Tag Archives: Holly Bargo

$.99 Mafia Romance Spotlight: Russian Pride by Holly Bargo


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Romance: New Adult, Mafia, and Contemporary


russian pride

Russian Love Book 4

Release Date: 9/30/17

Rescued from domestic abuse, Bratva princess Inessa recuperates from the latest beating in the home of Giovanni Maglione, the mafia captain of Cleveland. Learning that her husband double-crossed the Chinese triad, and they want their pound of flesh–and they’re happy to take it out of Inessa–her parents ask Giovanni to marry their newly widowed daughter. The Chinese triad will be looking for a Russian mobster’s wife, not the wife of an Italian mobster. Inessa agrees to this marriage of convenience which, of course, isn’t so convenient. The ruse fails, which forces Giovanni into a violent and bloody mob war, because he protects what’s his… and Inessa is most definitely his.

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Excerpt:

They walked in thoughtful silence for a little while longer until Inessa mentioned this issue that had been weighing upon her conscience: “I really am grateful for your letting me impose upon your hospitality for so long, but I really am doing well enough to go back home.”
“You can’t,” Giovanni said, his voice stern and cool.
“What do you mean I can’t?”
“Your husband was involved in things he should not have been,” Giovanni hedged.
“Oh?”
“The Chinese Triad.”
“Oh?”
Giovanni gave her part of the story: “He was not particularly successful in his dealings with them and they seek recompense.”
“What does that have to do with me? I wasn’t involved in his business. Ruslan forbade me anything like that.” Ruslan had forbidden her almost everything.
“The Triad doesn’t care. They see you as collateral.”
“O, Bozhe,” Inessa murmured with renewed horror, which made her babble. “I’ll sell the house, all my jewelry to pay them back. I’ll get a job and send them payments, everything I earn.”
Giovanni took her gloved hand in his and gave it a little squeeze. “It’s about more than money, Inessa. Ruslan double-crossed them and more. They lost face. Now they’re determined to restore their honor and get revenge.”
“They’ve launched a vendetta.”
“Sì, and it will not be complete until they’ve annihilated you, Ruslan’s family, your family, and recovered their funds.”
“And that’s why Mama and Papa won’t discuss my moving back home. They hope the Triad won’t think to look for me here.”
He nodded, though he suspected the Triad would not be so easily fooled. “And that’s why they have also asked me to marry you. The Triad won’t be seeking a Mrs. Maglione.”
Inessa gaped in horrified surprise. “They can’t expect you to do that!”
“Maksim and Olivia do not expect any such thing, but they did ask… and I find I am not entirely averse to the idea.”


About the Author:

holly bargo newest

Holly Bargo is a pseudonym, but really did exist as a temperamental appaloosa mare whose memory still elicits smiles and entertaining anecdotes. The author has been writing improbable stories for over 40 years and only recently dove headfirst into publishing. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor, serves as the fantasy editor for Red Sun Magazine, and lives on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of four-legged critters.

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Fantasy Romance Feature and Interview: Daughter of the Twin Moons: Book 1 of the Twin Moons Saga by Holly Bargo


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Fantasy Romance


daughter of the twin

Release Date: 12/23/2016

Cancer. The terminal diagnosis paralyzes Catriona. Both saved and imperiled, she must navigate a new, immortal life as mate to the Captain of the Seelie Palace Guard.

In obedience to the oracle’s command, Thelan abducts a human woman and takes her to the Deepwood where she is unmade and remade by ancient magic. Thus given his mate, he quickly finds himself enamored of her spirit, intelligence, and uncommon beauty. She arouses his passion and challenges both his control and authority at every turn. Thelan needs to win the heart and trust of this untraditional female whom he’s determined to keep and protect from those who covet control over the moon-born’s legendary influence.

Catriona resents the lack of choice. She also resents not knowing the rules that now govern her life in this realm of myth and impossibility. Forging her own path and upsetting ancient tradition, she befriends the mysterious archivist, learns to live in a sentient palace, talks to dragons, and discovers a puzzling attraction to cats. And she must come to terms with the handsome and powerful fae male who claims her as his own and stirs her blood like none other.

