Word-Slingers – Spotlight on KaSonndra Leigh


BOOK INFO
Blurb
This is the Expanded Edition which now includes previously unpublished scenes and a handbook for surviving in the futuristic world of Castle Hayne.

In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected. Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories? With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, and to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease.

In this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into a world filled with celestial creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.


Excerpts
First
Forcing my eyes open, I found myself outside the Shack. I was standing in Faris’s arms, my head against his chest, my fingers entwined in his black vest. It was a shiny, smooth fabric that felt like silk. Something nobody had worn outside of ceremonies since before the Tidal Years. This boy was no common citizen.

His earthy-sweet smell was different, intoxicating. He had saved me from whatever just happened back in the Shack. I didn’t expect to be rescued. I expected to be slaughtered or tortured, or something. So what brought on the change? We stood among the crowd fleeing down the hillside. He lifted my chin, stared in my eyes. But this wasn’t some dumb player’s move. No, a mysterious thing stirred behind his silvery-gray eyes.

“Feel better, now?” he asked. I nodded.

“Thanks for helping me,” I said, still fighting a light head. Still afraid the dreaded black blobs lingered somewhere around us. Somewhat ashamed I’d spoken so horribly to him moments ago.

“You probably shouldn’t do that,” he said.

“Do what?”

“Thank me.”

“Why? Because I caught you and your friends using alchemy? That’s what your kind does, right?” I said, feeling a strange mix of excitement and fear. Until this day, I’d always believed there weren’t any other angel-bloods left besides Micah and me. I wanted to believe that someday I’d find at least one other person like us, that we weren’t alone in a world that hates my kind. And now the thing representing my hopes and fears and everything I dreamt of coming true stood here with me.

“Tell me it’s not true. I need to hear you say it,” I whispered.

His left eye ticked. The girl in the hoodie had called him a shadow walker, a nickname for the Caducean demon slayers. Could it be possible? Father told me Caduceans were mythical creatures—descendants of angels from a time long gone. Yet, here I stood with a boy who didn’t deny my claim.

Around us, fewer people were leaving the club. They paid no attention to the two idiots standing and staring at each other. Had Jalen and Alexa gotten out? They were taking forever to reach me.

Did I really want them to find me?

“The Judges will call on me now. They’ll make me a witness against you. I’m sorry, but I already have too many problems. So I—I have to tell the truth,” I said.

“That won’t be a problem.” Faris smiled, a catchy one that lit his face up. I couldn’t decide whether it was angelic or downright wicked. “You won’t remember me, or any of this in a minute.”

“Really? How do you figure that?” I asked, heart racing.

“Because my gift to you…” He moved his face closer to mine, pulling me into whatever was happening in his head. “My gift is to remove memories that cause you pain.”

“Okay, um, right.” Had I lost my mind? It probably wouldn’t have hurt to scream.
He held my gaze, locking me into something I couldn’t explain. Soon, a tear puckered up in his left eye, and slid down his cheek where it stopped on his top lip. Then he blinked, snapping us out of whatever place he’d taken us to, and glanced behind my head. “Here comes your dark knight,” he said, easing his arms away from me.

He strolled off into the last group of stragglers hanging around the Shack. How did he know my nickname for Jalen?

I wiped away a tear rolling down my right cheek. A strange haze crept into my mind as if invisible fingers were shuffling through my memories. 


Second
Scurrying down the theatre’s deserted hallway, I came to the women’s bathroom and grabbed the knob. Nervousness was working overtime on my rationality, I guess. I pulled the handle. The lever didn’t budge. My bladder expanded by the second. Wonderful. Surely the Thalian’s staff kept repair people on duty.

I turned back to the knob, yanking it again and again. Why did they lock the doors on a day like this? Laser eye power would come in handy right about now.

I crossed my arms, uncrossed them, tapped my foot, and flirted with the idea of using a memory technique. But that’s how I ended up standing here kicking a door. Nerves rolled up in me. All I could think about was facing the crowds while I smelled like urine. Maybe not taking the ale-meds made me weaker.

“Don’t panic yet. Figure out something,” I said aloud.

“Door troubles?” A boy’s calm voice spoke behind me.

Horrified I’d been caught talking to a door, I turned to face a dark-haired boy a few years older than me. Wavy silver strands framed his face. He wore a silky, smoked gray shirt, opened to expose a star-shaped tattoo at his throat. He stared at me with blue-black eyes that had no reflection of anything in them. They were the darkest, lovely blue I’d ever seen. I blinked and lowered mine.

“I—I, it’s locked, I think,” I said to the floor.   

“Let’s have a look.” He reached over me and pulled the door open as if it were a feather. “See. Magic. Put your mind to it, well then, anybody can do it.”

My cheeks burned. “Thanks, um…”

“Seth Alton.” He held out his hand, long and svelte like the rest of him. An earthy scent surrounded him. It reminded me of the incense Alexa’s mom used to cover the watery smells inside their house sitting beside the marshes.

“I’m Chela. Wish I could talk more, but I…”

He laughed softly. “Duties first, of course.”

Those blue-black eyes stared at me. No blinking, or anything. He moved closer to my neck, sniffing the air around me. “Nice scent. What is it?”

“Lotus. I—I, um, it used to belong to my mother.”

“Used to?” He raised his left eyebrow, something I thought only girls could do so well. It intrigued me in a strange way.

“My mother is, well um, she died when we were babies. I—I wear her old perfume for luck,” I said.

Okay, so why are you stuttering?

“We?” he asked.

“My twin. But he’s, um, not here today,” I said, chest filling with a tinge of sadness.

“Sorry to hear that. About your mother and brother, that is.” He moved back, freeing me from whatever thing I needed to relieve myself from. He wore no clothing that offered any evidence as to what group he belonged to.

“She died two months after we were born. So it’s—I don’t remember her.” I truly didn’t understand why I chose to reveal my private stuff with this stranger. If I stood around talking much longer, I’d probably be asking him to come home for ale-med tips.  

