Friday, June 28, 2013

Looking Forward to...(124)

There are so many amazing books already on the shelves and new ones coming out.

For a list of books yet to be released I'm looking to get, you can also look on my right Sidebar at the ever growing list titled Desired Reads - just scroll down. Of course there are tones of other new books to come out that are amazing as well, but these ones are part of series I have already started or for one reason or another caught my eye (and haven't seen much on other blogs yet). But I will highlight one here each week.

(mentioned in order of Release Date then Alphabetical if there are more than one book coming out on the same date.)

It's been a while since I've done one of these Friday Looking Forward posts.  And I miss doing them.

Next Book Is...

A Cursed Embrace
Weird Girls #2
By:  Cecy Robson
Due Out:  July 2, 2013

Okay, so I've read and reviewed this one already.  That's okay, because I HAVE TO HAVE! that book on my physical shelves.  Yep.  That good and that beautiful of a cover!

Goodreads Synopsis:
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird…

After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.

To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.

Freebies and Deals, on Nook too (59)

Barnes & Nobles Freebie Friday Thread.

I absolutely loved this series.  I didn't know this one was only $2.99!
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Amazon ~ Kindle   /   Barnes & Nobles ~ Nook
Goodreads Synopsis:
Brandon Sanderson, fantasy's newest master tale spinner, author of the acclaimed debut Elantris, dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge? The answer will be found in the Mistborn Trilogy, a saga of surprises and magical martial-arts action that begins in Mistborn.

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld's elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel's plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she's a half-Skaa orphan, but she's lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Readers of Elantris thought they'd discovered someone special in Brandon Sanderson. Mistborn proves they were right.

Cursed by Tara Brown
Amazon ~ Kindle  /   Barnes & Noble ~ Nook
Goodreads Synopsis:
One tragic event can change everything in a life. 
It can change the way we see the world around us.
Sometimes it can change the worlds we see.
Worlds we didn’t know existed.

When she slips into the In-Between for a few seconds she sees him.
He's more beautiful than anything she has ever seen before.
She's drawn to him in a way she's can't explain. 

Between the popular girls being poisoned and loves first kiss,
she hardly has time to chase down a mystery man.

As the poison that sent her to the In-Between wreaks havoc on her body,
the man she met there is equally damaging on her heart.

Discover how it all started, how it all unfolded

The first time

Revised with new scenes!!!

Bane by Tara Brown
Amazon ~ Kindle
Goodreads Synopsis:
"Ari, this is Aimee James. She’s different, like you.” The old lady smiled brightly, “Until you get to know each other, I wouldn’t go holding hands. Who knows what’ll happen.” 

This is the second book of the completed series, The Devil's Roses

Aimee is now a Devil's Rose. She has a ring that makes her brand of deadly force acceptable. She has killed every flavor of bad. Vampires, shifters, weres, demons, Nephilim. She has lived through nearly every kind of loss, and yet that still can't prepare her for the arrival of Ari.
Tattoo's, piercings, scars, and a poor attitude are pasted across the girl's face when she arrives at the old haunted house where Aimee has found refuge.

The problem with Ari, this isn't Ari. She isn't the girl she was a day ago. She's something else. 

Something powerful and dark and dangerous.

Something very few have ever seen.

Hyde by Tara Brown
Amazon ~ Kindle
Goodreads Synopsis:
Hanna doesn't know what's happening to her.
She doesn't know why her father has just sacrificed his life for hers.
She doesn't know who Aimee James is, or why she must fear her.
She doesn't know what the Roses are or why they're interested in her.

She knows there is a dusty stack of journals that drag her into a world she can't comprehend.
She knows there is something more to the world she has been forced into.
She knows no matter how hard she fights it, her attraction to Marcus is overwhelming and all consuming.

Until she meets Sam.

History and the present collide in this explosive tale of betrayal and lust.
Don't miss out on the excitement of the Devil's Roses, now a completed series.

Witch by Tara Brown
Amazon ~ Kindle   /   Barnes & Noble ~ Nook
Goodreads Synopsis:
The old house at the end of the haunted street seems emptier with the people missing and the lives lost.
Sam thinks he has Hanna all to himself now but The Roses have other plans. 