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Excerpt:

Then he drew her into his embrace and buried his face in her hair. He inhaled the warm fragrance of her, slightly herbal, slightly musky, like the forest at night. He leaned back and cupped her face in his hands, marveling at the soft texture of her skin. His thumbs swept over her cheeks. He leaned down and gently pressed his lips to hers, savoring the petal soft texture, the sweet taste. He kissed her again, softly, tasting the corner of her mouth. Catriona, who had expected a roughly enthusiastic sexual assault, melted beneath the tenderness and her heart cracked open.

“I missed you, Beloved Katarina,” he whispered, then sipped from her lips again.

Catriona did not quite know what to say, because she hadn’t precisely missed him. Yet this delicate handling, this gentle, tender treatment so differed from her experience and her expectations, that her confusion compelled her to submit to him.

“You have been well?” he inquired, his piercing green gaze searching hers for secrets.

“Yes.”

“She’s been busy,” Mogren interjected in a dry tone.

Thelan lifted his head to look at his king. “Oh?”

“We shall let her tell you of her adventures while you were at Pyrostoke.”

“Adventures?” Thelan looked back at Catriona. She shrugged helplessly and returned his gaze with defiance. It was an odd mixture that he found endearing.

“However, the bonding ceremony is this evening and we’ve much to do to prepare,” Mogren said. “Come, Captain. Let your lady’s maid take charge of her while we discuss this new treaty with the vodnici.”

Thelan knew an order when he heard one, even it if was couched more pleasantly. He again captured Catriona’s hand and brought it to his lips. His kissed the knuckles, then turned it over to kiss the palm.

“I made my choice. I hope to be yours.”

She blinked in confusion and one hand absently rubbed the delicate tracery of silver circling her throat. She had a choice? Why had no one yet explained that to her? She made plans to visit the librarian as soon as possible for the most objective information.

“Gwenda, we’re going to see Mr. Enders.”

“But, my lady, we must prepare you for the bonding ceremony!”

Catriona rounded on her maid and snapped, “I need information and he’s apparently the only one who’s willing to give it to me. Come with me or not, I don’t care.”

Gwenda recoiled from the blazing anger in her mistress’ expression and hurried along in the smaller woman’s wake. As usual, the palace obliged and gave Catriona the shortest possible route to the library.

“Ish no’ur aghra cinyalchek taj e’vyr,” Catriona said, politely thanking the palace for its assistance. As before, she felt a warm breeze curl around her in recognition of her gratitude.

“Why do you speak to the palace?” Gwenda inquired.

“The palace is sentient. Do you not know that?”

“That’s absurd. It’s a building, imbued with magic, but still only a building.”

“Then attribute it to one of my odd little habits,” Catriona said as she patted the stone wall and felt the consciousness living within it. How could these fae not sense the palace’s sentience?


About the Author:

holly bargo newest

Holly Bargo is a pseudonym, but really did exist as a temperamental appaloosa mare whose memory still elicits smiles and entertaining anecdotes. The author has been writing improbable stories for over 40 years and only recently dove headfirst into publishing. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor, serves as the fantasy editor for Red Sun Magazine, and lives on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of four-legged critters.

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Interview:

Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey? Inspired by fairy tales and mythology, I began writing stories in grade school. Later reading of Robin McKinley, Robin Bailey, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Barbara Cartland, Jayne Ann Krentz, and other authors continued to influence me. Eventually, I realized that no one was writing quite the stories I really wanted to read and, more importantly, that needed to be expelled from my mind. It gets crowded in there, you know. So I gradually moved from writer-as-hobbyist to writer-in-earnest and took advantage of the digital revolution to embark upon a new adventure as an independently published author.

How many books do you currently have published? I have published 14 original books since 2014. That doesn’t count the duet I published in January, which combines an original story and its sequel into one volume.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? My favorite book is always the last book I publish. Then it remains my favorite until the next one goes live.

Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release? I’m working on the third book in my Russian Love series, Russian Dawn, which is mafia-slash-new adult romance. Series, not serial. I don’t do cliffhangers. After that, I’ll be working on the sequels to Daughter of the Twin Moons, The Dragon Wore a Kilt, and Pure Iron.

What do you enjoy most about writing? Adventure. Romance. When I write, I’m young again. Beautiful. Strong. Amazing. Even magical. Every heroine has a piece of me within her and every hero embodies some aspect of my ideal man.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it? I seldom get writer’s block. Since I’ve got nearly two dozen manuscripts in progress at any given time, if I can’t focus on one, then I’ll move to another until something sparks. If none of those tickles my fancy, then I’ll begin a new story. I did have one long stretch–years–during which I wrote nothing at all. My younger son likes to remind me that writers suffer from mental illness more than most people and those years were a dark time for me.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you? All the time. Someone once said, “No plot survives contact with the characters.” That’s absolutely true.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why? My favorite characters are probably Rowan from Rowan and Chloe from The Barbary Lion. Rowan’s personality most closely resembles mine, though I wish I had her confidence and courage. Chloe shows herself as strong, smart, and resourceful, traits I love in a female protagonist.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write? I don’t know; I haven’t written it yet.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers? Lessons learned include: 1) don’t disappoint your readers’ expectations; 2) active voice strengthens your writing; 3) master the craft. Writing really is a craft that takes practice to master. Independently published writers suffer from a lackluster reputation because so much of what they publish is just poorly written. A good story poorly written gathers scathing reviews.

If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why? It depends upon the genre. I recommended The Mighty Finn to my mother-in-law, because that’s the closest I have to the kind of books she reads. For those who like paranormal romance, I’ll suggest they start with Rowan. For those who enjoy high fantasy and prefer their books on the less sexually explicit side, I’ll suggest The Diamond Gate.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character? Russian Dawn, the third book in my Russian Love series, is scheduled for release by March 31. It will focus on the story of Latasha and Iosif. After that, I plan on writing a fourth book which will bring the series full circle. That book will unite a Russian Bratva princess with an Italian mafia prince.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read? Anything by Christine Feehan and Nora Roberts. Robert B. Parker, Dick Francis, and Richard Crais are favorite authors, too. Susan Stoker, Alexa Riley, and Shannon Hill have become new favorites. My taste in genres remains pretty steady, but my taste in authors runs to the eclectic.

What about television shows? Movies? I watch little television, but enjoy Big Bang Theory, reruns of MASH, and cookings shows hosted by Jacques Pepin and America’s Test Kitchen. My taste in movies ranges from costume dramas to animated features to action-and-adventure flicks. I don’t do horror and avoid tear-jerkers.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why? Perhaps Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn or Robin McKinley’s Beauty and Blue Sword series. I really don’t know why, but my mind often wanders back to those books.

Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions? I intend to be at the ConGlomeration which will be held April 7 – 9 in Louisville, KY. Most likely I’ll be representing Red Sun Magazine as well as my own work.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say? Don’t quit your day job. I couldn’t do this if my husband weren’t so supportive.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers? Read the books you purchase and leave reviews. Please leave reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads.

Romance Feature: Ulfbehrt’s Legacy by Holly Bargo


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Romance, New Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance


ulfberhrts legacy

Release Date: 7/12/16

Fleeing horrific abuse and an uncaring legal system in the USA, Zoe lands in Norway to study archeology, specifically pre-Viking civilization. With the nightclub where she worked closed down and her apartment building condemned, she needs a new job and a new place to live.

Her roommate and fellow student Tabetha comes to the rescue and invites her to move in with her family. Zoe’s grateful for the offer and the warm welcome Tabetha’s family extends to her, even though Tabetha’s oldest brother discomfits her.

Wounded in battle against eco-terrorists who attempted to wrest control of an oil platform, elite sailor Lars moves back in with his family while he recuperates. Upon seeing his sister’s roommate, he discovers that his father’s “pow” theory of love isn’t just a cute story: Zoe stirs his blood like nothing else.

