Thursday, August 15, 2019

Karilyn Bentley and her #New Relase THE SHADOWHEART CURSE

My guest today is Karilyn Bentley, author of a number of fabulous paranormal novels including The Demon Huntress series (one of my favs) She's visiting today to celebrate the release of her latest paranormal romance THE SHADOWHEART CURSE - and share the unique story behind it! I'm currently reading this book (loving it!) and my review will be up on Monday... in the meantime...

Welcome, Karilyn!
  Hi Katie! Thank you for letting me drop by for a visit today! I'm excited to announce the release of my newest book, The Shadowheart Curse. This book is special for a number of reasons, the main one is:  
it's being made into a movie!

You can live stream the movie as it's being made. Which is a pretty cool idea! How did this come about, you might ask? Well, I got a call from my publisher asking if I'd be interested in writing a book based on the movie director's idea. Long story short, I said yes. (If you want the long story, here's a link to my publisher talking about what happened: )

So what's it's like to write a ghost story based off someone else's idea? (I'm a ghostwriter, get it? Okay, sorry, dumb pun, just couldn't help myself) This was a new experience for me, one that I enjoyed. 

As a little background, for the last year, the writing muse had totally abandoned me. I guess she wanted an extended vacation at the beach or something because she wasn't around no matter what I did. It was so bad, I thought my writing career was over. Then my publisher called and I accepted this offer. 

The fun part was I didn't have to come up with my own story idea. The director told me what he wanted. He didn't have an ending to his story so I wrote one. He had to approve the synopsis I wrote and once that was done, I started writing the story. There were several scenes he had in mind as well as the location which meant I needed to write the scenes according to his direction. He sent a bunch of pictures of the place where he'd be filming and gave directions for scenes where there were no photos available. 

This pantser found having a guideline to be relaxing. No more sitting in front of the laptop wondering where my story was going. The plan already existed. 

On the flip side, it's nerve wracking to write someone else's story since I'm constantly wondering if he's going to like it. As far as I know, he has not yet read it but is convinced he'll like it as long as I stuck with the synopsis. Okay, but my insecurities still make me a little worried. The worry is getting better as time passes. Also, it helps to know that he already has this story as a movie vision so he's going to produce it the way he sees it no matter what I write. And yes, I'm good with that. In an odd way, that knowledge chills out my insecurities.

Which brings me to whether or not I'd do this again. Yes, most definitely! I enjoyed the experience of writing someone else's idea. I've learned things about me I did not know (I can write a story in six weeks and I can write from a synopsis without killing my creativity.) While stressful, it's been a lot of fun!

If you are interested in watching the movie being made, go to and sign up. You'll get email alerts for all the movies and can pick and choose which to live stream. The movies (all ten of them!) will release on 2/14/20. The Shadowheart Curse is currently scheduled to be filmed in September. Read on for the blurb and excerpt.


Escaping New York after a client’s untimely death, medium Adrianna Sinclair flees to her family property in Italy. All she wants is to avoid ghosts, but an attractive one tempts her in ways she never knew possible. 
Luca Fausto has been trapped on the Romani property for over a century for a crime he didn’t commit.  Adrianna may be the answer to breaking the curse that keeps him bound.  Standing in their way is a demonic spirit's plan for revenge.  Will they prevail or will Luca be cursed to the shadows forever? 

Lights drew her attention to the opposite wing of the mill, where a man stood staring at her window. At her. Breath caught in her lungs as she froze.
But only for a brief moment until she realized it wasn’t a man, at least not a living one. Her breath escaped on a whoosh of relief. Intuition whispered the man was the spirit who’d watched her last night.
The one from her dream.
Shadows clung to his body, ghostly fingers releasing as he stepped into the dim slash of moonlight. Lights flickered from behind him, like the dying gasps of sputtering candles. Dressed in a white shirt with an old-fashioned high collar, sleeves rolled halfway up his forearms, and dark trousers, he reminded her of a working man in a World War I photograph. As if he had removed his coat and tie and rolled up his sleeves to get to work.
Except the men in those photos didn’t sport the wide-eyed, happy look of this man. Ghost. Whatever. Yeah, he wasn’t the only one surprised. She’d sworn never to see a ghost again, yet there stood a ghost, captured by her gaze. The man was hot, in an old-fashioned way. At least he didn’t sport a handle-bar moustache.
He gestured to her, his hand beckoning in a “come here” motion.
She squeezed the bridge of her nose. Was she actually thinking of heading his way? Judging by the way her feet pointed toward the door, she’d already decided. Dammit. She might not want to see a ghost or speak to a spirit, but past experience told her if she ignored them, they ramped up the annoying factor.
       How bad could it be to talk to an attractive spirit?

Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories and preference for sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.


