Plotting on the Parkway

I’m happy to welcome back C.D. Hersh. Today, Catherine and Donald share their plotting adventures and recent release, The Mercenary and the Shifter.

Here’s CD Hersh!

plottingontheparkwayhershIt’s getting kinda antsy at the C.D. Hersh household, because we’ve got book number five in The Turning Stone Chronicle series to finish plotting. We do our best plotting on the road and we don’t have any upcoming trips. Our paranormal romance series was conceived on a loooong, cross-country trip after we saw an exit road sign for a place called Turning Stone, New York. A bit of brainstorming and a series was born.

Plotting on the road makes the time go faster for Donald, who drives, and keeps Catherine (who writes the notes in longhand a lot of the time) from seeing all the crazy drivers tailgating us and zipping between semi-trucks and our safety zone. Nothing drives Catherine nuttier than watching an F-150 Ford with a full jump cab try to squeeze into a space that barely fits a smart car, without giving us a signal! She truly believes all the imaginary braking with her right leg, while in the passenger seat, contributed to her arthritis. Fortunately, we aren’t considering traveling anywhere near the Jersey Turnpike where everyone drives like maniacs, although we think quite a few drivers we’ve encountered must have had lessons from a Jersey driving school.

So what’s the point of this post, you ask?

Here’s a few things we’ve learned during our loooong drives:

1. Aging knees don’t like being cooped up in a car. Imagine that.

2. It’s really hard to read plot notes written months ago while driving on a bumpy interstate.

3. It’s even harder to write on a bumpy interstate road.

4. Catherine should really transcribe her notes as soon as we get home.

5. Especially when words written while driving on the buzz strips on the shoulder of the road make her notes look like an EKG reading.

6. The new flash stick recorder we got works better than the old-fashioned pencil and paper, although it does allow Catherine to still see all the nutso drivers, and when Donald transcribes the notes they’re not always coherent. Catherine’s a blonde. J BTW, she’s writing this, so don’t take offense, ladies.

7. We like plotting almost better than writing—or maybe it’s the traveling we like.

8. Donald plots very well—most of the time. However, Catherine always has to throw a few suggestions out the car window. Isn’t that what a collaborator is for?

9. We need more road trips because we have two more books left in this series.

10. Writing with a collaborator is fun!

How and where do you plot your books?
Or do you travel—oops, write—by the seat of your pants?

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Blurb

When mercenary soldier Michael Corritore answers a desperate call from an ex-military buddy, he finds himself in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient war between two shape shifter factions, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Shape shifter Fiona Kayler will do anything to keep the shipping company her father left her, including getting in bed with the enemy. But when she believes the man trying to steal her company is involved with kidnapping her nephew, she must choose between family, fortune, and love. The problem is … she wants all three.

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Bio

cdhershPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a Christmas novella, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow, with seven other authors.

Where you can find CD Hersh…

Website | Blog | Soul Mate Publishing | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads


Spotlight on The Mercenary and the Shifter


Congrats to Soul Mate authors C.D. Hersh on their latest release…

mercenarycdhersh1

Blurb

When mercenary soldier Michael Corritore answers a desperate call from an ex-military buddy, he finds himself in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient war between two shape shifter factions, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Shape shifter Fiona Kayler will do anything to keep the shipping company her father left her, including getting in bed with the enemy. But when she believes the man trying to steal her company is involved with kidnapping her nephew, she must choose between family, fortune, and love. The problem is … she wants all three.

Hook

A desperate call from an ex-military buddy lands a mercenary soldier in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient shape shifter war, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Log Line

A mercenary soldier lands in the middle of a double kidnapping, an ancient shape shifter war, and two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.

Excerpt

Mike Corritore wheeled up the circular drive of the impressive house on Lakeshore Road and cut the engine on his motorcycle. After a quick glance around, he shouldered the bags containing his clothes, ammo, pump shotgun, and talwar sword. Then he headed for the carved front door. The doorbell echoed inside indicating the mansion had a cavernous entry hall. He searched the entrance stoop for security cameras and found none.

What the heck had he gotten himself into? A rich bitch, with no security on her home, mixed up with a bad syndicate spelled major trouble. With this chintzy level of security, it would take more time than he originally anticipated to make her house and business secure.
After a couple of minutes the door opened.

“Can I help you?” asked an attractive redhead.

“I’m Mike Corritore. Here to see Fiona Kayler. Will you tell her I’ve arrived?”

The redhead looked him over, then braced her legs shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her curvy bust. “Do you have identification, Mr. Corritore?”

