• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Urban Fantasy vs. Fantasy or Girls vs. Boys Phoenix Comicon panels part duex #writingtips #rogues

Welcome to part deux of my ventures into Phoenix Comicon writing panels. I saved the best for last. The panel was titled “Writing Rogues” and man, the panelists fit that description to a ‘T’.  Recognize these names: Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files), Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles), Patrick Rothfuss (Kingkiller Chronicles), Pierce Brown aka Pretty Boy (Red Rising Trilogy), Sam Sykes (The Aeons’ Gate series), and Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards series). If you read fantasy, you know at least one of these. And yes, it did not escape my notice there were no females present (but more of that later).

This workshop focused on the role of the rogue in fantasy series.  You know the ones: Han Solo from Star Wars, Lynch’s Locke, Harry of Jim Butcher fame, Atticus from Kevin’s series, these male characters know how to work that line between bad boy attitude and hero.

They started off with what makes a rogue–flaws, moral grayness (morally transgressive), never sure if they’ll side with you or leave you hanging in the wind, ambivalent, never committed to any cause, unless it’s themselves. They’re the characters you aren’t sure will show up, and when they do, you still aren’t sure what they’re going to do. They break the boundaries of their worlds, have to fight themselves before they fight their antagonist.  Want more examples? Think Snake Eyes from GI Joe, Stryder from LoTR, Cpt. Kirk of USS Enterprise–each one of these is what is described as a “chaotic neutral”.

The panel was an hour long and these guys are high caliber smart asses, witty without trying, and awesome to listen to. Then one of the audience members got up and asked a question.

“Why aren’t there any female rogues in fantasy?”

Silence descends for a moment, then Patrick dares to address the 15 minute rambling that I managed to get down to 8 words.  Because part of that rambling question were comments, such as “why does a female rogue have to be attractive, but a male one doesn’t?”, and “why are female rogues considered $itches”, and “how come its an all male panel?”, and so forth.

It was a big room with lots of people. My heart went out to the panelists. This is a minefield question. The questioner was on the younger side (no offense meant, but it may give insight into the whys behind the questions).

I won’t go into the debate that broke out, but I will boil some of it down:

1. In Fantasy, the world settings tend to model on medieval, which then extends to your world’s attitudes on genders. Patrick posed an interesting question, “If a fantasy author wrote a book where the lead was a mother, who decided to leave her hubby and kiddos, to undertake a heroine’s journey, would the readers be sympathetic?”  My answer as a reader–not me. First, I’m a mom and a wife, and somehow leaving behind the important peeps in my life to undertake some journey to find a magical object, would require serious incentive. Patrick pushed it further. “So say this mom does leave it all behind to do this journey, and say the sexual mores of this world were less puritan than ours, so she can now hook up with males through out her journey without worry of negatively impacting her family behind, would it still work for you?”  Again, me as a reader–um, yuck.

My take away from this one:  Fantasy is based on historical mores/values/cultures, and women, unfortunately did not play dominant roles in those, which is then reflected in high fantasy.

2. Many, many, MANY (did I say many?) times, each of the authors on the panel brought up woman writers who have kick-ass female rogues: Carrie Vaughan, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Laurell Hamilton, Elizabeth Hand, etc.

After much back and forth, guess what I wanted to yell at the minor demon of debate castigating the panel: Yo, honey, you want rogue females? Then PICK UP A DAMN URBAN FANTASY BOOK!  Rogue female characters work in UF because it’s fantasy set in contemporary times, where moral trangsgressiveness is gender blind. You want to know what happen to rogue female leads, yeah they’re kicking ass a few hundred of years after the bad boys of fantasy.

Besides, you tell me, don’t Granuaile from Hearne’s novels, or Karen in Jim’s novels, nail the female rogues roles?

So I refrained from violence, barely, but I still had to vent a bit on this.

Tell me, as I haven’t read the newer High Fantasy lately, are there women rogues in lead roles? Ones that aren’t portrayed as hardened $itches?

SHADOW’S MOON is on Tour! #booktour #newrelease #UF #PNR

Look at the lovely banner…isn’t it pretty? SHADOW’S MOON is touring during the month of June. Much thanks to Enchanted Book Tours for setting this up for me.  To see the complete list with links, just click on the banner below.

We have giveaways, excerpts, interviews of all kinds. Come join the celebration as we follow Xander and Warrick’s further into the Kyn world!

Shadow's Moon is on Book Tour in June!

Shadow’s Moon is on Book Tour in June!

