June’s Reading Challenge – The #Fae

I’m going to continue to be generally offline through the summer. I’ll still be posting the previously scheduled 5 Photos posts and my monthly Reading Challenge posts, and I’ll be sending out an author newsletter toward the end of the month, but that’s about it. Enjoy your summer! Hope it’s full of lots of reading and writing!!

June Reading Challenge Choices

(Descriptions from Goodreads)

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Darkfever

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death—a cryptic message on MacKayla Lane’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed—a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England–until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.

Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.

What about my May choices?

I didn’t do as much reading last month as I wanted to. Karin A. suggested I read A KISS OF STEEL, so I started with that one. I’m enjoying it, although it’s more vampire romance than steampunk. I like the characters and the world. So far, it seems like a great start to a terrific PNR series. But I’ll need to find time to dig into my other steampunk choices at some point…

What about you?? Did you read anything interesting last month? Are you taking a vacation this summer? Where are you going? Any fictional worlds you wish you could visit?

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5 Photos with Jasmine Silvera (#writerslife)

Five Photographs is back! 

Jasmine reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked if I was still doing my “Five Photographs” interviews. She told me a little bit about her book, Death’s Dancer — “Set in an alternate present in the city of Prague, it follows a woman who draws power from the gods when she dances as she must help a powerful necromancer solve a series of murders” — and then mentioned she started it during NaNoWriMo. I was intrigued.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my “5 Photos” interviews, I ask writers (both published and pre-published) to submit five of their own photos based on my prompts + a brief Q&A.


Jasmine Silvera’s 5 Photos:

Something that represents something unique about you

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This is a view of the Prague Castle from nearby Petrin Tower.  We moved to the Czech Republic for work and lived there for almost two years.  It fulfilled my long-held dream to live abroad. Prague is an amazing city and it inspired the setting for my novel, Death’s Dancer. It has a grand tradition of being a haven for writers and artists, and I wrote the first draft in coffee shops close to places I was writing about. We also have the best “souvenir” from our time in Prague: our daughter was born there!

Something that represents where you live

jasmine-silvera-where-you-live

Seattle is my favorite city in the US. We moved back in the latter half of 2016 and I love calling the Pacific Northwest home. This fountain is at Seattle Center, and the water display is coordinated with music. In the summer, kids of all ages play in the base. The rest of the year, it’s a wonderful meeting spot for catching a show at one of the surrounding theaters, or a movie at the IMAX.

Your pet(s) or plant(s) or thing you care for (besides your human family/friends)

jasmine-silvera-thing-you-care-for

This is “baby Groot.” I have a slight addiction to starting avocado trees from pits. My husband jokes that if I’m not careful I’m going to have my own forest.

Something (not someone) that really frustrates you

jasmine-silvera-thing-that-frustrates-you

Reading music. I can play back things I’ve heard, but sheet music is my nemesis.

Something that brings you joy (besides writing)

jasmine-silvera-joy

I started playing the cello when I turned 30, after a lifetime of loving classical music but not feeling particularly musically inclined. [REDACTED 😉 ] years later, I still feel like a beginner. Though my progress has been impacted by moves and the kidlet (not to mention book publishing) I still enjoy breaking out the cello and playing simple pieces.


Q&A

What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?

Death’s Dancer shakes up paranormal romance with a thriller set in an alternate present-day Prague: a world ruled by an allegiance of necromancers in which humans can draw on the power of gods through dance.

Forced to work together to solve a series of murders, a dancer nearing the end of her career and a formidable necromancer learn that someone “higher up” may not want them to succeed. Failure will cost more than their lives, success will threaten the world’s fragile peace…and the only thing more dangerous than the killer they seek is the attraction growing between them.

What are you working on next?

There are at least two more books set in the same world as Death’s Dancer, and I’m chipping away at them.

What are you currently reading?

Lately I’ve been enjoying the style and efficient storytelling of comics and graphic novels. Both Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, and Tony Cliff’s Delilah Dirk books are on my nightstand.

I’m also slowly reading “The Thing Around Your Neck,” a collection of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Finally Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird is a favorite I return to on a regular basis. I love Lamott’s essays. She’s one of the few writers that can make me laugh out loud.

What are you currently watching (TV shows)?

This Is Us, The Grand Tour, and Mozart in the Jungle. We don’t own an actual TV, so I tend to binge shows (yay for online streaming) and always be a half-season to a season behind.

Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?

Does Dr. Strange’s cape count as a creature? 🙂

In the vein of “every tool is a weapon if you hold it right,” Hermione’s Time Turner is at the top of my list.

Biggest challenge facing writers today?

To paraphrase Peter Parker’s uncle Ben: With self-publishing comes great power, but also great responsibility. I believe everyone has a voice, and a story to tell, and I am so grateful that we live in an age where you can do that without the gatekeeper of a publisher if you so choose. I think writers also have a responsibility to readers to produce the highest quality work. (It’s also smart business.)

Maybe there are people who can write and self-edit a book until it’s spotless, and market and distribute that book to thousands of 5 star reviews, but they’re unicorns. Anyone else have trouble catching your own typos? Everyone I know who is doing it well creates a team around them: beta-readers, editors, proofers, cover design, etc. Of course, that creates the additional challenge of how to identify your team, and it may take additional resources ($$ and/or time) but in my mind, worth it.

How can we meet that challenge?

There are millions of configurations for creating a team, from hiring freelancers to creating a circle of fellow writers and trading assistance at various stages. I do a little bit of both. It does take letting go of ego and valuing feedback. If you want a good chuckle, ask me sometime to show you the cover I did for Death’s Dancer before I swallowed my pride and reached out to the excellent folks at Damonza. At the end of the day, I still have creative control, but I know what my strengths and weaknesses are and when to step back and let someone with more professional experience make me look good.


More about Death’s Dancer

deaths-dancer

Isela Vogel is dancing on borrowed time: a degenerative hip threatens her successful career, bringing the favor of the gods to her wealthy patrons. One final job – and a big one – could set Isela up for life. If it doesn’t get her killed. As the newest member of a powerful Allegiance of Necromancers, Azrael has a lot to prove to his fellow lords of death. Previously assumed to be immortal, necromancers are turning up dead and Azrael must find an extraordinary killer. He’ll need to channel the power of the gods to succeed. For that, he’ll need a dancer. Isela discovers all-too-fallible gods and scheming necromancers are the least of her worries. If she and Azrael fail, it will cost more than her life. If they succeed, she will lose everything she loves. And then there’s the danger of falling for a lord of death.

Jasmine is giving away 10 signed proofs on Goodreads. Click here to enter.

More about Jasmine

jasmine-silvera

Jasmine Silvera acquired a love of sci-fi, fantasy, and comic books from her dad, who thought The Hobbit was a perfectly acceptable bedtime story for a ten-year-old. She filled long hours as a volunteer at the church thrift store by reading boxes of donated Harlequins. She’s been mixing them all up in her writing ever since. Inspired by and written during her two years living in Prague, her first book Death’s Dancer, was released on December 27, 2016 by Kindle Press. It was selected as part of the Kindle Scout Program. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their small, opinionated human charge. She can be found online here:

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Thank you, Jasmine, for sharing your photos and telling us a little bit more about Death’s Dancer and your writing. Best wishes to you!

Ann Gimpel: How do you manage your time online?

Paranormal romance author, Ann Gimpel, is guest blogging today about online time management. Her Rx? Read this blog, of course!! 😀 Start with this post: Ann has some good tips for dealing with internet distractions and maintaining balance in your life. (You can do something else after you’ve told us what it is in the comments 🙂 ) Ann is also here to let everyone know about her recently released box set featuring shifters, UNDERGROUND HEAT. More on that below. Welcome back, Ann!

Underground Heat Banner

“No matter how much you do, you never really feel done.”

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit your blog.

Today I’ll write about the Internet and time management. Maybe a good starting point would be that the Internet can be the biggest time hog imaginable. You know how it is. You log on to look for one thing. Two hours later, you’re sifting through a bunch of other stuff and never did get to the original thing you’d set out to do. In the meantime, there went two hours a writer could have been, well, writing. Or at least editing, or plotting out their next story. Or marketing…

Don’t get me wrong, the Internet is probably one of the most creative and powerful inventions of modern life. I’ve watched it evolve from its infancy when only those who could code could use it. It was painfully slow then, so an even bigger time-pig.

How to marshal the power of the Internet so it can work for you and not against you? All I can tell you is what’s worked for me. I usually write in one of two places. I make certain my iPhone is nowhere near either of them when I’m working. There’s something about its dings, vibrations, and other assorted sounds that gets me going, sort of like Pavlov’s dogs. Even if I make a decision not to peek and see who wanted me, it still breaks into my flow enough to disturb my writing process. Sure, I could activate its Do Not Disturb feature, but why have it close to me if I’m going to do that? Temptation is always less tempting if you have to get up to get to it.

I also make sure to have things like Outlook fully closed. It’s not helpful when the latest e-mail materializes on the top right quadrant of my screen. The problem got worse when I switched to Windows 8 and their “seamless” Internet interface. If I didn’t have it turned off, it would alert me to texts, PMs, e-mails, and every other time anyone does something with my name anywhere in it.

When I’m done with my writing day, which means either I’ve finished edits an editor sent me, or I’ve gotten at least 3000 words written, then (and only then) do I let myself wander around the Internet. I’m as guilty of brain-drift as the next person, and I can waste a whole lot of time if I don’t rein in my tendency to “just look up one more thing.”

That tendency to get snapped up in cyberspace is doubly seductive when I’m marketing. I’ll just do one more thing, I promise myself. An hour later, I’m posting a comment somewhere. More than anything, I think the marketing aspect of writing is what can truly eat you up alive—and drain you. No matter how much you do, you never really feel done. I try very hard to limit myself to an hour most days for marketing; two if I have to write a guest post or an interview. I make that goal maybe 50% of the time. The other days, I do more.

Lastly, there’s an addictive quality to being settled in front of a screen, which is why it’s important to have several hours a day you do something else. The screen life can start to feel more “real” than the rest of your life, and that can be the beginning of a fairly large disconnect that doesn’t bode well for flesh-and-blood relationships. This last paragraph could segue into another thousand words or more, but this seems like a good place to stop, so I’ll rein in the psychologist part of me.

How do you manage your Internet time, or do you? For those of you who write, does your life feel balanced? Why or why not?

Ann Gimpel Shifters Box Set

More about Underground Heat

Underground Heat is an action adventure, paranormal romance boxed set containing three full-length books. It’s the entire Underground Heat Series:

Roman’s Gold

Once respected members of society, shifters are running for their lives. Devon’s been a cop for a long time. He has shifter blood, but not enough to change into anything. His latest assignment is Kate. From the moment he sees her, he can’t get her out of his mind. But she’s the enemy he’s sworn to eradicate. As he tracks her, the line between hunter and hunted explodes into fiery attraction. If their passion doesn’t save them, it’ll doom them forever.

Wolf Born

Max leads a dangerous double life in a futuristic California that’s almost out of resources. If Audrey could finesse it, she’d go to work helping the shifter underground. The only sticking point is Max. She’s been in love with him forever. If she joins the underground, she believes she’ll never see him again—but that’s because she has no idea he’s the head of it. After a second attempt on his life, Max faces critical choices. He can’t believe Audrey’s behind the assassination attempts, but everything points her way. Will he follow his head or his heart?

Blood Bond

Head of the shifter underground’s security force, Johannes has his hands full. He’s the most compelling man Daria’s ever met, but he’s also stubborn and arrogant. Her cat thinks he’s their mate, but if Daria had her way, she’d run hard the other way. Just her bad luck, a series of lethal attacks keep her square in his gunsights. Johannes is desperately attracted to Daria, but anything beyond sex isn’t part of his life plan. He has his reasons. They’ve served him well, and he’s not changing them now.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo | ARe | Google Play

More about Ann

I’m basically a mountaineer at heart. I remember many hours at my desk where my body may have been stuck inside four walls, but my soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry.

Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), I finagled a move to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. Stories always ran around in my head on backcountry trips, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made me fear for my life, sometimes for company.

Eventually, the inevitable happened. I returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. It wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. I learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel, and I’ve been writing ever since.

In addition to turning out books, I enjoy wilderness photography. A standing joke is that over ten percent of my pack weight is camera gear, which means my very tolerant husband has to carry the food — and everything else too.

