Word-Slingers – Guest Marie Medina

Happy Last Day of 2012!!!!

Today’s Word-Slingers guest is my fellow Evernight author, Marie Medina, to celebrate her most recent release, Stand and Deliver, the first of three books in her Highwayman Series (the second and third books of which are coming out in January).

Author Info
Marie Medina was born in northern New England and raised by her pale, mysterious godfather in a dark gothic mansion on the edge of her small, sleepy town. He didn’t turn out to be a Bronte hero or a vampire, as she thought when she was very young, but he is her best friend and the standard by which she measures all her heroes (and suitors). She has been writing since the age of eleven and has no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Website  *  Goodreads  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

Book Info

Blurb
Eloise thought being whisked to another dimension by a handsome man would be a fantasy come true, but the gorgeous nobleman in question can’t even make her come. As she tries to figure out how to free herself of him, she begins to notice a masked man following her wherever she goes.

In this world of lords and ladies, should she be afraid when this dashing highwayman rides up and demands that she be delivered into his arms? Her brain tells her to be wary, but her body tells her that the ultimate fantasy might be within reach after all…


Excerpt One
Eloise leaned forward to gaze out of the carriage window. In the bright moonlight, she could see the black-clad figure on his horse in the trees. Her fiancé seemed as unaware as ever that they were being followed, as did his driver, and she had finally decided that she didn’t mind this. The mysterious figure had begun to intrigue her, to excite her even.
She had been in Melara for two months. Once she’d been convinced that her trip through the enchanted portrait in the museum was a one-way deal, she’d settled in well enough and had eventually agreed to marry the handsome but rather empty-headed man who had lured her to this strange world.
Her fascination with the eighteenth century had led her to spending her lunch hours sitting in the gallery devoted to that period. The recently acquired portrait of Theodore had drawn her in not only because he was handsome but also because she often felt the portrait was actually watching her. That had turned out to be one hundred percent true. The portrait, in fact, served as a window for Theodore. And when someone touched it with the desire of passing through in his or her heart … well, it happened. At least, that was Theodore’s explanation. She had quickly learned that anything complex—magic, science, or even arithmetic—was far beyond his mental grasp. The portrait had been sent to her world as a gift from his godmother. At the age of twenty-five, he had loudly and frequently told his parents that local girls bored him and that he wanted to marry a girl from one of the other worlds his people could glimpse through mirrors, portraits, and bodies of water. Everyone had laughed until his godmother, a very powerful sorceress, had promised that she could create a portal that would deliver him such a bride.
And it had worked. Theodore’s handsome face had enchanted her, and her fascination had led her to go against all of her professional training and reach out to touch the canvas one day. Having her hand snatched had been the last thing she’d expected, but within seconds Theodore had grabbed her and pulled her through. She’d screamed and struggled with him on the floor until her panic and shock had subsided. Then he’d spent a month convincing her she was not crazy and that she was stuck there.
She didn’t miss her old life, yet every single day she wished Theodore’s godmother had gifted him with a few other things on his past birthday. A brain topped her list, followed by manners, class, and the ability to pay attention to things that were not shiny. He could be sweet and charming, but only when it suited him, and apparently it had only done so until the moment she agreed to his marriage proposal.
As she watched the stranger slowly follow along beside them, she imagined him charging forward and halting the carriage. She bit her lip as she imagined him jerking the door open and pulling her into his arms before riding away with her. She didn’t know what he looked like, as he wore a mask and scarf to cover his face all the time, but Theodore had cured her of most of her shallowness. She didn’t want a handsome man anymore. She wanted a man who could have a conversation that didn’t revolve around himself. She yearned for someone to talk to and laugh with. And above all else, she wanted a man who knew how to make a woman come. Looks be damned—she wanted a lover and companion, not a handsome face to pay the bills.
“Dearest, what is it?” Theodore asked.
Though she didn’t turn right away, her eyebrows shot up. It simply wasn’t like him to notice much about other people without a good reason. “The moon is so beautiful,” she said, her eyes still fixed on the broad-shouldered stranger. “Are you sure it’s not the same moon as in my world? It looks so similar.” She finally looked over at him.
“Your world is in another dimension, pet. We’ve discussed this.” He sighed, sounding bored. “And we have three moons, actually, but the other two are only visible a few times a year.” He patted her leg briefly, seeming to think this would be a great comfort to her. “I’d take you to your world every day if I could. You know that. But the magic only works one way.”
“I wasn’t complaining, just observing.” He always got like this when he was bored or not getting enough attention. She felt like a babysitter some days. And she was beginning to believe he actually knew very little about the physics of his own world, as he couldn’t explain the relationship between her world and his in any more specific way than he just had.
Turning back to the window, she saw the man’s head cock in her direction. She felt as if he were looking right into her eyes, and the need to know what color they were made her chest feel tight. She drew in a deep breath and licked her lower lip, staring right back at him. He did nothing. She sat back, suddenly feeling sulky. He had been following her for over a month. Who was he, and what did he want? She saw him almost every day, no matter who she was with. So, he had to be following her, right? Or was he following every member of Theodore’s family because they were rich and related to the king? Every time she tried to point him out to someone, he managed to elude her, so she’d stopped trying because she’d grown tired of people giving her confused and exasperated looks.
As Theodore began debating what to wear for dinner, she reached for the curtain and pulled it back slightly. This time, the man nodded at her. She moved forward to try to focus on him, but then he spurred his horse and galloped away. Theodore didn’t notice this any more than he noticed her ignoring his chatter.
“Theodore, do highwaymen ever bother travelers?”
Theodore paused for so long she began to wonder if he had understood the question.
“Theodore?”
He shook himself. “Highwaymen? Oh, no, darling, no. No trouble at all.”
She did not believe him because he sounded far too shaky and uncertain. Melara seemed quite crime-free to her, but she wondered now if the nobility simply ignored such things until they actually hit home with them. Since Theodore had pulled her through the portrait and refused to let her out of his sight until she agreed not to run away, she had been with him and his family constantly since her arrival.

