Wednesday, January 27, 2016

BOOK PROMO: Ruby Iyer Series by Laxmi Hariharan


The Ruby Iyer Diaries (Ruby Iyer #0.5)

This novelette is a companion book to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. A peek into the soul of an angry, young girl, who will come of age in a city on the verge of total annihilation. Ruby kept a diary from the age of ten till she ran away from home at sixteen. It is from here that I picked out a few diary entries for The Ruby Iyer Diaries. This short series of vignettes from Ruby's life, tells you more a little more about the origins of Ruby Iyer.


The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer (Ruby Iyer #1)

When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him.

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr. Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction.

Armed only with with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from.


The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer #1.5)

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind.

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram's father bring his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same.

Vikram thinks things will be better now that he's gone. He's met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered.

Now, his family's life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them.


~EXCERPT~

I hear the staccato of shots being fired, followed by yells and howls of pain. Then, the sound of something being smashed and everything goes quiet. The TV no longer chatters. I look to the open door. The recreation room is down at the end of the corridor. The sounds of shots get closer. Without giving myself a chance to think I make a run for the door slam it shut, lock it and it’s as if that’s a signal to the rest of the men to jump to their feet. Without a word, the ten of us scram to our bunks, pull on trousers and shoes.We get our hands on whatever weapon we can find. No guns, none of us have guns. So I grab my cricket bat. (As if that’s going to make a difference?)

Around me the others too are grabbing cricket bats and hockey sticks. Neil grabs an iron rod. An iron rod? Where did he get that from? We drop to the floor, crouch and wait.

Should I hide under the bed? Nope, no way. Like, that is going to help.

And then a crash as the door is broken down, hacked by what looks like an axe till it’s in pieces on the floor and through it step through two men. One holding a machine gun, the other wielding an axe which he drops to the floor and instead grabs the the gun slung over his back. They are both wearing balaclavas, so we can’t see their features. Of medium height, they are muscular and dressed all in black: Black jeans and sweatshirts, their hair covered by the hoods. Their backs are to the door. They point their guns at us, signalling to us to put our hands up. I hesitate, not looking around but sense that the others too are not sure what to do. The first gunman points his gun at the nearest recruit … a boy just out of his teens and shoots him in the head.

There is a collective gasp from the room. A chill runs through me. Who are they? How did they break through the security measures of the force base? And then they are foolish enough to barge right into the heart of the training facilities of the force and shoot its cadets? Why? Why would they do that? The gunmen gesture to us and this time we follow their orders. We walk to the wall at the back of the bunkhouse and line up, hands on our heads, staring ahead.

An alarm rings out then. Finally! It’s been almost ten minutes since the shooting started. Still, the reinforcements should be here soon. Now all we need to do is keep these gun men distracted enough so they don’t kill us. As if reading my mind, the guy who’d shot the young recruit moves forward, his gun trained on us. I draw in a breath and hold it. The sweat trickles down my back. My heart is racing so fast I am sure if I look down I can see it leaping out of my chest. The gunman passes me, walks to the end of the line; then back to the middle where I am.

"You have no idea what this is about do you?" He asks.

He sounds young, as if he is barely a man himself. And something in his voice … muffled as it is, it sounds familiar. A faint recollection grabs the edge of my mind, And then I forget everything because he leans close to Neil who is next to me, and smashes the butt of his gun into his stomach. Neil falls to the ground, moaning, holding his middle. I firm up my stomach muscles. I know I am next, I must be. I want to squeeze my eyes shut, but don’t. The gunman leans to the other side, and shoots another man in the head.

This chap collapses without a cry. What the fuck? I want to jump him right then, but that would be really stupid of me. I am not going to help anyone if I get killed will I? There are six of us left in the room now. One of the younger recruits lets out a sob, at which gunman no 2 holds his gun at him, so he shuts up immediately.

The gunman asks me, "Where are the plans?’

"What are you talking about?" I reply, trying to stay calm, struggling not to show how scared I am inside.

He only grins and in response, and without taking his eyes off me, holds his gun up and I know what what he is going to do and I scream. "No!" But it’s too late. This time he’s shot two more guys in succession. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. These guys are desperate, or crazy or both.

Besides me Neil stirs on the ground.

The gunman takes a deep breathe, as if trying to calm himself and says, "Don’t pretend to be dumb. If you don’t get me the blue prints of the security arrangements being planned by the force for Bombay; the one that you and your team mates are being trained for, then all the rest of you die too."

Only six of us left now. Four young lives, gone just like that. I feel sick. What the fuck are these guys upto? And … and how do they know about the plans? This is top secret. The only reason I know about it, is because I’ve overheard the training officer speaking with the ACP about it on the phone last week. And only because I happened to be waiting outside his room then. And how does this gunman even know that I know the details?


Want to find out what happens next? Click here.

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About the Author
She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, she was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY - FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY's FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you're looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you'll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree -- a redwood -- in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Tackling the Tight End by Tara Lain


Thanks to Enchantress Design and Promo for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing my review of Tara Lain's Tackling the Tight End today. Happy reading!

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Summary:

Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end, Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven really wants to work with gay kids, and while he loves his tribe and likes football, his visions for the future don’t mesh with theirs. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis's pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven, too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?

Title:  Tackling the Tight End
Series:  Long Pass Chronicles
Book #: 3
Author:  Tara Lain
Approximate Book Length:  245 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

This was a wonderful installment in this series. We don’t really get any cameos, but Will from book one is mentioned. It just makes this story stand all on its own, and it does a great job. It’s almost a romantic suspense, as Dennis is in some very real trouble and his home life is terrible making for a slightly darker read than normal from Tara Lain.

