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Interesting Ghostly Facts by Tracy Lane

The Sinful Sirens post is below, but please do check out Tracy’s post first and enter her contest!

I’d like to welcome Tracy Lane today, author of Paranormal Properties. She’s speaking of ghostly things and happenings, and of course, a little about her latest release. Don’t forget to leave a comment and enter her contest. Over to Tracy!


Paranormal Properties Button

I am Tracy Lane author of Paranormal Properties. The main character is Jake Weir, a 14 year old boy who realizes he can see and hear ghosts. Hauntings are most intense around children entering puberty, as kids this age are emitting immense amounts of energy. This is very true of Jake. He comes to terms with seeing ghosts even though he was a huge skeptic up until he met Frank Barrone, Dusks oldest ghost. I want to share some interesting facts about ghosts.

Most ghosts are happy, but some still cling to an emotional pain. Frank is a happy ghost, although he wants to find out who murdered him and where they buried his body.

They can make sounds that are audible. True, but Jake can hear Frank talk just like he did when he was alive. They have meaningful conversations.

Ghosts favor night due to the decrease in daytime energy use. Not true with Frank, he comes and goes all times day and night. He is not limited to night appearances.

Ghosts retain all the memories and emotions of their lives. True, Frank recounts several instances in his life with Jake.

Ghosts make friends with other ghosts from different eras. And they can also make enemies with same ghosts. You will see what I mean towards the end of the book.

If a spirit was a jerk while living, they will probably still be a jerk while a ghost. Frank has that holier than thou attitude and it comes out every once in a while. He is not a jerk though, just a bit on the pushy side.

Some alleged hauntings are actually a "residue," which is a past event that replays itself over and over. This actually happens in chapter four of my book but also has ghosts interacting with each other. This chapter was my favorite to write, I made the live world seem dead and the dead world very alive!

I hope I have taught you some things about ghosts you did not know, how they interact with our world and their own world. How some ghosts want nothing more but to be noticed by the living and acknowledged in our every day life. I also hope you enjoy my book.

Tracy Lane

Paranormal PropertiesParanormal Properties
Paranormal Properties Book One

Tracy Lane

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Pants on Fire Press

ISBN: 978-0982727171


Number of pages: 192

Word Count: 33,000

Book Trailer:

Amazon Print Kindle

Book Description:

Jake Weir, while on the set of his parents ghost hunting TV show, agrees to help a ghost investigate a 61 year-old murder.

Jake Weir is not like the other kids in Dusk, North Carolina. Then again, Dusk, North Carolina is not like other cities. Known as one of the most haunted cities in America, behind Salem, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana, Dusk is ground zero for Jake’s ghost hunting parents.

The Weir family has arrived in Dusk eager to scope out some of the town’s 127 reported "paranormal properties," which just happens to be the name of their own ghost hunting show: Paranormal Properties. What Jake doesn’t know, and what his parents could never imagine, is that Jake can see ghosts! And hear them. And talk back to them! This talent comes in handy when he runs into Dusk’s oldest, most famous ghost: one Frank Barrone, a one-time lounge singer made famous by his booze-soaked ballad, "Barroom Eyes."

Frank was gunned down by a local mobster in 1951 and has been searching for his killer ever since. When he learns that Jake can see and hear him, Frank makes young Jake a deal: if Jake will help Frank find his killer, Frank will help his parents find a ghost to film for their upcoming Halloween Special on Public Access Channel #319. Jake enlists the only friend he’s made in Dusk, an overweight tomboy nicknamed "Tank," to help him track down Frank’s killer. As clues emerge and old leads heat up, Frank and Jake learn they make quite a team. But will Jake find Frank’s killer? And will Frank find a real haunted house in time for Halloween?

“Paranormal Properties is a great, family-friendly Young Adult novel about a boy who can talk to ghosts. Equal parts Scooby-Doo, CSI and the Hardy Boys, you will enjoy getting to know Jake, Frank and Tank as much as I did. Now, if only ‘Paranormal Properties’ was a real show I could watch on TV every week…” ~ Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry

CONTEST: Complete the rafflecopter to go into the draw to win!

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Bread and Sugar Paste

I’m visiting Maria Zannini today where my post is about Cinderella Breaking Bread.

My cupcake course was a bit different from what I’d thought it would be. I don’t know why I thought I’d be piping icing. The lesson was with sugar paste and was lots of fun—sort of like reverting to childhood and dabbling with play dough.

Sugarpaste Materials

These are my materials. I’ve rolled my sugar paste into pea and marble shapes ready to make my snowman.

Sugarpaste Figures

Here are my final creations. I have a snowman, a pine tree and two roses and a leaf on the cupcake. An octopus on the biscuit. A fish that looks a bit like a tadpole Smile and my cake pop hedgehog. You need to use your imagination with the hedgehog. The photo didn’t do it justice!

I hope to see you over at Maria’s blog.

Serials and Other Things with Susannah Sandlin

Storm Force Virtual Book Tour

Today I’d like to welcome Susannah Sandlin. She’s in the process of writing a paranormal serial, so I was excited to chat with her about the process. Note – there’s a giveaway at the end of the post. Comment on this post to go into the draw. Over to Susannah!

