Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ocean of Dust is 99 cents!

Blurb:  Fourteen-year old Lissa is snatched from her home and finds herself a slave on a trading ship traveling on a waterless ocean of nothing but gray dust. A feisty, curious and intelligent girl, her desire to explore the ship earns her the hatred of the cruel first officer, Farq.

Fascinated by the ocean of dust, Lissa becomes embroiled in its mysteries, sensing things that the crew cannot, while cryptic whispers in her head are leading her toward a destiny linked to the dust itself. Only one man aboard can help her make sense of her new talent, but can she trust him? All is not as it seems, and she must unravel the clues before it’s too late.

When a sinister plot casts her adrift on the barren ocean, her best friend is left in the hands of the treacherous crew. Everything hinges upon her courage, quick wits, and her ability to master her new talent.

Where to Buy:
Amazon Kindle: USA | UK  | France | Germany | Spain | Italy | Japan
B&N Nook | Apple iBook | Kobo | WHSmith | Smashwords
Paperback: USA | UK

Author Bio: Graeme Ing is a writer of fantasy and SF novels, both adult and YA. His first novel, Ocean of Dust is a YA fantasy. Graeme is currently working on his second book, a horror fantasy hybrid, starring a cocky, sarcastic necromancer in a world of vicious undead and political machinations.

Born in England in 1965, Graeme lives in San Diego, California. His career as a software engineer and development manager spans 25 years, including the development of a dozen computer games for consoles, home computers and online. He is also an avid D&D nerd, armchair mountaineer, astronomer, mapmaker, pilot and general geek. He and his wife, Tamara, share their house with six crazy cats.

Find Graeme on his website. He's also a fellow member of Untethered Realms.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wicked Wednesday - breaking free of the usual formula

I've been reading a lot of Jeaniene Frost's books lately. She's one of the best selling paranormal romance authors. I love her books. (And Bones. Especially Bones!) Yet her books have a definite formula. In fact, a lot of books in this genre have the same formula. Here's the basic plot:

Girl meets boy. There is instant attraction even if neither act on it. One or both of them are supernatural creatures and/or have paranormal abilities. The villain enters. Bad stuff happens. Girl and boy can't resist each other. Something causes them to break apart and/or push one another away. More bad stuff. Big final battle. Evil is thwarted. The happily ever after ending.

With a market that is overflowing with paranormal romances of the usual formula, as a writer, you need to find a way to break out of it to get yourself noticed. Readers still love the classics like vampires and werewolves, but they want new twists.

As I've been writing my 13th Floor series, I've been experimenting on breaking free of the old formula. I still have the key ingredients, but I'm trying out some new twists.

The Marquis - I featured an older couple. Usually in romance, the lovers are young. Or, in the case with some supernatural beings, they look and act young even if they're centuries old. Did the readers like it? I've gotten some compliments about using an older couple, but it is the book that sells the least in the series.

The Alpha - It's common for paranormal romances to features an Alpha male. I twisted that trope and used an Alpha female. Her love interest is a geek. This still remains the most popular of my books. Readers do love strong women and superhero wannabe geeks.

The Dragonslayer - A modern day dragonslayer who is a complete gentleman instead of the typical bad boy. Xan's an Alpha male, but not in an overbearing way. His strength shows through in honor, chivalry, and his morals. And fighting dragons! It's still a bit early to tell, but Xan has many fans.

The Harbinger - Another story where the lead male character is a gentleman rather than a bad boy. The protagonist is a powerful woman. Feminine and a fighter. She's also a harpy. I'm curious to see how a creature usually not featured in this genre goes over with readers.