The desire to escape the house alone and ride out to meet her mysterious stranger became overwhelming as Theodore went back to droning on about the color scheme he would adopt when they reached his aunt’s house.


Excerpt Two
Adam watched Eloise closely. They were in one of the bedrooms of the abandoned Trancy manor, which served as Gerard’s home and headquarters. He had tied her, very loosely, to a chair with silk scarves. She’d made no effort to free herself. The looks she’d given him and the heaving of her breasts told him she was aroused, but he could tell she was embarrassed by it and trying to fight it.
“You aren’t screaming or trying to run away, my lady. I believe you’ve been looking forward to this meeting.”
She searched his eyes. “You’re no ordinary highwayman. I know your voice. You must have been at one of Theodore’s parties.”
Though he was glad she at least knew his voice, it bruised his ego a bit she couldn’t properly place it. “You’re right. I have only been a highwayman for a month. And there is only one treasure I have wanted to steal.”
Her eyes widened. “Really?”
He walked over to her and caressed her cheek, enjoying the feel of her trembling. “Yes.”
“There are easier ways to attract a lady’s attention.”
He went down on one knee and cupped her cheek more fully. “Like this?” He captured her lips, taking advantage of her gasp to fully ravish her mouth. She stiffened, but he held fast, and soon she melted in the embrace. She was breathless when he let her go.
The game he was now playing seemed to arouse her even more. “I believe I have your attention now.” He dipped his head down to kiss her neck. Then lower. He tightened his grip on her shoulder as his lips neared her breasts. Her heart pounded in her chest as his lips caressed the tops of the soft mounds. “Are you frightened, my lady?”
“That is a trick question.”
He looked up at her. “Is it?”
“You’re very good at seduction, but you’re also a kidnapper.” She took a labored breath. “And I’m a goddamned fool for not wanting you to stop.”

He laughed, though he could see in her eyes that she was a little afraid, despite her body’s reaction to him. “Perhaps, Eloise, your heart knows you shouldn’t fear me. Don’t be angry at my little deception.” He untied his mask and let it slip from his face.



And there you have it, the lovely and talented Marie Medina! 

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for my annual New Years post and then on Thursday for the spotlight on Roni Loren!

Six Sentence Sunday (12/29/12) – #sixsunday

Wowee, peeps. Can you believe we’re at the final Sunday of 2012? Nope, neither can I. Where HAS this year gone? Geez.

Okay, big news on my front: Prophecy of Blood is coming out TOMORROW! Yeah, it just worked out like that at the last minute, so sheesh. Had to scramble.


Anyway, you’re here for Six Sentence Sunday (don’t forget to check out the other entrants HERE). So let’s go. In honor of tomorrow’s release, this week’s entry is from Prophecy. Chris and Jordan are getting cozy, and given his not-so-pleasant sociopathic tendencies, she’s expressed some doubt as to his personal knowledge of giving a woman pleasure. 

“I observe, I experiment, I learn.” Air swirled around her, stirring the hair at his temples before he released her wrist and moved in to follow the trail of his fingers over her breast with his mouth. The fabric of her bra ripped, startling in the silence of her basement. His mouth latched onto the pale skin and suckled. His thoughts touched hers. I’ve had a thousand years; despite my interest in causing pain, I occasional have enjoyed giving pleasure.”

And there you have it.

Coming up this week, there will be at least three posts. On Monday, I shine the spotlight on fellow Evernight author, Marie Medina, and her new release, Stand and Deliver. On Tuesday, I’ll be revisiting my 2012 goals and summing up what plans for 2013 to celebrate the beginning of the new year. On Thursday, I’ll be spotlighting Roni Loren, author of the BDSM Ranch series, and her new (by then) release, Fall Into You.

Hope to see you all back here plenty this week! There may or may not be a giveaway or two in the near future. And speaking of giveaways, don’t forget to enter HERE for your chance to win one of two paperback copies of Blood Rage.

Word-Slingers – Guest Interview Ashley Nemer

Today’s guest on Word-Slingers is Ashley Nemer, debut author of Blood Purple (I love the title! I mean, blood and purple? Not the usual color combo.)  Let’s get down to business, shall we?


1) How long have you been writing?

I started writing stories in junior high school but actual writing with a purpose almost three 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.)

~Laughing~ God, too many to count. I feel like I’m constantly juggling, life is insanely busy for me which I’m not really used too. This 2012 has been the busiest year of my life it feels but that’s great cause I’ve loved every minute of it. The most important balls I juggle are my Husband and work.

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

This story is very different from your avg vampire book even your avg romance book. The main characters are brother and sister instead of lovers and the enemy is their uncle. The “drama” in the story focus’s around things that happen in our everyday relationships, the tensions, goods and bad. While yes we are not all kidnapped and tortured every day, we do feel betrayal from family and friends. We feel isolated and alone. The need to scream and destroy to get our emotions out. I let the complexity of relationships make Blood Purple what it is. One thing about my series is you have to read every book and in order. While yes, they are decent standalone books (Book two is written and being touched up before going to the publisher) in order to capture the Algula world properly you have to keep reading. Blood Purple in a way follows Nikole Kadin, Blood Yellow follows her brother Zayn Kadin and Blood Green will follow their cousin Leigh Khaled. But that being said, all story lines start in Blood Purple. There are 3 revolving story lines that will not be finished until Blood Green. And yes I know how all three end, I’ve known from the beginning.

