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$0.99 Sale: Soul Reborn

Get it for a limited time for $0.99 (retail$3.99)

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THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD

 Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.

DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED

 Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret-one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.

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Amazon Giveaway: Soul Reborn (Print)

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Here’s your chance to grab a FREE PRINT copy of Soul Reborn

Click to Enter!

Paranormal Romance

5 Star Ratings / Readers’ Choice

2 Copies up for grabs for limited time.

Ends Feb 23

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Soul Reborn (Key to the Cursed) (Volume 1). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/97d99ed302a3b65c NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Feb 23, 2016 11:59 PM PST, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

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3 Goddesses’ COVER REVEAL

CoverReveal

I have joined forces with two fellow Crescent Moon Press authors to celebrate our new covers and pending releases on January 15, 2013. (Stay tuned for Release Party Scheduled for January 22nd) To celebrate we are giving away Author Review Copies (ARCs) plus copies of our previously released books in the series to one lucky winner.  Let me be clear ~ enter to win the following:

 7 ~ EBOOK Gift PACK:

ARC of SOUL AWAKENED & SOUL REBORN by Jean Murray
ARC of FOR THE LOVE OF HADES & MEDUSA, A LOVE STORY by Sasha Summers
ARC of TAINTED & WASTELAND & AWAITED by Lynn Rush

See Rafflecopter Link and Rules below

COVERS

SoulAwakened-200x300

Only the strongest love can unlock the souls of the Underworld

LOVE FOR BLOOD OR HONOR

Kendra, an Egyptologist and demi-god in waiting, is the key to unlocking Bakari, the Egyptian God of Death, from his cursed slumber. Desperate to free him, she inadvertently binds herself to the god with a spell that only death will undo. To save Bakari from himself, she may have to sacrifice her innocence, and possibly her soul, before he becomes his family’s worst enemy.

HAUNTED BY SINS OF THE PAST

Bakari awakens to a world at war and a beautiful woman who has tethered his soul to hers. In the wake of his self-destruction Kendra is his only hope of salvation, but another has vowed to keep Bakari from the one thing he craves most– his Parvana. His butterfly.

Blue Butterfly

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FortheLoveofHades_Sasha_FrontCoverquotefinalHades, God of Death, has no heart. Persephone is determined to prove otherwise…

Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, has no patience for living things or his Olympian brethren. His purpose is order, administering justice to those who enter his realm, and keeping the balance decreed by the Fates. Meeting Persephone sways his focus, her gentle sweetness threatening his control. But he will not be tempted.

 Poseidon’s scheming wreaks havoc upon Persephone. Hades has no choice – he must rescue her.

 Hades awakens something within the Goddess Persephone. She feels no fear from his brooding presence. In truth, she’s never felt so alive. Every stolen moment together only confirms her instinct: he is meant to be hers. Such a powerful union suit will face opposition – from Olympus, her troubled betrothed, the Fates, even Hades himself – but she is determined to win his heart.

Sasha-Flower

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Tainted Final 1600x2400Even death can’t stop true love…

After over four hundred years as a Guardian, Durk Langdon rebuked it all. Walked away from everything when his mate, Jessica, was brutally murdered. Yet he has no recollection of anything since that gruesome day.

Nothing alleviates his longing for Jessica or his disdain for the Guardians until a former brother in arms joins him and his cause. Visions of his lost love start appearing in the most unlikely places, until Durk learns she survived.

But when he sets out to find her, demonic obstacles he never could have imagined tear them apart.

If only he had trusted her…

WhiteFeatherWasteland

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RULES

Spread the word about the cover reveal ~ How easy is that?

ENTER CONTEST HERE

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come join us at the event page to chat with authors and learn more about this great giveaway…

FACEBOOK CHAT

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Reserve your spot NOW!!

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Author Open MIC ~ Welcomes Sasha Summers

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It has been awhile since I handed over the MIC, but we are back online and I have a special guest today, Author Sasha Summers.  She has not one book but two that release a month apart.  Needless to say, she is furiously running the blog hop circuit.  Her second book, Hollywood Ever After was featured yesterday here at Wicked Romance– check it out.  I’m grateful to hand her the MIC, but first let me tell you a little about the author.

Sasha and I have an amazing amount in common. Balancing our family life, jobs and trying to fit in writing where ever we can. It is always a challenge and sometimes sleep wins out. I’m so happy to have her on the blog today, because we also share a common interest, the love of mythology and all things gods and goddesses. Sasha—Greek. Me—Egyptian. They have more similarities than you think, but the myths tell their tales in their own unique way.

Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

It’s said love can change a person. Medusa wasn’t always a monster…

Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She’s no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves… and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.

Ariston goes to war with a full heart… and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.

Poseidon will use Greece’s war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.

