Tag Archives: Danger

Can historical accuracy get out of hand in a romance? #TinaDonahueBooks #PiratesPrize

When I decided to try my hand at historical romance, several author friends warned me to reconsider. They said reviewers and fans were purists, wanting everything in an historical romance to be letter perfect…as things actually were way back when. Pity the poor writer who makes a mistake.

Okay, I get it. And I agree to an extent. Historical tales should be grounded in reality. That is, you don’t have someone in the eighteen hundreds using a cell phone. When I was writing Loving Liesbook one in my Dangerous Desires series, I wondered if chocolate was available for the heroine who was a member of the aristocracy. Nope, it wasn’t. In 1488 Spain chocolate was unknown. As I was writing my story, I had to check foods that were available during that time. Clothing too. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of research material on Spanish fashion in 1488. Eventually, I had to check paintings from that period and I even read Don Quixote (though it’s not exactly that time period) to get some idea of what people wore.

So, I am aware of the importance of research. However, I’m not a purist. In my latest historical series Pirate’s Prize, the action takes place in 1717 on a lush, tropical island in the Indian Ocean. Yes, there are bugs and heat and mud and all that stuff, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to wallow in stings, sweating, and inconvenience to tell my tale. Frankly, in those days that was normal. People didn’t consider heat and insects a problem. So why mention them to the point of the tale having an ick factor? Contemporary romances don’t talk about menstruation or bathroom habits – at least none  I’ve read. Why should historical romances be so steeped in reality that it becomes a turn-off?

I haven’t, as yet, received a poor review because of historical accuracy, because I am careful. That said, I like a little magic with my romances. Sure, it’s not real life, but I’m not looking for that. I’m looking to escape.

My latest release Days of Desirebook 2 Pirate’s Prize, is available now.

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Blurb:

In a pirate’s lair, nothing is as it seems . . .

Shipwrecked! When Royce Hastings is found washed up on the shore of a verdant tropical island, he tells the natives he is a merchant headed for Mozambique. The truth, however, is far more mercenary. Noble by birth, the once favored Royce has lost his fortune and family; now he is a hired henchman on the trail of an elusive pirate. His “shipwreck” was a fake. He’ll stop at nothing to infiltrate the island and capture his prey. His mother and sisters’ lives depend on it.

The last thing Royce expects is to be captured himself. But the lovely young woman who tends to his wounds in the tropics quickly takes hold of his heart. Simone is the island’s healer, and her skilled ministrations not only awaken his soul but disturb his conscience. His path has been predetermined; his identity must remain concealed at all costs. Yet the passion he feels in Simone’s sultry, loving arms cannot be denied. With his loyalties torn, Royce must make an agonizing, unthinkable choice. . . .

Excerpt:

He squeezed past the door into the shadowed space. Simone’s fragrance surrounded him, the musky undertones muddying his brain.

She sat on the floor in the corner, grains, seeds, and berries to her side, spread out for the pigeons. They poked their heads through the metal slats in their cage and ate like gluttons. Chickens strutted freely, pecking their food.

Simone stood. The hens scattered. “Are you all right?”

Exhausted and aroused. “Fine.”

“You’re bleeding again.”

“Not much. You shouldn’t be doing this.”

Her chin trembled. “What? Speaking to you? Asking questions? You want me to be silent and unseen?”

He longed to be in her arms, comforted and warmed. Anchored to all the good he’d never really known. Her words proved true. This island had wonderful people. The best life had to offer. Nothing he deserved. “You’re a healer, not someone who tends chickens and birds. Peter should be doing this. Is he a lazy boy?”

She lowered her face, hiding her smile. “A surly one. He thinks he knows everything. Too many times, Diana has promised to thrash him.”

“Good for her. A proper man needs manners. Let me help you.” Eager to reach her, he strode recklessly.

A hen flapped its wings, going right and left to escape his crutch, its squawk ear-piercing. The other chickens scattered, many getting in his way. He twisted to keep from falling.

“Take care.” Simone slipped her arm around his waist, her precious breast pressed to his side.

Surrendering to loneliness and enchantment, he leaned in, his face to her hair. The English countryside couldn’t compete with her blessed scent. Nature had met its equal in her. He nuzzled her glossy tresses. No matter how wrong and irrational his desire, for some reason he’d found home at her side.

Pity he’d managed that too late.

He should have moved away but hadn’t the will.

She guided him to a bed nearly as large as the one in his chamber. This lavish room, like his, boasted a marble floor and whitewashed walls. A lovely place for a new life to take its first breath.

She laid his crutch to the side. “Sit before you fall.” Gently, she pushed him on the silk-covered mattress.

He made a show of falling down.

