BRAVING THE ELEMENTS: Get your fantasy fix today!

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO
BRAVING THE ELEMENTS!

Braving the Elements
A Fantasy Anthology
By Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: September 4, 2017
 
Claire Davon – The Dragon, the Witch, and the Swordswoman
Michael Siciliano – Forging Mettle
Kelly Said – The Myth of Mount Agony
Terri Rochenski – Mist Weaver
Rebecca Hart – Alice and the Egg
 
 
The Dragon, The Witch, and the Swordswoman
By Claire Davon
As the person responsible for calling the bronze dragon that destroyed her village, Losha is tasked with killing it. Failure to do so means she will be outcast from everything she has ever known. Yet one she is on the road, two local women in tow, she finds that she is strangely reluctant to harm the beast that lurks in her mind.
After an encounter with an oddly familiar old woman and a knight in a small hamlet Losha is more confused than ever. On one hand, failure to slay the dragon means she cannot return to the promise of marriage from a local boy yet the more she learns about the dragon the less she wants to harm it.  It, like the bronze sword that is her only defense, speaks to her in a way nothing else has.
The stage is set for a final showdown between knight and beast when the knight’s true quest is revealed and Losha must choose between all she has ever known, or the companionship of an old woman…and a dragon.
Forging Mettle
By Michael Siciliano
Xander, a teenaged street thief in the grimy slums of Low Town, discovers he has an innate magical talent on the same night his father is killed. Intent on getting revenge, he attempts a risky robbery which goes bad. Rather than face the hangman’s noose, Xander agrees to accompany a group of soldiers intent on finding a powerful magical artifact. But the Beggar’s Hand isn’t what the King’s sorcerer thinks. Deep in the mountains, Xander must make life and death decisions, not just for himself, but the Kingdom he calls home.
The Myth of Mt Agony
By Kelly Said
Meadow’s mere presence ensures the Morningstar farm produces with preternatural abundance. A dirt-dusted foster-child, she hungers for harmony with Auric’s lands.
Valcone is the reclusive prince of Auric. Confined to his room—for the safety of his subjects—he craves control over his persuasive powers.
The prince and the farmgirl’s powerful personalities will collide with epic force when a war erupts between Auric and a neighboring kingdom. With Auric’s fate on the line, Valcone tests the limits of his ability. He amplifies his steady push into a forceful shove against Meadow’s gentle Nature. The Earth-shaper finds herself between a rock and a hard place, literally, where the only choice to save her family may lie in surrendering to the destructive force of her ground-breaking ability.
Mist Weaver
By Terri Rochenski
Dolan wants nothing more than to escape his village for the big city where his small stature and unpleasant features won’t make him the recipient of constant ridicule by the lord of the manor and his heir, Gilroy. The mist that dances to the sweet notes of Dolan’s flute is his only camaraderie and the only beauty in his life—except for Keavy.
When the kind milkmaid is faced with unwanted attentions, Dolan must defend her honor with a choice that will ultimately change his life.
Alice and the Egg
By Rebecca Hart
Alice would do anything for her father, the only parent she’s ever known since her mother’s death in childbirth. When he falls ill, Alice doesn’t hesitate when the opportunity to barter her life for his is presented by Jayden, the prince and only heir to the Dragorean throne.
It doesn’t take long for Alice to realize the palace has secrets. Ones that relate to her own past more than she could ever have imagined. If she can find a way to play the game of secrets well enough, not only could she save her father, she just may manage to save herself as well.
 
~~~oOo~~~
 
 



Blog Tour Schedule
September 4th
Release Day Blitz
Scribbler’s Sojourn – Top Two List
Jennifer M. Eaton – Favorite Five List

September 5th

Mythical Books – Ebook giveaway 

September 6th

Reviews by Crystal – Author Interview 

September 7th

Liz’s Reading Life – Author Interview
Sharon Hughson, Author – Author Interview 

September 8th

~~~oOo~~~

GIVEAWAY!!

A $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

I love my job but I hate this part

I love my job. Writing stories and articles and study books delights and excites me.

    But…

Don’t you hate when people say something good and then ruin it with a but?

I like your hair, but…it looks like you’re stuck in the 80s
Your dog is so pretty, but…he has no manners at all.

You know what I’m talking about. People do this all the time. WE do this several times during any conversation.
Because the truth of the matter is ugly hard to swallow unimaginable depressing.

Nothing in life is without its flaws and drawbacks.

(Sorry, honey. I know I tell you and everyone else that you’re perfect, but that’s just not the case. You’re perfect in my eyes only…and when you don’t leave the toilet seat up.)

I’m a full-time, professional author. To earn a paycheck, I substitute teach at the local middle and high schools.
I enjoy teaching. I believe it’s one of my secondary strengths (which is why I write Bible study books and teach women and teenagers at my church).

But writing is my soul food.

When I’m in the groove, churning words directly from my heart and mind onto paper (or a computer screen), it’s Heaven-on-Earth.
Why? Because I believe I was created to do this “writing thing.”

What I Love

I love when I get a new idea. It sparkles and gleams. Every cast of light reveals another dimension.

I enjoy sketching out the plot. I do this with a ton of “what if” questions. And I only hammer in the major plot points before I begin to write. I like to give my characters just enough rope to jerk them into an uncomfortable position.

I adore setting up the scenes in Scrivener, color coding them so I can keep track of things like narrator or timeline.

I don’t even fear the blank page.

I crank out the first scene. I don’t sweat it too much. It will get rewritten more than any other scene in the novel. I accept this and pound out the words.


I bite my lip as I write the last scene. Where do I think my characters will end up? How do I end this?
Believe me, I come up with some incredible last lines.

Then they get edited out of the final manuscript.

I write. There’s no fear of blank screens and blinking cursors.

If I’m not “feeling” a scene, I skip to where my characters are begging to go. I can fill in the blanks later. In fact, those blanks might be better scenes if I don’t force them when I’m not emotionally engaged in writing them.

The whole fast draft and first draft process makes me feel euphoric.

Not that I Hate This

Okay, actually, I pretty much despise everything that comes after writing the first draft of a novel.

As for shorter projects, I don’t mind making several editing passes and polishing the manuscript to a shine. I can do it in relatively the same amount of hours I invested in creating the original draft.

Novels? Not so much.

There’s no way to comb through 70,000 plus words in three weeks (the average time it takes me to write that at the rate of 1,000 words per hour).

And every manuscript needs multiple “passes” before it’s ready to be seen by someone I want to buy it.

I think I’ve written about my process before here and here, so I’m not going to bore you with those details again.

The problem is that the words start to all sound the same after my sixth pass through a manuscript. I can’t discern what works and what doesn’t.

I’m done. I hate this stupid thing. Can I throw it away now?

Some writers talk about coming to love their stories the more they work on it. I get there after the publisher’s editor takes a fine tooth comb to it, pointing out all the weak points and helping me strengthen them.

But while I’m working on the pre-published manuscript? I come to despise it.

Sometimes, when I pick it up months later (on a break from my most recent revision nightmare), I decide it’s not such a bad story. That character is pretty witty. That fight scene gives me palpitations.

But when I’m in the middle of trying to polish it, hoping to convince a publisher to take a risk on me?

I get to the point where I can’t stand the sight of it.

Why would anyone want this if you hate it so much?

Who cares? I just want to get it out of my sight.

What things do you love about your job? What makes you groan with dread?

If this post appealed to you, you might like Hero Delivery. It’s a bulletin with deals and specials from Sharon Hughson. It can be on the way to your inbox in a few clicks.

Check out Finding Focus and my other books. You’re sure to find something worth reading.
Already read one or more? Please leave an honest review on your favorite site. That’s like the author discovering a gold nugget in the bottom of her washing machine.

Ready for some Love Under the Harvest Moon

Autumn is the perfect time for romance. Okay, is romance ever out of season? But you have to admit that being kissed under a harvest moon sounds totally romantic.

The newest anthology, Love Under the Harvest Moon, from Roane Publishing features five short stories centered around the theme of autumn. Three of them feature back-to-school in one way or another.

harvest_moon_cover

Amidst Strawberry Fields

This short story is by Nemma Wollenfang. I was interested to read it since Nemma shared a spot with me in Masked Hearts.

First of all, I was surprised that is was a young adult romance. Not because I don’t like them, because I’m a huge fan of young adult literature in many genres. However, Roane Publishing generally excludes stories with young adult characters from their anthologies.

I enjoyed the story. At first, I was thrown off because there was talk of a farm but the first sentence has a Ferrari pulling up to the school parking lot. What?

Eventually, I settled into the rhythm of the story. Beth was more mature than your average teenager. Maybe because of all the responsibilities she had at the farm.

This is a story about race relations, prejudice and even racial profiling. Not that any of those terms were used. But the gypsies aren’t welcome at the school and before long, it’s obvious the police want to blame them for any crime that happens around town.

Some things about Beth remained vague (like where was her father?) and the details of the harvest ceremony were released grudgingly.

A solid start for the anthology.

Four out of five stars

Autumn Leaves

HeartsofValor_eBook_CVRI’m familiar with T.E. Hodden because we shared a cover with the Hearts of Valor anthology.

His story ended up being the best in the bunch. His prose is poetic. His characters solid. And the one-day time frame of the story kept the pace ratched up so I had to keep turning pages.

It took me a few pages to orient myself to a romance narrated in first person by a man.  First, I’m not generally a fan of first person in romances because the tension can be tightened so much more effectively if readers can get inside the heads of both characters.

At first, I thought it was going to be another “I walked in on my girlfriend with another guy” story. But Hodden threw a curve ball (or three) in the middle of these over-used (in my opinion) trope.

I don’t want to give anything away because this is a story best experienced firsthand.

Five out of five stars

Moon Dance

This story by Patricia Crisafulli started slow and never really gained momentum.

It was written in present tense which is tedious for me to read, but I don’t think that’s why I didn’t connect with it.

The shero, Anna, was a single mom with plenty of problems. She was relatable and likable. The writing wasn’t terrible.

A romance never unfolded. We went from a guy telling her to loosen up to her holding hands with him at the harvest festival. No idea how they got from one point to the next. Most of the story is about Anna’s other problems and he makes brief appearances. You know he’s going to be the love interest because there’s no one else.

But how? The story has too many holes.

Three out of five stars

A Harvest Homecoming

This little tale penned by Laura Lamoreaux and T.L. French tried to pull me into its contemporary world.

Tanya is home again after an ugly divorce. She’s marking time until she can find another job as a reporter. And, of course, since anyone can be a teacher (in Texas, I guess), she takes a job teaching freshman English.

You all know I’m a substitute teacher with a background working in education for a decade, so this attitude rubbed me all kinds of wrong. But I kept reading.

Tanya runs into a guy she used to know, who once crushed on her, and he ends up being totally hot nowadays.

I probably don’t need to go on. It unfolded predictably from there.

At least the plot made sense and the story was complete. And the dig at teaching (unintentional or not) was redeemed by the end of the story.

Four out of five stars

Opposite Directions

Claire Davon, another anthology mate of mine from Masked Hearts, writes another girl comes home from the big city and takes a teaching job story. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t back-to-back with the other one.

Here Vanessa runs into her old flame, who broke up with her after cheating on her. See what I mean about the cheating boyfriend or girlfriend being an over-used trope?

Vanessa still has feelings for him. Does he have feelings for her?

Rather than taking the time to develop conflict and flesh out a longer story, Davon takes our couple out on a date and has them resolve everything over one meal. I believe in the restorative power of Italian food as much as the next person, but I couldn’t get on board with such an easy resolution of big issues.

I also didn’t connect with these characters as well as I had with those from the other stories.

Three out of five stars

Harvest Moon Button

All in all, this was a pleasant way to pass some time cuddled up on a rainy day. Each story is the perfect length for a lunch-hour dive into fiction-land.

Overall, it earns four out of five stars. (Okay, if you do the math, it technically gets 3.8 stars, but that rounds up to four, right?)

You can pick up your copy of Love under the Harvest Moon at your favorite retailer, or click here to get it directly from the publisher.

Time for LOVE UNDER THE HARVEST MOON

Happy Book Birthday to Love Under the Harvest Moon!

Love under the Harvest Moon
A Sweet Romance Anthology
By Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: November 14, 2016
If you’re interested in a little romance to go with the changing leaves and the dawn of cocoa season, look for my review of this anthology on Goodreads. OR come back on Wednesday when I give each story my full-on attention. Take my word for it, these are stories that will take the chill off these lengthening autumn nights.

Claire Davon – Opposite Directions

Vanessa left her small Iowa town for the bright lights of Miami, also leaving behind the boy who devastated her young self by cheating on her with another local girl. Returning after four years to take a teaching job, she finds her attraction to Zane has not diminished in the time she’s been away.
 
Zane also works at the school and offers to show Vanessa the ropes. She cannot deny her attraction to him is still there, but is unsure if she should act on it. He broke her heart once, could he do so again? Or would their older, wiser selves be able to navigate the tricky waters of love and forgiveness, leading them back to each other’s arms?
 
Nemma Wollenfang – Amidst the Strawberry Fields
Good grades, happy home, pampered life, perfect boyfriend – sixteen-year-old Beth has it all. She tells herself that… a lot. That is until the new students arrive from the recently-built Traveller’s Site, led by the rakishly handsome Razovan Verlak, who begins to turn her world upside-down. The school didn’t want them, the town tried to avoid them, and Beth is determined to ignore him—them. But Raz is not to be ignored, and he has his sights set on her.
 
With the autumn harvest due in, and her boyfriend and the usual harvesters notably absent, Beth and her mother have to accept alternative help to bring in their farm’s crops. And Raz is all too eager to oblige. But Beth is uneasy, and with good reason. Raz and his crew have developed a worrying reputation around town. Assault, vandalism, theft – it seems there’s nothing they haven’t done…according to rumour. But are the gossips to be believed?
 
Will Beth listen to the disturbing tales and keep her distance? Or will she decide for herself and get to know the real Raz as they work together, amidst the strawberry fields?
  
T.E. Hodden – Autumn Leaves
So there I was, on the worst afternoon of my life, surrounded by the kind of argument that left me shaken and single. And there, in the park is Autumn, a beautiful, funny, sweet, trans-girl, who seems to be the only person in the world having a worse day than me. And that…that doesn’t seem right.
 
So, here we are. I have one day, to make her smile, and change her world, before Autumn leaves to face her winter.
Laura Lamoreaux and T.L. French – A Harvest Homecoming
When Tanya Sheldon loses her job and her marriage in the same day, she thinks her life is over. Unable to find anything else, she agrees to take a teaching position in her old high school, but moving back to Silver Lake turns out to be harder than she expected when old feelings come to light.
 
Tanya rejected Jake Green when they were younger, but now he’s all grown up and teaching across the hall. And for a minute, Tanya thought she might have something in her future other than a box of cats. But the moment is gone when Jake’s beautiful girlfriend Ashley returns. After learning the hard way what it’s like to be cheated on, there’s no way Tanya will let herself fall for Jake.
 
Patricia Crisafulli – Moon Dance
For Anna Oliver, life is one big to-do list and her responsibilities, large and crushing. Divorced and a single mother, needing to care for her own mother who is struggling with a cancer diagnosis, Anna has returned to her too-small hometown, which cannot compare with the life she enjoyed in Brooklyn. Now she is overqualified for her job in a community library and overburdened by everything.
When a storm brings down a tree on her roof—revealing damage that the insurance company won’t pay for—Anna feels as split in two as that old ash. Then someone unexpected comes into her life, and she must confront her need to trust, which seems far too difficult and risky. But under the harvest moon, anything can change.

PURCHASE LINKS

 
 
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~~~oOo~~~

GIVEAWAY!

Win a $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

For all you Autumn Lovers: Love under the Harvest Moon Revealed

Even though I love and adore summer, I see the appeal of changing the seasons. If it was all blue skies and hot weather all the time that would be boring. Bring on the changing leaves…and a new romance anthology from Roane Publishing: Love under the Harvest Moon.

Isn’t she lovely?

HarvestMoon_Cvr

This anthology includes five sweet romances sure to get your love of autumn stoked for some romantic afternoon reading.

Opposite Directions (Contemporary Romance)  by Claire Davon

Vanessa left her small Iowa town for the bright lights of Miami, also leaving behind the boy who devastated her young self by cheating on her with another local girl. Returning after four years to take a teaching job, she finds her attraction to Zane has not diminished in the time she’s been away.
Zane also works at the school and offers to show Vanessa the ropes. She cannot deny her attraction to him is still there, but is unsure if she should act on it. He broke her heart once, could he do so again? Or would their older, wiser selves be able to navigate the tricky waters of love and forgiveness, leading them back to each other’s arms?

Amidst the Strawberry Fields (YA Romance) by Nemma Wollenfang

Good grades, happy home, pampered life, perfect boyfriend – sixteen-year-old Beth has it all. She tells herself that… a lot. That is until the new students arrive from the recently-built Traveller’s Site, led by the rakishly handsome Razovan Verlak, who begins to turn her world upside-down. The school didn’t want them, the town tried to avoid them, and Beth is determined to ignore him—them. But Raz is not to be ignored, and he has his sights set on her.
With the autumn harvest due in, and her boyfriend and the usual harvesters notably absent, Beth and her mother have to accept alternative help to bring in their farm’s crops. And Raz is all too eager to oblige. But Beth is uneasy, and with good reason. Raz and his crew have developed a worrying reputation around town. Assault, vandalism, theft – it seems there’s nothing they haven’t done…according to rumour. But are the gossips to be believed?
Will Beth listen to the disturbing tales and keep her distance? Or will she decide for herself and get to know the real Raz as they work together, amidst the strawberry fields?

Autumn Leaves by T. E. Hodden

Blurb: So there I was, on the worst afternoon of my life, surrounded by the kind of argument that left me shaken and single. And there, in the park is Autumn, a beautiful, funny, sweet, trans-girl, who seems to be the only person in the world having a worse day than me. And that…that doesn’t seem right.
So, here we are. I have one day, to make her smile, and change her world, before Autumn leaves to face her winter.

A Harvest Homecoming by Laura Lamoreaux and T.L. French

Blurb: When Tanya Sheldon loses her job and her marriage in the same day, she thinks her life is over. Unable to find anything else, she agrees to take a teaching position in her old high school, but moving back to Silver Lake turns out to be harder than she expected when old feelings come to light.
Tanya rejected Jake Green when they were younger, but now he’s all grown up and teaching across the hall. And for a minute, Tanya thought she might have something in her future other than a box of cats. But the moment is gone when Jake’s beautiful girlfriend Ashley returns. After learning the hard way what it’s like to be cheated on, there’s no way Tanya will let herself fall for Jake.

Moon Dance by Patricia Crisfulli

Blurb: For Anna Oliver, life is one big to-do list and her responsibilities, large and crushing. Divorced and a single mother, needing to care for her own mother who is struggling with a cancer diagnosis, Anna has returned to her too-small hometown, which cannot compare with the life she enjoyed in Brooklyn. Now she is overqualified for her job in a community library and overburdened by everything.
When a storm brings down a tree on her roof—revealing damage that the insurance company won’t pay for—Anna feels as split in two as that old ash. Then someone unexpected comes into her life, and she must confront her need to trust, which seems far too difficult and risky. But under the harvest moon, anything can change.

If these sound like your sort of romances, click here to help promote the release. Sign up to get a free ARC is you will post a review during the release week.

Harvest Moon Button

With cooler weather coming, there will be more time to read. Mark your calendar for the November 14 release date and let’s get reading!

See this post on their website for further details about the release of LOVE UNDER THE HARVEST MOON and the blog tour.

My Fantasy Debut: Masked Hearts is available

Masked_heartsI’m a fantasy author. I’m a fantasy author. *dances around the desk singing* Read my debut story in Masked Hearts today.

Join the fun on the blog tour for the next two weeks. There are reviews and interviews and chances to win prizes. I know you don’t want to miss any of that.

I’m excited to introduce the world to my beautiful woodland elf, Alyona Wyrden, who travels to the earthen realm (you know, where we humans live) in search of her missing brother. I hope you’ll fall in love with the amazing magical artifact detective, Agent Camden Kerr. His job is to protect humans from dangerous magically charged items.

Items like the amulet Alyona is using to travel between realms and track her brother’s location. Will he get the artifact? Will she find her brother? What sort of choices will they make between “Duty and Desire”?

Here’s a sneak peek of their first meeting:

Agent Camden Kerr shoved his fingers through his hair, long layers, mussy. Nothing like he’d worn when soldiering full-time. Staring into the nearly spotless icebox encouraged his stomach to growl. Looked like he needed to grab groceries or head out for dinner.

He shuffled across the kitchen. As his hand covered the coil of keys holding down the newspaper he’d yet to read, a click from the hallway stopped him. He tilted his head toward the sound from the laundry room, and his right hand sneaked along his chest until his fingers rested on the handle of his service sidearm.

Service. As if working as a Recovery Agent for the Magical Artifact Reclamation and Quarantine Society amounted to service. That bunch of stingy, wealthy sponsors had some interesting conspiracy theories about magic. Working for MARQS hardly gave him the same feel-good sense of accomplishment he’d felt while recovering stolen weapons, formulas and documents for the government.

Woodsy air wafted into the room. Hair on the back of his neck prickled. If they were in his office, he knew exactly what they were after. But how did they find him? He’d been careful when he’d lifted the medallion from the evidence room at the police station. Seriously. A drugged-up prostitute shouldn’t have anything so valuable in her possession in the first place. Whoever killed her hadn’t known what it was, or the police wouldn’t have been bagging and tagging it with regulated routine.

Cam eased the gun from its holster. His booted feet slithered over the kitchen tiles as silently as a rattler on rocks. Waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dim light wasn’t an option. He had a better idea. A grim twist of his lips, and he slammed open his office door with his shoulder, smacked the light switch beside it with his left hand.

“Hands up!”

A slender woman with eyes glittering like emeralds twisted toward him, hands flailing toward the ceiling in a hypnotic, graceful arc. Her chin was a sharp point in her heart-shaped face. High cheekbones, slashed with ruddy shades of sunset, offset her peachy complexion. The mass of beige blonde hair topped off a perfect picture.

“Where’s my brother?” Her accented English wasn’t difficult to understand, its cultured tones free from panic.

His fingers tightened on the pistol’s grip, index finger straightening away from the trigger. He raked her lithe figure with a single glance, noting no suspicious bulges to indicate a concealed weapon. The rise and fall of full breasts beneath some sort of leather tunic didn’t escape his attention. Or the slender legs encased in form-fitting leather, down to the moccasin-like booties on her narrow feet.

“You’ve got the wrong house.” Cam kept the gun aimed center mass, even as he felt the tension drain from his shoulders.

“I don’t think so.”

She shifted away from the desk. Cam stiffened again, finger dropping onto the trigger, eyes honing in on his target.

And a fine-looking target, too. Messing up that chest with an armor-piercing round would be a total waste.

Buy your copy now at Amazon | AmazonUK | ARe | B&N |Bookstrand Createspace  | Roane  |  Smashwords

Not to hog the stage in my excitement over my own story, here are the blurbs for the other four fantasy romances.

What secrets do the Masked Hearts hold?
Dragons, elves and shifters abound in these five sweet, romantic fantasy tales. But, no matter the realm of origin or the race of the species, one theme resonates throughout. To find a love that’s lasting, one must be willing to take off the mask, and reveal their true heart.
Affinity by Dana Wright
Behind the shadows lies the truth…
A magic mirror and a houseful of ghosts await Kristen when fate leads her to Wanderly House. Secrets and spirits consume her days, but one look in the magic mirror and her heart falls fast. A mask, a cloak, and a key leading her to an enchanted evening in the faery garden might be Kristen’s end as all that glitters may well have sharp teeth.
Magic mirror on the wall…
Connor is trapped in Faery. With only a view through a bewitched mirror to the real world, his attention is nabbed by a curious cat shifter with a ghostly following. Can he find a way to break the spell that binds him so he can reach the girl that haunts his dreams?
When the forces of Faery and Wanderly House collide, will Kristen and Connor’s love be enough to save them?
Water Woman by Claire Davon
Sparks fly when a Spanish water woman, and an African two-horned horse shifter meet at a masquerade. Kimoni has gone to ask Isidora to use her skills to aid him with his ailing grandfather. When strangers claiming to be Isidora’s relatives try to force her to share her powers, the pair is plunged into danger. Isidora and Kimoni look for a way to fight the ruthless intruders, while also saving his grandfather.
Using their combined powers, they meet the challenge, all the while conscious of the growing attraction between them. It has been a long time since Isidora has met a man who calls to her as Kimoni does. The strong, handsome horse shifter sings to her senses, and she sees a matching spark in his eyes. Can love between them blossom? Can a water woman and a horse shifter find happiness together?
Dragon Law by Nemma Wollenfang
The kingdom of Baelin is under attack. A terrifying dragon rains fire down on the capital city, burning all in his path. The people’s one hope lies with the Princess Draxa, who – in accordance with an ancient rite – must willingly sacrifice her future to sate the beast’s wrath.
For her kingdom, Draxa will do it. She will leave Andre, the fierce soldier she loves with all of her heart, don her red cloak, and make the treacherous trip into the heart of the mountain, to face the monstrous Lord Siouxlian in his lair.
Feather Fall by Sheryl Winters
Brooke Adair’s autism has turned the world into a constant puzzle, especially when it comes to men. When she meets fellow swan shifter Blake Landen in a dream, though, Brooke feels a potential connection to someone who could understand her. If she lets him.
But trusting in Blake takes a whole lot more courage than Brooke has. After all, if she doesn’t take this leap, Brooke might miss out on meeting the one man she could actually learn to understand.
Add it to your Goodreads list
Enter the Giveaway to win a $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Join the rest of the tour stops. Read reviews and excerpts. Click on the button.
Masked_hearts_tour_button

It’s Nearly November. You know what that means!

October waxes and wanes. Or is that the moon?

Either way, in just a few days the most insane month of the year will be upon us. If you’ve been following me for a least a year, you know what I’m talking about.

National Novel Writing Month

What is it?

November has been adopted by a group of industrious writers. They want to encourage and motivate everyone who has ever said, “I’d like to write a novel one day” do just that.

PrintSo they offer up a challenge: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

For further details, check out their website.

In short, the project you begin on November 1 must be completely original. You’re welcome to have outlines, character sketches and other planning tools in place. You aren’t allowed to use any of those words to count toward the 50,000-word goal.

If you “win” (which means you write 50,000 words before midnight on November 30th), there are many sponsors who offer up prizes. My favorite scores: Scrivener for half price and a free upgraded membership at Scribophile.

What this means for my blog

This will be the third year I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo (the acronym for this event).

In 2013, I wrote the second book of my now-abandoned series Gates of Astrya. I wrote the entire first draft, about 63,000 words, in twenty-three days.

Twist of Lime CoverLast year, I was a NaNo Rebel. I wrote a collection of short stories, rather than a novel. If you recall, I hadn’t planned to participate at all.

And then my writing friend laid a guilt trip convinced me it was in the best interest of everyone if I did participate. Since I had set a goal of writing and attempting to find publishing homes for six short stories, I decided to use that creative time to write short stories. I made 50,000 words in twenty-one days.

This year, I’ll be crafting a novel. It’s the novel I mentioned a few weeks ago. The one that has its roots in a short story to be published in February by Month9Books. Since you haven’t seen me screaming about how the publisher loved the idea I outlined, it will probably be the book I’m polishing and trying to market next year.

Except I’ve got a few new plans and goals for writing in 2016. But more on that later. After the crunch of NaNoWriMo.

Since I’ll be spending all my words, energy and creativity on writing a novel in November, I’m only going to post on Mondays. That’s still five posts. My goal is to have all of them written even before you read these words.

Yes, most of them will be about NaNo. To all of my non-writing followers, I apologize. I’ll try to keep the posts short. Right now they have titles like “Finding a Novel Idea” and “Five Ways to Get Unstuck during NaNo.”

I hope you’ll stick with me during this blindingly creative season. On the other side, I might even have some wisdom to share.

Or at least some humorous anecdotes.

Summer’s Sweet Embrace – Blog Tour Stop

SummerEmbrace_CVR_FinalToday, I’m thrilled to introduce you to SIX great romance authors. Each of these ladies has a short story in the recently released Summer’s Sweet Embrace romance anthology. Most of them also have other publishing credits. (Clicking on a name will link you with all that information.)

One of them was published with me in Accidental Valentine. Two of them are friends of mine through a fantastic online critique website. I’m happy to have all of them here today.

So, ladies, do tell. What is your most romantic summer memory?

Michelle Ziegler says:  “Who is going to believe that my life has been rather uneventful during the summer months?  I never had any romantic summer flings in high school or college. Most of my boyfriends were pretty sad and non-romantic also. Growing up has some benefits.

I got married in summer, and I can’t think of anything else more romantic than walking down the aisle. It’s most every little girl’s fantasy to pick out a white dress have walk towards a man that is so happy he looks like he might burst. I really don’t think my husband had ever looked so happy, not even on the day he proposed.”

*sighs* Ah, yes, weddings are SO romantic.

Laurie Treacy says: “My most romantic summer memory is attending summer concerts with one particular boyfriend. Since music was so important to both of us, spending time together, being outdoors under the stars, with him holding me couldn’t have been more romantic. Later on, I married him. ”

Holding each other beneath winking stars on a summer’s night is romantic indeed!

Christa MacDonald says:  “Summer was just beginning and my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Nova Scotia.  We decided (after much cajoling on my part) to leave our secluded spot and travel to Prince Edward Island.  I’m an Anne of Green Gables fan so this was like a pilgrimage to me.  I was probably annoying the entire time we were there, dragging him all over the island, fan-girling at every turn in the road.  After hours of exploring, instead of demanding we go home, he took me for a walk down Lover’s Lane. Since it was so early in the season, there wasn’t a soul around us.  He held my hand and gave me this soft, half-amused, half-sweet look, and I knew this whole day had probably been a complete bore for him, but he’d stuck with it, because he enjoyed my happiness, because he loved me.  It was as perfect, storybook moment.

(And yes, my husband is totally a Gilbert)

My husband would do the same thing. You have a winner there, Christa. Don’t let anyone tell you Gilbert isn’t romantic.

Jaylee Austin says: “In college my boyfriend at the time, Chris, lived in Newport Beach. We spent almost every day together. He worked in an exclusive DVD/CD store, which in the eighties was a new concept. Records were the norm. We’d sit and talk for hours. He lived close to the beach so we’d spend time there. Music, dinners, and each other made it a delightful romantic time before school started in the fall.”

Summer romance at it’s best. That’s what this anthology is all about, right?

Niki Mitchell says: “My most romantic summer memory was a night at the beach. I took a stroll along the beach with my date, and he kissed me under the moonlight for the first time.”

First kiss beneath a summer moon on the beach *swoons*

Melissa J. Crispin says:  “One summer morning, I hopped on the back of my husband’s sport bike and we rode up to the Bear Mountain Bridge area in New York. For me, there’s nothing quite like the contentment of being on the motorcycle with him. It’s always too loud to talk, impossible even with our helmets on. So, with my arms wrapped around his waist, I leaned in close and enjoyed the ride. He took us through a fun mix of twisty streets and wide-open roads, and with it being so early, no one else was in sight. It felt like it was just me and him, and it was as if the rest of the world was still sleeping. The views of the Hudson River were gorgeous, and we were able to stop and take a few pictures.

After we were finished admiring the beautiful scenery, we made our way to a small place off the beaten path that served an awesome brunch.

Perfect weather, good food, and the best guy a girl could ask for—it doesn’t get much better than that.”

You’re right, Melissa. Sounds like a perfect day all around.

Sheryl Winters says: “There is a hotel on the beach in Homer Alaska called ‘Lands End.’ My dream vacation would be a room on the second floor. I could write to my heart’s content peeking out the window every now and then at Kachemak Bay. The hotel has tiny balconies where you can sit and watch the Eagles swoop by. Boats drift into the harbor, seagulls fly, it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.”

Sounds like a perfect writing retreat, Sheryl. And what’s more romantic to a romance writer than a writing retreat? Nada!

SE Tour Button

Check out Summer’s Sweet Embrace and hold onto the romance of this sultry season just a little bit longer.

Click on the button at the left to check out the other stops on the tour.

Thanks so much, ladies,  for stopping by today and chatting with us.

What’s your most romantic memory (summer or otherwise) reader? Anyone remember which of these ladies co-authored with me? Any of my guests want to claim me as your “writer friend” via Scribophile?

Embrace Summer Reading with Summer’s Sweet Embrace

Happy Book Birthday to Summer’s Sweet Embrace!

Make sure you scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway for a copy of the book (TEN breath-taking romances, perfect for those long summer nights) and a $10 Amazon gift card. And don’t forget to come back next Thursday to discover each author’s MOST ROMANTIC summer memory.Summer’s Sweet Embrace
A Sweet Romance Anthology
by Various Authors

Release Date: August 19, 2015
Genre: Romance Anthology (Short Stories)
 Summertime love is always the sweetest. These eight sweet tales of summer romance are the perfect companion for a day at the lake or the beach.
Truly Paradise – Michelle Ziegler

Waiting for the right one can be torture. 
Too bad for Hailey, impatience got the best of her. Finding Mr. Right in time for a destination wedding couldn’t happen fast enough. Instead of listening to reason, or rather her friends, she’s stuck in paradise alone, again. Nothing ruins a tropical paradise faster than catching your date with another woman. 
Justin’s ready for a change. He’s been caught up in his own success for too long and is looking to finally settle down. Timing is everything and his cousins wedding is the perfect start of his new life. His luck is changing with the captivating mystery woman on the beach.  Now all he has to do is find her, before he agrees to his family’s match making plot.

Ocean Dust – Laurie Treacy
Carly Dawson, 18, is facing her last summer before leaving for college, all alone. Still nursing a broken heart over the loss of her boyfriend, Chase Montgomery, she wants the next two months to be different. A shocking unexpected visitor one night just may offer Carly the excitement she seeks. Her only decision is whether or not to choose what this visitor offers her.The Beach Rose – Christa MacDonaldAnnie Thomas can’t believe her good luck when she inherits the family’s beach house in Oceanside Maine.  It’s one of the few places she was truly happy so she sells everything she owns, quits her job, and moves in hoping that her new business, The Beach Rose, will bring in enough money in its first season to let her live up there year round.  But on her first day things aren’t as easy or as simple as she’d hoped.  To cap it off she discovers that her best new client is actually the boy she had a huge teenage crush on.  So much for rekindling a summer romance.

For Craig, Annie was everything he wanted when he was a geeky seventeen year-old.  Now that he’s pushing forty and the owner of half the real estate in town, he wants another shot at convincing her that he’s everything she needs.  He didn’t count on her owning the business he just signed a contract with though.  Craig has to find a way to help Annie’s struggling business without her knowing it since anything else would push her further away and that’s the last thing he wants.

Together they may get a second chance for a summer romance.

When the Sea Swallows the Sun – Kim Strattford

A trip to Clearwater Beach was supposed to be a fun escape from the D.C. rat race for Emma and her boyfriend Sam.  Until Sam dumped her, leaving her with a ticket she was too cheap not to use and a resolution to enjoy her time in the sun and get over him.  A plan that sputters when Sam’s good friend Rick shows up.  Rick, who’s never seemed to approve of her for reasons she’s never understood.  Rick, who seems to think he has license to bug her just because he bought Sam’s ticket.  Rick, who may be a much nicer guy than she ever realized, and who might have a very good reason for not thinking much of her.  Can they make peace in the beautiful Florida sun and surf?  Peace—or maybe more?

Love’s Nectar – Jaylee Austin

What if fate pushed you to make a choice between keeping a promise and revealing a truth? After her grandmother’s death, she opens an unexpected letter containing an unwanted request. Isabel feels obligated to honor her grams final wish. In the process she risks losing the man of her dreams.

Six months before their marriage Isabel reveals a time bomb that will forever change their lives. He loves her but the betrayal of not trusting him weighs heavy on his heart. Trust means everything to Seth.

One ring, journal, box, spirit, and flower will teach everyone the power of commitment and the importance of honesty.  Secrets left buried will always haunt the living, a life lived truthfully leads to happily ever after. Will Isabel and Seth realize this before they are doomed to replay the mistakes of the past?

Love’s High Tide – Niki Mitchell

Tired of the vacationers hitting on her, surf shop owner, Skye Taylor quits dating. In walks the cocky, Harley Nicholson from Idaho. She’s not open for another summer fling. Can he convinces her to give love a chance?

Harley sees Skye shooting through the Huntington Beach Pier on her surfboard. Mesmerized by the woman’s connection with the wave, he sets out to meet the brazen surfer. He bets his cousin that before he leaves in three weeks, she’ll be his.

Skye’s life is kept busy running the Epic Surf Shop and training for annual surfing contest. The handsome, buff Idahoan interests her, but she doesn’t want another disastrous summer fling. Harley charms her into giving him a surfing lesson, woos her with moonlight strolls, and coaxes her with sweet gestures. Skye discovers Harley’s betrayal. She refuses to see him or hear his explanation.

Miserable, Harley must do something monumental to win her back. Will Skye ever forgive Harley?

Linger – Melissa J. Crispin

Tracey Thompson isn’t like most twenty-year-olds. She’s looking forward to settling down and marrying her soul mate, Noah Martin. Even though their love bloomed when they were just little kids, they never doubted it and never looked back.

When a tragic accident separates Tracey from Noah, she struggles to go on without him. As the days wear on, she becomes aware of a chance for them to be together once again. All she needs to do is understand what tore them apart in the first place. But, overcoming this is harder than it seems. Will she be strong enough to find her way back to him?

Above Reproach – Sheryl Winters

Executive Secretary, Margaret Simms should have had it all. An apartment on the beach and a job at Reynolds Ad Agency, working for her best friend and business mogul, Garrett Reynolds.

A one night stand leads to a pregnancy and a re-evaluation of her life goals. In reality, Margaret’s always hated her office job and culinary school is her life dream. But that too is ripped away from her when Garrett, her best friend and father of her child, develops cancer.

Obligation forces her back to the work she hates. When office espionage threatens her life, Margaret finds she must make a choice. Stand up for what she truly believes in or lose all she’s ever wanted.

Roane Publishing                      Amazon
Amazon (UK)                       Smashwords


GIVEAWAY!

A paperback copy of Summer’s’ Sweet Embrace and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code.  No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing’s marketing department.

Tour Schedule

Cover Reveal: Summer’s Sweet Embrace

SummerEmbrace_CVR_Final

Summer’s Sweet Embrace

A Romance Anthology
By Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: August 19, 2015

Truly Paradise – Michelle Ziegler
Waiting for the right one can be torture.
Too bad for Hailey, impatience got the best of her. Finding Mr. Right in time for a destination wedding couldn’t happen fast enough. Instead of listening to reason, or rather her friends, she’s stuck in paradise alone, again. Nothing ruins a tropical paradise faster than catching your date with another woman.
Justin’s ready for a change. He’s been caught up in his own success for too long and is looking to finally settle down. Timing is everything and his cousin’s wedding is the perfect start of his new life. His luck is changing with the captivating mystery woman on the beach.  Now all he has to do is find her, before he agrees to his family’s match making plot.

Ocean Dust – Laurie Treacy
Carly Dawson, 18, is facing her last summer before leaving for college, all alone. Still nursing a broken heart over the loss of her boyfriend, Chase Montgomery, she wants the next two months to be different. A shocking unexpected visitor one night just may offer Carly the excitement she seeks. Her only decision is whether or not to choose what this visitor offers her.

The Beach Rose – Christa MacDonald
Annie Thomas can’t believe her good luck when she inherits the family’s beach house in Oceanside Maine.  It’s one of the few places she was truly happy so she sells everything she owns, quits her job, and moves in hoping that her new business, The Beach Rose, will bring in enough money in its first season to let her live there year-round.  But on her first day things aren’t as easy or as simple as she’d hoped.  To cap it off she discovers that her best new client is actually her teenage crush.  So much for rekindling a summer romance.
For Craig, Annie was everything he wanted when he was a geeky seventeen year-old.  Now that he’s pushing forty and the owner of half the real estate in town, he wants another shot at convincing her that he’s everything she needs.  He didn’t count on her owning the business he just signed a contract with though.  Craig has to find a way to help Annie’s struggling business without her knowing it since anything else would push her further away and that’s the last thing he wants.
Together they may get a second chance for a summer romance.

When the Sea Swallows the Sun – Kim Strattford
A trip to Clearwater Beach was supposed to be a fun escape from the D.C. rat race for Emma and her boyfriend Sam.  Until Sam dumped her, leaving her with a ticket she was too cheap not to use and a resolution to enjoy her time in the sun and get over him.  A plan that sputters when Sam’s good friend Rick shows up.  Rick, who’s never seemed to approve of her for reasons she’s never understood.  Rick, who seems to think he has license to bug her just because he bought Sam’s ticket.  Rick, who may be a much nicer guy than she ever realized, and who might have a very good reason for not thinking much of her.  Can they make peace in the beautiful Florida sun and surf?  Peace—or maybe more?

Love’s Nectar – Jaylee Austin
What if fate pushed you to make a choice between keeping a promise and revealing a truth? After her grandmother’s death, she opens an unexpected letter containing an unwanted request. Isabel feels obligated to honor her grams final wish. In the process she risks losing the man of her dreams.
Six months before their marriage Isabel reveals a time bomb that will forever change their lives. He loves her but the betrayal of not trusting him weighs heavy on his heart. Trust means everything to Seth.
One ring, journal, box, spirit, and flower will teach everyone the power of commitment and the importance of honesty.  Secrets left buried will always haunt the living, a life lived truthfully leads to happily ever after. Will Isabel and Seth realize this before they are doomed to replay the mistakes of the past?

Love’s High Tide – Niki Mitchell
Tired of the vacationers hitting on her, surf shop owner, Skye Taylor quits dating. In walks the cocky, Harley Nicholson from Idaho. She’s not open for another summer fling. Can he convinces her to give love a chance?
Harley sees Skye shooting through the Huntington Beach Pier on her surfboard. Mesmerized by the woman’s connection with the wave, he sets out to meet the brazen surfer. He bets his cousin that before he leaves in three weeks, she’ll be his.
Skye’s life is kept busy running the Epic Surf Shop and training for annual surfing contest. The handsome, buff Idahoan interests her, but she doesn’t want another disastrous summer fling. Harley charms her into giving him a surfing lesson, woos her with moonlight strolls, and coaxes her with sweet gestures.
Skye discovers Harley’s betrayal. She refuses to see him or hear his explanation. Harley must do something monumental to win her back. Will Skye ever forgive Harley?

Linger – Melissa J. Crispin
Tracey Thompson isn’t like most twenty-year-olds. She’s looking forward to settling down and marrying her soul mate, Noah Martin. Even though their love bloomed when they were just little kids, they never doubted it and never looked back.
When a tragic accident separates Tracey from Noah, she struggles to go on without him. As the days wear on, she becomes aware of a chance for them to be together once again. All she needs to do is understand what tore them apart in the first place. But, overcoming this is harder than it seems. Will she be strong enough to find her way back to him?

Above Reproach – Sheryl Winters
Executive Secretary Margaret Simms should have had it all. An apartment on the beach and a job at Reynolds Ad Agency, working for her best friend and business mogul Garrett Reynolds.
A one night stand leads to a pregnancy and a re-evaluation of her life goals. In reality, Margaret’s always hated her office job and culinary school is her life dream. But that too is ripped away from her when Garrett, her best friend and father of her child, develops cancer.
Obligation forces her back to the work she hates. When office espionage threatens her life, Margaret finds she must make a choice. Stand up for what she truly believes in or lose all she’s ever wanted.
Get ready for summer romance. Summer’s Sweet Embrace available at your favorite retailers on August 19, 2015.