“Luck to you today. Although, I’m sure you won’t need any. Don’t get lost on the way back. These hallways are…tricky,” he said. I nodded like a mute standing there plastered against the wall beside the door. “We’ll see each other again soon, Chela Ceylone.”

He gave a short bow and strolled away.

Seth turned the corner. I peeled myself off the wall and exhaled. Wait, I didn’t even realize I’d been holding my breath. I glanced at the handle, stepped into the bathroom, but stopped in the doorway. Seth called me Chela Ceylone.

Only Father and Micah knew my middle name.


AUTHOR INFO
KaSonndra Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. Her two sons, aka the X-Men, have made her promise to write a boy book next.

She holds the MFA in creative writing, and loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora’s Box (good writer’s block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.



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Word-Slingers – Guest Interview Laura Hawks

Today’s guest is paranormal author Laura Hawks. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome by leaving lots of comments for her. 🙂


1) How long have you been writing?

Officially, a couple of 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.)

Well, let’s see… work, writing, a DM for a role playing group online, house, family and their health issues, volunteer in the community, volunteer for sci-fi fantasy conventions, friends,

3) What can you tell us about your release The Demon Kiss. What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.  

A published friend encouraged me to submit a story to her publisher who was having an open call for writers for an anthology. I submitted it and was turned down.  I then talked to another published friend who wanted to look at it, and she showed it to MHP, who loved the short story but would have liked it better as a novel to stand out on its own. I worked on putting the story back together (I had cut it immensely due to the limitations on the amount of words) and resubmitted the story and here we are today.

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

A couple of years ago I received my master’s degrees in Native American History, U.S. History, and Ancient Civilizations. I have always had a love of history, especially Egyptian, Native American, Ancient Rome and Greece. I originally planned on writing history books, but I also enjoy writing for a role playing group on Facebook and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head that said… I can do both. So that is the direction I wish to take at this time.

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

At this time, I am not sure, as I am a new author and wish to get into this genre a bit more before I consider changing. (TM – a nice answer. Thanks!)

6) Sweet or sour?

Salty (1st) Sweet (2nd) Sour (third)

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate.

AUTHOR INFO
I have always been interested in writing in some form or other. A few years back, I was involved with and then ran a Star Trek Interactive Writing Group which was successful for a number of years. Yes, I am a trekker and proud of it. (TM – at least you’re not a Trekkie, which I understand references the original series, rather than Next Gen (not that the original one is baaad, I just like later ones better))
 Then a few years back, I got my Master’s Degree in Ancient Civilizations, Native American History and United States History. (TM – how many languages do you speak? That’s why I didn’t go further in history…I couldn’t do the language thing)
It was at this time I got involved in role playing on FaceBook, which gave me ample opportunities to grow and hone my writing ability.
A published friend encouraged me to write my own book, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Website  *  FaceBook  *  Email

BOOK INFO

Blurb
When her family was murdered, Clarissa found her life altered. As the new guardian for a very powerful gem that could change the very fate of the Earth and its inhabitants should it be lost, she willingly accepted the responsibilities to keep it safe.

 A demon named Xon was after the abilities the gem would afford him should he get his hands on it.

Azamel protected the world from demon kind. A demon himself, he was appointed judge and if need be, executioner to protect the various races that roamed the Earth. Now he had to hunt Xon and prevent him from obtaining a stone that could give him the edge he would need to rule, but to do this Azamel would have to work with a young wolf who had a chip on her shoulder. Could he succeed in time to save both of them… before it was too late? Or would Clarissa’s mistrust doom them all?


Excerpt

“How do you know so much about the stone? Only a small few know it is in more than one piece.” Her wet lashes caressed her cheeks as she blinked, her breath caught with his tenderness. Again she got lost in those baby blues.

Azamel mentally cursed himself for letting that slip. His mind scrambled as he tried to think of a suitable reply that would placate her and repair the fragile trust they had between them. Thinking that this was probably the stupidest thing he had ever done in his endlessly long life, he leaned forward and took her mouth in a hard kiss. The intention was to distract her from her train of thought. However, the moment their lips met, everything changed. Her soft sigh as he pressed his tongue against hers jolted his body and mind. Keeping his hands in her hair, he deepened the kiss feasting on her soft mouth with a hunger that burned through his entire being.


Thanks for stopping in and don’t forget to leave a comment. Next up on the blog is a spotlight on KaSonndra Leigh’s third touring book on Thursday (11/29).

Six Sentence Sunday (11/25/12) – #sixsunday

Good morning guys and gals. Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving and Black Friday (for those in the States) and a super week (for those who aren’t in the States). 

I’ve been buried for the past week and a half in edits on Prophet. It’s been quite an experience as I had to totally change a particular part of the plot, and after long discussion with SEEGL (definition found HERE), I had to go back and rewrite many of the smaller scenes to account for changes in the overall scope of the book. So it’s been a lot of work, but hopefully will do good things.

Today’s entry on SSS comes from one of the chapter openers (aka squiblets). It is an email between two of the non-human leaders, the White Lion Patriarch of the Western African Savannah to the Great Jaguar Matron of the Argentine Territories. The vamps aren’t the only ones aware of something dark going on in the world.

My Dearest Friend: I trust the season finds you well. I write out of respect for our mutual interests. Our shaman is troubled in these times. His spirit companion speaks to him of ancient evil bidding to return. I know your clans have your own shamans, unlike most of our northern brethren who have abandoned our spiritual paths for the heathen ways of the city-dwellers. Have yours spoken to you of danger approaching?

There you go. Hope you enjoyed, and don’t forget to check out the other participants by visiting the Six Sentence Sunday website

My guests for Word-Slingers this week will be Laura Hawks and a spotlight on KaSonndra Leigh’s third book. C’mon back for those! 

Thanksgiving Word-Slingers – Spotlight on Amanda Ward

Gobble, Gobble, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating. It’s 4:30 here and I’ve already got a pumpkin pie in the oven. 

