Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Five for August 30, 2013

1. First, I'm all giddy over Heather Musk's thoughts on THE ALPHA. She talks about Stefanie's strength as a wolf and a person. Pop on over and share your thoughts on the book.

2. I've been reading a lot this past month. A bunch of great indie books as well as big series like The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney. (Thank you so much to Clare Dugmore for recommending it to me!) I'm trying to keep up with reviews, but I don't have enough blog dates open for them all. On Monday, I'll have my review for POLAR NIGHT by Julie Flanders up, and later on in September, I have one for INDIESTRUCTIBLE.

3.  I'm way ahead of schedule for proofing the novellas for the 13th Floor Collection. I've also gotten a headstart on writing posts for the blog tour in October. It feels good to know I have a lot of breathing room. It's a big difference from earlier this year when I was frantic trying to meet my deadlines.

4. Having my son back in school has done wonders for both of us. He's excited every day we go to school, and he's even used the bathroom there by himself. A big deal for a boy who hates public bathrooms! I feel refreshed having three mornings a week to myself. I'm less stressed. By the end of the summer, I was feeling pretty frazzled. Next Wednesday is my first day to be the teacher's assistant. (Since it's a co-op nursery school, each parent has to volunteer ten times for the school year - about once a month - and help in class as well as bring the day's snack.) It's actually a lot of fun. I've always been a nerd when it comes to school. I love to go even when I'm not in class.

5. It's the long Labor Day weekend. We have absolutely no plans. It's lovely. I am ready to relax, maybe do some swimming at the lake and hiking, and sleep in. Eight o'clock is sleeping in for me! An extra hour makes all the difference. Enjoy your weekend, folks!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Pair of Paranormals - Gwen & Angela's cover reveals

It is with great pleasure and a thrill in our hearts that Gwen Gardner and I (Angela Brown *hugs*) reveal the covers for our follow up stories to our currently available novels: Givin' Up the Ghost (Gwen) and Neverlove (Angela)

*cue drumroll*

A GUILTY GHOST SURPRISED by Gwen Gardner (Add to Goodreads)
An Angel Among Us
Paranormal happenings at the Eady household are the norm. Recently, things have become downright peculiar. Childish giggles at odd hours of the night lead Indigo Eady to her little cousin, Bryan, a guileless cherub spirit, complete with Spider Man pajamas and a set of faux angel wings. The problem is that Bryan died nearly three years ago in a hit and run that killed him and his mum. The driver was never found.  Now the gang must solve the mystery of his death in order to send him back to heaven.  But where to start when the trail is three years cold?
Indigo Eady
Indigo Eady is not clumsy. At least, that’s what she keeps telling everyone. Can she help that the overactive spirit community of Sabrina Shores causes her psychic abilities to short-circuit? It’s unfortunate that her cute friend Badger is often on the receiving end of her mishaps. At times, she is positively hazardous to his health. Even so, sparks fly in more than one direction.

THEY ALL FALL DOWN by Angela Brown (Add to Goodreads)
Abby and Basil: New love reaches new heights as they finally give in to their lust and desire for each other.

Q: Consumed by the Devourer within and his base need to claim Abby as his own.

The crave: What it all boils down to. A crave for souls. A crave to keep love intact beyond betrayals. A crave for a second chance. A crave for power and The Fall of mankind.

“Love can conquer all” is put to the test and salvation may be impossible when it’s “ashes, ashes…they all fall down.”

About Gwen
Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face - but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate - not necessarily in that order.
Haunt at the following: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

About Angela
Angela is a lover of Wild Cherry Pepsi and chocolate/chocolate covered delicious-ness. Steampunk, fantasy and paranormal to contemporary - mostly young adult - fill her growing library of books. Mother to a rambunctious darling girl aptly nicknamed Chipmunk, life stays busy. Her favorite quote keeps her moving: "You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Haunt at the following: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wicked Wednesday - Critiques (part 4)

This is the final part of my critique series. I'm talking about critiques because we're giving some away to the lucky winners of the MORE THAN JUST A KISS blogfest on September 9 - 15. You can win some awesome ebooks too! You can check out the other posts in this critique series here: part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Once I've gone over the details, I look at the overall story. All the chapters could be fine on their own, but everything needs to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. A story can have all the technical parts correct with everything in its right place and still fall flat.

