Braving the Elements

A Fantasy Anthology
By Various Authors
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: September 4th, 2017

Claire Davon
– The Dragon, the Witch, and the Swordswoman
Michael Siciliano – Forging Mettle
Kelly Said – The Myth of Mount Agony
Terri Rochenski – Mist Weaver
Rebecca Hart
– Alice and the Egg




Mist Weaver

By Terri Rochenski

Dolan wants nothing more than to escape his village for the big city where his small stature and unpleasant features won’t make him the recipient of constant ridicule by the lord of the manor and his heir, Gilroy. The mist that dances to the sweet notes of Dolan’s flute is his only camaraderie and the only beauty in his life—except for Keavy.

When the kind milkmaid is faced with unwanted attentions, Dolan must defend her honor with a choice that will ultimately change his life.

The Myth of Mt Agony

By Kelly Said

Meadow’s mere presence ensures the Morningstar farm produces with preternatural abundance. A dirt-dusted foster-child, she hungers for harmony with Auric’s lands.

Valcone is the reclusive prince of Auric. Confined to his room—for the safety of his subjects—he craves control over his persuasive powers.

The prince and the farmgirl’s powerful personalities will collide with epic force when a war erupts between Auric and a neighboring kingdom. With Auric’s fate on the line, Valcone tests the limits of his ability. He amplifies his steady push into a forceful shove against Meadow’s gentle Nature. The Earth-shaper finds herself between a rock and a hard place, literally, where the only choice to save her family may lie in surrendering to the destructive force of her ground-breaking ability.

The Dragon, The Witch, and the Swordswoman

By Claire Davon

As the person responsible for calling the bronze dragon that destroyed her village, Losha is tasked with killing it. Failure to do so means she will be outcast from everything she has ever known. Yet one she is on the road, two local women in tow, she finds that she is strangely reluctant to harm the beast that lurks in her mind.

After an encounter with an oddly familiar old woman and a knight in a small hamlet Losha is more confused than ever. On one hand, failure to slay the dragon means she cannot return to the promise of marriage from a local boy yet the more she learns about the dragon the less she wants to harm it.  It, like the bronze sword that is her only defense, speaks to her in a way nothing else has.

The stage is set for a final showdown between knight and beast when the knight’s true quest is revealed and Losha must choose between all she has ever known, or the companionship of an old woman…and a dragon.

Alice and the Egg

By Rebecca Hart

Alice would do anything for her father, the only parent she’s ever known since her mother’s death in childbirth. When he falls ill, Alice doesn’t hesitate when the opportunity to barter her life for his is presented by Jayden, the prince and only heir to the Dragorean throne.

It doesn’t take long for Alice to realize the palace has secrets. Ones that relate to her own past more than she could ever have imagined. If she can find a way to play the game of secrets well enough, not only could she save her father, she just may manage to save herself as well.

Forging Mettle

By Michael Siciliano

Xander, a teenaged street thief in the grimy slums of Low Town, discovers he has an innate magical talent on the same night his father is killed. Intent on getting revenge, he attempts a risky robbery which goes bad. Rather than face the hangman’s noose, Xander agrees to accompany a group of soldiers intent on finding a powerful magical artifact. But the Beggar’s Hand isn’t what the King’s sorcerer thinks. Deep in the mountains, Xander must make life and death decisions, not just for himself, but the Kingdom he calls home.

Purchase Links:

Roane Publishing


Click link below to enter

A $50 Amazon Gift Card




Meet the Author with Melissa J. Crispin

I have another wonderful young adult author in the hot seat today. Her debut novel, Collide, came out recently with Evernight Teen. Welcome, Melissa!

Before I dive into the questions, I just want to take a moment to say thank you for having me on your blog today!

Have you ever done what the author t-shirts threaten and written somebody you dislike into a story? No need to name names, or anything.  If so, what did you put them through?

Yes, I’m guilty of this. I once had a terrible boss who I swear enjoyed making people miserable. She inspired a story about a woman who discovers her boss is a demon who thrives on the misfortune of others. The demon would draw strength from the stress and chaos that she created around her. My protagonist catches on to what’s happening and creates order in the workplace that ultimately leads to the demon’s downfall.

Ha! I think I’ve had one or two of those bosses myself. What’s your favorite paragraph from Collide and why? No spoilers now, just a nice, slow tease if you please.

Wow. It’s tough to pick ‘the’ favorite paragraph for me, but this is one of them. Alright, so I cheated because I included two paragraphs, but they’re really short so I feel like they can count as one. In this scene, Alec is helping Kayla dismount from a horse. It is written from Kayla’s POV:

When my feet hit the ground, he didn’t let go, his arms circling my waist while mine wrapped around his neck. The familiarity of his closeness and the overwhelming comfort that followed nearly dropped me to my knees. Torment swirled in those sapphire eyes, and all I wanted in that moment was to calm the storm.

My gaze lowered to his lips, and I recalled the many kisses we shared, all of them emblazoned in my memory, clear as day. But it was too late for us, thanks to me.

Ooo, nice. *dashes off to grab myself a copy* Where did your hero come from? Someone you know?  Dreams of the *ahem* daytime persuasion?  What makes him tick?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

The inciting incident for Collide entered my mind before I really knew who the characters were. Alec wasn’t based on anyone I know. I used the exercises in The 90 Day Novel by Alan Watt to discover who he was, though it took me much longer than ninety days to finish the first draft. I was able to formulate his likes, dislikes, motivations, and goals through the questions presented toward the beginning of the book.