Today I’m putting the spotlight on my lovely friend, Amanda Ward, and her books. Hope you’ll check them out! 


AUTHOR INFORMATION
What You See Is What You Get’ would be the best way to describe Amanda. Born in Bexleyheath, England 1971, she is a wife and mother of seven children ranging  in ages from her 21 year old daughter down to a spirited 3 year old son. A very proud grandmother to a grandson born in April of 2012, life  in her house is manic.  There is always unpredictablity and a disaster waiting  round the next corner.  There is however,  plenty of love and laughter in the  home Amanda shares with her wonderful comedic husband Matt and their 3 youngest  children  in Bedfordshire,  England.  In between school runs, housework and  talking to her two cats, Amanda divides her time between writing, dreaming and  watching her favourite films and television shows.  An unashamed addict of  Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons, Gilmore Girls, Anne of Green Gables  and Doris Day musicals, as well as sharing her husband’s love of Science Fiction  and superhero films.

Amanda is also passionate about history and her bookshelves are lined with  books on the Royal Families of Europe and thick historical tomes.  Her love of  romance novels began when she was snooping in her grandmother’s spare room where  she found a Janet Dailey novel, from there her dream of becoming a published  author began.  Her perfect afternoon would be spent watching a musical, drinking a pot of tea and munching on warm home-made cakes with her family.   Wife,  mother, dreamer and lover.  Jill of all trades, master of none!




Amanda has written a (at last count) six-part serial about the adventures of Pann Haggerty. Here are the blurbs.

The Thrilling Adventures of Pann Haggerty – New York, New York
Pann Haggarty, an Englishwoman of a ‘certain age’ leaves her life in England behind for a year long trip around America in a RV. In search of new experiences  and to find love. Disaster is around every corner, but with her on this journey  is “average” Joe, her protector and guide in this new and exciting country. Will  Joe help Pann find the love she rightly deserves? Enjoy this rollercoaster ride  with Pann and ‘average’ Joe. Experience a different state and dating disaster.  Enjoy the recipes, share in the laughter as Pann takes the United States by  storm, keeping her ‘stiff upper lip’.

Pann Haggerty – Merlot Mayhem
Pann Haggerty and ‘average’ Joe Harper have arrived in Martha’s Vineyard. Whilst introducing Pann to the many delights that New England has to offer, Pann manages to cause mayhem wherever she goes, and with whomever she meets.

During their time in the vineyard, Pann meets Mike, a local vineyard owner and good friend of Joes’. Will this be the love that she has  been longing for or is she destined to wait longer? Pann Haggerty, musicals,  seafood and wine. Grab a glass and enjoy Pann’s thrilling adventure in Martha’s  Vineyard.


Pann Haggerty – Bonkers in Boston
Joe and Pann have arrived in Boston, a city steeped in American and British History. During their time in this vibrant and eclectic place, Pann manages to  completely rewrite the history books by combing the English, American and French  revolutions in spectacular Pann style.

Enjoy her interpretation of the Tea  Party. Join them on the Freedom Walk and a drink at the place where
‘everybody  knows your name’.
Pann Haggerty – Krazy, Kent Style
Pann and Joe have driven across the top of the US to the Pacific North West. There in Kent City we catch up with them at the Rosalee Hotel, trying to discover the reason for its desertion. Joe begins to work his magic touch on bringing his hotel to life again, and it turns out that his magic is working on Pann too.

Intrigue, embezzlement and the time-warp.

Pann Haggerty – Pann & the Picnic Basket
Pann and Joe have arrived at a campsite in Yellowstone Park. Join them as Pann experiences camping for the first time. Meets Old Faithful and goes on a Teddy Bear’s picnic. Will she meet Yogi Bear and Boo Boo? Enjoy the fun, try the tempting recipes, and curl up warm and cosy with Pann and Joe under the stars with some ging gang goolieing and hot toasted marshmallows!

Pann Haggerty – Turkey Thyme
The essential Thanksgiving read.
Want to know the secret as to how to make the quintessential English Christmas cake and pudding? Then reading Turkey Thyme is a must!
Pann  and Joe are in Normal Illinois. Not exactly the most appropriate place for Pann  Haggerty to be in. They are celebrating Pann’s first Thanksgiving with Joe’s  Grandmother Kitty Harper and unexpected guests. Turkey,
cranberries, Christmas  cakes and puddings. What a combination!

Will this be a Thanksgiving triumph or  end up as an alcohol soaked Panntastophe? Find out in Turkey Thyme, the next  Thrilling Adventure of Pann Haggerty.

Without Saying A Word By: Amanda Ward

The good guy gets his girl!

After being in love with his neighbour Laura since they met a year ago, Rhean seizes his chance to make her his, when her past reappears and threatens her and her children’s safety. Whisking her into marriage, he vows to protect and cherish Laura and her family, with his name and family connections.

Will Laura feel overwhelmed by Rhean and run away, or will she allow her barriers to crumble and be the woman and wife they both deserve?

And there you have it, the books and 4-1-1 on Amanda Ward! Hope have a safe, blessed Thanksgiving Day (for those celebrating) and an awesome Thursday (for those not celebrating).

Word-Slingers welcomes Soraya Lane

Today I’m happy to host Soraya Lane on my blog. She’s got a great sounding book, so hang on and let’s learn more about her!

1) How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for most of my life – from crazy little stories as a kid to poetry as a teenager and later full length novels – but I’ve been a published author for just over 2 years. I had a long “apprenticeship” though… it was my 10thcompleted manuscript that finally sold J

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’m a mom to a very busy toddler (21 months), plus I work as a freelance journalist and obviously I write books too. We also have 4 horses, which take a fair bit of work as well. So I’m super busy, but it’s great. I’m lucky to have a great mom, and she looks after my son for a few hours each day so I can write. When he stops having a day-time nap, I have no idea what I’ll do!!! (TM – totally sympathize with the 21 month y/o. I have two 20 month-olds. Hehehe. They make life challenging, don’t they?)

