.@rlbelliston Has Never Been to Another Planet (Or Has She?): 13 Questions

Hey, peeps! My author sister, Rebecca Belliston, is here today to answer 13 zany questions and tell us a little about her book, Citizens of Logan Pond: LIFE! Let’s go!

 

Me: Did you learn anything today? If so, what?

Rebecca: I feel like I learn something new every single day. Today had many fun experiences, like if you let your son take his temperature after he eats oatmeal, it will show he has a fever which will persuade you to let him stay home from school. #motherfacepalm Because he stayed home with me today, most things I learned revolved around a six-year-old brain, including how to play a Geometry Dash song on the piano. Hopefully with him in school tomorrow, I’ll learn something a little more adult-ish.

 

Me: Smart kid! Where did the idea for Life (Citizens of Logan Pond) come from?

Rebecca: I was sitting around with my family talking about earthquakes, wars, famines, and all that cheery stuff, and I got to thinking, What if the end of civilization as we know it doesn’t come from some big catastrophe? What if it comes from the absence of one small thing: the dollar.

 

Me: Ooooh, color me intrigued! What’s something about yourself that really annoys you?

Rebecca: Only one? Hmmm. I can type 90wpm but I am the world’s slowest texter. I also whine too much. Sleep too long. Hate shoes. (I could go on.)

 

Me: What’s the name of the book you’re reading?

Rebecca: Right now I’m listening to Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. His writing style fascinates me. I would love to read every one of his books.

 

Me: What scares you?

Rebecca: The world. I have three teenagers and almost on a daily basis I tell them how much I hate the world they live in. It’s horribly vulgar and depressing. I wish I could put all of my kids in little bubbles. (I’ve offered but they refuse)

 

Me: Why do you write?

Rebecca: I LOVE the process, start to finish. I’ve always been a daydreamer. Writing is like the ultimate form of daydreaming, being able to explore every single “What if…?” question I can come up with.

 

Me: What’s the last song you listened to on purpose?

Rebecca: I just finished listening to the Piano Guys “Ants Marching” song. I love the Piano Guys. :)

 

Me: What makes you laugh?

Rebecca: Usually my kids or my hubby. They’re all extremely weird.

 

Me: Weird is awesome! What’s your favorite planet? Why?

Rebecca: Wow. Umm…earth? I know I said I hated it in question #5, but that’s just the general decay of society. Earth itself is gloriously beautiful. Plus I’ve never been to any of the others, so…

 

Me: You mean you’ve never been kidnapped by aliens?! Anyway, here’s a free plane ticket! Where would you like to go?

Rebecca: Israel. I’ve been twice and it’s spectacular and fascinating.

 

Me: You just walked in the door after a long day. What do you do first?

Rebecca: Go to my computer to de-stress.

 

Me: What’s the one physical object you can’t live without?

Rebecca: Beyond water, food, and shelter kind of stuff (which I have to add because my book deals with characters who don’t have those basic things), I’d have to say my computer. See #11.

 

Me: Would you rather have hiccups for the rest of your life or feel like you need to sneeze but not be able to for the rest of your life?

Rebecca: Ha! Feel like I need to sneeze because that would only annoy myself. Having hiccups would annoy everyone else too.

 

Thanks you for the fun questions Lindsey, and for letting me visit your blog!

You’re welcome back any time, Rebecca! Now here’s more info about Citizens of Logan Pond: LIFE and Rebecca!

Life 300
Synopsis:
Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone.
His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.
Two people. 
One future.
The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and keep Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman, happy. Carrie’s life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.
When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg realizes the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmon’s path, especially when Greg’s brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan.
Life won’t let her choose both.
More on: 
Author Bio:
Rebecca Belliston
Rebecca Lund Belliston is the author of the bestselling LDS romantic suspense novel, Sadie, its sequel, Augustina, and a new trilogy entitled Citizens of Logan Pond. Rebecca also composes piano and vocal music. When she’s not writing fiction, music, or chasing her five kids, she can be found cuddled up with a good book. She and her family live in Michigan.
Posted in 13 Questions, Citizens of Logan Pond: LIFE, Rebecca Belliston | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Relics by @MaerWilson: The Ultimate Dream Cast!

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Relics

Most of Thulu and La Fi’s clients are dead. Which is perfect since their detective agency caters to the supernatural. But a simple job finding a lost locket leads to a big case tracking relics for an ancient daemon.

The daemon needs the relics to keep a dangerous portal closed. His enemy, Gabriel, wants the relics to open the portal and give his people access to a new feeding ground – Earth.

Caught on live TV, other portals begin to open and the creatures of magic return to Earth. The people of Earth are not alone, but will soon wish they were.

When Gabriel threatens their family, Thulu and La Fi’s search becomes personal. The couple will need powerful help in the race to find the relics before Gabriel does. But maybe that’s what ghostly friends, magical allies and daemonic clients are for.

When the creatures of myth and magic return to Earth, they’re nothing like your mother’s fairy tales.

 

Relics can be found at these retailers:

Amazon – Kindle     |     Amazon – Paperback     |     Barnes & Noble – Nook     |     iTunes

 

Relics – Dream Cast

By Maer Wilson

 

jennifer

Name: Fiona Bartlett Thulukan (La Fi) – The Heroine – Actor – Jennifer Lawrence

 

La Fi has a dry sense of humor and loves to play MMOs. She sometimes gets impatient with the living, but has a gigantic heart. She is a Medium and can recognize any creature’s true nature. She can also understand and communicate in any language. She and her husband Thulu own a detective agency that caters to the supernatural. She’s thrilled when the creatures of magic return, but prefers to keep her own abilities under the radar.