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

June 1st: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading June 2nd: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader June 3rd: Book Excerpt @ The Book Gazette June 5th: Author Interview and Giveaway @ The Single Librarian June 7th: Promo Post @ Book Club Sisters June 8th: Book Excerpt @ Bookaholic Ramblings June 9th: Guest Post @ Forever Book Lover June 10th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog June 11th: Book Review @ Endazzled Reading June 13th: Promo Post @ Hollow Readers June 15th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily June 16th: Book Review @ Bookish Madness June 17th: Book Excerpt @ 365 Days of Reading June 19th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog June 21st: Book Review and Giveaway @ Forever Book Lover June 23rd: Promo Post @ The Reading Guru June 25th: Author Interview @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog June 26th: Book Excerpt @ Realm Tramper June 28th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading June 29th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Book Skater June 30th: Book Review @ Paranormal Romance Authors That Rock July 1st: Book Review, Excerpt and Giveaway @ Dalene’s Book Reviews

Writing Masters: Jim Butcher

 

I was reading some articles about writing, and it suggested googling one of your favorite authors, plus the word writing. I googled “Jim Butcher Writing”, without the quotations.

Google page: http://www.epublishabook.com/2014/06/09/writetip-elements-subplot-writers-writing-amwriting/

 

Product DetailsProduct Details

 

He writes both High fantasy and urban fantasy, but his tips apply to any genre

 

 

 

 

Some awesome pages that came up:

 

Jim’s LiveJournal

He hasn’t been on this for years, and the later posts are sporadic, but he talks about how he plots and writes

http://jimbutcher.livejournal.com/

 

This is a blog that lists direct links to Jim’s writing articles

http://blog.karenwoodward.org/2012/10/jim-butcher-on-writing.html

http://blog.karenwoodward.org/2012/06/jim-butcher-how-to-write-story.html

 

Google Docs that someone collated Jim’s tips (Can be saved as a document)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a0ll3XxM5bRyv3xHpNfuRld4q5-9bKpW-K4_LLWESak/edit?hl=en_US

 

Interviews

http://clarionfoundation.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/interview-with-jim-butcher-author-of-the-dresden-files/

http://www.wizardsharry.com/dresden5.html

 

How Jim got Published

http://www.jim-butcher.com/jim

 

Q4U: What authors would you like to see writing tips from?

 

Hope you find these helpful : )

~ Amber

SHADOW’S MOON has arrived! #newrelease #kynkronicles #pararom #UF

Shadow’s Moon is an excellent addition to the Kyn Kronicles series. Gray is really coming into her own…I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up. It held my interest from beginning to end.” – Taylor Jones, Black Opal Reviewer

“Shadow’s Moon is riveting. I was caught up in it from the very first word, and I simply could not put it down. I read right through to the end, finishing at 4 in the morning. I can’t wait for the next one in the series. Gray has turned into a first class author of paranormal thrillers.” – Regan Murphy, Black Opal Reviewer

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SHADOW’S MOON: BOOK 3 OF THE KYN KRONICLES, 2013 Golden Claddaugh Finalist

Even a wild heart can be broken…

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.

It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage frays an already thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny, and ensures she can’t escape the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis.  Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.

As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for a killer, he has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect her or his pack. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves, along with anonymous threats against him and his Pack, begin to jeopardize his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur, leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf. 

As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.

 

Now available in eBook and Print at:  AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS

READ AN EXCERPT

 

Xander pulled the blade Gavin had lent her from her boot and made sure to keep her footsteps silent as she continued forward. The wind changed direction and brought her the sound of snarls and growls. Her wolf pushed her faster, knowing her mate faced more than one enemy. But they needed to identify all the players. Otherwise, they were asking to be ambushed at the worst possible moment.

Above her, a branch rustled and Xander froze in place, waiting. A whiff of metal and oil hit her. She dropped to the ground. A sharp crack echoed through the forest and something slammed into the bark where her head had just been. There was a muffled grunt and a short scream that was abruptly cut off. Off to her side, something heavy began to fall through the trees. She was on her feet before it hit the ground.

Raine dropped to the ground beside Xander as she stopped in front of the body. Deep claw marks replaced his throat and he was sporting a black handled blade in his chest. She caught the rifle Raine tossed her, noting the bloody handprint on the wooden stock. It was heavier than it looked, and the smell of silver and gunpowder rose from the thick barrel to mix with the familiar scent of shifter. She sheathed the knife, examining the gun.

Son of a bitch. Since when did wolves start carrying hunting rifles loaded with silver? That was cheating. Disgusted, she vented her anger by bending the barrel of the gun and tossing it aside.

Raine curled her hand around the blade’s hilt and pulled it free with a small sucking sound. She wiped the blood, coating the blade, off on the body’s shirt. Rising to her feet, she slipped it back into one of her many hiding spots.

Knowing how well voices could carry in the forest, Xander used the hand signals known to all Wraiths. Others?

Raine raise an eyebrow and two fingers, a third waffling.

So two, maybe three still lurking about. Thanks to the shot, they were bound to come investigate. The need to be by Warrick’s side tugged at her. She’d leave the others to Raine and Ryuu when he finally showed up. Which reminded her…

A few rapid hand movements later, Raine slipped into the forest to hunt. Xander left her to it.

 

 

Available in eBook and Print now at:  AMAZON / BARNES AND NOBLE / BLACK OPAL BOOKS / ARe / SMASHWORDS / iBOOKS

 

Jami Gray Small

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Her latest release, SHADOW’S MOON  was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, HUNTED BY THE PAST, hits shelves in July 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.

