Fashion in The Duel for Consuelo by Claudia H Long

Monday, June 30, 2014

I am pleased to have Claudia H. Long back on the blog today to discuss her newest release, The dual for Consuelo. I have to admit it, steampunks love costuming. I invited Claudia to come talk with us today about the fashions depicted in her novel and popular in the 1700s. She has shared some lovely images in and insights below! Get ready to give that steampunk wardrobe some Latin appeal!

1711, in the far-away reaches of Colonial Mexico, saw the beginnings of changes in the composition of the population. Far from the restrictions of Mother Spain, where the King and the Church were keeping a tight lid on progress, the tendrils of the Enlightenment were creeping in.

Ah, the Enlightenment! Science, poetry, literature, and yes, fashion, were all starting to streamline. Off with the frou-frou, high-necked, ruffled tops! Bring on the smooth lines of the new fashion!
In the portrait of the Duke of Marlborough, by Seeman, in 1711, you can see that even though our gentlemen were still sporting some pretty phenomenal wigs, their "blouses" were more linear, their collars much simpler—though still quite elegant

But in New Spain, another change was making itself known: people were mixing at unheard-of rates. The Spanish born Peninsulares were marrying the Criollos, or pure-Spanish-but-born-in-the-Colonies. The Criollos were marrying Meztizos, and the Enlightenment was trying desperately to categorize them,

sometimes with outrageous results.

"Casta Paintings" with every conceivable permutation of coupling, give us rare insight into both the clothing and the attitudes of the

These Casta Paintings and the trouble they could cause feature in The Duel for Consuelo, where secrets rule the day and Consuelo is pulled between the old and the new at home, in Church, and by two men desperately in love with her, and with secrets of their own.

About the Novel:

History, love, and faith combine in a gripping novel set in early 1700’s Mexico. In this second passionate and thrilling story of the Castillo family, the daughter of a secret Jew is caught between love and the burdens of a despised and threatened religion. The Enlightenment is making slow in-roads, but Consuelo’s world is still under the dark cloud of the Inquisition. Forced to choose between protecting her ailing mother and the love of dashing Juan Carlos Castillo, Consuelo’s personal dilemma reflects the conflicts of history as they unfold in 1711 Mexico. A rich, romantic story illuminating the timeless complexities of family, faith, and love.

 Buy the Novel Here! 


About the Author

I loved writing Josefina's Sin because it gave me a chance to explore my favorite time period of Mexican history. The story takes place in the 1690s, when Mexico was still a Spanish colony overseen by a Viceroy, with Marquis and Counts. It was a very, very different time from today. Women's lives were run by rules that we would find outrageous, but their friendships and loves were much like ours!
My second book, The Harlot's Pen, came out February 1, 2014 from Devine Destinies. It takes us to San Francisco in the roaring 20s. Brothels and prohibition, rights for women and the red scare... all in one book!
The Duel for Consuelo was published by Booktrope in June, 2014. It picks up 21 years after Josefina's Sin. The son Josefina bore at the end of the book is now 21 years old. Consuelo, the beautiful healer with secrets to conceal, captures his love. But he has a few secrets of his own, and the Inquisition, in a final grasp for power, blocks his way to Consuelo's heart.
As for me, I spend my time in California, practicing law and writing books. I've raised my children and have time to explore the incredible impact that art, poetry, law and of course, the heart, had on women of a long-ago time. I hope you will enjoy reading Josefina's Sin, The Harlot's Pen, and The Duel for Consuelo!
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Summer of Zombie: Recollections from the 2014 World Horror Convention by Shawn Chesser

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Recollections from the 2014 World Horror Convention

by Shawn Chesser

This year I was blessed to be able to attend the WHC held in my hometown as an independent author and share a table with Mark Tufo and John O'Brien as well as meet the infectiously funny Armand Rosamilia, three fellas whose work mine shares space with in the Epic Apocalypse Boxed set.


