Monday, July 29, 2013

Sandra Sookoo, Author of Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream, Talks about Old Hollywood Movies

HollywoodDreamsVBT.jpg

Thanks for hosting me today, and thanks to the readers who’ve joined up as part of the Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream virtual blog tour. This is stop #6. Be sure to visit all stops to better your chance of winning swag!

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Sandra Sookoo. I write romantic fiction, but over the course of the last year, I’ve primarily focused on contemporary and Regency romance. My latest book is a sweet contemporary.

I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for old Hollywood movies. I’d say anything from the 1950s is my absolute favorite. When I set out to write this book, I had no idea I would include Hollywood trivia from that time period. One day, I had an urge to watch The African Queen, so I called it up on Netflix and became absorbed in the film. I’d seen it before, of course, and it always stuck with me (especially since bits of Disney’s Jungle Cruise ride are inspired by it) Anyway, I’m sure it comes as no surprise Gwynn and Cole watch this movie as part of the Movies in the Park in this book. It worked out surprisingly well and I’m very pleased with how it played out. I hope you will be too. (But you have to buy the book to find out what I’m talking about!)

HollywoodDreamsandButtercreamCoverArt-sml.jpgHere’s the blurb for Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream:

Sometimes the sweetest things in life don’t have anything to do with dessert.

Gwynn Flannigan wants respect from her father and freedom from her big, loud family. The icing on her cake would be to win a decorating competition hosted by her favorite food magazine writer. Cole Marshall's one outlet from the stress of business life is writing his Cooking in the Buff feature. Who cares if he never has time for fun?

The answer for them both lies in the deep freeze at Sweet Endings, the struggling ice cream shop Gwynn manages and the one property Cole needs to secure a big promotion. He’s stuck in Madrigal, Indiana to unravel a knot of family drama that drives him crazy.

Things heat between Gwynn and Cole on the competition floor when Cole’s alter ego is revealed.  Cake and accusations fly while dreams and goals are left crumbling. In order to balance family, business, and love, Gwynn and Cole will need to work together and become partners—in more ways than one.

And here’s an excerpt:

"Cole, look at me." Her request came with a hefty dose of throaty suggestion. How did it get there and why couldn't she bring that out on command?

He turned his head. "Yeah?" His eyes glittered in the twilight shadows.

"You have a smear of icing on your mouth." Before her temporary injection of courage could dissipate, she dabbed at the frosting on the side of his mouth. Not having a napkin, she licked the sugary glob from her finger.

Cole twisted his body toward her, his gaze twin caldrons of smoldering green. "Did you get it all?" His voice was equally low but with a smoky quality that prickled the hairs on her arms and nape into heightened awareness.

Insanity ruled over common sense as she said, "Nope, there's still a little bit left." Gwynn leaned into him. Her palm grazed his cheek as she cupped it and fit her lips to his in a fleeting kiss, being sure to ply that spot in the corner with a leisurely lick. The slight rasp of his stubble against her tongue sent tiny tremors into her lower belly.

Cole pulled away, but not far enough that she couldn't feel the warmth of his breath on her face. He swiped a forefinger into the frosting of his cake then dabbed the icing onto the middle of his bottom lip. "How about now?"

"You know, homemade frosting is thick and stubborn. It clings to everything." Gwynn kissed him again, taking care to nibble the icing until not a trace of it was left. She slid her hand to the back of his head. His silky hair flowed over her fingers and invited more than a brief touch. Cole moved his free hand to her waist, insistent at the small of her back, setting off a host of tingles. He glided his mouth over hers with a gentleness she hadn't expected from him. Sampling chocolate from his lips was the sweetest thing she'd ever partaken of and she didn't want the intimacy to end. She cupped the side of his face once more, seeking to deepen the connection and find out if the heat threatening to melt her was definitely from him and not the summer temperature.

He broke the embrace, and she thought she caught a soft, shuddering sigh from him. "Well, that's one way of removing a smudge."

You can purchase this book at the following locations:


Have we connected on social media yet? If not, here’s my info. I’d love to talk to you!

Believing is Seeing blog:  http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/


Giveaway information on this post: One lucky random commenter will receive a Hollywood Dreams and Buttercream swag pak. Be sure to leave your contact information.

Cover Reveal - Beasts of Burdin by Alexander Nader

Beasts of Burdin by Alexander Nader

Beasts of Burdin

Release Date: February 10, 2014

Demon hunter Ty Burdin hung up his guns, knife, trench coat and fedora a year ago. Bags packed, hands washed of all demon politics, he’s done. Forever.