What are some of your favorite books that break from the usual formula?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday for Polterheist

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
If you haven't read any of Laura Resnick's Esther Diamond novels, I recommend them for a fast read and a big laugh. They're hilarious. Just the title alone is priceless: Polterheist. Hehehe! Esther is an out of work actor who has the bad luck of stumbling on to supernatural mysteries. The cast is just as colorful as the title.
Here's your teaser:
I became convinced that something strange was going on at Fenster & Co. when a singing tree tried to strangle me.
Prior to that, I'd had my suspicions, of course. (page 1) 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jewel of Shaylar cover reveal

Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.
Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.
David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.
About the author: Laura Eno lives in Florida with a very tolerant husband, three skulking cats and two absurdly happy dogs. After spending years immersed in English literature courses, she now writes novels late at night with the help of muses from the underworld.
Laura is a fellow member of Untethered Realms. Seven great speculative fiction authors. Check us out on Facebook!
Find Laura Eno on: Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Winners of The Dragonslayer blog tour giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered The Dragonslayer blog tour giveaway!
The tour was a big success because of your support.

Here are the lucky winners!
Congratulations! Emails have already been sent out.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Anyone who would like to be part of The Harbinger blog tour March 13th - 17th, please leave a comment with your email address or send me an email.

Friday, February 22, 2013

CassaStorm cover reveal

CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

Release date: September 17, 2013
Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN 9781939844002
E-book ISBN 9781939844019

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A few quick updates with an Angry Bird face

Angry Bird Face!
He does pretty good at getting the beak look with his mouth.
Can you believe he'll be three in two months?!

I haven't managed to get to many blogs or do emails this week. Please forgive me. It's been incredibly busy. The boy isn't napping and I'm trying to finish off the fourth book in the 13th Floor series. It's going longer than I expected and twisting in all sorts of ways. I hope to have it done by the end of the week. *knock on wood*

Thank you to everyone who participated in this month's Writers4Writers event. We rocked! And we now have 100 people signed up on the linky list. If each person has about 1000 people on Twitter, that's 100,000 people reached. Mind blowing.

Don't forget tomorrow is Alex J. Cavanaugh's big cover reveal.

On Monday, Laura Eno is revealing her awesome new cover too.

On March 1st, we have two fantastic bloghops: Back From the Future Blogfest and The Bloghop of Joy.

Finally, you have a few hours left to enter to win the first ebooks in the 13th Floor series including an ARC of the fourth book, The Harbinger!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Level Up! Blogfest

A geeky blogfest! I love it. Our awesome hosts are Allison at Geek Banter and Jamie at Mithril Wisdom. They want to know what's your favorite game. It can be a video game, a board game, a party game, a card game, a childhood playground game--you name it. Let them know how it works and why you love it. Click on the badge to see the linky list and discover some new games!

This is a hard one. I have so many favorite games. I haven't had much of a chance to play any video games in the past few years, but I'm a huge Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior fan. For party games, I love Apples to Apples, and the adult version of it, Cards Against Humanity. I love card games like Munchkin and Killer Bunnies. What I'm going to tell you about is one of my favorite boardgames.

Arkham Horror is "the classic game of Lovecraftian adventure." You play an investigator in Arkham trying to keep the gates to other planes closed before too many open and a powerful being known as an Ancient One slips through. You must either avoid or fight aliens, go through gates into other realms, and try to survive to close the gates. You have Sanity tokens in the game, and if you lose them all, you go insane! It's a game of high tension and strategy. Will you try to fight only for yourself, or will you help the other investigators? It's not a fast-paced game. You could spend hours playing through one game, but it's one of those things you don't realize how many hours of your time it's eating. We've never managed to beat an Ancient One, but what an amazing journey.

Yes, one of the Ancient Ones is Cthulhu!

Don't forget to enter to win the first ebooks in the 13th Floor series including an ARC of the fourth book, The Harbinger!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with First Drop of Crimson

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I loved Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. First Drop of Crimson takes place in that same world. So far, it's pure paranormal romance awesome. Love the characters. Love the story.
Here's your teaser:
"You eat the room service employees every time?" Denise asked, shocked.
"Of course. But don't fret on their behalf. I always tip well." (page 37)

Monday, February 18, 2013


Welcome to the February 2013 W4WS event! I'm honored to co-host this event with three talented writers, Mary Pax, C.M. Brown, and Stephen Tremp.  The mission of this group is simple: we have a spotlighted author(s) that we strive to help bring awareness of their book(s) to tens of thousands of new people, increase the sales of their book(s), drive new traffic to their blogs and increase followers, and create verbal and viral buzz.

