Guest Blogger

Hello Summer!

To kick off the month of August with style, I'm hosting ten wonderful guests from August 3 to August 16.

Guest Appearance Schedule:

» August 3: Joely Sue Burkhart
» August 4: Susan Porter
» August 5: Alex Nordach
» August 6: Kate Cuthbert (website going live on August 6)
» August 9: Kait Nolan
» August 10: Sandy Wills
» August 11: Maria Zannini
» August 12: Emily
» August 13: Zoe Winters
» August 16: Renmiu

They'll be covering various topics from the genres they love, their personal experiences / stories and awesome things they've learned while writing, etc. I've even got a tendonitis expert lined up to help with wrist pain. So please stop by!

As for me, I've had a very productive working month in July. I've finished up to Step Three for the All's Fair revision. My accountability group has been enormously helpful in motivating me and keeping me working hard. (If you're interested in joining, please check it out here.)

To reward myself and to "reset" my eyes for the next step in the revision process, I plan to read during the next two weeks. The following titles are currently on top of my TBR list (alphabetical order by author's name):

The ever-wonderful BookDepository just dispatched Kiss of the Rose by Kate Pearce as well, so hopefully I'll get it before August 15.

I hope your summer's as productive as mine, and may your August be blessed with awesome books!

Wanted: Guest Bloggers for Early-to-Mid August (Non-Authors Welcome!)

Got a book coming out soon? Want to pimp your favorite authors, books and/or TV shows? Or just want to chat about what interests you the most?

Here's your chance. I don't usually open my blog up for guest bloggers -- actually this is my first time, but I've decided to have guest bloggers from August 3 - August 13. You don't have to be a writer to guest blog, and I won't allow blatant 100% pure unadulterated self-promotion.

Possible Topics:

If you're a writer:

  • How I write
  • How I revise
  • How I plot
  • Cool Things I Learned While Writing (my latest release, etc.)

If you're a reader / writer / neither of the above:

  • Why you should try (author, book, series, TV show, hobby [such as knitting, etc.], product and/or service you like) -- You may not pimp your own books, products and services, but you can pimp your friends' if you'd like.
  • My Favorite Summer Spots (or Winter for those of you in the southern hemisphere)
  • Why I like (genre, season or anything else)
  • Things you wish were different
  • How to's -- recipes, tips, etc.
  • Anything else that you feel strongly about (except politics and/or religion!)

In return for your time and effort I'll:

  • Put your name in my monthly message (along w/ a link to your website or blog [or other social media profiles you have any] if applicable) on my main page for the entire month of August.
  • Put your guest post on my main index page (not just the blog page) for 24 hours.
  • Put your cover graphic up (just one....sorry...!).
  • Put your byline (a short bio, etc.).

Please leave a comment and/or contact me via email.

Thanks!

P.S. I already have five or so people interested. I'd love five more. Thanks!

Confession of a Worldbuilding Junkie

Today I have a special guest. Please welcome Kait Nolan. :) Her paranormal romance Forsaken by Shadow is out in ebook now!

Forsaken by Shadow

FORSAKEN BY SHADOW by Kait NolanBanished from their world with his memory wiped, Cade Shepherd doesn't remember his life as Gage Dempsey, nor the woman he nearly died for. But when Embry Hollister's father is kidnapped by military scientists, the only one she can turn to is the love from her past. Will Gage remember the Shadow Walker skills he learned from her father? If they survive, will Embry be able to walk away again?

Sample the first three chapters free!

Buy: Scribd, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, the iBookstore

Confession: I am a world-building junkie and have been longer than I've been writing paranormal romance.

In my prior genre, romantic suspense, I spent a lot of time (LOT of time) researching police procedure, forensics, FBI policy and the like. Writing predominantly about serial murder, I was really concerned with "getting it right" because God forbid I write something and have a professional stumble across it and not take me seriously. I bought tons of books. Two full shelves in my office are devoted to textbooks on forensics, pathology, homicide, serial killers, and psychological profiling. How many people do you know who'd buy a copy of Practical Homicide Investigation as their own birthday present? I wrote people to ask questions, lurked in forums trying to get answers. And while all that was totally fascinating to me (uber-geek here), it really bogged down the writing and held me back. All of that was a kind of world-building, and it was my absolute junkie nature that was allowing it to take over and let the story fall to the wayside.