 

 

chris

Name: Erik Thulukan, III (Thulu) – The Hero – Actor – Chris Hemsworth

 

Thulu is a mix of Zen with a wicked sense of humor. Coming from a very close-knit family, Thulu is fun-loving, kind and generous. He’s a finder – he can find anyone or anything that’s lost. He can also see the dead. Thulu hopes with the return of magic that he and La Fi can broaden their client base to include the living.

 

chace

Name: Brandon Arreo Malone (Reo) – The Best Friend – Actor – Chace Crawford

 

Reo has a flair for the dramatic and several different talents, but they can be erratic. He is the star of special kind of magic show at a 5 star hotel, performing under the name of Brandy Malone. Reo is very warm and giving and often wanders alone in less savory areas helping out those not as fortunate than himself.

 

shemar

Name: Tyler Jones/Dhavenbahtek – The Enigma – Actor – Shemar Moore

 

Tyler Jones is the latest person possessed by the ancient daemon, Dhavenbahtek. Jones is enigmatic – handsome, charming – and a stone-cold killer when he chooses. He’s well over eight thousand years old and doesn’t pay much attention to human values. However, he appreciates human art and has a collection that any museum would envy.

tourabouttheauthora

 Maer Wilson

Maer AuthorAfter a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. Maer is a partner in Ellysian Press, a small publishing house. She also co-hosts the literary podcast MythBehaving. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her three dogs, a chihuahua and two poodles.

Her books include Relics and Portals, Books 1 and 2 in the Modern Magics series. The upcoming third book in the series is Magics. There are also three novelettes in the series – “Ghost Memory,” “Unwanted Ghost” and “Ghost Dancer.” A fourth story, “Wedding Ghost” is also planned. You can find all books and novelettes in the Modern Magics series at Amazon.

 

You can find Maer at these links:

Maer’s Website     |     Amazon     |     Facebook

Twitter     |     Goodreads     |     Pinterest

 

Giveaway

This Giveaway is open internationally

Must be 13+ to enter

PRIZES

2 Winners – ecopy of RELICS

1 Winner – $5 Amazon Gift Card

1 Winner – $10 Amazon Gift Card

2 Winners – ecopies of the Modern Magics Novelettes – “Ghost Memory,” “Unwanted Ghost,” and “Ghost Dancer”

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This tour is brought to you by

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Please check out the other hosts on the tour for more chances to enter the Giveaway!

11/10/2014      http://thesaucyreviewer.wordpress.com/

11/10/2014      http://2ndbooktotheright.blogspot.com/

11/10/2014      http://cubicleblindness.com

11/10/2014      http://sallyawolfreads.blogspot.com/

11/10/2014      http://victoriasimcox.blogspot.com/

11/10/2014      http://carolhollandmarch.com/

11/11/2014      http://danielledevor.wordpress.com

11/11/2014      http://piecesofwhimsy.blogspot.com.au/

11/12/2014      http://booksauthorsandpublishing411.com/

11/12/2014      http://www.kirstinpulioff.com

11/12/2014      http://pratr.wordpress.com/

11/12/2014      http://www.weigandchris.com

11/12/2014      http://constancephillips.com/

11/12/2014      http://sheiladeeth.blogspot.com

11/12/2014      http://councilofpeacocks.blogspot.ca/

11/13/2014      http://anightsdreamofbooks.blogspot.com/

11/13/2014      http://theshadowportal.blogspot.com/

Posted in Characters, Maer Wilson, relics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

#petthecover: January Black by @wendysrusso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn is the son of The Hill’s commandant. As such, he’s expected to conform to a strict, unspoken code of conduct. Small acts of defiance over years—such as walking on the grass—have earned him a reputation for being unruly. When sarcastic test answers finally get Matty expelled from school, King Hadrian offers him a diploma if he can answer a deceptively simple question, and then dismisses the only answer.

 

To prove his worth to society, Matty wrestles with the king’s word games, the kingdom’s historical record, and laws that don’t make sense. He meets Iris Locke, a street smart gardener, along the way. After enchanting him at a glance, Iris helps his research, keeps him out of trouble, and finally breaks his heart.

 

Alone again, Matty finds himself on collision course with a deadly law, one he will have to break to answer the king’s question. Was Hadrian challenging him, or teaching him a lesson? Without Iris, it won’t matter, because Matty won’t stand down for anyone else.

 

January Black is the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal winner for YA-Coming of Age.

January Black will be available for pre-order on Amazon 11/28/2014.

About the Illustrator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liliana Sanches started studying Visual Arts at the age of 16 and soon felt attracted to the Romantic artwork from the 19th century. The Pre-Raphaelites and Friedrich were her biggest inspirations at the time, and she felt compelled to explore this graphic language of desolated landscapes that were the reflection of the painter’s emotions.

 

After graduating college, specializing Graphic Design, she created her own business under the name of “Princess of Shadows.” Her style had now evolved and had technical knowledge to support it. Intricate concepts with a much better grasp of image composition and visual balance, and also used color and shape psychology to imprint her work on the viewer.

 

Along the years she has been working with musicians, authors and even other designers who have allowed her to express her creativity, develop visual communication skills and explore different graphic styles to better suit each project.

 

Nowadays, here personal work has been exploring the human psyche, imbuing it with a dark surreal feeling. Her biggest inspirations are J-Horror movies, dreams/ nightmares and mental health pathologies.