Back to your ‘how it came to be’ question – everyone has something in their life that affects them and sort of shapes their thoughts. My female characters will all have strong males around her but they will be her brother and/or her best friend. That’s because when I look back on my childhood, my brother is the one who I think about the most. Me and him. We stuck together through thick and thin and because of that, my females are drawn to their brothers. It’s a beautiful relationship having someone who you know you can depend on and be there for you and everyone needs that. Sometimes I feel in romance books things are very unrealistic, the hero always being this great guy meant for the heroine and they run off together. But in reality it’s our friends and family that pull us from the depths of our own hell and snap us back into reality.

That’s what you will see when you read The Blood Series, a brother and sister, fighting for their survival, together.

You should also know…in reality, not everyone gets their happy ending…my series very much reflects reality.

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

The ability to have love, gore, drama and sex all wrapped up in a pretty little novel.

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

Yes, I have a Christmas story, Bud’s Christmas Wish that is a sweet tender romance and I am working on Maverick Touch: The Cat which is a fiction.

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla

AUTHOR INFO
Ashley is married and lives in Houston with her husband Tony. They have two dogs named Toto and Doogie. They have been together for almost 8 years and he brings her more joy than she could ever imagine as a child. She loves to read and has been hooked on the romance genre ever since her lifelong best friend Laura gave her “Ashes to Ashes’ by Tami Hoag to read when they were younger.
Ashley finds her strength through her family, especially her parents. They always support her in life and they push her to strive for greatness. There once was a motto that Ashley heard in her youth through her Taekwondo life ‘Reach for the Stars’ and that is what Ashley has always done. It was through her upbringing that the values Ashley has and display’s came from. With her Parents always cheering her on in life she was able to grow up having faith in herself and her ability to conquer the world.


BOOK INFO
Blurb

In a world we think we know, live other races entirely hidden from the mortal perspective. Creatures of legend, of fable and myth, their very history and nature have allowed them to walk side by side with humans since time immemorial. They are warriors, they are hunters, and they are Algula Vampire. And in their own midst, a battle is brewing for supremacy, for dominance, that can and will affect all around them. Old hatred never dies and vengeance is a fiery sword that cuts a bloody swath.

Excerpt
Hamza walks into the room with his guard looking at Nikole’s still body lying on the table. “Is she dead?” he questions.
“No sir, she passed out while we were in the middle of the procedure. We were doing like you instructed and burning her body with the needles when she went unconscious.  We thought it best to come get you right away.”
Hamza looks over her body, placing his fingers to her neck and feeling only a small hint of life.  His lips curve up in excitement as he anticipates what is yet to come. “Good, leave us alone.” He starts to walk around the table staring at her naked and bloodied body.
The room emptied out while Hamza continued to circle the table. He tried to decide what to do with this dead weight prisoner. Leaning over her body, he backhanded her jaw, the cracking of her bones deafening in the silence of the room. He heard her moan in agony while she slowly came to consciousness.
“Nikole, I think it would be best if you just gave me what I asked of you.  As soon as you tell me what we want to know this pain will all stop.” Taking his knife from the sheath on his belt, he placed the cold blade to her cheek. “I will cut your pretty little face apart.  Don’t think I won’t.”  Taking the tip of the blade he breaks the skin at the top of her left cheek and slowly cut lines into her face.  Droplets of blood ran down her cheek staining her flesh as he slashed her face.  Nikole’s voice is gone from all the screaming she has done and all she can do is heave a cry.  Her eyes are still forced open, not even tears can form since she can’t blink.  “Come on little Princess, just tell me where Zayn is so I can kill him. I promise this will all stop.” 


Hope you’ve enjoyed Ms. Nemer’s stop here. Have a great day!

Word-Slingers – Guest Interview Cheryl Douglas

Today I’m happy to welcome Cheryl Douglas, who is touring with her Nashville Nights series. She seems like a very nice lady with some great sounding books, so let’s get to know her a bit better, shall we?


1)                 How long have you been writing?

Forever! I wrote my first romance manuscript in my early twenties. It was terrible, but I knew that meant I had a lot of work to do to learn my craft. I’ve taken dozens of writing courses in the past twenty years and I’m pleased to say that writing now seems effortless (most days).

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 blessed to be able to get up and do what I do every day. Most days, it doesn’t even seem like work. I even enjoy the business side of being a writer: the marketing, networking, trade shows, but my favorite thing (aside from the writing) is interacting with my readers. They’re the reason I’m able to do what I do, and I’m so grateful for each and every one of them.
 Of course, there’s more to me than my career. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, friend, volunteer, and devoted dog owner, so it seems every day is a balancing act. I want to spend as much time as possible with the people I love, and I make sure to carve out quality time every evening for my husband, son, and canine friend. I speak to my mom every day on the phone, but the people around me know I’m a workaholic, and when I’m in the zone, it’s best to leave me alone for a while. Fortunately, I have amazing people around me who support me and take pride in my accomplishments, so I never feel as though I have to choose between the career I love and the people I love.

3)                What can you tell us about your releases in the Nashville Nights series?  What I’m looking for is the story about how the story came to be, not just the blurb and what not. J

I’m a huge country music fan! Years ago, when I was still working my day job as a nutritionist, this story idea came to me… A country music superstar whose life was falling apart because of some tragedy he’d endured. He lost his wife because of  alcoholism, and he didn’t know how to find his way back from the brink of despair when he felt like he had nothing left to fight for. Anyone who’s read my books will know that I love a gut-wrenching story, the more emotions at play, the happier I am. I try to develop complex characters where the reader really has to peel back the layers to get to know who they are beneath the façade.
 The book I’m referring to, Shameless, was the catalyst for one of the most rewarding journeys of my life, thus far. Readers embraced the hero in this story, Trey Turner, in ways I couldn’t even have imagined at the time I was writing it. I knew I loved it, but I didn’t know tens of thousands of people would be as passionate about it!
 That story literally took on a life of its own. Secondary characters became more prominent and Shameless, which was supposed to be a standalone title evolved into six books. I was ready to end the series with book six, Heartless, but readers began to contact me telling me how much they’d love to read about the adult sons of the hero in book two, so they got their own stories, which became books seven and eight in the series.
 As the series came to a close, I began to get a sense that it wasn’t over. Readers were contacting me on a daily basis telling me they would be so sad to see the series end and I felt the same way. So, Nashville Nights Next Generation was born. This eight book spin-off series follows the children of the original characters on their journey to finding their soul mate. I’m so glad I didn’t let go off the series after the first eight books. There was so much story left to be told.  

