fantasy

Ally Shields

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Today I’m interviewing Ally Shields, author of the Guardian Witch series. Her most recent release is Fire Storm, book five in her paranormal urban fantasy set. We’re having fun with some serious and not so serious questions.

If you were an animal, what kind would you be?

This is an easy one. I’d love to be a horse, a wild one that ran free in the American West when there were no fences. I think they are the most spectacular animals on earth, and there is nothing more beautiful than to watch them run.
I couldn’t agree more.

What books would you take with you to a desert island?

Tolkien’s Trilogy, a stack of Georgette Heyer’s regency romances, a pile of Agatha Christies, and JD Robb’s Eve Dallas series. I’d still run out quickly, so I hope I would get rescued in the first week or two.

What prompted you to write your book?

I started out to write a traditional mystery, but soon realized my heroine was a witch. I had read several paranormals just before that but couldn’t find any new ones I hadn’t read. So I wrote Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch Book 1) because that’s what I wanted to read. I kept writing the series to find out what happened to Ari and Andreas and their friends. I never know exactly how a story is going to go until I write it.

What’s your favorite room in your house?

My office, which is the most creative place.

What is your writing process?

My stories always begin with the characters. Once I know my characters well, I can picture where they’d live and what kind of story they would get involved in; then I start writing and allow each character to tell me their part.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I don’t do anything weird like stand on my head or write in the nude, but I think we all have our quirks. I tend to be a slave-driver until the first draft is finished and maybe the first self-edit, then I begin to dawdle through the next few passes until I’m thoroughly sick of the story. It’s still hard to let it go, and every time I look at it I begin to “tweak,” changing a word here, a sentence there. Eventually I have to just say “enough” and hit the submit button.

Coffee or tea? Beer or wine? Sweet or tart?

Coffee, black. Wine, mostly red, but I won’t turn down a good white. I even like white Zin. Sweet definitely, but I also love the combination of sweet and tart.

What’s your next project?

I currently have two books in edit: Wild Fire (Guardian Witch 6) and Cross Keys (an elven urban fantasy), and I have just started the first draft of Circle of Fire, book 7, the final chapter in my Guardian Witch series. I’m already obsessing about saying goodbye to these characters.

What types of books do you like to read?

I read mysteries, urban fantasies, thrillers and romantic suspense. I also have a weakness for regency romances like those of Heyer that are full of humor and wit. Since I was recently in New Orleans, I’ve been indulging in New Orleans’ paranormals, especially those with ghosts!

Thanks for a fun interview! I’m looking forward to your next books.

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FireStorm_ByAllyShields-453x680Sometimes you just need to stay alive to fight another day.

Six months ago Ari moved in with the vampire prince Andreas. They defied the vampire elders in Europe, killed their enforcer, and have waited for retaliation that never came.

Until now.

On a trip to Italy, Andreas is captured by the vampire rulers, the notorious O-Seven, and taken in chains to their stronghold in Germany. Ari goes after him, even though it’s against the orders of her Magic Council. She is fired for her actions, losing her special Guardian powers at a time she needs them most.

But the vampire rulers are not through with her or with those who attempt to help her. They launch attacks in Europe and at home in Riverdale. Ari is forced to fight them on several fronts, and victory grows increasingly uncertain.

Her last chance to rescue Andreas is a daring plan that places her in the hands of the O-Seven and relies on untested witch magic, the final hope for their survival.

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“The scent stops here,” Ramon said. “They followed it to some kind of circle drawn on the ground, where it ended. To be certain, they’ve searched a half mile radius.”

Samuel and Ramon pulled back the brush, and the group entered the clearing. Ari drew back a step. An oppressive black aura, a dark thundercloud of haze, hung over the immediate area. She didn’t say anything, because the others couldn’t see it, but other remnants of the sorcery circle were obvious to all. The scent of sulfur, the ring of ashes. She moved forward to examine the ash used to draw the circle and recoiled in disgust. Human ashes. Not unexpected because the ability to teleport was produced by a dark arts spell. The most complex spells required a level of power typically achieved through human sacrifice or at least the use of human remains.

She stood and walked the circle. Sophistrina’s coven used black magic to teleport, but this wasn’t big enough to hold thirteen witches. This ring held no more than five or six creatures, and some of them had been werebears. And Sophistrina didn’t use human remains. At least not when Ari knew her.

The air at the edge of the circle shimmered. “Intruders,” she shouted. “Get out of here.” She leaped forward to protect her companions, throwing up a temporary barrier with the magic powder she always carried in her pockets. Lilith pulled both her guns; Samuel began to morph into tiger form, and the foxes snarled a warning, but backed away, ready to run.