Ari and Aimee struggle to cope with the changes they've suffered through, the newest one being Giselle. She is thrust into the role of Vampire Royalty and with it come certain obligations and limitations.

None of them really have much time to feel sorry for themselves and the deaths of their loved ones. An ancient bloodline, tracing as far back as Adam and Lillith, is discovered with an heir to the power living closer than they thought.

Enter the young and confused Ophelia, who has no idea of the power she has or the role she plays in it all.

Time is running out for the Roses.

The Devil's Roses

Mature Readers Recommended

Death by Tara Brown
Amazon ~ Kindle   /   Barnes & Noble ~ Nook
Goodreads Synopsis:
The Final Rose

Sadness looms over the old mansion at the end of the road where the massive oaks and willows line the street.
With no one recovering from the losses they have experienced and D-Day creeping up on them, Ari decides to make a final push. Only this time she has a little help from O. Between the strongest magic in the world and the control Ari has learned, they hope they will be able to manipulate the time change and make everything better with a single push.
There is one thing they don't account for, Angels. Angels and the gifts they bestow upon us change us. Sometimes permanently. 

Don't Miss The Finale

I think that is all from me this week.  Do you have anything good you've found?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review: A Cursed Embrace & GIVEAWAY!

A Cursed Embrace

By:  Cecy Robson

Publisher:  Signet Eclipse

Publish Date:  July 2, 2013

Format:  ARC

Genre:  Urban Fantasy Romance

Series:  2nd book in The Weird Girls series; 0.5 Novella ~ The Weird Girls 1st Book ~ Sealed with a Curse

Recommendation:  Oooooh yes.  Pick it up!  Full of romance and action with vampires, werewolves, and demons.

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls -- with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird...

After Celia and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region.  But fame comes at a price, and being "weird" isn't always welcome.

To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status.  And once weres start turning up dead -- with evidence pointing to vampires -- she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever.  But the chaos only masks a new threat.  An evil known as the Tribe has risen -- and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.

First Sentence:
A dead wereraccoon on your doorstep is no way to start the morning.

Purchase At:
Amazon   /   Barnes & Nobles   /   Book Depository

**I read this book for an honest review from the publisher.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Celia is trying to keep her sisters calm when a pussy wereraccoon dies on their doorstep and Taran has been having nightmares of demons.  Both werewolves and vampires want to help Celia and her sisters.  Celia and her sisters are "protected" by two supernatural enemies - a strong werewolf pack and a powerful vampire clan.  A week ago things started to heat with the kiss between Celia and Aric, then he bolted and hasn't called.  When Aric returns he brings news of a case he's now on, where human men are being killed around town.  What they find with the men...could connect all things together.  There is a new group forming and the leader has it's eyes on the magically cursed sisters.  However, Celia tries to fight her feelings for Aric while their relationship blooms into something she never suspected she would have.  But, Aric being a Pureblood and leader could cause new bumps for them.  Celia and her sisters work with Aric to solve the case, hoping to prove she's not a distraction from his duties to the Elders.  But, the case could be more than the girls can handle with what the creatures are known to do.

Cecy starts off hitting strong with current happenings and complications for the Wird sisters.  And never lets up!  The first three pages had me snagged in it's net, and I DID NOT want to get out.  By the end of first chapter - Hook, Line, Sinker.  I was a goner.  A book I didn't want to stop.  One heck of a kicking second book to a series!  Wowza!

I love Aric, love all the Weres.  Love the Sisters!  My heart beat for Celia and Aric.  I so love them and want them to be together.  And Taran!  Oh Taran.  She has her own issues with her pick of the litter.  And eventually we find out why.  *giggle*  Perfect.  And Taran with her nightmares.  They are terrible, and scare her for her families safety.  In this romance, we learn of the sisters possible destinies with them men they have chosen.

Now, in the end.  The story of the deaths was completed.  But there was something in Celia's relationship ending that left me... unsettled.  I know why we end this way.  I accept it.  But, I wanted more.  I wanted the next book to try and ease my heart a tad.  I can't wait for Cursed By Destiny to come!  January 2014 can't come fast enough.

