It’s Blog Hop time! We’re going to kick things off with The Sultry Summer Reads Blog Hop from Sept. 11th – 16th where our grand prize is a loaded Kindle Fire HD 7″, Second Prize is $100 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N. (Rules for the hop are listed on the Safari Heat site. http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com)
Discover some great authors and check out their giveaways
Want to know who’s participating? We have best selling authors Maggie Shayne and Dianne Duvall, plus awesome authors Bella Street, Mimi Barbour, Jami Gray, Linda Kaye Frazier and oh so many more!
Want to win a gift? Then leave a comment below sharing your fav title/author who’s heated up your summer.
Commenters will be chosen from all the blogs for various giveaways EVERY DAY OF THE HOP for our PRIZES!
I’ll be giving away a $5 amazon gift card. To enter, simply coment below. Make sure you include the following information (blog hop format enters you into the hop prizes as well):
FYI: You’ll get four entries to the grand prizes for following me on twitter, facebook and this blog But you are not required to do any of them.)
Twitter: (Did you follow me to get extra entries for the Grand Prize? Yes/No)
FaceBook: (Did you follow me to get extra entries for the Grand Prize? Yes/No)
Blog: (Did you follow me to get extra entries for the Grand Prize? Yes/No)
Are You a Reader or Author:
Country You Live In:
Want more? Okay then, click on the link below to continue on the hop and check out our rules! Good luck!
To keep hopping follow the link below. http://safariheatbooktoursandauthorservices.blogspot.com
While the past few weeks have been SUPER BUSY getting everything ready for school to start back up for the kidlets, the day is almost here. They go back this week, which means I’ll soon have my days back to get writing and other work done.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE summer time when the kids and I get to spent so much awesome time together.
But, at the end of summer, I do really look forward to having my time back, LOL.
So, for those of you with kids going back to school, enjoy!!!
Writers write. Right?
Ask just about anyone what the number one rule of writing is, and you’ll hear this.
From Ray Bradbury, to my inspiration Stephen King, authors who get many books written tell you the same thing.
The key to writing, as Red Dwarf recently mentioned, is BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard).
But sometimes, life can become so complicated, stressful, engrossing and time consuming that writing falls by the wayside.
Even for those who have been writing for years, publishing books. Even for those who’s writing is their stress relief and they’d never imagine not writing because it’s not only just so important to them, writing is part of that person.
Then what happens?
A writer isn’t writing 😦
The all-knowing “They” say it takes about a month for a habit, good or bad, to form in your life.
Writing, starting or getting back to it, is at the core a habit. BICHOK doesn’t happen all on it’s own.
So, after too much time away, I’m getting back in the saddle.
Even though I love writing, getting back to it on a daily basis is a struggle. I’m having to deliberately sit down with the intention to write a minimum word count.
When writing my last book (Magicstorm HoaV #4), I could easily do my daily word count of a few thousand words a day. The words weren’t always easy, but the dedicated time and using it every day was just part of my habits.
Now, I’ve realized that I need to be more reasonable with myself. I’m asking me and my muse for a minimum of 1 hour a day, and 1000 words. Once I can attain that easily (and in a few weeks, the kids will be back in school so the time at least will be easier to find) then I can increase it and work on getting back to my pre-life/stress/suckage that I used to have.
How about you? Do you BICHOK every day? How do you make sure writing every (or most every) day is one of your habits?
Over at The 7 Evil Dwarves, Dreamer and Red Dwarf have talked about the “ideal” writer’s life.
I read their posts and had to laugh.
Sure, I’d love to wake up at my preferred time (noon-ish), schlup around the house while drinking at least two pots of coffee, then gently ease into a comfy chair and write for hours, only broken by eating and refilling the coffee pot.
HA! I say.
Instead, here I am, in the dog days of summer.
