Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Spotlight on Janis Lane author of Sandpiper Affair-Book Buzz


Besides falling into mutual admiration and maybe even into love, Wildlife photographer, Abby Neycomb and wealthy, Adam Rawlings, agree on one thing. Environmental work is both exciting and important. While capturing shots of mating/nesting birds in middle Florida, Abby is surprised to find herself with urges toward nesting herself. She is stunned when she finds the body of a local town councilman and is apprehensive when the sheriff asks for her assistance in finding the killer. She is even more surprised at the warm support of the local townspeople and the friendships they offer. Could Abby give up her life as a roving photographer to settle down as the mate of native son? Is her love strong enough to carry her through to a fairy tale ending, or will she end up like the tiny sandpipers running along the shore, evermore flirting with but never diving directly into the waves.

Published August 30th 2011 by Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc


Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Desert Breeze



Comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Sandpiper Affair. This giveaway ends October 8 11:59PM CST. Winner will be selected using Random.org


The uniformed park ranger with a decidedly masculine voice questioned, "Why are you in this restricted area, miss?"

Abby sat up and brushed the clinging grains of sand from her bare legs and hiking shorts. Her hands reached in a futile gesture to tidy loose curls blowing wildly in the gusty March winds. She fiddled more as she stalled for an excuse. She wondered briefly if he would believe she came here out of ignorance, then decided regretfully not.

"I'm photographing the crane chicks," she admitted. "Okay, I knew it was restricted, but I was very careful not to disturb them. Honest, they never knew I was here."

The too-good-looking-for-his-own-good, giant Florida State Park Ranger rubbed his jaw while he gazed down at her. Looking up at him Abby wondered if he would mind if she shot a few poses. Her fingers itched to grab her camera. He would make a very good subject to study in her spare time -- long tanned fingers, sturdy long legs. Definitely eye candy. She wondered how he felt about posing for calendars. She sized him up and decided she could get very artistic with this man wearing a uniform. Who doesn't love a man in a uniform?

Feeling a bit giddy both with tiredness and a kicked-back sense of humor, Abby tried to revise her thinking to a more serious vein. Probably not the best time to ask favors, she thought.

Busted in Birdland. Still... what a calendar he would make with that uniform, that smile, those shoulders. She stifled a sigh of pure visual pleasure.

You had better stop it, Miss Smarty. He has the authority to fine and kick you out of the park permanently if he so chooses. Wow! Love a uniformed hunk!


She stifled a giggle which was riotously rolling around deep inside her, threatening to break out. He continued to loom, gazing down at her while she fidgeted in her warm nest of sand. Surrounding them, the sporadic wind blew the smell of something baking in the sun. With her face turned upward and her eyes half-closed against the glare, she awaited her fate. She offered a weak smile while trying to bring into focus his face which was backlit by the bright sunlight. It couldn't hurt, she thought, and tried for puppy dog eyes pleading for mercy.

"Leave this area, and I'll forget your lapse of good manners -- this time. Don't let me catch you trespassing on restricted lands again. This is a nature preserve. Visitors may not wander about -- especially during nesting season," he added giving her a stern look. "And that goes for well-meaning, good-looking, lady photographers as well."


What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Writing is not difficult. Editing!! That’s difficult. It was so enlightening to work with an editor. But I’m not going to kid you. It’s very painful as well. In the end I wondered why I was anxious. It turned out just as it ought.

How does your family handle the time you spend at your computer writing?

Not bad. Initially they considered it another hobby and felt free to interrupt. Now they are much more respectful. Still, I am tempted to turn the home phone off. I close the shades so I am not tempted to see the lovely day outside. I try not to turn down dinner with my family no matter if I’m in the middle of a creative burst of energy.

What is your favorite TV program? 

I don’t watch all that much TV, but I guess Grey’s Anatomy. I like that the characters have interesting flaws.

How much research do you do for your novels?

SANDPIPER AFFAIR is straight from my heart. I’m an avid bird watcher and nature lover and have been for many years. It required some research about the springs in Florida, but the bird information was already deeply in my head. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Adam and Abby. I roamed all over Central Florida and it was a pleasure to have characters who enjoyed that time with me. This is not a beach story. It required jeans and bug spray to really see nature in its home/habitat.

