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 🙂

By Swashbuckler, out of Buddy Cop Show…

 

Bell_Thief_cover-12-16The topic this month is “books outside your genre that have influenced you.”  But since I read a fair bit outside my genre, and practically everything has influence somewhere, I thought I’d talk instead about the two genres I squashed togeth…ah, melded seamlessly, to create my current series, the Knight & Rogue books.

I grew up in the heyday of buddy cop TV shows.  I Spy is the first I remember watching—in black and white, no less, and before you write me off as ancient I was very young when I Spy was on, and they may have been reruns…  OK, I’m ancient.  But it was a really good show, full of action and witty banter, resting on the solid foundation of a deep, warm—straight—male friendship.

(A lot of fans ask me if Fisk & Michael are gay—and if not, why not?  I wouldn’t mind if they were gay, but that’s not the genre tradition they come from.  And despite the everything-has-to-be-a-romance trend that has taken over YA these days, there are many non-romantic human relationships that are very important to the people involved in them.)

Man from Uncle, Simon & Simon, Starsky and Hutch (forget the movie, the TV show was good).  By the time Miami Vice came out, the buddy cop show was fading from TV screens, and the Lethal Weapon movies were probably its last gasp.  But it left an indelible impression on me, of how deeply partners and friends can care about each other.  And what a great combination banter and action make.

The other parent of my Knight & Rogue books was all the swashbucklers I read (and watched) at about the same time the buddy cop shows were on.  Captain Blood is Sabatini’s best known novel, but I liked The Black Swan best.  Then there’s Robin Hood—I think I was in third grade when I read Howard Pyle’s version, which is by far the best—Zorro, The Scarlet Pimpernel…  The swashbuckler perished even before the buddy cop show did, but they were fueled by the same appealing combination of wit and derring do.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the Knight & Rogue novels are the only ones I’ve written where the characters came into my head before the core of the plot—because for all their action and wit, it’s the friendship between the two protagonists that forms the core of a buddy cop show.  Putting that relationship into a swashbuckler setting felt utterly natural—witty banter from both it’s genre parents, thank you.  Then throw in just enough magic to get by with calling it a fantasy, and viola!  The Last Knight was born.  Rogue’s Home and Player’s Ruse followed shortly, and after a bit of a hiatus, Thief’s War has just emerged into the world, with two more siblings planned to follow.  And while they may not be my “best” books (I love all my novel-children, for different reasons and in different ways) I have to confess that these are the ones I like the best, because they are, quite simply, the most fun.

Hilari Bell has already shamelessly plugged her book, but you can buy Thief’s War at Amazon.com (hardcover and paperback, as well as ebook) BarnesandNoble.com and Smashwords.com, and it should be up on Apple’s I-Bookstore very shortly.

Moving Forward in 2014

projectpicFor me, the year 2013 was groundbreaking. My debut novel came out in June (digital in May), and I could officially call myself an author. Now that the new year has begun, I continue my journey in the publishing world. The sequel to MY SISTER’S REAPER comes out this spring. It’s scheduled for May, but you never know what hiccups might arise; the print version release of MY SISTER’S REAPER was pushed back three weeks last year, so I’ve come to expect bumps in the road. But revisions for the sequel (name to be announced at a later date) are coming along nicely, so I don’t foresee any delays. Fingers crossed. I’m also drafting another book for the series, but it’s not contracted yet. So again, fingers crossed. Other than that, I wrote a dark piece for an anthology that comes out this fall. Oh, and there’s a super secret project I’m working on that’s sort of half pitched. It’s a collaborative project, but it’s also not contracted. Let’s call it a “we’ll see” project. So by my count, that calls for four accounts of crossing fingers. 2014 is the finger cramping year for me.

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!

Behind the Scenes: Camp Christmas

Happy Holidays, friends!! Welcome to our last blog of 2013. It seems funny to say that 8403262-poinsettia-floweron “Scene 13,” a blog full of authors with debut releases in 2013. When we first heard about this group, we couldn’t wait to be a part of it and share our first YA stories with readers. Now, at the end of 2013, we’ve been fortunate enough to have two novellas and a novel out this year in our new “Camp Boyfriend” series. We’re calling the year a huge success, but even better… it’s been a lot of fun.

