Branding and what it means to you

In the fast paced and highly competitive world of publishing, authors are faced with constantly changing reader’s attention. How can a single author reach the readers in their genre? Is there some way of making sure more readers see their book and more importantly picks it up?

The short answer is yes, there is. Its branding. The fact is, an author wears a great many hats. Not only do they have to write a great book, but they have to ensure its polished (there are a number of options available and I’ll discuss those in another post) and available to readers. As well, they have to understand and be able to navigate the rather difficult practice of marketing their books. Regardless of how you are published, an author will have to do promotion.

An author’s aim is to be recognized and to be a readily identifiable item, you have to create your brand. Branding means your books, your style, and voice, and your author name become familiar to readers. When a reader sees your name they instantly connect you to the genre you write in. Perfect examples of this would be Steven King, Louis L’Amour, Nora Roberts, Dr. Suess. Those names are instantly recognized for their genre, their writing style, and what their writing is about.

A question I hear often is “how can I get my books before the readers?” To answer this question an author will have to ask some hard questions of themselves.


1. Who are my readers? To really connect to the people who are going to buy your book you have to have a basic understanding of who they are, what their likes are, and where they can be found. An author wants to know the details, are your books geared toward the middle aged housewife who’s looking for a little escapism reading? Or the young, up and coming professional looking to get lost in a world of glamour and excitement? What is their disposable income? Answering these questions is something that authors need to take the time to research.

2. Who am I? Perhaps more important than who your readers are, is the question of who you are as an author. What drives you to write? Are you looking to make money? Are you doing it for the love of writing? Are you trying to make a statement? Too often author’s don’t realize that marketing and branding are as much a part of what they do as the actual writing, editing, blurb writing, and more. Understanding yourself will help you to connect with your readers.

3. What makes me stand out from the other authors? How can I make myself be more memorable? This is a lot harder to answer than the other two, in my humble opinion, because you’re not just asking yourself who you are…and who you’re trying to reach. You’re thinking of a situation where you don’t have control of all or even any of the factors outside of your own self.

Branding isn’t an easy task. Its fluid. Its insane and crazy and takes as much as writing your book does. You have to be prepared to put in some serious work to really get the brand recognition you want and deserve. Ask yourself the hard questions, and be honest. Commitment to getting yourself out there and being recognized is a major part of what it takes to make a successful brand.

We love to have feedback so please leave a question or a comment to broaden the discussion.


Will you be putting on the green? Will you be eating Corned Beef? Yum! What you do on this holiday?
This is the day everyone wants to be Irish. Well cook an Irish meal and put on the green.

Chef Lou’s Saint Patrick’s Day Roasted Corned Beef
For Corned Beef
3 to 4 pound Corned Beef
Bake Pan
½ cup pickling spice
½ cup granulated sugar
Take corned beef out of package and boil in water for about 30 minutes(to remove some of the saltiness). Take the corned beef out of water and place on a broiler pan or elevated oven rack. Pour the water through a strainer to capture the pickling spice that came off the corned beef when boiling. Sprinkle the pickling spice on top of the corned beef & spread the additional half cup pickling spice. Roast corned beef in a preheated 275 oven for 3-1/2 to 4 hours. Sprinkle sugar over corned beef and cook an additional 30 minutes. Take out of oven and slice. Dig in!
Seasoned Cabbage
In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter. Add 3 cups wedge cut green cabbage, 1 cup sliced carrots, and ½ cup diced onions. Cook for about 2 minutes over high heat, stirring frequently. Add 2 cups water or Chicken broth. Add 2-teaspoons whole caraway seed, 1-teaspoon celery salt. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Serve with Corned Beef and Horseradish Honey Mustard.
Horseradish Honey Mustard
Mix 1 teaspoon straight horseradish with 1/2 cup Dijon mustard and ¼ cup honey. Refrigerate.
Herb Roasted Red Potatoes
For 3 lbs red potatoes
¼ cup Olive Oil
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons Fresh Chopped Garlic
3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning or Herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon Seasoning Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
Mix together all ingredients and toss with potatoes.
To cook potatoes: Place on a sheet pan and roast in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


Winter is a great time for a good book and a bowl of chili. Here’s a recipe for the tasty meal and log into CF Books and grab a love story and things should heat up for you.

