Tag Archives: fiction

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.

4 Comments

Filed under Cover Reveal, PROMO, Uncategorized

Anniversary Blog Hop: I have a contract. NOW WHAT?

Last week on Crescent Moon Press’ Blog, I posted my pitch to my publisher.  It was my first and it wasn’t pretty, but I caught the eye of the editor and here I am today.  But what happened between then and now.  Boy, a whole lot!  (Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post and Crescent Moon Press’ Blog and be entered to win signed print copy of Soul Reborn, see details below)

I remember being so stunned by the contract offer.  It took about a month and then I received my first edit reviews and was surprised there wasn’t more red letters and highlighted sections.  I thought wow, maybe this won’t be so bad.  Little did I know the first edits were story structure and plot, which tends to be one of my strengths.  Let’s just say the second and third passes were bloody.  Don’t even talk to me about passive writing.  Ack!  I worked so hard to remove it, I will never make that mistake again.

I think the fabulous part of it all was that my editor was as much a mentor as she was my editor.  She did an amazing job.  I laughed at my own mistakes and learned some hard lessons, all of which have made me be a better writer today.  This is a tough industry and to say you must have tough skin is an understatement.  The key that made it such a great experience was the fact that I wanted her to be brutal, because it forced me to learn and change my habits as a writer.  It was very important not to take her feedback personally. She wanted this book to succeed as much as I did.

Of course I can’t help but share one of my editorial comments.  Like I said before, I did a lot of laughing at myself. A. LOT.

Not many authors share their faults, but what the hell– it’s my anniversary!

Editors comments on my CRUTCH PHRASES:  “You really, really, REALLY love the phrases “clenched teeth” and “ground teeth.” It seems like someone is clenching or grinding their teeth every page or so, sometimes more than once per page. We can’t have that. Delve deeper into the 98% of communication that is nonverbal and find more ways to show your characters’ frustration/irritation. I started marking the ones I saw about halfway through the manuscript. Globally searching for “teeth” and “jaw” should root out most of them. Have fun!”

Her comments inspired me to share my experience.  This is an archived post that I released shortly before my book was released.

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

What I learned from my editor in the first 60 days: “Oh, how I love to “grind my teeth.” Crutch phrases and everything else in between…

I picked my favorite lesson out of the list because I can’t help but laugh every time I see it. “Oh, how I love to grind my teeth” or as it were “Oh, how my characters loved to grind their teeth.”

Being a new writer has its challenges. It is a learning process every step of the way, and thank god for my editor, Heather Howland at Crescent Moon Press. She has held my hand through editing Soul Reborn and its journey to publication. I can’t thank her enough.

Yes, writing about emotion and the display of it is very difficult for a new writer. Whether it is inexperience or laziness, we use phrases over and over and over again. Apparently, my idea of showing frustration was teeth grinding and jaw clenching. My hero, Asar- Egyptian God of the Underworld, is a very intense character, angry and bitter. Poor guys soulless. He gets very frustrated with the heroine, Lilly. She is a serious distraction from his quest for vengeance. For as many times as he ground his teeth (67 occurrences) and clenched (19) his jaw, he would have nubs for dentition and TMJ by the end of the story. A dentist’s nightmare.

Lesson one: Find other body parts and gestures to display negative emotion.
As humans, non-verbal body language is a very important component of communication. It conveys how an individual may be feeling with or without verbal stimuli. It includes body posture, gestures, facial expression and eye movements. Research suggests anywhere between 60-90 percent of our communication is non-verbal. We process these non-verbal cues on a subconscious level. Astounding!

Whether we are using gestures, body posture or even the distance we place ourselves from another individual all conveys some meaning. Some unintentional gestures can act as a lie detector. Using these concepts in our writing empowers the characters, makes them real to the reader. Okay, easier said than done. Right?

How did I solve my problem? I decided I need to make some observations. What better place to pick up on negative non-verbal communication than the metro station in DC. Not a whole lot of verbal communication goes on between strangers in this environment and who wouldn’t be frustrated packed into a metro car with millions of other people invading their personal space.

