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Cover Reveal: EXTREME MEASURES by Rachel Carrington + Giveaway

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Four years ago Erin’s life changed drastically. Her drug-addicted brother killed her parents, and her marriage disintegrated. Her husband, Matt,  agent, had done his duty when he’d arrested Stuart, but she’d been too caught up in her own grief to allow him to help her move through the shadows of pain.

Now Matt is back, but it isn’t to attempt reconciliation. Her brother has escaped from Attica, and Erin is his next target. Matt will stop Stuart by any means necessary. But Stuart is a desperate man, and desperate men will do anything to get what they want.

Thrown together by treacherous circumstances, Matt and Erin fight a battle to stay alive and possibly figure out how to put the pieces of their destroyed lives back together again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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I started writing years ago, and my first attempt was a contemporary romance that will never see the light of day. I think I may even have thrown it away by now. It was absolutely horrific as I knew nothing about well…anything to do with writing.

After that, I started writing fantasy romances about wizards and wizards, and once those took off, I segued to paranormal romances (hello, vampires and ghosts) and romantic suspense. I also write articles for various magazines, including The Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Magazine, Writer’s Weekly, Writing for Dollars, Absolute Write, and Funds for Writers.

I’m fortunate to make my home in historical Charleston, South Carolina. Beautiful city. Beautiful people. When I’m not writing, I love to read paranormal romance, romantic suspense, young adult fantasy and paranormal, create videos, shop, cross-stitch, cook, and drink lots of coffee.

Watch for it January 2013

You can find more about Rachel Carrington here: www.dawnrachel.com.

She also offers help to aspiring writers at her blog: www.dawnrachel.com/blog.

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Don’t miss out on Rachel’s giveaway

CLICK HERE TO READ INTERVIEW & EXCERPT

Giveaway/Challenge

Today, I’m giving away a copy of my newest book, Waking Up Immortal. All you have to do is answer this question from the Chapter Excerpt.

What was the name of the agent who was listening in on Chloe and Kier’s conversation?

To ENTER CLICK HERE:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

**If you have any trouble submitting your answers via the Rafflecopter, please email your answer to:

murray (dot) jeanm@gmail.com

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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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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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Cover Reveal ~ CRIMSON SUNRISE by Renee Rearden

Crimson Sunrise…

Saari Mitchell attends a Tueri conference in Las Vegas, Nevada to strengthen her bonds with Dhelis Guidry and Brogan Vincent—and see if they can make their three-sided relationship work. But when Saari and her vampire brother Mag’s lives are threatened, her trip to paradise soon becomes a surreal fight for survival.

Dhelis and Brogan’s psychic abilities are no help in finding Saari. Desperate to save their mate, they call in favors from the psychic and preternatural community, but the information leads only to more questions. Is the threat against Saari personal or part of a larger plan that threatens every human and Tueri’s existence?

Crimson Sunrise is the second novel in the Tueri Fated Souls Series.

Said of the first novel in this series, Moonlight Bleu:

“Moonlight Bleu by Renee Rearden is one of those ‘blow your socks off’, totally awesome, amazingly entertaining and, completely wonderful stories that make you want to yell about it, at the top of your lungs, from every roof top you can get to! Rearden’s talent is fresh and brings a new face to the world of the paranormal genre.” ~YzhaBella’s BookShelf

“Renee Rearden has exploded onto the paranormal fiction scene with this debut novel—Moonlight Bleu! The concepts in this novel are fresh and creative, and I look forward to seeing future developments…from an exciting new author to watch!” ~Digigirl’s Library

www.reneerearden.com

www.reneereardenblog.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/ReneeRearden

www.facebook.com/ReneeRearden

www.goodreads.com/ReneeRearden

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TASTE ~ Cover, Book Trailer & Excerpt

My favorite cover for 2012.  I’m so excited to bring you a little more taste of TASTE.

At Barinkoff Academy, there’s only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.


Song Credits: “Hunger” © Noelle Pico.
Full Download available at http://sheisnoelle.bandcamp.com

About the Author…

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world that she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master’s courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized that to be a writer, none of those things mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of your computer, writing. For more information on Kate and her writing, you can visit her website: www.kateevangelista.com

EXCERPT…

I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what I was seeing at first. A statue? ­My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts.  I didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.

“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who the boy was.

He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self-assuredness of someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.

I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled. My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch-black irises, like the other Night Students, but blue ice stared back at me.

“Human,” he whispered.

He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face. He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the way my body shivered.

Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.

“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.

He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and lilting.

Footsteps retreated behind me.

Luka reached out again.

It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled. I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he helped me stand.

“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my heart to the brim with comfort.

I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”

“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”

My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.

From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again. Recognizing the blue-black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta hadn’t come back to finish me off.

Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in his tense muscles vibrated into me.

“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.

I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.

“Phoenix.”

I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.

“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”

“I don’t think so.”

Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”

“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although, she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”

There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t funny.

“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.

Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”

Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.

Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him? I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?

Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic. The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.

Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he said formally.