1. Who is Susannah Sandlin?

Well, the “original” Susannah Sandlin was my gggg-grandmother, who traveled by wagon from South Carolina to the Alabama wilderness in the early 1800s. So I like to think I’m a bit like her, because I figure she was a tough cookie. I’m a focused workaholic who spends my days editing a university magazine and my nights writing fantasy. I’d like to say I’m a world-traveling, jet-setting glamour-puss, but actually I’m a smartass, geeky homebody. Sigh. But after almost fifteen years in New Orleans, I do have a wacky side…and a preoccupation with alligators.

2. Your book Storm Force is available in serial format with a later release date for the full novel. What made you decide to serialize Storm Force, and what differences did you find during the writing of your story?

It’s more different than I imagined when I took it on. I originally proposed Storm Force as a novel, but my publisher had started experimenting with some serial novels in the romantic suspense genre and thought I’d be a good candidate to try a paranormal serial. To write a serial novel, an author has to write fast, hit tight deadlines, and write fairly clean copy that doesn’t need much revision.

The biggest difference from a writing standpoint is in the plotting. I normally plot out a book beginning with chapter one and continuing through to the end. With the serial, I had to plot out nine “episodes” of from 8,000-10,000 words each, with each episode ending at a point of high tension. Kind of like a TV series that has an ongoing story and ends each week with a bit of a cliffhanger.

3. Did you experience any particular challenges while writing your serial installments? Any tricks or tips to pass on to other writers?

Set a daily word count and do your best to stick to it, because there’s no time to make up those lost words and the schedule is brutal. I don’t think a pantser could write a serial without going crazy because there’s no going back to fix anything. The book goes straight from me to copyediting to publishing in only a week or two. Episode Three released this week, and I just turned in Episode Five, so the first part of the book is in readers’ hands while I’m still writing the middle and end.

On the one hand, it’s really cool to read people’s comments on the discussion boards or on review sites because I’m able to see which characters they’re resonating with. So if a lot of people were reacting negatively to a character, for example, I could decide to kill him off, or take him in a different direction. It’s like a “living novel” in that sense, and probably as close as the reader’s ever going to get to being inside a writer’s head and influencing where a book goes.

4. You write dark paranormal stories. Do you do anything special to get in a dark mood?

LOL. No, my mind just seems to go there—I think I take out my day-job frustrations on my characters! I spend a lot of time THINKING about the story before I ever start writing—part of that plotting process. And even with an outline, before I begin writing each new scene I go through what I have planned and think: How can I make it darker? How can I raise the stakes? I play out different scenarios in my head to figure out how I want to craft each chapter.

5. What do you think makes a dark paranormal story? i.e. what are the ingredients of a good dark paranormal?

I think the stakes have to be very, very high in a dark paranormal—either in setting or character, or (preferably) both. In Storm Force, a terrorist bombing in Houston has killed a lot of people, the Texas governor is either dead or missing, and there’s a credible threat of a repeat in New Orleans in two weeks. (Oh yeah, and there’s a hurricane brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.) So our combined human-shapeshifter team has to work fast and, of course, they get in WAY over their heads by falling into the middle of a big paranormal power play. On a personal level, the hero, Kell, is a human Army Ranger coming off a back injury who needs to prove he’s still got the chops for active duty, and the heroine, Mori, is being forced by her family to marry a man twice her age that she hates—and she’s being framed for the bombing. So there’s a lot at stake, and the consequences of failure are dire.

6. What does your writing space look like, and is there any particular thing you must have or do before you begin a writing session?

I have an office at home where I do most of my writing. It’s on the second floor of the house, so I’m away from everyone and everything. I work on a 17-inch laptop and use a big square oak game table as my desk. The room has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves along one entire wall next to my desk, so I keep reference books within easy reach. I write to music except on first draft. Right now, I’m listening to a song by French-Canadian singer-songwriter David Jalbert called “Notre Histoire.”

7. Do you have a question for visitors to help them interact with you?

I love to chat with readers! This is, as far as I know, the first paranormal romance to be published as a serial (and as a regular novel on July 9)—so I’m curious as to what people think of the idea of being able to influence the story and read it very soon after it’s created? Or would you wait until all nine episodes were available to start reading?

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment, and a winner will be chosen on April 12 to win either a copy of Storm Force or their choice of one of the Penton Legacy novels (print, digital or audio). International entries welcome.

Storm ForceStorm Force

Omega Force #1

Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Date of Publication: March 19, 2013, in serial form for Kindle; July 9, 2013, in print, digital, and audio.

ISBN: 978-1477807576


Word Count: approx. 90,000


Book Description:

As leader of the elite counter-terrorism team Omega Force, former army ranger Jack “Kell” Kellison is always focused on getting the job done. So when a Houston high-rise is bombed and the governor killed or missing, Kell’s mission is clear: infiltrate the group suspected of the bombing and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. But once Kell meets beautiful chief suspect Mori Chastaine, he realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. And more to Mori than any man—any human man—could imagine.