Raven makes me proud because he’s unashamed of who he is in every way. He pretty much tells it like it is, does his best to live up to what his family wants of him, and in the end stands up for absolutely everything he loves. Dennis is endearing because he struggles with finding love while also surviving. He was such a strong character in the face of some very grim possibilities and my heart just broke for him at every turn.

Perhaps my BIGGEST thought is that I adore the “two-spirited” concept. It’s a truly beautiful point of view that I can only say I wish the world at large had. How it’s incorporated into Raven and Dennis’s lives, not to mention all the lives of the kids they mentor, is nothing short of profound. LOVE IT!

Bottom Line:

Tackling the Tight End is a fantastic addition to the series and will leave you smiling and thoughtful. It just made me so happy, so go grab an awesome slice of happy for yourself!

Rating:



Links:



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About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Captured by Jennifer Chance


Thanks to Barclay Publicity for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing my review of Jennifer Chance's Captured today. Happy reading!

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Summary:

For beautiful, pampered Lauren Grant, the idea of love without strings is a fairy tale and a trap. Though she’s skillfully maintained her image as the carefree celebutante, for years she’s been systematically stalked by the richest—and most ruthless—golden boy of the Jet Set. To stay one step ahead, she’s used every resource at her disposal. But now, stuck in Garronia with the whole world watching, she’s finally cornered by her nemesis, with no way out.

Well, no way out but one: the stubborn, forceful, impossibly gorgeous captain of the Garronia National Security Force, Dimitri Korba. The first man she’s ever trusted… which makes him the most dangerous man of all.

Dimitri Korba’s greatest duty is to keep those in his care safe. Since losing his closest friend, he's vowed that he will not fail another. Not even the haughty, foolhardy American blonde whom he can’t get out of his mind. And once Dimitri glimpses the terror Lauren hides behind her icily perfect façade, protecting her becomes his only goal.

Dimitri has no idea how far his commitment will take him, however, nor how powerful his need for Lauren will flare when she’s not only in his care, but in his arms. With each stolen moment, the danger around them intensifies, burning away every doubt…until all that remains is their fierce, unexpected passion. But will that be enough to save them?

Title:  Captured
Series:  Gowns & Crowns
Book #: 2
Author:  Jennifer Chance
Approximate Book Length:  207 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

This one doesn’t have quite the same fairy tale feel as book one, but it has a magic all its own. The island atmosphere just made me swoon and feel right in the story. The plot is slightly darker than the last what with a stalker rather than merely the paparazzi as the big conflict. What I love is the ongoing angle regarding Ari. We find out he died in a plane crash in book one, but this book makes it a big mystery.

The friction between Dimitri and Lauren is so fun, and pretty hot. It was fun to meet some of Dimitri’s family. A big difference between this book and the last is that we don’t get as much of all four friends as before. This time there’s mostly just Nikki, other than Lauren obviously. Her book is undoubtedly next and I am really looking forward to it!

Bottom Line:

Captured will make you sweat and make you swoon. I recommend it as an awesome read!

Rating:



Links:



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About the Author
Jennifer Chance is the award-winning author of the new adult Rule Breakers series as well as the modern royals Gowns & Crowns series. You can find her online at:

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello My Name Is... Blog Hop!



Big thanks to Herding Cats and Burning Soup for hosting this hop! We’re ringing in the New Year with lots of giveaways! And by sharing some fun and wacky facts about ourselves. There’s a new giveaway at each stop so be sure to visit them all!

So here's a few tid bits about me:

1) I'm weird about being the first or last person to eat something if it's a shared item (such as a treat or something given to us or whatever). I will wait until someone else (usually the hubby) dives into it and I will leave the last piece.

2) I'm also a little OCD with numbers. Back when I bought CDs, I had to buy two, I couldn't just buy one. I have to eat two cookies, not one or three - must be two or four. The volumte in the car has to be a multiple of 5 - same with the TV.

3) I love disaster movies. The Core and The Day After Tomorrow are both pretty hokey, but I love them. Even if they're terrible, I have to see them lol.

4) I'm ADD with music. My hubby hates listening to my premade song lists in the car because I will put something on repeat if I'm in the mood or "channel surf" even if we're 30 seconds from home.

5) I like to drive. I could drive for the heck of it for a couple hours and be happy. It's mostly about the music or an audiobook. Especially these days, I frequently only get any music time in the car due to juggling two small children!

6) I'm very much a chicken, particularly socially. I don't like to insert myself into a conversation or intrude on others, so while I like meeting new people and finding potential friends, but I don't always know how to cultivate those friendships. Sometimes that even goes the opposite way and I latch on and feel like a creeper, lol.

I think that about does it. I can't think of any other quirks to share anyway. I'd love to hear some tid bits about y'all!

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Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to keep hopping!

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Monday, January 4, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Kiss of the Virgin Queen by Sharon Buchbinder


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing a little about Sharon BuchBinder's Kiss of the Virgin Queen today. Happy reading!

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Homeland Security Special Agent Eliana Solomon is on a mission to prevent terrorist attacks. Hard enough to do when the threats are human, almost impossible when it's an evil, shape shifting jinni. Eliana needs help so she calls the sexy and beguiling psychiatrist, Arta Shahani. However, no matter how good he is at his job, the man is on her blacklist. On their last case together, the guy left her for dead.

Arta is stunned when he receives Eliana’s call. Forced to abandon the woman he loves, he now fears she won’t accept his shape-shifting skills as a Persian Lion. Eliana, in the meantime discovers she is a direct descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba with special powers of her own. But will her skill and Arta's be enough to defeat the jinni, or will they lose the love history decreed for them as well as their lives in this battle of good versus evil?