Come stalk Jami at any of these fine locations:

Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Goodreads  /  Google+  /  Amazon

 

Come visit w/Nationally Best Selling Deborah Cooke and join our #giveaway! #Dragonfire #UF #PNR #romance

Good morning Swamp Folks! How are we doing this fine spring morning? Did you all make it past Dreamer’s SnapDragons? *wincing* Yeah, seems the seedlings got mixed with the Venus FlyTraps, hence the sharp teeth on those little puppies.

Well, now that you’re all settled in, get ready, because today we welcome the Nationally Best Selling Mistress of the hunky men of her Dragonfire series–Deborah Cooke . You may also recognize her as Claire Delacroix, the NY Times Best Selling authoress.

And because Deborah is such awesome sauce, she’s going to do a giveaway right here!

So in the comments, share with us a piece of life advice you found helpful or not so helpful and you could be our lucky winner of:

A SIGNED TRADE PAPERBACK OF THE DRAGON LEGION COLLECTION!

Dragonfire is a paranormal romance series featuring dragon shape shifter heroes on quest to save humanity 

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Don’t forget to include your email so we can reach out and gift you! (winner announced on 3/19/14)

Without further ado, I give you Deborah…

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten.  Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

Well, maybe this is backwards, but I always wanted to be a writer. I was an avid reader as a kid and just loved books. I also loved making up stories. Now we’d call it fan fiction, but I used to continue the stories of characters I’d met in books. The idea that I could be someone who wrote books, who was responsible for putting stories out into the world, was just a thrilling possibility. I was told, though, that being a writer wasn’t a practical way to make a living, that I should write as a hobby and find a “real” job instead. Well, writing books isn’t a practical way to make a living, but if it’s what you want to do, “real” jobs are just too boring to endure. I had real jobs for a while and ended up scribbling books on the side. I had to follow my bliss, and I did. Even before I sold my first book, I quit my real job and I’ve never looked back. It’s been challenging sometimes but so rewarding that you take the challenges in stride.

–I did the same thing for books and movies, generally creating my own character, because, well, because I’m a writer.  I also heard the same thing about writing not being a “real” job. *snort* Shows what they know.  I’ve got a plan where the day job goes bye-bye, but we’re not quite there yet. Soon, though *rubbing hangs together*

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

I expect my characters would be frustrated with me for not writing more quickly. They’d accuse me of being easily distracted by shiny new ideas, which isn’t entirely unfair. Shiny new ideas are exciting! The fact is that I’m pretty prolific, but I still have too many ideas to write them all as quickly as even I’d like. I also have a tendency to create secondary characters who want to steal the book so they can have their own stories told. I make them wait, even though they’re interesting, and they don’t like it. The line of characters wanting their particular book written forms to the right, and my office tends to be pretty crowded. So long as no one fictional does injury to anyone else fictional, I’m okay with the crowd. I doubt they feel the same way – and really, if I was waiting on an HEA, I’d be impatient too. This also explains why I talk when I’m writing, but I’m not really talking to myself (although it looks like it): I’m calming the crowd. =0)

–Yep, have to watch for others listening in, they start to consider us “unbalanced”.  Explaining it, seems to make it worse!

Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere?  Inquiring minds want to know: what was  your first attempt at writing and how old were you?

I made many first attempts at writing, and took creative writing classes in high school. The first full length book that I completed is the proverbial one under the bed. It’s a paranormal romantic suspense set in Venice. I loved that story to bits and revised it many (many!) times. I really didn’t have the skill to do a good job with such a complicated hybrid genre book then. I submitted it to many publishers and agents, but in 1990, there was no market for that kind of book. There still might not be a market for it, but over the years, it’s haunted me and I now have a better plan of how to write it. I might rewrite it one of these days. We’ll see. For now, those characters have joined the line in my office.

–So I’m going to ask, do you have one of those paper ticket dispensers, like a deli? “Please take a number and we will serve you as soon as we can.” =0)

What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?

I’m always honoured to hear from readers. There’s something so private about the act of writing that it’s frequently a bit startling to realize that other people are actually reading my books. Of course, that’s the point of publishing them, but still, it’s very exciting to hear from a reader. The sweetest thing someone can say is “I loved your book X.” Wow! That never fails to give me a thrill. Meeting readers in person is also a treat. One of the most exciting changes for writers is the development of the internet and the opportunity it gives of interacting with readers, through blogs, emails or other social media. It’s so much fun to have that immediacy and even to be able to correspond.

–Well, let me be another one, I love, love your Dragon series (and I know Snarky is just almost speechless that you’re visiting).

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

It wasn’t given to me specifically, but is from the writings of Joseph Campbell: Follow your bliss. You have to do what makes you happy, regardless of whether other people (or even you) think it’s a sensible choice. Another saying I just love comes from Julia Cameron and the Artist’s Way: Leap and the net will appear. That’s about trusting your instincts and following your heart (as well as your bliss). We know more than we believe we do, and need to be reminded to trust in ourselves and our own instincts.