As far as what makes him tick? I’d say Kayla definitely does. But, seriously, he is a hard-working guy dedicated to protecting the girl he loves. When he’s not worried about the fate of the universe, he spends his time making kick-ass meals. What’s not to love about a guy who could kick some butt should the need arise, and cook an impressive dinner when things are chill?

Mmm, love me a guy who can cook. Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future? Can you tell us about them?

Collide is a stand-alone story, but it is the start of a series. Book two has been started, but it’s in early stages yet. It picks up only a few months after where the first book leaves off. I’d love to tell you more, but that would give away what happens at the end of Collide, so I’ll have to keep it to myself for the moment.

I’ve also been working on a new adult, futuristic sci-fi romance where the President’s daughter falls in love with a galactic garbage man. She finds out later that his father is the head of a very powerful mob that her own father does shady dealings with. The main character and her love interest find themselves in the middle of a dangerous disagreement between their dads.

Tell us about your road to publication. Was it short and sweet?  Long and winding with many bumps?

My road to publication fell somewhere in the middle. Though short and sweet would have been awesome, I didn’t get published as quickly as I would’ve liked. I started writing six years ago. My first manuscript was a contemporary romance which needed so much work that, to this day, I still haven’t gathered the courage to go in and edit it.

Collide was written after that. It took me about a year to write the first draft. I remember thinking it was taking forever, but I work full-time so finding the time to write can pose interesting challenges. I went through multiple rounds with beta readers, and received several rejections when I started submitting to various literary agents. Each time I was lucky enough to get feedback with a rejection, I fine-tuned whatever I could. At some point, I switched gears and decided that I wanted to work with a small press. I had heard great things about Evernight, and decided to submit to them. I was over the moon when Evernight Teen accepted Collide for publication.

Going back to edit a story is so hard, isn’t it? We’re so glad you persevered with Collide! If you could be a superhero, what would your power be and why?

I don’t know if other people would find this boring, but I would love to be an omni-linguist like Wonder Woman. Though it may not seem exciting on the surface, it would be incredibly useful. I love the idea of being able to hop on a plane to anywhere in the world, and be able to communicate with anyone, no matter what language they spoke. How cool is that?

Awesome answer – you could be a master negotiator of peace with those bad-ass skills. If I opened up your purse/handbag right now, what would I find in there?

I carry around a wristlet, rather than a regular-sized handbag, so there isn’t much I can cram in there. The only thing it can hold is my wallet, a pack of gum, and a pen. If I get crafty, I can sometimes stick my phone in there, too.

 Thanks for letting us into your creative mind today, Melissa. And now for the pretty. Isn’t it awesome?



When the balance between Earth, Afterlife, and Heaven are threatened, the fate of the universe falls on a selfish girl who must sacrifice everything to save it.

Kayla has a plan. She’s moving to the city after graduation and Luke’s coming with her. He’ll eventually become a doctor, she’ll be a ballerina—and they’ll live happily ever after. That’s what she thinks, until dark forces, led by a sister she never knew existed, start hunting her down for a power she never knew she had.

When Kayla starts working with a boy named Alec to learn how to defend herself and to stop the evil from eliminating the worlds, she finds herself falling for him. Hard. Torn between two loves and struggling to do what’s right for Earth and Afterlife, Kayla must decide if she’s fighting to keep her life together, or letting it go to save everyone else’s.


Buy Links for COLLIDE:


Evernight Teen website

Where to connect with Melissa:






The book that almost wasn’t #ForeverDusk #BookBirthday


There were times over the last year when I wondered if this day would ever come. This book was THAT hard to write. I’d built a complicated world with an elaborate backstory, filled with a giant cast of characters who all deserved to have their stories told. How could I possibly create an ending to live up to the first two books AND fit it all into one novel that wouldn’t overwhelm the reader?

Without my incredibly talented and insightful editor, I wouldn’t have. I’d tried so hard, too, and thought I’d nailed it when I hit SEND that first time. What a heart-breaker that first round edit email turned out to be.

In the past, I prided myself on turning in fairly clean manuscripts that needed a good solid polish, maybe a few story changes, but nothing to stress about. With Forever Dusk, however, my good streak would come to an abrupt end.

There are too many story lines, too many characters, and too much going on. You need to simplify.

Translation: I needed to kill my darlings. Cut characters loose despite having built their personalities and backstories with the intent of giving them their redemption, helping them overcome their fears, and to find peace.

How could I do that to them? My creations. I gave them immortal life within the pages, promised to take care of them after all of the tormenting was done, and now I had to abandon them. It didn’t matter that they weren’t real people, other than within my imagination. My heart hurt that I had to let them fade into the background while their companions found their endings.

Even once I’d sorted out what/who had to stay and what/who had to go, it took weeks of intense edits to tear the book into pieces, and if I’m honest, a few tears of frustration. After I was done, my 90,000 word novel sat at 26,000 words, with story gaps large enough to park a semi in. One big, messy puzzle I didn’t yet have all the pieces for, and I had mere weeks to pull a miracle out of that quagmire. I’m normally a fairly linear writer, but I had to throw all of my habits out the window and jump all over the story, rebuilding it one small scene at a time until everything was connected again.

