Thursday Word-Slingers – Guest Kayden McLeod

Today’s guest is from Bewitching Blog Tours, Kayden McLeod. Let’s give her a nice, warm welcome!

1) How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for about twelve years, though published only for three.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

At the moment, there are several juggling acts. I have a full time job as an office manager, I co-own two companies (a graphic arts company and a book review site), as well as writing, and random masterminding.

3) Of the books you’re touring with, did/do you have a favorite? What can you tell us about that particular one (beyond the blurb)?

My favorites constantly change, but at the moment, the selection would be Deadly Fetishes, the first book in the Cornwall Coven series (erotic romance). I’ve been told more than once that the lead character, Kelly, and her best friend Sara, reflect two aspects to my personality, and sometimes, I have to agree.
 Kelly is a vampire, quite by accident, and lives under several delusions. She goes through her existence adhering to common myth like: vampires can’t be in sunlight, though she detests drinking blood and practically starves herself, struggling with a way to survive without hurting anyone. Until she meets Marcus, a six-foot, blonde, Goth vampire. While he is perfectly capable of being warm and kind, he walks around with a feral edge no one can deny.
 Marcus shows Kelly vampiric life doesn’t have to be a burden to her, or to humanity. Their relationship quickly progresses, as Marcus proves he has the best of intentions, sheltering her, teaching her as she assimilates into a world she’d never dreamed of.

4) What is it about the paranormal romance (erotic and non-erotic) genre that you like so much?

Whether I’m reading or writing paranormal, and fantasy, I find any rule can be broken, reshaped to fit the most fantastical scenes/outcomes. Nothing is off limits, and the ideas can go in any direction, with flare, releasing a special sort of freedom.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I constantly shift genres, and even most of my erotic romance books don’t necessarily fit that genre. I like to mix every genre imaginable into any book I write: science fiction, horror, fantasy, paranormal, and romance often come into play. Though, at the moment, I’m writing a fantasy YA series under a different name: Kinsey Knight. It’s become my latest obsession in many ways, as it’s an entirely new world I’ve created, very different than the one of the vampires in the Cornwall, Foxworth and Jericho Coven series.

6) Sweet or sour?

Definitely sweet!

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate. 

 FAN INFO
Kinsey Knight’s Website: http://www.kinseyknight.com/home.php
Otherworlds Publicity: http://otherworldspublicity.com/
BOOKS

Liwet is a less-than-lily-white angel, who has a chip on her shoulder just begging for someone to knock it off. She refuses to come to heel, yet the time for Liwet to play by her own rules has come to an end. Oriax comes back to his old flame, with a proposition he doesn’t want to pursue, and has no choice but to make. Dark, chilling forces beyond Liwet and Oriax’s control drag them back together and down into a rabbit hole so deep, escape is futile. The prince of the underworld wants them in his court; a request never to be taken lightly. Can the couple overcome their pasts, and find each other once more, before it’s too late to save either of them?

If you could have immortality, would you take it?

Running in fear of her life and that of her best friend’s, Kelly would definitely say no to such an age-old question. Kelly is a quiet conservative woman who is prone to panic attacks; Marcus is a walking manual on sexual pleasure that just happens to work in a fetish club and takes full advantage of every perk of his job. He is captivating and dangerous and knows exactly what he wants. With a single-minded purpose, he scoops Kelly up from her abnormal, disillusioned life and shows her the pleasure immortality has to offer, if one knows where to look for it. His obsession and desire for her body knows no limits and only burns hotter every time he touches her. He is never sated, and she drives him insane with blinding need to hear her scream his name with absolute abandon. Marcus fully intends to show her their new world of vampires, which isn’t anything like what Kelly has ever dreamed of. And she isn’t sure if she wants any part of it, whether that world includes Marcus or not.



Bethany’s boyfriend, Daniel, is confident he can bring Bethany into this world of primal sex and new adventures. But first, Bethany has to meet the Mistress of the house. Will Madam Clairette see the sensual beauty Daniel does, and allow the love of his life to accompany him into his universe?

Thanks for coming by for Ms. McLeod. I do hope you’ll come by on Monday (July 2) when I spotlight author Mal Olson.
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Six Sentence Sunday (6/24/12) – #sixsunday

Well howdy, guys and gals. It’s been a long time since I participated in these. I’ve been working on the third book in the Dream-Walker War so feel I might have something new to contribute to the process once again. I’m sad to learn that SSS will be wrapping up in another six months. 😦 But, we all move to different phases in our lives, right?


Anyway, this week’s selection comes from Dreams of Blood (working title), a paranormal romance with heavy urban fantasy tendencies. It picks up where Blood-Mage Rising leaves off, finishing the romance between Christine and Jordan while continuing forward with Ares’s plot to…well, you need to read the end of Rising if you want to know what Ares’s ultimate plot is. 🙂


This week’s tidbit is the opening of DoB.

Waking up with her head in a sociopath’s lap had never been on Chris Javert’s to-do list. Neither had waking up with her head in her lover’s lap. As her eyes opened in response to a gentle shake, she found herself in precisely that position. The familiar English with a touch of Scots accented voice said, “You need to wake up.”

Chris blinked, her surroundings taking a moment to come into focus. They were in the back of her best friend’s limousine, having just come back from hours of interrogation at the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs, trying to explain the brawl in her friend’s nightclub, A’Jin’Cor.

So, there you go! Hope you’ll check out the other participants here. Tomorrow, I will be announcing the winners of the Jaime McDougall giveaway. If you haven’t commented yet, go do it now. You could be one of three winners of a free e-book!