In fact, to get far far away, he dragged Nora, his rockabilly secretary, from Miami to the Tennessee mountains where he’s lived a life of peace—if peace can be defined as drowning in scotch and taking private eye jobs to keep the lights on. Jobs for real people. Not demons.

No demons.

He’s retired from that. Remember?

Demon hunters aren’t a dime a dozen, though, and when Ty’s brother asks him for a favor—just one—what’s a brother to do? Agreeing to take down one hillbilly demon shouldn’t take that long. In. Decapitate. Out. Favor complete. Back to the office where Nora and his bottle of whiskey are waiting.

Unfortunately for Ty, staying retired doesn’t seem to be in the cards, and an avalanche of bad luck draws him right back to an agency he despises and the career that nearly cost him his sanity.

This time, Ty has no way out and will have to face his own demons just to survive.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mything You by Greta Buckle

Mything You by Greta Buckle
Available at:

Blurb:

He wasn't looking for love. He only wanted to prove he was worthy of being a king's son.

Adventurer Theseus had dreamed of meeting his father, King Aegeus. As Theseus journeys to Athens, he meets his match in strength along the way. But is it the will of a beautiful young princess that puts this strong young man finally at his mercy? Or will he be able to conquer the princess’s heart?

She had settled for a life of unhappiness and believed a man who would love her for herself was only in her dreams.

Princess Ari has followed her father’s dictates all her life. On her way to meet her bridegroom, she is attacked. Saved by a handsome adventurer, Theseus, she tempts fate and follows him on his journey to Athens. Being with Theseus opens up a whole new world of opportunity for her. But will she allow her heart or loyal duty choose her life for her?

Excerpt:
Theseus’ entire body must have been made in the nectar of desire because she wished to bury herself in his arms. And he didn’t stop her from running to him. She jumped when a crash cracked through the air. Blinking, unsure of what happened, her body became rigid. Theseus pulled her into his arms and onto the ground seconds before the giant flew over the pair of them.

He took his hand off her head. He had protected her. Again.

Staring up at him stirred something unique inside her that she never believed could happen to her. She’d seen the plays and the tragedy that love caused, but never understood temptation. The fire in her belly burned into every part of her body from his smoldering eyes. He looked down at her as he cradled her in his arms. “That was Sinus. I don’t think he’ll kill anyone else ever again.”

“He won’t. How do you know his name?”

“He’s the reason I chose this path when I was fifteen. I had planned to prove my courage to my father, and take out the biggest villain on the road.”

“Check that off the list of goals then.” she said. “Good job.”

She continued to embrace Theseus, making her body tingle from crazy stirrings. What would he taste like? She’d die a happy death if he put his lips on hers. My, what was she thinking?

“I never believed you’d be here, or that my goal in that moment would turn to protecting you.” he said, pulling her closer.

She shook off her desires. She needed to let him go. She focused on logic instead of the male body in front of her. “I don’t know what to say. Today has been the craziest day.”

“It’s the middle of the night, little one.”

“You’re right. I don’t know what’s happening to me anymore. Theseus, this never happens to me.”

“What doesn’t happen to you?” he asked, smiling.

“I don’t know.”

He played with her hair, and straightened her clothes. “Your innocence and desire are a siren’s call to me, Ari, and you don’t have a clue, do you?”

“Who’s Ari?” She half expected to be disappointed with whatever he would say.

“You are. It fits you much better than Ariadne. Ari trembles for me.”

She licked her lips, wanting to kiss him. But she couldn’t. Theseus embodied a man out of her dreams.

She looked away thinking of what waited for her when her father’s men found her. “I don’t know my bridegroom. I’ve only ever known my duty.”

Theseus’ body tensed. “You’re betrothed?”

“I never agreed. The bride price, I’m told, paid for my father’s upgrade to the artillery. In the morning or someday soon, I’ll be found. But…can you do me one last favor?”

“What, little one?” His arms grew warm again, tightening around her. She dared for a different life, where she lived with a chance of walking next to him in life. Letting him go and going back to the life her father chose sounded cold and dreary. She couldn’t, not yet.

“Kiss me, Theseus, just once.”

