Tag Archives: paranormal
USA Today Bestselling Author, Casi McLean, presents a political thriller with military and supernatural elements in Reign Of Fire.
To expose a faction threatening America’s democracy, Emily Rose joins forces with a team investigating her sister’s murder, but she never expects to fall in love – or to encounter her twin’s ghost.
Ashton Frasier accepts his detective career choice means a life of bachelorhood – until Emily Rose blows into his world. The spitting image of his latest victim holds a mysterious allure he can’t deny. Surrounded by danger with the country’s democracy at stake, Emily and Ash uncover a dangerous faction threatening to take the White House. Can a ghost spark love to expose the truth?
Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.
Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.
Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.
Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC.
When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dogs.
Welcome to my weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters.
I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Robert Herold…
A Passion For Paranormal
We all feel a little unnerved when the power goes out, when we are plunged into darkness, when we are booked into a room on the 13th floor, or when 13 is missing from the elevator options, and most especially when people we know pass away. People have huddled around fires since ancient times to keep away their fears, both real and imagined. Today, when the power goes out, we cluster around that scented candle on the coffee table, or that flashlight app on one’s cell phone—until the battery wears out. Are we really so different from those in the past?
Imagine it is 1885, the beginning of the modern era. Science is making new strides in hitherto unexplored areas: chemistry, physics, psychology, even applying the scientific method to the hereafter – exposing frauds and maybe, just maybe, proving the existence of life after death. This was a passionate sideline for William James, a real figure from history. He was a famed Harvard professor, father of American psychology, and brother to the famous writer Henry James (author of The Turn of the Screw, among many others).
Professor William James helped found the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research, who applied the scientific method to investigations of the supernatural. Eventually the group in America became headed by a dogmatic skeptic and James had a falling out. Using this as a springboard, I imagined he then started his own investigative group, The Eidola Project (eidola being a Greek word for ghost). Some real investigations, including those that are downright spooky, are woven into the story, especially while he is building his team of paranormal researchers.
In addition to William James (age 42), the Eidola Project consists of Annabelle Douglas (age 28), one of the first graduates of The Harvard Annex (later known as Radcliff), Sarah Bradbury (age 18), an authentic medium, Edgar Gilpin (age 26), a brilliant African American physicist and graduate of Howard and Yale Universities, and Nigel Pickford (age 39), one of the youngest Confederate officers, who in the years following the Civil War is plagued by paranormal visions & has become a drunken derelict. Each contributes to the group, but each has his or her own peculiar baggage and set of weaknesses.
Professor James directs The Eidola Project from Harvard, sending them off on various missions, and occasionally joining them (akin to “Rupert Giles,” a character in the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The Eidola Project are intrepid explorers of the supernatural, but in doing so, they enter the darkness and become ensnared in a dangerous investigation of a haunted house, where they encounter all sorts of things that go bump—or worse!
It’s 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium’s séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.
The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.
Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.
Will any of them survive?
Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.
“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.
Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.
Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.
Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.
Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out…
Animated Book Trailer (17 seconds!): https://youtu.be/SZovJ-MZQ5Y
About the Author:
The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)
As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)
He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.
Ultimately, he hopes the book gives you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.
Weekly feature where authors share about the hobbies, careers, or passions of their characters. I’m pleased to introduce today’s guest, Kristal Dawn Harris…
STAINED GLASS & VAMPIRES
Red Snowflakes is a paranormal Christmas romance featuring a vampire. In Red Snowflakes, the lead male character is a vampire. Dimitri, the vampire, creates stained glass snowflakes for each year spent waiting for his mate. He hangs them on his Christmas tree as a beacon for her to come to him, but she never does. That’s just part of the story. You’ll have to read the book to find out more about this highly talented vampire with such a unique hobby! LOL
The term stained glass can refer to colored glass as a material or to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture.
As a material stained glass is glass that has been colored by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. The colored glass is crafted into stained glass windows in which small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, traditionally held together by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame. A soldering iron is used to melt the lead.
Stained glass, as an art and a craft, requires the artistic skill to conceive an appropriate and workable design, and the engineering skills to assemble the piece. A window must fit snugly into the space for which it is made, must resist wind and rain, and also, especially in the larger windows, must support its own weight. Many large windows have withstood the test of time and remained substantially intact since the Late Middle Ages. In Western Europe they constitute the major form of pictorial art to have survived.