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So, Sasha.  Tell us a little bit about your new release, Medusa’s Love Story.  I always felt bad for Medusa.  Did she really deserve her fate?  The Greek gods can be unforgiving at times.  I would hate to be at their mercy and whim.  What inspired you to write about her?

Sasha:  Hi Jean. Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m delighted to visit with a fellow mythology fan! We need to stick together 😉

Medusa has always fascinated me – I’m a hopeless romance and tragedy addict and she seemed to represent both. I hadn’t planned to write about her. But I had a dream (I think this happens to a LOT of writer’s) that planted the seeds of my interpretation of Medusa’s story. Once I started writing, I could NOT stop. Not until the last page was done…

Is your book set in present day or the past?  What were the challenges in writing your story?

Sasha: I kept it historical. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted and it was a blend of history and fantasy. The challenge was writing the story, keeping it somewhat historically accurate (somewhat J), and remaining as close to the ‘known’ Medusa myth as possible. I know it’s fantasy, but I wanted it to feel authentic – if that makes sense?

I have always believed you have to stay true to the myth but also exploit the areas that are not well established.  What areas did you stay true to the mythological story?  Which did you exploit?

Sasha:  All of it. None of Medusa’s myth was changed. Ariston, the hero, is my addition – as well as most of the supporting characters – but Medusa’s fate remains the same. I tried to amp up the creep factor with the snakes, that even she was a victim to them. And I made her story about sacrifice versus revenge. In the end, Medusa is more human than most of the characters in the book… I think.

In your research did you find variations in the myth of Medusa or her curse?

Sasha: YES. There are bunches of different versions – everything from the region of her origin to whether or not she was always a monster to a lovely woman. But everything fell into place and I’m very proud of the story that emerged.

Tell me about Artiston?  A warrior guard against Poseidon?  Will he bargain with Hades?  Does he have a chance?

Sasha: He’s an elite warrior for the Greek army – an Ekdromoi. With the Persian invasion an inevitability, the Greek Council decides to place extra safeguards at Athena’s temple. Ariston reluctantly becomes Medusa’s ‘security guard’. When circumstances spiral out of control, Ariston willingly bargains with Hades to return to Medusa. As for the last question – you’ll have to read the book 😉

The Greek gods never play fair.  What is in story for Ariston and Medusa?

Sasha: All I’ll say is this is a tragic love story. Ariston and Medusa are tested at every turn. But they never falter.

Do you have a theme in your story?  If so, would you share?

Sasha: Yes. Love requires sacrifice… day-in and day-out. Not on this level of course… 🙂

Where can readers find more out about you and your book?

Sasha:

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sasha-Summers/213036208773108

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759214.Sasha_Summers

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sashasummers/

Twitter: @sashawrites

Webpage: http://www.sashasummers.com

What are readers saying about your book?  Do have a review/s you are absolutely proud of?  Yes, its okay to brag, if not I’ll do it for you 🙂

This will sound bad, but the greatest compliment I’ve heard is that I made someone cry. I don’t cry easily so, to me, that means they were affected by the book. What more could an author want? I mean, I don’t want to make anyone cry, but I can’t help but feel a little bit proud if Medusa A Love Story causes tears.

A couple of quotes I cherish:

“This book swept me away.”

“The story stayed on my mind for days.”

“This is exactly how I felt about Medusa.”

“I have read a few articles of late from movie producers and they have said they are running out of movie ideas. This I don’t understand with so many great books out there, could you imagine Medusa turned into a movie? If they kept it to your book as is it would be amazing.” – I LOVE THIS one – I am such a movie groupie so this is like… WOW!

Do you have an excerpt to share with readers?

Excerpt:

“You asked for an audience, you have it. Now tell me, where do you belong?” Hades’ voice was deep, emotionless.

Ariston swallowed. “Athens.” He met Hades’ gaze, but the God revealed nothing to him.

“Why? You died with honor and glory. Is that not what every soldier wants?”

“My wife…” His voice wavered.

Hades brow lifted slightly. “Lives. You do not.”

“She is in danger.”

“Earthly danger. She is no longer your concern, Ariston.”

“The danger she faces is not earthly, but far from it…” Ariston’s voice was hoarse, his desperation mounting. He took a wavering breath before he began again. “She is everything to me. I am proud of my death, but it means nothing if she is in peril. I must know.” Ariston kneeled. “I beg you. I beg you to return me to Athens.”

Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.

“Who is this wife?” Hades asked.

“Medusa of Athens.” He paused. “Now ofRhodes.”

Hades was silent, his dark blue eyes regarding him steadily.

“When I die—” Ariston began.

“You are dead,” Hades assured him.

“When I return…die again, I would serve as guardian to Tartarus. I am a skilled warrior, a skill I might offer you.” He spoke with confidence.

“You vex me,” Hades muttered, the slightest crease appearing between his eyes. “You offer this to me for a woman?”

Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”

Hades was silent again, his eyes shifting to the blue-white flames in the massive

fireplace.

“My words do not…adequately express the love I have for this woman. But I cannot leave her. She is at risk. I must return.” The words came without thought. How could he justify such emotion to a God who reviled affection or companionship? “AsOlympushas my arm and sword, she has my heart – a mortal, and perhaps weak, heart.”

The room was silent for too long. He would have to fight his way out…

“It is a weakness not reserved for mortals alone, Ariston of Rhodes.” Hades’ words were so soft Ariston feared they’d not been spoken. But Hades continued, strong and clear. “I will return you to your ship so that you may lead your men to victory. Too many have fallen from this war and I would see it end. When that is done, you may go to your wife.” He paused then added, “When you return to my realm, I will have your fealty.”

The God of the Underworld, Lord of Death, gave him mercy? Mayhap there was one God he might serve with honor.

Ariston vowed, “You have it.”

*********************

Purchase Links

Amazon Kindle (available in paperback as well) : http://www.amazon.com/Medusa-Story-Loves-Olympus-ebook/dp/B007WSV5JI/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

Barnes and Noble (available for NOOK as well): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/medusa-a-love-story-sasha-summers/1110296522?ean=9781937254513

Medusa Book trailer


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90fH7xoZiCo

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New Release ~ Hollywood Ever After by Sasha Summers

Book Blurb:

Happy Endings are for fairy tales. Or the movies. Not for real life. At least, not in Claire’s life. Even though she’s starting over, she knows better than to want too much this time. But when she falls, literally, into the strong arms of Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy Josh Wiley, Claire’s in for some surprises. Her plans for rest and relaxation are forgotten as one incredible night with Josh becomes two… And her heart begins to want him as much as her body. Will two kids, one bastard ex-husband, and Josh’s juggernaut career mean the end of their affair? Or can Claire find her happy ending after all?

InkSpell Link: http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/1/post/2012/03/hollywood-ever-after-cover-reveal.html

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Ever-After-Sasha-Summers/dp/0985148330/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341495273&sr=8-1&keywords=hollywood+ever+after

B&N Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hollywood-ever-after-sasha-summers/1110208518?ean=9780985148331

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Sasha is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It’s no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, ‘Greek Gods and Goddesses’ (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe. She’s been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she’s doing so. Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

To find out more about Sasha Summers stay tuned for her Author Open MIC interview here tomorrow at Wicked Romance!!

Learn about her other new release, Medusa, A Love Story.

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How it all began…

Come join my anniversary blog hop.

I’m over at Crescent Moon Press’ Blog reminiscing about the pitch that sold my manuscript.  The once titled Lion’s Flower found a new home and a new name, Soul Reborn.  See how it all started.

Don’t forget…

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Author Open MIC ~ Welcomes Ciara Knight

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I love getting to meet new authors, both new, old and in between their writing careers.  Everyone’s writing journey is different.  I’m always fascinated to hear the various stories.  Some authors were born to write, starting at a very young age.  Others went to school to learn the craft.  Some, like myself, evolved or were awakened in some way.

So, let me introduce Ciara Knight.  Let’s find out about her journey:

Ciara Knight always had a passion for storytelling. At an early age, she wrote several short stories and poems, and in college she started work on her first novel. It wasn’t until late 2008 that she returned to her true passion of writing. Over the past few years she has penned five novels and joined several professional writing organizations to better her craft.

When not writing, she enjoys reading all types of fiction. Some great literary influences in her life include Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Francine Rivers and J K Rowling.

Ciara is happily married and enjoys family time. She has learned to embrace chaos, which is a requirement when raising three boys, and utilizes the insanity to create stories not of this world including, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, and Young Adult Dystopian.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She’s backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.

Ciara, thank you for taking the time to be with Wicked Romance today and taking over the MIC. 

Ciara:  Thank you so much for having me here today, Jean. I’m so excited to chat with you and your followers. I’m curious to see what wickedness goes on here. 😉

Host:  When did writing become part of your life?  Can you describe that journey from the beginning to your debut novel?

Ciara: I wrote my first children’s novel in grammar school. Nothing that anyone could even read, but it kept me busy during summer break. I wrote some poetry in high school and short stories in college. It wasn’t until I was grown and married with kids that I focused on writing a real novel. I wrote my first one while sitting in car pool line, TKD practice, football field, and baseball field. It took a while, but once I typed THE END I was completely hooked. I wrote two more novels in half the time it took me to write the first. I started off writing Christian fiction and now I write fantasy and paranormal. I know what a jump, right?

Host:    Did your journey or focus change after that first book? How did that debut release influence your next novel and the several after?

Ciara:

I shelved the first book I wrote after many changes. After that, I took some writing workshops, and the second book that I completed was Rise From Darkness, which was released last month. It is a young adult paranormal, but the second book I wrote was released first, The Curse of Gremdon. Confused yet? I know I’ve been a few times on this journey.

