This past week, I received some recognition, which I would like to share. The first is this: I was chosen as the winner of the 2021 Best of Horn Lake Awards in the category of Book Publishers.
According to the award committee: “The Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public.
“The Best of Horn Lake Award Program was created to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of businesses and organizations in and around Horn Lake. Our mission is to raise the profile of exemplary companies and entrepreneurs among the press, the business community, and the general public. The selection process does not include nominations, voting, contests or surveys. The Award Program uses only empirical data supplied by independent third-parties as input into our award algorithm.
“Selection as a 2021 Award Winner is determined by the marketing success of your organization in your local community and business category. The Best of Horn Lake Award Program uses information gathered internally in conjunction with third-party data as a part of its selection process.”
Lady Annabelle Trask is missing. Unfortunately, MISix doesn’t know if they’re looking for a woman, a cow, or something in between!
Is it real or is it fantasy? That’s the question MISix Agent Mathilda Honoria Spencer struggles with on her latest assignment. Tasked with discovering the whereabouts of Lady Annabelle Trask, Tillie is thrust into the world of Hucows and other human animals. It’s a world that raises serious questions about sexual fetishes, intentional physical enhancements, and even pornography, but in the end, Tillie has only one mission—to rescue and return Lady Annabelle to the Queen. However, as she and her partner, Agent Abdul Ali, attempt to find Lady Annabelle and keep her out of the clutches of terrorists bent on destroying the monarchy, they must also wrestle with their feelings for each other. Can they draw the line between their duty to the Crown and their relationship with one another? Or must they embark on separate paths to continue to serve the Queen?
Tillie’s face reddened. Suddenly, she felt quite queasy. She started to speak, but her superior held up his hand.
“There’s more. This is a human-animal auction. It is not limited to Hucows. There will be Hupigs, Huhorses, and maybe even, Husheep. Fortunately, you are to focus on the cows. That is where we believe Lady Annabelle will be found.”
Tillie gazed at him. “What if she isn’t there? What if she has changed…er, species?”
“I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it.”
“And what am I to do if I find Lady Annabelle? How do I extract her?”
“You purchase her at the auction. You have been given sufficient funds to bid up to one million Euros.”
Tillie’s eyes grew wide. “Criminy. That much?”
Lord Ryder nodded. “These cows are well-trained and well-treated. The females are pampered—weekly manicures, hair treatments, and such. A happy cow is a happy milker, as they say.”
Tillie’s eyes widened. “Lady Annabelle could be there willingly? She is not necessarily a captive, forced be a Hucow?”
“Exactly. And that is our dilemma. While the Queen hopes that she is there willingly, several factors are at play. Lady Annabelle may have freely joined a farm to become a Hucow, or she may just have danced on the wild side and somehow wound up at auction. In the alternative, she may have been kidnapped and forced to become a Hucow, or she may have been forced and now enjoys the lifestyle. There are all sorts of reasons she could be there and all sorts of reasons she prefers to stay. Our only mission is to get her out.”
Tillie frowned. “Why would they put her up for auction? Isn’t that a way to get rid of unproductive or uncooperative cows?”
“Not necessarily. Some farms simply raise and train Hucows, then sell them. Given their going rate, it is a lucrative business. A great way to supplement the income from a regular farm. Human cows bring much more lucre than actual farm-raised cows.”
Tillie sighed. “For just one day, I would like to forget that there is a whole lot of people engaged in activities that far surpass my imagination.”
Lord Ryder’s mouth curved up into a wry smile. “Then we would be out of a job.”
Tillie tapped her jaw, considering. “You know, this might be a better job for the Yanks. They are a kinky bunch. I believe there was a recent study that found them to be the kinkiest country in the world.”
Lord Ryder snorted. “If you were the Queen, would you want that bunch of kinksters to know your relatives are participating in like behavior? Why their intelligence services would find a way to use it against us for decades.” He shook his head. “No. This we do alone.”
About Seelie Kay:
Award-winning author Seelie Kay writes about lawyers in love, sometimes with a dash of kink.
Writing under a nom de plume, the former lawyer and journalist draws her stories from more than 30 years in the legal world. Seelie’s wicked pen has resulted in nineteen works of fiction, including the new paranormal romance series Donovan Trait, as well the erotic romance Kinky Briefs series and The Feisty Lawyers romantic suspense series. She also authored The Last Christmas, The Garage Dweller, A Touchdown to Remember, The President’s Wife, The President’s Daughter, Seizing Hope, The White House Wedding, and participated in the romance anthology Pieces of Us.
