Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Officialality

That's not a real word, but I'm pretending to be Billy Shakes today...like a boss. I made that meme just for y'all.

This morning I got the official blurb for Wystan (The Heckmasters, Book 1) in my inbox. I thought I would share it with you since I didn't line up a guest today. Here it is. And it's come out October 21, just in time for Halloween. Perfect!

Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff. The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

Good, no? We have a fantastic blurb wizard at Samhain. Thanks, blurb wizard! In other news, I did the first round of edits on Wystan and sent those off last week. I'm hard at work editing Eban's book to send off to my editor hopefully by the end of this month or beginning of next. I also got done with pre-edits on Reclaiming Her Heart and got those sent off this morning. No new wordage since last Thursday, but at least I got some done then. Some sometimes is better than none all the time. Words of wisdom there, kids. Erm, which means I totally, completely, irreparably bombed at Camp NaNoWriMo, but I've been so busy lately, I can hardly find time to breathe, much less get any writing done. If I never slept, I could get so much done, but my body insists on it. Stupid body.

It's Wednesday, so go do something that makes you happy, because we're on the downhill slide toward the weekend.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway - North Parish by Rohn Federbush


Rohn Federbush
Sally Bianco Mystery Series Author

I lived on farms in Illinois until I was fourteen. Those wind-swept plains can’t compare to the storm-free, surrounding hills of my adopted state of Michigan. I’m dyslexic and uncomfortable in crowds. I’m happier in my old-age than I ever was in the riotous, experimental years of youth. Who hasn’t wanted to know everything about everything?

When I’m not writing, I paint cartoonish pictures in oil and even watercolors. I love the control over colors. I paint in primary colors, heavy on the brush. After fifteen years of steady fictional work output, my family has pretty much resigned themselves to the fact that I’ll be writing on my death bed. One sister-in-law thought I might have missed a career as a painter, but she received one of my better oils.

I like being married better than living alone. Of course, I am married to the best man in the universe. I’m also thankful for moderate good health in old age. My grandchildren are perfect and my children claim every ounce of affection I own. Isn’t this every woman’s dream?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I was sixteen. My sister’s baby died after not completing a day of life. Her name was Diane Thaddeus Schultz. I was shocked because my high-school English class remained unaware of my family’s loss, or the world’s. So I wrote a poem and eulogized my niece, hooking me forever on the potency of catharsis and the power of adding to the remembrance of a lost child. What gave you your first clue that you were one of us, unable to stop putting words on paper?

My first writing draft is finished in about three months, but the editing takes even longer. I’m usually at my writing desk by 9:00 in the morning. I outline. I use Elizabeth’s system from “Write Right” and Michael Hauge’s “Six Stage Plot Structure,” which is a furtherance of Debra Dixon’s “Goals, Motivation, and Conflict” structure for characters. I put the finished outline, which includes one-sentence scene descriptions into the body of my manuscript and start writing the Rough Draft. Nothing is ever final, the outline, the sequence of scenes, etc. But the skeleton exists. The next day’s scene can be reviewed before bed and embellished in the morning. If I get stopped, I interview the characters to find out where we’re going.

I’ve been writing full time since 1999, when I retired from the University of Michigan as an Administrative Assistant. Of course, I take breaks, and lunch. However, I try not to stop until I have ten new pages or 4:00 arrives. My completed books are piling up, but I am still happiest and better balanced when new work is created. It is tempting to market full time, but the writer work-ethic in me rebels.

My ideas for books follow my curiosity. How does it feel to be this character or that one? Could I live in this place or that climate? What if I had lived in those times, in that war, or among those gardens? What if my goal had been to be a race-car driver, or a ghost-hunter, or a forest ranger? While I yet live, the wonder of life keeps me intrigued.

Hiring my GirlFriday, Florence Price, has saved me from frustrating chores I don’t have the patience to learn. Such as my website design, promotion ideas and an increasing number of tasks I ask her to undertake. My books are on Amazon. I’m on Linkedin, Goodreads and have two Facebook pages. Feel free to contact me at rohn@comcast.net. My website is www.rohnfederbush.com.

