Monday, February 24, 2014

Guest Author Nicole Zoltack and Blood Lust

Please welcome author Nicole Zoltack to It’s All O’Kaye. Nicole is here with her take on Lights in the Dark and her brand new Epic Fantasy Romance release: Blood Lust
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NicoleZoltackAs humans, we all have dark and light inside of us. We lie, we cheat, we steal. We hope, we dream, we love.

Within the world of BLOODLUST, barbarians are created from the union of humans and elves. For the most part, barbarians are far darker creatures than us humans.

Barbarians are fueled by their emotions, especially the darker ones. When they are engaged in battle, which given their nature is often, Bloodlust can be triggered, turning them into mindless killers. So when war seems inevitable and the chances of the barbarians surviving is bleak, Barbarian-Princess Ivy wonders if she should even try to save her people.

But then she sees some children. Despite fighting each other, they also show compassion and are helpful. There’s no ridicule or mocking. They train together and work together. It is these children who bolster Ivy’s faith in her people.

Even barbarians have some light and goodness in them, despite their darkness. Or perhaps because of their darkness? In order for there to be a shadow, there must first be light.

Will Ivy succeed in her goal? Will she ever prove to herself that she deserves to live? To love? Or will the one she contemplates giving her heart to betray her and trigger her Bloodlust? You’ll have to read BLOODLUST to find out!
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In a world torn by prejudice and hatred, six races struggled for supremacy.


Barbarian-Princess Ivy is unwilling to allow her father to provoke the other races into war and forms an unlikely alliance with Lukor the goliath to save her people from utter destruction.


Unbeknownst to her, Lukor blames the barbarians for murdering his sister and plans on sabotaging her goal.


Almost despite each other, they grow to respect each other on their journey to decode secret messages from the trolls. But nothing Ivy can do will prevent the war as her father is blinded by Bloodlust and incites it himself. Not even killing him and becoming Barbaroness can stop the tide. And when Bloodlust claims Ivy, forcing her to kill everyone in her path, she must make a choice to destroy even Lukor, who she may have started to fall for and him in return.
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Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially fantasy romance. When she's not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they're unicorns!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dress in garb. She'll also read anything she can get her hands on. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit her blog.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Shadowed Lights–Chapter 1

Eli’s shoes sank into the damp sand as he stared out at the abandoned flooded house swept into Barnegat Bay. He should have gone out with the crew, his crew. Instead, he studied the structure from the shore. A beautiful home, former home, with an enclosed porch. One he could imagine living in, if it was farther from the water. At least far enough it would never get swept up and taken into gaping, consuming, drowning level water.

He had been told often that you could also drown in only a tablespoon of water, but the thought was so ridiculous, he brushed it off easily. As long as his feet touched something firm and his head was in the air where he could breathe, he was fine with water. He could wander the shoreline up to his waist, even up to his shoulders. And he could swim if he knew he could stand up and touch bottom. His parents had tried to get him out farther but panic always ensued and his father had to pull him back in. It frustrated the hell out of him, made him feel weak and ridiculous.

Dread knotted his stomach when his Indiana crew decided to come to the east coast to help with cleanup from Hurricane Sandy. Work was slow in his area. The idea of helping with cleanup sounded right. But ... the ocean.

Eli had never in his life been to the ocean and he hadn’t wanted to come, although he wanted to help. He wanted to work. He always wanted to work. Even when he was no more than ten years old, his greatest pleasure had been going to work with his father, mixing mortar and learning to apply it neatly and carefully. The praise he got for a job well done stirred his soul. Construction was in his blood. It was his life.

This... A shudder consumed him as he stared out at the vast blue green brown of Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. This was a whole hell of a lot of water. Unpredictable water. Life taking water.

An irony, he knew, even as he thought it. Water was the ultimate survival need. But like anything, too much of a good thing was still ... deadly dangerous.

A light chill in the wind echoed his chilled soul. Wet air. Indiana had its share of humidity, but it was nothing like this cool wet air that reeked of ... fish, he supposed. Seaweed. Dead things rotting. He’d always enjoyed fish dinners, particularly those deep fried all you can eat fish dinners presented by his local fire hall as a fundraiser. Now, after seeing the dead and rotting fish carcasses strewn along the beach, Eli wasn’t sure he could ever eat another fish.

A shame that would be. He enjoyed helping the fire hall. He always found a few people to take with him who hadn’t been and they often went back in following years and gave him a big thumbs up when they saw him there with a new group.

Possibly, once he got away from the shore and back home, he could let the current images go. He was good at letting go.

With a sigh, he headed back to the base. Maybe he could make himself go on out where he should have been.