Zoe’s not looking for a relationship, but Lars’ gentle persistence shows her that she can trust him. However, an enemy wants to make Lars suffer by harming what will hurt him most, and one of Zoe’s abusers wants her back. She saved herself once, she’ll have to do it again.

This steamy romance has a guaranteed HEA.

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Excerpt:

“A battle with eco-terrorists changed my plans and meeting you changed them even more.”
 
“So?”
 
“So, now my future includes you.”
 
Zoe’s jaw dropped. If it weren’t hinged to her skull, it would have bounced off the mattress and landed on the floor. With difficulty, she gathered her suddenly scattered wits and asked slowly, “What do you mean your future includes me?”
 
He turned toward her, reached to lay his fingertips along her jawline. “Regardless of whether you conceived our child last night, your future and mine are entwined.”
 
“You’re making no sense, Lars.”
 
“Only because you’re not ready to accept the truth of us.”
 
“There is no us.”
 
“There is only us. I’ll wait for a little while, but sooner or later you’ll realize.”
 
“That sounds awfully a lot like a threat.”
 
“No, it’s a promise,” he assured her, the conviction in his voice surprising her.

What surprised her even more was that she felt no fear.


About the Author:

holly bargo

Holly Bargo never outgrew a love of fairy tales, legends, and myths. Or horses. However, one foot must remain firmly planted in the real world which is where Holly makes her living and lives with her husband, children, and menagerie–which, yes, includes horses. And llamas, alpacas, a rabbit, cats, and one very big, fluffy, white dog. (If you read Tiger in the Snow, you’ll learn that, yes, rabbits really can spit. Who would have thought that?)

Sometime in between the day job as a freelance writer and editor, the night job of wife, mom, Dr. Doolittle wannabe, and 4-H club leader, Holly finds time to transfer the voices in her head to paper … er … computer. If she doesn’t, there’s a definite possibility her mind will explode.

And for those who might wonder from where the pseudonym of Holly Bargo came, it’s quite simple really. Horses. Namely an elegant and temperamental Appaloosa mare who has long since crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is fondly remembered for guarding toddler children and crushing a brand new pager.

But that’s another story.

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Paranormal Romance Feature: The Dragon Wore a Kilt by Holly Bargo


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Paranormal Romance


the dragon wore a kilt

In the northern reaches of Scotland rests Loch Saorach, home to an ancient legend—a dragon. The Matasan family has guarded the loch and its dragon for centuries.

Over the years Saorach has claimed humans, imbuing them with his fae magic. Connor Matasan, the arrogant Earl of Glencarol, is a recent acquisition. Like all those possessed and transformed by the dragon’s ancient magic, Connor is sith, immortal and commanding powers beyond the human norm.

Middle aged wife and mother Lila is vacationing in Scotland when Saorach chooses her to join his brood. Her transformation to an eternally young sith is painful and compounded by the loss of everything she holds dear. Waking to a new life, she is utterly dependent upon Connor and his family. Lila feels trapped and resents that the dragon has bound her to Connor, soul to soul, passion to passion: a passion Connor cannot control, a passion Lila fears.

Will the magic that brought them together destroy them?

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Excerpt:

“So if I had never come here, then your loch monster would have chosen someone else?”

“Possibly. Maybe. Saorach neither confides in me nor explains himself to me.” He tilted her head with the gentle pressure of two fingers beneath her chin so that he could gaze directly into her eyes. “I had no choice. But know this: I could not have chosen better.”

Lila blinked. She’d not been particularly pleasant, friendly, or cooperative. In fact, there was nothing about her behavior or attitude that would justify this man’s apparent affection for her or his confidence in her suitability for him. And she said as much. Connor merely smiled affectionately at her and replied agreeably, “Saorach defies all logical explanation, love.”

She lowered her head and turned her face into Connor’s shoulder. He body heat warmed her. The clean, male scent of him stirred her blood. His patience and gentle manner with her undermined her defenses and resentment. Would he have preferred another woman, someone more compliant or prettier or younger or …

No. You are the other half of my soul. I want no other.