Mori Chastaine is running out of options. Suspected for a crime she didn’t commit, forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, she sees no escape—until Kell walks through her door. A lifetime hiding her true nature warns her Kell might not be who he seems. But he could be the only one able to help save more innocent humans from becoming pawns in an ancient paranormal power play. If Mori reveals her secret, will Kell join her fight? Or will she become his next target?

Short Excerpt

Kell spotted the bird as soon as its wingtips cleared the edge of the cypress stand at the eastern rim of Bayou Cote Blanche. For a moment, he indulged a hope it might be a hawk in search of fish, or a pelican, or a cormorant, or a fucking giant mutant hummingbird.

Anything but an eagle.

“It’s her.” At the sound of his voice, Gator raised his spotted head and focused sharp, mismatched eyes on the horizon, barking furiously in his Catahoula big-dog voice, usually reserved for alligators and swamp rats.

Kell had been sitting on the porch of his cabin at Cote Blanche since Nik’s phone call from New Orleans two hours ago, waiting to see who’d arrive first—the man or the bird.

Should’ve known it would be the freakazoid eagle with the deceptively sweet name of Robin. He’d come to think of her as Razorblade Robin. Nik would have to rent a boat in Jeanerette and navigate the serpentine waterways of Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Swamp to get here. Razorblade Robin could just sprout feathers and soar.

The midday sun glinted off the glossy reddish-brown wings of the golden eagle as it swooped over the smooth, murky water of the bayou and landed with a harsh caw at the end of his dock. Gator rose to his feet and looked up at Kell, asking permission to chase.

“Sorry, buddy. You don’t want to mess with that one. She can take you.” Hell, she could take both of them.

Kell took a final look at the pile of papers he’d been reading—notes about his team’s new assignment. Mostly, he’d been studying the photo on top of the stack. The woman, Emory Chastaine, an environmental activist well known in tree-hugger circles, had been photographed from a distance with a telephoto lens that gave the image a grainy feel, made worse by his generator-powered printer. But he could tell she was tall, athletic-looking in a t-shirt and jeans, shoulder-length blond hair, pretty in an all-American kind of way.

Not his image of a terrorist. Which made her even more dangerous.

Gator sprang off the porch as the eagle strutted down the dock toward them. He approached the bird in a crouch, his growls echoing off the still water. Damn dog never did listen worth a flip. Kell leaned back in his chair to watch the show. With a screech and a blur of feathers seconds before Gator reached her, the eagle morphed into a petite, waifish brunette.

Make that a naked, waifish brunette with a snark-tastic attitude who arched an eyebrow when Kell’s vicious watchdog turn into a slobbering, tail-wagging fool, jumping up and down so vigorously his black and white spots seemed to blur. You’d think the hound saw birds turn into people every day.

If Gator went the crotch-sniffing route, Kell might have to die of pure humiliation.

Not like the naked bird-woman came as any big surprise. He reached for the t-shirt he’d thrown across the other porch chair and tossed it to her as she approached, Gator dancing around her legs. “Put this on.”

Robin Ashton, five-foot-nothing of shapeshifter and the tracker for Kell’s new Omega Force team, caught the shirt and used it to wipe the sweat off her face. “It’s like a sauna out here. Pretty, though, if you’re into the primordial.”

She turned to study the bayou, a minor niche in the massive Atchafalaya basin, and Kell made it a point to keep his eyes away from her ass. It wasn’t that he wanted to look at it, exactly, but he was a guy, and it was right in front of him.

Susannah SandlinAbout the Author:

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.





Indie Bound:

New Episode Release Schedule for Storm Force

March 19–episode 1

March 26–episode 2

April 2–episode 3

April 9–episode 4

April 16–episode 5

April 23–episode 6

April 30–episode 7

May 7–episode 8

May 14–episode 9

The release date for the complete book is July 9.

The Female Villain: She’s Alive, Well and Ready to Bite

I’d like to welcome Carol Van Atta today who is celebrating the release of her paranormal romance I Kissed A Dog. She has a very interesting heroine, but today she’s brought a villain out to play. Over to Carol…

I Kissed a Dog Tour

The Female Villain

She’s alive, well, and ready to bite. Ouch!

Carol Van Atta

Too often in the books we read the bad guy is, well, a bad guy. Not always, of course, but male antagonists are still the norm. Personally, I believe women make excellent villains. As a woman, I’ve been known to be bitchy, bratty, boisterous, and bossy. In my younger years, I had claws that would sprout if you dared challenge my territory, especially when it came to any male I’d claimed as my own.

Grrrrrr … can anyone say female competition? The Green Eyed Monster was always trolling around looking for trouble, pushing and prodding me (my girlfriends too) into action; and let me tell you, we could behave quite unbecomingly with that evil beast leading the way. I promise you; I’m over all that craziness now. Really! No more claws!