Luka nodded once.

Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be shared on a later date.

Links…

Author Website: www.kateevangelista.com

Twitter: @KateEvangelista

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kate-Evangelista/165693410143202

Find Taste on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13484226-taste

Crescent Moon Press page for Taste: http://crescentmoonpress.com/books/Taste.html

Happy Reading!!

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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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Cover Reveal: BREATHLESS by YA Author Cole Gibsen

Obituary-reading emo girl Edith Small is broken – the end result of forcing herself inside a mold that doesn’t fit. All she wants is to conform to her strict sergeant stepfather’s rules long enough to make it to graduation day. But a boat accident threatens to unravel the life Edith has worked so hard to keep. After waking up in a hospital with a lacerated shoulder, Edith fakes amnesia. Because admitting she received her injuries from a blue-haired girl who breathes underwater is all the reason Sir needs to send Edith on the first bus to military school.

Safe at home, Edith struggles to put the nightmare behind her. But the mysterious creatures that live in the ocean aren’t about to let her forget. After meeting Bastin – a strange boy with silver hair and black eyes – on a secluded dock, Edith learns about the war raging undersea to end human existence. A war that Edith, unwittingly, has become the key to winning.

In a world where death is an ever-present shadow and motives are as dark as the bottom of the ocean, Edith must decide if her life is worth risking for a love that can’t survive past the shore.

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Cole Gibson:  Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.  It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

When Cole Gibsen isn’t writing fiction for young adults she can be found shaking her booty in a zumba class, picking off her nail polish, or drinking straight from the jug (when no one is looking). Cole currently resides in the Greater St. Louis area with her husband, daughter, and one very cranky border collie.

Find her here:

Author Homepage

Goodreads

Facebook

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 This cover is incredible.  I think it captures the book’s title perfectly, not to mention the feeling each of us had when we were in high school– in over our heads, drowning in expectations, struggling to discover who we really were…

Cole’s novel is due out this spring.  Add it to your TBR on Goodreads.  You won’t want to miss this one!

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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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Cover Reveal: AWAITED by Lynn Rush

Awaited is the second book in the Wasteland series by Lynn Rush.

Release Date: May 2012

The voice is a powerful thing…

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Russell Leonard is a centuries-old Guardian who’s lost faith in his purpose. So when he’s charged with procuring the first female Guardian in over two centuries, he can only hope it’s the red-headed beauty who’s been haunting his dreams for months. And if it is, he intends to claim her as his. But when he finds his dream woman, Annabelle is mute and bears no Guardian’s Mark.

He soon realizes she’s been tainted by an ancient evil. Russell must somehow release the secrets trapped within this delicate, mute beauty, to help her tap into the only weapon powerful enough to silence a millennia-old demon—her voice.

Add Awaited to your Goodreads to-read shelf

If you haven’t read book I, Wasteland, I highly recommend you do.  It is a fabulous tale about good versus evil and the second book will no doubt prove to be just as compelling. 

Happy Reading!!!

Jean

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Author Open Mic ~ Welcomes Rachel Firasek to the Mic

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Host Jean:  Okay, before I hand the mic over to Rachel let me tell you a little bit about her.  I ran into Rachel at the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal RWA chapter loop.  We pitched together during an online pitch session and became fellow Crescent Moon Press authors.  You may have heard of Piper’s Fury and if you haven’t you probably will down the road. The book is great. 

Well, she didn’t let sleeping dogs lie, because she has charged full steam ahead and released another three book series, The Curse of the Phoenix from Entangled Publishing (which has amazing covers, by the way).  You can find her collection of books on her Amazon Author Page.  In addition, Rachel owns several blogs, Romance Cafe & Sassy Street Sirens, and has a web presence out there to rival any of  the best selling authors.  I get tired just watching her.  I don’t know how she does it all.   Please note, she hasn’t even hit her anniversary date for Piper’s Fury.  We’re talking less than a year.  I wanted to preface her post to let you know this girl knows what she is talking about when it comes to time management.   

Bio:

Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam. Her curiosity about mythology, human nature, and the chemical imbalance we call love led her to writing. Her stories began with macabre war poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales, before she settled on a blending of the two.

Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and barking dogs, with her husband and children. She entertains them all with her wacky sense of humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s dance moves.

She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call life. You can find her where the heart twists the soul and lights the shadows… or at www.rachelfirasek.com .

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

FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-Firasek/175543929127527

Please stay tune, as Rachel has answered some questions about her upcoming release, The Last Beginning (Feb2012)

Rachel. I pass you the mic. 

Rachel:  So, when Jean so sweetly asked me to come on here, I worried over what I’d blog about. Hmmm….when I was on my last two blog tours I ran out of things to say and then it came to me. Write about what you know really well. Well, I know how to time manage—sort of. 🙂

I’m going to share with you how I made it through simultaneous drafts/revisions/edits/and blog tours without losing my sanity. Whew. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did it—or even if I did.

If you find yourself in a similar position, no matter what you’re working on in your life, here are the steps to stay sane.