Do you have a sequel in mind?

Yep.  Already written and in line for publication next June ’12. I’m excited about that. It takes the relationship between Abby and Adam to a new level. There’s lots of suspense and mystery and bad guys to be dealt with. New information is revealed about both characters. I just know you’ll love it. 

Read a recent interview with Ms. Lane at Desert Breeze.


While the urge to create can be a powerful drive, Janis Lane often wants to chase her muse away with a stick for disturbing her peace. When not writing her novels, she enjoys reading what others write, preferably sitting in the shade with a pitcher of ice tea. Nature is a favorite subject and is tucked into most of her stories.

Lane is an experienced bird watcher. She is also part owner of a small "Herbtique" and can be found in summer assisting in the creation and design of beautiful gardens. She confesses to consulting with both her grown up children who have been gracious with their talents and ideas. Regency Romances, Contemporary Romances an Romantic Mysteries will be in her future.

Lane was born in the South and wanted adventure so she married a Yankee. She has lived in Georgia, Alaska, Arizona, Alabama, and Connecticut and has traveled extensively. She and her family now live in Western New York near Niagara Falls.   


Monday, September 26, 2011

Awaking by Madeline Freeman-interview & Giveaway:Bewitching Tour Stop

By Madeline Freeman
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy


Morgan Abbey’s life is about to change.

Just weeks before her senior year is set to begin, a mysterious stranger approaches Morgan with information that has far-reaching ramifications. First, the psychic ability she believes she has just been pretending to have since middle school might actually be real.

Second, her mother, who disappeared abruptly and completely almost a decade ago, might still be alive.

Morgan finds herself in the drawn into a centuries-old struggle involving a group of people who quietly coexist alongside the common people of the world. This shadowy group believes it is time for them to reclaim their former positions of power—and they believe Morgan is the key.

But when the time comes, will Morgan be able to do what it takes to reunite with her mother and fulfill her destiny?

Available at Smashwords and Amazon


Comment on this post for a chance to win a digital copy of Awaking. This giveaway ends October 1st 11:59 PM CST.

Also, click the link and enter for a chance to win a Print copy of Awaking. The Winner of the Print copy will be selected from all entries from all tour stops. So follow the tour and enter at every stop to increase your chance of winning. ENTER TO WIN A PRINT COPY

What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing a book for me is editing. It’s difficult for me to cut a scene or to add something. If I cut something, I always save it—just in case. When I add things, I feel like I’m disrupting the “flow”—even when I’m not. Change is always difficult, I suppose.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My husband is very supportive of my writing. I think he’s actually pretty impressed I can do it. He’s willing to do whatever he can to give me writing time, which is very nice. The rest of my family is also very supportive. My dad brags about me. My mother-in-law shares excerpts from my book with her friends. I’m really, really lucky.

Tell us about your family.
My sister and I are possibly too much alike in some ways. We should never be in public together because we get too ridiculous. My dad is sweet, cute, and helpful. My mom died a couple years ago. My husband is adorable and obsessed with internet research. I have a cat, Fat Baby, whose soft fur brings me joy.

What was the scariest moment of your life?
It was December and I was in the first grade. My mom, sister, and I had walked across 8 Mile (yes, the same made famous by the movie) to the Payless shoe store so my sister and I could get boots. (We’d lived in Texas before this, and there had been little need of boots there.) When we were on our way back across the street, I slipped in the road—right in front of a car. Unfortunately, at that very moment, the light for the traffic turned green. Even though my mom and sister were still in the street, the car I’d fallen in front of started driving. The driver ran over my legs. My mom flipped out. The driver came to a stop. I tried to free my legs, but they were trapped up around the wheel well. In order for me to get free, the driver had to back up over my legs. Yeah, it was awesome. When I was finally free, I jumped up and took off running. My mom told me she was afraid I was going to run all the way home. Instead, I got to the curb and collapsed, wailing, “I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die!”  I didn’t stop until my mom looked at me and said, “Krystle, you are making too much noise to die.” (Back then, my name was Krystle.) I was only six at the time, and even though I wasn’t badly injured, the event was still really scary for me.