Frustration cues
Arms crossed over chest
Rubbing/scratching the back of the neck/head
Running fingers through the hair
Short breaths exhaling in small puffs through nose
Clenching hands
Pointing one index finger
And yes, clenching jaw and teeth

Mix these gestures with facial expressions, body posture and verbal exchange and your character comes alive.

What is your favorite crutch phrase? What have you learned about yourself in your writing process? Please take a moment to share…

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So, there you have it.  From contact to release were some of the hardest days in my writing career.  Writing the stories are easy compared to tearing them apart and accepting your flaws, but in the end the reward was worth THIS…

To see my first cover:

Crescent Moon Press

 To announcing Soul Reborn’s release:

https://wickedromance.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/soul-reborn-available-on-kindle/

To reading my first reviews:

5-slipper review

To attend my first conference & book signing:

Thank you!!

Look out for more things to come. 

Leave a comment on the Anniversary Blog Hop posts and be entered to win a signed print copy of Soul Reborn!   (print- US/Canada only; ebook- international)

1st Stop:  Crescent Moon Press Blog

2nd Stop:  This Post

3rd Stop:  My first conference and Book  Signing.  Is that Lara Adrian?

4th Stop: Last day of Sale/Sunday, July 15th.  The Journey Continues: Book II

6 Comments

Filed under Craft, Key to the Cursed, Lessons in 60 days

Anniversary Blog Hop ~ Talent Tuesday Interview

I’m continuing my Anniversary Blog Hop today over at Author Sasha Summers’ blog for a fun interview.  Find out a little more about the Key to the Cursed series.

My favorite line from Soul Reborn?  Click HERE to find out

What is yours?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Key to the Cursed, Soul Reborn

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…

1 Comment

Filed under Events, PROMO, Soul Reborn

Midsummer Night’s Blog Hop ~ Asar welcomes Matty to Aaru

What hempen home-spuns have we swagg’ring here, so near the cradle of the fairy queen? Puck, Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Blog Hop has high hopes of honoring the 2012 summer solstice with a character interview spectacle. Characters will be interviewed not by author/reviewer bloggers…but other characters. The twist…the characters will be paired by lots drawn out of a hat.

See participating authors, characters and links below….

Jean Murray + Wendy Russo

Asar, Egyptian God of the Underworld, desires vengeance at all costs against a malevolent goddess that stole his soul. Meanwhile, he serves as judge, jury, and executioner for the souls seeking refuge in Aaru, Paradise Isle of the Underworld. Seventeen-year-old Matty Ducayn, an unruly math-minded genius and occasional smart ass, may offend Asar in three seconds flat. Or maybe not.

Gate to the Afterlife

The fun continues with our character interviews….

Asar paced the short slab of sandstone walk in the garden.  His gaze was met by smiling green eyes.

“You are going to wear a hole in the garden path if you keep this up.  Why are you so nervous anyways?”

He stopped and sat next to his wife on steps and looked out over the green expanse of flowering bushes and trees. Lilly leaned against his shoulder, which prompted him to wrap his arm around her waist and tug her closer to his side. “I have no idea. I have faced down harden criminals without blinking an eye, but this boy, Matty…” Asar shook his head and smiled. “I like him very much. He is curious and is not swayed easily by my presence. Much like you on the day you stood up to me in the tunnel.”

She chuckled. “I like Matty already.”

“You would.” He brushed his thumb over her smooth pale cheek. “He has gotten me thinking though. Have you given it any thought of having our own children?”

“Asar, I…”

The familiar weight of energy press in around them. Black smoke rose from the floor. Matty’s physical form solidified out of the air, shadowed by his brother, Kamen.  Asar stole one last glance at Lilly before rising to his feet. He would have to wait for his answer.

“Matty,” Asar said extending his hand for the boy to grasp, more out of need to stabilize him than a friendly greeting. “The dizziness will pass quickly, just keep breathing.”

“The air is sparkly,” he said breathlessly. The boy blinked his eyes.

“Here let me help, Matty.”  Lilly brushed her hand over his sandy blonde hair. “It’s not easy getting your molecules scrambled. It took me awhile to get used to it.”  His wife’s ability to heal would quickly make the boy feel human again.

“That’s a great trick…Lilly, is it?”