Stained glass is still popular today, but often referred to as art glass. It is prevalent in luxury homes, commercial buildings, and places of worship. Artists and companies are contracted to create beautiful art glass ranging from domes, windows, backsplashes, etc. Most people are familiar with stained glass, but aren’t aware that you can do it at home. This is a craft that you can get into on your own with beautiful results, as long as you have the right tools.
I recently picked up an old, wooden, window frame on the side of the road. To most it looks like junk, but to me, I envision a masterpiece! I’ve ordered a beginner’s stained-glass kit online and can’t wait to get started. Once my project is complete, I’ll upload the finished project. The book, Red Snowflakes, released November 6, 2019. If the thought of a vampire who is an artist gets you just a little bit curious, this might be the romance book for you!
Forensic photographer, Dena Williams, has spent her life trained to see what others cannot. Vampire, Dimitri Kovac, has waited every Christmas for a miracle that does not come. In the Oregon wilderness, during a snowstorm, these two destined souls collide. Dena’s only hope of survival rests in a vampire with the heart of a poet. Dimitri only has five days to win a skeptical woman’s heart. As the Christmas tree lights burn brightly and the snow continues to fall, will Dena succumb to a vampire’s charms? With so little time, can Dimitri win her love?
Dena stood her ground waiting until he stopped directly in front of her-toe to toe. Her eyes lifted from his broad chest to his face. His breath caressed her skin in whispery touches. This close she could see the small lines around his eyes and the long length of his eyelashes. She’d photographed numerous crime scenes and witnessed the arrest of several criminals, so she knew the eyes of a killer. This man did not have those eyes. Predator yes. Murderer no. The sea-blue depths emanated tranquility, but there was something else there as well.
Trained to see things others didn’t, Dena’s head tilted while studying him trying to see what evaded her eyes. Engrossed in his features, almost drawn to him on a level her mind didn’t understand, her body leaned forward. He didn’t move away, but his pupils tracked every move she made. Dena focused on his eyes letting her own senses expand. Something was different in those sea-blue depths. They say the eyes are the mirror to the soul, but his seemed more like a mask. Her body jerked when the black of his pupils bled into the white until his sockets completely blacked out, then shifted back to their normal sea-blue color. Curiosity led her. One foot slid between his as she moved even closer until their bodies brushed. For some odd reason, she wasn’t afraid. “What are you?”
Kristal Dawn Harris is an award-winning American author, born in Middletown, Ohio. She currently resides in Ohio with her husband. Kristal has been married for 27 years and has two children. She graduated from Carlisle High School, then furthered her education at Miami University. She has a business degree in Accounting Technology. Kristal spent twenty years working as an Office Coordinator in the hospital until she released her debut novel, “The Rings of Faolan-Emeralds,” through The Wild Rose Press.
In 1999, Kristal suffered a debilitating disease called “Guillain-Barre Syndrome.” This rare disease damaged the nerves in her body requiring the use of drop-foot braces in order to walk. Kristal considers herself a survivor and encourages anyone with a disability to follow their dreams.
Kristal is considered a hybrid romance author since she published “Hand-Carved Wolf” and “Thief of Hearts” on her own. Kristal is an avid reader who enjoys romance from all genres, but paranormal is her favorite.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
I’m happy to share a freebie from my dear friend, Tina Fausett. It’s only free for a limited time, so grab it while you can!!
Tainted – Part 1 (A Shift in the Universe) by Tina Fausett
The first installment in the ongoing saga of A Shift in the Universe is FREE for a limited time…
Amazon purchase link:
Part 1 – Tainted:
A jealous, malevolent wife hooked on prescription drugs, a husband caught between reality and carnal fantasies, and an angel cast from heaven, are all bound together by their hatred for one woman whose spells and manifestations catch them in a downward spiral towards hell…Gina Faulkner, thought to be a voodoo queen, owner of Swamp Witch Pickles in New Orleans, is the center of it all.
Bane Colton, dangerous and cocky, sees Gina at the French Market and the game is on. He makes up his mind he’s going to break the feisty redhead with the infamous kinky reputation, body and soul. And Gina’s ready to be a player, until Bane’s estranged and demented wife, Beverly, wants him back.