Here are some of the things I take into account:
- does the story engage me and hold my interest?
- are all the loose ends tied up neatly at the end?
- am I satisfied with the ending, or does it need something more?
- is the voice consistent throughout the manuscript? If there is more than one POV, does each one have a unique voice?
- does the tension build realistically and reach its height at the climax?
- the plot should have its ups and downs, but are there any places it drags? Or perhaps goes too fast?
- does the conflict(s) add to the plot or are they there simply to entertain?

Remember that critiques are subjective. Everyone is going to feel differently about the various aspects of the story. I've had my critique partners tell me two different things about the same part of a story. In the end, it's up to you to decide what you want to change if you want to at all. The critiques make suggestions. They are not follow-by-the-letter orders. You are the author. You must do what feels right for your story.

How do you wrap up your critiques?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Pop Travel

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
POP TRAVEL is Tara Tyler's debut novel. She visited with me just yesterday. Check out her Lazy Housewife guest post! The book pulled me in right from the beginning. It's an action-adventure sci-fi thriller. Yes, it does pack all that wonderfulness in there. I can't wait to see where the story takes me.
Here's your teaser:
A pop would take care of the pounding in her head. Sarah always felt fresh and healthy after a pop. Reborn. (page 4 in my Adobe Reader)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pop Travel with Tara Tyler - Lazy Housewife

Thank you for having me, Christine! We've been blog friends forever. And we live geographically close enough to visit someday… gotta make that happen!

But there's this thing called time. No one seems to have enough of it. I noticed several writers agreed with that statement in this month's IWSG.

I, the Lazy Housewife (ie – Queen of Efficiency), identify and eradicate time wasters. Things like driving, dusting, and showering. Sure driving gets you there, dusting makes your house appear clean, and showering makes you not smell bad. But those futile, mindless chores must be done over and over again, wasting the precious minutes I wish I could be doing other things, like writing! So, here are my wishful thinking future household gadgets:
  • Cars that drive themselves – we're already almost there. But I wonder, would you trust a highway full of computer driven cars? And if we let cars drive for us, why don't we just all use mass transit? It just seems silly, doesn't it? (teleportation, baby!)
  • A robot maid/self-cleaning house – especially for the bathroom. I have three, well, four, boys. Eww!
  • Speed-shower – be blasted with a cleanser, rinse, and be done! Like a car wash or decontamination stall.
  • Remember Andromeda Strain? I liked the biodegradable, disposable clothes – no laundry! Can I have an incinerator installed, please? Poof goes the garbage!
In Pop Travel, they use a lot of cool spy gadgets, and even more in Simulation, the next Reluctant Detective novel (I'm still looking for a good name for Cooper's series…). The gadgets I can see popping into stores the soonest are the QV and CC. They both combine web surfing, smartphone technology, and more, into a holographic, 3D imager. QV stands for quarknet viewer that goes on your wrist, and CC is a compucenter that also includes TV/satellite.

And developers are working on new innovations all the time. In my research, I found this article at the Business Insider: In the future, says Winkless, a range of energy-grubbing technologies will increasingly appear in the home: “Energy harvesting pots could mean that boiling your pasta charges your mobile phone. The vibrations of your washing machine could power wireless sensors – or your TV remote could be powered just by you pressing the buttons." (Source)

What household gadgets would you like to see in the future?
This Lazy Housewife glimpse of the future brought to you by Pop Travel.

Cooper thought he could get through
life without having to pop...
Pop Travel by Tara Tyler
A tale of deception and teleportation.

When a distraught client enters J.L. Cooper's small town detective agency ranting about a pop travel teleportation cover up, Cooper takes the case. He blames pop travel indirectly for his wife's death and would love to expose a glitch in it.

But the glitch turns out to be disintegrating travelers. And now, his client is dead, his secretary is missing, and a hitman is stalking him. Plus there's all the webcams watching his every move. So, Cooper has to find a way to expose the deadly flaw, while using pop travel to escape the maniacs covering it up, not to mention save a couple of tag-alongs he's not sure he can trust. No problem.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Five for August 23, 2013

1. I want to first give a HUGE thank you to Heather Musk at Reading, Writing and Everything In Between. She started something new on her blog called Book Thoughts where she'll share her thoughts on the books she's reading every Thursday. Over the next six weeks, she'll be featuring the novellas from the 13th Floor series. She already has her thoughts on THE MARQUIS posted. Please stop by and have a read. She hit on exactly what I was trying to do with that first story.

