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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Who's For Dinner Fridays, and Saturday Sampler.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday: The Case of the Meddling Mama


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hops for everyone who loves to read and write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

My snippet this week is from my upcoming release, THE CASE OF THE MEDDLING MAMA, an Alex O'Hara Novel. This book is the third in my cozy mystery series. It hasn't been edited yet. Suggestions are welcome.

The snippet is from the first chapter when Alex is trying on the bridesmaid dress for her friend's (the store owner) wedding.

When two women entered the exclusive dress shop, Ellie left to greet them while her assistant chivvied me to put on the shoes. White socks, black strappy heels, and the gorgeous emerald green bridesmaid dress—I made such a fashion statement as I stood on the platform, call Vogue.
I so didn’t want to be there, especially when I recognized one of the women. I’d been the bearer of bad news to Nora Finley last week—her Mr. Perfect turned out to be a Black Widower. He and his cohorts had the perfect plan, a plan I thwarted just in time.
“Oh, you’re here,” Nora cried out when she spotted me and tugged on her companion’s wrist, practically dragging her over. “Ginnie, this is the PI that saved my life, Alex O’Hara!”
I cringed while heat bloomed in my cheeks.
Nora looked up at me saying, “I’ve been telling Ginnie here that she absolutely must hire you to check out her boyfriend—she met him on one of those online dating sites.”

Ginnie winced, like she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her—I knew the feeling.

Rough blurb:

PI Alex O'Hara, just rescued from another kidnapping attack, needs a break to enjoy Nick's attention when his mother shows up, claiming she's left his father, and is moving in with Alex. No way is she sleeping with Nick with his mother down the hall. Her new case, a background check on a potential suitor, is exactly the direction she wants to take the agency. The teen boy they rescued from an abusive stepfather is sure his buddy is doing drugs. And Nick's job takes him away. Again. At least the background check should be a piece of cake.

Be sure to check out the other authors. 



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Amy Braun's OBSIDIAN SKY Blog Tour #Giveaway

The third and final novel in an epic steampunk horror series, OBSIDIAN SKY closes the dramatic adventures of Claire, Sawyer, Gemma, and Nash, digging up the final secrets of their past, bringing new allies into a dangerous fray, and drawing friends and foes into a battle where the cost may be too much to pay…

The final struggle against the Hellions has arrived. A trapped engineer and a desperate marauder scramble to fight an enemy with unspeakable power on its side. Time is running out, and one world will be destroyed…

After sacrificing herself to save the lives of her friends and family, Claire Abernathy struggles to outwit her Hellion captors. They torment and terrify her into working on a weapon with the sole purpose of obliterating the world, friends, and love she has struggled to save. If Claire has any chance of saving those she loves, she must delve deeper into the Hellion world, and witness nightmares she could never imagine.

In Westraven, Sawyer Kendric is desperate to find the woman he loves. To do so, he must finally embrace his family’s atrocious past and heal the wounds it has caused. He will be forced to make new allies, uncover secrets that change all he knows, and find the courage to lead a ragtag crew into the darkest, deadliest battle of their lives.

Claire and Sawyer fight to save their broken world in the final installment of the epic DARK SKY trilogy.

Buy it here:



 DARK SKY SERIES GIVEAWAY


Two stories are told in OBSIDIAN SKY––the first chronicling a young engineer named Claire Abernathy as she struggles to survive the in the terrifying world of Hellnore, home of the blood-drinking Hellions, forced to serve their ghastly King and avoid the torment of Davin Kendric, the Hellion general, in hopes that she will be able to escape and return to her home and loved ones. The second story follows Sawyer Kendric, the young pirate captain who must make final peace with his own inner demons and face his responsibilities as a leader, all while uncovering secrets that will either save Claire, or seal her bloody fate. Their adventures will collide in an explosive finale that will change their lives forever, and leave one world altered forever…



While I love every book in the DARK SKY series, OBSIDIAN SKY is my favorite. I know I’m not supposed to pick a favorite, but I can’t help it. The book was just so much fun to write, allowing me the chance to write a story from two different perspectives and challenge myself as an author while bringing events to a conclusion where everything fell into place. Sometimes I worried that I was going to stray off from the main storyline, but thankfully everything fell into place just the way it needed to.

