Archive for February, 2013

Cover Reveal and Excerpt: DIVIDED by Jennifer Sights

Posted February 26, 2013 By Jennifer

Hello, my lovelies!!! You know how sometimes (a LOT of times) us book junkies come across brand new books/authors in the course of our online goofing off?? Well, the other day I did that, and with a few clicks and a couple of twitter messages, discovered a debut novel about to be born!!! DIVIDED is the first urban fantasy / paranormal romance novel by Jennifer Sights. After a few minutes chatting, I convinced her to let me help with the cover reveal!! I do love this kind of thing, and I’m thrilled to help promote a new author, who’s written what *sounds like* a fantastic book!!

So… first… the book blurb. This is what I first saw that got me interested…

During a routine case, private investigator Elena Ronen meets and falls in love with Vittorio Santini, member of a secret coven, and a kiss awakens her dormant magical powers. Because Elena wields an extremely powerful form of magic, she struggles to convince her enemies she has no desire to take over the coven. When loyalties are questioned, and Elena can no longer tell friend from foe, she must prove she wants nothing more than to live her life quietly. When this wish falls on deaf ears, Elena and Vittorio must work together to defeat their enemies as they try to save their love, their lives, and the lives of those they care about.

Then I asked the author about her story and characters. Without giving away too much… this is who we’ll be meeting:

Elena Ronen is a private investigator. After a rough childhood, she wants nothing more than to be left alone while trying to erase the pain of her past. In rare moments in which she’s honest with herself, she wouldn’t mind having something to come home to at night.

Vittorio Santini is second in command of the local, secret, coven. He moved to St. Louis from Italy as a young adult, and is content with his playboy lifestyle. He doesn’t want any more power than he already has, but would do anything to protect his coven.

And THIS… is the cover (and excerpt) that we all get to see TODAY, for the first time 🙂

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00033]EXCERPT

“I told you, you are mistaken. No one is usurping your place in the coven, least of all a newcomer. She does not even know our ways yet,” Samuel said.

“‘Yet.’ Even you admit she is going to learn. And then what?” Elizabeth asked.

“And then if she is strong enough, she may displace you, but it will be a long time before that is even a possibility. Why don’t you stop trying to cause problems?” Samuel said, jaw clenched.

“Your friend is the one causing problems by bringing this little girl into our world. We can see what he’s doing. We know he’s just using her to secure his place in the coven,” Elizabeth said.

“Who the hell are you calling a little girl?” I would not stand by and let some stranger insult me.

“You, little girl.” Elizabeth eyed me with hatred I didn’t think possible for a person one didn’t know.

“I’d watch your mouth if I were you.” I clenched my fists at my sides.

“Or what? You can’t even control your power. We all heard about what happened.”

“Is that what you think?” I knew I was taking a risk, but it was one I was willing to take. I steadied my breathing and let my power rise up in me. I didn’t know what would happen. I had only focused on controlling how it reacted to Vittorio. I didn’t know how it would react to my anger towards these people. It rose, hot and liquid inside me.

Instinctively, I knew what to do. I let it slowly reach out toward the three arguing with Samuel, while picturing bolts of electricity in my mind. I only wanted to scare them, to prove I had control over my power. The thought that I might prove them right never crossed my mind.

Samuel took a few steps toward me, and I saw Vittorio shake his head out of the corner of my eye. I pictured lightning surrounding Elizabeth and those accompanying her, calling my power back to me only after they had cried out in pain. It came reluctantly, wanting to play with these people who had insulted me, but it returned, allowing me to push it down to wherever it was that it slept in my gut. I collapsed, and Vittorio caught me and helped me to the couch. The look of terror on their faces was well worth the energy spent.

Author Bio

jennifersightsbiopicJennifer Sights has been writing since she was a kid, but veered off track for college and a more traditional office job. She lives in St. Louis, MO, with her husband, John, and their two dogs, Tiberius and Emmy. When she isn’t writing or reading she loves hiking, riding her motorcycle, traveling, and volunteering at the local animal shelter. She loves to hear from readers. You can find her at www.jennifersights.com or email her at jsights@gmail.com.