Thursday Word-Slingers – Guest Rosa Sophia

Ahh, it seems like only yesterday I did my prior post. Oh wait, it was yesterday. Hehehe. Anyway, today’s post is from Rosa Sophia, mystery/suspense writer extraordinaire.


1)      How long have you been writing?

I’ve always been a writer. I decided when I was little that I was going to be a famous author, and when I was a teenager, I decided that I would be published by the time I was twenty. I was published by the time I was twenty, but I’m not famous yet. I think I’ll start shooting for famous at forty. Hey, you never know!

2)      How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I have a day job in a library. I am an editor working for three publishers, and I have a growing number of independent clients. I am the official historian for my town, and I go to school full time for Automotive. I’ll be done with school soon, and hopefully my schedule will ease up a bit. (TM – good grief. Your life revolves around books. I’m so jealous)

3)      What can you tell the audience about your current release, Check Out Time (I mean beyond the blurb)?

Check Out Time is actually the first in what I hope will become a series. At this point, I’m not sure if it will go beyond the second book, which is called At The Turn of a Wrench. Both books were inspired in part by my father, who passed away in February of this year. I miss him very much. Check Out Time is dedicated to him. One of the main characters in both books, Roy Vogler, was based after my dad. I will be sending a portion of the proceeds to my family for the care of my little sisters, who are twelve (twins). I love them both so much, and I want to help them in any way that I can. (TM – those are fabulous titles. And you have sisters who are twins? That’s awesome! I have twin daughters)

4)      What is it about the mystery genre that you like so much?

Actually, it’s suspensethat I enjoy the most, and mystery to a lesser extent. There is suspense and mystery in everyday life, but the mystery genre tends to be associated with bodies—the Murder Mystery. Check Out Time certainly falls into this category, but for me, there are other aspects of the story that are more important. The most important suspenseful aspect involves the main character’s life, her past, and how she will deal with her future. And that’s really the most relatable aspect. That’s also where my books tend to cross genres.

5)      Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I feel that everything I write shifts into other genres. I don’t like to limit myself. Although this is the second Mystery novel that I have published, much of what I am working on right now is definitely departing from the Mystery genre. In fact, I have a series of novels that I’ve been working on since 2006 that is a delightful mix of Mystery and Science Fiction, with a little Romance thrown in.

6)      Sweet or sour?

Both, of course.

7)      Chocolate or vanilla?

Again, both—there is always a need for balance in all things, especially desserts . . . . (TM – are you a Libra? All this balance of yours….)

 FAN INFO
Website / Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Email  /  GoodReads
Rosa Sophia is the author of the Paranormal Mystery Taking 1960.  She currently resides in south Florida.  Please visit her at: www.rosasophia.com.

BOOK


BLURB

Naomi Vogler blames herself for her mother’s tragic death, continually reliving the accident in her nightmares.  When she reconnects with her estranged father, he invites her to live with him in a little town called Witchfire.  A simple job stocking shelves overnight at a local grocery store seems a perfect distraction.  But when the manager of the store is found dead in the boiler room, Naomi’s boring job becomes something much more complicated.  No matter how she looks at it, one thing is certain: retail is murder.

EXCERPT

The leaves on the oak trees rustled in a slight breeze.  It was a mild summer day.  Naomi had foregone traditional dress for a black tank top and a pair of blue jeans and sandals.  
            “We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a beloved friend and mother.”
            Naomi stared down at her feet.  She wasn’t really listening to the pastor.  She couldn’t help but think that it was a little silly that someone who didn’t really know her mother was leading the ceremony.  She felt eyes on her back.  Everyone was watching her.  She was standing apart from the others.  After a while, she began to notice that one man in particular was looking in her direction.  He watched her with solemn, sorrowful eyes, his hands clasped over his black suit jacket.
            After the funeral, Naomi went and stood in the parking lot.  She made a point to avoid everyone.  They came up to her and said a whole lot of things that she didn’t really hear.  They told her that it wasn’t her fault, but she didn’t believe them.  They asked her if she was really going away, if the Penn Foundation was where she really thought she should be.  It was what the psychiatrist at the police station had suggested, but Naomi wasn’t bound to it.  The law couldn’t tell her what to do; they insisted that she was innocent, a mere bystander.
            The man who had been watching her walked up beside her.  “Hello,” he said.  The greeting sounded forced, as though he were afraid of her.
            Naomi eyed him suspiciously.  “Hi.  Do I know you?”
            The crowd was dispersing.  There was a discomfort in the air that was almost palpable.  The man beside Naomi shrugged.  “You did know me, once.”  He caught her gaze and stared at her.  He appeared as though he were on the verge of tears.  “Do you need a place to live? I have plenty of room.”
            “Who are you?” Naomi took a step back.  Part of her already knew who he was; the rest of her didn’t want to believe it.
            The man smiled weakly, his first attempt to comfort her.  Then he spoke, and it was clear that he was afraid of her reaction.  “I’m your father.”


Thank you so much for coming by to check out this fabulous author! I’m participating in Six Sentence Sunday this week, and my next guest will Kayden McLeod on the 28th. Hope to see you guys soon.

Word-Slingers – Guest Jaime McDougall (Giveaway today)

Yup, same guest as Monday. That was supposed to be an interview, but we had some crossed lines and she got a spotlight instead. Today is the interview!


1) How long have you been writing?

