Elise Manion

Author of Contemporary Romantic Fiction

If It’s Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is

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Two weeks ago I was reading an online forum for authors and the subject of piracy came up. Some authors were troubled to find their books being offered on freebie sites that have no association with them or their publishers. Copyright infringement isn’t a new thing and pirating music and books have been going on since the world went digital. In a blog posted a few years back, Chuck Wendig related the phenomenon to the old-days when children of the 70s and 80s created mixed tapes to be shared with friends and family. If you can get past the crude language, the post is actually pretty funny and puts things into perspective for us lowly writers.

One such site is called graycity dot net. Honestly I was completely flattered to be a part of the “pirated” club but I want my readers to understand when you risk a deal, you might get what you pay for, i.e. an incomplete manuscript or your email being spammed like porn sites into a yahoo account.

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The second type of site, however, is something much more nefarious. When I reported kisslibrary dot net to my publishers, they were VERY CONCERNED. It seems this site copies information from legitimate online booksellers, posts the book covers with marked down prices and waits. Once you find your “deal” and make a purchase, what actually downloads into your device is not a copy of my books but malware, spyware, and/or viruses. There have been reports of computers, e-readers and other mobile devices hacked (best case scenario) or damaged beyond repair.

Remember, if you are looking for a deal please stick to legitimate booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks/iTunes, Kobo etc, or if you are outside the US, Waterstones (who just purchased Barnes and Noble).

Remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is

Take care out there and happy reading!



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My Review of No Death For The Wicked-by Drea Damara

img_7874Finally a heroine I can relate to! Caria is one tough cookie who’s been through hell and back again. After recovering from a gunshot wound on her last mission, Caria has been put on injured reserve by her curmudgeon boss, Gerry. Being reassigned to the basement gym to train new recruits for Trinity, a global intelligence organization, Caria has had enough and wants back in the field.  She needs a new mission to help recover from the emotional grief of losing her lover on her last assignment in Belarus. 

Gerry’s friend has been imprisoned by a corrupt Bolivian general, and with Caria’s nagging—and no one else to send—he agrees to let her go to south America but only as a gopher, to help with the extraction. She’s not to make contact with the asset, because if she does, she just might kill the man herself. He killed her lover, after all, and holds Gerry’s other secrets close to the vest. Gerry wants his friend to be returned, but fears losing Caria in the process.

Of course, Caria finds out and the mission goes haywire but this action packed drama leads the reader on an adventure of a lifetime driven by grief, a need for justice, and to find the answers that have been alluding Caria all her life. She’s strong, beautiful and doesn’t put up with anyone’s BS. She’s a woman of action, a problem solver and very good at what she does, but can she survive the secrets revealed after the mission is complete?

Damara’s experience in the army and knowledge of tactical weapons and martial arts shines bright in this action-packed drama and I cannot wait for the next book! This is the second book in the series, and it feels like it. It begins with our heroine’s recovery and it ends with a cliffhanger, leaving us wanting more! Great job, Drea! Don’t keep us waiting for the next book please!

The Trinity Mission Dossiers—Meet the Characters in NO DEATH FOR THE WICKED by Espionage Author Drea Damara

via The Trinity Mission Dossiers—Meet the Characters in NO DEATH FOR THE WICKED by Espionage Author Drea Damara

TV Interview: Women’s Contemporary Fiction Author Elise Manion Discusses Her King Brothers Novels and Writing on KTVN’s “Someone 2 Know” Feature

I had so much fun doing this! Thank you, BHC Press for blogging about it.


Women’s contemporary fiction author Elise Manion discusses books, writing, and her King Brothers novels on KTVN Channel 2’s Someone 2 Know segment.

Click here to watch the interview.

