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text 2017-09-11 18:12
Guest Post: Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection

 

Lizzie Shane

I think what makes second chance romances so special is the idea that when you love deeply, that love never really leaves your heart.  And who doesn’t want a chance to put right what once went wrong?  (A la Quantum Leap). There’s always that hope that it’s never too late to find romantic redemption. It’s very compelling.

 

Sharon Sobel

In life and in love, our destinies can hinge on a single word, a misunderstanding, an event, an error in judgement, and we continue down a different path wondering: “What if?”  The possibility of change often remains close to us, a hope of redemption.  In romantic love, the opportunity to return to the fork in the road and follow a different path is a renewal of hope, of passion, and in the belief that happiness is possible where we no longer expected to find it.

 

Renee Luke

Second chance romance stories are special because it allows a flame to be rebuilt, reuniting characters who had been in love before. It answers the ‘what ifs’ of the relationship. Because the characters have already known each other, it helps move the story forward more quickly, getting right to the core of their hearts.

 

 

3-Time RITA-Nominated and Golden Heart-winning contemporary romance author Lizzie Shane was born and raised in Alaska and still lives in the frozen north when she isn’t indulging her travel addiction. After college, she worked in the entertainment industry for about fifteen seconds before deciding she’d rather write about love in the wilds of Hollywood than live it. Now she uses the long winter nights in Alaska to create more happily-ever-afters. Lizzie also writes paranormal romance under the name Vivi Andrews. For more about Lizzie & her books, visit www.lizzieshane.com.

 

A member of Romance Writers of America for over twenty years, Sharon Sobel is the author of eight historical and two contemporary romance novels, as well as a series of Regency Christmas novellas. She has served as the Secretary of RWA and Chapter Liaison, and has twice been president of the Beau Monde chapter. After earning a PhD in English Language and Literature from Brandeis University, she started her career as a professor of English, and currently works at a Connecticut college, where she co-chaired the Connecticut Writers’ Conference for five years. An eighteenth century New England farmhouse, where Sharon and her husband raised their three children, has provided inspiration for either the period or the setting for all of her books.

 

Renee Luke has been writing poems and stories since she first learned to write. After getting a box of Harlequins delivered by mistake, her love of romance novels blossomed from an obsession of reading into the desire to write her own stories of the heart. She writes keeping-it-real erotic romances featuring funky (sub) urban characters that get-their-groove-on and give up their hearts. She strives to write stories that both stimulate physically and satisfy emotionally. A believer in happily-ever-afters, she’s definitely found her own, living in Northern California with her children and her own real life her USMC husband.

 

 
SECOND CHANCES
 

Do you believe in second chances?

 

Romance Writers of America brings together seventeen of today’s hottest authors in an anthology of never-before-published tales that reveal true love always deserves a happy ending.

 

Follow New York Times best-selling authors J. Kenner and Christina Lauren back to reader-favorite worlds.

 

New York Times bestseller Alyssa Day sprinkles djinn magic in her humorous paranormal romance, while Rachel Hauck brings the enchantment of the holidays in her New Year’s Eve contemporary love story.

 

And Liliana Hart delivers thrills and adventure in her characters’ search for the impossible. 

 

With characters who find love through tough situations, in an elegant 1800s ballroom, with an old friend who shows up when least expected, at a tender age when cliques and homework get in the way of relationships, or after a random encounter in an unlikely setting, Second Chances delivers romance to strike every reader’s fancy.

 

Plus tales from:
Marilyn Brant
Kerri Carpenter
CiCi Coughlin
Cassandra Dean
Tina Ferraro
Renee Luke
Ariella Moon
Brandi Willis Schreiber
Lizzie Shane
Sharon Sobel
Damon Suede
Tara Wyatt

 

 

Where to buy SECOND CHANCES

Avon – Amazon – Barnes and Noble   iBooks –  Kobo    

 

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/09/guest-post-second-chances-a-romance-writers-of-america-collection
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text 2017-09-01 14:05
Feature Friday: Infected by Jessica Gomez with Excerpt and Guest Post

 

Today for “Feature Friday” let us welcome the wonderful Jessica Gomez with her book Infected, the first book in the Flash Series 

We will have info about the book and Jessica, excerpt from the book,  and a awesome Guest Post written by Jessica .

Make sure to check everything out and go and show her some support and add her books to your TBR ;) 

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

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If the world ceased to exist in one moment in time, would you know what to do? Lillie thought her life was finally beginning to look up, and for once she seemed in control of her own future. Until a blinding light in the sky ripped that all away. When the luminosity snapped off, it flipped a switch, taking with it almost every human life, leaving behind few survivors… and the Infected. Decrepit and inhuman, the Infected brutalize everything that crosses their path. The flash has destroyed most people’s humanity, rendering Lillie a target for every horrific situation imaginable. Nine months later, she not only has to worry about herself, but her newborn child. After a year of living on their own and just making it, Lillie and her daughter catch a break, finding shelter and a new companion in a young boy. The new family dynamic has Lillie letting her guard down. Until one day, they are ambushed. More terrifying and faster than ever, the Infected nearly overcome them, triggering the relocation of their home. Taking a chance, Lillie and the children head to the mountains of Oregon. Little do they know - what waits there may be worse than the Infected.

 

 

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Buy Link

 

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Chapter 1

 

            I stumbled down the sidewalks crumbled remains, watching the grey and white clouds swirl a daring dance around each other; waiting for rain to descend from their bellies. I couldn’t remember when the last time was that a drop of water touched these lips. Most of the rivers and streams have either dried up, been poisoned, or are guarded by renegade survivors―People you would be smart to stay clear of.

