Guest Post: Beautiful Experiment by January Valentine

beau_experiments_Large_bannerToday, I get the pleasure of giving my blog over to January Valentine, author of Beautiful Experiment.  She is also offering a wonderful giveaway that you can enter here. I’d like to thank Paranormal Cravings Blog Tours for letting me host January today.  I’m going to make today’s bit from me short and sweet so I can hand everything over to January.  So, let’s give a wonderful welcome to January Valentine.

Thank you, Book Maven, for hosting me and Beautiful Experiment paranormal romance Giveaway!!

Greetings from New York!  It’s a beautiful day for a … Beautiful Experiment!

I’m Victoria (January) Valentine, and I’m thrilled to meet you.

Why don’t you want to hear about my book?

Communicate. Communicate. Why do you refuse to communicate with me!!!

These are questions I’m constantly asking my kids, because they can no longer handle my perpetual rants and ramblings. I’m a mom first, but since I’ve been a writer since birth … okay that’s stretching it; I’ve been a writer since I could speak. Forget about reading and writing; I concocted, memorized, and recited.

I scribbled when I was two, and I’m still scribbling to this day. When my digital recorder is full, and I haven’t had a chance to transcribe my verbal reminders, I keep a pad and pen at my bedside. Just in case. Who am I kidding? Yes, I’ll be writing while I sleep. I dream scenes and dialogue. Wake up with a start to scribble my ideas in the dark, without my reading glasses, most times half asleep. If I can get to sleep, because when I’m into a book, it’s a curse. I cannot rest. My mind never stops. Neither does my mouth.

Hence, “Why don’t you want to hear about my book? How about reading a chapter? No, you say?” So, as many authors do, I read aloud to myself. Talk to myself, daydream a lot, getting my best ideas when I’m on the treadmill, in the bathtub, and yes, while asleep. The end result? Try reading the scribble with a morning squint, especially when it’s more difficult to decipher than a two year old’s. Try listening to a recording when all you hear is heavy breathing because you were jogging while recording. I hate my voice.

I eat, sleep, and breathe plots, characters, scenes, dialogue, internalization, narrative. Horror, thrillers, romance, children’s books, poetry. Paperback and Kindle formatting. How to promote and market. Delicious cover design and what I hope in the end evolves as a page-turning bestseller. I do these things while publishing books for others, and planning and airing my weekly blogtalkradio show: Away With Words, where I interview and promote other authors.

My kids are sick and tired of hearing about authors and books and radio shows, so they ignore me.

So, I’ve begun to put the shoe on the other foot. When my kids try to talk to me, and I don’t reply because my mind is in high gear, stalking a victim, killing a villain, creating a nightmare scenario or romantic interlude while typing like a madwoman … Ha. I mean, “Huh?” is my signature reply. Is a grunt considered a reply? How about agreeing to a pricey purchase because you unintentionally utter, “Okay,” when your daughter asks to “borrow” your credit card. Doesn’t borrow mean repay somewhere down the line?

I released Beautiful Experiment, my first paranormal fantasy romance, in June, and was 20K into book two of the trilogy, and just not feeling it. While celebrating Fourth of July, my kids came out of hiding and commented on my quandary, took pity on me and suggested, why not write about your first love. Horror, my all-time favorite genre.

Werewolves are my favorite creatures of the night. I love a cozy cabin in the heart of a dark, creepy forest. What’s more exciting than cuddling inside four logged walls shadowed by a smoldering fire when there’s thunder, lightning, rain pounding on the roof, and the howling of wolves outside?  I’m getting excited just thinking about it. Some of this, and a whole lot more is going into the current book I’m working on, which I wrote in less than a month breaking my record of four months for Beautiful Experiment.

To touch upon Beautiful Experiment, it’s not about werewolves. It’s about kids. No, not my kids. Well-to-do parents who need a break are sending their entitled problem children to an upscale facility in Louisiana. On the way, they’re kidnapped!  Who in his or her right mind would want to kidnap a problematic teen? The shady characters who plot to send them to an uncharted island where the kids are about to learn something they’ve never been exposed to before: discipline, among other things. They argue. They fistfight. They ban together trying to find a way out of their predicament.

The moment Brook (hot island resident teen) sets eyes on Gabriella (gorgeous kidnapped-by-mistake sweetheart) sparks fly. Literally for Brook, who has begun to see flames in the sky. While shadows surround him, the air whispers warnings; sometimes it howls. He’s clueless about these occurrences, as well as his past, because he doesn’t remember having one.

You’ll be spending three-hundred and thirty pages with these often obnoxious teens. Be ready for disappearances, spider bites, sharks and demons. Book one is mostly about discovering the island, themselves, and each other.

Kids can be passionate, inventive, resourceful, and of course, entertaining.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, take my advice. Listen to your kids. They might be more perceptive than you give them credit for, and gift you with a great idea now and then. Another aspect is, paying attention before shopping trips you’re writing through may save you cash.

Now that I’ve shared a bit about my new book, and some of my quirks, what are some of yours? Don’t have any? Okay, how about rituals and pet peeves? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a message!

Thank you for listening to my rant 🙂

Beautiful Experiment is currently available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.  As soon as it’s out of the KDP program, BE will also be available on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and others.

Another gripe for another post. How difficult is it to write a synopsis?  Holy cow, shrinking 98K words into one page is nearly impossible for me.

Here is the synopsis I managed to come up with:

Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy.

The teens are referred to as waywards, informed their parents have sent them to the island for rehabilitation. While they struggle with their predicament, and each other, they come to a shocking realization … for once in their lives, they have to follow rules.

Brook has lived on the Island of Defiance his entire life, with no choice but to believe everything he has been taught. As he approaches eighteen, the secret of who he is, and the ultimate fate he must face, begins to unfold. To complicate matters even more, Brook grows to experience something he has never known … love.

How do you convince a stranger a dreadful mistake has been made? Gabriella Winslow is an honors student who has always helped others, but now has to fight for herself. Something unimaginable wants her as much as the beautiful island boy with whom she is falling in love.

Beautiful Experiment is Book One of The Island Of Defiance Trilogy (paranormal – fantasy – romance – for teens and adults) Mature 17+ for adult language, drugs & alcohol, mild sexual situations & violence.

Thank you Book Maven, members, visitors, friends and fans. I hope you will check out my books, blogs, and websites.  I’ve had a lovely visit. I hope you have too:-)

http://www.januaryvalentine.com

http://www.januaryvalentine.blogspot.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentine

https://twitter.com/VictoriaSkyline

http://pinterest.com/janvicval/boards/

DefianceCoverValentineBeautiful Experiment
Book One of Island of Defiance Trilogy

By January Valentine

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Pages: 330

Isbn: 978-0615828596

Blurb

Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy.

The teens are referred to as waywards, informed their parents have sent them to the island for rehabilitation. While they struggle with their predicament, and each other, they come to a shocking realization … for once in their lives, they have to follow rules.

Brook has lived on the Island of Defiance his entire life, with no choice but to believe everything he has been taught. As he approaches eighteen, the secret of who he is, and the ultimate fate he must face, begins to unfold. To complicate matters even more, Brook grows to experience something he has never known … love.

How do you convince a stranger a dreadful mistake has been made? Gabriella Winslow is an honors student who has always helped others, but now has to fight for herself. Something unimaginable wants her as much as the beautiful island boy with whom she is falling in love.

Beautiful Experiment is Book One of The Island Of Defiance Trilogy (paranormal – fantasy – romance – for teens and adults) Mature 17+ for adult language, drugs & alcohol, mild sexual situations & violence.

Excerpt

The surging tide is tempting. I’m concentrating on the foam that is quickly erasing my footsteps. It’s not the caw of gulls that alerts me, because the winged creatures have vanished. In their place, the air is filled with my name. I lift my face to something startling, and my heart begins to pound.

The sky has burst into flame. Red and gold, it’s raging. The sun is the sky. Scorching. Shooting stars, like flaming spears, are dropping all around me. If I don’t shut my eyes, I’ll be blinded. If I do, I’ll be nothing but a solid target. The wind wails like a mother who has lost her child. “When the third moon falls, the beast will devour the sky.”

As suddenly as it started, it ends. I’m standing beside Father, totally disoriented. Am I standing? I look down at my feet, because I feel legless. I’m floating. Struggling to regain control of my mind, my body, the shock.

I grip the clipboard and pen with my knees, so that I can draw my palms across my twitching eyelids, astonished that I’m actually still holding onto anything.

