Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Amazing deal on an author boxed set!

Love Potion No. 11

Available 2014-09-07
$0.99 USD

 Get it at Smashwords | Amazon  | ibooks

Eleven full length paranormal novels celebrating strong women, sizzling hot heroes, and all the things that go bump in the night. 

Secrets by Liz Schulte: While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the Abyss gazed back at her. She is about to find out there is a lot she doesn't know and sometimes what you don't know can kill you.

The Charmer by Autumn Dawn: Jasmine didn’t realize her friend Wiley was special until they were drawn into another world. Here Wiley is betrothed to the ruler of the Haunt, a wererace both dangerous and proud. Will Jasmine find the portal home, or will she find a werewolf of her own?

Forever Fae by L.P. Dover: He leans down, lips parted, and then our lips connect ... We didn't know that this one kiss has FOREVER changed the Land of the Fae.

Stronger Than Magic by Melinda VanLone: Water can be deadly, in the right hands.
In a world of magic, hidden away from those who have no power, Tarian Xannon commands the natural forces of water, air, and fire. She fights not only to keep the throne she thought she hated, but to accept her true place in the world. Will her power be enough? Or are some things stronger than magic?

Give Me by L.K. Rigel: A Romance Reviews top pick.
Lilith Evergreen has always lived in the California desert, but when she receives an antique ring as a gift, she dreams of a castle by the sea, a magnificent tree at cliff's edge, and a mysterious woman who calls her to Dumnos, a land of mist and rain. There she meets Cade Bausiney, the future Earl of Dumnos. His attraction to her is overwhelming ~ but are the feelings real or magically induced?

Taming the Wolf by Stephanie Nelson: Attacked by a wolf while hiking, Anna Avery's life just got a little hairier. When dead bodies start showing up and Anna was the last to see them alive. She'll have to prove her innocence and tame the wolf who bites first and asks questions never.

Sweet Magic Song by Olivia Hardin: Belle Bittner was sold to the highest bidder when she was just a child, sought for the magic lying dormant in her blood. As she tries to escape the world she was raised in, separating myth from fact to decipher the truth about her powers could mean the destruction of the new life she is trying to build.

Enlightened by Melissa Lummis: Loti Dupree is about to learn that karma’s a nightmare. Someone out there will stop at nothing to kill her and only the vampire named Wolf and a destiny she isn’t prepared to embrace stands between her and an early grave.

Undeniable by Tawdra Kandle: For Rafe Brooks, running from a broken heart means losing himself in alcohol and women. Numbing the pain works until he meets an irresistible redhead with secrets of her own. For Rafe and Jocelyn, when life is uncertain, love is undeniable.

Hanna, Hanna, One-and-Two by Myndi Shafer: Twenty-two year old Johanna Cochrin’s world is broken. Eating mists ravage the plains, and wilder-than-most hunt and kill in all but the most protected lands. But when she is kidnapped from a remote government compound, she must learn to trust people she has never met and share the secrets she never meant to share.

Divine Destiny by Joanna Grace: Avery McClain's life is shattered and she is rescued by a Thracian warrior. He takes her to the Haven where she discovers her life was meant for a higher calling.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

John replaced the element in the oven and soldered a blown thingie in the circuit board, and so far the oven works. Fingers crossed that it will hold for a while.

Working on Bramble Burn today. It really helps to switch between stories to keep things fresh, so I'm alternating working on Rowen & Gold.

What is Bramble Burn? A daydream that's captured my imagination, so I decided it was book worthy.

It had been thirty years since the Convergence, when the dimensions aligned and combined Earth and the world of Gwyllon, known in human mythology as “Underhill”. Elven castles and random buildings sprouted in vacant lots, on major highways, sometimes merging with existing buildings, twisting into completely new structures; the courthouse had merged with an Elven government building. Roads and rail systems reformed, and after the rioting, starvation and death, agriculture finally sorted itself and food began to flow. A new government formed of elves and men had arisen, a society of human tech and elven magic. Cell phones and frost giants, race cars and elven steeds, dungeons and dragons…
And everywhere, monsters.

Juniper was twenty-three, a child of the new generation of small farmers. Her grandfather was Tylwyth Teg, an elf of the forest. Her father had been mostly normal, or pretended to be, but Juniper had her grandfather’s hunger for growing things. He’d tolerated her visiting his woods as long as he could, but there could be only one Forest Lord. He’d told her kindly but firmly to find her own Wood. She could not go back, or he’d kill her.
“Be sure to write, let me know how you’re doing,” he’d said, and meant it. After all, they were still family.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Snippet: older than dirt

Mrs. Yuimen brushed him aside, her scanning the girl. She was the house cook and resident healer, and older than dirt. “Nothing broken,” she pronounced. “Hot polices and lavender oil for the bruises, willow, cayenne and ginger for the pain.” She left fetch the supplies.
Since he was clearly not needed, Sage joined Griffin to fill him in on the night’s activities. “We’ll need to send word to her family. I imagine the lads have caught the horse by now and taken him to the stables.”
“Do we know her name?” Jordan asked, glancing appreciatively at the fire that sprang up in the fireplace. She tucked the blankets around her patient.
Now that she was covered, Griffin peered at the woman with interest. “Isn’t that Mrs. James from next door? How did she get here?”
“We found her on our property being chased by hellhounds,” Sage answered, frowning thoughtfully. “I can only assume the house lowered the wall to let her in.”
Jordan raised her brows. “What are you up to, Hyani?” Once a fae, Hyani had suffered terribly when her family had killed her husband. Unable to bear the grief, she’d turned herself into a house so that she could still shelter her children. A romantic, she was known to arrange matches for family. Hyani seemed to feel her house needed a human matriarch and had gone to incredible lengths to pair Griffin and Jordan.
Jordan looked speculatively at the unconscious girl. “We’ll need to notify her family.”
“Of course. I’ll see to it,” Sage promised. “No doubt they’re worried by now. He nodded at the housekeeper as he strode to the door. “Mrs. Yuimen.”
The old one looked down her huge nose at him, her thick brows lowered over sharp black eyes. Hair like wet soot flopped over her brow, escaping from a black ribbon tied at her nape. She grunted dismissively, pushing a trolley laden with medical supplies toward the patient.
Sage hurried downstairs and called for a carriage. It wouldn’t do to arrive at the neighbors as an owl.

HGTV is infecting me.

HGTV is infecting me. We're thinking of saving up to buy a foreclosed house as a rental. We're getting to the age when smart investments and make sense, and with a down market, now is the time. We'll see.

 Meanwhile, I'm thinking of ways to make the yard even more beautiful. There's nothing like a pretty landscape to soothe the soul, and my roses are lovely.

Looking forward to finishing the bedroom floor in a couple of weeks. I want my house back in order.

The Self-Made Writer: One Author's Publishing Success: An Interview with...

The Self-Made Writer: One Author's Publishing Success: An Interview with...: Author Autumn Dawn, a former student from North Pole High School. Like many writers, I was a teacher first. Following a news article on...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

No casseroles were harmed in the accident.

The element in the oven blew out last night. There was the sound of sizzling electronics and smoke, and poof! The element burnt right through. The oven had been acting up prior to that, and that's when we should have ordered a new element. John found one on Amazon for $12, but it won't be here for days. Thankfully, we have crockpots, a turkey oven, waffle irons, microwaves and a plug in burner, so I think I'll manage :)

No casseroles were harmed in the accident. In fact, I may make tamale pie in the microwave from now on.

Working on Bramble Burn today, because I need some fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

God save me from teenagers.

September 2. Hang in there, moms; school is starting soon. We will throw a party and clink bottles. I'll be having hard cider. You?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Snippet: Do we get to kill something?

“Who’s the girl? Do we get to kill something?” Lance, a thin purple youngster settled into a tree and surveyed the dead hounds with interest.
“Our guest,” Sage supplied, gesturing for Rook to collect her. “Gently now. Round up the horse for me, lads, and no, you can’t eat it. Feel free to dine on the hellhounds if you see them, though.”
“Don’t get excited; they don’t taste good,” Vic cautioned. He carefully picked up the girl and launched with a sweep of his wings, the owl escorting them.
The estate spread out before them, acres of woods surrounded by a high wall. It was interesting that Mrs. James hadn’t encountered a wall on her sojourn onto their land, but he suspected the house might have something to do with that. Much like a woman, the house had a mind of its own. Hardly surprising, as once it had been a woman. Perhaps she’d decided she’d like more company.
The graveled drive wound a quarter mile to the Gothic style house. He could see she’d added some interesting arches and a round tower; he could only speculate what that would look like on the inside. Recently he’d found his room had moved up an entire floor, though the house had thoughtfully added indoor plumbing and a private bath. He hadn’t minded the improvement.
He angled toward the balcony he shared with the guestroom next door; not that they had a surfeit of guests, but the house liked to stay busy and added the room last month. It made for an easy landing as Vicious swooped down and perched on the rail. Assuming his human form, Sage took the woman and carried her into the guest room as the house thoughtfully opened the French doors for him. “See if Jordan is available,” he advised the gargoyle. “She’ll be very helpful here.”
Though it was night, his owl’s vision could see that the room was done in blue and yellow, with comfortable leather furniture piled with pillows. He crossed the hardwood floor, his feet muffled by the large floral patterned rug. A practical man, he felt little compunction about stripping his guest down to her chemise before laying her on the sheets.
The house thoughtfully turned up the gaslights as he searched for injuries, using the sheet to preserve her modesty. She had a curvy figure, generously padded in all the best places, and Irish features. Her dark red hair was still bound and pinned, and he wondered if it hurt. Just in case, he slipped the pins free.
She’d darkened her brows and her lips were a pretty burgundy, and she wore a light dust of powder that failed to hide a faint dust of freckles on her cute nose. He tried to remain unruffled as he examined a nasty bruise on her side, wondering if she’d managed to crack some ribs.
“Really, Sage,” a woman chided. Jordan, the matriarch of his clan, swept into the room, followed by her husband Griffin and Mrs. Yuimen. Jordan had upswept black hair and blue eyes, and she was very, very pregnant.
Griffin hovered over her, his hand on the back of her blue maternity gown. His hair was golden brown and ruffled, his nose hooked and chin slightly pointed. His honey brown eyes were alert, gauging the situation for threat to his family.
“She’s been injured,” Sage said coolly. “See for yourself.”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Guest Author, Deb Vanasse

Were you a born writer?

I love this question because it makes me think of all the various aspects of being a writer. In the sense that I’m compelled to write and happiest when I’m creating, the answer is yes. I’ve always loved to read, and language comes easily for me. But I’ve had plenty to learn along the way.

Did you enjoy teaching, or was it more difficult than expected?

I enjoyed the creative part of teaching—putting lessons together, figuring out how to make a difficult concept come clear, designing meaningful projects. And I loved the kids. But there were so many of them! At the high school level, you’re working on average with 140 different students every semester. How can you possibly give them the individual attention they diverse? And so many aspects of teaching are harder than most people can fathom. It’s incredibly draining. The pressures are intense. It’s mostly thankless work (which is why your kind note to me means so much!) I still teach, but it’s on my terms—creative writing workshops through the local writing center (I co-founded it) and as a visiting author in schools.

Do any family members take after you, or are you a lone wolf?

Growing up, I guess you could say I was one of four lone wolves in a very loosely organized pack; my dad, mom, brother, and I pretty much went in our own directions starting when I was in junior high school. We’re closer now, and we’ve all done some form of writing, especially my brother, who’s a well-recognized journalist, social critic (he probably hates that term), book reviewer, editor, and all-around super-smart guy. He and I have postulated that growing up without a lot of guidance made us tougher as writers—more willing to take risks.

What is the best thing about writing? The worst thing?

For me, the best thing is discovery. I love spinning stories and seeing the directions they’ll take. I also like the fact that I’m constantly learning. In that sense, I can’t imagine a better vocation. The worst thing is the uncertainty. Even if one book has done well, the next might not. You can’t let that get to you. You have to write the best book you can, and go on to the next one.

If you could ask a class of promising young students to read any books, what would they be? What books made the most impact on you?

I’d first tell them to read what they love. If you don’t do that, where’s the joy? In school, you read classics, which is important for being part of the cultural conversation and for challenging your ideas about books, writing, and life, and that’s fine. But if you’re going to be a writer, you need to read the sorts of books you want to write, and it helps to read them in a very particular way, with a focus on how the authors do what they do. And I believe it’s important to read up, meaning that you read books by authors whose work inspires you—aspirational authors, as David Vann calls them. Books by Marilynne Robinson, Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, and Kim Barnes have had a tremendous impact on me. Of those authors, I’ve only briefly met one (Kim Barnes) but I consider all of them mentors because I’ve learned so much about writing from reading their work. But that’s because they write the kinds of books I write. So it’s back to reading what you love.

Author of more than a dozen books, Deb Vanasse has been fortunate to enjoy a huge variety of experiences in the company of some amazing people.  Her childhood was far from ordinary, as her family lived on the grounds of the state mental institution where her dad worked.  The staff consisted mostly of foreign doctors, so she grew up with children from around the world, always in the shadow of the sprawling hospital and patients who walked the grounds, each more or less in his own little world.  Deb lived in her own little world much of the time too. Her favorite hangout was a shed attached to her family’s barracks-style cement block house, where she’d spend hours reading and imagining story worlds.

College in Northern Minnesota introduced her to the wilderness and the cold, so it seemed natural to head to Alaska for her first teaching job.  After teaching in three Yup’ik Eskimo villages, she moved to Fairbanks, where she taught first at the university and then at North Pole High School, where she was fortunate to have Autumn Dawn as a student in one of her honors classes.

After all these, Deb’s still in love with Alaska, though she makes regular trips to San Diego and Portland (Oregon) to visit her children and their families. Writing is now her fulltime occupation, though she also teaches creative writing at the 49 Alaska Writing Center, which she co-founded in 2010. After re-releasing a backlist title (Out of the Wilderness) in 2013, she started the independent authors cooperative Running Fox Books. Her fourteenth book, Cold Spell, came out in 2014, to glowing reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Foreword Reviews.  She lives on Hiland Mountain outside of Anchorage with a husband who spoils her and a dog who supplies the pen name she uses for less literary endeavors, B.B. Mackenzie.

Deb Vanasse

Cold Spell:  

Cold Spell: "Grabs you from the opening line and never lets go" ~ Publishers Weekly

Alaska Sampler 2014, a free eBook featuring fiction, memoir, biography, and nature writing from ten of Alaska’s finest authors

No Returns“The first movement in an ambitious song cycle of a tale” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Friday, August 8, 2014

I just realized I didn't have a blog button on my website, so I fixed it. I know just enough about website design to squeak by. Lately I've gotten emails telling me that my site isn't optimized, they can help me get better Google ranking, etc. I don't know what that is or why I would want it or if it would have value to me. I do know its not going to be free and I've very dubious of salesmen.

Writer’s secret: exciting minor characters and unfinished story lines keep reader interest hot. I still think about Dara Joy’s unfinished Knight of a Trillion Stars series. Couldn’t she have finished Triad’s story? Now we’ll never know and her name will linger in my mind.
There’s no secret to striking book gold. Write good books and keep them coming. Website, blog, good covers and editing. Tricks will only embarrass you when you read it later. I look at some of my older books and wince from time to time. Good books, but I think I’m a better writer now.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

GG released, Haunt stuff

Gargoyle Girl is out!

Royalties finally reflecting my spring releases, so I might get a new new floor by September. John has a week off, so that works well. It was a nice surprise, since I haven't been watching sales; too busy writing and doing the mom thing.

Writing a new idea just for fun, to keep things fresh. It may or may not feature werewolves. Dimensions collide and fun ensues.