The story!  Wow.  I was flipping pages to keep up with the demon case, the men murdered around town, and wondering on the tie to the dead wereraccoon on their doorstep.  Action packed!  I know the boys want to girls to stay safe and not in the midst of terrible actions, but dang... Those girls are kick butt!  The girls are amazing as a group.  These girls have their limits, but as a team, they can be dangerous.  Cecy is not afraid to get down and dirty with her girls in some brutal action with her romance.  Balances the scales of love and action beautifully.

When I read romance, this is what I want with it.  Everything in one neat package, and Cecy has the perfect recipe!

Author Bio:
Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is an author with Penguin's SIGNET ECLIPSE. She attributes her passion for story-telling back to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing her Urban Fantasy Romance Series, Weird Girls, in May 2009. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella and SEALED WITH A CURSE are now available. A CURSED EMBRACE, releases July 2, 2013 followed by A CURSED MOON: An eSpecial Novella December 2013, and CURSED BY DESTINY, January 2014.

Find Cecy Robson:
Website:  Cecy Robson
Twitter:  @cecyrobson
Facebook:  Cecy Robson page
Goodreads:  Cecy Robson

Cecy is gracious enough to offer up an amazing Giveaway!

Open to US addresses only.
Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
There are many giveaways going on for the package, so if you win on another blog, please let me know so we can pull a new winner and share the love of these books with many more.

Throwback Thursday (120)

I found this picture of Trinity College Library, and thought it would work for this meme with a little play with lighting and adding the words.

Let's talk about those books already on the shelves, yours or the stores.

I have a post for books I'm looking forward to coming out;
Looking Forward To...
But what about all those wonderful books that are ALREADY on the shelves.

Whether it be on your shelf waiting to be read or on the shelves in the stores waiting for you to give it a good home.

So, I thought I would share a book a week that is just waiting for me to travel through it's world.

Now... where do I start? Lets go by Published Date on the books...

This Week:

And I shared the first book not so long ago.  Now it's time for the second.  Yes, I picked up the first two, for me and for the kiddo for school when he had to read books.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Bixby, Oklahoma, is full of secrets.some come out at midnight.some should stay hidden.

As the Midnighters search for the truth about the secret hour, they uncover terrifying mysteries woven into the very fabric of Bixby's history, and a conspiracy that touches the world of daylight.

This time Jessica Day is not the only Midnighter in mortal danger, and if the group can't find a way to come together, they could lose one of their own . . . forever.

I've heard back from a few bloggers that they would like to join in this meme post, so I'm adding a Linky for you to join in.  Grab the picture above, and join in.  All I ask, is if you can acknowledge my blog in the post so others know where to come back to 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Author Interview! And GIVEAWAY, With S.A. Huchton

As many of you have seen, I read and reviewed Maven by S.A. Huchton.  This is a SFR, Science Fiction Romance.  Now, don't run!  It's Romance with a science flair.  I so loved it!  And I hope to share a bit of the book with you in this interview with Starla.

Please give a big welcome to S.A. Huchton!

M:  Welcome Starla! Thank you for stopping by for the interview today.

M:  Your first book of the Endure series, Maven, is available in all formats now. This is a SFR, Science Fiction Romance. Now, before everyone runs at the mention of Science Fiction, there are no aliens and it’s light science (I read it already, I know this is true). Right?

SAH:  You are correct. I wrote something that appeals to my own personal preference when it comes to Science Fiction, that is to say, relatively grounded in reality and without bombardment by a bunch of terminology I need a Google search open to decipher. If science isn’t accessible, it appeals to few besides the experts. Since that’s not me, I wrote to my own level.

M:  You’ve mentioned to me a few times, when we chat, the Romance in this story can’t happen without the science and vise versa. They really are intertwined together. Can you share a bit of how so?

SAH:  Oh. Hmm. That. Well, I don’t know how much of that I can talk about without giving spoilers for the rest of the books in the series, but I’ll give it a shot.

Basically, without the science in the plot, there would be no reason for these two characters to get together. There would be no glue forcing them to be in proximity with one another. You can have all the chemistry in the world with another person, but if they aren’t around that tends to fade. Without the situation, the science, that Lydia and Daniel encounter, who’s to say if they’d have come around to their relationship at all? The problems they face require both of their skill sets to solve. It really is an equal partnership, which was exceedingly important for me.