“Did you see that flash? Did you hear that creepy voice?” I’m breathless, massaging my pounding temples with burning fingertips. “My head feels like it’s about to split open.” I rattle each eardrum with a pinky, then plug my ears to listen intently. Was the urgent whisper that turned me to stone inside my head? Phantom sounds? I’ve never experienced this kind of phenomenon before. “My eyes pain.”

Father regards me with a mix of surprise and concern. “You have a migraine?”

“Migraine?” I scoff. What the fuck, loops through my head. I’m freaked out, left with a strange feeling this is not going to be like other days. I try to shake it off, like I shake him off.

The sky is now clear and so perfectly blue, it looks as though it’s been painted by deliberate strokes of an artist’s brush. It is a seamless dome of beauty. If we were not receiving today, I might be lying on the pristine beach, permitting my thoughts to wander far beyond my own boundaries. Maybe I’d be lounging on my bluff, or climb my watchtower tree, burrow into its welcoming arms where I collect my years, watch over all that is mine.

“Feeling better?” His voice is buffered, but coarse enough to jar me from thought.

Skimming Father, my gaze snaps back to the waves, the skiff that is almost upon us. “I’m fine.” I don’t mention how bad my body aches, and feels like it’s being torn apart. I stretch my arms, then my neck, trying to pin down what I did to cause these muscle spasms. The bomb that’s about to explode in my head.

When the ocean is calm it’s translucent, sparkling with sunlight as though it’s coated with billions of precious gemstones. Today it’s not much more than rolling waves and seaweed.

“I’ve never seen it this rough.” Between wind and thunderous surf, I have to face him or my voice will be useless.

“Storms.” His reply is blunt.

“You wouldn’t know it by the sky.” I bring my gaze to a more pleasant sight.

“There’s one brewing out there. You’d feel it if you had my knees.” Staring gravely at the ocean, his body is rigid.

“Are you in pain?”

“Nothing I can’t handle.”

“Let’s hope the weather holds off until we’ve settled them.”

“Rain or shine, we’ve got our work cut out for us, Brook.”

“As always.” My stomach rises to my throat as I watch their approach. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to this way of life. Do I want to? Of course not. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing right now, like hopping onto that boat, and for starters, checking out the other side of this island.

Beyond the boat, a floating veil of mist rolls in like billows of steam from a tremendous boiling kettle. I am no longer able to see the large vessel from which the skiff was launched.

The atmosphere of the island is as such, inviting one moment, rejecting the next. Father calls it a gentle beast, with characteristics and charm like the women he has known. My glance shifts, falling upon the shoreline curve where a jetty, composed of rocks chiseled and stacked by nature, projects like the nose of a dolphin and the forest begins. This is as far as my eyes pan.

“Thank you for cutting your hair.” For a moment his eyes wash over me, then his gaze refocuses on the others who are struggling against the relentless current. “I know it pains you.”

“Don’t you mean shearing?” I huff. “I don’t understand why I can’t grow it long. I have awesome hair, or so I’ve been told.” I smirk.

He shoots me a phony glare. “You’ve been told, huh?  No cozying up to any of these girls. I don’t want another batch begging to stay.”

“I’m not a womanizer. Just good company.” I shrug.

“No nighttime jaunts to the lagoon, either. And I mean it this time.” Now his glare is authentic.

“Yeah, yeah. I know. Stay out of the lagoon. Out of the forest. Out of the lockers. Pretend to like my boring life.”

He almost looks sympathetic. “One of these days you’ll understand.”

“What? Why I can’t swim at night?”

“You’re impossible sometimes, and the reason I ask you to cut your hair is to set a good example.”

I let out a tired sigh. My hand runs over my smooth scalp, the shadow of bristles so short and sun-bleached, my reflection in a mirror looks hairless. If not for my deeply tanned skin, I would look anemic.

“Seems a waste. Six or more inches of attractive dark hair again and again swept into the trash.” My jaw sets as our discussion continues. “I like my hair long. It makes me feel …”

“Like a rock star?” He chuckles, scrubbing my head playfully. “In so many ways you remain such a child, yet you desire to be worldly. Do you admire them?”

“Not as you might be thinking.” My eyes lower, landing upon my anxious toes digging through a mound of sand.

I swing my gaze across the vast horizon which is now shaded with purples and blues, fantasizing about the places beyond. The order of the world not contained within this globe of existence called Defiance Island. I know the temperament of the waywards, but wonder what others are like. Are they beautiful? Intelligent? Kindhearted? Do they possess the nature that can make a man want to tear another to shreds?

About the Author

VictoriaJanuaryValentineJanuary Valentine is the pen name of Victoria Valentine, New York writer and indie book publisher. See Victoria’s Author page: amazon.com/author/victoriavalentine

I chose to use a pen name because Love Dreams was originally going to be a red hot erotic story, and I wanted to separate Victoria, who writes contemporary fiction and children’s storybooks. Since my birth month is January, January Valentine seemed an appropriate pseudonym.

I also host a blogtalkradio show: Away With Words, every Wednesday evening at 7 PM EST where my co host Jill and I interview other writers and poets and discuss writing in general: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

I just released my first paranormal romance, Beautiful Experiment, book one of Island of Defiance Trilogy. I’m so not good about talking about myself, but I’ll give it a shot.

I publish books for other authors through Water Forest Press, which I founded some years ago. In the past, I have written poetry and song lyrics, but now I focus on fiction. I’ve created multiple websites and blogs that I don’t have time to manage very well.

My desire to be in a rock band brought me into a recording studio … where my lyrics sprang to life with the help of a local alternative rock band. Together, we produced a CD.

I enjoy designing book covers and youtube videos. In summer, I enjoy hiking and swimming. I love all kinds of music. Watching horror flicks and Tyler Perry movies are my escape from reality.

I have an addiction to engraved pens that I buy to accompany each of my books. My office is filled with paperbacks and swag.

My sites and pages.

http://www.januaryvalentine.com

http://januaryvalentine.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaJanuaryValentine
https://twitter.com/VictoriaSkyline

http://pinterest.com/janvicval/
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3198304.Victoria_Valentine

A bit about my books:

Love Dreams (Romantic Drama) is a story about a handicapped young man who secretly falls hopelessly (and helplessly) in love with a young woman who hides herself, and her past, beneath a grim but beautiful exterior. This gentle romance builds into a powerful “reality”.

Sweet Dreams is a novel about a serial killer who is on the loose, working his way up the east coast. Readers get a glimpse into the killer’s mind, as well as the hero’s.

Head Over Wheels, (New Adult Romance/Drama) focuses on Jewelia, whose lifelong dream of becoming part of the NYPD is derailed by hot medical student, Indigo.

Beautiful Experiment details above.

All book covers, videos, information and buy links can be found on my website:  http://www.januaryvalentine.com

I also have an online store: http://waterforestpressbooks.miiduu.com/

Guest Post: Little Red by Trista Jaszczak

Little Red Banner 450 x 169 Today, Trista Jaszczak, author of Little Red is taking over my blog.  She is stopping by with an interview with the characters from Little Red.  She is also offering an awesome tour wide giveaway that you can enter after the book blurb. I’d also like to thank Bewitching Book Tours for letting me host this stop today.  So, without any further adieu I pass the reigns over to Trista.

Chat With Little Red’s Parker Pack

I’m so lucky that I get to sit down and have a little chat with the Parker brothers from my novel, Little Red. Not only are these boys quite handsome but they’re funny and sweeter than  pure sugar. I had a blast during our little chat…and I won’t lie, I’m a little sad that I can’t keep them for myself. Read on and I hope you enjoy my interview with the Parkers: Aaron, Colt, Eli, James, Trent and Ian.

Trista: Welcome Parkers! I cannot thank you boys enough for having this little chat with me…my you are quite the bunch of handsome faces. You look good enough to eat! Haha!

Ian: But, we can’t deny that I am the better looking one. *winks*

Aaron: Clearly, Ian is the most insane one, I’d be the better looking of all these mugs.

James: Clearly, it’s been a while since they’ve looked in the mirror, the title of best looking obviously goes to me.

Colt: Haha! Trista, all I can say is, good luck with this conversation. *winks*

Trista: Well boys, we’re off to a hell of a start!…first off, Eli…how many more babies? Do I hear the pitter patter of more little feet in your house?

Eli: We’d love four, maybe more.

Ian: The Parker men are known for twins.

Trista: That you boys are! Congratulations to both you and Maggie, Eli,  I am thrilled for you both. Now…Ian…one word…Jeb.

Ian: Haha!! Who in the hell names their kid Jeb? I still stand by it…that’s all he knows how to spell.

Trista: Haha! I have to ask, at this point, have any of you heard from the Avery’s?

James: No, and I doubt we ever will to be honest. Not that we want to.

