Category Archives: guest post

ML Guida: Dark Paranormal Romance Author

Whimsical Wednesdays

a dark paranormal romance interview

Hello and welcome to the first of my new series of guest romance author blogs and interviews. I’m thrilled to have as my first victim—um-hem—guest, ML Guida. ML writes dark paranormal romance about vampire pirates, dragon shapeshifters, and witches. She is not only a good friend of mine,  is also my critique partner. She puts up with my crazy schedule and even crazier life. If it weren’t for her, I know my writing wouldn’t be where it is. So please welcome guest romance author, ML Guida, to Jessica Aspen Writes. And don’t forget to leave a comment and enter to win the giveaway for an e-copy of ML’s first book in the series, A Pirate’s Curse.

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Hi ML, welcome to the blog. Do you mind sharing what you write with my readers?

Thanks Jessica for allowing me to come onto your blog. I write dark paranormal romance.

Do you have cheerleaders  supporting you as a writer? Who supports you and keeps you writing?

I have some great cheerleaders.  My first one is my wonderful critique partner, Jessica Aspen, and my dad. When I’ve almost given up, my dad is the one who picked me up off the floor and encouraged to back on the writing horse.

Tell us why you write dark paranormal? Why this type of books? 

I’ve been in love with the supernatural, ever since I was a little girl and first started watching Dark Shadows.  When I was in third grade, my whole class was hooked on Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators—the big hit was Mystery of the Green Ghost. Later I fell in love with vampires. They’re sensual and dark. Later, I discovered Sherrilyn Kenyon and Ann Rice.  I have a hard time not writing paranormal.

What theme or message is in your book? Does it run through all your books?

Resiliency is a key component to all my books. My characters suffer hardship, but must believe in themselves to overcome obstacles to win. They need to accept their faults as well as their strength. In A Pirate’s Revenge, William has to overcome his self-loathing and fear before he can reach his goal. He has to trust in witch craft, something he doesn’t believe in, and only then, can he defeat his enemies and find true love.

Come on, dish…is their anything unusual about your writing habits?

Most authors like peace and quiet, not me. I have the television on. But what really starts my creativity is watching paranormal shows. Right now, I’m watching Mortal Instruments, City of Ashes.

Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them?  How did they push you? 

Rejections are part of the business.  At first, I usual go into pout mode and think it’s the end of the world. A friend of mine, fellow writer Jennifer Maitlen, has given me a mantra to live by—half day. I have half day to wallow in pity, then I have to put on my big girl panties and move on.  I don’t know why, but it helps. Sometimes you need permission to feel like it’s the end of the world. Time limits help.

Do you have a writing schedule? How do you juggle writing, family, work, and life’s surprises?

I usually write before work and after work. I never had any problems writing until my cocker spaniel died—Sadie.  She was 12 years old and my best friend. Now, it’s been hard to write anything. Sometimes grief is all consuming, and it’s hard to get back into the routine.

What’s unique about this book?

William can turn into a dragon, but he is not like most shape-shifters. He is possessed by a dragon spirit, Drakon. Drakon and William are one and can hear each other’s thoughts.  I wanted to do something different than the usual shifters. Also, without giving too much away, I’ve darker creatures that come from Coaybay (dark underworld) to the Caribbean.

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

Yes. A Pirate’s Revenge is the second book in the Legends of the Soaring Phoenix. The first book was A Pirate’s Curse.  The third installment is scheduled to come out in Winter of 2015. This will be Amadi’s story. Amadi is an escaped slave who is re-captured and tossed back into slavery. This tale is based on the White Witch of Rose Hall in Jamaica. In 1770, the White Witch, Annee Palmer, seduced three husbands, then murdered them. Her favorite pastime was to have slave lovers, but she’d torture them.  The slaves finally were tired of Annee and rebelled, killing her.  Amadi is forced to battle his evil mistress and must rely on Violet, an indentured servant, to help him escape.  The problem is Violet is unable to tell a lie. She breaks out in hives when she lies, and she can tell when others are lying. The evil mistress uses Violet’s abilities to her own evil ends and Amadi must learn to trust Violet or be chained forever a slave.

Thanks ML!

Hey readers, don’t forget to leave a comment to enter to win the giveaway of an e-copy of book one, A Pirate’s Curse.

A Pirate’s Revenge, Book Two in the Legends of the Soaring Phoenix

MLGuida_APiratesRevenge_800Cursed by a demon, William O’Brien changes into a dragon with mystical powers he can’t control. In dragon form he becomes a ravenous beast with the power to destroy the crew of the Soaring Phoenix. He’s forced to make a decision: leave the ship or face killing the crew. But before he can go, he discovers a new menace hunts him. The God of the Underworld has released a female demon, more deadly and evil than before, with orders to capture William and combine his powers with a male witch in order to destroy the crew of the Soaring Phoenix. Mariah Fey, a talented witch, wants only to save her brother from the bowels of the evil pirate ship, the Fiery Damsel. If William will trust her, she can teach him how to harvest his gifts, control his abilities, and together their true love can defeat their enemies.

 

 

Buy links for A Pirate’s Revenge:

Amazon Kobo Inktera

 

Bio:

MaryGuida-web 1 (5 of 5)M.L. Guida loves the paranormal. Even when she was four years old, she would watch the soap opera, Dark Shadows, and fell in love with vampires! Who wouldn’t want a bite on the neck? Currently, she has two series with vampires: the Legends of the Soaring Phoenix and Vampires on Holiday.

Today, she continues to love the preternatural and watches Ghost Adventures, Dead Files and A Haunting. She’s ventured into more supernatural beings, specifically demons, but not just any demons, dragon demons. Her new series, the Underworld, is with Kensington/Lyrical Imprint.

M.L. lives in Colorado near the Rocky Mountains. She loves to take her cocker spaniel, Sadie, for walks on the trails behind her house. When she travels, she tries to go on ghost tours. Her favorite so far was the Jack the Ripper tour in London.

She currently writes for Kensington/Lyrical Imprint, Passion in Print, and self-publishes. She is a member of Colorado Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America.

 

Want to know what’s going on with Jessica? Check out her news page HERE or sign up for her New Release Email HERE.

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Filed under guest post, Vampires, werecreatures, Whimsical Wednesdays

Red The Were Hunter by Rebekah Garniere

Thursdays Bite

a fairy tale blog

Please welcome Rebekah Garniere to Jessica Aspen Writes. Like me, she twists fairy tales into romances, and her first book in her series is based on Little Red Riding Hood. And like me, she incorporated werewolves. That’s where the similarities end. Check out, Red the Were Hunter.

