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Featured Interview- Romantic Suspense Author C.F. Francis

“Welcome to the tropics, where the weather isn’t the only thing that’s HOT!!”

That’s the introduction you’ll find on the website of C.F. Francis, an up and coming author of steamy, suspenseful romance. And judging by the reviews for her first two novels, her latest book, Explosive Touch, is bound to be a must-read.

Ms. Francis is a native Floridian, who loves mystery, suspense and a romance. Her novels include all three and are set primarily in beautiful Southwest Florida.  The stories tell the tales of a team of Special Forces men who get into as much trouble off the field as they do during deployment.

I had the pleasure of talking with her recently to get the scoop on her latest release and find out what she has planned for the future.

Hello and welcome! First, let’s talk about setting. What was it about Southwest Florida that drew your interest as a setting for your books?

I live in Southwest Florida and it is beautiful.  Unless you’re setting is a fantasy universe, I think a writer should stick to settings they know and being a native Floridian, I know Florida.  And who doesn’t like the tropics?

And how do you come up with your storylines? Can the books in your series be read as standalones, or is it better to read them in sequence?

The James Gang series are intended to be stand-alone books.  They may refer to a character or plot line from another story but it isn’t necessary to know that story to read the one your in.  As for storylines, I work them out in my head.  I’ve been thinking about joining, or putting together, a “plotting group”.  Maybe I wouldn’t bang my head against the wall so often if I had a little help in winding my way through plots.

Did you do a lot of research for your books?

The amount of research depends on the subject but I’m always checking things as I want the “facts” to be correct.  My last story had a satellite phone in it.  I knew nothing about them.  Now I know more than I’ll ever need.  And it had bombs in it.  The FBI should be knocking on my door any time now!  The stories revolve around a Special Forces team and I am very fortunate a former Special Forces member is a friend.  He is always willing to help me work out ideas or tell me if I’m going in the wrong direction.  His wife was in the Army and with another friend who was an Army Intelligence captain, so I have some pretty good sources.

Do you have any other books planned?

Yes.  I’m working on a general outline for #4.  I’m normally a “panster” (I write by the seat of my pants) but wanted a little bit more of an idea of where I was going this time.  We’ll see if I stick with it.

Will you be making any public appearances?

I do book signings during “season” here in Southwest Florida.  If you’re interested, check my Facebook page.  As soon as I have copies of Explosive Touch in hand, I’ll be scheduling some.  I’m also planning on attending Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Labor Day weekend.

What do you like most about being an author?

Creating characters I like to spend time with.  I’ve also found I like creating mysteries as much as I like reading and solving them.

Thanks for filling us in on your books and your world, C.F.! I can’t wait to read the next book.

Here’s the info on Explosive Touch, and the buy links:

Bombings, worlds apart, throw two survivors together. Troy, a mental wreck and physically damaged due to his last tour as a Special Ops soldier, is asked to protect Shayne from an unknown enemy. Is he up to the task? Can he keep his emotional distance from a woman who has become all too important to him?

Shayne Peterson cheated death when she survived a bombing at a Tampa country club. Still, she fights a nightly battle against the terror of being trapped under the rubble and her inability to identify the man who left the deadly package. After a move to Sanibel Island, she finds herself surrounded by former Green Berets. She feels safe—until it becomes obvious that she’s not.

A suicide bomber in an Afghani marketplace left Troy McKenzie, Special Forces soldier and former ladies’ man, disfigured. He should have died that day—punishment for his arrogance and misplaced trust. Unable to get past the memories and the boy he couldn’t save, Troy returns to Sanibel, seeking the support of his former brothers-in-arms.

Soon Shayne and Troy are battling their unexpected, and ill-timed, attraction to one another while staying one step ahead of a killer.