Host:  You have several books out.  Can you tell us a little about each of them?

Ciara: Sure. They are all SO different.

Young adult paranormal series, Battle for Souls, has three full length novels and one prequel novella. Book I, Rise From Darkness is about a fallen angel with the hormones of a teenager, strength of an angel, and the self –control of a three year old. Gaby is a troubled young girl that lost her mother, has an alcoholic father, and soon discovers the world is full of dangerous creatures in which she may be one of them.

The Curse of Gremdon is a ‘spicy’ adult romance full of magic, love, lust, and sacrifice. In a world where marriage is forbidden, sex is only granted to male warriors, and the outer realm is full of murderous creatures. Tardon and Arianna risk the curse when they traverse the vast outer realm to retrieve serum form the Tree of Life. If successful, the Elders have promised Tardon the right to marry and Arianna the cure for her brother’s death fever.

I’ve also got a new young adult series that will release soon, The Neumarian Chronicles. The prequel Novella, Weighted, will be out in August.

  • The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself.  It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Host:  Okay, I’m going to ask an unfair question.  Out of all your books, what hero/heroine really spoke to you?

Ciara: I have a deep love for all my characters, but Tardon kicked my butt. He ordered me to write his story. That man does not take no for an answer. Of course, I’m not sure anyone had told him no before he met Arianna. 🙂

Host:  Pick one book.  Select 5 words that best describe your hero and then 5 words for the heroine.  Why do they make a great match?

Ciara:

Rise From Darkness

Alexander: Self-brooding, caring, loyal, guilt ridden, and determined

Gaby: Strong, independent, loving, lonely, and hopeful

They are both emotionally wounded. Only together do they become whole.

Host:  Where do you think the paranormal genre is headed?  What can we expect in the future?

Ciara: I think we’ll see more genre blending. My upcoming series, The Neumarian Chronicles is a mix of biopunk, paranormal, and steampunk.

Host:  What are you working on right now?  What can readers expect to see from you in the next year?

Ciara: I’m working on Book I of the Neumarian Chronicles, Escapement. Also, I’m working on the remaining books in The Gremdon Chronicles.

Host:  Will you be attending any conferences this year?  Or have any book signings/giveaways?

Ciara: I attended Romantic Times which broke the budget, but I hope to attend Dragoncon since it is local.

Host:  Where can readers find out more about you and your books? (Social/Web links)

Ciara: Website – www.ciaraknight.com, Twitter: @ciaratknight, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Ciaraknightwrites, Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5127753.Ciara_Knight, and Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ciaraknight/

Host:  Do you have a cover or covers you would like to share today?

Ciara: Here are the two first books of The Gremdon Chronicles and Battle for Souls series. Oh, I CAN’T wait to show the cover for Weighted, but I can’t yet. I hope to soon. 🙂

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Ciara, I want to thank you for sharing your time with us today.  Your list of novels is impressive. 

Keep up the great work!  Can’t wait for your new release 🙂

Readers, if you have a question for Ciara, please post below.

HAPPY READING!!

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Book Lovers Realm ~ 4.5 stars for Soul Reborn

Don’t judge a book by its cover, something magical could be hiding inside!

Google alerts had a great big surprise for me today.  The Book Lovers Realm gave Soul Reborn 4.5 star review.  Keri, the owner of the blog, had great things to say about the story and even shared it with her neighbor.  It’s the little things in life that just rock your socks off 🙂

See what she had to say…  The Book Lovers Realm

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Author Open MIC: Welcomes Cindy Young-Turner

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Hi everyone.  I’m so excited to introduce a fellow CMP author to you today.  I’ve had the great pleasure of reading her novel, and fell in love with her heroine.  Although she is here to guest post, I want to give you the opportunity to get to know her and her book.  This is a MUST READ.  At the end of her post, I’ll be asking Cindy some questions about her novel and what is on the horizon for her characters—so stay tuned.  You won’t be disappointed.

Bio:  Cindy has always been an avid reader and became fascinated by mythology and Arthurian legends at a young age. She quickly decided she enjoyed creating her own worlds and characters and set to work writing her own stories. She won her first writing contest at age twelve, a short story inspired by the style of Edgar Allan Poe. Branching her interests from mythology to classic supernatural tales to medieval history and then to fantasy seemed to be a logical progression.

A native New Englander, Cindy currently lives in the Mid-Atlantic region with her family and each year wishes for more snow. You can visit her at her website at www.cindyyoungturner.com.

So, Cindy.  The mic is yours….

Guest post—A fantasy author finds inspiration in the past

Thanks for having me, Jean! One of the hardest parts about writing fantasy is that I can’t go to a particular location where my novel is set or look it up on the internet to do research. My novel takes place in a world I’ve created. Granted, it’s a medieval-based setting, so some things may seem familiar, but it only exists in my head. The closest I’ve come to experiencing my world is at our local renaissance festival and during a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.