About the Book:
Genre: Historical/Inspirational Romance
Length: 190 Pages
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Get it at: Amazon || Barnes & Noble

An Ann Arborite, Professor Silas Douglas, became the first president of Michigan’s Historical Society. He was a teenager who witnessed the 1818 Maumee River treaty signing by seven tribes for President Monroe’s Erie Canal. The names of the tribes and the individual natives have been preserved in the Ann Arbor Public Library.

North Parish follows the diplomats around the Great Lakes.

Parish North is the blonde adopted son of a Huron native, and with his manhood-quest completed in time for his father’s trip with a Jesuit bishop, he’s allowed to participate in the efforts to secure powwow agreements from seven tribes around the Great Lakes for the building of the Erie Canal. During the trip, Parish recognizes his vision temptress in Dorothy Evans.

Hoping to join the delegation, Dorothy Evans dreams of escaping duties as her mother’s cook-helper at Fort Detroit. Exciting windows to the wider world open for the girl in the Fort’s Jesuit library. Two centuries worth of European books convince her everything good and pure comes from nature. And when Dorothy meets the blond native, Parish North, she feels her heart quicken when he smiles in her direction. She’s positive Parish is half of her future.

When a bishop assigned to the trip persuades Dorothy’s mother to allow him to chaperon her intelligent daughter on the trip to facilitate her education, Dorothy’s mother accepts his kind offer with the comforting knowledge that Dorothy is under the protection of a man of the Church. But the Bishop’s intentions may not be as pure as they appear and Dorothy’s virtue is in danger. Will the Bishop’s unholy plan succeed?

Excerpt:
Chapter 1
Fort Detroit, Fall, 1817

Cheers from the fort’s crowd drew sixteen-year-old Dorothy Evans to the river’s shore. Two high-ended Algonquin canoes from Lake Erie and a smaller French trapper’s canoe advanced toward them on the Detroit River. With each new shout, more yellow aspen leaves tumbled to the ground, crushed under the feet of soldiers and civilians rushing along the riverbank. The sober clothing of the throng clashed with the riotous colors of the maple trees.

A Chippewa runner had arrived the night before to warn, or rather to assemble the fort’s population for Bishop Pascal’s arrival. Father Sebastian, the Jesuit pastor, rose on his tiptoes to peer down river. Dorothy and her mother stood on either side of the nervous priest. Elizabeth’s short, plump figure advertised her success as the rectory’s cook. Dorothy considered herself a competent but reluctant cook’s helper.

Preparations for meals left little time to think, to read, to dream. She hurried through her daily chores to escape into the priest’s extensive library. For more than a hundred years, the Jesuits at Fort Detroit had collected Europe’s finest literature. The tomes whetted her appetite for adventure and romance.

As Dorothy waited for the Bishop, histories of Florence, its free thinkers, faces of popes and red-garbed cardinals swam in her head. The band of young and seasoned soldiers from the fort held no interest. They smelled, and treated her as the stuck-up cook’s daughter. She was only someone to hand out an extra cookie or two when their buddies weren’t around to tease. But in her secret heart, Dorothy was a mysterious spy, an adventurous temptress, a princess waiting to be rescued.

No hint of cardinal reds were in the approaching crafts, only more drab brown and black clothing. Dorothy sighed, breathed in the cool, tannic-scented air and prayed for patience as the ceremonies began. Her chores awaited and her fingers itched to re-open the Italian history she had set aside.

After the first boat emptied its passengers, a sergeant among the troops yelled, “Attention!”

The thirty or so men lined up, tucked in their shirts and squared their shoulders. The newly arrived, tall, mustached officer with soft gray eyes under menacing bushy eyebrows introduced himself to the sloppy, disgraceful bunch. “Lieutenant C. Louis Cass.” He returned their salute and marched past them taking time to point out an unbuttoned tunic, dusty boots, or straighten a jauntily placed cap. “Where is your commanding officer?”