Thanks Betty!

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 to 16 oz) red kidney beans, undrained

• 1Peel and chop the onion to measure 1 cup. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
• 2In a 3-quart saucepan, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked. Place a strainer or colander in the sink; line with a double thickness of paper towels. Pour the beef mixture into the strainer to drain. Return beef mixture to saucepan; discard paper towels and any juices in the bowl.
• 3Into the beef, stir the chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper sauce and tomatoes with their liquid.
• 4Heat the mixture to boiling over high heat. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cover with lid; cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
• 5Stir in the beans with their liquid. Heat to boiling over high heat. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat just enough so mixture bubbles gently. Cook uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness.

Does controversy ever sell the book? (Giveaway)

Some people will always subscribe to the “any publicity is good publicity” mindset, but I’ve been on the receiving end of some of the nastier notice a book can get from time to time, and I don’t believe for a moment that all publicity helps gets a product or a person noticed. What it does do is taint a book, or an author, and leave them wondering what the hell they ever did to warrant the attack that is often like a train bearing down on them without warning.
Years ago I published a story that was mainly fantasy action, using the mythical aspects of ninja legends and the mysterious cinematic presence that has made them popular over the years. I consulted a couple of martial arts people who area also attached to the entertainment industry, and we generally agreed that in a book that is being marketed as a romantic fantasy type of story, creative license is certainly the order of the day. Much to my surprise, it was that approval from experts that pretty much incited another author to literally become a stalker and bully for several days. I won’t name the person, any more than I would accede to his demands for my “sources” when writing and researching  the story. The insanity that followed my posting a review I found amusing led to so much vitriol it still stuns me over a half dozen years later.
The original publisher is now defunct, and earlier this year, Crimson Frost Books decided to reprint a new and improved version of the tale. The name remains the same, and the story is still what it was meant to be, part thriller, and part erotic romance. It’s a hot little story that was generally well received by the audience who recognized it for what it was meant to be–a bit of escapist fun.
We’ve seen a lot written about not engaging in abuse and stalking down people on the internet, and that seems to be falling by the wayside so much more nowadays. Reviewers and authors alike seem to think it’s okay to lash out if things aren’t the way they personally feel they should be. I still believe silence is sometimes the best route to go, and professionals don’t engage in pissing contests with detractors anyway. They do what they are meant to do, continue writing and leaving the malcontents to eat themselves alive with their personal demons.
If you’re interested in a fun and exciting adventure with a sizzling hot romance at the core, check out the new and improved:


Genre: Contemporary Action/Thriller
Publisher: Crimson Frost Books
Adam Walker is one of the Company’s best field agents, a highly trained, well-honed killing machine when that’s what’s needed. But, he’s also a man of many secrets, and one of them is that he’s a ninja, one of Japan’s mythical death warriors. When another of Adam’s secrets, his lover Kiku, is killed, he turns to the one person he trusts, fellow agent Shainna Barton. While Shainna covers for him on a mission, Adam metes out his revenge, and discovers that his friendship with Shainna has a much deeper meaning that either of them ever realized…
Adam’s steps were sure and silent as he made his way to the rear of the small theater. Exhaustion consumed him, but the residue of rushing adrenaline afforded his body a moment of false energy. Successful in yet another assignment—when the body turned up with the stolen files, there’d be no questions asked. Business as usual.
Still, the timing had been off, and there’d been no time to warn Kiku to stay at home. Uneasiness whispered inside him again, as it had for most of the past hour. Not for the first time during recent weeks, though . . . . He wondered if it had been wise to reject her desire to take their relationship to a more intimate involvement. Loving Kiku was as natural to him as breathing. But being her lover was something he hadn’t honestly considered. Not until she’d brought it to his attention.
Why he hadn’t noticed her love changing to passion baffled him now, as he thought about it. He’d told her intimacy of that kind would create distractions within his mind—the kind that might one day get them both killed. She’d been skeptical, though uncharacteristically reticent about explaining why, when he questioned her quick acceptance of his decision.
He thrust the doubts aside as he reached her office and entered. As always, the closet-like room appeared in complete chaos. An organized mess, she called it. He crossed the short space and picked up the phone as he settled on the edge of her desk. He was about to dial her home number when a flicker of movement drew his attention to the small, private parking lot separating the theater from a large apartment building next door. Adam slipped the receiver into its cradle and moved to stand in the shadows next to the small window behind her desk.
He spotted Kiku’s nearly naked body and he froze. Instinct guided him as fear and rage surged through him. Reaching beyond the haze of tumultuous emotions, he drew on his training. A careful look at Kiku told him she was dead . . . her neck broken. Again, the flicker of shadows betrayed a presence. He waited. Seconds passed, so drawn out by tension they felt like hours, but one-by-one he saw each figure with striking clarity. And in that brief instant, each of the five faces was burned indelibly into his memory. He knew one of them by name, and recognized the others as students of Caisson’s dojo. The heavy weight of the gun under his left arm all but spoke to him the alluring suggestion to pull the weapon and use it was so tempting. Adam had to force himself to resist using his weapon, a task made all the more difficult when Caisson bent over Kiku and placed a mocking kiss on her forehead.
He tore his gaze away, no longer trusting his ability to control his grief-enhanced rage. As he leaned against the wall, he realized he’d been holding his breath. Slowly, he exhaled, shaking uncontrollably despite his imposed strength of will.
When the wracking spasms of anguish subsided, he emerged from the theater’s office and left without looking back.
* * * * *
Less than half an hour later, Adam slipped into Kiku’s small flat. Like her office, it was in disarray, although not to the same exaggerated extent. He did a thorough, systematic search of the entire four rooms, removing every trace of his presence in her life. The items were few, for he seldom left even the smallest of articles behind. No photographs of them to be found, together or individually, a house rule they’d agreed to years earlier.
Hovering in the doorway, he took one final look at the place. It was so much like her, he thought, inhaling the light residue of sandalwood incense in the air. Books on every subject to satisfy her insatiable thirst for knowledge were strewn about, along with old theater posters, exotically painted masques, and cassettes and CDs in various languages. Despite his protestations, a map hung on the wall, dotted with postcards from the countries they’d traveled together. He hesitated for a moment then decided to collect the cards and destroy the map.
When he finished, he locked the door and turned his back on this place, too. Kiku would have expected nothing less from him.
* * * * *
Shainna Barton sighed in weariness as she kicked open the door to her apartment to drag her luggage inside. She’d been out of the country for over a month this time, and home seemed more appealing than she would have thought possible. She was growing tired in more ways than one.
A quick slam and the door shut firmly, leaving her in the silent, air-conditioned sanctuary she’d bought only a year before, a purchase she’d recognized as the first step toward her accepting pending retirement from the field.
She’d called home the night before, and her oldest and dearest friend had opened the apartment and stocked the cupboards for her. DeeDee Caulwell was one of the few constants in Shainna’s life. She honestly didn’t know what she’d do without her.
