Top Ten Tuesday – Some Of My Favourites!

Morning, everyone! 🙂 We all made it through Monday! Woohoo! Now at least we can get on with Tuesday – Top Ten Tuesday, that is! Each Tuesday, I will feature ten of my favourite indie books for your perusal. They won’t all be the same genre, so hopefully there’s something for everyone. And today, I’ve even got a few freebies for you! Woot! 🙂

Lookit that gorgeous cover! And it's FREE!

Lookit that gorgeous cover! And it’s FREE!

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

Price: PERMA-FREE!

Blurb: Kendra Larkin had everything going in the right direction. Her life was seemingly perfect, and she wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. Unfortunately, the course of her life was about to be forever altered. A tragic rappelling accident lands her on Dr. Adam Chamberlain’s operating table.

She agrees to a deal proposed by a guardian angel to help save the soul of the man who is both her doctor and soulmate. If she is successful, she gets to keep her life. However, she later learns that it isn’t just her life that’s in jeopardy, but her soul as well.

Even with the help of her handsome guardian angel, Rhyan, it seems there is no happy ending in sight. Torn between her newly discovered love of Rhyan, and the undeniable attraction she has for Adam, Kendra finds herself at a crossroad. With Adam’s steadfast rejection of God, and his guardian demon conspiring against her, she fears her soul may already be lost.

Will she find a way to overcome the evil her life is suddenly burdened with? Or will Adam’s guardian demon win both their souls and make Kendra his own personal puppet in Hell?

This is a fantastic YA read, and really hits home with some big issues.

This is a fantastic YA read, and really hits home with some big issues.

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Price: PERMA-FREE!

Blurb: Piper Willow dies the summer after her high school graduation but she doesn’t make it to Heaven or Hell…instead she finds herself in a spiritual terminal called the Station. She’s given only two choices: Return to Earth as the subconscious for a person in need of some outside assistance, or move on and spend an eternity lost in her own sorrow and pain.

Does Piper have what it takes to save a life – to be the nagging voice inside someone else’s head – or will she fail and end up lost and tormented in limbo…forever?

“Excuse me, Niles…I mean, Mr. Abbott. But, where are we?”
“I’ll explain everything to you dear, just as soon as we reach the Station.”
“What station? We aren’t in the hospital? Where’s my Dad?”
“No Piper, this isn’t the hospital, and your father is at home…he’s fine. Please, follow me.”
He turns away and continues on through the light. I hang my head, staring at my bare feet as we walk. Even though my cuts are gone, I keep rubbing my arm. It’s soothing. I almost bump into Niles when he stops abruptly.
“We’re here,” he says softly.

AND this was nominated for a 2012 RONE award! What more do you need?

AND this was nominated for a 2012 RONE award! What more do you need?

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Thriller/Vampires

Price: $2.95

Blurb: *Nominated for a 2012 RONE Award from InD’tale Magazine*

Murder is serious business among vampires. If you kill, so do they. They are the Penitent – a military order among vampire society charged with one task only. Execute the condemned.

Vesper Hyde is a model Penitent. Solitary. Skilled. Deadly. Only once has she ever lost a target, even though it almost cost her life. Now the one that got away is back with a vengeance, and this time he’s determined to finish the job. She needs to overcome the whispers of doubt and let her instinct and training take over to redeem her failure. But on this second time around, she doesn’t expect a sidekick. A very sexy, stubborn, human sidekick.

Homicide Detective Decker Price has seen it all, including the murder of his wife at the hands of a twisted serial killer. When another murder pitches him headfirst into a world of vampires, witches, and sorcery, he is given a chance to mend shattered parts of his soul. But Vesper’s world is as dark and alluring as the Penitent herself and he will come face to face with echoes of his past in order to help her keep a vicious enemy at bay.

If they are to succeed, they will need to push aside both their failings and work together to ensure the balance of their worlds remains unchanged. Redemption comes at a cost – is their love worth the price?

More vampire-y goodness...you know you can't resist!

More vampire-y goodness…you know you can’t resist!

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense/Vampires

Price: $3.94

Blurb: “Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?”

At only a few hours old, Angela is left on the steps of St Paul’s church. Alone in the world, the only link she has to her past is a pink blanket bearing an emblem with two crossed swords and a snake.

A troubled childhood spent in orphanages leads to Angela attempting to rebuild her shattered life as an adult. Meeting the priest who found her eighteen years previously, she gets a job and a boyfriend, and settles into her new life.

Until she meets Jack.

Drawn to her new boss, she throws herself into work, feeling an unusual bond with people she hasn’t known very long.

Angela becomes embroiled in this new life, feeling a change within herself. A change which isn’t altogether human. Within this change she finds a terrifying secret…a secret which involves her past, her present, and definitely her future…

This is one of the funniest books you will read this year - what writer hasn't wondered this?

This is one of the funniest books you will read this year – what writer hasn’t wondered this?

Genre: Contemporary/Humour

Price: $3.76

Blurb: Polly writes chick lit and her debut novel is a worldwide bestseller. However, something strange starts to happen when she gets back from an international book tour. Polly finds that instead of art imitating life, her life starts to imitate art – or rather, her novel.

She arrives home to find her husband in the arms of the maid. Wasn’t that in Chapter Three of her book, Happily Ever After?

Her best friend is having an affair with her husband, too, and is pregnant! Isn’t that in Chapter Four?

Then she meets a bronzed Greek and embarks on a passionate love affair. Wasn’t that in Chapter Seven?

Will anyone believe her life is mirroring her novel? Can she prevent the ultimate tragedy or must the book play out, precisely as she wrote it, to the bitter end?

Her agent recommends that Polly go and live Happily Ever After on the proceeds of her book, and keep away from drama!

