Author Archives: marymarvella

CAROL SHAUGHNESSY IS IN THE ROOM!

Meet Carol Shaughnessey,  author the Drakken Series and

Carol married her high school sweetheart and followed him from duty station to duty, station soaking up experience and life.  She’s hosted SEALs and other shady and interesting creatures in home. She weaves their exploits of action and adventure into her stories with a healthy dose of erotica involving shape shifters and vampires.

Retired, she lives in the south where it doesn’t snow. If it does snow, it’s gone by tomorrow and she doesn’t have to shovel any of it away. How funny coming from a Yankee transplant, who learned to hunt and field dress dinner. She loves all things maple. (Those northern roots!)

Curious about the preferences of her dragon shifters preferences, I asked and she shared this information.

Attracted to power, Drakken love vehicles that bring them the freedom they seek.

Here are the top five, but by no means the end of the list.

  • HumVee or Hummer as it’s affectionately known in the civilian world.
  • Kia Sorento a small and easy to handle SUV
  • The Toyota Tundra a quirky midsize truck
  • Harley Davidson any make and model
  • Suzuki Hayabusa because it’s sexy

Favorite foods on the Drakken table

  • Steak – Porterhouse or T-bone, medium rare, please
  • Lasagna – who doesn’t like Italian?
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Eggs any way with flaky biscuits and chocolate gravy
  • Lemon meringue pie

So, do you have anything in common with them?

Check out the Drakken books!!

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Bears & Elves and Rabbits & Fox Shifters and more! Of Mountains and Mysteries.

Two blurbs from the anthology Of Mountains and Mysteries.

OMAMcover

https://www.amazon.com/Mountains-Mysteries-Georgia-Paranormal-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01GMGF9B0/

Tears for the Past

Georgiana Fields

For being early spring, the stifling heat had Douglas Benge dripping in sweat. Of course wearing a fur coat on the inside didn’t help matters. He inhaled, taking in the smells of the forest and the stench of the gut pile at his feet. Flies swarmed around the mess. He noted a few maggots squirming on what he made out to be the large intestines, so the body wasn’t that old. At least scavengers hadn’t carried it off.
“What’s your take, Doug?” Mathew Autry asked. “You know Mayor Dumbass is going to have a field day with this.”
Doug chuckled. There was no love lost between the Sheriff and Nantahala’s mayor, David Wolverton. Those two have been at each other since high school. And they thought bears held grudges. “From the scent, I’d say we have another bear mauling. My question is, where the hell is the rest of the body?”
“I can answer that question, gentlemen,” a woman said as she stepped from behind a bush.
“This is a crime scene!” Mat yelled.

“Detective Isabell Halifax, GBI.” She flipped out her badge. “My partner is at the other scene.”

“GBI?” Mat crossed his arms over his chest. “This is my town, my crime scene.”

“And you are?”

“Sheriff Mathew Autry and my Deputy Doug Benge. I did not notify the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. So what the hell are you doing here?”

“That is correct, sir.” The woman glanced between Mat and Doug.

Doug took in the woman’s healthy figure and muscular arms. Her light brown hair she’d pulled back into a ponytail. He noticed she wasn’t painted up, either. He couldn’t understand why women thought they had to cover-up their beauty with paint. He breathed her scent deep into his lungs. Human, with an overlaying scent of something lethal. He inhaled again, trying to distinguish the scent. His canines lengthened and his nails itched. One thing for sure, she wasn’t a frigging bloodsucker, but it didn’t mean she wasn’t in league with them.

“I don’t plan to seize your crime scene, Sheriff Autry. This happened to be my weekend off. I wasn’t expecting to stumble onto a murder.” She glanced between Mat and Doug. “As you said, Deputy, bear attacks are on the increase. Looks as if you have a rouge with a wicked sense of humor.” She turned and pushed through the thick underbrush.

“It’s either Sheriff or Mat, you can call me sheriff.” Mat grumbled something about intruders and uppity GBI agents as he followed the detective. “You coming, Doug? Or are you just going to stand there?”