How do I manage my internet time? I’m sure it surprises no one to know I don’t have a set plan. A lot depends on how the writing is going. If it’s going really well or really horrible, I tend to interact less online. That’s because I’m either writing or AFK. But I’m not actively promoting anything right now and that changes everything. You know what is the biggest “time hog” for me? Research. Without a doubt. I waste more time burrowing into the Black Holes of Internet Minutia than anyone else in the universe.

Thanks for a great post, Ann!

The Spirit Chaser’s Playlist: 13 Songs

Kat Mayor is a “full-time reader, part-time writer” from Texas. Her paranormal romance THE SPIRIT CHASER features a paranormal investigator, psychics, ghosts, demons, and dangerous places. Do you have a song that reminds you of your favorite book? Kat has thirteen songs that remind her of various scenes from her book. She’s here with her playlist and a chance to win some awesome prizes: a $50 Amazon eGC, a $25 Amazon eGC, a signed copy of The Spirit Chaser, and an e-copy. Details are below. Welcome, Kat!

Spirit Chaser

Playlist for The Spirit Chaser

I love to listen to music while I write. These songs either played in my head during certain parts of the book, or the lyrics remind me of the story in some way.  After the song title I wrote a short description of the part of the book it reminds me of.

  1. Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield: Casey’s ringtone.
  2. The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniel’s Band: The bar scene with Casey and her friend Tina.
  3. Love Bites by Def Leppard: Austin and Casey slow dance.
  4. Talking Body by Tove Lo: Austin and Casey’s first night together.
  5. So High by Ghost Loft: Austin brings Casey to his high-rise apartment.
  6. Crave by Tove Lo: Austin comes to visit Casey in Shadowcreek over Christmas.
  7. Devil Woman by Cliff Richard: Wild party at Austin’s loft.
  8. Prayer in C by Lilly Wood and The Prick and Robin Schulz: Casey separates from Austin.
  9. Take Me to Church by Hozier: She-demon visits Austin in her human form.
  10. The Moon Is Falling Down by Cry Wolf: The Spirit Chaser crew arrives at Enchanted Hill Manor.
  11. Ghost Town by Adam Lambert: Casey returns to Shadowcreek.
  12. The Home We Made, Pt II by Cry Wolf: Casey reflects on everything that has happened.
  13. When the Love Falls by Yiruma: The final pages of the book.

Do you have a song that reminds you of your favorite book?  What is it about the song that makes you think of it?

More About The Spirit Chaser

Some places are too evil. Some places should be left alone.

Austin Cole has it made. Star of the hit television show Spirit Chaser Investigations, he has become the world’s most famous paranormal investigator. Although hard work, a talented investigation team, and favorable genetics have something to do with it, it’s his lack of fear and willingness to take risks no one else will that make Spirit Chaser Investigations cable’s number-one show.

When a ghost-hunt-gone-wrong seriously injures his best friend and lead psychic, Austin is forced to find a replacement for a team member he considers irreplaceable.

Casey Lawson can’t catch a break. She’s been on her own since she turned eighteen and is scraping by as a part-time psychic and cashier at a New Age store. When a desperate Austin Cole calls her up and offers her a position on his team, has her fortune finally changed?

He’s a control freak; she’s stubborn and opinionated. It takes time, but when they finally realize they’re working on the same side, everything clicks, both on and off screen.

Just when things are looking up, a new threat emerges. Over the years, Austin has angered plenty of demons, and one of them has set her sights on him. Now he’s the one in danger, and it’s up to the team to rescue him from the riskiest investigation of their lives.

Amazon Kindle    Amazon Paperback   Kobo   BN   Smashwords

More About Kat

Kat Mayor is a native Texan, wife, and mom. In addition to The Spirit Chaser, she has written a young adult series, The Circle. She’s a full-time reader, part-time writer, and when she’s not kicking a story around in her head, she loves to read and review books on Goodreads.

More about the Giveaway

Kat is giving away the following prizes at the end of her blog tour:

  • First Prize: $50 Amazon gift card and signed Paperback of The Spirit Chaser
  • Second Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and e-book of The Spirit Chaser in Mobi, EPUB, or PDF.

Click here for the Rafflecopter link. Click here for my complete giveaway rules.

The Spirit Chaser Banner

I don’t have a song that reminds me of a favorite book, but I do have ten songs that served as partial inspiration for my gothic romance novelette “Dream, Interrupted.” Long-time followers have already seen the playlist, as well as read about how the songs served as transitions in the story itself, but anyone new who’s interested can click here for the playlist and here for the transition post. Basically, I introduced each section in the story by having the main character discuss those songs. I loved how, for anyone familiar with the songs, the references and discussion added a deeper layer of meaning to the story.

Also, gotta add, that I’ve been inspired by the song The Devil Went Down to Georgia too. The working titles of all of my novels were originally riffs on common sayings involving the devil, the third one being The Demon Went Down to Jorja (cue the groan 😀 ). Interested in hearing more about the how the devil became associated with the violin? Click here for a post I did over at SF Signal a while back.

And, while we’re not on the subject, Valentine’s Day?! Did everyone have a happy one? I hope so! My Valentine’s Days always seem to be a bit un-traditional, which I like. Last year, I had lunch with a friend and then played poker with my family. This year, I spent an hour+ browsing in a New Jersey Barnes & Noble with one of my daughters and then played an intense game of UNO, the Frozen version. Best new card? Olaf’s summertime card. I could use a little summertime… we’re under yet another winter storm warning, this one with sleet and freezing rain.

Thank you, Kat, for guest blogging today. Wishing you and everyone a dry, warm, and not-too-scary Tuesday!

Pat Esden interviews the hero from her new “Dark Heart” series (#gothic #PNR)

Book one of Pat Esden’s new Dark Heart gothic paranormal romance series, A Hold on Me, releases later this month from Kensington. She’s here with a teaser character interview and a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card. Details on her giveaway are at the end of the post. (Bonus giveaway: I’m giving away a print copy of Dark Light of Day or another fantasy book up to $10 from Book Depository, winner’s choice. The winner will be randomly picked by me from all of the people following my DLOD Pinterest book board as of midnight EST on Valentine’s Day. Click here for the board. Click here for other details.) Welcome Pat!

A Hold On Me Banner

Hi, my name is Pat Esden. I’m the author of A HOLD ON ME (book 1, Dark Heart series). Today I’m going to be interviewing Chase Savoy Abrams.

Annie, the main character in A HOLD ON ME, is very attracted to Chase. But she’s also a bit leery and certain he is hiding secrets. I’ll let you judge for yourself if he’s a mystery she should try to solve, or if she’s better off to stay as far away from him as possible.

Chase, how about you describe yourself for us?

I’m a guy—twenty-two. I keep pretty fit. All right. I’m more than a little fit. It’s a necessity. Besides, working out is relaxing.  I’m more comfortable in a sleeveless-T and jeans than anything else. For years my hair was long, but I keep it short now as a matter of principle. I’m a pretty unpretentious when it comes to what I need, and to what I want for that matter.  A few goods friends and a safe place to sleep, that’s enough.

What’s your profession?

I’m one of Moonhill’s groundskeepers. I mow lawns, tend the sheep, and basically do the outdoor work. I like that. I also protect the family, especially Selena. I don’t know how many nights I’ve watched over her when she’s snuck out to parties. But I’d do it, even if it weren’t part of my job.

Do you have a special skill?

Knife throwing. Any knife. Any target.

What is your biggest dream/wish/desire?

To protect people, especially women. I don’t want anyone to have to live through hell like I did.

What’s your darkest secret?

I’m embarrassed by my lack of education. Freemonts are giving me a chance to make up for my past, but I’m not sure I’ll ever measure up.

What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?

I knit. Keeps my finger nimble. It’s relaxing and helps me remember my mother. She used to knit all the time. Make things and give them away to charities.

Describe the craziest thing you have done.

I don’t do crazy. It’s important to keep your wits at all times.

Briefs or boxers?

Briefs.

Chunky peanut butter or smooth?

Either. It’s food. Peanut butter toast is one of my favorite things. When I first came to Moonhill I ate a whole loaf of bread that way. I puked and felt really stupid afterwards. But it tasted so good. I was hungry.

Favorite fictional character?

I was looking at Galland’s eighteenth-century translations of Voyages of Sinbad in Moonhill’s library the other day. So right now, I’d say Sinbad.

Thank you so much to Chase for joining us!

So readers, what do you think? Thumbs up or down? Should Annie try to find out more about Chase—or stay away?

A Hold on Me

More about A Hold on Me

She never wanted to return.

He wants nothing more than for her to leave.

But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.

Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It’s a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie’s mother died in a suspicious accident.

Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he’s a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self.

Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support — Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can’t even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie’s own longings and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she’ll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…

Indiebound     Amazon    BN    Books a Million

More about Pat

Pat Esden would love to say she spent her childhood in intellectual pursuits. The truth is she was fonder of exploring abandoned houses and old cemeteries. When not out on her own adventures, she can be found in her northern Vermont home writing stories about brave, smart women and the men who capture their hearts. An antique-dealing florist by trade, she’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.

Pat can be found online here:

More about the Giveaway

Pat is giving away one $20 Amazon gift card at the end of her tour. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form here. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Thank you for guest blogging today, Pat. Good luck and best wishes for the Dark Heart series!

Jan DeLima: The World of her Celtic Wolves Series (#fantasy #giveaway)

Today’s guest is Jan DeLima, author of the Celtic Wolves series: CELTIC MOON, SUMMER MOON, and AUTUMN MOON. She’s here to share a little bit about the world her stories are set in, which was partially inspired by Maine and Celtic culture. She’s giving away some fantastic tour-wide prizes: one $100 Amazon eGC (U.S. and Canada) and five signed copies of the first two books (package set; international). Details below.

[As an aside, I wanted to introduce her as an author and as… someone from Maine… but I didn’t know what people from Maine called themselves (in Maryland, it’s easy; we’re Marylanders). So I looked it up: Mainer. Or possibly Mainiac, which didn’t sound right and gave me an immediate earworm — who remembers the Michael Sembello tune from Flashdance? — yep, I know it’s spelled differently 😀 ]

In any case, without further ado, please welcome UF author and Mainer Jan DeLima!

“There are rumors that wolves have been sighted…”

Celtic Wolves World 2

 The Environment of the Celtic Wolves World

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, and for participating in my first blog tour!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with my Celtic Wolves series, just imagine a place where warriors are also wolves and reality isn’t always what it seems.  Set in modern day, the stories are a mixture of both urban fantasy and romance.  Written for adults, each installment has strong fantasy elements built around Celtic folklore, with a secondary romance between two new characters.

I draw a lot of inspiration from the history of the Celtic culture for my series, and nature was, and still is, an important influence for Celts.  The magic of my world is based on their beliefs; therefore nature is where my Celtic warriors derive their power to shift.  Because of this, I make sure the wilderness setting of the books is real, even if what the characters do within it isn’t.  I’ve positioned tribes across the globe conducive to the habitats of wolves, and I like to write about environments I know, so the setting for Celtic Moon, the first book in the series, is in my home state of Maine.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

In my travels, I’ve noticed that most people associate Maine with our coastal villages, but if you go an hour north of Bangor, you’ll find a beautiful mountain region. There are still isolated areas and small towns where an ancient Celtic tribe of shifters could easily hide for centuries, and where cellphones still don’t receive signals.

The environment is perfect for many wild creatures.  There are rumors that wolves have been sighted, but for now they are just rumors—our own local urban legend.  Wolves are in the woods of our Canadian neighbors to the north, and it’s not much of a stretch for them to migrate south if the environment supports their habitat.  Wolves, I suspect, don’t recognize state or country lines on human maps, only forests and food.  Perhaps one day that legend will be revealed as truth.

The above pictures are from my Celtic Wolves world.  You are welcome to read an excerpt on my website from Celtic Moon that I’ve posted for this articleNature is magic, as my very human heroine learns. This is the scene where Sophie witnesses her son’s father shift into a wolf for the first time… http://jandelima.com/celtic-moon-when-it-began/

All my best,
Jan

Celtic Wolves Series

 

More About Celtic Moon

Celtic Wolves Celtic MoonLike father, like son…

Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years.  Now her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized.  He’s going to end up being just like his father—-a man who can change into a wolf.

Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him—-an obsession he cannot afford in the midst of an impending war.  Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, an isolated town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe.  One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians, vicious warriors who seek to destroy them.

When Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son, their reunion reignites the fierce passion they once shared.  For the first time in years, Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp.  But will he lose them all over again? Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? Nothing less than the fate of his tribe depends on it…

Celtic Moon’s first chapter

Available at  Amazon and  BN

More About Summer Moon

Celtic Wolves Summer MoonShe won’t be ruled again…

Rosa Alban has been obedient her entire life. But when her alpha husband dies, she seizes the opportunity to flee the oppressive Guardians—the rulers of the secret shapeshifter world. Her flight instantly brands her as a pack traitor, and she has no choice but to seek protection from a neighboring tribe by marrying one of their sons.

Known as the Beast of Merin, Luc Black loyally plays the part of unwanted son and devoted brother. He realizes marrying Rosa will strengthen his tribe’s territory, but he has no intention of loving ever again. Still, he’s unprepared for the intense physical need the wild she-wolf awakens in him.

When the Guardians hone in on Rosa, Luc must fight to protect his new bride. And as war descends, the unlikely allies discover their destinies are irrevocably entwined…

Summer Moon’s first chapter

Available at  Amazon and  BN

More About Autumn Moon

Celtic Wolves Autumn MoonThe heart of a warrior, the soul of a wolf, and the desires of a man…

For centuries, Cormack has lived between worlds—a man trapped in the body of a wolf, shunned by humans and shifters alike. Only one person has ever welcomed his company: Elen, a kindred outcast who is feared by others of her ancient Celtic race for her strange healing abilities.

Cormack has always valued Elen’s kindness and understanding, but after a desperate act of friendship causes Elen to free him from his curse, he realizes he wants more. He wants all of her—completely and forever.Except before Cormack can win Elen’s heart, Pendaran, the evil leader of the Guardians, captures her, determined to manipulate her incredible power to aid him in his twisted war against the shapeshifting tribes.

Now Cormack must use all of his skills as a warrior and a wolf to save the woman he loves—before Pendaran’s vile schemes destroy them all…

Prequel for Autumn Moon

Available at Amazon  and   BN

Jan DeLima
Jan DeLima

More About Jan

Jan DeLima is the author of the Celtic Wolves novels, including Summer Moon and Celtic Moon. She lives in Maine with her husband and their two sons. Unlike many authors, Jan didn’t pen stories at an early age, but she has always been a dedicated reader. She loves stories and storytelling. It wasn’t until after her children entered school that she began writing. Raised in a military family, she lived in different countries such as Thailand and Germany, but home base has always been Maine.

More About the Giveaway

Jan is giving away: $100 Amazon gift card open to U.S. and Canada and 5 signed copies of Celtic Moon and Summer Moon (package set). For the Rafflecopter link, click here. For my compete giveaway rules, click here.

Thank you, Jan, for guest blogging today!

Celtic Wolves Series Banner

Five Photographs: Veronica Scott (NASA, SoCal, and Legos)

Today’s “Five Photographs” guest is SF/PNR author Veronica Scott, who is also the “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog. (For those of you that didn’t see it yet, she wrote a great post last Thursday on the appeal of fantasy romance.) She’s here today to share a little bit about herself and her writing. Welcome, Veronica!

Something That Represents Something Unique About You

Veronica Scott JPL

I worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (think Mars Rovers) in the Acquisition Division for a very long time. I was on the business side of the house, not a rocket scientist, but it was an incredible set of experiences! (I’m a fulltime author as of this past March.) This is a photo of the service award I recently received. There’s a tiny galaxy laser etched in the center!

[Jill: That is awesome! I think JPL would be an amazing place to work. I’m sure the business side of it was really interesting. Of course, it’s equally great that you’re now a full time writer. Congrats!]

Something That Represents Where You Live

Veronica Scott Garden

I live in drought stricken Southern California, so these nearby succulents and cacti represent our current state.

Your pet(s) or plant(s) or thing you care for (besides your human family/friends)

Veronica Scott Cats

Jake and Keanu, two very companionable and lively cats

Something (not someone) that really frustrates you

Veronica Scott Clock

Time! In three ways: I’m not a patient person at all, so I hate to wait for things. Second, there’s never enough time in a day for all the things I want to do, even writing fulltime now. And third, I spend too much time on social media (because I have so much fun there)!

Something that brings you joy (besides writing)

Veronica Scott Legos

Something that brings me joy is time spent with my grandson and we’re usually building Legos, so here’s one of our latest building projects.

Interview

What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?

My latest novel is Mission to Mahjundar, science fiction romance. “Special Forces soldier of the future falls in love with blind Princess of Shadows, places rescuing her above his mission objective.”

What are you working on next?

I have Ghost of the Nile coming out in late May, and I’m just finishing the first draft of my next SFR, tentatively entitled Star Cruise: Marooned.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve been on an epic romance fantasy binge and just finished Radiance by Grace Draven, which I LOVED and can’t recommend highly enough.

What are you currently watching (TV shows)?

“Dancing With The Stars”, “Twelve Monkeys, “The Walking Dead,” Say Yes to the Dress,” “Madam Secretary”.

[Jill: my older daughter loves “Say Yes to the Dress” 😀 ]

Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?

Anne McCaffrey’s dragons from the planet Pern. I so want to be the rider of a golden dragon!

Biggest challenge facing writers today?

With all the wonderful books pouring out from authors these days, I think discoverability is the key. Finding your own audience!

How can we meet that challenge?

By being proactive on social media – whatever channels work best for the individual – and I love the way authors are helping each other, as with this guest blog opportunity of yours, forums, Facebook groups (and events)…sharing information and shining a light on each other’s books that we’ve enjoyed goes a long way. And of course, writing the next book, and the book after that is critical. So, it’s a juggling act but the books are always the most important thing.

Thanks for having me as your guest with this fun photo blog!

Veronica Scott
Veronica Scott

More About Veronica

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog,  Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Blog   @vscotttheauthor    Facebook

Thank you, Veronica, for the interview and for sharing your pictures with us! I enjoyed getting to know more about you. 🙂

Five Photographs: Suzanne Johnson (Boeuf Gras, Pirate’s Alley, and a Terrific #Giveaway)

Today’s guest is Suzanne Johnson, author of the recently released PIRATE’S ALLEY, the fourth book in her Sentinels of New Orleans series. She’s been a guest blogger here at least a few times (more if you count her alter ego Susannah Sandlin) so when I heard she was doing a BBT tour to promote Pirate’s Alley, I signed up. We discussed several fun topics, all of which I would have been happy to hear her thoughts on, but in the end she said she wanted to do a “Five Photographs” post. (For anyone new here today, I’m doing a photo themed guest blog series this spring. It features a bunch of writers who write romantic, otherworldly/supernatural tales. They submit five photos and answer seven questions.) As part of Suzanne’s tour, she’s giving away one $50 Amazon eGC and two $15 Amazon eGCs. Details below. Welcome, Suzanne!

Something that represents something unique about you

Suzanne Johnson ADD Collector

I will call this “The ADD Collector.” I get on obsessive collecting kicks and then, just as obsessively, grow tired of it. Represented here are some previous collecting frenzies: a piece of Early American Pattern Glass with animal motifs, some early 1960s glassware with Greek characters that was given out at Texaco stations with a fillup, a mask and, from my current collecting binges, a wooden cigar box, an alligator, and some Mardi Gras throws. You could also add dolls and Fenton colonial blue thumbprint glass to this list. And music. And…

Something about where you live

Suzanne Johnson boef gras

Meet two version of “Boeuf Gras,” the plush version thrown from the Mardi Gras float and the “special” version acquired for me by a friend from a member of the Krewe of Rex, the original oldest Mardi Gras krewe. Boeuf Gras is my favorite Mardi Gras float—it’s a huge white bull the size of an eighteen-wheeler that’s a signature float in the Rex parade. But it also represents my current home city of Auburn, Alabama, where there are a lot of cattle and, at the university, a big meat sciences program. Alabama fans who hate Auburn call it “the cow college.” Them’s fightin’ words ’round here.

Something or someone you care about

Suzanne Johnson Shane and Tanker

I debated whether or not to use this photo. It feels a little like cheating, but these are the loves of my life, Shane (the Irish terrier mix) and Tanker (part black chow-chow, part golden retriever). Both of them were rescues I adopted in 2000. I lost Shane at age 16 about six months ago and Tanker, also at age 16, three weeks ago. I will have another dog eventually, but it’s still too raw and hurts too much.

[Jill: That’s rough losing them so close together. I’m so sorry. When you’re ready, I hope you find another dog. He or she will be different — I’m sure neither Shane nor Tanker can be replaced — but I’m equally sure the new dog will bring you just as much joy.]

Something that frustrates you

Suzanne Johnson Fiji House

The FIJI House. I thought about taking a shot of pollen on my car, or my office building where I spend my day job. But, in the end, I chose the Auburn University Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house, aka the FIJI house. I’m sure they’re lovely kids, but the house sits just outside my office window and they’re always yelling and playing annoying music at full blast and hammering on some secret project in their courtyard. I have to work with earbuds stuffed in my ears.

[Jill: Ah, this one made me laugh. 😀]

Something that brings you joy

Suzanne Johnson art stuff

Um…remember all those collections? This isn’t exactly a collection, but it’s one corner of my sprawling art space, where I dabble in paint and have copious amounts of art supplies. There’s also a 20-drawer cabinet, two multi-level rolling carts, and three bookcase shelves full. It’s a sickness…but it makes me happy. That’s my happy space.

Interview

What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?

“The hand that rocks the cradle rules the preternatural world.” An unexpected interspecies pregnancy has the preternatural world on the brink of war, with DJ, New Orleans’ wizard sentinel, caught squarely in the middle—and who she sides with won’t be an easy decision.

What are you working on next?

WILD MAN’S BLUFF, the first book in a new suspense series (written as Susannah Sandlin) about a Louisiana game warden caught up in the case of a murdered voodoo priestess, a long-buried secret, and a woman who’s about to learned that you can take the Cajun girl out of Louisiana but the swamps stay deep within the heart.

What are you currently reading?

Better sit down, or the excitement might do you in: Game Warden: On Patrol in Louisiana, by Jerald Horst. LOL. Gotta do my research!

 What are you currently watching (TV shows)?

Currently, I watch NCIS: New Orleans, The Amazing Race, Chicago Fire, and Cutthroat Kitchen, of which I’ve never missed an episode. I DVR the shows and watch them in 20-minute spurts. My attention span is the size of a gnat, which I blame on my iPhone and too many years of General Hospital.

Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?

I still wish I’d thought to animate a dinosaur. Jim Butcher did that in one of the Dresden books, and Harry Dresden rode the dinosaur skeleton from the Field Museum down the middle of Lakeshore Drive in Chicago. It was freaking brilliant.

Biggest challenge facing writers today?

Discoverability, without a doubt. The downside to authors having so many publishing options these days (which is great) is that it’s harder than ever for an author to find readers. The number of books released in the U.S. was about 300,000 in 2005; in 2009 it had grown to more than 1 million; in 2012, more than 2 million—including more than 500,000 self-published titles PER YEAR. That means a ton of authors and a lot of good books are getting lost in the noise while everyone (authors and publishers) are scrambling around, trying to figure out how to be “discovered” in that crowd. Meanwhile, the number of readers has not grown proportionately.

[Jill: that’s an insane number of books!]

 How can we meet that challenge?

I honestly don’t know. If I did, I’d be a very rich woman…or at least be able to give up my day job! 🙂 The same thing doesn’t work for every book or every author and technology is in constant flux. We’re all trying to figure it out.

[Jill: too true. The thing that keeps me from going batshit crazy is remembering that the majority of those 2 million+ books are not in my wheelhouse — either as a writer or as a reader.]

Suzanne Johnson Pirate's AlleyMore About Pirate’s Alley

From award-winning author Suzanne Johnson comes the fourth book in the smart and sexy Sentinels of New Orleans series.

Wizard sentinel DJ Jaco thought she had gotten used to the chaos of her life in post-Katrina New Orleans, but a new threat is looming, one that will test every relationship she holds dear.

Caught in the middle of a rising struggle between the major powers in the supernatural world—the Wizards, Elves, Vampires and the Fae—DJ finds her loyalties torn and her mettle tested in matters both professional and personal. Her relationship with enforcer Alex Warin is shaky, her non-husband Quince Randolph is growing more powerful, and her best friend Eugenie has a bombshell that could blow everything to Elfheim and back.

And that’s before the French pirate Jean Lafitte, newly revived from his latest “death,” returns to New Orleans with vengeance on his mind. DJ’s assignment? Keep the sexy leader of the historical undead out of trouble. Good luck with that.

Duty clashes with love, loyalty with deception, and friendship with responsibility as DJ navigates passion and politics in the murky waters of a New Orleans caught in the grips of a brutal winter that might have nothing to do with Mother Nature.