Taking a step closer to him, she looked into his mesmerizing eyes. His strong hands framed her face, his fingers circled her mouth and his eyes darkened with tenderness. When he leaned into her, her eyelids fluttered shut. His light pressure sweetly opened her mouth.

Her secret wish had come true. The prison walls in Ariadne’s heart disappeared in her soul, and today Ari’s lips ached.

He bent his head close. Then, she felt his strong lips on hers, and she lost control.

About the Author:
Victoria Pinder writing as Greta Buckle grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, then became a lawyer. After realizing she hates clients, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is fun, but writing is a passion. She wrote one hundred and one fan fiction stories online before deciding to transition into writing her own stories. Never ask her to republish her fan stories from age eleven- horribly written stories of princesses. Victoria dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Theseus story came to her when she was a freshman in high school as her English teacher, the nun, told her how life was hard and tragedy teaches lessons. In 2013, she stopped indy publishing because she sold four novels to small presses and she’s super happy about this. Victoria’s love of writing has
kept her centered and focused. How is she crazy? The voices in her head are characters in novels and she’s not insane.

Visit Victoria Pinder online at:


Makeup May Change Your Love Life (Zoastra Origins Series) by Greta Buckle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006PBBX9U/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_Uj.3rb0GS0CYW


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Successfully Untrunking a Story with Sandra Ulbrich Almazan

Never Give Up: How I Successfully Untrunked a Short Story—and a Giveaway!

A long time ago, so long I’m not sure of exact dates anymore, I had an idea to explore the background of Romeo and Juliet, using Cupid as a guide. I’m not sure anymore what inspired this combination; it may have been a story challenge, or it may have just been a random idea. Either way, I did the best I could with the story at the time, revising it, posting it on a writing workshop for feedback, and revising it again. Finally I felt ready to send it out, under the title of “Antidote for a Family Feud.” My records show I sent it out four times, getting rejections each time. Eventually I moved on to other projects and forgot about this story.

Years later, self-publishing became not only much easier than ever before, but also more desirable in some respects. I decided I would try this route with one of my works, then decided I liked self-publishing so much I wanted to do it with more of my stories. Now it was time to peruse the Folder of Forgotten Stories and decide which ones stood the test of time. “Antidote for a Family Feud” came to mind. I reread it and revised it again, then decided to post it to the same writing workshop I’d used years before. This time, one of the comments gave me a clue as to why the story didn’t work for that reader; the first-person narrative was too remote and distant. I thought at first that since I was writing from a god’s perspective, that was what I wanted. But after mulling it over for a while, I came up with a new way to use Cupid’s point of view while making it easier for readers to relate to him. He’d be separated from his wife Psyche, communicating with her only by letter. This required me to rewrite the story again, as it required a big change in format. However, now that I had a direction, I made quick progress with the story. I also found a new title: “Letters to Psyche.” After yet another round of passing it by my critique partners, I decided it was ready for the world. I published it first on Amazon, but it’s now available at B&N and Smashwords too.  It’s received good reviews so far, so readers must like it.

There are some half-forgotten, half-finished stories of mine that I may never return to or may never figure out how to make work. But time, constant effort to improve your craft, and a willingness to take a new approach to a project can sometimes lead to good results. This is true in many areas of life, not just writing.

Have any of you found time or a new approach was the key to making a project successful? Please tell me about it in the comments before midnight CST. I’ll choose a winner at random for a free eBook of “Letters to Psyche” in the format of your choice.

And another opportunity to win a prize!

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Sandra Ulbrich Almazan started reading at the age of three and only stops when absolutely required to. Although she hasn’t been writing quite that long, she did compose a very simple play in German during middle school. Her science fiction novella Move Over Ms. L. (an early version of Lyon’s Legacy) earned an Honorable Mention in the 2001 UPC Science Fiction Awards, and her short story “A Reptile at the Reunion” was published in the anthology Firestorm of Dragons. She is a founding member of BroadUniverse and a long-time member of the Online Writing Workshop for Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror. Her undergraduate degree is in molecular biology/English, and she has a Master of Technical and Scientific Communication degree. Her current day job is in the laboratory of an enzyme company; she’s also been a technical writer and a part-time copyeditor for a local newspaper. Some of her other accomplishments are losing on Jeopardy! and taking a stuffed orca to three continents. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Eugene; and son, Alex. In her rare moments of free time, she enjoys crocheting, listening to classic rock (particularly the Beatles), and watching improv comedy.