Trent: After that ass kicking? Can I say ass?

Ian: Haha!…can we?

Trista: Haha, I think you’re okay but try to keep it clean…I’m looking at you, Ian.

Colt: I’d say after what we put them through, the Avery pack won’t be so willing to set foot in Louisiana anymore.

Trista: I’d say you’re probably right Colt. So, tell me, the Moon Curse, is it completely gone or do some parts remain? If some so, are any stronger than the others?

Aaron: We do still feel the pull of the moon, but the rage…all that hatred and anger is completely gone. We’re relaxed and somewhat normal for the first time in years.

Eli: But, our senses are still remarkably strong.

Trent: We’re just as strong and as fast as before.

James: We also have much stronger senses and can feel things out that a normal person can’t.

Trista: I have to ask…and I may regret this…who is the strongest?

Aaron: Me.

Colt : Me.

Eli: Me.

James: Me.

Trent: Me.

Ian: Me.

Trista: Haha! What about Ethan?

Ian: Well, he’s not here to defend himself. It’s still me, though.

Trista: Haha, I’ll take your word for that Ian, but I’m pretty sure those five shaking heads are disagreeing! All right…Ethan has Red, Eli has Maggie, Trent is still dating Molly…are there any special ladies in your lives finally?

Ian: *winks* Are you single?

Trent: Ian, stop.

Colt: I’ve met someone, we’re taking it really slow.

James: I’m just dating, but nothing has come of it so far.

Trista: I think a lot of people want to know, including me, who is the true Alpha of the Parker pack?

Colt: Me.

James: Me.

Ian: Me.

Trent: Me.

Eli: Me.

Aaron: Haha! Red.

Trista: Aaron, you are the oldest and considered the Alpha, are you willing to give up the title to Red?

Aaron: Red is special to all of us. There’s something so grand in her that all of us can see. Even under the worse part of the curse and in her most vulnerable state, she saw a good in us that we couldn’t even see ourselves. She changed all of us. She may have been terrified at times, but deep down, I believe that she is stronger than all of us put together.

Trista: I see five nodding heads, you must be proud of baby brother Ethan.

Ian: I still stand by it…I’d steal her from him if given the chance, haha!

James: We’re all proud and I know that our parents would be just as proud.

Trista: And Elise?

Aaron: She’d probably steal Red from all of us, haha!

James: She would love Red as much as we do.

Eli: She’d be over-joyed for Ethan, who is finally living.

Trista: I don’t want to say it, but I think I’m out of time. Boys, I cannot thank you enough for joining me. Can I talk you into another interview?

Ian: Jot down your number and we’ll talk. *winks*

Trent: Will you stop hitting on her, she’s married…I am so sorry, we can’t control that one.

Trista: Haha! Thank you boys!

Book Blurb:

littleredLittle Red
Believe Series, Book One

Trista Jaszczak

Genre: romance/fantasy

Publisher: Front Porch Romance

eBook released June 18, 2013 and paperback fall 2013

ASIN: B00DHRYKDG

Number of pages: 207 estimated eBook

Word Count: 62,921

Cover Artist: Charisma Knight: Designs by Charisma

Book Description:

Follow Sam Wentworth through the winding back roads of Louisiana, on a desperate escape from her past, where she falls into the arms of the unlikely and sometimes unwilling hero, Ethan Parker.

When circumstances and fate seal the two together, entangling them with his six older brothers, Sam finds her life changing in ways that she never imagined. Filled with feuding families and a little old bayou magic, can Ethan put aside everything he has ever known to keep Sam safe from the dangers that their lives and their love possess.

Giveaway:   Enter here to win:

tour wide giveaway compressed8 custom made beaded books marks (made by ClaraBelle’s Custom Creations offered by Bewitching Book Tours)
6 Little Red eBooks (PDF form)
6 Little Red signed posters (those about 11×17)
US shipping for the book marks and signed posters.

Author Bio:

tristaTrista Jaszczak (pronounced Jazz-ick) is a writer, military spouse and a mother. She is originally from Hamilton, Ohio but calls home where ever the military sends her and her family, which is currently Anchorage, Alaska. She has a great love for writing, the outdoors, fitness, guitar and the arts.

www.facebook.com/AuthorTristaJaszczak

www.tristajaszczak.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/TristaJaszczak

http://authortristajaszczak.tumblr.com/

Guest Post and Review: The Letter by Sandra Owens

Today I am lucky enough to hand over the reigns to Sandra Owens.  She is the author of a wonderful Regency Romance called The Letter.  It is a wonderful story with amazing characters.  You can’t help fall in love with both.  Be sure to check out my review after Sandra’s take over.  So, without any other babbling from myself I am handing you over to Sandra Owens!

Hello, I’m Sandra Owens, author of THE LETTER and THE TRAINING OF A MARQUESS. I’m honored to be invited to guest post today. I write both historical and contemporary romance. Although I love both, there is something about the Regency period that fascinates me.

The Regency era lasted from 1811 to 1820, not a very long span of years. Plenty of time, however, for the men and women of that period to create many scandals. In THE LETTER, my heroine, Diana, is unknowingly embroiled in a scandal the night before her wedding to the man she loved that resulted in her being married to an evil man. As THE LETTER is a romance, Diana does get her happily ever after with Michael.

Without doubt, truth is better than fiction applies to this time in history. For those nine years, it was a contradiction of strict rules and anything goes…as long as you weren’t caught, especially if you were a woman. Unless their disgrace was beyond unforgivable, in most cases men could weather a scandal. Women, rarely. Often, when their deeds came to light, their fathers or husbands would send the woman in question to one of their country estates, out of public view. Out of sight, out of mind, at least, that was the hope.

There are so many delicious true scandals of that time to inspire a writer searching for ideas. Diana’s story is fiction, but my favorite true scandal of the Regency era is that of Caroline Lamb and Lord Byron.

Born Carolyn Ponsonby, she married William Lamb, the second son of an earl and eventually Prime Minister. They had one child, a son deemed mentally defective, but in today’s terms might have been classified as autistic. At first, Carolyn and William’s marriage appeared idyllic. It was not to last, however.

At the age of twenty-six, Caroline met the then twenty-four year old poet, Lord Bryon, the sixth Baron Bryon, a man rumored for his many affairs, including an incestuous liaison with his half-sister.

After seeing Lord Byron, Caroline wrote in her diary, “That beautiful pale face will be my fate.”  And so, he was. I doubt when she wrote those words, she had the slightest idea how true they would prove to be.

Lord Byron was Caroline’s tortured hero, he of the cherub face and lame leg. Sadly, he tired of her before she was ready to give him up. Her antics after receiving his letter ending the affair were to the extreme, such as dressing up as a man to stalk him and building a bonfire to burn all his gifts and letters. At one point in her attempt to win Byron back, she even sent him a letter, enclosing her pubic hair. When society shunned her, her husband sent her to Ireland.

Yet, as she lay dying, her husband, William, returned to her side. Don’t think he was all that heroic as he’d had numerous affairs of his own. Still, some of her last words were to ask for William, and one must wonder how great their life might have been if only they’d turned to each other instead of others in their search for happiness.

The scandal of Carolyn and Lord Byron was just one of many from an era of excess and debauchery, but I believe with all my heart that there was true love to be found amidst all the self-indulgence, such as that of Michael and Diana in THE LETTER.

Thank you for inviting me here today. I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

Sandra Owens

www.sandra-owens.com

The Letter:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1IHMGY

the letterBook Blurb:

THE LETTER is the story of a betrayal that wasn’t. Even so, it still tore apart two lovers for eleven years.

On the eve of their wedding, Michael Jeffres, Earl of Daventry, found his betrothed— the woman who meant as much to him as the air he breathed—in bed with his cousin, Leo. Diana remembers nothing of that night. All she knows is that she was forced to marry Leo and then spent the next eleven years in hell.

When the two lovers are brought back together by a letter from Leo a year after his death, Michael and Diana must struggle through all the lies and secrets before they can find a love that far surpasses the one of their youth.

Review:

The Letter is a fantastically addictive Regency romance.  It’s a wonderful story that begins with a letter sent from beyond the grave to turn the worlds of both Michael and Diana upside down.  The undercurrents of trauma and recovery is wonderfully woven within the story of a love regained.  Michael and Diana are the quintessential couple.  She must regain who she once was after a horrifically abusive marriage that, if it weren’t for the trickery of Michael’s cousin Leo, she wouldn’t ever have been in.  It isn’t just the characters of Diana and Michael though.  It’s the story of a journey that both must make to come to where they should have been if it weren’t for evil in the world.  I also adored many of the supporting characters such as Jamie, Derebourne and Aubry.  They were colorful and added wonderfully to the story instead of weighing it down.  Overall, I would recommend this book to all those who love a good Regency romance.  It is definitely one you must get your hands on.  After you read it, you will be like Michael and Diana and hope that there are windows in Hell.