War could be brewing, and DJ will be forced to take a stand. But choosing sides won’t be that easy.

Available at   Amazon   BN   Book Depository

More About Suzanne

Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal fiction from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.

Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she also is the author of the best-selling Penton Legacy paranormal romance series and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Elysian Fields, book three in the Sentinels of New Orleans series, won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence while her Sandlin-penned novel, Allegiance, is nominated for a 2015 Reviewer’s Choice Award from RT Book Reviews magazine.

More About the Giveaway

Suzanne is giving away one $50 Amazon eGift Certificate and two $15 Amazon eGift Certificates as part of her Bewitching Book Tour. To enter to win, click here for the Rafflecopter link. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Suzanne Johnson Pirate's Alley Banner

~

Thank you, Suzanne, for sharing your pictures, thoughts, and great giveaway with us!

#Writing #Workshops for March

Below are the online workshops being offered in March by RWA’s Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter. If you are a writing instructor and are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact me for available dates, rates, and proposal submission guidelines.

Balancing the Paranormal and the Romance

03/02/2015 – 03/29/2015

It’s difficult enough to write a good romance, or to write a good paranormal or fantasy novel—when you put the two together you now have an even bigger challenge. How do you structure your story so the paranormal plot doesn’t overwhelm the romance? How do you create characters that have a great romance—with paranormal elements that increase the conflict and are key to the story? This workshop looks at a process to create a really strong paranormal romance that has a romance as the main story arc, but which also uses paranormal/fantasy elements that are vital to the plot.

Lectures include:

  • What’s the difference between Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Paranormal Romance?
  • Blending other subgenres (such as suspense) into the mix—what can this give you and what are the dangers?
  • What’s a story arc and what are character arcs?
  • Crafting your characters for romantic conflict that includes vital paranormal elements?
  • How to balance action and romance—what are the turning points for each?
  • How to test if your story is really more of a paranormal/fantasy or a romance?
  • Do you have strong enough antagonists—and are they well developed to create maximum romantic conflicts and increase the paranormal/fantasy elements?
  • Making sure the dark moment hits both the romance and the paranormal/fantasy story line.

About the Presenter, Shannon Donnelly

Shannon Donnelly’s writing has won numerous awards, including a RITA nomination for Best Regency, the Grand Prize in the “Minute Maid Sensational Romance Writer” contest, judged by Nora Roberts, RWA’s Golden Heart, and others. Her writing has repeatedly earned 4½ Star Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times magazine, as well as praise from Booklist and other reviewers, who note: “simply superb”…”wonderfully uplifting”….and “beautifully written.”

In addition to her Regency and Historical romances, she is the author of the Mackenzie Solomon, Demon/Warders Urban Fantasy series, Burn Baby Burnand Riding in on a Burning Tire, and the SF/Paranormal, Edge Walkers. Her work has been on the top seller list of Amazon.com and includes the Historical romances, The Cardros Ruby and Paths of Desire.

She is the author of several young adult horror stories, and has also written computer games and does editing work on the side. She lives in New Mexico with two horses, two donkeys, two dogs, and the one love of her life. Shannon can be found online at sd-writer.com, facebook.com/sdwriter, and twitter/sdwriter.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

The Nuances of Dialogue

03/02/2015 – 03/27/2015

Whether in prose or dramatic mediums, characters need to speak in a succinct, entertaining manner that moves the story forward. Inner character motivation and personality can be revealed through what is spoken and how. This workshop will cover diction & syntax, concepts of multi-layered meaning, the difference between speech patterns of male-female speakers, influence of age-education-culture, how to control lecturing and argument orchestration.

About the Presenter, Sally J. Walker

Sally J. Walker has taught over 35 different workshops both on-site and on-line.  An avid learner, she is always ready to change and grow her own process then pass on what she has learned in a practical manner intended to challenge participants rather than dictate end-all-be-all concepts.  She has taught for Omaha’s Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City’s Johnson County Community College, Lincoln (NE)’s Southeast Community College, several chapters of RWA including KOD and Scriptscene, a Romantic Times national conference, and the Moondance International Film Festival, as well as conducted a mini-workshop of writing and meditation for Omaha-area churches.  Sally has also been an Artist-in-Residence and motivational speaker at several Omaha area schools and conducts free weekly mentoring sessions for teens at the Ralston Baright Library.

Cost: FFP Members:$20.00/Non-Members: $25.00

Register for This Workshop

Gracie Madison, author of SING FOR ME, on Magic, Music, Song, and Emotion (#angel #fiction)

Today’s guest blogger is NA PNR author Gracie Madison, whose novel SING FOR ME, came out a few weeks ago. When I saw that she was doing a BBT tour to help get the word out about her release, I asked if she’d be willing to share her thoughts on adding music to her stories and/or the idea of mixing magic, emotion, and voice. As part of her tour, she’s giving away a $25 Amazon eGC and one signed copy of her book. The Rafflecopter link is below. Welcome, Gracie!

[Quick note before Gracie’s post… remember how much I loved the cover for WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE? Well, I entered it in the JABBIC (the Judge A Book By Its Cover contest). I’ve never entered before and didn’t realize it’s one of those contests where EVERYONE can vote. So, if you have a minute, it would be awesome if you could check out all the entries and cast your vote. Today is the last day to vote. There are some great covers! Click here for the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal category link. For new followers who like reading about covers, check out the “For Cover Lovers” links below.]

Sing for Me, Gracie Madison, paranormal romance, new adult, magic, angels, demons, magic, emotion

“Because music is so universal and so many people have their own special relationship with it, music became a natural way to introduce the plot and characters.”

I should preface this blog post…I love music and the theater, but I am a writer for good reason. The only thing worse than my trumpet playing in high school and college was my singing. I earned a scholarship out of pity, and they probably would’ve paid me more to stop. Music always fascinated me, but it doesn’t come easily to me.  It’s brimming with theory and compositions and its own language, and it blends an almost mathematical precision with creativity. It utterly fascinating to me, and Sing For Me utilizes that mysterious quality and blends it with the paranormal and divine to create the romance.

Sing For Me is a paranormal romance novel set within an opera house. The main character, Madeline, is the supporting soprano for the Eden theater company’s production of The Magic Flute. She also happens to be a specific breed of angel called a Choir, which, in the mythology of Sing For Me, means she is a creature created specifically for music and the entertainment of the angelic realm. Her magic exists within her songs and the power of her voice. In Sing For Me, music doesn’t soothe the savage beast, it is the only way to survive it.

So much of Sing For Me is influenced by music—from the Opera production, to the everyday life of the characters, to the very purpose of their creation. Music is not only emotional, it’s a sensual expression, a weapon, and a way to escape the horrors of the darkness chasing Madeline.

But it is hard to write about music, especially opera. Without hearing the songs or seeing the productions, the narrative relies on the feelings created by the music. The characters each have their own emotional connection to what they sing or to music itself. Madeline is actually forbidden to indulge in any emotions as they fuel the power in her voice, rendering it uncontrollable. Natalie, the director’s assistant, is not a singer or star, but she is a songwriter, and the theater offered her a sanctuary from an abusive upbringing. And the prima donna, Danielle, is a feisty diva who lives, breathes, and is her role in the production. Because music is so universal and so many people have their own special relationship with it, music became a natural way to introduce the plot and characters.

Angels are so often portrayed as strumming harps and singing hymns, so it was really fun to re-envision them in a modern way. But let’s face it, opera has a bad reputation. People envision the horned ladies in golden breastplates wailing at the top their lungs. However, there’s a tremendous amount of power and talent and skill involved within the productions, and there’s just as much hierarchy within the theaters as there is within the orders angels in religious mythology. Though Madeline’s attempts to hide within the crew, her natural talent and beautiful voice take center stage. Everything she seems, experiences, or knows is because of music and related through music.

Magic and music are intertwined within the novel, as are song and emotion. The only thing more powerful than a song is the love of the main characters and the promise that Madeline makes to Damascus throughout the story—she always sings for him.

Sing for Me, Gracie Madison, paranormal romance, new adult, magic, angels, demons, magic, emotion

More About Sing For Me

Madeline Noel fled war-torn Heaven to hide within the mortal world, but the blessing that could protect her from evil is the holy realm’s forbidden power.

As a talented soprano for the Eden Theatre Company, Madeline hides among prima donnas and tone-deaf flutists. Her perfect voice may entertain audiences, but a careless laugh may shatter glass, and her greatest scream can kill. To control her unrestrained voice, the angels forbid Madeline from embracing the emotions that strengthen her song. Anger. Fear.

Love.

The demon-hunter Damascus vows to defend Madeline from Hell’s relentless evil, but he cannot protect her from her own feelings. Though they deny their dangerous attraction, her guardian becomes her greatest temptation.

Surrendering to desire may awaken the gift suppressed within Madeline’s soul, and neither Heaven nor Hell will allow such absolute power to exist.

Sing for Me, Gracie Madison, paranormal romance, new adult, magic, angels, demons, magic, emotion

Gracie Madison
Gracie Madison

More About Gracie

Gracie Madison would spend every day, all day writing…if it were socially acceptable.  Ever since she was a little girl scribbling with a crayon, Gracie’s dedicated herself to her books and all the supernatural and paranormal, creepy and beautiful stories and characters born within the pages. Now Gracie is committed to finally sharing those books with the world.  When the laptop is pried from her hands, Gracie is probably working her day job, rooting on the Steelers, or out with her husband searching for Pittsburgh’s best sushi.

More About the Giveaway

Gracie is giving away a $25 Amazon eGift Certificate (international) and one signed paperback of SING FOR ME (U.S. only). To enter the giveaway, click here for the Rafflecopter form. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18 and over. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Sing for Me Banner

So how about you? Do you like stories with angels and demons? I hope so! 😉 How about music, magic, love, and emotion? Do you think Gracie’s cover is as pretty as I do?

Thank you, Gracie, for guest blogging today!

FOR COVER LOVERS

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover artA fun discussion of the Noon Onyx Covers at The Reading Cafe

Goodreads List: Best Books with Jason Chan Cover Art (Fiery Edge of Steel is on there; White Heart of Justice isn’t?!)

The Qwillery: Dark Light of Day‘s Sept 2012 Debut Author Cover War Challenge win – woohoo! (I was a little better about getting the vote out for that contest than I have been for the JABBIC. If you vote over there today, THANK YOU!!)

Celia Breslin: Vampires, Love, Mayhem *and* The Best Ever Holiday Caramel Candy Recipe

Today’s post is an interview with urban fantasy/paranormal romance author Celia Breslin. She talks about her vampire series, writing habits, favorite books and authors, and she shares her favorite caramel recipe — perfect for eating while reading! 🙂

Celia Breslin, Destiny, vampires, urban fantasy, paranormal romance

CELIA’S TRANQUILLI BLOODLINE SERIES

Give us a 20-word summary for your latest release.

How about three words?  Vampires, love, mayhem.

Okay, just kidding.  Here are 20 words for DESTINY, book 2 in the Tranquilli Bloodline Series:  Carina must open her new club, repair her relationship, and save her friends from death by vampire. Sometimes destiny sucks.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why is he/she your favorite?

All my Tranquilli Bloodline characters hold a piece of my heart. But I hope Carina and crew will forgive me if I confess her mentor Jonas is my favorite. An ancient vampire originally from England, Jonas embodies extreme violence in a pretty package.  He’s a man of few words, dark and moody, fiercely loyal and violently protective of those few people he loves (such as Carina). I adore him so much that I gave him his own short story, VAMPIRE CODE.

WRITING HABITS

How long have you been writing and who or what inspired you?

My Irish grandmother started it with her stories of the Fae, including one tale of her encounter with a Banshee in her root cellar. Imagination fueled, I wrote a lot of fairy tales as a kid.

Do you choose a title first or write the book then choose the title?

Title first, though the title is derived from the subject matter of the book, so that’s a little bit like asking, ‘What comes first, chicken or egg?’

Do you decide on character traits before writing the whole book or as you go along?

As my work is character driven, I develop character profiles prior to writing the whole story. I have detailed questionnaires on all major characters. Of course, they still manage to surprise me while I’m writing their stories.

Do you have another job in addition to writing?

Mom, cat wrangler, line and content editor, slush pile reader, Joss Whedon fan. Oh wait, that last one isn’t actually a job, ha.

FAVORITE BOOKS AND AUTHORS

What is your favorite book and why?

I have so many favorites in varying genres. In urban fantasy/paranormal romance, I adore these series:  J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood; Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark; Amber Belldene’s Blood Vine; and Larissa Ione’s Demonica and Lords of Deliverance.