Sandra can be found online at her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Letters to Psyche Blurb:

When the Greek god Cupid visits Verona, he foresees no problems uniting the Montague and Capulet families. But when Elisabeth Capulet and Giovanni Montague's love ends in tragedy, Elisabeth places a powerful curse not on just the families, but Cupid himself. Unable to visit his wife Psyche, he sends her letters detailing his efforts to undo the curse. Can the two of them save another generation of lovers, or will Cupid and Psyche be forever parted?

Twinned Universes:

Paul Harrison always wanted to play Hamlet, but he never expected he'd live the role first.
In the aftermath of a family tragedy on 21st century Earth, Paul discovers he's the clone of Sean Lyon, his great-great-grandfather and a famous TwenCen musician. Suspecting his mother's death was no accident, Paul comes up with a plan to trick the answers out of the great-uncle who had him cloned. But in order to make his plan work, Paul needs help from Sean himself-and Sean's time is running out in the TwenCen universe next door. Although Paul's family lives on the spaceship that travels between the universes, he's never been allowed on TwenCen Earth. Now, with the help of his friends, his disguise-creating holoprojectors, and a quantum quirk, Paul must make his way to Sean while evading other time travelers who fear he'll change the history of the TwenCen universe. If Paul is to achieve justice, he must not only risk his own life, but the wormhole connecting the universes. "To be or not to be" was a simple question in comparison....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Green River by Elizabeth Loraine

Aidan watched the girls cower on the bed as their father, in a drunken rage, beat on the bedroom door.   Drawn to the girls by some unknown power, he was irrevocably intertwined in their lives against both his tribe and his parents’ admonitions to “leave them to their own", but Aidan knew his mission was to safeguard Charlotte and Missy from the darkness that stalked them.  In her new Shifter series, author Elizabeth Loraine draws you to the seamy underside of Seattle and to the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest as Characters Aidan, Charlotte and Missy explore their complex bond, the mysteries surrounding their separate cultures and a common enemy. 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads 
I grew up in a small northern Minnesotan town married my high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children and as soon as we could we moved to a warmer climate. I have worked with my husband building and decorating custom homes for years. After loving every kind of vampire book, movie and series since I was a child, I decided that I wanted to know more. I can write a book I thought, how hard can that be? Well....it wasn't as easy as I thought, but I stuck to it, and finished my first book Royal Blood Chronicles Book One in August 2009. I now have six books in the series and am about to release book two of my new series Phantom Lives.   My parents always told me that I could do anything that I wanted, work hard, and do it right. I believe that, and live that every day. I started writing this new vampire series for teens and their moms because I wanted something different to read. I was tired of all the modern versions of vampire books, there had to be more to these long lived beings. Where had they been, what had they seen? I wanted, no I NEEDED to know more, so Royal Blood Chronicles was born!  As in Royal Blood Chronicles, Phantom Lives features strong female characters and action and adventure mixed with romance, friendship and a historical backdrop. I hope you enjoy them.
Website |  Goodreads |  Facebook | Twitter 
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Interview with Author Kirstin Pulioff

Yet another wonderful interview, this time with Kirstin Pulioff. Enjoy!

Tell us a little about yourself, Kirstin.

Let’s see… I was born and raised in Southern California, and later graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) with a degree in Forest Management.  I am happily married with two small children, 4 and 6.  I believe life is an adventure, and try to make every day memorable.

Life is an adventure - so true! Even when you don't have young kids running around. How long have you been writing, or when did you start writing?

I have been writing my whole life.  It has always been my creative outlet… some people sing, some paint, some cook…  I write.  I didn’t start pursuing it as a career until a couple of years ago.

Do you write primarily in one genre?

So far, my writing has focused on the fantasy genre.  It is one of my favorites, and one that my mind natural is drawn to.  I love the idea of good triumphing over evil, Princes Charming waiting around the corner, damsels in distress, and that magic is as real as science.

I love fantasy. :D As a writer is there a particular obstacle you face?  If so, how do you get around it?

My biggest obstacle is balance.  I struggle to find the right ways to juggle writing, social networking, and marketing with my family life.  I am constantly shuffling things, and trying to find a balance that works… I am still a work in progress on that.  Ha!

Believe me, I know how that goes! I have an almost five year old, an almost three year old, and a seventeen month year old.

Tell us of your experience getting your first work published.

A couple of years ago, I started thinking about what I wanted to do when my kids were older and in school full time.  With a blank slate in front of me, I started to think about what I truly wanted to do.  There was only one thing that popped into mind.  I wanted to write. 