While I didn't sit on a panel at the con, or sign many books, or get to see Joe McKinney win his second Bram Stoker award, I was lucky enough to meet a couple of readers who were visiting from Medford and Seattle - one of the high points of the con for me.


During the downtime between a slow trickle of family and visitors to our table (one who even drove all the way from Wyoming to meet Tufo) I got to know my co-collaborators pretty well. A little bs’ing and a couple of meals together is all it took for me to learn that these guys are as good of people in person as they are via social media.


Part of Saturday was spent listening to the "Life after the Walking Dead: Zombie fiction today” panel featuring Brian Keene, Craig DiLouie, Joe McKinney, Dana Fredsti, John Skipp, Steve Rasnic Tem, and S.G. Browne. I was very happy to hear them share rather passionately their views that the genre in which I write, though burgeoning at the seams with new offerings, is not going away anytime soon. That talk, more than the others, is something I'll never forget - no matter what direction my relatively new career takes.


And lastly, though it was the first thing I did upon arriving at the con, breaking bread with Joe McKinney, Mark Tufo, John O'Brien, Weston Ochse, Yvonne Navarro, Leslie S Klinger and Rose Blackthorn, all awesome writers, was the icing on my WHC cake.


I hope to do it all over again next year in Atlanta ... minus the dragging books around with me part, of course.

Connect with the Author:



Buy the Book:


Buy me!


Click to Amazon:
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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don't miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie AND so you don't miss any of the posts in June, here's the complete list, updated daily: CLICK HERE.
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Summer of Zombie! Spotlight on Shawn Chesser

Monday, June 23, 2014

I am pleased to welcome author Shawn Chesser to my blog as part of the Summer of Zombie event! Shawn is here today to discuss his latest zombie release, Mortal: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. Let's take a look!


What is your latest zombie release?
Mortal: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Quick Description:

114,000 words. Approx. 456 pages. 

Spoiler-free synopsis:

Mortal, Book 6 in the Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse series, picks up  immediately where "Allegiance: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse" left off.

Outbreak Day 16: With an estimated ninety-nine percent of the United States population having already succumbed to the Omega Virus and reanimated to form  roving hordes of flesh-eating monsters, two groups of survivors struggle against long odds to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Something unique about it.

Mortal is a military thriller set in a thoroughly devastated United States. This fast paced thriller features not only hard-charging alpha males in camouflage and body armor, but also regular citizens doing their best to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Thrown into the mix are strong female characters, a group of younger survivors, as well as a host of human baddies my readers love to hate.

 Twitter @sdchess


Author's Facebook Page

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The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don't miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie

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Bad Ass Things in Little Packages

This week I wanted to share some bad ass little things with my blog followers! Artist Heather Ainsley created "little" versions of the heroines in my books. I wanted to share these adorable "little" creations with you! I hope to have some trading cards made up for each of my gals in the future, but for now, meet the bad ass little heroine's of Melanie Karsak's novels:

Little Cricket from The Harvesting Series

Little Lady Macbeth from Lady Macbeth; Wyrd Queen of Scotland

Little Layla from The Harvesting Series

Little Lily from The Airship Racing Chronicles
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Summer Sale! Chasing the Star Garden is Free! Catch the Green Fairy for just .99 cents!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Have you tried steampunk yet? It's Jules Verne meets Dan Brown in The Airship Racing Chronicles, an exciting romantic steampunk adventure series. Book I of The Airship Racing Chronicles is FREE this week!