Red The Were Hunter is the first in nine fairytale retellings that are all woven together in the same world. When I started out I only had the idea for Red and that was all. But then I started thinking of all the other cool fairytales out there and thought it would be fun to weave them all together in a fairytale land called Fairelle. There’s a mythos behind the entire world of how they used to be all humans and united under one banner. But when the king was about to die, his four sons called forth a demon to grant them each a single wish so they would have superiority and be able to rule the kingdom alone. However, the demon twisted their wishes to his own purposes and transformed the four brothers into four different races. Werewolf, vampire, fae and neriad. From there a war broke out dividing and devastating the world. Red The Were Hunter begins many centuries after that war.

 

In the nineties there was a miniseries called the 10th Kingdom. It did a similar thing, weaving the stories together. I loved that miniseries, but was bummed that the series only followed a few main characters. So I decided that in my series I would make each book about a different couple and their story. The characters weave in and out of each other’s books though. They all know each other in one way or another, or are connected through mutual friends. For instance, in Red The Were Hunter you see a vampire named Sage. He is the vampire prince from Snow The Vampire Slayer. And one of Snow’s brothers is the hero of the third book, Zelle and the Tower. I found that a fun way to write them

 

It’s hard working in the original fairytales. If you look at what movie companies have done to the original fairytales over the years, you find few similarities. I found, that for me, the best way was to tell my own stories in my own style, and for grown ups. My brothers, in Snow The Vampire Slayer, are not like the seven dwarfs of Snow White done by Disney. My Rapunzelle from Zelle and the Tower, is not like the Rapunzelle of old. My females are take charge women, rarely are they damsels in distress. My men are heroes, but most come with baggage, and they aren’t always nice. However I do try and put elements from the original stories in that people will recognize. Things like, Red’s cloak. The apple from Snow White. Zelle’s long hair. Things like that. But I think the best way to try and do a fairytale retelling is to make the story your own and give it a new twist on an old theme. So what’s your favorite fairy tale?

 

 

red the were hunter coverRED THE WERE HUNTER

 

What if you were the key to an ancient prophecy that would begin to heal your lands, but fulfilling your destiny meant you had to turn your back on everything you’d been taught to believe in?

Redlynn of Volkzene, member of the Sisterhood of Red, is heartbroken to discover another  girl kidnapped and her best friend slain by werewolves. Defying the head of her order, she sets out to kill the beast she believes responsible.  The King of the Weres– But there are worse things in Wolvenglen Forest than the wolves.

Adrian, reluctant heir to the throne of Wolvenglen, and his band of wolf brothers are bound to protect the humans; especially the Sisterhood. Finding Redlynn unconscious in his woods, awakens in him a passion he’s never before experienced and a protective instinct that has him ready to turn on his own men. Problem is, a female is the last thing Adrian needs complicating his life.  

But all is not as it seems in Wolvenglen Forest and to save the missing girls before time runs out, Redlynn and Adrian must move past their inner demons and learn to trust each other. In the search for vengeance however, sometimes you must give up what you desire most.

EXCERPT:

Redlynn whipped her head from side to side. Where am I? Pain exploded in her neck; she tried to reach up with her left arm, but it was pinned to her stomach. It’d been strapped in place by a strip of red cloth. Why am I half-naked? Her tunic and cloak were gone. So was her locket. Redlynn looked around frantically for her locket. Pain hit her in waves, confusing her and forcing her to breathe deeply. She refused to cry.

            Trying to process her surroundings, the fight with the Were flooded back to her. Shockingly, it seemed she wasn’t dead, she was alive, and in someone’s very richly furnished bedroom. She wiped at her face with her right hand, her vision muddled.

            Stone walls surrounded the large, mahogany, four-poster bed she lay upon. Dark, heavy curtains were partially drawn at the end of the bed. On either side, two ancient and beautiful nightstands held ornately carved glass oil lamps. A fire crackled, its golden glow peeking in the gaps of the curtains.

            Redlynn maneuvered herself to the side of the bed and set her feet on the floor. It was colder than her wooden planks at home. Slowly she scooted off the downy mattress, and tried to steady herself on one of the posts. She weakened, the blood draining from her head, her legs wobbling beneath her.

            On the floor lay her cloak. She stooped to pick it up, but lost her balance. At the last minute, she braced herself on the stone wall and avoided its colliding with her face. Taking a deep breath, she steadied herself once more and slowly reached down for the cloak, pressing herself into the stone for support. It took her several minutes to get the clasps buckled so that she was covered almost to her waist.

            By the time she finished, her body shook like she’d tried to pull a wagon by herself. A bead of sweat trickled down the side of her face. Sucking in a deep breath, she tried to clear her mind and listen for sounds. A faint rhythmical buzzing cam e from somewhere near the fire. Pushing past the end of the bed, she saw a large man asleep at a table.

            His head was tilted to the side and long, wavy black hair fell over his eyes and chiseled features. His large and strong form was set with broad shoulders and a powerfully built frame. He’d fallen asleep in his linen shirt and breeches, with his boots still on. A flutter settled in her stomach, the same surge of adrenaline she got before a fight. He was snoring. What was he doing there?

            Confused, Redlynn wasn’t sure if it was her fighting instincts kicking in, or something else all together. Part of her wanted to know what his lips would feel like on hers. Another part wanted to run.

            What the hell is wrong with you? You’d think you’d never seen a man before. She swallowed hard. She hadn’t.Not a man like him.

            She searched for an exit and found it to the far left of the room. The sleeping man didn’t look like he was guarding her, but why would he be in the same room with her, if he weren’t? She scanned the room for her things. Her pack, bow and quiver were nowhere to be found. If she were going to break out, she needed a weapon.

            On the table lay a tray with an empty plate, a knife, fork and spoon. Redlynn inched toward the knife. The closer she got to him, the more drawn she was to him. She stopped, a foot from the table.

            Keep it together! He’s only a man, and obviously your guard. For all you know, he could be a murderer!

            She slid her good hand across the polished wooden surface. As she reached for the knife, her collarbone burned with pain. She stumbled, tripping over her cloak and crashing into the plate.

            The man was up in an instant. Rising, his chair clattered to the ground. Redlynn grabbed hold of the knife and held it out in front of herself, backing away. It took him a moment to comprehend what was going on. He stared at her, not moving. She shook like a rabbit. He had golden eyes.     

            “Your . . .  your eyes,” she whispered.

            “What’s wrong with them?”

            “They . . .  They’re gold.”    

            “They’re brown.”

            “No . . .  No, they aren’t.” She shook her head. “They’re golden… just like—”

            “Like yours,” he murmured.

            Redlynn nodded, her head fuzzy, and her knees wobbly. She blinked several times. His eyes were brown. They had golden flecks in them, but they were definitely brown.

