Thursday Word-Slingers – Guest Misty Burke

Good morning everyone. I have today fellow EP and urban fantasy author extraordinaire, Misty Burke. She’s here to dish about herself and there’s some dirt on her book too! Woot.


1)      How long have you been writing?

I’ve been hobby writing since… forever. LOL. I’ve always enjoyed creating exciting worlds with fantastic characters. However, if you’re asking about my writing career, I started writing seriously a few years ago. My first published story was released back in 2010.

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.)

Hmm. As any stay-at-home mom would say, I try to juggle everything. I have four kids that range from 17 to 5. And if that wasn’t enough, I’m also a professional editor and, of course, full-time writer.
 I have to admit, sometimes I like to compare my life to a three-ring circus!

3)      What can you tell us about your TODAY’S urban fantasy release, The Midnight Cup (the good stuff please, not just the blurb which we will get to below)?

I’m really excited about this story. It is dark and sexy. In fact, I’m very proud of the deep sexual tension throughout.
 But seriously, how can you go wrong with a white witch, vampire slayer, and a coffee house? (TM – I don’t think you can.)

4)      Is this your first book published, or do you have others?

I have six other stories currently available and four coming out over the next couple of months. (Holy moly – can I grow up and be just like you, mommy?)

5)      What is it about urban fantasy that you like so much?

I really enjoy the freedom of creating a new world/mythology.
 If you’re going to have vampires or werewolves, or whatever, you need to know the rules they live by. What is their unique mythology and how do the ordinary people react with them? (I love working all this stuff out!)

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

I will always write in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genre, but I’ve already branched out a little. I have a steampunk, contemporary, and western romance all releasing soon!

7)      Sweet or sour?

Sweet

8)      Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate, of course! (Good answer. You’re allowed to remain on my blog)

AUTHOR INFO
My online writing journal (blog) is http://mistyburke.blogspot.com 
I’m a romance author, professional editor, and poet.

I live in the Romantic Ozark Mountains with my supportive husband and our four wonderful children. When I’m not enjoying family time, I love to write steamy romances. Creating exciting fantasy worlds filled with dangerously handsome heroes is one of my passions.

Feel free to stop by my online writing journal at http://mistyburke.blogspot.com/ 
Feel free to check out some of my poetry at http://graveyardkissespoetry.weebly.com

My favorite writing quote is …
The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.  ~Agatha Christie

My favorite editing quote is …Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov

One of life’s big mysteries …How a 2-pound box of chocolate can make a woman gain 5-pounds (So Not Fair!!) (TOTALLY AGREE!)

BOOK INFO
Blurb
The Midnight Cup is a story that follows the romance between a white witch and her man … turned slayer … turned vampire … turned soul mate.

Marcus McKinney is a trained member of the Society and a vampire slayer. With an ancient hieroglyphic tattoo to ward off his own personal demons, he travels to a small college town in the Midwest. It is here that he finds The Midnight Cup. A quaint coffee house with a backroom filled with vampires.

The owner of this little establishment is Serenity Baker and she’s a Natural. With her long blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes, she’s a beautiful white witch that offers light magic with a simple touch. It is this power that draws the coven of vampires to her small coffee shop which in turn brings Marcus into her life.

The Midnight Cup tells their story amidst a brewing war. With a circle of witches, a coven of vampires, and a league of Society members, who knows what could happen next. 

EXCERPT
Excerpt
 Standing in the moonlight, he watched the neon sign blink in the window of the coffee house across the street. College kids came and went around him. Yet none seemed to notice his presence. The stranger had spent years learning to blend into the shadows.

The night hours slowly passed. It wasn’t until he could feel the coming dawn that he strode across the street and walked inside. Only a few students were left as he took a seat at a corner table. He was keenly aware that the backroom was now empty and this fact pleased the woman behind the counter.

Oddly though, she hadn’t stopped staring at him since he entered. The delicate beauty could somehow see through his shades of practiced darkness and it unnerved him. The tattoo that circled his left bicep felt like it tightened. 

They locked eyes as she approached. “What are you?” She leaned in and pretended to wipe down his table.

