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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


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:

AJ Chase Contest Winner…


Stacey Smith! (Comment #9)

Congratulations! Please check your email for info on how to claim your prize.

Guest Blog Post & Contest: What Kind of Shifter Would You Be? by AJ Chase

Today I have a special guest. Please welcome AJ Chase! :) Her paranormal romance debut featuring shifters Cat and Mouse is out now.

Cat and Mouse

CAT AND MOUSE by AJ ChaseFor Katherine Stapleton (aka Kitty), being a shape-shifter isn’t nearly as glamorous as the novels and movies make it out to be. It isn’t all raw, animalistic sex and superhuman physical prowess. There’s also the hairballs.

Kitty has spent her entire life being a less-than-perfect were-cat. She can’t control her animal changes, so she decides to excel at matters human. After a decade of worldly successes, she’s back home for her ten-year high school reunion. Yet, she feels just as insignificant as she did back in school — except with Sam Philmore, a fellow D.C. lawyer and past classmate. And her former secret crush. In just three days Kitty gets the bad memories, the good times, the bitter truth, and a mouthful of one very sexy man who just happens to be a mouse sometimes…

Now…here’s our guest! AJ has generously offered to give a copy of Cat and Mouse to one lucky commenter! Answer her question at the end for your chance to win! The giveaway is open to everyone regardless of their location. The drawing ends midnight October 29th (US ET).

In my book Cat and Mouse, released October 20th from Freya’s Bower, my hero and heroine are both shifters. But they aren’t the cool or glamorous kind. Since the name of the book is Cat and Mouse, I guess I won’t be revealing much in saying that one is a cat and the other a mouse.

The heroine mentions early on in the book that she knows some were-lizards, were-turtles and were-otters (they just lie on their backs and do cute little things with their hands.) So if you were capable of changing into an animal and all the super cool options given to us by books and movies were unavailable, what sort of shifter would you be?

Lets say, for the sake of this exercise, that you also can’t chose cat or mouse, because lets give the hero and heroine their moment in the were-sun. I think, if pressed, I would choose to be a were-fox. I’d like to tell you there’s some deep, significant reason for this. But the truth is I just think foxes are cool. And female foxes are called vixens. How fantastic is that for a moniker? Rock on, little vixen. Rock on.

I also think it might be kind of fun to be a were-monkey. You could take a break from a hard day at the office by flinging yourself around off the ceiling and throwing crap at people. Slightly gross yes, but I bet it would be immensely more satisfying then lodging a formal complaint with the proper authorities.

Just for the sake of doing things in threes, it might be a lot of fun to be a were-parrot. You sit on people, eat with impunity because people keep shoving crackers in your mouth and no one would ever hold you responsible for anything you say. Don’t blame me. I’m a parrot.

So what about you? What sort of under rated animal would you change into? Personally, I also wouldn’t mind being this thing.

I look forward to hearing your answers and you can find Cat and Mouse here.