My husband and I took a belated honeymoon to Scotland. It was our first trip out of the country and a dream vacation. I’ve been fascinated by Scotland for a long timethe culture, the history, the music, the beautiful landscape. With only a nine day trip, we had to carefully pick and choose what we wanted to see. We spent two days in London, then took the train to Edinburgh for a couple days and then another train ride to Inverness. None of it disappointed. Edinburgh was an amazing city. We spent a good amount of time on the Royal Mile, which was a bit touristy, but I loved the cobblestone streets, the old buildings, and all the history that had been preserved.

While we were in Edinburgh, we took one of those ghost tours that seem to be all the rage these days. I’d never heard of a ghost tour before (this was a number of years ago), but a friend who had been there highly recommended it. We had a choice between a tour during the daytime that ended in a pub or one at night that ended in a cemetery. Ha, of course we picked the tour ending in a pub. I’m so glad we didn’t do one at night because frankly, I was terrified. Lots of creepy things happened on the old streets of Edinburgh, and lots of terrible punishments were meted out. For example, the infamous body snatchers Burke and Hare killed people and sold their bodies for medical dissection in the 1800s. Burke was hanged, publicly dissected, and souvenirs were made from his skin. His skeleton is displayed in the University of Edinburgh, and we were told it’s set at an angle so his soul would never be at rest. Some of the creepiest stories we heard during the tour were about Mary King’s Close, where supposedly when the plague swept through in the 1600s people were boarded up in their homes and left to die. This is one of the most haunted places in the city and has been featured on some of those “most haunted” shows. Just thinking about it still gives me chills. The tour also took us to the South Bridge Vaults, which had recently been opened up. People lived and worked in these underground passages in the late 18th century. Conditions in the vaults were horrific, and it became a slum and a red light district and as a result also attracted all sorts of criminals. We went through some of the vaults on the tour. Imagine walking through dimly lit tunnels with the guide warning you not to lose the group and oh, don’t worry if you hear heavy footsteps behind you because sometimes people do. Yikes. No one in the group wanted to be a straggler. After that I was ready for the pub and a good stiff drink.

Now this isn’t to say that my novel is full of infamous murderers, cruel punishments, or haunted underground passages. Well, on second thought, some of that does apply. I certainly pictured the narrow, winding cobblestone streets of Edinburgh when I was writing the story. In the town where the primary action of the novel occurs there are a series of tunnels that run beneath the streets. These tunnels play a key role and were inspired by the vaults I went through beneath Edinburgh, although mine don’t have such a sordid history (the crime and prostitution happens above ground instead). And since this is fantasy, the tunnels also have a bit of magic, and it’s a creepy otherworld kind of magic tinged with fear. In my world, danger lurks around every corner, especially the shadowy ones.

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Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she’s sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.

After she’s rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic-long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor-still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.

But Sydney’s fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem’s success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?

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INTERVIEW WITH CINDY YOUNG-TURNER

1.  Where do you turn to for inspiration?

I love listening to music when I write and picking music that matches the mood of the scene. I listen to a lot of Celtic music and movie soundtracks (especially the Lord of the Rings soundtracks), as well as harder stuff like Godsmack, Evanesence, Black Sabbath, and Nine Inch Nails. And because part of the novel involves people rising up and fighting oppression, I’ve also been inspired by events in history like the Scottish struggle for independence and the French revolution. I guess I like to root for the underdog.

2.  Okay, now a question for my next favorite thing—your heroine, Sydney.  Tell us about her and what motivates her?

I adore Sydney. She’s very flawed and very human. I think to understand her you have to understand where she comes from, that she’s lost the person dearest to her and has had to fend for herself on the streets. The town of Last Hope is not a nice place. She’s done whatever she had to do to survive. At the beginning of the novel, she has a hard time trusting people and carries around a lot of guilt and doubt in herself. But she also has a moral core that her father figure instilled in her, which has remained despite the difficult choices she’s made. During the course of the story she has the opportunity to finally uphold those principles and realizes she really can fight for what she believes in and make a difference. When she meets Willem, the man who is trying to gain the throne and oust the oppressive Guild that has been the source of so much pain for Sydney personally, he gives her hope that change is possible. It’s really a turning point for her. And yeah, there’s some romance there also.

Sydney undergoes a tremendous amount of growth by the end of the book, even though she makes plenty of mistakes along the way. I hope readers can sympathize with her and will be able to understand and be inspired by her struggle to overcome her past and fight for a better future.