I’d done it. I couldn’t save everyone, and it nearly killed the muse, too, but it was finished.

Thank. Bloody. Hell.

Although I’m sad to say goodbye to the Mortal Machine world, I’m also hugely relieved it’s over, too. I’ve learned so much over the two years I spent with these imagined people, and I’m going to miss them terribly.

FD Cover 3D format


Since their last battle, life for the Mortal Machine—the secret-society that protects Earth and its inhabitants from dark outside forces—has become almost…normal. For everyone but Addison. The evil she’s imprisoned in her soul has begun eating away at her sanity, and despite her soul mate Asher’s efforts to hold her together, it’s causing painful and terrifying delusions.
Consequently, nobody believes Addison’s warnings that Marcus, their old enemy, has returned. When Marcus threatens Asher and the Machine, she agrees to find what he seeks—a treasure that, in his hands, could be deadly.
If she relies too much on Asher, she knows he’ll likely imprison her, if only to preserve what’s left of her deteriorating mind. But if she fails this final test, Earth will fall. So Addison is forced to distance herself from her love, to prevent the life she wants with Asher from being over before it truly begins.









Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check out the cut scene below and to enter for a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card and the tree of life pendant pictured below.

To enter, click here – a Rafflecopter giveaway


To acknowledge some of the characters who didn’t get their moment in the spotlight, I’ve included one of the scenes I cut from the original book. This story never came to pass, one of the many littering my editing room floor.


“Get out of my way, sentinel,” Asher said with what sounded like forced calm into Kat’s face.

She stood in front of Caine in a battle-ready crouch, her arms held wide to prevent Asher from getting around her. “You so much as lay a finger on him, and I’ll end you. He’s been agitated since you came through the door, so just leave.”

Asher knew how the memory wipe thing worked better than I did, so he was going to try to do a full baseline of him, which was a sort of metaphysical inventory of his soul, including his memories. It required touch between non-conduits, and maybe even a little blood. Maybe I should have made Kat leave before Asher had gotten the ceremonial dagger out, but she’d appeared frantic at the mere mention of leaving Caine alone with us, so I’d let her stay. So much for her promise to behave.

Caine clung to the fireplace, once again lost inside his head despite Samson and Sophia’s attempts to bring him out of it with gentle words. Sophia placed her hand on Caine’s arm and he flinched back, muttering something incoherent. It just about killed me to see him suffering, and after talking at length with Mom about other possibilities, and with no word from the possibly in-danger Izan, I still wasn’t any closer to giving my sentinel peace or unlocking the whereabouts of the swarm.

Sophia shook her head. Her eyes appeared tear-glossed, but she held onto her composure as she returned to where Remy loomed in the doorway. I’d balked at the extra people, but Asher thought it would be a good idea to have some backup in case Caine lost it again.

I came in beside Asher, and without me saying a word, he backed off and shot me a questioning glance. With so much on my mind I’d failed to mention the Kat/Caine situation to him. Asher didn’t have much of a bedside manner with anyone other than me, and if it were up to him, he’d probably have tossed Kat out into a false reality somewhere and dealt with her wrath later. Since I’d come along, he tended to let me handle the delicate situations.

“You care for him, I get that,” I began in my gentlest voice, wincing at my choice of words. Kat being the hardass she was wouldn’t want me pointing out that she had feelings, especially for someone who was emotionally and metaphysically unavailable.

“What? I do not care for him, other than…” She straightened, staring at me as if I’d just spoken pig Latin. While jabbing an accusing finger at me, she added, “He’s my…I’m responsible for him. You gave me this job, to protect him from himself and everything else, so go away and let me do it.”

I considered how to talk her down in a way that would get through to her. Sure, I could order her away or do one of Asher’s nasty tricks, but if I ever wanted to win her trust, I couldn’t do that. She’d always felt invisible, unimportant, and aimed to become better, and I’d used that against her once, but I got the feeling that wouldn’t play this time.

Given her desperate need to protect Caine, and the affection for the guy that had put cracks in her bitch armor that even I could see through, I had another idea. “You’ve taken better care of him than anyone else could have, and we’re all grateful. But it isn’t going to mean much if we don’t find the bugs and make sure they don’t destroy the true reality, the Machine—including Caine—and possibly the other true realities, too. You’re good, but I don’t think you’re good enough to protect him from that, and neither am I. Help me make sure we never have to find out.”

Kat kept staring at me. Her breath quickened as I imagined her playing out that scenario in her head. I’d never lied to her, and her wilting posture said that she believed me and hated it. After glancing back at Caine, and then at Asher, she finally settled her defeated stare on me. “Give me a minute with him.”


The three YA books that unleashed Iris St. Clair into the genre #louderthanwords #giveaway

I’m thrilled to welcome Iris St. Clair, author of the newly released YA Swoon Romance novel, Louder than Words. As part of her release tour, I asked her to explain her reason for getting into the YA genre. She gave me three, and they’re all awesome. Check it out.

Three Books You Can Blame For Unleashing Me on YA Readers

I didn’t plan on being an author of stories for young and new adult readers. I mostly wanted to write romance. But somewhere along the way, I started reading books for teens and college-aged characters and I fell in love myself. Yes, this crusty-year old fifty something still remembers her high school years, the angst, the drama, the wonder.

