Sunday, September 29, 2013

Character Interview with Seth Alton & Assassin's Rose Release Day Blitz with KaSonndra Leigh



Aassassins Rose
An Immortal Games Novella
A New Adult Paranormal Fantasy by KaSonndra Leigh
Release Date: September 29, 2013


Synopsis:

My mother once told me life is a lot like a card game.
She said you can either accept the hand you have been dealt, or you can create a new play, make your own rules, and win the game one card at a time.

I loved my mother with all my heart. She’s gone now. He took both my parents away from me. I’m talking about the Angel of Chaos, the one who plans to destroy both the human world and mine.

I can’t let that happen. He and the ones who serve him have already taken so much from me. I do believe it’s time for a little payback. I will have the final say. With my lover by my side, I can conquer anything.

I will turn the game around...and win.

For I am the assassin; and revenge will be my rose.

**This story contains sexual situations and mature language. It is intended for an audience at 17+ years of age.**






Author of the Bestselling Lost Immortals Saga and the International Bestseller the Prelude. I’m also a mother, blogger, reader, gardener, home renovator, and a slayer of undead Egyptian mummies in Tomb Raider. I believe in karma, coffee, and seriously wish that the producers of Xena would bring my favorite show ever back.

I was born in the race-car city of Charlotte, NC, and now live in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, NC. Most of my characters are based on people that I’ve met throughout my travels and adventures. People tend to stop and start conversations with me as if I’ve known them my entire life. Does this freak me out? Not really. My mom says that one day I’ll get kidnapped by one of them. I told her that if it weren’t for these lovely people then I wouldn’t be able to create the stories that I do.

Some other common tidbits…hmm. I’ve watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun almost 200 times. Seriously, the way I see it is if I keep watching it enough, then suddenly the house that Diane Lane lives in will magically appear in my backyard. I know. I have a huge imagination!



Links to Fun Stuff:


Join thousands of Immortal Games Fans on the Facebook FanPage: https://www.facebook.com/KaSonndraLeighBooks

Author Website: www.kasonndraleigh.com


Newsletter Signup:  The Seraphine News

Twitter: @kasonndraleigh






KAY: So, if you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

Seth: **crosses his legs, raises his left eyebrow and stares at me a long moment** I don’t really want to answer that question right now. Next one, please.

KAY: Okay. How do you fall in love? At first sight? Or over a long period?

Seth: I don’t fall in love. Love is a minefield of magnetic bombs waiting for you to swallow the iron pill. It pulls you in, and then boom! You’re dead. **uncrosses his legs and stares at me**

KAY: That's kind of sad you feel that way. How do you decide if you can trust someone? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?

Seth: I wonder if I didn’t make myself clear in the previous question. But I’ll humor you this one time. I trusted once, loved once. What did I get in the end? Betrayal. Heartache. Next question, please.

KAY: What really moves you, or touches you to the soul? And that’s not the same thing as the love question, by the way.

Seth: **chuckles and grins with his black-blue eyes** A double-edge sword kind of question. You get me to answer this one, and then you think you can figure out how I’d answer the little wishes question, right? One word, one thing touches my soul. It’s all that matters…power. I intend to have it. And I’ll get it anyway I have to.

KAY: When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?

Seth: Well I’d notice you if you were sitting in there. You have such lovely brown eyes. I could swim in them until the silver moon rises on high next year.

KAY: Okay. Thanks, I think. On the other hand, when you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?

Seth: Well I don’t know, lovely. If walked into a room which one of my assets would you pay attention to first? **gives me a dimpled grin as I turn red**

Are we almost done with these…incredibly fun questions? I have to get back to the Camp. New trainees are arriving shortly.

KAY: Of course. Just a couple more. What do you consider your special talent?
Seth: I make things happen that you wouldn’t believe. Even if you’d just seen it with your eyes all the way open.

KAY: What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?
Seth: Are you really prepared to hear me answer that question? Take my advice and skip it.

KAY: What are you most afraid of?
Seth: Easy enough. Nothing.
KAY: Describe yourself to me.
Seth: I am the alpha and the omega, the original and the doomed. The first of my kind and perhaps the last. Thank you for interviewing me.

Want to know more about the intriguing Seth Alton? Then you can read about him in both Assassin’s Rose (Book One of my New Adult Paranormal Fantasy Series called the Immortal Games) and The Lost Immortals Saga, my YA series.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Giveaway and Spotlight on X5 by Diana Stager

Spotlight on X5 by Diana Stager


Blurb

Being a socially awkward geek with anger management issues has made Travis Armstrong an outcast, but on top of that, he has visions of the future. Not that he can tell anyone, except in an anonymous online forum. When he takes a chance and meets with another group member, he winds up at The Bunker, where everyone is like him, and where, finally, he feels like he belongs.

Tara Gage has been at The Bunker since she was thirteen years old. Even among the residents there, she’s unique, and her special talents lead her to discover that The Bunker is not the safe haven it seems to be. She’s determined to escape and get back to her family.


When they each have visions of the other’s death, Travis and Tara know they have to run. With their captors desperate to get them back, they must rely on each other to get away before their visions become reality.