I scanned my surroundings, surveying the dilapidated, deserted city. The same broken cars, buildings, and roads that were once normal pieces of society flooded my vision. Roads and buildings overgrown by trees, weeds, and any other vegetation that wanted to reclaim their land. I always thought it would take longer than a year to erase anything and everything the human race was once proud of.

Buildings had been brought down by the rough year after the Flash, some still stitched together by steel beams, missing their skin. Others still stood, dressing up in vegetation. Either way, they all appeared as if they belonged in a graveyard, left abandoned by all the people who used to go about their daily lives in them.

The worst parts were the bones and tattered clothing left behind by those who perished, laying bleached in the sun. Some of them still held remnants of hair and skin. I paused to gaze at myself in a broken window. How long had it been since I’d last seen my reflection? I pulled the hood off my head and studied my features. My hair was brushing past my shoulder blades now. The last time I’d attempted to cut it, I’d used a piece of broken glass from a window. I almost severed one of my fingers in the process, so I decided to let it grow out.

            My long, blonde hair reflected off the few streams of sun radiating through the clouds, the color resembling shimmering wheat fields. Standing at about five foot two, I was a slight thing–not too short–yet not tall by anyone’s standards. I was always slender, but since the foods scarce, my clothes hang off me like rags. My green eyes sparkled back at me like emeralds, the one and only thing I loved about my appearance, and the one thing that could never be robbed from me in these rough months.

Seemingly, out of nowhere, my eyes locked onto seven men and two women who were standing behind me, smiling vindictively in the reflection on the glass. It was like they appeared out of thin air. I turned to run, but they were already surrounding me in a semi-circle. My breathing slammed in and out of my lungs as I began panting, as if I’d just ran a marathon. My vision was beginning to narrow and I knew that I needed to control myself.

“Go on, Ryan, you know what your choices are. Are you going to save her?” The man that spoke tilted his head back and laughed as if he’d said the funniest thing in the world. Ryan, the man he spoke to, wasn’t much older than me–maybe nineteen to my sixteen–and possibly one of the best-looking guys I had ever seen. His brown hair flopped into his bright blue eyes, his skin tanned and toned.

The man’s words began to register and I knew that I had to get away, but before I could move, I watched as Ryan’s face changed from concerned, scared, and pitiful, to fierce and determined. He began his advance and I watched in horror as his eyes devoured me where I stood…

I bolted upright, my breath sawing in and out of my lungs at a burning rate. I glanced over to check the tiny sleeping bundle next to me. I waited for her blankets to move up and down, making sure she was still breathing before I wiped the cold sweat off my forehead. The dream always had a way of igniting my adrenalin, even after years of repetition. Taking a shaky breath in, I settled my nerves and placed a hand on my little angel, reassuring myself again. Life is completely fucked up. Not only did life as we know it end, but some of the worst events in people’s lives can bring about the best.

I pulled out the cracked mirror I’d found a short time ago from my pack and studied my features, the rising sun giving me enough light to see my reflection. I looked like a vagrant, someone who struggled to survive. I used to imagine being something–someone–a veterinarian, maybe? I always loved animals. Animals never judged you by the way you looked or where you came from. They loved without prejudice.

Growing up in foster care made me want to prove myself and show the world that I wasn’t “foster scum,” as some of the kids called me, but none of it mattered now. I was nobody, just like anyone else who remained in the world.

After the Flash lit the sky, the majority of the six and a half billion people on planet Earth dropped dead, or they mutated and died. When the Flash filled the sky with blindness, nobody expected it. People were going about their daily lives―shopping, working, playing with their children. Most people–the lucky ones–dropped where they stood, as if someone had flipped the off switch on millions of lives.

            The ones who didn’t die became the Infected. They were the ones who lived, but were affected by the Flash. They didn’t die immediately, but most died within months. Their deaths were rather unpleasant; they were normal one day, and the next their heads would start to blister. Those blisters became larger, looking more and more like tumors that leaked out bodily fluids resembling thick curdled milk from every part of their bodies.

            To make matters worse, these effects began driving them mad. The Infected would brutalize people, terrorize towns, and set buildings on fire, even if they knew people were inside―especially if they knew people were inside. The Infected ran riotously through the streets, harassing, killing, and beating any civilians they encountered. It was their sole purpose to kill and create chaos.             Now, years later, they no longer existed. Anyone who survived was relieved it was over. We were the Immune. We may have survived the Flash and the Infected, but we had the privilege of watching everyone we loved around us perish to various degrees. I went on living and breathing today as I did before the light in the sky ended everything. However, my surroundings were quite different. I never thought I would have to plan my future when no future existed to plan.

            Some of the Immune, which were becoming few and far between, turned to killing, robbing, raping, and even cannibalism. It was everyone for themselves. Most of this type died off. There were only so many people available to kill now that most of humanity was already dead, but there were people who had found ways of hiding or so one would believe. The Immune had to find a new way of life, doing whatever they had to do to survive. The new future consisted of only one motive, and that was staying alive.             The news stayed on long enough for the survivors to learn that the Flash was some sort of chemical weapon. Officials never released an official story as to whether it was ours, or if it was from another country, but at that point, it didn’t matter. The damage had been done, and had already Infected the entire world.            

            Information was never really accurate when it came to the Infected and the Immune. During that time, I wasn’t aware that I was Immune. I kept expecting to wake up with blisters all over me, eventually growing into baseball-sized tumors.