That’s a little hard to say because I have been writing for a long time. When I was about six, I thought the wolf got a raw deal in the three little pigs, so I rewrote the story from the wolf’s perspective. (TM – hehe – good point)
 I took a firm step away from fanfiction when I was about 12, so you could say I’ve been writing my own work for thirteen years. 🙂

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

At the moment, I have a fairly low-pressure life. My days consist of a lot of appointments, but they’re not long and don’t last all day long. My husband fully supports my writing life, so he’s always okay with me taking the time I need. I don’t have any kids, either, so I have more free time on my hands.
 In July I will be going back to school, however, and I am a little bit nervous about what the new schedule will entail…(TM – eeep! I know what you mean. Good luck)

3) What can you tell us (beyond the blurb) about the current book you’re touring for, Echo Falls?

When I wrote Echo Falls, I wanted to write a story for the story, not for the sake of writing about werewolves. I didn’t want it to be ‘look at the werewolves!’; I wanted the story to be about people who were living life that happened to have the werewolf element as a part of their lives.
 More than that, though, I wanted to write Phoebe’s story because it is similar to my own. I wanted to write about a woman finding the strength to fight for what she loves and to face her demons. Changing your life or yourself for the better is never easy, and I want to pay tribute to the men and women who do that and more every day.

4) What is it about the urban fantasy genre that you like so much?

Ah, this one is easy. I love to be able to look at the world today and to think that there is so much more to it than what we see with our eyes. I like to think of the secrets that buildings and people hold, the surprises we get when we only take things at face value and the magic that life can hold if we take the time to truly look.
 Urban fantasy lets me see the world in the light of possibilities rather than with discontent or disdain. I love to see the world for what it can be and writing about those possibilities. (TM – totally agree with you there. UF and Para-Rom rock for letting you play with the “what if” ideas)

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

Absolutely. I have ideas, outlines and half-started stories from a variety of genres. I think I’m meant to wander as I please through the various genres – though there are some I definitely won’t write.
 I’m working on Fading Echoes right now, the next book of Echo Falls. But after that, I’m not sure. I have a couple contemporary romances waiting to be written, and I would like to focus on them.

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet. I have a terrible sweet tooth…

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

If we’re talking ice cream, vanilla. If we’re talking anything else – definitely chocolate.

FAN INFO
Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors.
A love of fiction has always coursed through her veins and she told stories as a child even before she knew how to write them. Settling into one genre was never her style and she has plans for novels in women’s fiction, urban fantasy and more – all with a touch of romance.
She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing the So You Want ebook series for authors looking to establish their names online.
You can connect with her at her website, http://www.inkyblots.com and on Facebook.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjaimemcdougall

BLURB
Running from a nightmare stalking her every move, Phoebe Martin arrives in Echo Falls hoping she has finally found a safe place to stop. But trouble has a way of catching up and soon the signs are there.

After a vicious attack in an alley, policeman Aidan O’Bryan is left with Phoebe as his only path to understanding why the Echo Falls werewolf pack – his pack – is being attacked. When another pack member is killed, Phoebe is forced to confront her past before she loses Aidan and everything she has come to love.

Love and duty become one as Aidan strives to prevent Phoebe from becoming the next victim. But with Phoebe just as determined to protect Aidan and her new home, secrets from her past threaten to tear them apart. Will love give Phoebe the strength to trust Aidan and face her fears, or will her past destroy her future?


EXCERPT
Keep running, keep running, keep running. Phoebe’s lungs burned as her mind screamed the mantra. Keep running, keep running.
How many steps can there be?
She should know. She lived in this apartment building.
Tears ran down her cheeks and her lungs burned for air. Only the random irrational thought broke through the panic keeping her feet moving down the steps. Keep running. Keep running. The light of the emergency exit came into view. Almost there…
The door to the stairwell slammed open with a hollow boom. She tripped and clung to the railing to steady herself.
Keep running.
The shock of the cool night air sent a shiver of relief through her body. She’d come out a side exit into an alley. If she could just get to the front –
Suddenly she was thrown to the ground from behind. She hit the concrete, what little breath she had knocked from her lungs. Blood began flowing from where her head hit the ground, and small sparks of light floated into her vision.
How did he catch up so fast?
Desperately she tried to gulp down as much air as she could, willing her lungs to cooperate. Instinct kicked in as the attacker slashed at her, and she curled into fetal position.
A dog. He’d turned into a dog. A big dog with vicious claws and teeth he used to tear into her exposed back, thigh and shoulder. She slowly regained her breath but could only use it to scream her throat raw.
Her vision faded, taking the small sparks of light with it. Searing pain ripped through her shoulder as a claw dug down against her bone. One last, long scream tore from her lungs before she was left gasping and sobbing, her fear slowly smoldering into rage.
Things can’t end like this.
She opened her eyes as the dog stood over her, trying to get to her throat. A paw came into her line of vision and she saw her chance. She reached out, grabbed it and squeezed with all the strength she had.
The dog yelped and tried to twist away, but she held on with all the strength she had. She knew she’d only bought herself time. She couldn’t move the dog off her and she couldn’t squeeze his paw all night. He tried uselessly to bite her, his jaws having no strength so long as she squeezed his paw. But she could already feel her strength waning.
Suddenly the weight of the dog flew off her, taking the paw out of her grip. Without thinking, she used her one cooperating arm to drag herself toward the front of the building.
She shivered, her arm giving out, and caught a glimpse of a second dog. No. A wolf… Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she listened to the dogs fighting, the battle just a few steps away. She tried her best to curl up against the building wall and willed the growling and snapping to go away. They sounded like they were tearing each other to pieces.
The universe granted her wish, the battle ending with the sound of two bodies hitting each other and a sharp whine. She shivered and softly whined as well, dreading the approach of the winner as one of the dogs yelped and ran away.
A few moments later warm, human hand brushed the back of her head and she screamed again. If it could be called a scream. Her throat burned and rebelled at her abuse of it.
“Ssh. You’re safe now.”
She tried to scream again and move away, but her body wouldn’t obey her commands. She groaned as the full force of the pain washed over her.
He murmured and she relaxed her desperate grip on staying conscious. Sleep seemed so tempting, the black abyss singing a siren’s song to her. Her rescuer – or captor – tried to soothe her, but something dark and dangerous in his voice betrayed him. He was different. She tried to bat away his hands but gave up after a few attempts, not sure if her good hand was actually moving.