I’d like to thank Sandra Owens for stopping by today and talking about her favorite Regency scandal.   I’d also like to thank ABG Reads Book Tours for giving me this stop on the tour.  For more information about Sandra you can visit her website mentioned above.  If you’d like to learn more about The Letter you can go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any other book retailer.

Author Bio:

Sandra lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Most days, you can find her with her fingers on a keyboard, her mind in the world of her imagination. It’s a land where romance and happy endings exist, a land where anything is possible.

When her husband can drag her away from her computer, she likes to travel with her very own hero in their RV, but she always brings her laptop. There are still stories to write, after all.

A few highlights of Sandra’s life she fondly recalls are jumping out of a plane, flying upside down in a stunt plane, and riding her Harley in the mountains of Southern California and along the coast of Maine. She’s managed a private airport and held the position of General Manager of a Harley-Davidson dealership.

Although those events in her life were great fun, nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction she gets from writing her stories.

 

Guest Post: Vampire Elite by Irina Argo

Today I have been lucky enough to have a spot on the Vampire Elite blog tour.  I am beginning to find myself a bit of a connoisseur of vampire and paranormal novels.  I really love them.  So, for a book to knock my socks off it takes a lot.  This story did just that.  It is unique and very diverse in its conception of all vampires.  Be sure to check out my review after the book blurb.  But, first Irina Argo is taking over to talk about a crucial aspect of Vampire Elite, the blood-bond.  So, I am passing the reigns over to Irina Argo.  I know you all will enjoy them.

 

Vampire Elite. Blood-Bond

July 22 Teaser

If the Amiti are what makes Vampire Elite unique, the blood-bond is what defines the relationship between the vampires and the Amiti, and as such it’s the driving force in the novel. Triggered when a vampire drinks from an Amiti’s vein, the blood-bond is a powerful physical and spiritual connection between them. It was one of the key powers bestowed on the Amiti by the goddess Hathor at the time of the Amitis’ original creation, intended to reflect their status as complements to vampires and to be a part of any loving relationship between the two races.

Blood-bonding opens a communication channel between the Amiti and the vampire, enabling the pair to locate each other (unless the Amiti shields from the vampire) and to sense each other’s thoughts and emotions. Moreover, if they choose, Amiti can share their supernatural powers with their vampire blood-bonds, healing them or even resurrecting them from death Both vampires and Amiti experience an extremely powerful urge to blood-bond, a desire that is part of their genetic code.

 

So what’s the problem? If you’re reading this, you know that vampires like control. And since the blood-bond enables the Amiti partner to do almost anything to the vampire partner, including burn them alive, it’s control on steroids. The power imbalance was part of Hathor’s plan, intended to protect the Amiti from vampires, who are predators by nature. For a vampire, the blood-bond means surrender and trust to a loved one. Is that even possible? In creating the Amiti, Hathor was betting that it was, but only time will tell for sure.

 

Book Blurb:

VampireElitecoversmall5_6Vampire Elite is a new vampire series

The first two parts are released in one volume

Vampire Elite

Part 1. Prophecy

Part 2. Keepers of the Key

What will he do if saving his people means destroying the woman he loves?

A millennia-long war between two immortal races is about to come to an end. Long ago, the Vampire Elite began capturing the immortals called the Amiti, attracted by their unique blood properties. Now most Amiti live in underground cells, forced to serve as vampires’ bloodstock. The few surviving free Amiti, preparing a final strike, have declared their Queen a traitor. Her execution makes possible the rise of a new Queen, her young daughter Arianna, who will inherit her mother’s mystical powers. Working with the Keepers of the Key, Arianna may be able to eliminate the vampires, once and for all, from the face of the earth.

The new Queen is the last hope to save her dying race

and she’s ready to fight to the last drop of her blood.

 But the King of the Vampires has other plans.

 What neither expects 

is the passion that erupts between them.

 Vampire Elite is an epic story of a bitter conflict between two immortal races, and the effect of that conflict on everyone living in its grip. The characters are driven to love and betrayal, vengeance and sacrifice in a world without easy black-and-white answers.

            Based on an ancient Egyptian legend, packed with action and intrigue, Vampire Elite will pull you into the entrancing world of immortals and open new portals into their hidden universe.

Review:

I adored this book.  It is a completely fresh and unique take on vampires.  I loved that the story is based on an Egyptian legend, but for some of the societies they brought in some Norse lore also.  It felt very diverse and the characters were very well written.  I must say that though this story is very sexually charged it doesn’t encompass the whole story.  Simone is one of the most prominent sexual beings but you really don’t see that until you are almost half-way through the book.  You see her love for Antar but you don’t realize how sexual she is until her tryst with Anock and Odji her bodyguards.  Also, I liked Simone but she was a bit aggravating at times.  Sometimes, when it came to Arianna her half Sister she was very kind and protective but others she was so selfish and self-centered it seemed almost like a multiple personality.  Though the book blurb really concentrates on Arianna and Tor’s story there are so many other people and stories going on you really develop a love for these characters and their search for love and blood.  Overall, I felt this was a great new edition to the Vampire genre.  It is fresh and unique.  Its steeped in legends from Egypt to Norse.  I personally can’t wait to read the next in the series.  If you like Vampire books you will love this!

I’d like to thank Irina Argo for stopping by today and Reading Addiction Book Tours for letting me host this stop.  If you’d like to learn more about Irina Argo be sure to check out their link below.  If you’d like more information about Vampire Elite you can go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any other book retailer.

Author Bio:

authors_photo5_6Irina Argo is a combined pen name for two authors, Irina Kardos and Jo-An
Torres.
Irina
Irina’s world is dark. She works as a clinical psychologist in a Juvenile
Correctional Facility dealing with the extremes of human behavior on a
regular basis and takes care of her paralyzed husband who suffered a stroke
several years ago. To bring light into her life she writes. Writing has always
been her passion. She is originally from Russia where she was employed as
a TV journalist.
Jo-An
Jo-An is a Leo, a lioness who has emerged to follow her dream, to someday
write a book of her own. She owned a costume shop for 15 years and was
able to satisfy and excel in her creative nature. She is an over-achiever and
believes that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and ignore the
nay-sayers. Her philosophy is based on Shakespeare “It is not in the stars to
hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” She currently resides in California with
her 5 cats and 1 husband.

Facebook.com/VampireEliteSeries

Twitter: @TheVampireElite

Guest Post and Review: Uprising by L.M Pruitt

Hello my faithful readers!  I hope everyone is having a good start to their week.  Today I am lucky enough for L.M Pruitt to take over for a bit.  After her take over I will have a review of both Winged and Uprising.  These are books 1 and 2 in her Winged series.  I think once you read my reviews you will be running out and getting these books.  So without any more words on my part I am handing the reigns over to L.M Pruitt.

So today is the big day—again. No matter how many release days I’ve seen or will see, there’s something magical about each one. There’s a sense of anticipation, of excitement, sort of like Christmas (or your religious holiday of choice) and your birthday all rolled into one.

In a way, it is like a birthday—a book birthday, anyway. I don’t have kids, but I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about labor so I’m not going to go all dramatic and say that releasing a book is like giving birth but there are a lot of similarities. Over the course of writing a book, you cry, you laugh, you swear up and down you’ll never do it again, you are convinced you’re going to screw everything up…. And then all of a sudden you have it in your hands and you’re looking at it and it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.

And then boom! All of a sudden, your book baby is out in the world, doing its best to get noticed and make something of itself. And now you have an even bigger fear—that nobody is going to love your book baby the way you do. That nobody is going to understand your book baby the way you do.

I think this is where releasing a book and being a parent really are quite similar. As a parent, you have to trust you’ve done everything you can to prepare your child to be on their own out in the world. As a writer, you have to hope you’ve written your book to the best of your ability, that you’ve done everything to ensure that the story you wanted to tell gets told. Sometimes you do a good job; sometimes you don’t. When you don’t, you look at what went wrong and do your best to correct it.

So, like I said, a book release is a lot like a birthday. Thankfully for every one involved, there’s a lot less blood and gore and much more drinking and hullabaloo.

To celebrate, I’m offering five ecopies of LOST to random commenters. Thanks for helping celebrate my latest release!

Winged Series Button 300 x 225Book Blurb:

Uprising

Winged Book Two

L.M. Pruitt

In the last year, Joanne Watson has died, fallen in love, fought demons and earned her Wings.