I watched as the news anchor became Infected with growths everywhere. When it was apparent that he was not Immune, he went on air and made a statement that even though he was not Immune, it was still his job to report to all the remaining people who were Immune, as much information as possible. He promised to do this until this infection took over and he could not continue any longer. He bowed his head after that day’s speech and never returned to the air. I’d assumed he died that night, but there would never be any way of knowing. He was a nice man, it seemed, and I had hoped that he had simply died, and that he never had to suffer from the madness that took over so many.             The information he was able to share did help. We knew what had taken place, what the outcome was, an estimation of people who had died, as well as the amount of people who may have survived. Only a small percentage of the human population remaining were assumed to be Immune from the Flash, but that estimation was made before they realized that just because you lived through the initial Flash, didn’t mean you were Immune. The real number of Immune, the people who suffered no side effects, was much lower.

            I was one of them.             I’ve always been a drifter, never having any ties to one place for too long. With no family to speak of, I was just a child passed around from foster home to foster home. When I reached thirteen, I ran away and lied about my age to get a job.

            When the Flash hit, I was doing pretty well for myself. I worked at a drive-in movie theater and lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Milton-Freewater, Oregon. The place was nothing special, but it was mine. Now, making a living doesn’t mean anything. Keeping yourself alive becomes your main priority, every second of every day.             Occasionally, you run across items that aren’t very useful, but helpful in making life feel somewhat normal. Earlier that morning, I found a calendar from the year 2049, the year the world changed forever. I was fifteen. It also had in the back, a calendar for the next three years, up to 2052. Today was June 19, 2054, meaning that my birthday was tomorrow, June, 20th. Happy Birthday to me. I’ll be twenty years old.

            Comparing my handmade calendar to the new pocket calendar, I was satisfied to notice that my calculations of today’s date were correct. When I made my own calendar, I remembered to add a leap year every four years until a century year, which would not be a leap year. Useless information, really, but it’s something that I had learned and I hold on to those little bits of information like my life depends on it.

I woke my little angel and had her eat breakfast before we continued to walk down the broken path toward anything and nothing. I needed water and if the weather was going to cooperate, I would have my canteens filled by nightfall.

            Our days consisted of avoiding people, not that that was hard. There weren’t too many of them to avoid. Searching for food and water, making sure our stockpile was full enough to get us through at least three days, but there was never much luck finding anything new to eat.             Food was harder to find in recent months. After so many years had gone by, most of the stored food was now going bad, or already taken. The Flash killed quite a bit of the livestock, leaving only a few stray cats and dogs running around. Soon, the food would become scarcer, and the only way to continue living would be to hunt wild game.

Lucky for me, even though I was a girl, one of my foster parents had taught me a thing or two about hunting. We would do fine enough on our own. For tonight though, finding shelter to sleep in, out of the rain, was my main priority.

 

 

 

 

 

The other night I was asked that one question that everyone wants to know… What food would I search for in the Zombie Apocalypse? The idea taken from one of my favorite movies, Zombie Land, is a great topic of zombie conversation. In the movie their choice was a Twinkie, which is a great choice, but not for me. When I was young I ate an entire box with my girlfriend and then spent about nine hours on a boat in the hot sun. Needless to say, I threw up Twinkie for about twelve hours. Ever since then, not a huge fan. Now there are a few ways we can take this. Are we talking food, food, like dinner plates? For this I would have to go with ANYTHING pasta. I love me some noodles. Which is great for me, because I feel like this is one of the foods that would not expire for a while. However, if we are talking desserts, I may be a little SOL. My favorite dessert, the one I would LOVE to search for, would be cheesecake. I know, I know, I know what you are thinking… You are soooo screwed. Not only would it be difficult to find, but then finding it intact and not molded and rotten are slim to none. Which I’m pretty depressed over. I mean, what kind of world would we live in if there were no cheesecake? I don’t even want to contemplate that at the moment. So now this is my questions to you… What would you search for if every food you loved died out?

   

 

 

 

 

Jessica Gomez

 

Jessica Gomez is a bestselling author of Suspense, Romance & Paranormal, Apocalyptic books. She’s best known for her Paranormal novel, Infected. She independently published her first book, After the Before, in 2014, and reached #1 in Bilingual, Suspense, & Romance genres. She’s currently working on book 3 in the Flash series, Evolved, which is to release Fall/Winter of 2017. As well as a new Alpha, Suspense, Romance series, schedule for early 2018. For more about this author, visit one of the sites listed. She enjoys hearing from and chatting with her readers, who have the same passion for reading.

 

 

Links

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Blog ***  BookBub

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/feature-friday-infected-jessica-gomez-excerpt-interview-guest-post
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text 2017-08-18 14:05
Feature Friday for Alex E. Carey's Fire's Love with Interview, Excerpt and Guest Post

 

Today for “Feature Friday” let us welcome the awesome Alex E. Carey with her book Fire's Love, the first book in the Elemental Series.

We will have info about the book and author. Plus we have a interview with Alex, a great excerpt from the book and a guest post from her as well.