As she slipped into the darkness, she wondered if death had merely granted her a short reprieve from the inevitable.


BUY LINKS


CONTEST CONTEST
Ms. McDougall is offering not one or just two copies of her book, Echo Falls. No! She’s offering up to THREE copies to lucky commenters, so hope you’ll comment lots and lots below! Normal rules apply – winner(s) to be announced on Monday!

Thanks for coming by for Jaime McDougall.  Tomorrow Rosa Sophia visits. Hope to see you back then! 

Word-Slingers – Guest Jaime McDougall

Today we have a spotlight with urban fantasy author Jaime McDougall and her book Echo Falls


Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors.
A love of fiction has always coursed through her veins and she told stories as a child even before she knew how to write them. Settling into one genre was never her style and she has plans for novels in women’s fiction, urban fantasy and more – all with a touch of romance.
She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing the So You Want ebook series for authors looking to establish their names online.
You can connect with her at her website, http://www.inkyblots.com and on Facebook.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorjaimemcdougall

BLURB
Running from a nightmare stalking her every move, Phoebe Martin arrives in Echo Falls hoping she has finally found a safe place to stop. But trouble has a way of catching up and soon the signs are there.

After a vicious attack in an alley, policeman Aidan O’Bryan is left with Phoebe as his only path to understanding why the Echo Falls werewolf pack – his pack – is being attacked. When another pack member is killed, Phoebe is forced to confront her past before she loses Aidan and everything she has come to love.

Love and duty become one as Aidan strives to prevent Phoebe from becoming the next victim. But with Phoebe just as determined to protect Aidan and her new home, secrets from her past threaten to tear them apart. Will love give Phoebe the strength to trust Aidan and face her fears, or will her past destroy her future?


EXCERPT
Keep running, keep running, keep running. Phoebe’s lungs burned as her mind screamed the mantra. Keep running, keep running.
How many steps can there be?
She should know. She lived in this apartment building.
Tears ran down her cheeks and her lungs burned for air. Only the random irrational thought broke through the panic keeping her feet moving down the steps. Keep running. Keep running. The light of the emergency exit came into view. Almost there…
The door to the stairwell slammed open with a hollow boom. She tripped and clung to the railing to steady herself.
Keep running.
The shock of the cool night air sent a shiver of relief through her body. She’d come out a side exit into an alley. If she could just get to the front –
Suddenly she was thrown to the ground from behind. She hit the concrete, what little breath she had knocked from her lungs. Blood began flowing from where her head hit the ground, and small sparks of light floated into her vision.
How did he catch up so fast?
Desperately she tried to gulp down as much air as she could, willing her lungs to cooperate. Instinct kicked in as the attacker slashed at her, and she curled into fetal position.
A dog. He’d turned into a dog. A big dog with vicious claws and teeth he used to tear into her exposed back, thigh and shoulder. She slowly regained her breath but could only use it to scream her throat raw.
Her vision faded, taking the small sparks of light with it. Searing pain ripped through her shoulder as a claw dug down against her bone. One last, long scream tore from her lungs before she was left gasping and sobbing, her fear slowly smoldering into rage.
Things can’t end like this.
She opened her eyes as the dog stood over her, trying to get to her throat. A paw came into her line of vision and she saw her chance. She reached out, grabbed it and squeezed with all the strength she had.
The dog yelped and tried to twist away, but she held on with all the strength she had. She knew she’d only bought herself time. She couldn’t move the dog off her and she couldn’t squeeze his paw all night. He tried uselessly to bite her, his jaws having no strength so long as she squeezed his paw. But she could already feel her strength waning.
Suddenly the weight of the dog flew off her, taking the paw out of her grip. Without thinking, she used her one cooperating arm to drag herself toward the front of the building.
She shivered, her arm giving out, and caught a glimpse of a second dog. No. A wolf… Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she listened to the dogs fighting, the battle just a few steps away. She tried her best to curl up against the building wall and willed the growling and snapping to go away. They sounded like they were tearing each other to pieces.
The universe granted her wish, the battle ending with the sound of two bodies hitting each other and a sharp whine. She shivered and softly whined as well, dreading the approach of the winner as one of the dogs yelped and ran away.
A few moments later warm, human hand brushed the back of her head and she screamed again. If it could be called a scream. Her throat burned and rebelled at her abuse of it.
“Ssh. You’re safe now.”
She tried to scream again and move away, but her body wouldn’t obey her commands. She groaned as the full force of the pain washed over her.
He murmured and she relaxed her desperate grip on staying conscious. Sleep seemed so tempting, the black abyss singing a siren’s song to her. Her rescuer – or captor – tried to soothe her, but something dark and dangerous in his voice betrayed him. He was different. She tried to bat away his hands but gave up after a few attempts, not sure if her good hand was actually moving.