–Instincts, we have ’em for a resin =0)

Time for our favorite things, our bullet list…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Whatever suits the character. =0)

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

I love so many, but would choose Beauty and the Beast.

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

My TBR pile is very scary. It fills an entire bookshelf in my office. On my nightstand, though, are Agatha Christie: The Mousetrap and other plays (I admit I’ve been on a bit of an AC binge this fall.)
Margo Lanagan: The Brides of Rollrock Island (This is just lovely. I’m trying to ready slowly and savour.)
Ursula K. Leguin: Voices (Recommended by a friend who reads a ton more fantasy than me. I love UKL’s work, though, and am looking forward to diving in.)

Greatest one liner of all time?

“I know.”  Hans Solo en route to his inevitable demise, right after Princess Leia cries “Hans! I love you!”

–Ah yes, Star Wars, greatest space soap opera EVER!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Oh, I like wry humor. The deadpanned one-liner is my fave.

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

Hmm. There’s the usual clutter of books, music dvd’s, computer parts, notebooks, file folders and knitting in various stages of completion.

Favorite supernatural creature?

Dragons, of course. (Shape-shifting dragons that can become hunky heroes are even better.)

–LOL!

Much thanks to Deborah for taking time out of her very busy schedule to be with us! Don’t forget to leave your comment and email below. 

Need more…

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Bestselling and award-winning author Deborah Cooke has published over fifty novels and novellas, including historical romances, fantasy romances, fantasy novels with romantic elements, paranormal romances, contemporary romances, urban fantasy romances, time travel romances and paranormal young adult novels. She writes as herself, Deborah Cooke, as Claire Delacroix, and has written as Claire Cross. She is nationally bestselling, as well as a USA Today and New York Times’ bestselling author. Her Claire Delacroix medieval romance, The Beauty, was her first book to land on the New York Times List of Bestselling Books.

Deborah was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time TPL hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and she was honored to receive the Romance Writers of America PRO Mentor of the Year Award in 2012.

Currently, she’s writing the Dragonfire series of paranormal romances as Deborah Cooke, and the True Love Brides series of medieval romances (with fantasy elements) as Claire Delacroix.

The current Dragonfire release is The Dragon Legion Collection, which includes three paranormal romance novellas. You can read more about it right here:
http://deborahcooke.com/deborah-cooke-books/dragonfire/the-dragons-legion-novellas/

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The current True Love Brides release is The Highlander’s Curse, which is a paranormal Scottish medieval romance. You can read more about it right here:
http://deborahcooke.com/claire-delacroix-books/the-true-love-brides/the-highlanders-curse

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Deborah has also republished a trilogy of urban fantasy romances featuring fallen angel heroes and set in a dystopian future called the Prometheus Project. There’s a new fourth book in the series called Abyss and you can read more about it right here:
http://deborahcooke.com/claire-delacroix-books/the-prometheus-project/abyss/

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Find Deborah at these locations:

Deborah’s website and blog is http://deborahcooke.com

Deborah is on Facebook as herself:
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahCookeFanPage
and also as Claire Delacroix:
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorClaireDelacroix

Deborah is on Goodreads as Claire:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12694.Claire_Delacroix

Coming soon–SHADOW’S MOON…come get hooked! #MRFWhooks #bookhooks #PNR #shifters

I get to take part in Marketing For Romance Writers Book Hook hop and today I’m sharing a little teaser of  SHADOW’S MOON, the third book in my Kyn Kronicles, coming in Spring 2014.  

I don’t have my cover yet (that too shall be coming), but I wanted to share anyway!

SHADOW’S MOON, the third installment of the Kyn Kronicles…

Wolf-Couple-wolves-1383781-633-480-3

As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for the one threatening their pack, will he be able to bend before they both break?

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.

It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage begins to fray the thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny. It also ensures there is no escaping the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis.  Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.

Warrick Vidis has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect his Pack, or his very reluctant mate. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves and anonymous threats against him and his Pack jeopardizes his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf.

As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.

If you want to catch up before Spring, get your copies of SHADOW’S EDGE and SHADOW’S SOUL, available now!

ShadowsEdge front

AMAZON    BARNES AND NOBLE    SMASHWORDS    ARe     BLACK OPAL BOOKS

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AMAZON    BARNES AND NOBLE    SMASHWORDS    ARe    BLACK OPAL BOOKS

Now continue onward to find awesome new reads for the new year, just click below

Click here to view this Book Hooks hop’s Linky Tools list…


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Can you keep a holiday secret w/ @khlemoyne and THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS? If so, you could win! #holidays #anthology #giveaway #BOB

It’s almost here! THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS hits shelves TODAY, Dec. 14th! We wanted to get you ready for the release and today we have KH LeMoyne with us and she sharing, but shhh! don’t scream about it too loud, we don’t want to scare everyone away! Besides, you don’t want everyone to know what an awesome gift you’re picking up this year. 

((sigh)) Never mind, go ahead and tell everyone one….please!

3D Paranormal Anthology

Jami, thank you for having me on your blog. I’m thrilled to be in the Things That Go Bump For the Holidays anthology with you and so many other wonderful writers.