AD_Meet_King_Brothers_RELEASEPraise for the King Brothers Novels

Jason’s Princess

“I totally loved this novel, and everything that it was about. There were definitely feels and a roller coaster of emotions, but at the same time there was drama, and of course love.”  — The Graduated Bookworm
“This is an amazing story that had me laughing and crying the whole way through! It’s a great book for any reader.” — Readers’ Favorite

Jarod’s Heart

“…I was blown away…a beautiful masterpiece!” — Florals & Dragons
“…a great read for any contemporary romance lover!” — InD’Tale Magazine

Josh’s Challenge

“I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good love story and also suspense novels.” — LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Order direct and save 10% on…

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I’m starting a club…

I love reading. There’s nothing better than getting lost in the pages of a book, you know, the kind of book to keep you up all night because you can’t put it down. I just love that feeling but how do you find a good book? For me, I’m pretty genre specific. I like happy-ever-afters, a good mystery, or maybe something paranormal but usually they all fall into that “romance” category. I rely heavily on reviews to help me decide which book I want to read next.

As a writer, I depend on reviews too, and that’s why I decided to start a little reader review club. To launch, I’m offering potential club members a choice of one of my stories via kindle ebook for free FROM ME. In return, club members will write a review and post it to two of their favorite book-related sites by November 5, 2019.

All club members who post a review by the deadline will be entered into a raffle for a SIGNED HARD COVER COPY of the book they reviewed (I’m giving away three), and ALL MEMBERS will receive a small gift from me as a thank you for joining the club and writing their reaction to the story they read.

Also, as the club grows, I’m hoping to include club members in sneak peaks into my working projects and future books, and other ideas club members offer. This should be a fun and engaging for all of us!

Click here to join the club.

Happy Reading!


Summer Ended Before It Began (Part 2)

…Continued from previous post


With no other choice, we went to the nearest Emergency Room.

Again, getting out of the car and into a wheelchair was something embarrassing, frustrating and painful but we managed. After checking in, they moved me to an ER bay and we waited. Like all emergency rooms, they were busy and did the best they could. Over the course of six hours they took my vitals, asked me what happened, offered me pain meds which I declined because I didn’t want to fall asleep there. They brought in a mobile x-ray machine and took pictures of both ankles. The ER doctor interpreted them and diagnosed the left ankle as having two broken bones— the posterior and medial malleoli) but he was also afraid that I’d broken the weight bearing bone in my right ankle so he ordered a CT scan. He was unable to get the on-call orthopedic surgeon to read it so he had to make his best guess. Afraid that he’d have to admit me if I could not bear weight on it, he took his time and determined I’d only chipped the bone (we learned a week later there was nothing broken in the right ankle, just a severe sprain). He ordered that they put my right ankle in a very heavy walking boot and my left ankle splinted.

The nurse again offered me some pain management. This time I said I’d take one. The doctor wrote a prescription for hydrocodone but the hospital wouldn’t fill it that night. New laws or something.

58432415513__1517D59C-A2FF-4F42-B648-D019981A51C1The splinting process, in a word— sucked. My ankle and foot had to be manipulated into a ninety degree position so as not to weaken the tendons in my leg and foot. My leg, ankle and foot were wrapped in a type of bunting material before the two splints were placed. I don’t know the name of these nightmarish strips but they hardened into sharp-edges that I later hated and wanted removed. They dug into my swollen leg at weird spots and the bunting was something Ginger wanted to eat if she could get her teeth on it.

Now here’s the funny part…

The nurse brought me crutches.

Let that sink in for a moment. I have a leg in a haphazard splint, I’m in shock, in pain, and my “good” foot is in a giant walking boot, swollen and hurting. I also learned that evening that my upper body strength was sad and needed work.

I gave it the ol’ college try and the result was as I feared. I almost face-planted right there in the ER bay. After three or four tries I told Tom to grab a chair so I could sit down and cry some more. Finally, the nurse said, “I have an idea but you aren’t going to like it. I’ll be right back.” She was gone about five minutes and returned bearing a packaged walker. “I know it looks terrible but it may give you better stability.”

I glared at her because she thought I was too vain to use it! “Give me the walker.” I found I could at least hop/shuffle a few feet without falling on my butt before getting tired. By now it was 1:20 am and I was exhausted. The nurse finally said, “Why don’t we put you in a wheelchair for the rest of ride outside.”