Favorite author?

So many great authors in the world! In urban fantasy/paranormal romance: J.R. Ward, Kresley Cole, Amber Belldene, Tricia Skinner, Laura Kaye, Larissa Ione, and more!

OTHER FAVORITES

Favorite format: e-book, hardback, or paperback?

All of the above.  I read a lot of eBooks, but there’s something quite satisfying about holding your own print book, or a print book by another author you love.

Favorite color?

Black and red. (I’m not a vampire. Really, I’m not, LOL.)

Favorite singer/group?

Depends on my mood. When I’m writing vampires, I often gravitate toward industrial and techno/electro, so NIN, The Prodigy, Bass Kittens, Meat Beat Manifesto, etc.

Favorite food?

Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Japanese, Chinese…ok, now I’m hungry! 🙂

Favorite holiday treat?

Without question, my grandmother’s caramels. The recipe is below so you can make them too!  Warning: they’re sooooo good that you’ll want to make them year round.

WHAT’S NEXT

What’s in your writing future? More books in this genre or…?

Yes, more books in the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres.  For urban fantasy, Carina’s adventures continue in ORIGINS, Book 3 in the Tranquilli Bloodline Series.  For paranormal romance, my wolf shifters in DIAMOND MOON will release in summer 2015 from Decadent Publishing. A second wolf shifter story is in progress.

 The Best Ever Holiday Caramel Candy, aka Grandma Eddie’s Caramels

  • 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups white Karo Syrup
  • 1 stick of butter (1/4 lb.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Mix together the first three ingredients (milk, sugar, syrup) in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a large heavy kettle, pour in the mixture and bring to a boil. Stir continuously while mixture boils until it reaches the temperature of 245 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer (can take up to 25 minutes). Note: If mixture overcooks, candy gets too hard. Once the 245 degree temperature is reached, remove kettle from stove. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, then pour mixture onto a large buttered cookie sheet or flat pan.

For more holiday treats, visit my blog today! (E-books and e-gift card up for grabs! Giveaway ends 12/23/14).

Happy holidays!

Celia

More About Destiny

In HAVEN, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli survives a vicious attack by her vampire family’s longtime archenemies. Several weeks later, as she struggles with PTSD and survivor’s guilt, supervillain Dixon resurfaces and kidnaps two of her best friends. To save them, Carina must comply with the evil bastard’s unusual demands. The kicker? She must tell no one what she is up to.

Meanwhile, she has a new dance club to open for the preternatural community, a fated soul mate acting secretive and distant, and a sexy, new, undead friend who’d love to take Alexander’s place in her heart and bed.

Blackmailed, betrayed, tempted…sometimes destiny has a wicked sense of humor.

Where to find it:

Celia Breslin, Haven, vampire romance, urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Celia Breslin

More About Celia

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for vampires, werewolves, and the Fae. When not writing, you’ll find her exercising, reading a good book or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies.

Thank you, Celia, for the interview and the caramel recipe!

… how’s everyone doing? How’s your December going? Mine has been busy, which is why I’ve been quiet lately. December is just one of those months when everything sneaks up on you, you know? 😀

I have one more guest blogger in my “Writers Who Create Other Things” series and then I’ll likely take time off from blogging until after the New Year. But I have some fun stuff planned for 2015 so stay tuned!

Jeffe Kennedy: Magic in the Twelve Kingdoms… and Our Everyday World

Jeffe Kennedy‘s latest release, THE TEARS OF THE ROSE received a 4 1/2 stars Top Pick Gold review from RT Book Reviews. For those of you who are unfamiliar with RT Book Reviews (go subscribe!) that’s a really terrific review. (I happened to see it not long after she sent me this post so I figured mentioning it would be a great way to introduce her). 🙂 She’s here with a topic that should appeal to fantasy and paranormal romance writers, as well as readers who love to hear about how we create the magic in our stories. Welcome, Jeffe!

“I’m fascinated by the idea that magic and other supernatural phenomena are simply products of universal laws we don’t yet understand.”

Thanks to Jill for inviting me to her blog today!

She asked me to talk some about the magic systems in my books, which isn’t something I get asked about all that frequently. In both of my fantasy romance trilogies thus far – A Covenant of Thorns and The Twelve Kingdoms – magic plays a fundamental role in the worlds.

A Covenant of Thorns takes place in Faerie, a world entirely infused with magic. The denizens of Faerie, with the exceptions of the human minority, are magical beings – some to the extent that they subsist entirely on magical energy. In The Twelve Kingdoms books, the world is populated mostly by humans and magic is scarce, mainly confined to the realm of Annfwn, where the Tala live. However, like the fae in my other series, the Tala are a magical people and the presence of magic in their world infuses everything about their lives and culture.

More than one reviewer has noted that Annfwn is a metaphor or form of Faerie, which I didn’t consciously intend, but I think the comparison is fair. In both series, the magical systems are outgrowth of Celtic culture, mythology and fairy tales. They both hearken to the earliest tales, such as the Táin Bó Cuailnge, which is an eighth-century cycle of Irish heroic tales. Much as in Greek mythology – another of my influences – they embody almost a form of magical realism, where magic infuses the world and shapes the creatures, landscape and events in the same way that the laws of physics, biology and ecology do.

This is my sweet spot.

As a scientist by training, I’m fascinated by the idea that magic and other supernatural phenomena are simply products of universal laws we don’t yet understand. In the Faerie of A Covenant of Thorns, I play with the idea that evolution follows a path similar to the one we know, but is accelerated and supercharged, if you will, by the mutating power of magic – which functions almost like a form of radiation in some cases. In The Twelve Kingdoms, the magic arises from the divine and from the land, which are profoundly intertwined. The Tala are shapeshifters and wizards because they have retained a stronger divine bloodline than the rest of the world.

In both of these series, the power of mental control, of self-discipline, self-knowledge and self-mastery all play a huge role. Thought is what controls the magic. This, then, loops back to the magical realism of the old stories, whether Celtic, Greek or from many other cultures I could list, that these tales teach lessons about how to govern our lives. Everything we struggle with – overcoming bad events, hoping for good outcomes, striving for more – all of that is essentially about manifesting what we want in our lives. Rather than waving magic wands or reciting spells, we govern our thoughts, eliminating negative thinking and focusing on the positive. In that way, we transform our lives and make them what we want them to be. That concept is at the core of all of my work, in truth.

A kind of magic we can all wield.

Thank you, Jeffe, for guest blogging today! Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Bewitching Book Tours Holiday Giveaways (Chance to win a Kindle Fire, Amazon GCs, ebooks, and more)

Bewitching Book Tours is doing two holiday giveaways this season. Information is below. The winner of the copy of the Mammoth Book of Southern Gothic Romance that I was giving away is Jen Schaper. Jen, please contact me with your address or DM me on Twitter. Everyone else who entered that giveaway — thank you!! – you will each be automatically entered into the second print giveaway I’ll be doing in January with the U.S. cover. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Bewitching Book Tours Hot Holiday Giveaway

Bewitching Book Tours Hot Holiday Giveaway, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, books, fiction

Bewitching Book Tours Hot Holiday Giveaway 2014, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, books, fiction

BBT and participating authors are giving away a Kindle Fire, Amazon gift cards and lots of e-books (see the virtual shelves above and list below). Click here for the Rafflecopter form to enter to win. Click here for my official giveaway rules. The giveaway is open until December 15.

    • Kindle Fire HD 7 Tablet
    • $25 Amazon Gift Card from Sky Purington
    • $10 Amazon Gift Card from Nancy Gideon
    • $5 Amazon Gift Card from Emma Weylin
    • ebook copy of Private Internship by Kitsy Clare
    • ebook copy of Angel Kin by Tricia Skinner
    • ebook copy of Destiny by Celia Breslin
    • ebook copy of Plight of the Highlander by Sky Purington
    • ebook copy of The Contract by ER Pierce
    • ebook copy of Bundle of Joy by Barbara Bretton
    • ebook copy of Going Under by Emma Weylin
    • ebook copy of The Necromancer’s Betrayal by Mimi Sebastian
    • ebook bundle The Kasadya Hellhound Series by Karen Swart
    • ebook copy of Scent of Valor by Annie Nicholas
    • ebook copy of Words That Bind by Ash Krafton
    • ebook copy of Weather Child by Philippa Ballantine
    • ebook copy of River Road by Suzanne Johnson
    • ebook copy of Santa Exposed by Kay Dee Royal
    • ebook copy of Sisters of Prophecy – Ursula by Jude Pittman-Gail Roughton
    • ebook copy of Deadly Secrets by Jude Pittman
    • ebook copy of The Color of Seven by Gail Roughton
    • ebook copy of The Professor by Olivia Devon
    • ebook copy of Unknown Protector by Maggie Mundy
    • ebook copy of Fading Light by Angela Dennis
    • ebook copy of The Only Sorceress by Anya Breton
    • ebook copy of Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins
    • ebook copy of Soulfire by Juliette Cross
    • ebook copy of Candy Cane Thrills by Roxanne Rhoads
    • ebook copy of The Huntress by J Risk

Bewitching Brews Holiday Giveaway

Bewitching Brews Holiday Giveaway, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, books, fiction

BBT and participating authors are giving away a print copy of Bewitching Brews and Devilish Desserts, a cute vintage style ruffled apron and assorted Bewitching Swag. Click here for the Rafflecopter form to enter to win. Click here for my official giveaway rules. The giveaway is open until December 15 (U.S. only).

Bewitching Brews and Devilish Desserts 

A Collection of Cocktail and Dessert Recipes 

By Bewitching Book Tours’ Authors: Roxanne Rhoads, Sharon Bayliss, Ami Blackwelder, Cassandra Lawson, Susannah Sandlin, Cherrie Mack, Maggie Mundy, Suzanne Johnson, Katalina Leon, Kay Dee Royal, Sophie Avett, Elizabeth Loraine, G.L. Ross, T.W. Kirchner 

Stir up a little magic from our cauldron full of cocktails and desserts.

The authors of Bewitching Book Tours conjured a collection of delicious potions inspired by their books and characters.

Grab your wand (or spoon) and cast one of these spellbinding recipes today.

Available at Createspace and Amazon

Sandra Hill on Book Series

My next guest is New York Times bestselling author and fellow Penn Stater, Sandra Hill. She’s touring to promote her latest Deadly Angels release, VAMPIRE IN PARADISE, which comes out November 25th. She’s giving away 5 print copies of the book (U.S./Canada) and 5 e-copies (worldwide). Rafflecopter link is below. Welcome, Sandra!

Sandra Hill, vampires, angels, paranormal romanceSeries, series, series!  Everywhere you look in publishing today, there are series.  You can’t escape them.

There are popular series in contemporary romance, like Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series, Lori Wilde’s cookie clubs, Susan Wiggs’ Lakeshore Chronicles, Kristin Higgins Blue Heron, Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, or Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ football heroes.  Series also flourish in historical romance, like Mary Balogh’s Suvivors Club, Jo Beverley’s rogues, Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses, or Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons.  And paranormals, like Nalini Singh’s archangels, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters, J.R. Ward’s Black Daggers, Christine Feehan’s Carpathians, Lynsay Sands’ Argeneaus, and shamelssly I mention, my Deadly Angels series (Viking vampire angels), with its most recent release of VAMPIRE IN PARADISE.

And that’s only the tip of the series iceberg.

So, what is it about series books that attracts us so?  I can tell you how I feel, both as a reader and a writer.  When you read a good book, you just don’t want it to end.  It’s as simple as that.  Oh, it’s not that we want a repetition of the same story, and maybe not even the same characters, but we want to return to the wonderful world we’ve been introduced to, whether it be a vampire world, a Regency family, a Trenton bounty hunter shop, or a small town named Transylvania, Pennsylvania.  The same is true of television, by the way.  Think about it.  Seinfeld.  Friends.  Happy Days.  Big Bang Theory.  Every week, there was, or is, a chance to return to a world, or community, or family we enjoy.  We belong.

If authors succeed in captivating readers with characters or settings we love…if they give us books we can’t put down until the wee hours when we sigh and wish they didn’t have to end…well, then, why should they be any different than popular television…dare I day…series?  I remember even as a child, when my mother would read those abridged novels, I would wonder why anyone would want a good book to be short.

And sometimes it takes a writer multiple books to tell a complete story.  Take George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, for example.  Can you imagine that complicated plot and all those dynasties in one book?