We've made this simple and fast. It's as easy as a tweet or a RT, and sharing a status on Facebook. Go to the writer's blog and copy a tweet or RT from the posts with the tag #W4WS. The W4WS Facebook page will have all the updates and links for you.

To join the W4WS event, click here for the linky list. It will only take a minute of your time, and you'll have talented writers take a step closer to their dreams. 

This month, we're spotlighting two awesome writers.

Melissa Bradley at Melissa's Imaginarium writes romances, thrillers, and suspense with a healthy dose of naughtiness. She has several books out to tantalize you. Check out her Facebook page too.

Gwen Gardner is a YA fiction author and has a fantastic new book out called Givin' Up The Ghost. You can find her on Facebook here. Gwen is also a fellow member of Untethered Realms.

Thank you!

1304 - The Harbinger cover reveal

Title: 1304 - The Harbinger
(The 13th Floor series, #4)
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: March 13, 2013

Meira Harper loves both her jobs: talking about beautiful shoes and fetching souls for Zeus. But the Thunder God threatens the harpy's loyalty to her job when she receives the call to bring the soul of gorgeous Sam Wright. Meira pleads with her boss to let him live. Zeus agrees, but Sam must fight for his life. If Sam can win three challenges, he can keep his soul.

The gods never play fairly, though, so Meira needs to find ways to help Sam with the challenges. She cannot outwardly cross her master, but she refuses to let the man she loves lose his soul. They haven't even had a chance to start a life together.

Sam's soul is on the line. Meira's will be too if she's caught, but that's a risk she's willing to take.

Isn't she lovely? She can rip your head off with her talons too.

If you're interested in hosting me for The Harbinger blog tour next month, please email me.

Please mark The Harbinger "to read" on Goodreads. 

Don't forget to enter The Dragonslayer blog tour giveaway to win an ARC of The Harbinger.
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Final day of The Dragonslayer blog tour

It's been a fantastic five days.
Thank you so much to all my generous hosts
and to everyone who has followed me along the way.

Wait! We've got two more stops to go!

The first chapter of The Dragonslayer is available on M Pepper Langlinais' blog. Read and get hooked! 

Come over to Aubrie Dionne's blog to read about 13 of the most horrible dragon hoards and enter to win your own e-copy of the novella. One lucky winner could win the first three ebooks of the 13th Floor series and an ARC of The Harbinger.

Come back tomorrow for the cover reveal of the fourth book in the series, 1304 - The Harbinger.

Today's tidbit: It was my husband's idea what I should do for the list this tour. Yet he came up with some disgusting ideas of what might be in some hoards! It doesn't help that I Googled weird collections either. Yuck! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 4 of The Dragonslayer blog tour

A great way to spend the weekend is in the company of a good book. Do you have your copy of The Dragonslayer yet?
Today we have dragons and a dragonslayer.

Media Sharif did a character interview with Xan. Find out how he keeps his body in top shape!

In continuing with my supernatural creatures theme, I'll be talking about dragons on TF Walsh's blog. Fearsome or friendly?

Bonus stop today at YA fantasy author Graeme Ing's.
He asks me about my favorite books and characters. 

Today's tidbit: You'll see a little more about the 13th floor when Lois is stuck in the apartment with Xan. Yet no matter what happens, you can't convince a skeptic like her that anything might be magical.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Day 3 of The Dragonslayer blog tour

It's day three already!
What an amazing response I've already had.

Today I have three blogs on my tour.
The first stop is with one of my fellow Untethered Realms members. Have you checked us out on FB yet?

I'll be discussing marketing tips for indie authors over at Mary Pax's. It's tough promoting yourself when all you want to do is write!