Yep, it was going to be one of those days. Doug trudged through the underbrush. His keen hearing picked up a murmured conversation up ahead. Sounded like Mat was pissed again. Nothing new there. Hell, Mat had been more of a bear than Doug since Mat’s 13-year-old son Gabriel took an interest in Wolverton’s 15-year-old daughter, Arabella. That was saying a lot, seeing Mat was human.

Doug stepped into a clearing at the edge of Crying Woman Falls, where his sight promptly fell on the Elf, leaning against a tree. Doug knew he’d scented danger on the woman.
***
Isabell whirled around in time to see the deputy shift into the largest frigging bear she’d seen in her life. The massive black bear reared back, standing on his hind legs. He had to be over ten feet tall, and she guesstimated he weighed about eight hundred pounds.

She was so dead.

But instead of killing her, he batted the sheriff, knocking him several feet backward. To make matters worse, her partner, Rowan, decided to fling a fireball at the bear. She snatched her firearms, pointing one at Rowan and the other at the deputy.
“I will so pepper your asses if you don’t put your dicks away, or would you both prefer I hand you a magnifying glass so you can see who has the biggest?”

“Damn, lady, I like your gumption,” the Sheriff cachinnated. Once he’d gained control of his laughter he pushed to his feet then stomped out the small brush fire Rowan started. “Doug, shift back.” The Sheriff cocked a black eyebrow at her. “Hope you don’t mind a little nudity.”

“Not at all. Seen one prick, seen them all.”

“You haven’t see—”

“No, not a word.” She cut off Rowan’s comment. She wasn’t in the mood to hear what he had to say, not after spilling her coffee, then refusing to get her another cup. The man knew she couldn’t function without her morning dose of caffeine. “You are on the top, bottom, and every other place on my black list this morning.” She faced the Sheriff. “As you can tell from the body, the victim was skinned and gutted. According to my partner, the victim was alive during most of it.”

“Wait a minute,” Deputy Benge said, crossing his arms over his chest, not embarrassed that his family jewels were on full display. But then, the man didn’t have anything to be embarrassed about, either. “What’s the deal with him?” He pointed toward Rowan. “Not only is he Elfin, he’s a Firebrand, and from his ink, he’s a convict. Of course if it wasn’t for him you’d be dealt with.”

Rowan stepped forward and the air around her crackled with energy. “Dealt with? Had you not decided to go furry, Baloo, she would not have known you were a bear.”
Oh, gawd, she was about to drown in a sea of testosterone. She placed a hand on Rowan’s chest. “Chill.”

He snorted and leaned against a pine. Sparks crackled around his clenched fist.
Yeah, she knew what the shifter meant by dealt with, as in silenced, killed, murdered, whatever.

 

 

The Rabbit and the Fox
Melba Moon

It had been years since he’d been this close to home. RT McCombs drove south along the Blue Ridge Parkway. He’d left Bakersfield four months ago, following the trail left by the hacker who’d stolen information from his clients, information they wanted back. He’d been closing in on her in Nashville when she’d vanished. It had taken months and a new linguistics data analysis tracker to pick up her trail.

The drive through the Chattahoochee National Forest signaled he’d soon be on familiar home ground. The word tasted strange on his tongue. Was it home, really? Would it ever be home again? Bitterness filled his mouth. No, Nantahala wasn’t home. It hadn’t been for many years. He’d stayed away, would still be away if this job hadn’t dragged him back. He pressed the button on the wheel to activate his Bluetooth device. He’d make the obligatory call to Jason, the head of the Southern Dominion, and let him know he was back, if only briefly. His older brother liked to keep his thumb on the pulse of the collective, so he wouldn’t appreciate a stray wandering into his territory, even if the stray was his baby brother. The call went to voicemail and RT hung up without leaving a message. Time enough to contact his brother after he arrived in Nantahala.