Amazon-  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N687LCT

B & N-   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/explosive-touch-c-f-francis/1130407022?ean=2940156282142

iBooks –  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/explosive-touch/id1450778610?mt=11

Kobo-   https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/explosive-touch

 

And if you’d like to follow C.F. Francis, here’s the links:

Website:  http://www.cffrancis.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Francis_Sanibel

FacebooK: https://www.facebook.com/cffrancisauthor/?eid=ARAZFu_6rVA0iOdTwyDJTbS6Wzz1bwHG6XeeZSvWJlcO6ILNZwvkVZem4DTT82q3WLiUqOx3PG6-bBMO

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Romance Series With Heart and Heat

It’s always exciting to release a new book, but even more so when it’s the first in a brand-new series. I’ve had the idea for the Love Grows series in the back of my mind for a few years now, and on January 8, 2019, I can finally share my vision with you.

The Love Grows Series

The theme of this series ties in with my author tagline, which is, “Love Grows in Unexpected Places.” I love hearing how couples met, don’t you? Especially when there is some element of fate. Call me crazy, but I still believe in love that was meant to be.

If you like stories with strong, protective heroes, feisty, independent heroines, plenty of emotion and a good dose of heat, then you’ll enjoy this series. I’m exploring some of the usual tropes, but with a twist. I love writing about mismatching people who fight the odds to be together, whatever those odds may be. You can count on some twists and turns before they finally get to their happy-ever-after!

Not So Broken

Book 1 is entitled Not So Broken. Two unlikely lovers, Gibson and Sacha, are facing the biggest decision of their lives.

Here’s the cover blurb:

A billionaire in hiding. An independent woman. When they collide, love grows in a most unexpected way!

Gibson

After losing my wife and child in a devastating accident, I turned my back on everything—including my business empire. I was unworthy of anyone’s trust, convinced I would never find love again, let alone have a family. Then I met her—Sacha. One perfect night of passion forged a connection between us we never expected.

How can I convince her we are meant to be together?

Sacha

A bitter divorce left me reeling, but I forged a new life on my own. Now on the verge of a promotion, everything I want is in reach—except a family. I’ve all but given up on ever having a child.

Then one wild night changed everything. I was swept away by Gibson—now he and I are forever connected. But we barely know each other, and it seems we both have secrets.

How can I convince him we are better off apart?

The Love Grows Series- Strong, protective heroes. Feisty, independent heroines. When they meet, Love Grows in unexpected ways.

Not So Broken is now available for preorder at just .99. After release week the price will go up, so grab it now if you want the discount.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L3VLFF1

 

Book 2, Not So Wrong, is still a work in progress, but already the main characters are tugging on my heart. They have nothing in common, expect the one thing most important to each of them—music. Well, that and an undeniably hot chemistry! Will that be enough to keep them together?

Party Time!

For the release of Not So Broken, I’ll be doing some Facebook takeovers, with snippets, games and prizes. Won’t you join me?

My Blissful Books Blog Group Page, December 19 at 7pm est.*

Itsy Bitsy Book Bits Group Page, December 26, at 3 pm est.*

I’ll also be doing some release week specials on my Facebook Author page and in my reader group, Renee Regent’s Readers, so join us January 8-13.  Note:  * Times are subject to change, check my Facebook Author page (link below) for times and dates.

And Now…

I’ll leave you with a teaser sample of Not So Broken. I’m telling you, this couple broke my heart and put it back together again. I can’t wait for you to meet them!

In this scene, Sacha is trying to keep their relationship strictly platonic, and it’s not going as she planned…

 

His lips twitched, barely noticeable under the moustache and beard. His eyes had a feral look, and his husky tone reflected the hunger I saw there.

“Maybe we could be more. Maybe we can’t. But can you deny this attraction between us? It’s not going away.”

I couldn’t deny it, when every inch of me was at war with my brain. The smart thing to do was to leave, and only see this man when I absolutely had to. But what my traitorous body wanted right now was to wrap itself around him and never go home.

It would pass, but I had to get out of here before he touched me again.

Too late.