When not spinning romantic tales, Seelie ghostwrites nonfiction for lawyers and other professionals. Currently, she resides in a bucolic exurb outside Milwaukee, WI, where she enjoys opera, the Green Bay Packers, gourmet cooking, organic gardening, and an occasional bottle of red wine.
Seelie is an MS warrior and ruthlessly battles the disease on a daily basis. Her message to those diagnosed with MS: Never give up. You define MS, it does not define you!
He’s a powerful duke. She’s his uncle’s ward. They have forever been at war, until one night, one masquerade, and one kiss…
Lara Ramsay is no stranger to scandal. As the orphaned daughter of a British colonel and his beloved Indian wife, whispers follow her everywhere. Not even the protection of the formidable Duke of Wolverton, a man she can’t stand, keeps the gossips at bay. The audacious Lara has driven Tristan Wentworth, The Duke of Wolverton, to distraction since the day his uncle took her in—and he’s quite certain doing so is her favorite pastime. After catching her and his younger sister at a salacious masquerade, he’s had enough scandal and issues a marriage ultimatum: find a husband within six months or one will be chosen for her. Unfortunately, no one in the ton appeals to her. Except, perhaps, the duke himself. The battle of wills has only just begun, and when Lara kisses him, their fate is sealed. Sometimes even the most proper duke needs to break the rules to win the heart of the woman he loves…
“Here, right at this moment, I’m giving you an ultimatum: Find someone from the ton to marry in the next six months or I will choose someone for you.” – Duke of Wolverton
“Well then the plan is simple, ‘Divide and Rule.’” – Lara Ramsay
“You’ll be surprised that a gentleman with the best intentions can behave like a rake when faced with temptation.” – Duke of Wolverton
“I think, Wolf, that you go on and on about my undesirability and my unattractiveness as a way to convince yourself more than me. The fact is that you kissed me because I am desirable and I am very attractive indeed.” – Lara Ramsay.
“You know very well that I’m accepted in the ton, albeit grudgingly, thanks only to you. No man wants to marry me, and I don’t want to marry any of those men.” – Lara Ramsay.
Read an Excerpt from Dare to be a Duchess:
Wolf crossed his arms and glared at Lara. Despite being at fault, she was as unrepentant as ever. Her absolute nonchalance drove him mad, always.
“It is my concern. Getting into trouble is second nature to you, so I’d be lying if I said that it gave me any pleasure to be the one to help you out.” Wolf scowled at her. “Paxton is not a fool. He only has to think closely as to whose identity I would desperately want to protect and then remember your dark hair and he will come up with your name. You truly have no sense at all.”
“Well then you shouldn’t have bothered coming to my aid,” Lara retorted. “I could have handled the situation perfectly well by myself.”
Wolf put his hands on his hips. “And how may I ask would you have done that?”
“I’ve heard that a well planted knee on a delicate part of a man’s anatomy would normally do the trick.”
His eyebrows shot up. “You’re crazy to think that you could have deterred Paxton that easily.”
Lara merely stared at him, her head held high, further fueling his temper.
“What, nothing to say?” he snapped. “Which brings me back to my first question. What in the world are you doing here in this depraved place?”
Lara continued to watch him with those deep blue eyes, her lips set in a mutinous line. Her lack of response irked him even more.
“Answer me,” Wolf demanded, his tone sharp.
She met his gaze head on. “We had no inkling this place would be so bad. And nothing untoward has occurred, so stop shouting at me.”
“Unbelievable,” he growled. “Do you know how bad this place can be for two innocent girls like yourselves? Behind their masks and costumes, the men here have only one thing on their minds when they look at you, and you, as usual, don’t care that you could be completely ruined if discovered, let alone taken advantage of, in this den of vice. You are wild and irresponsible and you give no thought to your actions or the consequences thereof. And you
brought Anne here? Just because you don’t care about your reputation doesn’t mean you can play fast and loose with hers.”
Lara’s eyes blazed with fury. “Anne is not a child. She is a grown woman who has a mind of her own.”
“And that is justification for you to come here?” Wolf countered.