Her laughter pealed through the room.

Royce feigned insult. “Are you making light of me?”

“Oui.”

His laugh produced happy tears. “Have you no pity for a poor cripple?”

“I have never seen a stronger man.” She held her hands behind her, breasts thrust out, and swayed her hips slowly.

Aphrodite in the flesh. “Is that what you think of me?”

“What I know. You survived a storm that nearly tore our isle from the earth and flung it into the sky. You are no mere man. You are close to a god.”

He was a liar when honor demanded he do nothing to ruin anything here. He was a besotted fool when duty required he see to his family. His mother and sisters had no power to liberate themselves. Without his help, Katie, especially, would know nothing except a life spent in hard labor, cowering at harsh words, dreading the next beating or something equally horrible.

Simone cupped his face. “What is it? Is the pain bad again?”

The worse a man could face. Having to choose between angels: the one in here now with him, or those in his family who he’d been trying to save.

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Positive Thinking and Exclusive Excerpt (@KaceyHammell) #CanadianMuscle #Writing

 

Good morning all!
Kacey here and I know it’s been a while since I’ve been a good Birdie and blogged here. But all is back to normal technically on the site, my health has improved (which was suffering) and I believe things are on a very positive incline. At least, that’s what I’m aiming for.

And on that positive note, I’ve just crested over the 1/2 way point of the sequel to GUARDING MIDNIGHT, in the “Canadian Muscle Series”. This is Charlie (Charlotte) & Frank’s story, who we met in book 1, and the ride has been pretty exciting so far. It’s approx 2 years since the ending of Guarding Midnight and their relationship has been … well on / off again.  Their story, currently untitled, has been a lot of fun to write and pulled me from months of terrible writer’s block. It is one of my favourite series that I’ve written so I’m glad I was able to get back to it.

So because the series is prevalent in my mind, I thought I’d share an exclusive excerpt from Guarding Midnight, which has never been posted on a blog before so most of you probably haven’t read it — unless you purchased the book already of course! *g*

Guarding MidnightGMtoppick
Series: Canadian Muscle 1
Contemporary/Suspense/Erotic Romance
ISBN: 978-1-77233-292-6
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Blurb:
Canadian Muscle …
When Desires Need Protecting.

No one knows sacrifice better than former Army Sergeant Gavin Bennett. He’s witnessed firsthand the emotional, physical and mental toll of being caught in the crossfire. Being a bouncer-slash-bodyguard may not be Gavin’s dream job, but he’s willing to do just about anything to help out family. When Gavin reports for his first day of work, he quickly discovers a woman who threatens to crack his legendary cool.

Shree Walker is on the run from a dark past she tried to shut away. Battered and broken, a happily ever after doesn’t exist for her. Ready to start fresh with a new life in a new city, she is happy dancing at the Vixen Club. She’d be even happier without the presence of the prickly new bouncer who won’t let anyone or anything get past his carefully guarded defenses. He’s a distraction she doesn’t need. And a temptation she can’t resist.

When Shree is kidnapped by the criminal mastermind hell-bent on taking the club at any cost, Gavin has to make a decision. Hold tight and continue to keep Shree at arm’s length. Or break down his walls and take a chance on something more powerful than them both: Love.

 

Excerpt: (C) Kacey Hammell, 2016

Shree climbed the steps to her apartment, exhaustion dragging at her heels.

The day of adventure and crazy mental gymnastics was one she was glad to see end. She wanted a nice glass of white wine, a shower, and to slide into bed without any interruption—in that order.

Putting the key in the lock, she turned the doorknob and reached in to click the small lamp on. A dim glow filled the room. Shutting the door behind her, she stepped out of her shoes, dropped her gym bag beside them, and made her way to the kitchen. Taking the bottle of wine from the fridge—a cheaper version that she’d picked up at a kiosk at the local mall, which tasted quite good—she poured a full flute, then made her way to the bedroom.

Hot bath and bubbles, here I come.

She flicked on the light inside the door and let out a yelp. Her wine glass fell from her hand, breaking and splashing her feet with wine.

Jesus.

Gavin sat in the La-Z-Boy chair in the corner. Heart racing, thinking the worst kinds of thoughts of being attacked, she glared at him.

“What in the hell are you doing here?” Grabbing the towel off the chair of her vanity where she’d flung it after her shower that morning, she kneeled and sponged up the liquid, scooping the glass into the towel. Damn him for ruining a decent glass of wine.

She stood and moved further into the room. After setting the towel on the dresser, she faced him across the bed. Her gaze met his. Anger, harsh and formidable—this was a man whose temper was trying to get the best of him. His fists clenched on his knees. Grey shirt, black jeans, and black hiking boots gave her the idea he was gearing up for some kind of combat.