“I was just wondering the same thing about you.” She reminded him of a skittish foal.  He reached out to touch her hand and she jerked back.

“Is that why you’re here?” Looking hurt, then angry, she motioned to the door. “Get out.”

“You’ve got this all wrong.” The stranger shook his head in confusion and then pointed toward the red curtain. “I’m here to help you with your little…problem.”

She froze and gave him a long, hard look. “I’ll ask you again. What are you?”

He pulled a large wooden stake out of his trench coat and laid it on the table. “I’m a slayer.”

She sat down at his table and spoke with soft, hesitant words. “Are you part of the Society?”

The question hung in the air as he watched tiny sparkles of gold dance in her light blue eyes. Unknowingly, he reached for her again. The jolt of electricity that followed caused him to take in a quick breath of air. The surge was sudden and left warmth. Staring down at their point of contact, his large hand covering hers, he smiled in awe. “I’m Marcus McKinney. And yes, I’m with the Society.”

“Then you know I’m a natural,” she paused only a moment, “don’t you?”

The glowing warmth evaporated as quickly as it had arrived. In one fluid motion, he disconnected from her and picked up the stake. Damn it, Josh. This was not in your report. He hid the weapon back in the folds of his trench coat and questioned his next move. There wasn’t supposed to be any other paranormal element. The Society might care, but his fight was only with the vampires. This white witch was not his problem.

The woman across from him looked so innocent. “Whatever it is that causes your heart to darken…”

The slayer pushed back his chair and stood. “Let’s get this straight. I’ve no interest in your natural magic or your pity. My assignment is only the coven of vampires you harbor. Don’t get in my way.” 

****
Serenity didn’t have to watch him leave. She could feel it. This slayer, with his curly brown hair and eyes the color of dark chocolate, had an aura she hadn’t experienced before. It was more complex and torn than the simplicity of a human. Yet it didn’t have the vast emptiness of the vampire either. His soul was different, unique, hidden in shadow. Marcus McKinney was circled with a deep fog. There were layers to this man she just couldn’t see and that intrigued her.

In fact, she couldn’t think of much else as she closed up the coffee shop. Even after saying goodbye to her staff and locking the doors, she couldn’t get him out of her mind. It was clear to her that his fight with Ivan’s clan was personal. For he might be shaped like a slayer, with years of physical training, but there was more to him than that. Marcus wasn’t just another Society drone. He couldn’t be.

Wow – I like the sounds of this book. I think I found yet ANOTHER book to add to my to-read list. Yeesh, I’ll never keep up at this rate.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone, and hope you like what you see in Misty’s book. Be sure to come back on 9/3 (Monday) to check out my interview with Parker Kinkade.

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Word-Slingers – Spotlight on Jenna Jaxon

It’s a good thing I have a nice, reliable Word document with my blogging schedule. Otherwise I would have missed out on hosting the every popular and lovely Jenna Jaxon today with a spotlight on her new release, Only Scandal Will Do.

BLURB
Kidnapped and sold at auction in a London brothel, Lady Katarina Fitzwilliam squelches an undeniable attraction to the masked stranger who purchased her, pits her wits against him, and escapes him and the scandal that would ruin her life.

Unable to resist temptation in a London brothel, Duncan Ferrers, Marquess of Dalbury, purchases a fiery beauty. She claims she’s a lady, but how can she be? No lady of his acquaintance in polite society is anything like her.

Then he discovers she is who she says, and that this latest romp has compromised her reputation. He knows how that is. One more scandal and he’ll be cast out of London society, but he needs a wife who’ll provide an heir to carry on his illustrious family’s name. He seeks out Katarina, intending only to scotch the scandal, but instead finds his heart ensnared.

He’s betting their future he’ll capture her heart, but does he have what it takes to win the wager?

WARNING: A blade-wielding heroine who crosses swords with a master of sensuality.