Princess of Shadows on DeviantArt

About the Author

Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.

Amazon | Blog | Facebook | G+ | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Twitter

Posted in January Black, Pet the Cover, Wendy Russo | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Wild Fire by @ShieldsAlly: Release Blog Party and Settings Hunt!

Ally Shields has a brand new release called Wild Fire. As part of her release day fun, she’s also providing a giveaway! Check out the contest details at the end of the post, but first, let’s find out more about Wild Fire!

 

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Blurb:

 

A vision. A lost talisman. A dangerous journey through time…

 

A month after their bonding, Ari and Andreas are still adjusting to married life when they learn the hard way that the O-Seven, the terrifying and brutal vampire elders, still have them in their sights. A three million dollar bounty hangs over each of their heads, and there’s no lack of assassins eager to collect.

 

When the local seer has a terrifying vision of the destruction of Riverdale, it’s up to Ari—as usual—to keep everyone safe. Only this time, an enemy from the past has bound her fire powers, and the city’s string of arsons seems connected.

 

Daron, the vampire prince in Toronto, has information that two of the vampire elders are on their way to Riverdale. Which can’t be good. Only a risky and unprecedented journey through time can provide the help they need. But that will leave Andreas to face the O-Seven alone…

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Fire-Guardian-Witch-Book-ebook/dp/B00NWX6Y7K

 

Also available at other online bookstores.

 

Book Trailer on Youtube: http://youtu.be/nGO1wudi7xQ

 

Excerpt:

 

The tracks in the snow gradually moved up the slope toward the older parts of Riverdale, out of the tourist district, past residential homes, angling toward the cliff area that overlooked the Mississippi River. Then it took a sharp swing north.

 

Ari looked ahead, her gaze following the tracks through the gate and into the Riverdale Cemetery. “I don’t like this.” She came to a stop with one hand on the gate. “Don’t you think the trail is a bit too obvious? As if he wanted us to follow him?” Her eyes scanned the cemetery grounds for anything unusual, a shadow, a hint of color out of place among the stones and crypts. The only sizable tracks went behind a tall mausoleum.

 

“A trap?” Ryan drew his pistol. “Do you sense something?”

 

“Maybe. But there is a lot of magical interference in graveyards.” Ari frowned. She sensed a flicker of Otherworld power, but it didn’t feel right. Shielded? Would a halfling demon be that good? She eased through the gate; Ryan followed close behind. Her magic stirred, raising the hairs on her arms, and she stopped, extending her witch senses to probe the area around them—tasting, smelling, touching the environment. Her magic roared to life.

 

“Back!” she shouted. “Power. And lots of it.”

 

Two gigantic figures leaped from the top of the nearest crypt. A howling rent the quiet of the cemetery. By the time the creatures landed—one in front of Ari and Ryan, and the other cutting them off from the gate—both had morphed into fiery red, eight-foot demons, their eyes deep black holes. Each carried a metal shield and swung a five-foot mace.

 

“Hellsgate warriors!” Ari crouched, raising her fingers to call the witch fire to her command.

 

Author Bio:

 

Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a “river rat.” The setting and folklore of that area are often incorporated into her Guardian Witch series. After  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009. She loves writing, reading and traveling. Way too often she can be found on Twitter. @ShieldsAlly

 

Author Contacts:
Website: http://allyshields.com

Blog: http://allyshields.com/blog.html

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AllyShieldsAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShieldsAlly

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527209.Ally_Shields

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/allyshields

 

Other books in the series:
Awakening the Fire (#1); Fire Within (#2; Burning Both Ends (#3); Blood and Fire (#4); Fire Storm (#5).

 

Coming Soon:

 

Eternal Fires (Guardian Witch #7) (TBA)

 

Also by Ally Shields:

 

Cross Keys, an Elvenrude novel (October 2014)

 
Blog Tour GIVEAWAY: November 7-10:  Readers and writers always talk about characters in books, but settings are almost as important, and they play a huge role in the Guardian Witch series. Wild Fire is no exception, and this blog tour is revealing several settings that are the backdrop for major events in the book. In fact, I think they’re so important that I’m running a special contest.

 

If you collect the names and numbers of all ten settings, you could win your choice of three ebooks in the series (including this latest release) or a $15.00 Amazon gift certificate. It’s easy to do. Here are the rules.

 

Visit the blogs on this list — or enough to collect all ten settings — then email me at allyshieldsbooks@gmail.com by 9:00 a.m. EST, Monday, November 10, 2014 with your completed list. You will automatically be entered in the random drawing (two winners).

 

NOTE: A setting may appear on more than one blog, so be sure you have 10 different settings before turning in your entry.

 

Here is the list of participating blogs*:

 

AJ Locke

Angela Myers

Brinda Berry

Carmen Stefanescu

Danielle Devor

Dani-Lyn Alexander

DL Richardson

Erin Moore

JL Buck

Joyce Laverne

Kath Marsh

Kirstin Pulioff

Lindsey Loucks

Norma Huss

Sue Roebuck

Tina Gayle

 

(*If you can’t find a post, return to allyshields.com for updated links and blogs.)

 

Now for the setting: 

1-toronto

 

 

 

Setting #1:  Toronto, Canada – The vampire court in this city was won by Andreas when he defeated Sebastian in Book #3. He later traded with Prince Daron in order to return to Riverdale.

 

 

 

 

Good luck! Thanks for  joining Wild Fire’s release celebration!