One of the great things about this novel is that it gets to move outside of Westraven. That’s been the main hub of activity throughout the first two books and two novellas, but I had made an expanded world and wanted to explore it. While Claire is stuck in Hellnore, which I modeled after Mordor from Lord of the Rings (a source of inspiration for almost every fantasy author, let’s be honest), Sawyer gets to explore the Aon, the country beyond the borders of Westraven. Both of them attract more than their share of trouble because let’s be honest, they couldn’t stay away from it if they tried.

World building aside, the best part about splitting the engineer and the marauder up was being able to focus on their individual characters and their final arcs. I did my best to balance the events and keep the tension and action flowing throughout the story, making the pacing fast for one character and slow for the other. When Claire needs a breather, Sawyer is the one getting into trouble and vice versa.

The ending is a lot more emotional than I intended, and it was sad to see these beloved characters reach their conclusions. This series has been with me for years, and there were a couple tears shed when I wrote the final chapter. I’m committed to going out with a big bang, so I worked hard with my editor to wrap up all the details and worked with XPresso Book Tours for a book blitz while organizing a second blog tour. I’ve also discounted the prices of every book in the series, and will keep them lowered for the month of February.

I can’t begin to express how excited the cover and artwork have made me. Deranged Doctor Design outdid themselves yet again, capturing everything this book is about: The red lava that represents Hellnore, the crossed swords for Sawyer, the claw marks and dents inflicted by the Hellions. I’m constantly floored by their fantastic work and can’t wait to work with them again in the future.

This is the second series I’ve closed in the past year, the first being the CURSED trilogy for urban fantasy fans. While I’m just as sad to say goodbye to this one, I’m also relieved that it’s a project off my plate. I learned so much from writing OBSIDIAN SKY and the DARK SKY series, and can’t wait to take these lessons and apply them to future work.

Q & A: Amy Braun and Obsidian Sky– MINOR SPOILERS BELOW.


Q: Were you nervous about writing the end of Obsidian Sky? Was everything planned or were some events spontaneous?

A: I’m a meticulous planner when it comes to world building and plots, but there were some events that I hadn’t intended that were added into the final story. Certain characters and events appeared in places and scenes where I hadn’t intended them to. Characters acted in ways I hadn’t originally planned, or would have to think creatively to escape a challenge. I had a great time experimenting and using a lot of “What If” scenarios where my characters were pushed to the limits and forced to react unconventionally. I felt like I was experiencing their adventures with them, and at some points, didn’t know what would happen next, either.

 Q: Did you have any challenges writing Obsidian Sky?

A: Sometimes I can’t seem to control my characters––they go off and do what they want! Sawyer was notorious for this (which isn’t a surprise, really), and his scenes often took off in directions I didn’t anticipate. Claire’s challenges were a little more planned out, though I remember a particular moment about three-quarters of the way through the book where she got to be an ultra badass. That was a lot of fun to do. Other challenges I had were with the new elements and characters being introduced. I wanted them to have a major impact to the story, and had to work with my editor to make sure their presence was balanced with the other characters. But for the most part, I was stoked to write this book and couldn’t be happier with the way everything turned out. 

Q: How did it feel to close out a series you’ve worked on for so long?

A: It’s a mix of sadness and happiness. On one hand, I realize how much I’ll miss these characters and this world. I came up with the idea when I was fourteen years old, and now over ten years later, it’s finally over. It’s a lot to let go of. But on the other hand, I feel a great deal of closure. Here was this crazy, random idea I had as a kid, and I finally went ahead and made it a reality. Now that it’s done with and received with better success than I could have hoped for, helped me establish my career, I’m aware that if I work hard, put in the time and effort, and do all the re-writes, I can transform any idea into a book. And if you’re an author still hesitant about such a thing, read the opening dedication to Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. She did the same thing, and she became published. Never give up on your idea!