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

I’ve always loved reading contemporary romance, and I still do. I love the happily ever after, but I’ve also loved watching the genre evolve. Characters are so complex now, and we routinely see both characters point of view now, instead of just the heroines.  There’s one thing we can be sure of with romances, we will get our HEA, but it’s a question of how we will get there that continues to intrigue me.

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

I’m still passionate about writing contemporary romance and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. If I were to try my hand at another genre in the distant future it would probably be women’s contemporary fiction. I don’t think I’ll ever write a single title. I love writing series because it allows you to develop these tight-knit groups that readers come to know and care about. Women’s fiction lends itself to these types of stories, so if I ever wanted to try something a little different, that would likely be an easy transition for me.

6) Sweet or sour? 

Sweet

7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate

AUTHOR INFO
Cheryl began her professional career as a nutritionist, but her love of books started at an early age. She studied writing for many years before she decided to pursue her passion as a full-time career. After receiving constructive criticism from several well-known authors, Cheryl finally had the confidence to write her first romance novel.
The first book in the Nashville Nights series, Shameless, was a book that had been dwelling in Cheryl’s subconscious for years. For her, the surprise came when the manuscript began taking on a life of its own. Characters came to life, secondary characters became more prominent, outlines were forgotten, and a single title evolved into an eight book series, and another eight book spin-off series entitled Nashville Nights Next Generation.
One word would aptly describe Cheryl: workaholic. She lives and breathes her writing, when she’s sleeping, watching TV, driving, reading… it’s always in the periphery of her mind. Her imagination rarely takes a holiday, even when she escapes to a sandy beach with her husband and son, she’s planning, plotting, outlining, and daydreaming.
Cheryl feels blessed to be able to get up every day and do something she loves. The thousands of fans who have embraced the Nashville Nights have made that possible. She writes for the readers who ask for more, she writes to satisfy the muse residing inside of her, but most of all, she writes because she couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life. It took her thirty-seven years to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, but now that she knows, she’s convinced she’s found her purpose.

Website  *  Facebook  *  GoodReads  *  Blog 
BOOK INFO
Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He’s desperate to make amends for the mistakes he’s made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.

Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves and a fiancé who loves her.

Unfortunately, her fiancé isn’t the only man professing his love. He may be able to offer her safety and security but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?


Lexi Brooks has overcome adversity to build a successful real estate business that will enable her live life on her terms. The life she envisions includes travel, fun, and excitement, not marriage, kids or commitment. But will Trey’s sexy bodyguard throw a wrench into her plans?
Being a cop taught Josh Cooper to take calculated risks, but he’s tired of living with the daily threat of danger. He’s ready to settle down with someone who wants to be a step-mother to his two teenage sons. Too bad Lexi isn’t that woman.

She’s smart, sexy, and head-strong, and they’re totally in sync in the bedroom, but she isn’t willing to ‘settle’ for a life of domestic bliss. Or is she?

 

Marisa Turner has wanted Luc Spencer forever, but she also wants a baby, and it seems Luc isn’t up to the challenge. She has to choose between the man she loves and the family she hopes to have. Fortunately, there’s another man waiting in the wings who would love to make her baby fantasy a reality.

Luc Spencer is tired of hearing about marriage and babies. He loves Marisa, but he’s not a forever kind of guy. After two years together, she tells him it’s over. He’s not worried; he believes she’ll be back. But what will happen when he finds out there’s another man waiting to take his place?


As a publicist, Avery Collins knows that mixing business with pleasure is a recipe for disaster so she has one rule. Her bedroom is off limits to clients, no matter how enticing and persistent they may be.
Ty McCall is country music’s newest rising star, but he needs the best team in the business to help him make it to the top. That team includes Avery, the woman who gave him the most unforgettable night of his life only to disappear the next morning.
Avery agrees to work with him, but Ty isn’t willing to settle for a professional relationship with the woman of his dreams. Can this sexy cowboy convince her that rules were made to be broken?

Nikki Spencer is all grown up, but the world still sees her as the little girl she used to be. She’s ready to prove to her adoring public, and a certain rough riding rodeo champion, that sweet little Nikki isn’t as innocent as everyone seems to think.
J.T. McCall has a reputation as a rough rider, both on the bull-riding circuit, and in the bedroom. So what’s he to do when an innocent, like country crooner, Nikki Spencer, sets her sights on him? He plans to do what any good old country boy would do, save the lady from herself. But who will save J.T. when this little firecracker sets his world on fire?

Derek McCall was devastated when his college girlfriend married his best friend, Josh Cooper. He respected the boundaries of friendship for years, but one night they gave in to temptation. Feeling guilty for betraying his best friend, Derek left town determined to put the past and Ashley behind him.

Ashley Cooper has loved two men in her life, her ex-husband, Josh, and her ex-boyfriend, Derek. The single mom of two grown boys is finally ready to start dating again when Derek comes back to town, eager to throw his hat in the ring. Her kids are against the relationship, but is she willing to risk their disapproval for a chance to re-write history?


When Jay Cooper has to hire a new black belt instructor for his karate studio, he doesn’t expect the most promising applicant to come with a huge chip on her shoulder. He knows there must be a story behind those tortured brown eyes, if only she would let him get close enough to find out why she seems so determined to keep her past a secret.