The phone rang. She stole a glance at the caller ID. Dee. Shainna dropped her shoulder bag and flopped into a chair as she grabbed the phone. The worry in DeeDee’s voice hit before the actual words, and Shainna automatically reached for the TV remote control to turn on the news report her friend was going on about with such dread. The reporter’s words ran together as Shainna’s world twisted wildly on its axis. Her pulse roared so loud in her ears she barely heard DeeDee say she was on her way over.
* * * * *
From her window seat, Shainna looked out at the night sky. Her chill had very little to do with the air-conditioned air. The ice reached into her soul and expanded outward to her quivering limbs. She wasn’t prone to infatuation, never had been, but there was something almost obsessive in her passion for Adam Walker. They were friends; the relationship worked for them. But Shainna had realized, long ago, the hunger she felt in Adam’s company had precious little to do with being friends. If she’d been less honest, she would have hated Kiku Shimoda, simply for being the love in Walker’s life. But Shainna was too much a realist to pretend the other woman was the reason Adam didn’t love her.
She sighed and closed her eyes, letting her head thump gently against the wall at her back. Adam’s amazing topaz eyes came into focus so quickly she was startled to discover he wasn’t next to her. She could feel him, though. All around her. Inside her heart. His pain was agonizing—and total. He was out there, and by now, he knew.
“What are you going to do, Adam?” She asked the question aloud, as was her custom when working possible angles to a puzzle. She shivered when the answer, like a cold caress, brushed her consciousness—a promise of mayhem and death—as if Adam had spoken directly into her mind. They’d been connected on some level for what felt like forever. And in that moment, she wondered if he’d actually heard her and responded.
Before the odd thought could create another conundrum for her to ponder, she was distracted by a knock at the door. She crossed the room and opened the door, breathing a thankful sigh at the sight of her friend.
“Are you all right?”
She shut the door as DeeDee glided past, shedding her coat and tossing it into a chair before she turned to Shainna.
“I’m still trying to take in what’s happened.” Shainna confessed. “This is going to destroy Adam. Especially when he finds out what the press is reporting. I don’t even know where to find him, Dee!”
“Maybe that’s for the best.” DeeDee’s features showed visible concern.
Adam Walker was always a touchy subject between them, and the gentle censure in her friend’s voice made Shainna’s temper flare.
“Okay, Shain.” DeeDee held up her hands in a gesture of surrender before Shainna had time to snap. “Truce. Back off. What are you planning, anyway?”
“If I know Adam, he’s going to find who did this.” She paced, chewed her thumbnail, and tried to make her brain function past her fear for the man. Kiku was the world to Adam, and Shainna knew—via the Division grapevine—the two had been a solid couple for some time. Whether or not the rumors were based on truth wasn’t relevant to her heart. She’d tried not to resent Kiku for Adam’s lack of interest, but it hadn’t been easy when every part of her spirit and body cried for the man in ways she wished rather to never have experienced.
“And . . . .” She finally added. “He’s going to make them pay for what they did to her—in blood.”
“That sounds like Adam,” DeeDee agreed, her tone reflecting her dislike and her near contempt for the man they discussed.
“Why do you hate him so much?”
Startled, DeeDee didn’t answer for a moment, then she laughed. “I hate what he does to you. Adam himself means nothing to me. I know you’d walk through hell for him, and he wouldn’t have to ask you to do it. What would he do for you, Shain?”
“The same thing if I needed him.”
“You’re so certain of that. Why?”
“Because he’s Adam. Because what exists between us is a lot deeper than simply trusting another agent with your back.”
“What happened in Italy last year?” DeeDee asked. “You’ve never said much, but something changed between you and Adam on that mission.”
“Yeah, we took our last day and went sight-seeing like normal people. I got drunk and told him I loved him. We blamed the wine the next day, and pretended it never happened.”
“What did he say?”
“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.”
DeeDee’s frown of confusion made Shainna laugh. “It’s a quote we found earlier that day, a 15thcentury Italian poet called Pietro Aretino wrote it. Adam told me we were friends, there was no room for anything else between us.”
“But he’s always willing to ask you to risk your life for him!”
“It’s my job, Dee. And his!”
“Not this time. This time it’s personal, so you should stay out of it.”
“How am I supposed to do that? He’s going to need backup, and if I know Adam, he’s going to make it clear he wants me.”
“Doesn’t mean Michael will agree.” DeeDee reasoned. She’d been fidgeting and tidying up the apartment from the moment she’d started the conversation. Now, she stopped moving. “He does have some control over Adam.”
Shainna laughed at DeeDee’s careful words, barely recognizing the shrill, hysterical edge that turned the sound brittle. “No one controls Adam,” she said, barely above a whisper. “Michael knows that better than anyone.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
Shainna trembled. “Wait.” She returned to the window and stared into the night once again. “I’m going to wait for him. What else can I do?”

