Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zina Abbott talks about her book, Big Meadows Valentine


Big Meadows Valentine is the first novella in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series by Zina Abbott. Although it includes a chapter with a Valentine’s Day theme, it is not strictly a valentine story. It begins in the first week of January, 1884. Here is a little of what it is about:
Some men left the civilized settlements of the east to risk life and limb in the lawless gold and silver mines of California and Nevada for wealth. Beth Dodd left behind her little sister and the civilized farming region of southern Ohio that she loved to travel to those same mining regions to search for her scalawag of a husband who deserted her. In Lundy, Beth finds rancher named Val Caldwell with a heart bigger than all the gold in the Mono County mountains of the eastern Sierra-Nevada. She stays, knowing she has a responsibility to settle affairs with her husband. But, having lost almost everything she valued due to the decisions forced upon her first by her father and then by her husband, can she ever again trust a man to have any degree of influence or control over her life?
Bitter over laws that favor men over women and determined to start a new life for herself and her sister on her own terms and through her own efforts, Beth resists the attraction she feels towards Val. Can Val make any headway in his quest to persuade Beth to consider a future with him someday?


    “I done made provisions for you, daughter. You ain’t gonna be workin’ like this no more. I found me a man to buy the farm.”
    His words immediately propelled Beth into action. Her face suffused with shock, she threw her splayed hands up next to her head as she sucked in her breath. Next, she leaned forward and reached to grab her father’s hands clinging to the wooden arms of the rocker. At the last moment, she thought better of it and clasped her hands in front of her.
    “No, Pa! There ain’t no call you doin’ that. We’re doin’ right fine. Sellin’ the farm will force us to move to town. You don’t want that.”
    “We ain’t movin’ to town. We’re stayin’ right here. I done found you a husband, Beth. It’s part of the deal. He’s goin’ to marry you as part of buyin’ the farm.”


 Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novel,
Family Secrets, was published by Fire Star Press in October 2014 and her novelette, A
Christmas Promise, was published by Prairie Rose Publications in November 2014. The first two novellas in the Eastern SierraBrides 1884 series, Big Meadows Valentine and A

 Resurrected Heart, are now available.

The author currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys family history and any kind of history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.

Please visit the Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.

Zina Abbott Author Links:

Website           Blog                Pinterest         Facebook

Purchase Links for Big Meadows Valentine:

Kindle                         Nook               Smashwords

Purchase Links for A Resurrected Heart:

Kindle                         Nook               Smashwords

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Clair de Lune stops by Penny's Tales

The "Red is for ……" series. Everyone has a secret, and in a small town these secrets are not always as well hidden as we'd like them to be. The series is centred on a clandestine, and very exclusive, BDSM club and its members. The club is based under the Whisky Distillery of the Dalguise family on Speyside. Every member of the club has something they want to hide. How they cope with their secrets is very different in each case, but the help and support they receive from their friends in the club helps them with the difficult choices they have to make. There are five books planned for this series. The first one is released in Kobo and Nook today, having been a Kindle exclusive for the last few months. The second one is almost through the editing process and will be released in all formats together in the very near future.

"Red is for Danger" book one in the series. 
Take one handsome, young redhead, Calum Dalguise, fresh from the triumph of restoring his family's fortunes, add a luscious P.A., who is in love with him, and a clandestine and very exclusive BDSM club: the result is a delicious blend of romance, BDSM, and danger. A hint from a friend makes Calum realise that Fiona, his P.A., is submissive, so he throws himself into the enjoyable task of training her. A careless word by a nervous young sub almost brings disaster down on their heads, luckily they are saved at the last minute, but to whom do they really owe their rescue? Will Fiona's gamble pay off? Can Calum convince her they have a future together?