In my new book, I Kissed a Dog, book one in the Werewolves of the West series, you will meet a wolfy woman whose bite just may be worse than her bark. She’s devious, envious, mysterious, and frequently furious, with not only her enemies, but also her supposed partners in crime. When she enters a room, you will know it. The temperature drops as the clicking of her mile-high heels draws your attention to her shapely legs, designer only attire, and perfectly coifed hair. (I like that word ‒ coifed) She holds her head high, the hint of a smirk playing across her perfect features. Well aware that all eyes are trained on her, she basks in the knowledge that men desire her while women detest her. Power. She oozes it. Admired yet hated, she’s prepared to wreak havoc on hearts and homes if doing so takes her one step closer to her prize.

Jazmine, purebred werewolf, has her eyes on several prizes. One happens to be Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Werewolf Pack. Problem: His heart belongs to someone else. Uh-oh! We know what that means, don’t we? Trouble with a capital T.

Below is a scene from I Kissed a Dog. Meet the villainous Jazmine. Hide your man and stay out of her way!

EXCERPT I Kissed a Dog:

A perky waitress, I didn’t recognize, saved me from responding. As expected, she almost drooled at the sight of Zane, who ordered without hesitation, “I’ll take the largest steak on the menu, very rare, and whatever beer you have on tap.”

“Chef Salad,” I piped up, realizing she was still staring at my companion, ignoring my presence. Was I invisible? Considering the number of men who dared sneak a look my direction, I guessed not.

“You sure have your share of admirers,” Zane noted with a hint of annoyance.

“Nothing compared to you. I thought our waitress might slobber or hang her tongue out. I bet she’s still panting.” I watched as she moved to another table, reluctant to turn away.

“Are you jealous?” He asked; his lopsided grin back on display, dimples and all.

Was I? I hadn’t been jealous for a long time.

“Well hello, Zane.” A sultry female voice interrupted our banter. “How unexpected to find you here.” Her eyes traveled over the room with obvious distaste.

“Jazmine,” he growled, not pleased by her intrusion.

“Mind if I join you?” Without hesitating, she glided into the booth beside him, resting a hand on his bicep. Her bright crimson nails shimmered; her malice-filled eyes, dark like Zane’s, gleamed at me.

“Can I get you anything?” The perky waitress returned, looking as aggravated by the new woman’s presence as I was.

“I’ll be just a moment.” A curt wave dismissed the girl. Ms. Perky marched off. I sympathized with the waitress’ wounded pride.

Jazmine was as stunning as she was ice-cold. I didn’t need to see the tags to know she was a Designer Fashion Week regular. Her sheen black hair was cut in a neat geometrical bob that framed her face, drawing attention to her sculpted cheekbones and heart-shaped lips. Her makeup was applied with such obvious expertise that I thought of a model I’d seen on the cover of Vogue.

That model had looked genuinely happy, this woman oozed of cruel intent.

“You’ve been avoiding my calls.” Jazmine sulked, caressing Zane’s arm with her graceful fingers. He shook her off.

You’ll be my mate. Tradition requires it. Her eyes flashed with a myriad of emotions.

My jaw dropped, turning my gaping mouth into a capital O. The woman’s bizarre thought had permeated my mind. Realizing how I must look, I shut my mouth and reached for a slice of bread.

“I told you I’m busy with business. We’ll talk at the scheduled time. And be aware; your behavior is not earning you any points,” Zane snapped.

“Oh, now I have to earn points.” She tsked. “I’d hate for you to lose …”

“Enough!” he roared.

With one final, scathing glance my direction, she rose fluidly and vanished out the door.

Following her exit, sound returned to the room.

It was then I recognized that following her arrival, everything had somehow revolved around her. She reminded me of a predator stalking its prey. All the other “animals” had remained silent, hoping to avoid the hunter’s detection.

I hadn’t succeeded in avoiding anything.

She was well-aware of my existence, and she already abhorred me. In one meeting I’d become the mysterious woman’s enemy. Between her and Rhonda, I was pretty unpopular.

“Don’t mind Jazmine.” Zane guzzled his beer.

Stunned by his casual comment, I leaned forward, ready to battle. “You’re kidding, right?” I didn’t wait for an answer. “Some crazy woman, with eyes like a rabid dog, comes in, and from what I could tell, pretty much threatens you. Oh, and I guess you didn’t notice the way she looked at me.”

“Your dinners.” The waitress slid our heaping platters in front of us and hurried away. Smart woman!

See what I’m saying? She’s so not nice. That said … who is your fave female villain? Take a minute to share your thoughts in the comment section at the end of this post. If you don’t have a favorite, share your thoughts on female antagonists vs. male antagonists. Which to you prefer?

I Kissed A DogI Kissed a Dog

The Werewolves of the West Series Book One

Carol Van Atta

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Cambridge Press US under the umbrella of Charles River Press (CRP)

ISBN: 1936185725

ISBN13: 9781936185726

ASIN: B009SV179U

Number of pages: 446

Cover Artist: Ann Falcone

Book Trailer

Book Description:

Chloe Carpenter isn’t like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.

In her otherwise wacky life, she’s finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he’d roar right back out.

Problem: He’s her new coworker and he’s saved her life twice – in the past twenty-four hours.

Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do – figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.

With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected. Remarkably, she’s the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.

Problem: She despises him.

Together, they’re forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.

Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she’ll do anything to keep him from Chloe.

