June Preview

It’s summer!!!! And we’ve got some great new releases coming up 🙂

Toni Kerr’s Unleashed, book 2 in the Makai series, releases June 5th:
front UNLEASHED 051214Tristan can’t wait to get to Darnell—a place where people have similar powers to his own and won’t know about the horrific events that led to being exiled from his previous home. Unfortunately, they do know, and so does Lazaro, a ruthless man determined to regain possession of the powerful emerald Tristan stole.

And Lazaro isn’t the only one on a quest for Tristan’s blood.

A secret society of overzealous dragon slayers believes Tristan is a worthy target to hunt. When he is captured and put on trial for being an abomination to mankind, his continued denial of dragon ancestry won’t keep him safe for long. The Slayers have been hunting for generations, and in a private museum of artifacts and past conquests, Tristan discovers a handful of gems akin to the emerald and a new mission—if he can survive long enough to escape captivity.

But then…no amount of protection or denial can save him from himself.

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22075712-unleashed

Michelle McLean’s Romancing the Rumrunner releases from Entangled’s Scandalous on June 9th:
RTRR 300x450Prohibition Era Chicago

She’s worked too hard to be run out of town…

Jessica Harlan spends her nights as The Phoenix, the owner of the most popular speakeasy in town. Her days are spent running her respectable butcher shop and dodging prohibition agents and rival club owners who all want to put her out of business.

He’s worked too hard to let his heart get in the way…

When the opportunity arises to go undercover for the Feds to catch The Phoenix, Gumshoe Anthony Solomon jumps on it. But he never suspected the notorious rumrunner would be a dame – or that he’d be so drawn to the feisty little minx.

They play a dangerous game of cat and mouse, knowing they can’t trust the other, but unable to walk away. While their hearts dodge the crossfire, the mobsters raise the stakes, and even The Phoenix may not rise again.

Kelly Hashway’s The Monster Within releases from Spencer Hill Press on June 17th:
TheMonsterWithinfinalcoverFLATcropped (2)The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.
She’s now a monster that drains others’ lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.
But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Jennifer Allis Provost’s Copper Ravens releases from Spencer Hill Press on June 17th:
copper ravensSara should be happy. She has what every girl wants: a man who loves her, a beautiful home, and wealth beyond imagining. She rescued her brother from the Peacekeepers, destroyed the Iron Queen, and doesn’t have to go to her boring job any more. And yet Sara still doesn’t know if her father is alive or dead. Her mother hides in the garden, brooding about her missing husband. Her sister, the Inheritor of Metal, is scared of her own shadow, and her brother spends his days fighting and gambling. To add to Sara’s misery, the new queen (gold, of course) is more than a bit crazy, she misses her life in the Mundane world, and, worst of all, Micah wants to have children. A lot of them. As Sara wavers between happiness and homesickness, a conspiracy emerges against the Raven clan, implicating them in a plot to dethrone the Gold Queen. How can Sara prove her family’s innocence, and become the consort Micah needs her to be, without losing herself in the process?

~~~

Our theme this month is a free for all! Can’t wait to see what our authors come up with 🙂

It’s March!

I really hope this means that spring is on its way, because I’m about done with winter 🙂

This month our authors will be sharing with us books, outside of their own genre, that have influenced them.

For me, well I write several genres and I read even more 🙂 But I think one of the books that impacted me the most, especially as a young reader, was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. The first real novels I ever read were the Little House on the Prairie series, and then I moved on to Victoria Holt’s gothic romances (and pretty much set up camp there for the remainder of my days).

So A Wrinkle in Time was definitely a departure from what I was used to reading. But the story had me hooked immediately. It’s been years since I’ve read it, and I don’t remember specifics anymore. I don’t even remember the characters’ names. But I remember the FEEL of the book when I was reading it. The way the language rolled around in my head. I remember being so invested in the characters that they still pop in my head, all these years later, even though the specifics of them are gone.

Because of that series, I gave other genres besides historical romance a chance. It opened up entire worlds to me 🙂 I always wanted to write stories that would stick with a reader like that. Maybe someday I will 🙂

What books have you read that have stuck with you?

January Preview

Happy New Year!!! We are back for another great year, more fun releases, and more wonderful posts from our amazing authors 🙂

Speaking of new releases, this month we’ve got:

Kelly Hashway’s Face of Death, releasing from Spencer Hill Press on Jan 28th:

Face of Death_front cover (2)Having fallen at the hands of Hades, Jodi’s enduring torture like she never imagined. Worse, she has to watch her Ophi friends suffer along with her–the punishment doled out by the very people she’d sentenced to life in Tartarus. Hell. This is one reunion Jodi hoped would never happen, but now she must find a way to free them all.

Except the underworld is nearly impossible to escape.

Jodi’s one chance may rest in raising the human soul she killed when she drank Medusa’s blood.

But splitting her human soul from her Ophi soul means living a double life: One as an Ophi experiencing unspeakable torture and the other as the human she could have been if she never came into her powers. With her two worlds colliding, Jodi will have to make the toughest decision she’s faced yet.

And Michelle McLean’s third and final installment in her Blood Blade Sisters trilogy, A Bandit’s Betrayed Heart, releasing from Entangled’s Scandalous on Jan 13th:

Betrayed heartNot your typical Southern belle…
Lucy Richardson’s bandit sisters may have taught her to sling a gun and pick a stubborn lock, but nothing prepared her for the agony of her first heartbreak. Her sisters taught her to fight like hell for what she wants… and she wants Finn.

Not your proper Southern gentleman…
Finn Taggart is bad news. His dark and tortured past always catches up to him, and Lucy deserves better than to be tainted by his touch. He couldn’t have her years ago, and he can’t have her now, no matter how enticing she is. If only he can convince her of that before the danger that follows him brings them both down.

Not your classic love story…
Danger doesn’t exactly scare a girl like Lucy, and she knows how to use all kinds of weapons… including her feminine wiles. Finn doesn’t stand a chance. And if they need backup… the Blood Blade Sisters are never far away…