Mike returned her once-over. Her porcelain complexion blushed pink at his bold examination, and she tossed her mane of wavy, mahogany hair defiantly.

Damn, she was gorgeous.

If she thought her insolent pose enough to keep him, or intruders out, she’d better reconsider.

“Hugh sent me.” He stepped forward but she blocked him.

“A driver’s license for your very expensive motorcycle will suffice,” she said, wiggling her fingers at him. When he didn’t comply, she stepped back and reached to the side of the door.

The distinct cachung of a gun cocking sent him flying to the right of the doorway.

“Identification, Mr. Corritore. Please,” she said as she leveled a pistol at him.

Mike dug in his rear pants’ pocket. “Hugh lied,” he said as he held out his driver’s license. “You don’t need protection.”

After inspecting his identification, she lowered her weapon and waved him inside. “For my business, Mr. Corritore. I’m capable of protecting my home, but I can’t draw my gun just anywhere.”

“You should get a conceal and carry license,” Mike said as he entered.

She put the safety on the gun and stashed the weapon in the table beside the front door.

“I take it you’re not the help,” he said, glancing around the entry hall.

She held out her hand. “Fiona Kayler. Nice to meet you, Mr. Corritore.”

“Mike,” he said, taking her hand. Her palm, warm and soft, told him she lived a life of leisure. But her strong grip screamed, No patsy. He held her hand a bit longer than he should have. She wriggled free and waved him to the left.

“Ladies first.”

With a nod, she led him toward a sumptuously decorated room. He followed, his eyes taking in the soft curves of her rear as she sashayed across the marble-tiled floor. Mike’s body reacted to the seductive wiggle of her bottom. She walked as sexy as she looked.

Keep your mind on the job, Corritore. He shifted his gaze away from temptation, searching the ceiling and corners of the entry for security cameras. If she had them, they were well hidden.

The measured click of her high heels on the hard marble tile floor disappeared as they stepped on the thick, white carpet of the living room. This room appeared cozier than the entry. A huge gold, gilt-edged mirror hung over the fireplace reflecting the scene outside the oversized plate-glass window.

She motioned to a seat beside the fireplace. Mike chose a location less exposed to the exterior, where he could watch the entrance to the room. Fiona dragged a side chair across the room to where he sat, positioning it at a right angle to his seat. Two vertical furrows appeared in the carpeting, bisecting their shoe impressions and the vacuumed paths in the thick fibers. Apparently, she didn’t use this room much.

“So, Ms. Kayler—”

“Fiona,” she corrected.

“Fiona, exactly what do you need me to do?” As he said the words, he had a lurid vision of what he’d like to do to this lovely woman. He shook it off. She was Hugh’s friend and in trouble. He had no business screwing around with damsels in distress. They were needy. The last thing he wanted.

“A couple of years ago I had a problem with smugglers. They brought in some hazardous materials which got me in trouble with Homeland Security and the FBI. They cleared me, but my business took a pretty big hit. To keep things afloat, I’ve had to get in bed with some rough characters recently.”

At the phrase get in bed with Mike cocked his eyebrow at her.

“Not literally,” she amended quickly, as a dusky pink blush crept over her pale complexion. “I need my security beefed up so I don’t have a replay of two years ago.”

“Any good security company could upgrade you.”

“I also need someone I can trust implicitly. Hugh vouched for you, and I trust Hugh.”

“We should start with your home security. I didn’t see surveillance cameras at the door.”

“My home is perfectly safe. It’s my business I’m concerned about.”

Fiona crossed her arms over her chest, her body language closing off to further suggestions. Mike followed her motions. As he did, he spotted a red dot on her chest. The dot wiggled.

“Get down!” Mike shouted as he dove for Fiona.

Amazon Buy Links

The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 1)
eBook | Paperback

Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 2)
eBook | Paperback

Son of the Moonless Night (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 3)
eBook

The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4)
eBook

Bio

cdhershPutting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a Christmas novella, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow, with seven other authors.

Where you can find CD Hersh…

Website | Blog | Soul Mate Publishing | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads


A Samhain Spotlight on Blood Brothers

I am thrilled to welcome back Soul Mate author C.D. Hersh. Having read their debut novel The Promised One, I am looking forward to the release of Blood Brothers. In today’s post, C.D. will explain the intriguing Samhain connection.

Here’s C.D. Hersh!

23116125_sThanks for allowing us to be on your blog today and share with your readers about how our new book, Blood Brothers, the second book in The Turning Stone Chronicles, is related to Samhain/Halloween.