I’d talk about the reverse of that, in taking the romance out of the plot, but the other books in the series sort of fall apart without it. Their union *cough* as a couple is absolutely crucial as the story goes. I can’t really say much more than that, though. Because spoilers. ;)

M:  Well, can't blame a girl for trying for spoilers or secrets of whats to come. ;)

M:  You had to do lots of research for this one. What did you research the most? And I *think* there is mention of help from your husband? ;)

SAH:  What did I research the most? Well, I think it was probably the microbiology stuff. I spent hours trying to figure out what a group of mad scientists bent on world domination might do to bring their plans to fruition in this setting and how they might accomplish that. Conversely, I also had to figure out what the good guys could or would do to fight that. Fortunately, my husband was a microbiology major and gave me a lot of guidance and explanations about bacteria and genetics and what happens with all that stuff, as well as how remedies for infections and such are created.

Running a close second is the technology used in the book. My husband studied computer science for his master’s degree so I’ve been subjected to lots and lots and LOTS of terminology as we were married when he was in that program. Some of that I was able to pull out of memories of our conversations about his projects and homework and classes, but, again, he was instrumental in explaining things I didn’t know or was having trouble wrapping my head around in terms of these books.

Perhaps it’s not 100% accurate in all things (it is still fiction, after all), but I worked very hard to make things plausible while not going overboard with technical talk. I made notes in very generic terms about the things that happen, so that, when I had to write the actual book, I could explain it both accessibly and correctly. Mostly. My notes probably look something like if you were giving a science lecture to toddlers. Because that’s pretty close to how I felt about this when I started. LOL

M:  This sweet romance is set underwater. I love the creation of the station here. It’s sure a sight and lots here in this military underwater station. Will we get to see more of the station? And of our little tailed dolphin friends?

SAH:  Much like the show Firefly would have been a very different thing without the anchor of the Serenity setting, so too is the DWRC Endure at the very core of the story. I won’t say you get to explore every last room of the place, but there will be new additions and locations explored in the other installments of this series.

Oh, the dolphins will continue to inhabit the Endure, but with varying degrees of involvement. How much of a role they will have to play by the end of the last book is yet to be seen, but, yes, there is more still to come.

M:  I’m hooked on these books! Can you tell us how many books there are and how soon we could expect them? I’m so looking forward to diving into the next one!

SAH:  As of right now I’m planning on four books. I know how torturous it can be, as a reader, to have to wait for the next part of the story, so I wanted to try my hand at a fairly fast release schedule. The second installment, Nemesis, will be released on August 26, which is right around the corner. The third one goes live November 28th. The final book in this story arc hits the virtual shelves on February 27th, 2014. I’m excited to see how this little experiment translates to readership. It’s not the norm, but I want to see how people react.

M:  You tell the story from both Lydia’s and Daniel’s eyes. This has made it so easy to fall in love with them and the love they share. How did you come to share point of views of both characters?

SAH:  If you’re asking if I planned it that way, no. When I sat down to write Maven, I had only ever intended on writing from Lydia’s point of view. Daniel had other ideas though. He decided he wanted to tell readers his side of the story. Given his experience with what other people think about him, I guess I could understand how he might be a little defensive. I guess that’s really it. I wanted readers to see why I liked Daniel so much and the best way to do that was to let them into his head. I was nervous about this, though. After all, what do I know about being a guy? In the end, I decided to let the character speak for himself and not worry so much about that.

M:  Okay, I’ve drilled you enough for the time. Now time for fun questions… I ask these of all my first time visitors. (so, next time you stop by, more tough questions! LOL)

M:  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

SAH:  If you’ve read Maven, you might know the answer to this one. For years I’ve been fascinated by Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I can’t imagine that photographs do that place justice. There are other places I’d love to visit some day, like a few sites in Italy, Greece, Egypt, China, but that one is really at the forefront of my mind. Probably because of Daniel. ;)

M:  Tea or Coffee?

SAH:  Tough question. It depends on the time of day. Before noon? Coffee all the way. After that, I’m more likely to brew up a cup of tea. Maybe this speaks to my characters some. I’m a good mix of Lydia and Daniel both!

M:  Favorite Color?

SAH:  Red. The darker, deeper kind and less the bright, tomato red.

M:  Favorite Childhood Fictional Creature?

SAH:  Elf-type creatures were always my favorite. Like the gelflings from the Dark Crystal.