Energy crackled, and as if Ari’s earlier thoughts had pulled them in, Sophistrina and her coven materialized outside the prior circle.

“Hold everything. It’s Sophistrina.” Ari thrust out a restraining hand to keep her companions from attacking, but she kept her eyes on the witches, waiting to see the coven’s mood. The last leader of this group had indeed tried to kill her. It paid to be cautious. Especially when they showed up at this particular spot.

“Why do you seem so surprised?” The high priestess smiled at her from the other side of the barrier and cocked her head to one side. “Didn’t you call me?”

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You can find Ally’s books at the following online sites:

Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1f3keBF
B&N: http://bit.ly/1lCYdNP
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-firestorm-1445366-139.html
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fire-storm-2

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Contact Ally at:

Website: http://allyshields.com
Blog: http://allyshields.com/blog.html
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShieldsAlly
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AllyShieldsAuthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527209.Ally_Shields

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Ally-Shields/e/B009AKNDZU
Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/100652807699295011703/posts
Newletter: http://paper.li/ShieldsAlly/1353941420
Trailer link (Youtube): Fire Storm book trailer:http://youtu.be/cer_uURx62s

Categories: fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, suspense, Uncategorized, Werewolves, witches | 7 Comments

A Horse by Any Other Name

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Robin WeaverMy guest this week is Robin Weaver and she’ll be talking about a most unusual sort of horse. She’s a professional computer geek who started writing extensively when she traded in her ski boots for flip-flops and moved to North Carolina. When she’s not writing, you can find her with her toes in the sand or appreciating nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her novels, Blue Ridge Fear, and Artifact of Death, are currently available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Wild Rose Press.

She also writes paranormal romance under the alias Genia Avers and her novel FORBIDDEN MAGIC was a 2013 PRISM finalist. A Golden Heart finalist and winner of the prestigious Daphne du Maurier contest, she has one constant: a HEA.

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Carousel horseOriginally, Forbidden Magic was a story about vampires—vampires living on a planet without homeotherms (warm-blooded creatures). I wrote the manuscript when vamps were hot, thinking I’d given the old Dracula story a unique twist. Not so much. By the time my manuscript made it to an interested publisher, all the life had been sucked out of vampire books.

Still, the editor liked my concept and asked if I could change my characters to another life form. “Sure. No problem,” I said, making the sign of the cross.

Stop laughing. J

I needed a dozen or so crosses and even more wooden stakes (and lots of wine), but I managed to convert the vamps into álfar and Dökkálfar (light and dark elves) without sacrificing my characters or plot. What I didn’t have to change were my equestors.

“E-what?” you ask. The original (and final) version of Forbidden Magic had a medieval feel. You can’t write that period without including a non-mechanical form of transportation, i.e., horse-drawn carriages. Unfortunately, with no warm-blooded animals on the planet, I had a problem.

So I did what Houston would do—I built a horse. I envisioned a cross between a flexible carousel horse and R2-D2. In the book, I purposely left descriptions of my hybrid horses vague. I wanted readers to create their own unique images of the magnificent beasts.

Naturally I couldn’t call these non-horses horses. My first pass at naming the animals was Equinators—but that sounded too much like something involving a roto-rooter, so I kept the root of the word, “Eq” and combined it with adventurers. With a little tweaking, the EQUESTOR was born.

I try to make my heroines very different from the author (me), i.e., not “younger and improved” versions of myself. However, in Forbidden Magic, Subena shares my love of horses.

He’d heard she was an excellent rider but doubted the poor creatures he’d seen in the Mydrian stables could even manage a trot. Maybe if he let her ride a real equestor, Subena would thaw a bit. Hell, he’d give her his steed if she’d smile at him like that.

And once I created the beast, I had a lot of fun with the word:

“You…you…equestor’s ass.”

Still, I tried to keep the hybrid as close to the real animal as possible, even hinting the equestor might be descended from a “real horse.”

Arkton grinned. “There’ve been animals here as long as I can remember. Legend has it Rothart’s grandfather bred one of the local mares with a real horse, brought from earth to this planet.”

Subena suppressed a smile. Gatslians had a legend for everything—there was no such thing as a horse.

Creating the equestor was one of the most enjoyable parts of my novel-completion process. Writing is hard work, so if you have the opportunity, have some fun and create your own equestor. J

Happy writing!

Robin Weaver (a.k.a. Genia Avers)

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Forbidden MaagicFORBIDDEN MAGIC is the first novel in a series of romantic adventures chronicling the intercultural challenges as Mydrias and Gastle attempt to resolve their differences and return to earth.