Excerpt


My foot jiggled in time to the song running through my head as I waited for my turn at the polygraphs. Travis was nowhere to be seen, and I was glad of that. Or that's what I told myself whenever I became aware of my disappointment at not seeing him. He drove me crazy, and really didn't seem at all exceptional, but a growing part of me didn't care about that, and just longed to be near him. Disgusted with myself, I tried to think of something else.
My thoughts were cut short when Travis and Mike entered the hallway, both looking upset about something. Their friendship puzzled me. I know Mike was trying to prod Travis into being more of a leader than a loner, but as far as I was concerned, it wasn't working. He was too introverted, too willing to follow along with what the rest of us were doing, or else go off by himself. Both of them sent anxious glances my way, setting me on edge, and just as I stood to go talk to them, the attendant called my name. Casting a last look their way, I turned and entered the polygraph room.
I tried to get through it as quickly as I could so I could find out why Mike had looked so worried. Of course, because I was in a hurry, things took twice as long as normal, and every second wasted irritated the crap out of me. By the time I returned to the hall, Mike was nowhere to be seen, and Travis was pacing back and forth. It seemed I had no choice but to talk to him.
Taking huge strides, I made it to Travis's side quickly and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned, I hesitated for just a moment when my eyes locked with his, my stomach fluttering. Pull it together, Tara! I took a breath and then said, "What's up with Mike?"
Travis's eyes darted around and he turned to look over each shoulder before giving me a weird look. "Not much," he said finally, though he seemed to be trying to communicate something with his eyes. I frowned, and watched as his eyes widened, then darted to the side, his eyebrows lifting and then drawing together. What the hell? I shrugged and shook my head. Whatever he was trying to tell me wasn't coming across at all. He sighed and opened his mouth to say something else when something behind me caught his attention.
Turning, I saw a couple of armed security guards rushing into the polygraph room Mike had gone in. Remembering Cam, a band tightened around my stomach as my heart began to pound. Security only came to the polygraph rooms for one reason, and my fears were confirmed a moment later when they exited, holding Mike in between them.
"Mike!" I screamed, leaping forward to try to get to him. They couldn't be taking him away! What had he seen? My efforts to reach his side were blocked when Travis grabbed me from behind and wrapped his long arms around me. "Travis, let me go! Let me go!" I struggled against his grip, but it was like iron and I was getting nowhere. Lifting one foot, I kicked backward and connected with his shin. I heard him swear, but he didn't loosen his hold on me.
"Tara, stop," he whispered in my ear. "He knew this was going to happen."
I ignored him and screamed after Mike again. The security team nearly had him to the entrance to the administrative section of The Bunker. "No!" I yelled. "No, you can't take him! Mike!"
His eyes were full of pain when he turned to look at me one last time. I saw his mouth form the words, "I love you." And then the door slammed closed behind him. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks, my heart ached, and though my throat was raw and sore, I couldn't stop screaming. Travis wouldn't let me go no matter how hard I pulled against him. My squirming and wiggling wasn't doing any good, but I couldn't stop. The rational part of my brain knew that Mike was gone and nothing I did would help, but at the same time if I didn't try, I'd be giving up.
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my arm and when I turned my head, I saw one of the infirmary staff standing with a syringe in her hand. I tried to say something to her, but the edges of my vision were going fuzzy, and then everything went dark.

Author Bio


Diana Stager never met a book she didn’t like. An avid reader from a very early age, she discovered she loved writing her own stories down. She dreamed of being able to write a book, but more sensible ambitions shoved that dream onto the back burner. Over the years, she dabbled with the written word, but always had difficulty finding the right story. Then, one day the light bulb went on, an idea was born, and the rest is history (so cliché but so true).

Diana lives in Cambridge, Ontario in a house full of books. In the space that’s left, are her husband of 13 years, two children, and a cat, all of whom are adorable. She used to have a creepy fish, but sadly, he now swims in the big tank in the sky. She’s an elementary school teacher, who loves music and art.

Website: www.DianaStager.com       Facebook         Twitter
Buy Links:  Evernight Teen             Amazon          


And Now For a Giveaway!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Interview with Order of the Black Swan Author Victoria Danann

Hello Muses and Fallen friends,

I'm so excited to be interviewing today's guest, Victoria Danann, on my blog today. I recently purchased the first novel in her Order of the Black Swan series and fell in love with the characters and rich, unique storyline. Before we get to the interview, I'd like to introduce you to the latest installment in this fantastic series.

Gathering Storm
The Order of the Black Swan
Book Five
Victoria Danann
                  
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: 7th House      

ISBN: 978-1-933320-93-9
ASIN:

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 85k

Cover Artist: Victoria Danann

Book Description:

The fifth installment in the Black Swan serial saga. READING IN ORDER STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. That’s why we have a try-before-you-buy-program. The first book in the saga, My Familiar Stranger, is PermaFREE everywhere.

THE NEWSLETTER: Z Team, a.k.a Zed Company, is transferred to Jefferson Unit, which is being temporarily retired as an active hunter facility and converted to a research / training institution. Sol takes his first vacation – ever – leaving Glen in charge with Storm supervising. Rosie is proving to be an extraordinary little girl and Deliverance is in BIG trouble with her mother.

THE SURPRISES: Storm is really not himself. Former members of B Team must reunite to preserve his image and reputation.  No one could have prepared for the surprises Rosie delivers.

THE ADVENTURE: The Ralengclan send a second wave assassination team to Jefferson Unit at the worst possible time, when it’s been left defended by only Z Team, Glen, the Lady Laiken and the trainees.

