Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Peter Moon: Strictly Business

A big welcome goes out to Peter Moon from everyone here at Heart of Fiction.

Peter joins us today from Berkshire. Originally born in London, Peter has settled with his family in the quiet climes of the English countryside.

A man with a varied past, Peter has found joy in journalism as a freelance editor and copywriter, as well as contributor in local newspapers and horseracing publications.

Today, Peter joins us to talk about his debut novel, Strictly Business, an erotic novel which crosses from England to America and back again.

Richard Swift is the son of a film executive for the UK arm of Lustrous Pictures. He's hoping to make his own name in the business. When Richard meets Amelia, sparks instantly fly. But Amelia isn't a one man woman, as we soon discover, following her through this story as she advances her own agenda. It's all business for her though, but could she have met her match in Jason Quartz, owner of Quartz Travel, and Amelia's boss?

When Richard finds himself in Hollywood, he meets ex-porn star Sherri Kendal, the woman who inspires the screenplay he decides to write with friend, Marcus Russell, called Farewell to Mercury.

Don't let the genre, erotic novel, throw you. There's a big story in Strictly Business. Each character has been carefully and intricately developed, and their stories expertly woven together to create this tale. Readers will be pulled from one drama to another, and Amelia is at the center of it, keeping things hot. Moon's scenes are instantly visual, and I dare say stimulating. If you like an equal blend of story to your erotic reading, this story is a great inclusion to any erotic library.

We managed to corral Peter for a quick chat, but before we get to his interview, don't forget that your comment will go into the draw for a free copy of this book. You must be 18 years of age to qualify!

• • •

Thank you for joining us today, Peter, and thanks for taking some time to chat with us. Our readers love discovering new-to-them authors. Let's see what we can learn about you!

I noticed on your bio that you worked on tramp steamers. I'd love to learn more about that one day, but for today, let's focus on your literary life. You must have a busy schedule with all of your writing endeavors. With so many irons in the fire, how do you schedule it all? Do you have a routine or just tackle tasks when the mood hits?
Part of my routine involves writing to order: contributing articles for a horseracing website and discussing races. I also edit and copywrite on a freelance basis, so I will tackle any outstanding work early in the day. Writers are like actors: there are more of them than there is work, so I am grateful editing supplements my income. Assignments tend to be sporadic. I won’t say the pay is poor – just  that you need to cultivate a taste for baked beans. Editing other people’s writing is more straightforward than doing your own because you read with fresh eyes, instantly spotting any inconsistencies or mistakes.
As far as my writing is concerned, like most writers, I find there are key times in the day when I seem to be most effective. Early in the morning and late at night are best. I guess I am not alone in singling out these moments for productivity – perhaps it is something  to do with the quiet and the lack of distraction. I also try to keep a notebook to hand when relaxing in order to capture those half-flashes of inspiration that occasionally enter the brain and just as quickly vacate it again. That said I am not so sad as to take a notebook with me on social outings; well not yet anyway...
Oh, I'm well-familiar with the baked beans and toast budget of an aspiring writer. You know it's payday when you can add a sausage to that meal!

I think you have something there with the quiet times of the day as being the best times to write. I was going to ask if you were a early bird or a night owl, but it seems you're a bit of both.

Do you have a dedicated writing space, or take a laptop wherever your spirit wants to go?
I have converted a spare bedroom in my bungalow into an office. It is nothing fancy but provides a nice space from which to work. There is a desktop computer, a writing desk, stereo and TV. I spend a lot of time there, working on this and that and watching necessary sporting events. At least that is my excuse. As yet I have not sunk to the depths of installing a beer fridge! 
Hmm . . . why am I not seeing an office here but a man cave? :-)

This leads to my next question, what do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?
Starting with the tedious stuff: I work out first thing most mornings. I can’t say I hate it, but I certainly don’t enjoy it; however, as I otherwise have a sedentary existence, it seems something I need to do. I always feel better for the experience when kick-starting my brain over tea and toast. 
Pleasure-wise, I love the movies (always nominate myself to answer film questions in pub quizzes) , art (don’t know much about it to be frank, but enjoy gallery-browsing. I especially like the Art Deco period, modern paintings and posters), reading (of course), cooking (curries and Bolognese and anything else where I can follow a recipe and which calls for a glass or two of wine), and eating out with friends. 
You're exactly right to get the blood pumping first thing in the morning. Not only good for the bum, but also it gets the creativity going.

And a man who cooks? A rare and precious find!

Thanks for taking the time for a quick chat.

Now, let's get onto that excerpt for Strictly Business. Don't forget to add your email to your comment so we can find you, should you win a copy of this exciting book.

• • •

The son of a film executive is shocked when he finds a chance encounter leads him to a girl who knows his deepest and darkest desires.

A scheming beauty finds her looks can be a curse as well as an asset.

A one-time porn starlet gets a chance at her big break but has to disregard a shady past to take it.

A New York call girl is on the run and becomes immersed in a life-or-death train ride that takes her to Philadelphia.

A wrung-out detective with a drink problem and a bad marriage sets out to save the call girl but finds he is stumbling in the dark.

A young reporter learns life is more than theory.

A song was reverberating through Richard Swift’s head – Riders On The Storm by The Doors. There was no reason for it. He didn’t particularly like the song; hadn’t recently heard it playing on the radio and wasn’t a fan of a band that had been in its brief heyday before he was born. But it was one of those songs everyone knew – the sort that could burrow into the ear every now and then.