Subena’s people are dying. To obtain the crystals the álfar need to survive, she agrees to a treaty with the hated Gatslians. King Rothart has but one demand—she must wed his son, Prince Kamber. Subena vows the marriage will be in name only, but she is ill prepared for an attraction stronger than the ancient magic lying dormant in the land. Add to the chaotic mix a former suitor, a phantom lover, attempted murder, and an invasion by hostile troops, and Subena’s world isn’t what it used to be. Ancient skills might shield her body, but she possesses no power to protect her heart. Can she fight his former paramour and keep the seductress from laying claim to the man who’s made his imprint on Subena’s soul? Or is love as much of an illusion as a return to the planet Earth?

http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Magic-Lanatus-Chronicles-Series-ebook/dp/B0085XCJAS/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forbidden-magic-genia-avers/

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Forbidden Flamehttp://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Flame-The-Lanatus-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00CJEIJOY/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forbidden-flame-genia-avers/1115184686?ean=2940016433738

 

 

 

Forbidden Twicehttp://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Twice-The-Lanatus-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00IT5IZWI/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forbidden-twice-genia-avers/1118724491?ean=2940149190430

Categories: Books, elves, fantasy, Horses, Paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Flight of Marewings

marewings-tour-banner Welcome back everyone. Hope you had a great holiday season. Today my guest blogger Kristen Walker talks about how she learned about horses so she could write about them for her novel A Flight of Marewings.

Fantasy author Kristen S. Walker dreams of being a pirate mermaid who can talk to sharks, but she settles for writing stories for teens and adults. Her new novel, A Flight of Marewings, tells the adventure of a duke’s illegitimate daughter who must stop her father’s murderers–by taming a dangerous monster. A Flight of Marewings is now available in print from Amazon and digitally from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other ebook retailers.

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Writing About Horses Secondhand

When I was a little girl, I loved horses better than anything else. I read every book at the library with a horse on the cover, from Black Beauty to The Red Pony. I collected horse figures and put up posters of horses on my walls. I begged and begged my parents for riding lessons. But my parents said no to riding both for financial and safety reasons, and I had to content myself with looking at horses from afar. Now fast forward a few decades to today and my passion for horses hasn’t really diminished, but I find myself with almost no firsthand experiences with horses.

So writing a book about horses would be crazy, right? I must be crazy, because I was determined not to let my personal lack of knowledge stand in my way. I knew that I wanted to write about marewings (my magical half-horse, half-demon creatures) in a way that would be instantly recognizable to anyone who knew horses. I had to find a way to fake it. Here’s how I did it.

1. Academic research Before the internet, I checked out books at the library. Today, information on everything from grooming to breeding to training horses is only a Google search away. I knew that I had to double-check my facts, because the fictional horses I’d read about could be the products of artistic license or author ignorance. (Fantasy novels are known for a phenomenon called the “motorcycle horse”, where the hero rides all over the fantasy map without stopping to take care of or feed his poor horse–treating them just like a convenient motorcycle!) While I couldn’t find real world information about winged horses, I wanted to base my marewings’ behavior on real horses as close as I could. Accounts of catching and taming wild horses were very important, because catching a marewing is a focal point of my novel.

2. Talking to experienced riders Again, the internet came in handy here, because I don’t know many horse riders personally. But online, there are experienced riders who were happy to answer my questions. And I really loved finding blogs where owners and riders talk about their daily experiences with their horses. They’re full of anecdotes and insights that can only come from hands-on time. Without stories of my own, I could read the stories of others. These were huge for illustrating the special bond between a horse and rider that have worked together for a long time.

3. Watching Horses When I was younger, I used to walk to the bus stop for school, and I passed a paddock with an old gray gelding named Sunny. I could spend hours standing there just watching him. I’ve also been to visit horse ranches and watch other riders work with their horses. There are also great documentaries, and even videos on YouTube that show horse behavior. (Not Hollywood movies, though, because those can be just as wrong as books!) Nothing substitutes for real experience, but we can’t always try everything that we want to write about. The internet makes research easier. And even when you have some experience, it doesn’t hurt to check for things you may not know. And maybe someday I will have the chance to get to know a horse a little better, and write about the experience. I look forward to that day.

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marewings-cover-sm .

Korinna’s life gets turned upside down when the ghost of her father suddenly appears. Her father was duke of Kyratia City and he wanted Korinna to marry his warlord, the foreign mercenary Galenos, and inherit his title–but the city’s Council has other plans. When the Council denies Korinna’s right to rule, she decides to join Galenos’s mercenary company and tame a wild marewing in order to take the city by force. But people whisper that the late duke’s untimely death was murder, an induced madness that forced him to dance himself to death–and now that madness is spreading. Can Korinna become a marewing rider and conquer Kyratia in time to save everyone?