“Abed.” A young private in the rear yelled without fear of detection.

“This way,” Father Sebastian motioned for the Bishop to follow the troops on the half-mile trek back to the fort.

Dorothy’s mother gestured for her to follow, but Dorothy shook her head. Elizabeth delayed and tidied her hair until Dorothy relented and drew closer for what she thought would be a reprimand. Her mother merely whispered. “They’re going to take more land from the natives. Mark my word.”

“Not again. Where will they let them farm now? Is that why the Bishop came?”

“Father says the seven tribes around the Great Lakes will be affected.” Elizabeth tucked a loose black strand of hair behind Dorothy’s ear. “I guess the Bishop thinks a missionary is needed to persuade the tribes to attend the new treaty powwow.”

Dorothy shook her head. “What chance do the natives have to survive, if they disagree?”

“Hurry back to help me.” Her mother scurried away to catch up to Father Sebastian.

Dorothy wandered closer to the river. Dark clouds threatened to stop the sunshine’s play with the sparkling waves. The second smaller canoe purposefully tread water in order not to be drawn ashore. Dorothy examined its crew. A tall, straight-backed Huron sat in the front of the boat. Behind him a younger native caught her eye. The shifting sunbeams highlighted the man’s blond hair. His face seemed lit from within.

His eyes dreamily swept the shoreline past her, then sharply returned as if he had been startled into remembering something. Something important.

Me, Dorothy thought. He’s looking at me. For a moment her breath seemed to stop.

She couldn’t help rushing forward to mingle among the native men helping the two pull the boat onto the sandy shore. The natives nearly bowed before the tall Huron. He spoke kindly to each. Did he personally know their families? Then he introduced the younger man to them, “My favored son.” The older man inclined his head proudly in the direction of the blond young man, whose ethereal bearing evoked the capability of walking on water.

Noticing Dorothy among the group, the older man said, “They call me Ponthe Walker.”

Dorothy nodded but could not keep her face turned away from the infinitely more interesting younger man.

“And my adopted son, Perish North.”

“I’m…I’m,” Dorothy was sure she’d never remember her own name. “Dorothy Evans. My mother is Elizabeth, the rectory cook.”

Perish stepped forward. “A pious believer then?”

Dorothy gained full use of her tongue. “More of a favorite doubter of the Lord’s. Like Saint Thomas? You know the one who had to put his hand in Jesus’ side before he would believe in the resurrection?”

Ponthe seemed to lose interest, but Perish didn’t move.

“I’ve just returned from my vision quest,” he said.

Dorothy believed he grew an inch before her eyes. She slipped a glance down to his boots to see if he’d stretched up on his toes. As she brought her gaze up, she noted his waist adornments, his broad shoulders covered in buckskin. His light blue eyes seemed bleached by the sun, or his vision.

“The manhood rite,” she said, trying not to check. A stiff breeze lifted her hair, cooling the nervous sweat on her brow.

“You’ve heard of the Midewiwins?” Perish took a step closer.

Dorothy could smell a scent of juniper. “I have, but aren’t you too young?”

Perish laughed.

A thrill passed through her at the clear, rich tones of his voice.

When his father began to lead the natives back to the Fort Detroit, Dorothy boldly pulled at Perish’s elbow. “Walk with me.”

Perish slowed to stroll beside her.

Dorothy smiled as winningly as she knew how. “Tell me.”

“I can only share Orenda’s vision message with family.” His face was serious but his eyes were friendly.

“Adopt me,” Dorothy said, then raced ahead of the group. Aware of her silliness, she knew her mother would be needing help.

* * * * *
Perish watched the snowy show of petticoats as the dark-headed girl fled toward the stockade. His nostrils flared catching the scent of lilacs.

His father stopped, waiting for Perish to catch up before they continued to the fort. “Her hair is nearly black.”