Buy at Amazon


~EXCERPT~

Summertown, West Virginia, U.S.A., Present Day

A picturesque flight over the Appalachian Mountains to Summertown, West Virginia gave Special Agent Eliana Solomon of the Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Anomaly Defense Division time to process the urgent report she’d received by email. Up until this week, the existence of werewolf packs had been concealed from the general population. Now reports of the secretive shape shifters exploded in her inbox. Where had this information been all this time? Had the government monitored them all along? If so, why had her boss, Bert Blackfeather, insisted on her obtaining proof of their existence, along with the jinnis? She’d pry an answer out of that closed mouth man—someday. Right now, she had a more pressing matter at hand.

Five days ago, three nine-year-old werewolf boys and their three eighteen-year-old sisters went on a birthday expedition in the heavily wooded state wildlife area and disappeared. By day, local human authorities, volunteers, and bloodhounds brought in from surrounding jurisdictions combed the forest, the hills, and caves. By night, pack members ran through the forest using their extraordinary senses—olfactory, visual, and auditory—to hunt for their missing kin. Divers also explored the waterways, all to no avail. No clues to the kids’ whereabouts had been found, not even a backpack—until two this morning.

A night security guard discovered the boys in the middle of the Adalwolf Winery parking lot. Slightly bruised and scratched up, but otherwise alive and well, in their human forms, the youngsters had no recollection of anything between arriving at the park and waking up in the parking lot with their back packs under their heads—their five-day-old lunches untouched.

Rushed to the ER and examined thoroughly, the boys displayed no evidence of physical abuse. The blank space in their minds where the memories should have been was inaccessible to parents and psychologists. If it weren’t for the fact that the three older girls were still missing, the local authorities wouldn’t continue to press the boys for information. Over time, their memories could return, but without ransom notes, calls or clues, the clock was running down for a successful search and rescue. The local police, state troopers, sheriff’s office, and the West Virginia Bureau of Investigation feared the operation would soon become a search and recovery.

The plane touched down, bounced along the runway, and Eliana’s cell began to vibrate.

“Solomon.”

The gruff voice of her boss boomed in her ear. “New development in the case.” Blackfeather paused. “A hiker found one of the missing girls in a culvert near an abandoned mine. Bites, claw marks. Throat ripped open. Damn thing nearly tore her head off.”

She shuddered. “Black bear?”

“Based on the paw prints around the body, the first responders are saying these weren’t bear bites. More like a dog—or wolf.”

“Boss, aside from zoos and wild animal preserves, there are no wolves in the eastern U.S.”

He sighed. “I stand corrected. Werewolf.”

Her stomach lurched, and she gripped the armrest so hard her knuckles turned white. Shit. Shit. Shit. A werewolf attacking one of its own? Why? What the hell was going on?

“West Virginia Division of Homeland Security has a car waiting for you, fully loaded with everything you’ll need for the investigation. Get to that scene.” Her boss clicked off.

Bossy desk jockey.

A flush of shame rushed over her. He’d taken on the orphan Anomaly Defense Division of the Science and Technology Directorate that no one else wanted, along with a mission no one else supported or believed in. As abrupt and abrasive as he could be, the Gulf War veteran deserved credit for giving her the opportunity to pursue what everyone else thought was something out of the tales of The Arabian Nights: jinnis. With the needed proof of werewolves and jinnis from Project Aladdin, support surged into the division. A stable funding source made her jinni hunting work possible So far, it seemed wherever there were werewolves, there was jinni activity.

This case was no different. According to the report, relationships between the local humans and werewolves were more than cordial. They were so intermarried, almost everyone was family. A large non-denominational wedding facility placed Summertown on an international list of destination weddings, like Hawaii and Las Vegas, but specifically for werewolves. A thriving bed and breakfast trade supported the wedding industry, along with other leisure activities, such as biking, hiking, white-water rafting, and winery and sightseeing tours. Murder of a werewolf girl wasn’t just bad for the family, it was bad for the town.

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About the Author
Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. When not teaching or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.

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Friday, January 1, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Of War Series by Lisa Beth Darling


OF WAR SERIES
An Epic Journey of Love, Lust, Betrayal,
  Rage, and Redemption
Lisa Beth Darling

The Complete no-box set.
ASIN: B00RI9I2CO

Series Description:

Fall in Love with Ares God of War and Alena MacLeod. Together they Rock the World from the Heights of Olympus to the Celtic Moors.

In The Heart of War, Magdalena MacLeod has been on the run from Cernunnos, Great Horned God, for 200 years when she mysteriously washes ashore on secluded isle of the God of War. When the Olympians discover her presence on Ares' island, they send Apollo to the island to retrieve her while Ares is away. Diplomatically winding her way out of immediately going to Olympus and having nowhere to turn, Alena strikes a bargain with the God of War--her virginity for his protection.

Ares sees a sweeter deal; her in his bed and himself back in his rightful place on Olympus even if it means turning Alena over to Zeus. After Alena proves herself to Ares in battle and his bed, the God of War must choose between his Divinely Dysfunctional Family, his pride, and Alena.

Child of War-A God is Born  Ares and Alena have settled on snowy Olympus to await the birth of their son, Raven. Before Raven is even born, Zeus outwardly despises him for his Fey blood. With only one to keep his family safe from his father, Zeus the God of Gods, Ares enters into a blood pact that could cost the God of War everything he holds dear.

After a harrowing birth wherein mother and son are nearly lost to Ares, it quickly becomes clear that Raven may be the most powerful and cunning Olympian ever born despite his muddled bloodline. Zeus, Apollo, and Aphrodite plot against the new family by carefully planting the seeds of rage and doubt in Ravens' mind, they turn son against mother. It appears as though Cernunnos' prophecy is coming to life as Raven grows to be a very angry young man.

As the true past between the Olympians and Celts is revealed, the battle for Ravens' mind and the ultimate control of Olympus begins. Before it's over, the white snows of Olympus will run red with blood.

