Monday, April 13, 2015

Reading his Mind -- Release April 14!!!!!

Step #1 -- Take a trip to Vegas to watch your 
brother marry the girl of your dreams.

Step #2 Drink in a quiet bar off the
beaten path.

Step #3 Run into... Girl of your dreams?


Lyric Brenner is not your average girl. Her start in life was rough. She hardly speaks to her twin sister. And, oh yeah. She can read minds, dabble in the thoughts of others. On her own since she was sixteen, Lyric learned to use her gift to land a lucrative high dollar job in the court system, protect herself from liars, cheats, and baristas with bad attitudes and, more often than not, amuse herself. 

Lyric has never forgotten Jace Laugherty or his kiss. Running into him again seems unlikely. But a little shoe-icide, a crazy ex, and a dinner gathering her whole dysfunctional family together, paves the road to happiness with lopsided cobblestones. Can they find love before they lose each other again?

As suddenly as he’d become playful, he turned the tables, gazing at me while holding my hand between both of his. “What about you, my little Lyric? Can you see yourself kissing it better?”
Hell, yes, I could. I cleared my throat, blinking away the stars in my eyes. “You’d better stick to the barflies and the bachelorettes, mean boy. Flirting with me is pretty useless.”
I nodded, pulling away.
“Why is that?” Jace had never met a challenge he didn’t like, and I’d just issued one by accident. Maybe.
If my hammering heart hadn’t been enough to set me on the run, the mischief written on his face would have had me searching out the nearest exit at warp speed. I hopped off the barstool and swayed, certain my next move would be to hit the floor.
Jace’s arms came around me, and a new kind of dizzy clouded my vision. “Where’re you going?”
“You’re too sexy and too pretty, and I’m weak. I should go before I do something stupid.”
His eyes, the exact color of the most comfy jeans I owned, half closed as he looked into mine. “You can’t say something like that then leave me here alone,” he whispered.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Allison Merritt Guest Blog

The Name Game

I often pick names with meanings when I bring characters to life. Or when they choose me to make them real, however you want to look at that. Mostly I write historical romance set in the 19th century or later, so a lot of careful thought went into naming the characters in Her Heart's Surrender. Here's a bit about them and the characters. I've said it before and I'll say it again: is an author's best friend.

Ealasaid – It's a Scottish-Gaelic form of Elizabeth (betcha didn't see that coming). A strong name for a strong heroine. When I start researching names, I almost called her Keavy, but I stumbled over this one and it fit her to a T. Keavy ended up being the name of Ealasaid's eldest sister.

Hella – Generally a girl's name (and I had a beta reader point that out). I wanted to call him Halle, but I thought that sounded way girlier. It means “flat stone”. Hard body, you betcha, but there's nothing flat about this hero.

Eoghann – I laughed so hard in Leap Year when Amy Adams' character called the guy at the bar E-o-gan. Um, it's “Owen” in case you're Hookt on Fonix like me. Eoghan is the son of Niall of the Nine Hostages in Irish lore. Yeah, he's a Saxon in the book and his heroic deeds might be a little questionable, but our Eoghann is willing to stand up for his sister when she needs back-up. They were the closest of the Kentigern siblings.

Ingvar – Old Norse meaning “warrior”. He's called many things in the book and he's also known as the White Raven, because as we all know, ravens as scavengers. He had to be fancy and rare, so his banner sigil is white—and very much to be feared.

Erik – Is there a Viking family that hasn't had a Viking named Erik? Well, maybe. Erik is Hella's adopted brother and potential heir to Ingvar's throne.

Birgir – Ealasaid's son is called after his Norse relatives, although she considered giving him a Saxon name. Birgir is from Birger, meaning “help, save, rescue”. Perfect, because he was literally the only thing that saved her during her time as a thrall.

Ulrika – The given name of two Sedish queens. She may be another Viking thrall, but she's also Ealasaid best friend and confidant. She was there when Birgir was born and is like a grandmother figure to him.

Diarmaid – It's consider to mean “without jealousy”, but the more you come to know Ealasaid's eldest brother, the more you realize Diarmaid's got a lot of jealousy and some poorly suppressed rage going on. You can never have too many bad guys in a story and he fits the bill pretty well. Okay, maybe you can have too many bad guys, but there were just the right amount in Her Heart's Surrender.

These are some of the major players in the book. I hope you enjoyed this little look at their names and personalities.

Taken from her village as a child, Ealasaid has lived under the iron rule of a Viking king for far too long. The only good to come out of her life is her son. As long as the king lives, their freedom and hope for the future seems dismal. Despite her contempt for the king and his bloodline, she's drawn to Hella Ingvasson, the man who kidnapped her, and the plight he faces when the king dies.
His father's final demand is that Hella must wed if he's to claim the throne. What better revenge than to marry the thrall his father hated most? Despite her fears Hella will become like his father, Ealasaid agrees to marry for her son’s sake, but she quickly learns her husband’s battle scarred body provides more pleasure than nightmares.
Word comes that her brothers also survived the raid and have assembled an army. They march toward a Norse settlement with the intention of revenge. Unless she can reach her brothers and convince them not to slaughter the man and people she's come to love, Hella may become another bloody stain on history's tapestry.

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About the author:
A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she's not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that's gathering dust after it was determined that she's better at writing fluff than hard news.
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