3) What can you tell us about your release The Navy SEAL’S Promise. What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

I often write military themed romance for my publisher, Harlequin Mills & Boon, and with this story I wanted to continue with the same theme but at the same time make it a little different. My books aren’t usually very explicit, and this one does have a rather raunchy scene in the back of a Humvee!
 Essentially, I wanted to write a feel-good story about a female soldier coming home for a very short leave, so excited about seeing her young son, only to find out she can’t make her connecting flight. Of course this was the perfect chance for Mr. Sexy Navy SEAL to step up and do something about her problem… and personally find a way to get her home J (TM – I love that you’re writing about a female soldier)

4) What is it about contemporary romance that you like so much?

I love many different genres as a reader, but as a writer I like exploring real characters in present day situations, while at the same time believing that we all have a happy ever after out there somewhere.

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

My debut young adult paranormal romance, Change, was released earlier this year, and I hope to have the sequel available by mid-2013.

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet all the way!

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate. Chocolate will win over anything as far as I’m concerned J (TM – absolutely)

AUTHOR INFO
As a child, Soraya dreamed of becoming an author. Fast forward more than a few years, and Soraya is now living her dream! Working as a freelance writer and now a professional author too, she writes every day and loves her job. Soraya describes being an author as “the best career in the world”, and she hopes to be writing romance for many years to come.
Soraya loves spending her days thinking up characters for books, and her home is a constant source of inspiration. She lives with her own real life hero and son on a small farm in New Zealand, surrounded by animals and with an office overlooking a field where their horses graze.For more information about Soraya, her books and her writing life, visit her website and/or follow her on twitter. She would love to hear from you.
BOOK INFO

BLURB
With only 48 hours back on home soil for Christmas, United States Army Corporal Saskia Cullen is desperate to spend every minute with her young son. So when heavy snowfall closes JFK airport and she misses her connecting flight to Buffalo, she’s devastated. Until Navy SEAL Luke Gray offers to keep her company… and then personally escorts her home.

Luke is back in the US on leave, waiting to hear the details of his next mission, and Saskia proves to be a pleasant distraction. And when he hears that she needs to get home to see her son, he’s prepared to do anything to help the sexy single mom. Trouble is, he hadn’t planned on falling for anyone, let alone a beautiful soldier about to return overseas.


EXCERPT
“Luke?”
He raised his eyebrows but didn’t look at her again, the snowflakes suddenly falling with more insistence on the windscreen, making it hard for him to see.
“Shit, hold on.”
She did as she was told, obeying Luke’s command. “How the hell can you see through that?” she asked.
He grimaced. She could see a tightness in his face that hadn’t been there before.
“I can’t, but I need to find somewhere safe to pull over.”
Her heart dropped. They weren’t even half way there and the storm was coming in so bad she was starting to think they could be snowed in for the rest of the day. Or worse.
Luke had slowed the vehicle to a crawl, but now they’d come to a dead stop. He opened his door and jumped out before she could protest, disappearing into the whiteout without a jacket on, before reappearing and leaping back into the truck.
“Luke you must be frozen.” She unbuckled herself and reached out to him, hand hovering before closing over his arm.         
Luke stayed still, his body no longer shivering like it had been when he’d stepped back in. She hesitated, stayed still, wondering if she’d done something wrong.
“I don’t think we’ll be going anywhere for a while,” Luke told her, his voice husky and low, turning away only to flick the hazard lights on.
Saskia swallowed then nodded. “Okay.”
They both stayed still, staring at one another. Until Luke reached out a hand, broke the silence and stillness and reached for her, his palm cupping her cheek. “I will get you home, Saskia. No matter what happens, I promise.”
She gulped again, not able to break their gaze, staring into the depths of Luke’s dark chocolate eyes like a spider trapped in its own web. Saskia didn’t answer him, just slowly nodded. He still hadn’t moved his hand, and it was no longer cool, warming up from its connection with her skin.
It seemed like she wasn’t breathing, like she couldn’t have breathed if she tried, as if there wasn’t enough oxygen to even make it possible. Until Luke moved closer to her, his mouth hovering over hers, and suddenly all she could do was suck back short, silent bursts of air.
“Saskia…” As he murmured she leaned closer, couldn’t help herself.
But it was Luke who kissed her. His lips grazed hers so gently, so carefully, that she thought she’d imagined it. She reached her hands up, cupped his face with one, mirrored his action, and clutched at his shoulder with the other. A shiver licked its way down her spine, made her lean closer into him, and Luke didn’t need any further encouragement.
“Hey,” he suddenly said, pulling back slightly and looking down at her.
Saskia knew she was blushing – her face was burning. “Hey,” she whispered back.
They stared at one another again, like they had before. Not saying a word, but Saskia’s mind was racing. Was she actually doing this? Making out with a guy she’d known for less than 24 hours, and ready to rip her clothes off it meant staying close to him?
“We might be stuck here for awhile,” he said, voice low as he glanced out the window. They were surrounded by white. “Maybe quite a while.”
Luke cleared his throat, but Saskia didn’t miss what he was trying to hide. His eyes flickered past her, only for a second, but not fast enough for her not to keep up.
She glanced over her shoulder, made certain there was nothing else there, that he was actually thinking what she was. That he was struggling to look at her for the same reasons she was struggling to look at him.
Luke’s eyes said it all. They were inquisitive, mesmerizing… hungry. And her fingers were itching to touch his face again, her lips tingling, ready to be covered with his.
She was having that problem with not enough air again. Because she wasn’t this kind of girl. She’d never had a one-night stand, never done anything reckless with a man before, never done anything risqué in her personal life. Not ever.
Screw it.
Saskia flicked her tongue over her lips, nervously moistening them, before closing the distance between Luke’s body and hers. She leaned in closer, kissed him full on the mouth, and pushed back his shoulders as she landed in his lap, straddling him.

