Down to Earth Romance

Archive for the ‘Fantasy Romance’ Category

HOLT MEDALLION Award Finalist-HER IMMORTAL VIKING by Adele Downs

I’m pleased to announce that HER IMMORTAL VIKING is a finalist in the novella category of the HOLT Medallion Award. I’m thrilled that readers love this story and appreciate this honor.

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Her Immortal Viking_cover

HER IMMORTAL VIKING by Adele Downs

Viking Warrior. Immortal Slave. Freed by Love.

A Viking cast into eternal servitude by an angry god is transported to the modern world, but to claim the love of the mortal who called him, Gunnar must find a way to clear his name across the divide of a thousand years.

ONE LONELY NIGHT

Divine intervention. That’s all Penny asks. Freedom from overwork and mountainous debt. She sings songs of praise, chants like a yogi, and rubs her belly like Buddha until the crystal charm on her navel shimmers, all hoping to draw the attention of someone—anyone—“up there.”

In the west, beyond the seas, from the place between Heaven and Earth, an immortal hears Penny’s cries. Once a renowned Viking warrior, Gunnar has been cast into eternal servitude by an angry god. Now, while Penny sleeps, he comes to Earth to grant her wishes. But Penny is about to wake up, and so is every desire she’s ever known. To claim their fairy-tale ending, Gunnar must find a way to clear his name. Not only must his sword arm and courage stay strong, but their powerful love must cross the divide of a thousand years.

Excerpt:

He smoothed her hair and rubbed a thick tendril between his thumb and forefinger. “I am Gunnar.” He pronounced the name Goo-nar.

An emblem of the sun, surrounded by a circle, had been branded on the back of his powerful hand. Penny touched the scar while he held a length of her hair, recognizing Freyr’s sacred insignia from her textbooks. “The pain must have been excruciating.” Without thinking, she lifted the old wound to her mouth and laid kisses along its perimeter before pressing a kiss to the icon inside.

Tremors vibrated across her lips when they touched the ancient symbol and her body tingled with the contact. The brand grew warm and then hot against her mouth, though it did not burn. She ran her tongue over the thick scars to erase the heat, and then licked the center, finishing with a tiny swirl.

Gunnar’s gasp of surprise was the last thing she expected when she lifted her head. He released her hair and drew away.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. Have I offended you?” She’d always been popular with men, and comfortable around them, but her behavior with Gunnar was bold, even for her. She sat up. “Am I under some kind of spell?”

Gunnar shook his head. “I used my powers to heal you, but your free will remains intact.”

She searched his face for clues about what to do next, because desire shone behind the wary expression in his eyes. Something else shone there, too. Gratitude. Penny waited for Gunnar’s reply without letting go of his disfigured hand.

He said, “Kindness isn’t something I’m used to finding. Perhaps you’d be less inclined toward compassion if you knew what I’d done to deserve this brand of servitude.”

She reached out and draped an arm around his neck to bring him closer. Their gazes locked and held. Gunnar’s eyes were like pools of ice blue water that pulled her in and down.

Her breathing slowed while the sound of her heartbeat rushed blood through her ears. “I am Penelope. And if you’re from Alfheim, I know who and what you are. I just don’t understand why you’re here.” How could she deserve his rare, benevolent gifts? She was just an ordinary woman from an ordinary town, barely scraping by.

His warm breath grazed her cheek in shallow rushes, lifting goose bumps across her skin. His wide, firm mouth smelled of sweet ground parsley and fresh-picked mint. “Sometimes we get what we need, simply because we ask. That’s the beauty and power of the unexpected.”

Buy The Book!

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Her-Immortal-Viking-Adele-Downs-ebook/dp/B00TY21LBM/

Boroughs Publishing:

http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/her-immortal-viking

Her Immortal Viking, Award Of Excellence Finalist!

HER IMMORTAL VIKING, a contemporary fantasy romance novella, is an Award of Excellence Finalist. Many thanks to the Colorado Romance Writers and the contest judges for this honor. I’m thrilled.

AOENovellaFinalist

Her Immortal Viking_cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HER IMMORTAL VIKING by Adele Downs

Viking Warrior. Immortal Slave. Freed by Love.

A Viking cast into eternal servitude by an angry god is transported to the modern world, but to claim the love of the mortal who called him, Gunnar must find a way to clear his name across the divide of a thousand years.

ONE LONELY NIGHT

Divine intervention. That’s all Penny asks. Freedom from overwork and mountainous debt. She sings songs of praise, chants like a yogi, and rubs her belly like Buddha until the crystal charm on her navel shimmers, all hoping to draw the attention of someone—anyone—“up there.”