“Brown eyes.” Perish pulled on one of his blond braids to anchor himself in a suddenly unknown landscape. “But she wasn’t wearing the red-spotted squaw cape.”

“But was she the girl in your vision?” Ponthe asked.

“The vision was taller, older.” Perish moved his hand above his eye level.

“Could have been floating,” Ponthe said. “You haven’t shared your vision with Renault or Kdahoi yet?”

“No.” Perish was still held in the dream world of the girl’s dark eyes. He shook himself to respond in detail to his father. “I wanted to keep my word to meet you at Fort Detroit, before I met with Mother.” He laughed in relief at his good fortune. “Then I ran across your runner’s path.”

“Dorothy Evans might have been less welcoming if she’d seen you when you came into the Bishop’s camp.”

“True.” Perish hadn’t washed for a fortnight and his hair had been dank with sweat and grime. “I hadn’t considered the Bishop’s idea of bathing of much worth, until now.”

“Beauty’s going to have a heyday with your vision.” Ponthe shook his head.

Perish was surprised that even now his father doubted the Great Spirit’s way. “It seems you have a bond with Dorothy Evans.”

“Can’t help liking her courage.” Ponthe said. “Not many parishioners under Jesuit rule voice their doubts in public.”

“She’s still a child.” Perish tried to dismiss his attraction to her bright eyes, her pert smile, that dance of energy.

Ponthe said not a word, only nodded.

“Father.” Perish stopped walking. His stomach attacked him with a great qualm, “I need to see Kdahoi.”

“Of course,” Ponthe said. “Your mother will be waiting. Tell Beauty I will meet with her when she comes to the fort. I’ll make your excuses here.”

Without another word, Perish ran down to the beach and launched his canoe.

About the author:
Rohn Federbush retired as an administrator from the University of Michigan in 1999. She received a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing in 1995 from Eastern Michigan University. Frederick Busch of Colgate granted a 1997 summer stipend for her ghost-story collection. Michael Joyce of Vassar encouraged earlier writing at Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan in 1981. Rohn has completed fourteen novels, with an additional mystery nearly finished, 120 short stories and 150 poems to date.

Website || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads || Google+

The giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Book Feature - Sara-Kate's Spirit by Natalie-Nicole Bates



About the book:
Fallen spirit guide Sara-Kate has cocooned herself into an isolating, lonely life on earth. After a series of devastating incidents, she now prefers solitude to contact with others.

Her quiet existence is shattered when one night outside of her home, Sara-Kate awakens to the sound of a horrible accident, and finds a man near death. She offers comfort to the dying man before setting off back home.

Soon after, a knock at the door brings a surprise.The dead man has somehow managed to follow her home! Reed Thayer is dead, and doesn’t know it.

As Sara-Kate struggles with how to tell Reed about his new existence, her feelings for him continue to grow and a relationship blooms. She knows nothing will ever be the same for them when he finally learns the truth, and that their new found love may die when all is revealed.

Praise for Sara Kate’s Spirit-
“On the surface, "Sara-Kate’s Spirit" seems like a light little paranormal—it is not. Although it is novella-size, it is crammed full of emotion and deep character development. The reader feels for Sara-Kate, for her past pain and her current predicament with Reed.”
5 star TOP PICK ~ Night Owl Reviews

Excerpt:
Sara-Kate’s peaceful sleep was shattered by the sound of crunching metal and images of black smoke.

If she were conscious, the decision would be easy. She would shut out the world and stay in her comfortable bed.

It wasn’t her job anymore to worry about the welfare of people in trouble. As it was now, she still went above and beyond what was expected of her.

But often in sleep, the unconscious overrides common sense, and the emotions of spirit were harder to keep in check.

Sara-Kate rose out of her body with the grace of a butterfly. With her feet hovering several inches from the oak floor, she floated from the bedroom, down the staircase, and through the front door as if it wasn’t there.