None of that compares to what’s coming next….

Life as a member of the Winged isn’t perfect–or easy. There’s always some new camp drama. There’s always a demon ready for a fight. There’s always death.

And now there’s the Resistance.

Joanne must choose again, this time between her fellow Winged and their burning desire for change or the archangels and the eternal vow she made.

Even in the afterlife, one truth remains–everything ends

Review (Winged):

Winged is the first book in this series.  It is in this book that we meet Joanne.  Joanne is born and raised a southern girl.  Though her life is fraught with tradition she is bored.  Fortunately and unfortunately she dies and that’s when her real adventure begins.  Joanne’s journey to becoming Winged is filled with danger, love, hurt, anger and adventure.  With two archangel’s vieing for her affections and others hoping to stab her in the back she must always watch her back.  I loved this book.  From the moment I picked it up I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down.  Joanne becomes such a great heroine.  She really learns about herself all the while she must also prove herself not only to the Archangel’s in charge but to those whom she serves with.  I also adored the supporting characters especially Danielle and Angus. But, putting all that aside how could a girl not have a crush on Raphael and Michael.  They are both polar opposites but both have their own redeeming qualities.  Overall, the story and the characters really draw you in and make for a wonderful start to a great new series.  Once you finish Winged your hands will be itching to get them onto Uprising.

Review (Uprising):

Uprising picks up where we left off in Winged.  Joanne is now Winged and going out on assignments to kill Demons. It isn’t far into this book that we see difficulties lie ahead for Joanne and her friends.  Choices must be made.  Will Joanne join the resistance against the Archangels or will she side with the Archangels since she is already in contract with one?  Try as Joanne might she is attempting to stay neutral to everyone.  Though she finds staying neutral isn’t what anyone wants.  She is pushed and pulled and betrayed by those closest to her.  Joanne will find that it’s not only her life that is in danger it is her very foundation of her new life that could come toppling over with this resistance.  This follow-up to Winged is everything you would want in the continuation of a series.  We learn more about Joanne, the Archangels, her friends and those involved in the resistance.  L.M Pruitt does an excellent job of leading you around.  You think you know what is going on, but when you truly find out some real details you realize that just like Joanne you have been deceived and don’t know what exactly to believe.  I really enjoyed this story and I can’t wait to read Lost.

I’d like to thank L.M Pruitt for stopping by today and Bewitching Book Tours for letting me host today’s stop.  If you’d like to learn more about L.M Pruitt you can click on one of the links below.  If you’d like to learn more about Winged, Uprising or the Winged series you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon and any other book retailer.

Author Bio:

L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she’s killed bamboo. Twice. As a result, she’s not allowed to walk in the gardening department of any store without supervision. She’s also not allowed in the card aisle of any grocery store without an escort since she’ll spend thirty minutes opening cards and laughing for no good reason. She is the author of the best-selling Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and the Frankie Post series. She continues to make her home in Florida in spite of the heat and mosquitos and shares her home with two cats–one of them smart, the other not so much.

Connect with her at:

Facebook:   L.M. Pruitt

Twitter:                lmpruitt

Website:      www.lmpruitt.org

 

 

Guest Post and Review: Paranormal Properties by Tracy Lane

Today I was lucky enough to host Tracy Lane and her new book Paranormal Properties.  Tracy has stopped by to tell us a little about herself and her fascination with ghosts.  After Tracy’s takeover be sure to check out my review of Paranormal Properties.  During this blog tour Tracy is also doing an awesome giveaway.  Be sure to click here to enter.  So without any further blustering on my part here is Tracy Lane.

Hello!  My name is Tracy Lane and I am the author of Paranormal Properties.  I have always been intrigued with ghosts even at a young age. I could swear there was someone around me even when I was alone. At times I thought I could hear voices. As I became a young woman I would watch movies and television shows about ghosts and ghost hunting.

Some of my favorite shows now are Ghost Hunters, Supernatural, A Haunting, Ghost Whisperer.   I have tried to watch Medium but never really enjoyed that one as much. Once in awhile I would watch Psychic Kids. I felt for those children who were outcasts because of their abilities.

My favorite all time movie is Ghost. I can still sit and watch that one. That is what I believe the afterlife is really like. It is quickly followed by Stir of Echoes and Sixth Sense.  Now Sixth Sense is where I sat in the theatre after the movie was done and others were leaving. I was so in awe over it, I thought why  not write a book about a boy who can see ghosts and make friends with one?   But to take it further I decided to make his parents ghost hunters!  I also gave my ghost more of a personality. Not to put down Bruce Willis, he did a wonderful job!  I just needed my ghost to be more energetic and bossy. But I also wanted my book to be a fun read, one children and adults would love to read again and again. It is a cross between Scooby Doo, Goosebumps, and Hardy Boys.

I put all my love of the afterlife interacting with our reality into one fun to read book.  I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!

Paranormal Properties Button 300 x 225Paranormal Properties
Paranormal Properties Book One

Tracy Lane

Genre:  YA Paranormal

Publisher:  Pants on Fire Press

ISBN:  978-0982727171

ASIN:  B00BMHF6X6

Number of pages:   192

Word Count:   33,000

Book Description:

Jake Weir, while on the set of his parents ghost hunting TV show, agrees to help a ghost investigate a 61 year-old murder.

Jake Weir is not like the other kids in Dusk, North Carolina. Then again, Dusk, North Carolina is not like other cities. Known as one of the most haunted cities in America, behind Salem, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana, Dusk is ground zero for Jake’s ghost hunting parents.

The Weir family has arrived in Dusk eager to scope out some of the town’s 127 reported “paranormal properties,” which just happens to be the name of their own ghost hunting show: Paranormal Properties. What Jake doesn’t know, and what his parents could never imagine, is that Jake can see ghosts! And hear them. And talk back to them! This talent comes in handy when he runs into Dusk’s oldest, most famous ghost: one Frank Barrone, a one-time lounge singer made famous by his booze-soaked ballad, “Barroom Eyes.”

Frank was gunned down by a local mobster in 1951 and has been searching for his killer ever since. When he learns that Jake can see and hear him, Frank makes young Jake a deal: if Jake will help Frank find his killer, Frank will help his parents find a ghost to film for their upcoming Halloween Special on Public Access Channel #319. Jake enlists the only friend he’s made in Dusk, an overweight tomboy nicknamed “Tank,” to help him track down Frank’s killer. As clues emerge and old leads heat up, Frank and Jake learn they make quite a team. But will Jake find Frank’s killer? And will Frank find a real haunted house in time for Halloween?

Excerpt:

Silas…”

The voice was eerie, barely above a whisper. Jake paused, his sneaker poised above a grave as he stood in the middle of Dusk Cemetery.

It was nearly midnight and he’d grabbed the wrong flashlight before sneaking out of his bedroom window. It had run out of juice halfway through the graveyard, and he’d been blindly stumbling around ever since.

The moon was full, but it was frequently obscured by heavy cloud cover and he had to wait until another patch moved through to see very well.

He wasn’t scared, so much. Jake had a special relationship with graveyards, and this was far from his first time at the rodeo. Still, it was the first time a headstone had ever talked to him.

The voice grew louder.

“Silas…”

It was a female voice, sounding dark in a way a ghost might: dark and deep and frosty.

He risked another step, letting the moonlight guide his path. It was a big cemetery, and well-maintained as cemeteries go. There were headstones everywhere, some leaning, some taller than Jake.

“Silas…”

Jake turned to the left to follow the sound. It was coming from a massive tombstone two feet taller than he was, and three feet wider. He pointed the flashlight at it, but the beacon was dim, even after he banged it three times on the palm of his hand.

Then, suddenly, it lit, falling upon the dead soul’s name: “Rose Colder.”

It was there on the grave stone, but the flashlight flickered out just before he could read the dates.

“Silas…” came the eerie voice again, so close he could hear the ghost’s lips smacking.

But, wait. Did ghosts really have lips to smack?

Jake parted his own lips and spoke for the first time since walking into the graveyard. “R-R-Rose?”

He hadn’t meant to stutter, but he couldn’t help it. He heard a rasp, or a cough, and then the crunch of dry leaves behind the headstone.

“Silas?” was the reply, and then the rustling of cheap plastic against flesh. The clouds broke, the moon shone down, and a giant, yellow monster reared from behind the headstone, smiling.

Smiling?

“Gotcha!” said the beast, in a boastful, girlish voice. It was a girl, a giant girl, a living girl in a big, yellow raincoat.

“W— who are you?” Jake stammered, trying to hold his ground. He had to look up a good four inches to see her face.