Publisher  •  Amazon


Hello authors, editors, support staff and friends/colleagues, we are happy to announce that Frost Books, Crimson Frost and Midnight Frost Books will be hosting a blogradio show two times a month.  At least that is the plan at this time.  This is just in its infancy so things are subject to change and we are open to suggestions. 

We are developing a schedule at this time.  We hope it will promote us, our authors and others to the world of readers.  We are excited for authors to share their stories and encourage and develop their fan base.  Truth be told we wish to develop our fan base too.  In doing so, we want to not only promote but to provide information and tips on editing, writing, promoting, and all other topics which impact the industry. 

We will be asking our support staff… editors, artist, promoters, and bloggers to participate as well and talk about themselves and their services. Share their excitement for what they do as part of our team and without Frost Books.  Our view is to promote all, to get to know each other, and to educate one another.

To get everyone’s name out.  For all to benefit, either directly or indirectly.  We will be inviting other publisher friends and outside authors to participate as well, especially our Beachwalk authors!  But we invite any others as well.  Patricia and I are published by other publishers.  Sharing their news and upcoming books/ events is also our goal.

Our show will be 30 minutes long each time.  In that time, we want the world to know about us, our authors, our author’s books and others, our friends, and anything else that excites our readers and our authors who we truly appreciate.

We are aware that there are some publishers who have not been author and or reader friendly. We are not pleased with that news generally as authors and or publishers.   Patricia and I are authors and readers too and we understand.  We want to do all we can do to achieve success for all. No doubt, we are all learning.  But this is true in any industry.  Even lawyers and doctors learn while doing their jobs.  I know you hate to think so, but it is often true.  They do learn and they do succeed!  We all want to succeed. 

We endeavor to be honest and communicative with our staff and authors.  We searched our brains to find a way to bring us all closer and to help all.  Therefore, Patricia and I came up with the idea of blogradio. 
We hope you like this idea too. 

If you were sent this email or are reading this… We are inviting you to participate and we would like to schedule you.  The interviews will be done over the phone or computer.  So, you will not need to fly here to gorgeous Ohio, USA or Kamloops, BC.  LOL.  The world is so cool with all this tech we are close no matter where you are.

If you have friends who are authors self-published or with other pubs…. Let them know we would like to interview them about their books too.  Spread the word!  We are anxious to hear what you all think!

Thanks so much for your time,
Ciara Lake and Patricia Bates

This will be shared on FB, twitter, and blogs.  So, if you don’t get email… you will get this.   