Child of War-Rising Son sees Raven on the verge of manhood as his rampage continues and he begins the difficult path to Acceptance by his fellow Olympians. Out to prove he's as good, if not better than, any of them he bests the Trials set before him by Hades and Poseidon. This isn't enough for him, in his quest to prove to his Father, Ares, that he is an Olympian Raven preys upon the Mortals below Olympus in a time of great weakness. Enlisting the aid of his Uncle Apollo and settling for nothing less than utter Chaos, together they push the Mortals to pure anarchy. Ready to conquer the remainder of his Trials so he may take his place at the Counsel Table, and bring Ares the glory Cernunnos once prophesized, only one thing stands in his way; the night his Mother fell down the stairs.

Apollo, ever the Man Behind the Curtain, pulls Raven's strings like a true puppet master. It's far too late when Raven realizes all he's done in hopes of pleasing his Father actually makes Ares look guilty of destroying the Mortal World. A little Chaos and a little Anarchy aren't enough for the Golden God, in his on-going quest to destroy Ares, Apollo sets a plague loose upon the embroiled Earth. By the time the Olympians discover what's going on twenty million people are dead with the number multiplying exponentially every day.

Women of War gives us a brief reprieve from the death and darkness as we journey backward in time spanning four generations of women in Alena's family. From her great-grandmother, Shar Draiocht the last known Queen of the Dark Kingdom to her tortured daughter Morrowind, to Maven Alena's free-spirited mother and through the lonely life of Alena MacLeod ending where The Heart of War begins with the night Alena washes up on Ares' shore. With intensity, lust, fear, and strength these Women of War make their way in the world revealing the hidden truths of the past and Ares true connection to his beloved Wife, Alena.

Kingdoms of War, the OF WAR Series Finale, sees nearly four billion souls lost to the ravages of Anarchy and the dreaded disease Major Falls.  Ares, Athena, and Raven journey the Mortal World vainly reaching for a sliver of what was only to discover what will be. From the fiery wreckage a new world is slowly arising one where the descendants of Olympians, Celts, Dark Fae, and all manner of Magickal Being will rule.

Ares and Athena wander the world, hoping to curtail further damage by obliterating weapons of mass destruction the Wolf inside the God of War slowly succumbs to Major Falls. A rabid God of War is not a pretty sight. Soon it becomes clear that Ares may not live to see the glory of Olympus restored.

By the time Ares' fevered body is brought to Olympus, Apollo's descent into madness is utterly complete. The Gold God is quite insane as he expertly kills off the members of his Divinely Dysfunctional Family. Yet, Alena's greatest nemesis holds the key to saving Ares' life. The price is high and, should she pay it, Alena can't be sure Ares would ever be able to forgive her.


Available at Amazon

Price Reduced 40% from $9.99 to $5.99 until January 7, 2016

The Heart of War
Book One
Lisa Beth Darling

Genre: Mythological/paranormal,
dark romance/erotica, suspense/action/drama,
contemporary

Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing

Date of Publication:  December 2010

ISBN: 978-0615424682
ASIN: B004DCB3CA

Number of pages: 597
Word Count: 200,000

Book Description:

Inside the Heart of every Warrior breathes the Soul of a Hero--even within The Heart of War.

Meet Ares God of War, the greatest Warrior the world has ever known. He's moody, grumpy, dominant, ravenously sexual, and above all, built like a Greek God.

Suspected of killing his Daughter in-Law, Psyche, and long in exile from Olympus, the solitude of Ares' island is interrupted when Magdalena MacLeod a brash and sometimes manipulative Fey washes up on Ares' island after believing she's been shipwrecked. It's not mere fate that has brought the unlikely couple together yet it may be what tears them apart.

Branded with a golden chastity belt bearing the mark of Cernunnos, Celtic God of the Forest and Death, Alena has been on the run from her husband the Great Horned God for 200 years. When the Olympians discover her presence on Ares' island, they send Apollo to the island while Ares is away with orders to bring her to Olympus. Diplomatically winding her way out of immediately going to Olympus, when Ares returns and with nowhere to turn, Alena strikes a bargain with the God of War--her virginity for his protection.

Ares sees a sweeter deal; her in his bed and himself back in his rightful place on Olympus even if it means turning Alena over to Zeus. After Alena proves herself to Ares in battle and his bed, the God of War must choose between his Divinely Dysfunctional Family, his pride, and Alena. Get lost in this sweeping dark saga battling Ancient Gods while falling in love with Ares God of War and Alena MacLeod. Ares and Alena share a love that will rock the world from the heights of Olympus to the Celtic moors but; will it be enough? Will love triumph, or will revenge and rage win the battle for the Heart of War?


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Excerpt The Heart of War

Ares was in a foul mood and suffering from a splitting headache when he arrived back on the island with Alena. "Go inside." He said gruffly and pointed toward the cliffs and the cave above.

"Ares?"

"Please, Alena, just do as I ask. Go."

She didn't want to leave him here, alone, on the beach but it didn't appear Ares was wanted company, not hers anyway. In the face of his Father and the other Olympians, Ares stood tall and strong. He'd come to her aid just as he said he would and kept his promise. Alena was stunned. When Zeus said he would return Ares' property and his station to him, she felt sure the God of War would sell her down the river. She wanted to thank him, wanted to ask why he had done it but she held her tongue. "Yes, my Lord." Hiking up the hem of the dress, she turned to make her way up the long strange stairs leading from the beach to the top of the cliff. With a heavy heart, she walked a few steps until she got to the base of the stairs and there she turned around. Ares was sitting on the sand facing the water and the setting sun. He had thrown off the belt with the heavy sword and his thick leather vest; they were in the sand next to him as he sat there with his head down in his hands. She could not leave him there. Quietly coming up behind him, Alena sat down, wrapped one arm over his left shoulder and the other under his right lacing her fingers together and pulling him backward. Alena expected him to balk or to fight but, instead, Ares settled backward into her arms, rested his head in the crook between her neck and shoulder as he let out an exhausted sigh. "I'm sorry I'm so much trouble, my Lord." She whispered as she nestled her face into his hair.