M:  Now, as an adult, what’s your Favorite Fictional Creature? (can be the same as when a child)

SAH:  I’m split on this one. I seriously love dragons now (little mini ones especially), but elves still have a good chunk of my loyalty.  Because Legolas.

M:  Favorite Word? (any word at all)

SAH:  Right now? Supercavitation. Totally a thing. I discovered it in researching stuff for book three. Not only is it fun to say, but my geeky little heart skipped a beat when I learned what it meant (and saw footage of it in action). I won’t spoil it for people. They should totally Google it.

M:  Thank you kindly, Starla, for stopping by for the interview. I wish you all the best with Maven and the series.

SAH:  Thank you, Melissa! These were some great questions!

M:  Here’s wishing you all the best in words and pages!

Book Description:

How far would you go for love?

Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.

Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse.

Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?

Starla has giveaways going!
I reeeeeally hope you enter.  You'll love the romance and story here.
One is for US Only and another for International.

Domestic US Only:

International Followers:

Author Bio:
Starla Huchton released her first novel, The Dreamer's Thread, as a full cast podcast production beginning in August 2009. Her first foray went on to become a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. Since her debut, Starla's voice has appeared in other podcasts including The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, The Drabblecast, and Erotica a la Carte. She is also a voice talent for Darkfire Productions, and narrates several of their projects, including The Emperor's Edge series, This Path We Share, and others. Her writing has appeared in the Erotica a la Carte podcast, a short story for The Gearheart (earning her a third Parsec nomination), and an episode of the Tales from the Archives podcast (the companion to Tee Morris and Philippa Balantine's Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series), which garnered her a second finalist badge from the 2012 Parsec Awards. Her second novel, a Steampunk adventure entitled Master of Myth, was the first place winner in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category of The Sandy Writing Contest held annually by the Crested Butte Writers Conference. Maven is her third completed novel and the first in a planned series of four, being released under the name S. A. Huchton.

After completing her degree in Graphic Arts, Starla opened up shop as a freelance graphic designer focusing on creating beautiful book covers for independent authors and publishers. She currently lives in Virginia where she trains her three Minions and military husband.

Find Starla Huchton:
Author Website
Facebook Page

Maven on Goodreads

Who? What? Where? (120)

Who are you with? Where are you at? What's happening?

Share with us just a little bit of what is happening in the book you are reading, right where you are now.

Just a tiny taste of what's happening, remember try to not give spoilers of the book.

his is a new meme I'm going to try and will tweak as I go. And please don't laugh at my lame attempt at drawing. ;D )

This Week:

I'm standing in a Privileged bedroom with Field Marshal Tamas and Sabon.  So many are dead.  The Privileged sorcerers are dead, but he's lost some of his own loyal men.  Four men to one Privileged sorcerer that was unexpected.  Tamas's close friend, Lajos, just died and now Tamas is sending Sabon after the woman who got away.

I did learn what Powder Mage is.  Neat to learn what they do with bullets and the black powder.

Promise of Blood
By:  Brian McClellan

Others have shown interest in joining in this post, and linking up.  So I've created a linky for that.
My only requests; copy the picture to use, and link back to My words and pages.
Please visit any joining in.
Thank you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Cursed Moon

Oh My Goodness!  Cecy has a new A Weird Girls Novella coming our way!  Eeep!  And it's from Bren's POV.  If you've read the series you'll know Bren is a friend of the girls who is a lone wolf.  Yes, no pack, and he likes it that way.  He is more present in the second book, A Cursed Embrace, and I really look forward to more of him!

A Cursed Moon
A Weird Girls Novella 2.5
By:  Cecy Robson
Due Out:  December 3, 2013


Meet the furry big brother that the Wird sisters never had…

Bren is a cocky, brash hound of a werewolf who loathes the idea of belonging to Aric’s pack—much less finding a mate. But Bren’s hotheaded behavior lands him in the doghouse when he defies Aric’s authority in front of his pack, bringing up a sore subject that’s bound to make the Alpha wolf’s blood boil…

Luckily for him, no one can stay mad at Bren and his wild charm for long. And when some frightening ghosts launch a hostile paranormal takeover, Bren will team up with Celia Wird to take down the evil ghouls before they hurt someone they both love…

Includes a preview of the upcoming Weird Girls novel Cursed by Destiny!

