About Me

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An author with The Wild Rose Press, I strive to bring authors and readers together with a touch of Heart, Soul, and Happily Ever After. You can connect with me at www.facebook.com/imahayes , https://twitter.com/imahayes, and we can get pin happy at www.pinterest.com/imahayes.

Thankful Author 2016

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sorchia DuBois- Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones

Happy Friday readers. 
Hope you had a great week. Let's get the weekend started off right. Author Sorchia Dubois has stop by to answer a few questions and talk about her new release, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, available for pre-order now!

Tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.

a.       Anti-Stress—I meditate, do yoga, and take long walks in the woods to keep myself grounded and to keep the heebie-jeebies at bay.  It’s not that I am so antsy I might ought to be sedated, I am just easily distracted by other people’s problems and have to remember from time to time the only one I am responsible for is myself.  

b.      Batshit (or Batcrap) crazy––I was weird when I was a kid and I’m still weird. I was the kid who always dressed in black and wore too much dark eyeshadow and read Poe, quoted Shakespeare, and actually enjoyed poetry. For a long time, I tried to be normal and that didn’t work out. As I get older, I find no one is truly normal. It’s the eccentricities and differences in people that make them worthwhile.  So, more and more, I am embracing my own idiosyncrasies and going with the weird little flow that is my own. But other people may not understand, so I do tone it down when I’m out and about in the Midwest.

c.       Celtic (Scottish, that is)––I’ve always been an Anglophile—England, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall—but I kind of avoided Scotland for reasons I did not understand. Several years ago, my daughter insisted I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander—she bullied me until I did it, actually. “You’ll love it, Mom. It’s right up your alley. Read it, I say.” Resistance was futile so with a sigh I opened the tome which is Outlander and BANG! The story—not to mention Jamie Frazer—was magnificent, but Gabaldon’s descriptions woke up some memory I couldn’t quite wrap my fingers around. I actually went to a hypnotherapist and did a past life regression, in part to see where this strange fascination came from. It turns out, if you buy into past life regressions and reincarnation, that my life in Scotland was idyllic. Somehow I managed to eke out a couple of lifetimes between wars and, apparently, I avoided thinking about it because it was so perfect. It was a heart-wrenching homesickness—the kind you avoid thinking about or you’ll go nuts. But the time had come and I jumped into all things Scottish with abandon, writing about the people and the places, attending Scottish celebrations wherever and whenever I could, and developing a strong attraction for single malt Scotch. That last one wasn’t hard at all. While the homesickness still makes me cry at odd times, I have found the whole thing liberating and exhilarating.

What are your three favorite things? 

Purple, Scotch, Spring—not necessarily in that order. Purple just because. I like to think I am a displaced princess, stolen by gypsies and dropped on my parents’ doorstep wrapped in royal robes of deep purple. Scotch—especially Laphroaig—tastes like Scotland and makes a bad day so much better. A little goes a long way and it is meant to be sipped instead of guzzled. Just knowing I have a little hidden away puts a smile on my face. Spring because I love the whole regeneration and rebirth. Even though I tend to agree with  T.S. Eliot’s observation that “April is the cruelest month”, Spring is the most hopeful  time while also being the most barbaric time of the year. All that energy and potential, all that flux and flow, all those boiling possibilities send me outside with a garden trowel and packets of seeds and off into the woods with a camera and a flask.

Are you self- published or with a publishing company (if so, which one?)?


 Though self-publishing is tempting, right now I am working with The Wild Rose Press. I am basically a lazy person who will put off until next week what I should have done yesterday. Self-publishing sounds like so much work and as long as the people at Wild Rose or any other publisher will take me on, I will let them do the heavy lifting. I admire my friends who go the self-pub way and have the utmost respect for their endeavors because I know they sweat blood to get a book published.

Music is a big influence on my writing. I have certain songs that inspire each chapter, or the whole book. What helps to inspire you?

