Category Archives: Romantic Fantasy

Excerpt from DANI & THE IMMORTALS

DANICOVER7When Dani emerged from the building, Rein was lounging on the Embassy stoop. He sprang to his feet as she approached.

“Did you have any luck?”

“Are you following me?”

“Just looking out for the Druid’s girl. I’m sure he’d do the same for me if the situation were reversed.”

“For the last time, I’m not his girl.”

A glimmer of a smile lifted the corners of Rein’s lips. “Good. I wouldn’t want him mad at me.”

“Why would he be mad?”

“For putting moves on you.”

“You haven’t put moves on me.”

“Not yet.”

His gaze riveted onto hers and the air between them seemed to smolder…until Dani remembered her condition.

“Rein, there’s something you should know about me. I’m—” She broke off when she noticed an Asgard City police patrol striding toward them. “Uh-oh.”

He followed her glance. “Hang on.”

When the elf pulled her close and kissed her, ripples of pleasure went down her spine. The kiss seemed to go on for a long time, but she made no effort to break it off. Admittedly, being kissed passionately by a handsome prince hadn’t been on her bucket list. Had she known how good it would feel, however, it might have been at the top.

When Rein released her, two bright red spots had appeared over his cheekbones. “Sorry about that.” He averted his eyes. “I-I didn’t want the police to recognize us. I’m unwelcome and you’re illegal. It wouldn’t be a good thing for either of us to be detained.”

“Don’t apologize. Are we safe now?”

He glanced around. “Yeah, they’re gone.”

“That was quick thinking on your part.”

“I hope you weren’t offended.”

“Not at all.” Her lips were still tingling from his kiss.

“You said before there was something about you that I should know.”

Dani made a split second decision against telling him about her condition. The bad news would spoil the moment they’d just had, and a long-term relationship didn’t matter anyway since she’d hopefully found a way home.

“Oh…just that I’m not so illegal anymore. It seems I have a job.”

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Blurb: When Dani was a teen, she had it all; a starring role in her own television series, a wonderful family, and her health. A few511px-Odin,_der_Göttervater years later, everything has changed for the worse—and her time is running short. All she wants to do before she dies is to fall in love, but when she’s kidnapped and taken to Asgard of Norse mythology, she becomes enmeshed in a quarrel between immortals. Prince Rein lends a hand in her quest to return home, and she begins to think the handsome elf has captured her heart. After a magical artifact goes missing, however, he may be forced to marry another woman to avert a diplomatic catastrophe. To find the artifact and save the prince, Dani must undertake a dangerous quest involving ogres, dark fairies, and underworld criminals. Ultimately, however, she’ll have to defy Odin himself.

Dani & the Immortals is available for the Kindle

at a special pre-release price HERE

Guest Author Juli D. Revezzo • Druid Warrior’s Heart

DRUIDWARRIORSHEART3flat400The life of a budding druid in DRUID WARRIOR’S HEART
by
Juli D. Revezzo

In my fantasy romance series, Celtic Stewards Chronicles, a family whose bloodline goes back to the beginning of the world has to oversee a mythic battle. This battle happens at certain intervals throughout time (500 years to be exact), and in each generation, the duty falls to one woman. In the first book in the series, Passion’s Sacred Dance, the steward, Stacy, lived in our time. However, in the second—and latest book—DRUID WARRIOR’S HEART, the story deals with her ancestor, Ruth, who lived in Ireland in the 1500s.

Each time, the women are sent a guardian from the ranks of the Irish gods, the Tuatha dé Danaan. This time, handsome and mysterious warrior Isaac Connel is chosen as her guardian. He too was part of the first book, a very small part, so in DRUID WARRIOR’S HEART, I got to play with him a bit more. What could a man who, when we first met him, was learned, a doctor, no less, spring from? He’s a soldier, at heart, yes, and very much interested in Ruth and protecting she and her family (and does he fall in love with Ruth? Well, that’s a secret the book will tell) but also, it seems he’s very much interested in peace, in scholarly things, even when we first meet him. For, after all, all battles end and 500 years is a very long time. What will he do after the battle’s end?