An Interview with Ms. Danann

1.      Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. Loyalty counts. Honor never goes out of fashion. People can change.

2.      What are your current projects?

            Book #6, A Tale of Two Kingdoms, will release on December 8th and is THE one many of the Black Swan readers have been begging for. The fae and elves of Loti Dimension have been at war for two thousand years even though the current environment is more “cold” war. The Lady Laiken, as an outsider, has undertaken a search for answers as to what started it all. The saga returns to pure romance as we follow the quest of fated lovers, progeny of the two royal houses, for a happy ever after.

3.      Can you share a little of your current work with us?

There are a couple of excerpts at the end of this interview for your readers to enjoy.

4.      Who designed the covers?

I do.

5.      Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I had braced emotionally for this book to be the dud. I had spent a week telling myself, “Stephen King has written lots of bombs”. No matter what happens you’ll just keep writing. By the time I released the early reader and reviewer copies, I was so ready to hear, “Well, she’s lost it,” that I almost didn’t know what to do with “brilliant”, “best ever”, and “genius” comments.

It’s just like what famous musicians say about not being able to figure out what makes a hit song. You put it out there and then what happens is a mystery.

6.      Who is your favorite book boyfriend?

The answer to this question practically depends on what time it is. My choice might have been different earlier today. I’m going with Tack Allen. Motorcycle Man, Kristen Ashley. He’s the furthest thing from what I would choose in reality, but that’s what fantasy is all about.

7.      Do you have a song that you'd consider the theme for your novel?

            There is a playlist of songs that figure into the plot. If I pick one, it would have to be “Mama Told Me Not To Come”.

8.      Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes. Run don’t walk from “creative writing” classes. If you need to learn the correct format for writing a business report, go to school for that. As to writing, creativity can’t be taught, but people who don’t have it will try to camouflage that with rules and suppositions.

Thank you for taking the time today to connect with the Seraphine Muse's wonderful readers. I wish you the best of luck in all of your writing endeavors and feel free to come back and visit us anytime!
Where can readers find your online homes?

TWITTER: @vdanann

Is your book available in print, ebook, both?

Yes. As of release 9/19/13

Thanks for having me. - Victoria

Excerpt: 