Top 10 Finisher: Best Steampunk Novel of 2013, Preditors and Editors Reader's Poll
"If you like your lofty steampunk sexy and adventurous, you may want to give this story a try," - SFF World

"Mere words don't seem adequate to explain how truly brilliant this story is,"- My Book Addiction

"While Chasing the Star Garden will certainly engage the Steampunk connoisseurs with its gadgetry and elegance, it's the intense attention paid to each characters' personal importance to the overall story that makes it a great adventure,"- Colossal Pop

"The author paints a vivid portrait of Venice, with its palazzi, jewel-coloured waters, masks, and gondolas. Venice truly comes to life as well as the other destinations visited in the course of following the mystery around the kaleidoscope. It is, indeed, a feast for the senses," - Torre de Babel

"One of my favorite things about this book is the world building. It is amazing. I could easily envision the airships, the airship towers, sky pirates, and the elaborate dress and contraptions of this steampunk fantasy. I absolutely loved it!" - Gin's Book Notes

"Chasing the Star Garden was a captivating tale from the complex characters to the breathtaking world-building. Karsak's writing has a flow and ease to it that allows the reader to slip into the worlds she creates." - Kimba the Caffeinated Coffee Reviewer

"The cover art is just a sampling of the overall beauty of the novel . . . Lily Stargazer is sort of an anti-hero with her absinthe and opium addictions, not to mention having multiple lovers. But, at the same time, she is so beautiful, rebellious, and tough that I found it impossible not to love her" - Twisted Book Junkie

Want to know more about the series? Click here.

Find me at Amazon!

Chasing the Star Garden: Link:

Chasing the Green Fairy: Link:

Little Lily by Heather Ainsley

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Taming the Country Star by Margo Bond Collins

Sunday, June 15, 2014



He'll do anything to win her heart. She'll do anything to keep him away.
  Country star Cole Grayson is in town, and Kylie Andrews is less than thrilled. As if months of changing the radio station and tearing down his posters weren’t bad enough, now she has to deal with a town of fans swarming toward the man who deceived her the year before. But when Kylie’s eyes meet Cole’s again, she can’t deny the electric chemistry that drew her to him the first time around.   Cole Grayson is on a mission. Ever since Kylie left him, he hasn’t been able to forget her sweet country smile. After writing a song just for her, he sets off for her hometown to prove he’s not the player she thinks he is. But as much as Cole can’t forget her, Kylie wonders if she can forgive him…  



Kylie Andrews’s Texas-themed gift shop, Cowbelles, sat on the very outer edge of Fort Worth’s Stockyards District, not far from Jimmy’s Honky Tonk. And much to her dismay, no matter how often she cleared it, the wall adjacent to her store remained covered with announcements for local events. Like, for example, concerts.

She stared at the latest layer of advertisements.

From the topmost poster, Cole Grayson stared out at her, leaning against the edge of an old barn door, guitar at his feet. One booted foot was kicked up against the wooden wall behind him. His dark-blond hair curled around behind one ear and fell down across his eye on the other side. A cowboy hat rested on the ground next to the guitar. Her hand drifted up toward the image, hovering several inches from the picture of his face. She glanced around. None of the other shopkeepers were outside.

No one was watching. “Bastard,” she whispered to herself, and ripped the poster off the wall. At least, she tried to. It was thicker than she had expected, attached more firmly, and it resisted her pull. Chewing on her lip, she took another look around, dropped her bag to the ground, and reached up to grasp the edge with both fists, jerking at it in opposite directions. A tiny tear opened up along the side, and she yanked harder. Finally, the poster ripped—right across Cole Grayson’s lying eyes.

She tugged at the image some more, glancing around surreptitiously every few moments and dropping ragged pieces of paper on the ground at her feet, until there was nothing left on the wall but a few fluttering strips. Gathering the mutilated shreds together, she opened her bag and shoved them inside until they overflowed, bright ribbons of color in the morning light.

About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them. She currently writes for Entangled’s Red-Hot Bliss line.  


Connect with Margo

Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page:
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Covergasam! Blog Giveaway Hop

Friday, June 6, 2014

I'm a sucker for a great cover. Sometimes I think I write just so Damonza and Liliana Sanches will make covers for me. Covers are a promise to the reader. They promise the quality of the tale inside the pages. Books need to live up to their covers and covers need to live up to their books. For this hop, I want to share with you some of my favorite covers. I've provided novel blurbs and Amazon links to these amazing promises tucked inside such beautiful images. Don't forget to enter the hop-wide giveaway below. The details for my giveaway are listed below.