She smiled. “It is very nice to meet you.  Asar has told me much about your world.  I also hear you like astronomy.  Well, you’ll get to see the stars tonight.  Orion’s belt, Ursa Major and Minor.”

“Northern hemisphere constellations!” the boy said excitedly. “That means Mars and Saturn will be on the western horizon at dusk. Leo and Gemini, too!”

Matty turned slowly in a circle. His eyes widened when the enormous sandstone palace came into view. The sun glinted off the gold shields on the front entrance. “Huh.”

“Is everything to your liking?” Asar inquired.

“I expected beautiful…paradise isle, you said.” Matty cupped his hand under a flower, but didn’t touch it. “Underworld…I wasn’t expecting sun.”

“Aaru is a reflection of the human realm, but the cycles are in opposition.  Morning here.  Night and evening there.”  Asar turned to Kamen and gasped his forearm. “Thank you. I will take things from here, brother.”

”He doesn’t talk much, does he?” the boy asked, glancing in Kamen’s direction.

“Kamen is not known for his idle conversation.” Asar shifted his gaze to Lilly. “Matty, you already guessed that this is Lilly.” His eyes lingered on his wife, but he was drawn back to the boy. “I want to show you something before we go into the archive.  Follow me.”

Asar led the group around the edge of the palace to the beach. The serpentine river of the Underworld snaked off into the distance. He knelt next to Matty and pointed. “See the temple there…just to the right of it is a large expansive gate that traverses the width of the river. Do you know what that is on the other side, Matty?”

With his eyes glued to the massive structure, the boy shook his head.

“Those are the gates that separate Duat from Aaru. The temple you see to the left is the Hall of Judges, where the souls come to be weighed. Those worthy will pass and live eternity in the isle you see across the river.”

“Some doors cannot be opened once closed,” the boy said quietly, “or closed once open.”

Asar knew a smart intellectual boy like Matty would understand and appreciate what he was seeing. No living human had ever gazed upon the gates, except maybe Lilly and her sisters, but that was an unusual circumstance in and of itself.  Asar gathered the phrase Matty spoke had a more personal significance than a time honored cliché.  “Your appraisal holds truth. Where did you come by it?”

“A conversation I had with Hadrian a while back,” Matty explained. “When he gave me his challenge, he also gave me the option of going home…to my grandfather’s ranch in the country, but cautioned that some doors cannot be opened once closed.”

“Ah, carpe diem. Seize the day,” Lilly added. “A very well served lesson. So which did you choose?  The challenge or going home?  You don’t strike me as the stay at home and twiddle your thumbs kind of guy.”

Matty snorted.  “Home’s nice,” Matty said with a nod. “My dad’s more concerned with consequences.”

“I only saw a small sliver of your world. Can you tell me more about it and its King? King Hadrian, right?” Asar pressed.

“Hadrian’s got a lot of layers,” said Matty. The boy met Asar’s gaze for the first time since walking onto the beach. “I can tell you this because we’re here. At home, I’m bound by this thing called The Privacy Act. Discussion of the king’s private affairs is a quick way to earn 18 months in jail.”

“No first amendment rights? I’m not down with that.” Lilly scowled.

“You need not worry, Matty. Your transgression is safe with us,” Asar joked, hiding his own concern over the matter.  Even he would not be so harsh and that was saying a lot. Asar headed up the steps from the beach to the Palace hall. Matty followed at his side and appeared to be lost to his own thoughts.

“There are four Hadrians…and which one you get depends more on who you are than him. In Old World kingdoms, being the king was the greatest honor, but in Columbia…Hadrian’s not just the king. He’s the president of the assembly. He’s the prime executive officer of Steer Industries…the company that facilitated my ancestor’s migration. It’s not taught in school, but sources my schoolmasters would consider disreputable say that one man having all that power is not good for society.”

“We have our own problems with certain individuals wanting to dominate.  I’ll join the merry band of disreputables in saying tyranny is bad for society. Even the Pantheons are not set up with one ruler. Asar shares rein with the Mother Goddess.”