The beginning to an awesome YA series - that cover alone should entice you! :)

The beginning to an awesome YA series – that cover alone should entice you! 🙂

Genre: YA/Fantasy/Drama

Price: $3.98

Blurb: The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

The first book in another awesome series - plus be sure to check out the rest of this fab author's books!

The first book in another awesome series – plus be sure to check out the rest of this fab author’s books!

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal/Werewolves & Shifters

Price: $4.08

Blurb: **Not for readers under the age of 18+. Contains language and adult situations.**

Gabriel Slade runs Hollywood with his gorgeous blue eyes and egregious temper. No one knows that underneath it all is a man with a frozen heart, cursed to become a beast at every full moon. For seven days he has no choice but to roam the earth as a vicious animal, until he meets a woman who can change it all.

Luna Grace has a hatred for everything Gabriel Slade stands for, but she doesn’t even know what he looks like. When a chance encounter reveals feelings Luna never knew she harboured, it stands to reason that she would run.

Can Luna overcome her hatred and break the curse? Or will Gabriel’s temper keep her from realizing her true feelings, dooming him to remain the beast forever?

Another brilliant book in a series - doesn't that title just make you wonder what's inside?

Another brilliant book in a series – doesn’t that title just make you wonder what’s inside?

Genre: Romance/Contemporary

Price: $4.11

Blurb: “You can’t leave me because I’ll only ever love you.”

What was supposed to be a final goodbye turned into one last piece of unfinished business for Brody Walsh.

As long as Aggie Walker’s heart still belongs to him, he’s destined to remain in limbo, watching over her.
But when her family decides to send her to Scotland for the summer and she meets Camden MacTavish, it seems despite their constant head-butting that there may be something more between them.

That is, if she is willing to let Camden in.

As Aggie finds herself torn between her lover lost and her lover anew, it becomes clear that she cannot hold on to both. If she decides to let Camden into her heart, she will have to let Brody go. And if she can’t let Brody go, she risks losing Camden-and a second chance at love.
Forever.

That cover is the first thing that drew me in - gorgeous and so Lovecraftian!

That cover is the first thing that drew me in – gorgeous and so Lovecraftian!

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Price: $2.05

Blurb: Bookstore owner and novice antiquarian, Sebastian Kaine is proud of his new profession and even prouder still of the collection of antique books on the occult that he keeps locked away in the basement of his bookstore. But his little utopia is shattered one night when he wakes up in that same basement, bound and bloodied, and his prized collection all but destroyed. Making matters worse are the two strange men responsible for the carnage. They want The Seals of Abgal and insist Sebastian is in possession of it. Though he denies having any knowledge of the book, Sebastian soon finds himself at the receiving end of a brutal interrogation–one, he fears, he may not survive.

As he fights to stay alive, Sebastian will learn that The Seals of Abgal is no ordinary grimoire for it holds powerful secrets. Secrets that are older than time itself. And those that hunt it are driven by a hate even older than the secrets themselves.

**The Seals of Abgal is a dark fantasy novella of 20,892 words, or about 128 paperback pages.**
Awesome crime drama stories written with true grit. Great to see old-school crime drama is still out there!

Awesome crime drama stories written with true grit. Great to see old-school crime drama is still out there!

Genre: Crime Thriller/Drama/Historical

Price: $2.96

Blurb: Edinburgh 1745.

Deep beneath the rain soaked and wind scoured streets of the city a foul crime committed in the dark of night leaves two men lying dead in a dank cellar. A bankrupt young nobleman with an addiction to the twin vices of gambling and loose women stands accused of the horrific double murder and all the evidence seems to point towards his guilt. In desperation his lawyer turns to the one man in Edinburgh who can save him from the hangman’s noose.

Robert Young of Newbiggin.

He is a young man who has earned a reputation amongst the city’s legal fraternity for being the one person who can root out the truth by venturing into the capital’s criminal underbelly. His investigation leads from the elegant drawing rooms of Edinburgh’s high society to the city’s most infamous brothel and into the grim hovels of the lowest alehouses on the Cowgate.

But as more bodies are discovered Robert Young is forced to confront the possibility that his client may actually be guilty!

So that’s your lot! Still, I think ten books is an awful lot to be getting on with, right? 🙂 I hope you do decide to pick some of these great books up, and hopefully enjoy them! Remember, an indie author puts a lot of work into a book that will cost less than that coffee and chocolate bar you were going to pick up – yes, I know! – and it’s going to leave you with that happy feeling for an awful lot longer. Plus you get to go back to it if you really loved it, and you’re never going to make that chocolate bar come back. So go on, grab one of them before your sugar craving kicks in. 😉

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Snippet Sunday – Daughters Of Brigitania!

Morning, folks! 🙂 Hope your weekend is treating you well so far. Today I’ve got a wee snippet (the first chapter, actually) from Daughters Of Brigitania, the historical fiction I’m writing under my pen-name, Kathryn Northwood.  Enjoy! 😀

Chapter 1

Brigantian Rebirth

Two girls stood aside from the crowd, frozen expressions as they watched the druids chanting over the barrow. An old man lay within, curled in the position he entered the earth, his chariot beside him.

The older girl wrapped her arm around her younger sister, but her green eyes never lost their cold edge. The younger girl gave a sniff, but silenced herself as she remembered her place, and gave a short nod to her older sister. The arm fell away. A strong wind whipped through the valley, picking up their woollen cloaks and tugging them, creating the effect of flags flying out under their plaited auburn hair.

The druids and priestesses moved in a wide circle, chanting and murmuring to the gods, one of them holding a torch aloft. The flames from the torch flickered and danced in the wind, creating brilliant patterns in the air above as sparks jumped away. Some of the crowd behind the girls fell to their knees at the sight, sobbing as though their hearts would break. The older girl peered over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow, casting them a hard look.