Enter enigmatic Darsh, known to many as the Angel of Death, who’s watched over Gina since she was fifteen and has loved her almost as much as he’s hated her. Now they would come face to face. He could save her from certain peril, but could never save her from herself. Would she destroy them all? At the very least, a shift in the universe was coming.
“I had a love once that I never got over. I still dream about him, think of him, wonder if I’ll see him in heaven. No, it wasn’t your grandfather, Ian. I did love him. But sometimes there’s one person your soul meshes with so completely that you don’t care if you ever have sex because it’s worth a lifetime just to see them once in a while.” His grandmother looked off as if she were seeing someone in the distance. “Can you understand what I’m saying?” She turned back to him, her gaze penetrating.
“No,” he lied as tears stung the backs of his eyes.
“Sometimes, you love someone so much you almost hate them for it, for to hate someone you have to be capable of loving them. Who is it that you just lied about? Who is it that you hate?”
“No one, Grandmother…no one.”
“I’ve always felt sad for you, Ian, never having known what it’s like to be in love. But I see it in your eyes. You know what it’s like to be in hate.”
Darsh stood, walked to her, bent, and kissed her cheek. “No one is worthy of my hate,” he whispered.
“If you saw her today, the woman unworthy of your hate, what would you feel for her?” the old woman asked knowingly.
“Extreme dislike,” he answered, his eyes narrowing. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do before dinner.”
Darsh turned down the hallway towards the library. My world’s crumbling…I can’t keep going like this.. He ran his hands through his hair. It’s all finally catching up to me and soon nothing will be the same. A shift in the universe is coming and Gina Faulkner’s bound to be at the heart of it.
Check out the other stories in the series…
Link to other installments:
About the author:
Tina Fausett was born and raised in Oklahoma City and attended both the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma University, majoring in History and English. She’s a published poet and novelist, as well as an oil painter, historic home specialist. She’s owned an antique store and art gallery and currently runs a company called Red Hot Mamma’s Pickles in Oklahoma City where she lives in an historic neighborhood. She’s lived in the Garden District in New Orleans, the city she loves, and tries to spend her time between the two cities. Tina has a daughter, son and granddaughter that are her main focus.
Find Tina Here:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/tina.fausett
Please help me welcome Pamela S Thibodeaux, an author friend who is sharing a Christmas anthology with us…
Keri’s Christmas Wish by Pamela S Thibodeaux, a finalist in OKRWA’s 2017 IDA contest is part of the Mistletoe, Snow and Suspense collection of 5 Christmas stories by 4 acclaimed authors, available for a limited time @ only 99cents!
About Keri’s Christmas Wish: A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?
A few favorite lines:
* The entire world went bug-eyed crazy when it came to Christmas.
* When Jesus was born doesn’t matter, only the fact that He was, He is and He ever shall be…in a world without end.
* The light grew stronger, brighter. Beckoning. I need to get to the light.
Fun Fact: This entire story evolved from one quick vision: A young woman scrolling on the internet and mumbling “Bah-Humbug” over Christmas in July ads. Keri and I have a lot in common, I LOVE Christmas but not all the hype and and commercialism around the holiday.
What was the best thing about writing in conjunction with other authors: What’s so great about this anthology is that each author contributed an already published book – there was no real collaboration or reason to feed off each other with the possibilities of something not working.
KERI’S CHRISTMAS WISH by Pamela S Thibodeaux
Can Keri get past her angst over Christ’s birth and enjoy the Christmas season?
THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL THIEF by Lillian Duncan
Zoe Adams has a secret—one that’s worth killing for!
WORKS OF DARKNES by V. B. Tenery
Some secrets just won’t stay buried.
ANGELS AMONG US by V. B. Tenery
In the season of Love, Peace and Joy, a chance meeting with a young woman in a supermarket sets Detective Cole Allen on an urgent quest to save the lives of three young women.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE ENEMY by Mary Vee
A family Christmas just can’t be celebrated with one of them on the grounds.
Excerpt from Keri’s Christmas Wish:
She awoke in another dimension. Keri had no idea if she was in Heaven, but neither did she fear Hell. Her surroundings were reminiscent of a dense forest at dusk. Shadows danced against a sunset where brilliant colors bled from the sky. A light shone in the distance but as she moved toward it, Keri felt as though she plowed through molasses. Unease pricked her skin. The sound of water drew her deeper into the woods until she stood at the base of a vast waterfall and rapids so swift she dared not attempt to cross the river.
The light grew stronger, brighter. Beckoning.
I need to get to the light.
Buy link(s) for Keri’s Christmas Wish:
Ebook Link: http://amzn.to/2ePnias
Print Link: http://amzn.to/2g4o4yG
Bio for Pamela S Thibodeaux:
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU
Please help me welcome… (Be sure to check out her adorable author pic!!)
Sorchia DuBois__Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones currently for sale and a preview of upcoming release Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen
Book Cover Strategery
Don’t judge a book by its cover is a great metaphor for life and relationships, but when it comes to literal books we do literally judge them by their literal covers. In a few weeks, I’ll be sending my request for a cover to my publisher. While I don’t have total control over the result, I can make suggestions. Trouble is—I’m never sure what to ask for. So I’m asking for help.
We authors put a lot of time and effort into designing covers people will notice. We try to make the cover an illustrated promise of the content. Two things that have a huge impact on a cover are genre and audience.
Now my book happens to be:
- A romance.
- The second in a series of three.
- About witches. Not green ones, but modern-day, cat-loving, job-having, curly-fry eating, car-driving witches who just happen to have a particular skill set.
- Set in present day time in locations including Arkansas, New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan jungle, and Scotland.
- Infested with voodoo and modern day pirates along with seductive male witches, evil priestesses, Columbian emeralds, betrayal, hurricanes, and true love.
- About the protagonist’s growth as a woman as much as about romance and mystery and magic.
My audience is primarily women over 21. I don’t think there is an upper limit because I’m mumblety years old myself but I still think of myself as a vibrant and youngish person. They are a free-thinking, independent group and they have the scars to prove it. They like challenges and mystery, and they like men—or is that redundant? They also like diversity, adventure, and spooky stuff. They want steamy romance as long as it isn’t gratuitous and they dearly love twists and turns. They are intelligent and will not put up with stereotypes. Each and every one of them has a quirky sense of humor. They do not adhere to cultural norms unless said norms make sense to them—they don’t follow the crowd.
So how do I appeal to these gals with a cover that begs them to read the book? What will pique their interest? This is where I need your help because I suspect the preceding paragraph is a description of YOU.
If you want to help, follow this link https://goo.gl/forms/g9tzwNtXosXeHaYi1 to fill out a short survey of your cover preferences. It will take you about a minute and a half to do this and your responses will help me immensely. If you are interested in seeing the results, I’ll post them on my blog at www.sorchiadubois.com on August 25. You can hop over there and follow the blog or you can follow me on Twitter or FB.
As a reward, here’s a tiny preview of Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen, book 2 in my Zoraida Grey series. I hope to release this book Fall 2017.
The wooden screen door, swollen with the summer humidity, rasps as he pushes it open. “I never knew such a place existed where you could go naked and still be too warm. It is like walking about in a warm bath all day. ”
“So––feel better after your shower? A little less like an asshole, maybe?”
“I said I was sorry.” Shea balances his sandwich, two glasses, and the depleted bottle of Laphroaig in one hand. Even in the near dark, his gaudy Bermuda shorts give off a subtle glow.
“Who picks out your clothes anyway? Or do you find them in dumpsters?”
The whisky he hands me is cold but neat. He sinks into the lawn chair beside me. “I’ll have you know these shorts come highly recommended as standard American togs by no less than Constable MacCaig himself. I have three more just like them.”
Short, round, nearly bald, but with a detective’s discerning gray eyes, the image of Constable MacCaig makes me smile. Nothing in Black Bridge, Scotland, gets past Constable MacCaig––not even the witches in Castle Logan.
“Who knew Constable MacCaig was such a fashionista? At least we won’t have trouble finding you in the snow, come winter.” The faint light of the crescent moon shimmers faintly from indigo tattoos twining up his right arm and down his torso. I give myself another mental shake and concentrate on my whisky. “How did you and Constable MacCaig get so chummy?”
He does not reply immediately, but takes a drink. The muscles in his jaw knot. “We did not start out as chums.”
“And thereby hangs a tale, I guess.”
“Not a pleasant one. He accused me of spiriting his daughter away.”
After he pulled me out of the oubliette, Shea sent me to Constable and Mrs. MacCaig. A nurse, Mrs. MacCaig bandaged my wounds. Since I fled wearing only my underwear and bathrobe, she gave me clothes for the journey back to Arkansas––her daughter’s clothes. The coat, sweater, and jeans are tumbling in my dryer right now.
“MacCaig wouldn’t accuse you if he didn’t have reason.” My tone is harsher than I intend. I am an expert in the way male Logan witches manipulate, persuade, seduce. “That’s something I would expect from Michael, more than you.”
“Really?” His profile is black against the glow of the streetlights and the sky. “In this case, you would be mostly correct.”
A chill crawls down my back like a spider with eight cold feet. “What happened to her?”
He shakes his head, concentrating on the glass of whisky intently before he drains it. “I’m not certain.”
How deep into Michael’s plans is Shea––how much has he done and how much more does he plan to do to keep Michael’s trust? Whether he intends to prove his loyalty to Michael or to take Michael’s place as laird of the Logan witches, he’ll need help. He’ll need the Stone of Adamantine.
Johnny Lee Hooker slinks along the porch rail. His tail twitches and his ears cup toward the woods as the moon breaks free of the tree branches. A whippoorwill calls from the fringe of woodland, but this bubble of peace extends only so far. Outside, the world is uncertain and scary. On my very own porch, Shea Logan is proof of that.
Pick up the first book in the series, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSBN
Wild Rose Press:http://bit.ly/ZGandFSWR
Sorchia DuBois lives in the wilds of southern Missouri with seven cats, three fish, one dog, and one husband. She enjoys a splash of single malt Scotch from time to time and can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss heavy objects.
Her stories blend legends, magic, mystery, romance, and adventure into enchanted Celtic knots. Halloween is her favorite time of year (she starts decorating in August and doesn’t take it down until February) and her characters tend to be mouthy, stubborn, and a bit foolhardy. Nothing makes her happier than long conversations in the evening, trips to interesting places, and writing until the wee hours of the morning. Well, chocolate cake makes her pretty happy, too.
I’m online everywhere.
Amazon author page:
Goodreads author page:
Google +: google.com/+SorchiaDuBois
An excellent, inspiring article by Ashlyn Chase. You don’t want to miss this one!
I’ve always been extremely creative. I missed the clues that I might enjoy writing…like loving my creative writing class in high school and even earning an A+ from a tough teacher, but like I said—Duh. I had already decided to pursue fine art, so I stubbornly stuck to that goal. But at Mass College of Art I discovered there were far more talented people than I, and we were all going to starve. LOL
Fast forward several years with twists and turns like marriage, birth, divorce, and I became an RN to put food on the table. In nursing, creativity is highly discouraged by doctors who want you to follow their orders to the letter. Sheesh. I needed an outlet!
I took a course in screenwriting. That taught me how to tell stories, but Hollywood passed on my romantic comedies. Oh well. I lived closer to New York, anyway. So I turned my ‘movies’ into novels and found where I fit in.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Well, I don’t have to worry about that! I monitored my reading tastes to see what I might like to spend months writing. (Novels are a hellova lot longer and more difficult to write than screenplays.) I discovered that I liked reading the hot stuff! When I accepted this (and stopped blushing) I tried writing a steambath of a novel.
Back in the early part of this century, traditional publishers held the reigns. ebooks were almost unheard of. I had joined RWA (Romance Writers of America) and was trying the traditional route along with everyone else. I received a lot of good advice and continued to practice my craft, while submitting my first finished novel and getting a slew of rejection letters. Many self-published authors have missed this awesome opportunity to thicken their skin. There’s nothing like being told, ‘Thanks but no thanks’ to boost your self-esteem. (Pass the chocolate, please.)
Anyway, a fellow author who liked my writing but knew what I was up against, mentioned I might try epublishing. I didn’t know what it was. Heck, nobody did back in 2002. So, I looked into it and researched a few electronic publishers. I narrowed it down to three and submitted my manuscript. (Not the story that was rejected everywhere. By then I had taken the hint.) But I used what I’d learned from it and wrote a better book. I wasn’t letting rejection discourage me.
My ego finally got a boost when all three epublishers offered contracts! Oh my goodness. I picked one and began publishing. Let’s fast forward again. My ebooks were doing well. Reviews were positive and my romantic comedies were being nominated for (and winning) awards! I was having fun! Cool. I got from my readers what I didn’t get from a lot of my fellow writers. Respect. Epublished authors at the time were considered inferior. Erotica authors were considered the red-headed stepchildren. I was both.
Time to fast forward again. I kept trying to find a publisher that would put my books on the shelves at Barnes and Noble, make bookmarks for me, contract non-English translations…in other words, someone to make me world famous. LOL. I’m nothing if not a big dreamer. But it’s a funny thing about dreams. They won’t come true if you let them go. Eventually I wound up in the right place at the right time with the right idea. Lo and behold, I received “the call!” Yes. Editors used to call, not email. Some still do.
In 2010 my first mass market paperback came out. It was the start of a series. The series did well and garnered a spin-off series. The spin-off did well and they contracted another spin-off! Okay…we’re nine books into this thing (as of the August 1st 2017 release, Never Dare a Dragon.)
Are we done? Not by a long shot. I’m calling my Sourcebooks titles “The series that never ends.” I’m working on book 2 of another spin-off now. I’ll give you the run-down in easily digestible bites.
Strange Neighbors – the name of the book and series that started it all. Book 2 is The Werewolf Upstairs and book 3 is The Vampire Next Door.
1st Spin off series: Flirting with Fangs. Book 1 is Flirting Under a Full Moon; Book 2 is How to Date a Dragon; Book 3 is Kissing with Fangs.
2nd Spin off series: Boston Dragons. Book 1 is I Dream of Dragons; Book 2 is My Wild Irish Dragon; and book 3 is Never Dare a Dragon. Here, we’re up to date—publishing-wise.
3rd spin off series under contract: Phoenix Brothers. Book 1 is Hooked on a Phoenix. Finished and sent to my editor, waiting for the dreaded red pen. And what am I working on now? Book 2. Title? I don’t really know yet. I’m calling it Wing-men. I’ve rarely kept the titles I started with, so I’ll have to get back to you on that.
By the titles alone, I hope you can tell what I write. Light paranormal romance. And I’m not just an epublished or traditionally published author. Now I’m an Indie author too. The rights to several of my old epublished books have reverted to me. So, I’m updating, rewriting, and rereleasing many of these books, independently.
The roller coaster ride continues. I have an agent next to me now. She keeps me from screaming too loud or demanding the ride stop, because I can’t take it anymore.
Advice to the newbie… Yikes! Are you sure you want to do this? If no one can talk you out of it, no matter how many sensible arguments they throw at you, you just might make it. Ignore the haters and hang in there.
And if you’d like some company, I’ve started a wonderful conference for readers and writers that takes place in New England, smack dab in the middle of foliage season!
Wow…I’ve always been fascinated with New England. What a wonderful conference…I’d love to come. Maybe I’ll plan to do that.
Thanks so much for joining me today, Ashlyn!
Find Ashlyn here:
Please help me welcome author Judy Ann Davis, sharing her latest release and the…
“10 Moments that Changed My Life”
- In my senior year of high school, I was selected as a Rotary Exchange Student to Sweden and spent a year abroad traveling throughout Europe.
- After graduating with a journalism and communications degree, I worked for a television (WYOU-TV ) and radio station (WGBI Radio) in Scranton, Pennsylvania, creating commercials and continuity, preparing daily t.v. logs, and learning about the industry.
- I married my husband, Scott, and moved to Central Pennsylvania where I worked in education and industry writing technical and public relations materials.
- The birth of my first son in the middle of the coldest winter in December was a pleasant defining moment. A major in the Texas Air Guard and HC-130 navigator, he has been deployed five times, but has also managed to garner a degree from Texas A&M Law School.
- My birth of my second son on a sweltering day in August, two years later, was another spectacular event. My boomerang kid, a certified teacher and lawyer, is now an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Alaska.
- The day my husband presented me with a band saw was utterly awesome. I was able to start my own small woodworking business.
- When I received my first check for writing a short story for a literary magazine in Loveland, Colorado, called “Short Stuff for Grown-Ups,” I knew I had a chance at pursuing fiction. I framed the first dollar from that payment.
- When my first novel, Red Fox Woman, was accepted for publication in 2010, and was also selected as a finalist in the Best Book Awards from USA Book News as wells a finalist in the International Book Awards, my dream of being a fiction writer became a reality.
- Both my husband and I travel a lot with family so far away, but when we took a Viking cruise down the Rhine River, it was like a fairy tale come true. Castles, good food, and German beer!
- I sent in my DNA sample to Ancestry.com and received the results last week. My four grandparents emigrated from Poland, but Poland is bordered by seven countries and has been ruled by many other factions and countries over its long history. My results? Eastern European (Polish)…but 2% Finnish!
What a great list…I’m so envious of your Viking cruise. How cool. Thank you for joining me!
Just Released: FOUR WHITE ROSES – Can a wily old ghost help two fracture souls find love again? A romantic mystery with comedy and paranormal elements!
When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.
Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.
Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?
“Okay, the blue shirt with the gray slacks doesn’t make you look as stiff and lawyerly-looking as the white shirt does,” Marlene said. “Too bad you don’t have any softer-colored shirts.” She dangled three other ties in her hand she had brought along with her.
Rich glowered at her. “Lawyerly-looking? Softer colored? Are they even words? All I want to do is not look like an affluent stuffy lawyer with a stick up—”
He stopped and looked over at his small daughter, then continued in an irritated voice. “I want to look dressy, but not straitlaced or smug. You know what I mean.”
“But you are a stuffy lawyer, and it’s no secret your bank accounts won’t bounce, you dolt,” Lulu said with a huff. “I thought you and Torrie were going out as friends.”
He looked at the elderly housekeeper. “We are. But I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable, and I want to feel casual, but well-dressed.” He picked up a blue and white striped tie and held it to his chest. All three females groaned. He chose a darker blue one and the groans grew louder. He glared at them. “I’ll have you know some of these ties are pure Italian silk and cost a fortune. To some people, neckties are a symbol of success and authority.”
“Then send them back to Rome and let the Pope bury the lifeless-looking things.” Lulu rose. “They look like they should be on a corpse.”
Rich looked at Marlene. “Can you believe I’m paying her to insult me?”
Lulu snorted. “No, Perry Mason, you’re paying me to feed you, do your laundry, and oversee the household. The advice is free.” She headed for the door. “I’m going home, kids. See you in the morning.”
“I can’t wait,” Rich muttered and followed it with a dismal shake of his head.
Lulu paused and offered him a don’t-you-dare-tangle-with-me stare, then looked at Estella with a tender, warm, grandmotherly smile. “Your daddy doesn’t realize the only reason I take his grief is because I love to be with you, doll face. Tomorrow we’re making brownies and Perry Mason here is getting zip, zero, none, nichts, nada.” She headed out the door.
“Stop calling me Perry Mason!” Rich shouted at her retreating back. He heard her cackling laugh as she hustled toward the stairs.
BUY LINK for Four White Roses: https://www.amazon.com/Four-White-Roses-Judy-Davis-ebook/dp/B06XPBKY7F/
Visit her on:
Her blog: www.judyanndavis.blogspot.com
The web: www.judyanndavis.com
Facebook: Judy Ann Davis Author https://www.facebook.com/JudyAnnDavisAuthor/
Twitter: JudyAnnDavis4 https://twitter.com/JudyAnnDavis4
With a degree in Journalism, Judy Ann Davis has written everything from copy and continuity for radio and television to curricula and technical materials for industry and education.
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines and anthologies, and have received numerous awards.
When she is not behind a computer, you can find her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are few. She divides her time between Central Pennsylvania and New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Please help me welcome author Jean M. Grant, sharing her latest release and the…
“10 Moments that Changed My Life”
- Thai food and Comedy Improv night and talking in the rain – first date with my now husband of 11 years.
- When I saw the tiny flicker of a heartbeat on my oldest son’s ultrasound.
- Not passing the Ph.D. candidacy exam in graduate school– which took me on an altered Masters path in Immunology & Microbiology instead.
- The mentorship of an elementary school art teacher, who nurtured my creative soul.
- Traveling to New Zealand for my honeymoon – my first big trip anywhere– and what an inspiring, breathtaking one! (A trip to Scotland, also equally stunning and fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine, came a few years later).
- The phone call – when my son’s teacher called to express a behavior concern which ultimately led down the path of tests, doctors, evaluations…and a high-functioning autism/Asperger’s diagnosis.
