Tag Archives: promotion

Wicked Romance ~ Gets a Face Lift!

Over a year ago Wicked Romance was launched….

At first it was a means of getting information to readers about my new release, but it has grown since then to include author interviews, craft discussions, giveaways, guest posts, blog hops and author promotions (not just mine).  I love to promote other authors and Author Open MIC has been a huge success.  It was dire time Wicked Romance had a well deserved face lift, so my husband and I got to work on a banner and a new look for the site– one authors and bloggers would be proud to be featured on and I think we may have accomplished it.

We even made a button for the site to be grabbed by others.  It is on the menu bar on the right.  And while you’re at it, grab your self a virtual drink at our bar.  Take a sip of whatever you are drinking and help us celebrate our new look.

I would love to hear your feedback.  I have 5 Wicked Romance Tote Bags to giveaway to commentors (US/Canada).  Bring a guest and if they subscribe to Wicked Romance your name  and theirs will be entered twice into the drawing. Please have your guest notate your name or call sign in their comment post.  All subscription will be verified. 

Additional Entries can be obtained below:

Follow me on Twitter– +1 entry.  @wickedromance

Friend me on Goodreads– +1 entry 

Like me on Facebook– +1 entry

Post my Button on your site – +2    

So lots of ways to win!!  My website also received a face lift for my one year anniversary.  If you haven’t had a chance, check it out HERE!

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my fellow bloggers, authors, readers and subscribers.  Thank you! 

9 Comments

Filed under Events, Giveaway

Author Open MIC ~ Welcomes Sasha Summers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sasha:

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

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

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

Twitter: @sashawrites

Webpage: http://www.sashasummers.com

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

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

A couple of quotes I cherish:

“This book swept me away.”

“The story stayed on my mind for days.”

“This is exactly how I felt about Medusa.”

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

Do you have an excerpt to share with readers?

Excerpt:

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

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

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

“My wife…” His voice wavered.

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

“She is in danger.”

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

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

Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.

“Who is this wife?” Hades asked.

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

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

“When I die—” Ariston began.

“You are dead,” Hades assured him.

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

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

Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”

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

fireplace.

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

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

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

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

Ariston vowed, “You have it.”

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

Purchase Links

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

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

Medusa Book trailer


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

6 Comments

Filed under Author Open Mic, Cover Reveal, Events

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

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

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…

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

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

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

New Release ~ The Problem with Power

The Problem with Power, a debut novel by author Agnes Jayne, is now available!

pwp cover

Emily VonPeer hopes that she never meets the man of her dreams. For years, she’s been haunted by visions of an unknown lover destined to die in her arms. When her aunt’s death brings her home to her family’s estate in Upstate New York, she meets Nicholas Flynn, an agent of Paladin, an enterprise dedicated to the study and eradication of demons, and the hero of her nighttime fantasies. He arrives on her doorstep seeking answers for a slew of magically-related murders tied to the VonPeer family.

Although his intentions are suspect, Emily follows Nicholas into the investigation, hoping to spare him the fate promised by her premonitions – at least, that’s what she tells herself. When their exchange with a demon goes awry, Emily sustains an injury that threatens to turn her into a monster. Her transformation places her in the crosshairs of sorcerers, senators, and a seductive stranger who promises eternity.

Links:

Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/The-Problem-With-Power-ebook/dp/B008BKAUQA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341517349&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Problem+with+Power

Amazon (Paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Problem-With-Power-Agnes-Jayne/dp/1937254631/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1341517349&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Problem+with+Power

Books-a-Million (Paperback):http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=5415115920950&query=The+Problem+with+Power+by+Agnes+Jayne&where=All&search.x=0&search.y=0

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Filed under PROMO, Sales

SOUL REBORN Anniversary Celebration


How do you best celebrate an amazing journey that you never envisioned you would be on in the first place?

It has been a little over a year since the release of my debut novel, Soul Reborn. I’ve looked back over the last year and a half and remembered all the hurdles I encountered from start to finish. And, most importantly, those days of growth as a writer.

One thing that was unexpected was the amazing amount of support from fellow authors, writers, bloggers and readers.  I am grateful on many levels.

TO CELEBRATE:  My publisher, Crescent Moon Press, has agreed to place Soul Reborn on sale for $0.99 (original price $6.99) at All Romance eBooks for a limited time (July 1-15, 2012)

In the next two weeks, look for additional opportunities to win a print copy of Soul Reborn plus extra goodies.  My Anniversary Blog Hop will start at Crescent Moon Press’ Blog.  More links to follow.

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Filed under Events, Giveaway, Key to the Cursed, PROMO, Sales, Soul Reborn, Uncategorized

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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Buy a book ~ donations save kittens’ lives

A league of fabulous authors have written a collection of twenty-one cat-themed stories of dark mischief compiled by Patty G. Henderson (Author of the Brenda Strange mysteries). All proceeds raised from the sales from Dark Things II: Cat Crimes will go to no-kill cat shelters.  Buy a copy today!  Not only do you receive a great collection of stories, but you can change the lives of unwanted and lost felines.

For more information on The Cat House on the Kings

Check out the authors of Dark Things II

Book Description on Amazon:  A collection of tales featuring feline mayhem, murder and dastardly deeds. Vampire cats. Scoundrel cats. Daring cats. Killer cats. Cats you don’t want in your worst nightmares and cats you might want on your side against evil. Authors include Mary V. Welk, Patty G. Henderson, Patricia Harrington, Jim Silvestri, Ken Goldman, Shanna Germain, Anna Sykora and dozens more. Intro by Robert W. Walker. All proceeds from sales go to several cat sanctuaries across the USA. Enjoy over twenty-one cat tails and support a cat charity!
More author information…. 

Patty G. Henderson,  http://www.pattyghenderson.com/
J. D. Revezzo  http://harshadpassion.wordpress.com/

Mary V. Welks, http://www.marywelk.com/
Jim Silvestri, http://www.facebook.com/Jamesrsilvestri?v=wall

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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. 🙂

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

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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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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