The King was dead.

“Carti…does this mean you are now Queen?”

The whispered question from her sibling surprised Cartimandua. It was hardly the time for discussing such matters, but she understood that her sister Aiia was young, and didn’t always know when not to voice such concerns. She didn’t answer, but pressed a finger to her lips instead, indicating silence. A thrill ran through her at the idea though. Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes. I am now ruler of all northern Albion. The only thing that didn’t thrill her was the notion of her husband being King, even Prince Regent. An ugly frown darkened her face.

Their father, King Vecorigo, had wanted the marriage to go ahead to secure more lands for his daughter. The Brigantes were a tribe of hardened warriors, but years of trying to secure their lands against other tribes had decimated their coin and defences, and this was her only chance to have security. Her husband was at least ten years her senior, and he had already blessed her with child. Unbidden, her hand stroked across the bulge of her stomach, swollen with her son.

And who knows what will happen to Aiia now. I must make sure I protect her. Cartimandua’s eyes roved across to her thirteen-year old half-sister, taking in her drawn white face and tightly folded arms. Aiia had even less prospects than herself, as the illegitimate child of one of her father’s concubines. Cartimandua’s own mother had died in childbirth, so she had never known the loving touch of a matronly hand. Aiia’s mother had come by court many times, but only ever lavished attention on her own daughter. Cartimandua didn’t resent it, she felt just as close to Aiia herself, and the two had been true sisters as soon as they could utter words.

The chanting grew louder, and one of the druids stepped forward to usher the two sisters over to their father’s grave. Cartimandua gave the white-hooded man a curt gesture, and waved him away. He stepped back, and Aiia gripped her sister’s arm tightly as they made their way over. The trees around them twisted harder in the wind, sending leaves spinning down to cover the King in his final rest. The man the Brigantes had known looked so different in rest, so less forceful. He had been a well-respected King, despite the losses to other tribes, and his booming voice would be remembered by all as though it had spoken in their very ears. He lay in a foetal position, his body wrapped in a blue cloak, his head adorned with the gold band of his authority. It wasn’t until he had been laid in the barrow that the sisters had finally realised how old and frail he looked, with his grey moustache thinning across his lip.

Cartimandua thrust her arm out, dropping a richly-inlaid bridle bit into the barrow. She gave Aiia a nudge, and her sister tremblingly held out a bronze dagger, glinting in the weak evening sunlight as it fell in. Aiia leaned over to gaze at her father, whispering, “May the gods watch over your journey to the Otherworld.”

Cartimandua gave a sad smile at Aiia’s words, and tugged on her sleeve. The younger girl looked up at her, eyes swimming with unshed tears. “Do not worry, sister. He will be watched over and protected, even into his next life.”

The druids and priestesses stopped circling the barrow and swayed from side to side, lost in their utterances, the whites of their eyes turned to the heavens. Their hands rose as one, inviting the goddess Brigantia to bless the ceremony. One of the priestesses produced two silver spoons, both short and without stalks, and one with a small hole at the edge. Cartimandua gave an inward shiver at the sight. Even as a bloodthirsty Brigante, she wasn’t too comfortable with the druidic sacrifices. They were a necessity, nothing more. Without them, the tribe was vulnerable, with no graces from the gods. As she stared in horror, a druid produced a small animal, already slaughtered at the beginning of the funeral. The animal was tipped gracefully, so that its blood dripped into the first spoon. The priestess leaned the first spoon so that the blood trickled through the hole to the second, chanting to herself as the whole putrid mixture was poured into the barrow.

Cartimandua turned herself and Aiia away from the sight as they began the process of laying stones around the graveside, and faced the crowd behind. Her people. Denorix, Cartimandua’s husband, came forward and gave her a curt nod. She eyed him for a second, a curious expression crossing her features, before she turned her attention back to the waiting faces of the Brigantes.

The young girl cleared her throat, collecting her thoughts before she spoke. The crowd fell silent, the only sound the wind howling through the trees, shaking more leaves down in a golden carpet. Her hand tightened for a second on Aiia’s, before she let it fall away, clasping them before her in a regal gesture. “My people,” she called out, “face your Queen.”

Cries of, “Queen Cartimandua!” rose up among them, filling the air with a new sound. Aiia glanced down at the ground and repeated their confirmation, trying hard to bat away the tears that still escaped for their fallen father. Cartimandua attempted to remain stony, but a small smile etched itself onto her lips, and her emerald eyes sparkled with new purpose.

Copyright Kathryn Northwood 2013.

 

To find out more about Daughters Of Brigitania, and to follow Kathryn Northwood (AKA me LOL) in her run-up to publishing it, click here to keep up with her Facebook page! 🙂

Keeper of Shadows is Heeeeeeeere!

Well, this is a turn up for the books! Another bad ‘book’ joke, I’m sorry. 😛 Amazon has published Keeper of Shadows a lot earlier than it was supposed to go up, so you can officially get your copy now! Just scroll down to find out a little more about the book. And if you do pick it up, thank you so much for your support, and I hope you really enjoy it. 🙂 ❤

Keeper of Shadows

The year is 2038.

Feoran has followed through on his promise to enslave humanity, and humanity is being crushed under his oppression. Anyone who rebels is sent to the Factory.

Until one woman, Psyche Tawton, decides to run.

And she will prove his undoing.

Psyche leads an everyday life—well, for someone alive in the era of the Clan’s long shadow. A single event involving her best friend and her friends’ vampire master puts her on a road to rebellion, causing a ripple that will change the course of history, and the lives of those she comes into contact with.