- More food –this time spicy Japanese – that triggered labor and the birth of my enigmatic, exuberant second son.
- My mother’s death from ovarian cancer. I was only 25 at the time.
- The loss of my sister a year after my mother, this time to a car accident. She was only 27.
- The day an editor at The Wild Rose Press emailed to say, “yes” to give this writer a chance after 19 years of writing/trying/drafting practice novels to become a published author.
Wow, Jean. Such a fascinating list. It’s funny how life-changing moments are almost always a mixture of joy and heartbreak. I’m sorry about your mother and sister, so tragic.
Thank you for sharing with us today!
Two wedding nights. Two dead husbands.
Deirdre MacCoinneach wishes to understand her unusual ability to sense others’ lifeblood energies…and vows to discover if her gift killed the men she married. Her father’s search for a new and unsuspecting suitor for Deirdre becomes complicated when rumors of witchcraft abound.
Under the façade of a trader, Alasdair Montgomerie travels to Uist with pivotal information for a Claimant seeking the Scottish throne. A ruthless baron hunts him and a dark past haunts him, leaving little room for alliances with a Highland laird or his tempting daughter.
Awestruck when she realizes that her unlikely travel companion is the man from her visions, a man whose thickly veiled emotions are buried beneath his burning lifeblood, Deirdre wonders if he, too, will die in her bed if she follows her father’s orders. Amidst magic, superstition, and ghosts of the past, Alasdair and Deirdre find themselves falling together in a web of secrets and the curse of a hundred kisses…
She sensed no colors in the murky, lifeless water, and it was freeing. All breath escaped her. Muted visions passed before her eyes—her mother, her father, Gordon, and Cortland. Just a moment longer, she thought…
Suddenly, a burst of warm light invaded her thoughts as air filled her lungs. Red-hot hands burned her shoulders and ripped her from her icy grave. She breathed life into her body. She coughed, gagging on the change.
Muffled words yelled at her.
Oh, God, so hot. His fingers were like hot pokers. Her head pounded as she slowly returned to the present. Heat radiated from her rescuer. Somebody had pulled her from the water.
“Hush, lass. You nearly drowned.”
His voice was as soothing as a warm cup of goat’s milk on a winter’s day. A red-hot glow emanated from his body. Never before had she felt such a strong lifeblood, and it nearly burned her. She struggled in his arms to get free. She blinked, only seeing a blurry form before her. “Release me!”
She splashed and wriggled, and he did as told. She clambered to the shoreline. Numb and shaken, she began to dress. It wasn’t easy as she fumbled with slick fingers to put dry clothes over wet skin. She instantly regretted her naked swim. She pulled on her long-sleeved white chemise first.
She faced the forest, away from her rescuer. He quietly splashed to shore. His lifeblood burned into her back. He wasn’t far behind, but he stopped. She refused to look at him until she was fully clothed, not out of embarrassment of her nudity, but for what had just happened. He released a groan and mumbled under his breath about wet boots. His voice was not one of her father’s soldiers.
When she put the last garment on, her brown wool work kirtle, she squeezed out her sopping hair and swept her hands through the knotty mess. She fastened her belt and tied the lacings up the front of the kirtle. Blood returned to her fingertips, and she regained her composure. Belated awareness struck her, and she leaned down and searched through her bag for her dagger. She spun around.
She gasped as she saw the man sitting on the stone-covered shoreline, his wet boots off. Confusion and the hint of a scowl filled his strong-featured face. She staggered back, caught her heel on a stone, and fell, dropping the dagger. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her wet hands and feet, and she instinctively scrambled away from him.
His glower, iridescent dark blue eyes, and disheveled black hair were not unfamiliar. Staring at her was the man she had seen in her dream—it was the man from the wood.
Links on TWRP:
Jean is a scientist, part-time education director, and a mom. She currently resides in Massachusetts and draws from her interests in history, science, the outdoors, and her family for inspiration. She enjoys writing non-fiction articles for family-oriented and travel magazines, and aspires to write children’s books while continuing to write novels. In 2008, she visited the land of her daydreams, Scotland, and it was nothing short of breathtaking. Jean enjoys tending to her flower gardens, tackling the biggest mountains in New England with her husband, and playing with her sons, while daydreaming about the next hero to write about…