            “You’ve had a bad wound. You should rest.”

            “I have to leave. I have something I need to do.”

            “Do you remember what happened?”

            “Where am I?”

            “In Wolvenglen.”

            “Who in their right mind would live in Wolvenglen? Don’t you know there are Weres out here?”

            “Please, put down the knife.” He motioned to the knife Redlynn had forgotten she was pointing at him.

            She glanced at it and weighed it in her hand. It was solid. Her hunting knife was larger, but she could make do with it if need be.

            “Where are my things? I need to go.”

            “Hanna, our healer, will bring them in the morning when she comes to check on you, and bring you a change of clothes.”          

            Still holding the knife, she reached up and touched her collarbone, underneath her cloak. A bandage covered the wound. It was tender. Peeling it away, she assessed what she could see of the damage.

            “I wouldn’t do that,” he warned.

            Redlynn gave him a hard stare and went back to inspecting the wound. She stuck her fingers in the salve and rolled it between her thumb and forefinger, smelling it.

            “Comfrey and calendula.” Pulling at the green leaves, she winced as they ripped a piece of skin and seeped. Smelling the leaves, she put them in her mouth and chewed them before spitting them out. “Fernblend. Did she do that?”

            “No, I did.”

            “Don’t you know you have to keep it wet?”

            “I thought saving your life was more important,” he bit back. “You were in bad shape when I found you.”

            “Well when I scrub it off, I am going to wish I were dead. Where did you find me, anyway?”

            “Listen.” He took a deep breath. His eyes softened and his voice gentled. “I was trying to help you. It was one of the few things I remember my mother teaching me about herbs.”

            “Your mother’s a healer?”

            “Was. Now, will you please lie down before you pass out? You lost a lot of blood.”

            “I’ve had worse,” Redlynn lied. “I need to get my things and be on my way.”

            “You need to rest. You can barely hold that knife, let alone walk through the forest.”

            “I’ll be fine.”

            He stepped out of her way. “Very well. You are free to leave.” He motioned to the door.

            Was this a joke? Was he really going to let her go? Gripping the knife, she took several steady steps toward the exit before her knees buckled. He caught her around the waist, sending a shockwave of tingles through her body.

            His musky scent mixed in her nostrils and her head lightened again. His body wasn’t just warm, it was hot; he was a fire in his own right.

            “Let go,” she said softly.

            “I was merely keeping you from further injuring yourself.”

            His light blue tunic opened in a “v” and his chiseled, hairless chest peaked out beneath. Her eyes locked with his. He hadn’t shaved in a day or two; the whiskers looked ruggedly good on him. His face wore an expression she’d never seen aimed at her before. Desire. The butterflies in her stomach danced and spun. His face was so close as he studied her features.

            “Please, let go,” she choked.

 

rebekah garniereAUTHOR INFO:

Rebekah is an award winning author. Her first novel Dead Awakenings, debuted in January 2014. Red the Were Hunter, the first in her Farielle Series, will be published May 1, 2014. Her trilogy The Society will be released in early 2015 by Kensington’s Lyrical Press. Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the RWA FFP Chapter as well as a member of her local Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her moderating on Savvy Authors.com and in her local SCV Writers group, or hanging out with her husband, four children and dog, rabbit, two bearded dragons, three tortoises and a handful of fish. The escaped snake has yet to be found.

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Filed under Fae, fairy tales, guest post, Thursdays Bite, Vampires, Werewolves and the Fae

The Zoastra Affair and Being the Girl at the Con

Moonday Mania

a blog for discovering new books

Merry Christmas! For the holidays and all of you with new Kindles, The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court is free for three days, starting today! I you haven’t downloaded your free copy of my twisted, fairy tale for adults, now is the time.

Please welcome author Victoria Pinder to the blog. Victoria’s book will be released December 30th, so put it on your to-do list. Victoria was also raised by Trekkie parents, but in her case it seems to have stuck more while I migrated to the fantasy world. Welcome, Victoria!

Have you ever been the only female at a comic book store or a single woman at a science fiction convention? Now that I’m happily engaged (The Wedding is June 14th), it’s easier now to talk about some of the most embarrassing moments ever. I cohosted the “Save Enterprise” rally up in Orlando which was I must say super fun. We had Star Trek fans of all come out, and it wasn’t a protest. It was an outside, we love the positive message of Gene Roddenbury outside street fair. It was so much fun and I made it on the news.

Yep, I’m that much a Trekkie. (Trekker is a Next Gen person; Trekkie is original. Dad had me watching the originals first.) I read science fiction long before romance. Anyhow post-rally the hosts and major people dressed up in costume all go for Chinese food at the local Trek meeting. We met super cool people. What almost spoiled the day was some NASA scientist who called me a ‘bitch’ because I wouldn’t go give him my number. I was so hurt. But I released the energy when I went home and made a fan video to the song Cold Hard Bitch for Star Trek. I think youtube has it copyright violation for the song now, but it was my release for being called names after such a fun and total nerdy vacation I had. (I don’t live in Orlando) My super sensitive side was upset anyone would say such a thing to me. But this is the case with science fiction.

I’ve been the lone girl. I’ve nerded out and know way too much pointless knowledge. And the Zoastra Affair is my reality where I create the universe and it’s not Star Trek, Star Wars, but something of my own. One cannot wipe away influences or events. But I do wish when I do end up back at science fiction conventions, that no one ever calls another woman a name like that. I swear there was no flirting going on, and just because a woman knows about a sci fi worlds, it doesn’t make her somehow more than just the next fan. No one should ever come back from a vacation because a stranger was mean. It’s just wrong in my little world. But yet I push on as a female in science fiction.

In the stories, women can be amazing, and the adventures just make my heart swell with excitement and wonder. Magic is cool and all, but science fiction plays on the future and possibilities that could happen. I love it.

The Zoastra Affair

by Victoria Pinder

the zoastra affair by victoria pinderA hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.

The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.

Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.

Coming December 30th from Soul Mate Publishing.

Science Fiction Romance

Heat Level: Intimate

Length: 85000 words

Excerpt:

Twenty Second Century

Sheraton Home World

I’m going to have to steal someone else’s body to get out of here.

“Ariel, are you listening?”

Ariel Transcender stared dumbfounded at the mother superior of her prison, a/k/a Aulnale School for Orphans. “Yes, mistress.”

She had no idea what happened, though she pasted a fake simpering smile of appreciation on her face. Ms. Rochelle walked away.

A few minutes later, Ariel looked out the window again, tuning out Rochelle’s mind numbing lecture on what was proper behavior when near a man. The boarding home on this planet gave the stupidest lectures of the galaxy. Her lips curled into a sneer. Women were not excited to be bound to men.

