Stealing Hearts by Sheri Velardi

Writing a book series… talk about scary!

When I started to write my book Looted, it was meant to be a one shot short story about an ancient goddess living in today’s world. It was supposed to be short, sexy, and done in one. But when writing sometimes stories and characters take on a mind of their own and that is what happened with Looted. Instead of being a one shot, my characters demanded not only a sequel but their own world, they demanded a multi-book series. Talk about bossy characters! The thing is, I have never written a series before and the original thought scared me to death. Could I carry on this story and characters over multiple books, would anyone out there be as interested in these characters as I was to stay with the over time? Lots of questions ran through my mind, but my characters didn’t care, they insisted that their story was much, much larger. So I started to write more about these characters and they introduced me to their friends. That is what is happening in my latest book, Stealing Hearts Book 2 of the Gods Behaving Badly series, my original characters are introducing me to friends, they are expanding the universe and giving me more ideas for other books to come in the series. Writing a book series still scares me, but I am doing it anyways as my characters are not giving me a choice, that is just how writing goes sometimes.

 

Here is a sneak peek at my latest release, Stealing Hearts Book 2 of the Gods Behaving Badly series.

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The next morning Bruce awoke feeling happier than he could ever recall feeling. Suddenly he snapped open his eyes to make sure that Sophia still lay beside him. Sure enough, she slept peacefully next to him, a slight smile played on her beautiful features, her long auburn hair mussed, making her even sexier. Thank god, or goddess in this case. He had been afraid she’d disappear despite her promise the night before. Now that his need for her had been abated ever so slightly, maybe he could get her to answer some questions that had been eating him alive since their first meeting. His stomach growled; he forgot when his last meal had been and he had certainly worked up an appetite the previous evening. Quietly, he slipped out of bed, praying that goddesses kept a fully stocked kitchen. Maybe a little breakfast in bed would make her more talkative about the magic she seemed to have awakened within him. He still needed to know what an empath truly was, what he truly was, and what he was capable of doing. It seemed too farfetched to believe he was anything but human. However, he certainly felt different when with Sophia.

Making it to the kitchen, he was thrilled to see Sophia had all the makings for a fine breakfast. He turned on the small television on the counter as he began to get the eggs and bacon ready to cook. Mostly, he just wanted a little noise as he got to work, but something suddenly caught his attention.

“This is the highest profile art heist to hit Los Angeles in history. What is even more puzzling, there is no evidence as to who could have stolen the painting. All cameras and security systems are working properly, and the guards on duty didn’t see or hear anything. No alarms sounded, and the Getty’s systems show that no one entered or exited the premises last night. Van Gogh’s Irises is valued at over fifty-five million dollars, but many consider it priceless. If you have any information please contact the police. This is certainly not how we wanted to start off the New Year…”

Bruce’s heart sank. As he lay asleep last night, exhausted by lovemaking, it appeared Sophia may have been up to her old tricks. How could he ever learn to truly trust a creature such as her? She seemed to be getting bolder too, now she wasn’t just stealing from nefarious rich men, but from the Getty Center, and a high profile piece as well. He must not have provided her with enough excitement last night after all.

Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00U6GJVDK

Secret Cravings Publishing: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=1046&zenid=c7e6badjcvhtb2su5f1vpga7k4

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stealing-hearts-sheri-velarde/1121309926?ean=2940151457583

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-stealinghearts-1754356-149.html

 

Author Bio and Links:

Sheri Velarde is an author, artist, independent comic creator and jewelry designer out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a creative soul with eclectic taste and style when it comes to her art and writing. Sheri is a multi-publisher romance author who is now branching into fantasy as well with her Defender of the Realms series. When not creating (which her fiancé argues is never), Sheri can be found spending time with her fiancé and their two dogs, reading, watching fantasy movies, attending metal concerts and just taking time to stop and enjoy life.

You can view Sheri’s work on her website/blog: http://sherivelarde.weebly.com/, on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sheri-VelardeKelly-Ryan, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sher_V.

Cover Reveal: Her Heart’s Surrender by Allison Merritt

Please welcome Allison Merritt to The Eclectic Zaftig Chick

Three Things I Learned While Writing Her Heart’s Surrender

History is one of my passions. I love “going” back in time to discover what our ancestors were like and how they functioned, which shows how much we’ve changed as a society. Here are a couple of things I learned while writing this book.

 1) I had to bend the rules a little to make the story work.

When the Vikings invaded the UK, they settled around the Orkney Islands, in Ireland, England, and Scotland. Among a lot of other places too, but the part of Scotland where I wanted my Vikings doesn’t appear to have actually had many, if any. So I pushed them farther north with the Saxons and set up a kingship for them. One of the bad guys in the story, Ingvar the White Raven, became king of the area and snuffed out his Saxon neighbors. I fandangled the names of the native people a bit, giving them a little Old English and Scottish flair.

 2) I had no idea the Viking reach was so far out into the world.

You think Vikings, you think Sweden, Denmark, you know, cold places. You can easily figure in the UK, although I had no idea Normandy referred to ‘northmen’ which is, of course, the Vikings. While doing research, I was astounded to learn than the Vikings had a huge influence on Russia, which I mention the hero, Hella, has visited, and even Byzantine. The Vikings set their longships to sail from Greece to Turkey and even into Africa. Amazing!

