Dec 102016
 

Thanks so much for allowing me a guest spot on this blog. I’m so happy to be featured here.

Have you ever jokingly tossed out an idea … and it turned out to be just what you needed? That’s how Shore is Magical, my latest Gulf Shore novel and my first paranormal, was conceived.

shore-is-magical-highres_origI was doing an online chat with other authors when the subject turned to paranormal novels, particularly shape-shifters. Confession: I haven’t read too many of those books, usually preferring reality (or a reasonable facsimile of it) over fantasy.

The other authors were discussing the merits of the animals usually favored in shifter novels: tigers and other big cats, bears and wolves, primarily.

“How about a dolphin shifter?” I kiddingly suggested in full smart-aleck mode. Dolphins are one of my favorite animals and have been since I was a little girl who listed Flipper at the top of her must-see TV list.

Surprisingly—to me anyway—the other chat participants quickly and enthusiastically chorused their approval of dolphin shifters. So I thought, why not?

The challenge was fitting a paranormal story into a contemporary romance series that’s firmly rooted in real life. I spent more than thirty years working as a newspaper reporter and editor, pursuing a fair presentation of the facts as both sides saw them. Making things up doesn’t come as easily to me as to other authors.

I do a lot of research to ensure that my Gulf Shore novels stay within the realm of possibility. And I volunteer at a marine animal hospital, so I’ve seen firsthand how such operations conduct themselves.

So how do I justify a heroine whose very existence defies belief?

By making the details of her story as conceivable as possible. And by letting the other characters express their skepticism and at times outright rejection of the idea that a person can assume an animal shape, and then change back.

Despite her otherworldly ability and a lifestyle shrouded in secrecy, Marina Seaward, the leading lady of Shore is Magical, is not that different from other women. She squabbles with her sisters and takes family obligations seriously, but chafes at the strings that bind her to their restrictive traditions. Seeking true love, she’s beaten down by a jealous and controlling man but fights to preserve her identity and independence.

Marina isn’t looking for a savior or a prince charming. And that’s a good thing, because Kenshin Hamasaki is neither. He’s a good man but a flawed one, and he hasn’t fully recovered from the tragedies that nearly sucked him down a dark hole of despair.

Kenshin’s wounded heart and soul urges him to play it safe, but he’s inexplicably drawn to the mysterious stranger who risks everything in an effort to fit into his world in pursuit of her happily ever after.

Lurking in the background, however, is a dark presence from Marina’s past, who threatens to end this unlikely pairing before she and Kenshin can fully explore whether they’re destined to be together.

Find out whether Marina and Kenshin’s relationship ends in romance or ruin by snaring your digital copy of Shore is Magical, Gulf Shore book 4, available now from all major e-book retailers and from liquidsilverpublishing.com.

Excerpt

romance-or-ruinHere’s a snippet from one of my favorite scenes in the book, when Kenshin first encounters Marina in very enticing human form. This scene takes place in the marine animal hospital at Gulf Shore Aquarium, where Kenshin works. He thinks he’s helping to rehabilitate a rescued dolphin, but he gets the surprise of his life one night.

Looking up, Kenshin almost dropped his phone. He stared, eyes wide, mouth open, as a lithe form emerged from the pool, water cascading down her body. Where had she come from and, more importantly, why was she naked? Then he glanced behind her and received his second shock.

The rescued dolphin was—gone. Impossible. He gave his cheek a light smack to make sure he hadn’t succumbed to exhaustion and passed out. That was entirely possible, given he hadn’t slept more than two hours at a stretch since leaving Erica’s bed.

If this was a dream, it was incredibly realistic. Off the charts sexy, too.

The woman sauntering toward him was hotter than an egg yolk on Florida asphalt in August. Her brown hair framed a pair of turquoise eyes that shimmered like the sea. Her rosebud nipples all but begged for his touch, and he imagined himself at home between her long, supple legs, which were as toned as the rest of her.

The corners of her lips tipped up as if she’d read his mind. Kenshin’s gaze darted around the rehab unit, looking for backup if he needed it. But Kelsey had gone home early for a change, Flipper probably was loading up on caffeine and carbs, and Sitara was in her office catching up on paperwork.

Kenshin’s carnal fantasies dissolved amid concerns about a massive security breach.

“Who are you, and why are you here?” he demanded.

“You know who I am.” The woman’s voice was as smooth as spiced rum sliding over ice cubes. “You just don’t want to admit it.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Your friends brought me here from the beach, jostling me around in that canvas thing. What do you call it?”

“Are you talking about the sling?”

“It felt like they dragged me across a rocky sea bottom. Very bad for the delicate skin.” She pouted and pointed to a chafe mark on her elbow. “Get something softer, for Poseidon’s sake.”

“This is…insane. Why aren’t you wearing clothes?”

She shrugged. “I didn’t bring any.” Cocking her head, she studied him for a moment before her expression turned playful. “Don’t you like me as I am? I thought the males of your species enjoyed seeing females without garments.”

What an odd way to say that guys lust after naked women. “You’re beautiful, and I think you know that, but it’s beside the point.”

“Is it?”

She’d come close enough for Kenshin to stroke a hand down all that lush, bare flesh, and he almost did so to make sure she was real. Common sense kicked in before he acted on the impulse. Besides being a stranger, she was, well, strange.

“Listen, lady, I don’t know what your game is but—”

“Game? There is no game. Your people rescued me, and now I’m your responsibility. Isn’t that how this works?”

Kenshin glanced around again, convinced that any minute Flipper or someone would leap out and scream, “Gotcha!” This had to be a prank. Stuff like this didn’t happen otherwise, at least not to him. But after that dolphin encounter at the reef, anything seemed possible.