Between the weather and wrangling my kids all day, I’m lucky to squeeze in an hour of writing at night, after the required hours of summer time tug-o-war to get them to bed 😉
It’s also hard to jump back in the saddle of both writing and blogging after the past
few many months when life has interfered so much I’ve barely been writing at all.
So, what is your “perfect” writing day, or for readers, your perfect reading day, like?
Check it out and say hello 🙂
Obsession by Sharon Buchbinder
A desperate mother…
A Mexican drug lord…
A dangerous match.
A year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive. She’s finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney. But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent’s worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the “Chosen One.”
Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help. Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord’s right-hand man. Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover—and falling in love with her.
“Who are you? Who is that giant? What did you say to him?”
The pony-tailed man flashed a grin, the smile reaching his sky-blue colored eyes, giving him an appealing boyish look. “The big guy’s name is Tio. I told Tio to truss Raul up like the pig he is and to bring him to Isabel Ramirez. She’ll know exactly what to do with him.”
“Who are you?”
The movie-star-handsome man stopped, bent down until he was eye-to-eye with Angie.
“I found your passport tossed onto Raul’s desk, Angela Edmonds from the U.S. of A. I like that name. You look like an angel.”
She shook her head and the street twirled. “I’m no angel.” She steadied herself on his well muscled, naked arm. Rather than creeping her out, the skin on skin contact with her rescuer reassured her that he was a real human and not an angel conjured up in fevered religious delusion and desperation. “You sound like an American. You haven’t answered my question. What’s your name?”
“Torres.” Still holding her ID, he strode to the driver’s side of the car, hopped in and flashed a dazzling grin. “You could call me your hero because I’m taking you to see the woman who can help you find your son. My name is Alejandro Espinosa Santoyo Torres. But most people just call me Alejandro.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After working in health care delivery for years, Sharon Buchbinder became an association executive, a health care researcher, and an academic in higher education. She had it all–a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it an obsession) kept beckoning her to “come on back” to writing fiction. When not attempting to make students, colleagues, and babies laugh, she can be found herding cats, waiting on a large gray dog, fishing, dining with good friends, or writing. You can find her at www.sharonbuchbinder.com
Paranormal Romance Guild Winner Best Mystery/Thriller, 2012
Where Sharon Buchbinder can be found on the Internet
Twitter @sbuchbinder https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder
The Wild Rose Press http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/
Please welcome Magicstorm into the world, Heart of a Vampire, Book #4.
When a mortal cop must delve into the paranormal, only a Viking vampire can save her soul, and her heart.
Detective Celeste Wilder knows who she is, a damn fine cop. But when the recently dubbed ‘Cult Murders’ start back up, this time targeting city prostitutes she’s sworn to protect, she’s thrown into a world of paranormal creatures she never believed existed. And now, they’re out to keep her from uncovering even more secrets.
An immortal Viking vampire, Brandon Wulfgar knows something is strange the moment he sees Celeste valiantly fighting for her life against a group of rogue vampires. When he’s asked to work with her–solve the crime while keeping the mortal woman safe–he figures no problem.
But as the undeniable connection between them grows and danger appears from every side, they will have to trust one another not just for their lives, but for their very souls.
Brandon Wulfgar sat stiffly on the icy metal chair. He took a hefty gulp of his drink–a mix of blood and whiskey–never glancing away from his twin brother. Eric lay in the bed, facing the stone wall of the dungeon room. He mumbled in his dreams, the quiet mutterings occasionally punctuated by short, guttural screams. Was he reliving the painful past they’d shared, or that of Eric’s own more recent tortures?
The room stank of cold sweat, permeated by fear and agony.
Brandon’s hands clenched and the mug cracked. It crashed to the floor, shattering.
He stared at the white shards of ceramic covered in crimson. The sight mirrored how he felt, unable to help his brother pick up the pieces and leave the darkness he’d descended into.
With a sigh, he stood and headed for the hall. His king’s new wife was going to be pissed he’d broken yet another cup. He snorted, the sound lacking any amusement. Dalia would just have to deal with it.
