Friday, January 31, 2014

The Friday Five - Weird Facts

It's Friday! That means tomorrow is Saturday and if the #$%& weather holds, I'm heading south to the Kimberling Area Library for Author Book Signing Day. I'll be there with copies of (for the first time ever) the entire Legends & Lovers series and copies of The Convict and the Cattleman, plus candy. You want candy, right? Of course you do. The event starts at 9 am, goes to 2 pm and I'm sure it'll be just lovely.

Today I've brought you weird facts. Enjoy!

1) Abracadabra - it's a magic word first noted in the 1690s from the Latin Abraxas, which refers to great power. But did you know it was also used as a supposed cure for hay fever? *Sneeze* "Abracadabra!" ...Nope, nothing. Better stick with the Claritin.

Scott Snyder
2) Almost all the villains in the Bible have red hair. Is this why we say gingers have no souls? I don't know, but it's fun to say that. Sorry, gingers. We love you anyway. I went red one time myself...and I loved it. Mwahahahaha.

3) Bambi was originally published in German. Arme kleine reh. That's probably wrong, but you'd be wrong too if it had been over a dozen years since your last German class. That you almost failed because language ain't really your thing unless it's English.

4) A squirrel cannot contract or carry the rabies virus.

5) Our fingers prune when exposed to water after a while because the prune effect gives us a better grip underwater.
Jose Bernalte

It's Friday. Go, be, do. Unless it's nasty in your neck of the woods, then just stay, sleep, and cuddle.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Feature & Giveaway - Ever Hopeful by Lori Ryan


Release: January 26th 

Events and contests January 26th through February 9th
Ever Hopeful will be priced at 99 cents for the first two weeks!
Price increases to 2.99 on February 10th
Get it at Amazon (US) || Amazon (UK) || Print || B&N || Kobo || Goodreads 

Combining heart-soaring contemporary romance with heart-pounding suspense is a trademark of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan—and in her novel Ever Hopeful, she delivers spectacularly on both counts. Two-months pregnant and trapped in a violent marriage, Laura Kensington realizes that her ruthless and powerful in-laws will never let her go, even after the strange sudden death of her abusive husband.

Fleeing far away to the Texas ranch of Cade Bishop, a strong yet tender man who believes in second chances, Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to Cade’s gentle passion and giving heart. But there is no escaping the shadows of her past and soon danger re-enters her world, pulling Laura into a deadly web of lies, betrayals, and murder. And only Cade Bishop’s quiet strength and unwavering love can set her free.



Excerpt:
Laura smiled but Cade’s comment sent her thoughts in a completely different direction. She was suddenly painfully aware that she wanted him to see her as a woman. How totally inappropriate was that? She was pregnant with her dead husband’s child and running from his family. She might be a grown woman but the fact was, she’d never been independent. She’d always been tied to a man—first her father and then her husband. This was the time in her life when she needed to take charge, learn to support herself, and be independent. Yet, here she was thinking about how gorgeous the man sitting across from her was and wondering if he liked what he saw when he looked at her.


Cade frowned at her. “What are you thinking? You seem like you took a little trip in your head for a minute.”

If only you knew.

Laura shook her head. She needed to figure out how she was going to take care of her baby when it came, how she would support them both. How she was going to get away from the Kensingtons and their powerful, seemingly endless reach. How she’d fight them if they tracked her down and tried to take the baby from her. The last thing she should be thinking was what it would be like to be in Cade’s arms, to touch him and feel his mouth on her skin....

“I was just thinking that I need to find a way to support myself and the baby. I can’t live off you guys forever.”

“Try telling that to Mama. I think she’s planning to adopt you,” said Cade.

Laura felt a sharp pain at his joke and had a feeling she probably grimaced. What would it have been like to be born to May Bishop? To have been raised in a place like this by someone who loved her? To receive the unconditional love that a parent is supposed to have for their child?

Fairy tales…. She’d given up on things like that a long time ago. It wasn’t useful to sit and pity herself and cry about her circumstances. But, being so close to a family like the Bishops...made her want to go back in time and rewrite her story. If not rewrite who she was born to, at least change her decision to marry Patrick.

“Well, I’ll have to come up with something,” Laura said, but in all honesty waiting tables was about the only thing she was qualified to do.

She forced a smile. She may not have ever had a mother like May Bishop, but she’d make damn sure her child did. Her baby would know she was loved no matter what.

That nothing could ever take her mother’s love away. If Laura was sure of one thing in her life, she was sure of that. She would love this child with all her heart and all that she was.