With that revelation in mind, I began to do what I needed to do… I edited my book, edited it some more, queried agents, edited more, queried publishers, edited more… after a year of this cycle I received a contract from Malachite Quills Publishing.

That's wonderful! How many books have you written?

I have written 2 books.  The Escape for Princess Madeline and its sequel, The Battle for Princess Madeline.  The third and final of this series should be ready Winter 2013.

Do you have any tips or tricks to help keep your ideas in order or at least from being forgotten?

Write them down!!!  I have a notebook that I keep in my purse, so whenever an idea, a bit of dialogue, or a new arc of a storyline hits I can write it down.  I also use the microphone option on my cell phone, if I can’t write.  When inspiration calls, I have to answer.

Do you have a writing schedule?

I am trying to get better at this and more disciplined for a consistent schedule.  I try and wake up an hour before the kids and get up to have some quiet time, as well as after bedtime.  During the day, I am 100% focused mommy.

Sounds like you definitely know how to juggle being a mommy and a writer.

How do your stories unfold?  Are they plotted first and then filled out or do they simply unravel as you go?

I am a plotter.  Before I sit down to write my first draft, I have a clear outline of what is going to happen.  The major story arcs, conflicts and twists are all designed.  From there, I weave my words to follow the structure, but allow for sudden changes that may develop.  For me, this keeps my thoughts more streamlined and plot holes a bit tighter.

How do you go from a degree in Forest Management to being an author of Young Adult Fantasy?

Haha, well, I say every day is an adventure that you never know where it will take you.  This is an example where I can say I have been a writer my whole life.  I remember being in the woods on my lunch breaks, writing.  I would be out on fires, and in the evening, I would be writing a story.  I am an outdoorsy girl, feeling completely at home and at ease in nature.  What I found, for me, was that working in the forest, took the enjoyment out of it.  Having the joy removed from one of my favorite past times was too high a price… and so life took a detour, and a new career path.

Where can readers find you and your work?

So many places!!!!  I love to connect with new readers and fans.
Twitter:  @KirstinPulioff

Let's hear some "Shout-Outs."

Who are the people you would like to thank?  A big thank you to my husband, who supports me and stands behind me 100%, and to my kids.   They teach me every day to be grateful for the little things, to believe in magic, and to live life to its fullest.

Thanks for a wonderful interview! And here's a great giveaway for you all to enter.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Giveaway

As part of Blogger Book Fair, I'm having a giveaway! Be sure to enter!

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Also, I would be so appreciative if you could vote for Woman of Honor in the Reader's Choice Awards! It's listed under Fantasy-Mature (2) Not sure why since it should be YA but votes are greatly appreciated!

Finally, if you have some time, head over to Lauren Grimley's site for a character interview with Aislinn, the heroine in Woman of Honor.

Interview with Cindy Young-Turner, Author of Thief of Hope

Today, we have another interview and excerpt, this time with Cindy Young-Turner, author of Thief of Hope.

What inspired you to write Thief of Hope?
I started playing D&D in college (I admit, I’m a geek) and that got me interested in fantasy. I was a late bloomer. The Hobbit bored me when I first read it in middle school or high school, but reading it again after college I loved it. I was already interested in writing and thought, why don’t I try writing fantasy. And so I did.

I'm a geek so there's nothing to be ashamed of! I'll admit that the first chapter of The Hobbit is soooo slow. After that, it picks up. How did you come up with the title? Thief of Hope is a great title!
My heroine, Sydney, is a pickpocket and she lives in a town called Last Hope. So Thief of Hope fit. The story is also about finding hope and fighting for it.

Very cool. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s important to fight for the things you believe in and hold dear.

Always. What books have most influenced your life most?
It’s so hard to chose, but here are a few favorites: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (a childhood favorite), Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft.

Great list! What book are you reading now?
I just finished Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King, book 5 in the Dark Tower series. I loved it. I’m still processing it and trying to decide what to read next. Before that it was Storm of Swords by G.R.R. Martin. I think I’m ready for something light and fluffy.