 

More Fun: Those of you who read this before 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST on November 7, are invited to join us at the official Facebook release party (https://www.facebook.com/events/314795258698003/) for games and prizes, including books, swag and more gift certificates!!

 

Posted in Ally Shields, Giveaway, Wild Fire | Tagged , | Leave a comment

#petthecover: Gemini II by @LouannCarroll

Soooo pretty! Look at those stunning colors! Just…wow!

 

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Here’s the blurb:

 

Ripped from her deathbed, Noah transports Kate to the Olam Yetzirah, the dimension where universes form. They seek the advice of the archangel, Michael, in how best to get back to Earth and their children. Kate’s son and their newborn daughter, Lucia, the one spoken of in the prophecy Gemini Rising, await their return.

 

Trouble arises and concern ripples through the Olam. Kate is unable to make the transition from human to bond mate and her dreams of returning to Earth with Noah are crushed. Uriel will become Kate’s mentor while Noah is dispatched to Naresh, his home planet and to his people to whom the Light no longer speaks.

 

Will Kate become the bond mate she is meant to be? Will Noah find welcome with his people or will they despise him for taking the Light from their souls. Most important of all, will the prophecy of Lucia be fulfilled, or will Belial, demon of Hades, murder her in a fit of jealous rage.

 

Excerpt:

 

True love keeps no track of wrongdoing.

 

Memory flooding back, Belial lay with Saddash on the banks of the river, wishing he could make his mind a blank for all eternity. After a time, listening to the water’s ebb and flow, his anxiety eased.

 

While in the river, Saddash had taken him into her arms. Together they melded, but as usual, the joining was not complete. Since Saddash was not his bond mate the ritual left him empty, and instead of building flame the act brought him sorrow even as it provided physical relief. A part of him would always be with Sheren no matter where the Light had taken her.

 

“You think of that woman.” Saddash’s eyes were spiteful as she brushed back a lock of blue-black hair.

 

Her burnished body gleamed in the misty twilight, catching rays from the setting shoshrana sun above. Starlight glanced off the contours of her skin, adding to her lustrous beauty.

 

He answered her, “I do.”

 

“Why did you let her go?”

 

“It was not of my choosing.”

 

Saddash circled one nipple with a nail. “Am I not as good as her?”

 

“You are better.”

 

A pleased expression crossed her face and he wondered that she could not detect his lie. She should have. He had given her the power to do so, but it was always this way. Incomplete and alone he faced the world, his bond mate forever separated from his side, her clone unable or unwilling to share his life completely.

 

The day of his bond mate’s betrayal had dawned with each of them entwined within the other’s arms. He had a surprise for her, something to celebrate their years together. A golden dragon sculpted by the finest artist in the universe. He couldn’t wait to see her face. He thought a moment, thinking of when he’d first laid eyes on her, the raven-haired beauty of Beriah.

 

He had stolen Sheren from the world of creation. There, only souls of the highest luminosity could live and Sheren was the loveliest. Fair of face, dark of hair and eye, lithe of body, her arms had held him close, providing comfort to one of the Light’s rejected.

 

“Belial?”

 

“Quiet, Saddash.” He gazed across the river, his memory fading into the past.

 

On the day of Sheren’s disloyalty, they had been abed for hours, each of them enjoying the other in a dance of lovemaking that would make the Light blush—until she said the unthinkable.

 

“I want another child.”

 

“You what?” Her request had shaken him to the core, thinking this subject had been put to rest. Taking a sip of memosky, he searched for the right words to answer her demand. The thought of a child was anathema. No one would come between him and his bond mate, least of all a newly created soul.

 

“A child, Belial. I want—no I need a child.”

 

“Whatever for? You can create one if you will. Just think of one by Hades!”

 

Her eyes burned bright with tears. “Remember Haon? He came from my loins and did us both proud. Until you murdered him and our grandchild.” She sat up, her eyes bright with tears. “You and that prophecy. You fear it, don’t you. You really believe a child will take you from  your rightful place in the universe.”

 

 “Why now?”  He rose from bed, dragging the sheet across the floor. “We have everything! Why must you have a child?” He would never forget her answer.

 

“The Light told me to ask.”

 

Fury exploding within, he morphed into demon-hood and staggered toward her, one hand ready to rip the soul from her body. “How dare you consult that insipient Being, that, that…!”

 

Sheren did not cringe. She had never been afraid of him and that had won his respect. She said again, “I want a child.”

 

Towering over her, his hand bent into a reptilian claw, he cried, “I’ll see you dead first.”

 

Instead of meeting his anger with fear she smiled, the light from her inner being shining on her face. He stood down, instantly morphing into personhood, the pain encompassing his soul not easily forgiven. He hissed, “I cannot believe you would ask such a thing.” 

 

Ebony eyes looked back, the agony of her request filling him, letting him know that once again he would accede to her wishes.

 

She finished, “Still, I want a child.”

 

And here’s a snippet of a 5 star review for Gemini Rising I from Merrylee from Two Lips Reviews – “Simply put, it’s one of the most amazing, yet unsettling books I’ve ever read.  For Ms. Carroll, it’s a crowning achievement, so masterfully written it can do nothing but win every award for which it’s certain to be nominated.”

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Biography

Louann Carroll is a Native Californian living in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her husband, Dennis.
 

Mother to three children, she is an avid rock, fossil, and gem hunter who enjoys sharing her finds with family and friends. She is a student of alternative religion, archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology.
 