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Available at:  http://www.amazon.com/B00HMTRAJQ/ and other eBook retailers

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To read a sample chapter or check out Kristen’s pirate pictures, please visit kristenwalker.net.

You can talk good books, cats, or medieval cooking with Kristen anytime on Twitter (@KristenSWalker) or Facebook.

Categories: blog hops, Books, fantasy, Horses, Love, Paranormal, suspense, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

A Christmas Fling

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My guest today is Beth Barany, author of a brand new Christmas novella, A Christmas Fling. Based in Oakland, California, Beth writes magical tales of romance and adventure.  She’s also a writing coach, helping other writers realize their dreams.

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Kate, Thanks for having me on your blog to share about my new romance, A Christmas Fling, a sweet paranormal romance novella. It’s the tale of a Santa’s Elf, a hard-working financial analyst, and a Bernese Mountain Dog named Sally.

Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has 21 days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Stuck on how to complete the prototype, and working as a temp in San Francisco’s Financial district with no time for love, will her innocent Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?

 Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life. He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks. Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss. His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party. Will Dahlia be a welcome distraction, or will she turn his life upside down?

Bernese Mountain Dog by Lori Branham--CreativeCommonsLicense2.0When I was creating my story, I knew I wanted to include a dog and specifically a Bernese Mountain dog. I see these dogs all the time in my Oakland neighborhood. They look so friendly and huggable I thought one would be perfect in my story of workaholic man learning how to have love in his life.

Liam has to take care of Sally for his roommate Josh, who is away at a conference. When Dahlia pets Sally, Liam is surprised to realize he wants Dahlia’s affection, even though he’s sworn off love.

Kitty-black_Leo-Tabby-cropCurrently I don’t own a dog. I just have two lovely and rambunctious cats. I did grow up with dogs and cats and a pet rat, and I even had a Hermit crab for a short time. I think pets bring joy and love into our lives. I’ve seen pets diffuse a difficult situation and also bring laughter where there wasn’t any. When I was going through a rough patch in my life, we brought Kitty into our lives. She gave me something to care about other than myself. A few years later, we adopted a rescue cat, Leo, as a companion for Kitty. It’s so much fun to watch them play together and learn from each other.

Readers, Enjoy A Christmas Fling. Here’s an excerpt! Thanks for stopping by!

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EXCERPT

December 1, Oakland, CA

 A CHRISTMAS FLING by Beth Barany-400x600Dahlia strolled through the small neighborhood park. It was great fun to think about how the children would enjoy her toy once she was done with it, but she had to complete it first. She only had twenty-two days to fix whatever was wrong with it before returning home. She’d gone over her designs and schematics and taken it apart and put it back together a dozen times, but it still wouldn’t work.

Dahlia left the park and headed down the street toward the detached studio she rented on Miles Avenue.

A dog bark had her look up just in time to almost but not quite avoid getting tangled up in a long leash. A man with the warmest brown eyes she’d ever seen gazed down at her, a half smile on his face.

She smiled back startled out of her daydreaming, but not before she noticed his endearing dimple on one side of his mouth.

She said, “Sorry, I didn’t see you. Thank goodness for your dog. Oh, she looks like a Husky.”

Dahlia shifted her bag to one hip, so she could bend down and pet the dog.

The dog wagged her tail.

Dahlia said, “You must feed her really well. Her coat is so soft and luscious.”

“She’s a Bernese Mountain Dog. Sally. My roommate’s.”

His voice was deep. She had to look up to smile into his deep brown eyes. He was a whole head taller than she was. Almost two meters. She translated into American measurements. Six foot three or something.

“My uncle, well one of my uncles has one—that he uses for work. But I hardly see him because he lives—” She paused. “I’m prattling, aren’t I?”

“Yes, you are, but I like listening to your accent. Scottish?”

“Yes, wow, you guessed correctly. Most people here can’t do that. Yeah, we’re from Scotland, but it’s been a few generations.” She couldn’t very well tell him how Santa’s elves lived a very long time. It had only been her grandparents that had immigrated with Uncle, known as Santa to most, and some neighbors to set up the North Pole.

“So, you’re in school here?” He waved off toward what she knew was the art college a few blocks away.

“No. I’m here on an independent research project for a few more weeks.”

“So you’re from—”

“Alaska. Well, near Alaska, anyway. I—I best be going,” she interrupted and gestured to her bag of goodies. She shifted from foot to foot on the corner of Miles and Clifton Streets, still tangled up in the Bernese’s leash. “Gifts to wrap. For the kids. Big project.” She gulped and held out her hand. “I’m Dahlia, by the way. Dahlia MacMillian.”