Moving back into the paranormal (surprise! That's what I was writing when I started way back in the day) was an attempt to free myself of the obsession. Yes, in any kind of paranormal or fantasy story world building is essential, but the primary difference is that I make the rules. Instead of having to obsess over whether current day FBI would actually get involved in a serial murder in our post-9/11 society (probably not), I can do anything I want as long as I stay within the bounds of the rules I create for my world. The possibilities are limitless, and I admit, totally play into my God complex. Didn't you know a lot of writers have a God complex?

Of course, being me, I couldn't give up my obsession with the FBI, so I did the next most logical thing: I created my own. Except rather than going all X-files and making a division that investigated the paranormal in our own world, I created a group that deal with the laws governing the paranormal world. The Investigation and Enforcement Division are responsible for -- as the name implies -- the enforcement of paranormal laws and investigation of crimes in the Mirus (my term for the broader paranormal) world. They're under the command of the Council of Races (imagine a paranormal United Nations as the ruling body of the Mirus). Also under the Council's command are the Shadow Walkers, the Special Ops Force of the paranormal world, who are able to manipulate and travel by shadow. All these groups have methods and procedures, of course, but since I make the rules myself, I don't get bogged down in whether or not it's "right".

The prevailing question of the series is what happens if their greatest law -- keeping their existence a secret from the humans -- were broken on a large scale? What happens if a whole faction of the Mirus world actively seek to start the apocalypse? Not the traditional Christian idea of apocalypse with angels and demons and the 4 horsemen, mind you, but rather a literal apocalypse -- a lifting of the veil between the human and paranormal world. As much as I enjoy writing a good serial murder, I have to admit that this kind of world, this kind of setup gives me a lot more room to play.

Now that I've got you curious about my world (I hope), this is the part where I plug my book. Your sneak peek into the Mirus world comes in the form of my debut paranormal romance novella, Forsaken By Shadow. It starts when IED Agent Embry Hollister finds out that her father has been captured by human military scientists -- and the Council has no intention of mounting a rescue mission. She'll do anything, break any rule to free him. Ultimately the only person she can turn to for help is her father's protégé and her old flame, Gage Dempsey, who was banished from their world a decade before with his memory wiped. He's built a whole new life for himself as Ultimate Fighting Champion Cade Shepherd and doesn't even remember Embry exists. All Embry has to do is find him, restore his memory, convince him to take on this suicide mission, help him regain his abilities as a Shadow Walker, and if they survive in the end, walk away again to protect him from the world that wants him dead. She can do that...right?

Forsaken By Shadow is available for $1 at Scribd, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore.

Kait's writing blog Shadow and Fang
Kait's cooking blog Pots and Plots
Kait on
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Guest Blog: "Let's Tell a Story" by Teresa D'Amario

Today I have a special guest. Please welcome Teresa D'Amario. :) Her paranormal romance Lone Wolf is out in ebook now!

Lone Wolf

LONE WOLF by Teresa D'AmarioOnce the victim of scientific experimentation by the Government Control of Supernatural Activities (GSA), Damon doesn't have a past, and he isn't sure he has a future. He doesn't even know if his ability to change from human to wolf is a virus, or magick. But the instant he lays eyes on the pretty cop from the local police force, he knows he has to learn the secrets of his past before they destroy her future.

Krystal is the best animal cop on the police force, hiding magickal talent beneath layers of excuses and quick thinking. For five years she's tracked Peter Burke, a butcher who steals any form of canine to supplement his dietary needs. The day she saves a wolf from losing his head at the sharp end of an axe, her entire life changes. And then there is Damon, the mysterious, sexy ex-soldier with no memory of his past who awakens fantasies of dark and sensual nights.