Something under his foot threw his balance and, unable to let himself see that he stepped on something he didn’t want to even look at, he shoved it away with his steel-toed boot. It was hard enough to walk in the damp shifting sand in heavy boots. He didn’t need anything adding to...

“Hey, careful.”

Eli turned and found a girl with a messy wind-blown pony tail wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, both too big for her, coming at him. Not at him. At whatever he’d kicked away. She squatted to pick the thing up with gloved hands and examined it.

He couldn’t help his curiosity. “What is that?”

“A sea star.”

“Sea star? Is that like a falling star? Meteorite or something? Is it valuable?”

Brownish-green eyes met his. “It’s a starfish.”

“Now that I know. Why didn’t you just say that?”

“I used its real name. It’s not actually a fish. And yes, it’s valuable.”

“Okay. Did I hurt it?”

“It’s missing a leg. I don’t think you did it.” She crept over to where water lapped up against her old black galoshes and set the thing back in the ocean, then stood watching it.

Eli moved closer but not close enough to get water in his boots. “If it’s valuable, why are you letting it go?”

She glanced up at him as though he’d said two plus two equaled green. “It’s only valuable in the ocean, alive. Not if it’s dead.” Apparently satisfied the thing was happy and alive, she straightened and walked away.

Her attitude annoyed him. A tree hugger, he supposed. More concerned about animals than people. He could understand to a point, but to him, turning against your own kind was ... well, unforgivable. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe he wasn’t. He’d done his share of helping critters out of places they shouldn’t have been and driving them, in the cage he kept in his truck, out to a wooded area and letting them go. But if it came to a choice between human and animal, he wouldn’t think twice.

He supposed he liked people more than other people liked people. And he understood that at times, too. Lots of people just weren’t all that likeable.

Curious despite his annoyance, Eli followed. She glanced back. Probably scaring her, he figured, since she was alone and not many people were on the storm-littered beach so early in spring. “Hey, you said it’s missing a leg. Will it live that way or is it going to bleed to death out there?”

“They don’t have blood.” She kept walking.

“Serious? Okay look at me like I’m a moron again, but this is my first time to the ocean. I don’t know jack shit about sea critters other than fish, actual fish that live in freshwater ponds. I have friends who have starfish and sand dollars in their vacation collections, but that’s the extent of my knowledge.”

She stopped. “That’s cruel. It’s kills them, you know, to take them out of the water. That sea star can re-grow its leg and be fine but only if it stays in the ocean. It dies if you take it out.”

“Everyone takes them home if they find them, don’t they?”

“Not everyone.” She turned back and walked away faster.

He caught up. “I haven’t done it. Don’t get mad at me.” When she didn’t answer, he stopped and let her go on her way. Freaky girl. Not a girl, exactly. She had to be close to his age and he was pushing forty pretty damn fast. He didn’t have that much need to know more about starfish. What did it matter? He didn’t plan to take one home.

Cruel? Dead sea life was scattered along the beach. People hadn’t done it. Nature did it. A huge storm. It killed people, too. Eli had to wonder if she cared about that at all.

Shrugging it off, he headed back to work.

Hopping up on the scaffolding, he clipped a safety harness around his thighs and hips and headed up. Eli didn’t mind up. Up was fine with him. He had the harness. He had his well-toned muscles and strong hands. He had good common sense and quick thinking. And he loved the view from the air, higher than most would go. He often thought the biggest reason men joined construction, high rise construction anyway, was because they could, and would. And they were adrenaline junkies, he supposed.
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SL-cover-100p-5in When her sister loses her house to Hurricane Sandy, Delaney Griffin welcomes the family into her home. Months later, with five noisy kids and an overbearing brother-in-law threatening her sanity, Delaney spends much of her free time at the wildlife refuge, which also works as her refuge. Still, the lack of privacy, along with space to dance, her only passionate release, causes her debilitating social anxiety to escalate.

Eli Forrester has come from small town Indiana to Barnegat, New Jersey with his company to help restore the coast. A high rise worker who loves new people and new places, he fears nothing, except water. When he accidentally kicks one of the sea critters Delaney is trying to help rescue, he is drawn to the quiet New Jersey girl. Unwilling to take her cues to leave her alone, Eli is alternately put off and turned on by her odd behavior.

Under shadow of devastation, fear, and forced separation, Delaney and Eli search for their own rescue light.
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Shadowed Lights
Ella M. Kaye
75K words/ 175 pgs
$2.99 available at most ebook retailers
(see Books page for links)

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Introducing Front Porch Romance author Elle Marlow

Please help me welcome Front Porch Romance author Elle Marlow. I’m glad to host her here this weekend and to be part of her Valentine’s Giveaway package. Be sure to join the giveaway at the end of the post. Pier Lights is included!