Her eyes wanted to rake over him, give herself the thrill that admiring his physique gave her, but she knew what lay beneath those clothes. The ridges, valleys, roughened skin and sensitive nipples she’d explored earlier today…

No, she needed to clear her mind of all of that. He didn’t look like he was here on a social call, and he was sure as hell invading her privacy and had scared the crap out of her. The last thing she needed to do was worship him in any way for bad behavior.

“Well, are you going to tell me what you’re doing here? And who gave you permission to just waltz into my home anytime you please?”

He glowered at her. “I got the key from Charlie. You weren’t here and I was concerned. Didn’t I just today tell all staff, especially the dancers, not to go anywhere alone?”

She didn’t much care for his hard tone. He wasn’t her keeper—no matter that he was hired to look out for her. She didn’t need him. “I drove Carla home. That’s not a crime.”

“Why didn’t you come find me instead?”

Exasperated, Shree threw her arms up in the air. “The last thing Carla needed was another large dude around her. I took her to one of her friend’s houses since her boyfriend likes to smack her around. I wanted to get her away from him. Simple. She needed a woman around, not another guy.”

Gavin leaned forward in his seat. She could see his nostrils flaring from across the bed. She unzipped her hoodie, leaving it open when he stood.

“So you decided to put yourself in danger, dealing with a sick bastard who likes to hit women? That’s just great, Shree. I’m trying to keep you safe and you could have walked right into it.”

She growled low in her throat, frustrated with the barbarian across from her. If it wouldn’t hurt her so much, she’d smack him upside the head and let him feel some pain. But she doubted any type of physical pain she tried to give him would bother him in the least. “Oh for heaven’s sake! Gavin, I don’t understand this supposed danger you keep telling me about.” A shiver snaked down her spine knowing she was a target, but she wouldn’t live in fear ever again. “I can take care of myself.”

He took a step closer to the bed. “Did you not hear Charlie today? This thug has been after her place for months. Each encounter is worse than the last, and his goons hang out here every night dealing drugs to half of the people here. Things are escalating. And the intel I’ve learned about him, hell, it’s just a matter of days—even hours—before someone gets hurt. This guy doesn’t like to lose.”

Shree sighed. His conviction and need to keep them all safe was admirable, but she’d known real danger before, and refused to let it rule her life again. “Okay, I get it. But nothing happened tonight, all right? I’m fine, I’m back and Carla is sleeping in a place where she’s safe tonight. That’s all that matters.” She sighed, knowing she needed to show him what had been left for her earlier. “Don’t freak out, all right? But this was left on my table in the dressing room earlier.” She reached into her bag and withdrew the envelope. She handed it to him, dreading his reaction.

“For fuck’s sake,” he snarled. “Son of a fucking rotting bastard.”

“Gavin, calm down.”

“Fuck that. I should head right over there and…that’s what I’ll do. I’m going to kill the bastard.” The steely determination and rigid set of his shoulders terrified her. She’d seen that look before…in Brian. But this was Gavin. He really wouldn’t hurt her. Not intentionally. And she needed to make sure he didn’t do something stupid. His hot temper at the moment showed her for the first time that he might not think before reacting.

Stepping in front of him, she laid her palms on his chest. He tried to push past her, but she kept her stance tight and wouldn’t allow it. “Don’t go do something stupid. You don’t know who left that.”

“Fuck that. Of course I do. One of Hagen’s pricks. I’m going to wring all their necks.”

She shook her head. “Take a minute and think about it. He wants you to go stomping in there half-cocked and off-guard.” While she was shaken by the fact that someone had been watching her, one of them had to think clearly. “You won’t be in the right frame of mind for a fight and he’ll have the upper hand. Look at me. I’m fine. No one hurt me. Charlie’s fine. For now, everyone is fine.”

Shree held his gaze. When his shoulders relaxed gradually, she released some of the air from her lungs she didn’t realize she was holding in. She needed to remember tonight, and how quick he was to act. And always ready to fight for those he loved.

He took a step back, turned, and paced beside the bed. The photo was still clasped tight in his fist, but he finally set it face down on the nightstand.

“Look, I’m sorry you were concerned earlier. And I’m sorry about the photo.”

“I’ll handle it,” he murmured, his tone still dripping with anger.

Tossing the hoodie toward the hamper, she looked away at his sharp intake of breath. Eyes hot and smoldering, his gaze wandered over her, warming her skin. She glanced down and swallowed hard when she realized she still only wore the red, nearly see-through leotard top she’d performed in and black yoga pants.

Her eyes met his. She could come to love the passion and desire in his eyes, staring at her like this every day of her life.