  1.  Prioritize every aspect of your life—even the kids and hubby. Seriously, there were days when I’d look at my kids and ask, “Is this something we have to do/handle/discuss today?” They learned really fast that they had to give me a rating of importance. And, it taught them how to handle some of their own problems without running to me for everything. My kids are older, so this worked for them.
  2.  Let your extended family/friends/random strangers that you play games with on FB know that you’re not intentionally ignoring them, but you’re super busy and when things settle you’ll be back in touch. It’s very important that you do this when you see the tornado heading your way and not while you’re in the midst of the wind. I did it backwards and what ends up happening is you alienate yourself because you’ve forgotten to take a moment and explain your situation.
  3.  Learn your limits. I had to stumble through this one too. I thought I could hang all nighters for my deadlines and still go in to the day job. Uh, no, I’m not 20 anymore. So, I had to learn to let others know when I’m sinking. It’s a hard thing to do, but it’s better to reach out and let your editor/boss/etc…know when you aren’t coping than it is to totally fail. Many times they can help you find solutions.
  4.  Time manage. This is another one that I just totally failed at. See the trend here? Learn that yes, social media is important, but not if you don’t finish your X on time. So, make the few moments you tweet/post/blog more impactful. And, instead of talking to 25 people…limit yourself to 5 for the day. When you hit your quota, say farewell and move along. Or use these as a reward for hitting a goal.
  5.  As far as the work….well, the truth is…if you’re going to work on multiple projects at one time with a deadline for each, you will have no life. None. Be ready for it. J If you go in expecting to never see the mall until you’re finish, that Starbucks was only a dream, and your bestie will only be allowed a two minute phone convo on a commute, then you’ll be ready for anything. Expectations can make a world of difference in this life.

Jean, sweetie, I hope this helps. I know it’s probably not what you were looking for, but looking back at this year, it’s all a blur of sweat and tears. J But, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything in the world. Best wishes and thank you so much for having me on.

Host Jean:  Rachel thank you so much.  I admire your ability to accomplish so much and now you have shared that secret with readers and fellow authors.  So, Rachel isn’t out of the hot seat yet. Let’s talk about your upcoming release, The Last Beginning.

Though she’s always hated being a phoenix, Sadie has to admit immortality has its advantages. She’s seen and done more in the last 150 years than she’d ever dreamed of, but she can’t get past the fact that Osiris has done nothing but manipulate her and her fellow phoenixes.

Or that, when her last incarnation as a phoenix comes to a fiery end, the fire slowly begins to consume her body.

Sun god Osiris is ashamed of his role as ruler of the Underworld, but he unless he can figure out how to save Sadie, that’s exactly where she’s going to end up. Permanently. Terrified he’s going to lose her, he takes her on a hunt for The Book of the Dead, which is the only way he knows he can save her—even if it means she’ll hate him forever.

What challenges are there when writing a novella versus a novel?  How do you overcome these challenges?

Rachel:  Oh, good question. Well, I think the biggest challenge is getting the character right in half the space and not having the reader feel cheated. The way I do this, is to keep the plot very simple. I keep my leads together as much as possible and I make sure that the story always comes full circle. Shhhh…don’t spread my secret.

Host Jean:  Okay, you’ve hit one of my favorite areas of Egyptian Mythology.  I love this theme of phoenixes. Tell us a little about the myth of the phoenix, as it relates to your book.

Rachel:  Oh, geez…share my research. I took the phoenix mythology from a Tarot flip, then did my research backwards. : P Osiris was a sun god, the phoenix was made of fire. “The Bennu was also considered a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris and the bird was often shown perched in his sacred willow tree.” http://www.egyptianmyths.net/phoenix.htm

This single line is really what sparked my interest and fantasizing about the bird. Check out the site and if you’ve read any of the books, you’ll truly know how weird I am and how far I can stray from an idea. 🙂

Host Jean:  Tell us a little about your heroine, Sadie… Who was she before she became a phoenix? How does that affect her as an immortal and how she sees the world today?

Ah, Sadie, my little American. Sadie is from the 1850’s originally and she did some not so nice things to make her way out to California. She’s a devout believer in the Man upstairs and struggles with her perceived sins throughout the book. She’s worried she’ll burn in Hell, even after Osiris promises that she won’t. These two make me smile.

Host Jean:  What phoenix is next?

This is the end of the line for my Phoenixes. I’m going to miss these ladies and maybe Osiris most of all. I hope you all enjoy the stories.

The Last Rising Book Trailer

“Firasek’s heroine will seize your heart and enchant your soul.”
~ Caridad Piñeiro, NYT and USA TODAY Bestselling author of the Sin Hunters series

And has been awarded a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick

Piper’s Fury earned 4 stars from RT, 5 Stars from Bitten By Book, The Romance Reviews and many others. Piper’s Fury is an Eppie Finalist.

Let’s open the MIC to the audience.  Throw some questions out there for Rachel!!  What are your time management strategies??  What has worked?  What has failed?

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