London, 1861. Impoverished noble Cara has a simple mission after the strange death of her father - sell off his damned collection of priceless artifacts. Her plan goes awry when aristocratic beauties start dying of broken hearts, an eight inch long brass key hammered through their chests. A killer hunts amongst the nobility, searching for a regal beauty and an ancient Egyptian relic rumored to hold the key to immortality.

Her Majesty's Enforcers are in pursuit of the murderer and they see a connection between the gruesome deaths and Cara. So does she, somewhere in London her father hid Nefertiti's Heart, a fist sized diamond with strange mechanical workings. Adding further complication to her life, notorious crime lord, Viscount Nathaniel Lyons is relentless in his desire to lay his hands on Cara and the priceless artifact. If only she could figure out his motive.

Self-preservation fuels Cara's search for the gem. In a society where everyone wears a mask to hide their true intent, she needs to figure out who to trust, before she makes a fatal mistake.

Click to Amazon: The Grave Winner by Lindsay Loucks

Leigh Baxton is terrified her mom will come back from the dead -- just like the prom queen did.

While the town goes beehive over the news, Leigh bikes to the local cemetery and buries some of her mom's things in her grave to keep her there. When the hot and mysterious caretaker warns her not to give gifts to the dead, Leigh cranks up her punk music and keeps digging.

She should have listened.

Two dead sorceresses evicted the prom queen from her grave to bury someone who offered certain gifts. Bury them alive, that is, then resurrect them to create a trio of undead powerful enough to free the darkest sorceress ever from her prison inside the earth.

With help from the caretaker and the dead prom queen, Leigh must find out what's so special about the gifts she gave, and why the sorceresses are stalking her and her little sister. If she doesn't, she'll either lose another loved one or have to give the ultimate gift to the dead - herself.

Click to Amazon: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

I love all my covers but I was really excited about the cover for my forthcoming novel Lady Macbeth; Wyrd Queen of Scotland. This cover is by Liliana Sanches. The novel will be released later this summer:

Coming Soon!

Something wicked this way comes . . .

Gruoch is born to rule, but long before she becomes Lady Macbeth, ancient forces claim her soul.

Marked by the old gods of Pagan Scotland, Gruoch learns arcane wizardry from the Wyrd Sisters and meets her true love, a druid named Banquo. But when powerful forces play with her fate, Gruoch finds herself married to Macbeth and the reigning Queen of Scotland, for better or worse. Can she fulfill her destiny without blood on her hands?

In this retelling of Shakespeare’s classic work, Lady Macbeth leads readers through an unforgettable tale of magic, love, and inescapable destiny.

My Giveaway! Win a $5 Amazon Gift Card

To enter to win, join my mailing list in the top right corner (or CLICK HERE) then let me know two things in the comments:

1) That you have signed up for the list and under what name

2) What's your favorite cover? Please share a link if you like!   

And don't forget to enter the hop-wide rafflecopter below!

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Beyond the Count by Margo Bond Collins

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Beyond The Count ed. Margo Bond Collins  

Book Synopsis

Long before Dracula, vampires stalked the literary scene. These early literary vampires are sometimes terrifying, at times melodramatic, and occasionally ridiculous, but they are always out for blood—and their vampiric descendants continue to fascinate and captivate us. Beyond the Count is a collection of vampire stories, plays, and poems from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This collection gives students, scholars, and vampire aficionados the opportunity to examine works often long out of print and to contextualize the development of vampire legend beyond that most famous of literary Counts.

Beyong The Count _ Fabulosity Reads Book Tours

About the Editor

Margo Bond Collins holds a Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British literature and is a professor of English, and is also the author of a number of novels, including Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. After a decade of moving all around the country (Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta are a few of the places she's lived), she has settled in her native Texas. Margo lives near Fort Worth with her husband, her daughter, and several very spoiled cats, and she spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains. You can learn more about her writing at

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