Isaac helped me answer the question of on what do these guardians spend the bulk of their time. In his case, he wished to study; a lover of stories, and holding the druids of the Tuatha dé Danaan with which he works in high regard, he watches one he admires very closely, and wonders, what might it be like to become a druid. What magics and mysteries might he learn? What will the druid’s decades’ long scholarly career require of him?

That is, after he gets done battling the evil Balor, and securing Ruth’s heart and hand. How does he deal with the battles ahead? Well, you’ll have to read to find out!

Synopsis:

As the latest in her family’s long line of stewards, Ruth Macken awaits the arrival of a warrior sworn to the Tuatha dé Danaan, the Celtic gods her family has served since the beginning of time. For on that day, a magical battle will erupt. A war between druids and an evil that will decide the fate of mankind.

Isaac Connel knows the battle is imminent, and is ready to fight, once again but from the moment he sees Ruth flitting around the sacred ground, he’s captivated by her fiery charms and a need to protect her.

Despite Isaac’s assurances and the dreams that guide her, what can Ruth and her lover do to drive off this evil? Despite everything, will the world end at the hands of an evil god?

If you’d like to give DRUID WARRIOR’S HEART a look, the book is available at:
Amazon Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback

For more on these and other books visit Juli at her blog or Juli’s Amazon page. You can also find her on: Facebook, Good Reads, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter. Sign up for her newsletter HERE

Celtic Steward Chronicles Pinterest page, for images and articles that have inspired the Celtic Stewards Chronicles.

Thank you for hosting me and my hero, Suzanne!

Check out the book trailer:

New Cover for Tournament of Chance: #Dragon Rebel

DragonRebel3If Heather manages to win the Tournament of Chance, she’ll be the first commoner to earn a place at court. Instead of a glorious victory, however, she’s arrested and marked for execution. After a daring escape, she joins the Dragon Rebels, who seek to overthrow the despotic monarchy and restore the former kingdom of Ormaria. Amongst the rebels are three shape-shifting wizards who claim to be rulers from the past. On a perilous quest to free the wizards’ magic, Heather battles wild dragons, vicious predators, angry trolls, and unexpected traitors. When a horrendous accident sends her back in time to fulfill a mysterious prophecy, she must rely on her warrior skills, wits, and endurance to survive.

This 2014 EPIC Award Fantasy Finalist is available at Amazon.

Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel

DragonRebel-Cory2My 2014 EPIC Award Fantasy Finalist, formerly published by Musa Publishing, is now back on the market and available for pre-orders HERE.  Release date is March 31st!

Blurb: If Heather manages to win the Tournament of Chance, she’ll be the first commoner to earn a place at court. Instead of a glorious victory, however, she’s arrested and marked for execution. After a daring escape, she joins the Dragon Rebels, who seek to overthrow the despotic monarchy and restore the former kingdom of Ormaria. Amongst the rebels are three shape-shifting wizards who claim to be rulers from the past. On a perilous quest to free the wizards’ magic, Heather battles wild dragons, vicious predators, angry trolls, and unexpected traitors. When a horrendous accident sends her back in time to fulfill a mysterious prophecy, she must rely on her warrior skills, wits, and endurance to survive.

Excerpt:

The creaking of the dungeon door made Heather flinch. To her surprise, Joe appeared.

“How did you get in here?” she whispered.

“I stole the key. You’ve got to go now.”

“I’ll be executed if I’m caught trying to escape!”

“I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to be executed either way. The commoners are right angry about the tournament. You’ve become a symbol now, and a danger to the monarchy.”

Heather followed him out of her cell and into the unoccupied corridor. As they crept through the dungeons, she expected Joe to lead her up the stairs. She winced when he lifted a heavy metal grate and slipped into a sewer trench instead. With few other options, she did likewise. They sloshed through the smelly waste, toward a sliver of light she guessed led to the outside.

