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Weapons Training and Winter Formals: A deadly combination!

Check this out! Brinda Berry has a new release. Whisper of Memory is book two in the Whispering Woods series.

Whisper of Memory_By Brinda Berry

 

Whisper of Memory

Weapons training and winter formals… a deadly combination

All Mia ever wanted was to fit in at Whispering Woods High. But being a portal-finder who dates a guy from another dimension sort of makes it hard. A month ago her brother disappeared, and agents from the IIA began policing people’s movements through dimensions. She’d trusted Dr. Bleeker from the local university when he’d told her the IIA were the bad guys. But even a girl with an extraordinary ability to sense things can make mistakes.

Now two people are dead, and as a portal gatekeeper for the IIA, Mia needs to find Dr. Bleeker before he hurts anyone else. And her boyfriend Regulus, an Agent for the IIA, carries secrets of his own. Between learning about weaponry, finding the perfect dress for the winter formal, and catching bad guys, who has time to fit in?

Check out the Whisper of Memory book trailer.

Enter the Whisper of Memory contest (trading cards and a Kindle Touch)

Purchase The Waiting Booth, book 1 Whispering Woods series

Purchase Whisper of Memory, book 2 Whispering Woods series

Before her involvement with the Interdimensional Immigration Authorities (IIA), Mia Taylor had only used weapons in video games. Now, she’s required to protect herself. Which weapon does Mia get to practice? She learns how to throw a knife. What would be your weapon of choice?

My answer: I’d like to be skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Kicks. Punches. My hands would be lethal weapons. I would also have a very intelligent canine companion who could creep up behind my enemies and nip them on the butt to give me an edge.

What would be your weapon of choice?

A Supernatural Caged City: Enter at your peril!

Kenya WrightKenya Wright always knew she would be famous since the ripe old age of six when she sung the Michael Jackson thriller song in her bathroom mirror. She has tried her hand at many things from enlisting in the Navy for six years as a Persian-Farsi linguist to being a nude model at an art university. However, writing has been the only constant love in her life.

Now Kenya is publishing her first book, Fire Baptized, the urban fantasy novel she always wanted to read. This novel is the first book in a series.

Will she succeed? Of course.

For she has been coined The Urban Fantasy Queen, the Super Iconic Writer of this Age, The Lyrical Genius of Our Generation. Granted, these are all terms coined by her, within the private walls of her bathroom as she still sings the Michael Jackson thriller song.

Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on Kenya’s head at night.

1. Welcome, Kenya! Give us an elevator pitch for your book Fire Baptized.

Lanore is a Mixbreed that lives in a supernatural caged city. One night, she stumbles upon a murder and catches the killer’s attention. She spends the rest of the novel trying to discover the murderer’s identity.

2. Describe the sights, sounds and scents we might experience if we were to visit Lanore when she’s with other shifters during a normal day.

Sounds: The caged city is called The Santeria Habitat and is based on the Santeria religion. You’ll hear supernaturals chanting spells, drumming wooden drums shaped like hour glasses, and dancing to salsa music.

Sights: The caged city is divided into five districts. Each district is themed after a Santeria god’s colors and favorite items. In Shango District the buildings are painted in the god Shango’s favorite color orange. Even the hookers strolling around in different shades of orange. His favorite wife is Oshun so the eastern part of his district is in her favorite color, gold.

Scents: If you walk near Linderman’s Blood Factory, you’ll be assaulted by the scent of blood. If you’re lucky enough to travel toward Oshun boulevard, you’ll smell roasted meats and honey cakes.

3. How do you go about developing your characters? Do you normally start with a character or the plot?

I always start with the character and then create the plot.

I have a ten page questionnaire that I fill out for each character. Some of the questions ask about the character’s personality and story goals others are fun and ask things like “what would this character have on their book shelf?” or “what would this character have a nightmare about?”.

4. Is there any part of the writing process that you find particularly challenging and why?

I hate the revision process. I always have to cut away parts of the story. I always wish I could just keep it all, but in the end, information dumps and tedious conversation is boring to the reader.

5. What is it you like about writing urban fantasy, and what advice would you give to an aspiring author wanting to write in this genre?

Urban fantasy allows you to combine three genres together; mystery, fantasy, and romance. I love that I can include all of that into one book.

My advice to other authors is to have as many people as possible read your work before you publish it, and actually listen to what they say, whether you like it or not.

6. What do you like doing besides writing and reading? Is it dangerous?

This is so sad, but as soon as I saw this question I thought… sex. That was the most immediate answer that popped in my mind, so I’m going to go with it.