Marketing observations and a GIVEAWAY! @Denysé Bridger #RomFantasy


Most authors these days come to the table understanding that they now wear many hats and are expected/required to be prepared to work hard at selling the product they bring with them. For many, especially newer authors, the misconception is that your publisher will do your marketing and promotions, that it is their job to sell your book. Not true, and it is doubly not true if your first experience of publishing is with a smaller house. You’ll hear often from seasoned pros that the real work comes after the book is written, and you’d do well to heed those words if you’re new to the business.
My personal observation only, but one of the things I see happening over and over is a lack of contact between authors and readers. Many seem to be operating under the assumption that all they’re selling is books. You put yourself at a severe disadvantage if this is your approach, believe me. The greatest asset in your arsenal of tools as an author is you yourself. Your book is the by-product. It’s not the other way around anymore. Readers have access to authors all over the internet and social media–it’s the ones who choose to interact with readers on a personal level who have the most loyal followings, too. Thousands of readers who feel a friendship for the authors they read because they have the chance to talk, to ask questions, to share thoughts. NONE of that is connected to your book in real terms, it’s directly connected to how you make yourself available to potential readers. If they feel that you are interested in their thoughts, their observations, their opinions, you’ll sell every book you write to those core readers who are now fans of the author even more than the books.
Social media is as diverse as the people who use it. The second mistake I see constantly is the reliance on Facebook as the heavyweight marketing tool. Granted, Facebook is hugely popular, and it’s a platform that you can use to great advantage. It’s also saturated with authors all going after those same readers and their dollars. What I’ve observed, again, is that many readers are weary of the endless streams of buy my books posts many make. I am a writer and I’ve gotten to the point where if I see the same author promoting with the same post in 100 groups, I just hide them from my newsfeed rather than attempt to scroll along and hope I can get past all the same posts. I’ve seen as high as 168 posts of exactly the same thing in every possible group that author could find. It’s a worthless exercise and eats up time you could spend in better ways. As an experiment a few months ago, I spent a small amount of cash for a service that promised to promote my book to a minimum of 300 Facebook groups over the course of 48 hours. They sent me an assortment of screen caps showing that it had been done–and I can tell you that not a single copy of that well reviewed and popular book sold as a result of this Facebook bombardment. Answered that question in my mind.
I used to admin a group called Book Promotions–it has over 18.5 thousand members–let me tell you, a post in a group that size is visible for less than a minute, and the sad thing is, everyone wants to post in hopes of selling. BUT, think about it–most of the 18+K members are authors, who are attempting to sell their product to other authors who probably don’t want to spend money–they’re hoping to make sales of their own, right? I’ve often called Facebook the information booth of the shopping mall–you get your info, then you shop in the stores, right? Facebook allows you to “meet” your favourite authors and get to know about their new books. Then you head to Amazon, or wherever you like to shop for books. Consider that, and ask yourself if there’s a way to make it a personal interaction that will keep your readers coming back.
Websites, newsletters, blogs, etc. They still do more for author visibility than anything else. I advocate an active, and interactive blog if you don’t want the hassle of maintaining a website. Not everyone has the skill to build an attractive web presence, nor the money to pay someone else for that branding tool. So, why not consider a blog? You can do amazing things with Blogger and WordPress now. Separate pages for books, and listings, and whatever else you can dream up to get readers interested. Answer comments left on your blogs, network them so they post to other social media that allows your name and brand to reach people. The best combo I can think of is the blog/Twitter combo. If you hate Facebook, and many people do, consider LinkedIn and it’s new tools and functions. If you write a particularly outstanding blog, post links on your business profile. If you want, a week or so after the original post, reprint the post for LinkedIn–they have an article feature now that will allow you to blog on their site.
Use your time to maximum impact, tools and applications can post across many platforms are a Godsend to someone with limited time. Something like Hootsuite allows you to post to LinkedIn, Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and probably others–all from one dashboard. If you like Twitter, link it back to your pages, make sure your stream is put on your blog sidebar or your website. There’s huge potential for presence with organized efforts. Next month we can talk about paid promotions, Yahoo’s continued presence and usefulness, as well as other potentially helpful marketing ideas. Cheers everyone! Happy Writing and much success!!
Now, let’s take a quick peek at my first book with Crimson Frost, one that will soon have two more parts to make the completed trilogy!

Book One of Three: During the time before the Great Forbidding was created, it was believed the defiance of the Renegades could be contained. To that end, the Council of Power called upon their Ancient Gods for assistance. In response, the Gods ordered creation of the Triad of Power–three swords, each one imbued with the essence of a gift unique to those who would wield the weapons as the Guardians of Foress. Like all magic, each crafted blade contained the driving sorcery of its creator–not all wizards are immune to the weaknesses of men, and within the Triad, conflict itself was bred without conscious intent or knowledge. So begins the legend, and the epic fantasy of the TRIAD OF POWER.


As contented peace steeped the air around them, and they were able to breathe in near silence again, Sherindal contemplated her surroundings. On her knees, with the Prince of Ember still sheathed within her, she had never known a moment of more perfect serenity and completion. Her senses hummed with awareness of everything: the texture of the bed linen, cool silk, caressing her heated skin, the subtle patterns swirling amid the tapestries that hung on the stone walls of the bedchamber, even the heavy scent of candle wax added another layer of appreciation to her happiness.
“You really are magnificent, Sher,” Rienn whispered, his arms wrapped around her, drawing her close.

She leaned to one side, looped her arm around his neck and drew his mouth to hers in a kiss that was filled with gentle passion.

“I do love you, Rienn.”

Rienn nodded. His hands on her waist moved her. She shivered as he slipped free of her. “I’ll order a bath and some food,” he told her.

She grabbed his wrist and shook her head. “Later. I want you to hold me.”