Samhain originated over two thousand years ago as a festival practiced by ancient Celts to honor the dead. This end-of-the-year festival was celebrated October 31 through November 2. During Samhain the Celts believed the lord of the dead gathered the souls of those who had died that year to decide their fates. The spirits roamed the earth, visited relatives, played tricks, and caused supernatural happenings. When Christianity began to take a foothold, the church tried to integrate or lessen the impact of what they considered pagan rites by incorporating parts of the Samhain celebration into the religious holiday All Hallows Eve or All Saints Day.

On the eve of Samhain, October 31st, magic is thought to be at its most powerful, and the connection between the physical world and spiritual world is the strongest. It is this magic connection that caused us to set the first three books of our series around Samhain, because magic is what enables our characters to shape shift.

Samhain is the ideal time for a person to read the inscription inside the magic ring and acquire the shape shifting powers. Reading this incantation at this time unlocks the most magic from the ring. Family blood lines are also important, and those who have the most pure blood lines, dating back to the original three families who received the magic bloodstone from the Druid Priests, also have the most shifting skills, as well as a few skills ordinary shifters do not have. The ring is bound to the wearer until death once they are in possession of the ring on the first Samhain after reading the inscription.

In the world we’ve created, Samhain is the most important night of the year, because that is when the convention of the Turning Stone Society meets for the presentation of that year’s Promised Ones. The society is looking for the prophesied leader to bring peace between the two warring factions. The individuals presented are tested to see who has the most skills. Only the most skillful will be allowed to continue on the path of a potential Promised One. Most all fail somewhere along the way. So, on both sides of the warring factions of shape shifters, the search has been going on for centuries.

Book one of the series, The Promised One, is about the discovery of the good faction’s most recent Promised One. When book two, Blood Brothers, opens, the Keeper of the Stone has just discovered not one potential Promised One, but two: Rhys Temple and Alexi Jordan. Never in the history of Samhain has such a discovery been made, calling into question the interpretation of the prophesy about the Promised One. Shape-shifter Delaney Ramsey is called in to help the Keeper of the Stone mentor his new protégés. Unbeknownst to him, the rogue kingpin, Falhman, and his henchwoman Sylvia Jordan Riley have discovered Rhys, too. And so the battle begins.

Blood Brothers Cover (2)

Blurb

When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

Excerpt

Prologue

Sylvia Jordan Riley winced as Falhman dug into her shoulder and extracted a bullet. He dropped the bullet into the trash and swabbed the wound.

“You want to tell me how you got injured?” he asked as he reached for the needle to stitch the gaping hole.

“Chasing Promised Ones.” And the man who murdered my ex-husband.

“I hope it was worth this.”

“It was.” She’d torn Baron’s killer to shreds, but that wasn’t the best part of her news. “I’ve found someone who shifted with me by using the power from my ring.”

Falhman stopped stitching and stared intently at Sylvia, his eyes glittering with undisguised interest. “Is he a rogue shifter?”

“I don’t think he’s any kind of shifter. He seemed startled when the shift occurred.”

“A non-shifter who can use the ring without the incantation? What’s his name?”

“Temple. Rhys Temple. There’s only one problem.” Sylvia paused then continued, “He’s in love with Baron Jordan’s niece, Alexi.”

“I thought that whole family was dead.”

“She’s the last one left, and I think she’s on track as a Promised One.”

Falhman went back to stitching Sylvia’s skin with practiced ease. “Get rid of her and get him. If we can control someone with that kind of power, we can control the world.”

Sylvia looked at her superior. He made it sound simple. Kill Alexi Jordan and lure Rhys to the dark side. Piece of cake? Not if a Jordan was involved. From her recent dealings with Alexi, she knew there would be one heck of a fight if she tried to take her man.

Hook

Shape shifter Delaney Ramsey’s daughter is missing, and she is bound by honor to protect the man she suspects of the deed. To bring him to justice, she must go against her code, the leader of the secret shifter society, and the police captain she is falling for.

Bio

hersh_600x460 (2)Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first book of their paranormal romance series entitled The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) is available on Amazon. The second book in the series Blood Brothers is coming October 29, 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing.

Where to find C.D. Hersh…

Website | Soul Mate Publishing | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Happily Ever After: In Fiction and In Life

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, I am thrilled to feature a couple, Catherine and Donald Hersh, aka Soul Mate author C.D. Hersh.

Here’s C.D.

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FIRST ACT

Our first act has always had writing in it, both personally and professionally, just not in the same manner as it has now. Over the years at work, Donald had become proficient at writing instructional manuals and documents for the technical work he did and was recognized for his writing by a national organization in his field. Winning the Blanche Witte Award – a highly prestigious award in his career field – was one of the highlights of his career. The award included a paid trip to Fort Worth, TX for the presentation in front of a national gathering of his peers. Catherine got to go, too.