“Do you swim?” Joe asked.

“Huh?”

“The castle is built on a cliff, and this trench spills down into the ocean below. We’ll have to jump from the opening to escape.”

“What!” Heather only had a moment for his words to register because a cacophony of shouting and torchlight at the far end of the trench indicated they’d been discovered.

“Oops,” Joe said. “Be sure to dive away from the cliff so you don’t get crushed on the rocks below.”

He bounded the last few feet and launched himself fearlessly out into space. Heather blanched as he dove into the ocean, a hideously long way down. When an arrow whizzed past her ear, she could hesitate no longer. Bending her knees, she jumped with all the strength she could muster.

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The Release of CLASH OF WILLS!

COWFINAL2I’m pleased to announce the release of my romantic fantasy, Clash of Wills! The short story version was under contract for two years with a publishing company, so when I received my rights back I decided to rewrite the story and lengthen it into a novella. I’ve added new characters, new conflicts, and some awesome battles! If you’d like to check it out, Clash of Wills is available at Amazon HERE. ~ S.G. Rogers

ornament29Can Princess Samantha battle highwaymen, a snow demon, and a wayward prince to bring her brother home?

Princess Samantha’s magical compass will help her locate herMagic Book With Wizard Compass long-lost brother, but only if she manages to escape the watchful eyes of her royal parents. When an unwelcome suitor comes to call, Samantha seizes her chance. She beguiles the prince into taking her north, intending to abandon him at her earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, his captivating good looks and charming manner present an unforeseen complication—especially when she is forced to accept help from the very man she has deceived.

To maintain his bachelorhood, handsome Prince Wills is not above deception. Although reluctantly entangled in Samantha’s scheme, he vows to protect her…until a lie threatens to destroy their alliance.  Can his powerful attraction to the princess overcome his mistrust?  And can they survive a dangerous quest to the wild and magical Uncharted Region?

Excerpt:

Dinner was a cordial affair, with succulent roasts, plentiful salads, and freshly baked bread. Samantha engaged Wills in conversation about the beauties of his kingdom by the sea, and encouraged her father to reminisce about his friendship with Wills’ father, King Ewan. The evening was so convivial, Wills’ shoulder muscles relaxed and his laughter became genuine.

Over a tangy dessert of fresh berries and clotted cream, Samantha asked Wills about the roads between their two kingdoms. “Tell me sir, did you encounter any difficulties on your journey here?”

“I wish I could report an exciting clash with a troll or a band of highwaymen, but my travels were quite uneventful,” he replied. “Comfortable inns line the roads, and it took but three days altogether.”

“I’m glad to hear it.” Samantha turned a beaming smile on the king. “Oh, Father, I’d dearly love to visit Insolitia. Might I have permission to accompany the prince on his return home?”

“What?” Startled, Wills spilled wine down the front of his uniform. Footmen hastened to his aid.

“Nan can chaperone,” Samantha continued, “and I’m certain Prince Wills and his manservant will provide ample protection.”

Although Wills’ mouth opened, no sound would come out. Surely her father will refuse his permission!

“What a capital idea, Tomas,” the queen said. “Samantha will adore the ocean.”

“Why not, indeed?” Tomas nodded his approval. “It might do Samantha good to see a bit of the world—if Prince Wills agrees to the undertaking, of course.”

Wills twisted in the wind, but he had little choice but to be gracious. “It would alleviate the boredom of my travels greatly,” he managed. The wretched girl has outfoxed me…but to what end?

The Do-Over

The end of the year seems to be a good opportunity for a little self-reflection. Did you ever wish you could have a do-over in life? Perhaps there is a particular event or episode you would have liked to do differently.  Such things are the genesis of fantasy films or books, and don’t exist—or do they?