Q: What will you miss most about the series and the characters?

A: I’m definitely going to miss the world and the creatures in it. Writing the Hellions and Hellnore was so much fun. I’m also going to miss Claire’s inventiveness, Sawyer’s attitude, Nash’s soft-heart, and Gemma’s tendency to scream her lungs out in battle.

Q: Is there any chance of a continuation or a spin-off series in the future?

A: A reviewer actually asked me that not too long ago. While I’ll never say never to anything, at this moment, I have no plans to continue the Dark Sky books. Nash and Gemma have both already had their own spin-off prequel novellas, titled Amber Sky and Smoke Sky respectively, and if I did do another spin-off, it would likely be a prequel series. But the odds of that happening in the near future are slim, given how I want to move onto other projects.

Q: Now that the series is over, what’s next?

A: At the moment, I’m working on two brand new series. I don’t want to say much about them to avoid giving away spoilers, but the first series will be an urban fantasy involving the Greek gods, and the second project is a Young Adult fantasy series with Gargoyles that was inspired by Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I wish I could tell you more at this point, but I can’t give you anything such as titles or release dates as both of these projects are going to be going to literary agents. I received amazing feedback on the Greek god project from one of my favorite fantasy authors, Michael J. Sullivan, and have been diligently working to improve it. I’ll know in the next month or so whether or not it’ll be going the indie or traditional route, and my newsletter subscribers and website/social media followers will be the first to know.

The same can be said for the YA fantasy Gargoyle project. I’m working on editing it and am hoping that in the next month or so I can send it to literary agents. YA fantasy is extremely popular right now, and I’m hoping that will be my “in,” but if not, I will happily take the project through independent publishing. I learned a lot last year and am ready to use that knowledge to expand my horizons and hopefully gain new readers.

At this point, the only project that will be happening will be the release of the complete Dark Sky box set in April. But anything can happen in this industry, and I doubt anything could slow me down at this point. I’m having too much fun!


Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She has short stories in various horror and urban fantasy anthologies and has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.  



More From Amy Braun

CURSED

DEMON’S DAUGHTER | DARK DIVINITY | DAMNATION’S DOOR

DARK SKY

CRIMSON SKY | MIDNIGHT SKY | AMBER SKY | SMOKE SKY

STANDALONE NOVELS AND NOVELLAS

STORM BORN

PATH OF THE HORSEMAN

NEEDFIRE

Social Media Links



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Get It While It's Hot Blog Tour - Prince of Honor by Nancy Gideon #Giveaway



Prince of Honor
House of Terriot (Book 1)
Just $0.99 for a Limited Time!
By Nancy Gideon
Genre: Paranormal | Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2016
Length: 311 Pages


Could the bargain they made to save their lives become their reality?

Turow . . .

Strong, silent man of integrity content to serve his new king as a prince in the turbulent shape-shifter House of Terriot. A tracker and relentless hunter, he’s used to running trails alone until charged with returning a traitor to their mountain top home to face the unforgiving judgment of their clan. Isolated with the bad girl he’s loved forever, the choice between duty and desire has never been more difficult . . . or deadly.

Sylvia . . .

Manipulative schemer or victim caught between a mother’s ambition and a rogue prince’s lust for power? Trust is almost as foreign as the idea of love, but to save herself from certain death, she must risk both on the good man who deserves them . . . from someone worthy. Trapped by the only one who believes in her goodness, she must betray him and run for her life . . . or stay and destroy him with a long hidden truth.