2. I'm thankful that my son started preschool this week or else I wouldn't have had any time to be productive. I got my revisions done for my short story based on my CPs' critiques and sent it out to my beta readers. So far everyone loves the bonus story for the 13th Floor Collection. I put all the novellas and the short story together in one document to edit it for the collection, and it's over 139,000 words. Wow. I wrote, revised, and put all that out in a year? I'm a bit in shock and giddy with it.

2.5 My son had an excellent first week of school. He's comfortable with the new class and his teacher. He makes no complaints when I leave. Yay! I had my first school meeting, and I was saddled with more responsibilities. Not a huge deal, but I would've preferred to know these things before they were suddenly thrust upon me, and I had no clue what I was doing. I'm lucky to have some good helpers, though.

3. I sent out the info and cover for The 13th Floor Collection last night. I had a long list of people volunteering to help out. I'm so very grateful to you guys. You're awesome! Please forgive me if I forgot you on the mailing list. Just send me an email or leave me a comment if I forgot you or if you'd like to be part of the cover reveal on September 13th.

4. Have you heard of this wonderful group of speculative fiction writers called Untethered Realms? *wink, wink* This week, we all wrote a little something with the prompt: "awesomesauce." It's so much fun to see how different each one turned out.

5. Did you get a chance to peek at my workspace on The Writing Nut's blog this week? Please pop on over if you haven't yet. Here's another look into my world. I was excited to return to the library this week with my son's return to preschool. My usual spot is in a comfy chair at the end of the sci-fi/fantasy section, but unfortunately, that chair with its little table is gone. (You can see in the picture below there's a big empty spot by the windows where it used to be.) So I settled into the little desk with my laptop. It's not quite the same, but I'm trying out new spots. Hopefully I'll find a new favorite.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nutschell's Wednesday Writer's Workspace and Wicked Wednesday - Critiques (part 3)

I'm so excited to be over at The Writing Nut's blog today with Nutschell for Wednesday Writer's Workspace. Please stop on by and take a peek into my office.

This is the third part of my critique series on Wicked Wednesday in preparation for the MORE THAN JUST A KISS blogfest in September. Click on the links to read part 1 and part 2 of the series.

After giving a thorough critique of the first chapter, I settle in for two more read-throughs of the manuscript.

The first one is for the details. This is the part where I make technical notes as I go along. It keeps me from reading too quickly. I'm not a professional editor, but I check spelling, grammar, and missed punctuation. If I'm not certain about something, I'll still make a note.

These are the types of details I look for:
- ones that need explaining (an observation or memory that needs clarification)
- ones that are unnecessary (a description or an added word or two that adds nothing to the sentence or plot)
- ones that are wrong (something that is anachronistic or an accent that doesn't sound right)
- ones that are missing (a more obvious clue to the mystery; if you're too subtle, the reader might miss it)
- ones that are brilliant (always point out the good things in a critique too)

The second read-through is for pacing, connection of plot points, and characterization.
- Pacing: I look for hooks and hangers with the chapters. I also keep track of the story highs and lows, making sure there are no lulls. Typically with romance, the story plot highs and lows should alternate with the romance plot highs and lows until they both come together for the climax. (Yes, I just set myself up there, didn't I?)
- Plot points: usually they follow along with the pacing. Something happens here that leads to this, the characters react and create this new something. One thing must logically lead to the other in the context of that world with those characters.
- Characterization: characters must be consistent with who they are and grow as the plot progresses. So much goes into the creation of characters, and sometimes the writer can be a bit biased. We sometimes hear the characters so clearly in our heads, we forget that others don't. The characters must be as vivid on paper as they are in our minds.

How many read-throughs do you give a first draft? Do you have a specific list you follow when doing a critique?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Dragon Bound

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This is a book I picked up randomly at the library. I wanted a good, fast paranormal romance read, and this book is providing it. Though DRAGON BOUND can stand alone, I think I'm missing out on some things in Thea Harrison's universe. You'd probably want to read her earlier books first.
Here's your teaser:
Dragos summoned his Power and began whispering beguilement into the night. He held the image of his thief firm in his mind. (page 42)

Monday, August 19, 2013

W4WS event for August 2013

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

We've made this simple and fast. It's as easy as a tweet or a RT, and sharing a status on Facebook. Go to the writer's blog and copy a tweet or RT from the posts with the tag #W4WS. The W4WS Facebook page will have all the updates and links for you.
To join the W4WS event, click here for the linky list. It will only take a minute of your time, and you'll have talented writers take a step closer to their dreams. 