He opened the door, then stopped short.
Dalia stood in the hall, arms crossed, tapping her foot. Her short pink-streaked blonde hair settled around her pointed chin and her green eyes flared, vampire-red circling the irises. “Again?” she demanded.
It didn’t matter he dwarfed her with his six-foot-four height, nor that he was ten times stronger. All she had to do was shoot that look of hers and even the strongest of the vampire warriors living in the castle crumbled as if facing a disappointed mother.
Brandon merely shrugged. “I’ll clean it up.”
“Yeah, right.” Her gaze softened as she looked past him to Eric. “No change?”
She straightened, rubbing her hands together. “Jordan wants to talk to you. I’ll sit with your brother. And I’ll clean up the poor cup. Again.” Shooting him an ironic look, she added, “We’re almost out of dishes.”
It wasn’t true, but she had a point. He’d gone through an awful lot of mugs lately. But it wasn’t on purpose.
As the older twin, albeit only by five minutes, he’d been raised to protect his brother. To fight the world, side-by-side. Yet he was failing miserably, unable to draw Eric from the cocoon of sleep where he’d escaped.
Dalia entered the dungeon room, and leaving the thick metal door open a bit, sat in the chair Brandon had vacated. She leaned back, hands folded in her lap and started humming. Her voice was soft and airy, a sound guaranteed to get soul-deep inside anyone listening and make them feel better.
As an Omega, she could calm people’s ragged emotions. More recently, with her magic growing, she no longer needed to look into their eyes to gain that connection. Her voice could suck anyone in when she tried.
Brandon’s shoulders tightened when her voice brought no reaction from Eric. It took most of his will to leave, but he forced himself to walk down the icy hallway, and upstairs to his king’s chamber.
Inside, Jordan reclined in a chair, facing the fireplace. The man held a glass of amber-colored liquid. A second full glass sat on the table beside him.
“Sit for a while,” Jordan stated, his Scottish brogue thicker than normal.
Brandon twitched at the tension in Jordan’s voice, and crossed the room to the waiting chair on the other side of the table.
“Any change with Eric?” Jordan lifted his drink and sipped, trying to act casual as he ran a hand through his short blond hair.
Taking his own glass, Brandon gulped it down. The smooth whiskey burned his throat, then settled warmly in his gut. “No.”
Jordan sighed, shifting to face Brandon fully.
Trepidation filled him. The man was normally direct.
“The ‘cult killings’ have started once more in the city,” Jordan said, his gaze dark with anger and confusion.
“But Connor killed the demon behind them just a few weeks ago,” Brandon protested.
“Aye. Yet, here we are.”
Brandon set his empty glass back on the table before he broke that one too. “So is Connor returning?”
“He’s busy with something else.”
“What? His refound family?”
“Nay. Something for the Magic Council.”
Considering the man was a Judge for the council, it shouldn’t be surprising. “So they’re not sending him back?”
A sinking suspicion crawled into his gut. “Then who are you sending to investigate?”
Jordan just stared at him.
Jumping to his feet, Brandon paced to the fireplace. “I can’t go. Eric needs me–”
Jordan’s voice broke through his agitation. “Needs you? He hasn’t said two words in the last month. He doesn’t respond to anything we try.” He stood, arms behind his back, as Brandon paced. “Someone has to take care of the problem. If it’s another demon, you’re the only one I can send.”
Anger turned his stomach, bile burned up his chest. “I can’t leave my brother.”
Jordan’s voice cracked like steel. “You’ll tell me no?”
Stopping short, Brandon slowly swung around and met his king’s blazing red gaze. He’d never told Jordan “no,” since the man had rescued both him and Eric from living agony. But to leave his brother…
The tension in his shoulders ached. His chest tightened and he gave his king the only answer he could. “When do I leave?”