~~~

Our topic this month is What’s New in Our World – stay tuned to find out what our authors are up to!

A Goodbye and a Drop of Flash Fiction

We are very sad to say goodbye to Robyn, who has had to leave us due to her schedule. We’ve loved having her in our group and will of course continue to support her in any way we can 🙂 But as this day just opened up, I can take the opportunity to post something (since I completely forgot to post on my own day *headdesk*)

My word is air, from the first line of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (rereading for the umpteenth time) 😀 The image was, as you’d expect, air 🙂 Specifically a sky shot, but air in general makes me think of breathing which made me think of my post for today.

I’ll confess I cheated just a tad in that this isn’t a new piece…this is a shape poem from a novel in partial verse that I wrote a few years ago (and am currently rewriting so it was fresh in my mind).

 

He holds
my face so tenderly,
in hands that just killed.
For me. Fingers gently touch
my cheeks. His lips kiss away my
tears, my blood. “Breathe,” he whispers.
His lips brush mine. “Just breathe.” I shudder,
my breath escaping at his command. “If you insist,”
I try to joke, but fail. Shouts fill the night air. “Go!” I cried.
“They mustn’t find you with me. Go!” He freezes, his storm
gray eyes on our hands, clasped between our pounding hearts.
The horror on his face mirrors that on my own. One last caress, so
bittersweet. He wavers. “Go,” I breathe. He steps back, back, raised
hand stained black with blood. Mine, his, theirs. His pained howl rips
through me, burning his image on my soul. “For you I’ll live,” I whisper,
unwilling to breathe, unable to stop. They will come for me, their hands
grasping, to return me to my clan. “Go!” I plead. One last look and he
runs, his tortured fury echoing through me, his pain my own. They
come, see me bathed in blood. “Who did this?” they ask. I shrink
from their touch. Gently they lift me, murmuring, “Let us help
you.” I swallow my protests, settle into their strong hands.
They ask, over and over, but I don’t speak. And they
don’t suspect. They take me home. I care not.
I’ll breathe because I promised I would.
But oh how it hurts. He is gone…
And…I…can’t…breathe….

September Preview!

The year seems to be going by faster the farther in we get. Can’t believe it’s September already!!

Well, we have two books releasing this month.

Michelle McLean’s Wish Upon a Star (a tale of a couple who reconnect while fighting a mega-mall full of zombies created by a mad entrepreneurial scientist and his cyborg zombie creation). It releases from Entangled’s Ever After line on Sept 23rd (cover is under wraps until release day 😉 )

And Christine Fonseca’s Dominus – releasing on Sept 15th

Dominus FINALSometimes death is the only way to save a life.

Nesy knows who she is now, knows what she’s lost. Determined to save Aydan from his fate, she confronts the only one she blames for everything – Azza. But how can she fight the devil when she is nothing more than human.

The fate of Celestium, Infernum and humanity rests in Nesy’s hands. Can she find the strength to confront demons she’s never imagined, face fears she’s never voiced, and release the one things that has held her world together – her love for Aydan. Some sacrifices should never be made…even for love.

Author’s Note:
Each character’s decisions, each twist of fate has led to this – a time when confusion reigns supreme, when up is down and down is up. And when the fate of humanity rests in the balance. In this final installment, the decisions of the past have come back to haunt the future, and the fates of Nesy and Aydan, Zane and Cass, Celestium and Infernum, hang in the balance. The only question is, who will survive?