Kenshin felt her warm breath on his face. It smelled…fishy? When he wrinkled his nose, she clapped her hand over her mouth. Now she was self-conscious? He looked into her eyes, an inviting shade matched only by a secluded tropical lagoon.

“What’s your name?”

“Marina.”

“Marina what?”

“Just Marina.”

Buy links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2gP4jiw

Liquid Silver: http://bit.ly/2gmfrA2

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2gvDNKr

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2gMr5rb

All Romance: http://bit.ly/2fqzBfp

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2gQwDku
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fGx24f

And now a word about the Gulf Shore seriesa-woman-who-can-become-a-dolphin-impossible

My contemporary romance series is set in the fictional west-central Florida beach town of Gulf Shore, where you’ll taste salt on your skin and feel sugary white sand between your toes, the warm sun on your shoulders, and a sea breeze ruffling your hair.
You’ll meet swoon-worthy alpha males who aren’t embarrassed to cuddle a rescued baby dolphin in their muscular arms, and accomplished women looking for an equal partner who thinks that smart is sexy.
You’ll get up close and personal with sea life, join the “snipe and gripe” club for girls’ nights out, and fall in love with a talking parrot who acts like a little boy in a bird suit.
You’ll go behind-the-scenes at the local aquarium and out to the beach to rescue marine animals in distress and to cheer others as they return to the wild.

And once you visit Gulf Shore, you just may find yourself wishing you could stay.

Connect with Annette

Website and blog: www.annettemardis.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annette.mardis and https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMardis

Twitter: @AnnetteMardis48   https://twitter.com/annettemardis48

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Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

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Author bio

As a girl, Annette dreamed of being an astronaut, but she stank at science and math and became motion sick riding the bus home from school. So she went with her second choice—newspaper journalist—and stuck with it for more than three decades. After years of ignoring well-meaning people who said, “You should write a book,” she finally did. And then she wrote a few more. When she’s not working, Annette usually has her nose in someone else’s novel or her gaze glued to sports on TV. She has three totally spoiled pets, enjoys being the designated sightseer on her husband’s Harley, and volunteers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of diva dolphins Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tale films.

Nov 052015
 

Whisper of Yesterday

A cry for help, echoing through the ages, inspires a young nobleman to rewrite history– and rediscover a passion he had only dreamt of…

coverCole d’Morgan is contacted by a lawyer telling him he has been left a castle in Cornwall, but to inherit he must arrive at Castle Thornwood on All-Hallows-Eve.

As he pulls his car to a halt at the castle gates he sees a beautiful red-haired woman clutching the bars in the rain. However, before he can climb from his car she vanishes into the night.

On arriving at the Castle he is told the tragic tale of Aidan and Alyssa d’Morgan …

A love story that spans three hundred years.

Alyssa d’Morgan burned as a witch for refusing to wed her dead husband’s father in 1644 haunts the castle where she was put to death. She has sworn she will not rest until she is reunited with her husband and soul mate, Cai.

Aidan d’Morgan, re-incarnated soul of Cai d’Morgan is reborn in the 1800’s and wins back Castle Thornwood on the turn of a card.

On entering the castle he cannot shake the feeling he is being watched, and soon learns that the castle is haunted by a beautiful red-haired woman who speaks to him in his dreams. However, these are not simply dreams, but a past life, which he is forced to revisit in order to find an answer to an age old curse…

What transpires is an interwoven tale of chilling betrayal and a haunting love story that traverses three centuries… 

Amazon  |  Amazon Australia Barnes & Noble iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Createspace

Excerpt

Aidan stared down into the courtyard. All was darkness. Nothing moved. Not a night creature called. He swung to face into the room. It was lit by only the faintest of moonlight and a low-burning fire.

It had to have been a dream.

Naked; the breeze was cold, but sweat still trickled down his back. He stared down at his hands. They trembled. “It was a dream.” If he repeated the words emphatically enough, perhaps he would believe them.

He ran a hand through his hair. He had been in Cai de Morgan’s body. He had seen what he had seen, done what he had done, and thought what he had thought. It was as if he was a spectator in another time and all had been beyond his control. Yet as incredible as it was, he had been there. And who was Cai de Morgan? What was the man to him? And more so, who was the woman? Why did she remind him so much of the woman in the fire? Countess Llewellyn, the woman who supposed to haunt this castle?

He strode to the dresser, lit a candle, and crossed to the large freestanding mirror in the corner. Critically, he viewed his features. Was it his imagination, or was there the slightest hint of another image superimposed over his own? Did the face look more angular, the jaw harder? He held the candle closer to the glass, and a chill prickled the back of his neck. The hair on the man in the mirror waved and curled past his shoulders, and there standing behind him was a woman. A woman with a riot of deep red hair, brilliant emerald eyes, full lips, and fine brows—a woman with the face of an angel—the woman in his dream. His hand tightened on the candlestick. It felt as if it were frozen; his fingers glued and could not be uncurled.

She no longer wore the yellow gown and headdress, but instead the white shift she had worn the first night he had seen her amidst the fire in the courtyard.

Their eyes met and held in the reflection.

He swallowed, trying to free up his throat, trying to force words that would not come. As he watched, she drifted closer, yet no step could he hear on the polished wooden floor.

“Who are you?” he managed at last, his words a strained whisper. He twisted around.

She vanished.

He swung back and stared into the mirror. She stood behind him with a look of accusation in her green eyes. It was as if he was a moth and she pinned him with her diamond bright gaze.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “But I had to be certain.” He spoke quietly, afraid to raise his voice least she disappear. “Will not you speak to me? Will not you tell me your name?”

She opened her mouth, and just a soft sound issued forth, almost a sigh, as if it was coming from a long distance. “Cai.”

You can find more about the author and her works here:

Website—  www.julieadarcy.com

Blog— http://juliedarcystoryweaver.blogspot.com.au/