What books set me on this path? What stories and their authors got me thinking about writing for younger readers? Here are my top three:

1. The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger
I first heard about this book on Absolute Write. I had joined the writing forum in early 2009 to learn more about the publishing industry and the craft of writing. I learned so much from other awesome authors who also posted there and made a point to buy their books. I remember Kody’s posts about finding her agent. I remember reading discussions about her cover. To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with the blurb. Had I not had that connection via Absolute Write, I can’t say I would have read Ms. Keplinger’s book. I’m glad I did, because I adored her non-cheerleader, anti-heroine. I related to a girl who was seeking escape and maybe a little revenge by taking on and besting a notorious, modern-day man-whore at his own game. I melted when Wesley crumbled at Bianca’s feet, when his ring tone played again and again on her phone … sigh … that’s a teen romance!

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
This one got my attention when it was cryptically tagged as pornographic by some religious leader. Huh? I still don’t understand the stupidity of that label, especially given that the story is about a girl recovering from rape! But I remember the call to arms in the writing community and the outrage I felt. I changed my avatar. I tweeted my thoughts about censorship. I read this book … and was left speechless by its power. Even pages strategically left blank shouted for my attention. To unleash that much power on a reader in so few words? Amazing.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
You can’t help but like Stephanie Perkins. She’s whimsical and funny in her tweets and blog posts and so are her characters. I’m a sucker for a story about unrequited love for an unavailable boy. Place the story in Paris and I’m a goner. This book set the bar for creating deep and memorable male – female relationships that are platonic on the surface but infused with deep longing so palpable the reader is on the edge of her chair rooting for Anna and St. Clair. Notice the similarity in her character’s name and my last name? Not an accident or a coincidence but my nod to a favorite, inspirational book I wish I’d written. My other pen name was “borrowed” from Outlander. That’s the highest praise I can pay to an author whose work I admire.

There are other books, of course, like Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen, and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. And yes, I’ll even admit to enjoying Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Since my earliest toe-dippings, I’ve continued to add wonderful YA and NA authors and their books to my list of favorites, including the books of my illustrious hostess today, Ms. Jocelyn Adams, but the first three I mentioned will always be the ones you can blame the most for making me want to write YA books.

About Iris

Iris_445x445Iris St. Clair is the pen name for a long-suffering cubicle worker by day, a Walter Mitty-like dreamer by night. (Her alter ego Tatiana Ivanadance also choreographs gravity-defying routines in those fantasies, but that’s another bio.)

No matter what genre she writes, she prefers witty, insecure heroines and kind, persistent heroes able to break through to the gooey heart inside.

In high school she was voted most likely to win at Monopoly and Clue, but least likely to throw a ball anywhere near a target. Thank goodness writing requires less hand-eye coordination, punctuation errors notwithstanding.

Iris believes in the two-year “fish or cut bait” dating rule and has a 20+ year marriage and two teenaged sons as proof of concept. She lives, writes, dreams and dances in the rainy Portland, OR area.

Connect with Iris:

Website and blog

Iris’s first book, Louder Than Words, released September 16, 2014.


Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson’s life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.

Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.

Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can’t let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm’s length.

But by the time Rex’s charm wears down her resistance, it’s too late. He’s put Ellen on the “just friends” shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.

With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it’s the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.

Purchase Louder Than Words from these fine retailers:


Win a $10 Amazon gift card + ebook of Louder Than Words (INT)

Louder Than Words Giveaway Link

Love’s Sorrow on Tour #romance #historical #giveaway


Today I bring you the latest sweet romance by my Pen Sisters’ bud, Terri Rochenski. I’m excited to be part of her virtual book tour, and wish her much success with this lovely. Check it out, and don’t forget to enter her giveaway.


Title: Love’s Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1)

Author: Terri Rochenski

Publisher: Roane Publishing

Release Date: April 21, 2014

Keywords: Sweet, Historical Romance



Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.

 Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow’s unrelenting waves of grief.


Purchase Links




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

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

 Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads


Add Love’s Sorrow to your TBR list on Goodreads:


Enter to win a signed paperback of Love’s Sorrow, a $10.00 Amazon gift card, and a Love’s Sorrow swag pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway


We walked through the nursery door, and two small redheaded boys bounded across the floor, throwing themselves at Joanna.

“The red hair comes from their father,” she said with laughter while pulling the children from her skirts. “Adrian is three and Algar one. Boys, this is your cousin, Anne.”

Adrian peered up at me, brown eyes wide, while his younger brother toddled off.

“Hello, Miss Anne,” Adrian said.

An overwhelming desire to scoop him into my arms tempted me to kneel, but such a display of affection might have been unwanted. Entwining my fingers before me, I opted for a smile. “Hello to you, Master Adrian.”

“Mariella is the boy’s nursemaid,” Joanna said.

A small blond girl, not much older than myself, grabbed Algar and brought him back to his mother’s side. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Anne.”

“I look forward to spending hours with the three of you.”

“We’ll undoubtedly have a wonderful time of it, for both boys are quiterambunctious and amusing.” Mariella ruffled Adrian’s red curls.