This story is filled with anguish and betrayal, love and sacrifice, as I bring the series to an end. It’s a story that has been part of my life for many years. Saying “goodbye” to these characters will be a profound experience for me. I hope all of you have enjoyed their stories as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

~~~

September’s posting theme is a flash fiction challenge!! Our authors will be grabbing the book they are currently reading, typing the last noun of the first sentence into Google (or other search engine), clicking the images, and writing a short scene based on the first picture that pops up.

Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Book Trailers – Thoughts?

So, I’m a book trailer nut. I LOVE them. I think they are an exciting and fun way of snagging new readers and inspiring interest in a book. Maybe it’s because when I’m writing my own stories, I sort of see them as movies in my head (so much so that sometimes I’ll be itching to get back to this cool movie I was watching only to remember it was the book I was working on) 😀

Book trailers have definitely evolved from when I first saw one. From still shots with captions to trailers that look like actual studio produced movie trailers, I think these trailers just help give a book’s blurb that added oomph. Whether or not these actually help sales, I have no idea. But, regardless, I not only enjoy watching them but making them as well.

(trailer for Lisa Amowitz’s Breaking Glass – a gorgeous example of what you can do with still shots)

One of these days, I’d love to have the budget to hire someone to make a really spectacular movie-quality trailer 🙂 (like this one for the novel Struck by Jennifer Bosworth. It’s really incredible).

There are a lot of companies out there that can create some truly beautiful trailers (like Book Candy Studios who created this one for Mary Lindsey’s Ashes on the Waves).

But even for the budgetly challenged (such as myself), there are a lot of great options out there.

Sites such as morguefile.com and sxc.hu have great images that are 100% free to use. Other sites like 123rf.com and shutterstock.com have wonderful (and affordable!) royalty free images (meaning you pay for the initial use of them but do not have to pay continued royalties).

These sites also have stock footage – video clips (many ranging from $15-$20) that you can use to create trailers.

I’ve found one of the most effective tools of a trailer (to me at least) is the music. Music can create the most intense emotions and if you choose the right soundtrack for your trailer, it can really bring the whole thing to the next level.

I’m very fortunate in that I have an amazingly talented cousin who composes some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. I used one of his songs in my first trailer. (Check him out – Bret Morrell – he’s amazing!).

For my other two trailers, I found some really great (and totally free) music on freestockmusic.com.

With all the options out there, you can actually create a really nice trailer, even one with action film footage, for relatively cheap.

So what is your opinion on book trailers? Do you like watching them? Do you make your own?

Transitioning

change

Well this month’s topic made me stop and think for a second (and first thing on a Monday morning, that really isn’t a good thing lol). When I think of transitions, I think of change. A change in a life situation (graduating from high school/college/from one grade to another); transitioning from a parent into a grandparent (though you always remain a parent, of course); transitioning from one WIP to the next; from one job to another; from one home to another, etc.

I am the type of person who always says that I like change but, if I’m being really honest with myself, I don’t. Oh, I usually like it after the fact, but that whole transitioning period is often unsettling and disruptive. I generally like my life the way it is. I like where I live, what I do with my days, how my life is going. The funny thing is, once the change has occurred, I generally like the results. It’s that whole transition process I have a hard time with.

It’s hard to say goodbye to what was in order to greet something new. It’s hard to learn new things when you were already so good at the old. It’s hard to pour all your creative energy into creating something new when you are so in love with what you’ve already created.

Transitioning can just be tough. But it’s necessary in order to grow and thrive. Maybe I’m just contrary 😀 I like to move, but I don’t like the moving process. I don’t always like writing, but I like to have written. I don’t like to exercise, but I like to have exercised. LOL I like the end result, it’s the transition I have difficulties with 😉

A few transitions going on in my life right now:

  • My kids are leaving one grade and moving to the next. At the end of the summer, they will be entering third and fourth grade. Which means in two years my oldest will be in middle school. How the hell did that happen so fast!?
  • My stepson and his wife just welcomed their first child which makes me a grandma. A GRANDMA (I’m 36…this one is just hard to swallow lol But, comes with the territory when you marry someone older than you) :).
  • I have started working on the final book of a trilogy. Which means this storyline is almost over. I started writing the first book 5 or so years ago (and then put it aside). But it has been there, somewhere, for half a decade. The thought of being finished with it is somewhat bittersweet.
  • Because of extenuating circumstances, my husband and I have been discussing moving and job situations – for the first time in my life, I really don’t want to move. I’ve always been up for moving. I love new places and new homes. But this is the longest we’ve ever stayed in one place and we REALLY love where we are. But we might not have a choice so for the first time it’s not something I’d look forward to if it should occur.

Transitions…well, they aren’t my favorites. But they are necessary little devils if we want to continue to grow and improve in this life. Best make my peace with them I suppose 🙂