I'm enjoying the magic in this world and look forward to more. :)

Guest Post by Fantasy Author Gail Z. Martin

I'm thrilled! To have the amazing Gail Z. Martin by today for a guest post.  I enjoy asking this question of authors to see what they respond.  I like seeing the inner workings of authors with their stories.  Please give a warm blogger welcome to the talented, Gail Z. Martin!

Also, make sure to follow Gail on Twitter at @GailZMartin for chances to win copies of her books!

What comes first,
Character or plot?

What happens first in the mind of a reader—character or plot?

My answer is—it depends.

Sometimes, I have a very strong feel for a character, and the more I think about that character, the more clear I get on what kind of adventure that character would have and how he/she would rise to the challenge.

In other cases, the plot and setting come to me, and I need to think about who the right kinds of characters would be who could carry of that plot in that setting.

The more I talk with other authors, the more I’m convinced that there is no single right way to write. In fact, the more books I write (I’m up to about 14 published books as we speak), the more I’m also convinced that the process changes with each book, each character and every plotline.

When the character becomes clear to me first, I usually get a sense of that character as if I actually met the person. Sometimes all at once, and sometimes a little at a time, I get the back story, the physical characteristics, the fears, hopes and dreams that have created my character.

When the plot firms up first, I see the story arc, the key milestones, the major twists and turns and the climax like a movie that needs to be cast. So like any good casting agent, I think about what the hero of the piece would be like, who the love interest is, who the antagonists would be, who is in the supporting cast and what roles they play. Then I “cast” the roles by creating characters who fit the requirements, characters who ultimately become very real to me.

Over the course of a writing career, it’s likely that you’ll have some books come to you in one way, and some in the other. Try not to judge. Both are equally legitimate. They’re just different starting points, but you can get a good ending from either path. Try to enjoy the journey.

When you begin with the plot, you may find that the action is very clear to you, but it takes more thought to figure out what motivates your characters and to make them real and emotionally accessible to your readers.

When you begin with the characters, it feels as if you’re writing about flesh-and-blood people you’ve known all your life, but you may struggle to get the story arc just right. Be prepared for some rewrites as you go down a few dead ends and get inspiration partway through the first draft. That’s just the nature of the muse. Roll with it.

I’ve found both approaches to result in a very satisfactory outcome. True, it takes some adaptability on the part of the author, but if you can be flexible, you may find that the end result is well worth the effort.

Regardless of which piece comes to you first, be glad your muse has spoken and run with it! Rest assured that you will find the story that needs to be told.

The Hawthorn Moon Sneak Peek Event includes book giveaways, free excerpts and readings, all-new guest blog posts and author Q&A on 21 awesome partner sites around the globe. For a full list of where to go to get the goodies, visit

@GailZMartin Book Giveaway on Twitter—Every day from June 21 – June 28 I’ll be choosing someone at random from my Twitter followers to win a free signed book. Invite your friends to follow me—for every new 200 followers I gain between 6/21 – 6/28, I’ll give away an additional book, up to 20 books!

Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged in her new The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen ) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn and The Dread). She is also the author of two series on ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Series. Find her online at

Thank you Gail!!

Interested in Gail's books?
Ascendant Kingdoms #1

All Gail Z. Martin books on Amazon for your Purchase.

Teaser Tuesday (168)

Teaser Tuesday
is a weekly event

Here's how it works:

Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on the page
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interests

This Week:

"Okay," I called as I got dow there, and found Rodney where I'd left him and the three wide-eyed teens huddled together on the old couch.  Cari sat in the middle, an arm around either boy.  "Apparently I need to get this book..." 

By:  Skyla Dawn Cameron

Oooh, I so enjoyed this novella.  Zara goes on to say more, but I don't want to give to much away.

This series is full of snarky comments, kick butt, and so much more!
You could probably read this one out of order of the series, but you'll not know all that is going on around Zara to bring her to this point.  This one has a play on horror movies, and so enjoyed it.(Review coming soon!)

If you'd like to try it out, start with, Bloodlines:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Mythical Monday (16)

It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

This week we have:
YA Fantasy author Chloe Jacobs
Talking of Hansel and Gretel influencing her story.