A fellow paranormal romance author Anna Abner interviewed me. I talk about my writing schedule and give a few peeks of what is coming in the series.

My last stop today is with my fabulous beta reader, Clare Dugmore. We chat about our favorite dragons in modern media and what it takes to be a dragonslayer.

Today's tidbit: The business side to being a writer is tough for me. I have enough smarts and common sense to understand what I need to do, but I think it takes a clever mind and guts to really do a good job of it. It's not easy putting yourself and your work out there.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Second Sign blog tour - Guest post by Elizabeth Arroyo

Happy Valentine's Day!

Romance lives!!

I love romance novels. I read all of Catherine Coutler regency romances. I delved into Madeline Hunter. Corsets, petticoats, and arranged marriages are just awesome to read. There's conflict, conflict, and more conflict in each and every one of them.

Paranormal romance...also my favorite. Bad-boys in black leather. Come on now, who wouldn't love that? JR Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon my favorites.

And then there's YA. It holds a different place in my heart. An untainted innocence yet explored. That first crush, that awkward kiss, the special dance. The flirting. Yes, romance in YA is flirting. Ninety percent of romance in YA is written between the lines.

And ladies and gentleman, romance lives. There is still a special place in the heart of teens, yearning for that special event that turns their world upside down...even boys. Here's where I delve into a true story.

My son gave me permission to go ahead and share his special moment.

He actually organized a very special something when he asked his girlfriend out--which means being exclusive.  He had a scavenger hunt and involved all of their friends. It started with one of her girlfriends leading her to the first stop where another friend held a message to give her. Written on the message was a clue, the place of a shared moment between son and girlfriend, and this message led her to another place where another friend waited for her with another message. Until finally, my son waited for her in the last stop with a message of his own.

And loads of people followed on Facebook.

Yes! Romance Lives!

About the author

Elizabeth has worked in the community for the bulk of her professional career. She enjoys quiet moments, action flicks, and dancing with her four-year-old.  THE SECOND SIGN is her debut novel. You can find more information about Elizabeth at:

The Second Sign
Dark YA Paranormal Romance
Sapphire Star Publishing

When a demon guardian comes to collect seventeen-year-old Gabby’s soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty- four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake—her almost boyfriend—begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

Buy The Second Sign at Amazon and B&N.

The Second Sign
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Day 2 of The Dragonslayer blog tour

Day 2 of The Dragonslayer tour!
Yesterday was awesome, and today we have a big treat.
I have four stops on my tour AND a special guest post on romance by Second Sign author Elizabeth Arroyo scheduled on my blog for later this morning. Be sure to check it out!

First stop, Nick Wilford's!
I'll be continuing my villains series and talking about Governor Randall Whittaker. A dragon and a politician. Frightening!

Next I'm visiting with my wonderful friend and CP, Cherie Reich. She's picking my brain about worldbuilding and my experience writing this series.

Pop over to Chris Andrews' site to find out what it's like writing a novel as a pantser.

Last, but certainly not least, I have a guest post on writing romance on Lynda R Young's blog. A little something special for Valentines Day.

Today's tidbit: I write romance, but I don't consider myself a romantic. I love strong women like Lois in The Dragonslayer. My ideal love story is where the two people treat and respect each other as equals.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First day of The Dragonslayer blog tour

1303 - The Dragonslayer is here!
You cannot resist the lure of dragons
or a dragonslayer that hot!

I have a fantastic blog tour lined up. It's my biggest one yet for the 13th Floor series. Prepare yourself for five fantastic days of dragons, writing, marketing, romance, and Xan.

I have four lovely hosts to start off the tour.

Nicole Singer interviewed me and asked
some thoughtful questions about my characters' names.

My romance series continues with Kyra Lennon.
Opposites do attract with Xan and Lois.

I have a guest post on what if questions and whys in writing on Damyanti's blog. Do you play with what ifs in your mind to inspire you?

