The last day of March and it's going out like a soaky lamb here in NE Pennsylvania. It's been exceptionally warm and there is a lot in bloom, like my flowering pear tree.

March has been an exciting month for me. For those of you who don’t know, I jumped into the indie world this week. It took a lot of reading and researching but I did it. I’m pretty proud of myself.


Oh, the book is titled, ‘His Witness To Evil’. I just love my new cover. What do you think?



‘His Witness To Evil’ is on sale at Amazon. Here’s the link. http://www.amazon.com/His-Witness-To-Evil-ebook/dp/B007MBA1O0/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1332340994&sr=1-1 If you hop over there, please like & check off the tag boxes.

As of this morning it is up on B&N as a Nook book. I’m very excited about this new adventure, so I hope you'll take moment after you finish reading this post and read more at Amazon or B&N.

Here’s a blurb for ‘His Witness To Evil’.

Based on true events, awarding-winning author Autumn Jordon has penned a thrilling romantic suspense set in the backwoods and small towns of the Appalachian Mountains.

Stephanie Boyd’s ordinary world changes forever when she and her children witness a blood bath. To escape the wrath of the Russian Mafia, she has no choice but to help the FBI uncover the mafia’s mole inside the U.S. Treasury. While on the run with the handsome agent who is willing to die for them, Stephanie learns the meaning of self-sacrifice and love.

Agent John Dolton’s only break in solving the case that cost him everything is a couple of kids and a beautiful widow. But keeping them safe seems impossible when their every move is foreseen by their enemy. Within weeks, Stephanie and her children soften the loner’s heart and John allows himself to let go of his all-consuming sorrow. This time John vows not to fail to protect the family he comes to love.

True events?

I see your eyebrows raised. Yes, true events. Life is stranger than fiction.

The idea for the book came when a trailer containing US funds went missing from the lot of the trucking company I had worked for. It was stolen, just missed directed for an hour. Tractor-trailers are stolen every day, for the product being hauled.

Another element is also true and has been verified by the FBI director of the branch FBI office near my home. I can’t tell you what that is, because I would be giving away part of the suspense plot. You’ll just have to read ‘His Witness To Evil’ and try to figure it out.

So how is March leaving in your area?

This month I've read several really good books. One took me back to Mykonos and let me experience more of the beautiful island than our short cruise ship docking allowed.






Greek Encounter by Mona Risk is like a mini vacation with hot love scenes thrown in for added measure.
Available for 99 cents at










Mykonos is a beautiful island and known as the party capital of the Mediterrean. The island was just beginning to hop when we had to make our way back to the cruise ship.






Who could help but enjoy the island when you're welcome with open arms?


This next one is free on Amazon tonight. Hurray and get your copy!

Another book I read was the novella, "Night Before Doomsday," by Linda Nightingale. I don't have any pictures to illustrate this one, buy a peek at her cover is worth a thousand words. I tried to copy and paste a copy of Linda's hot cover here, but haven't been able to get it done. This is one interesting read, it is sprinkled with little details about angels that I found fascinating. The ending was unique and unexpected. This is a definite must "read."


This next one is available on both Smashwords and Amazon.

Have a hankering for something downhome, southern, with love, lust and just a touch of old fashioned women's fiction? Then curl up with "The Gift" by Mary Marvella. This book is well crafted, touching, emotionally fulfilling, and just an all round good read.


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00631OX6W
http://bit.ly/tFy77u
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/101492

I love to read, I don't have as much time as I'd like to read, because I work full time and write. Historical Romance was my first love, then I met series contemporary romance and finally romantic suspense. Yep, I'm a book slut. I admit it and relish the title.

Have I whetted your appetite for a good read? I hope so, because I really enjoyed these books. Tell me what are you reading?