Victoria Pierce grew up in the foster care system. For her, martial arts was more than a hobby, it was her best hope of survival. She learned at an early age that the only person she could count on was herself. She doesn’t let anyone get close enough to hurt her, not friends, boyfriends, and definitely not her new boss. She shuts Jay down at every opportunity, so why does he keep coming back for more?


Detective, Mike Cooper, loves a challenge. So when his father, Josh, asks him to consult on a tough case, he can’t resist the temptation. He agrees to take a brief leave of absence from the police force to accompany country singer, Tori Warner, on tour. His objective? To find the crazed fan who’s been stalking her. If only Tori wasn’t so determined to play hard and fast with the rules.
Tori is tired of living in a bubble. She’s been allowing this stalker to control her life for months, and she’s sick of it. So when some hotshot detective decides to become her self-appointed bodyguard, she’s determined to show him that she’s the one calling the shots.

Tori is the most infuriating woman Mike has ever met. She refuses to take orders, even when her life is at stake. He’s tempted to let her fend for herself, but Mike can’t walk away knowing some maniac is out to get her. Especially not after one explosive night makes him lose his objectivity. Suddenly, this case is personal, and Mike can’t rest until he knows Tori is safe.



There you have it, the Nashville Nights series. Hope you enjoy the sounds of this series – I know I do. Don’t forget, we’ve got Ashley Nemer coming up later this week. C’mon back on Thursday!

Cover Reveal, #sixsunday, and Post 300!

Good morning everyone! Hope you’re having a fabulous Sunday. Mine just started, but I get to look at the pretty cover I’m about to share with all of you, for the upcoming release of Prophecy of Blood, so it’s pretty good.

While the picture of Jordan threw me off for a bit, I quickly got over it and this is my favorite of my three covers.

Okay, onto Six Sentence Sunday (remember to check out the others HERE). The cover above plays in, since my six this week are from Prophecy.  Chris and Jordan are discussing the legality of using sleeping spells on unsuspecting people.

“It’s legal in the UK as well, though on the darker shade of gray, headed for black. One of Her Majesty’s children apparently used a sleeping charm on her when she was expected to address Parliament. Since then she’s taken a dim view of magical pranks.”

Chris cackled at the notion. For all their faults, the mage-born could have a heck of a lot of fun. Even the stodgy humans enjoyed playing with magic.

Hope you enjoyed! This was post 300, but beyond the cover reveal, I have nothing to special to commemorate the occasion. Ah well.

Coming up on Word-Slingers this week, I will be interviewing Cheryl Douglas and Ashley Nemer. Hope to see you then!

Word-Slingers Part II – Spotlight on Crista McHugh

If you’re looking for the Evernight Blog Hop, click HERE.


Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained. Of course, that also means she’s inclined to suffer some of the same maladies that plague many southern writers like overuse of simile and metaphor, exaggeration, melodramatic writing style, and the ever-popular long-winded sentence.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days) (TM – WOOHOO!)

For the latest updates and answers to any burning questions you have, please check out her webpage.
Twitter: @crista_mchugh

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3035791.Crista_McHugh

Blurb

Life is dull without a little Chaos.

Trouble is more than just a nickname for Arden Soulbearer. It seems to follow her wherever she goes. And no one knows this better than her protector, Devarius Tel’Brien.

Dev thought that by moving Arden to Gravaria so she could learn how to control Loku, the chaos god whose soul inhabits her body, life would be simpler. Wrong. Not only is he continually torn between his duty and his growing feelings for the Soulbearer, but he also has to contend with the rival prince who wishes to claim her heart. Adding to his problems, a group of powerful mages have banded together to rid the world of the disembodied chaos god once and for all. Of course, that means they have to destroy Arden in the process.

Excerpt
From the dark recesses, he watched them enter, the torch light flickering across their golden masks as they filed into the main chamber. Tonight, the Tribunal of the Gods would meet for the first time in over a decade. Tonight, they would discuss the fate of the newest threat to their power.   

He adjusted the mask of Nelos, concealing his face from everyone. It didn’t matter who he was, only the god he served. And he did more than just serve Nelos—he was his voice in this realm. Out of all the priests and priestesses in the chamber, only he spoke with the true authority of a deity. Only he could channel the God of Law’s power. And only he could lead them on the crusade to rid the world of the god of chaos, Loku, once and for all.

He waited until everyone else had arrived before he made his grand entrance. With a flick of his hand, the torches brightened, bathing the main chamber in light. The jewels that adorned the wall winked at him as if they already approved of his plan

“So nice of you to join us,” the priestess wearing the mask of Ivis said as he entered. “We could have done without the theatrics, though.

“The light of the Law will drive the darkness of Chaos away,” he replied, quoting the teachings of Nelos. As he sat in his appointed chair and draped his silver robe across the seat, he surveyed the other eleven members of Tribunal, trying to pinpoint each of their weaknesses. “After all, that’s why we’re here—to discuss what to do with Loku.

“In a way, yes.” The Priestess of Ivis narrowed her eyes as if to challenge him

He muffled his snort. Ivis may have the most followers in Gravaria, but she was a weak goddess. Too kind, too merciful, too aligned with the so-called “Lady Moon” worshipped in Ranello.

The Priestess of Ivis finally turned her gaze away from him. “Loku has a new Soulbearer.

“Why should it concern us?” the Priest of Jussip asked as he toyed with the golden battle ax dangling from his belt. Like the god he served, he was a soldier, a man of action. He was probably wishing the Tribunal to end as quickly as possible, but he would also be the easiest to sway to Nelos’ plans.

“Agreed.” The Priestess of Sulia twirled her hair around her fingers. “Loku has had many Soulbearers, and they all suffer the same fate. Why is this one any different?”

He leaned forward. Did they really not know? Had they all turned a deaf ear to the rumors coming from Ranello? “For starters, she’s a woman.”