Make sure to check everything out and go and show her some love and add her books to your TBR ;) 

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

Fire's Love

 

Kira thought she was leaving her demons behind when she left for college. She quickly discovers demons are everywhere, and can be good or evil. Not only are they real, but they’re protecting her; that is, except for the ones who want her dead. Kira's parents want to reveal things about who she is, but a strange phenomenon prevents them from explaining. Before they can try again, her mother and brother die and her father disappears. Afterward, Kira finds a mysterious book in her parents‘ belongings. Although the book confuses her, it comforts her too. She's sure it holds the answers she seeks. One of Kira’s new friends, Lowell Hew, is also an earth demon named Ulric the Wolf Thief. Lowell tries to help Kira solve the mysteries involving the book, her parents, and the elements they wanted her to know. Although Lowell has a crush on Kira, he’s not looking for a relationship, or so he keeps telling himself. Meanwhile, Lowell introduces Kira to his best friend, Pyre, a fire demon with a fiery temperament and a troubled past. Pyre closed off his heart years ago, while deep inside he yearned to belong. For Pyre, learning to love again comes with tremendous risk, especially when the girl he loves is human, and his best friend has thoughts of his own. Things go well until an eerie presence threatens Kira and her new friends, and they can only speculate as to who it may be. While her friends protect her and try to uncover the enemy’s identity, Kira must adjust to the challenges of being human with demon friends. Will she bask in the warmth, or be consumed by the flames of Fire’s Love?

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

   

Other books in the series 

 

Earth's Embrace (Elemental Series Book 2) by [Carey, Alex E]

 

 

Water's Reflection (Elemental Book 3) by [Carey, Alex E]

 

 

Hello Alex. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and chat with us, it is great to have you. 

 

 

 

Thank you.  It’s my pleasure.

 

 

 

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with several authors who write in multiple genres.  They are a great group and many have become dear friends.  Mainly, we share each other’s work, encourage and motivate, and sometimes read for each other.

Jenny Burke writes The Dragon Dreamer series about a young dragon who makes an unlikely friend in a wise octopus named Scree.  It’s a beautiful story for all ages.  We met a couple of years ago and have been great friends since.  We bounce ideas off each other and encourage each other.

Another dear friend is Dianna Wyles.  She writes children’s books that can also be enjoyed by adults.  She is a photographer and uses her photos in her Hearts Blessings book series to complement her uplifting poetry.  She also includes a seek and find activity — find the hearts in nature.  They’re beautiful books.  I pull them out when I need some motivation.  She frequently shares my book information with others or opportunities with me.  She also helps me to stay positive and focused.

Heidi Angell is an author of paranormal/fantasy suspense, children’s books and more.  Her sons like to share bookmarks with their classmates, so I was happy to send her some along with some free books.  They fell in love with my stories and tell their friends.  Heidi has a podcast where she reveals “unboxings” when she receives mail and is an avid supporter of indie authors.

Tim Hemlin is a talented author of mysteries and a YA paranormal novel released this year, called Son of a Kitchen Witch.  He and his wife, Valerie, are very supportive of other authors and love to share our news with their readers.

I recently was fortunate to be included in an author team organized by Books Go Social.  There are eleven of us in the group and we’ve all become good friends as well.

Daccari Buchelli writes YA fantasy fiction and just released the revised edition of Phoenix, the first novel in his Peradon fantasy series.  He is so supportive of the entire group and is always offering tips and motivation for each of us.  He  came up with the idea to do an anthology of samples of some of our work called, Tales of the Fantastic.

David Gilchrist is the author of The Redemption of Wist series.  He has published three books in his series and has another releasing in September.  David is always positive and upbeat.  You can count on him for a kind word, writing tips and sharing information he knows we all want to hear, such as someone looking for a book to read and review.

Grant Leishman is a multi-genre author with several books to his credit.  He writes YA fantasy, religious humor/satire, and paranormal and romantic suspense, including his Second Coming trilogy.  He helps to keep us all motivated, is dedicated to sharing information about our books on all his social media and website, and encourages us to keep following our dreams.

Nyasia A. Maire is the author of The Heretic’s Child, a wonderful fantasy story about the Rememberers, who collect and preserve the memories of dying humans, and a menace that is killing their overseers, the Cybele.  Nyasia constantly shares information about our books, offers advice, and shares opportunities to get our books into venues, such as the Pipe & Thimble bookstore in Lomita, CA.

Caitlin Lynagh is the author of Anomaly: The Soul Prophecies with more coming in that series.  She is a biologist and a wonderful writer of YA paranormal romance.  She is sweet and kind, and always offers encouragement and praise.

Kim Ross is an author of fantasy and speculative fiction.  She’s published several short stories in a variety of publications including Novascapes, Sproutlings, and Three Drops from a Cauldron.  She is ready with a reply and humor when any of us in the group need feedback.

There are many others I haven’t mentioned here who are just as supportive.  Chris Walters, Tammy Berg, Kimberly Grell, CK Dawn, C.D. Gorri — oh gosh, I could go on.  Each of them are supportive in various ways, but all are encouraging and happy to work together to further our careers and become better writers.  We believe in supporting each other, whether by giving our opinions on a blurb or chapter, sharing writing tips, events and news, etc.  The main thing is that you have someone else who understands what you experience — whether it’s a need for motivation; dealing with writer’s block; looking for cover designers, editors, or other professionals; or commiserating over a drop in sales.  I give back to them by sharing their news, reading and proofing whenever they need an opinion on something, giving encouragement and motivation, and anything else i can do.  Together, we will succeed.

 

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

That’s a good question, and a bit of a tough one.  Like many writers, my budget struggles to stay in the black, so I do as much for free as I can.  i majored in English in college, but one of the best investments has been in publishing and marketing courses by Mark Dawson and Nick Stephenson.  They are great guys, very personable, and eagerly share advice in the course and in their Facebook communities.

