Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Pleasure of Re-reading


Recently, I had the urge to re-read an old favorite book – The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer. And not for the first time. In fact, I don’t even know how many times I’ve read it over the years.

And why is that, I wondered. What do I go back to some novels again and again? Why is it so comforting to re-visit these stories? Obviously, I know what’s going to happen from one page to the next. There are no surprises lurking to amaze me.
I decided that there are two main reasons, for me, to go back to a book. First, I want to spend time with the characters. It’s like getting together with old friends, moving into their world for a while. I feel the same way about Sherlock Holmes and Frodo and Sam as about the Darracotts. And many others.
And equally important, it’s the language. The two are inseparable. A writer doesn’t create memorable characters without a striking style. The way Georgette Heyer puts words together fills me with joy. For example,
In her view, Vincent was a dangerous blade, with a viperous tongue, and a deplorable influence over her impressionable young son; but after spending three hours in an atmosphere of deepening gloom, she would have been much inclined to have welcomed the arrival of Beelzebub himself.
Who could resist such a sentence? And Heyer keeps them coming throughout the book, right up to the hilarious tour de force ending. I never tire of her mastery.
            What are your favorite re-reads?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Every Deep Desire & the History of the Fianna: Part 1



Every Deep Desire is the first in the Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets and smart, sexy women redeem Shakespeare's greatest love stories.

This team of ex-Special Forces soldiers, accused of vicious war crimes, is determined to prove their innocence and desperate to find the enemies who want to destroy them. Before time runs out and their enemies attack again.
Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash
One of these enemies is a private army of brutal assassins known as the Fianna led by a man called the Prince. Rafe Montfort, the hero of Every Deep Desire was once a Green Beret who left his unit to work for the Prince, and has returned to Savannah, GA to protect his wife and his men he left behind. The problem is the Fianna have never let a man go and they're not about to start now.

As the story unfolds Rafe's wife Juliet, and his men, learn who and what the Fianna are, and today I'd like to introduce you to the real Fianna of Pagan Ireland that was the basis for my fictional army.

Since there's more history than one blog post can cover, this is Part 1 of the tale and I'll conclude the post next month. :)

Photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash

The original Fianna army was made up of small bands of warriors in Ireland, led by Fionn mac Cumhaill (a semi-fictional character who may be a composite of early Irish warrior Kings), and made famous in the Fenian Cycle of Poetry (the first of the four Irish mythical cycles of poetry).

The Fianna and their legendary exploits were based on earlier folk tales of lawless young men and women who lived on the edges of society, often second and third sons and daughters of noblemen. These young people, incited by Druid priests, took up arms to fight the first Roman Invaders. 

There are a few primary sources discussing these bands of soldiers that date from the 1st century Roman period through the 17th century. Many of these sources are discussed in Geoffrey Keating's History of Ireland published in 1634. There is also a Roman soldier's diary account about a group of Irish warriors who spoke only words found in the books of ancient Gaelic poetry, fought naked, and were so vicious they supposedly drank the blood of their dead. 

Photo by Jonathan Bowers on Unsplash
There are also references to Fianna warriors in monastic manuscripts from the 5th -12th centuries, written in old Irish (Gaelic), and found in a monastery on the Isle of Iona along with the Book of Kildare (a precursor to the Book of Kells).

So who were the Fianna and why were they so admired and feared?

According to legend, in order to join the Fianna, the naked recruits were put through horrendous physical tests such as gauntlets and being buried up to the shoulders with one arm free where they'd have to fight off twelve attackers at once. Or the buried man would hold a shield while nine warriors threw spears at him. If wounded, he failed. Sometimes failure meant death. 

Another story states that a recruit's long hair would be braided and he'd be hunted through the woods. If at the end of the hunt he cracked any branches or a single hair was out of its braid, he failed. Then he'd have to leap over a branch as high as his chin, pass under one lower than his knee, and pull a thorn out of his foot while running without slowing down. But the biggest test was intellectual. Every warrior had to be a trained poet and would be able to speak only in verse in Gaelic and Latin.

Photo by Dmitrij Paskevic on Unsplash
The Fianna are immortalized in Irish myths, poems, and English histories up through the 17th century. There are even stories written about knights who fought in the Crusades of 1101 AD who wore the wolf sigil of Fionn mac Cumhaill. Some historians argue that these Fianna knights fought for the favor of St. Brigid of Kildare. These knights were the first of the Fianna to become Christians. 