EXCERPT

 “I assure you, there was never a night like that before.” Lord Dalbury spoke quietly, and Katarina sensed a tension in him. “I had never done such a thing before. Never participated in such an auction. Never tried to take a woman unwillingly to my bed.” He stopped speaking. Just stopped. Then his breath hissed as though he’d slowly released it.
“I cannot find the words to tell you how deeply I regret I was not a better man that night.” He paused, and she held still and waited. “What I tried to do was madness, without thought, without honor. I do not even have an excuse other than my base desires, and that your abundant charms overwhelmed me.” His face was shadowy in the scarce light of the sickle moon, but he sounded contrite. “I have no right to ask for your forgiveness. I have no right to expect it. But I would ask you to allow me to attempt to remedy the situation.”
Kat shook her head slowly. “What on earth do you believe you could do, Lord Dalbury, that could even come close to a remedy for the terror and humiliation you put me through? Do you think now that I have met you, heard your feeble attempts at an apology, and rejected them, the memory of that night will magically disappear?” She fought to control her anger, though she yearned to blast him with it. “What magic potion would you have me take that would erase the memory of you pinning me to the bed? Because if you have such an elixir, then yes, I will gladly take it from you and obliterate you absolutely and irrevocably.”
He stood silent at her words, then said simply, “I have only myself to offer, my lady.”
“You would have me kill you, my lord? In that, too, I agree I would oblige you, but not at the cost of my own life. I understand the English law punishes those who do murder quite severely.” Kat was astonished when he lurched backward, as from a blow.
“No, my lady, I would not have you kill me,” he said, sounding grimly amused. “Though indeed that would probably give you most satisfaction. I meant I would have you marry me.”
His words surprised a laugh out of her. “Marry you?” The laughter grew. “I see, my lord, you think me both a whore and a fool.”
“I think you are neither, Lady Katarina.”
“Then you are the fool to believe I would put such a man as you in control of every aspect of my life.” That he thought she would even entertain the suggestion was insulting.
The pale moonlight shadowed his face, but she could read displeasure there just the same. “You judge me solely on one act that, I assure you, was grossly out of character for me. You cannot possibly know what kind of husband I would be.”
“And never will, Lord Dalbury. I can swear to you that I would not marry you if I were in Hell and you were my only hope of Heaven.”
He inclined his head toward her, a faint smile touching his lips. “I believe you made a similar claim about dancing with me, Lady Katarina. Yet we have indeed enjoyed a dance together despite your words.” His tone was soft, the sensuous, cajoling one he had used to seduce her that night in the House of Pleasure.
Kat trembled, recalling the incredible sensations of his hands, his mouth on her body. Damn. He could not do this to her again. Not just with his voice.
“Is there nothing that would entice you to leave your Hell for my Heaven?”
She struggled to answer, opened her lips to deny it, only to find her mouth completely sealed by his.
About the Author
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical  and contemporary romance who has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own writing.

Jenna lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.



And there you have it, the scandalous Jenna Jaxon! Coming up on Thursday is an interview with fellow Evernight author, urban fantasy writer Misty Burke, talking about her new release, The Midnight Cup. I hope you’ll come back for that.

Six Sentence Sunday (8/26/12) – #sixsunday

So glad to see you’re here to check me out this week. I appreciate you coming by. Once again, my sentences come from my now-completed first draft of Prophecy of Blood. 

Set-up: Chris and Jordan just finished doing some magic together and because of their connection, it tends to make them pretty horny. Jordan, of course, has done some pretty nasty things in his life and has trouble controlling his instincts for violence and in his screwed up head sex and violence just naturally go together. At the moment there’s only woman around and he’s incredibly tempted to take advantage of her currently disoriented state.

He shook his head against the insidious whispers. If he did that, indulged in the hunger for violence against a woman, he’d lose far more than the brief respite from the demands to cause pain would be worth. 

Jordan stilled his body and retreated into the meditative state he used to hold the urges at bay. Chrissy usually noticed when he did the meditation, though she didn’t understand it, thinking that he was just slipping into Senor Psycho mode. She didn’t understand that the meditation, the utter stillness, was the only way he kept even a tiny veneer of civility about him when the clamor for blood started up. Without the calm he summoned through the exercises, he’d gleefully rip apart anyone around him and laugh at their agonized shrieks.