Another excellent investment has been with my street team — Alex E. Carey’s Elemental Elite.  I have such a wonderful team of people who are friendly, encouraging and who go out of their way to share my book information with their friends, libraries, book clubs and more.  They keep after me, wanting to know when book #4 in my series will be published (coming soon in 2017 if all goes as planned), which motivates me to keep writing.  They get a free signed paperback copy of my first book, Fire’s love, with bookmarks and swag.  The members who are actively supportive — whether by sharing posts on social media, keeping me informed of events, supporting me at events I participate in online, and hopefully by leaving reviews, etc. — continue to receive free books and swag.  My team will also have the first opportunity to receive ARC’s and new releases.  The cost of print books and swag,  plus the shipping, has been a worthwhile investment to further my success.  Their support and encouragement is priceless!  They’ve all become very dear to me and like my extended family.

 

What is the most challenging thing about writing for you?

Time.  Always!  Balancing working my “day job”, writing, reading, family time, promotion, social media, and other activities is difficult.  I tend to get immersed when I write, and overlook reading and other things.  I will suddenly realize I haven’t checked email or Facebook messages in several days; or I’ll remember I promised to read a book for someone.  Yes, I have a huge stack of books I’ve promised to read.  Or I need to vacuum the carpet — but what’s one more day?  There are books to be written or read.

 

How do you select the names of your characters? 

I start by searching for names with certain meanings or significance in some way.  My three main characters are Kira, Pyre, and Lowell.  For Lowell, I looked up names that had “wolf” in their meaning.  Lowell means “wolf” and “beloved”, so I liked that.  The word pyre means “a heap of combustible material”.  That pretty much describes Pyre in a nutshell.  I got the name Kira from a Japanese anime show I used to watch.  I also try not to choose a name that has been used frequently. 

 

 

 

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

 

That’s an interesting question.  I think most everything boils down to time for me.  I’m about experiences in life.  If you want to become a better writer, you need to practice, or maybe you need to take a course.  That may involve money, but it definitely involves time.  Time you spend taking a course is time you don’t have for someone or something else.  I took dance for over twelve years, and I still enjoy it.  I stay in practice whenever I can, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to spend on it as much as I used to.  I guess you could say that’s one thing I have given up or sacrificed to dedicate more of myself to my writing.  One thing I would not sacrifice is my family, and fortunately I don’t have to.  My mother and brother are completely supportive and work with me.  My mother helps with proofreading, editing, publishing and anything else I may need.  They both have come up with suggestions for scenes, and they always assist when I have a book signing event.  Spending time with them in collaboration makes up for anything I have sacrificed for my writing.

 

 

This was fun, again thank you so much for taking the time to chat. You rock! 

 

 

 

The last scene in Chapter 4 - Getting Answers and Proving One’s Self

 

The next afternoon, Lowell and I went to the library to study together. “I forgot one of my books in my room,” Lowell said after searching through his bag. “You can borrow mine.” “Thanks, but I need my notes too.” “I’ll go with you. We can study in your room instead.” “No, I don’t want to study there in case my roommates return. They’re loud and distracting. I’ll be right back. You don’t need to come with me.” “I can either go with you to your dorm or stay here and endure the glares from your jealous admirers. Frankly, they’re a little scary when they travel in packs.” When we reached Lowell’s room, he stood still outside the door, huffed, and rubbed his forehead. “What’s wrong?” I asked. He shook his head and set his jaw before opening the door. “How many times must I tell you not to enter my dorm when I’m not here?” Lowell asked. Pyre leaned against a wall with his arms crossed. The sight of him took my breath away, but then he spoke. “I don’t take orders.” “Why are you here?” “We’re supposed to train, remember?” “Oh, right, I forgot. Kira, I’m sorry.” “No problem. We can study another time.” “Why don’t you come with us?” Pyre made a rude face, and I raised my brows at him before responding to Lowell. “I don’t want to intrude.” “It’s no intrusion. Besides, my other friends will be there, so you can meet them.” “In that case, I’ll go.” “Good. Let me put my books away and change clothes, and then we’ll leave.” “Hn.” Pyre grunted and rolled his eyes. Lowell frowned at Pyre and left the room. Pyre stared at me intensely as though searing a line into my soul. My eyes wandered around the room, and I pretended he wasn’t there, but I failed. I tried not to meet his blue eyes or imagine how his smooth, black hair would feel if I ran my fingers through it. I mentally slapped myself to regain my senses. Why is he staring at me? I get it, he doesn’t like me. He doesn’t even know me, but still he doesn’t like me. So why must he stare at me? “Why does Lowell talk to you?” Pyre asked. “Um.” I studied the ceiling and walls, unaware how to respond. “You’re a weak and worthless human with no special abilities. Why does the Wolf Thief talk to a weak human?” He circled me once before facing off with me, eye to eye, only slightly taller than myself. “How should I know? Why don’t you ask him yourself?” “I did. He says he likes you, and you’re a good friend, but I bet you did something to him.” “You said there’s nothing special about me.” “Doesn’t mean you didn’t do something to him.” “Why are you talking to me if I’m such a weak and worthless human?” He frowned and grew quiet. Seems he doesn’t have a real reason. “I feel something strange toward you.” He examined me from head to toe. “What kind of strange feeling?” “I’m not sure, but I don’t like it.” “You’re the one who mentioned it.” “So?” He asked. “So if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have said anything.” “You’re the one who asked why I was talking to you.” “Only because talking to someone who doesn’t like me is weird.” “Then maybe I’ll leave if it’s so weird.” He stepped toward the door. “Maybe you should.” “You want me to go.” Pyre squinted at me with suspicion. “That would be great, thank you.” “You manipulated me into saying I’d leave. I’m not going anywhere. You go.” He planted his feet and gestured toward the door. “I’m nothing special, but I manipulated you? How embarrassing for you. And I don’t take orders either.” I confronted him with my arms crossed and stomped my foot. “Hn.” He made a face at me and disappeared. Lowell entered the room in time for the door to slam shut behind Pyre and held up his hands in a silent question. “Don’t leave me alone with him again.” “What did he do?” Lowell groaned, convinced he wouldn’t like my answer. “He creeps me out, and he’s rude. Not to mention obnoxious.” Lowell laughed when I finished. “And here I thought you two would be such good friends.” His voice oozed with sarcasm. When I only raised an eyebrow at him, he said, “Let’s study since he’s gone.” A thunderous knock suddenly shook the door. Lowell opened it to reveal a furious Pyre. “Are you ready to train or not?” Pyre yelled. “Yea, I guess.” Lowell winced as he looked at me, and I nodded that I understood. “Then come on. Leave the human.” “The human doesn’t want to go after all.” I stuck out my chin and glared at him as I stomped past them and out the door. “The human isn’t allowed to go!” Pyre yelled. “The human doesn’t care.” I called back over my shoulder. “The human needs to keep her mouth shut.” I whirled to confront him again. “The demon needs to stay away from the human.” “The two freaks need to stop making a scene.” Lowell stepped between us and gestured with his head to the people gawking at us. “What’re you looking at?” I yelled. The people hurried away from us. I glanced back at Lowell, but Pyre already left. “Keep him away from me.” “I’ll do my best. We’re going to Caedmon’s apartment this weekend. If Pyre’s there, it’s not my fault. I better go with him now though.” “Fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I stomped off toward my dorm ranting in my head about demons. Infuriating, obnoxious, insane, devilishly handsome demons.