About the author:
Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has written three more books 
since then. Each of Lori’s books have made their way to the Amazon bestseller list and she quickly climbed the Amazon bestselling author list, as well. In November, 2013, Lori and a group of romantic suspense authors landed on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists with an anthology only eight months after the release of Lori’s first book. Lori loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog. Oh, and if you’ve read Lori’s books and loved them, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com or with the retailer of your choice. Writers live and die by their reviews and Lori promises to do a happy dance around her office every time you write one!


Tour Schedule:
January 26 (Release Day)


January 27

January 28

January 29

January 30

January 31

February 1

February 2


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Monday, January 27, 2014

Stuff That Baffles Me- Abbreviations

It's been a while, a long, long while since I hit y'all with anything that baffled me. Things are kind of crazy right now, so you'll just have to live with it and be happy that you get anything at all. I can only please one person a day and today it was me by buying myself a Dr. Pepper when I was forced to stop for gas in the arctic temperatures. Anyway...




Or I suppose I could have titled this entry, 'What Flavor Are Your Tears?' Carmex Cry Flavor. Mmm...so salty and bitter, you won't even need to stub your toe or relive your most embarrassing moment with the tear-flavored effect of this product.

I'm assuming it's really cherry flavor.


I've been working on another historical romance that I started in late October, I think. Right before I started NaNo with Eban's book, if I remember correctly. I didn't do much work on it, just rounding it to around 10k before Jano. I was torn between writing Tell's book and writing Winning Her Heart, because obviously I'd just spent November with the Heckmasters.

Deciding it was time for a little break from the weird, I went with the historical. It started off with the hero and heroine being strangers. I decided I didn't like the way that was working out around 20k in, so I made them acquaintances. It still didn't work. They wound up being a couple that got separated because...well, I can't tell you why, because although I'm 61k into the story, the heroine still doesn't know why he really left. Okay, it was because the hero had to beat the holy, ever-loving snot out of someone to defend his family honor, but the heroine still doesn't know.

This is the choppiest manuscript I've written in years. I'm a little horrified by it, actually. It's terrible that it's so broken up, because there are a lot of parts that make sense. I spent mucho time Saturday with the intention of finishing it, writing additional transitional scenes so it would flow better. Sweet mother of all things shiny, I hope it flows smoother now. The good news is, I while I was hoping to finish, I was wading toward 50k, the goal of Jano-ers across the world. Around 4:25ish pm, I crossed the border. I narrowly made it as the 3rd person to reach the finish line. Whew! But congrats to everyone who made it! And I hope everyone who's writing is still doing their best.

Sunday I got up because PeeWee insisted he needed to go out and couldn't wait any longer at 9:30 (even though we were outside at 1 am, PeeWee), so I did my dog mom duty by walking him around the yard until his business was complete, then returned indoors where I opened the document with the intention of adding some more wordage. And I got stuck. So I considered for a few moments what to do--going back to bed was a huge consideration, but I didn't.

Instead I broke out Eban and started reading. There are a few serious gaping plot holes in it, but overall, I was pleased with that novel I spent November and more than half of December writing. Of course, after 11,000 words this weekend and reading Eban, I feel like I'm about half-blind, but it was worth it. And, I couldn't sleep last night because the wind tore down some power poles, which turned off our electricity, which meant my fan turned off and I can't sleep without the noise. Then when the electricity came back on, my arms hurt so bad from all the typing, that kept me up, but I'm off to a hell of a start for 2014 with writing.


Friday, January 24, 2014

The Friday Five - Old-Timey Things That Happened

Welcome to Friday. It's very nearly Saturday (okay, it's not close enough, is it?), and I have some old-timey things that happened. Because you're here to learn, that's why. Things that happened in January--go!



1) Ellis Island opened for immigration registration January 1, 1892. Over 12 million people were processed there until it closed in November 1954. Some famous people to go through were Charles Chaplin, Frank Capra, and the Von Trapp family. The island was alive with the sound of children singing...never mind.
Not pictured: The Von Trapp family
Courtesy of the Library of Congress

2) January 6, 1919, Theodore Roosevelt died. Not while he was riding a moose across a river, I'm sad to say. Damn you, internet, for making me believe that photo was real *shakes fist angrily*. He died in his sleep from a blood clot, which seems really tame when you consider he once gave a speech an hour after he'd been shot. What the what, Teddy? A gunshot wound couldn't kill you, but a blood clot got the job done?

3) The first Super Bowl was held January 15, 1967. The teams were the Kansas City Chiefs (oh, to dream of another Super Bowl) and the Green Bay Packers. The Packers won 35 to 10. The cost of a 30 second commercial was $42,000.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress
4) January 17, 1806, Martha, Thomas Jefferson's daughter, gives birth to James Madison Randolph, the first baby born in the White House. Less than 20 babies have been born in the White House.