After leaving her position as C.E.O. in the Bay Area, she has pursued her writing career with much success. Winner of the 2010 Crescent Moon Press award for best novel, she has added numerous titles to her resume. She is the author of the Gemini series, A Shadow of Time, a paranormal romance, Journeys, The Adventure of Leaf, and other children’s stories.
 

You can reach her at:
Twitter @LouannCarroll
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLouann…
E-mail carroll.louann@yahoo.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1426100.Louann_Carroll 
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Louann-Carroll/e/B001K838AK/ref=ntt_dp_epwb

 

And if you really want to know Louann…

  1. I have Crohn’s disease but it does not define me.
  2. Chocolate defines me, but because of Crohn’s I can rarely eat it. Although I do blog about it often enough. Wishful thinking, I guess.
  3.  I have three kids, but they are grown, thank heavens. I could NOT do it over again.
  4. I have seven grandchildren but I’m still very young. Just ask them.
  5. I married my childhood sweetheart and after forty-four years he is still my sweetheart, but don’t tell him, he has a big enough head already.
  6. My three dogs, Chelsea, Bella, and Aggie sleep in our bed. I just can’t see kicking them out at their age.
  7. Moving to the Sierra Nevada foothills was the best decision I ever made. Aside from marrying my husband.
Posted in Gemini Rising, Louann Carroll | Tagged , | Leave a comment

.@WriterSLBynum Escapes Into Books

Today, I have the author, S. L. Bynum, here on the blog to discuss her love of books and to talk about her YA novel, Grim Crush! Take it away!

I think the best part about reading or writing books is that you can escape.

In books, you can go places that you might never go to in real life. You certainly won’t be visiting any lands filled with dragons or worlds where you can get things done with the flick of a wand (but we can keep hoping, right?). For a few moments, while reading a book, you can escape to some place different from your life. And who doesn’t want to escape every now and then?

Life can be cruel. People can too. But in books, you can read about people who are good, and where life ends happy for the main character, most of the time. It gives you hope that your life can change too.

You can read about characters that overcome obstacles, when you’re in the middle of trying to overcome some in your own life. You can read about characters who triumph after failure, when you’ve had multiple failures yourself. You can read about characters who find the love of their life, while you may be looking for that person yourself.

That’s why I’m glad I’m an author. I get to help contribute to the great world of books. I get to entertain people and help them escape.

What are some reasons why you read books?

 


 

 

Great question! Feel free to comment below! Here is more info about S. L. and Grim Crush!

grimcrush

Blurb:

1. Do not interfere with someone’s death.

2. Do not become emotionally involved.

3. Do not show yourself to the living.

As a grim reaper, seventeen-year-old Xia has to follow these Rules. But when she meets Shilah, a Native American boy who can see reapers, she figures the rules don’t apply. To find out why he can see her, she pretends to be human, since carrying a scythe probably isn’t the latest teen craze.

Things become unnerving as she begins experiencing first-time affection with Shilah, but she’s irreversibly drawn to him. Suddenly Xia finds herself breaking Rule Two, even while collecting dead souls behind Shilah’s back. It isn’t long before she is caught red-handed by the Angel of Death himself, and then not only is her relationship at risk, but also Shilah’s soul. And this leaves Xia wondering: can love overcome Death?

Amazon         Barnes & Noble

 

Author Bio: 

S. L. Bynum knew she had a creative imagination as a kid, when she would make her beanie babies go on the craziest adventures. She fell in love with writing at the age of twelve, when she wrote a rendition of The Three Little Pigs for her little brother’s homework assignment. She realized she wanted a career as an author at the age of sixteen, and when she’s not working on that dream, she works in a clothing store. S. L. Bynum is twenty-four now and besides books, she loves desserts, fashion, dancing (when she’s alone), warm weather, and playing video games. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her family.

 

Facebook     Twitter     Website

 

Thanks for being here, S. L.!

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5 Scary Movies to Put You in the Halloween Mood #HopswithHeart

tribal man

 

Hello and welcome to my stop on the Paranormal Romance Howloween Blog Hop! Stay tuned for details about two gift card giveaways! But first, I’m going to tell you about something I LOVE! Scary movies!!! Here’s my top five scary movies that are sure to put you in the candy-giving, thrill-seeking, goose bump-covered Halloween mood!

 

5. The Blair Witch Project

Before the movie cam out, I saw a documentary on television about this documentary film (confused yet?), and I became convinced the whole thing was real. Yeah, maybe I’m a tad gullible, but the whole idea of the Blair Witch creeped me out. This movie expertly weaved in the fear of the unknown, which in my mind, is terrifying.

 

 

4. The Exorcist

This is the movie that started my love affair with all things horror. My mom sat me down at the tender age of ten and made me watch it. *twitches* And see how well I turned out? Seriously though, after seeing this movie, attics will never be my friend (further evidence of this is in my book What Gifts She Carried), and I’ll never look at a crucifix the same again.

 

 

3. The Silence of the Lambs

One of the few horror movies that has won Academy Awards, this film definitely made an impression. I was about twelve or thirteen when I went to see this movie with my parents, and I remember vividly not being able to breathe during the last third of it. But breathing’s overrated, especially during scary movies.

 

2. The Shining

I’m referring to the Stanley Kubrick movie, not the drawn-out mini-series. Part of why I love this movie is Jack Nicholson and his brilliant, albeit over-the-top, performance, the imaginative use of everyday sounds including silence, and the long, empty (though not always) hallways.