 

 

 

I am often asked if there’s a message I would like to pass on to my readers. I do have some, but for this post, I want to focus on one specific issue. I write strong female characters, probably because I’m a strong female character, and I see more women who need to be strong as well. I come from a long line of strong women. Being strong doesn’t mean being rude or arrogant. To me, it means knowing who you are and what you stand for, what you’ll accept, and what you won’t. I’m also a bit shy and quiet in a crowd, which isn’t a weakness. Actually, it’s a strength and enables me to write good characters, because I’m a good listener. Teens these days are under pressure to have sex way too soon or before they’re ready. The lead female character in my book is sixteen when she begins college, and turns seventeen in October. She’s never had a boyfriend or been worried about it. Life isn’t about getting or keeping a boyfriend, regardless what your peers say. It’s about knowing who you are. When you do, you’ll know what you have to share, and you’ll find the right person. They’ll come to you naturally without any pressure or forcing it. Yes, by all means date, and if you are ready for the next level of a relationship, that’s YOUR choice, no one else’s. If the guy pushes you into it, either way, he’ll probably be gone the next day. Yea, that’s probably something your mother would say. I’m only twenty-five, not that much older than high school teens. Know what? She’s right. (To my own mother, yes, I actually said those words.) Still, I have another issue on my mind. My mother home schooled me until college, so this issue was a bit of a shock to me. When I started working, I met people younger and older, but I was used to age differences. The part I wasn’t used to was the people, most of them female, many of them younger than myself, who had an abusive relationship with a romantic partner. I couldn’t understand why a high school girl, for example, would date a guy who physically abused them. When I asked, they replied that this is how it is in the real world and you have to accept it if you want to have a boyfriend. I was horrified, not because I believed them, but because they believed it. Before I go any further, I will say that women these days are more capable of defending themselves from an attack than in the past. We are more educated as to what to do in a scary situation. The first question is, if faced with an attack by a stranger, whether we remember the training. The second question is, if the attacker is someone we have feelings for, what will we do? Additionally, it’s important to recognize that abuse happens to men in relationships too. When I started dating, my mother told me something that stuck with me. Although we had a great bond and relationship through the teen years, I probably wouldn’t have admitted it at the time. She said our lives are open books, and we are the writers. People we meet or become close to are the characters. Some of those characters will be villains who should be defeated, or left behind. Some chapters would be happy, fun, peaceful and full of hope. Others, would be sad and have some grief, pain or disappointment. Everyone makes bad choices or has regrets, but unlike the books an author writes, those bad choices can’t simply be edited out of your life’s book. Either way, the pen belongs to you. Make sure you write your book. Don’t allow someone else to do it for you. Yes, there will be some pain in life, whether it’s losing a loved one, fighting cancer, or worrying about bills, etc. Those are inevitable, unfortunately, and part of life. Allowing someone to abuse you, whether verbally or physically - I’m talking forced sex, black eyes, broken bones, hospital visits - is not meant to be part of life. Don’t accept that from anyone or for any reason. No one was born or deserves to live that way. You aren’t a whipping post. Don’t be their tool. If someone truly loves you they will build you up, grow your confidence, and they will never intentionally hurt you. It’s your book, and the characters in it are your choice. If you find yourself with someone who only wants to hurt you or make you feel inferior, kick the loser out of your book That person doesn’t belong there. I grew up with an amazing, supportive family, not that we didn’t have our own issues. I understand a lot of people don’t have that. Many people overcome whatever isn’t perfect in their lives. People from lower income families “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”, go to college and make a good life for themselves. People with disabilities of some sort go on to achieve great things in careers and life. Some people have to overcome the people closest to them putting them down or discouraging them. Whatever you have to overcome, work for it, do it, follow your dreams. Will you fail? Who knows? You’ll be able to say you went for it, and you won’t grow old and bitter because you never gave it a shot. Moreover, you will have taken control of your life and not let someone else destroy it or you. Why give someone else control over your life when theirs is a mess? Write your own book. Make it long and full of everything a life should be. Remember, no one was born to be someone else’s tool.