This story has led historians to wonder if these Fianna Knights helped usher in the age of Chivalry since St. Brigid gave storytellers the original source material for Guinevere (of the King Arthur tales) and the concept of chivalry. Fianna stories show up in some of the earliest King Arthur Legends, and I even found a reference to a story about the Fianna fighting with the Spartans in Greece.

So what does this have to do with Rafe Montfort in Every Deep Desire? Rafe is a 21st century Fianna warrior who trained naked in winter and suffered the gauntlet of eighty men for the sole purpose of protecting his wife. These warriors also speak in verse. Except in this world, the men speak in Shakesperean English instead of Irish Poetry. I guess someone decided that would be easier. :)

Part 2, next month, will be all about the Fianna in the American Civil War. Fiction or nonfiction? It's hard to tell which makes the Fianna stories both exciting and unnerving!
-------------------------
Sharon Wray is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes about the men in her Deadly Force romantic suspense series where ex-Green Berets and their smart, sexy heroines retell Shakespeare's greatest love stories.

Sharon loves to interact on her website www.sharonwray.com as well as on most social media platforms! 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Highlande Werewolf Boxed Set--99 cents!!!

From 5/3 to 5/7 for the Highland Werewolf Boxed Set!
What’s even better than a wolfie romance? Hot Highlanders in kilts!!! Who are also hot wolves! 
From 5/3 to 5/7 for the Highland Werewolf Boxed Set!
What’s even better than a wolfie romance? Hot Highlanders in kilts!!! Who are also hot wolves! 
$0.99 across all platforms during the designated time frame.
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/highland-werewolf-boxed-set.


Love this new review!!
“A thrilling good time with a woman who gets her wolf!”
ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WOLF is a thrilling good time with a woman who gets her wolf and a hero who is overjoyed to be captured. It’s always great seeing familiar favorite characters and revisiting Silver Town. I can’t wait to see if Jenna’s sisters find mates in future stories. As always, I look forward to Terry Spear’s next werewolf romance.~~Miranda Owen, Fresh Fiction http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=65760
$0.99 across all platforms during the designated time frame.
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/highland-werewolf-boxed-set.


Love this new review!!
“A thrilling good time with a woman who gets her wolf!”
ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE AND WOLF is a thrilling good time with a woman who gets her wolf and a hero who is overjoyed to be captured. It’s always great seeing familiar favorite characters and revisiting Silver Town. I can’t wait to see if Jenna’s sisters find mates in future stories. As always, I look forward to Terry Spear’s next werewolf romance.~~Miranda Owen, Fresh Fiction http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=65760

 Working on edits for the new book coming out next year (Her Jaguar Protector), and over halfway done on SEAL Wolf Surrender coming next year!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/u63qP
Follow Me for new releases and book deals: www.bookbub.com/authors/terry-spear
signature line email Seal Wolf Undercover, Cougar Undercover, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas, My Highlander 300 x120

Friday, May 4, 2018

All's Fair in Love and Wolf Released!!!



Zoerro gray timber wolf at the New Mexico wolf reserve drinking water from a bowl on our cabin porch. He was the ambassador wolf and was used in ads for Game of Thrones.

Wolves playing in Ely that I took a picture of. I'll be going back there to see the wolves at two of the reserves in Minnesota this summer. Can't wait! The one on the left is the alpha, and the one on the right is his brother.

Ladies, and Gents, and Wolves, it’s out!!! All’s Fair in Love and Wolf can be in your hot little hands/paws now!


The Silver Town wolf pack has your back

Wolf shifter Sarandon Silver’s in trouble with the law, and bounty hunter she-wolf Jenna St. James is determined to bring him in for trial.