Her eyes glittered beneath her short, greasy hair. She was heavy, but with her big smile and that cheerful way about her, she looked more nice than scary.

“I’m Tank,” she said proudly, inching closer to him with big black and white sneakers crunching over dry, dead leaves. “Who are you?”

“Jake Weir,” he said, relieved he didn’t stammer that time. “And who…who’s Silas?”

“Don’t you know?” she asked, sitting down on one of the large marble slabs that surrounded Rose Colder’s grave. She patted the one next to him, and he sat, too.

He didn’t know why, but even in a graveyard, even after pranking him in her big, yellow raincoat that made her look like a linebacker for an NFL team, this “Tank” girl didn’t scare him.

Much.

“No,” he replied.

Tank frowned. “Rose Colder,” she explained, “snuck out at midnight to meet her boyfriend, Silas Miner, in this very cemetery over a hundred years ago. But Silas’s Dad didn’t approve of his son dating a commoner, so he kept Silas from seeing her and sent a couple of local thugs to teach Rose a lesson. When the thugs showed up, Rose fought back…and lost. They buried her here, and legend has it that every night, at midnight, she rises from her grave to take revenge on the men who ended her life.”

“So…so that’s why you were calling me Silas?”

Tank nodded, and then slugged him on the shoulder. “What are you doing here, anyway?” Jake shrugged. He didn’t really want to tell her.

She pulled a flashlight from her raincoat pocket and flicked it on, right in his eyes. “Hey!” He held up a hand to shield his face.

“Wait, hold up.” Tank pointed the beam up. “What’s that on your hat?”

Jake blushed. He’d grabbed the hat at the last minute, not thinking about it. He had so many of them, and they all looked alike: black ball cap, neon green writing that spelled “Paranormal Properties.”

“You…you work for that TV show? The ghost hunting one?”

“You know about it?” Jake was surprised. They’d just gotten into town, and his parents hadn’t even filmed an episode here yet. That’s what he was doing out in the graveyard at midnight, trying to find something extra special for a new episode.

Of course, they’d kill him if they found out, but he figured it would be worth it if they finally got more than a handful of people to watch.

“Know about it?” Tank shouted. “I watch it every week! You know, the live feed on the web page. We don’t have any local channels that play it.”

Jake beamed in appreciation. “Cool,” he said.

“So,” Tank urged, nudging his knee with her own. He noticed she was wearing plaid pants under her yellow rain coat. “Do you work for it or what?”

“My Mom is the host. My Dad is the cameraman.”

Tank gasped and shoved Jake with each word. “No. Way! Get. Out. Of. Town!”

She stopped shoving him and stood up instead, yanking him by the sleeve of his T-shirt. Dragging him from the cemetery, she said, “I love your Mom. You have to tell me all about her.”

“Where are we going?” he asked, finally regaining use of his feet and catching up to her.

She saw him at her side, looked down and let him go. “There’s a diner around the corner, open all night. I’m buying you a hot fudge sundae and you’re going to tell me all about what it’s like to have famous parents.”

“Famous?” he chuckled as he followed her past the cemetery gate. His Mongoose bike was sitting there, dry and rusty, just where he’d left it.

“Sure thing.” She reached behind some bushes and lifted out a green ten speed with just one hand.

They mounted their bikes and, now that he was looking for it, Jake saw the neon sign for the Dusk Diner just around the corner. Yet, something was still bugging him. “Hey,” he said, “what were you doing in the graveyard at midnight?”

Tank shrugged. “Couldn’t sleep.”

“So you went to a cemetery?”

She  shrugged again, pedaling off. While struggling to catch up, Jake heard her say, “Hey, I met you, didn’t I?”

Review:

Paranormal Properties was a great young adult read.  It had a mix of fun, adolescence, intrigue and don’t forget the ghosts.  Jake is a great character that I can’t wait to see grow as this series grows.  I also have high hopes for Tank.  I really enjoyed the story in general, but the mix of the intrigue of finding Frank’s killers and the almost silly actions of Jake’s parents blended very well.  This is a very good book for the younger kids on the young adult scale.  I don’t normally read this adolescent of a book, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I would recommend this for anyone who likes a good ghost story and a whoever read books like Goosebumps or The Hardy Boys growing up.  Overall, this is a great read and definitely a good starter series for the younger young adult reader.

I’d like to thank Tracy Lane for stopping by today and Bewitching Book tours for letting me host a spot today.  For more information about Tracy Lane be sure to explore her sites below.  For more information about Paranormal Properties you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any additional book retailer.

Author Bio:

I was fascinated with the paranormal when I was very young. I always felt like someone was around me even when I was alone. It caused me to be inspired to write a paranormal book where a teenager can see and hear ghosts and actually makes friends with one.

I use to love to write short stories in school and always wanted to be a writer. But raising children and working jobs I just could not find the time to indulge my passion. Then my children grew up and I ended up having two teenagers at home who did not need as much attention from me. I started toying with the idea of writing once again. So setting aside 5 to 10 minutes per day to write at least one page I could end up with a book a year. Now Paranormal Properties is published and I have a list of 8 more books to write. I don’t think I”ll be slowing down anytime soon.

http:///www.tracylane.us

http://tossysbooks.blogspot.com/

http://www.paranormalproperties.us

http://www.facebook.com/jakesparanormalproperties

http://www.facebook.com/ParanormalProperties

http://www.facebook.com/tossylane

http://www.twitter.com/tossysbooks

Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/46688-paranormal-properties

Guest Post and Review: For the Love of Big Orange by Leta Gail Doerr

This is the second of my two posts today.  It’s a wonderful novella by Leta Gail Doerr called For the Love of Big Orange.  Leta is taking over today.  Be sure to check out my review after Leta’s take over.

Don’t Mind Her…She’s and Indie

I shutter to think of the many times I’ve been asked who my publisher is when I announce to a new acquaintance that I’m a published author, only to see the inquisitor cringe when I respond, “It’s me.” Most of the time, “I’m Indie” is very well received, but sometimes it’s clear that some folks are simply put-off by self-published works.  There’s a certain stigma associated with being an Indie or self-published author, I just can’t put my finger on why that is. Perhaps you can help.

Two of the three novels that I have published have had contracts with a small press, one of them is still active.  The other was cancelled at my request.  It’s almost as though being backed by a publisher gives some sort of reassurance to the reader, but I ask you, does it really?

Think about it. How many times have you seen a movie, or read a book published by a well-known actor/author and found yourself disappointed? It may have been the quality of the acting, the plot, the script, or perhaps even the overall lack of chemistry between the main characters. Does it really matter who backed the story (with funds/marketing, etc.) if the piece isn’t as entertaining as you hoped it would be?

As an Indie author, our works have to go under the same type of scrutiny before we hit that publish button to make our baby live.  We surround ourselves with fellow authors and beta readers who, when you tally up the years of experience, have decades upon decades of knowledge from working in the publishing industry. Indie authors have to work harder, be more diligent, and conjure resources that some publishers may not even offer.

We hire editors, proofreaders, and savor every bit of help our fellow authors will provide when working on our manuscripts. All at our own expense.  Our name is on the line, our reputation, and our brand. We are our own publishers, promoters, and sometimes we even craft our own cover designs. We aren’t just casual writers who think something up and post in every major retailer who’ll take us (well most of us aren’t anyway).

For those of you who are willing to read a story regardless of who the publisher is, I certainly applaud you.  And, quite frankly I thank my lucky stars that you are willing to give Indie authors a shot.

For those of you who may be a bit squeamish, how about take a chance? Most authors are willing to give away a piece of their work for free or for a bargain price, say $0.99. Take a shot; you just might discover your next favorite author.

Leta Gail

www.theliteraryblonde.com

For the Love of Big Orange Button 300 x 225For the Love of Big Orange

Bluegrass Country Novella, Book One

Leta Gail Doerr

ASIN: B00BFLDZBE

Number of pages:         127

Word Count: 43,500

Book Description:

They say you can never go home. Well, Lacie Joe Jensen never wanted to.

Lacie Joe left small town Kentucky for the big city lights and never looked back. Until now. Her ailing foster-father needs her, his memory is failing. But townsfolk remember all too well the troubles Lacie Joe caused as a youth, and they’re not afraid to remind her.

Lacie Joe has a few allies in town, for starters, ex-boyfriend turned police officer Jay Hayworth. Jay’s kept the fire burning for Lacie during her long absence. He’s one of the bright spots in Lacie’s troublesome past, him and her truck, Big Orange. A suspicious accident forced Lacie Joe to leave town, Jay steps in to remind Lacie she no longer has the right to remain silent.

