October 15, 2014

What's for Wednesday?

Each Wednesday of this 30 day countdown will spotlight whatever tickles my fancy.



Today, I'm pretty damn tickled with the great staff at Breathless Press. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all.

Justyn Perry: Publisher. Thank you for giving my books a second life, and giving me hope when I thought I'd hit a dead end. Because of you, my creativity has a perfect outlet, and my future is brighter...all because you believed in me.
.

Victoria Miller: Cover Artist extraordinaire. She takes my ramblings and odd descriptions and somehow creates a perfect hug for my books. I just called a cover a hug, but that's how Victoria makes me feel. The art is a perfect compliment to the story inside. You know the old saying, don't judge a book by its cover? Pffft. Cover art is what draws me to a book. Thank you Victoria, for your amazing talent.


Allie Kincheloe: It takes a special someone to sift through a three hundred page manuscript, and know just what needs tweaking, a change of point of view, or a change in timeline...and more. Allie is that special someone. She's my editor, friend and go-to-girl for the gazillion questions that come up during round after round of edits. I love edits. I swear I do. I even share my chocolate with my editor now. Thank you, Allie for your gentle guidance. (And the crack of the whip at deadlines.).


My heart smiles at Breathless Press.



October 14, 2014

Tempting Tuesday


Tempting tidbits of cover art.


Ruby

A maiden, unable to recall who she is, must battle evil to regain the memory of her past and the hope of a future.   


Sir Galeron


Sir Galeron, the knight who claims to have protected her while she was unconscious. 








October 13, 2014

More for Monday

The continuing excerpt for Jewel of Ramstone:

"Sit." He continued to tend the fire.
She paid no heed to his demand, and thrust her hands toward the fire. To her dismay, the sharp smell of the rabbit caused her stomach to roar with hunger.
Galeron's blue eyes sparked with mischievousness. "I gather 'tis been some time since you ate?"
"Apparently." She plunked down on a fallen log, certain her face turned countless shades of crimson.
Taking a seat beside her, Galeron chuckled and poked at the fire. He was so close she could smell the woodsy scent on his skin. She inhaled deeper, tucking the fragrance into her mind to savor when she was left to her own.
He cleared his throat. "Allow me to tend to that cut."
Inwardly cringing, she changed the subject. "How long before we eat?"
With a quick wink, he leaned back and rummaged in his saddle pack. Taking her hand, he placed an apple in it, keeping one for himself. His smile highlighted the dimple in his chin and she found herself offering a genuine smile in return.
"Ah, glorious," she said, grateful he didn't see how his touch affected her. Waving his offer to use his dagger, she bit heartily into the fruit, and moaned, relishing the explosion of juice across her tongue. "Naught could taste sweeter in this moment."
Oh, but she did know one thing that might. Tasting the nectar on his lips would certainly qualify. She sensed his tension when she took a bite. Mayhap he had the same thought? He grunted and crunched into the apple, mumbling something about a damn green-eyed mystery.

Were her eyes green? Damnation. Her mind was truly addled.

Excerpt ended...for now.
 In the meantime, Tempting Tuesday will feature a taste of cover art.

October 12, 2014

Sunday Snippet

I shared an excerpt from Jewel of Ramstone son Something for Saturday, Here's a snippet more...