Rienn stretched out and pulled her down to him, spooning her body to his when he pressed her back to his chest.

They’d only slept for minutes when the huge doors of the Prince’s chambers were flung open and the spacious room was invaded by numerous men, all bearing swords.


The word was a warning, and Sherindal slithered from the bed when he released her. She scooped up her weapon as she rolled, oblivious to her nakedness. She whirled to face the first rush of the attack. Somewhere through the early morning hours since they’d made love, Rienn had thought to retrieve his breeches, she noted from the corner of her eye. He had managed to gain his weapon, and they fought, back to back.

Sherindal hissed in fury and pain when the second of the men who engaged her slipped past her defense and inflicted a wound near her waist. It was a surface injury and she quickly rewarded him by slicing off his sword hand. Howling in agony, he toppled back, then fled as he recovered his footing several feet away from her.

Rienn had killed two men and was about to run through the third when Sherindal’s voice filled the room, and the blade she wielded, Huntor, rose with her song. The attackers froze momentarily, those two who remained, and she smiled when the weapon cut them down, then drifted back to her outstretched hand, coming to rest in her grasp with near peaceful ease.

“Your blood-thirsty weapon has been sated nicely this morning,” Rienn observed with a tense glance at the gleaming blade.

“Who are they?” she asked, her tone cold as she met his gaze.

“Why would you assume I know?” he retorted instantly. “This is hardly what I would consider an invigorating start to the day!”

“Really?” One eyebrow rose in emphasis of her sardonic tone. “It is one of the more interesting diversions you might have provided, Rienn.” Her laughter was faintly mocking, and not a little bit ironic.

Rienn’s handsome features suffused with rage and he reached for her, gripped her bare arm with fingers that dug into her flesh like steel bands.

“You can be an evil bitch,” he whispered darkly.

Sherindal smiled, and this time it was genuine. She nodded, kissed his chin, the closest she could get to his mouth from her disadvantaged height, then she gasped as a fiery lance reminded her of the slash near her left hip.

“Enough, Rienn,” she said.

He released her, scooped her into his arms, and placed her in the center of the feathered mattress of his bed. He looked closely at the injury, yanked the bell pull, and then went to the heavy wardrobe at the far end of the chamber.

His guards were rushing along the corridor when he returned to the bed and helped Sherindal into one of his linen shirts. She bit her bottom lip against another stab of pain and laughed in macabre amusement when she spotted the duo who entered the room.

“They look rested enough, my love,” she muttered.

Rienn glared at her, then turned an even fiercer visage to the men who should have prevented the assault in his private rooms.

“Get them out of here, then report to Radisan.”

“Radisan will no doubt beat the life out of them, Rienn,” she remarked. “Your brother is overzealous when it comes to punishment. He enjoys watching other people writhe, especially when he is the orchestrator of their anguish.”

“Would you rather I reward them for their lapse?” he snapped. “We could have been killed, Sher!”

“Highly unlikely. Get me my own clothes,” she requested. “I want to dress.”

“You’re not going anywhere,” he warned from his position near the door. As the two guards dragged the last of the fallen men into the hall, he slammed the door into place and speared his lover with a look that frequently froze men in their tracks. Sherindal rose from the bed to retrieve her belongings.


She sighed and began to apply salve from the small medicine kit she carried. When the wound was smeared with the peach-colored cream, she wrapped clean linen around her hips, then continued to dress. Dark brown trousers, forest green tunic, black boots and vest, and lastly the sword, in a sheath that she wore at her back, the glittering hilt visible between her shoulders when she faced the Prince again.

“Rienn,” she said gently. “I would not leave you if it wasn’t necessary. This is something I must do. I have no choice!”

Rienn’s unusual eyes flared with anger, and he strode toward her, stopping when her head moved so that she might hold his look. He towered over her, and often used that height to keep her off balance when they were this close. She had told him that he was a drug she was addicted to, and the sensuality of their passion had grown with their aging. She would have made a perfect queen, but his father had long ago threatened Rienn with banishment if he took Sherindal as his wife. The old man had said on many occasions he would hold the throne forever from Rienn if he dared to believe a witch would be an appropriate queen for Ember. Sherindal seemed more than happy to be his consort, with none of the advantages that position could have offered.