Carrie Butler has a great passion for NA and is co-founder of NA Alley. Check out her fabulous NA paranormal series called The Mark of Nexus. Her first book in the series, STRENGTH, will be available for 99 cents this week! You can find Carrie on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

C. Lee McKenzie is a YA and MG writer with several wonderful books available including ALLIGATORS OVERHEAD and THE PRINCESS OF LAS PULGAS. She also has immensely helpful advice for writers on her blog. Check Lee out at her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cloaked in Fur blog tour - guest post on dual pesonalities of werewolves

Hi Christine, thank you for having me on your blog today.

What is it about werewolves that make them such great characters for novels? Traditionally stories of werewolves were used to inspire fear, but they have since been romanticised in popular culture. In either manifestation they are popular material for audiences. Their Jekyll and Hyde nature is probably a key to their fascination, historically and more recently. From a fear aspect, the hidden nature of the werewolf is what caused most concern. Anyone could be a werewolf hiding in his or her human guise. Whether a person's lycanthropy is beyond their control, or whether they maintain their control, when they change, they are equally frightening. 

Modern werewolves are much less about fear, and their dual nature has become much more alluring. In present day, where everything we do seems to be public knowledge,having a secret darker side is very appealing. Again, the idea that anyone meet might be a wolf in disguise also titillates the imagination. So anyone who has a mundane life could have a chance to break all the rules, go wild and then return to their normal the next day.

Whether scary or sexy, or a bit of both, werewolves have a wide appeal. There are many reasons for this, but their veiled dual personality is at the core of this for many people.

What do werewolves symbolize for you?

As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature.  She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

You can buy CLOAKED IN FUR here:

Author bio: T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.

You can find Tania here:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Five for August 16, 2013

1. Big week! I announced a change to the release date of the 13th Floor collection. I'm looking for people to help out with the cover reveal on Friday September 13th. I got an awesome response for hosts for my blog tour in October. Every weekday is filled up now. October is going to be a fantastic month!

2. Don't forget on Monday it's the August W4WS event! This is a great way for writers to help other writers. It's easy to do. As fast and simple as a tweet. This month we're featuring Carrie Butler and C. Lee McKenzie.

3. I have a special guest poster tomorrow. T.F. Walsh is going to be here with her CLOAKED IN FUR blog tour. Stop on by and chat about werewolves with us.

4. Sweet, sizzling, fiery, awkward, mind-blowing. We want to read your kissing scenes. Don't forget to join the MORE THAN JUST A KISS Blogfest! We're offering prizes for the best scenes. It's less than a month away now. Tell your friends! Shout it out to the world!

5. On Wednesday, my son had his preschool orientation. He was ready for me to leave so he could play all morning! His official first day will be Monday. He'll be going three mornings a week this year (M, W, F). His new teacher is very nice and is eager to have my smart little guy in her class. Did I mention he's only 3 1/4 and reading several words? Also, in a surprise move by his school's board (at least a surprise to me), they offered me a position. I'll be taking the open chair this year. It's weirding me out a bit. I never saw myself doing something like this even as a parent. Yet I really do love this preschool, and I'm happy to give my time to them. I agreed to help out some friends too. So on Tuesdays, I'll be picking one child up from her school and watching her for a little while, and on Thursdays, I'll be watching another little guy. They're my son's best girl and boy friends. I'm a bit stunned at how my schedule has filled up for this school year. What happened to the wonderfully quiet hermit life I dreamed of?!

Have a great weekend, folks!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New release date for the 13th Floor collection - request for hosts

As much as I hate pushing the date back, I'm rescheduling the release for the 13th Floor collection. It was originally scheduled for next month, but I'm giving myself another month to make it perfect. I want it to be the best it can be. (Pro of self-publishing: flexibility!)

On Friday September 13th, I will be revealing the cover to the collection. If anyone would like to be part of the cover reveal, please leave a comment below or email me. I will also be doing another giveaway. The lucky winners will receive the entire series of novellas in digital format.

I want to dedicate October to the 13th Floor series. This way, I won't be doing a one week tour and stacking the hosts. I'd like to do one host a day, maybe three a week (or more, depending on the response I receive). I'll have lots of excerpts, tidbits, and giveaways. I'll be giving away signed print copies of the collection along with the ebook. And I'll ship to anywhere in the world!