My back was against the wall. My purse slid from my shoulder to land on the floor near my feet. Gib was inches away, so close I could feel the heat radiating from his skin. One of his hands had settled on my hip, the other was brushing my jaw. His deep blue eyes, the color of a stormy sea, bore into mine. I had to look away. He was waiting for an answer. When I found my voice, it was thick, foreign-sounding.

“I don’t want you. It was just a one-time thing.”

“I don’t believe you, Sacha. You’re trembling with desire for me. Aren’t you?”

His hand was caressing my collarbone and moving lower. Why was I still standing here?

I laughed, but it wasn’t the confident, sarcastic sound I had been going for. It was more of a shaky, nervous warble. I had to push him away, to stop this madness. But his hands were leaving a trail of heat across my skin, and his now-obvious arousal was pressing against my thigh. My mental defenses were weakening as hormones raged out of control, stoked by the primal male now holding me in place. I moved my hands to his chest again, intending to push him away, but instead I gripped the front of his shirt and pulled him closer.

I love to connect with readers and other authors, so here’s my links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15611048.Renee_Regent

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/renee-regent

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeRegent

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reneeregent/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/reneeregent/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Renee-Regent-Author-1625365841109181/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/801861879972801/

Website: http://www.reneeregent.com/newsletter-sign-up

 

 

 

Meet Mark Tiro- Author of Implicit, Soul Invictus

Did you ever read a novel that stayed with you for days, months, even years afterward? That went way beyond merely entertaining you, and changed your life?
An intriguing, gripping plot, and relatable yet interesting characters are the hallmarks of a good novel, in any genre. But when a story unfolds in such a way as to take you along with it, and literally change your perceptions not only of the world, but of what life on this earth really means? That is another experience altogether.

An Impressive Debut

Author Mark Tiro began writing because he loved books like that—and he wanted to contribute to the expansion of reader’s minds, as well as to entertain them. After studying metaphysical literary phenomena such as The Celestine Prophecy and A Course In Miracles, he felt he was ready to write the story he was born to write.

Mark’s writing style has been compared to authors Paul Coelho and Richard Bach, and his debut novel, Implicit, Soul Invictus, has been well received. Here are a few of the great reviews:

“An emotional tour de force and breathtaking adventure in forgiveness!”
“Engripping! It’s a novel so novel it takes a new word to describe.”

Released November 1, 2017, this fast-paced yet deep novel follows the past and future lives of Maya Lee, and her epic journey on her last forgiveness adventure. The sequel, All These Things, Maya Invictus, followed a month later, on December first. Both novels are available on Amazon or can be read for free through the Kindle Unlimited subscription service.

The Inspiration

I recently sat down with Mark to find out more about these fascinating novels:

How did you get the concept for your novel series, and when did you begin writing?

I hit upon an idea to write about one woman’s epic journeys through her past and future lives. And I wanted to do it in a way that wouldn’t bore readers to death.
Readers either love Maya or they hate her. She’s brilliant, and tenacious. She’s the kind of person you’d love to have a drink with. But she’s also angry, and when people screw her over, she’s driven to get even. I wanted to show how this plays out—not just in this lifetime, but as Maya goes from lifetime to lifetime. She doesn’t check her desire for revenge at the door, and at some point—you know it’s going to catch up with her
So, this is my take on Maya’s epic journey—and it’s quite an adventure.

What was it that drew you to the concept of reincarnation?

It’s like a dream we all have at night: we’re in our bed, sleeping, but dreaming that we’re running around in our dream. Someone’s chasing us. We’re chasing someone else. And always—we’re the hero of our own dream. We never realize it’s a dream though—at least while we’re dreaming it. But every morning, we wake up, safe in our bed, and the dream is just… gone. Disappeared back into the mind which thought it.
And we may feel out of sorts from our dream, at least for a little while after we wake up. But once we’re awake, it’s pretty easy to accept the idea that all the people we dreamed about, everything that was important to us, the figures, the characters—everything in the dream—was just that. A creation of our mind.
That’s the entire universe.
That’s reincarnation. Whether we dream we live one lifetime or a hundred—none of them is any more real than the dream we dream, while we’re safe asleep in our beds at night. And the only way to wake up is to look straight into our dream world, and to forgive what we see—specifically because it’s not real.
That’s how we return to our true home in perfect love.

