Monday, January 31, 2011


Forever My Love
© Copyright Barbara Johannsen
All Rights Reserved, Devine Destinies

ISBN: 978-1-55487-570-2
Pages: 102
Release Date: 05/15/2010
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance


Julie tried to steel her emotions as she poked her head around the door facing of the hospital room. The two male nurses were in the process of getting Michael settled in bed, adjusting the series of machines that would keep record of his breathing and pulse. Even though it was obvious to both nurses that Michael couldn't use the call button, one of them pulled the cord within reach and fastened the buzzer to the corner of the sheet.

"Can we come in, Jimmy?" Julie asked in a quiet voice.

The big male nurse turned and smiled at Julie. "We've made him as comfortable as we can, Julie. The rest is up to God."

Julie heard the quick intake of air Dean sucked in. She turned and wrapped her arms around his neck before stepping into Michael's room. "We have to help each other," she whispered in his ear. The tightening of Dean's arms around her waist assured her that he had heard her soft whisper.

The nurses stepped into the hall as Julie and Dean went into the room. From the door, Michael appeared to be sleeping peacefully. His features were relaxed and his eyes closed. His hands and arms were exposed above the covering of white sheet. His right arm was in a cast. Julie's gaze dropped to the plaster form. Through the sheen of tears misting her eyes, she glimpsed the scrawled names in red and blue ink running in random patterns across the plaster.

"Oh, my God," Dean exclaimed. He approached the bed and reached out to touch Michael. As he laid one open hand on his son's chest, he turned a tearful face to Julie. "How are we ever going to stand seeing him this way, Julie?"

Pain shot through Julie's insides. The remorse in Dean's eyes nearly broke her heart. Surely seeing Michael in this awful way brought back memories of Sharon's battle with cancer he had tried to bury. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held him close.

Dean broke the hug and wiped a hand across his eyes. "I'm sorry, Julie. I know I should be stronger, but the sight of him lying there, so still and lifeless got the better of me. We don't even know if he will regain consciousness.

A combination of emotions surged through Julie's insides as she looked down at Michael. There was an aura of silence about him that she couldn't find the courage to accept. She reached out one hand and touched his cheek, lightly pressing her palm against his jaw. His skin was warm and the familiar feel of beard stubble made her close her eyes for a moment. The years they were separated seemed to melt away, lost in a sea of hurt and time. Resisting the urge to gather his still body into her arms, Julie pulled her hand away and looked at his father.

"I want to get a look at his chart--and speak with Doctor Murdock."

"I'll stay here," Dean said, drawing a chair up beside Michael's bed. "I want to be here when he wakes up."


Monday, January 24, 2011


Frances Pauli

ISBN: 978-1-55487-768-3
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Number of Pages: 108
Categories: Romance, New Releases, Recent Releases, Science Fiction, Futuristic
Release Date: January 01, 2011


Lierra drags her barely tolerable fiancé to New Canterbury, a planet where history is almost recreated for the nostalgic, human colonists. While preparing for their wedding, however, she encounters Forrest Ecks, her hero and one of the premier artists of the time.

Despite his fame, Forrest Ecks has little in the way of promise. Injured in the war, his painting career has withered along with his damaged hand. When the Lady Darvid shows him an E-sel full of amateurish, but promising sketches, Forrest takes on the task of teaching the woman. But Lierra herself proves far more interesting than her paintings.

Lierra’s engagement hovers ever closer, but more than her art blooms during her lessons with Forrest. With the little time they have, can they teach each other that giving up is never the best option?

“Technically, yes,” she said. Collette made a noise to her right. Lierra had nearly forgotten her cousin in her fury to prove herself to a complete stranger. Now she heard the girl shifting from foot to foot. No doubt, nervous at the situation, at the man’s blatant disregard of their status.

“You’ve left something off.” His eyes narrowed. “There’s a but hanging on the end of that statement.”

“Yes,” Lierra stared straight back at him. Behind her, Colley squeaked. “Personally, I prefer his earlier works. The later pieces lack his initial passion.”

“But certainly, you’d admit they exhibit a great deal more skill?”

“Skill, yes, but without the emotion. I saw Woman with Yellow Veil yesterday…”

The man snorted at her, actually snorted.

“You dislike it? I’d say it’s possibly his best work.”