In my case, I have a do-over as it relates to my short story, Clash of Magic Book With Wizard CompassWills.  This romantic fantasy was the first story I ever sold, to a small, independent publisher known for its romance titles.  The contract was for two years, and the rights have now reverted back to me.  I intend to lengthen the story quite a bit, introduce new characters and conflicts, and apply everything I’ve learned about writing since my first sale.

It feels odd, re-reading the manuscript, because it’s sort of a mental snapshot in time. The original Clash of Wills represents where I was as a writer nearly three years ago. I can recall working with my editors on various matters, such as keeping my points-of-view from sliding around. Although it was frustrating at times, I learned quite a lot. This first professional editing experience was what helped me morph my “classroom” creative writing into a salable “product” with appeal to a broad cross-section of readers.

And now I have a do-over. I have the opportunity to make Clash of Wills into something which will reflect my experience and breadth of knowledge accrued from writing a myriad of books, novellas, novelettes, and short stories. How lucky can I get?

~ S.G. Rogers

 

Written For Christmas – Flash Fiction

On the eve of Christmas, here is a reprise of my holiday flash fiction story, Written for Christmas.  Enjoy!  ~ S.G. Rogers

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Diva hesitated a moment before pulling the gift-wrap from Lorelei’s Larceny.  As she gazed at the author photo on the dust jacket, the corners of her mouth turned up in a wistful smile.  The lights on the Christmas tree in the corner winked at her and the window beyond revealed a light snow flurry falling outside. She turned the novel over in her hands, wondering if she should brave the elements to walk to the corner coffeehouse.  While nursing a couple of peppermint mochas, she could make a pretty good dent in the book.  Besides which, she didn’t want to spend Christmas Eve alone.

“I can’t believe you opened that now,” Captain Westerly scolded. “Didn’t you promise Brandon Forster you’d wait until Christmas?”

Diva’s eyes slid over to the miniature pirate as he emerged from the pages of her recently released romance novel, Captain Westerly’s Conquest. The book rested on the table in front of the sofa, next to a Yule candle. “Nobody asked you,” she said.  “And besides, Brandon won’t know.”

The dashing captain tilted his head as he examined the dust jacket.  “Hey, he resembles me…or perhaps I resemble him.”

A crease of annoyance marred Diva’s brow.  “Do you have to leap off the page like that?  It’s kind of disconcerting.”

“It’s the way you wrote me, my lady,” Westerly said, with a courtly bow. “Why didn’t you give Brandon a copy of my book?  I mean, your book.  He would have enjoyed Captain Westerly’s Conquest.”

“Are you kidding?  He’s a man.  Men don’t read romance,” Diva said.

“I don’t see why not? Brandon’s a handsome devil, even if I say so myself—secure in his masculinity.”

“And furthermore, we’re just friends.  There’s simply no way a man like him would be interested in me,” she finished.

Westerly stroked his chin, covered with manly stubble.  “I thought we were talking about books.”

“Behave, Captain, or your next story will involve a wife and kids.”

Her decision made, Diva launched herself off the sofa and disappeared into her bedroom.  A few moments later, she emerged with her coat and scarf in hand.  She stopped short, gaping, as Westerly helped a miniature cat burglar step out of the pages of Lorelei’s Larceny.  Clad in a sexy black unitard, the woman bore an uncanny resemblance to Diva.

“You look like me!” Diva exclaimed, wide-eyed.

“It’s the way Brandon Forster wrote me,” Lorelei replied, tossing her glossy sable locks over one shoulder.

Captain Westerly kissed Lorelei’s hand.  “Would you care for a tour of my ship, my lady?” he asked.  “We’ll toast the season with a glass of rum punch.”

Lorelei raised an eyebrow as she gave the pirate an appraising glance.  “Lead on.”

“Wait a minute, you can’t—” Diva began, but the two main characters disappeared into the pages of Captain Westerly’s Conquest without so much as a backward glance.

A knock on the apartment door caused Diva to blanch.  She draped her coat and scarf over a chair and went to answer it.   Brandon Forster stood there, clutching Captain Westerly’s Conquest.  “I hope you don’t mind me s-stopping by,” he stammered.  “I, um, had to tell you how much I loved your book.”