Maya, the main character, journeys through many lifetimes in Implicit. Did you have to conduct much research for the various time periods?

Even though she’s fictional, Maya’s more real than just about anyone I know. She doesn’t seem to have the ability to hold back. She’s the kind of person people are drawn to, but you might wish you hadn’t been. She’s got an irresistible spirit, which in the end, is why I called the series the ‘Spirit Invictus’–the unconquered spirit.
No matter whether she’s an unfairly fired professor, or a Roman senator fighting a doomed battle out on the Northern frontier, or she’s a 16-year-old computer genius whose unrequited love for a young revolutionary student lands her right in the middle a coup to take back power for the people of her country—she’s always the same person at her core.
The form we take appears to change in each of our dream ‘lifetimes’, but the content stays the same. And it always comes down to the same choice: Are we going to choose love and forgiveness, or are we going to stay stuck in fear, anger and revenge?
There’s a podcast by a guy named Mike Duncan. It’s the History of Rome podcast. I loved that, and I couldn’t resist incorporating it into Maya’s past lives. One of Maya’s future lives in the book bears an uncanny resemblance to a lot of what went on in the aftermath of the French revolution. And of course, there’s Maya’s lifetime as Yoshio, when she was a soldier on a remote island in World War II.

What are you working on currently?

It’s the third and final book in the Spirit Invictus series. The working title is ‘Maya’s Magic List’ (shortened to just ‘The List’). It covers the time period in Maya’s life, from the flashback she had in the last book (All These Things) when she was a little girl, and goes through to when we pick up with her in that book as a confident young college student. Here’s the blurb:

Maya’s vision lasted for an eternity. In her mind. In the world—it was over in an instant.

When she opened her eyes, she found herself alone on the floor in her room, with just an empty piece of paper and a pen sitting next to her.

The list.

A comforting spirit and a revelation beyond this world had given Maya peace after the most traumatic year of her life. Now it had gone, but she had been left with the list as a reminder of what was possible.

A magic list.

Anything she wrote down on her list that night would come true. And so she did what any girl would do. Maya filled up her list with everything she wanted in life. At first it was exciting as the things she put on her list started coming true.

But now everything’s coming true fast. And Maya’s starting to panic.
When she’d made her list, she’d filled up the end of it with things everybody knew could never happen.

Or so she thought.

The last wish threatened to change not just her life, but her entire world.
And now Maya’s in a panic to do anything she can to stop it.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

I love it when readers want to talk about the ideas, the books—and pretty much anything else. My home on the web is my website at http://MarkTiro.com, and anyone can always connect with me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marcustiro .

The Bottom Line

I am so excited to have discovered Mark Tiro. It is refreshing to read stories that are well-written, original, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining, to boot!
I’m looking forward to reading more books from this talented and imaginative author. What books have you read lately that made an impact on your life?

When You Really, Really Don’t feel Like Celebrating The Holidays

So not into it!

Are you one of those people who dreads the holiday season, while everyone else around you is making merry? Do you look forward to New Year’s Eve most of all, because it means all this holiday nonsense and commercialism will finally be over?

You’re not alone.

How and why one chooses to celebrate or not celebrate the holidays is an intensely personal thing. It may be cultural, it could be religious, or it may simply be personal preference. But when something is as pervasive in society as is our annual ramp up to the grand finale of New Year’s Eve, and all the hectic activity in between, it can take a toll on a person’s attitude.