What are your favorite TV shows?
My current favorite is Fringe. I’m also a big fan of Supernatural, NCIS, Psych, White Collar, Eureka. I loved Lost. I wish Firefly hadn’t been cancelled. If I’m with my sister, I’ll watch Doctor Who. When I was in, like, middle school, my favorite show was seaQuest DSV—which is now streaming on Netflix. I like Bones, even though I’m a season behind. I still love The X-Files. In reality, I understand I watch too much TV… Not that it stops me…

Do you have a milestone birthday coming up?
If so, how are you approaching it? This upcoming St. Patrick’s Day is my 30th birthday. One of my best friends, Rachel Schurig, has the same birthday, and we were discussing how there were things we wanted to do with our lives. Writing was one of those things. Inspired by the success of self-published authors, we decided to try our hands at self-pubbing. This summer, she published a chick-lit book (Three Girls and a Baby—I highly recommend it) and I published Awaking. Our rally cry is “30 and out!” Basically, by the time we’re 30, we want to be well on our way to living the lives we want to live. So, where some women might be a little sad at turning 30, I’m actually kind of excited. It’s like next year will usher in a new chapter in my life. I think that’s very cool.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

Author Bio

Madeline Freeman lives in the metro-Detroit area with her husband, her cats, her sister, and her sister’s cat. In her spare time, she reads, sews, rides her bike, and watches way too much TV on DVD.

She also loves anything to do with astronomy, outer space, plate tectonics, and dinosaurs. This is her first published novel.

Connect with Madeline online:

Sept 26 review

Authors - Book Tours can give your book additional exposure and help you reach new readers.  There are several different plans from which to choose.  There are options available that are ideal for modest budgets.  To find out more, click the image.

Bloggers -  Find out how you can become a Tour Host. To find out more details, click the image.

Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Bewitching Book Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spotlight on Cheryl Pierson - Guest Post, Giveaway & Excerpt

I'm happy to welcome Cheryl Pierson as my Guest Author this week. She has a wonderful guest post for us and an excerpt from her new, exciting time travel historical, Time Plains Drifter.


Cheryl was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, and lived there until the summer she turned six years old. That summer, she and her family moved to Seminole, OK.

Being the much-younger sibling of the family, her two older sisters were off to college by the time she was eight, and Cheryl was feeling very much like an only child. The upside was, that by third grade, she had discovered her talent for writing and storytelling, and that deep love of putting words together entertained her (and hopefully others) through the years to come.

An oilfield engineer for Baroid, Cheryl’s father was transferred to West Virginia her senior year in high school. With sorrowful goodbyes, Cheryl left all of her friends behind and moved to West Virginia, where she met and fell in love with her husband, Gary. Coincidentally, Gary went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration whose training academy is in Oklahoma City.  Within a few years, Cheryl and Gary had relocated from Charleston, WV to Oklahoma City, OK, where he taught training classes at the FAA facility and Cheryl was back home again. Now, thirty years of marriage have passed and Cheryl’s children are grown.  

During the past many years, Cheryl has worked on a variety of novels, short stories and screenplays, as well as being co-owner of her own editing/teaching company.

In May of 2008, Cheryl signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her first full-length novel, Fire Eyes, which was released May 29, 2009 in both e-format and in print.  She has another manuscript under consideration with TWRP, and also works with an agent for some of her other novel-length manuscripts.

** A partial biography borrowed from Cheryl's website.

Time Plains Drifter Giveaway
Enter and comment for a chance to win a digital copy of Times Plains Drifter. This giveaway is open Internationally and ends September 24th at 11:59 PM CDT.
You do not have to follow my blog to enter but, as a reward, my awesome followers who enter will get an extra chance to win (both new and long-time friends). The winner will be randomly selected on September 25th and notified via email.





Time Plains Drifter is a different kind of romance novel than anything I’ve ever read.  I think that’s why I enjoyed writing it so much.

After being released in December of 2009 with an unscrupulous publisher, I took my rights back after only three months and spent the next year searching for another home for it.  Just this past spring, it was placed with WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER, an imprint of PUBLISHING BY REBECCA J. VICKERY.  This is a marvelous company that handles some much “bigger” names than I have, such as Peter Brandvold, Jory Sherman, and Madeline Baker, among others.  Print books are important to me, although I understand that e-publishing is growing by leaps and bounds.  I’m sure that WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER will prove to be the perfect place for Time Plains Drifter, and I’m glad to say I now have the sequel in the works.