But the GSA isn't finished with Damon, and when the shadowy government agency joins forces with Burke, Krystal too finds her life in jeopardy, the target of men and women led by their own desires. Damon and Krystal must work together to stop evil and destroy years of illegal research. But can their budding love survive when experiments distort Damon's shifting skills, creating a monster?

Read An Excerpt Online

Buy: All Romance eBooksKindle

Hi everyone, and thanks for dropping in on Day 2 of Ted's Story. I guess one of my questions today will have to be about a title, cause Ted's Story so does not work for me. :D Anyway, for those who haven't been following, rather than blog about all my childhood secrets, I thought I'd write a little story, but to write it, I'll need your input. :) Chapter 1 of "Ted's Story" can be found at my blog calendar.

So without further ado, I'll introduce you to chapter two of the story and be ready to help guide me in the next step!

*** *** ***

Ted stared for long seconds, feeling her voice as it trickled down his spine like a thousand delicate fingers, caressing and teasing every part of him.

Then, as though she felt him watching, the woman turned to meet his gaze. Bright blue eyes stared back at him. Crisp, like on a cold winter's day, brighter than the afternoon summer sky, they drew him in, piercing him through to his soul. For that single instant in time, he wondered if she could read everything about him. He shrugged, then stepped forward. It was time someone helped this woman, no matter what she looked like, or what secrets it felt those eyes held.

"Sorry for the delay," he ground out, surprised at the roughness of his voice. He stepped up to the counter and pulled out a citizen complaint form, spinning it to face her and pulled out a pen. "What can I do for you?"

The woman frowned, her mouth tense. "I need to report a missing person." Her eyes trailed over him, then she stepped back, her face grimacing in distaste. Ted fought the urge to frown in return. Hell, he'd had women not be interested before, usually because they found him intimidating, but none had such a strong reaction as to step away from him.

"Who's missing?"

He scanned her, his gaze trailing over those delicious feminine curves, her hips and breasts just right for a man with large hands, not to big, and not too small. He fought the urge to smile. He'd bet they were nice and soft, too. Just the way he liked his women.

She cleared her throat and he looked up to meet those icy blue eyes.

"Are you finished?" she demanded.

Ted fought the urge to growl the rumble of anger rising in his throat. It was a shame her personality didn't match the rest of her.

"I asked, who's missing?" he said, fighting for that last vestige of southern charm he knew he had tucked in his head somewhere. He tried to offer her his best concerned look. It didn't work. She was busy digging into her purse and didn't even look up.

"My brother."

At least it wasn't a boyfriend or husband. Now why would he care about that? But he couldn't help himself. He glanced at her finger to confirm it was bare. It was. Ignoring the unusual rush of.... something... in his gut, he jotted down a few notes.

"And when was the last time you saw him, Mrs. --"

"Miss. Sasha Corwin."

"Well, Miss Sasha Corwin," he rolled the name over his tongue, "when was the last time you saw your brother?"

"More than twenty years ago." She finally found what she searched for in her purse, and pulled out a small photograph.

"And you are just now reporting him missing?"

"No, Barney Fife. I didn't say he'd been missing twenty years. You asked how long since I'd seen him, and that's more than twenty years. He's been missing three or four months."

Ted ignored the derogatory reference. It came with the territory. That territory being a small North Carolina town not far from the Andy Griffith memorial statue in Raleigh. "All right," he said, through clenched teeth. "So he's been busing three or four months and you are just now reporting it."

"I didn't know," she said, her tone filled with exasperation. He wanted to shake this beautiful woman until her teeth rattled. Or kiss her until she quit staring at him like some back woods hick police officer.

He snatched the photo from her fingers, flipping it around to see a skinny boy about six years old. He stood in the woods, petting a dog. He narrowed his eyes and looked closer. No, that was a wolf. "I take it this is him?"

