October 28, 2016

Guest Promo (CLXXXIII) Fall #Romantic Travel Tour Linda McLaughlin

Fall #RomanticTravel: Quebec
Quebec is one of the most romantic cities in North America, seeming more European than NorthAmerican. It’s also one of the settings I used in my French & Indian War-set historical romance,Rogue’s Hostage. When I was writing the book, my husband and I took a vacation to Quebec Province so I could do some research. We started in Montreal, where I managed to figure out how to navigate the Metro using my college French.

After a few days exploring Montreal, we took the train to Quebec, and I fell in love with the charming old city, though I had to keep reminding myself that the setting in my book was the previous city, the one that was destroyed by the British shelling. I was particularly interested in visiting Notre Dame des Victoires, the small church in Lower Town which was destroyed in the shelling, but later rebuilt in the same style. In the book, Mara seeks comfort inside this lovely little church.

Since I wanted to stay in the old part of the city, I booked us a room at Chateau Frontenac, the venerable Canadian Railway hotel. Picturesque setting, but we were pretty sure they gave us the smallest room in the place! Instead of a view looking out toward the river, our window looked down onto an alley. Ah, well, we didn't spend much time in the room anyway. We were far more interested in wandering the winding streets, taking pictures of the old houses and the fort and battlefield.

On the last day we took a boat ride on the St. Lawrence for spectacular views of the city and countryside. What a beautiful area! I'd love to go back some day.

(Note: I took this trip back in the pre-digital photography days so any photos are from my Art Explosion CD collection or DepositPhotos.com.)

Rogue’s Hostage
By Linda McLaughlin
Historical Romance


His hostage... 

In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré's life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn't count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.

Her destiny...

French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau's desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left.  But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.

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Quebec, Canada, April 1759

The journey was almost over.
Eyes narrowed against the glare off the water, Jacques stared at the approaching skyline of Quebec as the bateau rushed downriver. Perched on the north side of the Saint Lawrence River, the city’s walls and fortifications guarded the way into the interior of New France. Though the British had tried twice, the city had never fallen. But Jacques knew that sooner or later they would try again.
He glanced at Mara, who sat beside him, huddled in her shawl, shivering slightly. When he put an arm around her and pulled her closer, she burrowed against him. Guilt and regret stirred inside him. She was the reason he had requested a transfer back to Quebec. Since leaving Fort Duquesne, she had been a different woman—quiet, submissive, and obedient.
To his surprise, he missed her sharp tongue and pointed opinions. All through the long Canadian winter, he had watched and waited for her to revert to her normal self, but it was as if she were a different woman. On occasion, Jacques had been tempted to bait her, but his guilt kept him from doing so. Her state of mind was his fault, after all.
In the last four months, she had followed him over a route seen by few white men, much less a woman. Together they had traveled by bateau, canoe, sled, and snowshoe. Mara had witnessed the mighty power of Niagara Falls, traversed Lake Ontario, and braved the Lachine Rapids—all without complaining. But also without any sense of wonder or enthusiasm for the places she’d seen, just a wistful remark about how much Emile would have liked to see the falls.
It had been an arduous journey, and now she deserved some comfort.
A raw wind off the river threw pellets of rain in his face, and he pulled up the woolen muffler Mara had knitted for him. That was all she had done at Niagara, her needles clicking incessantly until he had thought he would go mad. But something about the rhythmic nature of the task seemed to comfort her, so he’d said nothing.
Another blast of wind reminded him of how long and severe Canadian winters could be. In this northern country, rivers and lakes froze over completely. There was a wild beauty in it that he used to find exhilarating. Until an equally impervious chill took up residence around his heart.
The bateau docked at the part of the city called Lower Town, below the cliffs of Cap Diamant. Above them towered the ramparts guarding the government and church buildings that comprised Upper Town. Jacques helped Mara onto the dock and led her down a street lined with warehouses and taverns. He stopped in front of a sign picturing a leering devil with a forked tail.
Le Diable? What are we doing here?” she asked, a surprised look on her face.
“This is home, madame. Welcome to my humble establishment.”

Author bio:
Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.

You can find her online at Website

October 27, 2016

Guest Promo (CLXXXII) Romantic#Fall Travel Tour Pamela Thibaudeaux

Most folks find traveling exciting and romantic, but sometimes great fall romantic travel can be found right at home.
Home for me is in Southwest Louisiana, just 43 miles from the Texas state line.

I don’t know about you but few things are as romantic as sunrise or sunset on the lake, or a seafood feast.
If you don’t find anything in SW LA that’s romantic in your opinion, you can always travel East…Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans where you’ll find horse drawn carriage rides, riverboat tours, night life and fine, Cajun/French cuisine.

But, no matter what you decide, or where you go, romance is in the heart.

Author bio: 
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”


                           The Visionary

 A visionary is someone who sees into the future Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society.  Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?