Hmmmm…. Is the sex dangerous?

Well, it is always with my husband and he’s a pretty careful dude. So I would say no. (Although it was that one time on the roof with a toilet plunger, but…. Just joking. Lol!)

Now a question from Kenya for you:

I am always on the hunt for a great book. I just read Angel Fall which was outstanding. I’m wondering if I could get some good 2012 Indie recommendations.

Fire Baptized Virtual Blog Tour

CONTEST:

Answer Kenya’s question above to go into a draw to win a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate. The prize will be drawn at the conclusion of Kenya’s tour. To increase your chances of winning follow the rest of Kenya’s Virtual blog tour.


Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright Blurb:

Since the 1970’s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.

Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.

Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend Meshach and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.

While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?

See a book trailer for Fire Baptized.

Purchase Fire Baptized

A Day in the Life of Eve Fawkner, Cat Burglar in Training

Cat Burglar in Training

Today I’m visiting Romancing the Book where Eve Fawkner, my heroine from Cat Burglar in Training is running the show. There’s also a copy of Cat Burglar in Training up for grabs by one commenter. Here’s the link to Romancing the Book.

Strategies for Procrastinating Writers by Shelley Munro

I’m visiting Terry’s Place, the hangout of author Terry ODell today and talking about Strategies to beat Procrastination.

Change procrastination to productivity.

Does this sound like something you need? Yes? I have to admit there are times when I’m a champion procrastinator. Yes, it’s true. Sometimes attacking the ironing pile seems like way more fun than sitting down to write. On days like this it can take me hours to pound out my target number of words, and each one is dragged from me kicking and screaming. Read more at Terry’s Place.

New Zealand the Beautiful!

I’d like to welcome Myla Jackson to my blog today. We met when she visited Auckland, and I’m thrilled to have her back in my corner of the world today. Over to Myla!

When Shelley Munro offered up a chance to blog, I jumped on it and knew immediately what I wanted to blog about. You see, Shelley is from the beautiful country of New Zealand, as you all might know. I just happened to get to meet her and spend time in her homeland. It was part of a trip my husband and youngest daughter and I took back in 2006-2007. We spent the first week in Australia (not nearly enough time) and the last two weeks in New Zealand (again, not nearly enough time).

We flew into Auckland on December 23, 2006. It was supposed to be summer there, but we managed to visit during one of the coolest summers they’d had in years. The temperatures ranged around the 60’s and 70’s. We drove south and made it to Rotorua by nightfall, passing all manners of terrain from seacoasts to snowcapped mountain ranges.

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Rotorua is New Zealand’s version of Yellowstone with bubbling pits, hot springs and extinct volcanoes. We also discovered what looked remarkably like a California redwood forest! In the early nineteen hundreds, the people of New Zealand experimented with trees to find the perfect species to grow in New Zealand. The result was a little pocket of redwood forest around Rotorua.

DSC_0195 nz134

We traveled to the southern tip of North Island to Wellington, where we caught a huge ferry to South Island. We spent most of our days driving through acres and acres of vineyards, with a two-day stop in Kaikoura to whale-watch and relax. We made it a little farther south than Christchurch and then cut across to the west coast to make our way back. We saw so much fabulous scenery and hardly any people. It’s wild, it’s beautiful and worth visiting many more times. I only wish we’d had time to go all the way to the southern tip of South Island to see the fjords. I truly loved seeing New Zealand and my husband talks of one day moving there. Sigh…An Idyllic dream.

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About the Author

Myla Jackson pens wildly sexy adventures of all genres including historical westerns, medieval tales, romantic suspense, contemporary romance and paranormals with beasties of all shapes and sizes. When not wrangling words from her computer with the help of her canine muses, she’s snow-skiing, boating or riding her ATV.

To learn more about Myla Jackson and her stories visit her website at http://www.mylajackson.com

Current Release

BootsandChaps72LG

Boots and Chaps

Welcome back to the Ugly Stick Saloon!

She gave up stripping to go legit…until three Kiowa cowboys bring on the down-and-dirty.

Blurb:

Ugly Stick Saloon, Book 1

Jackson Gray Wolf is turning thirty, and what does he have to show for it? A ranch. No wife, no kids, no dates. He’s had his eye on the pretty owner of the Ugly Stick Saloon, but their one accidental encounter was interrupted before he could get her out of her take-me-now red cowboy boots.