Then she meets Torolf.

A werewolf with a chequered past, Torolf is instantly intrigued when he lays eyes on the violet-eyed beauty, but the wolf within him cannot accept a human as his mate. But deciding whether they should give in to their desires is the least of their troubles, as Feoran sets them firmly in his sights and makes them the centrefold for his newest horrific campaign. Starting with her best friend sent over to the Factory.

With the help of Torolf, the other immortals, and the Human Rebellion, Psyche will be the catalyst for the most important change in human history  since the Clan took over. But she will also be the catalyst for her own fate, unlocking a secret about herself that is so destructive…

…it may kill her.

 

You can pick it up from these links here!

Amazon US http://goo.gl/Mj36b7
Amazon UK http://goo.gl/1muWSE
Amazon CAN http://goo.gl/scfXEW
Kobo http://goo.gl/F16OtD
Smashwords http://goo.gl/SUqYb2
Moon Rose Publishing http://goo.gl/3Qtyek

Just another Manic Monday!

Morning, folks! 😀 That’s right, Mondays on the blog are now officially Manic Mondays! That means anything goes, so hopefully it gives you a giggle on that most hated of all weekdays. Today we’re going to take a look at book covers, along with more gifs. Always the gifs.

Now, it goes without saying that you need to get a book cover professionally done when you write a book – and that doesn’t mean you need to spends hundreds of dollars or pounds, but simply make sure it’s done by someone who knows their way around photoshop AND knows what readers want to look for.

1. Have a clear idea of what you want.

As a cover designer myself, I’ve often been a little frustrated by authors coming to me with what I thought was a clear idea, and wanting it changed completely (not tweaked) halfway through. If you don’t have a clear idea, neither will your designer or your readers. Try taking a look at books in a similar genre to your own, and mark out what you like about different ones. This can help you to decide what you want on your own, and also let you see what’s popular.

If Tennant can't decide, then we're all in trouble.

If Tennant can’t decide, then we’re all in trouble.

2. Trust your designer

Once you’ve got a clear design in your head, and given a brief to your designer, you now need to be prepared for a few things to be tweaked. If they make suggestions of things they either wouldn’t do, or would change, listen to the ideas. They know what they’re talking about – they do this for a living! I’m not saying do away with your idea altogether. But a common issue, for example, is wanting a lot of stuff on your single cover. New authors especially can want this, as you feel the need to get across as much of the book as possible. But sometimes less really is more. Take note of your designer’s suggestions, remember your own design, and talk it out together to create the perfect mock up.

That's all very well, Doctor, but can you make a fabulous cover in two weeks? I don't know about that.

That’s all very well, Doctor, but can you make a fabulous cover in two weeks? I don’t know about that.

3. Avoid the clichés. 

If I had a pound for every romance cover I’ve seen with a typical kissing couple, or a shifter book with a semi-naked man and wolf’s head on, I’d be a very rich woman indeed. Not only does it make your cover look like the other thousands of similar books out there, it looks as though you only gave your cover two seconds of your time. I’m not saying you can’t use these things. There are circumstances where they could be used in a very different way from usual, and it creates a fabulous cover. But for the most part, I would steer clear unless you’re 100% certain. Try picking something else out from your story that could be used – an object even, rather than people. Perhaps there is a particular piece of jewellery your main character wears? Do they have a penchant for that certain house? Maybe it’s a landscape that captures the feel of your characters. Think outside the box, and avoid doing what everyone else is doing.

Exactly.

Exactly.

4. Does it represent what happens in the book?

While you need to go outside the box, don’t forget it is that box that still defines your book, so don’t stray so far it’s unrecognisable. A sensuous, kissing couple surrounded by roses on a crime thriller is going to look very odd. The cover should attempt to be a 30 second pitch in one image. It doesn’t have to be the whole plot, or even a whole chapter, but it has to get the main thread across. Perhaps the whole book leads up to the reader finding out your main character is in fact a witch? In which case, it would be fine to have mystical symbols dotted around the image. Perhaps another angle is that someone holds a particular ring that can kill her? Maybe make the ring the focus, and stick to dark colours for the background, making the ring really glow or stand out in some way. It can be a punchy image, but it gets across what the book is about.

If you happen to be stuck in a glass case or box, please punch a big hole in the side so you can escape. Thank you.

If you happen to be stuck in a glass case or box, please punch a big hole in the side so you can escape. Thank you.

5. Make sure you like the final design

You’ve followed all the rules above, the mock ups have been tweaked within an inch of their lives, and the cover looks perfect. But do you like it? There’s no point having a cover that looks great, but you don’t like it – because you’ve got to market it. If there’s something you want tweaking with the final layout, tell your designer. If they’re a good cover designer, they won’t have a problem perfecting it for you, it’s what they’re there for!

I NEEEEED this cover. You have no idea how much. #CoverFeels

I NEEEEED this cover. You have no idea how much. #CoverFeels

6. Be prepared for change

No matter how much you love your cover, or how perfect it is, they do have a shelf life. (See what I did there? *giggle*) Think of any product you’ve ever bought, and especially any contemporary book. If you bought it more than a year ago, does the cover still look the same now? Two years ago? Chances are more likely it’s either had an update, or it’s changed altogether. This is because covers change to reflect adapting trends, or even because it’s slipping behind on sales – a refreshed cover can bring in fresh readers. I’m not saying change it every six – eight months – although if you’re doing your own covers and you’re able to do this, I say go for it – but aim to change the cover every few years at the very least. You might just be surprised how much it can give a lift to a book. 🙂

Gits. Just....GITS!

Gits. Just….GITS!