The Fine Art of Seduction in Romance Novels

Posted by Hildie McQueen | 8:02 AM | 7 comments »


Seduction, the connection between a man and a woman, the reason we read a romance novel.
            The first touch, followed by the initial kiss is spell binding.  When the couple finally comes together in the realization that there is so much more between them, we are enchanted to be witnesses.  As a reader we are thrilled to be present at the crest of the hero and heroine’s love story.
            Who could forget Clair and Jamie’s first kiss in Outlander by Diana Gabaldon?  If you remember, Jamie Fraser was a virgin. It’s such a romantic tale, a wonderful twist in that the heroine is the experienced one in the relationship. I loved how their sex scenes evolved from purely physical to actual lovemaking as they got to know each other and began to fall in love.
            Another great seduction was that of Zsadist by Bella in Lover Awakened by JR Ward.  We all turned the pages on pins and needles in anticipation of how Zsadist, a male that could not stand to be touched, would react to the beautiful Bella being attracted to him.  I could not wait to read their first love scene!  Bella moved with excruciating slowness and patience throughout the seduction, allowing the hard and sometimes violent man to become adjusted to her. JR Ward did an amazing job at allowing us to move with them and feel every aspect of their finally coming together as a couple.

            Yet another seduction I love is in the book Just The Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James, the play between Taylor Donovan and Jason Andrews, who has just been voted ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ is very well done.  We know they are attracted to each other, but we remain as in the dark as either of them about how and when they’ll finally realize it’s more than just attraction. You couldn’t help but fall in love along with this couple.
Cyn Fraser and Emma Blake in Desperate Betrayal by yours truly, kiss within minutes of meeting.  You’d think wow, that was quick, but in actuality I wanted you to get to know that their connection, their attraction was immediate and so strong neither Cyn nor Emma could fight the physical portion of their connection.  The relationship however took much longer to develop.  Both are so wary at one point, you will wonder if they will get around to admitting they are in love. Of course love prevails!
So now that I’ve given you fodder for the art of seduction, let’s get closer to home, please share. Which seduction scene in a book, stands out the most for you?


Come and wander through the French Quarter with Scarlet and MM. Remember the song about what's behind the Green door? MM and I found it, but it was locked.

We wandered around the city during FF;P's Fantasy on the Bayou! Loved the conference and loved the city. What a wonderful weekend.



We found the perfect place to pause, sit on a bench and work on a plot.







Did you read the neon?








Cafe Beignet was a pleasant surprise, but the line was too long so we walked on.







This little guy was following in his daddy's musical foot steps!













This was a neat store tucked away on a street corner.











This is the Hard Rock Cafe in the French Quarter. MM and I wanted to go and sit on the balcony, but we were on a quest for pralines, so we walked on.





Yeah, those are what you think they are.










These street performers were amazing. Not sure what the guy in silver was supposed to be, but he was different.



Don't you just love the French wrought iron work on the balconies?









We stopped in for Coffee at Cafe' Du Monde, the coffee was wonderful. I could use a cup right now.





This hairy feller was outside Cafe' Du Monde. Not sure what he was supposed to be, but he was different.







The flowers were out in spring colors in honor of Scarlet & MM's visit to The Big Easy.






Can't you just imagine your hero and heroine sitting on this balcony watching the Mardi Gras parades passing? Wish we could have been there!





We strolled along the mighty Mississippi. The river was calm and peaceful. Hard to imagine what this area was like just a few years ago. I hope you enjoyed the walk through the city. We had a ball, the city is charming and we felt safe at all times. Can't wait to go back!

I am so excited about my new cover from incredible cover artist Jared Rackler. He also did the cover for my coming release from Double Dragon Publishing, Gemini Rising, a July release. I'll share both covers here.

Night Before Doomsday is available on Amazon with an excerpt. I'd like to share the blurb.

In Genesis, "The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took wives for themselves from those who were pleasing to them."

Azazel was a leader of the Grigori, the angels sent to Earth to teach Mankind after the oust from Eden, how to survive in a less hospitable environment. Nine-tenths of the Grigori fell from Grace, but was it love or lust?

This novella presents the Grigori's tale in first person from Azazel's point of view--the temptations, his struggles and the final realization that Heaven doesn't speak to him anymore.



Gemini Rising:

From birth, Alain and Alina Alastair are a scientificmiracle--identical male-female twins--a biological impossibility. Destined to tread the farther, forbidden paths, they discover love, lust,and danger lurking in their future. When their parents whisk theirmiracle children home to an isolated island, their lives reach a turning point.

Alain craves escape from the seclusion.

Alina yearns to express her love with a man who treasures her.

The secrets at Alastair Keep threaten to undermine the very foundations of the world in which these impossible twins live.

Please visit me at http://lindanightingale.com or my Amazon Author Page.