I write witchy, spooky stuff and so I need witchy, spooky music. A guy named Peter Gundry—an Aussie, I believe—was recommended by a friend who writes similar material and wow was she right. I highly recommend his music to anyone who writes, meditates, or just likes mood music. I also write about Scotland and I believe the setting must be treated like a character. I’ve found several great groups at Scottish festivals I’ve attended and always buy cds  and incorporate my favorites into a playlist for a particular book. Right now, I listen to Runrig, The Red Hot Chili Pipers (Yes, that’s pipers. They are a bagpipe group), Pictus, and Cleghorn—the last two being excellent groups who play festivals. Pictus is a primitive drum and pipe group who have to be experienced to be believed! The cd is good, but a live performance is awesome! Cleghorn was billed as a Celtic group from Texas and I nearly despaired but with the first song, they stole my heart. They are a father and son with a couple of other guys and there is nothing like their song “9 minutes of Woo.”
I make a playlist for each book and let it run as I write. I’m flexible and will add to the playlist as I go. Always looking for spooky mood music or Celtic groups to try out.


What is the ultimate goal you have for your career? 

To be rich and reclusive. I have no desire to be famous and appear on late night tv shows—though sometimes I have imaginary conversations with Stephen Colbert in which I am witty and charming and urbane. This would not happen in real life and it would be best to avoid anything like that. I just want enough money to travel a bit and so I don’t have to have a part time job to pay the bills. Is that so much to ask? I want to write enjoyable books that give readers, as M.C. Beaton says, a good time on a bad day.  I’d also like to be remembered for providing accurate illustrations of alternate lifestyles and religions—showing the similarities as well as the wonderful differences. I enjoy working in ancient culture and legends and showing how modern people relate to those things. Though thousands of years separate us from some of these stories, human nature hasn’t changed that much.

Tell us about your favorite writer, book? 

P.G. Wodehouse or Douglas Adams if I need a laugh. Agatha Christie, Diana Gabaldon, Mary Higgins Clark, Barbara Kingsolver—among many others, but those are a few people represented on my bookshelves several times. I edit fiction and have little time for reading for pleasure these days—something I may have to address in the near future.

Will there be more books in your series, or can you tell us about any previous books? 

My first book, Just Like Gravity, is about karma and past lives. Three books in one, the story traces the main character through three lifetimes. The same tragic circumstances threaten to overpower her current life and the main plot line shows whether she will be able to learn from past mistakes or is doomed to relive the horrible things that happened twice before. Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, to be released October 28, is about a small town fortune teller sent on a quest to save her dear, old grannies life. It turns out Granny has secrets she doesn’t tell Zoraida. There will be two more in this series, tentatively titled Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen and Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes, as well as an anthology of short Zoraida Grey stories tentatively titled Witchling. These are proving to be a great deal of fun to write because I’m working in as many different cultures as I can possibly do in three books—Scottish, Pictish, Voodoo, Chinese, Aztec, Mayan, Creole, Norse, Russian—you name it, I’m doing it. It’s a romance, of course, and has quite a few action scenes as well. This series is really stretching my writing and giving me practice for whatever comes next. 

Here’s the blurb for Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones:

Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot. 

Excerpt:

The foyer of Castle Logan would swallow my entire shop and ask for seconds. Twin flights of marble steps lined with life-sized portraits of Logan matriarchs and patriarchs wind upward on opposite sides of the room. Pausing with a landing at each of three levels of the building, the staircases converge on a hallway overlooking the foyer. Doorways open on each level, leading deeper into the upper stories of the wing. Directly below the open hallway, cleverly designed pocket doors stand partly open to reveal the drawing room and the rest of the Logans within. Curious black eyes turn our way. I feel as out of place as a pig at the prom.
The scrutiny doesn’t stop with curious glances. Questions hang in the air thick as gnats along the river and twice as biting. I still feel like a pig, only this time in the deli section near the hot dogs. Michael, the bastard, can barely contain his humor.
“They really don’t bite.” His lips close to my ear send a tingle down my spine. “At least, not all of them and certainly not at first.”