Letting the softness of her touch and the warmth of her body comfort him, Ares closed his eyes and drew in the peaceful shelter she offered. "It's not you. It's Them."

The Olympians were quite the Divinely Dysfunctional Family. Alena had never seen or heard so much bitter bickering from one clan. If that was her Family, she might be damn happy that she lived in Exile on a beautiful island such as this. "They're awful." She whispered in his ear careful not to let any prying ears overhear. Ares gave out a deep chuckle and then another sigh as his hand rose up to caress her arm. She thought of how brave, how daring, and even dashing, Ares had been as he stood there telling all of them they could not have her. When she listened to him speak of Artemis, Alena nearly cried. Then she had been stunned into silence having expected the God of War to hand her over, maybe not with ease but readily enough, in return for his crown and scepter. "Thank you for keeping your promise."

"You expected this chauvinistic pig to do less." Ares mused still with his eyes closed. "Everyone does."

Child of War-A God is Born
Book Two
Lisa Beth Darling

Genre: Mythological/paranormal,
dark romance/erotica,
suspense/action/drama, contemporary

Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing

Date of Publication:  November, 2011

ISBN: 978-0615523460
ASIN: B0063I60HU

Number of pages: 386
Word Count:  150,000

Book Description:

Do you remember Damien? Raven makes that kid look like an angel.

In book #2 of the OF WAR Series, Ares settles down with his wife, Alena, to await the birth of their son, Raven. As Alena struggles to enjoy what should be a blessed event, prophetic visions of an adult Raven haunt her dreams. Are they true visions or false ones implanted by Cernunnos who told her the boy would bring glory to Ares but only pain and agony to her? The strong but delicate Fey is relentlessly bombarded by hostility from the Olympians making her yearn to be back on Ares' secluded island home, far away from all the bickering and backstabbing that makes up Life on mighty Mount Olympus.

Before Raven is even born, Zeus outwardly despises him for his Fey blood given to him by his filthy Celtic mother. With no way out and no way to keep his family safe from his father, Zeus the God of Gods, Ares enters into a blood pact that could cost the God of War everything he holds dear.

After a harrowing birth wherein mother and son are nearly lost to Ares, it quickly becomes clear that Raven may be the most powerful and cunning Olympian ever born despite his muddled bloodline.

As Zeus, Apollo, and Aphrodite plot against the new family by carefully planting the seeds of rage and doubt in Ravens' mind, they turn son against mother. It appears as though Alenas' visions and Cernunnos' prophecy are coming to life as Raven grows to be a very angry young man.

As the true past between the Olympians and Celts is revealed, the battle for Ravens; mind and the ultimate control of Olympus begins. Before its over, the white snows of Olympus will run red with blood.


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Excerpt Child of War-A God is Born
Alena, daughter of a warrior and wife to one as well, had no objections and she joined them in the basement daily. Ares wholeheartedly approved, as he believed it was high time Alena worked with her own powers and skills. Even though she was the boy's mother, since her powers were bound for so long, they were very evenly matched and sparred well together, Raven with spear and she with the staff Ares made for her.

Having the complete run of the cavernous basement, they sparred and chased each other around as Ares shouted out encouragement and strategies to them. Alena was only a few inches taller than Raven but his arms were already longer than hers, and that gave him an advantage when thrusting and swinging out with the spear. Alena almost always seemed to sense such moves and jumped over the spear as though she were playing double-dutch. The smacking of wood on wood clattered throughout the Fortress. Raven gave it his all but Alena treated the matches more like a game; when she struck out it wasn't with all of her force and a few times Ares caught her letting Raven best her. He took great exception to that. An opponent either won or lost in battle; there was no mercy. A few times, late at night in their bed, Alena told him it was good for Raven's self-esteem if she let him win once or twice, but that only made him angrier as he told her self-esteem was earned and not given like a toy. Raven would learn nothing if she let him win; he had to learn how to be victorious on his own, or when it came time for a real battle he would be unprepared.

From that night on, Alena won every match between her and Raven, though the last few had been very close and Raven was catching on to his mother's moves and strategies. It turned sour yesterday as they sparred and Raven chased his mother into the small meat locker where their meat was either cured by smoking or roasted in the huge stone pit. The pit was five feet deep and seven feet across, surrounded on three sides by stone four feet high that came together in an arch at the center. A drop from the top to the bottom wouldn't prove fatal, but it was certainly deterrent enough when Raven cornered his mother up there. Alena was going to jump to the top and then down the other side to use the stone walls as cover, but Raven was faster than she thought. By the time her foot landed on the uppermost stone, Raven was already waiting for her on the other side, sharp point of the spear thrust upward toward her throat. "Yield!" Raven commanded, feeling victory in his fingertips for the first time.

Ares still didn't know just how she managed it. Alena swung out with one foot as she pivoted on the other, knocking the spear safely away from her as she turned, silver hair flying out behind her like the mane of a steed, to make the jump to the other side and safety. When she came around the corner with her staff at the ready, Raven, angry at having been cheated, let an ice ball five inches thick fly from the palm of his hand to hit her squarely in the jaw. Alena was knocked back by the force, her lips split open, gums bleeding, nose broken. Raven loomed over her, his eyes vacant and empty as he held the sharp spear to her throat. "Yield, bitch." It was no command-it was a threat.