Her instincts carried her through her front garden, beyond the gate and onto the road—the place she never ventured to in her human form. Her self-imposed exile wasn’t because she was cold or cruel, she simply couldn’t face any more heart breaking loss. To stay inside her own piece of heaven was to keep her heart safe. Besides, there were strict rules when it came to spirits and the living.

Something looked different.

Even though she never left the sanctuary of her home, she knew how the road beyond looked, the layout of the houses. This place was different. This was another dimension.

She died a long time earlier, and could pass through dimensions with ease. Occasionally, she couldn’t control it—like tonight. It happened before. Still, no matter where she travelled, she still managed to find her way home.

Now, there was a matter at hand.

An acrid smoke filled the air, a sure sign an accident occurred on the unfamiliar road. This was confirmed by the sight of twisted metal. Bittersweet emotion filled Sara-Kate. While it was true that a human life was most likely lost, a soul would move on to a new plane of existence, where peace and love might be waiting.

A plane Sara-Kate never rose to.

She drifted to the car, one time a fancy little red import, and passed through the window. and into the passenger seat. By the look at the interior, the car’s airbag failed to deploy, and lurched its driver forward against the restraints. Her eyes focused on the driver, by his uneven breathing, he was still alive, just barely.

Blood bubbled from his nose, and his eyes fixed to the ceiling. She leaned over and smoothed back his long dark hair from his face. Laying a gentle hand against his forehead, she tried to instill healing into the man, but her instinct told her clearly her healing would not be enough to save him. Instead, she hoped her touch would instead bring him comfort.

His head turned only enough to connect his eyes to hers.

Shock rocked her. Could he actually see her? There was a fear and disbelief in his eyes for sure, but he was focused on her eyes, as well. Even at the brink of death, no one ever detected her before.

Now she thought, he’s very, very special. He would go on to do amazing things in his next existence, and that brought Sara-Kate great joy.

“Just let go,” she encouraged.

“I don’t want to die,” he whispered, his voice thick and raspy.

“It will be better, Reed, I promise.”

“You know my name. You must be some kind of angel.”

She smiled. “Not exactly. I’m just here to help you transition into your new life.”

Tears poured from his eyes. “Please don’t leave me.”

“I’m not going anywhere, she said, and sent as much comfort and love through her hand and into his body as she could muster, without completely draining herself. Sirens blared off in the distance, and Reed’s breath became ragged. As he took his final breath, she lifted her hand from his forehead, and pressed a kiss against his cool skin.

When she saw the flashing red and blue lights of police and ambulance vehicles, she decided to make her exit from the scene. There was nothing more she could do now but return home to her own dimension, to her body and her bed.

Get it at: Amazon || Amazon UK || Barnes & Noble

About the author:
Natalie-Nicole Bates is a book reviewer and author. Her passions in life include books and hockey along with Victorian and Edwardian era photography and antique poison bottles. Natalie contributes her uncharacteristic love of hockey to being born in Russia.

She currently resides in the UK where she is working on her next book and adding to her collection of 19th century post-mortem photos.
Visit Natalie online at www.natalienicolebates.com

Twitter || Facebook || YouTube || Street Team Sign-up

The giveaway:
One $20 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Wrong Brother's Bride Release Day!

It must be release day because it's April 7. You guy remember my excitement when The Convict and the Cattleman came out. That novel that was crammed into the darkest recesses of my flash drive only to be pulled out, dust off, and bam! get a contract.

I hadn't written historical fiction in years, had no idea where to go when I decided I wanted to keep writing them. I began The Wrong Brother's Bride shortly after I got the first contract and the more I thought about it, the stronger the urge to set it in Wilson township, Missouri pulled at me.

I'm extremely satisfied with the decision and I'm even happier to tell you all that a follow-up novel is coming out next year from Lyrical Press in the same setting and with a scene that features Loyal and August. So I hope you enjoy this book, because I think you'll like the inclusion of the O'Dells in Reclaiming Her Heart.