Amazon Pre-order link: 
Help Sorchia get her Thunderclap, celebrating Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones, to 100 supporters-- here: http://thndr.me/1it2Dr



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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Magic of Books Promo- Stacy Hoff- Jockeying for You

JOCKEYING FOR YOU
by Stacy Hoff

Publisher: Soulmate Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance


Ryder Hannon, a thoroughbred horse trainer, has a big problem—fighting her fear of racing again. The emotional scars run deeper than her physical ones. But her romantic feelings towards handsome, uber-rich, stable owner Jake Carter is a bigger problem. Is Jake truly in love with her or is he using her to get back at his smug family?


Jake Carter is on a mission—to prove his family wrong. He may have bought a troubled horse, but he’s hired Ryder Hannon, a “horse whisperer,” to get his horse back on track. She’s more than just a trainer to him, she’s the woman he’s been looking for.


When Jake’s jockey gets injured, he wants Ryder to race. He knows deep down she wants to live up to her family’s legacy. So why does she keep fighting him—and her destiny—so hard?



Jake felt his eyebrow arch up. “Dr. Doolittle, I presume?


A slow smile spread across her lips.


“How far have you gotten with Handsome?”


“He’ll let me ride him now.”


Jake’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. “My God, Ryder, you’re amazing,” he let out. With a shake of his head and a hard cough he corrected himself. “I mean, your results with him are amazing.”


Ryder’s grin was now Cheshire cat sized. “Thanks for both compliments.”


Damn. She couldn’t let my mistake go.


Then it hit him—his comment was a slip, but was it really a mistake? Her beautiful face, which had been beaming with pride now had a shy aspect that was even more endearing. She bore a schoolgirl’s blush and averted her eyes from him as she busied herself petting Handsome’s nose.


If only she could stroke me the same way. Though somewhere lower down than my nose. He tensed up at the thought. Focus, Jake, damn it! This is business. I need to get back to it.


“Show me,” he said.


She looked back at him and blinked. “Show you what?”


“Show me Handsome Dancer can be ridden. I want you to ride him for me.”


“Now? He’s already had his exercise for today. I don’t want to tire him out.”


Handsome’s head batted her shoulder with a determination that was comical.


“You know,” he quipped, “if he actually understands you then you really are Dr. Doolittle.”


“I’m sure he just wanted me to give him an apple,” she answered, flustered. She wiped a stray blonde bang from her hot forehead and looked the horse in one of his eyes. “What are you saying, babycakes? That you want to go on a short ride with me?”


Yes, yes, I do. Jake cleared his throat and gave her a tight smile. “Go ahead you two. Impress me.”


A few minutes later he was outside the training track, his hands casually resting on the guardrail while he waited for the “show” to begin.


Soon, Ryder and Handsome entered the track. He heard her cluck her tongue at the horse, and then watched her lightly kick Handsome’s rear. The horse took off around the track in a fast gallop. The horse’s “flight” was fluid and astoundingly fast for what was supposed to be an easy go-around. She was doing more than merely riding Handsome Dancer. It looked like she was a part of him. One cohesive whole.


Thinking the demo was about to end, he had almost turned around to head back when something caught the corner of his eye. It was a flash of color, a fast burst of brown. What the…? Whipping his head around to the source, he stared open-mouthed at the sight. Handsome Dancer was bolting down a stretch of training track at a speed unheard of for a newbie horse. Or maybe any horse. In all of Jake’s experiences, he doubted he had seen a horse move that fast when not performing in an actual race.










Stacy Hoff is a writer, as well as an attorney. She has practiced law for almost two decades, specializing in contracts. Romance novels have always been her secret passion. She writes her romantic stories until the wee hours of the night. Stacy lives in New England with her husband and two boys.




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Magic of Books Promo- Heather Hiestand- If I Had You

IF I HAD YOU
The Grand Russe Hotel book #1


by Heather Hiestand

Genre: Historical Romance


Inside the glittering walls of a famous hotel, an ingénue experiences first passion . . .