That being said, let me tell you why Time Plains Drifter is so hard to pigeonhole and why that may be a bit scary in today’s market.

I knew Time Plains Drifter was going to have to be classified as a time-travel romance; that’s how the H/h meet one another.  She’s from 2010—he’s from 1879.  That was the easy part.  The part that was a bit harder to work around was that he was dead.  I just couldn’t get past the premise that Rafe d’Angelico was going to be the “paranormal element” of the story.  I didn’t want him to be a werewolf, vampire, or shapeshifter.  So that left angels, demons, zombies and so forth.  I chose for him to be an angel.

Working with Rafe—an angel who didn’t want to be an angel—was a challenge.  I told him he had a pretty good deal going.  He told me, “I want to be human again.”  In the end, I realized he was right, and that was the only way to resolve the issue of time-travel-paranormal-angel-demon-human issues.

Jenni Dalton, the heroine, was completely unsuspecting in all this.  She went out on a stargazing field trip with seven of her high school students one night and they never came home.  Instead, they ended up in Indian Territory, 1895; one hundred-fifteen years in the past.

Jenni’s got it rough, trying to deal with her seven charges, four of them the senior class troublemakers.  It takes Rafe to bring them to heel and get them to toe the mark, until the gravity of their situation causes them to all make some surprising adjustments.

As Rafe and Jenni realize their growing attraction to one another is fated, they also understand there is no way anything can come of it on a permanent basis—Rafe is an angel, and Jenni is human.

The twists and turns that finally bring the book around to the HEA were the most fun to come up with for me.  But the story itself, being so unique, is tough to categorize.

Time Plains Drifter is special to me because it’s the first project my daughter, Jessica, and I have had the chance to work on together.  She designed the cover art. I absolutely LOVE what she did.

Time Plains Drifter was the recipient of The Reviewer’s Top Pick Award by Karen M. Nutt, PNR reviews.  It also received a 4.5 star review from Romantic Times Magazine.  I was selected as the recipient of the Honorable Mention—Best New Paranormal Author category in PNR’s PEARL Awards last year (March 2010), based on Time Plains Drifter.

The sequel has been a delight to work on, with a different twist than the first book, and some familiar characters will be the stars of the show this time around since the story is built around Rafe’s brother, Cris, and Jenni’s sister, Victoria.

Time Plains Drifter is now available in all formats, including print, Kindle, and Nook. Take a look at my Amazon page to order. (See link below.)

I’ve included the blurb and an excerpt below.  Please leave a comment!  I always love to hear from readers and other authors.  Visit my website at http://www.cherylpierson.com/

See Cheryl's other Links HERE.

Trapped in Indian Territory of 1895 by a quirk of nature, high school teacher Jenni Dalton must find a way to get her seven students back to 2010. Handsome U.S. Marshal Rafe d’Angelico seems like the answer to her prayers; he is, after all, an angel. In a race against time and evil, Rafe has one chance to save Jenni’s life and her soul from The Dark One—but can their love survive?


He closed his eyes, letting the pleasurable feel of her wet mouth on his body wash over him, along with her voice. “Some things never change,”she’d said earlier. Her Oklahoma accent was a slow waltz to his mind, its lilting cadence urging him to accept what they had between them. Still, he couldn’t let it go. Couldn’t ever be dishonest with her, of all people.

“Don’t you want to know—”

She stopped him, placing two cool fingers across his lips, smiling at the tickle of his moustache against her skin. The smile faded as she absorbed the worry in his expression, the smoldering fire in his eyes, and made it her own.

“Not now, I don’t. You asked me—earlier—if I felt it. Whatever it is between us. I do.” Debating with herself, she hesitated a moment before coming to a decision. “I want you, Rafe,” she murmured. “I trust you.” She nuzzled his neck.“It doesn’t matter now, who—or what—you are.”

His hand closed in a fist around the shimmering satin of her copper hair, his chest filling with a sweet peace at her quiet words. 


His mind churned as Jenni kissed him once again. Accepting him, for whoever he might be. She loved him. She hadn’t said it yet, but he knew it by the gentle way her lips grazed across his, then claimed his mouth completely, as if that was the only way she had to let him know how she felt. They breathed together, as one.