In the west, beyond the seas, from the place between Heaven and Earth, an immortal hears Penny’s cries. Once a renowned Viking warrior, Gunnar has been cast into eternal servitude by an angry god. Now, while Penny sleeps, he comes to Earth to grant her wishes. But Penny is about to wake up, and so is every desire she’s ever known. To claim their fairy-tale ending, Gunnar must find a way to clear his name. Not only must his sword arm and courage stay strong, but their powerful love must cross the divide of a thousand years.

Excerpt:

He smoothed her hair and rubbed a thick tendril between his thumb and forefinger. “I am Gunnar.” He pronounced the name Goo-nar.

An emblem of the sun, surrounded by a circle, had been branded on the back of his powerful hand. Penny touched the scar while he held a length of her hair, recognizing Freyr’s sacred insignia from her textbooks. “The pain must have been excruciating.” Without thinking, she lifted the old wound to her mouth and laid kisses along its perimeter before pressing a kiss to the icon inside.

Tremors vibrated across her lips when they touched the ancient symbol and her body tingled with the contact. The brand grew warm and then hot against her mouth, though it did not burn. She ran her tongue over the thick scars to erase the heat, and then licked the center, finishing with a tiny swirl.

Gunnar’s gasp of surprise was the last thing she expected when she lifted her head. He released her hair and drew away.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me. Have I offended you?” She’d always been popular with men, and comfortable around them, but her behavior with Gunnar was bold, even for her. She sat up. “Am I under some kind of spell?”

Gunnar shook his head. “I used my powers to heal you, but your free will remains intact.”

She searched his face for clues about what to do next, because desire shone behind the wary expression in his eyes. Something else shone there, too. Gratitude. Penny waited for Gunnar’s reply without letting go of his disfigured hand.

He said, “Kindness isn’t something I’m used to finding. Perhaps you’d be less inclined toward compassion if you knew what I’d done to deserve this brand of servitude.”

She reached out and draped an arm around his neck to bring him closer. Their gazes locked and held. Gunnar’s eyes were like pools of ice blue water that pulled her in and down.

Her breathing slowed while the sound of her heartbeat rushed blood through her ears. “I am Penelope. And if you’re from Alfheim, I know who and what you are. I just don’t understand why you’re here.” How could she deserve his rare, benevolent gifts? She was just an ordinary woman from an ordinary town, barely scraping by.

His warm breath grazed her cheek in shallow rushes, lifting goose bumps across her skin. His wide, firm mouth smelled of sweet ground parsley and fresh-picked mint. “Sometimes we get what we need, simply because we ask. That’s the beauty and power of the unexpected.”

Buy The Book!

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Her-Immortal-Viking-Adele-Downs-ebook/dp/B00TY21LBM/

Boroughs Publishing:

http://www.boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/her-immortal-viking

HER IMMORTAL VIKING Gets More Great Reviews

Her Immortal Viking_cover

For authors, great reviews are like fuel to an engine. I’m thankful to have received two wonderful new reviews for HER IMMORTAL VIKING, a fun fantasy romance novella based on Norse mythology, that was a joy to write. Many thanks to The Geek Girl Project and Cat’s Meow Reviews for asking to read my story. The links to their reviews are posted below.

The Geek Girl Project

Cat’s Meow Reviews

Buy HER IMMORTAL VIKING on Amazon!

Guest Post-Paula Millhouse, Original Map Art

Please welcome my talented guest Paula Millhouse, whose original maps of the Kingdom of Chalvaren, the world she created for her fantasy novel Chalvaren Rising, intrigued me so much that I invited her to my blog to share her artistry with you. Paula is here to describe her fascinating process. Please be kind and like or leave a comment for Paula, and then check out her new release.

~ Best, Adele

****

Cartography and Maps in Fantasy Worlds by Paula Millhouse:

Maps are important parts of Fantasy worlds. As a key to world-building a writer must see where her characters live, how the climate affects them, where water sources are located, and the best routes for trade, protection, and natural resources.

As a nod to Mr. Tolkien who inspired me with his maps of Middle Earth as a child, I decided, “HEY – my Fantasy Romance novel, Chalvaren Rising, needs a map too. I’m an artist – I can provide that.”

Kingdom of Chalvaren (c)Paula Millhouse/Boroughs Publishing Group 2015

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Map #1

Developing a Watercolor Painting

Here’s the first really rough draft of my map. Kinda ugly, right? Just like a first draft of a novel. You kinda know it’s got potential, but… you’re not willing to share that ugly puppy with anyone.