With a half-smile, he shook her offered hand. His grip was firm and strong. “Liam. Nice to meet you, Dahlia MacMillian.” He led the dog around her, slowly untangling the leash.

How he moved with grace and power, even in his simple gestures. He was tall, lean and muscular, broad shoulders identifiable even in his sweatshirt with the UC Berkeley name and logo on it.

“There we go, Sally,” Liam said, his voice a rumbling, soothing cascade.

Sally licked Dahlia’s hand, bringing her out of her staring. She gulped and felt the heat of a blush creep up her neck and onto her cheeks. Dahlia stroked the soft fur to cover her embarrassment. It had been a long time since she’d felt attracted to anyone. Everyone she’d dated at the Pole was so familiar to her, and mostly related. She didn’t have time for a distraction.

She looked up when she heard Liam chuckling. He was shaking his head.

“What?” She couldn’t help but ask.

He shrugged. “I guess I should run into girls more often with my roommate’s dog. I didn’t realize it could be such a pleasant experience.”

“You must not walk her very often then.” Oh my, she was flirting. The Elf boys back home never brought that out of her. She felt her pale skin flush. Och, yes, this was a man, she thought. “Thank you, then. For the pleasant experience. And the untangling.”

“You’re welcome.” Liam said to her, smiling, that one dimple showing again. Then he spoke to the dog. “Come on Sally. Let’s finish your walk, so we can go watch the game.”

Dahlia waved good-bye and turned to go down the street and head for her apartment. But first she had to watch Liam walk away. He fit nicely into his jeans. For a moment, a pang of wistfulness washed through her. She shook her. She had other things to focus on, like completing her toy on time so she could get her Master Elf badge, and even win the Grand Prize.

She was sure she’d be able to make progress on her toy tonight. Maybe it was something about meeting a happy dog and tall brown-eyed man that made her feel hopeful. Yes, she would get her toy done in time.

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About Beth Barany

In her off hours, Beth enjoys capoeira (a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music), traveling, and watching movies with her husband, bestselling author Ezra Barany, and playing with their two cats, Kitty and Leo.

Where to Find A Christmas Fling

A Christmas Fling on Amazon:http://amzn.to/18ELyiY

A Christmas Fling on Goodreads:http://bit.ly/1bytk64

Photo: A Bernese Mountain Dog by Lori Branham – Creative Commons License
Categories: Bernese Mountain dog, Books, Cats, Christmas, dogs, Dogs and cats, fantasy, Love, Paranormal, romance, Santa's elf, Santa's workshop, toys, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Animal Instincts

Patricia RosemoorWebUSA Today Bestselling Author Patricia Rosemoor has written 95 published novels that have generated more than seven million sales for eight publishers. Her fascination with “dangerous love” has led her to bring a different mix of thrills and chills and romance to each book. ANIMAL INSTINCTS and CRIMSON DUET (2 related holiday novels at a discounted price) are now available at digital retailers.

Welcome Patricia!

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What fun, a blog that specializes in books with horses, romance and mystery. I’ve done a few of those myself, including BORN TO BE WILD for Entangled last year. And my new Entangled Ignite, ANIMAL INSTINCTS, definitely has animals, but, alas, no horses.

            The vet was blocking my line of sight. I looked down beyond her. A wounded animal lay on the ground. Not a dog, but what looked like a scrawny coyote, its side open and soaked with blood. What was a wild animal doing here? Where had it come from?AnimalInstincts500 FINAL

I went around the camera equipment and was able to sense its heartbeat. Wanting to know if it was aware, I tuned in to it and got the weirdest sensation…help me…please…almost as if I could hear what it was thinking rather than seeing images as I normally did.  Animals never communicated with me like that.

            …hurt…can’t move…hide…

            A little spooked, I rubbed my arms and thought, We’re going to help you…won’t let you die. Then I looked to the vet.

            “Um, in case you didn’t realize it, the coyote’s alive and needs your help.”

            “It’s still alive?” The vet zeroed in on the animal. “Don’t get too close.” And glanced up at me. “Oh, it’s you.”

            “Skye Cross,” I said, but she didn’t volunteer her name.

            She knew my face like I knew hers. I had a habit of showing up when animals were in trouble, so many of the ACC vets and officers recognized me on sight.

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Skye Cross is a pet supply store owner and animal rescuer. At the beginning of ANIMAL INSTINCTS, she thinks she’s seeing that rescued dogs from a fight are safe. But they’re not dogs, they’re predators. Later she learns they’re something else altogether, and hero Luc Lazare is one of them!

bigstock-Black-Leopard--Years--4788401I loved writing this book. Actually, it practically wrote itself.