Tracking the little rabbit from Reno to Nashville had been easy, but just when he’d been ready to spring, something had spooked her and she’d gone underground. She’d cleaned out her bank account, what little there had been in it, and gone off the grid. Using the new tech tracking software he’d developed, he’d finally picked up her trail. Damnedest thing, the little bunny had surfaced in Nantahala, Georgia. This time she wouldn’t get away. She’d landed right in his home territory. He knew the area like the back of his hand. He’d grown up here. His family lived here. Never mind that he hadn’t been home in years. Nothing ever changed in Nantahala. The Dominion, old as the forest itself, still sheltered there.

Old secrets, traditions and values flourished here. Home, he’d come home. As a courtesy he’d stop by the Homestead and let his mother know he was in town. Then he would find out just what she was up to in an out-of-the-way little town like Nantahala.

The homestead, tucked into the side of Panther’s Peek, looked just like any other expensive vacation cabin nestled against a mountainside, but RT knew better. The large rustic cabin with two storied glass walls looking over the valley below hid a secret, one that no outsider ever learned about, the Southern Dominion.

Comment for a chance to be in a story by Mary Marvella!

 

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Of Mountains and Mysteries. Today’s taste!

Coming Home

Gina Dyer

Prologue

He ran, struggling for each breath. If he stopped he would die. His pursuers would not stop until they killed him. His heart pounded in his chest as he struggled over rocks and fallen trees. They were closer now. He heard the baying of the hounds. If he could find the stream or waterfall, perhaps the water would help mask his scent, his trail.

Finally, the stream. He heard the falls to his left and moved downstream. The hound’s cries sounded closer and more excited. He moved into deeper water, hoping to evade the violent death closing in on him. He submerged himself, moving with the current. The roar of the falls increased. Exhaustion and cold drained him. He was tired, so tired that he fell over the edge of Crying Woman falls. He hit the pool, pushed under by the force of the water.

Struggling, he forced his way to the surface and drew in several deep breaths. He pulled himself onto the rocks behind the falls. Shivering, he tried to remain still and quiet. He couldn’t run anymore and could only pray he had escaped death. He rested his head on his arms, listening for sounds of pursuit. His breath caught in his throat. He swore he could hear a woman crying, sobbing as if her heart had broken. He turned his head slowly toward the sound.

A splash outside the falls, then another made him freeze. He bowed his head, there was nowhere to run. The dog’s growls were so close he could almost feel its hot breath. If only… He thought of his wife and son, then pushed to his feet. If his enemies wanted a fight, he’d give them one.

***

Spring in North Georgia could be a bitch, a beautiful moody bitch. One week there could be a tornado, the next an ice storm that knocked out all the power for miles. Today, however, was perfect. Declan James smiled and tilted his head back, allowing a shaft of afternoon sunlight to warm his face. Of all the exotic places he’d visited, this land had its own magic. It was a beautiful day to hike back to the cabin built by his great-grandfather. Wonder what remains of the homestead? He smiled as he remembered hiking and camping trips with his father and grandfather, his grandmother’s garden and her blackberry cobbler, and evenings spent telling stories by the fire. His childhood had been a boy’s dream. His smile faded, a dream until his father had disappeared. What happened? He would never leave us…

Declan shook his head, clearing out the negative thoughts. This was not the time to wallow in past sorrows. The answer waited out there. For today it was enough he walked on family land, land that had belonged to his family since the early 1800s. He needed to make some changes in his life. It only made sense to return to his ancestral home. Despite all the sorrows of the past, life had been good to him, allowing the trials he’d faced to make him a better, stronger man.

“It is a perfect day.” Speaking the words aloud, breaking the silence, made his words almost a prayer.

He was getting close to the homestead, just another half mile up the trail. Adjusting his pack, he continued along the trail. At the top he stood still, taking in the view of the mountains with their trees just turning a pale green. At the edge of his vision something moved. Smoke. Damn, the old cabin was on fire

Bounding down the trail, sliding on small rocks, he hurried….