PREFACE

Dunkilly, Ireland

Glendennon Catch caught the eye of the bartender who simply pointed toward a back corner. He couldn't see what the man pointed to, but he nodded and began making his way toward the rear.
He wound through a few layers of standing people who were holding glass mugs and talking loudly to be heard over the music, until he could see a corner snug in the back. It was close to a window so there was enough light to see, even with the smoke, that the bartender had been right in surmising that he was looking for Z Team.
There they were - the farthest thing from inconspicuous. Glen couldn't begin to guess how they had managed to be successful vampire slayers when everything about them drew attention and broadcasted vibes of this-is-your-last-chance-to-run. It was a message that floated around them like a diaphanous cloud of warning.
The four of them fit comfortably in a snug designed for eight. That was partly because of their sheer size and partly because they had a casual way of draping arms and legs so that they took up as much space as possible. It also communicated disdain for established notions of propriety. Glen knew instinctively that even the word "propriety" would make Black Swan's infamous misfits laugh out loud.
One of them was wearing a sleeveless shirt that had once been a denim jacket. His left arm had been transformed into a tattooed sleeve by an intricately inked mural of muted colors. It was odd to see bare biceps when it was brittle-dick cold outside, but Glen supposed that if he'd made that much of an investment in ink he might want to show it off too.
Glen's initial impression of the guy sitting next to Sleeve was that he should have the nickname, Dark, or Black. He wore black jeans, a black metal band shirt that was probably a collectable, and his spiky hair was so blue black it had to have been dyed that color. All that with eyes so pale he could almost get away with going undercover as a vamp. He wasn't wearing eyeliner, but the contrast between his ice-color irises and those thick ebony lashes made his eyes pop in a dramatic way that probably drew interest from a lot of babes. The Black Knight. Glen smiled a little to himself. He enjoyed his own company and his own offbeat sense of humor.
The third wore a plain gray long sleeve tee that covered his upper body, but Glen could see black ink climbing out of the neck of the guy's shirt, stopping just below his pronounced jaw line. Either tribal pattern or angel glyph. Hard to tell with just snake tails in view. He had a serious case of bed head going, probably by design, and one eyebrow that was raised and had been since he'd noticed Glen standing there watching them.
He said something to the others. Then the fourth, the one facing away with one long arm draped over the back of the snug, turned to look at Glen, revealing elfin ears. Those ears were outlined by light brown hair with titian streaks. Same curl as Sir Hawking. Had to be Torrent Finngarick.
They looked exactly the way Glen had expected them to look. Hard. Tough. And like they belonged together. He was thinking, So they're Black Swan knights with a little bit of a nasty reputation. They put their pants on one leg at a time just like me. Right?
It was an inadequate internal pep talk, but he just wasn't feeling it. He decided to go with Plan A, which was taking life straight ahead, one step at a time. Glen had a reputation of his own for being easy going, but he made an exception for passive aggressive nonsense. He didn't like it, didn't like people who habitually avoided the front door, and didn't mind letting his irritation with bullshit bubble over.
Plan A meant walking straight up to them, stating his business, hoping for the best, but being prepared for the worst. That was the thought bouncing around in his mind as he observed their reactions to seeing him approach the table.
When he was standing over them, he looked around the table and said, "I'm Glendennon Catch." Then he zeroed in on Torn. "Sorry for your loss, Sir Finngarick." He said "sir" quietly enough so that only they heard him, but they got the message. It was as good as a secret handshake. "The office sent me with a message from the HR department."
They left him standing there for a minute without saying anything or changing expression. It was a thinly disguised intimidation strategy to get him to reveal nervousness, timidity, or some other weakness that would register as a flaw in their eyes. That sort of thing didn't work on somebody who had inherited the dominant werewolf gene. He could stand there all day without flinching or looking away.
Finally, the big guy with the glyphs crawling up his neck grinned, showing dimples which seemed entirely out of place against the persona he'd so carefully crafted. "So go ahead and deliver your memo, Sweet Cheeks. We're waiting."
The other three chuckled softly without taking their eyes off of him. Glen laughed openly and good-naturedly, but let the sound trail off ending in a low level growl, incongruent with the smile on his face. The growl wasn't loud enough to draw attention from the wake-goers, but it was definitely heard by Z Team. They all sat up a little straighter and took another look at the kid. He had their interest, but that was worlds away from respect.
Looking at Glyphs, he said, "My briefing didn't mention that any of you are hard of hearing. If you want to call me by a name, it's Glen."
Finngarick's blue eyes twinkled in a way that brought Ram to mind while the other two laughed at Glyphs being put down by a kid who was years away from growing into his big frame.
"Long way to deliver a message. Would you no' have a pint with us then? Glen." He reached out with a long leg, put the toe of his scuffed boot through the leg brace of an unoccupied chair, pulled it up to the snug, and made a gesture of invitation. "You'll find we're no' much on formality. Call me Torn."
Glen nodded then looked at the others. Torn pointed at the guy with the sleeves and said, "This is Gunnar. That's Raif." He raised his chin in the direction of 'black knight'. "The fella with the questionable personality is Bob."
"Gunnar. Raif, Torn, And Bob. No way."
Finngarick's eyes twinkled with that special elvish sparkle. "Aye. Make no mistake. Name's Bob."
Glen shook his head. "Let's rename him."
Finngarick looked at Bob and then back at Glen. "What we have here gentlemen is a cool, gloomy Irish day with no place to go and no' a thin' to do, but have another pint. So I say we'll play that game. What would you call the man if it was up to you, young emissary?" Glen shrugged. "Come now. No ideas?"
"Well, yeah, I sort of named him in my head on the walk across the bar."
"Pub," Torn corrected.
"Yes. Pub. Sorry."
Bob raised both brows. "I, for one, cannot wait to hear what you named me in your head on your walk across the... pub."
Glen looked at him with speculation trying to decide whether or not to tell the truth. "Glyphs."
While Bob studied Glen, his three teammates studied Bob in turn, like they were trying it on for size. Bob lowered his eyebrows and rolled his big shoulders in approval.
Finally Torn nodded as if to say he'd reached a conclusion. "Right you are. Now that you point it out, I can see he's no' a Bob. Glyphs suits him fine. Congratulations, trainee. You just named yourself a knight."
Torn Finngarick called for a Guinness Extra Stout to be served to Glen, who wasn't used to alcohol at all and certainly wasn't ready for Irish black beer. He took a manly mouthful, thinking he had arrived, and promptly spewed it all over Torn in a spectacular demonstration of human fountain power. The other three members of Z Team laughed so hard they had to wipe tears.
"That was almost as funny as the night that Chokarzi stripper puked half a gallon of half-digested Cuervo in your face in the middle of a lap dance."
Glen borrowed a wet bar towel and offered it to Finngarick with a blush. "I'd offer to clean you up, but your file says you prefer to get personal with women."
Torn took the towel without a word, but with a glint of amusement in his eyes. When he was as clean as was possible without a shower and fresh clothes, he handed the towel to Glen. "Go get yourself somethin' else. Drinks are on me. Milk maybe?" he teased.

When Glen returned with a mug of root beer, no one asked him what was in the glass. Torn simply motioned to the chair. Glen sat.
"You're needed at Jefferson Unit. You're to accompany me to Fort Dixon after the funeral. Your things are being gathered and moved as we speak."
As Glen looked from one to another, he saw no discernible reaction. They were a cool bunch. He'd give them that.
Glyphs shrugged. "New York's no worse than any other place. Maybe better than some."
 Finngarick looked at Glen like he was a lab specimen on a microscopic slide. "Would you be happenin' to know why we're needed so urgently?"
Glen thought about it for a minute and decided there was no reason to withhold the truth. "Yes."
A ghost of a smile seemed to cross Finngarick's handsome elven face. "And would you be sharin' with us then?"
"Sorry. No."
Torn glanced at his teammates as if the four could communicate telepathically. "See. The thin' is, we're accustomed to hearin' The Order needs to sweep us further under the rug. No' brin' us into the light. We would no' be the least surprised if you came to say we're bein' transferred to Antarctica. But this? Naturally we're curious, you understand."
"Of course I understand. But I'm not at liberty to say."
Torn nodded thoughtfully. "Well, then. Might you be at liberty to say why you were sent to escort us?"
It took Glen less than a second to process whether it might be problematic to divulge that information. "The Jefferson Unit sovereign is retiring. I'm being given a try-out for his job. He sent me to get you." Z Team stared at Glen as if they were waiting for the punch line. Finally, he said, "No. Really."
Gunnar cleared his throat. "So. You're saying that, at some point, we might be calling you boss?"
Glen responded with a shit-eating grin so big, it begged for comeuppance. Gunnar swept his gaze around the snug before it came to light on Glen with a chilling mix of challenge, mischief and amusement.
Torn leaned forward. "Seems we have limited time for the application of a right proper hazin' then. Glen."
Four sets of eyes darted to the movement in Glen's throat when he swallowed.