If you'd like to host me during October, please leave a comment or email me. If you'd like a specific date, please let me know as soon as possible.

As I worked on making the cover for the collection, I made a bunch of badges and banners for the series. I hope to have a lot more for October. Hosts can have their pick of something unique for their sites. Here's something to tease you with:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wicked Wednesday - Critiques (part 2)

This is the second part of my Critique series. On how I do critiques. It may not be the way anyone else goes about it, but hopefully I can offer a few tips that you might find helpful. You can read the first part of this series here.

After the initial read and the narrowing of the genre, I start a second read and focus on the first chapter. This is the most important chapter. If you can't keep your readers' interest, they aren't going to keep reading. I look for the hook, the setting, the backstory, the inciting incident, and the overall story problem.

Hook: hopefully it's right in the first line or at least in the first paragraph. This grabs the reader's attention with usually a dramatic action, thought, or desire. It sets the mood for the entire book. (Example: the opening line to THE DRAGONSLAYER: Xan missed the shot.)

Setting: the reader must know when and where they are. Not the exact time and date, unless it's key to the plot. But if we're in modern times, the past or future. If it's a fantasy world, it could start off in a barn or a cave. Don't leave the reader in limbo.

Backstory: You want enough to get the story going, but not too much to overload the reader. People are tempted to tell a lot in the beginning of the story, but readers only need to know enough to support what's happening in that moment.

Inciting incident: This is the event that turns the protagonist's life upside-down, or at the very least, the incident that leads to the chaos. It could be a letter from a distant relative or an assassination attempt. Big or little, it must propel the plot forward from chapter one.

Overall story problem: This isn't the hero's goal of killing the monster. What I'm looking for here is the protagonist's key internal problem. A flaw or weakness, something that she struggles with and that she needs to overcome in order to be victorious. Even if it's not obvious in the first chapter, I need to see a sign of it.

The first chapter is usually where I end up making the most changes in my manuscripts.

What do you look for when critiquing a first chapter?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Curse of the Bane and That Fatal Kiss cover reveal

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This is the second book in Joseph Delaney's The Last Apprentice series. I'm loving this one even more than the first, and the first one was awesome. It's MG dark fantasy fiction. I love the world Delaney has created, but even more so the supernatural creatures. Wow. Original and frightening!
Here's your teaser:
What I have lost, or might yet lose, I dare not think about. Beauty is a terrible thing; it binds a man tighter than a silver chain about a witch. (page 43)

Now for Mina Lobo's magnificent cover reveal!

Mina Lobo has long held a passion for Greek mythology. The story of the goddess Persephone's marriage-by-kidnap to Hades, Lord of the Underworld, has particularly fascinated her, and thus came about Mina's debut novel, That Fatal Kiss. Coming September 2013, the revisionist tale features a fiery and noble heroine, a handsome and broody hero, and some heated, earth-shakin' lovin'!

Given Mina's self-professed neurotic nature, it took her and cover artist Steven Novak a few go-arounds before settling on the cover design for That Fatal Kiss. It had to be curiously compelling, slightly spooky, and yet super sexy—and so it is!

The Book:

Feared by mortals for his inexorable power, and loathed by his fellow Greek gods for the same, Hades rules the Underworld alone. A stark eternity looms before him until he discovers Persephone. Struck by the youthful goddess’ beauty, kindness, and spirit, he must have her. But Hades believes Persephone could never love him, and so he conspires with his powerful brother, Zeus, to take her by force.

Persephone too seeks a mate but her possessive mother, the goddess Demeter, frustrates her husband hunting. Then Hades abducts Persephone, tearing her away from the Upperworld she loves to reign with him in the dank depths below. Though outraged, Persephone cannot deny the desire ignited within her by the dark lord’s touch. And even as she hopes that Demeter will unearth her, Persephone aches to surrender to the heat in Hades’ immortal soul.

The Teaser:
“Enough,” Hades said, closing the distance between them. “I have taken you with your father’s consent, as custom allows. You are in my kingdom, under my rule, and if you have any care for your continued well-being, you will get into my bed. Now.” And with the removal of the pins that held together the black cloth about his waist, he stood naked before her.

The anger warming Persephone clashed with another fire that roared to life within her. She choked on a breath and turned her face from him. “Be warned; I will resist you with the full force of my being, through violent means, if necessary.”