He answered her wordlessly, his tongue going into her mouth, fingers splaying and tightening against her scalp as he pulled her to him.

She came across his bare chest, the stiffness of the material of her own blouse gliding with gentle abrasion across his nipples. He groaned in pleasure and felt her smile against his mouth. She made the move again as she lifted her lips from his, emerald eyes sparkling into his searing gaze.

“We’ll talk later,” she assured him.

“It’ll be too late to change your mind about me then,” he said, half-jokingly. 

“I won’t change my mind, Rafe.”

The sweet sincerity in her voice and the promise in her eyes reassured him. He pulled her down silently. As their mouths melded once more, he rolled, taking her with him, changing their positions so he lay atop her.

She gasped, yielding to him, her cool palms sliding over the fevered heat of his skin, across his chest and shoulders. He began to unbutton her blouse as he kissed her, his fingers moving deftly. He pushed away the first layer of material with his customary impatience, then started on the stays of her corset.

She twisted beneath him at the loosening of the undergarment. He pulled her upright momentarily, whisking blouse and corset over her head, dropping them in a heap on the floor. 

In silent invitation, Jenni lifted her hand to him. She touched his side, and he flinched slightly as her fingers lingered over the very place the Bowie had gone into him earlier that day. Even though a red scar marked the spot, there was no pain for him, and he saw no puzzlement in her eyes...only concern. 

“Does it hurt?”

It was as he had suspected. She’d seen what had happened, how bad it should have been...but wasn’t. And she had accepted it, unconditionally. They would talk later, as she’d said, but somehow, he felt he would find the words he needed to explain things to her. He shook his head slightly. “No.”

A vulnerable uncertainty crossed her face for a moment. “Well, then, Marshal—what’re you waiting for?” He unfastened her skirt and petticoat, then made short work of the stockings and underpants.

God. Rafe swallowed hard, reaching to trace the faded tan lines across her shoulders. He moistened his lips, his teeth sinking into the lower one momentarily. His pulse raced as his gaze moved over her face—then lower, to her breasts, her flat belly, and the triangle of soft hair, below.
------end of Excerpt----- 


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spotlight Interview & Giveaway with E.J. Stevens & The Spirit Guide Series


E.J. Stevens writes poetry and young adult paranormal novels. E.J. is the author of the haunting collection of dark poetry From the Shadows, the chilling collection of paranormal poetry Shadows of Myth and Legend, and the young adult paranormal Spirit Guide Series, including She Smells the Dead, Spirit Storm, and Legend of Witchtrot Road.

When E.J. isn't at her writing desk she can be found blogging at From the Shadows, a paranormal book blog, or hanging out on Goodreads and Twitter.

E.J. is a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

New Release:  Legend of Witchtrot Road (Spirit Guide Series #3) by E.J. Stevens

Title: Legend of Witchtrot Road

Series: Spirit Guide Series #3

Author: E.J. Stevens

Imprint: Sacred Oaks Press

On-Sale Date: 10/04/11

ISBN: 9780984247547

Description: The night of Samhain may be behind them, but Yuki and her friends have only begun to face the challenges of their paranormal gifts. Tensions are rising--in the pack, at school, and within their tightly knit group of friends.

Surviving agitated ghosts, irritated witches, angry werewolves, and the horrors of high school has never been so hard.

Ages: 12 up

Tags: Paranormal, Ghosts, Werewolves, Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Mystery, YA Lit

Enter and comment to win a fantastic prize package that includes a signed copy of She Smells the Dead and a Spirit Guide Series swag pack including bookmarks, romance trading cards, and postcards. Open to US only. Ends September 24th at 11:59 PM CST

The giveaway winner is Juhinareadsitall

She Smells the Dead (Spirit Guide, Book 1)
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

I love hearing from readers and receive over 100 emails, Twitter DM's, and Goodreads messages each week.  Readers often want to know when they can expect the next book in the Spirit Guide Series.  She Smells the Dead and Spirit Storm, the first two books, are now available and Legend of Witchtrot Road, book three, releases October 4, 2011.  A Spirit Guide Series supplemental novella, The Calvin and Yuki Diaries, is currently in the works.  Brush with Death and The Pirate Curse, the fourth and fifth Spirit Guide Series novels, are expected to release in 2012. 

The second most common question is if I personally know, and can introduce the reader to, the models who portray Calvin and Simon on the Spirit Guide Series romance trading cards.  Sadly, I do not.  ;)

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I make time to sit at my writing desk each morning and evening.  I usually write for about two hours mid-morning.  After a substantial break to refuel and run errands, I return to my writing desk to write for 1-6 hours each evening.  If I am feeling inspired and on a roll, then I may write for 8-10 hours. 

Where do you research for your books?                     

I enjoy book and internet research, however I find interviews and hands on research the most rewarding.  I love discovering tidbits of knowledge from practitioners of the occult.  Immersing oneself in the world of the paranormal, such as visiting sensitive locations and discussing first-hand, eye witness accounts, provides a three dimensional element to textual research that is invaluable to anyone writing within the genre.

My YA paranormal series is set in southern Maine.  In the Spirit Guide Series, Yuki has the psychic gift of clairalience--the ability to sense the dead through smell.  There are many ghosts that Yuki and her friends struggle to aid in this series and I draw upon the wealth of local history, urban legend, and folklore when creating these supernatural encounters.

While researching this rich local history, and the paranormal, I have visited many locations throughout New England including multiple trips to Salem Massachusetts.  

Spirit Storm: Spirit Guide #2Do you have a Website or Blog?

I have a paranormal book blog, From the Shadows, where I shine the spotlight on paranormal authors and their books.  On a typical week at From the Shadows, I interview two paranormal guest authors, discuss book news, and host giveaways for books, ebooks, and swag.

The official Spirit Guide Series website features up-to-date information about the series, including my current tour schedule, with links to reviews, free reads, awards, and giveaways.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Though I don't listen to music while writing, I find it too distracting, I do use music to get in the mood to enter the Spirit Guide Series world.

Spirit Guide Series Playlist:                                 
Not In Love by Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith
Walking With A Ghost by Tegan and Sara
Howl by Florence + The Machine
Pearl's Dream by Bat For Lashes
To Die For by The Birthday Massacre
Loretta Young Silks by Sneaker Pimps
Duvet by Boa
Twilight Galaxy by Metric (Che Andre remix)
Hysteric by Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
Bloodbuzz Ohio by The National
Breathe Me by Sia
Wind in the Wires by Patrick Wolf
Butterflies and Hurricanes by Muse
Bring Me To Life by Evanescence
Final Destination by Within Temptation
Teignmouth by Patrick Wolf
We Are Pilots by Shiny Toy Guns
Enjoy the Unknown by And One
The Dream by The Birthday Massacre
Loretta Young Silks by Sneaker Pimps
Headlock by Imogen Heap
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
The Perfect Girl by The Cure
Ghost Town by Shiny Toy Guns
The Howling by Within Temptation
Skeleton by The Good Natured
Haunted (when the minutes drag) by Collide (Love and Rockets cover)
Walking in My Shoes by Depeche Mode
Blind by Wolfsheim
Static by Echostream
Numb by Portishead
Thanatos by Soap & Skin
Moon and Moon by Bat For Lashes
All I Need by Within Temptation
Glass by Bat For Lashes
Werewolf by Cat Power
Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground by Antony and the Johnsons
A Thousand Hours by The Cure

What are your favorite TV shows?

I don't own a television, but I do have a few TV shows that I'll watch on DVD using a projector and my magic wall.  Supernatural (oh Dean Winchester, why must you be so yummy?), Moonlight (why do the networks cancel shows with Alex O'Loughlin?), Firefly (Nathan Fillion in leather pants.  Need I say more?), and The Vampire Diaries (Damon, Damon, Damon...) are a few of my faves.

Thanks so much, EJ!!  It's been such fun chatting with you and learning more about your creative processes.   I am so looking forward to reading the Legend of Witchtrot Road.

Enter and comment to win a fantastic prize package that includes a signed copy of She Smells the Dead and a Spirit Guide Series swag pack including bookmarks, romance trading cards, and postcards. Open to US, only. Ends September 24th at 11:59 PM CST


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Spotlight Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway with Sarah Ballance

This week I am so very pleased to welcome Sarah Ballance to my  blog.  We've got an interview, Giveaway opportunity, and an excerpt from her novella, Hawthorne. So scroll on down and enjoy. ALL proceeds from sales of Hawthorne are being donated to support Japan Disaster Relief.  So, now, on with the interview.