Review:

I adored this novella.  I only wish there were more.  I loved Jay and Lacie Joe’s story.  I especially loved the story of redemption for Lacie Joe and Emma.  This story may have been short but it definitely packed an emotional punch.  I truly hope there will be more follow-up novels with this story line.  I definitely want more Jay.  But, this wasn’t all about the hot cop.  The writing and character development was fantastic.  I truly hope to read more from Leta Gail Doerr.

I’d like to thank Leta for stopping by today.  If you want to learn more about her be sure to click on the links below.  If you want to know more about For the Love of Big Orange  you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.  I’d also like to thank Bewitching Book Tours for allowing me to host this spot today.

About the Author:

Leta Gail is a small town girl with big dreams, who shares her life with her husband, son, and little dog Kimmy. She enjoys exercise, (as if), planning family vacations, dreaming up places to go with her husband, reading, tinkering with computer software, and watching her son grow.

She is a Project Manager by day working in Information Technology, who moonlights as a writer. She has a monthly column, Blonde Bytes, in a women’s publication- Pastelle Magazine, where she writes about fun geeky stuff.

She loves to write about great friendships and deep emotions. She finds the humor in everyday life and creates believable characters she hopes her readers will enjoy. She likes story lines like, life after divorce, strong-willed women making their mark on the world, and finding love in unexpected places. She also enjoys writing tales that salute our nation’s heroes.

She enjoys the super support of her husband and inquisitive son while she dreams big and “shoots for the moon”, as her husband so aptly states.

Visit her at www.theliteraryblonde.com  and www.randommoonbooks.com

Twitter: @LiteraryBlonde

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheLiteraryBlonde

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomletagaildoerr

Character Interview and Review: The Telepathic Clans Saga by B.R Kingsolver

Today I am lucky enough to have Collin from B.R Kingsolver’s Telepathic Clans Saga.  He was gracious enough to stop by and answer some questions.  After the interview be sure to read my review of Book 1 in the saga, The Succubus Gift.

The Book Maven: Today our guest is Collin Doyle from The Telepathic Clans Saga.

The Book Maven: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you?

Collin: I’m in all of BR Kingsolver’s books, The Succubus Gift, Succubus Unleashed, and the new one, Succubus Rising.  I’m the love interest of Brenna O’Donnell, the richest, most beautiful telepath/succubus in the world.

The Book Maven: Can you tell us a little about it?

Collin: The Succubus Gift is about a young woman’s (Brenna) coming of age and discovering her telepathic powers. She’s looking for love but also trying to deal with people who want to kill her. Succubus Unleashed is a continuation of the story. As Brenna becomes comfortable with being a succubus and integrates into the Clan, her adventures and loves make up the story. Succubus Rising is a bit more about our friend Rebecca and the conflicts between the telepathic Clans.

The Book Maven: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Collin: Well, as I said, I’m Brenna’s boyfriend. I’m 35, though since telepaths age slowly, I look about 10 years younger. I’m a powerful telepath in my own right, with 12 telepathic Gifts. I’m tall and very fit with brown hair and blue eyes, a common combination for an Irishman. I’m the Clan’s Director of Security, head of the Protector force and one of the most accomplished computer hackers in the world.

The Book Maven: So is this a paranormal romance novel? Do you and Brenna have a smooth or rocky path in your romance?

Collin: It’s more of an urban fantasy, since the romance isn’t the prime story line. It’s a little rocky. She’s suspicious of me because I have so many girlfriends. It’s not my fault, really. I’m an incubus and women are naturally attracted to me. It’s rude to say no to a woman, don’t you think?

The Book Maven: How do you feel about the story you’re in?

Collin: I think it’s a pretty good story. It’s not a standard run-of-the-mill paranormal fantasy. It has a lot of unique ideas and BR lets the characters develop. I think the series was originally meant to be rather light-hearted, but it’s taken on a darker side. I think it has most of what you’d want in a story – humor, romance, danger, and the good guys win. I have the opportunity to show that I’m not just strong, but gentle and caring.

The Book Maven: Do you like being a character in the book?

Collin: After being imprisoned in BR’s mind for months, it’s great to get out and meet the world. I do get to do a lot of exciting things, and I get to have a lot of sex, which is kind of nice. I wish people would stop trying to kill Brenna, though. What happened to romances where the heroine’s greatest fear was having a hair out of place?

The Book Maven: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.

Collin: As I said earlier, I’m going to be in a number of books. I’m hoping that Brenna will understand that I really love her. I don’t mind that she has a lot of lovers, so I don’t think she should hold my little dalliances against me.

A lot of people might think that Brenna and I have a weird romance because we’re not sexually monogamous. Since we’re a succubus and an incubus, we don’t expect sexual fidelity from each other. But we are madly in love. When a telepath meets their soul mate, it’s not just an expression. We’ve merged our souls, and we’ll always be connected.

The Book Maven: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?

Collin:  BR says the 4th book about Brenna will come out in 2013, but I haven’t seen the outline for that one. I assume it will tie up all the loose ends from the first three books, and since it’s about Brenna, I’ll be there.

The Book Maven: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?

Collin: Wow, that’s a hard one. Matthew McConaughey, maybe, or Matt Damon. You don’t want to be portrayed by someone who can’t act.

13616504The Succubus Gift,

Book 1 of the Telepathic Clans Saga

BR Kingsolver

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance (Adult/New Adult)

Book Description:

The history of the Clans, called the Sidhe by the Irish, stretches back to antiquity. The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. In over 2,500 years, She has never bestowed more than 15 Gifts on a single person.

Brenna Morgan was orphaned at eight when her parents were killed in a plane crash. Through one foster home after another, she carried the ornate, carved wooden box her mother had left with her, keeping it always a secret. Then one night she stumbles over a man who claims her as family.

Brenna’s life isn’t the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift.

That’s just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there’s the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?

Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed — with a willing young man of course.

Review:

The Succubus Gift is a great book for the beginning of this series.  It’s a very entertaining read with many memorable characters.  B.R Kingsolver does a wonderful job creating this world hidden within the modern world.  From the moment when Brenna saves her cousin to meeting Collin for the very first time to learning how powerful she could truly be.  It is one great twist after another.  Also, I really enjoyed how the complex relationships between characters were demonstrated.  For instance the relationship between Brenna and Rebecca is a complex and deep relationship that this book only skims over.  I would be remiss in my review if I also didn’t bring in the extremely hot Collin and his relationship with Brenna.  Though through descriptions I can totally understand why all woman fall at his feet.    After reading the first in the series I have to read the rest of the books.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to before I had this tour date but take my word that I will be finishing this series soon.

I’d like to thank B.R Kinsolver for letting Collin stop by and talk with me today.  I’d also like to thank Bewitching Book Tours for letting me have this stop today.  For more information about The Succubus Gift and the rest of The Telepathic Clans books you can go to Barnes and Noble,  Amazon or any other book retailer.

Author Bio:

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and somehow found a career working with computers.

I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school and I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I’d like to see Banff in Canada.

I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I’m currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico that I see too infrequently.

Twitter: @BRKINGSOLVER

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brkingsolver

Web site: http://brkingsolver.com/

Guest Post: Breaking the Nexus by Lindsay Avalon

Today my blog is being taken over by Lindsay Avalon.  She is stopping by to promote her book Breaking the Nexus.  Be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway. I’d like to thank Bewitching Book Tours for letting me have this slot on the tour.  So without any further waiting here is Lindsay Avalon to talk about what inspires her writing.

What inspires me to write? Well, that question has many answers. One of my biggest inspirations comes from mythology. My Mythrian Realm series centers around the concept that all the myths and legends are based in reality. That at one time, dragons and gryphons walked with humans. That magic is as real as people who can shapeshift into beasts. Naturally, I look to myths for inspiration, but I am also working to give things my own twist. Since many stories can change in the retelling, I have a bit of creative license to work with.

My sister is a huge Classics buff; she even majored in the Classics and at one time she taught Latin. From an early age, she adored Greek and Roman mythology and would drill into my head the different tales. Due to her influence, I draw a great deal of inspiration from this particular subset, but I also love Celtic legends. The ability to have gryphons and banshees in the same realm fascinates me and my imagination runs wild with ideas.

However, it’s not only myths that inspire me. I cannot live without music, especially trailer music. You know those epic tracks in movie and video game trailers? The kind that get your heart racing and draw you into whatever is being shown? That’s what I listen to when I write. It’s what helps me keep the fast, action-filled pace and opens the floodgates on my writing juju as I like to call it.