So Richard was preoccupied at the moment his life was about to change. He was in a travel agency opposite the girl that was about to change it. Her nametag stated she was Amelia. They were on either side of a glass-topped desk with a telephone, a monitor screen and several glossy holiday brochures between them. Concealed on a shelf at the side of the desk, a computer tower hummed quietly in the background. There was the chink of cups from a small adjacent kitchen; otherwise, they were temporarily alone, except that was for the spirit of Jim Morrison, whose lyrics were about to be superseded.

Having uttered a flippant aside – something relatively innocent to do with Virgin Airlines – it had been seized upon, the retort becoming the equivalent of a verbal service return in a tennis match.

Using a slender hand, Amelia tossed a rush of hair behind her shoulders, scanning him with narrowing green eyes. f felt himself wither before the gaze that cut through him. Alarmingly, Amelia had a knowing expression that indicated she had possession of not only the pictures, but also the negatives that portrayed his life story.

“You are a naughty boy. And you know what happens to naughty boys, don’t you, Richard?”

A stunned and grappling-to-respond Richard sat riveted to his chair as her words swirled in his head.

Every so often something like this happened in his life. Invariably it turned out to be a joke, or the kind of remark to which he should attach no importance. Experience had taught him to squirm inwardly, to change the subject or to ignore the mention of any such a reference. Whatever else, he knew it was wiser to keep quiet rather than blurt out something stupid or incriminating that he would later regret.

In this case, all he could see was the undeniable beauty of the girl opposite, impelling him to offer some kind of response.

“I’m not too sure; why don’t you tell me?” was his eventual stilted reply.

“If you haven’t found out by now, it’s high time you did.”

“Perhaps you should demonstrate.”

“You wouldn’t like it.”

• • •

Peter Moon was born in London, England. He left school at an early age, drifting round the world on tramp steamers, but further education proved his salvation as he went on to study journalism. After a couple of junior positions with local newspapers, a fascination with horseracing meant he decided to specialize as a freelance writer in that sphere. He has worked as a reporter, a racing analyst, and for a while was linked with one of the major bookmakers, with whom he was a liaison officer. Over the past ten years he has been a freelance editor and copywriter as well as a contributor to various websites and publications.

He lives with his partner, Rosemary, in a small Hampshire village a few miles from the Berkshire border close to Newbury.

Find Peter online at --

Tirgearr Publishing

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win a free copy of this book.

Friday, 25 April 2014

E.H. Ward: A Sure Thing

A great big Heart of Fiction welcome to E.H. Ward.

From a young age, E.H. has been around horses -- from pony clubbing, fox hunting, and working for local trainers and at stud farms, to traveling the world working in the horse industry.

He spent a couple years working in Australia on a cattle farm where he worked . . . get this . . . breaking-in wild horses!

From there, he went to work in Kentucky, famous for race horsing. Over the next few years, he split his time between projects in Inner Mongolia where he set up a stud farm, then outside Beijing training racehorses.

From there, the next few years were spent back and forth between Ireland and Turkey. In Ireland, he managed the Irish arm of an American stud farm. Then it was onto Turkey where he spent a year upgrading the Turkish National Stud. He was then hired to manage a racing and breeding operation along the Aegean coast, where he worked with local businessmen who wanted an international adviser.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. He currently splits his time between Turkey where he still works as an adviser and where he lives in southern France with his charming family.

Getting to his writing talents, E.H. writes analytical articles and horseracing and sale reviews for The Irish Field Newspaper, and for James Underwood's Racing and Breeding Digest in the UK. And in his spare time, he writes fiction.

To say this man knows his horseflesh, and about writing, is just a bit of an understatement!

In E.H.'s debut novel, A Sure Thing, published today by Tirgearr Publishing, we plunge head first into the horseracing industry. When 'they' said "write what you know", E.H. took it to heart.

Oliver McMahon is a trained stud farm manager and bloodstock expert, but he's no longer finding joy in his life, or his work. He's tired of working for people who don't appreciate talent or experience, and he longs to go out on his own, work for himself. When all options have expired, Oliver turns to a man who owes him a favor. That man also just happens to be one of America's top crime mafioso! But he helps get Oliver on his feet, introducing him to some powerful people. Oliver quickly rises to the position he deserves in the horseracing business. Especially as his Thoroughbreds start winning.

Enter a woman Oliver thought long in his past, and another area of his life seems to be falling into place. As it can happen, money makes us crazy, and Oliver finds himself getting mixed up with drugs and everything that entails. But when his brother is murdered, Oliver discovers an old family secret which led to his brother's killing. Oliver must harden up if he's to extricate himself from the deep hole he's got himself into if he's going to avoid prison, or being murdered himself.

Holy macaroni! A Sure Thing hits the mark on so many levels, I don't know where to begin. E.H. weaves an intricate tapestry of a thriller, putting readers side-by-side with Oliver McMahon as we follow him from obscurity to fame then into the abyss. Emotions are sharp throughout this story. We can't help but feel what Oliver feels, jetsetting trough exotic locations, flying high in the horseracing industry, rubbing shoulders with the rich . . . living the life, baby! And we're with Oliver through the sharp downturn when everything starts crashing in on him. Here's a man who just wants to be noticed for his talent in the business. One wrong move sets off a chain of events that are impossible to stop. And ends up getting his brother killed in the process. Maybe him next! A Sure Thing is sure to grip any thriller enthusiast by the pants and hold him, or her, in the chair until this book is well-read. Anyone who loves Dick Francis' horseracing thrillers, and anyone who's a Mario Puza fan, will certainly find much joy with A Sure Thing. To put it succinctly, A Sure Thing is a sure thing if you're looking for a great thrill-ride of a read!

Before we get to an excerpt, we've had a quick chat with E. H.