Click here to see my own cover designs, and even consider purchasing one from me. Whether you want one of my stock covers, or you want a brand new design from scratch complete with a trailer, you might just find what you’re looking for at Moon Rose Covers. 😉 www.moonrosecovers.com

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Snippet Sunday – Keeper of Shadows

Hello, everyone! 🙂 Well, I’ve actually managed to scrape enough time for myself lately that I’ve decided to set up a new blog schedule, rather than leaving it to ferment on its own. So borrowing an idea I’ve seen quite a few authors doing, I’m going to set up each day with a theme (one for Mondays, one for Tuesdays, etc.) so hopefully this might make the blog a bit more fun to read! 🙂

So of course, Sundays are going to be…..drum roll please……Snippet Sundays! There may also be more gifs. I’m just warning you. O_o And this week I’ve have a snippet from Keeper of Shadows, due out on Tuesday 30th June! Remember to mark your calenders! 😀

KOS banner3

Excerpt From Keeper Of Shadows…

People hung about in small groups, bartering over this and that, shouting and calling for produce. Many of them were behind makeshift stalls of wood and metal poles, calling and hawking their goods. Coloured sheets flapped limply in the breeze, some patterned with long-ago threads. The sheer vibrancy of the colours alone flooded Psyche’s brain, sending her senses into overdrive. And the produce itself was enough to keep her staring for hours, a treasure trove of foil-wrapped meats and sweets.

“Anything you want?” Torolf inquired, watching her face light up like a child’s. He smirked, and gave a sly wink. “I’d sure like to get you another chocolate bar. I remember how you enjoyed the last one,” he whispered next to her ear.

Well, that's the rudest thing said about chocolate I ever heard.

Well, that’s the rudest thing said about chocolate I ever heard.

Psyche flushed scarlet, and shook her head, tearing her eyes away from the temptation of both sweets and husky werewolf. “I’m good, thank you. I don’t want to ask you for anything.”

“You never ask me for anything. Didn’t you say you only once had chocolate? Before I got you some in the house, I mean?” He lost the smirk, and shook his head slowly. “There’s something not right about a world in which a woman only has chocolate twice in her lifetime. I’ll get you some chocolate. Women love chocolate. It’s traditional.”

Psyche stuttered. “Well, yes, I suppose. But I don’t—“

Her words were cut off as Torolf dragged her over to the stall, amid a worried sigh from Arianwen, who relented with a small grin. He stopped Psyche in front of one covered in various goods, squeezing her shoulders firmly to make sure she stayed there and didn’t run off from embarrassment. Small shaped objects in several colours were in paper bags, and one side of the stall was strewn with foil-wrapped rectangles. He gestured to the stall-keeper, a short man wearing a ratty blue shirt and sporting a scarred eye. As Psyche dared to look closer, she saw that the eye beneath the cut eyelid was milky-white. The stall-keeper grimaced at her, folding his arms, and turned his attention to Torolf.

“Aye?”

“Your finest milk chocolate, good inn-keeper.”

“We’ve got the usual. Take it or leave it.”

“Crappy brown-coloured plastic it is,” Torolf wise-cracked, grinning widely. The stall-keeper shook his head and muttered, turning away with a sheet of brown paper in his hands.

Psyche tried to protest once more. “Really, Torolf, this isn’t necessary. I can—“

Torolf closed his eyes for a second as the stall-keeper gathered up a few of the bars, spinning her around to face him. “Psyche, stop it. Just allow someone to look after you for a bit, okay? I’m not telling you what to do, or forcing you to do it. You don’t have to fight me. I’m just trying to do something nice for you. You know, and it’s chocolate.” Ignoring her open-mouthed gape, he turned to grab the package off the wizened man behind the stall, passing him a few bent and tarnished coins. Without another word, he shoved the parcel towards Psyche.

Fine, but if I get a coffee one, I'm out of here.

Fine, but if I get a coffee one, I’m out of here.

Regretting her earlier treatment of him during the day, she whispered, “Thank you.”

“Just promise to eat it in front of me,” Torolf chuckled hoarsely in reply. Seeing her still-humbled expression, he cleared his throat. His hand came up to scratch nervously at his scalp, something he seemed to do a lot when Psyche ignored his flirtations.

Psyche’s face broke into a cheeky grin at his uncomfortable stance, and she raised an eyebrow. “I might. Maybe I’ll wait until I’m in bed.” Her eyes sparkled with mischief as they rose to meet the werewolf’s, his jaw dropped at her bold statement.

“When you guys have finished with the pillow talk, can we please get going? We need to talk, and I need a drink. I’ve got Irish in me, you know.” Arianwen’s clear tones cut through the reverie, bringing the pair back to focus. She set on her heel and disappeared through the throng of people, heading towards the back of the Market.

drink

Hold the umbrella, pet. Ta.

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A Day In The Life Of…Vickie McKeehan!

Good morning, lovely blog-seekers! 🙂 Have we got a treat for you today! The awesome Vickie McKeehan tells us about her wild day as an author, so enjoy!

This post was originally posted up over at http://vickiemckeehan.wordpress.com, re-posted here with permission of the author.

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN INDIE ROMANCE WRITER …

 

hot-guy

 

After a night spent with hunky Raphael, the alarm goes off at an astonishingly early six a.m. Even though I have no desire to climb out from underneath warm covers and leave Raphael, I must get up to keep my body in shape. Ah, yes, the dreaded workout and exercise. A few laps in my indoor pool should do the trick.

Half asleep, I stumble to the sliding glass door. I force it open with all my strength because my night with Raphael has zapped most of my energy. I step out onto my adjoining deck to dip my toes into the heated water of the shimmering pool only to discover my toes have landed in Beau’s water dish. Beau is my loyal little, bug-eyed pug. But when I finally come to my senses, when I finally come out of my dream-like state enough to realize I don’t have an indoor pool, Beau gives me one of his looks that clearly says, “Crazy woman. I knew I should’ve gone to live with the dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, when I had the chance.”

