Last year my fiancé (soon to be husband come Halloween) and I decided that I should make the leap to writing full time. Well mostly full time, I also paint and have jewelry that I make sold in a couple of stores around town, but mostly I am concentrating on my writing career. It’s wonderful and scary at the same time. Now that I don’t have a day job to get to everyday, well I have to have the self-discipline to make my schedule all about writing, blogging, marketing and creating. Not as easy as it sounds. Working at home offers either one of two problems. One, there are too many distractions. The laundry should be done. I should run to the store. Oh look, the Vampire Diaries is on Netflix. The other problem that I sometimes have is that I think and feel that I should be working and writing 24/7. I can be really hard on myself if I take a day off. I am supposed to writing, so shouldn’t that mean writing all the time. That is why a schedule is so important. I try to writing and market about 6-8 hours a day now. I am learning to leave time to read, to exercise, to plan my wedding. I do work most days, but occasionally I will take a day off to watch tv or read and I try not to feel guilty about it. At night I stop working so that my fiancé, who works a lot as well, and I can spend time together. I am trying to make more time for friends and have a balance life. And of course I am still writing. I am thrilled with my newest release, Summer Interrupted is my take on pulp fiction of the past, something new and different for me and I could not be prouder. It embraces the fun with the serious, something that I am trying to incorporate into my own life!
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 specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.
She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website http://www.sherivelarde.weebly.com.
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.
Joy and Dot plan on having a summer to remember. A cabin on the beach, hot men from Harvard down the way, one last hurrah before true adulthood set in. Everything is perfect. They did not plan on their summer being interrupted by Joy’s sudden collapse in a strange room in their house, nor the mystery that surrounded it. As they look into their rental, horrifying details from the house’s past, mixed in with pirate lore of old, come to light. As more details emerge, they realize that more than their fun is at stake, that souls may hang in the balance. How can two sisters battle an evil that has haunted coastal Maine for hundreds of years?
Taking a deep breath, just like the first time, she entered the room and realized immediately something was wrong. Joy closed her eyes and stepped in. At first, the room seemed perfectly normal. No blood, no ghosts, nothing scary, just a light on by the nightstand in the middle of the two twin beds. The room was actually quite cute. She could imagine her and Dot being in here when they were younger. Then she remembered the two sisters who had shared this room and what happened to them. That’s when the scene before her began to change.
The room dimmed and shifted subtly. A strong sulfur smell permeated the room. She didn’t know how, but Joy felt certain that she was seeing the past somehow, witnessing a memory. “But that’s not possible. This isn’t possible. I’m dreaming. This is just some sort of terrible dream,” Joy said to herself, determined to snap herself out of this nightmare. She pinched herself, slapped herself, and screamed hoping to wake up. Nothing worked. She tried a different approach. Maybe if she left the room in her dream, she would wake up. Turning to leave, she found herself face to face with two girls, sisters by the looks of them, the two who had been murdered here, she knew it.
Joy froze, staring at the girls who didn’t seemed to notice her at all. They were arguing with each other, but Joy found it difficult to make out the words. They sounded as if they were talking through a very static filled radio. The older of the girls grabbed something from the younger sister, and that’s when she saw him. No rational thoughts formed. Joy screamed, unheard by those in her vision, though she was sure he stared right at her. That was the last thing she remembered, piercing red eyes that chilled her soul.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014TZWKA4
It’s my pleasure to be here and I’m super excited to hang out with Franny on her blog. Pretty sweet, right?
My name is Angela K Roe and I write contemporary romance. My Walkers Ridge Romance series consists of This Montana Man, My Favorite Things, and Two Times the Love, and it takes place in a small town in Montana and has been compared to Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series. (Seriously, the first time someone said that to me, I almost fainted) The series is a trilogy. Each is a complete story on it’s own with some of the same characters woven through all three books. So you get to catch up on your favorite townsfolk.
In addition to the Walkers Ridge Romance series, I’ve got a contemporary traditional erotica romance called Hogs & Heartaches, which takes place in Sturgis SD during the annual bike rally. It’s what I call a Spicy Romance.
I have a second contemporary traditional erotica coming out soon and I’d love to share some information with you. The amazing Serena Kitt has invited me to publish Storms of the Heart in her medical themed box set. She’s an amazing author and I’m so thrilled to be involved in this project with her. So stay tuned to my blog for more details. And if you hear that high pitched noise, it’s me squeeing with excitement over here.
In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt of This Montana Man, the first in the Walkers Ridge Romance series.
clouds were gathering in the north and casting a pall over the morning. Without taking his eyes off of Caroline and the way her hair was blowing in the strengthening breeze, he said, “Yep, looks like we could get a good storm out of this. Have you seen a snowstorm before?”
“I haven’t seen real snow in years!” Caroline laughed, “Do you really think we might get a snowstorm?”
“It’s a possibility this far north.”
She pushed her hair from her face and turned toward Jamie. “Do you want to come in and have a cup of coffee?”
With a short bark, he declined. “I’m coffeed out, but I will come in, I need to talk to you about something.” He followed her through the back porch and into the kitchen. The smell of baking bread filled the air and he inhaled deeply. Memories of being at his grandmother’s knee as she made bread and pies in this room filled his mind. He used to think about raising his children here as he had been raised, but that dream wasn’t going to come true. Ruthlessly pushing those thoughts aside, he focused on Caroline.