Still have to read G.R.R. Martin. *hangs head* What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on Thief of Destiny, which is the sequel to Thief of Hope.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s a brief teaser from Thief of Destiny (currently in progress, so this is nowhere near the final version):

            Llyr’s voice roused her from a restless sleep. She awoke, shivering in the night chill that lingered in the air, her clothes damp with dew. Dawn filtered through the trees and washed the clearing with lush hues of pink and gold. A promising start to the first day of their journey. Then she noticed Llyr standing near the stone, his face taut, hands clenched at his sides.
            “Look around us,” he whispered.
            She followed his gaze to the perimeter of the clearing. Lurking in the lingering darkness, surrounding the entire clearing, were dense shadows. Unnatural shadows. Sydney had seen that many Shadow Folk together only once before, in the desolate borderlands where they dwelled between her world and the realm of the Tuatha.
            Knowing that fear empowered them, she struggled to remain calm, but her whisper trembled with the memory of their deadly power. “Why are there so many? What do they want?”
            Llyr shook his head. “I don’t know. Perhaps they have come for you, or perhaps for me. For now, the enchantment placed on this circle is keeping us safe. As long as it holds, they cannot enter.”
            Sydney reached for her knife and stood beside Llyr, her back to the stone. The knife was useless against them, but feeling it in her hand gave her some comfort. A few of the shadows tried to edge closer and were stopped by an unseen barrier.
            “Can you use your magic?”
            “And risk alerting the other Tuatha I’ve come to your world?”
            “If the Shadow Folk get to us, it won’t matter what the other Tuatha think,” she snapped.
            “It’s not that simple,” he responded, glaring at her. “You don’t know the Tuatha.”
            She knew enough about the Shadow Folk to fear them more than the Tuatha, at least at this moment. The wariness in Llyr’s eyes and the tightness of his jaw suggested he shared her fear.
            Faint whispers echoed in the back of her mind.
            “We can’t stay here and wait for them to get through.” She clutched her knife, heart pounding, as she remembered the terror on the faces of the people she’d seen killed by the Shadow Folk. “I know what they do to people. You’re more powerful than a wizard. Do something.”
            Llyr hesitated, looking from Sydney to the shadows. The invisible barrier protecting them was shrinking as the opaque figures bent against it, as if it were a giant soap bubble about to burst. The whispers reverberated through her, snaking around her with a sinister promise.

If you want more of Sydney and the Shadow Folk, check out Thief of Hope!

What paranormal creature would you be and why?
It would have to be a vampire. But the cool Lestat rock star kind, not the sparkly kind.

That's the only kind that exists in my mind! :D What would you do if you didn’t have to work?
Write! And volunteer somewhere, maybe in a literacy program.

Me too! What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
I wanted to be an author. Really.

Again, me too! If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?

Write and travel and spend an extended time in a cottage in the English or Scottish countryside.

Awesome. If you won $20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?

I’d write full time and travel (see above) and also help all my starving artist friends achieve their dreams.

If you were a Star Wars character, which one would you be?


I’m a huge Star Wars fan. I’d have to choose Boba Fett because he’s just awesome. (And the prequels do not exist for me. I won’t let Lucas destroy my childhood memories.)

Yes! The prequels ruined Boba Fett. I was so disillusioned.

Sydney, a street urchin and pickpocket in the town of Last Hope, has managed to evade the oppressive Guild for years, but there is no escaping fate when she's sentenced to death for associating with the resistance.

After she's rescued by a wizard, Sydney is forced to accept that magic—long outlawed throughout the Kingdom of Thanumor—still exists, and the Tuatha, a powerful faery folk, are much more than ancient myth and legend. When the wizard offers a chance to fight the Guild and bring Willem, bastard prince and champion of the Tuatha, to the throne, Sydney embraces the cause as a way to find her own redemption.

But Sydney's fear of the Guild, distrust of authority, and surprising connection to the Tuatha threaten Willem's success. Can she untangle the strange threads that entwine her life not only to the fate of the kingdom, but also to Willem himself?

Amazon Ratings:

“Thief of Hope is NOT written like a typical debut novel. The world is written perfectly, the scenery is beautiful, the characters are vivid and fresh, and the battle scenes had me holding my breath with anticipation and worry!”—justagirlgeek, 5 stars

“A lot of fantasies sort of gloss over some of the more unpleasant truths, but "Thief of Hope" told it like it really could be, and provided a great adventure in the process.”—K. Sozaeva, 5 stars

Links:

About Cindy Young-Turner

Cindy Young-Turner has always been an avid reader and became fascinated by mythology and Arthurian legends at an early age. She quickly decided she enjoyed creating her own worlds and characters and set to work writing her own stories. She believes genre fiction can be just as well written and valuable as literature. The universal themes of love, hate, revenge, and redemption are present regardless of whether our characters live in the distant future, on other planets, or in fantastical realms.