Thanks for coming by and hope you’ll check out the other Six Sentence Sunday entries found here.

I will have a guest on Thursday, fellow EP author Misty Burke about her new release. C’mon back and see us! 

Hip Hip Hooray! And a question for my readers

I finally finished the Draft From Hell (aka the first fully draft of Prophecy of Blood) a couple of days ago. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel any big WHOOP of glee, but that’s partially because I just said “Okay, I’m done” even though I had no stunning conclusion or anything like that. I remember doing something similar with the first draft of Blood-Mage Rising.

This time, however, I do feel I’ve got a great place to end.  The problem? the “climax” moment comes about two chapters before the actual end as it currently stands, and I love the sequence of events.  Unfortunately, it’s the climax in the non-romance plot line (they finally have Ares in their hands and they’re in a last-ditch effort to stop him from his ultimate goal). I think the reaction to that climax moment could be very well built into the fourth (and final) book in the series.

I’ve got a sort-of conclusion to the romance plot between Chris & Jordan leading into the big sequence. But it’s not a definite conclusion or HEA where they’re riding off into the sunrise together (yes, sunrise – they’re vamps). Their story is done, at least for now (for the second series, that’s a whole other ball of wax) and a plot for Ronnie’s story is starting to edge into my consciousness.

I’m not overly worried yet about my final ending in this book because I have so much work to do in the second draft (completely overhauling a couple of plot ideas, moving certain revelations from the latter third to the first quarter, etc.), something may well fall into place as I do all that.

Here’s my question to all of you (and please, comment! I love hearing from you):
In reading a romance, does the HEA (in this case either the official “I love you, let’s get together for better or worse”) for the leads have to come at the final pages, or can it wrap up first, leaving the secondary plot to wrap up last? 

Six Sentence Sunday (8/19/12) – #sixsunday

Well, on a good note, I’m almost done with the first round on this WIP. In the spirit of hope that this week’s the one where I finish it, I thought I’d share six sentences from it!

Set up: The book opened with a scene of a little mage-born girl having a vision, then comforted from the nightmare by her mother. In this scene, the mother has been woken up for the third night in a row by little Jenny’s screaming. She just found the little girl lying in bed, staring at nothing, muttering the same words over and over.

Her precious baby, the only one of her six pregnancies to reach term, mouthed the words, “All dead, all dead, all dead.”

Shuddering, she fell back a step, then two, gaze still fixed on Jenny’s blanched face.

This had to be so much more than just visions. When her daughter had her first at five years old, Nina had read every book she could on the mage-born gift of prophecy. Only once before had seers had anything close to this sort of reaction; only once had a single day’s horrors sent seers catatonic.

It happened less than a week before the US dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

So there you have it. Hope you liked and hope you’ll come by next week for another dose of Prophecy of Blood. And psst! I added a link to the page with information on the stops scheduled thus far on my blog tour! Check it out. 🙂 I love the tour button they made for me.

Thursday Word-Slingers – Guest Beck Sherman

Hi there everyone. Glad to see you back, especially after yesterday’s post. Today’s lucky guest is Beck Sherman who comes to me from Bewitching Blog Tours. When the notice went out about his book, I absolutely had to host this guy. Revamped sounds like a fascinating book! So let’s get down to business, shall we?

1) How long have you been writing?

Since the womb. Okay, well, that’s hard to prove, so we’ll just say since I was thirteen or so, when I wrote my first horror story. I can only find two pages of that story, but there’s a strange caretaker in it with glowing red eyes, which makes it a must-read.   

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.)

The daily circus can be time-consuming, but it helps having a partner who believes in you. Also, if you chalk everything up to fodder for your writing, simply living life becomes research, which can ease the pain when you’re not writing.    

3) What can you tell us about your recent release Revamp? The good stuff, beyond simply the blurb, maybe about the writing process for this book.