“Hadrian makes the risk hard to see. Past the glamour and the guardians, he’s rather boring. He works 16 hour days, comes home nightly to an empty house. He cooks his own supper, cleans his kitchen, and goes to bed. On his rare days off, he reads, naps on his couch. Once he took a sledgehammer and demolished his bathroom, but other than that, his house is exactly as his father left it almost 18 years ago. In a word, I’d call him lonely.”

“The King has shown interest in you. What about your natural father?  He is a general?” Asar asked.

Natural…” the boy scoffed with clear sarcasm. “Centuries ago, our first Assemblymen were the officers of the January Black, the ship that brought our ancestors to Aventine and now lays at the bottom of our bay. When the need arose for someone to oversee the staff of the capitol hill, they called that man ‘commandant.’ Today, my father is that man.”

“There must be expectations of you. It has not left you much room for fun, has it?” Asar asked.

“Oh, I’ve made time for fun,” Matty told them. “My fun is what caught Hadrian’s attention.”

“Tell me of the quest your King has sent you on?” Asar knew better than to think the boy had chosen home over the challenge set before him.

“In Columbia, it is nearly impossible to work for the government without a diploma from the Regents’ School, so when one of my stunts got me expelled, it pretty much ruined any chance I had of living up to the expectation you mentioned.  Not that I cared. I was perfectly happy to go to my grandfathers, but my admission was sponsored by Hadrian, so I had embarrassed him as well. Or I would have, if he had cared, which as I learned that night, he really didn’t. He offered me a Regent master’s diploma…which would qualify me to work in any government office I wanted…if I answered a question.”

Asar pulled to a stop and looked down at young boy. Lilly clasped his hand and squeezed. “What question would be worth what he offered you?”

“What was January Black?” The boy replied. “On the surface, it’s a silly question. It’s a ship, as I mentioned before. But the catch to Hadrian’s challenge is that the answer must satisfy him, and that’s not the answer he wants.  Every road I’ve followed has led to black holes and locked doors.”

Asar guided his young guest to two large ornate gold doors with crystal handles.  “Perhaps you are here for doors you can unlock?”

The boy looked at Lilly anxiously, then back to Asar. His hands fiddled in front of him. “I should mention, um…I uh…I have a…biological response to the smell of old books.”

“I should introduce you to my sister, Kendra.  She gets high off old book smell.  You two could balance each other out.” Lilly laughed.

Asar guided the doors open. Matty held his breath and walked in with his eyes closed. After a moment, he blew out his breath and opened his eyes. With mouth gaping Matty slowly shuffled down the center aisle of the archive.  Large statues rose from the thick black stone and shoulder the massive arched ceiling. Hieroglyphics etched into the ebony marble told a story of a past long since forgotten.  Rows of books too many to count lined the outer walls of the expansive room. Only a few wooden tables stood off to the side.  The most impressive pieces lay in the middle of the room, relics saved from the ruin in the human realm.  Treasures of the pharaohs.  Treasures of earth.

“Two-point-seven-one-eight-one…” Matty mumbled off a stream of numbers.

Asar looked at his wife for a clue of what it meant. She shrugged.

“It’s like Hadrian’s library went supernova.”

“Do you see something that interests you?” Asar asked.

“Everything,” the boy said greedily.  Asar was surprised at the amount of sorrow hidden beneath the boy’s excitement. But then again, he only had a few hours to explore. Matty’s disappointment evaporated, his attention claimed by an object on display. A sextant, a device used by sailors to find their way at sea. “I’ll settle for holding that in my hands,” he said.

“Absolutely!  Take as much time as you want, Matty.” Asar watched the boy’s facial expressions. They were nothing short of reverence and awe.  This boy was truly special. The warm press of his wife’s hand on his arm drew his attention away for a moment.

“You look sad,” she said, as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her back against his chest. He could still see the boy conversing with the sextant.

“Do I?”

“You’re worried about him.”

“Sorry, I did not mean to burden you.” He should have known that Lilly would feel his concern through their bond. It was a blessing, but also made it difficult keeping feelings private.

“Do you think King Hadrian’s challenge is a ploy?” Lilly asked.