Of all the heroines I’ve written, I identify most closely with Skye. I’ve had a lifelong love with animals. Didn’t always have them because I was “allergic” and my parents wanted me to stay away from them. So I had an outside cat. When I was older, my parents did get me a dog. But once I was on my own, I started adopting cats and rescuing them from the streets of Chicago. My husband and I rescued a few dogs, too, one of whom made his home with us.

My love of animals brought me to the Lincoln Park Zoo so often that I decided to volunteer there, which I did for eleven years. And while I was still at the zoo, I decided to volunteer at the brand new PAWS Chicago adoption center. I helped socialize cats who were usually wary of humans, and helped convince visitors to adopt now. Many cats and dogs had been taken off the street by Animal Control, and on a daily basis, PAWS went to AC and took the adoptables.

PAWS also sponsored some Humane Society of Illinois meetings about passing laws against dogfighting. Wanting to spread awareness of this terrible practice, I thought to write a story in which murders were linked to dogfighting, but I became convinced that it would be a hard sell, so I switched it to shifter fights, with seeming wild animals as the combatants.

The holidays from Thanksgiving to the New Year is a time of giving, and I’m hoping that this year, those of you who can will support an animal shelter or sanctuary or zoo, whether it is by volunteering, buying gifts that help the organization or by donation. Here are a couple of places that I support:

PAWS Chicago, with it’s adoption center, spay and neuter clinic, and at the forefront of animal advocacy.

Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the last free zoos in the country.

And for all you horse lovers, the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, where I did on-site research (South Dakota) for TOUCH ME IN THE DARK, my third book in The McKenna Legacy series.

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ANIMAL INSTINCTS buy links:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ko2lqu9
BN: http://tinyurl.com/kftlhhd
Kobo: http://tinyurl.com/m2uvz2r
iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/m99o29p

You can find Patricia at
Website: http://patriciarosemoor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatriciaRosemoorAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PRosemoor

Categories: Books, Dogs and cats, fantasy, Love, Mystery, Paranormal, romance, Romantic suspense, shape shifters, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Top Ten Reasons I’m Thankful To Be A Writer

ElysaHeadShotRFP_4116.

Elysa Hendricks is the author of 14 full-length books, ranging from sweet contemporary to sexy sci-fi, as well as numerous short stories.  Her “real life” motto is: Boring is good. Excitement is vastly overrated, so she saves the adventure and excitement for the characters in her books.

In keeping with the season, today she is talking about the Top Ten Reasons She’s Thankful to be a Writer.

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With Thanksgiving approaching I thought I’d talk about some of the reasons why I’m thankful I’m a writer rather than a veterinarian or an artist. (Those were my other choices, but I I’m terrible at math and science, and the only thing I can paint with is words.)

10.  I’m thankful for my family and friends, because they give me a ton of bat-shit crazy material to work with. Of course, I always change the names and descriptions to protect the guilty.

9.  My health. Not having the stress of office politics or commuting in traffic keeps my blood pressure close to normal. And since I don’t go out much I’m not exposed to nasty germs. Of course, I do need to stop eating chocolate while I’m writing, and get up and move a bit before I meld to my chair.

8.  I love being able to spend hours online researching stuff without feeling like I’m wasting time. Even the time I “waste” playing Solitaire (the one game I play on my computer) isn’t really wasted. While I’m matching cards I’m also plotting the comeuppance of the villain or figuring out how to get my hero and heroine alone together.

7.  Wealth – cashing large royalty checks from the sales of my books. Well, I can dream, can’t I? A career as a writer might not be the path to monetary riches, but I’m more than compensated for my hard work in personal achievement and satisfaction.

6.  Having a vivid imagination, I can spend time in other places, times, and realities. I can climb mountains, fly planes and space ships, skydive, drive racecars and motorcycles, kill zombies or aliens, chase serial killers or terrorists, and have sex with a bad boy or two without taking any real physical risks or cheating on my loving husband.

5.  Being a writer allows me to work from home or anywhere I want. Under an umbrella on a tropical beach while a cute cabana boy brings me frozen Margaritas is my ultimate goal.

4.  When people annoy me I can write them into a story then torture and kill them without ending up in jail.

3.  I find it wonderful that being a writer I’m never bored or lonely. No matter what’s happening in my “real” life, I can escape into my fictional worlds. I can talk to my numerous imaginary friends and not end up in a padded room. They’re always telling me stories and nagging me to write them down. I often wonder what people who don’t write think about while they’re waiting in the doctor’s office or at the mechanic’s.

2.  I’m eternally indebted to my long-suffering husband who supports my writing and me. Otherwise I’d have to go out and get a job that pays money.