Joanna snickered. “Why, they’re perfect little angels, I am sure, but I’m afraid Anne will be much too busy for the remainder of the day to find out for herself.” She bent to give her children another peck on their plump cheeks and, grasping my elbow, turned to the door. “Come along, Anne. We’ve a busy afternoon ahead of us.”

The master bedroom was the final stop on my tour. Shades of blue cloth decorated the windows, walls, and furniture, giving the space a similar feel to the drawing room.

I ran my hand down a velvet drape. “Every room is so rich in colour. Nothinglike Aunt Martha’s.” My arm dropped, and I spun to face her.” I don’t mean to say Aunt Martha’s home is dull.”

“I’m sure you didn’t.” Joanna smiled.

“It’s just, well…” I bit on my lower lip.

“You needn’t explain yourself to me, Anne. Now,” she motioned towards the door, “let’s see about a nice hot bath and some clean clothing.”

A hot bath. The thought sent pleasure through me, although heat flooded my cheeks. Doubtless my stench overwhelmed her senses. At least the other frock in my sack had been laundered a few days prior. It would have to do until I could make myself some proper servant attire.

Eliza, and another young girl in a striped apron and white cap, dumped pails of steaming water into a tub that sat in the centre of my new room. I stepped forward to assist, but Joanna placed a hand on my arm.

“Helen,” Joanna spoke to the maid I had not yet met, “this is my cousin, Miss Anne Tearle. I put her in your charge.”

“Miss Tearle, how do you do?” Helen turned her green eyes towards me and bowed the slightest bit.

“Fine, thank you, but please, call me Anne.”

She glanced at Joanna before nodding her consent.

“When you’re finished bathing,” Joanna said, turning to me, “look in the wardrobe and you’ll find a small assortment of underclothing I took the liberty of buying for you. And, I’m sure we’re almost the same size, so I’ll have Helen lay out one of my day dresses. We are going to take a short trip to my dressmaker, Mrs. Brody, and get you measured and fitted for more suitable garments.”

My mind froze in confusion, but a quick stream of words tumbled from my mouth a second later. “I have another dress besides this one, and whatever aprons…well, I can’t afford much, but if you would—”

“Anne—” Joanna squeezed my arm as a smile lit her face “—I insist.”

Realisation dawned and I nodded, turning away so she wouldn’t see the tears welling in my eyes. She didn’t want to be seen on the streets of London with a young woman of my standing. What lady wanted to traverse the City with another in rags? Under different circumstances, I might have enjoyed wearing a real day dress, but not that day.

Happy Book Birthday to Stone Cold #giveaway #pnr

StoneCold Tour Button

Happy book birthday to Stone Cold, the second installment of my Ironhill Jinn series. Lou and Isaac come together again as their lives and futures are further intertwined.

I’m so stoked to share this one with you. These characters are such a fun bunch to write, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Mmm, isn’t Isaac yummy?

 Stone Cold 333x500

Stone Cold (Ironhill Jinn #2)

Release Date: April 11, 2014

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Genre: Romantic Urban Fantasy

Back of the book:

Lou Hudson makes a deal with the Isaac to save the Ironhill jinn from execution…and lands on the front line of a war between the vampire and his sire.

Daddy Dearest intends to have Lou for himself to spite Isaac and begins meddling in every corner of her life.  Her reputation shatters when people die, her monster-whispering skills shelved by public outcry and vampire politics.

When forced to confront their enemy, she isn’t prepared for the depth of Isaac’s plotting—or her increasing attraction to him—and to end their latest crisis will only cost Lou a piece of her soul.


Link to the book on Goodreads



Jocelyn AdamsAbout me:

Jocelyn Adams is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories. With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter


Purchase Links:

Check it out. If you buy Stone Cold from the MuseItUp store, you get Stone Chameleon for free. Yes, free! And for a limited time, pick up Stone Chameleon at your favorite retail sites for only 99 cents! | Barnes & Noble | MuseItUp Publishing


  • 1st prize: $25.00 Amazon or B&N gift card, winner’s choice + 1 ebook copy of Stone Chameleon and Stone Cold + 1 signed bookmark
  • 2nd prize: 1 ebook copy of Stone Chameleon and Stone Cold + 1 signed bookmark.

 To enter, please click the link below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Awakener by Amanda Strong #YAlit #giveaway

I’m thrilled to be part of Amanda Strong’s book tour for her new YA paranormal romance, The Awakener.  Click on the banner for the rest of her tour stops. 

I just love the cover.  Check it out, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway below.



Title:  The Awakener

Series: The Watchers of Men

Author:  Amanda Strong

Published:  October 2013 by Clean Teen Publishing

Word Count:  approx. 98,500

Genre: YA Mature Paranormal Romance

Content Warning:  Some violence and clean romance

Recommended Age:  14+

Back Cover:

Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.

With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire.  Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts.  Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple.

With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.

Pre-Order on Amazon | GoodReads

About the Author:


Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener’s success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story.

In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.

When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.

Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


Clean Teen Publishing Links:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway Details:

There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

GRAND PRIZE:  A Clean Teen Publishing eBook of the reader’s choice, bookmark prize pack, and a $10 Amazon gift card.

To enter, click the link below


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Eden’s feet sloshed through the damp grass, which got longer the further back they wandered.  Snow in January was rare in Richmond and its suburbs, but cold, drizzly rain was not. The trees were getting closer together as they trudged on, the fading light of day harder to see.  She stayed close behind Micah, preferring to follow his path through the woods. 

When he paused abruptly, she collided into his backside. 

“Sorry,” she mumbled.

He turned around part way and she saw why he’d stopped.  “The tree house!” she gasped.

“Remember all the good times we had in there?” he asked, grinning.

“Yeah.”  His smile was infectious and she beamed back at him.

She stepped forward, resisting the urge to fly up the ladder.  The square fort nestled in an old oak had been there as long as she could remember.  When she and Micah were about three and four, their dad’s had built it together.  Being engineers, they crafted a two bedroom tree house with a pitched roof, four windows, a ladder ascending into the middle of the larger main room, and a fireman pole and tire swing off the sides. 

She gazed up at the rusted telescope poking through one of the many spy holes. 

“And I remember you made me play the dragon every time too.  I never got to be the princess or damsel in distress-”

“What?” he cut in, “A knight needs something to fight!  Besides, you hated princess crap anyway.  Don’t lie,” he stated, when she scoffed at him, “You loved being the dragon because you got to kill me.”

“You’re right. I did like killing you over and over again.”

 “Hey, as I recall I wasn’t that bad.”  He gave her a crooked smile that left her insides feeling like jelly.

“Think it’s safe?” she asked, touching the ladder.

“Only one way to find out.”  Micah was bounding up the steps with her right on his heels.

Something magical about this place, she thought as she playfully pushed him out of the way once they climbed inside.   When he shoved her back with a mischievous grin she corrected herself, no there’s something magical about Micah.

He peered through the telescope.  “Pretty dirty, but still works.”

“See any monsters?” She moved behind him.

He turned unexpectedly, bringing his face close to hers. 

His eyebrows knit together.  “Eden, can I tell you something?”


He exhaled and she waited.

“I do see monsters.”  She surveyed their surroundings and he added, “Not now.  I mean, I see them in my sleep, in visions.  I guess that’s what I’m calling them.”

“You do?”  Her skin crawled.

“Yeah.  It’s kind of freaky.” His eyes searched hers.

“Totally freaky.  What are they?”

His shoulders hitched up as his brows relaxed.  “Don’t know.  They look black, sort of human. They’ve got arms and legs.  All I can ever make out’s their red eyes though and,” he frowned, “they’re always chasing me.”

She stared back at him, his expression almost pleading.  He needs to tell someone, she realized.

Talking taboos with Terri Rochenski

I’m happy to have author Terri Rochenski taking over my blog today as part of her blog tour for Eye of the Soul, her newly released adult fantasy novel.  I’ve been pondering taboos in literature, so I asked Terri for her point of view.  Take it away, Terri!


Are there taboos that should never be written about?  I’m with the ‘no’ crowd. I think any subject / taboo can be used in a story and accepted if done tastefully. If I had been asked this question a year ago, I probably would have answered differently.

What changed my mind? The new, edgy NA genre that has emerged and become the latest rage.

Having read a handful of books in this genre over the last year, I realized there really isn’t much sacred these days. At first I was a bit unsettled by some stories, but after further thought I realized, hey … these stories are selling and have great reviews. Authors stepping out of the box and taking a chance are doing well. Some are doing extremely well.

I decided it was time to pull my head out of the sand and get with the program.

While my Pool of Souls isn’t edgy or even close to taboo, the story hits close to home for me – influenced by my own spiritual journey. Perhaps other authors use their writing as a means of expressing what they’ve experienced and endured.

Who’s to tell them no, we don’t want to hear about it?

Story telling isn’t all about amusement. It’s a means of healing for authors and readers alike. If a person can tactfully tackle a topic some might find offense, more power to them. Chances are they’ll touch a life somewhere at some time.

As an author, that’s what it’s truly all about. For me anyway.


Well said, and I agree wholeheartedly.  Now, my favorite part.  Let’s a look at the lovely!

perf5.250x8.000.inddBook Blurb:


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

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

Or so she believes.

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

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

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



a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

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

My Links:

 Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon Paperback  /  Amazon Kindle  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Kobo


Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.

“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”

Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.

“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”

She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.

Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.

“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.


The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.

Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.

The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.

Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.

Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.

The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”

Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.

A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.

“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.

“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.

A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.

Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.


Miri’s people huddled on the village green as fall’s pale sun crested the trees. Cold metal had been clasped around their necks and ankles. Many trembled in the cool air, little more than night clothes covering their nakedness. Miri held to her braid with a white-knuckled grip, her head and its egg-sized bump throbbing in time with her pulse.

A handful of other battered Natives who had attempted flight were the last to join them, the soldiers tossing them forward like sacks of potatoes.

Demons, werewolves & elves, oh my #uf #giveaway

I have another awesome book to tell you about today, Dysus Dreamer, by J.A. Garland.   It sounds awesome.  And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below for a $50.00 Amazon gift card.  Check it out!


Book Deets

Dysus DreamerTitle:  Dysus Dreamer

Author:  J.A. Garland

Published:  July 1st, 2013

Publisher: Burst Books

Word Count:  70,000

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Content Warning:  Contains violence and minor adult language.

Recommended Age:  18+

Synopsis: Demon warrior, Slade Aesus, is determined to destroy the werewolves controlling his cousin. But a beautiful elf, consumed by her own vengeance, finds the wolves first. Botching her assassination attempt, Annwyn has the most powerful Packs in the world biting at her heels.  Both fiercely independent, can the two join forces long enough to fulfill their missions and stay alive?

Amazon | GoodReads

About the Author:

JA Garland

Writing under the pen name, J.A. Garland, Jennifer is a full time firefighter in the state of California, an addicted trail runner, a connoisseur of all things cheese puff, and a urban fantasy author. When she isn’t slogging through the obstacles at a mud run, you can find her hunched over her computer unleashing demons, vampires, and werewolves upon the world.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog


To enter for a chance to win a $50.00 Amazon gift card to celebrate the release of Dysus Dreamer, please click the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt from Dysus Dreamer by J.A. Garland:

 A solid assassination operation takes one part opportunity, two parts discipline, and three parts disposition. Having two out of three this chilly Seattle evening, Slade considered himself in abundance of good fortune.
Parked in front of a solitary office building, in the zone clearly marked “No Parking,” Slade cleared his mind of distractions consisting of the little here and there that could creep in and throw him off, just a hair, but enough to jeopardize his mission. Satisfied, he slid out of the rental car and re-tucked a stylish black golf shirt monogrammed with “Constantine Vineyards” into a pair of crisp, steel gray slacks. In this particular scenario, image was crucial.
Tonight, the element discipline presented itself by his waiting for the precise moment to strike. He made a living analyzing people and their habits, so he knew his targets relaxed around the holidays and were less likely to see the danger lurking behind his smiling façade. The current festivity du jour was Christmas, and coupled with his gift, destined Slade a popular man. I’m counting on it.
He moved around to the trunk, where he heaved free a slatted, wooden case. It smelled of musky oak. The peaceful scent hinted at candlelit dinners shared with a long time lover. His jaw clenched. Not in my past and not in my future.
Slade lugged his precious cargo toward the sprawling metal office building. Immense, the structure stabbed farther into the heavens than any other in the area, yet fell short. Just like my target. Outwardly, Joe Larsen appeared a dedicated family man, a real pillar of the community whose flourishing internet and telecommunications business, ProCom, employed hundreds. In reality, the werewolf belonged to the Dirty Dozen, a group of the twelve most ruthless wolf Packs roaming the earth.
How ironic. I was once your target. A year ago, the Dozen kidnapped his cousin Amber, a half-demon, half-human. Able to keep a shifter from shifting, Amber’s ability proved irresistible, since more times than not, the Dozen’s meetings devolved into an unproductive, fur-flying brawl. We saved Amber, but left behind some unfinished business. Starting with Larsen, the wolves would learn a lesson…a demon’s memory rivals the most scorned woman, and paybacks were indeed a bitch.


What’s Joyce Mangola’s proudest moment? #meettheauthor

MeetTheAuthor header

Today I welcome Joyce Mangola to the hot seat, author of the young adult paranormal novel, Ghosts in the Mirror, recently released with Lycaon Press.

Welcome, Joyce!  What author do you most admire?

David Morrell. It’s the detail in his books. Granted, I will say that I’ve found a few that I didn’t care for but all in all…wow. The fact that he learned a lot of what he writes by doing too…I’m amazed and a bit envious that he has the means to do it. Also, though most are extremely action packed (he’s the author that created the character Rambo!), he also has ones that are thrillers in other ways. Each has a different layer and it’s not a cookie-cutter plot.

I’ve never read anything by him, but now I’ll have to check him out.  Are there any other fantastic novels waiting to burst free from your imagination in the future?

Oh I have plenty in the old brain pan. There’s a few more with Jeremy swirling in my head. With the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg battle and me basing The Harborer of Souls series in PA, I’ve got some wickedly good plans for him. Ghosts in the Mirror just touched the surface of what he can do. I’ve also got one that involves a boy who has clairvoyance he tries to suppress until a high school bully pushes him too far. That one might be my next project. There’s also a series that is a lot darker involving a teenager dealing with a mother who can’t seem to stay clean and off drugs, putting him into a situation where he’s got to fight just to get out of the world she’s thrust him into.

Sounds awesome.  Tell us about your road to publication.  Was it short and sweet?  Long and winding with many bumps?

Wow. It’s been a long and winding road. Mostly, it’s because I was too scared to try and get published. It wasn’t even the rejection I was afraid of, I didn’t think I was any good. My friends pushed me to try. In fact, I started sending things out when you still did it by snail mail. I still have the few rejection letters for that. What that taught me, though I didn’t figure it out until several years later, was what I sent wasn’t good enough. Oh boy, it was bad now that I look at it. The best thing I ever did was share my stuff in a private forum for feedback. That led to me finding Scribophile. From there, I learned a lot of what is ready to send out and what still needs work. Nothing is ever truly complete. The first step for me, honestly, was getting serious as a writer. That, alone, took me twenty years to realize.

And we’re so glad you did!  How much of you is in your hero?

Jeremy is me if only for the bullying he received. It’s a tough blow to go through that but just like me, he learned to overcome it in his own way. He didn’t give in to the psychological battle in your head when a bully wears you down. It’s a strength I wish every child could have.

True.  It seems to be a part of every kid’s childhood now.  Kind of sad, isn’t it?  What kind of high school personality were you?  Band dork?  Jock?  Loner?  Brainiac?