I tried to model Revamp after a rollercoaster. (TM – Nice analogy) I’m a big fan of amusement rides, especially the fast ones, and those feelings that riding a rollercoaster can bring on are similar to what I wanted my readers to feel: Is this ride safe? It has to be, right? Oh no, am I going to die? Nope, I’m okay, I’m okay. Oh God, yes, I’m going to die! I’m scared, when is this going to be over? It’s over it’s over. That was fucking amazing, time to go again! I don’t think you’re going to die reading Revamp, but I can’t promise you won’t be thinking that.   

4) What is it about the horror that you like so much (and I absolutely LOVE the premise for this novel, I have to say!!!!!!!!)?

Thank you, Tory! That is a good question. My spouse calls me creepy, so maybe that’s just it. I’m creepy. But seriously, my love for horror stems from a combination of two things: I like being scared and I appreciate the unknown and believe in it. Okay, is that three things? Some people say that everything has a reasonable explanation, but I disagree. The unknown is out there, floating around, explanation-free—just the way I like it.   

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

My next book, which is already written, is also in the New Adult Horror genre. No vampires, but still scary. And my third book, which I have plans to start writing soon, will be New Adult too, but more on the suspense side. With some gore thrown in for good measure, of course.

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate

AUTHOR INFO
Beck Sherman was born and raised in Massachusetts, studied undergrad at Syracuse University, has a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Westminster, London, and when not writing, enjoys exploring abandoned insane asylums and photo-documenting the things that go bump in the night, when they’re kind enough to pose.

BOOK INFO
FOR THREE DAYS, IT WAS DARK.

News reporters scrambled. This was the biggest story to come along in weeks.

They called it a blackout.

The last one was in New York City in 2003, but this one was different, special, because the grids in six major cities across the country had been fried, kaput, see-you-next-Sunday. Everyone with some jurisdiction blamed each other, and when there was no one left to blame, terrorism rode in on its gallant steed.

It was the media’s fault. They were so busy stuffing fanatical Muslims with a penchant for Allah and decapitations down the American citizen’s throat, that they never saw it coming. I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on them.

They were partially right.

It was terror after all, but a whole new kind. And when the lights came back on, things had changed.

The dark had brought us visitors. 

Book Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA6GEtgc0yY (TM – Love the Starbucks baristas in that trailer)
Smashwords       Amazon           BN
Great creepy trailer included above. Thanks for coming by Beck, and everyone else.

My next Word-Slingers is currently set for August 27, with Jenna Jaxon! Hope you’ll be back, but don’t forget to come by this Sunday when I post for Six Sentence Sunday!

LendInk and Life

If you follow the blogging world much, you’ve heard about the LendInk fiasco. A week or two ago, a tidal wave of writers rose up and protested this site to the point it was shut down within a couple of days of the brute force assault. I will step up and freely acknowledge I was one of the ones who protested their inclusion of my books on the site. I will even more freely acknowledge I was wrong. I should have done more investigation, rather than a knee jerk reaction. But in this day and age of piracy, I didn’t.

There is now a large subgroup of people outraged by the “asshat indie authors” (I believe Smart Bitches or Dear Author used that phrase in a blog post about the issue) who got the site shut down. They are listing/posting the names of everyone involved publicly in the shutdown of LendInk. And yes, I’m on the list. Because I, in a single post on the LendInk FB page, requested that they remove my books. That’s all I did. I didn’t threaten the owner, I didn’t contact the owner’s hosting site. I simply asked to have my books taken down.

For this, I am now being labeled (on Goodreads) a “bully author”, an “author to avoid”, and so forth.

And you know something, I’m okay with that. Because by labeling my books on their bookshelf, while it may not necessarily be in the most positive context, my name is out there and being shown to a whole host of people who might never otherwise hear of me. Anyone who follows the link when looking at the labeling peoples’ book lists will see quite a few positive, fantastic reviews of the labeled books. So, they’re giving me free publicity.

I’m not an indie author, as it’s now being applied to self-published authors primarily, not just those who are published outside the Big 6 as it once was. One of the points these outraged types are hounding on is that indie authors made the choice to make their books available to lend through Kindle’s KDP Select program. Guess what – I’m not a member of the KDP program. My publisher puts the books out there, chooses the avenues for distribution, and all of that.