                She’d flown halfway across the world for a 48 hour trip home, and she was damned if she was going to waste it. She might not be able to make it to where she was supposed to be going, but she sure as hell could make it a trip stuck in the snow that she’d never forget.



Now that’s SOME excerpt, right? Wowee. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us, Soraya.

Stay tuned for more posts from me this week, but no further Word-Slingers until next Monday, when we’re joined by Laura Hawks.

Hope you have a fabulous week.

Six Sentence Sunday (11/18/12) – #sixsunday

Holy moly, it’s almost Thanksgiving, the Shrimpettes are almost 20 months old, and I just survived my first camp-out with the Cub Scouts.

Today’s SSS comes from edits on Prophecy of Blood (coming in January I hope). Chris and Jordan are getting told a lot of very confusing information by a friend of Chris’s/enemy of Jordan’s and Chris is rather amused when Jordan sits as far as he can from Xanthea.

A few swigs of tequila might help things look clearer. Probably not, but it never hurt to try. Jordan chose the widest part of the sectional to sit on, likely because it was the furthest place from Xanthea. The two of them didn’t have a cordial relationship. She’d promised to dismember him for his actions against Chris’s best friend, Dee MacKechnie. The again, Chris could count on the figures of one hand how many people were on “good terms” with the man, and she’d still have four fingers left over if she counted herself.

So there you go. Don’t forget to check out other entrants at the Six Sentence Sunday website. Hope you have a happy Sunday!

Word-Slingers – Guest Interview of Andrew P. Weston

Sheesh, two posts from me in one day, you guys must feel lucky, huh? Okay, enough nonsense, on to the good stuff!


1) How long have you been writing?

I’m brand new really. I didn’t actually begin to write “Guardian Angels” until the October of 2010. I completed the 1st draft by May 2011, but didn’t present it in its current format until the December of that year.

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 work as a security officer at a large chain of private hotels on the Greek island of Kos. Now I’ve started writing, I do find it very frustrating to have to ‘waste’ 9 hours a day at work, when I should be completing my daily quota of words/refining/researching, etc. Then of course, there’s my wife Annette! I have to ensure she doesn’t feel neglected with all the time I devote to everything else.

I admit, at the moment, I find it very difficult…But I have a cunning plan! I am stopping work for 6 months, so I can devote myself solely to writing. Hopefully this will not only improve the quality of my writing, but allow me more time with Annette.

Fortunately, we live quite modestly. So, if all goes well, I can accelerate my plan to work ‘full-time’ as an author. (TM – Awesome! Good luck to you.)

3) What can you tell us about your releaseGuardian Angels’.

It was inspired by bitter true life experience/events.

I served in the military for nine years, followed by twenty-three years in the Police Service. During that time, I lost count of the incidents I had to deal with where someone’s life was changed forever by unexpected accidents or tragedy!

Life is a very fragile thing, and “out of the blue” such things can strike when people least expect it, bringing untold calamity and suffering.

Attending those incidents often used to make me think, “What would have happened if we had got here sooner? Or if we had the resources or training to undo all this suffering and damage? What would it be like to have the technology and training to not only anticipate such accidents and disasters, but prevent them happening in the first place?  That’s how my idea of the “Guardians” evolved.

In fact, the one accident that inspired me to actually put my thoughts together into a more coherent form involved the death of a young boy on his way home at the end of a school day.  Rush hour traffic is dangerous at the best of times. When you add in the factor of a little boy with little appreciation of the hazards involved, well…you can guess what happened.

The scene was horrendous, as were the terrible sobs of the woman driving the vehicle he ran out in front of. She was a mother herself, and her anguish was heart rending, even though there was nothing she could have done to avoid him. (TM – that’s tragic. Wow.)

That’s why the opening chapter of Guardian Angels involves a young boy stepping out into the path of a truck. It describes what ALL the Emergency Service personnel there that day wish could have happened, had someone like a Guardian Angel been there to help.

It describes what we’ve ALWAYS yearned to see for the people we serve.

Can you imagine what it would be like if they were real?

4) What is it about the science fiction/fantasy genre that you like so much?

It allows you to explore the ‘what if?’ I’m a very practical person. But I do have a vivid imagination. It’s fantastic when you let your mind ‘go’ and create worlds and concepts that capture the imagination and describe to readers what it could be like – now – ‘IF ONLY’. Remember – the science fiction/fantasy of the past – has often become the science fact of today!

When you think about it, SF/F also allows you to dip into other genres. You can include action/adventure, romance, thriller etc. The make-believe world is literally, your oyster J

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

That could be highly likely! I am committed to seeing the Guardian series through to the end of its proposed six books. That will bring the story to its full conclusion. However, as I’m completing other projects, (Blood-Moon, The Cambion Journals), I’m discovering a leaning towards Action/thrillers with a paranormal vein. You may see something exciting soon?

6) Sweet or sour?

Sour please! I love strong tastes.

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Definitely vanilla.

AUTHOR INFO
Andrew P Weston was born in the city of Birmingham, UK and grew up in the towns of Bearwood and Edgbaston, eventually attending Holly Lodge Grammar School for Boy’s where he was School Captain and Head Boy.
He was an active sportsperson for the school, college and a variety of rugby, martial art, swimming and athletics teams throughout the city.
On graduation in 1977 he joined the Royal Marines fulfilling a number of roles both in the UK and abroad.
In 1985 he became a police officer with the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, and served in a variety of uniformed and plain clothed departments until his retirement in 2008.
Over those years, he wrote and illustrated a selection of private books for his children regarding the life of a tiny kitten, called, “The Adventures of Willy Whiskers”, gained further qualifications in Law and Religious Studies, was an active member of Mensa and continued to be an active sportsperson, providing lessons free of charge to local communities.
An unfortunate accident received on duty meant Andrew had to retire early from the police force, but after moving to the sunny Greek island of Kos to speed up his recuperation, he was at last able to devote time to the “Guardian Concept” he had developed over his years in the military and police.
When not writing, Andrew enjoys Greek dancing and language lessons, being told what to do by his wife, Annette, and hunting shadows in the dark.
Andrew is now contracted to Pagan Writers Press for three books.
“Fairy Tail”, is a dark and gritty paranormal erotic/thriller with a twist.
The second book, “Guardian Angels” is the introductory book to the “Guardian Series”, a sci-fi/fantasy epic set in the near future.
“Blood-Moon” is a paranormal action/adventure set in the jungles of South America. It describes what happens when the world’s toughest soldiers meet the stuff of myth and legend.
Further work on the Guardian Series and a new paranormal series – The Cambion Journals – has been completed and will hopefully be presented soon.
Author Links