My contribution in the anthology, Heart Strings, is a follow-on short story with the characters from my first Portals of Destiny book, Return of the Legacy. For those of you who can commiserate with the difficulty of buy gifts and keeping secrets from your loved ones during the holidays, the task takes on a new level of difficulty in a family of gifted empaths and mystics.

Here’s an excerpt from Return of the Legacy to whet your appetite:

A glint of steel flickered in the shadowed dusk.

“What’s your business here?”

Logan shifted his eyes to make out the owner of the deep rasping voice. He slid his hand higher to palm the child’s head and shield her.

The sword was fisted in the hands of one short, but solid, old man, white hair plastered to his head. Fierce eyes challenged Logan’s, urging him to make a wrong move. Logan had no doubt a mistake now would end his life. Practiced calm seeped through him and froze him in place.

“Logan.” Robert moved closer, but a sword blade from a second person motioned him silent. Robert sank to his knees beside Logan, hands raised in submission in an attempt to defuse the aggression and take the brunt of the attention.

The position would make no difference. Robert was as deadly on his knees as he was on his feet. So was Logan if the protection of the fragile child hadn’t come first.

“There’s no need to hurt anybody.” Logan’s voice stayed calm and low. “We’re no threat.”

“That’s not for you to determine,” the older man rasped.

Logan moved his second hand from the anchor of the rock to the sling.

“Hefin, there’s a child.”

The deep, sultry voice drew Logan’s gaze to the woman’s face. His eyes narrowed. He moved back as she reached toward him, but the sword stopped his movement. Slender long fingers touched the sling with a gentle touch. They paused to cover Logan’s hand on the child’s head, and then retreated. Beneath her hood, he saw the outline of full lips and high cheekbones. Recognition struck a blaze through his body in spite of the wet and cold.

“Stay back from them, Briallen. They’re likely Vandals. Or scouts.”

Her hood feel back. Almond shaped eyes widened before her delicate brows drew together in puzzlement. “No, they are not.”

Ignoring the rivulets from rain that streamed down his face and the sword at his neck Logan met her gaze. “The girl is very sick. She needs a dry, warm place and some medical attention.”

Her hand gently pushed aside the blade at Logan’s throat. “Hefin, there is no harm here.”

Want more? I know you do! Check out her Amazon Author Page for all her titles. We’re going to share her Return of the Legacy:

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Three magical dimensions…Two mystical bloodlines…One undeniable destiny.

Born a magical empath, Logan MacKenzie has spent his life protecting his family from discovery. Evil has found them anyway. What begins as Logan’s search for answers on Earth becomes a race for survival in the magical dimension of Loci.

The battle to save those he cares about will reveal his true lineage—the bloodline of the Makir, one half of a pair of sentinels chosen to guard the mystical portals between dimensions. The price of his acceptance: a love he never imagined possible and a heartbreaking choice.

Her family attacked, her home destroyed, and now stranded on Loci, Briallen of Tir Thar, descendant of a magical race, has only to summon the power within her to return to her own dimension—or so she had hoped. Unfortunately, her powers aren’t cooperating, and the sorcerer bent on her family’s destruction will stop at nothing to possess her.

Raised without knowledge of the portals, the Makir guardians, or her own destiny, Bri takes a leap of faith in an alliance with Logan. Embracing an uncertain power and accepting his goals as hers offers her the only way home. If they fail, the consequences of allowing the portals to fall to evil are unthinkable—the destruction of every magical dimension throughout space.

Or for those who want a little more pulse pounding excitement, check out her Dragon Rider’s Gift:
5.5"X8.5" Post Card Template

Three souls. Two hearts. One courageous calling.

Roark of Nedres spent his life absorbing lore, legend, and rumor to claim his dragon beast in order to save his people. Nothing has prepared him for the ultimate bond fate will demand.

Princess Nira Meriel Estar was born with the power of prophecy. Her most recent vision forecasts a dire fate for her people, promises few answers, and will deliver the country of Fyrhall a victorious future or crushing defeat. 

Kraz, an ancient dragon of mythical power and knowledge, has eluded capture for a thousand years. However, only a dragon of great wisdom would consider an eternal bond to his warrior rider to save his dragon race.

I bet you want your own copy of Return of the Legacy, or Things that Go Bump for the Holidays, or maybe even, Dragon Rider’s Gift?

Good, because KH is going to share one AMAZON or B&N copy of one of these with one of our lucky commenters.  Just tell us, do you like:

variety (Things that Go Bump for the Holidays)

a tale that tugs on your emotional strings  (Return of the Legacy)

 a fantastical tale of mythical proportions (Dragon Rider’s Gift)? 

Indicate your preference: VARIETY, EMOTIONAL, or FANTASTICAL, but don’t forget your email* so we can shower gifts on December 16th !