“I, too, have a mind of my own,” she shot back. “And I do not appreciate you telling me what I can and cannot do.”
His nostrils flared. He was the Duke of Wolverton, one of the most powerful men in England. No one defied him. And yet this one woman stood against him at every turn. Why couldn’t she understand the potential danger for her or Anne here?
About the Author: Sapna Bhog is an author from India who writes contemporary and historical romance novels. As a self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, her books are filled with swoon-worthy heroes and feisty heroines who clash all the time, but do get their happy ever after. Sapna has always surrounded herself with books and when she is not writing she is reading. Originally from Dubai, she now lives in Western India with her husband, kids and a Siberian Husky. Sapna gave up a successful IT career and took a foray into writing and has never looked back since. Her favourite pastimes are reading, writing, traveling and shopping—not necessarily in that order. She loves to hear from readers.
I received the March/April 2021 edition of the Confederate Veteran. Inside was a review for my novel, A Rebel Among Us. What an exciting surprise! I sent the book to the magazine about two years ago for a review, and I finally received one. However, since the time I sent a copy of the novel for review, I acquired a new publisher for the book, Westwood Books Publishing. The novel also has a new cover. Here it is:
Because the magazine is mailed out to Sons of Confederate Veterans members, it isn’t published on a website. So I copied the review and am posting it here. Thank you, Cathy Hanford West, for your nice review! (Spoiler alert: much of the plot is revealed in this review.)
This review of my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, is short and sweet, but it gets right to the point! Thank you so much, Kevin Marsh, for your flattering review.
A novel set in the American Civil War which was historically accurate, very readable and enjoyable. My first time reading of any of this author’s work and, given the book is the first in a series, will not be the last.
What happens when a free-spirited actress and an uptight Maharaja fake an engagement?
Depending on whom you ask, you either get a match made-in-heaven or a royal disaster. When Diya Sharma’s meddlesome mother tries to throw her into the arms of a mom-approved suitor, Diya runs the other way. Right into the arms of the most scandal-averse Maharaja on earth. His Highness Veerendra Singh can recognise a pain-in-the-ass when he sees it. Especially when it falls into his arms. Even if said pain-in-the-ass has legs that go on for ever and lush lips that just beg to be kissed, Veer doesn’t need another scandalous actress destroying his family’s happiness. So all he wants to do is run in the opposite direction. But, when a marriage-minded princess sets her sights on him, Veer runs back into Diya’s arms to propose a fake engagement. When the lines between real and fake start to blur, Diya and Veer need to decide what is important? Long held prejudices or the yearnings of their heart?
Alisha Kay is a Delhi based writer, who writes romances set in India.
She doesn’t hold with the concept of damsel-in-distress, which is why her heroines are spunky women with a sharp tongue and the ability to rescue themselves. Her heroes are hot men who are woke enough to find that independence irresistible.
I recently received another review for my novel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie. Thank you so much, Pamela Loose, for your flattering review!
Review of A Beautiful Glittering Lie
This is a well written story with vivid descriptions of the lives of Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. The comparison between their lives and those of the people left behind is fascinating.
With no name, no medical history, multiple gunshot wounds and enough security to rival the Prime Minister’s, Dr Aria Dubey’s new patient is something more than she asked for. And everything she might just need.
Intelligence Officer Karan Bhatnagar has only vengeance on his mind. Nothing will stop him from seeking justice for his murdered parents.
Not even almost losing his own life. And certainly not the doctor who healed but couldn’t save him. The woman he can’t afford to fall for. And the killer’s next target.
There’s only one thing left to do…find the killer and end him before he ends them. Will Karan and Aria risk everything for a love that is all kinds of wrong? And yet, is the right kind of wrong.
Releasing on 26th January!
About the Author:
Shilpa Suraj wears many hats – corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.
An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.