About the Author:

holly bargo

Holly Bargo never outgrew a love of fairy tales, legends, and myths. Or horses. However, one foot must remain firmly planted in the real world which is where Holly makes her living and lives with her husband, children, and menagerie–which, yes, includes horses. And llamas, alpacas, a rabbit, cats, and one very big, fluffy, white dog. (If you read Tiger in the Snow, you’ll learn that, yes, rabbits really can spit. Who would have thought that?)

Sometime in between the day job as a freelance writer and editor, the night job of wife, mom, and Dr. Doolittle wannabe, and 4-H club leader, Holly finds time to transfer the voices in her head to paper … er … computer.

And for those who might wonder from where the pseudonym of Holly Bargo came, it’s quite simple really. Horses. Namely an elegant and temperamental Appaloosa mare who has long since crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is fondly remembered for guarding toddler children and crushing a brand new pager.

There’s another story.

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Contemporary Romance Feature: The Mighty Finn by Holly Bargo


Disclosure: This post contains compensated affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Click here to read more.

Contemporary Romance


the mighty finn

Boy meets girl.

Author Charlotte Forsythe is determined not to be a victim again. Her Great Dane, Finn, makes sure of it. While vacationing Finn in San Diego, Charlotte meets Navy SEAL Eric Outerbach. It doesn’t go well. Eric begs forgiveness.

Boy and girl become friends.

They make a long distance friendship work through texts and phone calls. The film rights to two of Charlotte’s books are sold and she heads back out to California to supervise the conversion of written content to the silver screen. And the friendship’s not so long distance after all.

Boy and girl fall in love.

How could she not fall in love with a handsome, sexy warrior like Eric? How could he not love a woman as gentle and forgiving as Charlotte?

A guardian’s duty ends.

Finn is mighty, but old. It’s time to pass on the duties of love and protection to someone else.

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Excerpt:

He was enjoying the conversation almost as much as he was enjoying just looking at her. Her short, fluffy, blonde curls caught the sunlight and the ocean breeze and formed a bright, dancing halo about her head. Her hazel eyes held sad memories. Eric could see the tail end of a thin, pink scar poking above the vee of her shirt’s neckline. He understood the source of that sadness. She noticed his quiet contemplation and followed the direction of his gaze. Self-consciously, she tugged her neckline up.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked softly.

“No.”

“I have scars, too.”

Her mouth twisted as though she tasted something bitter. She asked, “Eric, do you walk down the street knowing that automatically half the population is stronger than you and looks upon you as potential prey?”

“Of course not,” he said.

“That’s what every woman in the world lives with,” she explained. “It takes courage for a woman to trust herself to a man’s care. I was unfortunate enough to have been someone’s prey.”

The man sitting across from here likely hadn’t feared another man’s strength since he was fourteen years old. But he nodded his understanding of her explanation, even though he had little in the way of relevant experience to relate to it. He glanced down. Her hands were twisting a napkin. He settled one of his gently over hers, which fluttered beneath his broad palm like small, trapped birds.

“I’d like to show you how gentle a man can be,” he said, surprising himself as well as her.


About the Author:

Holly Bargo never outgrew a love of fairy tales, legends, and myths. Or horses. However, one foot must remain firmly planted in the real world which is where Holly makes her living and lives with her husband, children, and menagerie–which, yes, includes horses. And llamas, alpacas, a rabbit, cats, and one very big, fluffy, white dog. (If you read Tiger in the Snow, you’ll learn that, yes, rabbits really can spit. Who would have thought that?)

Sometime in between the day job as a freelance writer and editor, the night job of wife, mom, and Dr. Doolittle wannabe, and 4-H club leader, Holly finds time to transfer the voices in her head to paper … er … computer.

And for those who might wonder from where the pseudonym of Holly Bargo came, it’s quite simple really. Horses. Namely an elegant and temperamental Appaloosa mare who has long since crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is fondly remembered for guarding toddler children and crushing a brand new pager.

There’s another story.

Website