Story Excerpt
The icing on the cake was Dalguise himself. That family had always thought way too much of themselves. The old man had sacked him, and then the young one had refused to take him back. That snooty personal assistant had had him escorted from the premises when he’d protested at his treatment. Look at her now. She’d pay well to keep those photos out of the press, as would the two men. Revenge was going to be sweet. He’d make them pay, or enjoy seeing their ridicule and ruin at the hands of the gutter press. They’d be queuing up to publish the whole sordid story. The local rag wouldn’t do it, because its owner was as thick as thieves with Dalguise and Macleod, but the nationals would pay a hell of a lot for it.
He withdrew the camera and closed the doors. Then he went back up the stairs and out into the night. He relocked the doors. When they got tired of their games he’d come back and get lots of pictures of the equipment. It was going to make a juicy story. He’d go back home and write the note. Later he’d be back
Adult Excerpt
“You’ve no need to beg for my affection. It’s all yours. Communication is what was lacking on both sides. I’m sorry to have worried you, but I did what I did in order to avoid worrying you. It seems I made a mess of that.” He held out his hand and although she hesitated for a few seconds, she took it. He raised her hand to his lips and kissed her palm, then the pulse point at her wrist until he felt her blood flow tumultuously in her veins. Then he pulled her to her feet and into his arms.
“Fiona, my love,” he murmured into her hair.” I’d do anything to avoid hurting you, don’t you know that?”
She looked up and he bent his head and kissed her. It was a warm, tender kiss to start with and he didn’t intend it to go further, but she opened her lips and he gathered her closer and his mouth possessed hers. Their tongues danced and she pressed herself against him. He felt his cock swell and he knew he had to have her.
“I need you inside me now,” she said. “Please, Sir, I’ve missed you so.”
He cleared one end of his desk, sweeping papers unheeded to the floor. He bent her over it, flipped up her skirt and pulled her knickers down until they fell to her ankles. His trousers and trunks were down over his hips and his cock sprang free. He’d never been so desperate in his life to fuck a woman. She wriggled her bottom in impatience, opening her legs as wide as she could and he sank his dick deep inside her. He didn't bother with a condom. He wasn’t going to fuck anyone but her. She moaned.
“Yes, oh yes. Fuck me hard, fuck me now, please, Sir.”
He needed no further urging. Withdrawing, he thrust back into her, lifting her up on her toes with the force of it. “Yes, more, harder, faster,” she pleaded. He grinned.
“My Fiona. My delicious… wanton…naughty… sexy… little… kitten.” As he said each word, he thrust his dick deep into her pussy with all the force he could muster.
She held onto the desk and her sobbing little moans at each stroke, coupled with the way her pussy muscles grasped his cock, as if she never wanted to let him leave her, drove him on and on, until she screamed his name when she came and pushed him over the edge. He emptied his load deep inside her, then he collapsed over her onto his desk. He had sufficient strength left to place a hand on either side of her, but it was a while before he could catch his breath and try to stand on his wobbly legs. He helped her to stand, too, and then they hobbled to the bathroom, giggling at each other’s attempts to walk with knickers or trousers around their ankles. Once cleaned up, he took her in his arms and kissed the tip of her nose.
“This isn’t over yet, my pet. There’s still the matter of that camera. I’ll see you after work."

"Red is for Fire"

What do you do when your man is too compliant? Lead him a merry dance until he loses his cool and behaves the way you want him to of course. Edana will have none of the polite and considerate Andrew and true love never did run smoothly, then the Lady takes a hand ....

Story Excerpt 

"The Procurator Fiscal to see you, Mr Dalguise," Fiona said, as she ushered him into Calum's office. My but that Fiona's a pleasant armful. The way she looks at young Calum is an eye-opener. Och weel, so she's ta'en is she? About time Calum saw what was under his nose.  A well-built man in his forties, Andrew MacGregor, the Procurator Fiscal, dwarfed Calum. He was bluff and good-natured, but his manner hid a razor-sharp legal mind. He'd been the Fiscal for two years and everyone knew that nothing got past him. Calum's looking sick. So I was right, there is a lot of truth in the maunderings of yon drunk. Well I can have a bit of fun here. Unbeknownst to all except his intimate friends, the Fiscal had a wicked sense of humour and was never happier than when he was baiting an unsuspecting victim.
              "Afternoon Calum," he said, holding his hand out and shaking Calum's hand heartily.
              "Sit down, Andy. Can I get you a wee dram?"
              "I am very partial to the Dalguise, as you well know," MacGregor said, and smiled as Calum handed him a glass of the twenty year old single malt.
              "Slainte. This is the nectar of the gods," he said as he sipped in appreciation.
              "It's my favourite, too," Calum replied. They savoured their whiskies for a while. Andrew MacGregor had no intention of being rushed. He looked at Calum over the rim of the Edinburgh-Crystal glass.
              "I'm here in person, to tell you the latest about the death of Auld Rabbie."
              "Does that mean you've caught someone?" Calum asked, and Andrew heard a note of well-concealed anxiety in his voice.
              "Yes, we have. You'll recall that Rab broke his bottle on the wall, and he used it to defend himself? Well, he cut the other man. The DNA results gave us a name, one that's known to you, I'm sure. Jim Jardine is our man. We have him in custody now, and he'll be charged with the murder. He tried to bargain with me. He said he had some compromising photographs on a memory card. He said he'd taken them with a friend's camera."
              What sort of photographs?" Calum's voice was steady but Andrew would bet he was far from sanguine. This is every bit as amusing as I'd anticipated.
              "You'll never believe what they were. He said he'd proof that you were running a kinky club here. Mrs Macleod and Ruari Jamieson were involved, too. Now he couldn't have hit upon three more unlikely people to be involved in such a club, could he? Yon Mrs Macleod is as respectable as they come, and you and Ruari have your reputations to think about."