“I certainly hope not,” he said. “It’s sloppy, sentimental and amateurish.”

“Quite easy to say, I imagine, from the sidelines.”

“It’s widely considered,” He stole her earlier words. “That Ecks’ work became progressively more sophisticated as he mastered his medium.”

“Mastery is not a fair trade-off for passion.” Lierra refused to be unnerved, though a shadow of concern blossomed in her thoughts. There was something about this man, something intense that went beyond his fine clothes and long black gloves. “The early paintings had a wild edge, something raw and unchecked—”

“Reckless abandon?” The corner of his mouth twitched into an amused smile.

“Yes, in a way,” Lierra answered. He’s enjoying this, she thought. In truth, so was she. The debate topped Trent’s occasional, Hey babe, what you doodling? by a landslide.

“Sloppiness is no substitute for craft.”

“Craft is good,” she said. “But without the raw emotion it can come across as sterile.” Behind her, Colley let out another squeak.

“Sterile?” His eyes widened. Both of his eyebrows raised in a startled stretch. A warning bell chimed in the back of Lierra’s mind.

He stepped forward and gave the Ecks a good long stare, tucking one of his hands into the front of his coat and tilting his head sharply to the side.

“Interesting perspective,” he said. “Unconventional, but interesting.”

Lierra had no idea if he referred to the painting or her comments, but the chime of alarm escalated. She heard sirens in her head, stared at the glove tucked into his doublet. She darted a helpless glance in Collette’s direction. Her cousin inspected her own feet, demur, unhelpful. Lierra scrambled for something to say, but he spun away from the painting before her brain supplied any answer.

“It has been a pleasure.” He bowed, a stiff, formal gesture that might have soothed her had it happened ten minutes ago. “I look forward to more conversation over dinner, Lady Darvid.”

She stood frozen, knowing from the heat spreading across her cheeks that she blushed and that he noticed. The man knew exactly who she was. Her brain whirled. She managed a rather breathless, “Likewise,” and watched him pass, stride across the room and make his exit. The Gallery doors swung closed in slow motion.

“That was Forrest Ecks, wasn’t it?” She turned to where Collette waited. The girl’s horrified expression answered for her. Forrest Ecks, of course it was.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Viola Grace

ISBN: 978-1-55487-754-6
Series: # Nexus Chronicles
Cover Artist: Martine Jardin
Number of Pages: 70
Categories: Paranormal Romance, Recent Releases, Fantasy, Holiday Stories, Previous Releases
Release Date: December 15, 2010


Raven Dexter chose to pursue midwifery the moment she helped a teen friend deliver her baby. Fed up with unconcerned physicians, she studied until she could open her small practice in a moderately sized town. Her practice was slowly growing until the night a strange man demanded she come with her to attend a birth. Her introduction to the paranormal society was in the venue of delivering a small goblin baby that quickly took a chunk out of her arm.

The elf that took her to her first delivery moves in without even asking, taking care of everything from her appointments to making her meals, Eyleno Miz rapidly becomes indispensable and then becomes something more.

Either he was telling the truth about goblins or she had gone off the deep end and was rapidly going under. Perhaps she was at home drowning in a warm bubbly bath.

“Your patient is this way.” He parked the car and escorted her through alleys that held strange and hostile smells, but Eyleno moved calmly and quickly and all too soon, they were passing creatures that were even less human looking than her elfin guide.

“Goblins?” She swallowed. There was an acrid scent in the air, similar to sweat but very different. Her mind accepted it as the smell of a different race with a different diet.

“Goblins.” His word was calm and confirming.

The large house that they entered was full of the creatures, each more hideous than the last. Afraid to be caught staring, Raven walked right behind Eyleno, so close that when he stopped, she ran straight into him. As she righted herself, she couldn’t help noticing that he smelled really nice, like autumn and the sun altogether.

“Here are the women’s quarters. The maid will take you through.” He handed the bags to the four-armed woman and Raven blankly followed her bright blue and pink luggage.

Females filled the labour room. The woman on the bed was hideous with fangs exposed in pain. Raven immediately introduced herself.

“Thank the burning sun that you are here. The child is almost here.” The woman grimaced, a truly frightening sight.