Excerpt

The hunter becomes the prey, a prisoner to his own desire . . .
It was early. Faint daylight crept in through cracks in the curtains, but the room was still quite dark.
Turow couldn’t move. Couldn’t manage more than a quiet moan. His body wouldn’t respond, his mind refusing to engage. A huge weight of sated bliss layered over him, making simple actions impossible. Every breath he took reminded him why.
The covers tossed over his naked body held her unique smell. His tongue still tasted her. But it was what he didn’t feel that finally goaded him into awareness.
Her heat didn’t rest beside him. In fact, the sheet was cold.
Empty.
He tried to sit up but something jerked him down. That something a metal bracelet about his wrist, shackling him to the bed frame. His hazy mind recoiled in surprise. How could she have gotten to the key where it lay a room away in the pocket of his coat?
Alert and now wary, Turow let his senses sharpen before opening his eyes to a sight that scarred him, heart and soul.
Sylvia stood on the other side of their shabby room, dressed in her castoff clothes, her lovely, kiss-bruised lips narrowed, her expression carefully masked. She met his gaze directly, hers betraying nothing.
Because they were not alone.
“The Terriot Princes . . . Holy Hotness. There is so much deliciousness between all them it’s hard not to drool!” – Sara Kate, Goodreads

Book Trailer



Prince of Power (House of Terriot - Book 2)



Prince of Power
House of Terriot (Book 2)
By Nancy Gideon
Pre-Order
Genre: Paranormal | Romance
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Length: 284 Pages

Obsessed with an enemy - the only female to ever walk away from him . . .

Colin . . . Prince in the House of Terriot

Brawny, cynical negotiator for his clan, Colin Terriot sees a move to New Orleans as an escape from a painful past and his reputation as a legendary lover. What he didn't expect was to fall hard for a rival spy, the female who tricked and betrayed him by leaving his bed for his brother's. Now, he now must work with her, up close and personal, as the envoy for her clan. Things are about to heat up.

Determined to have him - even if having him means losing all . . .

Mia . . . Strong-willed Guedry heir

Denied her rightful legacy, Mia Guedry plans to stake her claim over the bodies of those who killed her family. But best laid plans fall before her desire for the one male she can't resist, the one who will never trust her once burned by her necessary deceptions. Saving her Terriot prince from plans already in motion may cost more than her inheritance . . . the price could be her life.


Deadly, Damaged, and Delicious!
Brothers too H.o.T. to Handle!

About Nancy Gideon





Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of 60 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix.  She’s also published under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings.  She works full time as a legal assistant in Central Michigan, and when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. For more information on the author, her books, or the “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” series, visit Nancy at the above links.

The Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Novel Book Tours


Monday, February 20, 2017

Writing Life While On Vacation

Once upon a time, I had a writing schedule. Get up, grab a cup of coffee, check email, get another cup of coffee, then time to write. When I stick to the schedule, I can turn out 1,000 - 2,000 words before lunch. But notice the beginning of that sentence--when I stick to the schedule.

We've been visiting our son and his family for almost 3 weeks now. We're on vacation. Sort of. It's wonderful leaving the snow and cold of Michigan for warm sunshine. Except. According to family back home, Michigan weather has been mild--up into the 60s, even. While here in Arizona, it rained all weekend with a high of 57. Today is much nicer. The sun is out, though it might make it to 70. Walking around outdoors is great.

But I'm not writing.


We all were down with colds for the first 2 weeks. Having a muzzy head (from decongestants) and being plain tired meant no writing. We're just starting to feel like doing something. Now I'm content to stay home (son's home) and relax. Maybe hang out with Toddler Girl. Frankly, it's more fun reading to her and/or playing with toys than anything else. What she likes best is sitting next to me (or on my lap) and looking at pictures of her and her Michigan cousins. She gets all excited and points to them, as well as herself.

But I'm not writing.



OdySea Aquarium, Scottsdale, AZ


We went to an aquarium yesterday and, boy, did she have fun. The fish, sharks, and sea lions fascinated her. But she has a short attention span. Not surprising for a 22-month-old. According to our DIL, the attention span was longer than time than the last. They have a real racket there, You have to exit through the gift shop. Somehow a stuffed penguin jumped into our shopping cart. She named him Happy. And that's what she is most of the time. Happy!