So… everyone… what do you think??? Do you see why I got all excited?? Sounds good, right?? And isn’t the cover pretty?? Lemme know if this is something YOU’RE going to add to your TBR list… I’ll need to know who to chat with about it on March 13th, lol!!!

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Words & Music Monday with Kate SeRine

Posted February 25, 2013 By Jennifer

Good Monday, my lovelies!! I was toodling around the internet a few weeks ago, and came across a really incredible looking book. A quick GoodReads search and I found it was in a series of recreated, modernized fairytales. OOOOHHHHH. How I love recreated fairytales!!! Of course, I then had to find the author and beg her to come say hi 🙂 So, joining us today is Kate SeRine, author of the Transplanted Tales series (RED, and THE BETTER TO SEE YOU).

WordsAndMusicMonday

My Musical Muses

Music is an integral part of my writing process. In fact, I can’t really dig into writing a new project until I’ve nailed down a playlist that sets the tone for the novel. My playlists will often evolve over time as the characters themselves evolve and as different scenes take form, but the overall tone of the story is certainly reflected in the music I’m listening to as I write. And if the lyrics also happen to capture the essence of the story or characters? Even better!

With my Transplanted Tales series, each of the books definitely has its own personality and unique playlist. For those of you not familiar with my series, here’s a quick overview:

Around two hundred years ago, a magical duel between Lavender Seelie (Cinderella’s fairy godmother) and Aladdin’s genie went awry, transplanting hundreds of characters from the world of Make Believe into the human world of the Here and Now. Suddenly granted the freedom to write their own stories and choose their own destinies, some of the Tales have made the most of their circumstances, but others have had a tough time adjusting. The Fairytale Management Authority (FMA) is the law enforcement bureau that attempts to keep everyone in line.

Now for a look at some of the songs that played a key role in setting the tone for the first three Transplanted Tales novels:

RED-final-ebook7RED (Transplanted Tales #1) Tess “Red” Little (aka Little Red Riding Hood) is a kick-ass Enforcer for the FMA who has spent the past two centuries trying to shake her past, particularly her scandalous love affair with Seth “Big Bad” Wolf. Red’s all about living life on the edge and not getting too close to anyone, but when she’s assigned to investigate a series of grisly murders, Red’s emotional duck and cover routine is put to the test by her new partner, Nate Grimm—the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper.

KateSerine_TheBettertoSeeYou2THE BETTER TO SEE YOU (Transplanted Tales #2) After hitting rock bottom in RED, Lavender Seelie tries to start over by moving to The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, and is surprised to find an ally in Seth Wolf, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. When humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender finds herself in a whole new kind of trouble.

ALONG CAME A SPIDER (Transplanted Tales #3 – coming August 2013) When Trish Muffet is attacked at a grisly crime scene, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is Nicky “Little Boy” Blue. But since walking away from everything two years before, Nicky’s been doling out vigilante justice as “The Spider,” taking on the vicious predators of the night in hopes it’ll lead him to his ultimate target – Vlad Dracula. And he needs Trish’s help.

Thanks so much to Jennifer for letting me drop by and chat about my novels and give you all a glimpse at a few of my musical muses!

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Putting this piece together, I heard a LOT of new music that I’ll be adding to my “musical TBP pile”!! I hope you find a few new songs/bands to check out. There’s a full playlist for each of the books on Kate’s website, here. And be sure to check out the crazycool  Transplanted Tales series!!

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Blog Tour: FROSTED by Wendy Sparrow

Posted February 21, 2013 By Jennifer

Hello there, my lovelies!!! Today we’re joining author Wendy Sparrow along her FROSTED Blog Tour. I really enjoyed FROSTED, and Wendy has a beautiful prize (info below) to offer someone introduced to Jack & Kate during this tour.

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WendySparrow-4 (2)Short, Sweet, and Frosted

Like most writers, I started writing because of how much I love reading. Actually, I think I stopped calling what I do “reading” a long time ago…it’s definitely devouring. I read a lot. Last year, I stopped sleeping entirely and read 393 titles. Classics, Nonfiction, Poetry, Sci-fiction—and, of course, my favorite reading—lots of romance.