Raven got to work, the anatomy she faced blessedly familiar. The woman was indeed ready to give birth. The dark head was becoming visible. When the small son came sliding into the world, Raven caught him with practiced hands. As she turned him over her arm to clear his lungs, a prickling sensation started and then the little bugger munched down on her arm with all his might.

“Son of a bitch!” She didn’t want to shake her arm, but it was hard keeping still until he released of his own accord. As quickly as she could, Raven handed him over to his mother and took care of the afterbirth and making sure that the bleeding was not excessive.

Her own bleeding was continuing from her forearm as the punctures were still sluggishly giving up their bounty. Hissing, she dumped alcohol on the wounds and bound it with gauze. When the proud father came into the room and licked the child clean, she had had enough. Raven passed out.


Monday, January 10, 2011


Viola Grace

ISBN: 978-1-55487-766-9
Series: # Sector Guard in series: 15
Cover Artist: Martine Jardin
Number of Pages: 57
Categories: Romance, New Releases, Recent Releases, Science Fiction, Futuristic
Release Date: January 01, 2011

Tricia Williams has been handed over to the Sector Guard, her talent for tranquilizing those around her has become dangerous and uncontrolled. The Sector Guard techs rise to the challenge and in no time, Tricia has been outfitted with a uniform that will let her eat and converse in public without putting her in a bubble. Guardian is her new commanding officer and they have met before. When she was a mediator and he was joining the Alliance, she mediated his contract and he took a place in her nocturnal fantasies from that day onward. Now, assigned to Guardian as a partner, Pax has several things to deal with, and her life depends on his attention to detail. If he would stop staring at her butt, things would go a lot smoother.

“I wouldn’t choose anywhere else. If you run into her, ask Pilot about it in more detail. As the first Guardsman, she might have an insight that I lack.”

Tricia made a face at the monitor and laughed outright as the image of a hand with the middle finger extended came up on the screen. “Charming, Aggie.”

“I do try. We are coming up on Morganti. Star Breaker is en route to escort the shuttle in. The staff from the base has already made contact and will be loading you into their shuttle. This is where I wish you good luck. Once your bubble is unhooked, I won’t be able to speak to you.”

“I know. It has been wonderful to have you to talk to though. Those stiffs at the Citadel didn’t even want me to have a book in here.”

“I have passed your appreciation to the captain. I had several packs of cards made for crew members and he parted with his personal set.”

Tricia swept the cards into a pile and tapped them square. “Would he like them back?”

“You know you are under contagion protocols. Anything in that room that isn’t you is up for scorching.”

She grumbled silently. Her talent had been refined and honed by the Citadel to the point where she could simply touch, speak to or be in the same room with someone and they would go from irritated to placid in an instant. Her very voice was considered toxic and even Aggie had to use an audio filter so as not to be touched by her talent.

Talent or curse, Tricia couldn’t make up her mind. She was on the fence as to what the classification for her condition was.

“The Morganti crew is here. Good luck, Tricia.”

“Thanks for the sympathetic ear, Aggie. I hope to see you soon.”

A laugh came through the speakers as the door to the hold opened to display four friendly faced base staff. “See me or hear me?”

“Whatever. It was nice to have another human to talk to.”

“Same here—” Her voice cut off as the staffers disconnected the leads to the walls of Tricia’s bubble.

Thick layers of clear plexi were sealed and without the air coming in through the umbilical, she had less than an hour. It was a good thing that the crew that moved her was efficient.

They trundled her out of the bay in which her bubbled had been installed and into a shuttle bay where a large transport vehicle was waiting.

Something was wrong. There was no Sector Guard logo on the side of the ship. Frantically, Tricia ran to the com and tried to connect, but there was no answer.

Her escort noted her frenzy and moved quickly, their eyes keeping a look out for any members of the ship’s crew. Tricia’s heart sank when a staff member from the Deckar came around the corner and one of her escorts blasted him.

She was being kidnapped and she couldn’t get out of the damned cage!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Character spotlight with Kyra Morgan

I am Kyra Morgan, PH.D: My story can be found in the Lady Faire series—upcoming. I am a professor of history at a major university and up for tenure soon. I also play lady-in-waiting to my best friend at a Renaissance faire in the summer and help to coordinate and direct the players, this is not as easy as it seems, especially when some people do not take their roles and research seriously! All in all, I like my life scripted and predictable. I do enjoy a bit of whimsy here and there, but who was it that said spontaneity has its time and place? Indeed. Perhaps that is why history is so much nicer than the present—no surprises. Or at least that’s what I thought.