One of the other priestesses gasped, and every pair of eyes behind the golden masks focused on him. Nelos had told him everything about her, every detail about the girl known as Trouble. For once, he had the upper hand, and he would use it to bend the others to his will.

The Priestess of Sulia stopped playing with her hair. “But Loku’s never had a female Soulbearer.”

“She’ll probably succumb to the madness sooner than a man.” The Priest of Jussip fidgeted in his chair. “Is that why you called this meeting, Ivis? To mark this milestone in Loku’s regression?”

“No.” Ivis’s voice echoed off the wall, and a current of magic rippled through the air.

A shiver raced up his spine, and his muscles locked. Could she have the ability to channel her deity as well?

“Do not fear her, my servant,” the familiar voice of Nelos whispered in his mind. “She is the one resorting to theatrics. Ivis doesn’t hold her in the same regard that I do you. You are my chosen one. You are the one who will bring peace and order to this realm.”

He relaxed back against his chair. “She’s a Ranellian.”

Once again, he held their attention, and the Priestess of Ivis appeared slightly perturbed by it. “Correct. And since you know so much about her, Nelos, do you care to offer a guess why I’m so concerned?”

A smile curled up behind his mask. “Unlike the others, she’s used Loku’s powers for something other than personal gain.”

“So I’ve heard.” Ivis addressed the other members of the Tribunal. “Arden Lesstymine is the girl’s name. From the reports I’ve been given, she channeled Loku’s powers to destroy a necromancer that was terrorizing the kingdom.”

“But magic is outlawed in Ranello.” The Priest of Kylow, god of the sea, rubbed his chin. “King Heodis will order her burned at the stake before she’s a threat to us.”

“Or he will use her against us and try to conquer our Empire.” Jussip grabbed his ax and jumped to his feet. “I say we destroy her before she crosses the border.”

Several others echoed his sentiments. It was all too easy to get them riled up. Yes, they served their deities, but in their hearts, they were all staunch Gravarians.

All but him. He served a higher calling. Out of all the priests in the empire, Nelos had chosen him to help usher in a new age of peace.

“Silence, please.” Ivis’ voice boomed over their shouts, and once again, another burst of magic blew through the air. “Heodis knows of her abilities and has even bequeathed a title upon her for her efforts. But I do not think she will be manipulated by him.”

“Is Devarius Tel’brien still the Soulbearer’s protector?” The Priestess of the Ornathian goddess, Lireal, startled everyone with her question. Normally, she remained silent, following the nature of the goddess she served. On the rare occasions she spoke, people listened.

Jussip chuckled. “Poor Dev. Always the protector, never the Soulbearer. How’s that for a never-ending punishment?”

“Yes, Sir Devarius is still her protector,” Ivis replied in a tight voice, ignoring Jussip’s snide remarks.

“Then we have little to fear from her.” The winged Ornathian priestess sank back into her silence and let the others dwell on her statement. The knight had a reputation of keeping the Soulbearers under control, never mind his unwavering loyalty to the Empire. They almost seemed convinced that the new Soulbearer was not a threat as long as Devarius remained in the picture.

Rage boiled up inside him. He needed to renew his momentum. He needed to convince them that she was as dangerous as the god living inside her. “Perhaps, but from what I’ve heard, she’s channeled Loku numerous times and has not shown any signs of madness. Could he be trying a new strategy? One where he could manipulate his Soulbearer into doing his bidding without raising any of our suspicions?”

“What are you suggesting?” Jussip’s knuckles turned white as his grip tightened around his battle ax.

“She was a witch before she became infected with Loku. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s stretching his influence over her in a different way. Instead of turning her mad like he did the others, perhaps he’s seducing her into becoming a willing servant. Loku didn’t open the portal to the Realm of Chaos without help from his followers.”

His threat had the desired effect. Doubt filled all of their eyes.

All except Ivis. She lifted her chin in defiance. “Your point is made. We should watch her as carefully as we have other Soulbearers in the past. Spring is near, and Sir Devarius will bring her here as quickly as he can. Once she is encased in the Mage’s Conclave, we will have ample opportunity to study Loku’s influence over her.”

The others nodded their heads in agreement, but Nelos curled his hand into a fist, banging it on the armrest of his chair. “We’ve only seen a glimpse of what she’s capable of doing, and look what she did to her home kingdom. She leveled the city walls of Trivinus. I say we strike now before she brings chaos to Gravaria.”

Ivis stood, her unwavering gaze fixed on him. “Would the God of Law sentence someone without having absolute confidence she has broken any laws?”

“She has broken laws, or have you forgotten magic is outlawed in Ranello?”

“But not here.” She moved to the center of the circle, turning slowly to speak to each of the priests and priestesses in turn. “We have little concrete information on this new Soulbearer other than the rumors that have made their way here. I urge all of you to pray to your deities for guidance on this matter, but do not act until we have all the facts. If she has managed to resist the madness thus far, then perhaps we have found the most powerful Soulbearer yet.”

She finally came to him. “Does that sound agreeable to you, Nelos?”

Inside, he seethed. She had somehow managed to turn them all against him, to reduce them to cowards that would rather wait until the threat was on their soil before they struck.

“Patience, my servant. You do not need their help to dispose of Loku. I am all the power you need.”

His god’s word soothed him, and the red faded from his vision. “I will pray on the matter,” he replied in an even tone. And strike when he tells me to.

Word-Slingers – Guest Interview Benjamin Daniels

If you’re looking for the Evernight Blog Hop, click HERE.

Morning everyone. Hope you’re having a great week. Today’s guest is Benjamin Daniels. He’s touring with one book, but I’m only featuring his urban fantasy one ’cause, well, that’s the one I wanted to feature. Hehehe.