Buy the book Author Blog Book Depository Indie Bound

Amazon Print Amazon Ebook BN BN Nook

clip_image004About the Author:

Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she’s an ex-80’s chick.

Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.

She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.

Do you have a skill for when the grid goes down?

Please welcome author Karin Shah who is celebrating the release of In Like A Lion. I’m a sucker for a shifter romance, and this one contains a chimera—something a little different.  My favorite kind! Over to Karin…

In Like A Lion Button 300 x 225

The announcement last year that power might be disrupted because of solar flares reaching it’s peak, uh, now, caused me to spend a few hours pondering how to protect my precious electronics. After much web-surfing on Faraday cages, etc. I discovered if I put my cellphone in a plastic box in my old metal desk drawer, the phone didn’t get any reception and therefore was theoretically safe from being fried.

Now, I am by no means what you would call a "Doomsday Prepper." I’m nowhere near that category, but having lost family members in natural disasters (Hurricane Camille in 1969). I believe in preparing to evacuate and that it never hurts to get ready for emergencies, even if they never come.

The possibility we might all be back to pre-elecrical times made me start to wonder? Do I have a skill that is necessary for survival? Is my job something that (when the s*&t hits the fan) I can use to get food and supplies for my family?

Smugly, I think it is. Even though paper would be scarce and printing presses hard to come by, I, as a writer am a storyteller. Storytellers have been necessary to a group’s existence since Paleolithic times.

I think when the work is done and people gather, they’ll want entertainment and without movies, TV or video games. We writers will be one of the only games in town.

(Don’t tell my IT manager husband *g*)

So what do you think? Does your job stand a chance after the apocalypse?

CONTEST: Win a copy of In Like a Lion. a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Chimera Chronicles Book One

Karin Shah

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing


Word Count: 86,673

Cover Artist: Rae Monet


Book Description:

Dangerous and forbidden…

Research scientist, Dr. Anjali Mehta, lost her beloved family in an earthquake. Only her work cuts through the paralyzingly grief, but when she finds her new research subject, reputed mass murderer, Jake Finn, maddeningly uncooperative and inexplicably sexy she’s tempted to run away. How can she burn to touch a killer–a man behind bars?

What she doesn’t know is that Jake is a chimera, a shapeshifter who can change into a lion or a dragon with all the strengths of both even in human form, who believes his ability to shape shift is nothing but a terrifying hallucination, and his overpowering attraction to his new doctor proof positive he’s finally gone over the edge.

And the employer she trusts has an agenda all his own. If she can’t believe the impossible, neither she nor Jake may make it out alive.

Book Trailer:

Short Excerpt:

As Anjali stepped out into the corridor, a shout made her freeze.

The exclamation’s guttural force spurred her heartbeat into double time. What the hell?

She tracked the alarming sound to a door with a glass window and peered inside.

In the center of a large room, a shirtless man moved with fluid grace on exercise mats. Karate? Or Tae Kwon Do? That explained the shout. She shrugged.

Before she could slip away, the man turned and came closer. She ducked to the side so he couldn’t catch her watching.

Her breath caught as she saw his lean face.

She swallowed, pulse leaping. God, he was gorgeous. Staring much, Anjali? she admonished herself, scraping together the remnants of logic blown away by the sight of him.

This was just a man, his face, just a pleasing arrangement of features.

Papers on the appeal of symmetry to the human mind had been mandatory reading in some of her classes.

His movements took him deeper into the room and she inched closer again, her long exhale fogging the window in front of her. She didn’t need calipers to know when God had handed out facial symmetry, this man had pushed to the front of the line.

Odd shadows lent the suggestion of a tiger’s stripes to the man’s elegant cheekbones and clean jaw. She glanced at the ceiling and noticed metal baskets caging the fluorescent light fixtures, throwing voids into the harsh glare.

Her attention zeroed back to the man.

His hair—raven black with the sheen of a crow’s feather—hung past his chin and fell forward, masking his eyes. She caught herself wishing he would raise his head so she could see them. Her gaze drifted downward, following the delicious curve of his shoulder.

His large body was a work of art, each muscle defined and chiseled, as if Michelangelo had carved him from a piece of granite. The impish light played more tricks, lending his golden skin the sheen of satin as he defended against the attacks of invisible adversaries.

Her mouth dry, she watched him flow through the movement, muscles rippling beneath that flawless skin. Who was he? A guard?

Given his size and superior musculature, if he was a doctor, he was nothing like the doctors and researchers she’d worked with in the past.

Goose flesh pimpled the back of her arms. There was just something about a man that big that called to her most basic instincts.

A disparaging laugh huffed from her chest. She’d been living like a nun for years and now she was drooling over a man so out of her league he might as well have been a movie star.

What sounded like a voice—short and harsh, but indistinct—reverberated through the thick, metal-reinforced glass. The man halted mid-move and glared over his powerful shoulder.

For the first time, Anjali noticed there were other people in the room; uniformed men with sleek, ugly rifles, not only drawn, but leveled at the man as if prepared to shoot him at the slightest misstep.

She gasped as an awful realization washed over her. This man—the first man to draw her interest since her loss—was not a guard or a doctor.