Connect with Cindy

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Interview with Tara Entwistle-Clark, Author of A Butterfly in Winter

Today, dear readers, please enjoy an interview with Tara Entwistle-Clark.

What inspired you to write A Butterfly in Winter?

Like Allison, I moved in high school and many of my experiences were similar to hers. I wanted to write this book because I had a lot of thoughts about the way young girls are taught to be in relationships. There are so many mixed messages and I wanted to show the result of the conflicting information that girls get.

How did you come up with the title? It's a great one!

I feel like high school can be nearly impossible to survive, just as winter can be for a butterfly. A butterfly is fragile and winter is harsh. The same can be said for a young girl’s psyche and for the pressures of fitting in as a teen.

Very true. What books have most influenced your life most?

My favorite author is Courtney Summers. She has managed to do in her books what I could only dream of doing in my own. I have never read a better picture of the reality of high school.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Courtney Summers, for the reason I stated.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m currently working on another realistic YA title called How Quick Bright Things. Here is an excerpt (warning: strong language):

“What are you writing, Joey?” It’s Liz. She sits next to me in study on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today is Tuesday. Liz is okay. I close my notebook, hoping she didn’t read any of what I wrote. Liz is, honestly, a nerd. She’s a little chubby, with mousy brown hair and a slight lisp. She gets straight A’s, which means she is very popular - during class. Everyone wants to be in Liz’s group when we have to work on projects, because she needs the “A” and will get one, regardless of how much work anyone else does. She sits alone at lunch, though. Liz is also in English with me. 
“My journal.”
“It’s not due until next Friday,” she says, surprised.
“Yeah, I know. I was bored. I have a game next week.” Doing schoolwork before it is absolutely imperative is only acceptable when it is done so one can play sports. 
“Which poem are you writing about? I really liked ‘Dulce et Decorum Est.’ I think I’ll write about that, because I like the whole theme behind it.”
“Yeah, that one was okay.”
Liz nods and goes back to her work. I am shocked that she does not want to continue a conversation with me and my biting wit. I don’t feel like finishing my journal entry now. I go to sit in the back, where Eric is. Eric and I are not actually friends. We have known each other since we were kids, since we grew up on the same street, and we are social, but we don’t exactly hang out. Still, it is his party on Friday, and I am bored. Besides, Eric will not make me feel guilty for something I can’t even verbalize.
“Hey,” he says when I sit down next to him.
“Hey.” He pushes a paper football at me and moves his chair. I turn so that I am facing him, desk between us, and he pushes the paper football in my direction.  It lands on my lap. Field goal time. I flick it and it drills him the forehead. Three points for me!

Eric puts the football back on the desk, gets the touchdown, and goes for the extra point. He flicks it, hard. It whooshes past me, over my shoulder, and hits Julie Ferron in the eye. Julie Ferron. Junior. Gorgeous. Brilliant. She recently painted the mural in the front of the school. The mural is up for some big high school art award. Julie is perfect by all standards of measure. However, she is not a paper football fan. She touches her eye with her finger, then leans over and picks up the dreaded paper monstrosity. Turning it over between her long fingers, she examines it as if it holds the answers to world peace. Then she stands, closes her textbook, and walks to the front of the room, depositing the football in the trash. As she walks back, she looks at Eric and me and mouths “fuck you.”

e26c1fa3141bd899b4dfd41cebf69e7026e770e9.jpgA Butterfly in Winter Blurb:

Allison Stafford is fourteen. As if that is not enough to deal with in itself, her parents suddenly move her from her small town in Vermont to suburban Michigan, all in the middle of her freshman year of high school. For Allison, there is more to learn at her new school than just finding her way around. Soon she is attempting to make sense of her newly discovered sexuality, and wondering what it takes to fit in with the "cool" people at her school. Despite tragedy and several mistakes, Allison manages to survive. This novel leads the reader through the murky depths of high school, and reminds us all of the importance of true friendship.

Available at:

Tara Entwistle-Clark is a former high school English teacher who lives and breathes books. Whether reading, writing, editing, or blogging about them, she seems to always have books on her mind. She is currently working as a freelance editor, blogger, and cover designer while writing an untitled fantasy novel as well as another contemporary realistic teen novel called How Quick Bright Things. She lives in Connecticut and loves to travel.