Could I do this to someone else? Do I have any other choice?

Lenchena, the teenage girl who’d stolen her adult body and taken off on Ariel’s ship, needed to be found. And Ariel refused to listen to the daily drivel about always listening to a man.

No longer on her planet, Grinocx, she did her best to understand this planet’s culture. Order made sense, but the Sheratons never made sense. Her gaze wandered to the well-manicured lawn designed for ostentatious parties. Not paying attention, Ariel’s mind still picked up a few phrases in the lecture, please a man, be agreeable, and do whatever is asked with a smile, floated in the air.

Lenchena’s voice became animated as she told them, “Ferula can be used on your future husband to ensure he finds completion even if you are too tired to perform your duties. However, with your husband, do this sparingly or else he’ll find you a lazy wife.”

Ariel blinked after that statement. Another grueling lecture on pointless marriage and sex. Blah, blah, blah. Her people, Grinders, didn’t believe in love and mating only to reproduce. Being stuck on Sheraton where the women dressed in long dresses, caring for homes with neatly cut green grass, and doing nothing more exciting than watching the pink dawns, while the men held careers in outer space, had never been her plan.

Was she really sitting in a lecture on how to please the male species? She rolled her eyes. Seriously? No, she refused to listen to this nonsense. The words ‘ladies never say no’ reverberated behind her back and made her face pucker.

Ariel schooled her features, pretending to listen to the school master, Ms. Rochelle. The woman had no heart. No one had listened to Ariel when she had cried for days and days that some young teenager had switched bodies with her, trapping her in this alien hell. Rochelle had dragged her back to school, and kept her under lock and key.

Hope became fleeting after that, while the years ticked past. For the past four years, she’d been training at the all-girls school for orphans on how to be a proper maid and housewife.

The twenty-five years of her life training to be an engineer, then serving on the starship Tygra, then the sistership Thrycer, had been stolen.

Now that this body was almost of marriageable age, Ms. Rochelle, cursed school teacher, paraded Ariel out of the orphanage to find her a match. Every week or special event needing service, Ariel had on the job training with heavy supervision, pointing out Ariel’s light pink hair and ability to be a serviceable wife to a working man. Pink hair girls are sweethearts. Yeah right. That lowlife bottom-feeding insect, Lenchena, had stolen her body and her life.

Ariel had stopped complaining years ago because it got her nowhere. She was on her own and needed to find a way out of this body and back to her ship. With the almost age of marriage upon her, it was now or never. Then Ariel was going to find that little twit who stole her body and make her pay for stranding her on this backward planet.

“In a few weeks Ariel will be leaving us. Heading toward marriage with Massimo?” Ms. Rochelle’s voice pulled her back into the lecture.

“Err . . .” Massimo, with his hovercraft, became convenient transportation to leave the school with permission, but marriage? The boy dreamed of owning a restaurant with a pretty wife. She’d find a way off the planet, when she wasn’t being observed or offered for marriage to every low level non-space going man on this planet. Time ticked fast now.

“Ariel is lucky to have found a man so interested in her beauty, he can overlook her status.”

Ariel’s mouth tightened and she lowered her head to hide her scowl. No. Massimo was a child, too. Getting her body back from the child thief, Lenchena, mattered far more. This body was now strong. Away from the ever-watchful teacher, she’d have her chance for escape at one of the upcoming diplomatic events where she’d be a maid or serve others dinner. Plus, Sheratons mated for life, something Ariel refused to believe in. But in order not to draw attention to herself, she played along. “Um, yes. I am.”

A group of male soldiers marched past the closed door of the school room. The females in the class twisted around to catch a glimpse of them. Ariel didn’t join her classmates in staring and drooling at the opposite sex.

Pathetic.

Why did these aliens keep males and females separate until marriage? The customs of this world never ceased to amaze her. The teacher taught the virgin teenagers to expect women to fall into orgasm whenever a man’s hand grazed her body. Seriously? Had they never had sex before? In her memory, sex hadn’t been that all-encompassing.

For the past four years she’d been stuck in this body, living through alien teenage hormones. The sexually denied tightness irritated her body, and her mind longed to be back working on a single engine design. On the Thrycer, she’d run a top design engine room, winning numerous awards for ingenuity on a space ship. Then she’d joined the boarding party to Sheraton, being told the planet was a relaxing and safe tranquil spa. Lies.

If Ariel let them, these alien hormones would dull her reaction time in the girl’s leftover body that held her consciousness. She’d managed to keep slim and fit with exercise as she bided her time until she found a way to her freedom, and got her body and life back. When she finished this, she’d fix everything. She’d force the girl who stole from her to return with the borrowed body to make the final switch and right everything.

 

About the Author:

victoria pinderVictoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.

During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.

When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.

Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.

 

Visit Victoria online at:

Authors Website:  http://www.victoriapinder.comFacebook:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Pinder-also-writing-as-Greta-Buckle/294685373900979Twitter:    http://twitter.com/victoriapinderTumblr:    victoriapinder.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/victoriapinder/

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=200859737&trk=hb_tab_pro_topGoogle+ https://plus.google.com/105161432419802350109/posts/p/pub

 

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Filed under book sale, guest post, Science Fiction

A Voodoo Dream—Is It a Nightmare?

Welcome to Whimisical Wednesday

a blog for fabulous writers

It’s Whimsical Wednesday, the day I may or may not blog and you never know what to expect. Today, on Jessica Aspen Writes, I’m lucky to showcase romantic suspense author, Alana Lorens. I met, Alana, at Margie Lawson’s Deep Immersion workshop. Up on Margie’s Mountain there is magic and mystery in the air. Why else would so many of the women I met up there have become such terrific authors? Including, Alana. You may remember my showcasing her previous romantic suspense books in the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series, Conviction of the Heart, and Second Chances. (Click HERE for the post) And I know you’ll want to check out her other books (written as Lyndi Alexander) as well (see her bio below for more info.) Without further delay…here’s Alana!

A voodoo dream—is it a nightmare?