• • •

Welcome to Heart of Fiction, E.H., and congrats on your debut novel, A Sure Thing. We appreciate you taking time from your obviously busy schedule to have a chat with us. Just listing off *some* of the things you've done in the last 20-25 years is breathtaking.

With such a busy schedule, how do you find time to write? You must operate on to-do lists, or at least have a secretary to keep you on schedule. Where writing is concerned, how do you fit it in? Do you have a routine?
I try to aim for 2,000 words a day, but am happy to settle for less rather than push a frustrating day. The important thing is to always write something, even if it’s only scribbled in a notebook or on a scrap of paper. When I’m not full time at my day job (a stud farm and racing stable manager/advisor), I try to start writing early, straight after breakfast and checking e-mails. It usually takes me some time in the morning to wind up into it, then, with some words on the page and ideas swirling about my brain, I stop before lunch to work out in the garage and maybe even go for a run. I find this is remarkably theraputic and I have had many of my best plot ideas and solved many plot/character problems whilst alone in the garage lifting weights. After lunch, it’s back into the writing. I try to finish in the evening in time to cook dinner for my wife, son and I.
{gasp} A man who cooks for his family? Priceless!

It sounds a little like you have a place for everything (gym in the garage, surely an office for your 'day job'). What's writing space like?
Quiet, near the window. A simple desk with a hard chair. I like to have maps on the wall for
inspiration and reference. A map of European history reminds me of the development of man and, at the moment I also have a projection map of what the world would look like if all the ice melted. 
Okay, I might have to google that map of an iceless world. Does this mean you may have a futuristic story in your somewhere? Horseracing in the year 2514? Okay, no, I won't go there! But I must say, I love that purple chair! Irish sugan?

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing? I hear through a grape vine there are grape vines on your property!
Managing a stud farm and advising a racing stable, helping my wife with her vines, kitesurfing, and keeping fit.
Thanks so much for chatting with us. And best of luck with A Sure Thing. I'm sure, after reading this book, there will be many more to come as you ad this new feather to your cap.

So, onto the excerpt. Be sure to drop E.H. a note in the comments below **with your email address** to enter the draw for a copy of A Sure Thing.

• • •

Irish stud farm manager and bloodstock expert, Oliver McMahon, is tired of his life, and a boss who neither rewards, satisfies, or recognises his abilities. He turns to his very wealthy brother, Richard, for help in setting up his own venture, only to be rejected and, in the process, discovers a family secret.

On the brink of despair, Oliver remembers and calls in a favour owed to him by a man who has risen to become one of America’s most powerful mafioso. Oliver gets back on track with a rich client, a large budget, top class horses, and an old flame rekindled.

As the Thoroughbreds start winning, Oliver reconnects with his college sweetheart and all his dreams are being realized. Soon, he’s pulled into a tangled web of narcotics, murder, deceit, and sinister threats.

When Richard is murdered, Oliver has to face the awful truth that a decade-old act started the chain of events which led to his brother’s killing.

Oliver has no choice but to become as ruthless as Richard if he’s to extricate himself from a lose-lose situation. Death or a lifetime in prison – the stakes have never been higher.

Dublin - November 25th, 2005

Richard McMahon swung his white Mercedes off Clontarf Road and wound slowly through the streets. He took an indirect route to his luxury apartment block, checking the mirror every time he turned. He was fairly sure he was not being followed, but in the grey half-light of a drizzly evening, all the cars looked similar in the mirror. He pulled into the parking lot and stared at the bushes and shrubs that shielded it from the road.

The streetlight was not working. A bead of sweat formed at his hairline. He lit a cigarette and devoured it. Richard’s skin was grey, almost translucent, his brow was furrowed and his crow’s feet were craggier than usual. An all-day meeting with his lawyer had robbed him of energy and any sense of security that he had had a few days ago.

His company was still reeling from the drugs find, and he stood to lose a fortune. Then there was the matter of the suddenly silent Italian flight steward. Still, he was glad he had left the letter for his brother, even if it was too late to make amends – he should have treated Oliver better and helped him out when he came looking for Richard’s backing and support.

Slightly calmed by the nicotine, he scanned the car park, picked up his briefcase and the long, heavy torch he kept on the passenger seat. He locked the car and hurried toward the sanctuary of the building. There was a sound from the bushes. He shone the torch, but could only make out leaves and shadows.

“Come out! I, I know you’re there,” he called, with a quiver in his voice. Breaking into a trot, he made for the lobby door.

Swearing, he dropped his briefcase trying to pull the passkey from his pocket. He never got to turn the lock.

* * *

The hooded man checked the photograph in his hand and satisfied himself that it was Richard McMahon approaching the lobby door. Looking left and right, he silently crossed the road and came up behind his target. As he moved, the iron bar slid down the anorak’s sleeve into his hand. The blow dropped Richard to the ground. He was out before he hit the floor.

The man glanced down the street, then took his victim’s watch, ripped the shoes from his feet, and searched for a wallet. Pocketing the banknotes, he tossed it aside. Then he stabbed a used syringe into his victim’s neck.

Richard groaned. “Please, please . . .”

The man rose to his feet and bent over Richard. “You should’ve kept your mouth shut,” he said. Then he swung the iron bar in a long slow arc. There was a dull crack and blood spilled onto the stone tiles.

The man walked briskly down the street, turned the corner and continued through four or five cross streets. He reversed his anorak and dropped the bar down a storm drain by the kerb on an empty street. The shoes he stuffed into a bin behind a convenience store. He fondled the Rolex and considered keeping it, but reluctantly tossed it into the waters of Dublin Bay.

As he walked along the coast road, he smiled, pushed the hood off his head and made a call.

“You tell our friends, it’s done.”