Audrey Anderson isn’t in the market for a man. Been there, done that, has the scars to prove it. She retired her pole-dancing boots after purchasing the Ugly Stick Saloon, and now manages a stable of strippers. When she winds up one stripper short for a private party, she’s forced to slip on a mask and into the role of the mysterious Kiki.

Jackson didn’t want the birthday bash his twin brothers are throwing him, but his vow to ignore the rented stripper goes awry when she shows him exactly how far she’s willing to go—for all three of them.

Audrey can’t forget the sizzling heat between her and one sexy Kiowa in particular. Jackson. Trouble is, she’s not sure if he wants the bold, brassy Kiki, or if he’s ready for the wounded woman underneath.

Samhain Publishing
Barnes & Noble Nook
Amazon Kindle

The Dreaded Sagging Middle with Rachel Leigh

My guest today is Rachel Leigh. Rachel lives in the UK and has been married to her own sexy hero for thirteen years. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her reading, running after her two daughters or…playing with her husband.

Rachel is celebrating the release of her erotic romance, Coming Back, which is now available from the Wild Rose Press. Today she’s talking about a subject that I suspect more than a few of us worry about…a horrid sagging middle! Over to Rachel…

Coming BackI am nearing the halfway mark of my latest work in progress and while for some writers that will be something to celebrate, for me it is the opposite. Why? Because it means the dreaded ‘sagging middle’ is right around the corner. Thus bringing my writing/plotting/creativity to a grinding halt and causing me to bang my head up and down on my desk all day, every day until I see light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Now most of you would have heard of this ‘sagging middle’ phrase and know what it means, others won’t. Let me explain.

It is the part of my story writing that I hate the most and occurs every single time, with every single book. I am a blend of two kinds of writer. I am half plotter and half pantser. I always have a two to three page synopsis written as well as character sketches for my hero and heroine before I start writing. However, from page one to the end I continually write the first draft without stopping or editing. The hard work comes in drafts two and three.

The problem is no matter how much detail I feel I’ve put into the synopsis, no matter how much I have written it with my ‘sagging middle’ weakness in mind, there it always is. Bam, like a grinning little cartoon devil poised to poke me in the behind with his shiny trident as soon as I am about halfway through.

So the question is, how do I deal with it? The only way I know how. Keep writing. I dread going to my desk for these days. Have zero enthusiasm or belief in myself or my work. I sit my backside in the chair anyway. These days writing is like pulling teeth but I force myself to write at least a thousand rubbish words a day. The beauty of it is when I feel the sun reappearing as I climb out of the middle and start heading for the home run, I read back what I wrote through those torturous days and I can be guaranteed to keep at least half of it. Result!

So what about you writers out there? Do you suffer with the same weakness as me? Yes? What’s your trick for beating this particular devil?

Or are you a reader? Have you noticed a ‘sagging middle’ in books? Maybe you see them more often than editors do, lol! I love to hear from you.

Rachel’s latest release is “Coming Back” available now from The Wild Rose Press. Here’s the blurb:

Kelly Hampton loved once…and lost. After two years of looking for Sean MacKenzie in other men–and failing miserably–she takes a vow of celibacy. No sex until she finds love. Then Sean strolls back into her bar, reigniting old flames. No one has come close to understanding or satisfying her like he did. Her body burns for the passion they once shared, but her heart still remembers the pain.

Sean escaped Jessop Hill and his father’s fists in the middle of the night without a word–even to his love, Kelly–to protect his battered mother, but he never forgot the explosively erotic relationship he left behind. Now his father is dead and Sean is back for the only woman he’s ever wanted. Their reunion is full of fire – but can sexual attraction and noble intentions overcome years of heartache or will Kelly walk away to protect her heart this time.

Purchase Coming Back

Rachel can be found here:

www.rachelleigh.co.uk
www.rachelleighromance.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/rachelwriter

Ten Suggestions For Writing Well-Rounded Heroines

I’m visiting Savvy Authors today and talking about heroines. Here’s the link to my post, which contains suggestions for writing a good heroine.

I intend to try and catch up on some writing this weekend, and I’ll be watching the quarter-finals of the rugby World Cup on both Saturday and Sunday. The All Blacks are playing Argentina.

What are you doing this weekend?

The Connection: Characters and Real Life Experience

This is the final day of my Lone Wolf virtual tour. I’m visiting Sara York’s blog and talking about authors, life experience and characters. Is there a connection between an author’s life experience and their writing?

Don’t forget–if you comment on my post at Sara’s blog you’ll be in the draw to win a $20 Amazon voucher.