I am close to my best friend, Audrey, but otherwise my relationships tend to be superficial. My parents divorced when I was young, but I was never close to either of them anyway, and we don’t keep in touch. I was engaged once, but that turned out badly--so badly that I was loathe to enter into a real relationship again. Especially not with someone so cocky and brazen as Rafe Harrison. He really can infuriate me. But when one finds oneself stranded and helpless in the middle of a strange place and time, cocky and brazen can be useful.

What makes you special? What differentiates you from your kind? Do you have special abilities?
My kind? I am not sure what you are referring to. I am in the small percentage of people under 30 to have earned my doctorate and am near tenure, so that would distinguish me. As for special abilities, well, let’s just say I prefer to work behind the scenes for the most part. I always know what others should be doing, even if they themselves don’t.

Tell us about your most current adventure.
I couldn’t tell you how it happened exactly, but I ended up in Renaissance England with a man I despised. I ended up traveling across two countries and meeting people I had only read about. I can tell you that nothing was quite as I had expected or went according to plan. It was all very disconcerting for someone like me. But as usual, I was the only one who had a clue as to what was going on as you can see here as I realize exactly where we are and what the consequences could be.

Kyra stood frozen in place, her breath coming fast and hard. She was sure her lungs were going to burst. Placentia. The little known name of Greenwich palace, the birthplace of King Henry VIII and his children, a place no longer standing. She had never heard anyone at the faire mention it. And those men didn’t look or sound like faire workers. The accents were real, almost to the point of being unintelligible. And the forest was no place she had ever seen on or near the faire. How could she have fallen in a tent and woken in such a place?
“Oh no. No.” Kyra felt her legs trembling. It was too great, too implausible, to believe. And yet she had no other explanation.
“What’s wrong?” Rafe asked with concern, “You’re pale. Sit, before you fall down.”
“No, no,” Kyra looked down at her finery—her grab, Audrey’s garb, Queen Katherine’s dress. The rich purple velvets and satins embroidered with the golden pomegranates of Granada, the crystal and pearl trims and decoration covering every inch of it. Without a word, she began furiously tearing off her skirt, tugging desperately at the stays and ribbons fastening her sleeves while Rafe stood gaping at her in amazement. “Don’t just stand there! Get these clothes off me and quickly before anyone else appears!
Rafe raised an eyebrow, “I always knew you would come around, but I hadn’t imagined it quite like this…”
“Yes, you are very funny, now hurry up because we don’t have time. I cannot be seen like this again. I’m breaking every sumptuary law as it is!”
“Whoa. Sumptuary laws? You’re the queen, so they don’t apply to you. Though I bet someone has to remind you from time to time that you aren’t really the queen of anything, baby.” Still, he moved closer to her and expertly unlaced her sleeves and bodice, gently releasing her breasts from their long confinement. He stared admiringly as she bent over to remove her farthingale, and soon she stood before him wearing nothing but a thin gold and purple trimmed chemise and a pair of purple velvet slippers.
“Not how I imagined it at all, but it will do nicely.” Rafe nodded, his gaze following her as she gathered up her garb and pulled off her simulated jewels.
“We have to hide these.”
That was enough. “Kyra,” Rafe took her by the arm, “How hard did you hit your head, honey? As much as I might approve, you can’t just strip in the middle of the faire.”
“Are you daft?” Kyra gasped, staring wide-eyed into his face. “I am asking for more trouble than either of us can handle dressed like this! I will probably receive a quick death for impersonating the queen. Or, worse, a long slow one.”

If you could offer your author advice, what would it be?
Don’t make it seem like I was such a priss! Honestly, I just like doing things correctly. And a certain someone was handled with kid’s gloves despite his obvious faults. I think the author may have had a crush on him. All the women do, and he gets a free pass because if it. Disgusting.

Are you happy with the way people perceive you?
I’m not sure how people perceive me, really, I am a bit oblivious to these things in general, or so I am told. Of course, I don’t want people getting the wrong idea either. I am not a prude or a simpleton. I would offer that people put themselves in my place and ask what they would do in such trying circumstances. I am sure I did better than most. Right?