She nodded. "Yes. We had different mothers, so we lived in different cities. While I haven't had contact with him since just after that was taken, everyone always kept me updated on how and where he was. About three months ago, the reports stopped. When I checked with his family, it turned out they hadn't heard from him for some time. The last they heard he was about to end his time in the service and come home. It never happened."

"And do you have a name for this man?"

"Connell. Damon Connell."

Ken arched a brow in surprise. He knew a Damon Connell. The guy with the memory problem his partner married. "And you say it's been several months? Do you have any information about where he lived? Have you been to his home?"

"Of course I have," she scoffed. "It's been cleaned out. All of his stuff is gone. No forwarding address was left with the landlord."

"I see." He handed her the picture back. He couldn't tell her he knew where Connell was, until he was sure the man he knew was the right one. He slid the complaint form closer to her and handed her a pen. "Write what you know here. Include any points of contact of who may have seen him last. While you're at it, put the make and model of his vehicle, his age, and a description if you can." He waved toward the picture she still held. "Something a bit more recent than that."

Wow, that's a lot, isn't it? Let me give you a little background on the characters just so you know.

Ted is not human. He's not a shifter, but he's not human. Sasha is a shifter (Wolf) who's in from out of state. The next chapter will be in HER POV. As you can tell, she is not from the same pack as her brother, and hasn't seen him since childhood. Her pack is in the hills of Tennessee.

*** *** ***

So, here's your questions:

  1. What IS Ted, if he's not human? (And yes, he can go out in the daytime, so whatever we choose, we have to work around that).
  2. What suggestions do you have for a working title, so far? Ted's Story just doesn't work.
  3. After taking her statement, Ted will escort her to her car. A man will approach. One from Sasha's pack. Who is he to her, and what does Ted think of him?
  4. I haven't described Ted yet, because we have been in his point of view. What do you think Ted looks like? Give stats ladies!!!

Now for prizes:

  • Grand Prize: A $50 gift card at the online bookstore of your choice.
  • Unadvertised prizes will be given on random days. You won’t know when, but I’ll choose them and post on the blog in question once you have won!

LONE WOLF by Teresa D'AmarioThere are two ways to enter:

  1. Leave a response on each blog I'm visiting -- one entry for every blog you comment on during my blog tour. Multiple comments a day do not get you additional entries for the small giveaway, but will for the larger one.
  2. Email me at desertpetiri@aol.com with a copy of the receipt for the purchase of any Teresa D'Amario book, so long as it was purchased after 15 December. Older receipts do not count, though I'd love to know you've read one of the books. Five entries for every receipt. If you prefer not to share receipts, simply email me and so long as I'm satisfied, I will provide you with the credits.

So follow along, ladies and gentlemen, to help me write a short story, and to enter for the prizes!

Again, the entire blog schedule is found on my blog in the calendar, which will include links to each blog participating!

The next stop on the blog tour is with Smexy Books on Monday, so don't miss it!

Guest Blog: "Eye of the Hurricane" by R. F. Long

Today I have a special guest. Please welcome R. F. Long. :) Her romantic fantasy The Scroll Thief is out tomorrow in trade paperback!

The Scroll Thief

THE SCROLL THIEF by R. F. Long

Love is the wiliest thief of all.

A Tale of Ithian

Malachy and his sister rely on his talents as a thief to survive the dangerous streets of Klathport, former capital of the once-great kingdom of Ithian. Stealing a few papers should have been a simple job. Instead, it nearly costs their lives and throws them into an improbable alliance with a shape-shifting official, a desert tribeswoman, and a healer of enchanting beauty.

Cerys is far more than a simple healer -- and the roots of her mission go deeper into the past than anyone can know. She needs Malachy's skills to recover a stolen scroll, one that can be used to rewrite history and, in the wrong hands, release the dark powers of the Demon Realm.

Her mission was supposed to atone for a dreadful, long-ago act. Instead, it unleashes a chain of events which sees them pursued through city and desert by the fearsome Dune Witch and a killer known only as His Lordship. Romance, tragedy, and adventure blend in a tale of a magical land on the brink of war, and five unlikely allies who, by putting their lives -- and their hearts -- on the line, have the opportunity to finally set things right.