I have an excerpt and five tips on marketing paranormal romance on Gwen Gardner's site. You have to have something extraordinary for these fans.

Today's tidbit: The interaction between Xan and Lois made me laugh out loud in public when I was writing it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Iced

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I've been waiting to get my hands on Iced for a long while. So far, I'm more than a little disappointed. Karen Marie Moning's Fever series is my favorite paranormal romance series. The world she created is incredible. Iced takes place in this world, but the protagonist is a fourteen-year-old with an ego bigger than NYC. She's annoying. More than annoying. I'm rooting for the bad guys, and I really don't like these bad guys! Yet I'm pushing through and reading the book because I love the world, and I hope it gets better.

Here's your teaser:
I didn't see him move, he crushed the pen so fast. Now I see little crumbles of blue plastic on the blade of his hand, ink smeared on the paper he's working on. I sit up even straighter. I have a lot to compete with if I'm ever going to be as fast as him. (page 121)

Don't forget that tomorrow is the official release day of the third book in my 13th Floor series, 1303- The Dragonslayer. I'll be starting off my blog tour with three wonderful hosts, and there will be a big giveaway the final day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Two days until The Dragonslayer blog tour

It's almost time for the big Dragonslayer blog tour. I'm excited to have several wonderful people host me on their blogs this coming week.

  Feb. 16th - Medeia Sharif and TF Walsh

  Feb. 17th - Aubrie Dionne and M. Pepper Langlinais    

I'll be having a giveaway on Aubrie's blog the final day where you could win digital copies of all the published books in the series so far and an ARC of the fourth book, 1304 - The Harbinger. Be prepared for the cover reveal of that book on the 18th.

The Dragonslayer is already available on all the sites. Grab yourself a copy and enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Five for Feburary 8, 2013

1. What a week! I learned how to format ebooks. It was intimidating at first, but it's really not that horrible. Tedious, yes, but just like uploading your book to purchase sites, once you get a hang of it, it feels a lot easier. Thank you so much for your help, Cherie! (She's brilliant, you know!)

2. I loaded my newly formatted files of The Dragonslayer to the purchase sites. Everything looked beautiful. What a relief! Smashwords and Amazon already have theirs up. It feels good to have those done. I also have everything ready for the big blog tour next week from the 13th - 17th. Lots of fun posts and a big giveaway! Then The Harbinger cover reveal on the 18th.

3. I'm 25% done with the next book in the 13th Floor series. It's very different than the other books. The action is more verbal than physical. I hope to be halfway done by the end of the weekend and then finish the rest next week. Yes, I'm a fast writer, and I'm aiming for 20,000 words, give or take a few thousand.

4. My little guy is sick this week. Poor fellow. He made it through school yesterday, and when I arrived to pick him up, he threw up. Well, at least the teacher didn't have to deal with the ickiness. I'd feel bad if she did.

5. Don't forget the next W4WS event is on the 18th. We'll be featuring Melissa Bradley and Gwen Gardner this month. Sign up on the linky list and help out your fellow writers. It's fast and simple. A tweet, a RT, or share a link on Facebook.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Second Sign launch info

Dark YA Paranormal Romance
Sapphire Star Publishing

Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn’t expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.
As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

Buy The Second Sign at Amazon and B&N.

The Second

About the Author

Elizabeth has worked in the community for the bulk of her professional career. She enjoys quiet moments, action flicks, and dancing with her four-year-old.  THE SECOND SIGN is her debut novel. You can find more information about Elizabeth at:


Watch trailer at

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Insecure Writer's Support Group - February 2013

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

I've read a lot of magnificent stories about adversity and perseverance this week. It was what I had planned on writing about this month, but I'm going to go for something a little different. We have those big victories and those are great moments. Yet there are those little warm and fuzzy moments that help us too.

I'm going to share some of my warm and fuzzy writer moments with you:

A silly comment by one of your critique partners that makes you laugh out loud.

A good review from a reader who randomly came across your book.