1.  And most of all I’m appreciative of the many readers who’ve told me how my stories have touched their lives.

These are just a few of the things I’m grateful for as a writer. What are you thankful for?

.

***************

9lives1600

Thomas Cash (TC) Riley is mad, bad and – dead. Killed in a one car-wreck, the twenty-nine-year old playboy is given one last chance to redeem himself for living a selfish, unfulfilled life and to determine his soul’s final destination.

To help his young daughter recover from the loss of her mother, Daniel Bishop, a widower who dislikes the country and is allergic to anything with fur, has moved back to his wife’s rural hometown to be close to her large family.

Katherine Sinclair, the local veterinarian and the single mother of an adventurous ten-year old son, is wary of the handsome newcomer. Once before she’d given her heart to a wealthy, charming man and she’d ended up pregnant and alone.

With the help of a lonely little girl and a brash young boy, can TC find a way to bring these two damaged people together? Can he remember his past and save his soul in the allotted time?

And can he do it all as a cat?

Excerpt:

“Mom, you’re squeezing too hard.”

JT complained, but Kat could feel him trembling and his heart raced in time with hers. She gripped his arms and thrust him out from her.

“That was the most foolish, dangerous stunt. You could have been badly hurt. If it wasn’t for this man. . .” Her voice trailed off as she looked up at the man now standing next to them. Her gaze traveled up his khaki-clad legs, skipped quickly past his slim hips over his broad chest to his face. The crowd of people – ancient, fussy Amelia Muellner with her troop of yapping Chihuahuas, George Baker and his hunting dog, young Timmy Widowski and his mother with his sick rabbit, and Missy Taylor and her cat – clustered around them, chattering and gesturing in excitement, faded away.

With the man’s body in silhouette against the sun, she couldn’t see his features, but like a stately oak tree in the middle of field of brambles, he radiated an aura of calm, of solid strength, someone to cling to when the weather turned mean and ugly.

Something twisted painfully inside Kat. Though her grandfather had always been there for her, in the last few years his health had failed and his mind had drifted to the past. She’d had to become the strong one, physically and emotionally. Then he’d died. Now there was no one in her life she could lean on, depend on, count on to be there for her when things got rough.

Anger at her weakness, her need for what she knew she’d never have sharpened her tone. “Thank you.” She saw the man recoil, but before she could start again, JT, fear forgotten jumped in without reservation.

“Man that was awesome, better than a carnival ride. Thanks. You saved my a -”

“JT,” Kat growled a warning.

“Butt,” JT amended quickly with a grin.

She stood, smiled and held out her hand to the man. “I’m Dr. Clark, Katherine Clark, Kat to my friends.”

A thrill ran up her arm as his strong, warm fingers closed around hers. With a nervous laugh she snatched them away. “Thank you again.”

“Daniel Bishop, and this is my daughter, Alana.” He laid his hand on the girl’s shoulder.

Kat recognized the name. He was Hannah Sager’s husband – widower. Try as Kat did, she couldn’t avoid hearing small town gossip. Hannah’s death had hit the close-knit Sager clan hard. Tall, thin, blonde, beautiful, brilliant and driven, Hannah had been the town’s bright, flaming star.

Kat had grown up with Hannah. As children they’d been inseparable, but after high school they’d grown apart. Still, the bond between them had never been broken, so when Hannah asked for advice on what to do about her future, Kat had encouraged her to follow her dream and take the job at a Chicago zoo. It wasn’t true, but the Sagers, especially Hannah’s mother felt Kat had only done so because she didn’t want any competition for her veterinary practice. After considering the Sagers almost a second family, their current enmity hurt. Though the Sagers didn’t have the social standing of the Sinclairs they were wealthy and powerful in the community, so Kat tread lightly around them.

Nor, according to gossip, were they accepting of Daniel. They blamed him not only for keeping Hannah away from them, but also as irrational as it might be, for her death.

**************

You can buy Must Love Cats at:

Amazon:  is.gd/mlcamazon04

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/366089

See the Video Trailer:  is.gd/mlctrailer01

Contact Elysa:

Web Site:  http://www.elysahendricks.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elysa-Hendricks-Author/137316289643103

Categories: fantasy, Love, Mystery, Uncategorized, writing, writing characters | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Evolving Mermaid

Joanne Guidoccio is my guest today and she will be talking about mermaids, since a mermaid is the heroine of her debut novel, Between Land and Sea.

Guidoccio 001In high school, Joanne dabbled in poetry, but decided to wait until she had more life experiences before writing a novel. The original plan was to get a general arts degree and take a few years off to travel and write. Instead, she gave in to her practical Italian side and obtained degrees in mathematics and education.