• • •

E.H. Ward was born in England in 1973 to a racehorse trainer father and a mother who studied speech and drama at the Royal Academy in London. He moved to his mother’s native Limerick in Ireland at the age of nine and grew up riding, pony clubbing, fox-hunting and working for local racehorse trainers and stud farms. After school and a brief stint in the British army, he returned to England to start full-time work with racehorses. He spent the ‘90s travelling the world working with horses and in the bloodstock industry. From England, he moved back to Ireland then down to the Hunter Valley in Australia where he worked on a large stud farm and travelled and spent time on a cattle farm, breaking-in wild horses.

From Australia it was on to Kentucky the home of American horse racing and breeding, where he began working for the US arm of Ireland’s renowned Coolmore Stud. He spent the next ten years working at Coolmore and was put in charge of their China/Mongolia project, spending six months creating a stud on the plains of Inner Mongolia and a year training racehorses on the outskirts of Beijing.

He was seconded to the Turkish Jockey Club for a year to upgrade and run the Turkish National Stud, before returning full-time to Ireland in 2001, as an area manager at Coolmore’s Tipperary headquarters .

In 2006 he went back to Turkey to build and manage a racing/breeding operation on the Aegean coast working with a local businessman who wanted an international standard manager/advisor.

He is married to a Frenchwoman, and they have one son aged five. He currently divides his time between the stud farm near Izmir and southern France. He writes analytical articles and horseracing and sale reviews for The Irish Field newspaper and James Underwood’s Racing and Breeding Digest in the UK.

• Find Eric Online •

Tirgearr Publishing

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tegon Maus: Machines of the Little People

It's our pleasure to welcome back, Tegon Maus. We visited with Tegon this past January when he released his book, My Grandfather's Pants. What a delightful read about a pair of magical trousers handed down in a family. Check out this book here on Heart of Fiction and over at Tirgearr Publishing.

I mention My Grandfather's Pants as a precursor, not only as Tegon's previously published work, but also because Tirgearr Publishing has marked it down to *99c through April* on special deal to celebrate the release of Tegon's latest publication.

Today, Tegon returns with the first book in a new science fiction series called The Eve Project -- Machines of the Little People.

When Ben Harris' sister passes away, her husband, Roger Keswick, is mysteriously absent from her funeral. It's not until six months later that Ben is pulled back in to Roger's life, only to find that he's moved on. His new wife may be called Jessica, but she's the spitting image of Ben's sister. Ben wonders if his former brother-in-law has a screw loose when Ben insists that there's a large factory under his house run by little people called the Katoy. The screw loosens a bit more when Jessica is found murdered . . . and Roger has disappeared again.

Another fantastic read from Tegon. Taking a left turn from his previous humor tale, Machines of the Little people will introduce readers to an alternate Earth. One where technology has grown by such leaps that it's now possible to live, well, practically forever. Pure science fiction, readers of the genre will find this a unique tale and won told by a man with a way with words. Tegon's voice is a breath of fresh air for the genre, and Machines of the Little People is the perfect story to introduce readers to this fabulous new series.

Before we get to an excerpt, be sure to drop Tegon a note in the comments below **with your email address** to enter the draw for a copy of Machines of the Little People.

• • •

Ben Harris’s sister died of cervical cancer more than three years ago… his best friend and her husband, Roger Keswick, disappeared the day before the funeral. For the next six months everyone from the local police to the Department of Defense searched for him but to no avail… it was as if he had simply fallen off the face of the planet only to reappear at work as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

Then by the purest of coincidences Ben finds himself pulled back into Roger’s life only to discover he has remarried… to Jessica… a woman the looks, sounds and acts just like his dead sister. To complicate things Roger is insistent his home, his car, his life is infested with tiny elf like creatures he calls the Katoy. He claims they run massive machines under his house and watch his every move… every move that is until Jessica is found bludgeoned to death in his living room and Roger is nowhere to found . . . again.


Surrounded by thirty, perhaps forty people, I had never felt so all alone before in my life. It was cold, overcast and I feared it would rain.

“I’m sorry, Ben. We’ve looked everywhere.”

I barely heard the words, just the conformation Roger wasn’t going to be here. The man I admired more than any other . . . my best friend . . . was going to miss my sister’s funeral. He was brilliant, absentminded, but with her being his wife, I thought sure . . . it didn’t matter . . . they were both gone now, both dead to me. I was alone.

Everything in life is about balance: give and take, good and evil, yin and yang, and sometimes . . . the Katoy.
Chapter 1

“Ooooh no. No, no, no. Hold it right there. Please, Mr. Harris, give me a break. Don’t cross this curb.”

“Roy, your boss promised.”

“I know, and we’re taking care of it, I promise you, but you know you can’t go in there. You know what happened the last time,” he said, pressing his hand firmly to my chest.

“Roy, Butch said 7:00 am. It’s now 7:30. You have Margaret and I want her.”

“Mr. Harris please, I’m begging you. I got blamed for the last time you went in there. I almost lost my job after all those cars . . . not to mention the fire. Butch said if you took one step over this curb, he would have my head.”

“Roy, I want Margaret and I want her now and I mean right now.”

“I swear to you, she is in very good hands and will be here any minute. You’ve got to understand. It’s not like we can just run down to the hardware store and get shields for your radio. That stuff has to be ordered and even when we get what we need it’s complicated work.

“Roy, I have appointments, places to go and people to see.

“Please, look! Here comes Butch now, so just hang on okay?”


“Where’s Margaret, Butch?”

“I need a little more time, say another thirty minutes. Go get a cup of coffee or something. She’ll be ready when you get back.