Camp Xmas cover 2Our new novella, Camp Christmas, released a week and a half ago. If you haven’t grabbed the FREE download at the Spencer Hill Contemporary website, we hope you’ll go snag a copy now! We had such fun writing a snowy holiday adventure for some of the Camp Juniper Point characters. We thought, just this once, it might be fun to follow the characters away from camp and see what their lives are like back home over Winter Break.

Today, we thought we’d give you some background on the setting for Camp Christmas whiteface02and share our personal ties to the geographic area where it’s set. Karen and I live near the Adirondack region where the story is set on Whiteface Mountain. The characters attend a private boarding school near the mountain and are taking a ski club trip.  It’s been awhile since I’ve skied Whiteface personally, but for several years, I’ve driven one or two of my sons to the mountain on winter weekends to ski or snowboard “the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies.”

whiteface1There is a lot to do at the mountain. I’m partial to sipping hot chocolate by a fire in the lodge, but most people prefer to hit the slopes, the slides or the terrain park for a day of adventure and fun. My sons like to scare me by texting photos from the top of the mountain, especially when the conditions are iffy. They didn’t nickname the mountain “Iceface” for nothing. The snow can turn icy at the end of the day or when the temperature shifts from warm to cold.

During Camp Christmas, the characters get into some trouble because they don’t follow Telemarker on Cloudspinthe park rules and they ski a section of the mountain that is closed to the public. My sons would never do this—truly, it’s dangerous—but plenty of people have attempted to do so on this mountain and others in the area. Conditions can change fast when snow storms roll in or the temperature takes a bit dip. Even a warming trend can be dangerous because it causes a mist off the snow and makes visibility difficult. See why I prefer the cocoa in the lodge?

Although, if I had a cute guy to ski with, I suppose I could be enticed to step out into the snow. Our characters sure had a good time.

***How do you like to spend a cold, snowy day? Chat with us on the boards today and we’ll send one random poster an I ❤ my Camp Boyfriend tee, Camp Boyfriend mini flashlight and friendship bracelets!

December Preview!

Wow, it’s December already. This year flew by! Our wonderful authors get a freebie month this month and will be posting on anything they desire so stay tuned to see what they each post!

And we have a fun release this month. Kelly Hashway’s Cricket’s Drive Around Town is releasing from FutureWord Publishing on Dec 10th.

CricketfrontCricket dreams of riding on a car some day with the breeze in his wings as he zips around town. But when his dream becomes a reality, he finds himself on an adventure of a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

Toni Kerr’s Descendant is releasing Dec 16th:
DescendantFor 15 years, Tristan has done everything he can to bury the maddening thoughts of others—blaring music, isolation, the occasional painkiller. In the end, it was a small thing that pushed him over the edge—his mother hocked his iPod for a carton of cigarettes.

His suicide attempt would have succeeded if not for an old woman who claims dragon ancestry makes him the rightful guardian of a powerful emerald containing the soul of a Valkyrie. With the emerald stolen and the woman murdered, Tristan must survive on his own in a world he never knew existed to get the emerald back.

Shadowed by a secret society and guided by an avatar falcon, Tristan’s escape from the murderer lands him on an uncharted island in the Pacific. When the murderer kidnaps the island’s caretaker, a feisty young Druid priestess, Tristan discovers he’ll risk anything to save her, unleashing powers he can’t control.

Ednah Walters’ Grimnirs (A Runes Book) is coming out tomorrow, Dec 2nd. It bridges book 2 and 3, but can be read as a stand alone

Grimnirs Huge with logoStraight out of the psych ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The guy she’s loved from a distance for years moves away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing.The connection defies logic. Even better, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Too bad Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful,and cocky. He is also a soul reaper. A Grimnir.
The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life.

November Preview!

Hey all! In light of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday (for those of us in the States) the topic for this month will be Thankfulness and Gratitude – any way our lovely authors would like to spin it 😀 Can’t wait to see what they come up with!

We also have an awesome release this month! Sherry Ficklin and Tyler Jolley’s EXTRACTED releases from Spencer Hill Press on the 12th!

Extracted_cover_120Extracted: The Lost Imperials (Book 1)

Welcome to the war.

The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it.

The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens–their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream.

Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war.

When Lex’s girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It’s there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back.

Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both…again.