Tell us a little bit about your world:
I suppose I have two worlds. Maybe three. It is hard to compartmentalize at a certain point—the boundaries bleed--quite heavily at times. There is my life at the university, of course, which is of the utmost importance and requires a certain gravitas. Then there is my summer stint at the Renaissance faire where I play act the people I study and write about—it is campy, sometimes frustrating, often a lot of fun, but of a completely different ilk than university life. Then there is the actual Renaissance, a world which I shall never be able to fully exit for various reasons.

Is humor important? Why or why not?
I would have said no before my time-traveling experience. But now that I look back, I think it was one of the few things that kept me sane, one of the things that I grew to need, to hold on to. So, yes, it is something I now value.

Is expressing love difficult for you? Why?
It is. I don’t trust easily. I had a bad experience with a man once—absolutely damaging to my professional and emotional well being, you see. I do not like being made a fool of and will go to great lengths to keep that from happening again. Having divorced, non-communicative parents probably didn’t help much either. Let’s face it: in the end, the only one going to the mat for you is yourself. Right? Right?

What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you?
I suppose one would say waking up in the Renaissance would be the most interesting thing that could happen to a person, but I think learning to trust a man again was the most unexpected, wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I don’t think that it would have occurred without the time-travel and the experiences we shared, of course, but it is the thing I value the most now.

If you could pull your author into your world, what do you think would happen to her?
Are you serious? She would go to pieces. And if she managed withstand the deprivation and terror, she would cave right in and give into some of the more lurid advances of certain untrustworthy men and be lost forever. She really isn’t a good judge of character, if you ask me.

What are your opinions on magic?
I would have laughed at such an idea before, but now I think that it is best not to meddle with what one does not understand. I think most of it is, of course, charlatanism. But you can’t be too careful, really.

What are the pros and cons to being a Lady?
Wearing all those skirts and that jewelry is such fun! Well, it is for a couple of hours. Try it on a hot summer day without a breeze to be had though. The admiration of the low-born and the attention of courtiers is lovely, but then the restrictions upon one’s movements and behavior are odious, not to mention being at the mercy of men’s whims. Wait, are we talking about the Renaissance faire or the actual Renaissance?

How does one become a Queen?
I became one by default in the faire, but wouldn’t recommend that, as it involved a terrible accident. Otherwise, one begins as a simple player, learning and honing one’s craft in the lanes, eventually rising in the ranks of the faux nobility, and then simply waiting for the present queen to grow tired of the heat and hassle and vacate her position. The other route is, of course, by marrying a king, and from what I have seen, that hadn’t much to recommend it.

Describe your best kill. Why was it the best?
My what? I haven’t killed anyone. How terrible. I have seen several good people hewn down and would never want to be in such situation again.

What kind of abilities do you get when you are a gypsy?
I don’t think most of them have any special abilities per se, though I met one with a wonderful talent for storytelling and another who mixed potions well. I have to admit that a couple of them were undeniably talented in the magical arts, but I wouldn’t suspect that such applies to most of them.

What makes being with a scholar the best sexual experience?
Attention to detail? Pent up physical energy in need of a timely release? The ability to read between the lines? Goodness, I don’t know. I can’t say that I feel comfortable discussing this with you, really. Not ladylike at all.

Have you ever ended up somewhere you didn’t want to go?
Not at all. I mean, I didn’t intend to go there, it just happened. If I had been asked, however, it was just where I wanted to be. Or I thought I did.
Where you ever stuck in a different timeline?
Quite. Getting back was anything but simple. I didn’t realize how many other factors or people would be involved. It isn’t as straightforward as one would like to believe, and I am not one to allow for the human element in any case, so plans went awry more than once.

Is the butterfly effect, when you change one thing in the past it changes the future, real?
Not that I can see. If anything changed, it certainly hasn’t been documented anyway, but I do worry about the future in some respects.
Does it take a toll on your body to time travel?
That is a current concern of mine. So far so good though.

Have you fallen in love with someone from the past or future and how did you deal with it?
I will admit that I did carry a torch for someone in the past, though I was deceived in his character. Or perhaps I deceived myself. In any case, I got over it pretty quickly.

Finally, is there something you wished we had asked, but didn’t?
You didn’t ask about my current research project or scholarship or how my tenure review went, but then that’s to be expected, I suppose.