I will say it again so there can be no doubt. I was wrong about LendInk. But I’m not going to wear a hair shirt over the issue. LendInk’s owner himself has come forward and told these people to back down off of us. He admits his FAQs could have been clearer. He could have been paying attention to his site and diffused the situation.

People on all sides have made mistakes. No one should have threatened the man personally. The outraged crew shouldn’t be threatening us for our actions.

Moving on.

The picture at the top of the post is Jackie, playing peek-a-boo with Daddy. It’s amazing how different the house feels when the girls are in a good mood, rather than being drama queens and full of piss and vinegar as they had been the past few weeks. Last night, for the first time in a month, we had happy, playful, giggling twins instead of wailing little demon spawn. I felt like a good mommy again.

As you can see from my link to StoryToolz, Prophecy is moving steadily forward. With any good luck and steady writing, I may well finish this draft from hell within the next week or so. YAY! And I already have a huge number of changes/edits in mind for round two. I just refuse to go back and keep tweaking, otherwise I’ll never get to my conclusion. Heh.

So – weigh in on LendInk issue, or share how your own writing is going, please. I’m feeling lonely these days.   Since moving to an actual website with the http://www.torymichaels.com, I’ve seen an enormous drop in the number of hits each day to the blog.

Have a great day, people and see you tomorrow with my interview of Beck Sherman!

Word-Slingers – Guest Linda Andrews (interview)

Welcome to the August 13th edition of Word-Slingers here at Tory Michaels’ World. Today’s guest is Linda Andrews, a tour brought to you by Sizzling PR.

1) How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for publication since 1997 and received my first contract in 2001 from Zumaya Publications. I still write for Zumaya but now am published with 3 other small presses.

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 work full time, have three children and a husband in addition to writing. It helps that my children are mostly adults and independent and that my husband supports my writing, but I still manage to drop a few balls now and then. Of course, balls bounce so I can usually scoop them back up and try again.

3) What can you tell us about your recent release Brianna? I mean the good stuff, beyond just the typical blurb. Got any horror stories from the writing process?

Brianna was the most fun to write. I got to travel to Victorian Egypt and play with the mythos of Imhotep and the goddess, Sekhmet. Like most of my books, I added a unique twist to the story. You see, Brianna isn’t the average Victorian heiress. She’s just finished recovering from Consumption (Tuberculosis, to us modern folks) and she has far fewer inhibitions that is good for Duncan’s, the hero, sanity.

4) What is it about the paranormal/historical genre that you like so much?

The Victorians were far more accepting and open about the idea of preternatural (paranormal) beings. They actually studied it just like other sciences and such ideas were accepted and the norm among all levels of society. While the first three books of the series deal with ghosts, I decided to do something different with Brianna and give her an immortal cat that is the physical manifestation of the Egyptian goddess, Sekhmet. Brianna also has the ability to touch an object and pick up images from it. The talent isn’t good for her safety when there’s a murderer afoot.

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

I actually write science fiction and have an apocalyptic novel out. I’m one of those writers who writes the story that calls to me the strongest. And while the genres may seem odd, I was a few credits shy of graduating with dual Bachelor degrees in history and biology. I ended up with just Biology, but hey, I never lost my love of history. It comes in pretty handy for my writing now.

6) Sweet or sour?

Sour.

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla, but I love strawberry best.

AUTHOR INFO 
twitter: @lindaandrews

BOOK INFO
Love, lies, and an ancient Egyptian curse. 
Brianna Grey holds the key to mankind’s destruction and someone is willing to kill for it. Having spent most of her life dying of consumption, one man’s kiss has resurrected her desire to live. For US Treasury Agent, Duncan Stuart, love means death. He works alone, lives alone and plans to die alone until he meets Brianna again. Under the harsh Egyptian sun, Duncan will break all his rules to save her but will it be enough to overcome the secrets that could get them both killed?
Since the story featuring my Victorian heroine’s journey to Egypt has been subjected to Murphy’s Law, my publisher has graciously agreed to put the ebook featuring her parents’ love story on sale until August 15th.
And as a special bonus for the blog tour, I have a free paranormal short story available here:
And lastly, on August 31st, I’ll be giving away one Ankh necklace. To enter, send an email with the topic of today’s blog to contests at lindaandrews dot net (placed in proper email format).