His large, unyielding hands encircled the soft flesh of her upper arms as he said, “If you must. Though your surrender to me would prove more satisfying to us both.”

The Author:

Mina Lobo has a lot of Scorpio action going on in her natal chart, which makes for a rather sybaritic and lust-driven Sagittarian. She aims for a wildly successful future as a writer of dark and whimsical romance while dodging the slings and arrows of her outrageous teenaged son, who's buggered off to college (hence the "Lite" in her Twitter handle, below). She enjoys comedic horror and alt rock, goth, & new wave music, as well as quality Belgian chocolates.

Mina invites you to keep abreast of updates regarding That Fatal Kiss, as well as the development of any new neuroses, by stalking her at her usual haunts:

Her blog: Some Dark Romantic
On Facebook: mina.lobo.1
On the Twitter: @GothMomLite
And GothMomLite Will Tumblr For Ya as well

Monday, August 12, 2013

Review for Jewel of Shaylar

Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.

Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.

David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.

My review:
David Alexander gets an offer for an archaeological dig that he cannot pass up. It might also help him find his father who has been missing for seven years. Exploring the cave, David is thrown into another world where all the crazy fantastical things his father talked about were real. He meets an odd group of friends on his quest to find his father, and on the way, discovers he is the heir to the lost ancient kingdom of Shaylar. All David wants to do is find his father and go home, but the land calls to him and he cannot ignore its call. Yet the call may lead David to his death and this entire beautiful world's.

A spectacular beginning to the series. The reader is swept into this wonderful fantasy world with wizards, satyrs, and dragons. The people are varied and the politics are thick. David is a highly likable hero that inspires loyalty from those who follow him. Sometimes trust in those he cares for can make him blind, but his heart is true. My favorite characters include his strange group of friends. Rhone the fierce Dreean warrior, Lothan the quirky half-satyr, and Mira the mysterious thief. Each individual is well drawn and fascinating. Plus, the D&D geek in me loves that they make the perfect adventuring party!

Along with great characterization and world building, the book is beautifully written, even poetic in parts. A lot happens in this story, but the reader isn't rushed along nor is the pace too slow. There's time to enjoy the read and get absorbed in the amazing fantasy land Laura Eno has created.

I can't wait for the next installment!

You can buy JEWEL OF SHAYLAR at:
KindleUS * KindleUK * Nook * Smashwords * Kobo * Trade Paperback


Add to your Goodreads

Author bio: Laura Eno lives in Florida with a very tolerant husband, three skulking cats and two absurdly happy dogs. After spending years immersed in English literature courses, she now writes novels late at night with the help of muses from the underworld.

Laura is a fellow member of Untethered Realms. Ten great speculative fiction authors. Check us out on Facebook!
Find Laura Eno on: Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads

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The 200th person to "like" my page will receive all the 13th Floor ebooks!
Please spread the word. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Five for August 9, 2013

1. This week is the one year anniversary of the release of FEARLESS. I haven't had much time to do anything in the way of a celebration, but I'm happy to report that it still receives wonderful reviews and has had over 12,000 downloads. The biggest critique is it's too short. I'm taking that as the readers want more, and thus it's a compliment! You can get your FREE e-copy of the novella on Amazon and Smashwords.

2. I haven't had a chance to do as much writing this week as I wanted. I think I'm over-thinking my short story. I tend to do that with short pieces. Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of the weekend. Knock on wood.

3. I've decided to push back my release date for the 13th Floor collection. There's no way I can have it ready for September 13th. Plus, my critique partners are immensely busy this month. I don't want to add to their loads. I'm doing the cover reveal on September 13th and the official release on October 13th. Yet I want to make October a 13th Floor month. Lots of guest posts, excerpts, tidbits, and giveaways. I'll do an official announcement next week. It was difficult for me to push the date back, but I feel relieved now that I've finally decided to do it.

4. Next week will be a busy week for me. I have my son's preschool orientation, and my husband will be gone for Gen Con Indy. So I'll be a con widow for three days. My son and I will be going with my husband to the convention on Sunday for Family Day. If anyone out there is going and you want to say hi, please let me know! They have a great four day program for writers called the Writer's Symposium. Most of the seminars are free with the purchase of the badge. I highly recommend it. I've learned a lot from years of attending the Symposium.