Before Ares could shout to his Son that was enough, a great gust of wind swirled around in the small room. It blew back his hair and then pushed against him with such force he had to fight to stand his place. Alena's beautiful gray eyes closed as her arms splayed out at her sides, one with the palm open and the other choking the staff. The point of the spear wavered in the strong wind as Raven struggled to stay pitched forward as the growing gale threatened to lift him off his knees and toss him across the room. Raven countered, his young hands glowing with an eerie blue light as they began freezing to the staff, the new ice ball growing between them. This one was twice the size of the other and if he hit her with it at this close range, Raven might well kill his mother.

Without any warning, the wind seemed to turn on Alena; it lifted her body upward from the small of her back to her shoulders, bringing her throat dangerously close to the tip of the spear. Suddenly her eyes opened to reveal only the whites. As though she could see through them, they shifted to Raven's hands and then back to his face. Amazingly, Alena's lips turned into a cold grin that fixed Raven's stare to her face while she lifted the staff and then brought it crashing down to the marble floor with such force the echo was deafening. Raven flew off her. The staff left his stunned hand, the ice ball retreated, and he hit the stones of the fire pit with such force that they shattered. Before the boy or his Father knew what was happening, Alena, her eyes still showing only the whites, was standing over Raven with her staff pointing at his throat and her foot on his heart. "Yield," she whispered as the wind whipped around them, tossing bits of dust into Ares' eyes.

Angry at having had victory snatched so cruelly from his grasp, Raven stared up her as he shielded his eyes from the biting wind. "Uncle," he spat.

It took a few moments but the wind subsided, Alena stumbled backward on unsteady feet before the whites of her eyes rolled down and she looked out at the world through those luminescent pearls of gray.

"Wow," Ares muttered, stroking his beard trying to digest everything he'd seen. Magick was not normally part of Alena and Raven's sparring routine; she was afraid to use it even though he'd tried to tell her that he could counter any damage she might do. No matter what he did he couldn't coax her into it, so magick was off-limits when they sparred. Today when Raven unexpectedly threatened her with it, Alena didn't hesitate to answer the call.

Catching her breath and feeling a wave of nausea wash over her, Alena looked down at Raven, who looked up her angry and afraid. "Are you ok?" She reached out a hand to him but Raven batted it away.

"Fine, mom." Jumping to his feet in a quick move, he brushed off the dirt and debris from his bare skin. Instead of stepping up and congratulating his mother, when she turned her back to him to look at Ares, Raven let an ice ball fly from his hand to strike her in the back of the head, splitting it open as it brought her to her knees. "Take that, you whore."

Ares didn't hesitate, he didn't even know he was doing it; all he did know was that one moment Raven was standing there with that snide smug look on his face and the next he was screaming as flames surrounded him. He stumbled in the fire a few moments before turning his whole body to ice and putting out the flames. When Raven returned to normal, he was lightly singed but otherwise unharmed. "Don't ever do that again, boy."

Christmas Eve on Olympus
Book Three
Lisa Beth Darling

Genre: Holiday, Romance, Fluff

Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing

Date of Publication:  December, 2011

ASIN: B006HUECGA

Number of pages: 20
Word Count: 10,000

Book Description: 

This holiday themed short story is meant as an enhancement to the OF WAR Series. Join Ares, Alena, and Raven as she brings Christmas and Yuletide to Olympus. This bit of romantic happiness contains graphic adult material.

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Excerpt Christmas Eve on Olympus:

As her mind feverishly searched for what she'd missed, a small bit of fluffy white and green came into her view and she felt relief as a smile broke out on her pretty face. "What's that?"

"Mistletoe, I believe there's some Mortal custom about standing beneath it and then being forced into kissing."

Alena glanced upward over her shoulder to take him in and marveled at how handsome he was. "Forced? How terrible."

"Awful," Ares held the mistletoe over their heads with one hand and pulled her in close with the other. He lowered his head for the kiss he'd been waiting for all night. When their lips he was not disappointed but encouraged to probe deeper with his tongue and grasp the soft red velvet surrounding her tighter as the mistletoe fell to the marble floor and he grabbed her with both arms turning her fully around to face him. Her heart raced against his stomach, even through the velvet, he felt it as she pressed against him and reached up to grab handfuls of midnight hair. "You know, if you're lucky," Ares said breathlessly as their lips parted, "I think I might have a candy cane around here for you to suck on."

"Oh, really? I love candy canes," she winked up at him as she bit down on her lower lip, "where oh where could it be? Over there by the tree?"

Ares shook his head as he ran a hand through her silky silver tresses, "No. Guess again."

"Did you put it in my stocking?"

"Not yet." Ares crooned making Alena giggle like a schoolgirl.

Child of War-Rising Son
Book Four
Lisa Beth Darling

Genre: Mythological/paranormal,
dark romance/erotica,
suspense/action/drama, contemporary

Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing

Date of Publication: November, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615721422
ASIN: B00ADAWTSS

Number of pages: 396
Word Count: 151,000

Book Description:

On the Verge of manhood, Raven's rampage continues

as he begins the difficult path to Acceptance by his fellow Olympians. Out to prove he's as good, if not better than, any of them he bests the Trials set before him by Hades and Poseidon. This isn't enough for him, in his quest to prove to his Father, Ares, that he is an Olympian Raven preys upon the Mortals below Olympus in a time of great weakness. Settling for nothing less than Chaos, he enlists the aid of his Uncle Apollo and pushes the Mortals to pure anarchy when a global financial crisis leaves the entire world destitute, in ruins, and at each other's throats. Ready to conquer his Trials, take his place at the Counsel Table, and bring Ares the glory Cernunnos once prophesized, only one thing stands in his way; the night his Mother fell down the stairs.

Alena, her body asleep in Ares' bed for four long years, is lost deep in the clutches of a never-ending dream induced by Morpheus. After years of living an illusion and becoming Morpheus Wife, Alena discovers his deception and struggles to escape her prison. Morpheus has no intentions of ever letting her go. He'll fight to the death to keep her.