During this time Catherine was becoming skilled at writing for the local papers with non-fiction news stories, interviews and advertorials. She branched out from the paper and started writing articles and stories published in the Cincinnati Magazine, and writing for children at Standard Publishing.

We were both involved in the drama group at church, even contributing a few short skits that were performed. One year the drama director came to us with a request to write a Christmas play they were developing as a re-creation of Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth. We took a go at it, writing the play as an interactive, living diorama with the audience walking through the set as travelers looking for a place to stay. The church put the play on four out of five years running at Christmas with thousands of people coming through by the end of the run. We were even able to sell the script to churches across the country.

From this we learned we could work together (without killing each other), create a good story, and even have fun while writing. Another play we have finished is currently in the Ohio Community Theater library waiting for a local community theater to discover. We also have several more WIPs plays and musicals that, due to our second act, may never get finished.

ACT TWO

Act Two began when Catherine gave Donald a romance book to read while we were on vacation. She thought it was a good action romance he would enjoy. Well, Donald slogged through the book and when finished, he promptly threw it away. In Catherine’s presence, he declared the male characters were weak and that we could write better characters.

As Catherine was never one to turn down a challenge she said, “Let’s do it!”

So, on the trip home we cast around for ideas to base a story on and found one along the side of the road: A sign announcing an upcoming attraction at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in New York.

After bouncing several ideas off each other about what the meaning of “Turning Stone” might entail, we began to develop our world. The Turning Stone Society is a shape shifting group that lives among us. Members have a magical blood stone ring that changes them into other personas: male, female and animal, with a few twists the usual shape shifting worlds don’t have. From there on as the old saying goes is “the rest of the story,” which has developed into a five-book series called the Turning Stone Chronicles.

Currently, the first book in the series, The Promised One, is published in both Kindle and paperback. The second book, Blood Brothers, is due out this summer. Below is a cover reveal for Blood Brothers, the blurb, and an excerpt.

Blood Brothers Cover (2)

Blurb

When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

Excerpt

Harry Williams paused at the entrance to Alexi’s ER room, hand hovering over the doorknob, uncertain when he heard the voices inside. Did she have company? He peeked in through a crack in the window curtain. The only people he recognized were Alexi and Rhys. He moved from the door, planning to return later.

“Captain,” Rhys called as he opened the door. “Come in.”

“I’m not intruding?”

“No. Alexi will be glad to see you.”

Harry stepped into the room. Going immediately to her bedside, he set the small vase of flowers he’d brought on the nightstand. “Didn’t know what kind you liked.”

Retrieving the vase, she held the flowers to her nose and inhaled. “These are gorgeous, Captain. Thank you.”

Tubes stuck into his favorite homicide detective’s arms. She seemed so helpless hooked to the equipment. Not at all like the fearless woman he knew. “You going to be okay?”

“I’ve got to stay in for a few days, but then I should be fine.”

He glared at Rhys. “How did you let her get mauled by a panther?”

“She ran in ahead of me … like she always does.”

“Headstrong woman,” Harry said to Alexi.

“That’s what makes me so good,” she replied with a smile that lit her drawn face. Alexi directed his attention toward the older man.

“This is Eli McCraigen, an old friend of Baron’s, and this,” she said, pointing to the woman, “is Delaney Ramsey. Our boss, Captain Harry Williams.”

Giving Eli a cursory nod, Harry then turned toward Delaney. A pair of turquoise eyes shown out of a china doll face, with the slightest hint of a middle age crease around her cupid bow mouth. A minute past before he found his voice. “Ms. Delaney, nice to meet you,” he said with a squeak. He hadn’t jumped octaves like that since his teenage acne cleared.

Smiling, her face lit. Amused, no doubt, by him. His gaze swept over her. She had a body a man could lose himself in. When she caught him enjoying the view, she blushed and returned the favor.

The once-over caused him to respond faster than he thought possible. A woman had not made him react like that in a long time. Women were a distraction. One he’d only dallied with occasionally since his wife left him. They all ran the minute they heard he was a career cop.

Bio

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first book of their paranormal romance series entitled The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) is available on Amazon. The second book in the series Blood Brothers is coming this summer.

Where to Find C.D. Hersh…

Website | Soul Mate Publishing | Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads

Joanne here!

Thank you Catherine and Donald for sharing your uplifting life story. I enjoyed reading The Promised One and look forward to the other books in the series. BTW…the storyline for Blood Brothers sounds intriguing.