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Draft 2: This is my developmental edit

I took my really rough composition above, thought on it, and reconstructed it. I edited out the parts that didn’t work, added new elements like any great Cartographer would to ground the map’s Reader, and I revised the entire painting. I went to my photo-imaging program Gimp, and added text to the base image.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Draft 3: How the Process of Creativity is Unified

Finally, I added my copy edit – which visually included development of the pencil dragon drawings, and what I thought might be the final text images. I love this edition. This is how art is made, whether with brushes and watercolors, or with the text of your prose. It’s a process. No matter what, I created this world of Chalvaren, and I feel her and now I see her not only in my imagination, but also on the page. This original watercolor painting now hangs in my house in honor of the love I have for Chalvaren’s territories, her castles, her dragons, and her citizens.

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But, and here’s the caveat of this post, remember Editors Always Matter.

My amazing editor over at Boroughs Publishing Group, Christopher Keeslar, took my piece of art and transformed it even further into what I consider to be the finished product, just like he did with my novel.

I adore the “Mappiness” of the image below, don’t you?

We were able to include the map in the book, a special nod to JRR Tolkien who introduced me to my first fictional dragon and fantasy world.

Kingdom of Chalvaren (c)Paula Millhouse/Boroughs Publishing Group 2015

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CHALVAREN RISING

With the love of Kort, Chalvaren’s warrior-prince heir, Mia Ansgar will seize her birthright and become the great dragon-riding wizardess prophesied to free that elven kingdom from her embittered sorceress kin.

Chalvaren Rising_FINAL

TO ASCEND TRIUMPHANT

Twenty-five years ago, Theo Ansgar abandoned the Kingdom of Chalvaren for a hiding place on another world. Some called him traitor. Some, thief. Now his fully grown daughter Mia must return to the land of her birth…and their war.

It was the elf prince Kort Elias who brought her back. Theirs was an instant connection, an inescapable union of body, soul and sorcery, reminding Mia of what she truly is, and what she must become. There is also Magnus, destined to be more potent than any wyrm Chalvaren has ever seen, a three-day-old dragonlet Mia must nurture and then ride. And then there is the Dragonstone, an artifact of power nonpareil. Joined, they can tip the scales of battle against the wraith-possessed forces of darkness, of Mia’s own embittered kin.

Redemption will be offered, the protected will become the protector, and an ancient prophecy will come to fruition, but only righteous love can conquer all.

BUY LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0157RBDHO

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chalvaren-rising-paula-millhouse/1122654652?ean=2940152348019

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/576283

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-chalvarenrising-1887385-153.html

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/chalvaren-rising
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26326979-chalvaren-rising

https://www.createspace.com/5625321

Author’s Bio

Paula's Headshot 1-15

Paula Millhouse is the writer of books where fantasy, romance, and suspense collide, including Chalvaren Rising, it’s prequel, Dragonstone, and Three Wishes. Dragonstone also appears in the anthology, A Gift of Fantasy.These stories are published by Boroughs Publishing Group.

“I wanted to find out what would happen if I designed a world where fantasy lovers get their adventure quest, but also gave their girlfriends a healthy dose of grown-up romance along the way. How can we blend High Fantasy and Romance into a story that leaves the Reader breathless, where magic and suspense collide in a spellbinding imaginary world?”

She is also the author of a romantic suspense series, where fast-paced thrillers collide with high-heat romance. The Wishes Chronicles includes Careful…, and All Your Wishes…

When not following her muse on quests for happily ever afters, Paula works in the field of medicine as a Family Nurse Practitioner by day, and micro-gardens in her potager with her husband and their pack and pride of furry babies. Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, where Spanish moss whispers tales in breezes from the Atlantic Ocean, as a child Paula soaked in the sunshine and heritage of cobblestones, pirate lore, and stories steeped in savory mysteries of the south.

She’s a PRO member of Romance Writers of America, and the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Writers specialty chapter.

She lives in the mountains now, but she honors her southern heritage as a storyteller by sharing her adventures in fiction with readers.