5) And today, 166 years ago, in 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill, California, sparking a "gold rush". Three hundred thousand (yep, 300,000) people arrived from various parts of the United States and Mexico to stake their claim in gold. San Francisco went from about 200 residents to 36,000 by 1852.

Did you learn something? I hope so. Stay warm, kids, because it's a cold mother of a day out there. We hit -2 last night, and I don't hold out much hope that we're gonna have a tropical heatwave any time soon.

Go, be, do.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cover Reveal - Shot Through the Heart by D'Ann Lindun

Blurb:
Laramie Porter has tried to get her drug-addicted brother help, but he’s refused every time. When Laramie finds his wife—and her best friend—murdered, she vows to have him convicted. Before she can flee, her brother takes Laramie and his wife’s body into the mountains and throws them from a cliff. Somehow, Laramie lands on a ledge. After what her brother has done, Laramie doesn’t want to ever believe in another man, but Derrick earns her trust when he protects her from the man who would see her dead.

To cover up the evidence of his crime, Lawrence starts a wildfire
Derrick Garrison is through with women after he learns his ex-wife was a bigamist who only wanted his money. Believing a lightning strike has started a wildfire, he’s pushing his cattle out of harm’s way when he discovers a woman huddled on a cliff side. Derrick can’t believe the same sheriff who helped bring his ex to justice murdered his wife. But when the cocaine addicted lawman tracks Laramie through a raging fire, attempting to kill them both, Derrick becomes a true believer. His protective instinct kicks in and he falls in love with the woman in danger.

Together, they survive the fire, the attempts on their lives and a bounty on their heads…to see justice served. And fall in love.


Bio: Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, D’Ann Lindun never thought about writing one until many years later when she took a how-to class at her local college. She was hooked! She began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to her because there's just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. D’Ann’s particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because she draws inspiration from the area where she lives, Western Colorado, her husband of twenty-nine years and their daughter. Composites of their small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, two ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in her stories!

I love to hear from readers! Please contact me at


LIMITED TIME-- $.99 RE-LAUNCH!!!
Get it at Amazon

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Feature & Giveaway - Arranged Love by Lacey Wolfe

Release date: January 20, 2014
Buy Links: Amazon | Nook | Beachwalk Press

Blurb:
They think they’re fooling their parents, but really, the joke’s on them.

Kayla Ames’s parents could win an award in meddling. Every time she turns around, they’re  setting her up with someone new. Try as she might, she can’t convince them to butt out of her love life.


Ryan Newell isn’t looking for love. After having his heart torn to shreds by his ex, he’s determined to never again fall in love and leave himself that vulnerable to being hurt. His parents, however, believe he just needs some help finding the right woman, and their friends’ daughter, Kayla, might be a perfect match.

Realizing they both have the same problem—parents who won’t stop nagging them about finding a partner—Ryan and Kayla agree to an arrangement of sorts. All they have to do is pretend to date, and they don’t even have to see each other, they can discuss the details of their “dates” via email. But then the email conversations lead to real dates, and Kayla finds herself struggling to keep her feelings for Ryan in check as he’s made it clear love will not enter into the equation for him. Then Kayla’s parents suddenly announce they’re getting a divorce, and she begins to wonder if maybe Ryan has the right idea.

When it all gets to be too much for Kayla, she has a hard decision to make—agree to stay with Ryan and never experience love, or walk away for her chance to find it.

Excerpt:
Ryan stood in the kitchen, lost. Where in the world did this woman keep the coffee? He’d checked every cabinet, the pantry, and even the fridge. And yet he had come up empty-handed.

There was no way Kayla didn’t drink the caffeinated beverage, was there?

He started opening the cabinets again. It had to be somewhere. There was a coffee maker sitting on the counter. Darn woman was torturing him!

“What’s with all the banging?”

Ryan spun around. “I can’t find the coffee.”

Kayla smirked. “It’s in the freezer.”

“The freezer?” He shook his head. Did he really want to know why she kept it there?

“Yeah, I buy the huge thing of it at Sam’s and keep it in there so it stays fresh.”

“It’s not going to go bad. It’s coffee.”

She shrugged. “I’m picky about the taste. I can’t stand coffee grounds that aren’t cold.” She opened the freezer door and pulled out the container, handing it to him. “I suppose with you here, we can keep it in the fridge.”

“Is there really a difference in taste?”

“Yes.” She turned and walked out.

Ryan finished preparing the coffee. What other little quirks did she have? Would anything top this coffee thing?

As he waited, he opened the pantry to see what cereal she had, but he didn’t find any boxes.

Did she keep it in the freezer as well?

“Kayla, where’s the cereal?” he called from the kitchen doorway.

She lay on the couch with her rabbit. “I don’t have any.”