There’s one other major source of inspiration: my husband, my muse, my betas and my readers. My husband inspires me to live my dream of being an author and he’s always more than happy to let me bounce ideas off of him. He’s one of those brutally honest people who will tell me if he doesn’t like an idea or doesn’t think it’ll work. Without his input, Breaking the Nexus may never have come to fruition because when I realized how much work the original version needed, I wanted to throw in the towel. My hubby was the one who pushed me to continue and he never fails to encourage my love of writing.

My muse, Carrie Fort, is an amazing woman who knows how to ask me questions to get the juju really working. She reads everything as I write it, getting new content every thousand or so words. When I’m stuck, all I have to do is ask her for questions and she’ll fire off a series that gets the wheels turning. In addition to my muse, I have an amazing group of beta readers. Technically, I have two sets of betas. The first read as I write, but they don’t get it quite as frequently as Carrie. Usually I send them completed chapters to read. They give me feedback on where areas need more detail and if I get stuck, I have a few people to ask me questions to get things going. They’ve helped me formulate some amazing plot ideas and I’m so lucky to have them. Last but never least, there are my readers. Multiple times I’ve gotten stuck on naming a character and have put out a call on Facebook for ideas. You wouldn’t believe the responses I get. The comments and feedback I get from my readers, both good and bad, inspire me to keep writing and energize me when things get tough.

So, there you have it. My inspiration stems from so many places and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

BreakingTheNexus_ebook_coverBreaking the Nexus
Book 1 of the Mythrian Realm series

Lindsay Avalon

Book Description:

Throughout history, myths and legends of extraordinary creatures have been told and retold. Fantastic tales of demons and banshees, gryphons and dragons, and of course, magic. Stories that every child grows to learn are nothing more than fantasy…or are they?

Beyond the world you see lies a hidden realm, the Mythrian Realm, inhabited by all of the creatures you’ve been told are mere fiction. Only one thing lies between humans and the truth: the Nexus. A magical barrier erected millennia ago to separate the two realms, it has stood the test of time. Until now.

For Mythrian Sha Phoenix, magic is nothing new. But when she stumbles upon a portal on the verge of collapse, her fate will forever change. Pulled through the portal into the Human Realm, she lands in the middle of Detective Connor Flynn’s brutal murder scene. Soon it is obvious someone is using blood magic to try to bring down the Nexus. Together, Connor and Sha must work to unravel the secrets before the barrier falls and the realms collide.

The Nexus is breaking and all hell is about to unleash…literally.

Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0a8d1f18/

LindsayAvalonAbout the Author:

I am a wife, a programmer, and now an author. I have an adorable mini Schnauzer and more books than I have room for. I love reading romance because no matter what may be happening in my life, I can always count on my books to end happily ever after. The day I met my husband was the day I truly began believing in happily ever after. After hearing me complain a few too many times that I had “nothing” to read despite the hundreds of paperbacks scattered around the house, my husband began suggesting I write my own stories. When I finally took his advice I discovered that although I enjoy my day job as a software engineer, my true calling is to be an author.

My sister drilled into me an appreciation for fantasy and mythology, something I try to bring to my books. My debut novel, Breaking the Nexus started as a book written for NaNoWriMo and has grown to so much more. It was the conduit that introduced me to a fantastic group of independent authors who have changed my life in unimaginable ways.

When I’m not writing, I’ve found a passion for blogging and interviewing fellow authors. I also love reading (of course!), baking, crochet, sewing sock monkeys, playing video games, and all sorts of random crafts. I have an incurable love of rubber duckies and stuffed animals, and I believe nobody should have to grow up if they don’t want.

Website: http://www.lindsayavalon.com

Blog: http://lindsayavalon.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LindsayAvalon

Facebook: http://facebook.com/author.lindsay.avalon

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6568822.Lindsay_Avalon

Guest Post and Review: The Secret World of Alaina Downs by Rebecca Rynecki

Today I am privileged to welcome Rebecca Rynecki.  She is here promoting her book, The Secret World of Alaina Downs.  She’s stopped by today to talk about her inspiration for her hot Knight in Shining Armor, Gabriel.  Be sure to check out my review with more raving about Gabriel after Rebecca’s guest post.  So let the take over begin…

Manspiration

Muses. Inspiration. All of those deep and meaningful concepts that push all types of artists. It could be a sign from the gods, from the heavens giving you greater purpose.  Me? With The Secret World of Alaina Downs and its sequel, The Knight’s Ill-Thought Bargain, it was manspiration!
Manspiration (trademark pending per Jessica Miller- okay, no not really) does not have anything to do with men and perspiration. Don’t worry about that. It has to do with that guy, that…that man on tv or a magazine, or even some dude walking down the street. It’s that guy who can take your storyline off in a whole other direction with his swagger, a smirk, and yes…sometimes a lack of clothes. I’m not going to lie to you. It is a good image after all.
The story of Alaina Downs came to me when I was twelve. It eventually fleshed out to include the sexy, cocky, yet believable knight, Sir Gabriel, when I was fifteen. It still took uh….almost fifteen years -cough, yeah you guys were totally doing the math there- before I could finally say, “This is how I really want this character to act, to interact with Alaina. This is how the love story is going to play out.”
And why? Because of lack of manspiration of course! The plot was outlined, Alaina was a complete character, the research was done…and Gabriel was still faceless. Sure, I still had the basics but nothing that went, YES! SO THAT’S HOW YOU WINK!
Until one fateful day when I sat down to watch a movie. This dude with very dark, almost black hair was talking; the sexual undertones obvious with his almost innocent words. All of a sudden, I could see it: Gabriel surprising Alaina in such a way that she fell out of a tree, Gabriel being naughty in the ocean, the flirting…and the eventual realization that it might just be possible for these two people to fall in love.
I know you guys are dying to know who the manspiration was for Gabriel by now right? -crickets- No. It’s not that Damon Salvatore guy. I did spell his name correct, didn’t I? Nah, he’s British and has a penchant for wearing hats…kind of. He’s also does not look like a “stereotypical” knight, and that’s the whole point with manspiration. It can hit you when you least expect it. I know when I sat down to watch that movie on the SyFy channel, I wasn’t thinking, “This is where I’m going to find Gabriel!” But, I did, and it was because of that, the story really took on a life of its own.
So, thank you, Mr. British dude! Manspiration can be used in all different aspects you know, and plus…it’s just plain fun. Pssst…if you guys really want to know who the manspiration was for Gabriel, you can find hints for it on my blog. I don’t want to embarrass the poor guy…

SecretworldTitle: The Secret World Of Alaina Downs
Author: Rebecca Rynecki
Genre: New Adult/Fantasy
Number of Pages: 252

When Alaina stumbles into a world that she only thought existed in her mind, she is understandably a little bit freaked out. Who wouldn’t be? Characters that she had written down years ago are walking, and talking, and telling her that she is the only one who can save the princess and the kingdom of Isleen. Um…okay. As she travels down to the southern kingdom with Sir Gabriel, a really hot knight, she falls off horses, has an interaction with an evil witch, gets attacked by a sea creature, and even falls from lust into love.

 

Review:

The Secret World of Alaina Downs was a fantastic read.  Honestly, at first I was a bit confuse about what was going on, but it’s not long into the story that you pick up what is going on.  The story like the adventure in the story moves very quickly.  It draws you in and propels you through the harrowing tasks that Alaina and Gabriel face.  We also fall in love when Alaina and Gabriel do.  Alaina and Gabriel’s love story is very cute and you can really see how through the situations they are put in and the things they learn help to push their love forward.  Plus, what woman wouldn’t want her own Knight in Shining Armor to save.  Make that Knight as hot as Gabriel and you can definitely understand why Alaina falls for him so quickly.  Overall, I thought this was a unique concept with a love story seamlessly weaved within the pages.  I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good Fantasy/Romance story.  Think of it as Alice in Wonderland meets Guinevere and Lancelot.

I’d like to thank ABG Reads Book Tours for letting me host this stop and Rebecca Rynecki for stopping by and posting.  For more information about Rebecca be sure to click on the links below.  For more information about The Secret World of Alaina Downs you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon and any other book retailer.

Author Bio:
A graduate of Hollins University in southwestern Virginia, Rebecca now lives in the hills of Connecticut with her husband and young son. When she’s not working as a librarian or plotting out the sequel, she bakes, dances around the house…and sings…really badly. The Secret World of Alaina Downs is her first book.

Where to find Rebecca:
Blog:  http://rebeccaryneckithequestsandperils.blogspot.com/
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/BeccaRBooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRyneckiAuthor
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rebeccarynecki/
Tumbler: http://questsandperils.tumblr.com/
Youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEx7bPtwlPo&feature=youtu.be
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6449801.Rebecca_Rynecki

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