And there you have her, Linda Andrews! Leave lots of comments, so she knows you were here. Pretty please??

Coming up on 8/16 (Thursday), we will be welcoming Beck Sherman and his book Revamp. Looks to be another great interview!

Word-Slingers – Guest Cera DuBois

It’s a bit (okay, a lot) late for posting the post that should have gone up this morning. I’m so sorry, Cera! Let’s just say today was one of those “Stop the world, I want to get off” days. 

Anyway, hi guys and gals. Today’s post is a spotlight for Cera DuBois’ release, A Hunter’s Angel. Let’s make her feel welcome.


BLURB
The serial killer stalking Clayton, Pennsylvania, isn’t all that has Chief of Police Grace Wallace worried. For a year, she’s tried to forget Special Agent Ian McHenry and now he’s the expert the FBI sent to catch the killer. She can’t stay away from him, but something primal is telling her to run to save much more than just her heart. 
Despite the strict code of ethics Ian vowed to follow as a vampire hunter, he craves Grace’s blood above all others. If he chooses to stay, Ian risks losing his chance at divine forgiveness. 

But if he leaves Grace unprotected from the evil he’s hunted for over a century, he loses more than just his soul…


EXCERPT
“I’m in love with the man inside the vampire.”  Grace moved her hand to thread through his silky hair. When she rested the other over his heart, a soft sigh escaped his lips. Underneath her palm, the slow beat was barely noticeable.
His thumb grazed her cheekbone and slowly trailed down to the hollow of her throat. Her breathing quickened at the zinging anticipation as he caressed the pulse point where he’d claimed to have taken blood from her. He glanced at the spot with eyes as haunted as he sounded. “I’m not a man.”
            “But you were once.”
            He met her gaze again. “Yes, once.”
His fingers lingered over her pulse. Her heart raced under his touch. She tilted her neck as if his touch awakened some base instinct to offer the sacrifice. “Do you still want my blood?”
Ian stepped away and locked his wide-eyed gaze onto hers. At last, he rasped, “No, I don’t want your blood. Oh, God, I still crave it. You have the sweetest I’ve ever had, but I will never hurt you again.”
            She didn’t know what possessed her to do so, but she whispered, “You can take…some of it.”
            He closed his eyes, and when he opened them, he acidly said, “No, Grace. I can never taste your blood again. It would kill you.”
            Fear of what she’d wanted him to do tumbled through her. She stepped away, and for a moment, she considered telling him to leave. How did she know any of this was real? She couldn’t imagine she’d ever freely offer a vampire her blood. Did she really believe him? He was sucking her into his insanity. But if this was true and he could make people do things against their will, maybe he could control her feelings.
            “Maybe I should go?” Ian backed away another step and headed toward the counter where he’d left his dagger. He turned back to her with the sheath in his hand. Her heart shattered with the knowledge that, if he walked out the front door, she’d never see him again. “Goodbye, my sweet angel.”
His jagged murmur ripped at her soul as his eyes took on a blazing intensity and snared hers. She felt a pressure in her mind, and she knew what he intended to do. He wanted to erase her memories of him.
No!
FAN INFO
Cera duBois has a strong belief in never giving up on your dreams… Although Cera was unable to read due to dyslexia and a learning disability until she was in the fourth grade, she always had a story to tell. She wrote her first novel in eleventh grade when she had to keep a journal for her academic English class. 
Since her life was far from exciting growing up as a farm girl in West Central Pennsylvania, she decided to rely on her imagination to give her something to write about. Over the course of the school year, she wrote a tangled romance set in the Deep South during the Civil War. 
Becoming an author was her ultimate dream. Despite holding a BS in secondary social studies education from Penn State University, she currently works full-time as a medical secretary. 
A mother of a teenage son and pre-teen daughter, she lives near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with her husband of nearly 20 years. If she isn’t sitting in a quiet corner with her laptop, warm days will find her in the English garden surrounding her house. Cera loves to read and is interested in history, romance, science fiction and the paranormal. 
She also writes contemporary Westerns under her real name of Sara Walter Ellwood.