BOOK INFO

In a series of terrifying events, otherworldly beings intervene to save innocent lives. The world community reacts with relief as they realize that angels may in fact exist, and they are diligently protecting us.
But there are those who would seek to stop what they feel is a threat against their livelihoods. How far will some go to battle the Guardians? Is the fairy tale over before it even begins?

Guardian Angels is a powerful and compelling story about the catalyst that has the power to unite society in the hope for a better future. The spark of hope is fragile—can it last?
EXCERPT
Luigi decided to toast himself and his accomplishments again. Finding his glass empty, he rang the bell for a top up, and continued to gloat, firmly believing he was beyond accountability.
When the door to the study opened a few minutes later and Gianni, the housekeeper, came in with his favorite Black Pearl Louis XIII cognac on a silver tray, he insisted the old servant stay with him and drink to his success. “Come, Gianni, stay, celebrate with me. Good times should be shared with trusted friends.”
The gesture wasn’t missed by Gianni. At fifty-five thousand dollars a bottle, the cognac was one of the most expensive in the world, and he quickly poured a generous helping into two glasses. As he handed one to his boss, he paused momentarily to savor the bouquet of the blended flowers, fruits, spices, and the deep amber color of the aromatic liquid. “You’re looking particularly pleased with yourself today, young Sir. Good news?”
“It’s the very best of news, Gianni, and one that appears to be maturing with age.” He replied without looking away from the screens.
The old housekeeper tossed down his drink in one and shuffled to stand deferentially behind his employer. He listened as yet more reports of the suffering caused by the missile detonations were announced. “That mess doesn’t look like there’s much to be happy about, Sir. Surely that doesn’t please you, does it?”
“Aah, Gianni, sometimes, when you need to make a point, you have to catch your enemy’s attention,” Luigi replied. “You have to ensure they not only respect you, but fear you. I’m pleased because I’ve done just that. Wouldn’t you agree, my old friend?”

When no reply was forthcoming, Luigi naturally assumed the old housekeeper must have been unable to hear his question. Turning in his seat, he felt a peculiar throbbing, tingling sensation in his teeth and sinuses. “I said ‘wouldn’t you agr . . . .’”

Luigi’s voice choked off in his throat as he caught sight of Gianni’s eyes. The distinctive, familiar, lazy old eyes of his long-time employee seemed to be undergoing some kind of metamorphosis. Gone was the semi-vacant, un-focused faraway look he always seemed to display as he pottered about. Instead, Luigi was looking into the hardest, most piercing eyes he had ever seen, eyes that seemed to glow with an inner furnace to match the cold look of rage chiseled onto his face.

The shock made him drop his glass onto the carpet, spilling about three thousand dollars worth of the deep amber nectar.
Transfixed he watched as Gianni’s body straightened, grew, and bulked out. As the years fell away from his face, he realized without a doubt that he was going to fully shoulder the burdens his choices had wrought.
Before him stood his own personal living nightmare made flesh, dressed from head to toe in black. Instantly he felt the fire rising within him, straining for release.
The Guardian stepped forward, making the barest of gestures with his finger as he did so, and Luigi found himself lifted into the air by some unseen force. He was held motionless, helpless as a puppet awaiting the commands of his master.
Nodding at the screens, the Guardian spoke. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Andrew, Guardian Lord of Shadow Operations. Did you seriously think you’d get away with something like this?”
Luigi stared defiantly back, fighting to overcome his shock at the Guardian’s presence, and surprised at the lack of access to his ability. “Do what you want, asshole, at least the world sees you as the frauds I knew you were!” he hissed.
“Do what I want? I’d love to, but unfortunately my boss won’t let me.”
Luigi stared impotently back at his nemesis as he strolled closer. Once he was standing in front of him, the Shadow Lord said, “As for exposing us as frauds? Well, I really don’t know why you would think that. We never said or intimated we could be everywhere at once. The world’s a sad enough place as it is without you adding to it. All we are doing is trying to help people avoid as much heartbreak as possible.”
Andrew pointed to the repeat bulletins on the screens. “So, once the world finds out that all this was the deliberate act of some sick and twisted psycho who didn’t care how many suffered, just so long as he could score some points, how do you think they’ll react to you, Luigi?”
The point struck home. Luigi struggled in an attempt to slap the Guardian across the face, to do something to help vent the building fury inside him.
Helpless, he continued stewing as the Guardian moved so close he was able to whisper in his ear. “And when they find out about your abilities, can you even begin to imagine how they’ll react to that? You worthless, spineless, pathetic little man. I really wish they’d let me play with you before we throw you to the wolves.”
“Fuck off, asshole, you don’t scare me.”
“Scare you?” Andrew smiled wickedly. “Oh no, Luigi, that’s not my job. That’s hers!”
The Guardian gestured behind Luigi at the same moment he let go with his telekinesis. Although Luigi only dropped about a foot, he crumpled to the floor, becoming acutely aware that the strange throbbing in his teeth was even more pronounced than before.
Turning, Luigi was met with a vision of such barely contained power and fury that he immediately soiled his pants.
Andrew squatted beside him. “Allow me to introduce you to the head of our investigations branch. This is Victoria, our Lord Inquisitor, and she’s very pleased to meet you after all the suffering you’ve caused.”
Victoria stood in front of the TV screens, wreathed in a visible static discharge that blew the circuits of all the electrical equipment in the office and made the hairs on Luigi’s arms and head stand on end. Her eyes, so similar to those of the Shadow Lord, intensified in luminosity and turned from grey to white hot. Luigi shielded his eyes and cowered on the floor in his own excrement.
What a fool I am, he thought.