As she slipped into the darkness, she wondered if death had merely granted her a short reprieve from the inevitable.


BUY LINKS


Thanks for coming by for Jaime McDougall.  Next up will be Rosa Sophia on Thursday the 21st. Hope to see you back then!

Thursday Word-Slingers – Spotlight on Donna Del Oro

As promised, today the spotlight swings to highlight the talented Donna Del Oro. Hope you have a great Thursday, everyone.


Donna Del Oro spent her childhood in two places, Silicon Valley, CA and the countryside of East Texas, as her father tried several job opportunities. Finally settling in Silicon Valley, she grew up in a bilingual, bicultural world–Spanish on her mother’s side and English on her father’s. Comfortable in both worlds, she decided upon retiring from teaching to write about her Hispanic side. Four women’s fiction books resulted and a series about professional singers, their careers and love lives. Retired and devoting much of her abundant free time to exercise, writing, singing and her grandson, Donna has finally reached a point in life that totally satisfies her. Life is good and she has no complaints, just a lot of gratitude for her many blessings.



BLURB
Athena Butler is the modern-day descendant of an ancient bloodline of gifted clairvoyants. She’s trying to live a “normal” life as an artist, but with the disappearance of her mother and other notable psychics, she finds herself dragged into danger. She, too, is a target.

Kas Skoros, the son of a psychic, is a Guardian, one of a secret society whose task is protecting the Delphi bloodline. He rushes to rescue Athena and uncover the mastermind behind the kidnapping plot.

Athena and Kas stay one step ahead with Athena’s psychic abilities and Kas’s training in law enforcement. When they seek refuge at the Skoros compound in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the FBI convinces them that the only way to stop the kidnappers and trap the mastermind is for Athena to offer herself as bait.  



EXCERPT
Chapter One
Pyramid Valley, Nevada
Thursday AM
            Athena Butler’s eyes blinked open and she sat up. 
            Coming back from The Flow was always jolting. Emerging from the stream of spirits was like a water skier lurching out of the water, pulled by a strong, invisible force. The mind caught up later to the body as if it required a rough snap to break free.
            Likewise, to go there was like jumping out of a plane and feeling the air rush to your face, your limbs weightless and wobbly. Most of the time, it was a joy to enter this world of unseen spirits. Athena welcomed her visits, especially at night when she found herself invariably alone.
            When she was a child, she’d often emerge from The Flow with a fearful whimper and a cry. She’d wept and wanted to stay in The Flow. Now, at twenty-six, Athena had grown accustomed to her mental flights. They were no longer fear-inducing for she understood their purpose. But her exits were still mind-wrenching and she often lay in bed, disoriented.
            This morning, fear clutched her heart and she could barely breathe. With a trembling hand, she reached for her phone. Breathless, she raked her other hand through her hair and kicked her legs over the side of the bed.  She punched her mother’s mobile numbers. It was nine o’clock East Coast time.
            “Thank God, Mama! Where are you?”
            “I’m in Baltimore, near the–.”
            “Mama, I had a dream about you. A Flow Dream. The spirits—they want me to warn you! Whatever you’re doing right now, get off the streets.  Go home and lock the door. Call the police!”
            Her heart felt like a ticking bomb in her chest.  Athena could barely speak. But her mother knew her and understood her Flow dreams. They were seldom wrong though sometimes a little off in timing. Today, a threat was imminent. She knew it.

            “Slow down, Thena. Take a deep breath and tell me slowly about your dream. I don’t doubt you but we must be able to interpret it correctly. You know how these Flow Dreams are. Sometimes the symbolism is strange and difficult to interpret.”


            “Okay–just go home and lock the door. Now, Mama!”

BUY LINKS


And there you have it. Coming up on Monday, I will be interviewing author Jamie McDougall. 

Word-Slingers – Guest Roni Loren

I’m pretty danged excited for today’s guest, Roni Loren. I’ve been a groupie of hers ever since I found her old blog, The Fiction Groupie, back before she got her agent OR a publishing contract. So let’s get to know a little bit more about this lovely lady!


1) How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first novel at 15 (New Kids on the Block fan fiction at its most awful) but it gave me the writing book. My first serious attempt at a book was the end of 2008. My third full novel (not counting the one in high school) was the one that sold.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

This is a constant challenge. I blog daily and write daily, but I also have a four-year old son who keeps me very busy. I try to keep weekends for family time. On most days, I blog while kidlet is eating breakfast, then I write when he goes to preschool (5 hours). All the other stuff–business stuff, promoting, social networking is fit in between all that. I try to stop working once hubs gets home from work but sometimes that’s not possible.

3) What can you tell us about your recent release, Still Into You (June 3) and your upcoming release, Melt Into You (July 5)?

STILL INTO YOU is a novella about a married couple who still loves each other but has drifted apart due to the stresses of every day life and raising a family. When the heroine finds herself tempted to cheat on her husband, she realizes how bad things have gotten. They make a plan to try to rekindle their relationship.
 MELT INTO YOU is about Jace (the best friend from Crash Into You) who comes face to face with the girl he loved as a teen. She’d run away at 16 and he’d spent his life believing it was his fault and worrying that she was dead. But now she’s back and engaged to someone else. Yeah, things get complicated after that. 🙂 (Full blurb here)

4) What is it about the BDSM romance genre that you like so much?

I love the power exchange. It’s fun to write about really strong women who are willing to turn over that power in certain situations. And I can’t resist the really tough alpha male hero, and BDSM lets me write ones who can be as alpha as they want to be. It’s not polite and safe. I like that edge of the forbidden.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre of romance, and if yes, what to and when? I know you have at least 4 or 5 books contracted in the Ranch series.