So my writing hasn't gone very far. I thought I'd be finished with Meddling Mama by now. As you can tell from the progress meter on the right, I'm so close to the end.

But...

I can write when I'm home. I can't play with Toddler Girl at home. Not until July when they come. Our time together is so short. How can I squander it on writing? As I wrote last week, I want her to remember me as the grandmother who played and read to her. Not the grandmother who was too busy writing.

Tomorrow is Hubs' birthday. It's hard to believe we've been together over 44 years. He's been a terrific husband, father, and grandfather. More importantly, he's still my best friend.

Happy Birthday, sweetie.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

#WeWriWa - #8Sunday: ONE RED SHOE - Cute Meet


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warrior and 8 Sentence Sunday, the weekly hops for everyone who loves to read and write! Writers share an 8 to10 sentence snippet. Be sure to visit the other writers. You can find them here.

I'm back again with the last snippet from my romantic suspense, One Red Shoe. In last week's snippet, Sam's in the restroom mopping up blood from being shot--in the butt and calf-- when in races a desperate tourist. Daria.

When Daria found the ladies' room, she came face-to-face with a man pointing a weapon at her—a pervert, with unzipped jeans, wielding a green box knife. Because she’d raced into the restroom without checking out the situation, he now stood between her and the exit.
She was at the end of the proverbial rope. After walking in circles, she finally found a restroom, and nobody was stopping her from using it. Especially not someone who was playing copycat with that guy in the movie who wore one red shoe.

“I am having a really bad day,” she declared in the don’t cross me voice she used on her brothers. As soon as her words echoed off the hideous pink and black tiled walls and floor, she lowered her voice, saying, “You are in the wrong place, mister, now zip up and get out.” She pointed straight-armed toward the door.
The man shook his head, set the flimsy knife on the counter, and said, “Lady, you have more guts than sense. You are in the wrong place, at the wrong time.”


It Happened One Night meets Knight and Day

When elementary teacher Daria Mason left Iowa for a writers’ conference in New York City, she didn’t expect to come home with a wounded spy. Sam Jozwiak works for a shadow agency that gathers intel vital to U.S. security. From the moment he steals digital files from a Russian Mafia kingpin, Murphy’s Law takes over. No matter how he covers his tracks, the kingpin’s assassins find him. What’s worse than getting shot in the butt? Accepting help from an Iowa tourist. Thus, begins a road trip that takes Sam and Daria cross country with the assassins right behind them. 





Next week, I'll share a snippet from my WIP, The Case of the Meddling Mama.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Meet Author Beth Caudill

I'm happy to host author Beth Caudill. She and I watch some of the same TV shows. Like Beth, I miss Warehouse 13. Now that Rizzoli and Isles has ended, I'm missing them, too. Let's get to know Beth better. 

Welcome, Beth. Please tell us about yourself.


            I’m Beth Caudill and I write fantasy and paranormal romance novellas. I stay-at-home and homeschool my high-functioning autistic younger son.  I also act as PTO Treasurer and Secretary for my oldest son’s school. Previously I worked in computer technical support and software quality assurance testing.
            I enjoy watching NCIS and Once Upon a Time but I miss Eureka and Warehouse 13.  Like my kids when they were toddlers, I re-watch episodes of Leverage, Stargate SG1 and Rizzoli and Isles. Most of my TV watching happens on the weekend, but I do see an hour or so at night before bed. Reading is an escape I indulge in for about an hour in the morning while my husband and son get ready for the day.

Where can readers find you?

Author Website: http://BethCaudill.net/
Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/fs6SU
Author Email: beth@bethcaudill.net


  
How long does it take you to write a book?

            In the past, I’ve spent about a year writing a single novella.  I’m a slow writer and I hadn’t forced myself to write everyday so there were some weeks I didn’t write at all.  With my most recent story, I completed it in 3.5 months. I had a deadline to meet and made a concentrated effort to get words on the page.
  