Where to find Karilyn:

Monday, July 22, 2019

Monday Book Review: Cruel Summer, by K.R. Conway

Cruel Summer, by K.R. Conway
Published 2015 by Wicked Whale Publishing

About the Book:
At the height of summer, Cape Cod is thick with tourists, though some are more murderous than others. Kian O’Reilly is one such visitor to the Cape. His penchant for robbing the souls of irritating beachgoers is second only to his love affair with fine cars (or rather stealing them and killing their owners). But when he ends up stranded on Cape Cod with a rare car and a dead dude in the trunk, he thinks his luck couldn’t get any worse. That is, until Ana Lane shows up.

Gifted as a mechanic and surfer, feisty Ana is not a fan of the entitled Frat Boys who show up every summer, messing with local girls. Believing Kian is nothing more than a typical rich brat, she fixes his car and ruthlessly dismantles his cocky ego, which intrigues the dangerous Soul Thief.

Before long, Kian finds himself falling for Ana and rediscovering the young human man he once was in the process. But when the painful truth behind the real Ana Lane comes to light, Kian may go back to his killer ways to save the one girl he truly loves from the very human monster she lives with . . .


All I can say is Wow, and in a really good way. This book is fast-paced and uber-absorbing, dragging you down into its depths just like the story's Soul Thieves who drag the tourists down under the rip tides. Once I started reading, I couldn't put this down. And yes. Dinner might have burned a little. But it was worth it.

First off, I should point out that K.R. Conway is the author of the Undertow series, a lengthy upper-YA collection that rivals Cassandra Clair's first Mortal Instruments series in depth of story, breadth of characters, and uniquely inspired paranormal world building. Conway writes superb urban fantasy, with just enough real teen angst mixed into the stories to make them really-real and totally believable, even as the supernatural creatures are roaming the streets of Cape Cod.

This upper-YA novel is a stand-alone, set in the Undertow world and featuring two of the characters from the series, in a sort of behind the scenes look at how the pair first met. Told in alternating POVs between the two main characters, we get both perspectives of what went down that fateful summer.

Ana is the ultimate tom-boy bad ass, who works as a mechanic, is a kickass surfer and has a guy as her best friend. Under that tough exterior, though, she's dealing with an abusive and alcoholic father, who she has trouble walking away from, even though he hurts her physically. Kian is a hot hunk of a bad boy, as well as a paranormal creature - a Soul Thief with a obsession for fast cars, who doesn't mind killing the rich owners to get them. Their cute/meet is not really that cute - but the chemistry and tension between them is palpable and delicious to read. Conway does a wonderful job of giving us distinct voices for each character, and each has such conflict at the attraction they feel for the other.

Conway writes in an easy, lyrical style that flows like an insistent current, tugging you along at breakneck speed. I loved every minute of this rollercoaster of a beach read and totally recommend you grab a copy to devour as soon as possible! Whether or not you've read the rest of series - or ever intend to - this stand alone book is well worth your reading time.

Grab a copy on AMAZON.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday Feature: CAPE COD DATING RULES - the series is now available in PAPERBACK!

Looking for your next beach read?

After several requests, the 3 books of the Cape Cod Dating Rules series are now available as one paperback!

Find me at a local book signing, or grab a copy on AMAZON for your beach bag  (easier than getting sand in your Kindle!)

About the book:
Welcome to Cape Cod, where the breeze is constant, the waves roll endlessly, and the rules of love are always changing.

Three best friends. Each with dating rules, designed to keep their hearts safe. Three different guys, determined to find a way around those rules. Three stories of finding love – even when it means tossing the rules out the window.

Rules? Who needs rules?

* This paperback compilation contains three stories previously released as ebooks only *

Jake Campbell hates rules. Undercover to stop a drug ring at a posh Cape Cod resort, he can’t resist the fiery head chef, Abbie Duncan. She may be on the suspect list, but he can’t keep his hands to himself. With a rising body count, he must keep Abbie safe…but can he trust her with his jaded heart?

After a routine assignment in Africa becomes life or death, Dylan MacDonald is back on the Cape and unemployed. Getting entangled with his high school crush is definitely not in his plans, even if Bella Costa was the one woman who made him think outside the spreadsheet. Can they bend some rules to find a future together?

Brian MacDonald got through college on football talent and charm, but he dreams of running his own business. He needs a partner and Caroline Meyers needs a job… and someone to watch her back. When her past catches up with her, can the pair figure out how to successfully mix business and pleasure – and stay alive?