Apollo, ever the Man Behind the Curtain, pulls Raven's strings like a true puppet master. It's far too late when Raven realizes all he's done to please his Father actually makes Ares look guilty of destroying the Mortal World. A little Chaos and a little Anarchy aren't enough for the Golden God, in his on-going quest to destroy Ares, Apollo sets a plague loose upon the Earth. A bio-chemical weapon stolen from the United States Government at Area 51, known commonly as Major Falls. By the time the Olympians discover what's going on twenty million people are dead with the number multiplying exponentially every day.

With only one option left to each of them, Raven and Alena turn to their unlikeliest of enemies-- Aphrodite and Apollo for help. One night in the bed of the Goddess of Love can be painful but one night in the bed of the Golden God can kill and destroy all that Ares and Alena have built and endured. To ensure that her beloved Husband and her Son are not put to death she may have no other choice.


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Excerpt Child of War-Rising Son:

"Trinity?" He called out.

"HERE!" They all called back.

"No, not you. Her! Trinity! Look at me I want to help you. I want to get you out of here but you have to help me do it. Turn around, please. Turn around."

In the cage near the middle of them all, the girl who sat still and quite with her head resting unnaturally on her shoulder turned around and watched him gasp. "What?" Trinity asked through lips nothing more than shredded meat. She stared him, her head on her shoulder, her face smashed in, and one eyeball bulging out of its socket. When he flinched, she gave a smile nearly hideous enough to freeze the raging river below her.

Raven found it very hard to look at her, he wanted to turn away, wanted to run away. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do but stand back and fully appreciate his handy work all over her face. What a jagged little pill, but Raven swallowed it the best he could before he opened his mouth. "I'm gonna throw this to you, you catch it, you tie it around the bars and then I'm going to swing you this way and pull you down, got it?"

"Why? What do you care? Why should I trust you?"

"You're gonna burn in that river," Raven warned.

"So what?" She turned away from him again.

"So what? What...so....so you don't deserve that, do you? You didn't do anything. Let me help you, I'll take you back to the Fields where you'll be happy."

"I was happy on Olympus," she mumbled. "You were my Brother, you were supposed to protect me, look out for me not kill me. You're only doing this so you can rule Olympus one day."

"I want to help you, please, Trin, I'm gonna throw this, we'll only get one shot if the rope lands in the river it's gone. So get up and catch it. Let me help, let me get you out of that cage." Raven waited but she didn't turn around and she didn't say anything. "I'm sorry," he muttered looking down at the rope in his hands and feeling the nasty sensation of guilt run through him. "I never should have…I'm sorry, Trin." Words he never thought he would utter fell out of his lips, "Please forgive me."

Women of War
Book 5
Lisa Beth Darling

Genre: Mythological/paranormal,
dark romance/erotica, suspense/action/drama,
contemporary

Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing

Date of Publication: February, 2013

ISBN: 978-0615767611
ASIN: B00BEJPA3S

Number of pages: 206
Word Count: 58,000

Book Description:

Venture on a Mystical Journey through Time and Secrets Past This story spans four generations of women in Alena's family from her great-grandmother, Shar Draïocht the last known Queen of the Dark Kingdom. Morrowind, her tortured daughter. Maven, Alena's free spirited mother. And ends the night Alena washed up on Ares' shore. With intensity, lust, fear, and strength these Women of War make their way in the world revealing the hidden truths of the past and Ares true connection to his beloved Wife, Alena.


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Excerpt Women of War:

Sitting in the dank cell hour after hour and day after day, time lost all meaning. Not even the rancid food came to him on anything that resembled a steady basis. All Ares knew for sure was that one moment he'd been doing his best to sleep on the tilting cot with his knees hanging over the foot of it when the cell door burst open and a full battalion of the Queen's Guard rushed him. Wrestling him to the ground, they clasped him in chains and dragged him to the center of their little underground village. The whole town gathered to witness, torches, staffs, and readily available throwing items in hand. They hissed at him, cursed him, and tossed their stones while guards led him up to a round platform with a pillar of granite jutting out of the middle. Ares needed no introduction to the structure or to learn its intended purpose, after all he invented the whipping post.

Understanding their intention, Ares fought as mightily as he could with his ankles and wrists bound together. "I'm a GOD! How dare you try to whip me?" he railed as he threw off the guards to deliver double axe handle blows upon them, but they were so damn small and agile that he kept missing them. This infuriated him mostly because he was so large they couldn't help but land their return blows on his half-naked frame. It wasn't long before the Queen's Guards knocked his legs out from under him with a heavy blow of a study staff. Once on his knees, blows landed on his head, shoulders, and jaw. Ares discovered that tiny fists hurt a great deal. Bloody and dazed, they shoved him down on all fours and attached the chains on his wrists to the post.

Looking out at the crowd with seething eyes, he cursed them. "You're going to regret this."

"I think not," replied a soft but stern voice from behind him.

Ares looked back over his shoulder to see Shar Draiocht standing there, whip in hand, ready to dole out the punishment they thought he so rightly deserved. "Unusual for a Queen to get her hands so dirty," he snarled.

"It's a special occasion," she hissed back as she brought the whip forward with a practiced wrist. It licked between his shoulder blades and split open a wide swatch of his olive flesh.

Each time the whip sliced through his perfect flesh, Ares snarled, "You bitch!"

With every crack of the whip the crowd shouted out, "Hazzar!" They raised their staffs in victory.

Queen Shar gave Ares God of War fifty lashes before she dropped it to the floor and took her leave in silence. The guards left him tied to the post, sweating, bleeding and in agony for the next five days.