*we’ll only use your email for gifting, we promise not to send you a plethora of joke emails or newsletters

 KH LeMoyne 

KH LeMoyne left behind a career as technology specialist and now lives in Maryland with her family and two corgis. Her love of things mystical and magical keeps her writing, with characters who fight for never-ending love against insurmountable odds. Well, that and occasionally she gets to write about elves, dragons, immortals, and shifters. You can find Kate on the web at: www.khlemoyne.com, her blog: www.fantasypoweredbylove.com  and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/khlemoyneauthor

It’s Melissa Groeling’s turn under the spotlight for THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS… #holiday #anthology #PNR @stringbean10

We’re continuing our journey with the awesome sauce of Black Opal authors and their upcoming THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS anthology coming December 14th!

And up next is the creative, mad genius, Melissa Groeling.  Not only did she contribute to the anthology, but she has a book coming out in TWO DAYS! Yes, indeed, her thriller LIGHTS OUT is hitting shelves on December 7th..

but before we let you in on what’s hiding in the dark, let’s get a taste of what’s in store for the holidays…

3D Paranormal Anthology

Jami! How are you? Hope you’ve recuperated from a weekend of munching, drinking, munching…and did I mention the munching? I’ve finally managed to pull myself out of my apple-pie coma to share with you the awesomeness that comes with sharing pages with some truly amazing authors from Black Opal Books! It’s a double whammy because not only do I get to partake in the Things That Go Bump for the Holidays anthology but I also get to take up some space right here on Jami Gray’s blog!

My short story in the anthology is called, The Ghost of Christmas Present. It centers on Colin who’s always been good at keeping secrets…until one comes back to haunt him…literally. Here’s a little bit to get the blood flowing:

He moved farther in, away from the comforting safety of daylight. The door slammed shut behind him, throwing him into complete blackness. Swearing under his breath, he backtracked, fumbling for the doorknob. When his fingers touched nothing but empty air, a funny skittering sensation went through his chest. He knew he wasn’t that far away from the entrance—

Something moved behind him. Startled, he turned to find a door opening. It swung outward, stopping about halfway so that it hid the threshold. But it threw a gratifying amount of soft, yellow light across the concrete floor.

Spooky, aren’t we? Colin thought sarcastically.

He waited for someone to appear, to welcome him in. When no one did, he went toward it but stopped, his eyes drawn to the giant puddle of shadows farther down the hallway.

“I assure you, there’s nobody here but us.”

Colin jumped at the voice that came from inside that softly-lit room. It was raspy but weirdly melodic like those sand dunes that sang in Death Valley. It was curious, urging him forward until he was abruptly warned, “State your business.”

He stopped. “Excuse me?”

“State your business.”

“I’d rather not from the hallway.”

“No one comes in here unless their minds are open to the possibility.”

He sneered. “I’m not here for a reading, ma’am. I’m here because my girlfriend comes to see you a few times a week. You may know her—”

“Julia.”

Colin blinked. “I have a gift idea for her and I wanted to ask you—”

“Why would you need my help to propose to her?”

He licked his lips. Lucky guesses, he told himself vehemently. That’s all they are.

“Who said anything about proposing?” he snapped.

There was a small pause. “Bring her by the day after Christmas. Around two. I will help you.”

He clenched his jaw. “Fine.”

“And be prepared. Your life is about to change.”

*Shivers* You have to pick up our collection of Paranormal shorts, you’ll never look at the holidays the same way.

If that little taste makes you crave more, never fear, you can pick up LIGHTS OUT, coming Dec. 7th.

Lights out

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

Melissa has even more creative tales for your enjoyment. You can pick up her YA thriller, TRAFFIC JAM now!

Traffic

When you’re caught in traffic, you’ve got nowhere to go…

Val Delton’s life is spiraling and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Her dad lost his job, her mom works fourteen hour days to pay the bills and yet somehow there are high-end shopping bags and an iPod in her older sister’s room. Naturally, Val becomes suspicious but her sister’s lips are sealed. Then by accident, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret hidden behind her sister’s bright smiles and cool indifference. Val has no idea how far and how deep the repercussions of her sister’s secret will reach but she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Will she succeed before her sister’s secret destroys everyone she loves?  

AMAZON        GOODREADS        BARNES AND NOBLE         SMASHWORDS          DOYLESTOWN BOOKSHOP

Authorpic

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Traffic Jam is her first young adult novel.

Come find me at Facebook!

Twitter: @stringbean10

Blog: http://melissagroeling.blogspot.com

 

The Spotlight’s on…me! My turn in holiday anthology! #ThingsThatGoBumpForHolidays #holidays #anthology #paranormal

As part of my part in spreading the word on the upcoming holiday anthology THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS coming December 14th by the fantastic group of Black Opal authors, the spotlight has spun to…me!

My contribution, WRAPPED IN SHADOWS, takes place before Shadow’s Edge. A fun, quick ride with Raine McCord, Gavin Durand and Xander Cade, this story proves holidays can really be hell. I hope you’ll add it to your To Be Read list. 