Right now I have four books and two novellas contracted in The Loving on the Edge series. I have two more novel ideas beyond that in the series, so we’ll see. And yes, I’d like to branch out at some point. Sexy (non-erotic) contemporary romance is most likely. But I also have ideas in YA and even romantic horror, lol. It’s just to find time to write all the ideas. 🙂

6) Does it surprise you any that you’ve narrowed in on this particular subgenre (BDSM)?

Yes and no. It’s what I like to read, so it’s not a huge departure in that sense. But I started out writing YA, so I didn’t exactly expect to be going this route when I first started. 🙂

7) Are you enjoying the transition from uber-blogging awesomeness (former Fiction Groupie blog, my friends!) to author extraordinaire?

Lol, I don’t know if I feel like an author extraordinaire yet, but I love every minute of this job. I’m thankful every day to be able to write books for a living. Coolest thing ever. 🙂

8) Sweet or sour?

Sweet.

9) Chocolate or vanilla?

This is ironic question for a BDSM author, but vanilla. (TM – hehehe) Well, at least when it comes to ice cream. All other treats–chocolate.

 FAN INFO
Email  *  Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook
BLURBS
(Out as of June 5) – Seth and Leila used to have trouble keeping their hands off each other. Passion, desire, love—it was all there. Yet, eight years after their whirlwind marriage and kids, they’ve settled into a life where choosing Letterman over Leno is considered a wild night.
Seth knows things need to change. But when he hears his wife call into a relationship radio show and admit she’s been tempted to cheat, he realizes how far off course they’ve gotten. He comes up with a dramatic plan. Three days. No rings. He’ll take Leila to The Ranch, a resort where any sexual fantasy can be had, and give her the freedom to have whatever or whomever she wants.

However, Seth doesn’t intend to simply stand by and watch other men fulfill Leila’s dark desires. He has a lot more bad boy in him than his wife suspects and he knows there’s only one man who can give her what she needs. Now he has to show her why that man is him.


(Coming July 3) – After running away from home and the boy who broke her heart, Evan Kennedy has kick-started the perfect new life with her celebrity fiancé. So what if said fiancé prefers guys? She knew the deal. And with her ticket to The Ranch, an exclusive resort where any fantasy can be satisfied, she knows she can find someone to fulfill her less-than-traditional desires on the side.


She just never expected that man to be Jace Austin, her old heart-breaker—all grown up, hard-bodied, and holding out a collar. She knows it’s probably a world-class bad idea—especially since Jace has brought along his buddy Andre, who’s every bit as irresistible. But if they can stick to the no-strings rules, so can she.

Too bad Jace has never been so good with rules. Evan is convinced “forever” is a word used only in greeting cards, but Jace and Andre have one last fantasy of hers left to fulfill. It’s time to go big or go home. And neither man has ever been a fan of going home.


Having read Crash Into You and Still Into You, I can say Roni’s awesome! Let’s make her feel really welcome and leave tons of comments, okay? Thanks for coming by, Roni!

Coming up on Thursday is an author spotlight with Donna Del Oro, so hope you’ll check her out!


Friday Update

Wow, it’s been a long time since I did a post just from “me”, rather than an interview or spotlight! Sorry about that, but there’s been a lot going on. Here’s just a quick update:

  1. Back in March, I got pregnant.
  2. Went on vacation at the end of April (the first one just me and hubby in several years) because the in-laws (who came to help the first year with the girls) were getting ready to move out.
  3. The day before the in-laws moved out, I discovered my precious Little Bean was gone, so no more baby. ::sigh::
  4. In-laws moved out (YIPPY! house to ourselves!)
  5. The only good that came out of the loss of Little Bean was we discovered that my pacemaker needed replacing (I’d had it for 8+ years and when it was installed, I’d been told it would only last 3-5 years), so got it replaced at the end of last month.

On a writing note, I’ve been bumbling around, but if you look on the right side of the screen, you’ll see a couple of word-count meters. I finally got started on Dreams of Blood (Book 3 of the Dream-Walker War), but am struggling so am trying something new…outlining! Whoa. It’s freaky. Super Editor swears by it, but the jury’s still out. I haven’t gotten very far, but if it helps, I’ll try anything.

I’m also trying to do a short story for the Evernight Halloween anthology. It would be the shortest piece I’ve ever written (5-10k). I’d be writing about a character that gets mentioned in Blood Rage, Sheridan (who was the one who pushed for the Great Awakening). She was sixteen when she became a vampire and she’s got somethin’ going on with Christian DuBois, a mage-born. This is a great combination because, if you read my books, you know mage-born and vampires do NOT get along very well. Their relationship is kept pretty quiet because she initially met him in a class she was teaching (she’s got a doctorate in archaeology).

The girls are now 14.5 months old. Sheesh, where’s the time gone? They’re getting so big. Their teeth are coming in differently. Quite different in appearance – Sam’s quite dark with relatively little hair (it’s finally started growing in), and Jackie’s much paler with a mop-top of blonde hair.

Recent pictures of the girls as we came home from daycare!