Seeming to battle with her revelation, Galeron's expression flitted from stunned to confused. Then his gaze bore into her with such tenderness it nearly undid her. "Nay memory?" he finally whispered.
She shook her head. He guided her head to his shoulder. Barely a moment passed before he released her, rose to his feet, and strode away. Unsure of why he left so abruptly, she frowned when he looked back.
"I regret I cannot ease your uncertainty." He stooped to gather twigs. "However, I am able to ease your hunger. After breaking our fast, we shall take leave."
She dabbed her impending tears as soon as his back was turned.
"We should arrive at Ramstone by nightfall."
"I am to stay at your home? What shall your wife think?"
"There is nay wife." He grabbed a branch and added it to his arms. "But there is plentiful family about."
Holding the tree for support, she stood, waiting for the dizziness to subside before she followed. When he turned, she picked up a branch, embarrassed at how silly she looked traipsing on his heels. Gathering an armload of kindling, she stole glances at him, each time wondering how it would feel to remain in his arms. She piled the branches then watched him arrange them.
"Building a fire?" Hark, she was a fool.
"Nay, I am building an abode." And he solidified the fact.
"I want my own chamber then." Several paces away, she sat. Sunlight peeked through the forest canopy. She closed her eyes and raised her face to the warmth. Like a constant itch, she felt his gaze. She slowly peered through her lashes. Aye, he was staring—no—studying her face. Her gash. Her ugly face. She sighed and looked to the sky instead.
"God's eyes," he muttered.
She turned to him. Very well, if he finds a need to gawk, I shall give him a full view of my battered face. "Sir Galeron, what worries you so? Has my plight delayed your duties?"
"Nay." He jammed the skinned carcasses on a sharpened branch.
"I heard your curse. Was it in frustration of not reaching your destination?" Oh, how she wished to smirk at his rudeness, but she kept her poise.
"I was not delayed from anything that could not wait." Keeping his eyes shielded, he placed the meat across the spit before offering a weak smile. "I pray forgiveness for my curse reaching your ears."
Wrapping her arms around her legs, she rested her unscathed cheek on her knees. "Curses are naught. I am simply thankful you helped me, Sir Galeron." Apparently he was too kind to mention her affliction. She hated the pity. 
Seemingly distracted, he arranged kindling then retrieved a piece of hammered steel and flint from a pouch on his belt.
"I pray you can forgive my initial rudeness." When he didn't respond, she added, "Ah, I gather forgiveness shall come with time."
Galeron struck the steel with a bit of flint. "I never held ill will. I understood the reason you lashed out." He blew on the kindling until it caught. "You are forgiven for bashing your head into mine as well."
"Ha!" She rose and strode to the fire. Her gaze flitted over his body. He looked up, catching her stare, and alas, stared back. Heat crept up her neck, spreading to her face. Surely, 'twas the fire's heat causing her flush—she hoped he believed the same lie.
 Galeron grinned. His demeanor was infuriating. And endearing. And more confusing than her loss of memory.



More on Monday!

October 11, 2014

Something for Saturday

One month from today Breathless Press, my amazing publisher, will release my novel, JEWEL OF RAMSTONE.


Thirty days is a long time to keep this exicetment bottled up, so here's a little peek.
Something for Saturday: Excerpt from Jewel of Ramstone 


"Ask me anything. Mayhap I can help." His deep voice broke the silence.
 How was he to help? "Pray tell, how did we come to share the forest?"
"I shall explain." He bent and picked up a twig, then proceeded to peel the bark off. With each curl he tossed aside, she grew more frustrated.
'Twas better to allow mistrust. Stand strong. She gasped. Unexpected, the thought rang with such clarity, it seemed someone else had spoken. "Perchance you should be honest. Did you drug me? Spell me?"
He tossed the twig aside. Though his eyes remained on her face, her whole body felt his scrutiny. "'Twould do you well to hold your tongue."
"I am beginning to dislike you," she said, knowing full well the opposite was true. She truly wished her insides would cease…prickling? And her head. Damn, it ached so. Tingles and pain aside, she tried to focus. "Do you intend to explain or not?"
"I seek a means to tell you gently."
With a slight shrug, she said, "No need for gentleness. You already tossed me about." She grinned despite the truth in her statement.
He sighed. "It appears you are lost."
"God's eyes, knight!" She shook her head. "You must be a great sorcerer to possess such insight."
"Your tongue shall be your undoing. Best you still it."
Twice he attempted to stifle her. She clenched her teeth. "Still it?"
Galeron's jaw twitched and she wondered if he were quelling a smile. "I found you here in the woodlands. I did not hold you captive, drug you, or harm you." He blinked slowly. "Hold to that."
She nodded. "Forgive—"
"Nay need. I understand. You now stand a day's ride from Ramstone. Have you heard of it?"
He pushed off the tree and came to sit beside her, his thigh nearly touching her own. Nearly. It took a moment for her answer. "Nay, I do not recall Ramstone." The fact she did not recall much of anything choked off the rest of her response.
"Odd," he said, more to himself than her.
Sighing, she realized how badly her masquerade of bravery was faltering. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw his hand come toward her. Surprised at the urge to lean into his touch, she remained still and allowed him to brush back the wisps of hair from her brow. His hand lowered in a fist, yet his voice was laced with tenderness.
"It pains me that I cannot give you answers." His gaze strayed from her face, lowering to her neck.
Covering the neckline of her tunic with both hands, she glared at him. "Focus elsewhere." He sees me as a woman after all. She dashed the thought away. Almost.
"I intend nay disrespect. The bruising on your neck concerns me." Gently brushing her hand aside, he took a closer look. "Fingerprints."
It took all she had not to cry out. Who harmed her?
"When we discovered you, there was nay sign of anyone else."
She glanced around. "We?"
"I sent my men home."
She blinked. Then blinked again. "Your men."
"My brother, a healer, assured me your wounds were not serious, so I decided to wait—"
She put up her hand. "Why not leave me under the care of your healer? Or leave me in the nearest village?"
He swallowed hard. "It matters not! Are you always so…so…inquisitive?"
Ah, this man was not used to being questioned. She tried to ease his surly mood. "A shame your men were sent on their way. No one laid witness when I kicked you and bashed your comely face before you so unceremoniously dropped a maiden to the ground."
He blew a long breath. "You insist on repeating that. Had you dressed appropriately, I would not have thought you a lad." His chuckle made her grin. "Although you certainly fight like a maiden."
She swiped her hand through the air. "Carry on."
"Carry on," he muttered. "I fear you shall interrupt again." He looked up through the trees, ignoring her huff. "We still had several days before reaching our destination when we found you. With that in mind, I postponed the journey and sent my men back to Ramstone."
"I see." She studied the frayed edge of her tunic. "How long have I been here?"
"I watched over you a single night. How long you were here remains a mystery. I was only gone a short time for I needed to boil meat into a broth to sustain you. Had I known you were a maiden, I never would have left you alone."
Her head snapped up. "Yet you would a lad? I am not defenseless simply because I am a female."
Galeron's eyes hardened. "Aye, 'tis so. I returned to find you brandishing a dagger. I left it in case you awoke and felt unsafe, not to use against me."
She ran her hands through the leaves and shrugged a silent apology, too stubborn to utter it out loud.
"Fair one?"
Damnation, she hated when he addressed her with those words, and yet it awoke something in her, for he said it with tenderness. She glared at his smiling face. "Why are you calling me that?" To her chagrin, what she'd meant as snide came out as quite curious.
 He splayed his hands in question, "Would you prefer I call you lad?" Two furrows appeared on his brow at her silent glare. "Because, you have yet to give your name."
Disarmed, she swallowed her spiteful attitude. "If I only could." She locked away her tears, her dismay, and did her best to keep her voice steady. "I hoped you would know…would say it by now. Sir Galeron, I…I recall naught before I saw you standing before me."