GRETA AND THE GOBLIN KING started off as a twist on the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel, mostly
because I’d been thinking of doing a fairytale re-telling for a long while, but I didn’t want to do something that had already been re-done to death (Cinderella, Snow White). I’ve always found Hansel and Gretel a fascinating little tale. It’s one of those stories that got watered down over the years and not many people remember the original.

You might think it’s about two kids who get lost in the forest, lured into a witch’s clutches by the delicious scent of gingerbread, only to realize that the witch wants to have them for dinner. But hey, they’re lucky enough to escape, right? So all is good.

Ah, not so much. The real story of Hansel and Gretel is a lot darker than that. In fact, the two children didn’t get lost so much as they were left in the woods to die by their parents, who are apparently fine with the idea of letting their kids be torn apart by wild animals if it means having a couple fewer mouths to feed. And although the kids did escape, it was only by pushing the witch into her own oven and burning her alive, and when they finally find their way back home, everyone rejoices because the mother (also painted as an evil w(b)itch), has died.

When I decided to use this fairytale as the jumping off point for my book, I researched other myths and stories about witches who prey on children, and found the Greek myth about Lamia. She was a serpent-like creature, the daughter of Libya and Belus, and of course, Zeus (the biggest philanderer of all time) had an affair with her. Zeus’s wife, Hera, was tired of being cosntantly shamed by her jerk of a husband doesn't punish Zeus. No, she punished Lamia by compelling her to eat her own offspring, which drove the poor woman insane and ended up in Lamia developing a taste for children.

What started out for me as a simple Hansel and Gretel re-telling turned into a pretty dark fantasy. When all is said and done, GRETA AND THE GOBLIN KING is about more than Hansel and Gretel or Lamia. It’s about a young human girl who gets tossed into another world where everyone there hates her just for being human. It’s about her trying to find her way home, and learning what home means. It’s about an evil demon prophecy. It’s about an eclipse that will turn everyone into vicious monsters. And it’s about a hot goblin king with the ability to walk in dreams…

The actual bit about Hansel and Gretel and Lamia ended up being a very small piece of the whole book but it was necessary for the rest of the story to come together, and I got to satisfy my need for research! LOL

Thank you so much for letting me come chat here today!!

Chloe Jacobs

About Chloe Jacobs:
Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she'd at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.

Find Chloe Jacobs at:
Twitter:  @Jacobs_Chloe
Facebook:  Chloe Jacobs
Goodreads:  Chloe Jacobs


While trying to save her brother four years ago, Greta was thrown into the witch’s fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon.

To survive, seventeen-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

Purchase Greta and the Goblin King now:

Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Audiobook Giveaway!

I'm so thrilled to be able to do a giveaway for this one.  I enjoyed reading the book.  It made me smile and laugh.  It was a pleasure to read a science fiction space read with humor.  (Yes, I absolutely LOVE Ice Pirates.  You know that movie, right?  Gods do I think that's hilarious!)

Okay, back on track.  This book is full of short stories that are just plain fun and funny.

The book:  A Little Short for An Alien by Frances Pauli.

I've thoroughly enjoyed Frances's different works and this one is no different.  She's got a sense of humor that shines through with these quick stories.

Do you remember me reviewing this one?  Well, if not you can check out the review:  A Little Short for An Alien.  Over all, this is one to kick back, relax, and let yourself enjoy the fun space stories.

Frances has just heard back the book is in audio and Eric has done a fabulous job with his voice acting, that you will have to giggle.

Frances has offered up one audio copy to one lucky person here.
~ The audio book if for
      You can create a new account, or use your Amazon one to login.
~ Being an audio book you download online, the giveaway is open International!

Enter by way of Rafflecopter:

Sunday Post #17

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


Well, I feel like I might be getting back to it here.  Got some great reading done and some blog visiting.  I do still need to get to return commenting on a few posts here.  Although there's still tons of calls to make and weekends seem to be on the run for me, the evenings during the week are slowly returning to mine.  Aside from being sick with a sinus infection now, things are okay.

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
After Dark - with 2 stories one by Gena Showalter AND Kait Ballenger (I'm going to read Gena's now)
I'm going to start this week:  A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson

Finished Last Week:
A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson
Damaged by Skyla Dawn Cameron

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
I haven't got to the Podcasts yet.  I will, they are lining up on me.