 

 

1. The Ring

I saw this movie by myself, at night, when I was out of town for a work-related thing. When I tried to go to sleep in my hotel room, I imagined Samara standing at the foot of my bed and her long, black hair slithering over the covers. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night. For giggly fun, I like to shake all my hair in my face and walk in a herky, jerky fashion toward my boyfriend. He LOVES it! /sarcasm

 

 

 

So there you have it! My top 5 scary movies, though if I had time, I could go on and on about my other favorites, including some Alfred Hitchcock classics I didn’t mention. But I know you’re anxious to hear about the giveaways!

 

I’ll give a $5 Amazon gift card to a random commenter if you answer this question: What’s your favorite scary movie? Don’t forget to leave your email address!

 

For giveaway number two, click the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to hop around the other Howloween hops for even more chances to win great prizes!

 

And also, check out Jane Wakely’s blog: www.hopswithheart.blogspot.com She is the brain child behind this blog hop! Thanks, Jane!

Posted in Blog Hop, Giveaway, Horror, Paranormal Romance Howloween Blog Hop, What Gifts She Carried | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

A Great Halloween Read: Hell Hole by @huntershea1

I don’t really do book reviews on my blog anymore, but for Hunter Shea, I made an exception for his blog tour for Hell Hole. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite horror authors, and not just because he’s a genuinely nice person either. Although, yes, there is that, too. See, I was becoming frustrated with the books I’d read because the females in them were weak and vapid lumps. Then I read Hunter’s Sinister Entity about a kick-ass female ghost-hunter, and I was so thankful, I actually sent Hunter an email professing my gratefulness. And he wrote me back!

 

Anyway, Hunter agreed to answer some of my wacky questions for your reading enjoyment, and I promise you’ll actually enjoy reading his thoughtful and creative answers!

 

Here we go!

 

Me: The zombie apocalypse is here. You’re going to fight them off with the first thing you see on your left. What is it?

 Hunter: That would be the water bottle I got at this year’s Warped Tour. It is pretty sturdy. I think I could knock a few brains out with it. And it’s handy to keep me hydrated while I make myself through the zombie horde.

 

 

Me: Did you learn anything today? If so, what?

Hunter: I learned that the cemetery I grew up across the street from in the Bronx, Woodlawn Cemetery, was involved in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case. I was listening to Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast and he had on someone that’s been investigating the case for years. Some pretty nefarious stuff went down in my so-called home cemetery. So glad I spent my childhood staring at those tombstones outside my window.

 

Me: Oh, cool! What’s something about yourself that really annoys you?

Hunter: No matter how hard I try, I just can’t pick the right numbers to win the damn lottery. It won’t take much to make me happy. I don’t need Power Ball returns. I wouldn’t say no to them, either. I can also be a sarcastic pain in the butt. Wait, I like that part about myself.

 

Me: What scares you?

Hunter: Oh Lord, how much time do you have? Illness. Without your health and the health of the people you love, life can be a misery. People breaking in to the house. Flying. The more flying I’ve done, the worse my fear gets. Our political system here in Amercia. It’s so fundamentally broken, I don’t think it can be fixed.

 

Me: Why do you write?

Hunter: I just love telling a good story. Even if I was writing for an audience of one, I’d still sit my butt down and write every day. I am not a numbers guy and pay little attention to them. Being able to weave a story that will entertain someone, and if I’m lucky, scare them, is what I feel I was born to do.

 

Me: And you do it so well! What’s the last song you listened to on purpose?

Hunter: I just listened to Prince’s Raspberry Beret on my iPod here at work. I think his musical genius – and that’s no exaggeration – is underappreciated because of all the strange things he’s said and done over the years. I used to be a Prince fanatic. Not so much now that I’m older with a thousand distractions. I got to see him once and it was the closest thing to a religious experience a person can have outside of church.

 

Me: I’ve had some musical religious experiences myself! What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Hunter: Easy. I stood watching a man have a shootout with a moving car as they went past me, bullets whizzing by. I didn’t even duck. I was mesmerized by the insanity unfolding right in front of my eyes. It wasn’t until they turned the corner that I fully realized what had happened and how I’d almost gotten shot.

 

Me: WOW! That’s crazy! You just walked in the door after a long day. What do you do first?

Hunter: Say hi to my wife and kids. Ask the girls how school went. From that point, nothing is ever the same twice.

 

Me: What’s the one physical object you can’t live without?

Hunter: It’s amazing how much my iPod Nano has become a part of my life. Aside from being a music lover, I’m a podcast junkie. That iPod is either plugged into headphones while I’m home, in my car or on the iHome in my office. I never cease to be amazed by how much I can store on something smaller then the palm of my hand.

 

Me: Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? Why?

Hunter: I’ll go with the werewolf. I’m already a hairy dude, so I’m halfway there. Plus, I’d like to just let the animalistic side take over from time to time. No second thoughts, no regrets. Just see and do.

 

Me: Fair enough. What are you going to do right after you finish this interview?

Hunter: I’m heading to the dentist to get nice new pics of my teeth. Cool part is, the office is a few houses away from one of the most haunted houses in the county. I plan to go have a look-see. Hmmm, I wonder if the owners will let me inside?

 

Me: That sounds amazing! Not the dentist part, the haunted house part. ;) Do you have any strange writing quirks?

Hunter: This is a really weird one. Every time I sit down to write, I’m hit with an overwhelming urge to pee. Before I’m finished booting up my computer, I’d heading for the bathroom. I guess its all part of ‘getting everything out there’ for the story.

 

Me: You got to do what you got to do! Would you consider yourself a pioneer or a settler? Why?