Stay tuned for Sunday Snippet

June 14, 2014

Kelly Ryan~ Author Extraordinaire

Hi blog followers! Allow me to introduce fellow author, Kelly Ryan. She's got fantastic new stuff in store for you!

Okay, Kelly...my blog is yours...



First of all I want to thank J. M./aka Jeannie, for letting me stop by her blog for a little chat today. Is she an awesome lady or what? Thanks again Jeannie!

I recently read a book entitled, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey, which contains the daily habits of many famous artists, authors and other creative types. It was a fascinating read and it really made me think about my own daily writing rituals. First I noticed that there tend to be two types of creative people, those who wake up early and have a very strict routine when it comes to their work, and those who don't. Haruki Murakami for instance gets up at 4 am when he is writing a novel. I certainly do not have that dedication, or I just physically require more sleep than that man does.

No, I definitely fall in the category of creative people who work at different times on different days, depending on their mood and their other responsibilities. I suppose I could write at 4 am every day, but I would be useless the rest of the time and I have a day job to be awake for. So I carve out writing time around my schedule, but I do work every day and I suppose I do have some rituals, don't we all have some if we stop and think about it.

When that grand time comes, be it morning or late at night, when I get some alone time with my computer I have to get the internet surfing out of the way. I check and answer email, working on my blog and webpage, see what is going on over on Facebook. I have to do this before I write or I will get distracted during.  Then I can get to my writing.

 Sometimes I have a half hour before work. Sometimes I have two hours at night. If I am really lucky I have both. It all depends on the day, but hey Jane Austen wrote her novels little snippets at a time and then at night as well. If it worked for her it can work for me too, right?
It most certainly can!


I guess all writers and creative types have different rituals and habits, but we all still put out work the best we can. Someday I hope to be lucky enough that writing is my only job and maybe then I will have a set schedule to write and maybe it will improve my output, but until then I have my own process and it is working for me, writing little snippets one at a time a la Ms. Austen! The important thing is that I have the ritual of writing each and every day and that is all that it takes to be a writer!

Here's my latest creation:

 


Blurb from Taking Pleasure Where You Can:

John never thought that he would be the same after Pearl Harbor, then he set eyes on Imee and everything changed.
Ever since Pearl Harbor John had become a shell of a man, not able to move on from the trauma. One night out with the guys and one woman were about to change everything.

Excerpt:
Joe seemed to know everyone, and everyone seemed keen to be near him. It made it much easier for the quiet by nature and still healing John to slowly make some friends. Once the drinks started flowing, he even began to loosen up a bit. He missed hanging out with guys, telling stories, joking around, and laughing. His Captain had been right; this was what he needed and what his friends who had passed on would want. He was beginning to feel alive again, and it felt good. Then he caught sight of her.


Kelly Ryan, aka Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico with her fiancé and two dogs, and grew up with a fascination for all things that "go bump in the night", so it is no wonder that she turned to writing paranormal romance among other genres of romance. She is an avid exerciser and gets some of her best ideas while on runs. She also has a bit of a wild side, which only leads to inspiration for her writing.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living.
She is constantly putting out new material, so it is best to keep up with her on her website.

June 1, 2014

Awkward

Say awkward out loud. Doesn't that word sound awkward? Yesterday, I discovered if I said the word  awkward enough times, it didn't resemble a word at all! It just reminded me of a deranged crow. Giggling at the thought, I kept repeating it. Then...

my neighbor peeked over my privacy fence.

I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants. It was in those precarious moments of near-dampness that I realized I AM AWKWARD. Other than the fact I act like an idiot in public, here's proof of that deduction:




I am clumsy...
...and clumsy on top of clumsy.






I do weird stuff for no reason....
...and find joy in doing so.





I blurt stuff like: 

 Libraries remind me of explosions from a fairy's imagination.
Yeah, that sounded better in my head.




That's all I'm divulging...for now. People have a challenge understanding me as it is.

Can you relate? If so, what are some of your awkward traits?




Blog comments welcome...
...even awk-awk-awkward ones.









May 25, 2014

5 reasons an author has the right to throw a book

I know throwing a book at someone is wrong, but sometimes I'm tempted to do just that. There's things people should avoid saying to a writer.

 People have actually spouted these things to me:



"Oh! You write books? Can I have a free copy?" My mind pings through comebacks like a pinball machine.  Oh! You paint portraits,build homes, write music or dance for a living? Can I have whatever you create at no cost? However, I hand them a business card and smile. "You'll find the prices very reasonable.Thanks for your support!"



 "Must be nice to play on the computer all day writing books." Yes. Someone actually said this. I had no response. None. Sometimes I just have to walk away.
"I should write a book too. It's pretty easy, right?" Okay, writing is a frickin' craft. Like a fine piece of furniture, it must be polished on a regular basis. Can you pick up a paintbrush and miraculously create a masterpiece? Can you sit at the piano and instantly create a stellar hit? Can you put on skis and join the Olympic team? Please, don't tell a writer their craft is easy--unless you enjoy dodging flying objects.



"You're published? Then why are you working here?" Artists--most of them anyway--have a day job.
When my books hit the New York Times' best seller list, I'll quit my job. In the meantime, I need to eat.








"How much do you make writing?" My response: "Why do you ask?" This shuts them up every time. Besides, no matter what the royalties add up to, I first and foremost write because it fulfills me--unlike my day job.






That being said, let me add, I'd NEVER throw a book at someone...

...it would ruin the binding.







Photos courtesy of freedigitalcom contributors:
Stuart Miles, Tungphoto, Photoknock







March 9, 2014

I think I can...I think I can.

I want to run away on a train. . 
Seriously.

I just received an acceptance letter from my publisher, Breathless Press. My novel (a.k.a. my baby) needs my undivided attention. So...I applied for a writer's residency on Amtrak. Why? Because it's hard to do edits while plugging my ears. 
lalalalala I can't hear you!





I have a noisy home; barking dog, autistic antics, and blaring game shows are just a few of the distractions I deal with on a daily basis. (Not to mention my three teenagers wrestling on the couch next to me as I write this post.)

 I've actually considered taking a sharpie pen and writing DO NOT DISTURB on my forehead when I'm in my writing mode.

So, you see, running away on a train is probably a better choice. Amtrak will keep me on track with my edits!  What a great idea. Run away from it all for a couple of days. I entered my information on the Amtrak site. Now comes the waiting part....

and waiting...and waiting....




You know what I just realized? I used the words 'run away' and 'train' in the same post.
Didn't quite think that one through.



Would you apply for a writer's residency on a train? Why or why not?





Images courtesy of the following artists at FreeDigitalPhotos.net:
 Ambro, imagerymajestic, photostock,and Teeratas

November 5, 2013

Hot Halloween Heroes Giveaway Winners


STOLEN TIME: Jean MP
TIMELESS VALENTINE bn100
FOR ALL TIME: Meghan
BASKET OF HOPE: Desiree Reilly

Let me know what ebook format you want in the comments. :)

Thanks for your participation.And may I add....




I do happy dances for reviews on Breathless Press, Amazon, Goodreads and anywhere else you may feel inclined to post one.