Last Week on the Blog:

Happy Release: (click titles to go to post and learn more)
I've been Loooooving this series, and was thrilled to see this novella come out.

Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)
Cursed By Destiny by Cecy Robson

Book Review:

Weekly Posts:

***NEW*** Mythical Monday ~ Joseph Robert Lewis talks of Arjuna, from the Indian Epics.
Teaser Tuesday
Who? What? Where? Wend.
Throwback Thursday
Looking Forward To...
Freebies and Deals, on Nook too

This Week to Come on the Blog:

Oooo, boy do I have a week for you!

Guest post by Gail Z. Martin.
Interview with S.A. Huchton (with a giveaway!)
Review of A Cursed Embrace (with a giveaway!)
I *might* have one more giveaway for an audio book ready this week too!  If I get time tonight to put it together!

Yep, big week coming!

Received Last Week:

This is How You Die Edited by Ryan North, Matthew Bennardo, and David Malki
Goodreads Synopsis:
If a machine could predict how you would die, would you want to know? This is the tantalizing premise of This Is How You Die, the brilliant follow-up anthology to the self-published bestseller, Machine of Death.

Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death

The machines started popping up around the world. The offer was tempting: with a simple blood test, anyone could know how they would die. But the machines didn't give dates or specific circumstances-just a single word or phrase. DROWNED, CANCER, OLD AGE, CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. And though the predictions were always accurate, they were also often frustratingly vague. OLD AGE, it turned out, could mean either dying of natural causes, or being shot by an elderly, bedridden man in a botched home invasion. The machines held onto that old-world sense of irony in death: you can know how it's going to happen, but you'll still be surprised when it does.

This addictive anthology--sinister, witty, existential, and fascinating--collects the best of the thousands of story submissions the editors received in the wake of the success of the first volume, and exceeds the first in every way.

Generation V by M.L. Brennan
Goodreads Synopsis:
Reality Bites

Fortitude Scott’s life is a mess. A degree in film theory has left him with zero marketable skills, his job revolves around pouring coffee, his roommate hasn’t paid rent in four months, and he’s also a vampire. Well, sort of. He’s still mostly human.

But when a new vampire comes into his family’s territory and young girls start going missing, Fort can’t ignore his heritage anymore. His mother and his older, stronger siblings think he’s crazy for wanting to get involved. So it’s up to Fort to take action, with the assistance of Suzume Hollis, a dangerous and sexy shape-shifter. Fort is determined to find a way to outsmart the deadly vamp, even if he isn’t quite sure how.

But without having matured into full vampirehood and with Suzume ready to split if things get too risky, Fort’s rescue mission might just kill him.…

Free Ebooks:
Space Slugs by Frances Pauli
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Xenobiologist, Dr. Murray, receives yet another phony wedding invitation 
from her galaxy hopping sister, she does what any good sibling would do. She 
drops her research and hops the first flight to some obscure planet at the edge 
of the civilized universe. 
But Zora's weddings never manage to go off as planned, and before the cake is 
served, Murray finds herself imprisoned with the unapologetic bride. With the 
assistance of a mysterious android and the universe's last living space slug, 
the two find themselves on the run in a stolen space ship with half the galaxy 
in hot pursuit. Thanks to Zora, it's the least desirable half. 
Maybe Murray will get lucky, and the crash landing will kill her.

A Pixie's Tale by Hera B. Magic
Goodreads Synopsis:
In an attempt to sway human voters—for a totally legitimate cause—Delphie the pixie targets a college neighborhood on Halloween. College students are notoriously liberal anyway, and the neighborhood is a human-only zone. She shouldn’t run into any other supernaturals to interfere with her important mission.

But instead of drunken students, she mistakenly bespells a mysterious, sexy fellow supernatural who doesn’t appreciate the fact her defective fairy dust turns him invisible. In retaliation, he curses her, too. She almost escapes, but he’s determined to enact the cure—a taste of her delicious blood, blood that may also give him a yen for her dainty body.

If only Delphie can resist her yen for his body, too, she might just survive the craziest night of her life.


Reviews in the Works:

The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan
Shadow Hunter by Kait Ballenger
A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson

Damaged by Skyla Dawn Cameron