Hunter: I’m in the pioneer camp, solely because I hate going down easily trodden paths. Or better yet, I have to do everything the hard way. I could have had inside contacts help me with my early writing career, but I flatly refused, wanting to do it my way or no way at all. In college, I could have pledged a fraternity. But no, I had to start my own with a few guys and grow it into the biggest, and friendliest, frat on campus. I’m not a joiner. I either have to start things or just go it alone. I think I would have been very happy in the woods in a new continent, working all day to create a new life for myself and my family. Plus, I wouldn’t have to shave or cut my hair. Wild man of the untamed frontier!

 

 

Awesome! Now that you’ve seen the awesomeness that is Hunter Shea, here’s my review of Hell Hole!

 

hellhole

Ever since I read Hunter Shea’s Sinister Entity, I’ve become a creepy fan girl and have vowed to read everything he ever writes. He already knows I’m stalking him, so it’s all good! *insert evil laugh*

As with all of Hunter’s books, one of Hell Hole‘s strengths is its characters. They’re living, breathing people with back stories that make them three dimensional. Nat and Teta’s personalities, as well as their unbreakable friendship, solidified both of them inside my head, even long after the story ended. Witnessing them deal with some of the horrific twists and turns in the book sped my heart rate since I’d come to care about them.

And speaking of the horrific twists and turns, there were plenty of WTF moments and bursts of speed-reading to quickly find out what happened next. The very beginning, however, plodded along for several chapters, and I while I understand the need to give the story a foundation to stand on, there were several instances where I wondered if this scene or that progressed the story and if it was really needed. But when Nat and Teta finally reach their destination, the book really got moving.

If you’re in the mood for a creepy story to put you in the Halloween mood (which should be celebrated all year long), this would be a good place to start. Then you can be a Hunter Shea creepy fan girl with me!

 

Rating – 4 stars

 

Find out more about Hunter and his books at his website!

 

Posted in 13 Questions, Hell hole, Hunter Shea | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Cross Keys and Cajun Cuisine by @ShieldsAlly #recipes

I can’t help it if I’m a fan of alliteration. Don’t judge. ;) But seriously, Ally Shields is here to share a little about her new book Cross Keys, an urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and a yummy recipe. Here she is!

 

Thank you so much for hosting me and my new urban fantasy release today! I’m thrilled for the opportunity to tell you a little about my book and to share a Cajun recipe, one of several I brought back from New Orleans while researching the book. (If you look around the blogs listed at the end, you’ll find eight more recipes!)

 

Happy reading…and sampling of the Cajun cuisine. :)

 

CrossKeys-ByAllyShields-453x680

 

Cross Keys (An Elvenrude Novel) by Ally Shields

 

Genre: Urban fantasy/Paranormal romance

Rating: PG-13
Book Blurb:
Conspiracy, murder, and magic…and the death of all they hold dear.

When the first wanderer—a common elf who isn’t authorized to use the portal—is spotted on the streets of New Orleans, the king assigns Kameo Ryndel to assist in the elf’s capture. But before she can intervene, humans with guns shoot the wanderer and steal his body. When Seth Lormarc, an Elite elf from a rival guild, appears at the scene, Kam suspects he is involved.

Seth Lormarc is in New Orleans to find out who was behind the portal breach, and his best lead is the intriguing Kam Ryndel. When he stakes out her apartment and finds her sneaking out in the middle of the night, dressed in black and leaping to the top of the nearest building, he knows there’s something unique about the beautiful elf. That kind of feat requires magic. Ancient magic.

As their paths cross during their investigations, they develop an irresistible attraction, although there’s little time for romance. The portal breach is tied to an illegal smuggling operation that has come to the attention of the human CIA. But the stakes are raised when Kam and Seth discover a band of conspirators and a rebellion deep in Elvenrude that promises nothing except destruction of their world.
Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Pre-release Book Trailer on Youtube:   http://youtu.be/2GgI4-50QfA

 

Recipe:

 

One of my favorites was –

 

Louisiana Gumbo

 

12 oz boneless chicken cubed

Salt and pepper

1/4 C cooking oil

1 lb sausage

1/2 C all-purpose flour

5 T margarine

1 large onion, chopped

8 cloves minced garlic

1 chopped green pepper

1 C copped celery

1/4 C Worcestershire

1/4 C chopped fresh parsley

4 cups hot water

5 beef bouillon cubes

1 can stewed tomatoes

2 C okra

1/2 pound small cooked shrimp (optional)

 

Heat oil in heavy skillet or dutch oven. Add chicken, brown over medium heat, and season with salt and pepper.  Remove chicken to separate container. Add sausage to oil and cook until browned. Remove and add to chicken mixture. To remaining oil in pan, add flour and 2 T margarine. Stir until brown, abut 10 minutes. Pour roux over meat and let cool.

 

Turn heat to low, melt 3 T margarine. Add the onion, celergy, green pepper, and garlic. Simmer 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste and half the parsley. Stir frequently another 10 minutes. Add 4 C hot water and bouillon cubes, whisk. Add the chicken and sausage mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add shrimp and the rest of the parsley 5 minutes before serving.

 

Enjoy! Great over rice.

 

 

About the Author:

 

Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a “river rat.” The setting and folklore of the river regions are often incorporated into her urban fantasy books. After  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009, and Awakening the Fire, the debut novel in her Guardian Witch series, was released by Etopia Press in September 2012. There are now six published books in that series. Cross Keys is the first novel with all new characters.