Find the Author here:

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B006991RF8
Website https://www.paulamillhouse.com
Blog https://www.paulamillhouse.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/pmillhouse
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/paulamillhousefans
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PaulaMillhouse.Author
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5398221.Paula_Millhouse
GooglePlus https://plus.google.com/+PaulaMillhouse/posts
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/pmillhouse/boards/
TSU http://www.tsu.co/pmillhouse
You Tube https://youtu.be/q2FCU-gJPog

Author Terri Brisbin Visits Ireland–Photos and Travelogue @SignetEclipse @DiscoverIreland

Please welcome my author friend Terri Brisbin to Down To Earth Romance. I invited Terri to tell us about her recent trip to Ireland because she researched her exciting new series in a place I’ve always wanted to visit. I’ve been told by others who have been to the Emerald Isle that, in addition to living in a beautiful country, the Irish are the friendliest people in the world. I hope you enjoy Terri’s travelogue and will leave a comment for her.

Best–Adele Downs

****

‘Twill Do Ye No Good!  Or My Trip to Ireland with Writers
by Terri Brisbin

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The title of this blog post refers to the scene in THE QUIET MAN when someone asks for directions and the resulting confusion and humor.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to travel to Ireland this past May and even luckier to go with some wonderful writers. Eileen had been there before and she was our leader and main driver. I served as backup driver and navigator. Laurie was the keymaster because they use actual keys for hotel rooms and cars there and she kept them safe for us! And Loralee was our scribe, taking notes and adding commentary through the trip.

And it was grand! Brilliant! Lovely! (those three words are the Irish triumvirate!) We began calling it the 50-shades-of-green tour because we did see more shades of the color green than I’d ever thought possible. Around every turn a new vista spread before us and we drove through hills and mountains, along the sea and lakes and through farmland.  We met up in Dublin and spent some time there before renting a car and going off on the real adventure.

I had two purposes for the trip—the main one was researching. The last book in my Novels of the Stone Circles series takes place in Ireland and I needed to visit some possible locations to see if it would all work the way I wanted it to. So, I headed over early and sought out the Neolithic sites on the northwest coast – Knocknarea and the Megalithic cemetery and stones of Carrowmore.  These are ancient and magical places, built centuries ago for some purposes that remain lost in time. Knocknarea is the site of Maeve’s cairn where the powerful queen in the Irish mythology is believed to be buried…or honored. Though I could not make the climb to the cairn, I spent time scouring the landscape of Carrowmore. It’s amazing how all the tombs and cairns and stones align at certain times of the year.

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The other magical place for me was the Drombeg stone circle on the southeast coast. It is where the final battle between good and evil will happen in my story and I was physically affected when I approached it. I could not breathe. I could not go near it. Until I walked around the circle several times, I felt a barrier keeping me out. Then, when I could at last enter, I could not stop from crying. Strange? Oh yes, but there was something there, something more, something different and ancient there. It is a place of great power.

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Dublin was great—I visited Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells. Since I’d visited Iona where the book is believed to have been created before, it was great to see where it ended its journey. Dublinia – the Viking center of Dublin – was an interesting place and we did get into trouble there…not the first nor the last time during the trip!

And lost!

We got lost every single time we got into the car (well, with a very few exceptions to that!). No part of our journey around Ireland did not include backtracking and missing signs and turns. And that was in spite of a GPS, a half-dozen ordinance-style maps and iPhones with maps! I now believe that maps and guidebooks are just part of the infamous Irish storytelling! Seriously, maps included roads that either a) do not exist, or b) are no longer there! And though US roads that are odd numbered generally go north-south and even numbered ones go east-west, Irish roads circle around several times and end whenever they want and disappear when they decide to!

Of course, the best part of getting lost is asking for directions and that’s the part of the trip that really showed the Irish people’s gift of storytelling. I have never laughed so much in my life as the times during the trip that involved asking directions – my favorite happened while I was there alone and in Ennis. I stopped there to pick up some basic supplies for my solo part of the trip and got completely lost. So, I asked an older couple how to get to the road to the Cliffs of Moher.  Honestly, I struggled not to laugh when the husband got to the part –“this road ends in a T-intersection, do you know what that is? Grand! So you go to the T, but make sure to take the left turn before you reach the T…”  No, really, those were the directions! Then his wife stepped in and said he’d gotten it all wrong and told me another completely different way to go. Lost, I tell you. Lost!

TBArdaMor

Our trip ended on the Dingle peninsula where we rented a ‘cottage’ just yards away from the westernmost spot in Ireland and Europe for a week—and that was the second purpose of the trip—writing. We’d planned a week of writing there but with so much history around us we didn’t stay put. The highlight of the week was the chance to meet with Isabel Bennett, a leading archeologist of the Dingle area! It happened through serendipity – a chat in a bar with someone and a suggestion that if I was interested in standing stones, she was the woman to talk to.  The others, writers through and through, came along and we all had questions for Ms. Bennett and she answered them – and gave us directions to the Arda Mór standing stones! You can guess how that all went? LOL – lost, but in the highest places around Dingle with lots of cows and with spectacular views.