She stood, one hip against the counter, watching him. “This place really gets to you, doesn’t it?”
Jamie wandered into the dining room and noticed the laptop still open on the table. “May I?” He headed toward the computer without waiting for an answer.
Caroline hurried past him and shut the lid. “Sorry, that’s private.” She couldn’t quite meet his eyes. “So what was it you wanted to talk to me about?”
“A writer who doesn’t want her writing to be read…isn’t that counterproductive for you?”
Knowing he would recognize himself in the opening lines of the first chapter, Caroline made a face at him. “Right now, it’s just in its rough stages. I don’t like anyone to read my work until I’ve polished it up a bit.”
He nodded, “I see.”
“What did I come here for?”
“Not to be rude, but yes,” Caroline shrugged, sipping her coffee.
He watched the cup meet her lips and asked, “How much coffee do you drink?”
Caroline looked at him in surprise. “Not much, and it’s decaf, anyway, why do you ask?”
He shook his head, “Just seems like I’m surrounded by coffee today, I guess. I suppose I must have thought you were drinking coffee the entire time I was gone.”
“First of all, you were only gone a little while, but I have a tendency to let it get cold when I’m busy, so I pour it out and get a fresh cup. And like I said, it’s decaf…I’d be a nervous wreck if I drank the regular stuff.”
Something about her answer didn’t quite ring true. “Are you hiding from somebody?”
Caroline’s coffee mug slipped from her hands and crashed to the hardwood floor, splattering coffee and splintered glass across the room.
“I’d have to say that’s a yes,” he drawled.
Angela K Roe
Romance can kill. All a girl has to do is harmlessly chat on the web with a killer, and she becomes the target of his twisted mind. Being ‘not worthy’ can be a real pain as he decides you need ‘cleansing’.
When a feisty cop gets it in her head to set herself up as a potential victim, all hell breaks loose. She sure gives the guy a run for his money, stirring his anger until steam comes out of his ears. Our hero cop tries to protect her, but comes up against all odds.
Can she escape from captivity by herself, or does her partner have to save her? Love abounds when these two put their heads together, making the cult member lose more than his temper.
I’d love to know what you think of the cover and the tale. You can reach me below at any one of my links. Thanks.
Ryland Sanders is a feisty, no-nonsense cop who protects her heart with her smart mouth. She has no friends, and every partner she’s ever had gave up on her long ago. When paired with a new cop, Ry pulls out all stops to get rid of him, but he’s not one to run.
Kane Nanuq is from the Northwest Territories on Baffin Island. He’s tracking a serial killer who murdered his wife and children. When he meets Ry, his carefully planned revenge is altered. She wants to become bait, but Kane wants to protect her. She cracks open his carefully guarded heart, even as she loses hers.
The duo work together to capture the killer, but neither of them realize they’ve lost their hearts to each other until it’s too late…
Normally, Ry wouldn’t give a care in the world about people talking behind her back, but for some reason the gossip cut her deeply. Glancing at herself in the mirror, she saw a bewildered, angry woman, who had no friends, no family, and no one to talk to. For the first time since her teens, tears pricked her eyes. Shocked, she watched in the mirror as they glistened for a moment. Anger finally took over as it usually did when she became vulnerable. Lifting her chin, and throwing her shoulders back, she swiped at the offending tears, finally able to achieve the control she’d been missing all morning.
Nobody—and she meant nobody—could hurt her! Not ever! She gave her reflection a quick nod, squared her shoulders even more, and opened the door with a bang, making her way back to her office at normal speed. This time though, she took a moment to give the cops in the main room her best ‘Go ahead, I dare ya’, expression. Not a soul would raise their eyes to meet hers. With a sniff of distain, she opened her office door and entered her haven…at least, it had been a haven until her current resident showed up.
Ignoring Kane, she sat back down, and noticed that her computer ran smoothly. About to snarl at him, she found that he’d set a hot cup of coffee down in front of her. Now how could you get mad at a guy, when he’d given you the only saving grace of the whole morning? Deciding it best to keep her mouth shut, she opened up a few files, doing her best to ignore the aromatic brew. It took all of a minute before she gave in, and grabbed the cup. When it sloshed on her pants, she squeezed her eyes shut, and waited for the pain to go away.
Kane took the cup out of her hand, and used his clean hanky to dab at the large stain on her thigh.
Releasing a loud ‘whoop’, she nearly came out of her chair at his touch, but for his hand on her shoulder holding her down.
“Sit still,” he said in a low murmur, continuing his ministrations.
In a million years, she wouldn’t ever admit to him or anyone else, let alone herself, that his touch made her belly flutter with a swarm of butterflies. Keeping her eyes on her computer screen, she did her best to appear unaffected.
For a few seconds, he tapped the keys on her keyboard. “There,” he said quietly, then returned to his desk.
Angry that she’d found an interest in him, she snapped, “I’m not going to thank you…for anything.”
He smirked, saying clearly, “I don’t expect you to.”
Author of Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance, I love a good tale. A full time author, I have plenty of time to work on my projects. I write, promote, and daydream about my stories all day long, fitting in my chores and family in my ‘spare’ time. Writing has been a healing experience for me. Having Bipolar II disorder, I go through hoops to remain focused, but I love to write and it takes me away from dealing with illness. I’ve come a long way into good health because of my stories. After all, my characters can do anything! There’s no reason I can’t.
Love is to DIE for…
This has been re-edited, about 1k words net added, and some were cut, so probably 1500 new words. It’s the same beloved story, continues the saga, and yet is a story of its own. I love werewolves. IN this book, we’re still on the reservation where I’ve lived much of my life, so we still have a strong Native American flavor to it.
Each group of weres, whether it’s wolves, cats, bears, etc., has their own flavor, just like people do. Full blooded Scots in America are not the same as full blooded Scots in Scotland. There are similarities and traditions that they’ve all handed down, but they’re not the same. How much more so are Americans different from say, Brazilians? As people, there are some consistencies to how our cultures evolve, but there are distinct differences and things that people identify with specific cultures. I hope that I caught the Eastern Washington Native Americans best light and gave you a sense of the people for the reader even though I made it all up for the werewolf society. I tried to incorporate the feel of the lands, of the people. I plan to do this with every book. Each pack, clan, pard, shadow, what have you, they will have the feel of the lands around them, as well as where they’re from.
In book three, we’re introduced to a character from the New Orleans area. She’s going to be a bit different than the clans from Sherona’s shadow, for instance.
In The Midwife’s Moon, we have a Mexican woman who’s been adopted into the Native American werewolf tribe, and has a lot to learn, but also a lot to give. Her mate, Lance, has been abused systematically by his leader. They’re both hurt souls who struggle with trust and with letting another person take care of them. But as their lives are on the line in this war in which the true enemy is hidden, they don’t get to pussyfoot around it.
Come, walk the walk with them. Feel their pain, their glory, their fears, their love.
The war isn’t as obvious as you might think.
The first night of the full moon, she showed up at the regular place. She waited in fear, apprehension growing at the unknown awaiting her. She worked to control her breathing. Minute by minute, her dread grew even though she tried to hold back her terror at being alone. Her stomach clenched and her body tensed against the cold ground. What if I die? What if I kill someone? With a newly found ruthlessness, she squashed those thoughts, telling herself he had to come.
But he didn’t.
Soon after moonrise, her scalp began to itch. Absently, she scratched it, but her hands began to hurt in a way she didn’t recognize. She rubbed them until her skin crawled with prickles of sharp, tender points. Her bones began aching, and she dropped to her knees as anxiety swamped her. What’s happening to me now? Trepidation rolled through her, causing her to feel lightheaded and queasy, so she sat back and tried laying her head on her knees to breathe through it.
Her body was on fire.
Her vision changed, moving from color to washed-out, to something in between, which told her “color,” but more. The pounding in her head increased, pushing the pain into her mind, and she crawled to the nearby pine tree and began scratching her back against it to get to the itch there. Her whole body was the fuel and the moon the flame, until an inferno danced within her in a macabre volley keeping her at a frenzy between human and not.
What have I done?
In his wolf form and hiding behind a tree, Lance Navarro watched the beautiful woman from a distance. What is she doing in an open clearing, alone, in the middle of the night? He mentally shrugged and turned to find an animal for their pack leader, Roxy Whitekiller, before she sent someone after him and punished him.
He shuddered. When beatings and scratches, her punishments were harsh, and they were worse when they were…not. A small whimper left him as he remembered the last session of punishments. Boris had helped.
He took two steps, then stopped as the breeze ruffled his fur. It wasn’t all that ruffled him.
His heart raced, saliva built up in his mouth, and desire quickened in his loins. He wanted her. But, how? His wolf wanted the woman as his mate. It couldn’t be. She was a human. He knew all the local werewolves, and he didn’t recognize her.
Almost against his will, the wolf side of him turned back to the woman it insisted was its mate. Lance crouched low and crept back to the clearing, this time moving closer to her position. She had moved so her back was against a tree and rubbed her body hard against the rough bark. The breeze wafted over him again, welcome on the warm summer night, but this time her essence contained—wolf.
His heart screamed in tortured happiness and denial. She couldn’t be. The only freedom he had from Roxy was that she couldn’t threaten his mate when he threw his little rebellions. He didn’t know how he would cope if there was a mate close enough for Roxy to torture. His beast roared inside.
No! Roxy would never touch his mate.
He lifted his head once more over the brush to see what she was doing and panicked. She’s gone!
Even though he felt an urgent need to run, he forced himself to look carefully into the clearing before slowly coming out of hiding. He had to be careful because they were in the neutral territory between his own pack, the Lupins, and the Wahpawhats. No one was supposed to hunt or feed in the area, nor were they allowed to mark their territory as a wolf. Even owning land under human laws entered shaky ground.
When he could detect no sounds or other scents, he went to the tree she had been sitting near and took a large sniff. He closed his eyes, and his torn and shattered soul sighed as he found hope again even as he took another deep breath of her essence. Ambrosia. But where had she gone?
Putting his muzzle to the ground, he started sniffing around, then froze. Under her scent, he caught the scent of the weasel from the Wahpawhat tribe who fed Roxy information now and then. Lance racked his brain for the name while he followed the scents, and it soon came to him—Joseph. Her scent never wavered from the other man’s, and jealousy started to worm its way into his mind. As they headed deeper into Lupin territory, he became sure the woman followed Joseph’s scent.
Joseph had a mate and married her not too long ago, if Lance remembered correctly. He recalled Roxy laughing and saying the poor woman, Joseph’s new wife, was stuck with a cowardly snake. Roxy had also mentioned how she would eat a man like Joseph before being stuck with him and in fact had done that very thing. Then she’d laughed as if it were a big joke, but Lance knew things. He had seen her eating another wolf in a vision, before her mate died. It had been his first clear vision, at age sixteen.
He’d run away the night he’d had that vision, scared of himself, frightened of his nightmares. Only when Roxy’s mate turned up dead did he realize his dreams and nightmares were not like others’. It had taken him a couple of years to learn how to determine dreams from visions, but he had.
Now, though, he increased his tracking pace. He didn’t need to be a soothsayer to know what Roxy would do to another woman trespassing on her land. And, although he wasn’t considered a strong Alpha in their pack, he would defend the stranger, with his life if need be. Frustration gnawed at him the farther he went without finding her. How far could she have gone?
Lance and Lisa fight fall out from the pack’s joining after Nolan beats the Lupa. Can they overcome their respective pasts and the pack’s current infighting?
Lisa is still reluctant to trust after her experience with an unscrupulous lover. Becoming midwife to the pack whom adopted her after her lonely transformation is the only sensible solution for her, but she remains apart, sure people hate her for being an aswan. Then she meets her mate. Can she overcome her trust issues and help him with his healing from an abusive Lupa?
Lance helped bring down his Lupa, but he still has scars left from years of her treatment. He’d found his mate before, but had to leave her to protect her. Would she be able to forgive him now? Something evil is in the air and pushes his visions in a manner new to him. Can he interpret what they mean in time to save the packs, or will Lisa pay the price?
Nolan and Alex are still struggling to find the lupa who put so much pain and killed werewolves, but they are finding a stronger presence whom makes Roxy look like candy in comparison. Can they help Lisa and Lance even as they struggle to find Alex’s mother and save her from Roxy’s clutches without causing a pack war across the state?
Three Worlds Press: http://www.threeworldsproductionsllc.com/my-books-2/
Hello World! No really. This isn’t the rote WordPress hello, it’s me, author KD Rose saying “Hi.” I’ve been absent awhile due to illness and now I’m back. I’m here, maybe not running with the bulls but at least hobbling with the um, well, chronically pretty darn god-awful ill. But enough about that. I’m all about keeping it positive (except when I’m not). But see- things are looking up! Literally. This is a view from my yard so life can’t be all bad.
Add to that a wonderful husband, family, and even a wonderful publisher and I have a reason to dig out the old keyboard again. Ok, it was actually replace the new wireless keyboard which didn’t work worth squat with the old wired up keyboard that still works just fine, but that’s technical life for a plebian.
I’m posting on this date to mention that despite everything I have a new book coming out on May 21st, 2015- exactly one short week from now. Titled The Brevity of Twit, this humorous book is everything I used to be. Using the Twitter forum as a scroll, The Brevity of Twit yields humor, insight, and poetic vigor in a light read that will both lift your spirits and make you ponder. So take a gander. My publisher decided to publish it despite the absence of the entire being of the author (me). What more can an author ask for? The book will be on Amazon and other neat sites. I’ll post the links once the book is live.
In the meantime I’m going to un-pause and reinvigorate. It’s been awhile since I’ve sipped the creative nectar and I’m sure it will be as sweet, tangy, and ironic as I remember.
Humor in 140 characters or less.
A witty walk through the minefield of tweeting, twitter, and the many uses we have socially for it. From serious poetry to a scandalous take on improper grammar, this fast paced take on the brevity of chatting in 140 characters or less will have you falling in love with tweeting all over again.
Trending is when thousands of people across a state, country, countries, or continents, (depending on your settings) all decide to tweet about the same topic. This usually involves hashtags, a topic listed under “Trending,” and many, many people looking for their moment in the spotlight. Generally, trends are about something happening on social media, the news, movies, music, or taking place in the world at the moment. New releases, and celebrities often dominate. Celebrity deaths and death hoaxes also make their appearance. For example, as I write, #royalbaby is trending because that news was just announced and 3— not 1, not 2, but 3 trending subjects are about 1Direction. There is also a #HappyBDayCamCam trending about someone named Cameron Dallas who has 3.4 Million Twitter followers, and I don’t know who he is because, well, I’m old.
Not that these aren’t THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS EVER, but occasionally, just occasionally something will trend that is interesting to writers, or nerds, or writer-nerds like me. Sometimes these are more local trending subjects, but occasionally even God arises and says- “I am TIRED of Chris Brown, and Margaret Atwood is not tweeting today— Let the Higgs-Boson Particle be found!” Then suddenly science nerds and writer nerds and wordplay nerds form a bond. Higgs-Boson trends, writers have a field day, scientists nash their teeth at all the incorrect explanations going around, thunder claps, rivers overflow, and for a brief moment, even science makes twitter news.
- Higgs Boson- “The Force is strong with that one.”#laymangeekbutIcanthelpit
- Ok Kids: Higgs, Top Quark, Ultra High Energy Ray, TOE. In that order. I’ll be waiting for a report at dinner. Higgs Boson
- Wow- articles are now out saying US sees stronger hints of Higgs. Way to grab the spotlight for a dead collider. CERN is EU. Higgs Boson
- True- the US found hints of Higgs Boson too, but wasn’t up to more so it was kind of expected from CERN. Atom Smasher suffers collider envy.
- They might have found Higgs Boson. They might have not. Schrodinger is happy.
- Oh my- Higgs is now trending without Boson. Seriously!
- People who can make Higgs Boson jokes return my faith in humanity.
- Higgs Boson? How quaint. Where’s the (S)top Quark? What- did I just suck all the air out of CERN? Oh no wait that’s another experiment.
- Higgs Boson Why Science Works: There is no religion around supersymmetry.
K.D. Rose is an author and poet. With fellow authors around the globe, KD was also a founding member of the e-magazine, INNOVATE. K.D.’s book, “Inside Sorrow” won the Readers Favorite 2013 international Silver Medal for Poetry.
K.D. has an eclectic mind and loves language, physics, philosophy, photography, design, art of all kinds, writing of all kinds, symbolism, semiotics, spirituality, and Dr. Who.
K.D. Rose values the question more than the answer and loves creativity and innovation.
KD Rose is an avid supporter of music, the arts, cutting edge science, technology, and creativity in all forms that encourage us to expand and explore past the artificial limits we often set for ourselves in order to see the everyday connections that exist among all things.
She also currently has “Heavy Bags of Soul”, “Inside Sorrow”, and “I AM” – on sale at Amazon and other retailers.
Join K D Rose on the following social media sites:
Cancer! There, I said it. Having had it myself, I know the fear and pain associated with it, however, I beat it 26 years ago. Now, I’ve known and lost so many people from the disease, that I stopped counting long ago. Cancer affects everyone. If you haven’t had it, you probably know someone who has, or does.
My beautiful niece just shaved her head to beat the balding that happens during Chemo. She’s beautiful with or without hair. Taking it one day at a time and never giving up the fight is the only way to beat it, or pass on, knowing that you did your best to win.
This disease is the worst! Have you ever read a book where the hero or heroine had to battle disease? Do they win in the end, or fade like a blossom? The best thing about writing is that your characters can overcome any challenge. My psychic ability characters have ultimate skills that will keep you enthralled. It’s great to be able to live in a world for a short time where magic-like skills keep people healthy, and take down life’s greatest challenges.
I’m going to write my next book in honor of my niece. She’s a fighter, and will win this challenge one way or another. We all love and support her. It’s difficult when we can’t see her in person for fear of giving her germs, which can effect her low immune system, but we’re with her on Facebook, on the phone, and in spirit. She’s a brave woman who’s been through a lot in her thirty years. She goes into anaphylactic shock when in contact with nuts, so I told her she should stay away from her favorite aunt. That would be me. I’m as nutty as they come, I think.
Sassa, we’re rooting for you all the way. To me, you are a hero! To people who every day have to keep up the fight, know that you are not alone.
Heart In Hand is my current story where the hero/heroine win against all odds. It’s not about physical illness, but a romantic suspense where the hero/heroine battle against challenges it seems they can’t win. I hope you will take some comfort in knowing that no matter how bad things seem, there is always good to balance your life.
BIOGRAPHY FRANNY ARMSTRONG
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Franny Armstrong has written creatively since she was a child. Her mother always told her to write down her feelings and she did. When she was ten, she started writing and acting out plays in her garage for the neighborhood kids.
When she became ill in her forties, she used her writing skills to create stories that took her away. Living in the country with her husband and mother, three dogs, and two cats, she loves the silence when working on her books, when she can get it. With three full grown children and four grandchildren, she has a full life. Writing is her life now. Her main goal is to be a #1 Best Selling author and tour with book signings.
- Share with our readers a little about your book. (Remember to make it so they want to read more LOL)
“Breathless” is a romantic ghost about a young woman, Leah, who is traveling alone in the British Virgin Islands. The action begins during a scuba dive at a sunken wreck, supposedly haunted, when Leah discovers her oxygen tank is empty. This story is inspired a little bit from my own experience. I actually ran out of air during a dive about two years ago. Obviously, I survived. But, I’ll tell you, it was pretty darned freaky. In Leah’s case, she turns to one of the dive instructors, Dale, an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, to get her back to the surface safely. The shared exhilaration of their experience forges a connection between these two. I bet you can see where this is going …
As the tour group moves from the boat to the beach for an overnight campout, Dale and Leah are drawn to each other. They discover they’re each searching for ghosts, but for very different reasons. Throw in a moonlight hike, a salt pond, a bonfire …
I love a little supernatural with my romance, so I set out to give readers a contemporary, real-world story, with paranormal flair.
It’s up to you to decide if Leah’s and Dale’s ghosts are real.
- Tell us about yourself and what brought you to writing?
I have a career that is very different from writing, but writing is something I’ve done since I was a kid, although not seriously until 2010. I tried to write my first book in high school, and even got a bunch of chapters done. I have it somewhere in my house. I should dig it out and see how awful it was. I started another one right around the time I began grad school, which took over my life, and I totally forgot about the book. Years later, I got the writing bug back. I found the book I started in grad school, threw out almost all of it, and then finished it a year later. I’ll confess: it was not good, but it was one of the best moments of my life. I wrote my second book the next year while rewriting the first—a task that took three years, and I’m sure an editor would still give me plenty to do on it. Now, I’ve written four novels and a whole slew of short stories, one of which is “Breathless.” In the last five years, I’ve grown so much as a writer, largely from meeting other writers and from practice. I must state: the network I’ve built—these people are incredible. I could never do this without them. We’re there for each other every single day.
- Do you believe in Bigfoot?
Absolutely not. But we’re Bigfoot fans in our house. My husband, Eric, bought us our very own garden Yeti, complete with a sign, warning everyone to beware. Eric’s Bigfoot impersonation is superb, by the way. Despite my skepticism, one of my future projects will contain a Yeti. My second book is called “Therapist of the Damned,” and it’s about a psychologist who discovers her patients are vampires and all manner of supernatural creatures. I love this concept, although I’m well aware that vampires are a tough sell these days; if I’m never able to get it published, I’ll probably continue to develop the stories, because they’re pure fun. So, one night, over dinner, Eric and I were brainstorming characters for my book. He suggests I add a Yeti to my series, and I’m like, no way. Then, I realize the brilliance of his idea. A yeti in treatment for social phobia! Too perfect. My main character will definitely need a larger couch.
They say write what you know, so Jessica Bayliss did. Her story, “Breathless,” was inspired by her own experience running out of air on a scuba dive—except without all the steamy romance and eerie paranormal happenings. Alas, real life. Obviously, she survived. Her genre-bending fiction holds a little something for everyone. A lover of ghost tales and horror since her days scanning VHS rental shelves–admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers–a touch of the mysterious always finds a home in Jessica’s work. Romance with a dash of supernatural. Horror with a bit of humor. You get the gist. Jessica also writes across age groups and is a firm believer in the motto: there is a new reader born every day, whether young or not-so-young. Her work has been published by Leap Books in the recent young adult anthology, “Beware the Little White Rabbit,” and in Issue 31 of Sanitarium Magazine. She has more stories in her head than she knows what to do with and several pieces in the works at any given time, so be sure to keep an eye out for more from Jessica in the coming months.
A brush with death brings Leah closer to the ghosts she longs to find and throws her into the arms of the troubled scuba instructor who saves her.
Dale, an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, is haunted by his own restless spirits. He’s on a hunt for forgiveness, and the Caribbean Sea is his hunting ground.
The peace they search for lies in the bond they never suspected they shared.
Short: I’m seventy feet below the Caribbean Sea, and I’m out of air.
He breathes with me, using his pace to slow mine. It feels like too much. The stillness. Our breath as one. His touch against my face and unyielding gaze locked onto mine. I want to escape up to safety, but he won’t let me.
All I can do is trust him.
Inspiration comes in many forms and from many sources. The inspiration for Quest for Redemption is a combination of things. This novel started out as a Nano novel. (That’s a novel that was written in one month for National Write a Novel Month.) So really the first inspiration was just to get something down on the page and quick as the clock struck midnight. The first thing that popped into my mind was to do a fantasy love story, something with elves. I am a huge Tolkien fan and he started me on my fascination with elven kind. Seriously, who doesn’t have crush on Legolas? Am I right? Anyhow, I also wanted to have a very strong female character, not some damsel in distress. In fact, she would be the warrior, the ruler, the strong one. And that is how Zanna was born. A little of her came from Underworld mixed with Xena Warrior Princess, but in elf form. I also wanted to play with the idea of a half magical creature who had no idea what he really was. Enter Will. Part human, part sprite, part really powerful elf. Throw in some evil, because truthfully I love bad guys. Basically I wrote the novel that I would want to read. I am not going to lie, the first draft was terrible. I let it sit for a year before even tackling it and trying to clean it up for submission. Then my life became a blur or edits and tears, but I must say I am happy with the result. Quest for Redemption started out as something just for fun and became something that I never imagined.
The fate of the realms rests on the hands of an elven princess yet to prove herself and an orphan just learning his powers.
Zanna is an elven warrior princess, who seems to have it all, yet really has nothing. Her fate is not in her own hands. Instead, it is bound to an ancient magic she has no control over. She wants to rule the elves, yet must prove herself worthy before she is accepted. She also wants to find her mate, but after two thousand years, didn’t hold much hope. Her existence has become mundane, and she craves something new. A routine assignment suddenly turns into something bigger that could ruin all of them. Is she strong enough to save the world and find her own happiness too? Can she change and help change the fate of the world with her?
Will is an orphan who has always been confused by his strangeness. He keeps himself apart, separate from those around him. A chance meeting with a remarkable woman changes everything. He not only learns about himself, but about a whole other world that he is a part of by birthright. However the father that abandoned him as an infant stands to ruin his future and the future of the world unless he can be stopped.
Will and Zanna must face loved ones who work against them and their past as well as find the strength to fight a bigger enemy and save the realms from evil. Can love, friendship, family, and acceptance defeat evil before it brings the realms crashing down? Can Zanna prove herself worthy to rule the kingdom?
Author Sheri Velarde
Sheri Velarde is an author, artist, independent comic creator and jewelry designer out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a creative soul with eclectic taste and style when it comes to her art and writing. Sheri is a multi-publisher romance author who is now branching into fantasy as well with her Defender of the Realms series. When not creating (which her fiancé argues is never), Sheri can be found spending time with her fiancé and their two dogs, reading, watching fantasy movies, attending metal concerts and just taking time to stop and enjoy life.
You can view Sheri’s work on her website/blog: http://sherivelarde.weebly.com/, on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sheri-VelardeKelly-Ryan/, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Sher_V.
Quest for Redemption will be out on Three Worlds Press April 23, 2015!
Zanna stood, stunned into immobility. While with Alana, she would have to travel the human way. The thought slightly annoyed her, yet fascinated her at the same time. “I do not travel by vehicle, so I will be forced to ride in yours.” She could still smell and see the fear in Alana, so she tried to lighten the mood. “You know I have never actually ridden in a car before.”
“Really?” Alana seemed shocked.
“I have never had the need. I simply come and go in this world when I want. I usually arrive and leave the very spot I wish, and there is never a need for me to travel from place to place while in this realm. Not to mention I find the transportation of humans to be quite slow and cumbersome.” Nonetheless, Zanna elegantly bent her long frame into the passenger side, slightly curious to see why many humans loved their cars so much. Sitting inside one, she felt rather cramped and uncomfortable, and while it was a fast means of transportation for a human, she didn’t understand what was so special. Maybe one had to be human to fathom why vehicles fascinated them so.
Alana very nervously started her car and began to pull out. “Aren’t you going to put your seatbelt on? We don’t want to get pulled over.”
“Excuse me?” Zanna had no idea what the sprite spoke of.
“The human law enforcement requires all people within a vehicle to wear a seatbelt.” She pointed to the belt around herself.
As she pulled the belt and fastened it like Alana’s, Zanna asked, “What is it for?”
“Protection in case of an accident. Stops you from flying through the windshield,” she explained.
“How curious. You know it is completely unnecessary for me. But if it will keep human law enforcement from interfering, so be it. The less I have to deal with humans, the better.”
The drive to Alana’s home did not take as long as Zanna expected, especially considering she was used to arriving in places almost instantaneously. She actually found the trip rather interesting, seeing the human world in a way she had never experienced before. The tall metal buildings and the harsh exteriors held a beauty to them in their angles and order that she had never realized before. While she could never give up the open airiness of the magical realm, viewing this realm as a human gave her some insight into humans and their nature. Alana pulled into the parking lot of a very tall and nice-looking apartment building. She turned off her car and Zanna could see that she was once again trembling.
“What are you going to do to me and my mother?” She spoke so quietly that a mere human would have had a hard time hearing her.
“I am going to gather information. The more I hear about how little you know, the less inclined I am to punish you. I would like to know why you and your mother, who have magical blood, cannot enter our world. It is your birthright. If you cannot enter our world and have not been allowed those privileges of being two-natured, then I cannot punish you for not following our laws.” Zanna tried to smile and reassure Alana that she meant her no harm. Judging by the look on her face, it worked. Zanna had been told before that when she smiled at humans and stared directly into their eyes they believed whatever she said. It came in handy when questioning them before erasing their memories.
Alana took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. Zanna attempted to follow, but forgot to take off the seatbelt and found herself still restrained. To her surprise, Alana giggled, and after a moment, so did Zanna. That shocked her even more. She rarely laughed, let alone giggled like a young girl. Kalan had been right saying that something was up with her tonight; she definitely was not herself.
As Alana took the lead, she said, “My mom’s going to freak out that an elf is coming to our home. She always talks about how strong, powerful, and beautiful elves are. She’s going to be so pleased, but mad that I didn’t call to warn her that you were coming.”
“I told you I mean no harm to your mother. There is no need to warn her.”
“No, you misunderstand. She’s going to wish she had time to clean and dress nicely for you. To make our home and herself more presentable to you,” Alana explained.
Zanna was about to answer that this would not be necessary, but they had just walked inside the apartment building and a young man in the lobby, apparently leaving, walked right toward them. Alana and Zanna both stopped talking, not wanting to be overheard. Zanna also noticed that Alana’s posture stiffened, and she could smell a little fear coming off her once more. She could tell that, this time, she was not the one causing the reaction. Zanna glanced and saw that Alana was blushing and peering shyly at the young man coming their way.
History is one of my passions. I love “going” back in time to discover what our ancestors were like and how they functioned, which shows how much we’ve changed as a society. Here are a couple of things I learned while writing this book.
1) I had to bend the rules a little to make the story work.
When the Vikings invaded the UK, they settled around the Orkney Islands, in Ireland, England, and Scotland. Among a lot of other places too, but the part of Scotland where I wanted my Vikings doesn’t appear to have actually had many, if any. So I pushed them farther north with the Saxons and set up a kingship for them. One of the bad guys in the story, Ingvar the White Raven, became king of the area and snuffed out his Saxon neighbors. I fandangled the names of the native people a bit, giving them a little Old English and Scottish flair.
2) I had no idea the Viking reach was so far out into the world.
You think Vikings, you think Sweden, Denmark, you know, cold places. You can easily figure in the UK, although I had no idea Normandy referred to ‘northmen’ which is, of course, the Vikings. While doing research, I was astounded to learn than the Vikings had a huge influence on Russia, which I mention the hero, Hella, has visited, and even Byzantine. The Vikings set their longships to sail from Greece to Turkey and even into Africa. Amazing!
3) By the 11th century, they’d discovered North America.
This doesn’t factor into Her Heart’s Surrender, but I found it incredibly amazing. There are all kinds of hoaxes suggesting Europeans made it to the New World much sooner than we can historically prove, but the Vikings actually made it to North America and would have colonized but for the aggressive Native Americans they encountered. That’s saying something, because we’re all well-aware of how mighty the Vikings were, but it was unlikely they were willing to send great armies to foreign shores just to colonize there. Too impractical, although their discovery of the Canadian coastline was.
Taken from her village as a child, Ealasaid has lived under the iron rule of a Viking king for far too long. The only good to come out of her life is her son. As long as the king lives, their freedom and hope for the future seems dismal. Despite her contempt for the king and his bloodline, she’s drawn to Hella Ingvasson, the man who kidnapped her, and the plight he faces when the king dies.
His father’s final demand is that Hella must wed if he’s to claim the throne. What better revenge than to marry the thrall his father hated most? Despite her fears Hella will become like his father, Ealasaid agrees to marry for her son’s sake, but she quickly learns her husband’s battle scarred body provides more pleasure than nightmares.
Word comes that her brothers also survived the raid and have assembled an army. They march toward a Norse settlement with the intention of revenge. Unless she can reach her brothers and convince them not to slaughter the man and people she’s come to love, Hella may become another bloody stain on history’s tapestry.
“You seem troubled, Hella.” His name rolled from her lips smooth as wind through the oaks. “Shall I send for Erik or Bjorn? Company might soothe your nerves.”
Erik would have to be informed of Ingvar’s plan should Hella fail to marry, but he didn’t want to share it yet. “They’ll suggest we drink ourselves blind and let the problem wait for tomorrow. There are not enough tomorrows to prevent my trouble.”
Her lips puckered, a clear sign she wanted to ask, but there were limits to her curiosity.
There wasn’t any harm in telling her. Everyone would learn his plight soon enough. “It’s about my father’s last wish.”
“Ingvar speaks from beyond the death veil.” She quirked an eyebrow. “What does the old king require you to do? Will you unite Northumbria to conquer Byzantium or Spain?”
“No, it’s much more difficult.” He tore the end off the bread and ripped it into little bits. “I must take a wife or lose Solstad.”
Ealasaid stared, then burst into laughter.
“I’m pleased my troubles amuse you.” He smashed his hand on top of the crumbs. “Explain how my misfortune is a cause for laughter.”
She wiped tears from her eyes. “You’ve fought battles others would run from. You grew up in the White Raven’s shadow. You take what you want and leave nothing behind. I find it difficult to see how marriage is a horror you cannot face.”
“Indeed, my sorrows are reason for mirth.” He shoveled scalding soup into his mouth and swallowed. She wouldn’t have dared talk to his father this way, but Ealasaid had never held her tongue around him. “Be gone. Instruct another thrall to bring the rest of my courses.”
“You must have dozens of conquests. Surely one would make a suitable wife for the new king of Solstad.” She twirled a pale strand of hair around her finger. “Inga the butcher’s daughter? She’s fair of face and quick to laugh. Or Giera. The daughter of some jarl or the other north of here.”
“You’re not helping. Go on, leave.”
“As you wish, m’lord.” She curtsied then turned for the door. “May the gods resolve your inheritance issues and favor you with a mighty queen and a hundred strong Viking babies born with clubs in their hands.”
About the author:
A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.
Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authorallisonmerritt
Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/Allison_Merritt
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/allisonmwrites
If you follow many authors and/or blogs that feature authors (like this one perhaps), you probably see some cover reveals from time to time. Usually they take place before the book is out, so you may be wondering why authors do this. Well for one thing, the cover is a vitally important part of the book and whether or not people want to pick it up to read too. It is also a way to say thank you to the cover artists out there who are often underappreciated in the publishing industry. They are artists make no mistake about it and they deserve to have the spotlight shined on their work. Think of cover reveals as a gallery show for cover artists, a chance for people to appreciate their art simply for the art. It is also a time for the author to just sit back and appreciate that their hard work has paid off. A cover reveal is the calm before and after the storm. They have survived writing and editing their baby and it’s not yet time to get out there and promote like crazy. It’s a chance to say “Ah, I did it! I wrote a book and it has a beautiful cover.” It’s like when new parents want to share the photos of their babies with the world, it’s a moment of pure joy!
And that is what the lovely Dawn Brower is sharing with us today, her latest moment of pure joy!
The year is 1941 and paradise is a way of life in Hawaii. For Rebecca O’Shea things couldn’t be more perfect. She has her dream career as a naval nurse, and is in love with the man of her dreams—it seems she has it all.
An empathic gift she’s had all her life starts to grow, showering her with emotions and premonitions that suggest a great darkness is near. Just when she thinks she cannot take anymore her guardian, Joel, arrives to help her.
Rebecca’s life is thrown into chaos when war hits Hawaii’s shore. As the Japanese bomb her home, her gift explodes within her. Loss and pain become her new way of life. She abandons all hope and shuts down her empathic abilities. With bodies littering the hospitals and seas, her calling as a nurse is put to good use, but her heart remains unreachable. Can she find her way out of the blackness and accept her true fate? Or will the prevailing death and destruction of war consume her?
Broken Pearl is published by Three Worlds Press. For more information on this book or their other works please visit: http://www.threeworldsproductionsllc.com/.