Yes, there are times when a series goes on too long.  And, yes, I get as irritated as the next reader when an author writes a series in such a way that you have to have read the previous books to understand what is going on.  But overall, they are a joy to this avid reader, and there’s nothing better than finding a new-to-me author and being able to go back and glom an entire series in one gulp.

In my own Deadly Angels series, I have set up a world in which Viking vampire angels (vangels) have been sent to this world by St. Michael the Archangel to fight demon vampires known as Lucipires.  It all starts with the seven Sigurdsson brothers, guilty of one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  In each book, a brother is commanded to serve in some role that conflicts with his particular weakness.  Vikar (pride) must live in a run-down, bat-ridden castle in Transylvania, Pennsylvania.  Trond (sloth) becomes a Viking Navy SEAL who must run six miles before breakfast and do other energy-draining exercises, like jump out of airplanes.  Ivak (lust) is a chaplain in Angola Prison.  Mordr (wrath) whose two children were murdered in a most brutal manner and thereafter cannot stand to be around children, must protect five mischievous orphans in Las Vegas.  And, of course, find their own destined lifemates.

In my current book, VAMPIRE IN PARADISE, Dr. Sigurd Sigurdsson, is transferred from his prestigious job at Johns Hopkins to serve as a doctor on a tropical island where a porno convention is being held.  Talk about a step down!  There, Sig meets a beautiful woman who is desperate for money to save her dying child.  What does she expect from him?  A miracle? Laughter guaranteed!

Not to be overlooked, I hope, is the recently released novella, CHRISTMAS IN TRANSYLVANIA, in which the whole gang of vangels is back at the castle in Pennsylvania where they have been talked into a modern Christmas celebration.   I mean, Santas with fangs.  Fake-O blood in the egg nog.  Mistletoe hanging from the cobwebs.  And a local waitress who needs a hero to rescue her from her abusive boyfriend.  There’s a lot more than jingle belling going on in the old castle this year!

So, what do you look for when buying books these days?  Do you deliberately seek out series like I do?  Do you google “…books in the vein of…” to find new authors?  I recently discovered Patrick Taylor’s Irish County Doctors series after having depleted an entire stock of Maeve Binchy’s.  Who have you discovered lately?

I can always be reached on my website at www.sandrahill.net or on my Facebook page at Sandra Hill Author.  Look for some special giveaways at the end of the month.

Wishing you smiles in your reading, as always, especially your series reading.  <g>

Sandra Hill

More About Vampire in Paradise

It’s been centuries since the Norseman Sigurd Sigurdsson was turned into a Vangel-a Viking Vampire Angel-as punishment for his sin of envy, but he’s still getting the hang of having fangs that get in the way when seducing women. Slaying demon vampires known as Lucipires and using his healing gifts as a cancer research doctor, Sigurd is sent to Florida’s Grand Keys Island as a resident physician where he encounters the most sinfully beautiful woman.

The only hope Marisa Lopez has of curing her five-year-old daughter of is a pricey experimental procedure. When she meets the good-looking doctor, Marisa is speechless. Then Sigurd tells her he believes he can help her daughter. Could this too-hot-to resist Viking doctor be an angel of some sort sent to bring a miracle for her daughter? Or is he just a vampire bent on breaking Marisa’s heart?

Available at Amazon  BN  Avon Romance

Add it to Your Goodreads List

More About Sandra

Sandra Hill
Sandra Hill

Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.

She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

Sandra can be found online here:

The Giveaway

Sandra is giving away 5 print copies of the book (U.S./Canada) an 5 e-copies (worldwide).

Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

Click here for my official rules for website giveaways.

Sandra Hill, vampires, angels, paranormal romance

Hope everyone had a great weekend! I took my older daughter to Penn State to see the campus and watch the football game. Cold but fun!

Penn State v. Temple November 15, 2014
Penn State v. Temple
November 15, 2014

Penn State 2

Thank you, Sandra, for guest blogging today!

Terry Spear: The Fantastical World of Wilde & Woolly Bears

My next guest is prolific, bestselling author Terry Spear. Terry writes paranormal romance (she is well known for her werewolf romances) and she makes award-winning teddy bears. They’re cute and cool and she tells us more below about how she makes them for herself, readers, and other writers. (I’m tempted to ask her if she can do a barghest or a tiger. Wouldn’t it be neat to have a little stuffed Nova or Virtus? 😀 ) Links for finding Terry, her books, and her bears are below. Welcome, Terry!

Terry Spear, paranormal, author, crafts, teddy bear, Halloween

Like with books, creating original bear “characters” are lots of fun. But they’re also great companions for books. Years ago, my parents asked me to create an old-fashioned teddy bear to sit on the doll carriages they created that they took to doll and bear shows. I began winning awards for my bears and sold to stores all over, was featured in several magazines including Texas Monthly, Teddy Bear Review, The MacNeill Galley, Texas Co-op Monthly and several newspapers. They were even included in the Spectral Visions film: The International Teddy Bear Connection.

I realized, though I had created dolls, quilts, embroidered, cross-stitched, made rugs, you name it, bears were my perfect contribution to the world. As soon as the Internet came into existence, I wanted to tap into the market of the world! I was so excited to do so because I knew it would be a way to really showcase them and not just at craft or bear shows. Wilde & Woolly Bears have found homes all over the states, and across the world: Canada, Australia, Wales, Kazakhstan, Russia, France, and South Africa.

But how do I make the bear and book connection? Earlier on, I began to get requests for bears that would be given as prizes for authors’ new releases. The bears are really popular and I help spread the word to my fans that an author is giving away one of my bears as a prize. Cross promotion can really help.

Here are some of the bears I’ve recently made for authors as giveaways for their book promotions:

Matheson Clan Bears from Vonnie Davis for her Highland bear shifter books:

Matheson Bears
Matheson Bears

 Linda Warren has given away Texas Belle and a Texas Ranger bear:

Texas Belles Bear
Texas Belles Bear

A vampire author, Rick Tibauld, gave a vampire bear with his book. And actually created a coffin for it!

Vampire Bear
Vampire Bear

And many more!

Steampunk Bear
Steampunk Bear

The other thing I’ve been doing is that when I sell a bear or multiple bears to a bear buyer, I’ll ask if she wants one of my autographed books. I’ve had new readers excited about receiving a free autographed book with their bear order! A South African reader couldn’t get my first wolf book as it was out of print until they made up more, and she had ordered a wizard bear, so when I sent her the bear, I sent her and a friend a copy of the first book. They are loyal fans and spread the word to everyone else who worked at their firm.

A bear buyer in Wales had never read any of my books, and so I sent her the first one of my wolf series also, and she was delighted! And now is reading them all.

I’ve had several new readers who have gotten hooked on my bears, and now are reading my books. And some that have gotten hooked on my books, and now are buying my bears.

So if you have a creative talent and can cross-promote between authors and between selling what you make and your books, it’s a win-win promotional effort.

Even if you just give it away as some fun swag—like I’ve done with my bears at FB parties, and really seen a ton of response, that can help!

And also, I’ve given bears to critique partners and beta readers. So another way to share the love. Oh, and I create fun pictures with them—like a Halloween setting with two of my bears in attendance. And a wizard bear picture with a wizard girl. Just all kinds of fun.

my_favorite_bear_by_shapeshifter_goddess

Like with writing, it’s important to love creating a craft! And have fun in the promotion of it!

Wilde & Woolly Bears: http://www.celticbears.com

More about Terry:

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and four medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly‘s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance, continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars, loving to share her hot Highlanders, and having fun with her young adult novels. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook and on WordPress at Terry Spear’s Shifters.

The Senator Theater Baltimore, Maryland
The Senator Theater
Baltimore, Maryland

Hope everyone had a terrific weekend! Yesterday, my family went to a screening of several films that were made by middle and high school students last summer during a three-week summer camp (Steve Yeager’s Young Filmmakers Workshop). They were terrific!

View from Projection Booth
View from Projection Booth

The shows were followed by a brief, behind-the-scenes tour of The Senator, a 75-year-old historic art deco theater. My kids loved seeing the projection booth and I loved seeing the results of a recent $3.5 million dollar renovation. Afterward, we had an impromptu brunch at Shoo-Fly Diner (they have a fun menu that changes seasonally, but the neatest thing about the place is that it used to be an old shoe store). Most of the rest of the weekend was spent doing very unexciting things around my house.  

How about you? Did you do anything fun this weekend? Do you think Terry’s bears are as adorable as I do? If you could have her make a bear character from any book, who would it be?

Thank you, Terry, for guest blogging today!

16 Favorite Fairytale Films by Juli D. Revezzo and Jill Archer

Paranormal romance author Juli D. Revezzo was one of the first people to reach out and connect with me when I first started blogging. Two years ago she guest blogged here about “Ghosts as Paranormal Heroes.” [Two years! How the heck did that happen?!] She has a new book out called CHANGELING’S CROWN. When she contacted me about guest blogging again we discussed a few topics and one of them was fairytale film adaptations. Juli said she’d love to write a post about her favorites. And — because I couldn’t resist — I added a few of my own below too. Welcome, Juli!

 

Juli’s Favorite Fairytale Films

Jill asked me to come today to talk about fairy tale movie adaptations. There are some great ones out there—and some not so great. Let’s dispense with the not-so-great for the moment, these are my top favorites. Do I think these movies may’ve had an influence on my new release, CHANGELING’S CROWN? I’ll let you see what you think. 🙂

10: Snow White and the Huntsman. Yes, Twilight’s Kristen Stewart was miscast, but she pulled it off. More importantly, the story was well done and Snow White doesn’t rely just on the prince to save her hide. I liked that.

9: Enchanted: Princess Giselle is sent to New York City by an evil queen. A quirky take on the princess and fairy godmother story.

8. Cinderella by Disney. Of course, you can’t really go wrong with this adaptation.

7. Shrek. Mashing all the faery tales together and giving them new problems? Brilliant.

6. Princess Bride. A tongue-in-cheek take on faery tale themes. A poor girl falls in love, loses her love, and is forced to marry a prince. But someone comes to change her plans. And some very memorable lines to boot.

5. The Little Mermaid. Disney paints a happier version of the tale yet it’s still by far the best. You all know this one, Ariel, the little mermaid, falls for a prince, and trades her voice to her father’s rival in order to gain human legs so she can be with him. In true Disney fashion, it ends happily.

4. The Princess Diaries. Mia, a typical teen, finds out her father was a prince and she his only heir. She is swept up into lessons at her grandmother’s behest so she can rule their small kingdom. Charming and funny YA series, the movies only hint at the fun tale Meg Cabot spins.

3. Pan’s Labyrinth: A young girl living during the Spanish Civil war meets a mysterious faun at the heart of a labyrinth and to fulfill his prophecy she must complete three tasks. If she does, she will take up her destiny as a princess, missing for decades. If not…she’ll be forever doomed to live under the iron rule of her evil stepfather.

2. Red Riding Hood. This one is the latest adaptation starring Gary Oldman. The bones of the story are here, but barely. In a nutshell, the lead actress lives in a village plagued by wolf attacks. When her sister falls victim to the attacks, a zealous priest comes into town and tells them it’s not just a wolf, but a curse and he’s going to rid them of. Red is part of a love triangle with one man, and another whom she loves. But mama and grandma won’t let her chose the one she wants most. Meanwhile, the villagers go after the wolf only to narrow it down to one possible suspect. Guess who gets to take the blame for the wolf attacks? Really a brilliant twist on the tale, I think, if some of the acting (not Oldman’s) leaves something to be desired.

1. Labyrinth. A young girl, sick of her boring life and little brother, tells him a bedtime story of child-stealing goblins, never knowing they’re about to grant her wish. Plus, you get David Bowie as the goblin king and a great soundtrack. What’s not to love?

So all these somehow had an influence on my latest book, CHANGELING’S CROWN. Would you like to see if you agree?  Here’s the synopsis:

CHANGELINGS CROWNWhen Ianthe began her career as a faery godmother, she stumbled so badly that Snow White will probably never speak to her again. After a long suspension, she’s finally been given a chance to redeem herself…but everything on this latest assignment is going wrong.

But why?

Worse, she definitely doesn’t need an attractive mortal man distracting her from her duties. Of course, needs and wants are two different things.

Briak has had his eye on Ianthe for a very, very long time, but he’s been waiting for just the right moment to make his move. Despite the fact all hell’s about to break loose on his watch, he can’t resist the opportunity to insert himself into her earthly assignment. Can he convince Ianthe of her true calling and thereby win her heart? Or will his subterfuge ultimately cost him her love?

CHANGELING’S CROWN is available at:

I hope you will enjoy it, and my thanks to Jill for inviting me here today!