Sammie (Twin B) 

Jackie (Twin A)
They’re such little angels…when they’re asleep. Then let Sam wake up and watch out! She still holds the title of Mistress I don’t believe in sleep. Along with Drama Queen, Mistress Piss & Vinegar, etc. Jackie’s much calmer, plodding, with an appalling tendency to climb on things. Jackie’s also the bigger twin, but don’t let size fool you. Sam’s the bundle of energy and she picks on Jackie (smacking her, stealing her toys, etc). Jackie lets her get away with it too. Every so often, she might protest, but more often she’ll wait until I’ve got Sam pinned for a diaper change and then come up and start poking at Sam’s belly button, which Sam hates.
Garrett just finished kindergarten ::sniff:: According to hubby, he was really sad yesterday when he got off the bus, ’cause he’s done with school. And this morning he was already saying he wished it wasn’t summer vacation. Hehe. Here’s a picture of him from about a month ago after a school production.
So how about you guys? What’s going on in your world these days?

Thursday Word-Slingers (2 of 2) – Guest Jennifer Malone Wright

Here we go with the other half. Let’s make Ms. Wright feel welcome as we learn about her four-part YA series!


1) How long have you been writing?

 I have been writing forever… since grade school at least. I wrote a lot of poetry and made little greeting cards with poetry back then, then it evolved into stories and then eventually books.

2) How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all in the air (usually), (ball = work, writing, family, etc.)

I have five children, a busy husband, my own tour company, my writing, my social media, my house work (A LOT of housework), the yard work and like a million other things. Lol. I keep them all in the air because of some kind of miracle, I really have no idea how I do it.

3) What can you tell us (beyond the normal blurbs) about The Vampire Hunter Daughter series? How and why did you decide to release it as a series of shorter stories?

I can tell you that The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter series is about a girl named Chloe who’s mother was murdered by vampires right in front of her. The vampires almost kidnap her but she is suddenly rescued by a group of vampire hunters. They take her home to their community and she finds out that she is related to the vampire hunters, namely, her grandfather whom she has never met. The vampire hunters are a breed, decended from angels and demi gods, so they have special gifts and are born warriors. In this community they are trained from birth to kill vampires. Chloe decideds to stay, because she wants to train and get tough so she can avenge her mothers death. Around the same time, she discovers that the vampire responsible for killing her mother…is her father. I decided to release this as a short series because I just thought the first one would be a little short I would release for funn, I never thought it would be what it is now.

4) What is it about the paranormal genre that you like so much? And reading the blurbs, it sounds like this might be more a YA series than regular adult fiction? Please, correct me if I’m wrong.

The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter is for sure YA. I like the paranormal genre because I like supernatural stuff and writing it makes me feel less restricted in what I can do. I can do anything when magic and powers are involved.

5) Do you think you’ll move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

Hmm, I really don’t know. I do, however have a post apocalyptic series in the very beginning stages. (TM – WOOT!)

6) Sweet or sour?

Sour

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate

FAN INFO
Jennifer Malone Wright resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children. Between the craziness of taking care of her children, whose ages range from fifteen all the way down to one year, and being a homemaker, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on freelance work or her beloved fiction.

When she grew up, Jennifer always had her nose in a book. She has been writing stories and poems since grade school. This love of the written word and her strong interest in the paranormal is what has led to her first novel “The Birth of Jaiden.”

In addition to being a mother and homemaker, Jennifer is also a very proud military wife. Moving around the country for the last eleven years has made her a bit of a nomad and she finds it difficult to be in one place for too long. 

BOOKS

Fourteen-year-old Chloe witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of a vampire. Before the vampire can kidnap her, there is an unexpected rescue by a group of vampire hunters. Overwhelmed by the feeling of safety, Chloe passes out and they whisk her away to their small community.

When Chloe wakes, she comes face to face with the only other living relative, besides her mother, whom she has ever met: her grandfather. Chloe’s mother kept her hidden from the family; now, Chloe tries to unveil the family secrets.

Through her grandfather, she learns her mother was a vampire hunter. In fact, her entire family is descended from the powerful bloodlines of vampire hunters. Chloe agrees to join the family she has never known for one reason only: Chloe vows to kill the vampire responsible for her mother’s murder.

With vengeance in her soul, Chloe is even more determined to follow through on her vow when she discovers the true identity of her enemy and how he is connected to her.


In the second installment of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, Chloe Kallistrate’s life has been turned upside down. After witnessing the vampire attack that left her mother dead, she’s adopted by her grandfather into a community of vampire hunters. Although she is directly descended from ancient, powerful vampire hunters, the rigorous training schedule begins to break her down. All she wants, all she has ever wanted, is to be a normal teen.

Chloe finds renewed motivation from an unexpected encounter with a fledgling vampire, the first she has seen since her mother’s death. Staring into the glowing red eyes of the vampire, Chloe freezes, forgetting all her training. After the vampire is vanquished by her friend and mentor, Drew, Chloe resolves to train harder, to be the best, and to kill the vampire who had her mother killed. Finally mourning her mother, Chloe allows her revenge to drive her, accepting that her life will never be normal.



In the third installment of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, Chloe Kallistrate’s first Christmas without her mother is difficult. As part of the grieving process she visits her mother’s grave for the first time and there, she is visited by Sostrate, the immortal demi-god from whom she is descended.

As she comes of age, Chloe is changing and developing the gifts unique to her heritage. She discovers a new power she must learn to use and control, as if being a teenager wasn’t difficult enough. During this emotionally chaotic time in her life, the community is attacked, her grandfather injured and hunters are killed. After almost losing her only remaining family, Chloe questions whether her continued presence in the community will sacrifice everyone she has come to care about.



In the fourth installment of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter, Chloe and the other vampire hunters are suffering the aftermath of the vampire attack on their community. Many hunters were injured, and loved ones were murdered. More than that, there is a loss of security and peace since the hunters’ safe haven was breached and invaded. Chloe and Drew struggle just to get along and understand each other without Luke there to guide them.