“I’ve got a nine o’clock in Riverside. I don’t want to be late.”

“I’m no genius, Ben, but your brother-law put some weird-ass shit in her and I can only do the best I can do. I’ll make sure you make your stop on time, but I can’t if I’m out here bullshitting with you. Do me a favor; go see Carmen for a couple minutes.”

“Alright. Thirty minutes and then hell or high water, I have to go.”

“She’ll be ready.”

I had no choice; I had to give him the benefit of the doubt. I hate mechanical problems, but when the radio goes down it makes for a really quiet and long day.

Butch was right, a cup of coffee would be good right about now, but I had mixed feelings about getting it. Weighing the pros and cons, I walked across the street.

“Oh, God! Oh, God! He’s here, Carmen, he’s here,” the young clerk shouted from behind the counter.

For a convenience store clerk he left a lot to be desired. Carmen went through them like tissue paper. I tried to ignore it, tried not to take it personally. I stood at the door and waited.

“Hold it right there, mister. Don’t you move, you know the rules,” Carmen Neva voiced roughly, pointing an angry finger in my direction as she appeared from the back of the store.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m right here.”

“What are you doing here today? It’s not Friday.”

“My radio isn’t working so Margaret is in for repairs. I’ve got a little time to kill. I thought a coffee would be nice.”

“Don’t move and for God’s sake, don’t touch anything. I’ll get it. Cream and sugar?”

“Please. Carmen, you know it wasn’t my fault.”

“All I know is I had to replace a perfectly good ATM machine, twice. Do you know how those people look at you when you ask for a second one in less than a month?”

“You know it was raining that day. You can’t possibly think I would deliberately . . .”

“And coffee machines? Do you know how many coffee machines I’ve had to replace?”

I just stood there and shook my head, uncertain of the answer.

“Eight! Eight coffee machines. I’ve had the electrical system checked, I’ve had the coffee machine suppliers come out, I’ve had everyone short of an exorcist look the store over from top to bottom and you know what they found? Nothing. Not one thing.”

“Carmen, I’m sorry, really sorry.”

“You know when they all went bad? Friday. Every one of them. A month or so apart mind you, but a Friday none the less. Which Friday you ask, every Friday you were here for coffee,” she said, pushing the cup into my hand.

“Carmen, we’ve been friends since high school. You know me. You know I wouldn’t, couldn’t do anything of the kind. It had nothing to do with me. It’s a coincidence, nothing more.”

“Uh-Huh. You want to know what I think? I think they have much better coffee at the doughnut shop down the street.”

“I know you don’t really mean it. You’d miss my ugly mug if you didn’t see me every Friday morning.”

“Not as much as I miss my coffee machine. Now get out of here.”

“Carmen,” I began shoving my hand into my pocket for money.

“On the house, Ben. Now get out,” she said, opening the door for me to leave.

Her expression made me feel bad.

“See you Friday,” she said as the door began to close.

“I’ll bring the doughnuts,” I returned.

I sipped my coffee and made my way back across the street where Butch waited.

“Butch. I don’t see Margaret.”

“The boys are bringing her around now. Here’s the deal. You should be okay for a while, but I can’t guarantee it for long,” he said, tossing the keys in my direction.

“Thanks, Butch. What do I owe you?”

“You do my sister’s drain and we’ll call it even. I take that back. Do the drain and the next time Margaret needs a little something you call me and I’ll come pick her up myself and bring her back to you good as new. You just can’t come here anymore. Deal?”

“Butch, you know I didn’t . . .”

“Ben, I can’t afford the insurance. I’ll come for your truck, just don’t come here anymore. Deal?”

“Alright, Butch, deal.”

Happy to have my truck back, I made for home to pick up a few things and check in with Mrs. Henson before starting the day in earnest. I could also pick up any new jobs that might have been called in while I was gone.

• • •

Married forty-three years to a woman he calls Dearheart, Tegon Maus lives a contented life in a small town of 8,200 in Southern California. By day, Tegon is a successful home remodeling contractor, but his passion is storytelling.

Tegon's progatonists are frequently wedged between a rock and a hard place, but manage to work things out through the story. Like most when pushed into a corner, it only brings out the best in his characters and become the unstoppable force of a reluctant hero. Tegon's signature style is creating characters who are driven and believable, and who strive to find happiness.

Tegon is the author of The Chronicles Of Tucker Littlefield series.

Find Tegon online --

Tegon Maus
Tirgearr Publishing

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Jessica Damien: Heaven Sent

It's our pleasure to welcome Jessica Damien to Heart of Fiction.

Jessica is a native Ohioan who has quite an interesting past. She spent four years in the US Air Force, spent time living in England, and when she returned home, she picked up the pen and paper and has since worked as a book editor.

She's also a prolific writer, with three previous books to her repertoire. Today she adds her fourth to that list -- Heaven Sent.

Ben Garrison is an angel in training--a guardian angel working on getting his wings. After causing the death of his mortal, Dorian Marks, Ben is sent before archangel, Michael, who threatens to cast Ben out of Heaven for good.

Instead, Ben is paired with Dorian. Ben must show Dorian the ropes of being a guardian angel. If it goes well, Michael just might let Ben remain in Heaven.

Alexa Vessenti is a troubled woman who hears The Voice in her head. It coaxes her to the top of a building and sends her over the edge. Alexa is no ordinary human though. She never should have been born to human parents. Her soul was originally meant to be born to angel parents. From a very young age, Alexa knew she was different and didn't understand it until after she committed suicide, and meets Ben and Dorian whose task it is, to see Alexa safely into heaven. Neither count on Dorian falling in love with Alexa.