While she experienced many satisfying moments during her teaching career, she never found the time and energy to write. In 2008, she took advantage of early retirement. Slowly, a writing practice emerged and her articles and book reviews started appearing in newspapers, magazines and online.

Her debut novel, Between Land and Sea, a paranormal romance about a middle-aged mermaid, has just been released by Soul Mate Publishing.

THE EVOLVING MERMAID

When I announced the release of Between Land and Sea, a novel about an overweight, middle-aged mermaid, I was surprised by the subsequent comments.

The typical male response was a Duchenne smile followed by a puzzled expression and several pointed questions…

Why is she so old?

 Just how overweight is she?

 What happened to her?

The men had preconceived notions of what a mermaid should look like—wavy auburn tresses, mesmerizing green eyes and a curvaceous twenty something body.

The women, on the other hand, were intrigued by a mermaid who did not fit the stereotype and wanted to hear more about her reinvention story.

When it comes to mermaids, there can be no real consensus on their appearance. After all, they are only fictional characters subject to the whims of different cultures and time periods.

According to Greek mythology, Sirens were originally thought to be deities who had fallen from their position among the Greek gods. There is some discrepancy regarding the number of Sirens who lived off the coast of Greece (or possibly Italy). Anywhere from two to five Sirens lived on this island and lured men to their deaths with their bewitching songs. Descriptions of the Sirens varied; in some of the older myths, they had the head of woman and the body of a bird.

In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus had himself tied to the mast and ordered his men to stuff balls of wax into their ears while approaching the Sirens’ island. Only by taking these drastic measures could Odysseus ensure that no one jumped off, swam to shore, or endangered the lives of the crew. The songs of the Sirens were so hypnotic that sailors would become distracted and often steered the ship into dangerous waters or onto jagged rocks.

Among seafaring people, there are several historical claims of actual mermaid sightings. In 1610, Captain Richard Whitbourne claimed he saw a mermaid in Newfoundland’s St. James harbor. A young boy in Scotland (circa 1820) is believed to have killed a mermaid by throwing rocks at it. Unlike the beautiful Sirens in the Greek myths, the dead mermaid resembled a three-year-old child, but had a salmon’s tail instead of legs. The villagers had a funeral for the mermaid and buried it in a small coffin.

Hans Christien Anderson immortalized a kinder, gentler mermaid in The Little Mermaid. While it was my favorite fairy tale, I felt so sorry for the mute ex-mermaid who could only smile when the handsome prince married someone else. Knowing that the prince’s wedding morning would only bring heartbreak and seal her fate as “foam on the crest of waves” always saddened me.

I wanted a happily-ever-after ending for the little mermaid and the prince. But when the Disney version was released, I still wasn’t satisfied. I realize now that I wanted to read about a different kind of mermaid, one who could enjoy a happy and successful life, with or without the prince. And maybe one who wasn’t quite so young or so beautiful.

Keeping this vision of an older and wiser mermaid firmly in mind, I wrote Between Land and Sea, the first book in the Mediterranean trilogy.

*****

 betweenlandandseacoverAfter giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged beyond recognition. The horrified banker abandons her on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England, leaving her to face a difficult human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, Isabella evolves into the persona of Barbara Davies. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers.

.

.

*****

EXCERPT

Isabella stumbled as she got out of bed and tried to balance herself on the stumps that now served as permanent legs. She willed herself not to cry as she recalled the magnificent tail that had been the envy of the Mediterranean kingdom. Her mother and grandmother had also been blessed with the same tail. Now only Annabella held this birthright.

She heard her stomach growl and thought longingly of her favorite kelp dish. She closed her eyes and visualized the steaming goodness that would satisfy her hunger. And then she remembered that she could no longer manifest her desires.

No more powers. No more comfort and ease.

Her lips trembled as she looked about the small, neat room filled with large wooden pieces and smaller metallic ones. She tried to move one of the larger pieces and then gave up in frustration. Andrew had promised her a beautiful home with servants, and now she must live this life of ordinary humans.

The flickering of a green light caught her attention. She approached and noticed the tablet lying on one of the wooden surfaces. It was blinking at her. Tentatively, she touched the green light. The blinking stopped and a smiling face materialized.

“Greetings, Isabella. I am Lisa738. Annabella has asked me to guide you through your orientation.”

Isabella frowned and tried to recall her connection to this lowly mermaid from the Numbers class.

*****

Where to find Joanne…

Website: www.joanneguidoccio.com

Amazon: http://is.gd/AVpoVs 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BetweenLandandSeaJG

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio

YouTube (Trailer #1): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xipZ6quZDOs

YouTube (Trailer #2): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfiKOQe_yuU

Categories: fantasy, mermaids, nature, outdoors, romance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

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