Tell us about your current release.

I'm so grateful to be here today to talk about my novella, HAWTHORNE. This story is special for two reasons—first and foremost, because 100% of proceeds will be donated by Astraea Press to support Japan disaster relief, but also for the impact writing it had on me. As an author, the story presented a huge challenge: it was my first short, and trying to bring life and conflict to characters readers could connect with in such an abbreviated space was something with which I struggled. The feedback has been amazing, though. HAWTHORNE tends to draw strong reader reaction, which is both immensely flattering to me as a new author, and also a bit scary. I hope some of you will be willing to take a $3 chance on me as a new-to-you author in order to support such a great cause. I never thought I'd have the opportunity to make a global difference with my words, but I hope HAWTHORNE will do just that, however small.

Tell us about your next release.
I have a brand new romantic suspense series with Noble Romance that kicked off September 5 with UNFORGIVEN and an October 17 novella called FAMILIAR LIGHT which releases as part of the Noble Authors Blog tour. We've got dozens and dozens of great prizes on the blog tour – I hope some of your readers will join us! In the meantime, anyone who would like to see more of my work can check out the Six Sentence Sunday features on my blog.

What was your first sale as an author?
My first sale was DOWN IN FLAMES, which also happens to be the first book I wrote. Noble Romance was my first query, my first acceptance, and my first published title!

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?
The question I hear most often is, "How do you find time to write with all of those kids?" And my answer is this: I find time to write because of them. ;c) Our children range in age from one to 13 and we homeschool, so we're usually in a state of chaos, organized or otherwise. After being pulled in several directions throughout the day, to be able to settle down in the evenings with my WIP and allow my characters and their story to take me absolutely anywhere is aMAZing. In that sense, writing gives me a chance to get away from it all, recharge, and re-center. And trust me, they want that.  Because "when mama ain't happy…" LOL.

If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
I happen to be working on one as we speak! The series is called Packing Heat, and each plot connects in some way to a gun. In the first, UNFORGIVEN, a rare rifle pins my heroine for murder, but when the wrong man takes the bullet, the bad guy's perfect crime begins to unravel. Each book in the series will stand alone, but readers will recognize some of the characters from other books in the series and the theme will remain throughout.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For most of my childhood, I wanted to be a teacher. That changed when I got my first horse at age 15 and I switched gears to equine veterinarian.  To that end, I double majored in biology and biochemistry, but stopped short of vet school because my focus slipped to family.  My hubby and I married when I was 19 and the first of our six children was born three days before our first anniversary. Funny, though, with homeschooling it seems I followed my childhood dream of teaching after all. ;c)  As for writing, it was never even on the radar. Total whim, but I got serious fast when that first contract arrived! LOL.

Do you have a Website or Blog?
Yes, and I'm not above bribing readers for their attention. *grin* I have weekly giveaways on my blog, and the ONLY way to enter is to subscribe by email. If  you'd like a chance to win a weekly $5 gift certificate and be among the first to know about bigger prizes and special events, please head over to my blog and enter your email address. (I promise not to use it for evil!)  My blog address is http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/ and my website is http://www.sarahballance.com/ - hope to see you there!

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Enter and Comment for a chance to win a digital, PDF copy of HAWTHORNE.  One winner will be randomly selected using Random.org. This giveaway is open internationally and ends September 17, 11:59 PM CST.

After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it took ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home.   She sought peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she found was an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she could right.

Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett never forgot about Emma Grace.  In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents revealed a truth that could cost him everything.  What he found gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?

BUY LINK:  Astraea Press

Chapter One

     The car slowed to a stop and a decade's worth of memories tumbled onto the sun-blanched asphalt.

Hawthorne Manor.

     The hand-painted sign hadn't changed in years. In the thick, damp air filling the Louisiana landscape, the wood display remain inexplicably unaffected. There it sat—every meticulously scripted letter as crisp and clean as the stark white walls of the manor it lauded, oblivious to the passage of time.