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

            Ideas for my books come from anything in everyday life.  Sometimes a line from a song or poem will spark a storyline. Fantasy art pictures, myths and fairytales all add inspiration to my stories.  I also like to collect research books on animals, myths, herbs, crystals, historical battles and lots of other topics.
  
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have 3 published novellas and 2 novellas in edits/almost published.  Of these, my favorite is my werewolves in Healer’s Fate. However, I have a fantasy fairy novel I want to write that I love.  I can’t wait to work on it again.
  
What is the best part of writing for you?

My favorite part of writing is the first draft.  This is where I can be crazy, write anything down and create the world.  In revisions and edits, I need to fill in holes and allow logic to take dictate actions.

What two authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews and Anne Bishop are the authors I re-read several times a year.  Particularly if I am having difficulty with my writing.  I love disappearing into their worlds and it helps restart my creativity.
  
Tell us about your latest release.



            My new paranormal romance novella, Tethered, is about a Park Ranger and a Peregrine falcon shapeshifter. It is also a part of the new Zodiac Shifters group project.  Each story in the series is associated with a Zodiac sign and the main character relates to it in some way.
            Tethered is an Aquarius story and my heroine Evelyn exhibits the main traits of Independence, Curiosity, and Emotional Detachment. While my town of Willows Haven is a magical setting, I don’t relate anything else to the Zodiac.
  
Blurb

She's a landscape photographer who disguises her true nature as a falcon shifter. He's a hard-headed park ranger who deals only in reality. But when his daughter is kidnapped by a mythical being, they must forge a bridge of trust to save the girl… and their own hearts.


Excerpt

Chapter One

Evelyn Brooks raced across a purple-tinged sky. Behind her, lightning and thunder clashed within baleful clouds. Her wings dipped in a strong crosswind and plunged her toward the earth. Muscling through the gale, she climbed into a less turbulent current. She’d never make Raleigh before getting soaked, despite the speed her Peregrine form achieved.
A ferocious roar drowned out the whistle of the wind. The upward flap of her wings faltered, and her blood chilled. Turning into a different current, she glimpsed the silhouette of an enormous beast against the storm’s clouds.
Below her, the treetops of a deciduous forest with red-kissed leaves due to an early frost stood sentry. She took shelter within the branches of an oak tree.
The whoosh of wings induced Evelyn to shrink against the tree trunk and dig her talons into the bark as the limbs swayed. A strong crosswind contorted the tree further. Another roar challenged the incoming storm’s might and silenced the nighttime creatures.
Twisting her head, she glanced through the foliage into the cloud-filled sky. A dark shadow moved against the dark gray backdrop. Gigantic wings lifted a massive creature high into the sky.
Hunted until extinct, dragons had been stripped of their scales and blood, their magic forever lost to the supernatural communities. For eons they’d guarded and sheltered those seeking wisdom or healing until humans, who couldn’t control their desires, rampaged across the earth and destroyed all the sanctuaries.
Apparently, the purge hadn’t destroyed them all, and the approaching storm had disturbed this one’s slumber.
Moving to the East Coast was supposed to keep Evelyn safe. Free her of the disturbing sense that someone watched her. Maybe stimulate her creativity and spark a burst of artistry. Instead, she was denied the escape of flight and forced to hide.

Book Details and Purchase Information

Book Title: Tethered
By: Beth Caudill
Published by: Moonlight Mountain Books

Series: Zodiac Shifters - #2
SubSeries:  Willows Haven – Novella 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella – 21,800 words
Heat Level: Spicy

Available for Sale at:
             Amazon – http://www.amzn.com/B01NH9KZT9/
            Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tethered-17

Retail Price for eBook: $0.99 pre-order

eBook ISBN: 978-0-9965709-6-1


Thanks, Beth, for visiting. Wishing you much success for Tethered.