When not writing, reading or spending time with family, she loves to travel in the US and abroad. Way too often she can be found on Twitter.

 

Contact the Author:

 

Website:  http://allyshields.com

Blog:     http://allyshields.com/blog.html

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ShieldsAlly

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AllyShieldsAuthor

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527209.Ally_Shields

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Ally-Shields/e/B009AKNDZU

 

 

Special thanks to the following bloggers who are spotlighting this release during the next few days (eight more Cajun recipes on their blogs!)(dates of post may vary due to time periods, etc.):

Oct. 3:  AJ Locke, Kirstin Pulioff, Linda McLaughlin, Margay Roberge, Marie Carhart, Shannon McRoberts, Stephanie Stamm, EE Carter, Susan Taylor, Anne Lange, Kath Boyd Marsh, Dan Levinson, Michelle Browne, Sue Roebuck, Chris Redding

Oct. 4:  Carmen Stefanescu, Stacy Juba, Lindsey Loucks

Oct. 6:  Rebekah Ganiere

Oct. 7:  Antonia van Zandt

Oct. 8:  Dani-Lyn Alexander

Oct. ?:  Theresa McClinton

 

 

 

Thanks so much for being here, Ally! I’m off to go find someone who will make Louisiana Gumbo for me since I have the attention span of a sugared-up gnat!

Posted in Ally Shields, Cross Keys | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

13 Questions With Love’s Sweet Sorrow Author Richard Brawer

It’s Friday! Richard Brawer is here to celebrate that fact, answer some questions, and tell us a little about his novel Love’s Sweet Sorrow. Here we go!

 

Me: Did you learn anything today? If so, what?

 

Richard: That my grandchildren had a great time at Disneyland in California.

 

Me: Yay Disneyland! Where did the idea for Love’s Sweet Sorrow come from?

 

Richard: The original idea came from a newspaper article about arms smuggling. All my novels have a strong female character to challenge the protagonist. I was having trouble creating the female character for “Love’s Sweet Sorrow” so I put the book aside and went to explore one of my favorite pastimes, local history. Shrewsbury, NJ, a town twenty minutes north of mine, was having an Octoberfest. Shrewsbury was founded in the 1660s and one section of the town was on the National Historical Register.

 

In the historical district was a Society of Friends (commonly known as Quakers) meeting house also founded in the 1660s. The Quakers were giving a tour of their meeting house.  During the tour, informational brochures were passed out. The Quaker information was particularly interesting.

 

For most readers, it is the conflicts between the characters and how those conflicts will be resolved that keep readers turning the pages. Jason, my protagonist, is the head of the legal department of America’s largest weapons manufacturer. As I read the Quaker brochures, I thought, why not make his love interest a Quaker. What could be more opposite and create more conflicts than having the protagonist work for a weapons manufacturer and his love a pacifist?

 

Thus Ariel was born and the novel quickly changed from strictly suspense novel to a romantic suspense novel.

 

Me: That’s really cool! What’s something about yourself that really annoys you?

 

Richard: I tend to be a perfectionist, possibly obsessive-compulsive for some things.

 

Me: I can relate. What’s the name of the book you’re reading?

 

Richard: Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann

 

Me: What scares you?

 

Richard: Heights

 

Me: Pop or soda or soda pop or Coke?

 

Richard: Soda. Pepsi. I live in NJ. We don’t use the word pop for soda. I believe pop is a Midwestern term.

 

Me: Why do you write?

 

Richard: I have a vivid imagination. I like to use it to create and solve mysteries and put my protagonists in what seems like un-escapable situations then logically free my character.

 

Me: What is your favorite salty treat?

 

Richard: Potato chips

 

Me: What makes you laugh?

 

Richard: A good joke

 

Me: What’s your favorite planet?

 

Richard: Earth

 

Me: Cats or dogs?

 

Richard: Neither

 

Me: Fair enough! What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

 

Richard: When I was sailing I got caught up in a rip tide in a tidal river.

 

Me: Here’s a free plane ticket! Where would you like to go?

 

Richard: To California to visit my grandchildren.

 

Sounds like a great time! Here’s more about Love’s Sweet Sorrow, a romantic suspense novel:

 

Cover LovesSweetSorrow

It is said opposites attract. There can’t be two people more opposite than Ariel and Jason. Ariel is a traditional Quaker with an absolute aversion to war. Jason is the lead council for America’s largest weapons manufacturer.

 

Their budding romance is thrown into turmoil when Jason uncovers evidence linking his employer to international arms deals that could devastate America. His determination to stop the treason puts Ariel in the middle of dangerous territory.

 

Praise for Love’s Sweet Sorrow:

Exciting thriller and love story extraordinaire! – Mortimer

 

“Excellent writing, impeccable plotting, and nicely developed characters. – Shoshana Hathaway

 

“Your writing is very strong, and you have developed a gripping story. – The Writer’s Edge

 

I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see if they were able to resolve their differences or if they would split up. An enjoyable read from beginning to end.” – GBP An avid reader

 

“The characters and the plot are extremely well-crafted. The Drama is riveting.” – S. Lynn

 

“Wow! What a book. Nonstop action and it was hard to put the book down.” – Mystery Fan

 

Love’s Sweet Sorrow is available in a trade paperback and e-book wherever books are sold, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

About the author:

Richard Brawer Author Pic

Richard Brawer writes mystery, suspense and historical fiction novels. When not writing, he spends his time sailing and exploring local history.  He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife. Read more about Richard and his books at his website.

 

 

Thanks for being here, Richard!

 

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