Denouement

Posted by Nightingale | 10:21 AM | 7 comments »

For a moment time stood still.

She sensed something gathering other than the wind, but she was an expert at ignoring her feelings, particularly the shivery ones Grandma called premonitions.

Disillusionment shaded the afternoon darker gray. She turned away from her reflection in a storefront window and sighed. It was just another day, like every other day she’d wasted on hope and dreams. At the corner of Sunset and Vine, Monica Joye gave up on the City of Angels. She opened her hand and gazed at an AT&T calling card. It really sucked when a famous actress couldn't pay her cell phone bill.

E.T. phone home. Everyone back home thought Ellen Tracy—the name on the card and on her birth certificate—looked like Marilyn Monroe. Somehow Hollywood had failed to catch the resemblance. Tomorrow, Ellen would be on an east-bound plane. Goodbye tears glided down her cheeks.

"Not going to cry," she gritted out, pouted her lips and tossed her hair.

Today, her last in L.A., she'd be Monica Joye.

"Why are you crying?" His voice was as compelling as a half-remembered song, comforting as Sunday dinner. It was music and sunlight.

Smiling, Ellen whirled to see who'd dared to break the Stranger's Code of Silence that Hollywood obeyed. Her eyes widened, jaw dropping. Massive wings arched behind the most beautiful man she'd ever seen. Rich russet hair spilled over broad shoulders and naked chest. The silky garment wrapping slim hips invited the gaze to muscled calves and even his feet, bare to a wintry chill, were beautiful. Snow-white feathers trailed the dirty sidewalk.

This story is available at Coffee Time Romance as a free read:  http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/FreeReads/DenouementbyLindaNightingale.html

Visit me at http://www.lindanightingale.com/ for a free read--Vampire Hunt, which stars Morgan D'Arcy, a British lord, a concert pianist and... a vampire.

Good mornin', mes cheries. (Sounded good, didn't it?) The Big Easy (New Orleans) in March rocks. I attended a writing conference the first weekend in March and had a fab time. Scarlet wrote some about our trip, but I'll add a bit more.

We were actually here on this famous street!

How lovely is this?

Remember the granddaddies of Jazz?


The performers below drew huge crowd. Amazing!


I'm thinking I need this for Halloween. Or not.(grin)

We didn't eat here, but we did eat is some cool places.



See the tugboat? It reminds me of the old stories I read about the mighty Mississippi.

For more info about the author check
MaryMarvella.com
I am blogging at another site today, too.
http://spunkyseniors.blogspot.com/2012/03/please-welcome-spunky-senior-romance.html
I'll give away a copy of The Gift or Haunting Refrain, your choice. If you have both I can let you have Forever Love. Comment here and there for a better chance to win!

Tune in later for more photos and comments, like some of the New York Times best selling authors.












BIAW--Book-in-a-week.

I signed up for Kiss of Death's BIAW which starts today, March 19th. I must have been crazy. Whatever might make me think I could write a book in a week?


Well, you might say my friend Bev Bateman twisted my arm, but that wouldn't be true. As usual, I jumped into the thick of this right on my own. No one dared me, threatened me or bribed me to sign up. I just thought I'd give it a shot to see it I could prime the pump so to speak.



You see, I've gotten the bug again. Caught it from some of my good friends. Spent the weekend in New Orleans at Fantasy on the Bayou, FF&P's very first conference and was inspired by the city, the authors and the editors to get my butt in gear.





I've got a new plot hatching this very moment. I've outlined, something I usually never do, but BIAW offers a great questionnaire that, when complete, gives you the outline. Amazingly easy to do.

My main character, the heroine, introduced herself to me today. She is petite, with shoulder-length glossy black hair. Her name is Sable and she is from the year 2436. Yep, this one's gonna be a time-travel. 659 words written so far and I still don't know who the hero is, but I'm sure he'll jump out at me soon.

I think I'm going to enjoy writing this story. Even if it does take longer than a week. What about your, have you ever tried BIAW or Fastdraft?

Tuesday is the first day of spring. Signs of its arrival have been popping up and out for the past three weeks here in NE PA. It was reported that Punxsutawney Phil was not available for comment concerning Mother’s Nature thumbing her nose at him. HA ha-ha!