Holiday Overload

I must confess that as I’ve gotten older, I am less interested in the holiday hubbub. Decorating feels like a chore; shopping for gifts becomes a race against time. Endless holiday-themed commercials become even more annoying than pharmaceutical ads, and I swear if I hear “Winter Wonderland” one…more…time…

But then, when Christmas is almost here, a yearning comes from somewhere deep inside, and I find myself searching closets for that old DVD of Rudolph or the Grinch or Charlie Brown. I actually look forward to exchanging gifts, because the pressure to find and wrap them is over. Seeing little kids getting all excited over the lights or going to see Santa melts my irritation away, and I find myself enjoying the holidays once more.

So now I try every year to not let cynicism take over, and enjoy the little things.

Deep As Snow

But some people have more serious issues with the holidays, and that is what prompted me to write the short stories that comprise my novella, Running In Snow. Sometimes past trauma can make it difficult for some people to enjoy the holidays. I’ve had a few unpleasant holidays in my past, so I wondered what it would be like for someone who refused to celebrate, but was in a situation where they had to?

What on earth would make them go through with it?

That was the basis for Noelle’s Promise, the first short story. Noelle had some serious trauma around Christmas from her childhood, to the point where she would not participate at all. Not with friends, not at work, not in any way. She simply avoided it.
But when she fell in love, her life changed. Should she continue to ignore the holidays, or try to join in her boyfriend Logan’s family celebrations? She makes a valiant effort to do so, but things don’t go as planned. Noelle discovers that sometimes the way past your fears is to go right through them.

Eve’s Hope, the second short holiday story, is about a woman who believes she is cursed. Every New Year’s Eve, something goes wrong. When her heater goes out in a rare Atlanta snowstorm, her handsome neighbor rescues her and invites her to his party. She makes the best of it, hoping to get through the night without her bad luck kicking in. Let’s just say there’s a few surprises in store before the clock strikes midnight.

I enjoyed writing these emotional holiday tales because I was able to explore those feelings of dread I get every year, but still end up on a happy note. Do you ever experience negative feelings around the holidays? How do you cope?

Running In Snow is available on Amazon and  other retailers (Nook, Kobo, iTunes) for just .99. I hope you enjoy the holidays, however you choose to spend them!

 

Cover Reveal of Running In Snow-A Holiday Novella

I know, autumn has just begun and in many places, it still feels like summer. At least it has here in Atlanta with ninety degree temperatures. But the Holiday Season is right around the corner and this year, I have a Holiday Novella release!

It’s called Running In Snow, and that is the cover in the featured photo. Elle at EJRDigital Art did a fantastic job at capturing the mood of these two heartwarming yet emotional holiday tales. Release date is November 7, 2017, and it will be available for preorder in October, date TBD.

Full disclosure here—I never had the desire to write a holiday story, or even short stories for that matter. But this is proof that writers can get inspiration from anywhere. The idea for the first story, Noelle’s Promise, hit me out of the blue. I read a blog post (sorry, I cannot recall the author) about writing holiday stories, and the idea came to me—what would happen if someone who didn’t celebrate the holidays was in a situation where they had to? Why would they not want to celebrate? How would that play out?

I guess it may be an unusual twist, but that seems to be what I do. If you’ve read my Higher Elevation Series, then you know I come at subjects from a different angle sometimes. These holiday stories are deeply emotional, and my characters go through some real soul searching. But they end up on a happy note.

Here’s the cover copy for Running In Snow:

Two heartwarming tales of love and redemption. And snow.

Noelle’s Promise

Does your past define the future?

Noelle has one cardinal rule─never, ever celebrate the holidays. But now she’s promised to spend them with her boyfriend, Logan, and his extended family. As the festivities begin, bad memories surface. She manages to suppress her anxiety and join in the celebrations, until an unexpected incident sends her fleeing into the night. Can she overcome her past before it ruins her future?

Eve’s Hope

Can a holiday be unlucky every year?

