Sunday, December 29, 2013


A Story of Vengeance, Forgiveness, and Love
Considered useless by his cold-hearted father, Nico Foscari, eldest son of one of the founding families in Venice, hides his pain behind gambling, drinking and womanizing.
After her husband’s untimely demise, Marietta Gatti returns to her hometown of Venice in hopes of starting a new life and finding the happiness that was missing in her forced marriage.
When Fate throws them together, friendship begins to grow into love until Marietta learns a Foscari family secret that may have cost her father his life. Now, she must choose between vengeance, forgiveness, and love.
Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel takes you back to eighteenth century Carnival, where lovers meet discreetly, and masks make everyone equal.


Venice in the Moonlight Ebook: $.99 (US) at Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Venice in the Moonlight Paperback: $6.99 (US) at CreateSpace and Amazon
Cera's Place E-book: $.99 (US) at AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwordsAppleKoboSony and Diesel.
Cera's Place Paperback: $10.99 (US) at CreateSpaceAmazon and  
The Gypsy Casts a Spell (short story): Available for free.
“Like” Elizabeth McKenna and Cera’s Place on Facebook


When we start out, our heroine is very much married to the sort of man you cheer for when he dies, a  wife-abusing,  philandering, drunk. His mother is distant and cold-hearted. You really feel for Marietta. With her husband's death, Marietta finds herself an abandoned widow. The evil that is Marietta's mother-in-law barely lets her son's grave go cold before she tosses our heroine out without any arrangements. She demonic hag even burns Marietta's paintings. Once Marietta returns to Venice, she finds her father murdered, a letch chasing after her, and a lack of friends. Will her troubles never cease to end?

I really enjoyed reading this book. The descriptions were very provocative. Everything from the costumes to the deep emotional loss Marietta experiences show McKenna's writing range. The twists and turns made it a real page turner. I even became upset when I realized I left my Kindle at home one day and wouldn't get to see what happened next! Even though our hero doesn't start off as much of a hero, you find you want Nico to become a better person, to be the sort of man Marietta deserves. The only thing missing is watching that monstrous mother-in-law getting taken down a few pegs. That would have been the only thing that would have made the ending better, although Marietta is a true lady and would never do such a thing.

This book is suitable for a wide range of romance enthusiasts. The language and situations are tame enough for this be a good work read. You don't have to worry about anyone looking over your shoulder. Need a good read for that carpool line at school? No problem. This story will make you wish you could wait a few more minutes before the kids climb into the car. I'm giving this one a full 5 stars!

About the Author: 


Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She had always wanted to write fiction, so when a psychic told her she would write a book, she felt obligated to give it a try. She combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write her debut novel Cera's Place. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website She hopes you will enjoy her latest novel, Venice in the Moonlight, as much as others have enjoyed her previous works.

Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and sassy Labrador. When she isn't writing, working, or being a mom, she's sleeping.


Nico shrugged in the French wingback chair they had placed by the fireplace for his portrait. He looked regal in a black silk suit trimmed in gold and a waistcoat of burgundy and gold leaf-patterned brocade. It seemed Raul had excellent taste in men’s fashions.

Marietta rolled her eyes before she settled in a chair behind the easel. “Please keep still while I draw.”

“May I talk?”
“I’d rather you didn’t.” Looking at him was going to be enough distraction. She didn’t need to listen to him also.
He ignored her request. “I have to ask—why Palladino?”
Marietta blew out an exasperated breath. “I can’t sketch you properly if you talk.”
“You could have chosen any man at the Consul’s villa. Casanova himself expressed interest in you, yet you leave with that pig.”
“It’s not what you think.” She compared her drawing to Nico and frowned. His shoulders were no longer in the same position.
“You didn’t have to suffer the man’s dismal lovemaking. What were you thinking?”
“We did not make love,” she replied through clenched teeth.
He continued as if not hearing her. “You’re the first woman in years that he didn’t have to pay, though he would never admit to his need for courtesans. I just don’t understand how you could find him appealing.”
“We did not make love.” She practically shouted it this time. “I’m not attracted to Palladino or any other man for that matter.”
This silenced him, gratefully, but only for a few moments. “Well, in that case, I know of a few courtesans that can accommodate you. I am told they are quite beautiful and skilled.”
Marietta threw down her charcoal and marched over to him. She grabbed his shoulders and repositioned him. “That is not what I meant and you know it.”
He smiled up at her innocently. “I didn’t mean to offend you, but you have refused my charms, so what should I think?”
She glared at him for her own benefit, knowing it would have no effect on the man. “You need to stop talking and moving.”
When he didn’t respond, she said, “That’s better.”
He lasted almost fifteen minutes. “So, what kind of man are you attracted to? Perhaps, I could suggest a few potential lovers.”
“How about one who has fewer conquests than fingers and toes? Or one that values honesty and fidelity over all else? Do you know any like that?”
From the thoughtful look on his face, he took this as an earnest question. “I’m afraid a man like that will be hard to find in Venice, especially this time of year.”
“Well, then, I guess I’ll have to go without.”
“How depressing. What will you do for amusement if you don’t take a lover?”
Marietta rubbed at her temples and decided she deserved more than the coins she’d already been paid. “There’s more to life than pleasuring oneself.”
“Yes, Signore, really.” She placed her stub of charcoal on the easel’s tray and rolled the stiffness from her neck and shoulders. “That is all for today. I have another appointment.” It was a lie, but she felt the need to rest and the bed in the corner was tempting her tired body.