3.  In five words, can you describe the hero, Willem.

Determined, confident, inspiring, compassionate, chivalrous

4.  What is the future for Willem and Sydney?

Well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. I’m working on the sequel to Thief of Hope now. The adventures continue, and as the stakes get higher, the dangers increase, for both Sydney and Willem. I think the question isn’t whether they want to be together but whether they CAN be. Can a pickpocket/street urchin become a queen? And does she want to be? Can love conquer all? Honestly, I won’t know until I finish writing the book because I’m the kind of person who writes to find out what happens in the story. The jury is still out on this one. My characters often have a way of surprising me, though, so anything is possible.

5.  Where can readers find you?

Website: http://www.cindyyoungturner.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Young-Turner/206268086074718

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4882750.Cindy_Young_Turner

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorCindyYT

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Thief-Hope-Cindy-Young-Turner/dp/0982820070/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_3

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thief-of-hope-cindy-young-turner/1031233191?ean=9780982820070&itm=1&usri=thief%2bof%2bhope

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Cindy, thank you so much for taking the MIC today.  I always love to hear how authors obtain inspiration in creating their worlds.  I fell in love with your book, its setting, and characters.  It’s one of those books that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the story with its sights and sounds.  I can’t wait for the sequel. 

Keep writing and happy reading to all!!

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Filed under Author Open Mic, Events, Guest Author, Uncategorized

Author Open Mic ~ Welcomes Elizabeth Cheryl

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I am so excited to introduce Wicked Romance’s next guest for Author Open Mic, YA author Elizabeth Cheryl.  Her debut novel ,The Summerland, is due out any moment now.  I can’t wait.  Elizabeth has an amazing heartfelt story of love, courage and determination. I wouldn’t do her story justice so I am glad she is here today to share her journey to publication with you.  Above are some snapshots of Elizabeth in Salem, MA (the setting of her book) and the individual her book, The Summerland, is dedicated– her mother

Take a look at this beautiful cover…

When Abigail Parker moves to Salem, Massachusetts, with her Aunt Bridgette, nothing makes sense from the moment she arrives. A familiar but unknown voice whispers words of reassurance. Her aunt’s behavior is confusing at best.

When Bridgette’s gravely injured, Abigail desperately seeks help from a spell book she found in her closet. But something goes terribly wrong. Abbey is hurtled three centuries backward in time, landing in a vastly different Salem.

It’s summertime 1692 – the infamous witch trials are in full swing and Abigail’s sporting pink nail polish and a tattoo. Abigail finds William, the source of the familiar voice and something much more. However, she must return to modern Salem to retrieve the spell book.

Can she do so in time to save her family and without exposing herself to accusations of witchcraft? Most importantly, how does she leave when she’s just finding love?

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Before we get to the interview questions below, I want to give Elizabeth the opportunity to tell her story, and the journey that brought her to this moment and time.  Get your tissues out, because I don’t think there will be a virtual dry eye out there.  When I first heard it, my breath caught in my throat. The amount of love that went into the writing of her book is astounding. 

Elizabeth, thank you for coming today.  Can you please take a moment to tell us your story and the significance of your journey?

 Hi Jean…First of all I wanted to start off by thanking you for including me in such a wonderful blog. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to work with such talented authors like yourself at Crescent Moon Press. Second I would like to acknowledge the loss of one of our own at Crescent Moon Press on Saturday. I just sadly read the news of Judi McCoy and we all will experience her absence in some form or another.

As for my story about how I ended up in such a wonderful family of writers is an interesting journey.  About 2 years ago I had a dream about a couple in the Seventeenth Century. They were young and so in love. I wanted to create a world for them to belong to and a story that would touch hearts as they touched mine. I had decided to write about what life was like for them during Puritan Times and the torture endured during the Salem Witch Trials. What would one do if the man or woman you deeply loved were to be hung in front of you and your children. The thought gripped me. I began researching more about those times and the stories of the accused. During this process I had a notion to have my main character, Abigail live here during modern times and somehow time travel back to Salem, Massachusetts where the story takes place.

I had just recently learned that my mom was ill, possibly cancer but we were not sure of the severity back then. As I created Abigail’s story it took on a very similar spin as my mom’s life. My mom was born in raised just outside of Boston in a town called Millis, Massachusetts. She was about a half hour or 40 minute drive from Salem depending on traffic. I spent countless hours with my mom who needless to mention was also my very best friend. We would sit together in her office as I wrote each page picking her brain about Massachusetts and its scenery, smell, people and so on. Each page I wrote became a part of us. Her past, a history lesson for both of us and a bond of a story that we began to fall in love with. I would write a page and hand it to her in anticipation to see if she laughed at the right parts or cried where I had hoped she would.