TBDingle-across-to-Kerry

So, Ireland was magical and mystical and green! The people were wonderful and friendly and the places beautiful and breathtaking. I found lots of inspiration for my current and future projects and made 2 new friends. And I laughed more than I think I ever have. Grand! Brilliant! If you get the chance to go, do it! For whatever reason, go! You will not regret it ever….and make sure you have lots of batteries for your cameras…you’ll need them!

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Terri Brisbin is the author of more than 35 historical, paranormal and fantasy romances and her next release- RAGING SEA – will hit the shelves on October 6, 2015.

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Visit her website – www.terribrisbin.com – for lots of info about her, her books, events and more.

“Like” her on FB – www.facebook.com/terribrisbinauthor  or be her friend at www.facebook.com/terribrisbin.

Immortals, Vikings, Celestials, and Fantasy Romance

While surfing the Web one day I had a happy accident. During research for an article I was working on, I stumbled across unrelated information about the gods, demi-gods, and Light Elves of Norse mythology. The lore drew me in, and I wanted to learn more.

I’d never heard of Light Elves—the angel-like beings whose sole purpose was to serve the gods and humanity. These celestial creatures lived in Alfheim (Elf Land) “the place between heaven and earth” in “the west beyond the seas” and could communicate with both deities and mortals.

The Light Elves were described as tall, blond celibate males so handsome they were “fairer to look upon than the sun.” In the middle of the night they would come to earth surreptitiously to complete the chores of deserving individuals. My creative mind went into overdrive when I pictured a handsome immortal cleaning house!

What would happen, I wondered, if a Light Elf got caught? And what if the woman who found him was beautiful? Would he risk the wrath of his god and put his tasks aside after centuries of celibacy to make love to her? If they fell in love, how would he commit to her and reconcile the distance between heaven and earth? My questions formed a story idea that became a manuscript.

In my new release, HER IMMORTAL VIKING, Gunnar of Alfheim is a warrior unjustly cast into eternal servitude and made a Light Elf by an angry god. When he falls in love with Penelope, a modern day mortal, he must find a way to link heaven and earth and cross the divide of a thousand years to clear his name and claim her.

Her Immortal Viking_cover

HER IMMORTAL VIKING by Adele Downs

Summary:

Divine intervention. That’s all Penny asks. Freedom from overwork and mountainous debt. She sings songs of praise, chants like a yogi, and rubs her belly like Buddha until the crystal charm on her navel shimmers, all hoping to draw the attention of someone—anyone—“up there.”

In the west, beyond the seas, from the place between Heaven and Earth, an immortal hears Penny’s cries. Once a renowned Viking warrior, Gunnar has been cast into eternal servitude by an angry god. Now, while Penny sleeps, he comes to Earth to grant her wishes. But Penny is about to wake up, and so is every desire she’s ever known. To claim their fairy-tale ending, Gunnar must find a way to clear his name. Not only must his sword arm and courage stay strong, but their powerful love must cross the divide of a thousand years.

**

What reviewers are saying about HER IMMORTAL VIKING:

“Once again, Adele Downs creates the perfect love story.” 5★ ~Girl With Pen

“Downs’ clever mash-up of Viking elements and contemporary romance (and oh, the hot, hot Viking!) make this novella an absolute winner.” 5★~Words, Words, Words

Buy HER IMMORTAL VIKING on Amazon!

HER IMMORTAL VIKING Tour, Reviews, Giveaways!

HER IMMORTAL VIKING blog tour wraps up this week with multiple reviews and many opportunities to win prizes via Rafflecopter.

Visit the following blog hosts and enter to win a free Starbucks gift card or copies of NATURALLY YOURS or KISSING HER COWBOY by Adele Downs. You can also buy your copy of HER IMMORTAL VIKING from any of the digital book retailers listed below.

HerImmortalVikingPromo2

March 13:

*Lanie’s Book Thoughts  Review

*The Hoarding Readers Corner  Review

March 16:

Muffy Wilson Literotica

*Life With Two Boys  Review

*Kimi’s Medieval Author Interview Blog  Review

*Harlie’s Books Review

Ravyn Rayne

Inner Goddess Forum

Queen of The Night Reviews

March 17:

*Words, Words, Words Review

*Wanda Loves Books  Review

*Girl With Pen  Review 

*Cat’s Reviews  Review

*girlygirlbookreviews  Review

*The Beanie Brain Reader Review

Her Immortal Viking_cover

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