Four Rules For The Socialized Writer

My guest today is Carina Press author, Cathy Pegau. Cathy has both a new release and a cute new puppy. On the surface these two things might not have any thing in common, but read on and you might change your mind. Welcome, Cathy!

We recently adopted a six month old puppy. For a young dog, she is surprisingly well behaved and gets along with all of us. Including the cats. Dally is great, but she still needs to learn some social skills. It’s our job to make her an acceptable member of society and make interactions much more pleasant. There are certain rules to be followed, behaviors that are acceptable and those that are frowned upon. These same skills we teach our pup, I realized, can be applied to the social networking writer. So, sit. Stay. Read on.

Dally

1) Don’t bark at everything that moves.

A pup will sometimes bark at a dust bunny or the wind blowing. That gets old real fast. As an opinionated writer, I’ve learned which topics on blogs, loops and social media merit a response from me. Mostly not a lot. Consider just eavesdropping versus adding your opinion. Yes, we all know that if it’s out there you have every right to comment. But should you? Yes, getting your name out there and recognized is important, but have something to contribute. Don’t just bark for the sake of barking.

2) Wag your tail and make friends, but don’t jump on folks or slobber over them.

Puppies tend to love everyone they meet, and many people love them right back. But excessive exuberance overwhelms. I’ve told a favorite author I admire their work. It’s appreciated, but I leave it at that. Reply to their comments/posts (without gushing), but don’t follow them everywhere they go or delve into their personal lives. Stalkerish behavior creeps folks out.
The flipside of that is…

3) Don’t snap at people.

A dog, or a writer, that constantly snarls or snaps is not one folks want to be around. People will eventually stop coming near you, your blog, and your books. When you’re out and about on Twitter or loops or wherever, be respectful. Disagreement is fine, but rabid behavior can be dangerous—to your career.

4) Don’t poop in the house.

The writers’ groups, critique partners and professionals who offer advice or a helping hand (i.e.: your family) should be providing a clean, healthy environment from which you can be nurtured and grow into a strong individual. They’ve seen you through long bouts of rejections and self-doubt. Once you’ve come into your own, respect them and the “home” they made for you. Every so often, we need to go back home to recoup with the people who know us best. Don’t mess that up.

Any other advice for raising a socialized writer?

Rulebreaker, Cathy’s debut f/f science fiction romance, is out from Carina Press now.

Rulebreaker

Here’s the blurb:

Liv Braxton’s Felon Rule #1: Don’t get emotionally involved.

Smash-and-grab thieving doesn’t lend itself to getting chummy with the victims, and Liv hasn’t met anyone on the mining colony of Nevarro worth knowing, anyway. So it’s easy to follow her Rules.

Until her ex, Tonio, shows up with an invitation to join him on the job of a lifetime.

Until Zia Talbot, the woman she’s supposed to deceive, turns Liv’s expectations upside down in a way no woman ever has.

Until corporate secrets turn deadly.

But to make things work with Zia, Liv has to do more than break her Rules, and the stakes are higher than just a broken heart…

And a short excerpt:

As the elevator door closed, the door in front of me opened. Zia held a goblet of wine in one hand. The V-neck of her white lounging pajamas revealed the glint of a gold chain and less cleavage than most of her office attire. Her feet were bare, her toenails tinted blood-red. But what captured my attention was her hair. Released from its usual upsweep, it fell around her shoulders in loose chestnut waves. Relaxed. Sexy.
I swallowed hard and dug my fingernails into my palms.

“Hello, Liv.” An enigmatic smile curved her full mouth, and her eyes glinted with curiosity. “I’d ask how you knew where I lived, but you’re very good at figuring out things like that, aren’t you?”

I took a hesitant step forward. She hadn’t asked me in. Maybe she wouldn’t. Maybe she’d tell me it was too soon for us to be alone in her flat, that this wasn’t how she did things.

“Would you like to come in?” she asked.

My knees wobbled with relief and with the apprehension of what I was doing. “Yes. Thank you.”
Zia stepped back, giving me just enough space to ease past her. In my boots, I was several centis taller than she was, and this close I could smell her hair. Flowers and honey.

The white of the entry continued inside the flat, but it was by no means stark. Soft lighting accented the greens, black and gold in the furnishings, artwork and décor. The faint scent of jasmine made the room hers.
Zia closed the door, and I felt rather than heard her come up behind me. “Let me take your coat.”

I set the satchel down, out of the way, and unbelted my coat. Slowly I slid it off my shoulders, past my bare back.