     Emma Hawthorne tensed in the seat of the Mustang convertible, staring at her past with ice sluicing her spine Anywhere else, the view would have been gorgeous. The drive, lined on both sides with live oak laden with Spanish moss, was the South personified. At the end, Hawthorne Manor held court. Pristine, proud, the boastful antebellum home beamed, lording over its acreage.

     But it harbored the unspeakable. No amount of time could erase what happened to her on the other side of the expanse of green lawn. Nothing could change what she'd seen there. Some might say she was crazy—that she'd imagined or invented the whole ordeal—but her scars were all the proof she needed. Whether the shadows lurking behind the fa├žade of the picturesque plantation were real or born of an overactive imagination, there was no way she was going back into that house.

Especially not for a dead woman.

     Sparing a glance in the rearview, Emma steeled herself against a trembling in her hands that threatened to overtake her body. She released a pent-up breath, her heart settling into a less acrobatic rhythm at the thought of leaving. She didn't have to stay here.

Let the South win this one. She was going home.

A split second after she decided to go, something caught her eye. She blinked, trying to see through the swaying canopy of leaves and moss, certain a figure stood atop the widow's walk straddling the roofline of the house. But no one—

Something brushed the car, rocking it. Swallowing panic, Emma tried to tear her focus from Hawthorne Manor, but fear kept her from looking anywhere else. Time and distance hadn't done her any favors; she was a fool for coming anywhere near this place, much less with the ragtop down.

The car rocked harder. The something refused to be ignored.

Fighting the grip of panic tightening her throat—fighting the ghosts of her past—Emma forced herself to look away from the house, toward the intrusion over her left shoulder.

The first thing she saw was an aged set of gnarled fingers resting on the door, blue automotive paint showing through an ugly translucence.

The second was the face—withered, centurion, and expressionless. Haunting.


Emma screamed.
     It couldn't be her.

     Noah Garrett tore down the drive, slapping through a muggy afternoon haze comprised of mosquitoes and humidity. He couldn't know that scream, but he felt the connection the moment the sound of her fear pierced the thick air.

     Emma Grace.

     The one reason he allowed himself to stagnate on the old plantation, long after life and reason moved on without him. Long after she had.

     A blue Mustang sat at the end of the driveway. He wondered if it could be hers—even as he knew it impossible—but she was nowhere in sight.

He slowed to a trot. The sprint left him drenched with sweat and not entirely disappointed his imagination had gotten away from him. His  dream of one more chance to see Emma Grace had never included himself as a dripping mess. He wiped the moisture from his brow, fast concluding the car must belong to a tourist. They often parked at the end of the drive and took pictures of the condescending mansion most thought beautiful. He assumed the intrusion seemed small to their frequent guests, but the constant ding of the hidden bell announcing a visitor could drive a man to the edge.

As if losing Emma Grace hadn't already accomplished that.

Noah closed in on the convertible, giving the nearby grounds a cursory look. The lawn was meticulous, the beds overflowing with sprays of purple garden phlox which trailed around the bend in the road and disappeared. A riot of white and rust-red irises backed the smaller purple flowers, their leaves deep green and glossy. Overhead, Spanish moss swayed only occasionally atop a maze of live oak, more likely a result of a passing swarm of insects than an actual air current. The land was still. If there were tourists snapping photos of the historic plantation—or doing anything else—he didn't see them. But someone had been there, the seemingly familiar scream so real.

Wasn't it always?

Resigned to another night alone with his memories, Noah pivoted.

And found himself nose to nose with Emma Grace.

Astounded, he opened his mouth, then closed it. He wanted to reach for her, but his arms refused the notion; they hung uselessly by his sides, the effort futile. His mouth wasn't much on cooperation, either. Finally, he found his tongue. "Em—"

Her expression cut him off. Green eyes wide, skin pale, her small frame shaking, she spoke. "I saw her, Noah. She's back." The words, nearly soundless, seemed to catch in the thick air. Lingering. Threatening.

And ripping the heart from his chest.

-----End of Excerpt----- 

Enter and Comment for a chance to win a digital, PDF copy of HAWTHORNE.  One winner will be randomly selected using Random.org. This giveaway is open internationally and ends September 17, 11:59 PM CST.