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:


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.


“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.


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! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

BLACK HELLEBORE's release day!!!

It's finally here! BLACK HELLEBORE's release day!!!

And reviews are already pouring in:

This book was so much fun! It's a unique genre mash-up between paranormal, romance, and super-hero books. Even though there's a lot of heaviness in the story--between the death of Nicholas's girlfriend Justina years before, the death and destruction brought about by the bad guys, and some other elements I don't want to spoil--the witch Gavina provides comedic relief at just the right moments. Plus, the story had so many twists and turns, I had to keep turning pages. This is the first novel I've read by Nicole Zoltack, but it will definitely not be the last. 's review from Goodreads

Nicholas Adams must face his demons as he returns to Falledge in Nicole Zoltack’s Black Hellebore...Zoltack has introduced wonderful paranormal and romantic twists to the storyline. My favorite character is Gavina, the witch. She’s a touch batty, but she adds a delightful sense of comedic relief...Black Hellebore by Nicole Zoltack spins a refreshing superhero tale with its fantastic paranormal elements! I look forward to reading the next book in the series.  Reich's review from Goodreads

Add to Goodreads

Buy links:

Desert Breeze Publishing 


Once a year for the past decade, Nicholas Adams returns to Falledge and leaves a black hellebore on his girlfriend's grave. While fleeing Falledge, he spies a shady man sneaking into the laboratory. Nicholas chases after him and dies for his trouble. A witch brings him back to life, only Nicholas is not the same man. Turns out, magic combined with a black hellebore in his pocket changed him into a kind of a super man.
Julianna Paige, his girlfriend's twin and deputy of Falledge, struggles to solve several murders. Nicholas, and his alter ego the Black Hellebore, helps her, even as she helps him move on and start to truly live again.
Unfortunately, Nicholas wasn't the only one changed in the laboratory explosion, and now a super villain is bent on destroying Falledge, and killing the Black Hellebore. But falling in love might prove more dangerous than any super villain.
Nicholas abandoned the couch. Ginny had been too tired to do dishes, so Nicholas did them for her. After he started up the dishwasher, he noticed a crooked shelf on the wall. He found a hammer and nails in the basement. He must be careful not to wake her up.
After he leveled the shelf, he held his breath and gently tapped the nail. The nail shattered through the wood, and the shelf cracked deeply.
What the heck? He barely touched it!
Tires squealing drew his attention, and he ran to the front of the house. A loud crash sounded.
He threw the door open, the door coming off the hinges. Nothing to the left. Nothing to the right. There, off the road.
A car.
Slowly sinking into the lake.
His heartbeat accelerating, Nicholas burst down the porch steps and stood beside the lake fifteen seconds later. By now, the car was completely submerged but still sinking.
He dove into the water and reached the car. Two passengers, a female driver and a young boy in the back seat.
Knowing time was running out, he cocked back his arm and punched the back window open. Water rushed into the car. He ripped at the car seat harness and freed the boy from the restraints. Two powerful kicks of his legs and they reached the surface of the water. Using one arm to hold the boy and the other to swim, he reached the shore as quickly as he could and dumped off the boy before returning to the car.
Time to save the mom.
The car was sinking faster now, already much deeper than it had been when he rescued the boy. He swam to the front of the car. It was completely smashed in. The crash must have been through the steel fence surrounding the lake.
Turning around, he realized the driver's side door was mangled, the woman's body trapped against it. It was too dark for him to see if she was bleeding or not, but he couldn't risk trying to open the door to save her. She could bleed out or become punctured on the sharp edges of the door, if she wasn't already.
But he had to do something or she'd die.
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall into Fantasy Huge Giveaway!

Ready for fall? Time for some serious reading? Look no more!

This year, more than FIFTY AUTHORS of fantasy and paranormal books are giving away books and swag. Hope you’re ready to start clicking and start winning because the Rafflecopter awaits!