New Orleans is a fabulous old city of the South, a culturally-rich city that draws from roots in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. The French Quarter, in particular, is often recognizable by its cast-iron balconies the french quarterand its colorful streets full of delightful little shops where one can find objets d’art and many other interesting things.  new orleans blue doors

But New Orleans has a darker side, also long set in its history. As anyone who’s been following the current season of American Horror Story: Coven knows, voodoo has been practiced in the city and surrounding areas for many years, and the name most associated with voodoo in New Orleans is that of Marie Laveau.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines voodoo as: A religion practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries, especially Haiti, syncretized from Roman Catholic ritual elements and the animism and magic of slaves from West Africa, in which a supreme God rules a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions. Also called vodoun.

voodoo alter museum  As in most practices, the majority of those who practice this religion use it for purposes of good—to heal the sick, to help the hungry, or those addicted to alcohol or drugs through direction of spiritual energy and protective amulets called gris-gris. But there are those who use its arts for evil, to gain personal power, to mete out revenge, and to harm others. This is the picture many Hollywood films have used to demonstrate voodoo and its practitioners, often with dolls stuck full of pins or blood-soaked curses.

voodoo dreams by alana lorensVOODOO DREAMS is the story of two separate lawyers from Pittsburgh, who innocently jet off to the city of New Orleans at Mardi Gras to escape their worries and troubles, only to find a whole lot more waiting for them there—as well as the possibility of love.

When her big trial goes bad, corporate attorney Brianna Ward can’t wait to get out of Pittsburgh. The Big Easy seems like the perfect place to rest, relax, and forget about the legal business. Too bad an obnoxious—but handsome—lawyer from a rival firm is checking into the same bed and breakfast.

 Attorney Evan Farrell has Mardi Gras vacation plans too. When he encounters fiery and attractive Brianna, however, he puts the Bourbon Street party on hold. He’d much rather devote himself to her—especially when a mysterious riddle appears in her bag, seeming to threaten danger.

Strangely compelled to follow the riddle’s clues, Brianna is pulled deeper into the twisted schemes of a voodoo priest bent on revenge. To escape his poisonous web, she must work with Evan to solve the curse. But is the growing love they feel for each other real? Or just a voodoo dream?

Excerpt:

The voodoo priest Copper placed the boat in the fire, and it vanished in a burst of white flame.

“Damballah has received your petitions!” he proclaimed. “We shall now glorify him!”

He bent before the altar and reached into a screened box. A flourish of drums preceded a moment of reverent silence as Copper drew out a huge gold-flecked python. He held the undulating snake up in the firelight. The monster had to be at least ten feet long.

A dancer moved forward to take it from the priest. It curled around her as Copper oiled his hands from a jar on the altar, then massaged the snake.

“Great God Damballah, we hail your presence among us,” he intoned. “Those who have gathered pray your blessings upon us and the granting of our deepest desires.”

The dancers slowly weaved forward in a line, backs undulating in rhythm, giving the appearance of a snake themselves. In sharp contrast, Brianna now stood still, eyes closed.

Evan wanted to call out to her, but found his voice missing. Again.

What was it with these ooga-booga guys anyway? The next one that shut him up would have his attitude seriously adjusted.

Copper moved toward Brianna, a silver dagger in his hand. Where had that come from?

The dancer with the snake followed close behind him.

Evan tried to jump up but found himself stuck to the bench.

Copper took Brianna’s hand, turning it palm up. A slice of the dagger slit her finger. She didn’t even react.

Red blood collected on her finger, and Copper held it over the snake’s head until it dripped onto its nose. The snake’s tongue flicked out, tasting the blood. Copper pulled gently on Brianna’s arm until it was extended. The snake inched up Brianna’s stiff arm, poking its ugly face around the back of her neck, slithering down her other arm until it graced her like an evening stole. She shifted to bear its weight, standing with her arms out as if crucified.

His own skin crawled, as the snake moved around Brianna’s bewitched body. She’d shared with him how much she’d hated all the snake depictions at the museum. How could she calmly let this happen?
VOODOO DREAMS is FREE!!! December 17-21 at Amazon.com 

Bio:  Alana Lorens dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain, but settled instead for inspired excursions into fictional places with fascinating companions from her imagination that she likes to share with others. She has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida, with a list of eclectic publications from horror to tech reporting to television reviews. She writes urban fantasy and science fiction under the name of Lyndi Alexander. The Elf Queen, her first novel, was released by Dragonfly Publishing in July 2010; the series continued with The Elf Child, The Elf Mage and The Elf Guardian. She’s now working on the space opera Horizon Crossover series, and a YA trilogy, The Color of Fear—the first book, WINDMILLS, was published by Zumaya Publications this summer.  Writing as Alana Lorens, she produces romance and romantic suspense, including the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyer series, standalone novels of romantic suspense,  CONVICTION OF THE HEART, SECOND CHANCES, and the latest, VOODOO DREAMS, released by The Wild Rose Press in October 2013.

She is a single mother of seven, with two special needs children at home with her in Pennsylvania, and she volunteers at her local shelter for domestic violence victims, believing in every person’s right to be safe.

For more information, see Alana’s website and check out her Facebook page to become a friend!  Happy holidays to you and enjoy!

all photos in this post (with the exception of the cover for Voodoo Dreams) are credited to Alana Lorens

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Filed under guest post, Magic, romance, romantic suspense, Suspense, Whimsical Wednesdays

Black Magic Rose Cover Reveal

black magic rose by jordan k rose
Jordan K. Rose is revealing her amazing cover for her new book Black Magic Rose. Check it out!
Is it possible to reduce the amount of workplace violence in an organization run by vampires and werewolves? Sofia Engle, the new Employee Relations Manager at Cader House Hospital is about to find out, and she may not like the answer, or the series of firsts she experiences: first human employee at Cader House, first day tardy, first kiss with a dead guy. Well, maybe kissing the dead guy wasn’t the worst of it after all.
For nearly 600 years Dragomir Petrescu has fought for The Alliance. As one of the most skilled warriors the Alliance has ever seen he’s killed a lot of people and won many difficult battles. But his newest human adversary is turning out to be a worthier opponent than any he’s met. Just the scent of her disarms him, never mind her endless policies and silly ideals about civility.
Can he possibly keep her safe from Alliance enemies, hospital employees and himself? The term Employee Relations is about to have a whole new meaning.
Jordan K. Rose
Romance in the Shadows
The Demon Mistress available on Amazon, Kobo
Demons and Deep Dish Pizza available on Amazon, Kobo
Demons and The Dark Roast available on Amazon, Kobo
Perpetual Light available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo
http://www.jordankrose.com

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Filed under guest post, Moonday mania, Paranormal Book Review, Vampires, Werewolves and the Fae

Hunting for a Dark & Delicious Read

Had to share the terrific post and book review of The Dark Huntsman,  from award winning author Sherry Isaac.

Hunting for a Dark & Delicious Read.

via Hunting for a Dark & Delicious Read.

And check out Lynn Cahoon‘s blog from yesterday. I had fun tying her Council Series in with my Tales of the Black Court.