So many times over that 8 month period of writing the book she shared that, “I was a wonderful writer” and I would crack up laughing because I had never written a damn thing in my life. I figured she just really loved me…

As the book came to an end, I had written an 85,000 word novel and she had edited her first book. We were so excited with what we had done together. But as life seems to have its own plans, my moms cancer had suddenly worsened. On January 31, 2011 I had just finished the last chapter of the novel when I received a phone call from my mom that she was having trouble breathing. My mom had been diagnosed with Non-Smoking Lung Cancer during our process of writing the book. I drove quickly to her house which was only 7 minutes from mine but seemed like 70 minutes knowing she was struggling to breathe. I had called 911 on the way to her house to make sure they would be there when I arrived. After viewing her CT Scans of her lung our worst nightmares had come to life. My mom was given 2 weeks to live.

I stood motionless in the hospital room with my brother and sister. We had decided to take my mom home with hospice to my bothers 5 acre house at the top of the El Dorado National Forest. There we cared for my mom until 13 days later she passed away in our arms on February 12, 2011. I had painted her toes that day and read to her the first three chapters of the book hoping it brought her some peace. You see Abigail, my main character ended up in Salem after losing her mother to cancer. Before I had any idea that I would lose my own mother to the same fate as the novel unraveled.

The Novel is called The Summerland because according to Pagan belief that is the place where  the soul goes to rest before it is reincarnated into another human body for another life again on this planet. My mom had been Pagan most of my life. So this was a familiar concept to me.The day before my mom passed she was able to whisper a few words to me, her last words were, “I will see you in The Summerland.”

Those words run circles in my head as every day passes but aside from the irony of Abigail in my book and my mom with cancer there was another undeniable coincidence. My mom was very into earthly and spiritual things. She studied many religions but felt a deep connection with the more Pagan beliefs. With that came her appreciation for the cosmic realms of life including the moon. Being that it is one of the most fascinating things in the night sky it can easily become a favorite amongst paintings and jewelry and so on. Her favorite moon was the Crescent. It was her earrings and her pictures and rings…

When I wrote out my submission letters for publishers I was unsure of writing ever again. I lost my desire because she was not sitting by my side reading every page anymore. I had no one to write for. I only sent out 6 submissions at midnight one night. A day later I received a request for my manuscript and 4 days later I was signed with an amazing publisher, none other than its name being, Crescent Moon Press.

Thanks mom 🙂

You mention that your heroine, Abigail has suffered a similar loss.  Was it difficult putting your experience into words? Do you think your story will help other young adults understand how to cope with loss?

Yes, Jean it was very difficult. But you have to understand that when I wrote the novel my mom was still with me. I had never imagined what that type of pain could feel like. It wasn’t until I lost her that I actually could really relate to Abigail’s loss of her mom to cancer. After about a two month period of time, a time when I thought I would never write again was when I had to go through the manuscript and rewrite many parts of the book. From an actual perspective that was so hauntingly familiar to Abigail’s. I can only hope that from reading this story that it would give some peace of the healing process. 

Your novel The Summerland is scheduled to release next month, March 2012 and what a beautiful cover.  Not every author gets input into their own cover, but at Crescent Moon Press the authors get to communicate to the cover artist, key elements from their book.  Themes, symbols etc…  What input did you have in its creation?  Tell us what you love best about your cover and how best it represents your story?

Well the cover was an interesting project. When I first wrote the book, and Summerland was in its baby stages I knew Abigail was young and blonde. I pictured her in a flowing white dress amongst a field of flowers. When you look up the definition of The Summerland on Google many images are described, many that sound similar to heaven. Warm and full of flowers and nature. I pictured that for the cover, but I also pictured an Oak Tree as well. The Oak Tree was a symbol in the book as the tree where the accused were hung on Gallows Hill. I pictured a beautiful strong tree with its mighty branches, but its once strong and magnificent arms had been turned into a killing machine to hang innocent people. That tree was not meant for those purposes and it took away from its pride and beauty. I felt that was significant as well for the cover. Crescent Moon Press created a cover that was beyond what my mind could had imagined. I could not be more proud, it was everything my mom and I had discussed. I can only hope she is looking down to see the beauty we had envisioned together. 

What inspired you to write a YA story?  What do you find most challenging and fulfilling about writing for this particular genre?

 Hmmmm… My inspiration to write this story was my yearning to share with our generation of teens what life was like three hundred years ago. I took Abigail who was immersed in Facebook and iphones as most teens are and I slammed her into the Seventeenth Century. I felt it was important to explore life then compared to the freedoms we seem to take for granted now a days. Our history books only scratch the surface of what life was really like during Puritan times. How far we have come with our civil rights and how far women have come from being dunked in chairs or beaten with sticks for mis-spoken words. It was a harsh time to be a woman or to just be alive then.

I found the most challenging part of writing a young adult novel was tactfulness. I wanted to throw in some swear words every once in a while and maybe a steamy love scene but that was out of the question. I had to stay in the mind of an eighteen year old and that was difficult to do sometimes.