Finishing the final draft of revisions and eating those M&Ms you've been saving for that moment.

A stranger tweets how much they're in love with your book covers.

Your beta reader says you've surprised them yet again.

An encouraging comment from a blog follower who says just the right thing at just the right time.

What are some of your warm and fuzzy writer moments?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Halfway to the Grave

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This is the first book of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, and it's been on my TBR list a long time. Why oh why haven't I read this before? What a delectable paranormal romance. The protagonist is named Cat and she's typical of heroines in this genres. Her lover Bones, on the other hand, is one of the hottest vampires I've come across. I might have a new favorite hero.
Here's your teaser:
"No," I answered, and shoved the stake into Sergio's heart. My hand went into his chest with the momentum and I jerked back, shaking his thick dark blood off in disgust. "I'm done talking to him." (page 85)

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Overcoming Adversity Bloghop

The wonderful Nick Wilford is hosting this fantastic bloghop. Nick's stepson Andrew has cerebral palsy and is coming to the end of his time at his current school. Unfortunately post-18, things don't look quite so good in Scotland. Andrew was basically told he would be attending Motherwell College (no element of choice), where he would be doing the "Access-8" course which more or less amounts to daycare (fingerpainting and the like), nothing that was going to push him to develop, or end up with a career. Nick's family would like to send Andrew to Beaumont College in Lancaster. Andrew has visited the school and it offers amazing facilities like Eye Gaze technology which would enable Andrew to use his eyes to select from different phrases and communicate much more effectively. He is interested in following a film editing course. The main issue is fundraising, and for that, Nick has created The "Overcoming Adversity" bloghop. With flash pieces and poetry written by the participants, Nick will create an anthology to put up for sale on Amazon. The sales will go to Andrew's college fund.

The rules are simple:
1) Sign up on the linky list.
2) Please write about overcoming adversity and keep your entry to 500 words.
3) Please post on February 4th or 5th. 
4) Keep it family-friendly.

Here's my contribution:

By Christine Rains

I was expecting it when they called my name, but my hands still shook with hearing it. The crowd broke out into applause as I stood. Perhaps I should've felt big amongst the hundreds of people, but I still felt small. Not like a grain of sand on a beach, but more like a shell gleaming with a rainbow of colors.

Glancing at my walker, I didn't want to use it as I walked to the stage. I wanted to make it on my own two feet. Yet the first step reminded me this old body didn't have the strength.

My grandson hopped up and came to loop my arm through his. He winked and grinned. Not his usual mischievous one, but one of pride. It was worth everything for that alone. I squeezed his forearm, and we walked to the stage together.

The presenter was a young woman. No more than thirty. She was a best-selling author with several books under her belt. I had one.

We shook hands as she said her congratulations and passed on the award. I put the bulky trophy on the podium. A speech was expected. I'd gone over the words a thousand times in my head. None seemed right. I was a mother of five and a grandmother of eleven. I never worked and I never went to school. I feared my few words of wisdom would be lost on this crowd.

“Thank you.” I cleared my throat and spoke louder into the microphone. “Thank you, everyone. It's an honor to be here today and receive this wonderful award.”

Everyone was silent. I wet my lips. “I'll keep this short and sweet. I'm a bit flushed, but goodness knows I could use another glass of wine right now.” There were a few chuckles, but they helped relax me. “Five years ago, the only stories I knew were ones other people read to me. And while I did appreciate them taking time to read to an old woman, they couldn't read fast enough for my liking. So I thought, why wait for them? I need to do something about it myself.

“Two years later, I could finally read stories to my grandkids. A joy I cannot begin to describe. And then I thought, why stop there? You've got bunches of stories in your head. Share them with your grandkids, with all the kids.” I swallowed, still feeling that desire.

“I heard a lot of laughter. Not at what I wrote, but at me. People told me I was too old. Their protests were fueled when they discovered I just learned to read and write. They claimed I couldn't possibly write anything worthy to be published.” I patted the trophy. “Well, maybe this old woman didn't hear them right. I went on and did it anyway.”