In the lingering heat of the evening, Celeste Wilder strode from her unmarked car towards the flashing lights shining from the alley. Near the yellow police tape, cameras flashed as bystanders tried to capture anything interesting they could put online or sell to the news.
Whipping back her long black hair, she muttered under her breath, “Mierda! Gotta start keeping a damn hair tie in the car.”
One of these days, she was actually going to remember, so when she was called into a crime scene unexpectedly, she didn’t have to deal with the looks she was getting now. It was difficult enough being a female detective without flaunting her femininity. More importantly, it got in the way.
Like usual in Arizona, the weather had bypassed spring entirely. Sweat dampened her neck, making her loose curls cling uncomfortably to her skin.
“Daily, let me in,” she growled at the nearest officer blocking the alley.
He hurried to pull back one of the sawhorses. “Yes, ma’am.”
She pushed past him, taking in the scene. Phoenix PD officers guarded the sight from the lookie-loos, while the coroner hunched over a body only partly hidden behind a rusty dumpster. Overlaying the scent of rotting garbage, she caught the distinct coppery odor of fresh blood.
“Who was first on scene?” she demanded from an obvious rookie as he nervously flicked his notepad open and shut.
“Um, I was, detective, um, ma’am.”
She read his name-tag. “All right, Portensky. Details.”
He fumbled open the notebook, nearly dropping it. “The call came in at 8:02 p.m. I was dispatched, and arrived at 8:09. I didn’t see anything at first.” The kid paled, swallowed hard, then continued. “Then I smelled it.”
“Any information on the caller?” She studied how the dumpster had been pulled away from the wall. Black and red lines of wax snaked from the brick to the center of the alley.
“No, ma’am. Distorted voice, barely clear. Dispatcher said she wasn’t sure she’d even heard the address right.”
“Make sure your report is on my desk by morning.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He hustled toward the street, as if trying to put as much distance between himself and the body.
Unfazed, Celeste headed right for it.
Hovering over the body, the coroner, Frankie, glanced up. Weariness dulled her dark eyes. “Hey, girl. Rough night?”
“About to get worse.”
Frankie sighed, pushing her long bangs from her eyes with the back of her hand, then waved at the body. “No name, no ID.”
“I assume that’s why I was called in. These are my streets,” she replied.
“Sad state this last month, with all these killings.”
Shrugging, Celeste stepped closer. The woman lay mostly exposed, tattered remains of her clothing spread back from her chest. A small piece of red cloth had been draped over her face. Bleach-blonde hair spread around her head, the tips soaked with blood. The killer had taken a knife to her throat and chest.
“Time of death?”
“Her temp is still high. I’d say in the last hour.”
Considering Portensky had been dispatched less than a half-hour ago, it was possible the rumors were true. This cabrón was calling it in before his victim was dead.
Frankie pulled off her gloves. “What kind of sicko mutilates young girls? That’s what I’d like to know.”
“Aren’t they all sickos?” Celeste replied, forcing her emotions away. The victim’s wounds were ragged, as if caused by a serrated weapon. They still hadn’t figured out what the killer was using.
“We’re ready,” Frankie said.
Nodding, she replied, “Go ahead.”
Frankie lifted the red cloth from the body to seal it in an evidence bag.
Celeste’s breath caught, hitching in her tightening throat. “La madre que te parió!” she cursed.
No woman, just a girl.
Baby had been fifteen, max. She’d worked the streets, saying it was better there than at home.
Trying to get these girls into shelters was a trial. Every time Celeste got one off the streets, five more took her place. But Baby had been sweet, mostly clean, not the hardened type Celeste was used to dealing with.
And next week, there was an opening at one of the shelters Celeste worked with that Baby had agreed to enter.
Three damn days.
Swallowing hard against the dark, useless emotions trying to choke her, Celeste forced herself to move, to get on with the job. She noted the wounds and the bruises covering the girl’s face and upper arms. A broken necklace of cheap, brightly colored glass lay discarded near her left hand.