5. I took my son for his first pony ride yesterday. He was very excited, but then didn't want to ride the pony. His reason: it wasn't "proper." I couldn't get any definite explanation out of him, but he refused to ride. He talked, pet, fed, hugged, and examined the horses. He wasn't afraid. He almost went under a male horse curious as to what was dangling there! I told him what it was, and he nodded, curiosity sated. I had to explain what it was in front of the lone stablehand. A quite handsome stablehand.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tara Tyler tagged me!

In case you haven't heard, there's a fantastic new book out called POP TRAVEL. And the wonderful author of that book, Tara Tyler has tagged me. So I must answer four questions. Thank you, Tara!

1. How does your writing process work? 
I have a writing process?! I'm a pantser. I start with the idea of a situation and/or a character. Maybe I'll have a few other aspects of the story in mind, but then I just write. I've tried to plot, but my first draft will take me where it wants to take me. Usually that pure creative stream makes sense, and then it's on to revising and editing.

2. What is the hardest part about writing?
Finding the time to write. It's frustrating on the days I only get a few minutes to myself. But then I remind myself that a few minutes is better than none. Every word you write counts. And if you count the business side as part of writing, marketing is definitely the hardest for me.

3. What would you like to try as a writer that you haven't yet?
I would love to try to write a mystery that stumps everyone and has a brilliant ending. I've written mystery subplots, but it's never been my focus, and I don't think they've been incredibly difficult to figure out. 

4. Who are the authors you most admire?
Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Karen Marie Moning, J.K. Rowling, and Richelle Mead. These authors created worlds I still return to in my mind and characters that I continue to carry with me. They are master storytellers. 

Now it's my turn to tag four awesome writers:
T.F. Walsh
Ellie M. Garratt
Julie Flanders
Clare Dugmore

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group for August 2013

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

No matter how much we like it or not, books are going to be judged by their covers. It's difficult finding that perfect cover for your book too. I know I've spent almost as much time on the 13th Floor covers as I did writing. It's that important. The cover represents the story.

I've been struggling for a while now searching for and designing a cover for the 13th Floor collection. I adore my covers for the individual novellas, and they have been well received, but I want the collection cover to be different. I also want to promote it in print, so it has to be front, spine, and back. No easy task.

I started a design that would include all the tenants, using the covers from the novellas. Yet it wasn't original. It didn't give the readers anything new. Plus, the barcode would've covered Xan's chest, and I didn't want to disappoint his fans with that! If only I could convince the tenants to stand together for a group photo in the hallway of the 13th floor. I need a camera to take pictures from inside my head.

I have a new concept I'm trying now. It's different from the clean portraits with the black backgrounds. Will readers like it? Does it represent the entire series? Does it say dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance? Is it too boring? Too subtle? I don't know! I've lost writing time and sleep to this.

I know all I can do is create the best cover I can and put it out there. I'm getting panicky even as I'm just typing this!

Do you judge a book by its cover?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Joyland

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
JOYLAND is Stephen King's newest book. I was lucky to nab it off the express book shelf at the library and didn't have to wait for 55 other people to read it first. It's very King-ish. Lots of nostalgia. Not very creepy yet, but the characters are fascinating.

Here's your teaser:
"What's a self-respecting amusement park without a ghost? Maybe you'll see her yourself." (page 29)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Review for Nether Bound

Seventeen year old Ava Walker has everything a girl could ask for. She’s captain of the cheer squad, has tons of friends, and could easily have any guy she wants. Being popular is easy.

Lying about her entire life, on the other hand, isn’t.

Since she was little, Ava has had a connection with the dearly departed. She knows seeing dead people is abnormal, but they never try to communicate, so she does her best to turn a blind eye. The older she gets, the worse her visions become. With more and more ghosts showing up, her secret is on the verge of driving her mad.

The only person Ava ever trusted is her best friend, Devon. Only, she hasn’t really talked to him in years and lately he hasn’t been acting like himself.

To make things worse, her evil stepfather, Mark, is hitting the bottle harder and harder. Ava hates the alcoholic psycho her mother married a few years ago. To him, beating women is a sport. Lately, the beatings are getting worse. Ava fears it won’t be long before her mother is among the ghosts invading her life.

She wishes Mark would just die. When he suddenly does, her life changes forever.

Just when she thinks her family is safe, Mark shows back up.

Not all ghosts are silent, and dear old Daddy wants some serious revenge.