About the Author:


If you're looking for something new and different in PNR, you've come to the right place.

I write unapologetic romances with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. Add a dash of scifi and a flourish of fantasy to enough humor to make you laugh out loud and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. My heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, or past life therapists. My heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners - usually - whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

My first book, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by the Reviewers' Choice  and Readers’ Choice Awards. Each of my books has remained on the Amazon best seller list in category every day since release. All four also earned the Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK award and have remained on the Amazon Best Sellers list every day since release.

My work has been compared to J R Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Lara Adrian. For example:

"I do see shades of Lara Adrian's Breed books and shades of J R Wards Black Dagger books, but this story is unique enough that it stands out all on its own and can stand up along side those other books and I think given time will elbow them out of the way with the rich story telling and deep emotional core that makes you want to know more." - Kerry, Musings of a Bookworm

The Order of the Black Swan is a series that is also a serial saga. Each book is an episodic installment in an ongoing story. Join me for the adventure.




Monday, September 23, 2013

Promo Spotlight and Giveaway for Tempted in the Tropics by Tracy March

Tempted in the Tropics
Suddenly Smitten Series
Book 2
Tracy March

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing - Bliss
Date of Publication: September 9, 2013

ISBN: 9781622661626
ASIN: B00EMTDMFA

Number of pages: 192

Cover Artist: Jessica Cantor

Amazon  BN  

Book Description:

The only thing they agree on is the sultry heat between them
Nothing’s more important to Paige Ellerbee than her struggling bakery, Sweet Bee’s. When Lane Anderson, the temporary new doctor hot enough to rival McDreamy, moves in next door, though, she’s sure things are looking up. Until he threatens her business in their first conversation.

Lane just wants to practice medicine responsibly—not argue with the flighty bakery owner next door. But when he finds himself traveling down to the Caribbean to play guitar for Paige’s best friend’s wedding, suddenly the sight of the blonde in a bikini eclipses the fact they can’t agree on anything. And as their vacation romance grows, his reservations about starting something after getting burned by love are washed away like sand on the beach.


But once Paige and Lane land back home, will these polar opposites be able to forgive their feud and find lasting love?

About the Author:


Award-winning author Tracy March writes romantic thrillers influenced by her career in the pharmaceutical field, and her interest in science and politics. She also writes lighthearted romances inspired by her real-life happily ever after.
Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves Nationals baseball, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without Diet Coke and Cheez-Its.
Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA. They recently spent two years living in Washington D.C., and enjoy visiting often—especially when the Nats are in town.





Excerpt from Tempted in the Tropics – A Suddenly Smitten Novel by Tracy March


Paige leaned closer to the window to get a better view, and that’s exactly what she got. One look at the new doctor and her stomach flipped like a pineapple upside-down cake. Tall and lean, with a tousle of brown curls, Dr. Anderson strode casually up the sidewalk, dressed in jeans, cowboy boots, and a worn leather
bomber jacket.
Oh my.
As he talked on his phone, an easy smile lit his angular face, and Paige would swear she saw twin dimples, but she couldn’t be sure from this distance. What she could be sure of was that a TV set somewhere was missing an extremely hot doctor. A hot, married doctor.
Dammit.
Paige glanced at her watch. “I need to head back next door. You got a full day of appointments today?” she asked her dad hopefully. If only the men in Maple Creek had more hair, or if what little they had left grew faster. There was no way the barbershop could stay open if business didn’t pick up for her dad.
He smiled and nodded. “About the same. Probably get some walk-ins, too.”
“Until then—” Grinning, she wagged her finger at him and the mayor. “You guys go easy on the gossip, okay?” She headed into the storeroom and was nearly to the back door when the bell on the front door chimed.
“Mornin’,” a man said with a rich, sexy drawl that stopped Paige in her tracks and drew her back into the shadows just beyond the main area of the shop. The new doctor stood up front with her dad and the mayor.
“I’m Lane Anderson—the guy filling in for Dr. Hartley.” He tipped his head in the direction of the doctor’s office.
Mayor Warren chewed cautiously as Paige’s dad set his coffee on the table next to his half-eaten muffin and stood. “I’m Tom Ellerbee.” He shook the doctor’s hand. “Pleasure to meet you.”
The pleasure was all Paige’s. Married or not, the hot doctor was the tastiest eye candy she’d seen in way too long.
“My uncle says you give a mean haircut, but I’m just lookin’ for a trim,” Dr. Anderson said. “How about noon tomorrow?”
Paige’s dad was nearly six feet, but he still had to look up at the doctor. “That’ll work.”
Dr. Anderson nodded and turned his attention to what was left of the muffin in Mayor Warren’s hand. “Those muffins smell delicious.”
“Sweet Bee’s muffins are the best you’ve ever tasted,” Mayor Warren said, and Paige grinned proudly even though they couldn’t see her. “And they keep us healthy, too.”
Dr. Anderson looked at him skeptically.
Mayor Warren stood, his spine straighter than usual. “There’s magic in them.”
Paige’s dad nodded. “You’ll see.”
Dr. Anderson glanced cautiously from one of them to the other as if he wondered what planet he’d landed on. “I’m sure there are lots of things keeping you two gentlemen healthy—diet; medications, maybe; exercise; even good genes. But I haven’t seen a lot of documented clinical evidence about the health benefits of magic muffins.” He shook his head and smiled, seeming to find some humor in what he’d said.
Paige’s stomach clenched as her dad and the mayor stared flatly at Dr. Anderson. How dare he waltz in and question the benefits of her recipes or the magic people believed was in them? She stepped out of the shadows and into the main area of the shop, hands on her hips, her chin tipped up stubbornly.
All three men turned to her, wide-eyed.
Leveling a sharp gaze at Dr. Anderson, she said, “If that’s the case, doctor, then it seems to me you’d be wise not to comment on things you know nothing about.” Paige shot him her nastiest stink-eye, turned on her heel, and left.