Friday, December 27, 2013


GIVEAWAY: One winner of the Historical/Contemporary Bundle ROMANTIC BREEZE. Authors included: Kerry Taylor, Roz Marshal, Rebecca May, Tracy Johnson, A, Lightbourne, Penny Darling

Please leave comments on J. Annas Walker's blog. J. Annas Walker will pick one random winner. Contest Dec 27th thru Jan. 1st. [IMPORTANT! Include your email address in the comment!]


For Christmas we are offering five Author Book bundles for your reading pleasure. Priced between $2.99-$4.99, discover new authors and curl up near a fireplace with a cup of cocoa and a good book this Christmas!

A SciFi Bundle called Past, Present, Future Happenings.
A Paranormal Bundle called Angels, Ghosts and Creepy Things. 
A NA Bundle called New Adult Variety. 
A Contemporary/Historical Bundle called Romantic Breeze. 

A Children Bundle called Children Bundle.  

 Casey Keen
I’ll Be Damned, Book #1 of the Anna Wolfe Series
 1- What is the name your main character?
Anna Wolfe
2-What kind of trouble does he/she get into?
Her sister is kidnapped and this is just the beginning of Anna’s journey and battle in the supernatural realm. Trouble chases her because of what she really is - a witch.
3- Why is this story different from others?
My story is different in that the plot has more unique elements. Anna’s a normal individual; until her world is suddenly shattered with the truth of what she really is - a Grand Witch - is exposed. I think readers can relate to her predicament with regards to life throwing a major curve ball.

Character questions:
1- If your main character were an animal, what kind would he/she be?
Gray Wolf - she is loyal to herself and her “pack” and fierce when she needs to be!
2- Is your character hot or cold?
She’s hot. Everything she does is for the safety of others.
3- Who or what does your character love?
She loves her family and being the owner of the coffee shop Déjà Brew in Savannah, GA.

Interview for Cerulean

Background questions:

What is the name of your main character?

Since my main character considers her given name an oddity and an embarrassment, let’s just call her Chey.

In Chey’s world, people inherit names chosen by their ancestors. When the first pioneers moved underwater, they selected names based on what they missed most from the Surface. Most residents chose names from nature, but Chey’s great-grandfather was more… unconventional. 

What kind of trouble does she get into?

Chey wants to follow the rules and conform to the others in her community, but she has begun to experience the depression that plagues her people. When she engages in rebellious behavior, such as sneaking into the open ocean, the exhilaration of the experiences fight off her looming depression.

Chey faces the impossible bind. Does she remain obedient, at the risk of succumbing to her depression, or does she continue to engage in acts that could be considered traitorous in nature?

Why is this story different from others?

Cerulean is a dystopia, and the novella features many typical dystopian elements: the remnants of a ravaged world, set in the near future; an authoritarian government system, with a hint of corruption; and a young heroine, not content to go along with the status quo.

Where it veers away from other dystopians is the setting. Cerulean explores what life might be like if the only safe places left in the world were in the oceans. Could humans adapt to an underwater life? What unexpected repercussions could come from spending one’s entire life under the water? 

Having a dystopia set underwater created an interesting dichotomy between the beauty and wonders within the ocean and the harsh reality of Chey’s life. 

Character questions:

If your main character were an animal, what kind would he/she be?

In my dystopian world, humans have partnered with the dolphins to survive. They have adapted Dolphin-speak in order to communicate in their underwater world and have created a pairing system to prevent humans from being the dominant species in the ocean. So at first glance, a dolphin seems the obvious choice. 

Yet, Chey is fascinated by the whales. She has studied their songs and learned to communicate with them. While she is fluent in several types of Whale-song, her favorite is the subversive lyrics of the Blues. Since Chey often is nonconforming herself, I think she would choose to be a blue whale. 

Is your character hot or cold?

Chey is really torn between the familiar cool waters of the ocean and the novelty of sunshine and land. When she is asked to choose between swimming and walking, the pull between her two worlds becomes evident. 

Here, along this abandoned beach, the best of two worlds collide. The freedom of gliding through the waters and the joy of running across land; the wonders found within the ocean and the warmth of the sunshine.

“Both,” I decide. We could run down the long stretch of beach, soaking in the sun, then dive into the cool waters while I seek out Haku. Is it greedy to want it all?

Who or what does your character love?

What a tricky question! When the book begins, Chey has lost nearly everyone she ever loved: her best friend, her parents. She only faces more loss as the story progresses. While there’s a romantic element to Cerulean, Chey’s very uncomfortable with touching and connectedness after living in the isolation of her underwater community her entire life. She’s not an insta-love type of heroine. 

So, my answer has to be novelty.  Chey takes immense pleasure in the tiniest new experiences. She finds wonder in the mundane. My favorite part of writing Cerulean was looking at the world through the eager eyes of my heroine and describing the ordinary in her poetic voice.