Kingdoms of War
Book 6
Lisa Beth Darling

Genre: Mythological/paranormal,
dark romance/erotica, suspense/action/drama,
contemporary

Publisher: Moon Mistress Publishing

Date of Publication: June, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692248409
ASIN: B00LEVJAJ6

Number of pages: 496
Word Count: 190,000

Book Description:

With nearly four billion souls lost to the ravages of anarchy and the dreaded disease Major Falls, Ares and Raven journey the Mortal World vainly reaching for a sliver of what was only to discover what will be. Unleashed by Apollo, Major Falls—a weaponized version of the flu and rabies-- has wiped out every person of watery Mortal Blood.

From the fiery wreckage a new world is slowly arising one where the descendants of Olympians, Celts, Dark Fae, and all manner of Magickal Being will rule. For the last millennium the Dark Kingdom has sent small legions of its Daughters in search of its Lost Queen. Among their number is Lenora, a sharp tongued Dark Fae who joins up with ARES hoping to get close to its leader, Raven. And she does.

The Wolf inside the God of War contracts Major Falls. As Ares and Athena wander the world hoping to curtail further damage by obliterating weapons of mass destruction he slowly succumbs to the sickness taking over his fevered rabid mind. Ares may not live to see the glory of Olympus restored nor fight to keep his Wife. If he does, how high will be the price for Ares' life? How long will Alena have to keep paying Apollo even once Ares is crowned King of Olympus?

With devastating consequences shattering their lives will Ares ever be able to swallow his pride and forgive Alena when the truth is revealed or will she take her place on the Throne of the Dark Kingdom leaving Olympus and Ares behind forever?

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Excerpt Kingdoms of War:  

Apollo looked off into the distance and to the glittering reflection of stars dancing on the ocean surface. "Just thought I'd check in and see how things are going." He glanced back to the opening of the cave. "I take it they're not going well."

"A hundred million dead aren't enough for you? You have to come here and watch three more die?"

Apollo looked down at his feet and kicked his feet around a little. "Actually, we're closer to two hundred million-left alive that is," Apollo proudly crooned before raising his golden eyes back to the sea to wonder aloud.

That couldn't possibly be right. There was no way nearly six billion people dropped dead in a few short months. Apollo was playing her. "You're lying, you always lie."

"Awww, Maggie, you wound me." The Golden God hung his golden head but his eyes didn't stop shining as they stayed fixed on her. Holding her stormy stare firmly Apollo let his head roll up on his long neck as he wondered aloud. "Maybe those women in there don't have to die? Maybe I can help."

Ragging flooded through Alena's small frame. The fine tea cup in her hand tumbled to the ground at her feet and shattered as she reached out for his throat. "There is a cure? You son of a bitch!"

Apollo stood there unflinchingly but at the last second he batted away her angry talons as though she were no more than a fly. "Maybe, but you won't find out that way."

Knowing he couldn't be trusted, Alena took a step back and away from him, a step toward the edge of the cliff. "You're still lying! You're trying to get into my head, that's all. You don't have a cure. This is just another mind game of yours."

"Is it?" Apollo muttered thoughtfully. "Hmmmmm. Maybe. Maybe not."

Surely there was some pact with the devil to be made here and Alena wasn't interested in signing on the dotted line. "Get out of here. Nothing that comes from your venomous lips is the truth. You're just a nasty little boy with a wide cruel streak."

Apollo kept his voice tight as he bit back the sting of her barb. "Look into my eyes little Fae then tell me I'm lying," Apollo challenged as he took a purposeful step toward her. "As for my cruel streak, you haven't seen the worst of it yet." He glanced down at her hip hidden below the tight fitting blue jeans. "What did you tell my Brother about the scar? I know you didn't tell him it was me or I'd be dead. Is that because you dream of me in the night? This…nasty little boy," Apollo whispered seductively. "Now that the belt is no longer between us do you lay awake aching to know how I'd feel inside you?"

Instinct took over and Alena's little hand curled up into a tight little fist as she landed a right hook across Apollo's smug face. "You're a pig!" Alena spat and took another step away from him, another step closer to plunging off the cliff. "Get out!"

Apollo rubbed his cheek and ran his tongue along the inside to catch the salty taste of his Ichor. His golden eyes rolled in her direction, the rage in them unveiled. He wanted to hit her back but that wouldn't get him what he wanted. It wouldn't do him any good if she fell off the cliff either still he ventured one more step. Alena backed up, lost her footing and began to topple just as he slipped his arm around her waist to catch her. "Fine," he whispered, holding her close, "but when their eyes are glazed and the fever hits their brains, when they're foaming at the mouth, snarling, trying to bite everything that comes into view as they twist and turn in agony, " he glanced off toward the cave's opening and then smiled slyly, "don't say I didn't offer." Twirling her swiftly back to safety, Apollo chuckled and then disappeared from the cliff.





About the Author:

It was in the 4th grade when Lisa discovered she was a naturally gifted writer. The teacher asked the class to pen a story about a baby bird's first flight and read them to the class. Putting pencil to paper, Lisa was instantly whisked away by a force she couldn't explain. When they were finished, all of the children read their happy stories to the class.

Not Lisa. She got up and told of how the baby bird flew too high, hit a plane, crashed to the ground and died. She told of how the mama bird and daddy bird cried of how even God was upset sending the rains pouring from the sky. The class was speechless when she finished all they could do was stare at her. The teacher kept her after class told her the story was very good but it was different from the others. She asked Lisa if she'd ever heard of Icarus and did she base her story on him. Lisa had yet to encounter Greek Mythology or hear a whisper of Icarus. As Lisa left the classroom the teacher again told her how good the story was but suggested she might want to write something happier next time. When Lisa asked her teacher why she had no answer. Luckily for us, Lisa I never took her advice.

Lisa Beth Darling is 49 years-old, lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of nearly 30 years, Roy.  She is the author of more than fifteen novels along with several short stories and non-fiction books.



Twitter: @lb_darling