He was Jake Finn, her subject, and a stone-cold killer.

clip_image004About the Author:

I live in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio and worship Jeni’s Ice Cream, JK Rowling, Jayne Ann Krentz, the tv show Supernatural, and the movies, Hunt For Red October and The Princess Bride(though not necessarily in that order.)

I am a fanatical reader of Romance, particularly Sci-Fi Romance, Fantasy Romance and Paranormal Romance. I always write the book I want to read, so I tend to jump sub-genre a bit. My husband and I are the parents of two kids (a girl and a boy) and slaves to two dogs ( a basenji and a vizsla)

I was born in Rochester, NY, attended SUNY Oswego and got my Master’s in Information and Library Science at the University of Buffalo. I was a School Librarian in Webster, NY for five years before starting my writing career. (I still miss my students.)


Indie Authors on a Mission!

I’ve been watching Angela Brown and Gwen Gardner’s publishing adventures with interest, cheering for them both as they swim through self-publishing waters. I’m thrilled to welcome Angela to my blog today. I’ll hand you straight over, but you’d better buckle in for the ride!

Welcome to the Adventures of Gwen and Angela, aka Partners in ParanormYA

Indie authors on a mission: Pour their characters upon paper and share their craziness – erm – stories with readers north, south, east and west, All Over the World!

Reading that intro makes it seem we’re caped crusaders protecting readers with powerful words betwixt digital, paper or hardback covers. In my imagination, it’s kind of fun to see us that way. Winking smile


In reality, Gwen and I both see ourselves as writers with minds filled with stories. We just want to share them. All of them, if possible.

Partnering together, Gwen and I embarked on our publishing journey by joining together to promote our separate novels: Neverlove by Angela Brown and Givin’ Up the Ghost by Gwen Gardner. We both chose to self-publish, a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. In self-publishing, the author owns the process from beginning to publication and beyond into marketing and promotion.

When it comes to self-publishing:

DO set your goals honestly. This will determine the amount of work you will or maybe won’t have to do. If you just want to put your book out for friends and family (like I did with Secret Lilies, a suspense erotica I published under the pen name Rayven Godchild) then marketing and promoting won’t be a big item on your list of things to work on.

DO edit or at least have someone beyond yourself give your work the once-over. As writers, we’re close to our projects, maybe read it a hundred times, literally. Words can jumble together. Plot holes the size of a Mac truck can fly by due to the familiarity we have with the story. Readers are very forgiving, but it’s best not to push your luck J

DO enjoy yourself. Choosing to self-publish and make it a career for longevity requires a lot of writing, more writing and then some writing in between all that other writing. There will be plenty of opportunities to “work” in marketing and promoting your novel, planning for book covers, blog tours, book blasts, seeking reviews and so forth. Holding on to the JOY in the process keeps the CREATIVITY bubbling and the stories flowing – even if they flow in fitful starts and stops J

DON’T give up on yourself. Whether you have a short term goal of just feeling the slick glossy of your paperback in your hand, the long term goal of a career in writing OR if you choose the traditional publishing route instead of self-publishing, believe and write on. Readers are out there and they want your tale of adventure, paranormal mischief or naughty ladies and gents in rather compromising positions.

Question From Shelley: Do you have any questions for Angela or Gwen about their self-pubbing process? Go on, ask a question! Oh, and I almost forgot. It’s Angela’s birthday today. Wish her happy birthday. Party smile

Angela Brown

Angela’s author bio:

Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home.

Reading and writing have been lifelong passions. It was around the time she gave birth to her forever-love, nicknamed Chipmunk, that she really took writing seriously. After all, how could she teach her child to follow her dreams if she hadn’t tried herself?

As a YA fantasy/sci-fi reader and author, she favors the magical, mysterious, the darker side of life…even harbors a secret fright for things that go bump in the night.

NEVERLOVE is a special project spawned from a blog-challenge-turned-blog-opera, the Abby and Basil affair. It is the first in the Shadow Jumpers series.

Neverlove by Angela Brown

For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V’Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.

Basil’s off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.

Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.
Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?


Purchase Neverlove

Giving Up The Ghost

A modern day medieval village teeming with spirit activity is no place for sixteen-year-old psychic and ghost whisperer Indigo Eady. Not when all she wants is to forget about these supposed gifts. After all, when needed most, it didn’t help save her father.

After her father’s death, Indigo moves to a new town and has the chance to start over where nobody knows about her psychic abilities. Hiding her secret is easy until the ghost of Bart Bagley ruins everything by barging in and begging her to solve his murder. Tempted to ignore him, she only relents because he was the father of her new friend, Badger. That and the survivor’s guilt she feels over her own father’s death.

A murder investigation is hard enough without the disruption of interfering ghosts and a mysterious soul collector with her name topping its list. But when Indigo’s psychic abilities short-circuit, sparks start to fly in more than one direction. The resulting mishaps compromise the success of the investigation and put the budding but fragile attraction between Indigo and Badger at risk.

When the body count mounts and a suspect ends up dead, Badger becomes a “person of interest" and they must surge ahead to solve the murders before they become the next victims.