And there you have it, Cera DuBois. Hope you’ll come back on August 13 for my interview with Linda Andrews!

  

Word-Slingers – Guest Spotlight Misa Buckley

Welcome back. It’s Monday which means another Word-Slinger entry. This time is repeat guest, Misa Buckley. She previously visited May 3, and check out her interview HERE. This time, it’s a spotlight visit, featuring her new release Eleanor’s Heart. Hope you like it!

Dying of a rare blood disease, Eleanor Franklin needs laudanum to ease the pain, often driven to steal in order to buy more. But when she steals a ruby she has no idea that the gem will tip her into the midst of a deadly species war.

Saved by Jefferson Park, she discovers a man with an even darker past than her own: he is one of the last true Vampires fighting to stop the eradication of his kind.

But the Sanguine aren’t the only problem as Eleanor finds herself falling in love with Jefferson. It is a relationship she cannot commit to, as she knows her time is limited, and she will not risk breaking his heart.

EXCERPT
But I couldn’t run far, not when every slip on the ice beneath my feet made the pain in my back and ribs flare more. I darted into another alley, realizing too late that there might be yet more creatures hiding in the shadows. I struggled on, every breath an agony now. I wanted laudanum. Dear God, I needed laudanum. The pain would only get worse, otherwise. Whereas sometimes I prayed for death, now it was chasing my heels, I found that I didn’t want to die. Not now, and certainly not as I imagined that thing would dispense death. I pulled on my dwindling strength and rounded another corner.
Ahead of me, a man stood in the center of the alley. I skidded to a halt. He regarded me with a steady gaze, unperturbed by my sudden appearance. In fact, I thought that he seemed ready for it, even though he was dressed for a night at the opera. His dress suit was dark and immaculate, expensively styled, while his polished shoes reflected the scant light.
He wasn’t a large man, and there was plenty of room to pass by him, yet despite that I knew instinctively he represented a greater danger than the thing chasing me. A passing breeze confirmed this notion; billowing his red-lined cloak to reveal how the long fingers of his right hand toyed with the silver grip of a pistol. His eyes shifted from my face to the soft scuttling behind me. The wry amusement that had marked his expression up to then fell away.
“You might care to move out of the way,” he told me, his tone light but with a slight undercurrent of tension. I decided to heed his warning and moved to the side of the alley. Cold leeched from the bricks through my thin blouse as I pressed against the wall. Ice sank straight into my marrow and caused the pain to multiply a hundred-fold. My eyes blurred with tears.
In that moment, a soft whump echoed off the alley walls. Static prickled over my skin, and the tang of ionized æther filled my mouth and nostrils. Something fell with a heavy, wet sort of sound. I dared to open my eyes and saw the creature dead on the ground, the dark stranger standing over it. As I stared at the scene, the creature’s form rippled and fell in on itself, turning into a puddle of black ichor.
Gagging at the stench of long-dead flesh, I turned and retched. My stomach twisted in knots and the acrid bile burnt my throat. Tears stung my eyes. A hand on my shoulder jolted me. My spine snapped as I straightened too quickly. My startled gaze met a pair of gray eyes, narrowed in contemplation.

His face was lean and clean-shaven, his pale skin stark in the darkness. His cheeks were hollow, bisected by sharp bones. Thin lips were pressed into a flat line. The slight breeze ruffled his already unruly hair, lending him a somewhat manic look. This was echoed by the pistol he still held. My jaw dropped at the tell-tale white-blue glow of the crystal chamber: I’d heard about æther weapons, but this was the first one I’d laid eyes on. What did it mean that this man had such a device?


Thanks for dropping by. My next guest will be Cera DuBois on the 8th (yes, Wednesday, not Thursday). Hope you’ll come by for that.