A dark smudge against Baby’s pale skin caught her eye. “What’s that?”
Frankie bent closer, snapping some photos, then gently turned the girl’s hand over.
A black mark had been drawn on her wrist. A question mark with a bar crossing the center of the straight line. Celeste drew a replica in her notebook.
“Didn’t see anything like this on the other bodies,” Frankie said as she took more pictures.
“I didn’t either. They were only left on the walls.” She continued to note the details of the crime scene as the morgue techs wheeled away the body, along with the scattered trash on the ground. They took it all. Anything could hold a clue.
As the other officers dispersed, Celeste stood back and watched. Waited for the scene to clear so she could search for clues. See if she could find more of the strange markings, some sort of runes, like at the other scenes.
As she waited, tapping her foot impatiently, her anger burned hotter.
These “Cult Murders” as the press called them, were supposed to have been solved weeks ago. They had disbanded the taskforce on her captain’s orders.
The city began to breathe easier.
Until a few nights ago, when they’d started up again.
I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card, INT, Winner to be drawn next week on May 1st.
In the comments section, please tell me which of the Hero’s from the Heart of a Vampire series is your favorite so far : ) (Shane, Jordan or Connor)
Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
It’s been a sad time lately, from Boston to Texas, MIT and mother nature.
While when shitty, horrifying crap like this happens, one good thing can come out of it. People band together! They show their love for their fellow man in any way they can.
If you’re looking into doing something to help out someone affected by the tragedies last week, I say awesome.
And if you’d like to help those in West, Texas, here are some great ways to do it!
I’m a member of the West Community and I wanted to give everyone an update. I actually live about 10 miles away, but my children go to school in West and my
husband grew up there. We felt the blast all the way at our house. The noise was deafening, even that far away. We’re still desperately waiting for word on
names of the fallen. I know that my hubby has already lost one cousin and a very good friend is in critical condition.
My kids will finish the school year at schools 30 miles away. It’s going to be a hectic next few weeks for all of our family and friends, but this is a tight
community and they are already rallying.
Many author friends have contacted me to find out what can be done from the neighboring states. At this point, our resources (meaning food and goods)
are overstocked. We’re having to find storage facilities for the overage–that’s a good thing, because clean up crews will be here for weeks.
What we really need is cash donations. There are many funds set up, and you can give through the Red Cross or you can donate money to the relief at Point West Bank & Trust (254) 826-5333 or State National Bank (254) 826-3741.
If you’d like to make a donation to the education program that we so desperately need, I’ve saved a flyer that the school sent us. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1x4uxGq_dFbb3pvdWR5a2Z1Yk0/edit?usp=sharing
We lost three of the four schools. The only thing left is the elementary school.
Please don’t feel obligated, but I know how wonderful my online community is, and I wanted to pass on the word. Thanks for anything you can do for these
Hugs to everyone!
True Love Devastates
I’m a plotter, I can admit that fully. I like my little road map laid out before I begin writing, even though I know full well that at the end, the book probably won’t look much like my initial outline.
That’s because as I write, my characters take on their own personalities and decide from there on out where they’re damn well going to go.
But being a plotter, I still need to know quite a bit about my characters before I can start that initial outline.
I recently sat down to plot book 5 in my Heart of a Vampire series. I wrote two pages of outline before my heart sank and I showed it to Wicked.
My characters were wimps and the story was going nowhere.
Which is when I finally realized I didn’t know nearly enough about my characters to even begin plotting.
So, my Q4U: Writers – how well do you need to know your characters before you begin to write?
Readers – Are you drawn to books with more action oriented plots, or by great characters (or both)?
Lucky in Love? Well, are you? It’s a time of luck and wealth…or not. With each romance we find ourselves in a new world of love and memories. Are these just by chance? Is it luck? Welcome to your second annual Lucky in Love Blog Hop where we want to hear about your love, your romance, and how much you love St. Patrick’s Day!!! Are you wearing green? Ready to get pinched…or wait…do you like that?