~Lights in the dark~

Interesting topic to dive into. I think I will use an example from Pour Me to approach my take on this.

Sometimes, in our darkest hour, all we need is the comfort of someone we love to carry us through.

Laying Carly back on her pillow, Cade began to remove his boots, take off his belt and shirt. He then settled himself next to her on the bed. Reaching out, he gathered her up in his arms. She awoke slightly, but it was enough for her to begin another round of hard racking sobs. In all his life, Cade never knew so much utter despair and helplessness.

It was well past midnight when she realized she was nestled safe in the arms of Cade McCormick. Her first reaction was to wake him. But the sight of him sound asleep captured her attention. She found herself gazing upon him, tracing every curve, every line that formed his face. Feeling her heart race, Carly also experienced fear. Fear of the unknown. Where is this going?


The Gambler’s Passion:

Beautiful Arizona Summers is determined to fulfill her mother's dying wish and realize her dreams-even if it means dancing at Bare Backed Belles, cheating at high stakes poker or running from a spray of bullets with a man she's given her innocence to. She'd do it all and over again to find love and keep her promise.

Jace Forrester gets a thrill out of living a double life. Preacher's son by day, card hustler by night. Always after the big win, he can't resist Arizona's ultimate challenge. He may lose more than he bargain for-his heart.


“Damn you’re beautiful, even in the morning,” he observed huskily. He watched as she blushed slightly. “You came with food. I love you,” she teased. He placed the tray on a table under the window, then he gazed at her seriously. “That might be nice to hear from you on a daily basis,” he whispered.

“Do you think it’s wise for you to be in my hotel room so early in the morning? People are going to talk, and what if they figure out our game?” she asked, as she reached for a cup of tea. He caught her by the arm then, and pulled her to him. “At this point, I’m not sure I care anymore, Arizona.”

He inhaled her scent. She smelled like sweet lavender and warm linen from her bed.

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Pour Me by Elle MarlowPour Me:

Wanted: One Cowgirl Mommy

That was the ad right next to the bartending one. Carly wasn't sure she was prepared for either, but she was heading back to Arizona regardless. Running from her past and hopefully to a brighter future, Carly couldn't predict that all three would collide and force her to face her demons. And sexy cowboy, Cade McCormick would be to blame for all of it.

Cade had to be careful about the women involved in little Danni's life. A cowgirl was on the bottom of his list! But time has a way of changing hearts and minds roping the past together. Is his new bartender really the woman he thought he lost years ago? Did little Danni really place an ad to find her?

Excerpt 1:

Cade moaned and tightened his grip on her. She melted into him, savoring the passion unlike anything she had ever experienced in her past. Her body was on fire and just burned hotter as the minutes passed. When Cade pulled away, she almost fell into him.

His hands gripped her and steadied her on her feet, as he looked down on her with a heavy expression.

“I guess I overstepped the lines again. I keep losing my mind around you, Carly Stevens.

Excerpt 2:

“Sit down and eat breakfast,” Waylon ordered. Carly groaned, pushed a wild strand of blonde hair out of her face and sat at the table. He looked at her carefully.

“Who put a burr under your saddle?”

“After you left the Pass, all hell broke loose,” she mumbled, reaching for her coffee. Waylon chuckled then started coughing.

“What did Cade McCormick do this time? Pull your hair or smash manure down your shirt?” He continued to laugh as he sat an enormous amount of eggs and grits on a plate and place it in front of her.

“Christ, you’re gonna make me fat and kill me with all this food,” she exclaimed.

“It hasn’t killed you all these years, I think you’ll live,” he reminded her with a shake of a spatula. “So answer my question. What did Cade do?” he asked as he turned back to the stove.

“He kissed me. And not the nice, brotherly kind of kiss, the man practically tasted my liver with his tongue.”

She noticed Waylon didn’t turn around.

Really? Well, it seems like that boy has some new tricks up his sleeves.”

Carly squinted. “What do you mean, and aren’t you shocked?”


“Why not?”

“’Cos that kid has had it bad for you since he first laid eyes on you, thirty five years ago.” Carly had food stuck in her throat and she wasn’t sure she was going to be able to swallow it down or just choke it up.

“Wha-a-t-t?” she finally managed.

“Hell, you got on his nerves all right, but he was always lookin’ out for you, always sneaking peeks at you. I thought you knew.”

Carly’s words came out in a hoarse whisper. “No.” Then as if struck by lightning, Carly sat straight up and waved a fork at Waylon.

“This was your idea! This whole trip to Arizona, you found the ad, you told me about it, and you convinced me! You knew!”

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Happy Valentine’s Day from author Elle Marlow
and Front Porch Romance.