As she stands before the gilded doors of The Grand Russe Hotel, Alecia Loudon is poised on the threshold of a profound awakening. It is the Roaring Twenties, and London is buzzing with opportunities for adventure . . . and indiscretion. The young personal secretary knows nothing of the ways of men, but a chance meeting with the hotel’s handsome night watchman sets her imagination afire.


Ivan Salter has noticed the quiet Englishwoman and wonders what delicate beauty might be lurking behind Alecia’s plain clothes. As the handsome Russian draws Alecia further into the hotel’s luxurious world, he introduces her to fine food, cool jazz, and forbidden assignations. Their dalliance is tested, however, by a surprising link between Ivan’s family history and Alecia’s bosses. Tangled up in international intrigue, the lovers must decide if their sparkling new romance is worth the cost . . .




“It isn’t midnight yet,” Alecia said when she spotted Ivan Salter coming toward her. She told her traitorous heart rate to slow. While he might be handsome, he wasn’t kind. She’d asked the Russian chambermaid who cleaned her room what myshka meant. Little mouse, indeed. An insult. She had thought him a creature out of a fairy tale.


As he approached, not speaking, she lifted herself from her slouched pose along the wall and straightened her shoulders. Pins holding her too heavy hair in its prim bun dug into her scalp. She needed to take it down and go to bed, but the music had drawn her. Better than a lumpy mattress, the Lusitania sinking.


When he was two feet from her, he stopped. His gaze wandered the space, taking in the empty sofa, and, oddly enough, the carpet.


“What?” she demanded, very un-mouselike. She had resolved to be as belligerent as a maiden aunt. “There isn’t a sign saying hotel guests are not allowed back here.”


He cocked his head. She wilted when he sucked in his cheeks, highlighting the magnificent structure of his cheekbones. No. He may have every blessing God might offer a man, but he was only a night watchman. She was just a secretary. Unless she was breaking a rule, he had no right to intimidate her. She would not be cowed.


“Say something,” she said very crisply, as if she was dressing down a young nephew.


His lips curved. She felt a sinking sensation in her midsection. How dare he look so knowing?


“Young ladies wandering about unchaperoned are looking to be kissed.”


“By you?” How stupid she was, to say this.


His teeth were exposed by his widening smile. The top row was perfect, but his two lower front teeth were just a little crooked. She fell in love even more. In lust?


“You knew you would see me tonight. I am the watchman.”


“Very well then.” She lifted her chin. “It is unlikely that I am looking to be kissed. I like to wander and have never been kissed.”


“Never, myshka? Such a pity. You are somewhat pretty.”


“How dare you!” Outrage bubbled in her lungs. She could not find any other words.


But the truth was, she could find another thought, even if she couldn’t say it aloud. She wanted to be kissed. By him.





PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON


FEBRUARY 14, 2017


I WANNA BE LOVED BY YOU


For a young woman swept into international adventure, romance can’t be far behind…


The 1920s are in full swing when Sadie Loudon leaves her grandfather’s stodgy vicarage, and she dreams of the glamour and excitement she’s seen on the silver screen. But before she even begins work at the storied Grand Russe Hotel, she is ushered into London’s glittering nightlife by a handsome young businessman intent on introducing her to the pleasures available to a Bright Young Thing. Is it a fleeting romance…or something even more intriguing?


Les Drake is on the lookout for Bolsheviks when he encounters sweet, sexy Sadie. A British Secret Intelligence agent, Les has more experience with the seedy underside of the city than with innocent chambermaids, but he can’t deny that Sadie tempts him. Using her as part of his cover seems like a brilliant plan until the danger of his assignment threatens what has suddenly become a love he can’t bear to lose…





Heather Hiestand was born in Illinois, but her family migrated west before she started school. Since then she has claimed Washington State as home, except for a few years in California. She wrote her first story at age seven and went on to major in creative writing at the University of Washington. Her first published fiction was a mystery short story, but since then it has been all about the many flavors of romance. Heather’s first published romance short story was set in the Victorian period, and she continues to return to historical fiction as well as other subgenres. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. With her husband and son, she makes her home in a small town and supposedly works out of her tiny office, though she mostly writes in her easy chair in the living room.


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