She Hates Him But She’s In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe
Releasing on 25th October
About the Book:
When the songbird owes the business tycoon…
Former gangster, Devansh Thackeray has finally managed to carve the life he’s always aspired to. Building a chain of seven-star hotels all over the world, a reputation for being an honest businessman…and all the women he could ask for. Ansh’s life is perfect. Or so he thinks. Because he is about to hit by a lightning bolt from the past that’ll make him question everything he’s worked so hard for. And her name is Kahini Palekar. Kahini’s life is a nightmare. She works three jobs to pay off the loan sharks circling her. But, Kahini doesn’t mind because she also gets to do the only thing she’s always wanted to do. Sing. Even if it is at a shady nightclub in the backstreets of Goa, the beach paradise of India. Kahini’s day of reckoning arrives when Ansh arrives back in her life, right when she’s almost assaulted by the manager of the nightclub. Ansh offers both salvation from her debt and a chance to sing at the most exclusive wedding of the decade. But there’s just one catch. Kahini hates Ansh’s living guts and blames him for the destruction of her life. Even though he was the boy she once recklessly gave her heart to. Can Ansh get to the bottom of the problems plaguing Kahini or will this songbird fly away again after repaying her debt to him? Meet the Millionaire Foes – rising from ruin through ruthless ambition, these self-made tycoons have everything. Except, the heart of the one woman who means everything.
The Millionaire Foe Quartet series contains four steamy romances set around the world, each of which can be read as a standalone.
Read an Excerpt from In Debt To Her Millionaire Foe (Millionaire Foe Quartet # 2)
Ansh entered the bar when the lights had dimmed, already in a foul mood from the altercation he’d had outside Grungy’s.
The term “bar” was a loose translation for what the seedy confines really were. It was set in a shady part of Calangute Beach, where the locals lived. It was not the area the posh, firang tourists frequented. The air here smelled of brine and fish and cheap liquor.
The smell of the ocean was everywhere.
It was, after all, Goa the beach paradise of India.
And to everyone who came here, it promised nothing but a good time.
The patrons of Grungy’s, the small-time bar that operated till four in the morning during season, had that look about them. They were local men, embittered and looking for cheap thrills. And some willing victim to provide that for them.
Ansh knew the type. They resented the tourists for showing up and flinging their foreign currency around and expecting their silly demands of room temperature water and late-night cruises to be catered to.
And they really resented needing the silly tourists and their foreign currency too.
A classic catch-22.
But, tonight, these patrons, and that was a loose term too for what the customers of Grungy’s were, were not looking for foreign currency or cheap thrills.
They were all gathered on the rickety tables that the bar owner had graciously provided and murmuring amongst themselves while the poorly-named stage was being set up.
She was the main act tonight.
Ansh frowned and sank deeper into his chair while the bar-back set him up with a glass of the local feni – a local toddy made from fermented coconut water and rum. He frowned deeper when he saw the lipstick mark around the edge of the shot glass and gingerly cleaned the lip with his monogrammed handkerchief.
Places like these reminded Devansh Thackeray of his squalid past.
He couldn’t stand them anymore.
Then, the spotlight hit the stage. The band struck a chord and a woman in black walked up to the mike.
Ansh sat up straighter.
Was she going to start stripping or something? He hadn’t heard the best things about these places on the wharf and this one didn’t have a stellar reputation either.
And, what the hell was she doing here anyway?
He’d sent her plenty of funds seven years ago, deposited in the account her brother had set up for both of them when he had turned eighteen.
Kahini had enough money to keep her in style, because he’d instructed the company’s bankers to always replenish the funds in that account should the need ever arise. The need had never risen, to the best of his knowledge. Even though he knew the money would never bring back her dead brother.
So, was she doing this for kicks?
Some poor little rich kid slumming it thing that all the society madams were doing these days?
He honestly had no idea. And that ate at his insides, like the strength of the feni he’d gingerly taken a sip out of.
Ansh had come here to find out what the hell she’d been up to the last seven years. Since the last time he’d seen her and she’d flung bitter, accusing words at him.
About the Author:
Hi, I’m Aarti V Raman aka Writer Gal. I have been a former journalist, editor, and even a sometime-teacher before I plunged into my dream job. That of being a full-time writer.
In fact, my three favorite words are ‘happily ever after.’
This comes in handy as I primarily write bestselling contemporary romantic women’s fiction, which is all about living happily, after going through some hard times.
My more notable works include the Geeks of Caltech and Royals of Stellangård series, Something Old, Something New, More Than You Want, and The Perfect Fake among others. My chicklit family drama, The Worst Daughter Ever, has been picked up for screen adaptation.
I always love to hang with you, my dear reader friend. I’ve created Writer Gal’s Reader Pals on Facebook for this reason and I hope to see you there.
If not, I’m there on all social media as @aartivraman but I’m most active on Instagram.