Be careful what you wish for …

My review:
Ava Walker's whole life has been a lie. She might seem like the perky and beautiful captain of the cheer squad, but her home life is a nightmare. Ava's learned to hide the fact she can see dead people, but the shades are starting to multiply. Devon is the only true friend she's ever had, and she snubbed him to become popular. Yet he's still there to help her when her world comes crashing down around her. Her cruel stepfather dies and comes back as something much more terrifying. Will he kill her or will the truth of her past and weight of her future crush her first?

NETHER BOUND is a fast-paced and intense read. A great mythology of demons and angels, and woe be unto the humans caught in the middle. Bonnie Rae captures a strong YA voice. The indecision, the stubbornness, and tremendous emotions. Ava is fiercely loyal to her family and a warrior, but we don't forget she's also a teenage girl. Devon is a sweet guy and a little geeky which I really do like! We have the bad boy in Kaine, and thus the three create an epic love triangle.

This story has set the stage for something even grander in the trilogy. A great debut novel for Bonnie Rae. I can't wait to see where she takes us next!

Bonnie Rae
Author bio: Bonnie Rae spent her early childhood in the sunny state of California. At the time, she was an only child with a very large imagination. Thanks to her Grandmother, the love of reading books started at a very young age. Every walk to the grocery store meant an ice cream cone and a new Little Golden Book. Through books, Bonnie learned you could be transported into other worlds. The addiction was instant.

At age eleven, her grandparents gave her E.B. White's Charlotte's Web for her birthday. Even though she was completely grossed out when it came to spiders (and still is), Charlotte's Web fascinated her. A spider that was able to weave words and befriend a pig? Bonnie then realized not only could books provide imaginary worlds, they confirmed anything was possible. She might have only been eleven, but she knew writing was what she wanted to do.

She started her first set of novels at the age of sixteen and has been writing ever since. Bonnie currently lives in California with her wonderful husband and two very spoiled cats.

You can find Bonnie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Friday Five for August 2, 2013

1. Not a terribly productive week. The boy only took one nap, and we've had some late nights. I started my bonus short story for the 13th Floor collection, but it's still in the beginning scene. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll get some time to write today and on the weekend.

2. I received another rejection to add to my pile. I've been feeling frustrated with myself. I consumed way too many Oreos this week. I even tried my first fired Oreo at the county fair. I prefer them not to be battered and soggy.

3. In just over two weeks, the boy will be heading back to preschool. He's excited about it and so am I. Having three mornings to myself a week will help with my productivity and hopefully my stress levels.

4. I wasted a night last night watching G.I.Joe: Retaliation. Why oh why did I watch the whole thing? It was a bad movie and not in a good way. I was big on the comics and TV show when I was young. That's my only excuse.

5. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll leave you with a cute picture of my son playing at the park.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cloaked in Fur review

As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she’d abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana’s friends, and she sets on capturing the creature.  She’ll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack’s secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

My review:
Daciana lives divided by two worlds. She's a moonwulf with a strong pack, and she's in love with a human. Her pack doesn't know about her boyfriend Connell, and Connell doesn't know about her supernatural side. Living with secrets isn't easy, but it's about to get worse. A rogue wolf is killing people, and it's not just any animal, it's a feared dracwulf. Daciana's secrecy is working against her, and the police are starting to suspect her. She's forced to choose between protecting her relationship with Connell and saving her pack from a gruesome death.

This well-written paranormal romance is T.F. Walsh's debut novel. It doesn't play shy either. Right away, we're thrown into the story with intense action and a powerful love that sets the mood for the tale. Daciana is a smart and strong protagonist with a lot to lose. She's in a tough situation, but she isn't the type to give up. Admirable and loyal, I was rooting for her right from the beginning. Connell is the perfect complement to her. Logical, steadfast, and gorgeous. Though I found myself drawn to Daciana's sexy ex, Enre. He's one sizzling hot werewolf!

The great cast of characters is supported by a powerful plot. It kept me riveted on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. It's dark and fast-paced with hold-your-breath suspense. A wonderful urban fantasy world has been created in the city of Brasov, Romania. Walsh paints vivid images with her descriptions and made me feel as if I were really in the Carpathian woods.

CLOAKED IN FUR made a strong impression and left me wanting more. I can't wait to read more from Walsh in the future.

You can buy CLOAKED IN FUR here:

Author bio: T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.

You can find Tania here: