Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Cover Reveal
He's Married



Take a couple of newly weds, add a couple of secrets, travel, a bit of chanting and a couple of ghosts, and you have He's Married.

In book 2 of the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons series, Eloise faced the challenge of starting her life as a married woman.

As the newlyweds drove away from the lodge where they'd been married, and where celebrations were still in full swing, Eloise realized that Dane, her husband, was little more than a stranger to her. They had three dates before Dane proposed, and then a hectic month of preparing for the wedding. They haven't even had time to make love.Which could turn the traditional wedding night for Dane and Eloise into a nightmare.

Because Eloise had a secret.

Dane and Eloise set off on their honeymoon. On the idyllic Maldives, life threw Eloise a curve-ball no bride could possibly be prepared for.
                                           
Dane had a secret too.

Would Eloise's belief in the fairytale and the happy-ever-aftering be shattered beyond redemption?

Set in the beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, He's Married makes a turn in the Maldives before returning to the lodge in the Outeniqua Mountains where Eloise and Dane were married.

He's Married will be available in October 2015.


Sleep is a waste of writing time, Maggie believes, unless one could create in the world of dreams.
Maggie lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, with her husband Gareth, who is an executive chef. He is the responsible, practical one. Somebody must have their feet on the ground when Maggie's head is in the clouds!


You're Wrong! book 3 in the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoon series, will be out in October.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Themed Weddings - How Popular are They?


The wedding day is the one day in her life every girl dreams of from when she is but a little girl. Over the years, many fantasies are woven around that magical day. A lot of planning - and money - goes into that one day. It has to be perfect, a memory to last a lifetime.

All weddings have a theme. That is what determines everything from the color scheme and the type of flowers used in the bouquets to the style of the wedding dress and how many tiers the wedding cake has. Themes range from Country to Winter or Vineyard, often revolves around a specific color like Purple or Pink.

But what about more off-beat themes, like a 60's wedding, or a Rocky Horror theme? Do brides go in for those, or are they best left to the Vegas scene?

You'd be surprized. I found this article on a Parry Potter themed wedding. I like it. The set-up of the reception was very authentic - if one is a Harry Potter fan. It must have been a huge wedding. https://www.theknot.com/content/harry-potter-wedding-photos

I haven't found a Rocky Horror wedding except for in Vegas, but here is a Rock 'n Roll wedding which is absolutely stunning, complete with black wedding dress and dramatic table settings. https://www.theknot.com/content/rock-n-roll-wedding-black-wedding-gown


I was particularly interested in the Gothic themed weddings. I came across this one. It is beautiful and classy. I absolutely love it! https://www.theknot.com/content/we-love-this-brides-art-deco-look-see-it-here

Eloise, of course, chose a Gothic theme for her and Dane's wedding in The Run-Away Couple, book 1 in the Bridesmaids, Weddings & Honeymoons series. She searched specifically for a venue in a remote setting and found one in the Outeniqua Mountains. The lodge is unnamed because I didn't want to step on anybody's toes by making out their lodge is haunted!

The lodge was old, covered in creepers with it's own small chapel for weddings. It might have had an electricity supply, but for Eloise's wedding, only torches and candles were used for lighting. The ceremony was at night to enhance the creepy ambiance. Add a thunderstorm and torrential rain and the Gothic setting was complete.

Her dress was of heavy cream velvet with embroidery on the bodice and a lace panel in the front of the skirt. The maid-of honor wore a dress that was an exact replica of the wedding dress in deep red, but without the embroidery and lace.

It was a spectacular wedding, but Piper, Eloise's sister and maid-of-honor, had reason to wonder often in the course of the night if Eloise got more than she paid for?

Book 2 in the series, He's Married, will be available next month.