Now, a guardian angel herself, Alexa meets Donovan, an ancient angel with questionable motives. And soon after, an evil presence makes itself known. Ben, Dorian, Alexa, and Donovan are forced to work together, to blindly trust each other, if they're going to save the world.

Gripping stuff. This is not your average angel saving a human story, but  it is classic good against evil. Ben, Dorian, and Alexa seem very much human as they come to terms with their new guardian status and the powers that come with the position. Dorian is an interesting character who has the three guessing at his movies, especially when evil lurks and the world's safety is at steak. Jessica's writing is fast paced, so pages fly by without notice. This is a well-developed plot with interesting and deep characters. I really enjoyed Ben's more realistic character. He's not a perfect angelic spirit. He's casual, easy-going, and approachable. Heaven Sent is a great way to spend an afternoon for anyone looking for a great read.

As always, there's a free book on offer today. All you need to do is comment with your email address to put your name into the draw for an ebook copy of this book.

• • •

Guardian angels. How many miracles have been worked by these wondrous beings?
How many lives have been saved, how many destinies have been formed?

And how many mistakes have been made?

Ben's not quite an angel yet; he'll have to save an awful lot of souls before that can happen, and he's not off to a good start. After causing the death of his subject, he has to face Michael's wrath and team up with Dorian, the man who was supposed to have lived for another forty-two years.

Dorian takes it in stride. He becomes smitten with the lovely Alexa, a unique young woman who should never have been born of human parents, but because of a merry mix-up, the powers-that-be must retrieve her so she can begin to learn her place in the heavens. The world is depending on her.

Dorian realizes soon enough he has a rival, and Donovan is no lightweight. An angel from way back, when the world was young, he's virile, handsome, and darkly mysterious. Is he just toying with Alexa? Are his secrets dangerous to humanity?

When an evil and vengeful entity makes its presence known, they're all going to have to depend blindly on each other for the survival of the world and each other, in spite of all the unknowns, in spite of all the ill feelings.

It wasn’t quite what Ben expected. He had always pictured clouds and angels flying about, looking benevolent. Even the pearly gates. Reality was disappointing.

He stood in the waiting room. It was empty except for him, and he wondered what was taking so long. There was no receptionist of any sort, but he knew, much the way a dreamer knows what is about to happen in his dream, the massive oak door on the north wall would open when it was his time to speak to Michael.

Worrying, he wondered what form of address to use when he spoke to the head of the guardian angels. Sir? Your Honor? Your Holiness? Hell, if protocol was that important, they should have provided him with a set of rules. He’d just call him Michael, if he couldn’t avoid calling him anything.

He paced the room, noticing there was a full-length mirror in the far corner. Why would any visitors here need to see themselves? Curious, he stepped before it, half expecting to find he no longer showed a reflection. But he was surprised to see his familiar face looking back at him.

He didn’t look any different from the last time he’d seen himself—same shaggy and too-long, sandy-brown hair, the same unevenly-growing mustache, hazel eyes, the crooked nose that seemed to make his long face appear even longer.

He took in his clothing, wondering why he was dressed in his worn-out trench coat, ordinary trousers, and nondescript shoes when last he remembered, he’d been wearing a hospital gown, and no shoes at all. Surely he hadn’t been buried in this?

He shook away the questions he’d probably never have answers to and sat down on the sofa to wait. Idly playing with the laces of his shoes, he thought back to his time with Diane. His post-death time with her. He’d haunted her, gently driving her mad. It had enabled her to move on, and freed himself of his living ties.

But free for what? He still had no idea what was expected of him. What does one do after dying? And why had Michael asked to see him, anyway?

He fidgeted in his seat, worried the angel had objections to the way he’d handled Diane. But he’d had no guidance in the matter. He had barely been aware he was no longer alive when he’d felt the incredibly strong pull of her grief suck him right back into her world.

He’d immediately recognized the problem. She had not expected him to die—no one had. He hadn’t been an old man or gravely ill. His own doctor was probably more surprised than anyone. It was supposed to be just a routine medical procedure, but there it was. He’d died.

• • •

Jessica Damien is a longtime Ohio resident, apart from a four-year stint in the USAF and the following few years living in places such as Ipswich, England and Oscoda, Michigan. Returning to Ohio to complete her degree and launch a new career, Jessica began toying around with writing as a hobby.

She began to write about people around her, learning how to pay attention to the minor details that separate one human being from another. Soon, as characters took shape, they presented themselves in various situations, and she began to work more seriously on contemporary fiction.

Jessica works as a contract and freelance editor and as a volunteer administrator for fiction writers.

Find Jessica onlne --

Tirgearr Publishing

Buy your copy here -- Kindle US, Kindle UK, Smashwords

Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Jessica. Your name will be entered for a chance to win a copy of this book.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Betsy Bennett: A Dragon's Tea

A Hearty welcome back to Betsy J. Bennett.

Today, Betsy introduces readers to a new series called Dragon's Roost.

First, a little back story. Dragon's Roost is a B&B. Not just any B&B, but one with secrets! Run by Jan Pikorski, readers are about to meet a wonderful cast of characters, the heroes of which are totally hunky!

In the first book, A Dragon's Tea, we meet Lori Lawrick, Jan's niece. Lori needs some time away and decides to visit her aunt and stay in her lovely B&B. Lori is about to be catapulted into a whole new world the minute she drives into Au Sable in upstate New York. For all intents and purposes, Au Sable looks closed. Lori doesn't have the right address for the B&B, but she's sure if she can find someone . . . anyone . . . they'll surely know where her aunt lives and can give her directions.

As luck would have it, she's spotted a shop with people in it and goes in.