 

 

 

 

 

           

Alex E. Carey was born in Texas and majored in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  When she started college, she planned to be a dance teacher or an archaeologist.  Kira’s story came to her during her first semester of college.  Alex scribbled stories in between classes and ideas continued to flow for more stories and characters.  She soon realized she was meant to be a writer.  She is now the author of three published novels in the Elemental Series.  She is currently working on the fourth book in the series, as well as other short stories and novels in progress.

            Alex studied dance since the age of four.  She took classes in several dance forms and enjoyed them all, but her favorite was modern/contemporary.  She still loves dance and stays in practice when not working or writing.  She believes in tolerance and acceptance and feels strongly about equal rights for all.  She is passionate about issues involving women, children, the elderly, animals and the environment.

            Alex enjoys a variety of books and genres, but her favorites are paranormal and fantasy.  She reads a variety of authors and has many favorites including Emily Dickinson, Kim Harrison, Stephen King, Rick Riordan, Edgar Allan Poe, J. K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.

            When not at work on her latest book, she enjoys reading, walking trails, gem mining and spending time with her family and their three dogs.

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Bookhub 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/feature-friday-alex-e-careys-fires-love-interview-excerpt-guest-post
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text 2017-08-17 19:51
Guest Post: Kerry Adrienne (Taming the Lion) ~ Giveaway/Excerpt

 

Favorite Scene 

 

Thanks for having me guest! I appreciate it.

 

Taming the Lion was a book that went through a lot as I wrote it. My mom passed away, at 66, and that threw me for a loop. I actually stopped writing Taming the Lion and wrote Saving his Wolf to take a break and try to re-orient myself.

 

Even though I complain about first chapters, one of my favorite scenes to write was the very first one. I love how the first chapter of a new book has to set up everything that’s to come in the book, without being too heavy-handed. It’s not easy and I usually re-write the first chapter and tweak it multiple times before I can even move on to the second chapter. Even so, I end up going back to the first chapter time and again to drop in a hint, add a detail, or make sure I’m not telegraphing the ending.

 

In a romance, the hero and heroine often meet in the first chapter and that first meeting sets up everything. It’s so important. Taming the Lion is a true enemies-to-lovers book so the first meeting had an extra layer of emotion. Alicia is a bear shifter and healer and she comes across a lion wounded in battle. She’s faced with the choice of whether to kill him (which the bears expect), or heal him (which fulfills her healer oath). Suddenly, it’s not a theoretical moral decision. She has a dying lion in front of her and her actions directly impact whether he lives or dies. Add to that, he’s all tough and “I can handle myself” and she’s a little afraid he might kill her—though he can barely mouth off at her.

 

There were other fun scenes in Taming the Lion, especially after I got back on track. Any scene with Shoshannah, the ancestral spirit, is a lot of fun to write. She’s got Deep Creek in her hands and she’s evolved in the series to an integral part of the war. The final book, Claiming his Lioness, will have Shoshannah really step out of her role. I’m looking forward to that!

 

Thanks again for having me and letting me discuss a little about my writing process. I’m super happy this book is out in the world now. It was a long time coming. I hope readers enjoy it! 

 

Kerry Adrienne

 

 

Title: Taming the Lion

 

Author: Kerry Adrienne

 

Series: Shifter Wars

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Release Date: August 14, 2017

 

Publisher: Carina Press

 

For Marco, heir to the lions’ throne, seizing control of the Cave of Whispers from the bear clan is more than just a quest—it’s fulfilling the legacy of his breed. But the latest crusade has left Marco gravely wounded in enemy territory and in the hands of Alicia, healer for the bears. An irresistibly sensuous adversary, Alicia presents a serious problem. She carries the scent of a mate.

 

Drawn to this dominant master of his den, Alicia knows her allegiance has been compromised. His brooding sexuality is testing her defenses, but falling in love with Marco means falling in league with a rival shifter. And turning her back on the bears in a time of war is a lethal move.

 

Two breeds united by destiny could inspire a peaceful new future for their opposing clans—or ignite the fiercest battle yet and destroy all of Deep Creek forever.

 

 

 Amazon | GooglePlay | Kobo | iTunes | B&N 

 

 

 

An excerpt from TAMING THE LION

Copyright © Kerry Adrienne 2017

 

“Go away.” His voice barely a whisper on the thick summer air. “I’ll kill you.”

 

Alicia gripped the scalpel. She could slide it across his neck in a flash, and it’d be over. No one would have to know. A mercy killing, of sorts. Though she’d be lying to herself to categorize it as such.

 

Her grandmother’s words echoed. Alicia was a healer, not a killer.

 

From the looks of the lion’s shirt, already dark, yet now wet with blood, he might not recover even with her best efforts to save him. The scent of gunpowder and burnt flesh peppered the blood-laden air. The lions had left him to die under a bush in bear territory, shot in the shoulder.

 

She shook her head and settled to the ground on her knees. “I’m not going anywhere.” The strength of her voice hid her fear, though he might sense it anyway. His scent was that of a strong and confident shifter, even in his current state.

 

He looked at her.

 

She blinked, trying to calm the adrenaline rush that shot through her. His eyes, mesmerizing and wide, lured her in, and she couldn’t turn away. Deep green or maybe brown or even both, they were a color she’d never seen and his gaze was magnetic. Her mouth went dry.

 

He was her sworn enemy. Sexy, but injured.