The same question had been bouncing around in his own head.  Asar held his tongue.  He did not want to think the King would abuse his power and put the boy at risk. Gods know, he had witnessed Kings behaving badly over several thousand years of human history.  Even the Pantheons of the gods were not immune to it.  Not a safe time to raise young ones, he thought sadly.

There were no certainties, but one– Matty finding the answer to his question.

Book of the Dead

Wendy Russo is a Big Horn Basin girl transplanted in South Louisiana. Her writing draws from philosophy, pop culture, classic literature, religion, art, anthropology, math, and science. She enjoy writing inquisitive and introspective characters. I like slow reveals and snowballing climaxes. Her novel, January Black, will be released January 2013 by Crescent Moon Press.

January Black….

Sixteen-year-old Matty Ducayn is a disappointment to everyone who knows him.  As the son of The Hill’s commandant, he is expected conform to a strict, unspoken code of conduct. Small acts of defiance over years—like playing in the dirt and walking on the grass—have earned him a reputation for being unruly, but it’s his sarcastic test answers that finally get him expelled from school. Instead of punishing him, King Hadrian offers Matty a diploma, with a catch. He must answer a question: What was January Black?

With the help of Iris, a gardener on his father’s staff, Matty takes his quest beyond The Hill’s walls and tightly controlled media. But trying to solve the puzzle puts him on a collision course with the Janus Law, a royal decree mandating death to those who trespass in a forbidden garden. Has Hadrian set him up from the beginning to lose?

*****

Jean Murray, the owner of Wicked Romance, was born and raised in a small town on the east coast. In her pursuit of a nursing degree, she aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. One of the benefits of her membership in the Armed Forces, she has had the opportunity to travel and live in different parts of the world and the United States. Her travels abroad have given her the opportunity to experience different cultures. It inspired her to delve into Ancient Egyptian myths and legends for her debut novel, Soul Reborn, book 1 in the Key to the Cursed series from Crescent Moon Press, now available.

Soul Reborn….

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.

CLICK HERE FOR MATTY’S INTERVIEW OF ASAR!!

MORE AUTHORS.  MORE CHARACTERS.  MORE INTERVIEWS!

The Interviews!


The Interviews!


Gregor Caine + Circe
(Christine Ashworth & Claire Gillian)

Sydney + Poseidon
(Cindy Young-Turner & Sasha Summers)

Caleb + Arland and Kate
(Kinley Baker & Krystal Wade)

Leigh Baxton + Micah Fuller
(Lindsay Loucks & Diane M. Haynes)

Shayla Dormyr + Kara Magari
(Raven Bower & S.M. Boyce)

Kellyn O’Brien + Julianna
(Louann Carroll & Siobhan Muir)

Ivory + Sara Wiley
(Rebecca Hamilton & Sandra Bunino)

Xylia and Landon + Avant
(Avery Olive & Kary Rader)

Asar + Matty Ducayn
(Jean Murray & Wendy Russo)

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Filed under Events, Guest Author, Key to the Cursed, Soul Reborn, Uncategorized

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. 🙂

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

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!!

11 Comments

Filed under Author Open Mic, Guest Author

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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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 Hildie McQueen +Giveaway

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Today, we have a very special author who at the end of this has a special treat:

ONE FREE COPY OF DESPERATE BETRAYAL. 

I’d like to introduce Hildie McQueen. 

Hildie loves the strange and unusual, pair that with humor and you’ve got an idea of what her writing is like.  Besides writing, her other occupation is as an administrative assistant in support of the Department of Defense.  She enjoys making sure action, intrigue, and sizzling romance add up to an escape that her readers won’t soon forget.  Hildie is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Chapter and Romance Writers of America.

She resides in the beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt.

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Hello everyone, so glad to be here today to introduce my book series. Thank you for stopping by.

One commenter will receive a free e-copy of Desperate Betrayal, the first in the series!

The Protector Series began with the idea to create a hero, who is different, who is immortal and has some vampire-like characteristics.

I had to come up with the guys that while they are born human, are born predestined to become immortal warriors. At the age of about twenty they grow taller and get bulkier. At the same time their eyesight and hearing become keener. Like vampires, they drop fangs when aggravated and have the ability to erase memories. Once they accept their destiny and go with Julian, their leader, they train in Rome with Gladiators to fight.   