Adult Excerpt
Andrew moved the hamper to one side and lay down on the rug. He looked up at her as she sat gazing out to sea. Tentatively he ran one finger down her spine and she shivered. Pleased with this success, he began to run his hands down her arms and back, following her curves and feeling her breathing change. All of a sudden she turned to face him and lay down beside him on the rug,
              "Kiss me," she said.
He leaned over her, taking his weight on his elbows. He was gentle at first, as his tongue followed the seam of her closed lips, parting them with the tip, and she opened her mouth to receive him. She raised her arms and held him to her, as he explored the taste of her. She was as sweet as honey. Suddenly she pulled him down on her and kissed him back. Tongues tangled, teeth clashed and lips were bruised and swollen but still they kissed, as she writhed under him. He pushed one knee between her legs, and she clamped her thighs together, holding him tight and dry-humping his knee. One of his hands strayed to knead her breast, and she moaned into the kiss. He hadn't expected this. She'd given no sign that she'd welcome intimacy, but now she was as eager as he was. She panted and wriggled then one of her hands reached down, pushed aside his kilt and took hold of his balls. She squeezed and kneaded, taking care to sink her nails in only so far. Then her hand moved to the head of his cock. She pumped up and down as he felt his dick swelling until he thought he'd burst.
              "I want you inside me, Andrew. I want you now," she said urgently. She raised her hips and he helped her to discard her slacks, then he moved aside her skimpy thong. His cock found her pussy. She was wet and slick. He was careful to go slowly at first but she wrapped her legs around him, resting her feet on his buttocks, thus spreading herself wide for him and inviting a deeper penetration.
              "God, Andrew. Fuck me," she gasped. "I want you to fuck me hard and fast."
Andrew couldn't believe what he was hearing, but it was what he had most wanted to do for a long time, and so he needed no extra urging

    I live in Dumfries and Galloway in Southern Scotland, although I was born in South Yorkshire. I spent many happy years teaching and when I retired I eventually became bored with just the domestic routine.
My youngest son challenged me to write a novel of my own, and I wrote "Initiation" book one in the Prometheus in Chains series.It wasn't quite the book he'd envisaged! Since then writing has become an important part of my life. It's been like a roller-coaster ride, and a very pleasurable one at that. When I sent off my first book to Siren I had no idea what I was setting in motion. I joined Facebook, something I never dreamed I'd do, but I have made many good friends on there. Some readers and some fellow authors. Writing has certainly changed my life.
I believe the world has enough sadness in it and my characters will always get their HEA even if the road is rocky. I love to hear from my readers and I answer all messages and emails.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Martha O'Sullivan shows off her Chances Trilogy

Good morning Martha and thanks so much for stopping by Penny's Tales!  Take it away......

My love affair with California began at the tender age of fifteen and continues yet today. So it should come as no surprise that the book of my heart, which somehow turned into a trilogy, is set there. I could attribute that frisson to the thrill of a midwestern girl seeing the ocean for the first time. Or the unapologetically bronzed coeds with movie-star teeth driving convertibles and playing volleyball in the sand. Maybe the towering palm trees swaying against the impossibly blue sky. But it’s more seminal than that.

Like many writers, I was an avid reader from an early age. And as an only child, books were my default playmates. As a teenager, I found myself drawn to the revolving wire rack of musty-smelling, dog-eared paperbacks at the public library. Some days I would get off the city bus a few stops early and pick some up on the way home from school. The novels took me to places all over the world where effortlessly beautiful, wonderfully flawed heroines were swept off their feet by unapologetically successfully, wildly handsome heros to live happily ever after. And in the event I found the ending to be unfavorable, I would simply continue the story in my head to my liking. Characters, layered in observation and steeped in expectation were formed. The framework of a story was subtlety built as innocence became experience and naivety became discernment. 

Writing such ideas down, however, took nearly thirty years.

In the interim, I met my own alpha hero and went to San Francisco on our honeymoon. And, as cliché as it sounds, that’s where I left my heart. Part of it, anyway. For the last decade or so, Lake Tahoe has shared custody. I hope my Chances trilogy will take you there. And you’ll leave a little piece of yours behind too. Martha O’Sullivan’s Chances trilogy is available now from Red Sage Publishing. Second Chance, the trilogy opener, is a reunion/love triangle romance that keeps the shores of Lake Tahoe blazing hot long after the sultry summer sun has set. Chance Encounter, the trilogy's second installment, heats up San Francisco’s chilly days and blustery nights with white-hot passion and pulse-pounding suspense. And in Last Chance, the conclusion of the trilogy, lifelong friends-turned-lovers melt the snow-packed Sierras into lust-fueled puddles despite the single-digit temperatures of the Lake Tahoe winter. Here’s a blurb and an excerpt from Second Chance:

Lindsay Foster has convinced herself that marrying Paul Webster is the right thing to do. But she and Brian Rembrandt have some unfinished business. And now that Brian is standing in front of her again, undressing her with his eyes, she finds herself torn between the life she's always wanted and the man she'll always love.
Brian's up for that fight; he's used to getting what he wants. And he's never met a rule, or a 
woman, that couldn't be broken. So when Lindsay won't come to him, he goes to her. 