Oh God, this morning was going downhill fast. “What do you mean?”

“I don’t eat it, so I don’t buy it.”

“What do you eat for breakfast?”

“Toast.”

Damn. He was going to have to go shopping. “Would you like me to make you some since I’ll be in here?”

“Thanks, but no. I won’t eat for another hour or two.”

He nodded and went in pursuit of the bread. He’d guess it would be on the counter or in a breadbox, but with the way things were going so far, he decided to check the freezer. Sure enough, that’s where it was. He hated frozen bread. Pushing the door shut, he decided to go out and get doughnuts.

“I’ll be back.” He grabbed his keys from the table in the foyer. “Gonna get doughnuts. Got a kind you want?”

“I’m not picky.”

He snorted and she looked at him oddly. As he made his way out the door and to the car, he realized what he’d been hearing all these years were true. You never really know a person until you live with them.

Giveaway!
Lacey Wolfe is giving away to $5 Amazon or Nook gift cards! Just enter the giveaway below for
your chance.

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Find Lacey online: Website | Facebook (Fan page) | Facebook (Friend) | Twitter

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pet Me

Yesterday was a holiday, hooray for that, because it meant sleeping in. Boo for the fact that with three days off in a row, coupled with all that bad weather we had, plus other holidays, I find it hard to drag myself out of bed in the mornings. Coupled with this morning I just don't feel good about myself.

I call this my 'pet me' phase. You know, when you need confirmation that you're not a huge waste of space.
Leave me alone.
I'm a huge waste of
space. Ooo, apples.
A number of things have set this off. The first is I'm a little bit tired of the WIP I'm working on. It's similar, but not too much alike The Wrong Brother's Bride. There are plenty of differences, but sometimes it feels like I'm just rewriting what I've already done. So this thing is rapidly evolving into something else, which takes time away from actually getting it finished. Which is kind of a dumb way to think, because I've only been writing on it for a month. It's coming along better than I hoped, but not as fast as I'd like. My daily averages are anywhere from 1100 to 1800, which is pretty good, except on some novels, I can do 2000+ easily per day. So 1100 is kind of a low number when I expect more from myself.

I try to tell myself that perhaps I'm leaning toward burned out, but if I wasn't writing, I'd just be whinging about not writing or thinking about not writing or telling myself I wasn't really writing when in fact, I would be writing. It's not that.

It's...oh crap, this is hard to say, but *mutters* sometimes reviews get me. There, I said it. I crave your love insatiably. Just tell me I'm pretty and smart and I'll do anything you want. *sniff* I've heard that at some point in your life you're supposed to stop caring what other people think and just be yourself. Um...hello? Sense of not caring? Are you out there?

People are always, "Oh, you're so prolific." Sadly, this does not mean I'm actually good at any of the things I write. It mostly means I just write a lot about different things. Mostly I feel good writing about a lot of different things, because it's nice to change sub-genres up every now and then. Keeps one from getting too stale.

Then one of those-those reviews comes along and makes me question every.single.thing.I'm.doing. Reviews are not like constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is there to make a book better. Constructive criticism is easier to take, because I can do better. A review is there to damage your psyche tell others why they should or shouldn't buy this book. There is nothing, nothing, nothing that can be done to correct anyone's opinion of your book after it's written and published. Sometimes reviewers are just mean and say vague things because they're probably jealous of how great my hair looks in my author photo. Or they're 12. I'm looking at you person who wrote what sounded like a 12-year-old's opinion (your opinion doesn't even count, you're 12. And because I'm juvenile--I was 14 when I wrote that and it won an award and a teacher said it was so good it had to be plagiarized, but it wasn't, so you have two years to write something better.)

Often times, though, good reviewers will make points about things that bothered them in the book. I cringe when I see these points because sometimes I think, that's what you're picking on? This other thing should have bothered you more. Or because I'm thinking, #$@%&, you're right, that is awful. How did this get past me and an army of others?! 

And there is nothing you can do about it.

You won't change it,
even if I beg?
(This is a Nutria...
your guess is as good
as mine as to what
exactly a Nutria is.)
This is all I know:
When I was a kid, I made up stories to amuse myself. I have tried to get better. I cannot please everyone (today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either). So I guess if you don't like what I wrote, I'm sorry. Deep down inside, I've always known I'm no Stephen King/James Patterson/Nora Roberts. I'm not the best writer who ever lived, there will never come a day when I get to quit my job and write (I'd never be able to focus on writing all day anyway), and I don't write stories for you.

I write them for me, because I think I'm good at it. Then I sell them to you in hopes that you'll like them. But I still really write them for me.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Friday Five - Animal Facts

Okay, so it's been a while since we've had a good TFF. I'm here to correct that problem. Today, it's about animals. Big ones, small ones, fluffy ones, mean ones. You get it.