I decided to bring the Protector from varied backgrounds, there is one Viking, a Moor, two Highlanders, a British Lord, a Spartan and their leader is a Gladiator. And of course each of them is drop dead gorgeous.

Lastly, they needed a purpose.  The Protectors spend their nights patrolling the streets of Atlanta, protecting innocents from demons and others out to harm them.

Now to the books!

 Desperate Choices, Novella, the prequel to Desperate Betrayal

When an Immortal demon slayer saves Rachel Andrews from certain death, her life changes forever.  An unbreakable bond with the handsome Protector, drags her into a world she never believed existed and has no desire to be part of.

The actions of one night drastically alter the course of his long existence.  Torn between his feelings for Rachel and his life’s calling, Roderick Cronan comes face to face with the fact that he is losing both.

Desperate Betrayal

When a beautiful woman in a dirty alley approaches Cyn Fraser, he is intrigued by the fact that she can see him for what he is, a demon slayer, and still dares to approach him.

Emma Blake, has to convince Cyn to help rescue her sister from powerful demons, she goes against every instinct and approaches him despite knowing that she is leading them both into territory so wrought with treachery, neither of them may survive. Will they overcome betrayal? And if they do, will it even matter?

Desperate Surrender

Wendy O’Sullivan’s life drastically changes upon discovering she is not human, and is charged with guarding the Key of Peace. To make matters more complicated, she reunites with the Protector she’s dreamed of since the day he rescued her from a demon attack.

Kieran Frasier, hasn’t kissed, much less loved a woman in over three hundred years, his heart firmly encased behind thick walls. The fierce immortal defends innocents from powerful demons, but can he defend himself from diminutive Wendy, who manages to get past all his barricades?

Faced with arranged marriages to others and battling demons that will stop at nothing to capture Wendy, will they be forced to surrender their chance at true love for the greater good?

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 INTERVIEW:

Hi Hildie.  Welcome to part II of the Author Open MIC where I get to throw some questions at you, especially now that you bated us with your oh-so-fabulous and sexy immortal warriors. 

1.     I read in a previous interview that Desperate Betrayal read very much like JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series (which I must say is my favorite).  Do you find inspiration in other authors who have paved the way for more male centric romance novels? 

I am always flattered when people compare my writing to her because she’s my uber-hero! I get inspired when I read great writing, when I laugh out loud or cry because of a specific scene.  Besides JR Ward, I love Gena Showalter, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Pamela Palmer, all of their series based on not only strong males, but also the relationship between the men.

2.     What do you think is the hardest obstacle in writing from a male perspective?  What is the easiest?

I’ve been surrounded by men my entire life, I was in the army for a while, then continue to work with the government, so I feel that I have a good perspective on the male point of view.  Whenever I don’t understand something or need to ask a question, I ask the guys.

3.     I love that your immortal warriors come from different time periods and cultures.  How do you decide what female character will make the best match?

That is a great question, what I usually do is contemplate and try to figure out the type of female that would either be my heroes exact opposite or a mirror image of him, only feminine. Sometimes it’s easy other times, its not so much so.

4.     Okay, you have some serious bragging rights as of late for Desperate Betrayal.  What do readers think?

I have received emails from people I don’t know to tell me how much they’ve enjoyed it and to ask about the sequel.  It’s been amazing that my debut novel has been so warmly received.  I just hope that I can keep them happy with the sequels.

Host interjects:  Now Hildie, you are being modest.  Okay, I’ll brag for you.  Desperate Betrayal was selected as READERS CHOICE at Gravetells in January 2012.  She was up against some stiff competition.  The READERS HAVE SPOKEN – they love her book.  Not to mention all the great reviews on AMAZON and GOODREADS.

5.     Where can readers find out more about you and your books? 

I blog regularly at www.hildiemcqueen.com.  There is also a tab on there for books, which I update regularly.

My Facebook addiction is another way to know what I’m up to, http://www.facebook.com/HildieMcQueen

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GIVEAWAY!!

You must leave a comment for Hildie to be included in the drawing, otherwise we won’t know where to find you 🙂 

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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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