 

She glanced to the sky, but didn’t see Grandmother Hawk. Typical. Recently, she’d started leaving Alicia to figure out the moral decisions on her own, trusting that she would make the right one.

 

Part of the training.

 

“Shit.” The scalpel had warmed in her hands, and the sun glinted off the blade in a flash of silvery-white. What would her grandmother do? No doubt, she’d help the lion. Maybe she wouldn’t tell the bears, who she was loyal to, but she’d never let a lion die if she could heal him. She’d never intentionally let anyone die on her watch.

 

“War is for the weak minded,” she’d always said. Alicia was beginning to think she was right. Why couldn’t shifters all get along?

 

Because the damn lions wanted the bears’ territory. If they’d stayed in their own area, none of the bloodshed would’ve happened. Even though Alicia had heard the stories of the lions and bears and wolves sharing the cave, the actuality felt as foreign as items in an ancient history book. As remote as a fairy tale.

 

Fantasy.

 

“Go.” He turned away, but she could still see the strain on his face as he winced.

 

His black hair, falling to his shoulders, was damp and matted. How early in the battle had he been wounded? He was bound to be dehydrated.

 

“I’m here to help. Like it or not.” She slid the scalpel into its sheath and back into the pocket of her pack. Her earlier assessment was correct. The lion was no threat at the moment. He could barely move. The rise and fall of his chest showed his respirations were high and labored. Blood loss was nearing the severe level.

 

He needed help before his body went into shock.

 

She looked back toward the trail to make sure she was alone. If Griff or Derek found out about him, the lion wouldn’t need help anymore and her time as medic would be over.

 

She’d worry about that another day. She had a lion to save. 

 

 

USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more.

 

She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere. In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player.

 

Connect with Kerry at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon 

 

 

 

One (1) lucky winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/08/taming-the-lion-kerry-adrienne-gpt-giveawayexcerpt
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text 2017-07-18 20:09
[Guest post] How I became a travel writer

 

Summer time means travels! Have a look at the confessions of a debut travel author, Nicholas Kontis, who encourages readers to focus more on the local experiences and local people when traveling. Maybe this read will inspire you to hit the road and explore something amazing this summer!

 

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A guest post by Nick Kontis

Follow Nicholas Kontis' blog on BookLikes HERE

Nick Kontis' author page on BookLikes is HERE

 

Being a child of Greek immigrant parents, it was important that I learned about my heritage. I was blessed to spend my childhood summers in Greece. I learned the meaning of family and of sharing. I slept on couches in spare rooms, hitched rides, and helped with the preparing of meals. I even learned to bake bread when I was 12 years old.

 

At age 24 I left my native San Francisco, and took a backpack and on what was to be a last trip to the Greek Islands before buckling down and becoming a productive American citizen.

 

On the island of Ios, I met Swen and Maria from Sweden. After many shots of the chalky Greek liquor Ouzo, I forfeited my return ticket home and traveled to Bangladesh and later all throughout the Indian subcontinent.

 

Moving on, I manage to tread lightly all throughout India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and then finally back to California.

 

Without a job prospect in sight, I ended up creating one. I started the first travel agency in the U.S. specializing in discount around the world airfares. I was the Lonely Planet guidebooks of travel agencies catering to backpackers. I actually sought out world travelers finding them in various locales of San Francisco. I turned them into productive sellers of around the world airfares. Productive travel agents.

 

I never left the travel industry. In a field where people scoffed and said that I wouldn’t make a dime,  I did extremely well.

 

Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis  Now, as a travel journalist, I wrote my first book on the timely subject matter of experiential travel titled, Going Local Experiences and Encounters on the Road.

 

Ever since the birth of Airbnb, immersing into local society and the buzz word, "sharing economy," came to fruition. Today's modern day explorers seek a better understanding of people. Going Local details how to implement a local point of learning from local cultures.

 

 

With the assistance of technology, never before has it been so easy to stay in someone's home, share a meal, hitch a ride, and to be guided by a local to gain greater wisdom from a society.

 

"Going Local" delves into the rise in peer-to-peer travel and shows how to use meal sharing apps, and other ways in which a nation's food and cuisine is a glance into a nation's culture.

 

Other subject matter includes: how a trip around the world is a life-changing experience, moving out of your comfort zone and living abroad, why it is of the utmost importance to practice responsible travel, along with choosing responsible tour operators to guide you, volunteering and why we all should give at least a small portion of our journeys to help others.

 

With keynote talks with travel visionaries, icons and explorers in the field of travel, including Tony Wheeler, Richard Bangs, Rick Steves, Don George, Judith Fein, James Dorsey, Tim Leffel, Dr. Harald Goodwin, David Noyes, Andrew Zimmern, Eric Wolf, Larissa & Michael Milne, Tomislav Perko, Tamara Lowe.

 

The great Lonely Planet guidebook founder Tony Wheeler, gives the cover endorsement stating:

 

“Many people - Mark Twain included - have noted how travel is a certain cure for bigotry and narrow-mindedness. I hope Nick’s book may help persuade people to take the treatment.”

 

As some of my luminary travel author colleagues have reminded me, travel books are a breed of their own and not interesting to most readers.

 

The average American reads fewer than two books a year and a paltry 38% of Americans have passports. So there aren't many travel books that are robust blockbusters. Expect slow and steady, not a mad rush.

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Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road - Mr. Nicholas Kontis You can find the book on BookLikes here: Going Local: Experiences and Encounters on the Road by Nicholas Kontis  

 

The author is also willing to e-mail a PDF copy in exchange for a review.

If you're interested, please leave a comment below.

 

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