In reply to his thoughts, the Shadow Lord said, “Yes Luigi, what a murderous, cowardly fool of a man you are. I think the whole world will agree when they find out, eh?”



And there you have it, ladies and gents, the mighty Andrew (Andy) Weston! Hope you’ll check his work out! Have a great weekend and wish me luck at my first cub scout camp-out with the Shrimp this weekend.

Nanoo #NaNo

Sorry, Mork just sort of popped out up there, even though I can’t spell worth a darned.

Here we are half way through November (good lord, where HAS this year gone?) and as you can see from my widget to your right, I’m right where I should be for word count. I’ve done this in a variety of ways, including splicing together pieces from two different stories (Sheridan’s and Book 4 of the Dream-Walker War, Legacy). I finally hit on something (at least temporarily) that was working for me in Book 4 (a LOT of false starts, lemme tell you, with heroines and heroes popping up and saying “Write about me!”…but nothing that gelled). It involved Ronnie, as I’d always planned, but a completely different hero than I’d previously imagined.

That all has come screeching to a halt because Super Evil Editor Genius Lady got first round of edits back for Prophecy. And God, there’s a lulu of a problem. Well, two problems really. They’re sort of related, but one of them involves me having to pretty much scrap the bulk of the first chapter because if I do what she suggests (which is a great idea), my dramatic opening can’t happen.

I love my editor. I knew there was a problem, but I honestly couldn’t figure out much of what it was. I was edging around it (Jordan just didn’t feel right), but I couldn’t figure the root of the problem. Super Evil Editor Genius Lady (let’s call her SEEGL for short) nailed it, and as soon as I read her comments, it became glaringly obvious. Unfortunately, I have to fix it very quickly and I’m not quite sure HOW, because a LOT of Prophecy has to be rewritten if I change that one little (okay BIG) detail. And naturally, when I went to pick SEEGL’s brain, she vanished. Hrmph.

I know there’s a lot I want to do with these edits and maybe that’s silly, but I want the best possible product out there so when I become rich and famous and everyone looks back at my earliest books, no one say “OMG, can’t believe she wrote THOSE pieces of crapola.” Hehe.

Hmmm, maybe I’ll paste my new/revised scenes into my NaNo document. They’re new words, mostly, right? No, that probably’s really twisting and outright breaking the “rules” of NaNo. Hrmph.

So, are you doing NaNo? Edits? Just plotting how to gobble down the most turkey (for those in the US) next week? Talk to me, peeps!

And I’ll leave you with pics of super cute Shrimpettes!

Word-Slingers – Guest Interview LD Hutchinson

Today’s guest is LD Hutchinson, a paranormal/horror author that I’m very glad to have visit. There’s two books being covered along with the interview, so let’s get to it, shall we?

1) How long have you been writing?

Since I was about Eight.

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.)

Ah hell, I usually write between 3 – 4 books at a time, help with pets, help around the house (Sometimes) and then I make covers when asked.. so.. about 11 things a day, sometimes all at the same time.

3) What can you tell us about your releases in The Renning Chronicles? What I’m looking for is the story about how the stories came to be, not just the blurb and what not.

Well, I’m extremely into Anime and Mythology, and when I’m pretty much entranced in them both stories tend to come to life. With as many vast worlds that Anime tends to have I had the idea for the setting of The Renning Chronicles and with enough Mythology studying I started creating the world. Characters, landscapes you name it.

So now you have the story of two twins (Raine and Tom) who get pulled into a new world through an ancient book after reciting a spell and meet all the paranormal creatures we’ve all come to love throughout life, and even Gods. Then find out they’re supposed to kill said Gods in order to save not only the world they’re in but their own world.

 4) What is it about this mix-up of genres (billed as occult/paranormal/horror) that you like so much?

Well, I grew up reading and watching a lot of Horror, then as I got older I gained a horrible addiction to the paranormal, add in my loving for Gods and I just think it’s the best thing ever. So I decided to write it and I enjoy it more than anything I’ve written!

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

I might, emphasis on the might. I think just about every book I’m writing has more than one genre and I can’t seem to stick to just one but, if I did it’d be either Paranormal or Romance.

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet, definitely sweet.

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla.

AUTHOR INFO

L.D. Hutchinson was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. She’s been writing since she was able to hold a pencil and drawing since about the same time. Her love for reading came when she was about eight and she read her first book, Hawksong a book that helped influence many of the short stories she’s written.
Website  *  Facebook  *  Facebook Series  *  Email 

BOOK INFO
Book of Curses
Blurb

 Meet Raine Renning, your average teenager and her Twin brother, Thomas. Their lives are pretty normal – if you count moving from house to house, and town to town normal.
Since the death of their father Leland, their mother Tori has shown her true colors.
On their 18th birthday Tom decides to have his ex-girlfriend, and best friend, Christie come over for a small party and give Raine her gift – the one that will change all of their lives forever.
A book – While reading it and joking around they’re mysteriously pulled within it’s cursed, bound pages and told of the prophecy they are to fulfill.
Vampyre’s. Faerie’s. Lycan’s.
Creature’s they thought were only stories take their places as the Renning’s Guardians, from Region to Region they learn more and more about it.
Dragon’s. Human’s. Nephilim.

Now, if only they can figure out how to take down four god’s in the middle of this entire mess, and still save their world from destruction – Oh, and don’t forget choosing what immortal creature to become..