The crowd stood as they applauded with a near deafening roar. My heart fluttered as I smiled. Maybe they could appreciate an old woman's story of perseverance.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Red" now up on 365 Tomorrows

My science-fiction flash piece, "Red" is now up on 365 Tomorrows.

I now have 20 short stories published. Wow. I can still remember trying to get one published somewhere. I would've been happy if someone accepted it anywhere! My first accepted and paid submission was a silly sci-fi drabble (a piece of exactly 100 words). I still have that dollar sitting in a frame beside my desk.

I tried getting published in my late teens, but the first rejection destroyed me. I didn't try again for about 15 years. Maybe age toughened me up, but I kept pushing on past the rejections. I kept submitting. Now I have 20 short stories published.

I still get rejected. Some hurt more than others, but I keep pushing forward. Perseverance does pay off.

Never give up on your dreams!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Arrows, Shadows, and Sales

Pop over to Arrows of Anteros and check out my flash piece, "Not Every Story Has A Happy Ending." This is how having a child has affected my writing. I have my little moments!

Today is Groundhog Day! Did the groundhog see its shadow where you live? All this day means to me is the opportunity to watch "Groundhog Day" again and again on television. A Bill Murray classic.

I haven't done a sales update lately. It's out of my curiosity how sales go for other authors that I share mine with you.

1302 - The Alpha
Amazon: 82
B&N: 24
Smashwords: 3
Kobo: 5
Total: 114

1301 - The Marquis
Amazon: 36
B&N: 6
Smashwords: 2
Kobo: 1
Total: 45

L'il Gal Al and the Zombies of Amarillo
Amazon: 1
B&N: 7
Smashwords: 111 (free)
Kobo (no stats as they don't count free downloads)
Total: 119

Amazon: 5919
B&N: 3
Smashwords: 1123
Kobo: (I have no idea!)
Total: 7045

Fearless continues to do very well. It was in Amazon's top 100 for fantasy paranormal for most of January. It's free and a great way to hook readers to buy my other books.

Most of my sales for The Marquis came after the release of The Alpha. I'm hoping that with the great interest in The Dragonslayer, readers will buy it and the other book in the series.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Imaginary Friend Bloghop

Annalisa Crawford is celebrating her one year anniversary of Cat and The Dreamer with the Imaginary Friend Bloghop. Acting as her co-host is Kyra Lennon. Such a clever and fun bloghop! If you've read Cat and The Dreamer you'll know that Julia, the main character, has a big imagination, and she has an imaginary enemy.

Annalisa and Kyra want to know about your imaginary friend. What were they called? How old were you? Were they naughty or nice? If you didn't have one, were there ever times when you could really have used one? Did you ever set fire to your mum's favourite rug and have to take the blame yourself? Annalisa is generously offering a £10/$10 Amazon gift voucher for my favourite post, and Kyra is offering a three chapter critique for hers. Awesome!

Unfortunately, I never had an imaginary friend growing up. I really wanted one. I still would like one! Have you ever seen the movie Drop Dead Fred? I loved that movie. Not that I wanted an imaginary friend to do bad stuff and get me in trouble, but to have someone to have adventures with and do silly things together. Someone to comfort me in the bad times, tell my secrets to, and help me not feel so lonely. Even though I had a brother and there were lots of children in the neighborhood I played with, I still felt lonely as a child. I was just too logical even as a kid. I could pretend to have an invisible friend, but I never really believed I did.

I do wonder if my son will have an imaginary friend. He's an only child and there are no children for him to play with in the neighborhood. We can't afford to get a dog right now, but I'd like to get him a pet some day. He loves school and playing with other kids, and sometimes I wonder if he's lonely. If he does have an imaginary friend, I wish them a lot of fun and adventures, but my darling boy, don't think I'll believe you when you say it was your imaginary friend that threw the ball through the window or made mud pies in the living room!