Come back on Wednesday to get the chance to read another excerpt and see my review for this fun novel! :D

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Advice for Writers A Guest Post by Sasha Hibbs



Author Sasha Hibbs's Advice for Writers:


As an aspiring author, of course I read and milled over the internet for hours seeking good solid advice that would help me succeed in my journey of becoming published. Reflecting back, I can now say with absolute certainty, publishing is NOT for the fainthearted. Below is my journey, what I took from my experience and what I wish to impart to you now.

  • The most important advice is you must have a finished manuscript. Period.
  • That manuscript better be so polished and shiny that you can see your dead ancestor’s reflection in it. It seems so fundamental, but when you have 300 + pages of typed material, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. Proof your manuscript over and over until your eye balls dry up and turn to dust, and even then you splash some Visine in your sockets and keep plugging away. Agents and publishers will not entertain a manuscript seriously if it’s bogged down with heavy spelling and grammatical errors.
  • When editing and proofing, what worked best for me was to start at the end and work my way up to the beginning.
  • Organize a group of beta-readers. Family is okay, but frankly, they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Select folks that will be honest with you. Publishers and agents don’t have time to play patty-cake with your manuscript. Beta-readers can pick up on things that after a while, the author misses such as consistency in storyline, grammar and misspellings, questions that you may have forgotten to answer, etc. If you secure a great group of beta-readers, remember to return the favor. Plus, it’s fun!
  • Know the genre you’re writing in. Don’t forget to read. Isn’t that what pulled you into the obsession of getting published in the first place?
  • Know who to submit to. Literary agents and publishers have specific tastes. Know who you are querying before you submit anything. Your time and their time is too valuable to waste.
  • Make sure you follow guidelines down to the last letter. Each agent/publisher website has specific submission guidelines. Read them and follow them before you send anything off.
  • It’s always a good idea to be original. With that said, it can be difficult to be original in a literary world where everything that could have possibly been done, has. Try another angle. Make people fall in love with your characters. Ask yourself why you have a favorite book or series. What is it about that particular book that you love so much? I write YA paranormal fiction. Of course I love other novels with those same elements, too. But what really attracts me to a book, is characters. Strong characters. I want to cheer for them, I want to cry for them, I want to stay up and devour their story as though it were real. Make people empathize with your characters so that when the story is over, the characters are not forgotten.
  • Patience. You must have patience! Publishing can take weeks, months and in some cases, years. I built the world in Black Amaranth. I’ve lived with my characters for so long, I cannot remember a time when they weren’t talking in my head. Because I believed in them and had patience, my YA novel, the first in a series, was finally published by Evernight Teen, a most excellent publisher!

 Black Amaranth Synopsis:



Eighteen-year-old Ally Watson arrives home from high school graduation, more than a little annoyed that her Uncle Argyle—Ally’s legal guardian and only surviving relative—didn’t even bother showing up.  But instead of berating him for his forgetfulness, Ally finds him in a life-or-death battle with a monster. Argyle manages to kill the creature, and gives Ally a parcel containing a destiny she never knew existed.

Ally, along with her best friends Michael, Jessica, and David, hurry to Georgia to uncover the truth of Uncle Argyle’s secrets, and the meaning of the mysterious marks that Ally bears. Are the marks related to the blacksmith mythology of her ancestors? Who are these heavenly warriors who show up in the oddest of places? And will an ancient gypsy curse destroy the very things Ally fights to save?  
Black Amaranth: a simple flower, a symbol with an ancient legacy, a conduit for prophecy…while faith and hope are essential to the journey, Ally soon discovers that love is the most powerful force of all.



Author Bio:


By age 5, Sasha Hibbs' favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.  
With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.
When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.  
Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters, Aeliza and Ava. She is currently hard at work on book two in The Vulcan Legacies series.