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list BookBox: embed book widget, share book list BookBox: embed book widget, share book list
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Thursday, October 17, 2013

My ten go-to foods while writing from Terri Rochenski, author of Eye of the Soul

Terri's ten go-to foods while writing

This list has changed for me through the last years since I’m now past the peek ages of keeping unwanted pounds off the bod. I’ll reminisce a bit first and send my taste buds into overdrive. Hopefully I won’t go digging through the cabinets for the hubs & daughters’ snacks when I’m through!
Poptarts. Seriously yum—toasted or not, this is an oldie but a goodie. Got my daughters hooked *shame face* then took them away.
Doritoes & a coke. ‘Course, I needed a wet paper towel beside the computer for those orange fingers. And the sugar? Sheesh. It’s seltzer for this almost-40-year old now!
Skittles. *wiping drool from the corner of my lips* Yeah. One of my favs.
Coffee with hazelnut creamer. This was for those early mornings. Coffee is still a must, but now there’s organic cream & a bit of sugar instead of the chemicals flavoring it.
Oreos and a glass of ice milk. I didn’t buy oreos too often, but since meeting the hubs and having kids … yeah. Danger zone!!!
Beef jerky. Strange, yes, but it was great stuff to nibble on between popping skittles!
Homemade whole-grain muffins. Whether they’re banana almond, zucchini, or oat & carrot, these are my morning go-tos nowadays when the girls are still sleeping and I’m able to nab a few moments of silence to add a few words to a WiP.
Fruit. Grapes, bananas, strawberries—whatever is available and not TOO messy. These curb the appetite when sitting outside while the girls play in the sandbox or play on the swing set.
Yogurt and pumpkin flax granola. Are you gagging yet??
Bottled water. Yup. This is a must. It’s ALWAYS beside me since I gave up the bubbly, sugar-filled coke.
As you can see, I’ve gone from total delish to BORING. But hey … it’s what a woman like me needs to do to keep as close to 20-something-looking as possible! Good genes will only take a person so far.

How about you? Any must-have’s when writing? Come on. Admit it. You have a few not-so-good ones I’m sure!



That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. 

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people. 

Or so she believes. 

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents. 

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. 

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost. 



Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand.

Terri's Links:

Link for the tour button:

Link for Eye of the Soul on Goodreads: 

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pride and Prep School's Scavenger Hunt and Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc. by PK Hrezo Cover Reveal

Yesterday was Pride and Prep School's book birthday and we're celebrating with a Scavenger Hunt and Amazon gift card giveaway! (Pride and Prep School is the third installment in Stephanie Wardrop's Snark and Circumstance enovella series--a modern, snarky YA re-telling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.)

Here's how to play:

Go to Stephanie's blog for questions from all three enovellas. One coordinating photo answer will be featured on each of our participating blogs. Once you've matched the questions to the photos,  go to Stephanie's post and share your answers in Stephanie's comments section. (For example: Q 1: a bird; Q 2: a burrito, ect.) Each correct answer gives you one entry into the drawing to win a $20 Amazon gift card! (If you're unsure about answers, Snark and Circumstance and Charm and Consequence are only 99 cents each right now on Amazon--links are below!) 

The Pride and Prep School Scavenger Hunt will run from today, Wednesday, October 16th through Sunday, October 20th

Stephanie will post a winner on her blog Tuesday, October 22nd.

Are you ready? Then let's get started! 

Go HERE to find Stephanie's Pride and Prep School Scavenger Hunt questions

Then find the photo answers located somewhere on each of the participating blogs below:  

Participating blogs:


Thanks for helping us celebrate Pride and Prep School's book birthday, and see you back at Stephanie's blog!!!

Amazon links:


And bonus - a cover reveal! (and not for me this time!)

Welcome to Butterman Travel, Incorporated

We are a full service agency designed to meet all your exclusive time travel needs. Family-owned and operated, we offer clients one hundred years of time travel experience. A place where you can rest assured, safety and reliability always come first.

Anxious to attend a special event from the past? Or for a glimpse of what the future holds?

You’ve come to the right place. We’re a fully accredited operation, offering an array of services; including, but not limited to: customized travel plans, professionally piloted operations, and personal trip guides. *Terms and conditions do apply

Conference us directly from our Website. Our frontline reservation specialist, Bianca Butterman, will handle all your inquiries in a professional and efficient manner, offering a tentative itinerary and free fare quote, so you can make the most of your time trip.

We look forward to serving you at Butterman Travel, Inc., where time is always in your hands.   

Actual book launch is 11-12-13

So, if I could go anywhere, any when... I'm sure you all can guess where. Sometime in the late Middle Ages in Europe.

Or Camelot. :D

Where and when would you choose?