Again, shuffling into the car was difficult but the boot eased the pain a bit in my right foot. My husband wanted to know if he should stop to fill the prescription for pain meds and I said no. I just wanted to go home and go to bed.

My mother had been dog sitting while we were at the emergency room and Tom had called her every time we got an update on the situation. As we drove home I started worrying about how I was going to get into my house. We live in a one story (THANK GOD) but there are two steps into the house. How was I going to navigate those steps with the walker? With a splinted left leg and a sprained ankle and walking boot? I was already unsteady from the evening’s trauma and I worried I’d hurt myself just getting into the damn house.

I ended up turning myself around and sitting on the floor inside the door from the garage. Getting up was something special, and not graceful at all. The noise from the dogs was almost worse but eventually I crawled into a dining room chair by leveraging my elbows on the seat and pushing with my right foot. Once I was seated, I was able to stand into the walker.

The next obstacle was getting though the baby gate we’d just installed to keep the puppy out of the living room. It divided our house in half. The puppy, at that time weighed about 28 lbs. (She’s over thirty now.) She’s a mixed breed baby of Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Labrador and Boxer. She’s young, excitable and not well-trained. I was so upset I hurt myself and all I could think about was how I’d planned on spending the summer months training her before I went back to my part-time job at the high school (in northern Nevada, we only get 8 weeks off for summer-mid June, July and return the beginning of August). As I stared at the gate and the dog in question I realized all my plans had come crumbling down. I wouldn’t be able to do anything with her.

The walker, of course, didn’t quite fit through the gate and had to be lifted over but I negotiated it without too much drama. Now I had to figure out how to go to the bathroom, change my clothes and get into bed. I’d taken the one hydrocodone the hospital gave me on departure and it was starting to take effect, lessoning the pain in both my ankles.

As I stood in the water closet of the master bathroom, I stared at my husband with tears pouring down my face. “Never in my life did I think you’d have to take me to the bathroom. I’m so sorry.”

He said, “Honey, it is what it is. I love you and it’s okay.”

Scandalized and embarrassed, I went pee and wondered how I was going to stand up. The walker wasn’t meant to be hopped or propped on. It’s meant to stabilize unsteady walkers with two good feet. He had to hold the walker in place while I tried to use what little upper body strength I had to stand up on my booted right ankle.

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t fun. But eventually I was standing again. The next hurdle was getting out of my clothes and into my pajamas. In the mean time, my mother had left to get a walker that had a seat. The thought behind that was if I got tired and needed to sit down, I could.

So while my husband helped me change my clothes and put me to bed, my mother drove to Walmart to buy a different walker at two o’clock in the morning.

My husband and mother stayed up to put the new walker together and neither went to bed until almost 4am.

In the meantime, I lay on my back, with my left ankle elevated on a pillow, praying Ginger didn’t jostle me too much and trying to stay in a position where my ankle didn’t scream in pain.

Summer Ended Before It Began (Part 1)


In July, my husband and I were walking our dogs, a 14-year-old dachshund and a 5-month-old mix breed. Ginger, the pup, had just finished her vaccination series and I wanted to get her leash trained. This was to be her first “walk.” 

We live in a neighborhood with a home owner’s association. The Association is responsible for the strip of grass and trees that line the streets between the pavement and the sidewalk. We got half a block from our home when Tom and I chuckled at Frankie (the 14-year-old) trying to keep up with Ginger. 

I’d let the lead out so she could sniff the grass and other things. I remember being surprised at how well she was doing, just happy to be out of our house and exploring the world. 

I’d veered into the association grass to let her sniff. Tom, my husband, and Frank were taking up the sidewalk but yet I was right next to them. 

I took a step with my right foot—expecting it to meet the earth like every other step I’d taken since leaving the house. Instead, the ground dropped through the grass and my right foot met the bottom of a deep hole, twisting my ankle on the way down. Immediately I felt pain in my right ankle, knowing instinctively that I’d injured myself. However, as I stumbled, my left foot came down to correct myself only to also lose the ground and catch the other side of the hole hidden in the grass. 