 Or find me at one of these upcoming events:

Saturday, July 20: noon-3 at Mermaids on Cape Cod
855 Route 28, West Dennis

Thursday, July 25: 3-6 at Harwich Farmer's Market 
80 Parallel Street, Harwich

Friday, July 26: 3-6 at Cape Cod Beer Local Market 
1336 Phinneys Lane, Hyannis

Saturday, July 27: noon-3 at Expedition Whydah Pirate Museum
MacMillan Pier, Provincetown 

Sunday, July 28: noon-3 at Mermaids on Cape Cod
855 Route 28, West Dennis
Thursday, August 1: 3-6 at Harwich Farmer's Market 
80 Parallel Street, Harwich

Friday, August 16: 3-6 at Cape Cod Beer Local Market 
1336 Phinneys Lane, Hyannis

Monday, August 19: 11-2 at Yellow Umbrella Books
501 Main Street, Chatham

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Book Review: Dirty Damsels, by Peggy Jaeger

Dirty Damsels (Dotcom Girls series, Book 1) by Peggy Jaeger
Published July 2019 by Limitless Publishing

About the Book:

When I first saw Cynderella all covered in soot in that sexy maid uniform, I knew I wanted to be her Prince.

She’s a smart and savvy businesswoman who’s built her cleaning company from the ground up. But now that Dirty Damsels was booming, I’ve been hired to arrange a hostile takeover.

But the temptation of having her was too much to ignore...

We ended up spending one night together—a night neither of us will forget. Now, I want more. I need more. I want to spend every night, skin-on-skin, with my beautiful Ella.

Problem is, when she finds out who I really am, she’ll never forgive me.
My Take:

When I saw Peggy Jaeger had a new book, I hit the "buy" button without a second thought. Really. I didn't even read the blurb, or realize this was a remake of a classic fairy tale (which is a weakness of mine!) I saw the author's name and purchased. And am so glad I did!

Great writing, great characters, and a great retelling of everyone's favorite bedtime story.

I love the way this author gets inside her characters heads and I simply love the way she tells a story. Dirty Damsels is another example of superb storytelling, as Jaeger gives us a classic Cinderella tale with a modern twist, as well as a dash of her trademark quirky humor in her heroine's voice.

Written in first person POV, this modern day Cinderella didn't wait for a prince to rescue her when her father died and stepmother abandoned her. Instead, she started her own company, put herself through college, got an MBA, and is now a highly successful small business owner. Who is now about to fend off corporate raiders. When she meets Buddy, she's instantly drawn to him and the one-night stand almost seems inevitable. And steamy! (This is definitely a few shades steamier than Jaeger's previous books, but the author's trademark sensuality and longing are all still right there in her descriptions.)

And THEN she finds out Buddy is on the team of corporate raiders.

The chemistry between Ella and Duncan "Buddy" Prince crackles off the page. The modern twist to the evil stepmother and nasty stepsisters was also so much fun to read. The fact that the "Prince" doesn't rescue Cinderella in the traditional sense also worked for me, as did the thread of the "forgiveness" theme running through the background, a concept Jaeger has explored in previous works.

Jaeger did a remarkable job breathing new life into this timeless fairy tale and I absolutely loved every minute of this story. The secondary characters are well-developed and add to the story -- and make me hopeful that there are more stories in this series to look forward to!

Five stars for a steamy, satisfying read that leaves you smiling and still wanting more.

Grab a copy on AMAZON

Friday, July 12, 2019

Friday Feature: EXCERPT from Their No Strings Affair, by Charlotte O'Shay

About the Book:
Honey packs everything she owns and heads to NYC to jumpstart her art career. Her cheating boyfriend is history, and she finally acknowledges the truth of her mother's mantra: Careers are forever and happily ever after isn't in their DNA.

All she needs is a job and a place to live. What she doesn't need is a taciturn, sexy, ballbuster but she's woman enough to know the difference between need and want. Isn't she?

Jake's childhood was marred by tragedy and his future hijacked to a promise born of guilt. His failure drove him to a career as a SEAL and a security expert.
But it's not enough. Now he'll give up his freedom in reparation for the life he lost. Honey may be the last sweet stop on the road to a joyless future. If it's what they both want, where's the harm in a no-strings affair?


Honey’s curiosity spiked when the car left Manhattan and entered the Bronx. There hadn’t been time yet to see much of Manhattan, and the only other part of the city she knew a little about was the part of Brooklyn where the ceramic co-op was.

Then she saw the lights and the sign: Bronx Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show. The driver pulled up to the curb. “We’re here,” Jake said, and then, “Surprised?”

“Yes, and intrigued.” Eyes wide, Honey scrambled from the car.

His smile was just as wide and almost boyish. “Good. Let’s go in.” He took her hand as they followed the sign toward the Enid Haupt Conservatory.

“Are we joining a tour?” Honey scanned the swathes of people milling about the entrance to the gardens.

“Nah, I have our tickets, and I know my way around. When I was talking to you about what you do around the holidays, it came to me that the only thing I did with any consistency was come up here with my dad to see the trains.”

Her heart—it stopped, then jumpstarted in a painful rhythm. Jake was sharing a personal memory with her, a tradition.