Ironically, by his own decree, Rienn’s father had also insured he’d never have the grandchildren he desired, for Rienn would not betray his love for Sherindal by accepting another woman in his bed. The King believed that to be one more proof of Sher’s sorcery, her hold on the oldest son of Ember’s Royal House. Love was an emotion the old man mocked and disdained, and one he had never understood. Rienn’s mother had died many years earlier, and they had been closer than many sons and mothers. They had been friends and confidants. The Queen had approved completely of Rienn’s choice of mate.

“I have no choice.”

Leave a comment and you will be automatically entered to win a $5 Gift Certificate for the Crimson Frost bookstore!
Denysé Bridger
“Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy…”
** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2012-2013 **
Fantasy Pages (general):
Bound By Passion (adult content):



Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian Nobel Laureate said this : The longest distance in the world is that I am standing in front of you, and You don’t know that I love you. It is really sad that in our society, people feel so alienated from one another. There are so few instances of true love. The theme of true love conquering enormous cultural differences and vast distances of the galaxy is carefully exploited in this epic galactic novel of intrigue and romance.

In most Sci Fi settings, Earthlings and aliens are at odds with each other. This also remind me of the feuding families of Montagues and Capulets in Romeo and Juliet. Archail is the alien warrior whose goal is to save his alien race from extinction by taking Sara as his mate.

This book elevates the true definition of love to beyond space, dimensions and time.



Thank you so much Valerie Negron for your great review of Urban Wolf!

Valerie’s Review: 

This is another great summer read! Its a short easy read but with that being said it was amazing. Do not let a short book fool you. This book was jam packed with emotions and great chemistry between the main characters. The characters were very well written. You felt like you were with them and you felt like you knew them. You felt every emotion that they were experiencing.

The description in this book was well written and you could see, feel, and hear everything that was going on with the characters and the world around them. I could see everything I was reading.

There were lots of twists in this book that had me turning the pages to see what was going to happen. I literally read this book in one day cause every chance I got I was reading to see what was coming or going to happen. By the end of the book mostly everything had been explained and all tied up nicely. The book and the plot flowed very nicely. You were able to read and understand everything that was happening.

Liam is a great teacher for Ragen. Ragen is a type of witch able to heal by touch and she has just started getting and experiencing her powers. Liam comes to find her by request of a Goddess to keep her safe and to bring her back to the goddess. You will have to read yourself to find out why this Goddess wants to see Ragen and wants to keep her safe.

Liam is a Zerphalin, an immortal shapeshifter, he can shapeshift to what he wants but prefers the wolf form. He is looking to settle down instead of having meaningless encounters and sex. When he finds Ragen the chemistry and reaction between these two is AMAZING!!!! I just want to say that I would love me some Liam. He is sexy, strong, and compassionate all wrapped up into one with a sexy wolf form.

This book ends on a huge cliffhanger and mystery. Thats why I say mostly everything has been explained and tied up in this book. This cliffhanger was so huge I was so disappointed for it to end. Now I am wondering what is gonna happen to Ragen and if she will continue to be safe. Im also curious to see ragen and Liam’s love continue to develop and grow. I cant wait to read the next book to continue with Ragen and Liam and hopefully it is done and released soon.

This book gets a 5/5 from me!!



Memorial Day is a US federal holiday celebrating the men 

and women who died while serving in the United States 

Armed Forces.    
Ciara Lake is from Ohio in the USA and many members of 

her family have served in the military.

Thank you to all who have served and protected our Great 

Nation and our Allies!  

We really do appreciate the men and women of our USA 

military and our Allies for the giving of their time and or even

their lives.  There personal sacrifices have protected our 

way of life and our freedoms!

As a special recognition to this US holiday and the summer

days ahead, we are offering a sale on our books.  

15% off all book (teasers not included)
Read while you BBQ this weekend!
Thanks and Enjoy,

Ciara Lake
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