This time when my ankle bent, I felt—and heard—two horrible pops that shouldn’t have issued from that part of my body. 

Down I went, face first, into the grass. 

Pain and swelling didn’t wait to take over. 

There I lay,(lie? I can never remember which is correct) assessing the situation, and found nothing good. My right ankle hurt but my left ankle screamed. 

Puppy and old dog were concerned (well, Ginger thought it was a game) and my husband was at a complete loss. “Get up, I think you’re okay. It’s just a sprain.” He hadn’t seen my left ankle yet. 

I think I went into shock. At 51-years-old, I’d never broken a bone before, but I knew—I KNEW— I’d broken something in my left leg and I began to cry. “I can’t. I can’t get up.” 

Just turning over from my stomach to my rump was excruciating. My husband, who I love and trust, bore a look of disbelief on his face. “Babe, I think it’s just sprained. It’s going to hurt but you have to get up.”

“I can’t,” was all I could say. 

At this point, Tom had a dilemma; we had two dogs freaking out and I was on the ground. “I can’t leave you here alone.”

“Yes, you can. You have to. Take the dogs back and get the car. The house is just around the corner. I’ll be okay here.”

Reluctantly, he knew it was our only choice. I asked him to remember to grab my purse but he hadn’t heard me. I remember staring at my swelling feet and ankles and thinking, “Why?” There was a car at the cluster mailboxes, its occupants getting their mail, and other couple walking down the street, taking the walk my husband and I should’ve been taking on a warm summer evening. 

He brought the car immediately and whipped around so that the passenger side was open to me. Unfortunately, the next dilemma presented itself. I couldn’t even stand up. My wonderful husband, crouched down and said, “Put your arms around my neck.”

“Babe, you can’t dead lift me. I’m too heavy.” Unwittingly, I’d insulted him.

He was still crouched next to me, getting frustrated. “I work out and you don’t know how much I can lift. You can’t just sit here.” 

“I know, I know.” Frustrated, angry and in pain, I crawled to the curb and reached for the bottom of the open door. There was just no way I was going to risk my husband blowing out his back, or herniating something that shouldn’t be herniated, trying to pick me up. I knew the only way to get in the car was to put weight on my right ankle—which let its grievance be known by shooting pain right up my leg—but I managed to get my ass into the car.

I asked for my purse, which contained all our insurance information, bit was still at home. He flipped a u-ee and went back again. I had my cell so while he was inside I pulled up the nearest urgent care that did imaging. They closed at 7:00 pm. The clock on my phone read 6:57pm.


Diva’s Day Out – February 2019

February 2019, Reno, Nevada…


Lynda Bailey and I set up an awesome booth at Reno’s Diva’s Day Out at the Grand Sierra Resort. It’s an event they do every year, and what a crowd this year!


We called it the Diva’s Den where we invited guests into our booth, out of the congestion to eat chocolate, enter a raffle to win wine, and to peruse our selection of awesome Romance novels and novellas.

We had a ton of fun and hope to see you there next year!

Keto Me

DISCLAIMER: This article is about me and my own results. I am not a doctor, nor a licensed health-care professional. Eating Keto is a personal preference.

Last spring I changed doctors. If you’ve read my previous posts about my dad, you’ll understand why I switched…. we shared the same primary care physician; you know, the one who said his cough was related to something called The Hundred Day cough, when really it was lung cancer. <insert a sarcastic eyeroll here>

But I digress.

When I established with my new doc, she printed out a lab slip and off I went to get my blood drawn. My results came back with a resting glucose of 107. Anything under 100 is considered normal, and I’d never had high glucose before. Unfortunately, type-2 diabetes runs on my father’s side of the family and I’m of an age when these things begin to show up. To say I freaked is putting it mildly. And so the research began because I was not going down the Metformin road, or any other prescription drug with hideous side effects, like chronic diarrhea. NO. WAY. Don’t believe me? Talk to someone taking that stuff, or you can just listen to all the hideous side effects listed in the commercials.