But it's more complicated than that.

This love triangle has an extra side. Lindsay's best friend Moira Brody has a game-changing secret.  And she's not the only one. The chain of events set in motion on the tranquil shores of Lake Tahoe come to an astonishing end on a foggy San Francisco night. And alters the course of four lives forever...

Excerpt (PG) from Second Chance, Chances Trilogy #1, by Martha O’Sullivan

“Married?” Brian was still on top of Lindsay, rising and falling with her shallow breaths. And hard as a rock. He had never been so aroused without making love before. “To Webster?” The words burned his tongue and he jolted back, repulsed.
Lindsay’s nod was swift and, he told himself, the least bit reluctant. As if suddenly modest, she began fumbling with her top. “I should have told you before.”
Brian sat on the edge of the sagging cushion and ran a dumbfounded hand through his hair “Yeah,” he huffed out, “that would have been nice.” He was thoroughly spent, all the life suddenly drained out of him. And his erection. “Why didn’t you?”
“I don’t know.” She finished tying and stood. “I guess.” Her eyes went hollow. “I was afraid.”
“Of me?”
She searched the air for the words. “No, of me. Of it. Once I tell you, it’s real. No going back.”
It was frighteningly real to him already. He stood and took her hands, grazing her fingers with his thumbs.
“It needs to be sized,” she ground out with a gulp, reading his mind.
“The setting has to be rebuilt—” “No. When?”
Her eyes softened with understanding. “We haven’t set a date. Before the end of the year.” She withdrew her hands and started to walk away.
Brian grabbed her arm. “Why?”
“Why?” Her expression became strained, puzzled. “Why are you getting married?”
She took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and then replied inadequately, “Paul and I have known each other forever. We want the same things. We are...familiar.”
“That’s qualified. Why?”
Her face bore more struggle than strain now, which pleased Brian. “Because he asked me and there’s no reason not to.” She tried to shake him off, but he tightened his grip.
“I can give you a reason.”
Her mouth parted slightly, allowing a short gasp of air to escape. “You can?”
He whirled her around and bringing their mouths within inches of each other said, “Yeah, I can.” He could see the fear in her eyes but it was laced with hope, so he continued. “But first things first. Do you love him?”
That stung, especially since she didn’t hesitate. “Did you run away because of him?”
She deadpanned him. “What?”
Narrowing his eyes, he clarified, “Did you leave me for him?”
She shook her head incredulously, as if no farther-fetched words had ever been spoken. “No! Brian, I didn’t leave you. I left San Francisco,” she explained, looking away. “We were unraveling. You didn’t want to make a commitment; I couldn’t go on without one. Gram’s illness precipitated the inevitable.”
“I was committed to you. There was no one else. I—”
“I know that,” she broke in. “I mean marriage, a family. You’d already done that.” Her shoulders stiffened as if to summon courage before she faced him again. “It hurt too much to keep pretending.”
“Were you pretending when we made love the night before you left? Or had you been pretending all along?” His attempts to stay hinged were proving increasingly ineffective.
Unceremonious teardrops were gliding down her cheeks now, leaving behind threadlike, sooty tracks. “I couldn’t have pretended that. Any of that. I mean pretending that we had a future.”
“So you left, cut me out of your life and found someone to give you that future,” he argued in a voice colored with indignation.
“It wasn’t like that. It just...” She settled on the word. “Happened. Paul was very supportive when Gram died.” The pain was etched in her eyes now, tearing at Brian’s heartstrings.
“And I wouldn’t have been?”
She dropped her broken gaze. “I wanted to call you a hundred times. But it wouldn’t have changed anything. Other than both of us ending up even more hurt.”
“It would have changed everything,” he surprised himself by saying and tilted her chin. “The end of the year, huh? That gives me a few months to change your mind. Looks like I got here just in time.”

Second Chance and the Chances trilogy by Martha O'Sullivan is available at:

Martha O'Sullivan has loved reading romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing her own novels is the realization of a lifelong dream for this stay-at-home mom. Martha writes spicy, contemporary romances with traditional couples and happy endings. She is the author of the Chances trilogy from Red Sage Publishing. Her current work-in-progress is steamy Christmas novel set in Florida.  A native Chicagoan, she lives her own happy ending in Tampa with her husband and two daughters.
Please visit for reviews, excerpts and more.