I decide coffee is what I need to wake up and plenty of it. After I wander into my gourmet kitchen, a voice from the walk-in pantry calls to me. “What can I fix the most talented, the most awesome writer in the business this morning for breakfast? Your wish is my command.”

As I drift over to the coffee pot, I tell my personal chef, “You know what I like. An egg white omelet with an avocado on the side and a toasted muffin with a tall glass of orange juice.”

Suddenly the male voice replies, “Okay, it’s either whole-grain Cheerios or instant oatmeal with a toasted waffle. What’s it gonna be?”

I sigh. Another bubble bites the dust and it isn’t even six-thirty yet.

Over my bowl of gruel, which grows cold while I pour my own cup of coffee, we go over the day’s schedule. I mention I should probably set up a meeting with my marketing department, my publicist, and my agent. I remind my personal secretary that my agent is brokering a deal to sell the rights forPromise Cove to Disney for several million dollars.

He nods back but counters, “We do have that trip planned to the grocery store for later because the cupboard’s getting bare. Plus, we’re out of toilet paper. As for the meeting with your department heads, I did get a confirmation that Del Taco is continuing Taco Tuesday so we’ll set up lunch there. How’s that sound?”

“I do like tacos,” I muttered into my cereal. “But just once, couldn’t we splurge and go to that cute little restaurant over the water for shrimp and lobster?”

He shakes his head. “That’ll blow the budget for this month.”

I sigh again. Time to head back into my fantasy world. The voices in Pelican Pointe are calling to me.

 

 

Find the amazing author and her books here! – 

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Insanely Drawn Tour Stop – A Day In The Life Of…Dani Morgan!

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Welcome, lovely people! Today we’ve got an uber-special ‘A Day In The Life Of…’ post – because it comes from the awesome Dani Morgan on her book tour of Insanely Drawn! Read further down after Dani herself takes a seat, and see why you really, really should grab a copy of the amazing debut novel.

Insanely Drawn

A Day in The Life Of… Dani Morgan

It’s nine o’clock in the morning and my eyes pop open.  Eureka! I know how to fix the scene that has been plaguing me for over a week.  My dreams have revealed the perfect solution. I think I hear the heavens opening up and the choir singing… oh crap.  It’s just my eleven year old and he’s awake. That means no writing for me yet. Maybe if I sneak out of bed and am very quiet, he won’t hear the computer turning on. Okay, I’m successfully tip toed out of bed, so far so good. I’m almost there, I can feel it. Crack!

“OOOOOCH,” I scream out. Not only have I alerted my person pain in the… sorry, my totally independent, non-clingy baby boy that I am awake, but I’ve broken my baby toe on the bleeping bookcase. Lovely. By the way, what good are these tiniest of toes? Mine have done nothing for me but repeatedly find corner of walls, doorframes, and hard edges and then snap in the other direction.

So my child runs in to check on me, wants to see if I’m alright, and then proceeds to ask me what’s for breakfast. Welcome to my world.

After an hour of arguing over the merits of pop tarts over bacon, eggs, hash browns and toast for breakfast, I relent and make my son a hot meal. Is he even related to me?

Twenty minutes later, I sit down at my computer and open up the email.  Three orders of my daytime job are waiting on me.  Check the due date real fast, crap due tomorrow.  I have to go out in the field and do drive-bys today.  I still giggle when I say that.  No, I’m not a gangster but an appraiser. I throw on some clothes, spend another hour begging my son to brush his teeth and use deodorant, and I’m out the door.  I plug the addresses into the gps and it’s only then that I notice the locations.  I’m going to be out in the field all day.

Six-thirty and I pull into my driveway.  I’ve successfully accomplished my goals and only had to take three breaks for food and to pee because of my toddler, er I mean my almost teen-ager. Work behind me, and a boy now occupied with his video game (thank you sony play station), I finally sit down in front of the computer, open up Word and the right doc.  I’m now staring at the page and trying desperately to remember what on earth I was going to write when I work up. Nothing. I’m as blank as the page on the screen.

Music… oh music will inspire me. I pull up the playlist and blare it.  I never noticed how catchy that song was and now I’m dancing around the room, doing my best air guitar.  Okay, okay. It’s now eight o’clock and music is not helping.  Maybe I need a distraction and the idea will just pop in my head. I open up G-chat and Facebook.  It won’t hurt to open up Candy Crush.

Damn, it’s now two hours later and I can’t remember a thing.  I shut down Facebook, shut down G-chat, and now Word is my only distraction.  I spend the next hour pounding away, writing whatever pops into my head and I am impressed that I have managed to squeak out 1,500 words. That is, until I read them.  Delete, delete, delete.

Frustrated, I turn off my computer, go check on my son (who is snoring with a controller in his hand), turn everything else off, lock the doors, and go to bed.  I repeat the same line over and over in my head as I fall asleep. No, not “After all, tomorrow is another day”.  That’s not me at all.  “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy”, now that’s how I roll.

Trailer

Blurb

Your first job out of college. It’s supposed to be a stepping stone or a transitional job, not the single defining decision that will alter the course of your entire life.  Sienna Kennedy never signed on for the craziness, danger and even love that her new job thrust into her world.

But she didn’t run either.

Assigned to a maximum security floor of Western State Hospital for the mentally ill, the last thing she expected to encounter was a reminder of her past.

Cade Collins’ animal magnetism draws her into an unseen world filled with creatures from her wildest imagination. Discovering his story, as well as the very institution in which she works, becomes her obsession. Her every waking moment is consumed with unearthing a way to free the man that has stolen her heart, body and mind.