1) The flamingo can only eat with its head upside down. When I eat like that, I choke. Flamingos do it to filter mud and debris through their beak so they only get the good stuff. You know...whatever they eat. Fish or something. (It's algae and small crustaceans.) 

2) Lobsters never die. That is, as long as they're in a safe lobster habitat, not in the local supermarket tank or your favorite seafood restaurant. Their metabolism doesn't change, so they still eat, reproduce and do whatever lobsters do (terrify people, I suppose, have you ever really looked a lobster? *shudder*). They can sometimes grow up to the size of a wolf. Hello, nightmares. 
I don't claim to understand this image.
By vectorolie/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3) Goldfish lose their color if they don't get enough sunlight. I'm assuming this doesn't apply to the pasty white ones...you know, the same goes for humans.

4) Crocodiles can't stick out their tongues. They're just stuck inside their mouths, waiting for the moment it can be used to suck your flesh down its throat. Okay, that was slightly violent. Sorry.

5) Giraffes and humans have the same number of vertebrae in their necks. It's 7, in case you were too lazy to count your own neck bones. 

Bonus: If a copperhead snake loses a fang, it can replace it with a "spare". They have up to 7 spares. Freaky. 
Oh, hai. Just a sec whilez I put in mah dentures, k?
Michael Elliott/Freedigitalphotos.net

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Feature - Tall, Dark and Undead by Sandra Cox



About the book:
Gutsy, kickass Suzanne James has no intention of complicating her life by falling in love…especially with a vampire. But it’s hard to stay objective when a drop-dead gorgeous male rescues her from three assailants in a dark alley. All but unconscious, she could swear her hero has glowing red eyes and two sharp, pointed teeth.
Adrian Caine has spent the past hundred years, in vampire parlance, a vegetarian. When he rescues a beautiful blonde in a dark alley, it takes all of his formidable control not to backslide. Attraction turns to desire. Even though it’s not in Suzanne’s best interest, he can’t stay away.

Get it at Amazon || Barnes & Noble || Goodreads

Excerpt:
The fog rose off the dirty pavement and trailed through the night in thick sensuous wisps.

Light from streetlamps turned the furled gray haze a grimy yellow. A dog howled, the lonely sound absorbed by the heavy mist. The man roamed the near-empty streets. From habit, he pulled up his collar. He never felt the cold.

As he passed an alley, a scream rose before it ended on a muffled squawk. In a blur of motion, he entered the dark narrow space. He stood a hair’s breadth behind three thugs and their victim. His fine-tuned senses took in everything at once.

From the blood on the face of one of the men, the woman wasn’t as delicate as she appeared.
Tall and slender, blonde shoulder-length hair flew in mad disarray around a fine-boned face. But she’d already lost the fight. One man gripped her arm, her other hung limply at her side. Another male had her head yanked back by her hair with one hand, the other clamped across her mouth. Blood dripped between his fingers. The third ripped at her clothes. She kicked out with both feet and caught the punk, tearing her clothes, squarely in the stomach.

“You bitch,” he grunted.

The man holding her hair took his hand away from her mouth, fisted his fingers, and slugged her in the jaw. Her eyes rolled back and her head hit the brick building behind her with a thud.

She went limp.

The scent of her blood overrode everything else. Thick warm liquid, the sweetest he’d ever smelled, drew him into an undertow of dark desire.

But even while he registered his response to her, he dealt with the men. He threw one down the alley to land yards away with a hard thump. Another he tossed on the roof of one of the two-
story brick buildings that lined the alley. He tightened his hand on the third man's shoulder and bones crunched. The ruffian shrieked in pain. The woman fell from his dangling arm.

In a blur of movement, her rescuer scooped her up before she hit the ground. Her attacker pounded down the alley. His short sharp gasps of fright echoed in the narrow passageway along with the muffled thud of his shoes before he hit the streets and disappeared. The avenger could have easily caught the man, but the woman held his interest.

He drew her to him. He’d weaned himself from human blood over a hundred years ago, and now drank only prepackaged animal blood.

The temptation is too great. He felt his eyes glow with heat as they turned crimson. Venom built in his fangs as they pushed through the gums. He lowered his head. His fangs scraped her throat in the first sweet thrust of foreplay.

He watched her, his non-beating heart racing in his chest. His lips drew back, his fangs ready to sink into her sweet flesh.

Her eyes fluttered open.