Visit Tara online at:

Monday, July 22, 2013

5 Reasons Why Love is Better in Books

Lovely blog readers, welcome Lauren Grimley. She's gonna talk about why love is better in books than real life.


Oddly enough when I set out to write my first novel, Unforeseen, I didn’t intend for it to be a romance, paranormal or any other sort. I wanted to tell the tale of an unlikely heroine tossed into a world where she was seemingly the smallest and weakest member, and then show how she scratched, fought, and crawled her way to the top. Her falling in love with a handsome and charming vampire just sort of happened along the way.

At first I was a little thrown by the idea my novel was categorized under paranormal romance. Single and still a bit tomboyish, I’m not exactly the poster child for romance authors (I’ll leave that to J. R. Ward). That’s not to say, though, that I don’t love a good torrid tale. Actually, the more I thought about what I’ve enjoyed reading over the last few years, the more I accepted the fact that maybe I was in fact a romance reader and writer. I’m okay with that now, because as every single woman (and most married women) knows—boys in books are just better!

*I apologize in advance to the guys for my blatant use of gender stereotypes in an attempt at a little humor for the ladies!

5 Reasons Why Love is Better in Books

1. Dating doesn’t exist. When was the last time you read a book where the woman had to suffer through those awkward first dates or the “when can I change my Facebook status” dilemma? Love in romance novels, particularly paranormal romance novels, happens fast. Often the main characters have their clothes off before we’ve even learned their full names.

2. The guys are always jaw-droppingly hot. Apparently blemishes, bald spots, and beer guts (all of which we grow to love on our real-life beaus) don’t exist in the land of fiction. It’s all six-packs, all the time. Of course, this could have something to do with the fact that our imaginations are at least partly creating the images of these Adonises, so they are always just to our individual liking.

3. Danger is steamy when a happy ending is almost always guaranteed. In real life if a tall dark stranger popped out of an alley and came at me, I’d wet my pants and hope to hell my years of karate kicked in. There would be no forgiving, never mind falling for the guy. In romance novels, however, this scenario, with some variation, occurs all the time and usually ends in a love scene that leaves the reader begging to by mugged.

4. Narrators can tell us what real men won’t—what they’re thinking and, more importantly, feeling. Boys and books can be just as hard for their female partners to read as those in reality. That’s where a bit of narration can be a beautiful thing. A quick scene from the guy’s point of view, full of raw emotion and compassion, turns us on even more than his perfect fictional physique.

5. It’s fiction. If someone’s heart is broken, it’s not yours. If there’s an infuriating fight, you’re not the one who has to give or accept an apology. The best part of romance in books is that it isn’t real. We can vicariously enjoy the best parts and be very glad it’s only fictional characters enduring the worst.


Keep that in mind when the heat factor of your favorite fictional love scene makes your real love life seem pathetic!

Lauren Grimley lives in central Massachusetts where she grew up, but her heart is on the beaches of Cape Cod where she spends as much of her time as possible. After graduating from Boston University she became a middle school English teacher. She now balances writing, reading, and correcting, all with a cat on her lap and a glass of red wine close by.

Unforeseen, the first novel in the Alex Crocker Seer series, was Lauren’s debut novel, and she’s thrilled to be continuing the series with Unveiled. To learn more about her or her writing or to connect with her online visit her website at www.laurengrimley.com

Twitter @legrimley: https://twitter.com/legrimley

Unforeseen (Alex Crocker series, book 1)
Trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4jIAt-U1iQ
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13624479-unforeseen

Teaser:
Alex was quite sure gifted was a term delusional parents applied to their strictly average children, vampires were gorgeous dead guys in her eighth-grade girls' novels, and Seers was a middle schooler's misspelling of a department store known for power tools.  Teachers, however, don't know everything–it’s Alex’s turn to be educated. 

Running alone the night before school ends, Alex is violently attacked.  Regaining consciousness, she finds herself in the home of the Rectinatti Regan, the leader of one of two covens of vampires battling nightly on the streets of her city.  If that discovery wasn't enough to make her think she'd gone insane, she realizes she's sensing the emotions of another of the vampires as strongly as she feels her own.  Discovering these creatures have the answers to what she is and why she was attacked, she decides she wants to stay, despite knowing it is a dangerous, possibly deadly desire.

Purchase links for Unforeseen, book 1:

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