Known only as Byron, this man lives between worlds. He's no mere mortal, but a dragon shifter! And he lives in a cave at the top of the Dragon's Roost B&B. He's also in charge of the dragon tea, which is only served on special occasions.

The sparks between Lori and Byron are not quite instant. At least, not until Lori is given a ring made from dragon's gold! The moment she slips it on, her future begins to unfold.

This is a wonderful start to the Dragon's Roost series, which currently has two more books scheduled for release (A Gargoyle's Vow, August, and A Wizard's Spell, late fall) this year.

Lori and Byron are likable characters in a story filled with emotion and adventure. Anyone who likes paranormal romance, fantasy romance, or great shifter romance tales, is sure to love A Dragon's Tea.

And what exactly is dragon tea, you may ask? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out ;-)

As always, there's a free book on offer today. All you need to do is comment with your email address to put your name into the draw for an ebook copy of A Dragon's Tea.

And on special offer from Tirgearr Publishing, Betsy's previous book, The Frog Kiss, is available through April for just 99c at Kindle!

• • •

Nothing made sense

To hide from her ex-boyfriend Lori Lawrick runs to her Aunt Jan. Jan runs a bed and breakfast, and Lori decides that might be what she needs to put her life back in order. She will help her Aunt cook and plant vegetables while she decides what to do with her life.

He said he was born to make tea
At her Aunt’s B&B, Lori meets Byron, a handsome jeweler who creates incredible works of art in gold and precious stones, but he says it is his duty to make tea. While the tea served in a fancy dragon-shaped teapot is excellent, it is not what she would consider putting him to his best use. She dreams of him, and when he kisses her, she wants to chop into a tree the statement “It happened here” explaining the magnitude of the effect the kiss had on her.

The B&B stands at a nexus of several different worlds
Lori comes to realize nothing is what it seems at the B&B. There is a witch who threatens Byron’s life when she asks for tea. Plants grow overnight when watered by the tea, and then there is Byron himself who infuriates her and at the same time makes her pulse throb who is never around when the tea is served. When Lori discovers a real dragon who terrifies her, she must find the strength to save Byron, the B&B and maybe the entire planet from evil sneaking in from a portal from another world.

“I don’t know that much about precious stones,” Lori hedged. She had never been greedy, never known desire for gold as she felt now. She wondered if it were a flaw within her, or if somehow the jewels themselves were possessed and had inexplicably become addictive.

“The wealthy come from all around the world to shop here. They stay for a while, skiing in the winter, enjoying the leaves in the fall, but what draws them are the jewels. He—” with a notch of his head toward the shopkeeper, “doesn’t part with many, that’s a fact, and sells them dear, but once you’ve worn dragon’s gold, it spoils you for anything else.”

The old man pointed to a diamond solitaire ring with a matching gold band, a wedding set. “It’s said that a marriage sealed with dragon’s gold will never dissolve, not through all eternity.”

Lori dragged her eyes from the gems, looked over at the older man and noticed a visible trace of melancholy about his eyes, as if he had loved not well and still grieved over its loss. He looked like he needed a good cry, and perhaps a houseful of grandkids to remind him that life was worth living.

“I’ve never heard of dragon’s gold. Is it a new way of refining the metal?”

“That’s what it is, lass. Brew sells them, significant in and of itself. No other dragon has ever relinquished jewels, and believe me, I’ve studied them all. He uses what he earns to help those in need. It takes money to do that.”

“I’m sure it does.”

He laughed, as if she had supplied the punchline to a joke he had been setting up, but before he could offer an explanation, the shopkeeper appeared at her side.

“My Lord,” he said, speaking to the older man, but his tone was somehow less respectful than the words should have demanded. He kept his gaze locked on her and there was no friendliness in his eyes.

“Byron,” Arthur bowed his head in what honestly looked like subservience. “I am showing your lady—“

Byron snarled, a sound a pit bull probably taught him, coming from low in his throat she felt as well as heard. Without knowing anything else about him, she knew then that he was capable of great violence.

“I’m not anyone’s Lady,” Lori insisted, feeling threatened, not by the Lord, whatever that term meant in this day and age, but by Byron the growling shopkeeper. She gently extracted her fingers from the stranger’s grasp. For he was old, his fingers callused, but his grip had been warm. “I just need some directions. I’m relatively certain I’m hopelessly lost. I’ve spoken to the car, but if it knows, it’s keeping information from me.”

“Cars have a habit of doing that,” the younger man said, and if he were mocking her, she could not tell by word inflection alone. “I am Byron, but I suspect you already know that.”

“Why would you think that?”

He kept his face emotionless. “Call it more than a hunch.”

Finding him rude in the extreme, Lori turned back to the older man. “I’m very sorry to bother you. The car came with a GPS. I mean it’s a rental, so of course it did, but I’ve forgotten the exact address. I know I’m in the right area, but I’ve got to narrow it down a bit.”

“I’ve lived here quite a long time, so if your friend can be found, I’ll find him for you.”

“Oh, it’s my Aunt. Jan Pikorski.”

The older man laughed, and Byron snorted, an action clearly fueled by distrust. She had no idea why he had taken such a complete and utter dislike to her.

“Ahh, You’re interested in getting invited into the Dragon’s Roost Bed and Breakfast?”

“If that’s where she lives.”

“It is.”

“My name is Arthur,” the gray haired man said, “and I am a great fan of your aunt’s. When you see her, please state that I asked after her health.”

“I’m sure you could do so yourself,” she said.

Arthur shook his head and looked regretful. “Before I go,” the older man said, “I’d like to test out a theory, if you’ll indulge me for a moment.”

“My Lord,” Byron said, his snarl clearly a dismissal the old man did not heed.