Last but not least we are Trick or Treating through the end of the month for fabulous prizes. Click here to discover how to enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite and loads of books and terrific Halloween swag.halloween toombstones

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Filed under Bloghops, guest post, The Dark Huntsman

Setting is Much More Than Time, Place, and Atmosphere

Moonday Mania

guest blogger Elaine Cougler

Last chance to enter to win one of ten e-copies of my brand-new, fantasy romance: The Dark Huntsman. Click HERE to enter, contest ends soon. Want to sample a bite? Click HERE for a teaser from chapter one.

Today instead of my typical romance authors I have the pleasure of introducing my online friend, Elaine Cougler. Despite living miles apart in different countries, going to school in different decades, and writing different genres, I am always amazed at how much Elaine and I have in common. One of those things is loving history and reading historical fiction. Elaine loves it so much that she has authored an amazing account of the American Revolutionary War, but from a totally unusual viewpoint: that of the Loyalists who moved to Canada. Her exciting tale of John and Lucy’s adventures is meticulously researched and thoroughly enjoyable. Usually I do an introduction for my guests, but if you sneak a peek down to the next paragraph, you’ll see Elaine has done a fabulous job introducing me! Please welcome Elaine Cougler to Jessica Aspen Writes.

A considerable benefit to taking my writing career on an extended trip through various social media is the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. Writing can be solitary and full of angst but people like Jessica who absolutely understand ease the journey. Thank you, Jessica, for inviting me to your blog today!

Setting is Much More Than Time, Place, and Atmosphere

The other day I was reading one of my favorite how-to writing magazines (The Writer, October, 2013) and came across an article on setting in novels and I was enthralled. Elfrieda Abbe not only talks about location under various headings (influences, credibility, character, emotion, atmosphere, and symbolism and theme) but she shows how David Rhodes, in Jewelweed, uses place to absolutely ground many aspects of his novel. After this excellent article comes an annotated segment of Jewelweed, showing just how certain sentences use Rhodes’ technique.

This is far advanced from what we learned in high school: setting equals time, place, and atmosphere. And the use of this technique helps readers to sink into the layers of the work in such a way as to lead them to a point where they are living the story and not just reading it.

In The Loyalist’s Wife, I used Lucy’s surroundings to show her loneliness, but also to underline the beauty of that unspoiled land. (The wilderness of 1778 New York State.)  And the contrast of that pristine beauty worked well against the scenes of punishing battles and even the interior struggles of both John and Lucy. In this excerpt the description of Lucy’s surroundings underlines her fear.

the loyalist's wife by elaine couglerHours later, a piece of wood in the fire fell and Lucy jerked upright, her wild eyes darting about the dark cabin. The candle had died. By the dim light from the stove she could see she was alone, but outside Molly [the cow] bawled and the chickens were clucking in a dreadful cacophony of frightening sounds. What was out there? She bumped against the table on the way to the window.

Solid black was all she saw through the running raindrops on the glass, except for a faint patch of limpid light, not even light, just a silver lightening in the grass, the window’s weak reflection. The animals settled and she breathed more slowly. They could wait till daylight.

The fire fixed, she went to the bedroom where she lay under the patchwork quilt, fully clothed, eyes wide open, the loaded rifle scant inches from her hand.

 

The Loyalist’s Wife:

When American colonists resort to war against Britain and her colonial attitudes, a young couple caught in the crossfire must find a way to survive. Pioneers in the wilds of New York State, John and Lucy face a bitter separation and the fear of losing everything, even their lives, when he joins Butler’s Rangers to fight for the King and leaves her to care for their isolated farm. As the war in the Americas ramps up, ruffians roam the colonies looking to snap up Loyalist land. Alone, pregnant, and fearing John is dead, Lucy must fight with every weapon she has.

With vivid scenes of desperation, heroism, and personal angst, Elaine Cougler takes us back to the beginnings of one great country and the planting of Loyalist seeds for another. The Loyalist’s Wife transcends the fighting between nations to show us the individual cost of such battles.

elaine couglerElaine blogs at On Becoming a Wordsmith which may be found at www.elainecougler.com. She also is frequently found here: @ElaineCougler, Facebook/ElaineCouglerAuthor, and LinkedIn author groups. The Loyalist’s Wife is available on Amazon (print and e-book) and Kobo (e-book).  www.amazon.com  www.kobo.com

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Filed under guest post, Moonday mania, writing craft

Crossroads Blog Tour and Giveaway

Moonday Mania 

a new adult romance giveaway opportunity

Today on Jessica Aspen Writes I’m sharing the brand new release from new adult romance author, Megan Keith. Crossroads, the hot, new adult, sequel to Finding My Way, is now available for sale and to help it along Megan has a a fantastic contest as well as teasers and excerpts at each stop. You’ll find the schedule at the bottom of the post. Read all about Crossroads and discover new adult romance and fun prizes below.

Crossroads Blog tour banner by Megan Keith

Crossroads by Megan Keith

Nick is about to head overseas on an adventure of a lifetime.  It’s what he has always wanted, to travel the world, to experience new cultures, see the places he’s dreamed of for so long.  He should be over the moon.  Instead, he’s been in a slump ever since he lost his friend Em.

Nick is a player, always has been.  The first time he ever wanted more from a girl he was shot down.  So now he’s left licking his wounds.  Emma made her choice and now Nick has to live with it.

Or does he?  When he finds out that Emma is single after all, will he fight for her?  Will he be able to convince her to give him a chance?  And if he does, what will happen when he leaves?

Nick has reached a crossroads in his life – the girl or the dream.  Seems like an easy choice when the girl of his dreams is Emma.  But what if she doesn’t see things the same way? 

crossroads teaser by megan keith

Excerpt from Crossroads, by Megan Keith

My heart starts to race at the sound of his voice over the loud speaker.  Immediately I seek out the location of the booth and spot him as he walks out of it.  He looks good.  I can’t believe he’s here.  I know my eyes are bugging out of my head but I can’t stop staring.  Not only is Nick the DJ tonight but there he is, in my direct line of sight with his arms around a girl.  And she’s very attractively smiling up at him.

“I’m sorry Em!” Kat yells in my ear.  “I swear he was not the DJ listed to play, you saw the posters outside the club too.”

I swipe at my eyes as angry tears form in them.  She’s right, we had both checked.  There must have been a cancellation or something, it’s the only explanation.  I stand still as a statue as I watch Nick put his arm around the girl’s shoulder and they head for the exit.

“Em.”  Kat’s pulling on my arm.  “Please look at me.”

When I can no longer see Nick, I turn to face her.  The look on her face is a mixture of pity and pleading.

“Who’s for another drink?” I ask with false cheer.  I don’t wait for a reply from either of the girls as I hastily make my way to the bar.  I shove my way to the front, not caring about the toes I’m stepping on or the rudeness of my approach.  I don’t care that I am cutting in line.  I yell out my order for a shot of tequila.  Before I’ve even paid, I have drunk it and ordered another.  Kat spins me back to face her.