Spring brings many memories to my mind. One is my grandmother. As soon as the weather broke and the coal stove was dampened down and the windows open to let fresh air breeze through the house, it was time for spring cleaning. The furniture was moved back and the carpets rolled up and taken outside and hung over the wash line. It was the younger childrens job to bat the heck out of them. The carpets wouldn’t be brought back into the house until the last a spec of dust fell from the carpet's fibers.

While the carpets were handled, drapes, furniture cushions, and pillows found their way to the wash line too. The venetian blinds were stripped from the windows and put into huge tubs of sudsy water. Grandpa was called if any repairs had to be made. This was the time, before the real work began.

Once he was done, and his tools put away, the furniture was brushed and wiped down. (They didn’t have vacuum extensions during this time period. Grandme’s vacuum was huge and roared like a T-Rex.) Dust Bunnies were rounded up. The furniture was move to the center of the room. The walls were stripped of all adornments and then, came the hot soapy water. The walls wiped sown. Hot soapy pine water was used on all the wood work. And, hot vinegar water was use to scrub the windows. Newspaper was used to dry them and make them shine. Finally the floor was scrubbed.

Only after the room passed Grandme’s inspection was everything put back into place. Then it was onto the next room.

While the women worked inside the men were busy outside. The house was taken care of before the spring planting could begin.

Spring cleaning usually took a good four days, but by Sunday all the chores were done and we could relax and enjoy a Sunday dinner in a sparkling home.

So this week, like my grandmother and my mother, I’ll begin my spring cleaning. My job will be made easier by modern conveniences. I can’t wait to smell inside the freshness of SPRING.

Disclaimer: I’m not as old as this blog might make me seem, but this is my grandmother I’m blogging about. She had her ways and her tools and we helped doing the job her way.


At long last Shenandoah Watercolors is out in print!   My talented daughter Elise labored hours and hours to design the layout and incorporate her and my mom, Pat Churchman, and husband Dennis's beautiful photographs of the Shenandoah Valley and mountains.  Also a few vintage images from times past.  
A lovely coffee table sized book, Shenandoah Watercolors should be a joy to those who want to savor the images and linger with me in my beloved valley.
The book is available at Amazon, and I authorized other outlets for it as well but am not sure where it many show up for sale.  The cost is as inexpensive as we could possibly make it for a book of this size with so many colored images.  We won't get rich, that's for sure, but hope to share our love of the country, of our valley and the mountains, of family and all that's good.  And God bless those who join us.

In All Things of Nature There Is Something of the Marvelous.~Aristotle


“I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kind.” William Shakespeare

“I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees.  The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.

It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day.  It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful.  Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me – I am happy.”  
~Hamlin GarlandMcClure’s, February 1899

“You can’t be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.”
~Hal BorlandSundial of the Seasons, 1964
“Some keep the Sabbath going to Church, I keep it staying at Home -With a bobolink for a Chorister, And an Orchard, for a Dome.” 
“Joy all creatures drink At nature’s bosoms…”  ~Friedrich von Schiller, “Ode to Joy,” 1785
“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”  ~Jane Austen
“I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.  Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.”  ~Wendell Berry
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.”
~George Gordon, Lord ByronChilde Harold’s Pilgrimage
“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.  This is not done by jostling in the street.”  ~William Blake
“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.”  ~Helen Keller
“To one who has been long in city pent,
‘Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven, – to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.”
~John Keats, Sonnet XIV
“Fieldes have eies and woods have eares.”  ~John Heywood, 1565
“You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness – perhaps ignorance, credulity – helps your enjoyment of these things…”  
~Walt WhitmanSpecimen Days, “Birds – And a Caution”  (Thanks, Corinne)
“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.”  ~R.H. Heinlein
“If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.”  ~Author Unknown
*Images of the green-gold trees, the baby goose and kitten, the Shenandoah Valley in early spring and the nesting duck are by my mom.  The black swallowtail butterfly is by daughter Elise.  Dark Hollow Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a royalty free pic.
***For gardeners, nature lovers, anyone who thinks fondly of country life, or is just plain human…you might enjoy my nonfiction book out in kindle now, in nookbook by April, and soon out in print with beautiful pics, a 2012 EPIC eBOOK FINALIST, Shenandoah Watercolors.