Extended Excerpt:

“LOU’S HOUSE OF BLUES?” Dave read the large neon sign in disbelief. “You’re taking us to a…bar?”
“To the Gypsies, and the one I am seeking out in particular,” Parthenia looked straight ahead, “happens to spend most of her time in this bar.”
“Mom thinks we’re going to church camp.” Dave’s face spread into a big smile. “I wonder what she would say if she knew we were going to a bar.”
“We’re eighteen,” Jessica said, reminding him. “Just once, Dave, please be cool.” Jessica winced.
“Cheer up, Jessica.” Brandi patted her mockingly. “There’s a first time for everything.”
“Whatever. I’m sure this beats your lame keg party,” Jessica said.
Nothing surprised Ally anymore, not even the rough-cut lumber bar staring back at her. Motorcycles and beat up trucks lined the gravel parking lot. A wraparound porch with live oaks bordered the outside. Looking determined, Parthenia motioned for them to follow her up there. As Ally ascended onto the creaky porch, her eye caught a slumbering black dog. She sidestepped to miss treading on the dog. Instinctively, Ally bent down and brushed her hand along the thick black coat.
“Good Lord, Miss,” a voice said. Ally looked up into an old pair of friendly brown eyes. “You must be somebody special,” he said, swaying back and forth in a dilapidated rocking chair, the ripened wood groaning with each sway, paint chipping up the back spindles. “Miss Elma doesn’t like anybody,” he said. His deep Southern accent drew out each syllable slowly.
“Sorry,” Ally apologized.
“No need to be sorry, Miss.” Ally could see a warm smile through the grey stubble wrapped around his aged features. “That there dog showed up one day and she’s been laying here ever since like she’s been waiting on someone.” He turned his head out to the horizon, pulling out a battered harmonica and bringing it up to his lips, he paused and said, “You have a good day, Miss.”
Ally looked down at the dog. Lids slowly peeled back revealing deep-set hazel eyes. The dog stretched out her tired limbs, stood to her full height, and nudged Ally’s knees, placing her head under one of Ally’s open palms. Her long silky hair fell between Ally’s fingers.
“Looks like you’ve got a friend—a very large black German Shepherd friend,” Michael said, his eyes smiling.
“Ally,” Parthenia interrupted, “please tell her to sit. I’ve got a feeling this one’s going to follow you.” Parthenia met Brandi’s gaze, their intense eyes implying something they weren’t saying. “Eli, perhaps it would be best if Solomon and Jeb waited out here with Lucy.”
Eli turned, instructing them to wait and watch over his little sister.
“There are three Ravenscraft women: Denaulda, Griselda, and Irini.” Parthenia looked deeply into Ally’s eyes and then shot a look of caution to Michael and the twins. “Denaulda is the eldest sister, and by right, the acting leader of the Gypsies. She is the most powerful next to their holy woman, Belle Crow. Let me caution you now. Do not cross them. They prove to be useful and good allies, but can also prove to be fearful enemies if you’re not on the same side as them. Remember, the curse of the elder Gypsies coupled with Vulcan crossing them is what caused all of this to ensue in the first place. Their magic runs deep, it’s old, and just as the blaxxmiths have a particular affinity for a single element, Gypsies have a strong affinity for magic.”
“Ooo, this should be fun,” Brandi purred mischievously.
“Try to curb your enthusiasm, will you?” Parthenia glared back at Brandi.
“I’ll not say a word.” Brandi winked and said, “Promise.”
“Are they witches?” Jessica asked, a noticeable trace of anxiety in her voice.
“They’re worse than witches,” Eli barked out.
“What is your problem? Considering how you treated me last night, I doubt that your dislike is exclusive to Gypsies. I’m guessing that you hate everyone and everything.” Jessica’s face flushed with anger. Eli fumed, but said nothing.
“No, they are not witches,” Parthenia said, interrupting the awkward silence. “They are Gypsies, and if you want to get on their bad side quick, call one of them a witch.” She turned and looked down her nose at Dave.
“Gotcha,” Dave said, seeming to understand she worried most about what might come out of his mouth.
“Stay behind me and try not to stare at anyone,” Parthenia said.
“Stay, girl.” Ally pointed her finger down at the porch. Miss Elma was obedient, sliding her long muscled legs down, crossing them over top each other and resting her head on her large paws. “Good girl.”
Ally stepped in behind of Parthenia, leaving the rest to trail in after her. Ally looked around in awe. She had never been in a bar before, and wasn’t too disappointed by the one she was standing in now. Red booths lined the unevenly cut board and batten walls, and a few were occupied by men and women who stared directly at them. Round tables just big enough for two were scattered throughout, leading up to a large empty dance floor. Strings of colored bulbs hung down low from the walls, casting dim shadows that mixed in with smoky air. Bar stools surrounded the long slab bar, while behind it a large, intimidating man eyed them up as he casually wiped his hands off on a white towel.
“Hello, Lou,” Parthenia said. “Denaulda around?”
He jerked his head in the direction of the stage, Parthenia following the line of his gaze, sighed softly and said, “Great.”
“Remember me just saying that Gypsies were gifted with a particular talent? Strong magic?” Parthenia whispered close to Ally’s ear. 
“Uh-huh,” Ally said, looking straight ahead to the empty stage.
“Well, you’re about to find out what Denaulda’s is,” Parthenia said, sitting on a barstool and turning to face the stage. “Might as well have a seat and try to stay there.”
Michael and Dave eased down into an empty booth, leaving the opposite side open for the girls. Eli and Brandi opted to sit with Parthenia on barstools.