Excerpt
“Hello?”, I called out into the silence, listening as my shaking voice echoed all around me, bouncing off of the trees, hills and rocks making me feel even more alone and confused. The fear heightened, and I could hear my heart beating louder and louder in my ears; my throat had become thick, and it was hard to swallow.
“Raine,” My entire body tensed up and froze from that one small voice. My heart stilled in fear, and I looked around as fast as I could trying to find where it was coming from but only saw the trees and flowers. “Come to us Raine, we’re waiting…”
“Yes Raine, come,” I spun around on my heel looking closely at every little thing. I even looked at my feet at one point as I listened to the voice. Then it dawned on me; this one was new.
It was a woman’s voice and sounded seductive and velvety, like she was trying to seduce anything that was listening to her.
“Don’t you want to come and play? We want you to play with us.”
“What’s wrong Raine? Cat got your tongue?” The newest voice echoed around me; it almost sounded like three men talking at once and created an oddly demonic sounding voice, and he was snickering at me. There was a sinister tone to everything it said. I only wanted this to end and was hoping it was just a bad dream. I’d wake up soon.
“Or maybe, we’ve got your tongue!” Just then it flew out from the trees in a blurred, quick movement. It grabbed my arms and pulled me to the ground. I could only shriek as I fell.
It had three heads sitting upon its body; the one in the middle was human, but had vibrant yellow eyes, and its skin seemed to be barely attached and hung grotesquely. The second one – on its left shoulder – was a horse, a light-brown chestnut with black eyes that were staring straight at me. The one on the other shoulder was a wolf, a blood-soaked snarling wolf, with bright yellow eyes like the man in the middle; it looked ready to shred me.
I fell back onto my arms and tried to crawl backwards, away from it, as fast as I could. Whimpering a little as he leaned down and smiled in my face. The overwhelming stench of rotting flesh and blood was the first things I noticed about it.
“Let me have that tongue mortal.” He growled loudly at me.
I stayed frozen as he came closer, reaching his armor coated hand up towards me, and he pulled the glove off and revealed a disgusting sight. Decaying flesh and bones were sticking out, with maggots crawling over it. He started to chuckle, reaching closer and closer towards my face.

Fang
Blurb
Before Raine and Tom appeared, there was Fang.. a child.. with a secret.
Fang, was the son of a human woman and his father, so he was told ,was a demon. He believed it until he went seeking revenge for his mother death at the age of fifteen. Now, Fang’s in for more than he thought he’d have to handle facing Demons, Gods and even his own possible death.

Find out what made Fang the angry warrior he is now, and the truth of his past.


Excerpt
Almarey. The only thing I had to go on. It wasn’t like anyone would even notice if I left. I was a loner, and I was frowned upon. James “Fang” Lore, the most despised person in the Darkness Region. Like I’d care if they gave a damn anyways.

Shoving as much as I could into a pack, I slung it over my shoulder and started out with nothing but the blade I now held onto at all costs. The blade the man used to kill my mother. No one knew I’d grabbed it, and I’d be damned if I let it be taken away now. I was going to use it to kill him. Impale him right through the damn heart. 



That completes Ms. Hutchinson’s visit. Please let her know you came by by leaving a comment below.

Coming up on Thursday (11/15) is a visit from Andrew Weston. Hope to see you then!

Word-Slingers – Guest Alexander Grenados

Yes, you read correctly, I’m doing a Word-Slingers on Wednesday. Hope you enjoy this visit from author Alexander Grenados!



1)  How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since I was in the fourth grade. We had a contest to see who could write the scariest Halloween story. Mine was about zombies. We all had to get up in front of the class and read them out loud. The class was entranced, and they all quickly agreed that my story was the best. That was when I really started to enjoy writing.

Later, in sixth grade, I wrote a short story for my English class. The teacher was so impressed, she wondered if maybe my parents had written it for me. Once I convinced her that I’d written it myself, she told me that I had a real gift and should keep on writing.

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.)

Many, many balls. I have a full-time job as the Managing Editor of a talk show on WUNC Radio in Durham, North Carolina. It’s the local NPR affiliate, and my day’s are pretty packed doing my duties there. I write 2,000 words every day no matter what else I have going on. Plus I’m married, so I have to make sure I’m being the best husband I can be.
 I’m a columnist for the local newspaper, “The News & Observer,” as well, so I have to find time to locate column ideas, interview people and write up my weekly assignment. It seems like it would leave little time for anything else, but somehow I also manage to read quite a bit. I don’t know how I manage to do it all. It just seems like if there are things you want to do, you make time for them.

3)  What can you tell us about your release Cemetery Plot. What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not.

Cemetery Plot is the culmination of many years unsuccessfully trying to write a novel. I always assumed I was going to be a novelist, but every time I sat down to write, I decided that I wasn’t good enough or the story wasn’t good enough. I’m not even sure how many barely started or half finished novels I have out there.
 Last year, during November, I decided to do National Novel Writing Month. I decided that no matter what, I was going to write 50,000 words. Even if I thought they were terrible, I wasn’t going to stop. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up quitting at about 25,000 words and starting over. Then, I quit again at 25,000 words. Together, the two stories made 50,000 words, so I found a way to combine them together to make Cemetery Plot.

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

The freedom. In the horror genre, anything goes. You can be as weird as you want, or you can play it straight. I tend to go weird, so it’s particularly suited to me.

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

I already have. My next novel is more of a fantasy, and I have another I’ve written that is straight up sci-fi, more or less. I’m working on one right now that’s kind of a detective story, as well.

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet

7)  Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate

 AUTHOR INFO


BLURB
The apocalypse isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When Vanessa Hawthorne woke up at the end of the world, she expected to be one of the undead… and to have company. Instead Vanessa wakes up in a near-future America where graveyards are as plentiful as strip malls and a real-estate tycoon is after her for the technology she doesn’t even know she hides.
Cemetery Plot is a farcical romp through a future where the undead are part of a money-making scheme.
The past and the future collide and bring together an undead medium with the people responsible for the end of the world.  
Throw a mad scientist into the mix and you have a time-traveling apocalyptic prophecy for the modern money-obsessed world.


And there you have him. Hope you enjoyed his brief stop here. Let him know you came by, please. 🙂