I love that this book travels back in time.  What a shock it would be for a modern teenager to end up in Salem, MA.  Without giving away any secrets… How does Abigail manage?

Haha…That’s a good question! How does she manage? Not very well I guess. She faces a lot of challenges and witnesses a society that is un-accepting of anything that is different, and lets face it, Abigail is very different. But one thing I can say is that she grows on this journey. As we all do in life, we will grow with her in this book and the next three sequels to follow….

Describe Abigail in five words or less…   What about William?

 Abigail in 5 words or less…. Naive, Passionate, Awkward, Caring, and on her way to becoming very strong.

William is Handsome, Well Mannered, Humorous, Compassionate, Sheltered

Do you see a little of yourself or your own children in Abigail?

I see a lot of myself in Abigail as far as her will to try to make a difference. She wants to change history and save the ones she loves. She is absolutely a gluten for punishment as I believe I can be that way and she loves with reckless abandonment. I might have a little of that too….Maybe…

The story’s setting is in Salem, MA.  What inspired you to use this location?  Have you been to Salem and do you have a favorite location you have been or would love to visit?

Well this is a heavy hitter question for me…I had not been to Salem when I first wrote the book. All the information I had gotten about the area I had to research through the internet and see through my moms eyes and her stories. We had a trip planned for last October to go there to visit Gallows Hill and Salem itself. It would be my first trip to the East Coast and Boston. We were going to see where her little house was and her high school. We had bought our plane tickets and were both so excited to go when the leaves were changing. She was so proud to finally share with one of her kids her home town. We were going to stuff our backpacks with food and go on adventures back there for about a week. But my little 4-year-old had gotten sick and I had to cancel our very special trip. She was devastated, she must had known she didn’t have much longer to live but never shared that disappointment with me. She passed away a few months later.

When I was offered a contract with Crescent Moon Press it was around the same time as the NEC Conference in Salem, Massachusetts. Not only was this conference right after I was offered my first book deal but it was in Salem!!! I knew I had to go. I flew out to Boston by myself in May of 2011 on a trip that was supposed to be with my mom. This was our trip, our time and extremely bittersweet…I cried all the way there on the plane because beside me was her ashes. I wanted to bring her on the trip but I also wanted to bring her home. I spread her ashes in Salem Harbor and in the Atlantic Ocean. I went on to Gallows Hill and most places she and I had discussed and I knew she was with me, just not the way we had planned.

I did have a chance to go back again just this last October 2011 for Halloween! It was amazing. I did tons of research on Gallows Hill. Walked Abigail’s street on Belleview Dr and even visited her coffee shop and bookstore from the book. It’s all really there in Salem. And the crazy part is I wrote all of that before I had ever been there. I feel and so does my family and dear friends that as I wrote the book everything that was in it has happened and is real…even finding true love..

Care to share some interesting facts from your research?

I can say one fact that I have learned is that they have said that the exact location of the 1692 hangings is unknown on Gallows Hill. There is a lot of information out there and I have made a commitment to myself over the course of my journey with this series, to find or come close to that infamous oak tree…I know its wishful thinking but I will have many adventures trying to find it.

Do you have a favorite author you would like to emulate?  Or one that has influenced your writing?

Thats actually kind of funny because as a writer I am not exactly inspired by a specific author, I am inspired by history. 

So, what do you have planned for your big launch?  Where can readers find you next month and the weeks to come?

The big awaited launch??? I guess all over Northern California. I am going to RT in Chicago in April 2012 and I am very excited about that. I have many bookstores in Salem that want to do launches there and carry the books and a few things planned locally in Sacramento. I had Sacramento News and Review approach me a few weeks back about doing an article and interview. It will be out the first week in March so that is some great promo and I’m very humbled by the opportunity. I have a few other things up my sleeve over the next few months so I will keep you posted…I am just honored at this point to be able to breathe life into this story. It has so much meaning to me and my mom and I want to make her proud. Everything I do is in her light and its all dedicated to her. She was my everything.

Your social links:

http://thesummerlandnovel.blogspot.com

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I want to thank Elizabeth for sharing her story with us today. It  takes a lot of courage to be able to speak about something so painful, as the loss of her mother.  Her and her mother’s journey inspires me and I have no doubt that Elizabeth will be successful in her endeavors.  Her mom’s legacy will live on in her writing.

I can’t wait to read Abigail’s story.  March can’t get here quick enough.  The Summerland releases next month.  Look for it on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

Also, I want to second Elizabeth’s acknowledgment of Judi McCoy.  She was a great mentor to those of us at Crescent Moon Press.  It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Judi.  Crescent Moon Press & RT Book Reviews have posted a tribute to Judi’s long-standing career, not only as an author but an avid mentor and teacher.  May we all send our love and prayers to her and her family during this great time of loss.

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Filed under Author Open Mic, Cover Reveal, Events, Guest Author, Uncategorized