At the corner of the wooden stage, men were pulling out and tuning guitars and harmonicas. As a slow sultry rhythm played out of their instruments, a petite, dark-haired woman emerged from behind beaded curtains onto the stage. She slinked her way up to the microphone stand like a snake closing in on its prey. She curled her slender fingers around the mic as she cocked her head to the side, looking at her audience with thoughtful, heavy-lidded eyes. Ally’s arms erupted in goose bumps, a surefire warning that something otherworldly was about to happen.
She began to sing, sound floating dreamingly out of her mouth, weaving in and around the crowd like an invisible serpent, creeping up around their heels, sliding up and into their souls.
Michael and Dave twisted around, their heads following the direction of the eerie tune as Jessica mechanically stood up from the bench.
“What are you doing?” Ally whispered between her teeth while tugging on Jessica’s sleeve.
“Just one…dance.” Jessica didn’t look down at Ally; she walked slowly onto the dance floor as though the melody willed her to do so. Problem was, Jessica was a wallflower, or at least when they went to the prom Ally couldn’t peel her away from the wall if her life depended on it.
Ally looked around wondering if Denaulda’s music was having the same effect on everyone else. Brandi smiled naughtily which told Ally there must have been some part of her that expected this. Beside her, Eli watched Jessica through burning eyes. A few patrons joined Jessica on the dance floor, swaying back and forth to the beat, their bodies sweeping in and out in circular motions.
From the wall, a steely gaze followed Jessica. A boy with a shock of blond hair materialized from the shadows and inched his way towards the dance floor. He didn’t look much older than they did but he carried himself like a prowling marauder. His arms encircled Jessica’s waist as he closed the distance between them. To Ally’s surprise, Jessica welcomed him.
Denaulda’s lips curled up into a wicked smile. The tune hung in the air, like a poisonous gas. Ally couldn’t ignore the soothing, rich words.
When we were young and full of life
you reached in deep, and pierced my heart with a knife.
The night cries out, sweet and high,
weeping for her children with a gentle sigh.
Young nights, young nights, where did you go?
I can smell the night air, and how the moonlight glowed.
Young nights, young nights, come back to the home we both know.
“Where’s Lucy?” Dave kept his eyes fixed on Denaulda. “I think I should…” Dave’s words drifted off into the chorus.
Jessica reached her hands up and tangled her fingers into the thick blond hair of the boy she’d glued herself to. They appeared to only have eyes for each other as though no one else existed in the room. Ally was ready to get up and separate the two when another wave of lyrics poured out from Denaulda, nailing Ally to her seat.
I have loved you tender and loved you long,
but you were caught in the crossfire, we got it all wrong.
Can we ever go back to the way it used to be?
Young nights under the Spanish moss, just you and me.
I can smell the night air, and how the moonlight glowed.
Young nights, young nights, come back to the home we both know.
Ally couldn’t budge. “Michael?” She looked up, knowing he would fix this, but when she met his eyes, her breath caught in the back of her throat. Heat spread up through her face as his blue eyes bored into hers. The Michael staring at her now wasn’t looking at her as friends look at one another, but as something much different: as a man who looks, really looks, at a woman. Without Denaulda’s enchanting music, Ally wondered if his penetrating gaze would have bothered her or not.
Eli crossed the floor in long strides, catching Ally’s attention. She sat there unable to move, nervous, knowing that the direction Eli was currently going in wasn’t a good one. Eli’d had a chip on his shoulder since they all met, but more so towards Jessica than the rest of them. Ally just didn’t know why, though.
“Enough.” Ally could barely hear what Eli was saying to Jessica over the music. Denaulda looked entertained by what was transpiring on the dance floor. Jessica paid no attention to him, moving in closer to her partner, so close you couldn’t wedge a piece of paper between them.
Eli’s lips twisted into a snarl as he grabbed Jessica’s wrist. The next few moments happened before Ally could fully register what she was seeing. The blond boy swung at Eli, whose hand cupped the boy’s fist, holding him there effortlessly. He jerked Jessica to the side, causing her to rock on her heels, attempting to balance herself. He flung the boy’s fist down in disgust. “You’re done here,” Eli said to the boy through clenched teeth.
“Oh, no we’re not,” Jessica said, seething and stepping away from Eli, going back into the arms of her dance partner.
Eli growled as he grabbed her arm. Jessica spun around and slapped Eli across the face, sending an echo throughout the bar.
“Do not ever touch me again!” Jessica’s face reddened, almost matching the color of her hair. “Do you understand me?”
Eli stood there blinking in disbelief, raising a hand up to where hers had just been.
“Okay, boys.” Denaulda motioned for the band behind her to stop. “I think it’s time for a break.”
As soon as Denaulda quit singing, her spell dissolved. All those affected shook their heads, clearing up the lingering fog, all except Eli. He stood still, tracing the outline of where Jessica’s fingers touched him.
“Um…” Jessica looked back and forth between Eli and the blond boy staring at her and said, “Hmm, this is awkward. Excuse me.” Jessica quickly brushed past them and darted back to sit down. “What was I doing?”
“Let’s just say that you gave Brandi a run for her money,” Ally said, sugar-coating the truth as Jessica slouched down further in the booth.
“Parthenia,” the words were rich, alluring, “what brings you to my neck of the woods?” Denaulda’s eyes slid past Parthenia and landed directly on Ally.
Denaulda tilted her head, studying Ally through suspicious eyes. “I read the stars last night. Do you know what they told me?” Her eyes, the color of ash, rounded as she studied Ally.
Ally couldn’t speak, her voice was jammed. Looking at this sorceress was unnerving. Ally just shook her head no.
         “They told me Death would be coming to visit me today.”