During this period of uncertainty, Chloe and Drew both try to live a normal life as teenagers by going to the New Year’s bash, she with Gavin and Drew with Christina, Chloe’s recent rival. Chloe is, once again, reminded that nothing is ‘normal’ in her life any more, when she begin to show signs she’s developing supernatural gifts from her father’s bloodline, too.

The bash does little to lift her feelings of guilt and responsibility for the attack on the community, because she knows it’s her presence there that caused the vampires to attack the hunters. This attack nearly took the life of her only remaining family member from her mother’s side. She doesn’t want to put anyone else she loves at risk.


Hope you enjoyed the visit from Ms. Wright. Coming next Monday, I’ll be hosting Roni Loren, author of the BDSM Ranch series. Hope to see you then!

Thursday Word-Slingers (1 of 2) – Guest SJ McMillan

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Can you believe we’re in June already? This year’s flying by! Today is a two-fer shot thanks to some scheduling issues that cropped up. First up is SJ McMillan. Let’s go!


How long have you been writing?

I started writing poetry in high school as a way to express myself. I love writing poetry. For me it’s a way to get my creative juices flowing. I still write poetry to this day. I even had a few published. I didn’t start trying to write a novel until a few years later, and didn’t take it serious at all. It was just something to do in my spare time. When I finally finished the first, very rough draft of The Descendent, I thought, ‘Maybe I can actually do this’.

How many balls do you juggle on a daily basis, and how do you manage to keep them all up in the air?

I have lots of responsibilities I have to tend to on a daily basis. I’m a wife and mother, and have a full time job as an administrative assistant during the week. My plate is always full with work, kids homework, housework, making sure I’m spending time with my family, and of course, writing. Luckily I have very supportive group of people surrounding me who are willing to jump in and give me a hand when I need it. They don’t wait for me to tell them I’m drowning, because if they did wait, it would never happen. My boss allows me to work on my books on the clock, as long as I get my work done first. (I have such an awesome boss). My husband is more than happy to help me if I’m struggling on a particular scene in a book. He is also a great cook, a skill which I lack, so he get the privilege of making dinner. Things like that help keep me sane with the craziness that tries on a daily basis to pull me under. 

What is it about the urban fantasy genre you like so much?

I like urban fantasy, as opposed to sci-fi, because to me it is a bit more believable. It is based in contemporary times, and while it contains supernatural elements, there is no need for little green Martians to be running rampant in the story. It’s easier for me to write something about something that already has pre-set rules. Here on Earth and in the present, I know the rules. I know the limitations. Being able to create a world, with its own language, and its own rules, is a little beyond my reach right now. Maybe one day I will be able to create my own race, with its own set of problems, but for now I’m content with the genre I write in.

Do you think you will move to another genre, and if yes, what to and when?

I’m loving the steampunk genre, so I may have to try that someday. I just have to come up with a story idea to do it. Once the City of the Gods trilogy is done, I have a story idea that rides the line of paranormal and urban fantasy. I also have plans for writing a humorous fiction series. So, yes, one day I will venture out of my comfortable urban fantasy world, but it will be a few years from now.

Sweet or sour?

Both food and personality wise I have to go with sweet. Sour foods make me pucker in a totally unsexy way. I look downright scary. I just don’t have the taste buds for it. Sour people are just no fun to be around. I want to hang out with people who are happy.

Chocolate or vanilla ice cream?

Hello, my name is Samantha and I’m a chocoholic. Yep, chocolate all the way for this lady. (TM – oh heck yeah. I so get the “I’m a chocoholic” thing)

 FAN INFO

 am an author signed on with Ruby Lioness Press. I am beyond excited that my urban fantasy novel, City of the Gods: The Descendant, has finally found a home.

I play many roles in life, as we all do. I am a wife to a supportive husband, a mother to three young rascals, and an administrative assistant during the week just to name a few. Now I will finally get to add published author to my list.

I started writing poetry in high school. I enjoy poetry and still write a poem whenever inspiration hits me. I love to read, especially paranormal romances and urban fantasies. The love of reading spawned the urge to try writing a novel of my own.

One of my favorite parts of writing a book is creating the characters. I immerse myself into their lives. I laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. I cheer them on in their triumphs and encourage them in their struggles.

I have also come to enjoy writing fight scenes. Don’t laugh, but my husband (the wonderful man that he is) will act them out with me so I know exactly how I need to show it to the audience. Call us crazy if you want but it is really fun to act out a scene using a broom handle as a spear and a foam baseball bat as an axe.

I hope you enjoy City of the Gods: The Descendant. I am working on the follow up book now. I love to hear from other authors and readers. You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/McMillanSJ, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/McMillanSJ, or check out my awesome new website at www.mcmillansj.com


CITY OF THE GODS
700 A.D. Teotihuacan, Mexico – The High Priest believed himself to be as powerful as the Gods and set a plague on the city as a demonstration of his power. The Gods took pity on the few remaining survivors and granted each immortality and an extraordinary ability. Three of these survivors were given a mission of great importance: train the lone human descendant of their civilization to stop the evil priest from damning the rest of humanity.

2012 A.D. San Diego, California – The time has come to make Katalina Deckard aware of her destiny. Her life has been a constant struggle since the loss of her parents when she was young, but has it prepared her to save the world? Can her friends, who have survived so long ,convince her she has what it takes to accept the mantle of Redeemer?



There you have it. I love the sound of this book. Next up is Jennifer Malone Wright!