1)                  How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing all of my life but it took a long time for me to find my niche. I finished Hell’s Gate two years ago and more than happy to see it finally being sold as a published book. Once I completed one it was like knowing I could do it and other books which followed seemed to come easier. It’s just getting past the very first one.

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.)

Only because you defined the question I’ll behave. (TM – Awww, it might’ve been fun if you’d been naughty) I actually don’t have much to do during the day so writing and procrastination are the only things I have to worry about. I was paralyzed 17 years ago, so I’m always in front of my computer. I write quickly, so it leaves a lot of time for procrastination and talking to my fans.

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

The re-release of Hell’s Gate has been a long road, that much I can say, but a happy one. To really explain how Hell’s Gate came to be. I have to start from the source. I was in a car accident when I was seventeen. It changed my life forever. It was then when I started to really study religion and the stories within the bible intrigued me to form what would really happen if the end of the world actually came to be.

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

There are so many variations of urban fantasy. However, I think I’m attracted to urban fantasy because it is as close to reality as I can get. It allows my readers to identify with the surroundings (even though it is paranormal). I have Angels and Demons walking around but my readers can say they can understand the buildings, and the events that happen in the book actually happening.

5)                 Do you think you’ll move to a third genre (I know you also write erotica), and if yes, what to and when? Do you think you’ll focus on one more than another in the coming months and years?

I do have a children’s book currently out for sale as well. I’m working on a serial killer novel but it is really a side type of novel. The Seventh Seal Series is the main set of books I’m currently working on. I hope to get the whole series out before really moving on to another.

6)                 Sweet or sour?

Life is rather a little bitter sweet isn’t it? I do however like sour stuff but sweet isn’t bad either. It’s whatever is closer to my computer when I’m writing lol.

7)                 Chocolate or vanilla?

Sherbet isn’t an option? (TM – Mm, hadn’t thought about sherbet. Sowwy. I like orange!) Pfft, but if I have to pick between one or the other, it would have to be Chocolate.

AUTHOR INFO
Benjamin Daniels was born in Columbus Ohio and have lived in West Jefferson for most of my life. It is a small town which he loves dearly. He doesn’t think he could live within the big city like New York or California for instance. He prefers to keep it small and quiet. He’s educated with two degrees and abandoned those when he found his passion for writing.
Please note that profits from both of his current books are going to charities. 

BOOK INFO
Blurb
The gates of Hell are open. Angels and Demons fight for our mortality and dominance of earth. The rapture diminishes the human population and very few remain to defend what God gave us. It is up to the Angels to fight the war, the humans to survive and the druids to protect the earth.

Cole wants nothing more than to be left alone until the war is over and see who wins. He doesn’t care for rules of any kind and wants least of all to choose a side. Fate however, has different plans for him. His only friend is being held hostage by a Demon with a plan to win the war and return the earth to what it once was. It is up to him to rescue her with the help of a fallen Angel who comes to his aid to ensure his survival.

The Druids are the only ones who can save his friend, but they have an agenda of their own. The demon is demented but has the best intentions with what she believes. Cole finds himself lusting after the fallen Angel and must choose between her and saving his friend. The problem is that he doesn’t know who he can trust.

Armageddon is here and Hell on earth has just begun.


Excerpt
“Well now, children. Who decided to play and did not invite me to join?” Her voice is feminine, seductive and teasing with sexuality. I can’t see her yet, but the tone is that of a very beautiful woman. Vera’s voice holds the same electric currents in it, but I’m not attracted to this one.

Vera’s voice sounds strained, as if she’d been talking for hours. Like she is just waking in the morning and isn’t functioning quite right. “Thank you for answering my call, Lilith.”

“I’m not answering your call Vera, you assume too much. You sent out a beacon for aid, that much you did, but you see you’re on my lands and a beacon must be answered by the enforcers. I just can’t allow it to happen.” Her voice isn’t as pleasant. “You have all broken Demonic law. I was not informed any of you would be here. It is within my rights to kill you.”

She’s beautiful.  Her hair is fire truck red, it curls naturally down her back and follows her soft jaw. Her eyes’ are fierce with the color of a deep emerald. She has skin as pale as the full moon in the middle of the night. A short dress barely covers what she has to show. The dress hangs low on her breasts with circles cut out of the midriff leaving a single strip running across her stomach into a pair of panty bottoms with a loin cloth that is higher in the front than the back. Black boots run up her legs with the dress hiding the top of the boots. Her wings are reddish brown and look like leather. They don’t compare to those of an angel but are more like those of a bat. The stories at least get some things right.

She leans closer to whisper softly in Vera’s ear. “Now what should I do?” She curls her mouth into a scary smile. Whatever she is planning, she’s going to enjoy it.


Thanks for stopping by, Benjamin! Hope everyone will chime in below, and c’mon back next week for two new guests!

Evernight Holiday Blog Hop



Welcome to the Evernight Holiday Blog Hop!

We love the holidays, we love making our readers happy and we love giving away swag. What better way to do that than to hold a blog hop?
 
Here’s how it works… the more blogs you hop to (shown below) the more chance you have of winning prizes. Each site on the hop is offering a prize and Evernight is offering an iPad 2 as the grand prize! To be in with a chance of winning the site prize simply follow the blog you’re visiting and leave a comment which includes your email address. Each entry on each blog is then counted towards the grand prize draw. The more entries you have, the better your chance of winning that iPad 2! You also get extra points for liking the Evernight Facebook page
. Just make sure you let us know in the comments that you’ve done so.
 
Happy hopping!

Hi there, everyone! Tory here. Thanks for coming by on this stop of the Evernight Holiday Blog Hop. I wanted to remind people I’ve got a release coming out next month (hopefully), Prophecy of Blood. No cover, so I’m using a place-holder. 🙂 So…here’s the blurb and the not-final-finished-edited prophecy itself that the book takes its name from.