Lucky for Sarandon, the entire Silver Town pack is ready to fight for his innocence. But until the case is solved, Jenna’s sticking to Sarandon like glue…

Silver Town Wolf:
Destiny of the Wolf (Book 1)
Wolf Fever (Book 2)
Dreaming of the Wolf (Book 3)
Silence of the Wolf (Book 4)
A Silver Wolf Christmas (Book 5)
Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply (Book 6)
Between a Wolf and a Hard Place (Book 7)
All’s Fair in Love and Wolf (Book 8)

What People Are Saying:
“Sweet and sexy.”―Fresh Fiction for Between a Wolf and a Hard Place
“Spear has become a master storyteller.”―RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for Alpha Wolf Need Not Apply
“Magnificently entertaining.”―RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars TOP PICK! for Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing

May 1, 2018

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alls-Fair-Love-Wolf-Silver/dp/1492655813/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alls-fair-in-love-and-wolf-terry-spear/1127125943?ean=9781492655817#/
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Terry_Spear_All_s_Fair_in_Love_and_Wolf?id=r6ZBDwAAQBAJ
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/alls-fair-in-love-and-wolf/id1321676949?mt=11
BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Alls-Fair-Love-Wolf/Terry-Spear/9781492655817?id=7079882685730
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/all-s-fair-in-love-and-wolf

Put up that Do Not Disturb sign and enjoy another Silver Town Wolves’ story!

Have a super wonderful day!!!

Terry
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
Connect with Terry Spear:
Website: http://www.terryspear.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/421434.Terry_Spear
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TerrySpearParanormalRomantics
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TerrySpear
Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears.com
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/u63qP
Follow Me for new releases and book deals: www.bookbub.com/authors/terry-spear
signature line email Seal Wolf Undercover, Cougar Undercover, Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas, My Highlander 300 x120

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

You had me at hockey playing cowboy…


Caught Up In A Cowboy is the story of Rockford James, a hunky cowboy who also happens to play hockey for the NHL. Yeah, you heard that right… A hockey playing cowboy… Could he be any more delicious?

The only thing that could make him any better would be if he had two handsome cowboy brothers who also played hockey… Oh wait… He does.

The Cowboys of Creedence is a new series featuring the James brothers, who are all as hot on the ice as off. Feel free to One-Click now, or if you need any more convincing, here’s The Top Five reasons why hockey-playing cowboys are the best...

1- There are hundreds of Pinterest boards dedicated to good looking men who are cowboys and hockey players. Whether you are looking for abs or chaps, you’ll find your McDreamy hero, times ten!

2- They’re good with their hands—and they don’t mind getting a little dirty. They have great hand eye coordination, and know how to handle their stick. Speaking of stickhandling, these guys know how to score. They play to win and can go all night.

3- These guys are bad-a** tough on the outside, but tender on the inside. They epitomize manliness, whether they are riding a horse or crashing their opponent into the boards. And you never have to worry about anyone messing with you.

4- They are very driven to get a Hat Trick—which in hockey terms, means they score three times in one night. And they have great endurance. Enough said.

5- They work hard, value the respect of their peers, and take their responsibilities seriously. They value family, and honor, and they love their mamas.

So, there you have it. Don’t these guys sound like great heroes?

I grew up on a farm in Kansas so I love cowboys, and I married a hockey player, so I have several series featuring both kinds of heroes, but I knew I had to do a mash-up of the two. And I’m so glad I did. I love creating small towns with fun, quirky characters and building a whole world of books around it, so I set neighboring ranches, The Triple J and Rivers Gulch, in the small mountain town of Creedence, Colorado. And of course the ranches have been in a family feud for years. But the kids never cared. The three James brothers, Rock, Mason, and Colt, grew up with the Rivers kids, Logan and Quinn, learning to skate on the same pond they swam in during the summer. Eventually that friendship turned into more for Rock and Quinn and they fell in love and had great plans for their future. Until Rock got drafted into the NHL and left her behind.

I had a great time writing all of these three brother’s stories, and I can’t wait for you to meet Rockford. On his way home to the ranch to recuperate from an injury, he happens upon Quinn, the only woman he’s ever loved, and the one he left behind, as she is riding down the side of the road on a child’s bicycle and wearing a pirate’s outfit. After laying on the charm, he convinces her to at least let them be friends again, and she agrees, on one condition…that he dons the other pirate outfit….

See what I did there? Not only am I giving you a hockey-playing cowboy to fall in love with, I also temporarily turn him into a pirate and give you a little swashbuckling flirty fun! Could this guy get any hotter?

I hope you love Caught Up In A Cowboy. I know I loved writing it.