The secrets Sienna finds will free them of their bonds…or lead them to their doom.  Fate flung the two destined souls together, but how can any love survive in such a demented place, filled with peril and danger?

More about the lovely author…

Dani Morgan 2

I was always the girl who spent most of her life living in her head, even at an early age. My made up worlds were so much more interesting than real life. In them, anything was possible. I could be a reckless archaeologist digging up a mummy who came to life, terrorize a medieval village by drinking all their blood, start an intergalactic war between rival planets, or ride a wild stallion with a hunky Native brave clad only in a breech cloth, all within the course of a weekend.

Life didn’t stay simple. I had to grow up, get a job, became a wife and mother and put all my dreams on hold. After a change in my life, I found myself a single mom who had plenty of time to fall back into the land of make believe.

One night I opened up my computer and soon several novels were penned. Now I have embarked on a journey to become the person I always envisioned myself to be, an author, sharing my crazy ideas with the world.

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Release Of Blood Is Power From Ella Medler!

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NEW RELEASE IN THE HUNTER SERIES

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BLOOD IS HEAVIER – book one in the Hunter Series

BLOOD IS HEAVIER WRAP COVER

Nick Hunter used to be a contract killer. Now he’s cut all links to his former lifestyle and can at last relax and live a normal life. He settles down to married life. He has a son. He adores his little family. Unbeknown to him, shadows from his past step forward to shatter his short-lived peace. His wife is dead, his four-year old son kidnapped and it looks like someone is trying to frame him for murder. Under pressure, broken, is there anything Nick wouldn’t do to rescue his son? A fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat read that will keep you turning the pages to the very end.

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and soon in paperback, too.

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BLOOD IS POWER – book two in the Hunter Series

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Comfortable in the knowledge that his good mate, Tequila, is perfectly able to look after his loved ones, Nick Hunter does exactly what he shouldn’t do and proceeds to track down and eliminate every person involved in his son’s kidnap. But where will the chase end? And has he bitten off more than he can chew? Nick discovers a tangled net of drugs, human slavery and corruption. Will he enter the lion’s den? Will his family stay safe? Will he be framed for murder? Find out July 19th.

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Createspace

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(non-spoiler excerpt)

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“Action!” Dollar shouted. Then, quieter, to her. “Oh, I will enjoy watching your end, Precious. Every single second of it. Every cut, every lick of blood, every morsel of flesh that drops off your body.”

Tequila felt her eyes bulge out of their sockets. She was too terrified to breathe, too stunned to think. And still, the beast walked nearer. He sneered, and then lifted up the scalpel until it was level with his chin.

“Don’t forget to scream,” he whispered.

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Weirdest Processes of Famous Writers–You’re Not So Strange!

You know what makes me sad lately? People remarking (or in some cases, telling) on other writer’s methods of writing, working, or the process. No one person is like another, and no one person’s methods of writing are like another. Here’s some famous examples;

— In order to stave off procrastination, French novelist Victor Hugo wrote both Les Misérables and The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame in–you guessed it–his Birthday Suit. Being nude meant he wouldn’t be able to leave his house, and as a safety measure, he’d also instruct his valet to hide his clothes.

— As well as chain-smoking and index cards, Aaron Sorkin, has a habit of acting out his zippy dialogue while gazing at his own reflection. In 2010, he worked himself into such a frenzy, that he actually head-butted a mirror. “I wish I could say I was in a bar fight,” confessed Sorkin, “but I broke my nose writing.”

— Mary Shelley kept a domesticated 23-foot-long boa constrictor in her writing studio. She would wrap the snake around her shoulders while she wrote. When the snake grew restless and squeezed, only then would she allow herself to stop writing for the day.

— Like a LOT of writers (including me!), coffee was Honoré de Balzac’s poison. But he wasn’t drinking Lattes. He would drink large quantities of black coffee, ensuring that he could write for a full 48 hours straight. Yikes!

— In Cold Blood novelist Truman Capote described himself as a ‘horizontal author’. “I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy,” he told The Paris Review in 1957. “I’ve got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.”

— The author of Blue Angel, Francine Prose, wears her husband’s “red and black checked flannel pajama pants and a T-shirt.” In a 1998 interview with Kate Bolick at The Atlantic, Prose says, “Fortunately, or unfortunately, we live in a strange apartment with one twenty-foot-high window facing a brick wall, about a foot and a half away. Not much of a view. So when I’m at my desk I feel like I can work undistracted. I might as well be in the country. Writing while facing a wall, incidentally, seems to me the perfect metaphor for being a writer.”

— Not only did the Three Musketeers author Alexandre Dumas insist upon himself a colour-coded system of writing (pink for non-fiction, blue for fiction and yellow for poetry), he reportedly sat below the Arc de Triomphe in Paris every morning and ate an apple for inspiration. An apple a day, keeps the procrastination away, clearly.

— William Faulkner preferred to type with his toes instead of his fingers. He kept his shoes on his hands while he worked.

— It is widely known that Hemingway, following years of work in his basement genetics lab, invented a new kind of cat with six toes. Why? I’ve no idea. But before he sat down to write, Hemingway would go over his writing goals for the day with these cats. He refused to share such things with other, normal toed cats, which he considered to be poor listeners. They’re also usually incredibly disinterested, I find. He also famously said he wrote 500 words a day, mostly in the mornings to avoid the heat. In a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934, he wrote, “I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.”

— Visitors looking for T.S. Elliot at a hideaway on Charing Cross Road were asked to inquire at the porter’s lodge for a man known only as “The Captain.” Upstairs, Eliot’s face was “tinted green with powder to look cadaverous.”

