past holding large bags in her arms. A moment later, a smooth machine sped past—but enclosed instead of open-air like Liam and Tinker's machines. She shook her head, stupefied. Could the world have altered so very much? In such a relatively short time? It felt as if she had windmills in her head, spinning with conflicting information and absurd occurrences. 
 
I just need to think this through, to get my bearings. A sudden desire for a breath of fresh air assailed her after hours in the stuffy room. Emily reached for the doorknob.

I wouldn't go out there alone if I were you.”

She spun around and saw Liam sitting up in bed, shirtless. Averting her gaze, she dropped her hand. “I...I just wanted some fresh air.” 
 
A sound of rustling reached her ears and Liam appeared at her side. She noticed he'd put on a white clinging shirt with short sleeves. The stubble was longer on his face now and his dark hair nearly resembled Tinker's style. 
 
He regarded her from under heavy brows. “I'll come out with you, but just for a minute.” Liam unlocked the door with careful movements, possibly to avoid waking his sister. Opening the door, he ushered her out first. Once they were outside, he closed it quietly behind them. The air was heavy and warm and smelled of a mixture of hothouse blooms and decaying rubbish. 
 
The light made Emily squint at first, but when she got used to it, she looked up and down the street, struggling to reconcile how she could be in another time. But how could a dream or hallucination be so fantastic and detailed? She turned to her host. “What are all those poles with strings on them?”

His brows arched as if it were the last question he expected. “Those are power poles. You know, they carry electricity from house to house. It's how we turn on the lights without...a flame.”

Electricity,” she said slowly, looking back up at the wires. “I once attended a house party in Surrey where they had a Galvani machine. We all held hands in a circle and one of the members turned a crank on the machine. Then we each received an unpleasant electric shock. Is it anything like that?”

He stared at her without answering. Emily returned his gaze, realizing this was the first time she'd seen him in full light. His hair was coal black and mussed from sleep. His skin, tan and ruddy, as if he were a field laborer. And his eyes were the intense blue of a milkwort blossom, with a telltale darker ring around the outer edge of the irises. Of course! With a name like Liam she should've realized it sooner. He wasn't a gypsy at all.

He was an Irishman.

That meant this was some form of purgatory. Jem, Donnelly, and Our Lady of the Portal had had their revenge after all.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fall Under The Selkie Spell With Bonus Irish Kisses!



One of the best lines of St Patrick's Day is "Kiss me, I'm Irish". There's also that whole kissing the Blarney Stone thing. Something about kissing and romance just go with March 17th like a leprechaun to gold.

If you're in the mood for a little Irish romance, I want to recommend a wonderful book I stayed up reading until the wee hours of the morn (a little Irish flair there).

The Spell of the Selkie isn't just a sweetly spicy romance that takes your breath away,  it will make you fall in love with Ireland itself. Honestly, the book should have a link to a travel agency in the back, because after reading it, I WANT TO GO!

In this modern-day fairy tale romance, American doctor Tara Moore’s life is transformed when she travels to an enchanted Irish island and discovers she has the power to break a 200-year-old curse. At first, Tara laughs off the villagers’ speculation that she is descended from a selkie—a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island. Desperate to escape a dark and dangerous past, Tara struggles against a passionate attraction to handsome islander Dominic O’Sullivan. But the enchantment of the island soon overpowers her and she falls helpless under its spell. Caught between magic and reality, Tara must find a way to wield both when a dangerous stranger from her past arrives, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone on the island.

So grab a copy of The Spell of Selkie (FREE for a limited time for Kindle) and prepare to be enchanted and romanced. Oh, and there's lots of Irish kissing, too!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Feeling Lucky G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y Hop

I Smell Sheep and Fictional Candy are hosting an awesome blog hop in honor of that ab-fab (also a pun on the above photo) holiday St Patrick's Day.
Please leave a comment below for a chance to enter to win one of three copies of my book, a sweet, paranormal romance called Kiss Me, I'm Irish. The random.org-selected winners will choose between print, Kindle, Nook, or Smashwords versions.

Emily Musgrave is heading a direction she never wanted to go in Regency England--namely a convent to turn her from her waywardness. But it's more loneliness than rebellion that motivates her to escape her certain fate.

Liam Jackson is going nowhere fast in modern-day Tennessee. Playing his Dobro in seedy bars and backward dives along with his fiddling sister, Tinker, is doing nothing for his music career--and even less for the dark places in his soul.

Pixie mischief can not only change time-lines, it can change hearts. Because sometimes a girl just needs a little magic in her life
.
The contest is open to international commenters, too. After entering, please visit the next blog. There's a hundred, so get hopping!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Was Dracula Really An Irish Bloodsucker?


So what does Transylvania and an Irish romance have in common? The Urban Dictionary says that an Irish Dracula is a paragon of slow execution, physically or mentally. This must be an inside joke unknowable to a Hungarian like myself, so we'll move on to the idea that Dracula was an Irishman.



Was Dracula really based on an Irish legend? Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, himself was an Irishman who grew up playing in graveyards, and there's a fascinating legend that the Irish version of a vampire was more Stoker's inspiration than Vlad the Impaler:







Abhartach was either a dwarf or a small, deformed man who was a tyrannical Celtic chief over his people and thought to have magical powers. The legend goes that the local people were so afraid of him that they hired a warrior to kill him. The warrior succeeded, but Abhartach rose from the grave, demanding a blood sacrifice to drink from his subjects. The warrior killed him two more times, and two more times the Celtic chief rose, demanding more blood, becoming what the Celts called the marbh beo--or the living dead.

In desperation, the subjects turned to a Christian (or in another version, a Druid) who said Abhartach must be killed with a yew sword, buried upside down, covered with a large stone, and the grave was to be planted around with thorn bushes. Finally, Abhartach was no more. The site remains in modern day Garvagh and is known as the place where the man was buried three times.

No wonder the term for 'bad blood' in Irish is Droch Ola.

Poor Keanu had no idea!



As history eventually decides where the
'real' Dracula hailed from, you can enjoy a sweet, blood-free romance
where the darkest thing is a stubborn Irishman's attitude.

Check out the other blogs talking about Transylvania, and enter to win great prizes like Kindles and gift-cards!







Kiss Me, I'm Irish. Available for Kindle, Nook, print, and Smashwords. To 3 random commenters, I'll be gifting copies of Kiss Me, I'm Irish in any e-form or print.

Who Knew The Apocalypse Could Be So Cheap?

For one week only, Smashwords is having their Read An E-Book Week promotion and that means my Apocalypse Babes series is FREE. All six books.


FREE. With CODE: RE100

Who knew the apocalypse could be so cheap? But it won't last. So like weapons when you see a zombie, grab 'em quick!

Friday, March 2, 2012

March Madness and Independent Author Network


My book Kiss Me, I'm Irish is one of nearly 60 books available for under $5 during the month of March at Independent Author Network.







There are several genres represented. Something for everyone!



Romance, mystery, thrillers, womens fiction...all by independent authors.


 Here are a few I picked because I liked their covers.



So try a new voice and find great reads for under $5!
March Madness at Independent Authors Network.


Check it out!