Happy Reading…


###


Title: Caught Up in a Cowboy
Author: Jennie Marts
Series: Cowboys of Creedence, #1
Pub Date: May 1, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Western

This cowboy plays to win

Rockford James was raised as a tried-and-true cowboy in a town crazy about ice hockey. Rock is as hot on the ice as he is on a horse, and the NHL snapped him up. Now, injuries have temporarily benched him. Body and pride wounded, he returns to his hometown ranch to find that a lot has changed. The one thing that hasn't? His feelings for high school sweetheart and girl-next-door Quinn Rivers.

Quinn had no choice but to get over Rock after he left. Teenaged and heartbroken, she had a rebound one night stand that ended in single motherhood. Now that Rock's back—and clamoring for a second chance—Quinn will do anything to avoid getting caught up in this oh-so-tempting cowboy…


Jennie Marts is the USA Today bestselling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends. Find her online at jenniemarts.com.

Find Jennie Online:


Monday, April 30, 2018

Four podcast recs, plus WANTED & WIRED out on audiobook


I’ve always been an audiophile -- music, theta-wave binaural beats, sound machines with weird nature noises, and... podcastery! A recent  request for recommendations with which to fill my ears met with oh so much goodness, I just gotta share. 

For what’s going on in romance...

The Wicked Wallflowers Club  – You know how folks always tell you to research what’s going on in your genre? Well, here you go: what’s going on in romance. Billed as “a podcast for empowered readers and writers of romance,” this show interviews hot authors, discusses new releases, and isn’t afraid to confront issues affecting the genre. Their recent episode about representation was timely.  Apple | Twitter @WckdWallflowers

Magi Romance is another romance-genre podcast, but it explores some of the less well-known nooks and sub-genres. I loved their recent interview with Veronica Scott, who discussed science fiction romance as well as more personal stuff like her process and her background working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.  Apple | Twitter @MagiRomance

For thirst (and inspiration)...

Thirst Aid Kit. Make sure you use headphones for this one. And maybe a closet, if you’re worried about folks seeing you blush. Each episode starts off with a [usually redacted] flash fic featuring whomever the hosts are thirsting after, and folks, it can get warm in here. Note that thirst in this context is defined as, “unabashed, guilt-free desire for a person” (per Buzzfeed). The Thirst Aid Kit podcast is a voyeur-in-your-ear ogle at all the, ahem, desirables, including Chris Evans, Mahershala Ali, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hiddleston, and on. Little something for all of us, right? (This is my new favorite podcast. Thank you, Julia Lee, for suggesting it.) Apple | Twitter @ThirstAidKit

For writing craft...

Writing Excuses has been my go-to craft podcast since before I had a phone that could even play podcasts. I’ve learned so much from these guys over the years and even go back sometimes and listen to old casts on specific topics. If you’re interested in writing craft, no matter which genre you prefer (side note: Season 11 breaks down elemental genres way better than book store shelf labels do), you need to check out Writing Excuses. Oh! And Season 10 is specifically a master class in writing a story, from idea generation to revision. So much to learn here. 

And finally, if all that isn’t enough to fill up your ear-holes...

My sci-fi romance thrill-ride 
Wanted and Wired came out in audio a couple weeks ago. It’s read by the lovely and talented Johanna Parker, who also voiced Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books and is generally, you know, awesome. 

Perfect Gravity coming June 5th.




Friday, April 20, 2018

A Beach Vacation!


For the last four years I've worked solid, only taking trips to writer's conferences or autographings. Never for my own enjoyment.

But....next month I'm going to the beach! My sister and I have rented a beach house for a whole week.

I'm pinching myself, wondering if this is real.

Yep, it is. It's located on Bolivar Island in the Gulf of Mexico. You have to take a ferry from Galveston, TX to get to it. The pirate Jean LaFitte used to have a home on the island and for a time used it for a base of operations.

Maybe I'll look for buried treasure!

There also used to be a fort here in the early 1800s called Fort Las Casas. The "Mother of Texas" Jane Long wintered in the abandoned fort with her toddler, a maid, and her dog. Jane gave birth to a second child. Their food was running out and she only had a rusty cannon for defense. To make the Indians think the fort was still inhabited, she fired the cannon each morning and raised a red petticoat up the flagpole. Her efforts kept them away.



No, I won't be doing any of that stuff. I'm going to lie on the beach, soaking up some sun, listening to the waves. Dreaming up a new story.

Pure heaven!

Relax and Renew will be my motto. Come and join me. We can all use some lazy time.

Where do you go when you need to push the pause button?