 

I’LL BE SEEING YOU

C. C. ANSARDI

After a lifetime of running from trouble, she thought she’d escaped it. It had actually kept pace with her.

Nancy’s trouble began the day the old man arrived with his contraption, an ugly, spikey thing that churned and chewed into the earth, upending the red Georgia clay along the back fence that she’d chosen for her organic garden. He’d left after cramming her dollar bills into his overalls with a dirty fist and a word of advice about hilling the squash and leaving plenty of space in between.

She pulled out the card he’d given her earlier, as grimy as the hand that extended it. On the back he had scribbled the name of the man he thought knew the most about planting gardens in Falls County, a Stephen Woodland, owner of the Woodland Hills Resort and a man who liked to oversee the gardens there.

Nancy made a mental note to check with Woodland, but for now she couldn’t wait to get started. She attacked the hard clods with the rotary hoe, or whatever the old gent called it. Even as it burrowed deep into the ground, she found it rough work. She would need a man’s help, and it certainly wouldn’t be her new husband since he traveled all of the time. Nancy would have to reach out to people in Nantahala…

 

But it might be different this time. She’d left Nantahala as a child, and now she was thirty-seven. Most of those years she’d spent in therapy to put her curse behind her. She finally had a new beginning. She had hope for her future and a home of her own. So when she uncovered the thin, small piece of bone a tingling began along her hairline. Not now!

Kneeling there, she carefully scraped away the earth from what could be the remains of an animal. This was her husband Paul’s old home place, and he probably had pets buried here. She would ask him tonight over dinner.

The bone began to glow. Her vision blurred and tunneled, and a coil of nausea unraveled in her stomach. Stop!

The shining bone fell away, drawing her down, down, into a dark vortex. No, no, I don’t want to see it! At the bottom of the abyss in a supine position, the rib cage obscenely exposed, rested a human skeleton with a crushed skull. Wisps of blonde hair still clung to the undamaged side.

 

Nancy closed her eyes and willed her mind to shut down

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Still So Much to Learn

It begins! Help me welcome the newest member of our family!

Sydney Montgomery

Dark Obsession Cover(1)

Tentative Cover for Dark Obsession.

Cover Courtesy of Crystal Wilkins

I attended the Georgia Romance Writers meeting in Atlanta recently and sat with Mary, my editor (that still sounds funky) and other authors at Gilded Dragonfly Publishing. For some reason, that particular Saturday meeting generated a packed house.

The president, Tanya, began the meeting with announcements, then asked if anyone had sold a book.

I sat there.

The announcements continued.

Mary looked at me and asked why I didn’t raise my hand.

“Because I haven’t actually sold a book to the public.”

She stared at me. “You sold a book to us!”

So that’s what that meant! I still have so much to learn.

I met up with Tanya and admitted my ignorance. She brought me up to the front of the room and introduced me as having sold my first book. Then she asked me to go to the…

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NEWEST RELEASE FROM GEORGIANA FIELDS!

Georgiana Fields rocks! Crimson Dawn continues the Dhamipir saga in the Crimson series.  If you loved Crimson Dreams, Crimson Hearts, and /or Crimson Moon, you should grab your copy of Crimson Dawn. If you haven’t read any of them, why not?

This Dhampir series will  redefine vampire lore forever.  Come visit with Georgiana, Carol Shaughnessy and other GDB authors Sunday at https://www.facebook.com/ARomanceCaper.  Georgiana will be on at 6 and Carol at 8.

Excerpt:

The full moon cast an enchanting glow across the surf. Jenny tilted her head back and breathed deeply of the salt-brine air. She’d lost her heart to Royce Lucard years ago when her parents visited Wyvern House, the Lucards’ home in England. Jenny remembered the butterflies she’d had in the pit of her stomach whenever she caught a glimpse of Royce. She still got butterflies whenever she saw him. Jenny also remembered her heartache at thirteen when she burst into his study and found him with a woman. He’d yelled at her to get out, to get away. She’d thought she would die then. Strangely, the pain she felt now hurt more.