When her heater goes out in the middle of a rare Atlanta snowstorm, reclusive Eve accepts the invitation to her handsome neighbor’s party. Expecting to be bored to tears, she encounters a few surprises before the countdown to midnight begins. Can she survive just one New Year’s Eve without her bad luck kicking in?

 

I’ll be posting soon when more information becomes available. Until then, you can follow my Amazon Author Page for updates:
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01M4IHA1A

Or follow my Goodreads Page:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15611048.Renee_Regent

Or subscribe to my newsletter. They got to see the cover a few days ago, and enjoy exclusive content, and giveaways. You also get your choice of up to FIVE FREE mini-ebooks just for signing up:

http://www.reneeregent.com/newsletter-sign-up

And you can also get excusive news and giveaways for being in my Reader’s Group on Facebook, Renee Regent’s Readers. Message me and ask to join:

https://www.facebook.com/Renee-Regent-Author-1625365841109181/

 

I’ll be sharing this cover reveal on social media and would greatly appreciate any likes, shares, retweets, etc. I am so excited to share these stories with you! Thanks again as always, for your support.

May I be the first to say, Happy Holidays!

 

 

Why I Love To Give Free Stuff

I’ve been giving stuff away lately, and I have to admit, it feels pretty good! And I’m not even concerned about getting anything back. That’s the best way to give, isn’t it? Pay it forward and all that. So when I give I try to do so with pure intentions and hope karma does the rest.

Free Works, Apparently

I was pleasantly surprised this month when I had my “free days” on Amazon. My first book, Unexplained, had almost four thousand downloads! I had run some promotions on social media and a few newsletters, and it seems to have paid off. All three of my Higher Elevation Series books are in Kindle Unlimited right now, and the sales and page reads have been better than I ever expected. The idea of giving away that many copies felt weird to me at first, but at least my books are out there, finding an audience. So I consider this a win.

I’ve also given away paperback copies, signed, of course. I ran Goodreads Giveaways, I gave away books through my Facebook Group, Renee Regent’s Readers. I gave away an Amazon gift card when I did a takeover on Facebook. This is nothing new, authors have been doing this and more for years, but I never realized how good it would feel to do it. I knew giving things away was a good business strategy, but it’s more than that. It’s something I actually look forward to. Even though it’s common now to hand out swag and free books, people still get excited about it, and for me, seeing their excitement is the fun part.

But Wait, There’s More!

All this giving away of goodies had me thinking, “What else can I give?” While looking through the statistics report of my blog for ideas, I decided to compile a free mini ebook. Or two. Well, I ended up with five, actually!

I’ve been blogging since 2013, and according to WordPress, I have over 2,400 followers. I’ve written over one hundred posts on various topics, some of which have been viewed thousands of times. I love blogging and have covered diverse topics over the years, so I compiled some of my most popular posts into mini ebooks by subject. They’re a quick, easy read, and I hope readers will find them fun and informative. Here’s a rundown:

Romance Novel Trends– a (sometimes humorous) look at the trends shaping Romance Novels today, from those ubiquitous “Ab Covers” to Seasoned Romance

Writing Tips on Marketing– the elusive Holy Grail of discoverability, and ways to find it

Writing Tips on Craft– Useful and practical information I’ve learned along the way. I put myself through the ringer so you don’t have to!

Supernatural/Metaphysical– curious about the Law of Attraction? Wondering if ghosts are real? Find out in this exploration of the unexplained, which often end up in my stories

From the Heart– In which I share stories from my real life experiences. There’s some humor, some heartbreak, and of course, love.

 

Whether you are a writer, a reader, or both, I hope you’ll find something interesting in these posts. They are available exclusively to my newsletter subscribers. If interested, you can sign up here.

There’s also a page on my website called “Free Reads”, where you can read the first chapter of Unexplained.

When it comes to giving, I feel like I’m just getting started. I have plenty of stories and blog posts still in my head, so don’t worry, there’s more to come. If you were one of the readers who downloaded or bought my books, or read them on KU these past few weeks, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

That’s the best gift anyone could give me.