The pictures in this post was taken by Louis Kleinhans of my daughter's
wedding 5 years ago. She had a Castle themed wedding, at Stonehaven Castle in Shongweni, Kwa-Zulu Natal. The color scheme was black and orange.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Guest Feature - Dyane Forde, fantasy author


My guest on this unseasonally hot - in the middle of winter? - Thursday, is my friend Dyane Forde. A lovely lady and talented author. She speaks about her writing and motivation for writing novels in the fantasy genre. This is very interesting to me, to find out why authors write what they do. It gives one insight into a deeper part of them. But, I'll let Dyane introduce herself.


I’m not quite sure how I fell into writing fantasy novels, but I intend to puzzle it out. See, most of my writing life, I wrote short stories about various themes and genres, from literary fiction, Christian, science fiction, flash fiction, poetry amongst others, and most often touching on personal and social issues. But when it comes to the long form, I seem to slip easily—naturally--into the fantasy genre.

I don’t write sword and sorcery, and I don’t often read that sub-genre despite The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Silmarillion being amongst my favorite books (the latter IS my favorite book of all time). My fantasy seems to be more the ‘normal people living in a fantastic world who end up doing fantastic things’ sort of stories. Maybe because ‘normal’ heroes with human concerns and faults are the kind I can relate to and figure most people can, as well.

Sometimes I think I gravitate to fantasy because I get bored easily, and the fact that the genre requires world-building in a way that makes a made-up world feel real presents a challenge that engages me.

Or maybe it’s my job’s fault. As a social worker by day, I spend a lot of time dealing with harsh reality. Perhaps writing about people’s problems under the guise of fantasy is just a means of escaping real chaos for the fabricated while taking as many people with me as I can. Once, a literary fiction writer friend asked what I wrote and what I did for a living. When I told her she gave me a knowing look and said, “Oh, I get it.”

Fantasy is in my writing blood, a part of my creative DNA. Very often I’ll start to write something rooted in reality and somewhere along the way things will veer sideways and something fantastic creeps in. Elements of science fiction (soft sci-fi since I’m not smart enough to handle the hard stuff) in The Keeper and the Kept, ghost children swarming out of the corn fields in Sunshine and Lemonade, talking eagles in The Eagle’s Gift, and a black, red-haired outcast teen on a path to self-discovery in a dragon-themed novella called The Dragon’s Egg, are examples.

Still, there’s something deeper that drives me to write. It’s the promise of being able to share something of myself with a respective reader. Like many authors, the stories I write reflect who I am, the tone and style I choose indicative of a mood or emotional state. A lot of the time, there’s an idea or a question I’m throwing out there, wondering if anyone will pick it up and relate. There’s no better feeling when, after posting a story or excerpt, someone messages me that they ‘got’ the story, or shares how something touched them or related to their lives. For me, it’s communication on a subconscious level, the same way my desire to escape reality mysteriously coalesces into a fantasy story.
Hmmm…

The idea for The Purple Morrow started a few years back when I wanted to explore themes related to loss, redemption, and moving forward. The story of Jeru, a simple clan hunter unable to deal with the past, being thrown into a crisis demanding that he settle things in order to move on and even surpass that past, seemed a good place to start. The thought of doing it in an everyday or modern context bored me to tears. The chance to build a world in which to challenge the characters appealed to me, and so the book took form. Since then, the sequels, Wolf’s Bane, and Berserker (WIP) have only grown in scope.
 
With each book, the world of Marathana blossomed. Multiculturalism, faith, magic and spirituality are also firmly rooted in this world and play essential roles in determining which side--good or evil--will prevail. Questions of identity, and individual choice versus the greater good are explored. All this within the confines of a neat little world sprung from the imagination and heart. J

If you’d like to check out more about me and my writing, please look me up at the links below:





Twitter: @PurpleMorrow





Thursday, July 2, 2015



Soul Awakened – Release

LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR

Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.

HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST
Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most-- his Parvana. His butterfly.
REVIEWS
Night Owl Reviews:  Reviewer’s Top PICK/ 5 Stars (Abigail, Feb2013) :  I know other readers are going to love this series as much as I do. Get settled in for a thrilling paranormal tale.”  http://www.nightowlreviews.com/V5/Reviews/Angibabi4-reviews-Soul-Awakened-by-Jean-Murray
Bitten by Paranormal Romance, Ollie (Feb2013): 5/5 Alpha Howls, Hot
“I don't know where to begin to describe the absolutely marvelous job that the author does in not only creating a wonderful world with so much depth and detail, but a story line the has the mystery and intrigue that will keep you glued to the pages.” 
Releases July 1, 2015
Get your copy today and have it delivered to your Kindle July 1st.
EXCERPT OF SOUL AWAKENED
Kendra commanded herself to march straight out the door. Enough of this bleeding heart stuff. If only she could take that next step toward freedom. She sighed heavily. Who was she fooling? She wasn’t going anywhere other than straight to his bed. Heck, she had bled, almost died, and ran naked into his frigid subconscious in less than twenty-four hours of knowing him.
She had no sense of self-preservation.
Bakari lay in the center of the enormous bed. The size of two kings put together. She couldn’t very well assess him from her vantage point. Climbing in bed with him uninvited caused her heart to flutter. What if Bomani walked in? How would she explain this?
Irritated with her thoughts, she stepped on the sideboard and hoisted herself on the thick plush mattress. The bed barely moved or compressed under her dainty weight. She didn’t want to wake him or least that was the plan.
Check on him and go. Yep.
Thankfully, he didn’t move as she crept closer on her hands and knees. His body contracted tighter and he shook his head against the covers. Maybe she could break the nightmare with a light touch. It seemed to lessen his pain before in his cell.
With her weight on her right hand and knees, she reached out and gently brushed his damp black hair out of his face. Surprisingly, it was soft and shiny now and all the white had faded. He must have washed it sometime before she arrived.
She moved her knees forward and sat back on her heels with her hands on her thighs. Too scared before to take in his features, she measured his face in an unrushed appreciation. His cheeks had filled out from last night. The muscles in his jaw twitched, as he clenched and unclenched his teeth in his sleep. His skin had warmed to an olive tone. Not bad for what little food he had eaten.
She traced the angle of his cheekbone to his full jaw with her fingertip. He had Asar’s facial structure. Her finger stopped at his chin. She mentally traced the line of his mouth. His lips were perfect in size and shape. She pressed her lips together and wet them with her tongue.
Startled, she snapped her gaze away. Why the heck was she wondering what it would be like to kiss him? She had really lost her marbles. A virgin, but not a saint? Bad girl, she scolded herself. Now as she looked at herself kneeling uninvited on a man’s bed while he slept, it seemed even dirtier. She needed to have her head examined.
Holding her breath, she placed her palms on the mattress and pushed away toward the edge of the bed. She was getting the heck out of here. Her toes breached the outer seam.
A low growl preceded large hands clamping on her shoulders and flipping her in the air. The ceiling and black silk sheets flashed in her field of view before her back found the mattress and her head flopped into the pillow. She yelped as Bakari’s hard male body pressed her firmly into the padding. In one hand he pinned her wrists above her head. Despite being severely underweight, his torso and pelvis heavily restrained her.
“Did you see something you did not like, Parvana?”
Ready to read more Key to the Cursed Series?
Just click pre-order for the next book!
Series Pre-order / Release schedule
Soul Reborn – Book 1
Soul Unbound – Book 3
Pre-order on July 1st / Release Oct 1st
Soul Unleashed – Book 4
Pre-order on Oct 1st / Release Jan 1st
Soul Sacrificed – Book 5
Pre-order on Jan 1st / Release Apr 1st
“Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In her pursuit of a nursing degree, Jean Murray aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. At the end of 2011 she said a heart-breaking goodbye to her Navy family and retired after twenty years of military service. Although her dreams of writing full time have yet to come true, she continues her writing journey and draws inspiration from her travels abroad. She enjoys spending time with her family and of course, writing about the “Carrigan sisters and their mates, Gods of the Underworld,” to bring you the next installment of the Key to the Cursed series.