Sneak Peek Sunday – Heart Shifter

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My second novella HEART SHIFTER just released through The Wild Rose Press. Here are the first six paragraphs…

HEART SHIFTER (cover by Diana Carlile)

(cover by Diana Carlile)

Naked, twenty-three men gathered in the clearing. And waited.

Mitch held out his hands and studied the skin on his arms as it rippled. His muscles twisted and stretched. His joints flexed and popped in their familiar staccato.

He tried to recall the first time he shifted. It had hurt, that much he remembered. It still did. But he’d been taught to control the pain. Control or ignore? It didn’t really matter.

He looked around the group, the change in his own face reflected back through the metamorphosis of those who stood with him.

Awareness of his surroundings grew; his vision improved in the fading light. And the smells! Every scent on the island—good and bad—increased in intensity.

He looked to his dad and his grandfather. They’d been there for him. They’d guided him through the change. Each generation helping the next.

HEART SHIFTER is available from Wild Rose Press and Amazon

Back to Sneak Peek Sunday:

Guest Author: Vicki Essex

Today I have the privilege of having Harlequin Superromance author VICKI ESSEX on my blog. Vicki gives us insight into herself and her current release IN HER CORNER.

In Her Corner by Vicki Essex

In Her Corner by Vicki Essex

Hey there Vicki, please tell my visitors a bit about yourself.

I’m a Harlequin Superromance author by night and Harlequin proofreader by day. I’m a 2014 DABWAHA finalist for my second book, BACK TO THE GOOD FORTUNE DINER. My third book, IN HER CORNER, is available on shelves till the end of March and online.

Do you have a process for coming up with character names and book titles?

I tend to look in the news for a name, or I play phonebook roulette for character names. I also sometimes use the names of people I know to represent characters who are nothing like them. Just so they can say they’re in the book.

Final book titles are usually developed by the editorial team at Harlequin. I send them my suggestions. I try to come up with about 50 variations on a theme by creating a word chart on excel. I know the editorial team puts a lot of thought and effort into creating titles, so I trust their decisions.

Tell us about your current book.

IN HER CORNER is the second in a miniseries about the world of professional mixed martial arts. It follows Bella, who trains with former medal-winning wrestler Kyle Peters. Kyle, who showed up in my debut book, HER SON’S HERO, isn’t keen on coaching the headstrong, bullish fighter, but begins to see all her assets as she makes her way to a championship match.

The book delves into the professional world of women’s mixed martial arts and also touches on feminism, genderism, empowerment, abuse and toxic masculinity. It’s been one of my favorites to write.

Would you share a blurb from IN HER CORNER with us, please.

Bella Fiore has a lot to prove. For three generations her family has dominated the world of mixed martial arts—a tradition Bella dreams of carrying on. Her family, on the other hand, doesn’t agree. Without their support, she’s relying on the coaching of medal-winning Kyle Peters.

Training with Kyle is not what Bella expects. They’re constantly butting heads. And with the body of a Greek Adonis, Kyle’s mat technique isn’t her only focus. Not that this attraction can go any further. She has a title to win! Yet when Kyle proves Bella can always rely on him, a championship may not be the only thing worth fighting for….

Buy links: | | | | |

OK, now for the Quick Quiz:
Favorite meal? A medium-rare steak, lobster tail with lemon butter, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, a glass of dry merlot and for dessert, crème brulee, followed by a whiskey aperitif.
Pet peeve? I’ve got so many. The one that squicks me out the most? Patterned, evenly spaced lumpy-bumpies on anything, like those fungus thingies on the backs of the green leaves you get with bouquets.

Thank you so much Vicki for stopping by and best of luck with IN HER CORNER.

Please tell my readers where they can find you.

Author: Vicki Essex

Author: Vicki Essex
Twitter: @VickiEssex

Guest Author: Christine d’Abo

This month, I welcome the wonderful and talented Christine d’Abo to my blog.
Christine is a fellow Toronto Romance Writers member, and her latest book Gilded Hearts released on January 7, 2014.

gilded hearts (2)
Welcome Christine. Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Christine. I’m 5’10” tall with dyed hair and hazel eyes. I like long walks on the beach…err. Not that kind of description? Oh, okay.

I’ve been published for the past eight years, though like most authors, I’ve been writing for a lot longer than that. I first started seriously writing when I was home on maternity leave with my second daughter. We’ just moved to Virginia Beach from Canada, and I was feeling a bit out of my element. Writing gave me a way to ground myself and survive being a stay at home mom.

I got my start in erotic romance, but I have tried my hand at writing science fiction, historical romance and straight mystery. However, I always seem to come back to romance. Not only do I love the promise of the happy ending for my characters, I love the way that the community of authors and readers that come together. (What Christine didn’t mention is that she has over two dozen novels and novellas published. That’s a lot of work in eight years!!)

Do you have a process for coming up with character names and book titles?
Character names are the fun phase of planning out a book. I normally will spend some time on looking at the meanings and trying to find one that fits with the personality that I’m going for. I also look to make sure that the hero and heroine’s names balance one another, while not reusing a name from one of my previous books. It can be a challenge sometimes!

Tell everyone about your current book (which admittedly I haven’t finished. I started reading it on my Kindle just before I lent my e-reader to a friend.)
Gilded Hearts is a different type of book from my previous ones. First off, it’s not erotic romance, which has been a staple of my writing career for a number of years now. I was looking for a change and had a great idea about setting a story in an alternative London. That world is comprised of different guilds that wield great political power, and futuristic technology.

The story is set around the Jack the Ripper murders, which is a big personal interest of mine. I wanted to find a way that would explain not only the killings, but also their sudden stop. But placing him in the world of the Archives, I was able to do that.

Sounds exciting. How about a blurb for my readers?

Piper Smith is an Archivist, one who extracts memories from the dead-and her first job is more difficult than she ever imagined. Not only is her subject the victim of murder, but the first man to arrive on the scene is the last man she ever expected to see again: handsome, tormented, and devilishly sexy Samuel Hawkins. Years ago, he fled the Archivists’ Guild unceremoniously, leaving behind both unanswered questions . . . and Piper’s aching heart.

Sergeant Samuel Hawkins of the King’s Sentry can hardly believe the strong, beautiful woman before him is the same shy girl he once knew. His instincts scream to hold her, to kiss her, and to make amends for disappearing from the Archives-and her life. Yet when Piper’s extraction of the victim’s memories reveals something unsettling, the line between ally and enemy suddenly begins to blur. And the question becomes whether their fragile love will blossom or fade like a distant memory.

Buy Links

OK, quick quiz before you disappear…
• Desert island book or movie?

Just one?? I would grab anything I could by Mary Balogh. I don’t think there is a book of hers that I haven’t enjoyed.
• Favorite meal?
No laughing, but when I’m going for comfort food my favourite is runny eggs on toast with lots of butter. (Sorry, I laughed.)
• Pet peeve?
Even though I’m guilty of doing this myself, it drives me nuts when people just stop mid (Laughing again!)

Where can we find you on the web?
My website is , where you can find out about my release schedule, backlist and current news. While I don’t have a blog, I love to chat on Twitter (@Christine_dAbo), post lots of craziness on Tumblr ( and I do have a Fan Page over on Facebook (

Thank you for stopping by Christine, and best of luck with Gilded Hearts.
Thank you for having me!!