Whoa, crazy woman, what are you thinking?

This wasn’t the time for these thoughts, nor was she in any mood to deal with him anymore tonight. He was so hot and getting her all ramped up in excitement.

“Stop looking at me like that. I’m tired. It’s been a helluva evening. I’m done with you today.”  She grabbed up her robe from the foot of the bed, anxious to get in the tub—with a bit colder water than she’d planned—and fall into bed.

“How am I looking at you? Like I want to eat you alive? I shouldn’t. Not now. But it’s not my fault when you’re standing there in that tight outfit. Your nipples tight, your cheeks flushed, and eyes pissed off at me.”

His words curled around her spine, leaving tingles along the nerves and her nipples tight.  Breathless, she shook her head and tried to shore up enough resolve to put him out of her home. “Don’t try to get me all worked up, not when you’ve been an ass by ordering me around. And you’re still angry.”

“Yes, I am.” He nodded and moved around the end of the bed. “Ever had angry sex?”

Shree gasped. “What are you talking about?”

He shrugged and smoothed her hair back. “Never heard of angry sex then?”

She shoved at the boulders he had for shoulders. “I’m not having sex with you right now. Forget it. Besides, what the hell is angry sex? I don’t like it rough, if that’s what you mean.” Taking a step back, she glared at him when he followed.

“I figured it’d be a nicer and more polite way to tell you I wanted you, now—right now—rather than come out and simply say I want to fuck the shit out of you.”

Available in ebook and Print!

Evernight Publishing
Amazon – US / Canada / UK
B&N (Nook)
aRe
Kobo Store

 Bookstrand
iTunes
Smashwords

 

I hope to have news about book 2 being done very soon!! Hope you enjoyed the excerpt from Guarding Midnight.

 

Until next time. Happy Reading.

kacey1
ww.kaceyhammell.com

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Bang Your Head! No, not the song… #WriterWoes #WIPHauntsMe #KaceyHammell

Good morning! Kacey here, wishing you a great morning and a fun day ahead.

A lot of times, I am asked, “What a day in the life of Kacey Hammell like?” It’s a question that sometimes makes me cringe, or smile. Today isn’t a smiling kind of day. For the last couple of weeks, well months really as I have recovered from this and that personally with health and other family member’s health issues, writing has been an up hill battle — and my legs are feeling the burn!

I know many authors will say or think, “those are all excuses. Shut up and write.” But any author will also admit that not every day is filled with candles burning, soft music playing and fingers flying over a keyboard. Writing is hard damn work. From the first draft until … forever IMO (if you think of showcasing backlists — a post for another day). But yes, writing can be hard and it takes a village sometimes. And I’ve suffered a lot these last few months as I make my way back to writing full time again. And my present WIP has been a battle, one I never thought it would be because I see the story unfolding in my head like a movie screen. Every image is front and center in my mind, but it’s the words that I can’t put to the pictures lately.  I did have some success over the weekend, things seemed to be moving better, flowing well and I was on top of the world Sunday evening.

That was all short lived coming Monday though. Nothing was clicking and I stared at the images of the people who have inspired my latest WIP and nothing helped.

And in all honesty, the lack of writing lately scares the hell out of me. This is my livelihood and something that I love, love, love to do, but I’m worried that I burned myself out. Or is it just getting back to full strength health wise and I’m not quite there yet. And yes, I still have a few pressing issues on the horizon — 4 wisdom teeth due out soon! — so I don’t know whether to chalk it all up to way too much junk in my head to put a decent story together.  I hate this for myself but my characters most of all. They have a great chemistry, a history, and a story that I know I can be proud of.

However, frustration is quite consuming and I’m left banging my head against the wall at the end of the day. I don’t think anything has ever been this crazy for me before — at least in my head. And boy are there voices talking all at once. I have a folder of outlines for stories to do this year, but I’m not the kind of author that can set one story aside before completely it to work on something new. I’ve tried more than once and even a few weeks ago, but the characters rebel and it’s a loss for me.

But I will not give up. I’ll push my way through everything and do my best to write something brand spanking new asap. I really need to have this WIP in my “published” folder and be on to the next book.

Writing is fun … sometimes. Other times, not so much.

hemingway

 

I do have a new release out today though! A re-issue that has been off the shelves for over a year now. Book 2 of the “In the Arms of the Law” series — Awakenings — is now live at many of the online bookstores.  In celebration of Awakenings release, I’ve put Book 1, Illusions, on sale for $0.99.

Click each link below to find buy links to each–

Book 1: Illusions
Book 2: Awakenings

pizap.com14562643276371

 

Until next time, Happy Reading!

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