Band dork big time. I even got the award at the banquet for being the most gung-ho. I even spent my first few paychecks when I got a job to buy myself a piccolo.

Oh yeah, another hard core band dork.  Funny how many authors are former flute/clarinet toters.  What does your dream house look like, including an ideal oasis from which to write your masterpieces?

The house I’m in now comes close. Ideally, I’d love to live deep in the woods but that’s not very good for internet connections. My writing room overlooks a nice little patch of mature trees and every manner of creature frolics there, to the dismay of my two cats who can’t get to them. I even have a few hawks in the area.

Yes, the woods!  a girl after my own heart.  Have you ever done something so crazy and reckless you think back on it and wonder how you lived to tell us about it?

I used to ride my bike down this hill. It was a low grade but you went really, really fast. No helmet or anything as there wasn’t any laws saying I had to wear one. There was a stop sign at the end of the hill I ignored. All that speed…I didn’t want to stop. One day, I went flying down and at the end there was a car coming. I jammed the brakes and slid. I missed the car and it missed me. I never did it again. I figured I was going to get a second chance.

Oy, yikes!  Crazy kid!  🙂  I think we all have a few moments in our lives that would have turned our parents’ hair white if they’d been there to watch.  I know I certainly have a few.  What’s your proudest moment so far?  (It doesn’t have be about writing.)

It’s still got to be the birth of my son. Even though he’s 19 now, I still tear up thinking about that little warbling cry and waiting forever in the recovery room so I could see him. That was the only thing about having to get a c-section. I didn’t get to hold him right away. I went in at high noon and didn’t get to meet my precious package in person until almost 7PM at night. He will always be my baby boy…even at 6’3″.

Ah, great answer.  I feel the same about my wee girl, too.  🙂  If I opened up your purse/handbag right now, what would I find in there?

My Kindle, packed with all sorts of reading material, Wii Zumba (good place for it, right?), my wallet, of course. It’s actually pretty clean because I just bought a new one.

Ah, yes.  The Kindle.  That’s the important item, right?  😉  Thanks for stopping by today, Joyce.  And now for the pretty!

18106147Back of the Book

Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Riggs has lived his life in and out of the hospital. While the doctors are clueless as to why he lapses into comas, he is well aware of his unique ability to merge with a wandering spirit. With his own soul too weak to sustain life, it’s the only thing keeping him alive.


Waking up from a coma a year after being found at the county dump—next to the remains of the last spirit to inhabit him—Jeremy finds the newest spirit is nothing like the previous ones. It’s bent on revenge and has the will to take control over his body. With the police lining him up as a murder suspect and an ancient evil pursuing him, Jeremy must help the ghost hitching a ride in his body find eternal rest without seeing his own soul snuffed out.

Pick up a copy

All Romance eBooks



Lycaon Press

Find out more about Joyce:

Excerpt #1:

A chill swept through his body, and Jeremy lurched up. Cold tendrils of breath seeped out of his mouth. Across the room in the dresser mirror, the ghostly visage of Beverly stared back at him.

The image wavered, and he tilted over to the side of the bed. Thick deep orange ectoplasm poured out of his mouth and into the bucket beside the nightstand. The nausea hit again, and his snack from earlier vacated his body. Frost formed on his fingers, the tips whitened crystal. He fought the urge to scream and buried himself in his blankets for warmth. He burrowed his face into his pillow to muffle the cries of pain. The sting of muscle spasms ran the length of his body. Sweat mingled with the melting ice coating his body, soaking his bed.

Had she left his body and returned?

His shaky hand grabbed the pill box and opened it up. Pinkie nail sized blue and white tablets rattled. He shook out the pills—one for pain and one to lull him back to sleep–and ate them, their grainy texture rolling on his tongue. He poured water down his throat to wash away the awful taste.

“Please stop it.” If Beverly heard his pleas, she didn’t listen. A whimper escaped the confines of the pillow. A clear vision popped into his head. He closed his eyes tight and snuggled deep in the blankets, pleading for his pills to knock him out. The spirit inside him revolted, and a kaleidoscope of colors exploded in his head. He blinked, the neon glow of the clock reading one in the morning.

Jeremy thrashed under the sheets. Flaring pain prickled his skin, a thousand needles poking and prodding him. His right hand ripped the blankets away leaving him exposed. He fought to catch his breath and sat up, his reflection shimmering in the mirror.

A halo of white surrounded him, ghostly fingers urging him to stand. Jeremy shook his head.

“No. I don’t want to,” he cried. His hands shot to the side of his head, the searing ripples of a migraine rocking his senses. He gasped as the image of a little girl, eyes wide in terror, sprang to life in his head.

“Help me,” her wispy voice pleaded before she vanished in a rain of black mucus splattering to the floor.

He staggered out of bed. His arm flailed to fend off an unseen force.

“Help me.” Her plea came again, and Jeremy jerked forward. His fingers brushed his nose, and crimson stained them. One foot flopped in front of the other, and he staggered to the basement. The door groaned in protest as he opened it. He eased down the steps and grasped the banister as one leg gave out. Cold enveloped him, and his teeth chattered. Down at the bottom of the steps, he collapsed to the floor.

“Please let me go,” he cried. “I don’t want to do this anymore.”