For my teaser, I actually choose an excerpt from the third installment of the Kyn Kronicles, SHADOW’S MOON, coming Spring of 2014…

Dread settled like a stone in her stomach. “Do you think it’s Chavez?”  Someone had an ax to grind with Warrick. The psychic peek of those venomous taunts directed at him was very personal. Normally it wouldn’t give her pause, her Alpha was more than able to take care of himself, but something about this set her and her wolf on edge. The urge to protect this stubborn male dug in with vicious claws.

He rose to his feet and shook his head.  “There hasn’t been enough time.”

Not enough time for the grieving Southwest Alpha to get past losing his psychopathic mate who had almost killed Xander three weeks ago. Nowhere enough for him to forget that Warrick had approved her death and stood aside while it was dealt.

“He’ll come hunting us.”  Her voice was soft, but her certainty was rock solid.  No wolf, no alpha, would forgive the death of a mate.  Even if their mate deserved it.

“I know.” Warrick move to stand beside her.  “But this isn’t him.” He turned back to Ryuu and Sebastian. His leg brushed her shoulder, sending a streak of heat through her that chased away the icy trepidation.

“Then which enemy are we facing?” Ryuu’s question was directed at Warrick as the shrill song of sirens came to a screeching halt outside the club. 

Xander set Sara aside once again and rose to her feet. 

The thump of car doors slamming sounded from outside. It was soon followed by raised voices trying to corral the agitated crowd outside.

Warrick’s lips thinned and his frustrated anger leaked through their connection.  The loss of this lone wolf had hurt him, just as it was suppose to.

An echo of the hateful taunt whispered across her mind. “How many deaths will it take?” 

“The phone call says its personal.” She kept her voice low and even as she moved closer.  No need for his wolf to think she was challenging him. 

Those who knew Warrick understood the line between his human mind and his wolf was thinner than most.  Which meant you had to deal with the animal as much as the human.  She could challenge the wolf in private, and had done so numerous times, but in front of Pack he was first and foremost her Alpha.  

Standing next to him she couldn’t miss his low growl or the way tension had stiffened his body. She fought her wolf and kept her hackles down.  Sebastian and Ryuu kept their gazes lowered.  No one moved, holding still and giving Warrick’s wolf a few precious moments.

Slanting a look at him from under her lashes to judge his control, she continued.  “Someone wants your job. Who’ve you pissed off lately?”

Suddenly he was crowding her. The weight of the power that made him alpha pressed against her, demanding submission. “Just you,” he growled.

She let her wolf out just enough to stand against him.  It was dangerous, so dangerous to do this dance with him publicly, but it was necessary.  One of the reasons she was fighting their bond so hard was because Warrick was the most dominant male in the Northwest.  She had no intention of turning into his submissive bitch. She had fought tooth and nail for her independence.  There was no way she was going to toss it all away because he had decided she was his.  Even if Warrick was a wickedly intelligent hunter who knew all about patience and prey. She wanted to be a partner, not a door mat.

“Besides me,” she hissed.

Even as she stood her ground, there was a tiny part of her that wanted to tuck tail and bare her throat in the face of his fury. But the woman knew if she gave in, whatever slim chance they had of this relationship working would be snuffed out. So she locked her knees, clenched her fists, gritted her teeth and met that burning stare without blinking. 

Grim amusement lit his dark eyes.  “No one else important.”

“Vidis,” Ryuu’s voice snapped the tension. “Incoming.”

Warrick shifted his attention from her to the club’s entrance, inserting his body between her and the approaching humans.  She let out a shaky breath and prayed Warrick wouldn’t lose it. 

“Non-threatening,” she muttered the reminder and stepped around him.  Too many witnesses meant they had to stick around and help. At least until Division joined the party.

His eyes narrowed as she stood at his left.  She raised her hands above her head and arched an eyebrow at him.  His lips quirked as he copied her movements.  Sebastian and Ryuu followed suit.  She sighed and watched the cops pour into the club. 

The first two books, SHADOW’S EDGE and SHADOW’S SOUL are available now, just click the BOOKS link on the website tabs above!

ShadowsEdge_HR JamiGray_ShadowsSoul_CoverHR

Stay tuned because next week we get to meet Juila Joseph and Liv Rancourt!

12 Days of Halloween w/ @Danielle_Monsch, #STONE GUARDIAN and #ToysForTots #miniiPadgiveaway #giveaway #Pararom

Today I have a very awesome friend stopping by, Danielle Monsch, the genius behind Entwined Realms’ STONE GUARDIAN, and she’s giving away an iPad Mini while helping out Toys for Tots (talk about multi-tasking). So come with me through the twelve days of Halloween and find out how you can win and help out at the same time!

12 Days of Halloween

From about mid-October until Christmas was always a magical and much anticipated time when I was young.

Probably not an uncommon statement from a kid. My mom should have been a party planner, because our house was always decked out for the season. We were the house that people do that double-take with, because looking only once wasn’t enough to take it all in.

Mom’s favorite holiday was Halloween. Since I’m a fantasy/paranormal writer, it’s safe to say that rubbed off on me, and with kids of my own, I enjoy Halloween in a completely new way, with my kids excitement about dressing up and their enjoyment in the *fun* scares.

While her favorite might have been Halloween, Mom excelled in overall holiday planning. My mom was a generous lady. She never liked cooking, but she loved to bake the holiday pies and cookies and other goodies that come with the season, and everyone who knew us came away during the holiday season with loads of culinary delights. If you ask me to name my favorite food ever, it would have to be Mom’s pumpkin pie.

It’s probably because this time was usually so joyous that one memory sits there, lumpy and misshapen and not a fit with the rest.

Don’t ask me how old I was, but I came down the stairs one night – going to get some water I think – and Mom was on the couch, staring at the Christmas tree. The packages weren’t under the tree yet, which was odd since Mom tended to put them under as soon as the tree went up (Mom is not a last minute shopper – in fact, I’m pretty sure her shopping is done in July.) Now I haven’t believed in Santa ever, so it was no question in my mind about who presents come from.

What set this memory in my mind so sharply was my mother’s face the few moments before she realized I was in the room. At the time I didn’t have the words or the emotional knowledge to name what emotions were in play. All I knew was it wasn’t good.

Several years later we were talking, and in the way of conversations everywhere, somehow that night came up, and I asked Mom what was going on.

She confided that when I saw her, the reality of our situation was none of us kids were going to get Christmas presents. It had been a bad year with lots of doctor bills and not as much work as they hoped to get. Maybe they would be able to get a practical clothing item, but certainly nothing beyond that. Then she told me that a couple days after I saw her that night, her uncle heard about our situation. Without her or my dad asking, he went out and got presents for us kids and told her that it was his early Christmas gift to her and he would not accept any money or repayment.

Mom told me she cried while she wrapped them. She told me it was the best gift she’d ever gotten.

While my childhood would never fit in a Dickinson narrative, there were a few years there where we did with minimal, so hearing after-the-fact that no presents was a possibility didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the lurch in my chest at the thought of it as a near reality. That didn’t make sense – after all, we were several years past by then, and I was a grown person who understood economic realities.

That lurch, though, was real. And as time has marched on, I think I understand the reason for it, just like now that I’m a mother I understand the look on my mother’s face that night. The holidays were a safe and sacred time. The rest of the year – okay, it’s life, and life happened. But in my memory, the holidays were apart from that, not touched with the ickiness that could happen at other times.

If I didn’t get presents that year, I think that safety and warmth that the holidays (or the thought of) always caused would have disappeared. I wouldn’t have had that protective bubble anymore that helped get me through bad times, and the loss of that would have been a greater tragedy than not getting a doll under the tree.

So while Toys for Tots was not responsible for me getting presents that year, I recognize in a deep and personal way the very good work they are doing.

Toys for Tots is my favorite holiday charity. There are many excellent charities I celebrate and give to, but this time of year my thoughts and my wishes are for the kids who are not in the best circumstances and are in danger of not having a gift under their own tree. It’s not the material item that matters (though it’s always nice to get a great gift, right?) What I never want them to lose is that safe warmth that should categorize the holidays, a warmth that sometimes might be the only thing that gets them through the rest of the year.

Which leads me to the 12 Days of Halloween!

12 Days of Halloween is my (and many other excellent authors) way of having a great time and celebrating the beginning of this wondrous time of year – with giveaways and gifts and raising money for Toys for Tots!

What is involved?

First! My novel Stone Guardian (http://www.daniellemonsch.com/dani/books/stone-guardian/) is on a very special sale. From now until Halloween, it is half-off with part of the proceeds going to Toys for Tots! So you get a book for cheaper than usual, and a chunk of the money will be going to an amazing cause! Huzzah!

StoneGuardian800

And on the other side, I’ll be sharing lots of giveaways! Ebooks (donated by many generous authors) gift cards, swag sets, a Coach (!) bag, and finally…

An iPad Mini!

apple-ipad-mini-2

Yes, you read that right – an iPad mini with a special Entwined Realms designed cover set is the grand prize.

So if you are interested, please keep up with me at twitter (www.twitter.com/Danielle_Monsch) facebook (www.facebook.com/DanielleMonschAuthor) or my blog (RomanticGeekGirl.com) with all the ways to win.

Let’s celebrate the beginning to this great time of year, have a great party, maybe win some stuff, and most important of all – support Toys for Tots and make sure they can help a lot of kids this year!

AuthorHeadshotBorn to the pothole ridden streets of Pittsburgh, PA, Danielle started writing in a time long ago, a time when there were not enough vampire stories to read and she had to write her own to fill the void. Yes, such a time of darkness did indeed exist.

Danielle writes stories full of fantastical goodness and plenty of action, but always with lots of romance (and a bit of woo-hoo!) mixed in. Vampires and Werewolves and Demons and Angels, Sword & Sorcery, Fairy Tales, Updated Mythologies and the like – if it’s out of the ordinary, it’s fair game for her stories. 

When not writing, Danielle reads comic books and watches cartoons (though she says she reads manga and watches anime, because saying it in a different language makes all the difference.) She listens to music, plays D&D, follows XKCD, watches movies with the Rifftrax on, and is mom to two amazing little girls and wife to her favorite guy in the world.

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