“We came here most of the years I was in prep school. Dad was fascinated by the work of the artist, a guy named Paul Busse who builds these. The track is about a half mile long. The whole train and all the surrounding New York City landmarks are made up of stuff you might find in a garden—twigs, leaves, acorns.”

“Wow. This is so cool. Look! A mini Statue of Liberty. This is really stunning, and then when you add the lights everywhere...” She spun in a circle, sighed. “I love it.”

“I know. I can’t believe the detail. I thought you’d appreciate what went into creating something like this.”

“This miniature version of iconic New York landmarks. It’s amazing.”

“And then there’s the train. I loved it here, so I wanted you to see. Whenever I would come up here with my dad, it was just the two of us. I could forget...everything else.”

Honey pictured the younger Jake, lanky like her brothers, wide-eyed, caught up in the coolness of what the artist built, but in the end happy to be with his dad doing something just with the two of them. Thankfully it was clear the elder Mr. Ricco, er, Riccobono, had had a positive relationship with his remaining son.

“They have a fire pit and a place to buy drinks. There’s also a shop. Do you want to check out the ornaments?”

Couldn’t he tell? Her heart was in her eyes. Oh, Jake.

“Sure, all of the above,” she said.

He wrapped his arm around her side as they meandered around the grounds of the gardens, under the holiday lights, weaving between families and carolers.

They wandered around for an hour before Jake called a halt.

“Part two of the evening is dinner on Arthur Avenue, which is the Bronx’s Little Italy. But they don’t take reservations at most of the restaurants, so...”

“Say no more. I’m ready. You had me at Little Italy.”

Grab your copy on AMAZON

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Writing Wednesday: Charlotte O'Shay and her City of Dreams series

Today my guest is Charlotte O'Shay, chatting about her new book Their No Strings Affair. It's the third in her City of Dreams series for The Wild Rose Press (which I reviewed HERE), and even though it's set during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, it was just released last month... but I have to admit, I'm one of those people who can read a Christmas story any time of year!  

Christmas in July? No problem! Especially in New York City - where the holiday season is so bright and full of lights and hope! Welcome, Charlotte!

Thanks Katie. I’m so happy to visit you today to chat about my latest steamy romance, Their No-Strings Affair, (Book 3 in the City of Dreams series).

So, there’s a wedding.

Okay… weddings are pretty standard fare in romance novels but in the City of Dreams series each book overlaps with the SAME wedding. It’s Sabrina and Vlad’s wedding from Book 1, the very steamy The Marriage Ultimatum. (Yes, all three of these stories are standalone reads.)

I’ve always been fascinated by the varied people who come together at weddings, from the happy couple to friends and family, who can be true blue or the toxic variety. And of course, the behind the scenes hired folks who make sure the whole thing goes down smoothly.

Jake and Honey are in the last category, the hired help. He’s a by the rules, ex-military guy with a ton of baggage and head of security at the high-profile wedding. Honey is a smart, wide-eyed, new to the city artist who fills in for a friend as a server at the wedding for some quick cash. And yes, in this enemies to lovers story, the sparks do fly immediately between this pair!

The other common theme of this series?—all three stories are set in NYC, which I call the City of Dreams.

In Their No-Strings Affair the reader gets to experience life in NYC as seen through the eyes of a New Yorker, our alpha hero Jake as well as Honey, a sassy newcomer with stars in her eyes. We go along for the ride as Jake and Honey discover the city while they also explore their seriously fiery chemistry.

Just to make my hometown even more enticing, I set the latter part of the story in the Christmas season. Honey is a ceramic artist and some of her first and favorite creations are ceramic Christmas ornaments. She cajoles Jake into helping her put up a Christmas tree—something he’s never done before and Jake takes Honey on a surprise date to one of his favorite NYC holiday venues: The Holiday Light & Train Show at the Bronx Zoo.
* * *

I love the way Charlotte writes, and how she brings her hometown to life for her readers. Come back on Friday to read an excerpt from the story - or go grab a copy now and start reading! Here's the full blurb and buy links:

Honey packs everything she owns and heads to NYC to jumpstart her art career. Her cheating boyfriend is history, and she finally acknowledges the truth of her mother's mantra: Careers are forever and happily ever after isn't in their DNA.

All she needs is a job and a place to live. What she doesn't need is a taciturn, sexy, ballbuster but she's woman enough to know the difference between need and want. Isn't she?

Jake's childhood was marred by tragedy and his future hijacked to a promise born of guilt. His failure drove him to a career as a SEAL and a security expert.
But it's not enough. Now he'll give up his freedom in reparation for the life he lost. Honey may be the last sweet stop on the road to a joyless future. If it's what they both want, where's the harm in a no-strings affair?
About the Author:

Author Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family.

Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law.

But after four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.

Charlotte loves to challenge her heroines and heroes with a crisis and watch them figure out who they are while they fall in love.

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