More about Juli

Juli D. Revezzo

Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world-slightly askew. She has been published in short form in Eternal Haunted Summer, Dark Things II: Cat Crimes (a charity anthology for cat related charities), Luna Station Quarterly, Crossing the River, An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys; The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth, Twisted Dreams Magazine and more. She’s the author of The Antique Magic series and the Paranormal Romance Harshad Wars series.

Jill’s Favorite Fairytale Films

Some of Juli’s favorites are on my list too. My thoughts on some of her choices?

Snow White and the Huntsman: I thought Kristen Stewart was okay. She would have been better if she hadn’t reminded me so much of Bella. Charlize Theron rocked her role as she always does.

Enchanted: on my list too! I adored this film. Amy Adams is absolutely fantastic. Only she could pull off a role like that — part poking good fun of the princess stereotype, part reminding us why we love it so much. She’s one of my favorite actresses because she has such range but also because of the Happy Working Song. Anyone who has spent precious time cleaning toilets, scrubbing soap scum, or doing loads of laundry is indebted to her for actually making it look funny.

Princess Bride: Yep, agree with Juli. Anything that spawns this many quotes deserves a spot on everyone’s list.

Pan’s Labyrinth: This one’s on my list too for the dark visuals and its multi-layered storyline that leaves the film’s ending and meaning open to multiple interpretations.

Red Riding Hood: This one’s not on my list, but it IS a fun film to talk about. I mostly agree w Juli’s take. My Jan 2012 review has my thoughts on who I thought the real stars were and what I most wanted to see Virginia Madsen do in that film.

Labyrinth: How the hell did I miss seeing this film? It may have been that I didn’t trust Bowie’s involvement. (I seem to recall being underwhelmed by Sting in Dune two years earlier, but I honestly can’t remember.)

And here are my adds:

#6 — Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou? Kind of a cheat since it’s based on an epic poem not a fairytale but George Clooney and his Dapper Dan pomade made me an instant fan. As well acted as Amy Adams in Enchanted and as quotable as Princess Bride.

#5 — Edward Scissorhands. It’s no secret that I like Tim Burton. Slightly Frankenstein-esque but very original.

#4 — Sleepy Hollow. I also like Christina Ricci. For years, we used to watch this movie every Halloween.

#3 — Black Swan: also kind of a cheat because it references Swan Lake rather than retelling it. But it makes my list because it’s incredibly creepy and I’m a fan of movies that play with the line between reality and fantasy.

#2 — A.I. Artificial Intelligence: inspired by Pinocchio. Heartbreaking. Spielberg made me care about an A.I. character (something that’s not real twice over!) David is a fictional robot who wants to become a real boy so his human mother will love him. Ugh. I’m sad just remembering it.

#1 — Hoodwinked: ‘Cause I gotta end on a happy note AND because my girls and I often break out into song whenever we refer to this movie. I also love the non-linear plot and the quirkiness of the characters and humor.

 Do you agree with our choices? What are yours? Thank you to Juli for guest blogging today!

Character Interview: Emily Black from Robyn Bachar’s POISON IN THE BLOOD

Today’s guest blogger is paranormal romance author Robyn Bachar, whose latest release is Poison in the Blood. She has a fun character interview, excerpt, and giveaway. Details and links are below. Welcome, Robyn!

Poison in the Blood

Character Interview: Emily Black

Robyn: No, thank you. I don’t drink tea. I’ll take one of those tiny sandwiches, though… So, would you kindly introduce yourself to the readers?

Emily: *mystified* You don’t drink tea? That’s…horrible. Oh. Yes. I am Emily Black, and I am a seer—

 

Robyn: What’s a seer?

 

Emily: You don’t know what a seer is?

 

Robyn: Of course *I* know what a seer is. You’re explaining for this nice audience.

 

Emily: *straightens in her chair and folds her hands primly* A seer is a magician who reads magical auras and receives prophetic visions. We are the rarest kind of magician. I’ve never met another seer. Michael and I did try to meet with the one in Italy during our tour of the continent, but there was a problem with the trains. Seers are quite adept at locating a person’s soul mate, which is how I discovered that Michael is my soul mate.

 

Robyn: How’s that going for you? You’ve been married for a few years now, right?

 

Emily: Yes, and we have five beautiful children—two daughters and three sons.

 

Robyn: Yeah, I’m sorry about putting you through that whole birthing twins ordeal.

 

Emily: Pardon?

 

Robyn: Never mind. So I understand you’re fighting crime now? Because of that whole “your husband becoming a vampire and you need a new activity” thing.

 

Emily: *fidgets with the fingers of her gloves* Yes, Michael is a chronicler now, and it is a respectable position. I am grateful that he survived the ritual that transformed him. However, I wouldn’t say that I am “fighting crime”, as you put it. I am simply seeking tasks that are a challenging use of my seer abilities. I do enjoy matchmaking, but I am certain that I can do so much more with my magic. I am confident that I will be able to identify and locate the murderer responsible for abducting and tormenting local magician women.

 

Robyn: Well said. Do you have any advice for the readers?

 

Emily: To live each moment to its fullest. Even a seer cannot truly know the future, and one never knows when misfortune may strike. Those poor young ladies…

 

Robyn: Don’t worry, Em. I have faith that you’ll catch the murderer. Though there’s that whole problem with the… Umm, never mind. You’ll figure it out. Hey, is that cake?

Excerpt

Normally stepping into a garden would soothe me, but we were still within London, where there was no comfort whatsoever. I looked up at the night sky and wished I were with Michael.

“You have the soul of an artist, Miss Rose. It is a rare gift.” Mr. Paris stroked my hand, and I tugged it free of his arm. I folded both hands before me primly and smiled.

“Again, that is very kind of you.”

“I consider myself a patron of the arts.”

“So you attend gatherings such as this often?” I asked.

“Of course. I am always on the lookout for new talent.”

“I see. Did you know Mrs. Harding?” I tried to examine his aura to determine his reaction, but his magic continued to be so overwhelming that my eyes watered. Mr. Paris must be unspeakably powerful, and I found myself both worried and intrigued. Perhaps he was a sorcerer? One who specialized in darkness?

“I did. Poor girl. What a terrible thing to have happened to her and her family… Tell me, are you working on a second collection of your work?” he asked, quickly changing the subject.

“I am, though I am afraid the subject matter is quite a bit darker.”

Mr. Paris smiled a predatory grin, and my pulse leapt with a thrill of fear. “I am not afraid of the dark, Miss Rose. Are you?”

He stepped closer, but I held my ground, studying him with a curious tilt to my head. “What are you?” I asked.

He blinked, startled. “I beg your pardon?”

“What sort of magic do you practice?” I clarified.

“Oh. I am a librarian, of course,” he replied, and I laughed, unable to help myself. “What’s so funny?”

“You are most certainly not a librarian. Do people truly believe that lie?”

The smile slid from Mr. Paris’s face as his expression hardened. He stepped forward and tried to grab my arm, but Miss Dubois was suddenly between us, a shining silver blur. With a snarl he turned and ran, and the guardian chased him out of the garden and into the street.

Uncertain of what to do, I followed. I stood hesitant at the garden gate, wondering which way they went. My vision shifted, and I followed Miss Dubois’s blazing footsteps. I paused next to a blur traced over the high brick wall of another garden. It was another magical doorway, rather like the one I had discovered near Mrs. Harding’s body outside the Undiscovered Country. Foolishly I raised my hand to touch it, despite knowing full well that doing so could trigger another vision, but a hand emerged from the brick wall and grabbed my wrist.

Overwhelmed with shock, I barely managed a strangled gasp as Mr. Paris stepped through the wall and glared down at me. “Who are you?” he demanded.

“You first.” My voice trembled, and Mr. Paris grinned. He tightened his grip and snapped several small bones in my wrist, and I screamed.

“Who are you?” he repeated.

Something bubbled up within me, a bright plume of prophetic magic that became my answer. “I am your end.” That time my voice did not tremble at all, but was filled with terrible certainty. I would cause Mr. Paris’s death, and I knew it with as much confidence as I knew the sun would rise in the morning.

Something in my gaze must have worried him, because he snarled. Scowling, he grabbed my forearm with both hands and twisted. The bone snapped like dry kindling, and I screamed again. Before he could torment me further Miss Dubois arrived and bashed him with a round silver shield. Mr. Paris vanished into thin air, and the guardian stood near me. One arm bore the shield, while in her other hand she held a sword. How cunning of her. I wanted a sword as well.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

My knees wobbled and began to buckle, but then two dark blurs streaked up to us, and I was suddenly swept from my feet and cradled close in Michael’s arms.

“Darling! What happened?” he asked.

“You caught me.” I blinked—however had he moved that fast? Simon sighed and shook his head at his student, and I sensed that Michael and I were both in for a scolding.

“Of course I did. I will always catch you. Are you all right?”

More About Poison in the Blood

She is honey to his throat…but one sweet taste could part them forever…

Banished from home while her husband adjusts to life as an immortal, blood-drinking chronicler, Emily Black is homesick, heartsick and struggling under the constant sensory barrage of a city drenched in ancient magic. When an old friend asks for her aid in solving a string of murders, she welcomes the distraction, despite the danger.

Justine Dubois is grateful for a seer’s help, and more understanding than anyone of Emily’s plight. As a guardian, Justine commands respect; as a woman, her magic is considered inferior. Together, they are determined to prove their worth to London’s magicians, starting with solving these murders—with maybe a bit of matchmaking on the side.

Long before he met his soul mate, Michael Black made a commitment to join the Order of St. Jerome. He will live forever, forced to watch the woman he loves age and die. As Emily hunts the murderer, Michael struggles to protect her. But if he loses control of his hunger, the greatest threat to her safety could be Michael himself.

Warning: Contains tortured soul mates, scheming faeries, vampire debauchery, deadly parasols, illicit blood-drinker relations, and adorable plot moppets.

Readers can receive 30% off the ebook of Poison in the Blood from the Samhain Store by using the coupon code POISON14 at checkout.

Robyn Bachar
Robyn Bachar

More About Robyn

Robyn Bachar was born and raised in Berwyn, Illinois, and loves all things related to Chicago, from the Cubs to the pizza. It seemed only natural to combine it with her love of fantasy, and tell stories of witches and vampires in the Chicagoland area. As a gamer, Robyn has spent many hours rolling dice, playing rock-paper-scissors and slaying creatures in MMPORGs.

More About the Giveaway

  • 1 signed print copy of Poison in the Blood
  • 1 $25 Amazon gift card

To enter the giveaway, click here for the Rafflecopter form.

Poison in the Blood Banner

Thank you, Robyn, for guest blogging today. Hope everyone is having a great week!

Are Authors Allowed To Play Favorites? Susannah Sandlin Picks her Top 5 Scenes from ALLEGIANCE

Today’s guest blogger is paranormal romantic thriller writer Susannah Sandlin, who is urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson’s alter ego. She’s here to dispel the myth that’s it’s not ok to play favorites… at least when it comes to books, characters, or scenes. She plays favorites and she shares five of them below. She’s also sponsoring a great tour-wide giveaway, including eGift Certificates and books. Details are at the end of the post. Welcome, Susannah!

allegiance-cover

Scene It: Five Favorite Scenes from Allegiance

by Susannah Sandlin

Authors are supposed to be like parents. You know, loving all our children equally. Not playing favorites with characters or books or scenes.

Horse-puckey. I will swear to this day (and often have) that my mom likes my brother best while I was a daddy’s girl.

And so it is with authors, if we’re forced to admit it. I have favorite characters, favorite books, favorite scenes within books. Today, since Allegiance is out this week and fresh in my mind (never mind I’ve written three books since I actually wrote this one—such is the bizarre schedule of an author), are my five fave scenes from the newest book in the Penton Legacy series, in order…

#5… Mirren learns that feeding from a shapeshifter isn’t quite like a human. Every member of the Penton community is bonded to one of the Penton master vampires, right? So it’s no big deal for newcomers Nik and Robin to be bonded. Aidan bonds Nik and Mirren takes Robin…only Nik is human and Robin isn’t. If you’ve read the series and wondered if Mirren Kincaid, known in his mercenary days as The Slayer, ever gets scared, well the answer is yes. It’s a fun scene—well, for everyone except Mirren and Robin. The two most fearless characters in Penton get a little freaked. Okay, a lot.