“Thank you for taking such good care of me.”
“I’m not through yet,” he mumbled, then slid off the couch and swung her up in his arms.
Fear snuck in, darkening her eyes. She stiffened and opened her mouth to protest. He brushed his lips over hers and silenced her objections.
“I just want to hold you,” he whispered and laid his forehead against hers. “That’s all. I promise,” he added, unable to camouflage the need in his voice.
He’d offered her another step to relinquish her fear and trust him. Triumph lit his expressive eyes when she wrapped her arm around his neck, smiled, and whispered, “Okay,” then snuggled her face against his shoulder and let him carry her to the bedroom.
With exquisite tenderness, he laid her on the bed, crawled up beside her, and took her in his arms. Taylor felt the strength of his need in the heat and tensed against the hardness of his body. He eased his grip and propped up on one elbow beside her. His eyes pleaded for grace when he stroked the hair off her face and said in a soft, husky voice, “Please don’t be afraid of me; please trust me. I will never force or even persuade you to give more than you’re ready to.”
They gazed at each other for a long, tender moment. She cupped his cheek in her hand, brushed her thumb over his mouth, then curled her fingers in his hair and urged his head down to fasten her lips to his. A low moan escaped his throat, yet he held himself taut.
Taylor ran her hand over his shoulder and back in a soft caress then wrapped her arms around his waist. “Hold me, Alex, I trust you.”
The emotions reflected in his tone caressed her heart when he thanked her in that beautiful velvety-rough voice. He rolled onto his back, pulled the covers over her, and held her while she slept.

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October 25, 2016

Mysteriou Romania (XVII) UFO Wreckage?

UFO Wreckage? Ancient Metal Object Found in Romania Has Unexplained Origins

Ancient Metal Object Found in Romania Has Unexplained Origins

A worked piece of aluminum which is believed to have been made 250,000 years ago is making world history news headlines. The composition and possible purpose of the object is baffling scientists and exciting UFO enthusiasts.
The artifact, also known as the object of Aiud, was discovered in Romania in 1973, but is said to have been hidden from public knowledge until recently. It was found with two other artifacts by builders working on the shores of the Mures River near the town of Aiud in central Romania.
According to the Daily Mail , the three objects were discovered 10 meters (33 feet) underground. When archaeologists arrived at the site they found that two of the pieces were large bones from a large extinct mammal that died sometime between 10,000-80,000 years ago. The third of the artifacts was a strange discovery – a piece of hand-made or manufactured metal which measures 20 cm (7.8 inches) long, 12.5 cm (4.9 inches) wide, and 7 cm (2.8 inches) thick. At that time, it was suggested that the metal object was a lightweight axe head.
Following its discovery, lab tests were conducted on the metal object in Lausanne, Switzerland. The results of those tests showed that the artifact is made of 12 metals and is 90 percent aluminum. The object also has concavities, which some sources say make it appear as if it was a part of a mechanical system.
Romanian officials have estimated its age to be about 250,000 years old, however, other experts who tested the artifact say it could be between 400 and 80,000 years old instead. But, that age range still raises eyebrows.
A piece of aluminum which was found in Romania in 1973 and some say is evidence of ancient alien contact.
A piece of aluminum which was found in Romania in 1973 and some say is evidence of ancient alien contact. ( Viralvidz/YouTube)
As Tech Times reports, humans started producing metallic aluminum only about 200 years ago. Yet, while recounting the history of aluminum, AZO Materials writes:
“Aluminium bearing compounds have been used by man from the earliest times, pottery was made from clays rich in hydrated silicate of aluminium. Ancient Middle Eastern civilisations used aluminium salts for the preparation of dyes and medicines: they are used to this day in indigestion tablets and toothpaste. At one point in history, aluminium was such a valuable commodity that rulers and the wealthy preferred impressing their guests with plates and cutlery made from aluminium rather than gold.”
Despite its long history on earth, the general belief is that metal aluminum was not discovered until the 1800s. The main reason for this is said to be because aluminum “never occurs naturally in metallic form. Aluminium is found in most rocks, clay, soil and vegetation combined with oxygen and other elements.” [via AZO Materials]

What is the real origin of this artifact? The question has yet to be fully answered. As the Inquisitr points out “after it went on display recently at the History Museum of Cluj-Napoca, museum officials placed a sign that said, “origin still unknown.”” For now, the object of Aiud is another example of an unexplained ancient mystery.
 Read the whole article here:

October 19, 2016

Book Review (LIX) Panama by C.S. Boyack

Ethan and Coop are sent to the construction zone along the Panama Canal. They have some experience with strange phenomenon, but nothing prepared them for this.

They are faced with civil war, Carlist pretenders to the thrones of France and Spain, an invading Spanish army, and another from Hell itself. They'll be lucky to survive, let alone take care of anything while they're down there.

This story is based upon the construction of the canal, Panamanian independence, international cooperation, and a few celebrity cameos. Even the magic takes on an international flavor.

Ghosts and Voodoo are one thing, but they have no idea what waits along the isthmus.

 My Review

Ethan Stafford - former Rough Rider now freighting out to the mines- can see and talk with ghosts. This information was enough to get my attention and  urge me to read on.

The story started with Ethan’s card game interrupted by the arrival of strangers. This will change the life course for him in an amazing way.

"Panama" demands your attention from the first paragraph and holds it through the many unexpected plot twists and turns.

 Quirky characters - Coop, Jinx, Bento - with their well developed personalities and the feisty, sometimes cantankerous, dialogue make this book an intriguing read.

One of the main reasons I loved the book so much was the author’s attention to detail, describing vividly all the locations the story takes place in. I felt the places and people come to life in front of my eyes , making me feel part of the story.

Political conspiracy during the construction of the Panama canal,  legends, ghosts, voodoo, wise humor, action make Panama a highly entertaining book. I laughed out loud reading that  “the French can't even take care of themselves. You can't get two Frenchmen to agree on anything."

                That’s all I reveal from the book. I won’t spoil the pleasure of reading it with more details.

All in all, a cracking read. I know it's a cliché to say it but I honestly couldn't put it down.  S.C.Boyack’s book, Panama, had me gripped. What are you waiting for? Get the book and be captivated!