Jenny sniffed and blinked back her tears. Quaid had been right, but she would never admit it to him. She shouldn’t have healed Royce. But she couldn’t let him suffer. She’d felt his pain, knew the agony he suffered. She just never thought Royce would reject her because she helped him. She figured he would push her away because she was Fagan Dorjan’s daughter. Too bad she bruised Royce’s delicate male ego and healed him. It didn’t matter. If she had the chance to do it all over again, knowing the outcome, she would do the same thing. Jenny wouldn’t let Royce suffer. She loved him. How pathetic was that? Maybe she’d see Royce again.

Someday. Maybe not.

 

 

 

 

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Grab Thanksgiving Road!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, but the memories linger!  Some of us remember good and fun memories, while others have memories that keep us from going home.

Folks aren’t always happy when a parent remarries too soon.

What if you learned you had a brother or a sister you didn’t know existed?

Could you forgive a sister who tried to seduce your fiance?

Will family welcome home man who went to prison?

Staying away from your hometown to hide the baby you had just our of high school doesn’t work when your dad might need heart surgery.

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October is time to get back in gear before Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

We at Gilded Dragonfly Books have been so busy getting books edited and sent out that we have neglected our blog. NO MORE NEGLECTING! I should be editing now, since I have 2 wonderful books to finish editing! (HINT Vampires and dragon shifters and more!) If you haven’t bought Haunting Tales of Spirit Lake,maybe you need some incentive. Georgiana Fields has a story in it. Mary Marvella and Melba Moon have stories in it! Check the cover for the list of fabulous authors! I mentioned Georgiana because book 4 of her Crimson Series is on preorder!  More this week and a cover reveal and blurb! 2AmazonComment and get a free ebook from two of the authors. I am one and we’ll need to coerce the second author!

Craft articles will follow next week!

Have you met Carol Shaughnessey?

 

 

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Join Katie Hart Smith and Me this Saturday!

Our Georgian Fields!

gfieldsblog

Join Katie Hart Smith and me at Braselton Gallery this Saturday, August 20, 2016, from 1 to 3 PM. We will be talking about and sign our latest books. Katie’s new book is Aspirations of the Heart. And I will be signing Crimson Hearts and Crimson Dreams. Come and13559058_1801047960127068_4377037462032170158_o help us celebrate Braselton Georgia’s 100th Birthday!

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Anatomy of a Front Cover

We take our covers seriously.

Nan Monroe

My second novel, Nightmare Lullaby, is very nearly ready to make its debut before the world — I’m reading the “home stretch” of the proof even now — and it has a front cover, courtesy of Gilded Dragonfly Books‘ artist Gina Dyer.

One of the things I love about working with GDB is their approach to covers. I’ve heard many writers complain about complete lack of input when it comes to the images meant to sell their books to the public. GDB, however, does nothing without checking with me first. The images you see on this cover are an integration of pictures I found on depositphotos.com, so in a sense I collaborated with Gina on this cover.

The vision of a white-skinned woman dominates, the closest I could find to a representation of Meliroc, my lead character. She lacks the blazing, angry green eyes I describe in…

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A Christmas Story To Touch Your Heart by C. C. Ansardi

From our new anthology, A Stone Mountain Christmas102decover-0x4_1870x2500-5

CHARLIE’S MIRACLE

 by
C. C. Ansardi

If this keeps up, you’ll be able to build a snow man, Charlie.”

His red curls sparked as he ducked back from the brightness of the window, leaving a smudge from where his face pressed against the glass. Charlie turned and threw me a quick grin. That grin of his could light up a room, and it certainly lit up my heart.

I dreaded the Christmas holidays. Charlie and I were facing them alone. His father was in Afghanistan, his mother on the run from an abusive man, so Charlie and I had only each other. But with the wonderland those tiny flakes promised hope surged from deep within, and I gratefully accepted it.