One hundred ninety-eight seasons after the mushroom-shaped clouds first blossom to poison the humans of the Rising Sun, near the beginning of the Season of Inundation, Atlantis will return.

With those words ringing in their ears, vampires Christine Javert and Jordan MacNaught find themselves in a race against time to stop the return of Atlantis. As they hunt for the deadly Ares, they discover the true depths of his plot to incite a world-wide species war, turning the humans against all the non-humans, not just the vampires as they’d originally thought. 

One hundred ninety-eight seasons after the mushroom-shaped clouds first blossom to poison the humans of the Rising Sun, near the beginning of the Season of Inundation, Atlantis will return. 

One with the blood of the unliving, the mighty Aketh, and the mage-born will work the magic to summon the Lost Island. Only one with so many mixed bloodlines may pierce the veil behind which Dread Atlantis lurks.

One chance exists to return the island behind the veil, ne’er to threaten the safety of this world.  Five lines of magic are needed. Five points to the star, with a walker of dreams descended from the mate of the royal house standing in the center to balance and shape the magic. Seek what bloodlines you can between now and the return of Dread Atlantis. Protect those you can find at all costs. 

Each is necessary, and each must survive until the darkness returns.

The Lord of Blood comes first, birthed by the mind-blowers. Terrible and unyielding, he stands at the top of the star, straddling the lines between prophecy and dreams. 

The stabilizer, the walker of dreams, comes next, raised in ignorance of her true heritage. 

The family of enchantment will birth a mind-walker, capable of steering the currents of power clear from the intelligent species of the world. 

Sea creature and water blend to give birth to an elemental capable of manipulating the water and its inhabitants. 

A death-talker, descended from the necromancers of old, will guide the spirits safely between this world and the next.

And last, not born until Atlantis breathes the air of our world once more, comes the Master of Fire and Earth, capable of controlling the very earth upon which Atlantis stands to send it forever more beyond the reach of those who remain behind.

For my part, I will be giving away a $5 gift card to the winner’s choice of Amazon or Barnes & Noble AND a copy of Prophecy of Blood when it comes out next month (sorry for the long lag-time on that part).  All you have to do for your chance to win is (a) be a follower of this blog and (b) answer this question below: What do you do to celebrate the holiday season?

Good luck everyone!

Word-Slingers – Guest Alison Beightol

I’m excited to welcome a long-time friend of mine to the blog today in advance of her 12/20 debut, Blood Betrayal. Alison Beightol and I met through QueryTracker and she read the first draft (eeep, and she still talks to me after how TERRIBLE it was) of what became MY debut, Blood Rage and I read what ultimately became Blood Betrayal back in 2010. So, let’s give her a nice round of applause and a warm Word-Slingers Welcome!


1)                  How long have you been writing?

Wow, over twenty years. Right now it feels like I have been writing over twenty years on my WIP.

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.)

Daily? At least 3. I work full time, am a single mom and am a student. I don’t add writing into that because lately writing is a luxury. Somehow I make it work though!

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

Blood Betrayal is about flawed characters who happen to be vampires. (TM – hehe, sounds familiar) LOL. What I’m trying to say, my vampires aren’t perfect. They still happen to have the same personality quirks that most of us have. That said, I wanted to write a story about an ancient vampire who wanted a companion but had no idea about truly modern women and women who would tell him no (something he isn’t used to hearing). At the same time, he gets drawn into the underworld of  vampire politics and intrigue.

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

The thing about paranormal romance is that it gives your characters a bonus. They aren’t just people with love issues, they  have the added complication (or bonus) of being a vampire, being a shifter, a ghost or whatever else!

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

I’m trying to write a women’s fiction novel but it has been on hold for a while while I finish out the Primigenio Tales series. However I’ve found that writing in other genres is more difficult for me because there isn’t any paranormal elements in it L I’m beginning to think that I’ve found my niche!

6) Sweet or sour?

Sweet!

      7) Chocolate or vanilla?

Both! I’m not partial to either. Even in ice cream. And that becomes even more complicated because I like Neapolitan ice cream (TM – oy, woman). LOL.

CONTACT INFO
 Email  *  Blog  *  Twitter  *  FB Personal  *  FB Author Page
BLURB
Being the world’s oldest vampire, Eamon Rutherford has enjoyed women throughout the ages as beautiful meals and one night stands. That is until Eamon decides to find a mate and settle down. His less-than-perfect choice is temperamental ballerina Lauryl Mellis. When Lauryl escapes from Eamon in London, Eamon discovers true commitment requires him to love another more than himself. As he struggles with his inner awakening and Lauryl’s rejection, Lauryl is busy planning her own special event, the death of Eamon Rutherford!

Buy Links
E-Book Version Released on 12/20/12

Six Sentence Sunday (12/9/12) – #sixsunday

Can you believe we’re here on another Sunday? Just like the rest of the year, this week’s flown by. But here we are, and here’s another Six Sentence Sunday, just rarin’ to go! 

This six comes to you from my upcoming Prophecy of Blood (hoping to get my cover this week – squee). Jordan and Christine have just just learned what they really are. Xanthea Xanthos is rumored to be the first vampire and she’s known to have a nasty temper, not hesitant to play with those who annoy her (translation: they frequently suffer and die).

“But, I am a vampire,” Jordan protested.

“No, you’re not; I made you think you were though.” Xanthea offered him one of her rare, smug smiles. “It may interest you to know that I would have been classified a telepath at one point in my very long history. A telepath who dislikes you most royally, Jordan MacNaught.”

Jordan flinched. 

So there you have it. Don’t forget to check out the other awesome authors who are participating this week by visiting the Six Sentence Sunday website. 

Coming up this week, I will be participating in Evernight’s blog hop, and will be hosting the debut author Alison Beightol on Monday and Benjamin Daniels on Thursday. Hope to see you there!