Diva’s mouth opened, but no sound would come out.  Brandon flushed pink and ran his fingers through his closely cropped hair. “I’m sorry, that was lame.  What I mean to say is…do you, er, want to get a cup of coffee?”

“I’d love some coffee,” she said with a slow smile.

Brandon let his breath out in a gust.  He glanced at the sprig of mistletoe hung over the door and returned her smile with one of his own.

“How did that get there?” she exclaimed, startled.

A distant foghorn sounded from the vicinity of Captain Westerly’s Conquest, on the table behind her.

“I don’t know, but who am I to buck tradition?” Brandon asked. He leaned forward, his lips hovering over hers.

“Merry Christmas,” she said, before she sealed it with a kiss.

~ S.G. Rogers

Finding the Spirit of Christmas – Flash Fiction

Since it’s the holiday season, it’s time for a reprise of my romantic fantasy flash fiction story, Finding the Spirit of Christmas. Enjoy! ~ S.G. Rogers

Finding the Spirit of Christmas

Man in Suit © Rolffimages | Dreamstime.comAs an increasingly heavy snow shower drifted down over the wintry country landscape, the dark outline of a rectangular-shaped portal formed.  A well-dressed man stepped through the blackness, promptly skidded on a patch of ice and landed in a deep snowdrift. The man pushed himself upright, dismayed to find the moist snow clinging to his face and expensive clothes.  He glanced back at the portal, but it had disappeared.

“What are you doing out in the middle of nowhere, dressed like that?” a voice rang out.

The man wiped crystals from his eyelashes so he could see.   A very pretty woman stood on a path nearby, bundled against the cold.

“Um…I’m looking for something,” he said.

“In the snow?”

“No, er, that was an accident.”  He shivered.

“Well…you’d better come inside before you freeze.”

The woman whistled just then and a fluffy tan dog came bounding over.  The woman and dog began to walk toward a stone cottage on top of a hill, without looking back.  The man turned up his coat collar, hunched his shoulders and followed.

A few moments later he was grateful to be inside, where a fragrant fire was crackling in the fireplace and the smell of baking gingerbread made his mouth water.  The room was decorated for the holidays, with a cheerful evergreen garland hanging from the mantle.  A fat Christmas tree, twinkling with lights, filled the corner next to the window, and the dining table was covered with a festive cherry red cloth.

“Why don’t you hang your wet things by the door?” the woman suggested.

The man found a hook for his coat, but when the woman went into the kitchen to check on the gingerbread, he used a spell to dry himself off.  Nevertheless, his feet were icy cold, so he removed his shoes and sat next to the fire.  The dog trotted over to curl up at his feet.  The woman came out of the kitchen.  She’d shed her outerwear and he finally got a good look at her.  She had snowy white skin with cheeks reddened by the cold, and her heart-shaped face was framed by waves of nutmeg colored curls.  He gulped.

“What’s your name, Detective?” she asked.

The man peered at her, startled.  “How did you—”

The woman laughed and pointed to the badge hanging from his belt.  “You’re a wizard detective.  I’ve heard of them before.”

“The name is Nick.”

“Okay, Nick, I’m Christine. The dog is called Joy.” She handed him a cup of cocoa and sat down on the raised hearth.  “So what are you looking for?”

“Ah…this is rather awkward, but the Spirit of Christmas has gone missing in my dimension. Our best wizards discovered a breach in the energy barrier…it’s kind of technical.  Anyway, I’m here to find it.” He sipped the cocoa, savoring the rich flavor.

Christine frowned.  “What does this Spirit look like?”

“It can take different shapes.”

“Wow.  I guess you have your work cut out for you.  Let me get you some gingerbread.”

“That would be great,” Nick said.  “This cocoa is really delicious, by the way.”

A few minutes later, Christine and Nick were sharing a slice of the fresh, warm cake.  Nick balanced his plate on his knee. “Mmm.  This brings back good memories.”