But at a terrible cost.

Read An Excerpt Online

Warning: Contains scenes of graphic violence and torture, captivating magic and beauty, two dashing heroes, three gutsy heroines, several love stories and a heartbreaking sacrifice.

Buy eBook: My Bookstore and MoreFictionwiseKindle

Buy Print Book: Amazon USAmazon UKBook Depository USBook Depository UKB&NMy Bookstore and More

Now...here's our guest!

I've stood in the eye of a hurricane. It's an astonishing feeling. Everything goes quiet and still, almost peaceful, but at the same time there's an air of charged expectancy, of waiting, an undercurrent of tension. There's more to come. It's not over yet.

A bit like the moment after your book is published. You've written it, dreamed of it, slaved over it, cried over it (especially if you happen to be me), bitten your nails to the quick waiting to see if it's accepted. Then comes the excitement of edits, rewrites and the art forms. The thrill of getting that first version of the cover. Things go in waves, one after the other. All the time, building to a crescendo.

Publishing day, celebrations, a glass of wine perhaps, champagne if you're lucky, and maybe a nice meal with family and friends.

And then...

The eye of the hurricane. It gets so quiet immediately after publication that maybe you wonder if it ever actually happened at all. You wait, sometimes for ages, to see if anyone mentions it, or better yet reviews it favourably. And sometimes that means waiting, and waiting. Nothing in publishing moves fast, and you can't force people to tell you what they thought (apparently...huh!). So you wait, because you must.

So while this happens what is a writer to do? Poke around the internet? Eat smelly cheese and hope for the best?

Well, to be honest, the best thing you can possibly do is the one thing that actually got you into this position in the first place. Write. Start a new story, start a whole series of stories. Write some articles, or blog about your process. But write, write, write.

Nothing helps sales of a published book as the publication of another, and while a writer does some advance promo on a forthcoming title, readers may look for another title they haven't read.

But one very important reason remains paramount for me. Namely sanity.

I can go without writing for about a week. Not a lot more. I'm not entirely sure why, but as soon as I order myself to take some time off (and I have to, fairly frequently thanks to certain underlying workaholic tendencies I do my best to ignore in everyday life), the ideas pop up. It's another eye of the hurricane moment -- between projects, just before something grabs me and we're off on another adventure in words.

A phrase I've heard in publishing is "hurry up and wait". I've heard it about air travel too, but it's not so amusing there either. Hurry up, meet that deadline, get those files sent in, polish it until it shines... and wait.

I knew from a very early age that I was a writer. Not that I wanted to be a writer, but that I was a writer. I didn't want to write so much as needed to write. I've written all my life... all right, made up stories all my life. Sometimes that's the same thing!

One thing that always strikes me about writers is that many of them are exactly the same. There's a sense of not actually having a lot of choice in the matter. Stories come and go. Some of them just keep coming back until you make an effort to get them down on paper. Some of them start strong but then slip away, perhaps forever, perhaps for a later time when the writer is better able to tell them. Some can never quite be grasped, no matter how hard you try. But they are always there. My own, and others. I am a pain to watch films and TV with, either guessing the ending, or making up my own version in my head.

So if I ignore the stories, and try to stay in that quiet eye what happens? Generally they just get louder. Or worse, suddenly there are so many plot bunnies arriving that it's impossible to concentrate on just one anymore even if I want to. The key with everything is to savour the moment of quiet and then dive in again.

Back into the hurricane.

About R. F. Long

R. F. LongR. F. Long always had a thing for fantasy, romance and ancient mysteries. The combination was bound to cause trouble. In university she studied English literature, history of religions and Celtic civilisation, which just compounded the problem.

She lives in Wicklow, the Garden County of Ireland, and works in a specialised library of rare and unusual books.

But they don't talk to her that often.

You can learn more about her and contact her through her website: www.rflong.com.

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