“Please hold out your hand, no, not your right, your left.”

She wore no ring, for more often than not, she found herself leaving jewelry in odd places during fieldwork, and discovered it easier to keep her fingers unadorned. Arthur dipped his fingers into the treasure trove in the front window and brought them back, holding the wedding set she’d drooled over. Before she could respond, he slipped the two-ring set over her third finger.

Byron stepped back, as if he had been shocked into a heart attack, and Lori knew exactly what he was experiencing. When Arthur slipped the gold on her, visions flashed across her mind, a thousand images passing so quickly that she didn’t catch a fraction of them, but in each one she and Byron, this stranger she had only met ten minutes before, stood together in spring, summer, fall, winter. Sometimes she was pregnant, sometimes there was a dark eyed child with her. She had visions of running along the shore, hand in hand with him. Lying beside a roaring fire, their feet entwined, both wearing only smiles and a fine sweat. Walking under a sky with so many stars that God must have imported a couple hundred just for them. And always love, passion, and yes, eternity.

• • •

Betsy J. Bennett lives in Michigan with her husband, two adult daughters, three obnoxious cats and an English bulldog. She has five grandchildren. She collects dragons, creche's and Santas. She has always believed in Christmas and in Santa, and although she has yet to meet the real Santa, she has hope that with the publication of this book he'll seek her out. She is currently at work on her next novel.

Find Betsy online --

Tirgearr Publishing

Buy your copy hereKindle US, Kindle UK, Smashwords

* Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this book!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Smut for Good Charity Blog Hop

Smut for Good: Curves Rule is a blog hop with prizes galore to raise funds for Parkinson’s UK as this is Parkinson’s Awareness week. To find more curves, and seek out further prizes please visit http://smutters.co.uk/smut-for-good and if you can please visit the Smut for Good: Curves Rule Just Giving Page at http://www.justgiving.com/curvesrule and donate whatever you can to help us reach our target of £100 to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and to support the charity Parkinson’s UK http://www.parkinsons.org.uk who help those with the disease learn to cope with the challenges, give out information and search for a cure.

• • •

Today we're talking about Rhythm of My Heart, book one in the Irish Pride Series which was relaunched yesterday, and continues through the week with other books in the series being published:

9 April - A Piece of My Heart     and     11 April - Shape of My Heart

All Kindle versions of this series are just 99c through April!

• • •

When asked what kind of characters she writes, Kemberlee said, "I write real people. My heroines have real woman figures and my heroes have realistic flaws. They work hard for what they have, and could be anyone you meet on the street."

From Rhythm of My Heart, Eilis Kennedy is a woman all to familiar with her curvy figure --

She stepped away from the mirror, her reflection disappearing in the mist, and went into the bedroom. Her clothes were already laid out—a stylish Brown Thomas two-piece navy suit. The white blouse had dainty pearl buttons at the front closure. Blue pumps completed the professional appearance she strived to perpetuate.

Eilis dropped the towel to the floor then bent to retrieve the conservative panties and bra lying beside the suit. She put them on then cast a quick glance at her reflection in the full length mirror across the room. She sighed and looked away. Nothing had been invented yet to disguise her full figure. The tummy-control panties with the stiff fabric and unforgiving elastic controlled nothing, and the bra reminded her of something her late Aunt Assumpta would have worn.

Eilis sighed, acquiescing. She had more rolls than Bewley’s bakery counter.

What did she care? No one would see her undergarments anyway. Business would always come first for a woman like her. If she wanted to make it in this industry she’d have to put her personal desires aside. Even though what she wanted most at this very moment was a comfortable bra.

But Kieran has other ideas about Eilis' looks --

“Are you ready to talk to me yet or did Murph really scare you that much?” he asked, curious. He was pleasantly surprised when she turned toward him, her emerald eyes not really meeting his.

She took a deep breath. “He . . . didn’t scare me,” she said, straightening. “You just startled me coming up behind me like that. I wasn’t expecting it.”

There it is, he thought, as her eyes finally locked with his. She’s shy. He smiled appreciatively. She was a knockout, but this shyness was something he didn’t expect from a woman who looked so professional. One minute she looked like she could rake Murph up one side and back down the other again with her nails. Then the next she was as shy as a virgin.

Looks can be deceiving, he reminded himself.

“Didn’t he?” he pressed. She shook her head. “Well, maybe it was me then. I’m sorry. So,” he started, getting up from the sofa arm. His sudden motion spooked her. He heard her breath catch and her shoulders squared defiantly.

Lord, she’s beautiful.

“Sorry. I was just going to tidy a place for you to sit. I won’t bite. Promise.” He grinned, then added, “Unless you want me to.” He was rewarded by that beautiful flush of her cheeks again.

He moved a stack of newspapers off the sofa and motioned for her to sit, then positioned himself on a beer keg across the room to give her space. He waited until she was perched on the edge of the sofa. Her legs were practically curled under her, as if ready to spring up if he moved toward her. He sucked in his breath at the length and shape of them and felt his groin pulse to life.

She wasn’t the average meal-deprived woman with the gaunt cheeks and jutting hipbones that were the rage these days. She had a beautiful full figure he couldn’t take his eyes off. She had an hourglass shape, beginning with pleasing full breasts and tapering down to a narrow waist that flared out to sensuous hips. He wondered what it would be like to feel her long, curvaceous legs wrapped around him. She was tall too. It was a rare treat finding a woman he could look in the eye. Especially one as beautiful and enticing as this one.

• • •

Just goes to prove that we shouldn't be too critical about how curvy we are, or aren't, someone else will always feel differently. Take pride in your full figure!