Snow was rare in the South, but a white Christmas had been predicted by all the weather stations. Folks celebrate snow in Georgia! They even name it—Snow jam! Snow Jam ends all traffic, all work, and all residents are expected to engage exclusively in activities such as sledding, snowball fights, and lumpy snowmen competitions. All of this must be followed by cups of foamy, hot chocolate.

Charlie’s fascination with the falling snow gave me hope. This sad little boy facing the holidays without his parents needed a distraction. Six years old and adorable with his fiery curls and brown eyes that could cut glass or turn a little girl starry-eyed, my grandson had become my Christmas project.

Craig, my son and Charlie’s father, was deployed with the U.S. Army. His letters had arrived from both Afghanistan and Iraq over the past two years. A month before Craig’s letters had stopped coming from anywhere, so in addition to Charlie, I had that to worry about.

But my immediate concern was Charlie’s attitude. Charlie didn’t believe in Santa Claus. Not to mention the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny.

“They’re lies, Grandma!” he had screamed this at me, earlier in the month after I’d asked him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

“Why do you say that?” His little tirade had shocked me. Didn’t every child look forward to Santa Claus and gifts? I had to get to the bottom of this. In spite of Charlie’s problems, and he had a lot of them for his tender age, I thought the Christmas season would bring him into a happier place.

“Because Jack said so, and last year he showed me the toys I was supposed to get from Santa Claus!” Charlie plopped down in the middle of the living room and glared at me. “Jack didn’t want to wrap them, said it was a waste of time and he wasn’t my daddy, so he didn’t have to pretend he was an old fat man in a red suit. Then

Mama cried and Jack called her bad names.”

Charlie’s parents divorced two years ago, and until this past September Charlie lived in Memphis with Delia, his mother, and her boyfriend Jack, a thin, wiry type with his eyes set too close, and who never looked clean. That’s a feature I’ve always considered untrustworthy, and Jack certainly couldn’t be trusted.

Trying to still my anger at Charlie’s revelation, I said, “Let’s have grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, Charlie.” Cheese is a happy food.

While I prepared our lunch I sent all manner of silent curses on a beeline to Memphis and directly targeted to Jack and his weasel eyes. For a long time I’d suspected things were wrong in Charlie’s life, but my visits with him had been few. Because I was a sixty-three year old widow who worked part-time and had a modest income, I’d made very few trips from Stone Mountain, Georgia to Memphis to see him. Then one night in July a scared and tearful Delia knocked on my door. Tiny Charlie stood beside her, a frown on his face and an ugly, dark bruise on his right arm. Delia had a huge suitcase. The pitiful child dragged a bulging duffel bag.

I made a late dinner for them, and while we were having our dessert Charlie fell asleep in his chair. “He’s so tired,” Delia said. “He’s been so scared.” She twisted in her chair and stared directly into my eyes. “You have to take care of Charlie now,” she said. “Jack isn’t safe to be around anymore.” Delia had her own bruises, but she refused to talk about them.

She leaned down and wrapped her arms around her son, gently shaking him awake. “Baby, you have to stay with Grandma until we can live together again,” she told him. A tearful Charlie and I watched her get into a cab.

“I’m going to a shelter,” she told us. “and then wherever I’ll be safe.”

I was thrilled to have Charlie under my care. I’d spent restless nights worrying about that little boy and what he might be going through. Now that I had him I’d make his life so interesting and full of joy he would lose that frown and smile the beautiful smile I knew he owned.

Living with Jack had left its imprint on the little boy. While I looked forward to restoring a normal childhood to him, I had no clue of the obstacles I would face.

C. C. has a short story, ” End of the World Bar”,  in Haunting Tales of Spirit Lake,    http://Amzn.to/1oYOmF8

Shaman Woman, a novel by C. C. Ansardi, is available at Amazon.com  http://amzn.to/1yzk8K4

Shaman Woman

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