“I’m sorry Em.  I swear I didn’t know.”

I turn away from her.  I feel the hot tears about to overflow from my eyes as I hand over my money to the bartender and swallow my second shot.  I look Kat square in the eyes.

“I want to go home.”

Put Crossroads by Megan Keith on your  Goodreads shelf:       http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18038308-crossroads

PURCHASE LINKS 

Amazon US          http://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-Finding-My-Way-ebook/dp/B00F4PBMCG 

Amazon UK          http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crossroads-Finding-My-Way-ebook/dp/B00F4PBMCG 

Kobo                     http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Crossroads/book-BVKFGOmFgkeFAXRFWSYn_A/page1.html?s=mW27rPmd4k6oIUmjiCHqwg&r=2

 Smashwords        https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/354509

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crossroads-megan-keith/1116875161?ean=2940045252973

crossroads blog tour giveaway

Enter to win!

1 x $10 Amazon Gift Card, 1 x $5 Amazon Gift Card and 5 x Crossroads ebooks.

The giveaway starts on Sept 13 and ends Sept 21 and is open internationally.

Click HERE to enter or go to:

 


AUTHOR BIO

megankeithMegan Keith is a married, mother of three, living in a small country town in New South Wales, Australia.  She has a constant thirst for a good story, whether it is in books, music, movies, on TV, or just plain old-fashioned gossip.  She has always had a creative side and loves to let her imagination run wild.   On a few occasions over the years, Megan has put those imaginings into a written story, but never dreamed of publishing.  She has always loved to read, but it wasn’t until she got given a Kindle that it became a full-blown addiction.  Her introduction to the world of Indie Authors re-ignited her passion for writing.  Megan published her first book Finding My Way in June 2013.  Crossroads is the sequel and the second book to the Finding My Way trilogy. 

AUTHOR CONTACT INFO 

Website                http://megankeith.blogspot.com.au/ 

Facebook              https://www.facebook.com/mkfindingmyway 

Goodreads           http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7111235.Megan_Keith

Twitter                 https://twitter.com/megnk1 

Crossroads Tour Line_up

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Filed under guest post, Moonday mania, New Adult

Crossroads Cover Reveal and #Giveaway

 Moonday Mania

a day early so we can jump into an awesome cover reveal and giveaway

Today I’m pleased to have Jessica Aspen Writes be a stop on the fabulous cover reveal tour for Crossroads, a contemporary new adult romance by author Megan Keith. Make sure you read all the way down and click on the Rafflecopter link to enter the giveaway, and be sure to pick up your copy of Megan’s first book, Finding My Way, on sale for 99 cents August 27th and 28th. Congrats Megan, on your beautiful cover!

BOOK TITLE        Crossroads (Finding My Way, book two)

AUTHOR               Megan Keith

GENRE                  New Adult Contemporary Romance 

RELEASE DATE   13 September, 2013

GOODREADS       http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18038308-crossroads 

crossroads by author megan keithSYNOPSIS

Nick is about to head overseas on an adventure of a lifetime.  It’s what he has always wanted, to travel the world, to experience new cultures, see the places he’s dreamed of for so long.  He should be over the moon.  Instead, he’s been in a slump ever since he lost his friend Em.

Nick is a player, always has been.  The first time he ever wanted more from a girl he was shot down.  So now he’s left licking his wounds.  Emma made her choice and now Nick has to live with it.

Or does he?  When he finds out that Emma is single after all, will he fight for her?  Will he be able to convince her to give him a chance?  And if he does, what will happen when he leaves?

Nick has reached a crossroads in his life – the girl or the dream.  Seems like an easy choice when the girl of his dreams is Emma.  But what if she doesn’t see things the same way? 

COVER DESIGNcrossroads full cover by megan keith 

The book cover for Crossroads was designed by Kari Ayasha at Cover to Cover Designs.

Website                http://www.covertocoverdesigns.com/index.html

Facebook              https://www.facebook.com/CoverToCoverDesigns 

AUTHOR BIO

megankeithMegan Keith is a married, mother of three, living in a small country town in New South Wales, Australia.  She has a constant thirst for a good story, whether it is in books, music, movies, on TV, or just plain old-fashioned gossip.  She has always had a creative side and loves to let her imagination run wild.   On a few occasions over the years, Megan has put those imaginings into a written story, but never dreamed of publishing.  She has always loved to read, but it wasn’t until she got given a Kindle that it became a full-blown addiction.  Her introduction to the world of Indie Authors re-ignited her passion for writing.  Megan published her first book Finding My Way in June 2013.  Crossroads is the sequel and the second book to the Finding My Way trilogy. 

AUTHOR CONTACT INFO 

Website                http://megankeith.blogspot.com.au/ 

Facebook              https://www.facebook.com/mkfindingmyway 

Goodreads           http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7111235.Megan_Keith

Twitter                 https://twitter.com/megnk1 

crossroads by megan keith giveaway

COVER REVEAL GIVEAWAY 

There is a Rafflecopter giveaway to celebrate the cover reveal for Crossroads.  It begins at 12:00 AM AEST 26th of August and ends at 12:00 PM AEST 31st of August.  It is open internationally.

Prizes                    2 x $10 Amazon Gift Cards

5 x Finding My Way ebooks

Register HERE or click on the Rafflecopter Link rafflecopter crossroads giveaway megan keith

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OTFmM2NjYWJiNzNkZWMzNDQxYjU1MjJkNzM1MzNhOjA=/

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Megan’s first book, Finding My Way, only 99 cents on Amazon for two day’s only. New Adult Contemporary at it’s best!

finding my way sale button

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Filed under Book Sales, guest post, New Adult

Interview with author Joan Leacott

Moonday Mania

Today I am interviewing one of my amazing Gaim Goal Setting mates, Joan Leacott. We’ve been setting writing and publishing goals and becoming internet freinds for over two years now and I’m thrilled to bring Joan here for all of you to get to know her better. Not only does she have a terrific book that you’ll find out about, she also has a Giveaway for you, so please welcome Joan and her contemporary romance, Above Scandal

Thank you for inviting me, Jessica. There aren’t any wolves in my neck of the woods. In my series’ town of Clarence Bay, we hear the bark of red foxes from the surrounding forest and the eerie call of loons over the wide water. 

AUTHOR’S PERSONAL SPECIFICS: 

What made you decide to write and furthermore what pushed you to be a published author?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. At one point, when I had time on my hands, I read a crazy amount of books. One of those books, Like a Hurricane by Roxanne St Claire http://www.roxannestclaire.com/, was so charming and so smoothly written that I thought “I’m going to try that.”