As she lifted it from my hands she took in a sharp breath. “Oh, Liv.” Her voice was rich with desire. “What are you doing to me?”

Pick up Rulebreaker at Carina Press or Barnes & Noble

Thanks for having me, Shelley!

Attending a Cocktail Party? Make Your Own Fascinator Hat!

I’m really excited to introduce my guest today. Maddy Barone writes romance and has a love of all things paranormal. In her own words, “I’ve been writing since junior high. Werewolves, time travel and handsome princes who can wield magic and lead armies are my thing. Any damsel in distress that I write can darned well rescue herself and if the hero’s ego can’t take that, then he’s not a hero. I want strong men who can respect their ladies and treat them like partners, not dainty little dolls. Is there anything sexier than a tough man who finds that one perfect woman and is willing to do anything for her?”

Maddy is also a keen member of SCA, a non-profit education organization that studies the renaissance and middle ages. She gets to dress up, mainly in garb from the Italian Renaissance but she has Japanese, Viking and Byzantine garb too. Just quietly – she has a rather cool steampunk outfit that I have my eye on. I’m very tempted to launch a surprise attack from New Zealand to nab it for myself!

Today Maddy is taking us through the process of making our own fascinator hat. Give her a warm welcome. Over to Maddy…

How to Make a Fascinator Hat

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge (nee Kate Middleton) has made fascinators the newest rage in headwear. Appropriate for every social event from weddings to the races to cocktail parties, a fascinator can add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. But –gulp!—have you seen the prices?! Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to make it yourself? I made this one for $10.00 (USD) in 40 minutes.

Fascinator Hat

Fascinator

Do you think you need to be a milliner to be able to make a fascinator hat? Well, you don’t! All you need are a few things you already have around the house and a couple things from a craft store.

Fascinator Materials

Materials:

A round base. This can be a ready-made sinamay base available from some millinery supply stores and Etsy.com, or a small plastic lid covered with fabric.

Veiling. About 12-15 inches (30-37 cm) This can be purchased from bridal supply stores, eBay, Etsy. But you can do without it too. Use tulle or take a veil off some old hat from the thrift store.

Feathers. I bought mine at JoAnn Fabric & Crafts. I used:
a half-pinwheel of black feathers
a 3 inch piece of black and white marabou feather boa
2 red feather clumps

A focal piece. I used a brooch from my grandmother. You might use a silk flower, a fancy button, a cute bow, a rhinestone earring or clip.

Fastener. I’m using an old black plastic headband. You could use a comb, a clip, a barret or elastic.

Needle and thread or glue. I sewed my items on so I could remove them and re-make the hat with other items and colors, but you could easily use a glue gun if you prefer.

Directions:
1. If you will be using veiling, gather it to a length that will go half way around your base. Stitch or glue in place along the back edge. If it looks a little wonky that’s okay. The wearer can use hair pins to put the edges in place.

Fascinator 1

2. Begin adding your feathers, layering them in whichever fashion you like best. I sewed the pinwheel on first. See what big ugly stitches I used? I plan to take this off and remake it sometime to go with a different outfit. Big stitches are easier to remove, and who is ever going to see them?

Fasinator 2

Fascinator 2

3. When the feather layer is secured by stitching or glue, add your focal piece. I used my grandmother’s brooch. I can take it off and replace it with another one to change my color scheme.

4. Stitch or glue the fascinator to the headband or whichever fastening method you chose.

5. Try on the fascinator. Pretend your hair is perfect, your eyes are dramatically made up and your lips have that 1950s red pout. Use hair pins to arrange the veil in the most flattering way.

You’re done!! Congratulations! You have a fascinator hat to wear to your next cocktail party!

Fasinator Fascinator

Wolf's GloryWolf’s Glory

After the Crash, Book 2

When goth-girl Glory Peterson’s plane crashes she walks to find help. What she finds are people living in teepees like it’s the Old West. Wolf’s Shadow knows Glory is his mate. Glory’s happy to take a roll in the hay with him while she’s waiting for transportation back to civilization, but when she finds out she’s gone fifty years into the future and Shadow is a bossy werewolf who thinks he owns her, her attitude changes fast. Shadow is used to giving orders that are obeyed. Glory hasn’t obeyed an order since kindergarten. When two strong-willed lovers clash, who will win?

Available from Liquid Silver Books Now

Visit Maddy Barone to learn more about Maddy and her books.

CONTEST: Book one in Maddy Barone’s series, After the Crash, is actually one of the ebooks in the ebook bundle I’m giving away. The contest closes soon. Details of how to enter are on my contest page.