About the Author:
Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes Crossover YA, YA Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Time Travel Romance and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and has a yellow belt in Muay Thai.
Visit her at:

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January 13
Kisses, Caresses & Whispers in the Night
Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews
Musings of a Writing Reader
Rachel Brimble Romance
Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict

January 14
Lusty Penguin Reviews

January 15
Bunny's Review
Have Novel, Will Edit

January 16
Aspired Writer
Snarky Mom Reads...
Dawn's Reading Nook
Deal Sharing Aunt
House Millar

January 17
Book Review by Xunaira J.
Literary Nook
Crystal's Many Reviewers

Book Feature - Sliding into Black by T. L. Kitae


Release date: October 30, 2013
Find it at: Amazon || Goodreads || CreateSpace

Blurb:
During the cultural revolution of the 1960′s and ’70′s, the war in Vietnam continued, daily casualties calmly reported on the evening news. Shaw, a brilliant ex-Navy Seal, has managed to come home alive after two tours in Vietnam and is now involved in black ops with Naval Intelligence, stationed in the exotic Hawaiian Islands.

The revolution had evolved into social and anti-war protests, rock ‘n roll, drugs, feminism, burn-your-bras, and casual sex, arriving in Hawaii as tradewinds of change.

An unorthodox romance springs up between Shaw and Marie, his boss’s daughter. From the moment they meet, sparks fly and the erotic heat between them runs as hot as the lava streaming from Hawaii’s volcano, Kilauea.

Thus, the first installment of the Sliding into Black trilogy begins.

Excerpt:
Out of the gloom, I saw a tall man coming toward me from behind the bar, at last – the bartender! I felt him stop in front of me and without glancing up from digging in my purse for some money, placed my order. The man cleared his throat, I looked up and caught my breath. My god what a gorgeous man! Tall, about six foot four, with a honed physique (every muscle defined under his thin white t-shirt), thick, blue-black hair pulled into a ponytail and blue eyes, the color of deep water – maybe royal blue or indigo, glittering mischievously at me. Wow, immediate sparks.

The bartender said, “Lady, I think you are in the wrong establishment. I would prefer that you leave before there is any trouble.”

I looked at him, then scanned the room as well as I could in the twilight. I replied, “Look, mister. This is 1970 and ladies go where they choose. And this lady would like a double rum and coke, double-quick.”

He glared at me and said dangerously, “My name is Shaw, not mister. I own this bar, and I can damn well invite you to leave.” Sharply he yelled, “Ben – get your ass over here and escort this ‘lady’ out, please.” In the background, I could swear time stood still.

And I also heard, “Stupid haole moe ipo,” rough translation, stupid white slut. Ohhhh, that pissed me off!

To hide my embarrassment, I said nonchalantly, “Well, now, Shaw, I’m sorry if I somehow got off on the wrong foot with you, but I’ve been taking care of myself for a long time, and I normally don’t cause problems. So, how about that drink?”

Shaw stopped, looked at me sharply, waved Ben off and grim-faced, made my double rum and coke. He brought it around the counter and leaned next to me, a little closer than I care for, and replied, “This bar can be a dangerous place, a lot of merchant seamen on leave come in here, not to mention soldiers and sailors on R & R, along with some druggies and a smuggler or two – all really horny – and they’d love to have a taste of a babe like you.”

“Isn’t that so, Kam?” he directed to the white haired Hawaiian at the other end of the bar, who nodded emphatically.

“I just don’t want to see you hurt. With that body and face of yours, you will undoubtedly attract attention, probably the kind you don’t want. And, I’m busy and don’t have time to worry about you.”

About the Author:
T.L. Kitae is a retired journalist and magazine publisher residing in Asheville, N.C. Unable to sit still for long, she writes and attends school full time to obtain her long awaited Registered Nursing degree and license.
She is married to her long time sweetheart, enjoys riding her two horses, has a silly cat, and loves spending time with her daughter and son-in-law.

Currently she is working on Book 2 of the Sliding into Black Trilogy.

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Queen of the Night Reviews
Lusty Penguin Reviews
Ms. ME28
Dalene's Book Reviews
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Ever After Romance Book Blog
The World As I See It
Swooning Over Books

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Places Nobody Told Me About

Except for a few years and a couple of months, I've spent almost my whole life in Stone County, Missouri. It's pretty here--big hills, lots of trees, snug valleys and ample waterways. Lately because of my interest in local history, I've been researching little towns that no longer exist and mills. After I finish Winning Her Heart, I doubt I wrote another story set at a mill, but it hasn't stopped me from searching for foundations here in Stone County (although the book is set in Greene).

Here's what I found this weekend:

Silver Lake Mill site. It washed away in a floods twice, the
last time in 1976.


Mill pond

More pond


The PURPLE house right across from it. I'd so live here.

Silver Lake, the mouth of Silver Lake Branch. I'd also live in
that big house up the hill from this.

Ducks on Silver Lake


Pictures can't capture how gorgeous this area is. We'll have to make another run up there in the spring when the flowers are blooming. We also hit Long Cemetery on the other side of Stone County, looking for Long's Mill, which isn't there anymore, of course, but we thought we saw a cornerstone for it. Naturally, everything is behind fencing, so it's impossible to get up close to them. From there we traveled up M highway and went to Brown's Spring, but it's so brushy, you'd be hard pressed to notice anything but a pile of rocks around the creek. It's kind of creepy there because the houses are run down, so we didn't stay long.

In other news, I hit 30k on Winning Her Heart, so we're officially at the halfway point for the novel. I'm also at 20k for JANO, which is right on track to finish on time. Yay!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Children of the Night - A Charity Anthology

Children of the Night is a fantastic book for Elementary School age children. With essential children’s lessons and good old fashioned Supernatural/Paranormal stories, this book gives you something for everyone. The children will enjoy the stories and the parents will enjoy the lessons in some of the stories. With stories about sharing, helping your parents, staying awake in class and never talking to strangers all will give you the opportunity to discuss these lessons with your children. Other stories like a Christmas mouse, Halloween night and a witch also provide enjoyment for the children. 100% of this books proceeds will go to The National Children’s Cancer Center. This book is all about the kids!

Here are the participating Authors:

Ronald Griffin’s Biography:

Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received.

From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superhero’s but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. You can either find him locked away in his writing cave or at his local Cracker Barrel where he supports his fantasy genre reading habit. His Author idol is the husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews. He has thoroughly enjoyed their magic series novels and feels encouraged that they are from his same state. When not writing, you can find Ronald spending time with his daughters (ages 3 and 9) and his son (age 7). He can be found spending time making precious moments with them and hopefully passing along his writing bug to them.

www.bloodstainedsaga.com

Tara Fox Hall’s Biography:

Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chain sawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

WHY: I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.

www.tarafoxhall.com

Ann Snizek’s Biography:

Bio: Though her childhood was spent moving frequently, Ann Snizek is originally from Vermont and now lives in Virginia with her family. As a home-schooling family, Ann and her husband have tried to nurture the love of books in their children and now their grandchildren -- always encouraging their imaginations.

Ann actively promotes literacy in her community, organizing and facilitating a creative writing club and then quickly adding volunteer tutoring and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at her local adult learning center.

Loving all aspects of writing, Ann started Snow Flower Enterprises (dot) com, and its divisions, to help other independent authors reach their goals.

www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com

Mark Mackey’s Biography:

Mark Mackey, living in Chicago, started writing during the late 1990’s when he submitted a simple poem to a contest which was later published in an anthology. In addition he has won two screenplay awards, one for the short screenplay Horror in the Woods, and one for the feature Length screenplay A Tale of Two Girls, both in the book Four Screenplays volume I. Also he has written several books in the process of being edited and three short stories published in three different anthologies.

www.goodreads.com/author/show/4901919.Mark_Mackey

Christina Mercer’s Biography:

Christina Mercer, author of Tween/Teen Fantasy Arrow of the Mist, writes fiction for children and young adults. She was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, she took Writer’s Best of Show at the SCBWI California North/Central Regional Conference, and she won an Honorable Mention in the 21st Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Christina enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

www.christinamercer.com

Jodie Pierce’s Biography:

Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.

She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn't until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.

She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in "Midnight Thirst 2", an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She's always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.

www.thevampirequeen1.weebly.com

Buy Link:

Amazon

Check out this special book, you’re bound to find something fun. Recommended reading ages 5-10 so read with your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids and loved ones!

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's Here, It's Here


Erm, sort of here. We're not on Amazon or Barnes and Noble because of the transition, but you can still get it on Kobo, iTunes, and in paperback.

There are umpteen thousand people I have to thank for making The Convict and the Cattleman possible. Some are people that have no idea where they are and have vanished into the wild blue Internet yonder. Thank you, people who helped.

Some are family, like my mom who nagged me to finish for three years. Thanks, Mom.

Some are critiquers, who tolerated my bad writing, helped me fix it, and helped me reach where I am today. This means you, you Rom-Critters. Particularly Brenda, Michelle, and Cindy.

And D'Ann, well, thank you, because you invited my editor to your group blog for the 3-line pitch. If you hadn't done that, I can almost guarantee Convict wouldn't be where it is today.

Thanks to Piper and Renee for taking a chance on me.

I've forgotten people, no doubt, but I love you all.

I'm not sure what else I can tell you about this book, except be kind to your author and go buy it. If you want a little adventure, a deep romance, and some touching family moments all set in New South Wales, here's your book. You can get it at all of these places:

Amazon in print
Barnes & Noble in print
Kobo for the ereader
iTunes for ereaders

Check it out at Goodreads for the reviews (more of those coming soon), and add it to your reading list.
You can also scope out the Pinterest board for some of the things you'll find inside the book.

Crack open that Martinelli's, settle in for a good read, and Happy Monday!

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Moment Like This

Some days you wake up and you expect an ordinary day. The sun is up, blinding you on your drive to work, your boss leaves his briefcase in front of the microwave again and you feel mean moving it, but you're going to die (worse case scenario), er, fall asleep at your desk if you don't have hot water for tea. You know eight long hours are separating you from another day when you can get home and relax. Today is probably not the day you're going to win the lottery, but you can dream. Average day, right?

Here's what happened next. I opened my email, because I was waiting on cover art for Wildwood Spring and I half-expected third round edits, because my Breathless editor is super fast--so super fast, that we have a projected release date of February 28, 2014. Wow! Five months before the dreaded 19+13 birthday, but we're thinking book release, not birthday!

Instead, I had cover art for The Wrong Brother's Bride. This is it:


Is that not utterly beautiful? You bet it is. And I don't think I need to remind you, this is one of my very favorite books I've ever written and I'm in love with this cover.

And then I also got this:



So perfect for Wildwood. Snowy manor, hot man. Yep, that'll do nicely. February 28, people! It's the White People Almost Kissing collection from yours truly.

But that's not the big news. For a couple of weeks, Renee, the CEO of Lyrical, was hinting at a big change. Change can be scary, but I was kind of thinking maybe she'd absorbed another company or merged or something, because the email addresses were suddenly changing and my editor said, if you have anything to sub make sure it comes to my personal email.

Erm, I was kind of right:

Kensington Publishing purchased Lyrical Press. Lyrical is going to be an imprint of eKensington now.

Pick your jaw up off the floor. Take your time, though, I know exactly what you're going through.

When I got the news, I was almost speechless. It was a trial to say, "uh-huh, uh-huh" in agreement to anything going on around me. Aliens are attacking? Uh-huh. The earth has cracked and we're all gonna die? Uh-huh. The tea I'm drinking tastes like bog water? Uh-huh.

I got up from my chair, went to the bathroom and bawled like someone near and dear had just died. I cried when I got the offer for the contract on Convict, and with Bride. I cried when I got cover art for both too. I leaned against the bathroom stall door (we have good cleaning ladies, no worries), and sobbed. My make up was gone within a minute. Oops.

I'm so dumbfounded by the way 2013 has gone and how it ended. When I started writing Convict at the end of 2008, I swear, I'd forgotten or maybe never even learned all the rules about writing. It was a good idea with a not so good writer behind it, but I was so lucky because I had a lot of help learning or relearning the things that make a novel good. Then when I packed it away in 2010 because I just couldn't handle another revision right then, I honest to God thought I was done with it. It was the gateway novel that spurred me on to write other things. I considered pulling it out in 2011 to rewrite and pitch at ORACon, then I got so busy with the Weta contest, I knew I'd never have time. So it waited.

If I hadn't been slightly bored after I finished The Siren's Sentinel, I wouldn't be flabbergasted by Renee's news. I'd be thinking, man, those lucky ducks (or I knew I should've pitched when D'Ann hosted Lyrical on her group blog!).

Funny thing is, when I pitched it and got the offer for the contract, I just kept thinking what a miracle it was. This book that was stuffed into the dark recesses of my flash drive opened a door for me. Before I subbed Convict, I honestly thought I'd never write historical romance again. Not because I don't love it, I really, really do, but you know I've been writing some pretty wacky stuff the last couple of years.

When the news broke that Kensignton purchased Lyrical, I was shaky, I had tears, I had to go to the bathroom so my poor co-worker wouldn't think I'd completely lost it. I was lightheaded and giddy.

One little decision turned into this huge, huge thing. Stuff like this doesn't happen to me, you guys. I told Renee, "I'm nobody" and she said, "You're somebody."

God, I'm crying again. This is like the Cinderella story. Little Missouri author who put everything into learning self-publishing takes a risk and expects a 'no', but gets a hand up. I mean, if the ratty jeans and too big shirt I'm wearing changed into a ballgown right now, I don't think I could be anymore surprised and pleased. Renee sent along the new .epub formats for Convict and Bride. They look so amazing.

Kensington. Linda Lael Miller publishes with Kensington. She's one of my my absolute favorite romance authors. Oh my God. Pinch me. Go on, because I must be dreaming.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ringing in the New Year!

It's year of the horse, in case you were interested.
Graphic by gubgib / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As always, you have my blessing. May your feet take you down the road you want to be on. Failing that, may they take you down the road leading to the road you want. Failing that, may they take you down the road leading to the road that leads to the road you want.

Happy New Year!