As usual, there are some thank-yous to pass around.

To the fine folks at Lyrical Press, for taking a second chance on me, even though this historical is set on the other side of the world from The Convict and the Cattleman.

To my ORAian peeps, who sat through the first chapter and didn't shake their heads in shock and awe as sometimes happens.

Mom, of course, who reads everything. My poor husband, who suffers through listening to me talk about characters and plots, and allows me to drag him to Wilson's Creek repeatedly.

To poor PeeWee, who pouted and laid his head on the keyboard trying to get some attention because I was working on a second novel while writing this one. I hope those new squeaky balls made up for it.

Now, you can order the book at:

Kindle: http://ow.ly/vhVv6
B&N: http://ow.ly/vwX0a
Kobo: http://ow.ly/vhWDb
ARe: http://ow.ly/vhWbn

Don't forget to check out the Pinterest board dedicated to the book. You'll find photos that inspired it the story and quotes from the novel.

You can also read the first chapter at Wattpad. I'll be posting my guest blog posts there after they feature at the original blog sites later in the month, so they'll all be in one convenient place.

I hope your Monday is super!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Guest Post & Book Spotlight - Deadra F. Kreiger

It's my pleasure to introduce you to Deadra F. Kreiger today. Her bark's way worse than her bite, although I admit, I was really curious about what she'd come up with in this post, because I was warned that she can get pretty wild. I think you'll enjoy it!

Hello, and thanks for joining us. I also want to thank Allison for allowing me to play on her blog. Poor dear, she's never hosted me before and had no idea what she was agreeing too, so I'll try my best to behave. Allison asked me to talk about my writing style, and it caused me to think so hard, I sat in a corner with glassy eyes until one of my cats popped me in the face with a paw just to be sure their main source of food wasn't dead. The cat was kind enough not to use claws. Thank the gods for small favors. Anyhoo, back on topic.

My writing style can be described as a very intricate process called Anything Goes. Most writers find a genre and stick with it. Apparently, some little voice in my head snorted at the idea and said very, very naughty words about being constrained. I've written everything from sci-fi virtual reality to contemporary military, Native American (pre-settlers) to space pirates. I've written menage, married, and books with nothing more than a kiss for romance. The only thing I seem to do consistently is torture my characters. In Virtual Code: Infinity Love my heroine is creating a virtual reality program to help her cope with the death of her husband. In The Publisher's Proposal I scare my BDSM, lesbian heroine into believing her lover will leave her for her boss. My story releasing today, Wolves and Warrants, has murder, suspense, and angst up the wazoo.

I know I tend to instill humor in my stories, and often my female characters are snarky. A good deal of my characters have suffered from some form of personal loss that causes them to hide behind sarcasm to shield the wounds. My girls are never naive wilting flowers waiting to be rescued, and my men can walk a line between dominant and compassionate that sometimes makes me want to smack them around. I guess when it comes to my writing style, my best guess is to say, "I write what resonates with me at the moment. I write to voice the pains and pleasures of my soul to the world. I write to share a little piece of what I hold dear. I like to think my writing accurately reflects that."

For the Faxfire Series, my writing style is dark, snarky, and compassionate, all wrapped up in a zoologist and her cat.

Website: dfkrieger.com

About the book:
Once you've discovered the Hidden World, you become part of it.

It was frightening at first, being overcome by this strange, invisible entity, but it was also empowering. The power was greater than Zeara, yet completely at her disposal, and she knew just what to do with it.

There is no rest for the weary as Zeara, Jake, and Magic are called upon by the very organization that threatened their lives. A murder investigation must take place in a local little town, but no one is quite sure who or what is dead, and why. It's up to the team to place all the puzzle pieces when people start dying. The problem is, the local sheriff doesn't want to cooperate and their most promising link to solving the case is in a psych ward. Can they solve it before another life is lost?

Get Wolves and Warrants at:

Join Deadra's release event party at Facebook: