Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop 2013 - Win Masked Love!


Welcome to my post for the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop 2013! Here, you can win a copy of Masked Love. It's the perfect little novella to get you in the holiday spirit and put you in the mood to grab some mistletoe and kiss that someone special in your life.

Isabelle is content being a maid, and will do anything for her lady, even accompany her to a masquerade ball. Lady Theodosia needs extra support and encouragement on this night, for tomorrow she will meet the man her parents have pledged her to.

Isabelle has never had occasion to attend such an event, and is at first ill at ease. But meeting an enchanting young man during the course of the evening makes her wish for a life she can never have. Thinking she will never see him again, she returns his flirtation and even reveals her face. Imagine her shock when he shows up the next morning, announcing his claim on Lady Thedosia.

Isabelle does all she can to avoid Lord Adrian Wingave, but then he not only sees her, he recognizes her. To make matters worse, Isabelle fears her feelings are not one-sided.

Torn between duty and desire, Isabelle hopes for something more this Christmas.

To win, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me if you ever kissed someone under the mistletoe. Bonus entry if you add Masked Love to your TBR shelf on Goodreads. Double bonus points if you sign up for my newsletter.

And don't worry. If you already have Masked Love, you can pick any novel from my backlist. There's something for everyone! Superheroes, knights... :) Enjoy the rest of the hop and be sure to enter the main giveaway!


The Short Game, a novella by J.L. Fynn


Today I am excited to share the release of The Short Game, a novella by J.L. Fynn. It's a companion novella to her debut novel The Long Game, but it's completely stand-alone. That is, even if you haven't read the first book, you will enjoy this one.

And even more exciting than the book's release? All day today and tomorrow you can get it FOR FREE! Want to learn more?

Summary from Goodreads:

Jimmy Boy Reilly should be out on the road like the rest of his Irish-American Gypsy clan, but instead he’s stuck at home. His little brother Shay is up north pulling a long con, something Jimmy never wanted him involved in, and now all he can do is worry and wait. 

But Shay isn’t the only thing on his mind this summer. He can’t seem to shake the image of the cute store clerk they swindled a few weeks back, and it’s really starting to get to him. When he decides to return the money in an effort to get her out of his mind, that small act of redemption soon turns into a date, and maybe something more.

Jimmy Boy never had any intention of falling for the country girl, cute or not, but there’s no way he could resist the beautiful, sassy blonde. Now it’s not just the fate of his little brother he’s worried about, but his own too. Hiding the relationship from his clan is hard enough, but keeping the fact that he’s an Irish Traveler from Tracy is even harder--and might cost him more in the end.

Set concurrently to J.L. Fynn’s debut novel The Long Game, The Short Game is a novella exploring what’s happening back at the Traveler Village while Shay is up north. While it could be considered a companion novel to The Long Game, it's a stand-alone story that can be enjoyed even without having read The Long Game.



Stats:

Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 21,000 words
Release Date: December 17, 2013

About the Author:

J.L. Fynn is the public face of the writing collaboration between Katherine Ernst and Chelle Bruhn. Katherine and Chelle disagree on most everything (music, food, need for punctuality), except for what's really important, which is why they've been best friends for seventeen years and writing together for three.






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 Book 1 American Gypsy Series                                 Book 2 American Gypsy Series
Available Now!                                                           Out January 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giveaways Galore including Name a Super Villain!

In celebration of finishing up White Hellebore before sending it to my editor, I thought I would have my readers and friends help to name the super villain in the story.

For those who have read Black Hellebore know the super villain is Skull Krusher. In White Hellebore, the super villain starts out as a genius scientist who has good intentions but things don't quite go as Hunter Walter planned and now he has extra, super strong limbs and periods where he black outs and another side of him surfaces.

Any ideas for the super villain name? Whichever name I choose, the winner will be mentioned in the acknowledgements of the story AND will win a print copy of Black Hellebore when it's available. Feel free to list as many names as you can think of!

And don't forget to enter my other giveaways!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Truth or Lie with Crystal Collier, Author of Moonless, and a Giveaway!

Today I want to introduce Crystal Collier's debut novel, Moonless. We're going to play the Truth or Lie game, and you have a chance to win her book

Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. 

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

"MOONLESS is powerful, compelling, and packed with soul." --Bethany Kaczmarek, editor at A Little Red, Inc. 

"I fell head over heels for the characters. The story itself was magnificent and the way Crystal writes is beyond that." --TC Mckee, acquiring editor at BookFish Books 

"The mystery is dense and pulsating... Power-packed action, heart stopping mystery, unpredictable twists and turns..." --Review on I Am a Reader Not a Writer


Buy MOONLESS HERE or add it on Goodreads.

Crystal gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Can you figure out the lie? Those who do will be entered in a random drawing to win one of three ebooks of MOONLESS. How cool is that? You have until November 30, at 11:59 p.m. to guess--and be sure to come back for the answer and winner announcement on December 6th!

TRUTH OR LIE

1. Crystal comes from a family of ten.
2. She gave birth to kid #3 in NYC. (And let us never speak of it again.)
3. Crystal is married to a man who has a disease name after him

Okay human lie detectors, which is the lie? Enter your guess below!

Crystal Collier, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. 

You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

AND you have one more chance to win!

RAFFLECOPTER
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Crossroads by Jonathan Lister - Giveaway


Werewolf. Bar bouncer. Dad. Standard traits for any self-respecting, reformed criminal, living under the radar in Demos City. For Leon Gray, normal is what he wants — for himself and his not-yet-changed teenage daughter.

Playing bodyguard to crusading reporter David Hastings would totally ruin Leon’s peace, especially since Hastings has hired killers on his trail, pros who know how he takes his espresso in the morning, and where Leon lives.

The payoff, though, would fill up Shauna’s empty college fund, and in a battle between opportunity and ordinary, money wins. He just has to keep Hastings alive long enough to cash the check.

If only he didn’t have to save his daughter, too.

As a budding wolf, she’s piqued the interest of a local pack Alpha — one Leon knows will steal Shauna right out from under him the first chance he gets.

Leon isn’t about to give up on his daughter or Hastings, and will fight for both longer than it took Demos City to see werewolves as equals to humans.

He can only hope it doesn’t take a thousand years.



Author Bio: Jonathan Lister is a full-time writer with work appearing in outlets of USA Today, The Houston Chronicle and many others. A graduate of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, he’s waited an unspeakable amount of tables en route to having the career he wants, and the ability to the tell stories he loves. Crossroads: a Demos City Novel is Jonathan’s first book-length work of fiction. He currently lives in the Philadelphia area and continues to drink too much coffee.


Twitter: @realjonlister  Blog: ijonathanlister.wordpress.com
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Friday, November 1, 2013

Masked Love - Regency Holiday Romance Only .99!

I just love this cover. Can't stop staring at it. Definitely swoon worthy!


Isabelle is content being a maid, and will do anything for her lady, even accompany her to a masquerade ball. Lady Theodosia needs extra support and encouragement on this night, for tomorrow she will meet the man her parents have pledged her to.

Isabelle has never had occasion to attend such an event, and is at first ill at ease. But meeting an enchanting young man during the course of the evening makes her wish for a life she can never have. Thinking she will never see him again, she returns his flirtation and even reveals her face. Imagine her shock when he shows up the next morning, announcing his claim on Lady Thedosia.

Isabelle does all she can to avoid Lord Adrian Wingave, but then he not only sees her, he recognizes her. To make matters worse, Isabelle fears her feelings are not one-sided.

Torn between duty and desire, Isabelle hopes for something more this Christmas.

Early reviews:


I don't usually read historicals, but I'm so glad I had the chance to read Masked Love. I read this in just a few hours, as it's a short romance. Set in the Regency Era, I felt like I was reading about Jane Austen, Lizzy Bennett or Emma...Centered around the holidays, Masked Love is a heart-warming, quick read with the joys of Christmas and love around every corner. Don't miss this read!
Melinda Dozier

Nicole Zoltack spins a wonderfully romantic tale of star-crossed lovers in this holiday release. You'll be turning pages to see if Adrian and Isabelle will get their happy-ever-after, or will Adrian be forced to honor a contract made when he was but a child.  Mary Waibel 

And head over to Mary's blog. She's kick starting the Masked Love blog tour with a character interview with Isabelle!

I really hope you'll check out Masked Love! It was so fun to write a Christmas romance, and it's only 99 cents. And I'd be so appreciative if you would spread the word about it!


Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

MASKED LOVE available for purchase already!

MASKED LOVE released early!!!


*runs around in a circle*

I'm still coming off my high from Black Hellebore releasing. No rest for the weary!!!

(Especially since my nose is all stuffed up and I can't breathe at night so my sleeping has been awful lately.)

(But who needs sleep when you're busy releasing books?)

(Parenthesis abuse goes hand in hand with multiple exclamation points it seems.)

And it's only 99 cents!

First review:

I don't usually read historicals, but I'm so glad I had the chance to read Masked Love. I read this in just a few hours, as it's a short romance. Set in the Regency Era, I felt like I was reading about Jane Austen, Lizzy Bennett or Emma. If I read a historical, this is the time period I love! 

The instant love is so heart-warming during those times. I wish it could always be that simple. Isabelle and Adrian meet at a Masquerade ball during the holiday season. What they both don't know is that Adrian is to be married to Isabelle's employer, Theodosia. Adrian doesn't know that Isabelle is just a maid. Yet, when they find out, it doesn't matter, because their love for each other far outweighs any social class perils. Adrian was always the gentlemen, not wanting to hurt Theodosia, but when he learns that Theodosia doesn't want to marry either, he's set on finding a solution to make every one happy. Centered around the holidays, Masked Love is a heart-warming, quick read with the joys of Christmas and love around every corner. Don't miss this read! ~Melinda Dozier from Goodreads


The blog tour for Masked Love starts on November first (when it was supposed to be released) and there will be prizes for those who follow along. There will be lots of fun and pictures and shenanigans.

Enjoy and happy reading!

Add to Goodreads

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Monday, October 28, 2013

AMMC: Wishes and Kisses

This was written for AMMC: A Merry Minion Christmas, a winter anthology sponsored by LauraMissy and Nick. This is my second story for the collection.

Title:   "Wishes and Kisses"
Genre: Holiday Romance with a hint of Fantasy
Author:  Nicole Zoltack
eBook:  Yes

Dedicated to everyone who wishes on shooting stars.

The shooting star streamed against the nighttime sky, and Kelly wished and dreamed and hoped that tomorrow she’d no longer be able to say she was sweet sixteen and never been kissed. Everyone knew that a wish on a shooting star on Christmas Eve had to come true.

Only, the last time she had, it hadn’t.

Of course, she’d been six and wished for a unicorn. What a wasted wish!

“Hey, Johnny! Hurry and make a wish!”

Her thirteen-year-old brother entered her doorway. “A wish?”

She pointed out the window.

He slowly walked over to her. “You aren’t stargazing.” Johnny smirked and nodded to the house next door.

Directly opposite of Kelly’s window was Dylan’s, the hottie next door she tutored in math. Although he was a junior, he was already the star quarterback and so far out of her league he might as well live on Jupiter.

“Give it up.” Johnny patted her shoulder.

“Dweeb,” she muttered.

“Geek,” he returned.

“Thanks!”

“Not a compliment.”

Still wishing, Kelly fell asleep with a smile on her face.

***

The next morning, Johnny woke everyone up bright and early. He always reverted back to a three-year-old on Christmas. After Mass, they all exchanged presents. Kelly was thrilled with the thigh-high boots she got. “Thanks, Mom! Can I wear them tonight at Dylan’s party?”

Mom exchanged a glance with Dad, who nodded. “Fine,” she said. “But you can’t leave until after we finish dinner and you have to be home by nine. Okay, ten.”

Kelly squealed. Maybe her wish would come true tonight at the party. She’d been begging her parents to allow her to go for weeks, and her parents had insisted Christmas was for family. That they gave in was amazing.

Relatives stopped by for more gift giving, and the day flew by. The little bits of dinner Kelly managed to eat were delicious. She bounced in her seat. Finally her mom nodded toward the door, and Kelly hugged everyone before racing over.

The party was already exciting, with music blaring and kids dancing. Kelly waved to Julie, her best friend since they’d switched from diapers to training pants, and started toward her when someone tapped her shoulder.

“Hey, Kelly, glad you could make me.”

“Dylan. Yeah.”

Gah, why did her tongue have to go all numb and her brain switch off when he was around? At least she could talk somewhat during the tutoring sessions. Numbers came easier to her than boys.
“Catch you later.” He waved and disappeared into the crush of people.

Great. Her big chance and she’d blown it.

“Woah, killer boots.” Julia nudged her shoulder into Kelly’s. “Making any headway with your hottie?”

“He’s not mine.”

So much for star wishes.

***

Most everyone at the party enjoyed themselves, but the living room was far too crowded, and Kelly slipped out the back door to get some fresh air. Despite her coat, she felt cold, and she shivered.

“Come back inside.” Dylan appeared next to her.

She stared at him. Firm jaw, full lips, crazy hair that begged fingers to fix them, long eyelashes framing amazing blue eyes… Dylan was more than good looking. Other than math, he was smart and he constantly stopped bullies from tormenting other kids. Even stood up to one for her. Not that Kelly needed him to. She didn’t care if others called her a nerd or geek because she was one.

Kelly so badly wanted to tell him how she felt, tried to work up the nerve to kiss him, but someone called him back inside and with an apologetic smile, he left her.

So she returned home, climbed into bed, but couldn’t sleep. The party continued on, and Julie left a dozen messages, but Kelly ignored them. Finally, shortly before midnight, the music turned off and everyone left.

She abandoned the comfort of her room and enjoyed a mug of hot cocoa. The warmth of the liquid seeped through the ceramic cup, warming her hands as she walked out of the back door of her house. The nearby woods called to her, and she stepped into them until she found a fallen log. Sitting on it, she rested and enjoyed the rest of her hot chocolate when something hard poked into her back.

Kelly jumped up to see a horse with a horn on its head.

A unicorn!

She touched the sharp tip. Yes, the unicorn was real. She wasn’t dreaming.

In the sky, she spied another shooting star.

Don’t tell me it takes ten years for wishes to come true.

Kelly led the unicorn back to her house and placed him in the garage. She’d deal with the unicorn, and her parents, tomorrow. Er, later on today. Her cell phone read 12:03.

Before she could lose nerve, Kelly marched over to Dylan’s house. She knocked on the door. More like pounded. Waited a few seconds and pounded some more.

Dylan opened the door. “Hey, Kelly. What’s—”

She threw her arms around his neck and pressed her lips to his. After first, he held still, but then he wrapped his arms around her and kissed back.

“Woah,” he said.

“Yeah.” She bit her lip. Okay, so she’d kissed him.

Now what?

He had a goofy smile on his face. “I… I wanted to do that for so long but I thought…”

“Wait, you like me?”

“Yeah.” Dylan crossed his arms. “I’m actually quite good at math.”

“Oh yeah?”

“I can count real good.” He kissed her right cheek and then forehead. “That’s three kisses.” Then the tip of her nose. “Four.”

“Hm.” She sighed happily. “But you need help with your English. You count well.”

“Does that matter?” He kissed her one more time before they spent the rest of the night sitting on his front porch, talking about anything and everything.


Including unicorns and wishes and kisses.

AMMC: Christmas Magic

This was written for AMMC: A Merry Minion Christmas, a winter anthology sponsored by LauraMissy and Nick.

Title:   "Christmas Magic"
Genre: Holiday Paranormal Romance
Author:  Nicole Zoltack
eBook:  Yes

Dedicated to all who love the Christmas season.

Opal stared at the flickering flame, shadows dancing on the walls. She smoothed the cover beneath Ryan’s chin, her fingers brushing against his deathly cold chin. ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and her love was dying. No magician or healer could save him. The last doctor had just left, had stolen the last shreds of her hope with him.

She brushed his soft brown hair back. “We were to be married tomorrow. We were to have lots of children and tend to the fields and sell our crops. There would have been lean years, but there would have been strong ones too. Maybe if we had a son, we could have scrapped enough coin for him to be trained as a knight. We were supposed to have more time together. More time.”

A tear trickled down her nose and dripped onto his cheek. She kissed it away and gripped his hand, wishing she was warm herself to lend him some, but she wore a threadbare dress, and the candle did not warm the room. A bitter wind howled outside, and the thin walls did not bar it.

“Remember how we first met?” One of the doctors had suggested Ryan could still hear her, and ever since, she could not stop talking to him. His eyes remained closed, his lips a thin blue line. Only his chest raised and lowered as he labored through each breath. No one knew what illness had stricken him two weeks ago, but even to her untrained eye, she could see he neared the end.

“You had come to market, wearing a blue tunic. It matched your eyes and I could not look away. I was supposed to trade some corn for beans, and I dropped the corn. I fell to my knees to gather it, and when I stood, I couldn’t see you anymore. When I finally reached the bean seller, she had already traded you the last. You overheard me talking to her and gave me some without a word. And then you left before my tongue could vocalize my thanks. I feared I would never see you again.”

Fear gripped her heart now, and she struggled to bury it. Ryan did not need to hear her sorrow. She had to be strong for him, in this, his last hours. A strong gust of wind blew into the house, easing into the cracks of the window and extinguishing the flame. Opal had no choice but to stop touching Ryan to relight the candle. Then she rubbed his frozen cheek, his stubble tickling her palm.

“Each day after, I snuck back to the market, hoping to see you. One month. I was almost ready to give up. But then you were there, and I managed a grunt.” She giggled. “A grunt! You laughed, and I laughed, and then we started talking and meeting every day. I think I might have loved the idea of you at first, during that month before we actually spoke, but then I learned you truly were a good and kind and wonderful person, and I could not help but truly love you.”

And she always would. But saying that out loud would feel too much like goodbye, and she wasn’t ready for that, would never be.

“Ryan…” Her voice broke, and she cleared her throat. Her mouth was dry. Perhaps Ryan’s was as well. It had been some time since she had tried to coax him to drink.

Carefully, she lifted his head and held a clay cup to his lips. The water merely trickled down his chin. A towel sopped up the liquid, and she swallowed the rest of the cup’s contents.

“Christmas two years ago, we said ‘I love you’ for the first time. Last year, you asked me to marry you. We should have gotten married on that day instead of waiting. Tomorrow…”

She couldn’t finish and hung her head. Another wind blew against the house, and Opal climbed into bed beside Ryan, beneath the covers. “I am so sorry you’re sick. I wish it were me instead! I would do anything for you. I love you, Ryan.”

What she needed was a Christmas miracle.

Her hand pressed against his chest. Her hand hardly moved up and down.

Love wasn’t enough. Perhaps he couldn’t be saved, but Opal was willing to try anything, even forbidden magic. Telling Ryan she had a distant relative who was a witch hadn’t broken his love for her. Witches and warlocks were banned from using magic, as they were far too powerful. Magicians only used magic to spread joy and happiness. Healers, obviously, healed the sick through magical means, when physicians’ medicines and tonics failed.

From within her boot, Opal produced a dagger. The blade easily cut through his shirt to reveal his chest. The sharp tip drew a line against her palm. She did not flinch or hiss despite the pain. An identical line she traced on his palm. After mixing their blood together, she touched their wounded hands above his heart.

“Love of my life, the light in my eye, the song that I sing, you are my everything. On this night, Christmas Eve, do not leave me. Take my blood, take my strength, take my heart, but do not leave me.”

Two tears, one from each eye, trickled down Opal’s eyes. Their hands were not moving. Ryan breathed no more.

She had failed. Her Christmas miracle hadn’t come.

Opal closed her eyes. With a sigh, she pressed her lips to his one last time. Then she laid her head on his chest. The pain in her heart radiated throughout her body, the cut in her palm agonizing. A whimper escaped her lips. “Goodbye, Ryan,” she murmured, her voice breaking.

Her head rose, but she hadn’t moved.

“I love you, Opal.”

She slowly sat up. Ryan’s blue eyes were staring at her, full of love, vigor, and life.

Her Christmas miracle had come true.

“I love—” Opal kissed him several times before pulling back and tugging on his hand. “Come. We’re going to find the priest and get married immediately.”

Ryan laughed, the sound strong and hearty. “Whatever you wish, my love, the air I breathe.”

And so they got married in the first minutes of Christmas Day.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Magna’s Plea by Cherie Reich @bookworm0753

A princess will rise and challenge Fate.

While her father, brothers, and people fight against the Kingdom of Apentha, tenacious eighteen-year-old Princess Magna can only watch the destruction of Amora, her besieged city and kingdom. Her mother, Quee

But Magna won't take no for an answer. She seeks out an end of the war from Prince Cyrun of Apentha, their prisoner. If she can't persuade him toward peace, then Amora may fall.

This short story prequel includes a sneak peek of Reborn, Book One of The Fate Challenges, forthcoming May 2014.

YA Epic Fantasy
The Fate Challenges #0.5
A 5500-word Short Story
n Vyvian, has refused to allow her heir to join the fray.

Best of all, you can download this short story for free at Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo / Smashwords / Goodreads and read online at Wattpad.

Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer living in Virginia. For more information about her work, please visit her blog and website.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

FREE Writing Feedback During The Writers Helping Writers AMAZING RACE!

Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse) have added two more books to their Descriptive Thesaurus Collection: The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes and The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws. To celebrate, they are hosting a race, and not just any old race, either. It's the...


Writing is hard, isn't it? Create the perfect hook. Make your first page compelling. Craft an amazing 25 word pitch. Knock out a query that will blow an agent's mind. On and on it goes. And sometimes, well, you just wish someone would help.

WISH NO MORE!

From October 21st until October 27th, Writers Helping Writers is posting an OPEN CALL for writers. You can fill out a form, requesting help with critiques, book visibility, social media sharing, blog diagnostics, advice and more.

An army of Amazing Racers are standing by (ME INCLUDED!) waiting to help with your submissions. How many people can we help in a week? Let's find out! Did I mention there are Celebrity Racers too--amazing authors and editors who know their way around a first page. Maybe one of them will pick your submission to help with!

Each day this week, there's an AMAZING giveaway, too. So stop in at Angela & Becca's new Writers Helping Writers website and find out how to take advantage of this unique, pay-it-forward event for writers. I'll see you there!