Almost 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love!
But that’s not all….
We have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
To check out all the stops on the blog hop, click HERE
And for my personal giveaway, a $5 Amazon gift card, in the comments, tell me:
Do you think luck plays into love? Why or why not?
Leave your email address so you can be contacted if you win 🙂
Please help me welcome L. VanHorn to the keep today. She’s got a new book out, and let me tell ya, it sounds delicious!!
Release Date: 2/22/2013
After the murder of her father, Kyra’s heart is consumed by the need for revenge. The hunt is all that matters. But a chance crossing of paths with the alluring and mysterious Grim threatens to derail her focus and her quest. Something about him draws her in, melts her walls, and speeds her heart. Like her, he is half Alfhiem, but it’s more than that. He’s funny, considerate, and treats her as an equal even in battle, something most of the Vikings of her native homeland would never do.
Steamy nights is one thing, but Kyra can’t allow her heart to become wrapped up with anyone, not until she finds and kills the man who murdered her father. Traveling across the countryside with Grim, though, challenges her resolve in more ways than she thought possible. She still hungers for the hunt but that hunger begins to dim in comparison to the one that grows inside her for Grim.
Creatures that could only be from the legendary land of Midgard interrupt their hunt again and again, creatures that shouldn’t exist in this realm. Soon it becomes unclear whether or not Kyra and Grim are the hunters, or the hunted. But who would hunt them, and why?
So tell us about yourself.
What is a typical day for you like writing-wise?
Wake up, start writing where I left off the day before, and write until the sun sets. Sometimes I might take a break to eat. 😉
What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
Horseback riding is one of my favorites, but pretty much anything outdoors.
What would you do with $1 million dollars (tax-free, of course)?
Build a bigger house so I could host writer’s retreats at home.
Ooh, will we be invited? 😉
If you could be any animal, what would it be (real or magical)? Why?
If I had to choose, I’d say a dragon, because, how fantastic would that be?!
What is your favorite book? Why?
Currently, An Unexpected Return by Jessica E. Subject. Great characters, great plot, and what’s not to love about a pleasure planet?
What is your favorite movie? Why?
Currently, The Lord of the Rings saga. It was my first favorite book and seeing it come to life like that was amazing.
If you could time-travel, where would you go and why?
To the future, to see if our species survives.
Interesting question, and one I’d like to know 🙂
Why are manhole covers round?
I have no idea but now I’m totally going to Google it.
Do you have any upcoming news you’d like to share?
I do! Valkyrie Slumbering just released and the sequel, Valkyrie Awakening will be releasing this winter.
And the Fast Five:
Coffee or Chocolate?
I’m right there with ya 🙂
Jewelry: Precious gems or gold?
I’m not much for either. I like semi-precious stones.
Beach or Mountains?
Yes, but beach if I must choose.
Early Morning or Late Night?
Fruit or Veggies?
Fruits, then vegies.
And last, but not least, where can we find you on the internet:
BIO: With all the alluring creatures available in the fantasy genre, there is no end to the inspiration that keeps my muse up at night. My recipe: Start with choice characters, marinate in fantasy (any of the delicious sub-genres will do) add a heavy dash of romance, and mix in a generous portion of hot and heavy throughout the cooking cycle.
Last winter, I had a major change in life.
Like, an unexpected move, among other things.
Yeah, it sucks.
But the move is done (even if the unpacking seems to never end).
The good news is I’m back to writing.
I’ve missed it. Writing is my outlet, where I get to be creative, get to know new people and their unique lives, and go on adventures with them for the length of my books.
The best news for the many who have been asking (thanks, it makes me feel awesome to know you’re waiting), is Magicstorm, Heart of a Vampire #4 is now in edits. I expect a release date in late April.
I also expect to start blogging again!
And if you’re signed up to get my newsletter, there will be some yummy goodness coming your way later this month 🙂