Christine put down her fork.  “Once you find the Spirit, what happens next?”

“I ask her to come home.”

“And what if she doesn’t want to go?  What if she’s tired of being neglected?” A sudden surge of emotion made Christine’s eyes sparkle.

Nick set his plate aside and pulled her to her feet. “Come home.”  He wrapped her in his arms. “Things haven’t been the same since you left.  I intend to love, honor and keep you in my heart forever, just like the day we were married.”

She looked into his handsome face.  “You had to work hard to find me.  I’m impressed.” A smile tugged at her lips.

“I went to every dimension on the map, but I never gave up.” Nick gave Christine a long, romantic kiss.  “Tell me you’ll come home? Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve.”

Christine returned the kiss. “I’m afraid we’re snowed in tonight.”

“That’s too bad,” Nick said…but the twinkle in his eye said otherwise.  At the same time, Joy’s tail wagged.

 

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Celtic Romance Kindle Freebee

PassionsSacredDance_w6021_750Looking for a gorgeous Celtic warrior? Look no farther than Passion’s Sacred Dance, which is a Kindle free download, September 24th – 28th. Go HERE to pick up your free copy, and happy reading!

~ S.G. Rogers

Blurb:

Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise–but can she trust him?

Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help–even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.

If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron’s budding love might only complicate things.

 

Wicked Chess – Excerpt from TOURNAMENT OF CHANCE by S.G. Rogers

dreamstimefree_48822A vast chessboard spread out on the lawn next to the castle gardens. The king sipped a glass of chilled white wine as he finished his move.

“Ponder that, my dear Lord Survill,” he crowed.

“My word, Your Majesty, you’ve got me on the run,” Survill exclaimed.

Various young pages stood on the checkered lawn, in chess piece costumes. Although a shady canopy had been set up for the king and his opponent so they could play their game in comfort, the pages waited in the fierce sunlight. As sweat dripped from underneath their hot and heavy paper-maché headdresses, the boys struggled to stand at attention.

Minister Uspy hastened from the castle toward the chessboard.

“Please forgive the interruption, Your Majesty, but I have news.”

King Chance’s brow creased in annoyance. “Has Jovander or that wretched girl been located? Hester, wasn’t it?”

“Heather is the name. They both have vanished, Your Majesty. And I’m afraid that Lord Embrue has not returned from Jagged Peaks, nor the soldiers that accompanied him,” Uspy said.

King Chance waved his fingers, dismissively. “No doubt they have fallen into a game of cards or a bit of debauchery somewhere. Embrue’s success at Merrymouth may have gone to his head.”

“That’s entirely possible, Your Majesty; however Embrue’s steed was found wandering the countryside yesterday. Several mounts from the king’s army have turned up as well,” Uspy said.

“Send Lord Tether with the cavalry to question the villagers about Embrue. If you get no answers, burn Jagged Peaks down.”

“And if the villagers cooperate?”

“Burn it anyway. The commoners must understand I am in charge.”

Uspy left. King Chance returned his attention toward the chessboard, where his bishop had just keeled over from sunstroke. “I’m going to need a new bishop. Drag that boy to the dungeon and beat him for having spoiled the game.”

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DragonRebel3

If Heather wins the Tournament of Chance, she’ll be the first commoner to earn a place at court. Instead of a glorious victory, however, she’s arrested and marked for execution. After a daring escape, she joins the Dragon Rebels, who seek to overthrow the despotic monarchy and restore the former kingdom of Ormaria. Amongst the rebels are three shape-shifting wizards who claim to be rulers from the past. On a perilous quest to free the wizards’ magic, Heather battles wild dragons, vicious predators, angry trolls, and unexpected traitors. When a horrendous accident sends her back in time to fulfill a mysterious prophecy, she must rely on her warrior skills, wits, and endurance to survive.

Tournament of Chance: Dragon Rebel is available for the Kindle HERE