 

So the next time you think the way someone keeps track of their writing, writes at all, where or how they do it is odd, remember that it’s the end product that matters. Everyone’s writing process will be different from yours, and if it’s especially eccentric, you’re in good company! 🙂

 

*Thanks to MSN.com, Wikipedia, and Shortlist.com for the examples.

Welcome To The Family Bares Its Fangs Today!

Welcome to the tour for Welcome To The Family! A debut vampire novel by Caroline F Levy, it’s out now at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, and Moon Rose Publishing. Why not check out a little more about the book below?

Blurb

“Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?”

At only a few hours old, Angela is left on the steps of St Paul’s church. Alone in the world, the only link she has to her past is a pink blanket bearing an emblem with two crossed swords and a snake.

A troubled childhood spent in orphanages leads to Angela attempting to rebuild her shattered life as an adult. Meeting the priest who found her eighteen years previously, she gets a job and a boyfriend, and settles into her new life.

Until she meets Jack.

Drawn to her new boss, she throws herself into work, feeling an unusual bond with people she hasn’t known very long.

Angela becomes embroiled in this new life, feeling a change within herself. A change which isn’t altogether human. Within this change she finds a terrifying secret…a secret which involves her past, her present, and definitely her future…

Welcome To The Family

Trailer

And now for the interview! 🙂

1.      Welcome to Notes on a Page, Angela. Sit down, grab a drink. What’s your poison? I’ve got G&T, Martini…all sorts! 

Hi Miranda, Thanks don’t mind if I do… Hmm *looks longingly at Miranda’s charioted artery* A nice glass of red would be nice. *smiles, and accidently shows a little fang*

2.      Ah, my mistake, I forgot about the fangs. But you didn’t know about this at the beginning of your story, right? How was it to find out you were a vampire?

No, I grew up not knowing who I am, or where I came from. So finding out I’m a vampire was a total douse… to say the least, still getting used to these little beauties. *smiles, showing major fang*

3.      It can’t have been an easy process, how did you deal with it? Have you settled into being one easily?

At first I didn’t want to believe, I could be a member of the un-dead. *lol* Obviously I am alive and well, it was hard going at first. Having Jack to help me through the change was good. Okay fantastic… And of course Roger is always near for support, or to just be my cuddly bear, if needed. I am settling into life as a vamp ok, just want to get on with things now, and enjoy what life throws my way.

4.      And that wasn’t the only huge event in your life either. Not only did you find out you were a vampire, but you also got to meet your mother—who you had never met…how was that meeting?

Meeting Jesaray, mum… was difficult. Neither of us are, hmm forthcoming with our emotions, but I could feel a connection with her straight away. I know where I get my stubbornness from now.

5.      That brings us onto your nemesis, of course…your half-brother, Erick. Do you think he’s going to cause some trouble?

I have mixed feelings about Erick. I can see why he is upset with the way our Father treats him, but then again it’s not my fault, I didn’t even know they existed.  I can see if him being trouble though. Mum has told me, I actually get the stubbornness from our Father. If that is the case, there will be no changing his mind. *looks sad* would have been nice to have had a how can I put it, a non-dysfunctional family.

6.      Without giving too much away for those who haven’t read your story yet, you were a little disappointed by someone we thought you were going to fall head-over-fangs in love with—but it didn’t happen! Is there anyone new on the horizon?

Oh… That would be telling, *winks* maybe, maybe not lol. I honestly don’t know at the moment Miranda, my life is such a rollercoaster at the moment, and I am going to take each day as it comes. Plus I’m only young, I have my whole life ahead of me, that’s a long time to be with any one person. Maybe one day though.

7.      And finally…do you think your author, Caroline F Levy, penned you well in your book?

Caroline didn’t do too badly, might have had me hanging there at times. * shakes head* she is totally addicted to coffee, and thought nothing of leaving us midway through… *coughs*   well you know… to go get a refill But I think she has started the tale off okay. We have a lot more to share.

8.      Thank you for being here, Angela. Any final words for our readers?

*smiles, showing fang* Thank you Miranda for having me over, Hmm well not sure what to say, apart from it was nice to meet you all, and I hope you enjoy reading my story, there is so much more to tell, I do-so hope you will be joining me, and cheering me along, for the next instalment of my family’s saga.

Author Bio

Caroline F Levy

I was born in Chatham, Kent in 1970. I now live in Yorkshire with my daughter and our five mad cats.

My first memories of any book would have been my mother reading The Enormous Turnip. It must have driven her mad, as it was always our first choice when asked what we should read tonight.

I grew up with the classics; Little Women, The Railway Children, but it would have been The House That Died and Bluebeard that I remember wanting to read.

I can remember writing a verse for the school song, and being chosen as a winner for what was then 3rd year juniors. I stopped reading so much in my late teens to my mid twenties. Life seemed to always be too busy for that pile of books I so wanted to read. It was when I went into hospital to have my daughter, that I had time to read again–and thankfully I haven’t stopped since.

However, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I realised I wanted to write. I have spent a few years trying to complete an online creative writer’s course; without much success, but it led me to what I am writing now. So never give up if you really want to write!

I am very influenced by Fantasy fiction / Horror, most of the books I read are in this genre. I have many Authors I like to follow; Anne Rice was very influential in the beginning. I also discovered Laurel K Hamilton and many, many more. I could go on about different Authors I like to read. However, I will say that this year I have also discovered there are literally, well, probably thousands of very talented Indie Authors out there. And a very welcoming and friendly bunch they are too, but I digress–yes, I get very excited about the subject of books!

I have finished my first novel called Welcome To The Family, which will be published April 29th 2013. I also have other novels in the pipeline, Nikki’s Revenge and Protecting The Family, due out later in the year.

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