Purchase Givin’ up the Ghost

Blackthorn Vampires : Anti-heroes of Romance by Lindsay J. Pryor

Recently, as in the last six months, I’ve been going through a bit of a vampire love affair. I’d like to welcome Lindsay Pryor, the author of Blood Shadows, and creator of one of my recent vampire boyfriends.

Blood Shadows Tour Button

Dark. Dangerous. Exciting. Ever since Bram Stoker introduced us to the new world of the romantic vampire as opposed to the terrifying monster of eastern European legend, the vampire has continued to dominate films and books. Almost a century on and they’re still developing – morphing into the heroes of today.

But we know that underneath whatever refinement those vampire heroes present, every single one of them (even Edward Cullen) lives on the edge of their own innate needs. Their nature dictates they are predators and, as such, they will always be a threat. I think the most enthralling vampire heroes are those that live on the very edge of those base instincts – who can just as easily flip to being the villain as the hero.

When I conceptualised the Blackthorn series, I knew they were the type of vampires I wanted. For me, anti-heroes make more interesting characters. Flaws add interest and so does unpredictability. If I work with a character who has an unwavering code of conduct and strict boundaries they will never cross, it doesn’t create enough suspense and tension for me as a writer. I like writing about vampires that skirt close to the edge, so much so that I’m never quite sure if they are going to overstep the mark or not. That’s what my readers report keeps them breathless and retains the tension in the stories – that’s one of the things that defines my books.

My vampires need to be dark. They live in a brutal and merciless manmade world where they are forced to reside as second-class citizens – where humans control them with an iron fist. Society is divided and the third species (such as vampires) are discriminated against. With vampires contained in the polluted, over-populated district of Blackthorn – the most impoverished of several administrative districts – inevitably a greater barrier between the two species has formed physically and emotionally. It is an ideal backdrop for me to reveal just as much darkness in human nature as well as the darkness in the vampires.

I also wanted my vampires to feel real, urban and contemporary. Blackthorn became a district that reflects its residents and vice-versa – dark, dangerous and deadly with unexplored corners, unpredictability, an undercurrent of unrest and a need for retribution. Whether Blackthorn’s vampires get that retribution is down to each of the romances that evolve through the series.

Blackthorn may be a gloomy and dystopian world, the romances forbidden, the vampires dark and a little close to the edge, but those vampires are, in essence, heroes – some just need a little more of the surface scraped away to prove it than others! And for me, a hero who has every reason not to be is one of the most appealing heroes of all.

Blood ShadowsBlood Shadows

Blackthorn Series Book One
Lindsay J. Pryor

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Bookouture

ISBN: 9781909490000


Number of pages: 380

Word Count: 117,000

Cover Artist: Henry Steadman

Book Trailer:

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Barnes and Noble Sony ebooks

Book Description:

For vengeance – would you trust a vampire?
For justice – could you betray your family?
For love – are you ready to question everything you believe in?

Gifted with the ability to read the shadows of ‘third species’ beings, Caitlin Parish is the Vampire Control Unit’s most powerful agent. Despite that, her mission to hunt down Kane Malloy – a master vampire – comes with a death wish. Many have tried, but few have survived.

For Caitlin, tracking Kane is about more than just professional reputation. With her parents both mysteriously killed 7 years apart to the day, Caitlin knows that without Kane’s help she is next.

She has four days to make a deal with the wicked, the irresistible, the treacherous Kane Malloy. The vampire who despises everything she stands for.

Or die.


You can read the first three chapters on Scribd for free:

Check Out What Readers Have to Say About Blood Shadows:

“Lindsay J. Pryor easily earns a place alongside Paranormal Romance’s best writers!” ~ Michele Hauf

“An incredible voice for paranormal.” ~ Rhyannon Byrd

“Jaw-droppingly good… I’d want to shout ‘Bite Me!’”

Lindsay J PryorAbout the Author:

Lindsay J. Pryor is a British Paranormal Romance author who writes dark, intense stories set in the dystopian world of Blackthorn.

Her trademark powerful vampire heroes and utterly combustible sensual romances have earned Lindsay comparisons with both J.R Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

A finalist in Mills & Boon’s New Voices competition in both 2010 and 2011, Lindsay has already proved a smash hit with readers.

Comments like “Utterly captivating”, “Jaw-droppingly good”, “Awesome”, “I forgot to blink”, “The sexual tension is off the charts”, “I nearly fainted when he removed her belt”, “I drooled on my keyboard” and even “Tell Kane he can have my soul RIGHT NOW!” convinced Lindsay she just might have what it took to become a published author.

With the launch of Blood Shadows, that dream is now a reality.  Her journey to published author though has been a long one.

Lindsay has been creating stories since she was nine years old, when she quickly decided that fantasy was more interesting than reality. She thought she’d grow out of it but hasn’t yet.

Despite years of bashing out stories on an old typewriter, it was the death of her father in 2007 that finally convinced Lindsay to try and become a published author.

“One of the last things my dad said to me was to do what I wanted to do in life. After he passed away, I pulled out all my scribbles from over the years and got back to writing what I loved most – paranormal romance.”

If reviews are anything to go by, it was a journey well worth making.

From Genesis to Grave Intentions

Grave Intentions Virtual Book Tour

I’m thrilled to welcome Lori Sjoberg today. She’s currently on tour with her new release Grave Intentions – a paranormal tale of grim reapers with a romantic twist that I enjoyed reading very much. I asked Lori where she came up with the idea for her story and this is what she said…

The idea for Grave Intentions started with a scene. More specifically, it started with the dark moment of the story, the point where all seems lost for the hero and heroine. It came to me one weekend morning while I was out walking my dogs. I ended up logging a few extra miles trying to figure out who these people were, what they were doing, and why they were so torn up. (Please forgive me for being vague, but I don’t want to spoil anything for the folks who haven’t read the story yet.)

Because the scene involved supernatural elements, I decided the male protagonist needed to be a reaper. At the time it wasn’t a very common element in paranormal romance, and it allowed me the freedom to create and explore a rich new supernatural world. And since my reapers were once mortal beings, it also gave me the opportunity to show the ramifications of acting as the harbinger of death, of the emotional toll it would take on their psyches.

Now that I knew who my hero would be, I turned my attention to the heroine. I wanted her to be a strong woman, someone fiercely intelligent who would give the hero a serious run for the money. But I also wanted to make her mortal. At first, I considered making her a cop, but ultimately decided to make her a scientist, one who doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be scientifically proven. A woman whose analytical nature stems from a deeply ingrained fear of the skeletons lurking in her family’s closet.

From there, the rest of the details fell into place. The reaper who fears he’s losing his humanity. The scientist who fears the prospect of losing her mind. Sparks fly when their paths cross, until a twist of fate threatens to tear their world to pieces. Can they overcome the obstacles driving them apart? I could give you the answers, but where’s the fun in that?

CONTEST: Win an e-copy of Grave Intentions.

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Grave IntentionsGrave Intentions

First Book of the Grave Series

Lori Sjoberg

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Kensington Publishing

ISBN: 9781601830067


Number of pages: Approx. 289

Word Count: 96,100

Amazon B&N

Book Description:

He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual-the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent-and now he’s got more than his soul to lose . . .

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper-an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good.

Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers-even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living-and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah…and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.

Lori SjobergAbout the Author:

Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she’s bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s not like she’s scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits – you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for staying out past curfew.

After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science, Lori worked for nearly a decade in retail management. When that got boring, she switched to financial planning, and then insurance. The writing bug bit a few years later. After completing her first manuscript, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at work, and the creative half writing paranormal romance. When she’s not doing either one of those, she’s usually spending time with her husband and children of the four-legged variety.

Twitter @Lori_Sjoberg

Amazon – Grave Intentions

Solomon’s Compass by Carol Kilgore – Crime Fiction with a Kiss!

Today I’m thrilled to take part in the cover reveal for Carol Kilgore’s Solomon’s Compass. Carol writes mystery, suspense and romance—Crime Fiction with a Kiss—and she has a wonderful blog called Under the Tiki Hut where she showcases her sense of fun and tells us about her writing life. If you haven’t already visited, go and check it out.

And so without further ado I’d like to introduce Solomon’s Compass by Carol Kilgore!

Solomon's Compass

Here’s the blurb:

A missing belt—her uncle’s prized possession. The lure of buried treasure. And a sexy former SEAL who makes U.S. Coast Guard Commander Taylor Campbell crazy. What more could any woman want. Right?

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor’s certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy’s dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.

Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.

But the killer’s actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

Carol KilgoreCarol Kilgore has always had stories and characters in her head, but she didn’t know she should write them down until about a dozen years ago. Once she started, she couldn’t stop.

Her first published short story won the Derringer Award for Best Short-Short Mystery. She continued to write short fiction for a few years and also enjoyed a small success as a freelancer before giving it all up for her true love—novels.

Carol writes a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. Always at least one crime; always a love story. Solomon’s Compass is her second published novel.

As the wife of a Coast Guard officer, Carol has lived in locations across the U.S. She and her husband now live in a San Antonio suburb and share their home and patio with two active herding dogs that keep them free from all danger, real or imagined.

You can find Carol here:

website . blog . facebook . twitter . goodreads . amazon

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Do you have any questions or comments for Carol?

The Gorgeous Scenery of Guilin, China

Li River, Guilin, China

The journey down the River Li near Guilin is memorable for the beautiful scenery. It’s also full of boat loads of tourists, but you can’t see them in this shot. Along the length of the river the locals fish and wash and go about their daily business. If you’re ever in the region this is a must-do trip since not only is the scenery stunning, but there are photo opportunities galore.

Check out my post at Marie Treanor’s blog about books as gifts for Christmas. I’m also giving away a download of Christmas is Coming. While you’re there make sure you scroll up and down since lots of authors are talking about their Christmas highlights and giving away prizes. Contest winners are announced on Sunday.

Also take the time to check out the Christmas DIY posts at Maria Zaninni’s blog. You’ll find a variety posts ranging from recipes to jewellery to table decorations. Once again, scroll down to read all the posts since there are lots of interesting ones.

How are you holding up with Christmas preparations?