What are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing?

My biggest stress releaser is hot yoga. I never knew I could sweat that much. But I feel wonderful and my skin is so smooth after class. For a positive counter-stressor, I play my piano. I practice for an hour or so every day, and I’ve just passed the Royal Conservatory’s Grade One program. Recitals are whole ‘nuther kind of stress!

WRITING BACKGROUND & THOUGHTS:

Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.

The first book I wrote was done completely panster; 80K words in 5 weeks on a borrowed laptop. That story was completed rewritten twice more, and I swear I wrote 150K words to end up with a mere 83K. That was the end of my pantser career. The evidence is safely hidden under my bed.

For ABOVE SCANDAL, I started with a heavy duty backstory document—all the stuff you’re not supposed to put in the book. Then I created a scanty outline of two sentences per scene: one stating what happened, the other stating the outcome. I played with that outline until cause and effect flowed smoothly through the scenes. When I’d finished with critiques and beta reads, I’d only tossed 3K words. I’m now a confirmed plotter.

What is your favorite part about writing?

The writing that happens after the outline is set. I love having my characters surprise me with how they decide the story will be revealed; their emotional responses, their dialog, how their motivations grow, how their pasts affect their futures. That’s when I really fall in love with my characters.

GENERAL WRITING INFORMATION: 

Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you?

I haven’t had rejections; some writers would call it a piffling amount. Each one resulted in self-doubt and dashed hopes. After taking a few days to whine to my writer pals, I’d shrug it off, and submit again. It’s the bolstering I got from my real and online friends that kept me going. Thanks for being one of them Jessica.

What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges?

Most of the rejections were form rejections, stating no reason. A few rejections said the agent or editor couldn’t connect with the characters. I was just frustrated enough that I contacted a freelance editor to see if I could get a reason for the disconnect.

Kristin Anders http://www.theromanticeditor.com/ nailed the reason with just her sample edit. The very talented Kristin guided me through strategic edits that buffed my story to a lovely shine. At the same time, I was exploring the ways and means of self-publishing, and decided to take the plunge.

The biggest joy of self-publishing is connecting directly with my readers. It’s just me, telling my story to someone who wants to listen. The biggest challenge is finding those cherished readers. 

BOOK SPECIFICS: 

Title: ABOVE SCANDAL

Genre: Small-town contemporary romance

ISBN: ebook: 978-0-9920028-0-1 print book: 978-0-9920028-0-0

Length: 355 pages

Publisher: Woven Red Productions

Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Above-Scandal-Clarence-Chronicles-Volume/dp/099200280X/

Release date: June 25, 2013 

Did you have a favorite scene?

The scene where eleven-year-old Hayley proposes to Ryan. At this point, neither of them knows they’re father and daughter. She’s a kid searching for a daddy and he’s a man tempted to let a young girl set him up with her mother.

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

ABOVE SCANDAL is the first novel in the Clarence Bay Chronicles set on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, Canada. The second novel, SIGHT FOR SORE EYES will be released on November 23, 2013.

joan leacott above scandalGIVEAWAY 

 ABOVE SCANDAL is now available in print! To celebrate the release, I’m giving away one FREE print copy shipped to the winner’s real live mailbox. Click on my Rafflecopter giveaway and sign up for my newsletter for your chance to WIN a print copy of ABOVE SCANDAL. Click on the other options for additional points to increase your chances.

BOOK BLURB

Three generations of Rossetti women are hoarding secrets.

Cathy Rossetti’s secret is Hayley, her outspoken ten-year-old daughter who’s about to meet her family for the first time. Sadly, it’s taken a terminal illness to bring Cathy back to her hometown.

The elder generation of Rossetti women guards a thirty-year old secret with the power to rock Cathy’s world. Will her mother take their secret to her grave, or will her aunt break her punishing vow of silence?

Hayley hates secrets, so she’s sleuthing around Clarence Bay looking for her daddy. Is it her new BFF’s father or mayoral candidate Ryan Chisholm or Ryan’s handsome campaign manager?

Ryan has a secret, too. He’s still in love with Cathy, his high-school sweetheart. For a man running his election campaign on a platform of honesty, this could cause problems. Will dumping his popular fiancée cost him the election? And if Cathy still loves him after eleven years absence, she’s not telling. 

EXCERPT

Chapter 1. Homecoming

Home. Memories of screaming matches, slamming doors, and bitter tears rose on a sour wave of bile.

Stopped in the driveway of the big red brick house, Cathy unglued her fingers one at a time from the steering wheel and put the idling Lexus in reverse.

“Mom, is this Nonna’s house?” ten-year-old Hayley asked.

Cathy nodded.

“Mo-om, are you okay?”

Maybe. If they let us in.

“Just nervous, Hayley sweetie. It’s been a while.” Eleven years since life had driven Cathy away. Now death drew her back.

Through the rear-view mirror, she glimpsed Ryan’s house across the street. Did he still live there?

Low pewter clouds bustled overhead. If only her memory could be cleansed as easily as the rain washed the dusty roads and sidewalks of Clarence Bay.

Sighing hard and deep, Cathy put her car in park and turned off the engine. She climbed out, smoothed her sleeveless pink blouse over her black jeans, and pushed her eyeglasses up her nose. A chilly raindrop splat on her shoulder and ran down her pristine front. She shivered and groaned at the mess.

Hayley giggled. “Better’n bird poop.”

Cathy’s tension eased just enough to permit a wry huff before snapping back like a hard rubber band. Holding hands, they walked up the front path to the deep porch.

“Well, here goes nothing.” Cathy pressed the doorbell with a trembling finger.

“Don’t worry, Mom. It’ll work itself out.”

Cathy’s jumpy gaze skittered over the old house and its property—the neatly mown lawn, the freshly dug garden without a weed in sight, the sparkling windows. Somebody had a great way with yard tools.

The screen door rattled as the inside door opened. Zia Yola, grown softer and rounder in Cathy’s absence, stood gaping at them.

“Ciao, Zia Yola,” Cathy said in Italian and held her breath for her aunt’s reaction.

Zia Yola’s hands fluttered to her pale cheeks, her dark eyes huge above her stubby nails. Her gaze bounced between Cathy and Hayley as if she didn’t quite believe her own sight.

“Are you my grandmother?” Hayley asked.

joan leacott authorBIO

Joan Leacott lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son. She attends piano classes, melts in the hot yoga studio, and writes authentic multi-generational stories of people living and loving in today’s world.

CONTACT INFO:

Author Web or Blog Site: http://joanleacott.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoanLeacottAuthorPage

Twitter: @JoanLeacott

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Joan-Leacott/e/B00DM8HK6O/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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