Image 10-27-18 at 4.51 PMAnd so began the research. I found a ton of sites dedicated to regulating blood sugar with proper diet, exercise, and prescription medicine, but there were also sites talking about disease as being diet related and that most of these “diseases” could be treated just by eating right. Things like cancer, autism, asthma, and diabetes. Then I found a Netflix documentary called The Magic Pill.  It blamed the standard America diet (S.A.D. – how apropos) on the increased amount of dietary diseases over the past century, linking the amount of carbohydrates vs protein vs fats indicated in the pyramid to chronic inflammatory disease. One segment even studied the effects of a ketogenic diet on middle aged people with type-2 diabetes. It was an eye opener. Actually, the whole documentary overflowed with data from not only the United States, but Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Europe, going back over the past century.

Eating Keto means we get our fuel from good, healthy fats instead of refined sugars and grains, i.e. carbohydrates. In my case, I also eliminated all processed foods, and added non-GMO and organic foods. That means that I don’t eat bread, corn chips, potato chips, Cheetos (oh man, this was a hard one because I was eating a small bag everyday at work!), fruits, potatoes and starchy veggies etc. And absolutely no sugar. None. Not even honey. I was motivated because I did not want type-2 diabetes.

I began eating this way at the end of May, so I’m working on 24 weeks now. Since then I’ve dropped almost twenty pounds, my head feels clear, and I haven’t been sick. However, I’ve been craving things like fried rice, or a fully loaded baked potato. Then, again, it’s football season and the need to eat nachos and chicken wings, along with other bar food is right in my face! What I think is strange, though, is that I don’t crave bread. The only time I want a cracker is when I want to put something yummy on it like brie.

These cravings occurred right before my follow-up appointment. My doctor congratulated me on the weight loss, lectured me that while Keto is great for initial weight loss, there’s really no scientific evidence that eating this way can be sustainable. She recommended that I begin adding back into my diet healthy grains and fruits. I immediately bought some grapes! Yay! I also had my blood drawn. Before I get to how I feel adding back some carbs, here are the results from my blood test, which I thought were interesting according to this brief explanation of cholesterol on WebMD.

  • Total Cholesterol: April 143, October 132
  • Triglycerides: April 115, October 53
  • VLDL: April 23, October 11
  • LDL: April 67, October 61
  • HDL: April 53, October 60
  • Fasting Glucose: April 107, October 99
  • A1C: This test wasn’t given in April but my October number is 5.0. The normal range is 4.8 – 5.6 so I’m right where I should be. Thank Goodness!

What blew me away were the Triglycerides! Triglycerides are the amounts of fats traveling in the bloodstream. Keep in mind with a Keto diet, 70-80% of my diet consists of healthy FAT, such as avocados, unrefined coconut oil in my coffee or tea, whole milk, Avocado oil in my salad, or on my keto friendly “sandwiches” which are meat and veggies wrapped in provolone–what a yummy lunch; and healthy seeds and nuts. I want to stress that I didn’t always stick to it. On Sundays during the summer, My Man and I like to go to the movies and there is no way I can watch a movie without popcorn and all that wonderful butter! Even with about four cheat days a month, my numbers are great!

Naturally I wanted to celebrate by … EATING SOME CARBS! I took a small snack of grapes to work, and My Man brought home some Mexican food. As of this writing, my guts are NOT. HAPPY.  I didn’t overdo it on either the grapes or the delicious dinner. Most of my meal consisted of the carne asada, with a few bites of refried beans and rice. We shared it. However, the icky gut feeling began with the grapes! I don’t know what it means, but I do know that I have to be very careful when reintroducing healthy carbs.

For now, my cravings have stopped. I will re-introduce natural carbs, like potatoes and apples at a slow pace, maybe two days a week and see how my guts feel. Otherwise, I’m sticking with Keto. As I progress, I’ll keep you updated.

If you have any insights into Keto, type-2 diabetes, or healthy eating in general, please give me a shout out in the comments.


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