 3) By the 11th century, they’d discovered North America.

This doesn’t factor into Her Heart’s Surrender, but I found it incredibly amazing. There are all kinds of hoaxes suggesting Europeans made it to the New World much sooner than we can historically prove, but the Vikings actually made it to North America and would have colonized but for the aggressive Native Americans they encountered. That’s saying something, because we’re all well-aware of how mighty the Vikings were, but it was unlikely they were willing to send great armies to foreign shores just to colonize there. Too impractical, although their discovery of the Canadian coastline was.

One woman will turn the tide of battle by risking everything for the man she loves.


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Blurb:
Taken from her village as a child, Ealasaid has lived under the iron rule of a Viking king for far too long. The only good to come out of her life is her son. As long as the king lives, their freedom and hope for the future seems dismal. Despite her contempt for the king and his bloodline, she’s drawn to Hella Ingvasson, the man who kidnapped her, and the plight he faces when the king dies.

His father’s final demand is that Hella must wed if he’s to claim the throne. What better revenge than to marry the thrall his father hated most? Despite her fears Hella will become like his father, Ealasaid agrees to marry for her son’s sake, but she quickly learns her husband’s battle scarred body provides more pleasure than nightmares.
Word comes that her brothers also survived the raid and have assembled an army. They march toward a Norse settlement with the intention of revenge. Unless she can reach her brothers and convince them not to slaughter the man and people she’s come to love, Hella may become another bloody stain on history’s tapestry.

About the author:

A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

Social links:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authorallisonmerritt

Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/Allison_Merritt

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/allisonmwrites

 

Excerpt:

“You seem troubled, Hella.” His name rolled from her lips smooth as wind through the oaks. “Shall I send for Erik or Bjorn? Company might soothe your nerves.”

Erik would have to be informed of Ingvar’s plan should Hella fail to marry, but he didn’t want to share it yet. “They’ll suggest we drink ourselves blind and let the problem wait for tomorrow. There are not enough tomorrows to prevent my trouble.”

Her lips puckered, a clear sign she wanted to ask, but there were limits to her curiosity.

There wasn’t any harm in telling her. Everyone would learn his plight soon enough. “It’s about my father’s last wish.”

“Ingvar speaks from beyond the death veil.” She quirked an eyebrow. “What does the old king require you to do? Will you unite Northumbria to conquer Byzantium or Spain?”

“No, it’s much more difficult.” He tore the end off the bread and ripped it into little bits. “I must take a wife or lose Solstad.”

Ealasaid stared, then burst into laughter.

“I’m pleased my troubles amuse you.” He smashed his hand on top of the crumbs. “Explain how my misfortune is a cause for laughter.”

She wiped tears from her eyes. “You’ve fought battles others would run from. You grew up in the White Raven’s shadow. You take what you want and leave nothing behind. I find it difficult to see how marriage is a horror you cannot face.”

“Indeed, my sorrows are reason for mirth.” He shoveled scalding soup into his mouth and swallowed. She wouldn’t have dared talk to his father this way, but Ealasaid had never held her tongue around him. “Be gone. Instruct another thrall to bring the rest of my courses.”

“You must have dozens of conquests. Surely one would make a suitable wife for the new king of Solstad.” She twirled a pale strand of hair around her finger. “Inga the butcher’s daughter? She’s fair of face and quick to laugh. Or Giera. The daughter of some jarl or the other north of here.”

“You’re not helping. Go on, leave.”

“As you wish, m’lord.” She curtsied then turned for the door. “May the gods resolve your inheritance issues and favor you with a mighty queen and a hundred strong Viking babies born with clubs in their hands.”

Release Day: Rumpled Between the Sheets

If it isn’t obvious by now, I love writing naughty twists on fairy tales. This one is far from the last I have. Second in the Beowulf Hollow series, Rumpled Between the Sheets is loosely based on Rumpelstiltzkin. Some of the classic elements are there yet in different forms. The ugliness, the power struggle, and of course a deep secret that’s uncovered. There might be a spinning wheel in there somewhere … and spanking. It’s naughty, after all.

I said it in the dedication and I can’t day it enough. Thanks to all who support me. You are my inspiration.

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Click on cover art for an excerpt

Some want to find love at all costs
Some believe there is a cost to find love

When Mary Becken’s mother passes away, she takes over her exclusive tailoring business. Not satisfied with the fabrics available, she unearths her mother’s loom and creates a new textile by weaving thin strands of gold. Soon her small mountain town of Beowulf Hollow is swarming with new customers and invitations come pouring in for New York Press Week.

Benjamin Elstiltzkin is downright ruthless when it comes to his fashion business, and no small town upstart is going to dethrone him as king of the fashion world. When he hatches a plan to force Miss Becken to work for him exclusively, the one thing he doesn’t expect is the temptation she poses to his never-ending bachelorhood.

With a deadline looming to gather his collection, Benjamin might have met his match in more ways than one.

Available at:

Evernight Publishing | Amazon