#4… Cage is caged. The hero of Allegiance, Cage Reynolds, was last seen in Penton with a maybe-something-relationship developing with Melissa Calvert. Since Robin Ashton came to town, he’s become fascinated with the feisty little shifter. (Don’t worry, it’s really not a love triangle.) But Cage gets caught in a little cat-fighting, so to speak, when Melissa and Robin finally meet. It doesn’t help that Melissa is possessive and Robin is wearing a sweatshirt tied around her waist…and nothing else. Cage is totally out of his league as the women snark it out, and his discomfort is really funny.

#3… “The wreck.” There’s an automobile accident in the book—although it was no accident—that literally changes things for every single character. The aftermath of it was emotional and gut-wrenching to write. It might not make you tear up, but it did me.

#2…The prologue and the final scene in the book. They dovetail really well to start and finish the book and, of course, I can’t exactly say what they are because then you’d have no need to read the book, right? Let’s just say the ending scene as it plays out against the opening of the book is dramatic. It’s both incredibly satisfying and incredibly sad, and maybe unexpected.

#1… Robin Ashton’s first appearance in the book. It’s a solemn occasion, and the petite little eagle shape-shifter wanders out of the woods without Mirren or Cage having a clue as to who she is. Her first lines to the 6-foot-8 Mirren (and note that she’s 5-foot-2) is to get in his face…er, sternum…and announce, “I’m your worst f*ing nightmare.” The scene pretty much degenerates from that point onward. I had a blast writing it, and it still makes me laugh.

Which scene do you find most intriguing? Do you generally remember the dramatic scenes in your favorite books, or the funny moments?

More About Allegiance

From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the fourth book in the smart and steamy Penton Legacy series.

British vampire psychiatrist and former mercenary Cage Reynolds returns to Penton, Alabama, looking for a permanent home. The town has been ravaged by the ongoing vampire war and the shortage of untainted human blood, and now the vampires and humans that make up the Omega Force are trying to rebuild. Cage hopes to help the cause, put down roots in Penton, and resolve his relationship with Melissa Calvert. The last thing he expects is an attraction to Robin Ashton, a trash-talking eagle shape-shifter and new Omega recruit.

Meanwhile, as a dangerous saboteur wreaks havoc in Penton, the ruthless Vampire Tribunal leader Matthias Ludlam has been freed on the eve of his scheduled execution. But by whom? And to what end? As war and chaos rage on, love is the last thing Cage is looking for, but will his attraction to Robin distract him from the danger living among them?

Susannah Sandlin/Suzanne Johnson
Susannah Sandlin/Suzanne Johnson

More About Susannah

Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick.

She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Her Penton novel, Omega, was nominated for a 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award in Paranormal Romance from RT Book Reviews magazine. Absolution was the winner of the 2013 Holt Medallion in Paranormal Romance.

More About the Tour-Wide Giveaway

Susannah is giving away these prizes at the end of her tour:

  • 1 $50 Amazon gift card
  • 2 $10 Amazon gift cards
  • 2 Author swag packs (books, swag)

To enter to win, click here for the Rafflecopter form. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18 or older. For my complete giveaway rules, click here.

Allegiance Banner

So, how about you? Do you play favorites? Which scene of Susannah’s above did you find most intriguing? Do you generally remember the dramatic scenes in your favorite books, or the funny moments?

Susannah, congratulations and best wishes for Allegiance. Thank you for guest blogging today!

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE – BLOG TOUR KICK OFF

Today is the kick off for my WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE blog tour! What does this mean?! Well, mostly it means lots of posts and prizes. Below is a tentative blog tour schedule. (The nature of blogging being what it is, I can’t guarantee that a blogger or review site will be able to post on the date listed below. Things happen. Schedules change. Glitches occur. But this is the plan.) I will do my best to add dedicated links on my WHOJ blog tour page as soon as the posts are live. Each stop on the Bewitching Book Tour will have additional chances for you to win my awesome prizes — also detailed below. There are only SEVEN DAYS left before White Heart of Justice‘s release. If you haven’t pre-ordered already, what are you waiting for?! If you have enjoyed even one blog post here, do me a huge favor and pre-order. 🙂 And, if you already have pre-ordered, THANK YOU!!! Early reviews and feedback have been great!! Noon Onyx fans, fantasy fans, fans of dark worlds inhabited by strong characters, monsters and magic — this one’s for you! 😀

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover art

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting…

After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future.

However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Topics and Links to Live Posts Will Be Added Later

For giveaway details see below

Posts marked with an * are outside of the BBT tour

May 20 Spotlight/Excerpt

Butterfly-o-Meter Books

 

May 20 Review

Happy Tails and Tales

 

May 21 Interview

Books Direct

 

May 21 Spotlight

Bookin’ It Reviews

 

May 21 Spotlight

Deb Sanders

 

May 22 Guest Blog

Magic and Mayhem

 

May 22 Spotlight

Coffee Break

 

May 22 Spotlight

Cherry Mischievous

 

May 23 Guest Blog

Christina McKnight

 

May 23 Spotlight

Shut Up & Read

 
* May 27 RELEASE DAY PARTY!
Bitten By Books
Separate Giveaway: $50 Amazon eGift Certificate
 

May 28 Guest Blog

Night Owl Reviews

 
* May 28 Guest Blog
SFSignal
 

* May 28 Guest Blog

The Reading Café

 

May 29 Spotlight and Review

What the Cat Read

 

May 30 Interview

CBY Book Club

 

May 30 Spotlight

Melissa Stevens

 

June 2 review 

Tynga’s Reviews

 

June 3 Guest Blog

Preternatura

 

June 4 Guest blog

Addicted 2 Heroines

 

June 5 Interview

JeanzBookReadNReview

 

June 6 Interview

Fantasy Book Addict

 

June 6 review

Leeanna.me

 

June 9 Spotlight

3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!

 

June 9 review 

Babel at Tower of Babel

 

June 10 Spotlight

On the Broomstick

 

June 10 Spotlight

Fang-tastic Books

BBT TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAYS

You may recall I mentioned earlier that, because this is the third book, I really wanted to HAVE FUN with my blog tour prizes. Each of the prize packs were inspired by a scene from one of the books.

The Dark Light of Day prize pack was inspired by the scene where Noon and Ivy get ready for the Barrister’s Ball. The Fiery Edge of Steel prize pack was inspired by the scene where Noon and her investigative team have dinner on the deck of their dahabiya just before reaching… well, I know many of you have read it, but if not, I don’t want to spoil it! 🙂

  • $50 Amazon eGift Certificate (or bookseller of winner’s choice) (international)
  • 5 copies of White Heart of Justice (or an earlier book in the series, winner’s choice) (international so long as Book Depository ships to your address)
  • Dark Light of Day themed prize pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • Fiery Edge of Steel themed prize pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)
  • White Heart of Justice themed prize pack (includes signed copy of book and other awesome goodies; see below) (US only)

No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. 18 and over. For official rules, please see my Giveaways page.

DARK LIGHT OF DAY

PRIZE PACKDark Light of Day Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of Dark Light of Day
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • Natural Face Paint Kit
  • Orange Silk Flower Hair Clip
  • Atomic Fireball Candies
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack
  • Approximate value: $40

FIERY EDGE OF STEEL

PRIZE PACKFiery Edge of Steel Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of Fiery Edge of Steel
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • “The Queen of Flowers” T-shirt Tank Top
  • Set of three Silver Glass Mercury Votive Holders
  • Petite Pear Candies
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack
  • Approximate value: $40

WHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

PRIZE PACKWhite Heart of Justice Prize Pack

  • Signed print copy of White Heart of Justice
  • Handmade bookmark with charm
  • White Crystal Headband
  • Vintage Star Pin
  • White Chocolate Meltaways
  • Signed copy of galley pages of scene that inspired prize pack
  • Approximate value: $40

White Heart of Justice Banner

Now go forth and share, pre-order, comment, enter to win, etc.! Good luck and thank you to everyone who has followed me on this journey so far!!

Oh, and stay tuned… I have one more post today… (I usually don’t do two posts a day, but you’ll see: it’s worth getting two posts/emails from me!)

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

Five Reasons for Revenge by Abel from Tricia Skinner’s ANGEL KIN

Today’s guest blogger is the villain from Tricia Skinner’s new release Angel Kin. He’s here with his top 5 reasons for revenge. His creator, Tricia, edited his post as part of the blog tour she’s doing to promote the book. She’s also offering a great giveaway: One $25 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes. (US only). The Rafflecopter link is below. Welcome, Tricia! 

Angel Kin

Five Reasons for Revenge by Abel from Angel Kin

Edited by Tricia Skinner

So, this is a blog tour stop. Interesting. Are all you readers seriously enamored with happily ever after and heart-stopping tales of true love winning against all? Bah. It’s nonsense.

I’m Abel, mistakenly called the villain in Angel Kin. How am I the bad guy? My twin brother, Cain, is the real troublemaker.  If it wasn’t for his cowardly act when our village was attacked by Heaven’s vengeful army, I wouldn’t have been left to die and then “rescued” by the fallen angels known as Renegades.

They taught me patience. They taught me how to cause pain. They taught me how sweet revenge tastes. Now, I’m here to share my reasons for wanting to destroy Cain and his annoying thief of a girlfriend, Katie Logan.

Reason 1: While Cain lived in Heaven, I was sentenced to life in Hell.

My twin was saved by Tanis, the angel sent to kill him and other Nephilim, the half-angel/half-human offspring of Renegades. How was that fair? We were brothers, closer than any two children could be. Our souls seemed connected, but did that spare me from being left to die? Nope. Cain should have dug through the rubble of our home until he found my bones! Instead he took off with Tanis and left me behind.

Reason 2: Women.

Oh, you know this one is true. Women are trouble whether they are human or supernatural beings. As you’ll read in Angel Kin, Katie Logan is a thorn in my side. She witnessed a minor assassination I carried out and then ran to The Bound Ones. Cain’s brotherhood of traitors chose to protect her from me, and that just wouldn’t do.

Reason 3: Torturing Cain is fun.

My brother is a popular guy, a regular Eagle Scout. I swear, he’d save feral kittens if he thought someone would praise his goody-two-shoes ways. The only way to deal with Cain’s spotless reputation is to send an avalanche of crap down on him. There isn’t a person in Detroit that can tell us apart, and that gave me an assortment of tricks to pull from. I want my brother to know loss and fear and loneliness. I want him to suffer.

Reason 4: My employers have an agenda.

Be thankful the Renegades didn’t raise you. Those bastards honed me into their perfect weapon. Love? Gone. Family? Gone. Human emotions? History. I didn’t need those energy sucks anyway. Cain was alive, but my saviors kept me from him until they felt the time was right. Waiting made everything I did to my twin in Angel Kin much more satisfying.

Reason 5: A long memory.

Humans have an annoying saying: forgive and forget. Who came up with that crap? I listened to my mother scream as her body succumbed to fire. My father fell under four angel swords. My brother vanished only to become a Heaven-trained assassin. Tell me I should forgive all that was taken from me. Make me see how easy it would be to turn the other cheek.

None of you can. I will never stop.

Abel

More about Angel Kin

The thief will steal his heart…

While channeling Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich and give to the poor” attitude at a local politician’s house, ex-con Katie Logan witnesses a forced suicide. Dirty or not, supernatural or not, he didn’t deserve to die, especially not by his own hand. But with her record, stepping forward as a witness isn’t an option. On the run from the police and the murderer, she turns to The Bound Ones for help.

When a beautiful woman comes to The Bound Ones, half-angel assassin Cain is immediately drawn to her. But when she fingers him as the killer, he can come to only one conclusion. The twin he thought was dead is very much alive…and trying to send him a message. Unfortunately, that message is: “You’re next.”

It’s a race against time as Cain fights to save the woman he’s falling in love with before his brother Abel destroys them both.

Tricia Skinner
Tricia Skinner

More about Tricia

Tricia Skinner writes urban fantasy with twist of passion. She’s a former journalist who discovered her inspiration to write fiction as an escape from “real life.” Her reading tastes include fantasy (and its subgenres), paranormal, sci-fi, and history.

When she’s not writing, Tricia is a newbie “green” practitioner, fitness procrastinator, and a technology geek. Her family includes a patient husband, a demigod son, and two Great Danes. She’s active in several writing communities and enjoys interacting with readers.

Giveaway

Tricia is offering a tour-wide giveaway: one $25 gift card to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes. Not open to international entries. For the Rafflecopter form, click here. For my official giveaway rules, click here.

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 So what do you guys think? Revenge is a powerful motive. Do you think it’s THE most powerful one?

Thank you, Tricia, for guest blogging today! Congrats and best wishes for Angel Kin‘s release and the Angel Assassins series.