When you’ve spent the day wrangling kids and you can’t sleep at night, you need to read about happily-ever-afters. In 2012, I had two guilty pleasures (which I felt very little guilt about—to be honest.) I rediscovered my love of contemporary romance and I fell hard—head over heels—for anthologies and novellas. I read nearly two dozen anthologies last year and many stand-alone novellas.

More often than not, I find perfect sweet goodness in anthologies, but there’s always the threat of filler stories—or maybe you don’t need a bunch of stories—you just want one to snack on. With the ebook market taking off, publishers are choosing more and more to put teasers and stand-alone novellas out for eager readers who have just a few commute hours to spend…or just that time you’re waiting for piano lessons to be over…or when you start reading a book at midnight knowing you’ll never put it down without finishing it.

Okay, so I do feel a bit guilty about all the times I did that last year…and already this year…and will continue to do. Crap. I’m such a repeat offender when it comes to staying up eye-ball-bleeding late.

Several of the big romance publishers, including Entangled, have separate lines of novella ebooks. (Ever Afters and Flirts with Entangled.) Readers of the world, we are free! We’re no longer chained to a brick of a book that we’ll go blind before we finish it. No! We can sit down with a novella and a cup of hot chocolate and not postpone life indefinitely—long enough—but not indefinitely.

And seasonal and holiday stories are often better suited to a shorter format. When I sat down to write a story about the myth of Old Man Winter—who is actually young, hot Jack Frost, a novella was the perfect length. I could set it primarily in a contemporary setting, Denver Colorado, and avoid all the world-building of novels. The stories of romance novellas seem to revolve around more emotional conflicts. You don’t have time to stretch out long-range, slow-building action and mysteries. You’re not introducing a full cast of characters in an epic drama.

Frosted 1600It’s a boy and a girl…and them getting together.

Forget their friends.

Forget their poignant family epiphanies.

You can fall in love in a couple hours and then sigh…and look at the clock…and scream because it’s three a.m. and you know you’re going to be chasing the kids off to the bus in your Mountain Dew pajamas while they’re carrying pop-tarts. Not that I’d know. I’ve heard.

So, for this month of stepping out of your box, check out the novellas out there. And if you happened to check out a certain novella where the Jack Frost myth takes a turn for the romantic…well, that would just be the frosting on my cake. Maybe yours too. (It’s called Frosted, by the way. If you didn’t know that, all that clever word play was totally wasted.) (And once you explain jokes they’re really less funny, aren’t they?)

Thanks for letting me sneak on the blog for today and good luck on expanding your genre horizons.

Wendy Sparrow

@WendySparrow on Twitter

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So, ladies and gentlemen… how do YOU feel about novellas and short stories?? Are you happy with a quick(ish) storyline that starts and wraps up in the length of a break in your day? Or do you prefer the standard length, full blown stories that require locking yourself away for a few hours of uninterrupted reading? If you DO enjoy novellas… what’s your favorite standalone?? I’m making a novella TBR list, lol 🙂

41pQJm6umILCommenters who answer the question above, will be entered to win an ecopy of FROSTED!!! And check out this lovely Blue and White Swarovski Crystal Snowflake Necklace (in Sterling Silver)!! Wendy’s giving this away to one commenter along the blog tour. (Click the rafflecopter link to enter to win it.) Be sure to leave a comment here to enter to win the ebook. Contest ends at midnight, pacific, on Friday, March 1st (the last day of the blog tour). Also, make sure you check out the other stops on the tour!!!

Click Here To Enter To Win The Snowflake Pendant

Good Luck, everyone!!

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Olde City, New Blood – My Wrap Up

Posted February 20, 2013 By Jennifer

I just realized I posted my Olde City, New Blood wrap up on the event page, but not here, lol!!! I’ve tried to keep the two blogs separate, but in this case, I’m totally gonna repost from one to the other, lol. This is copied from the Olde City, New Blood site blog, so if you DID see it over there, it’s going to all sound VERY familiar, lol. If not… here’s how MY weekend went 🙂

HOLY AMAZEBALLS, BATMAN!!

Wow… just… wow.

Can I just start this post out by saying how much I LOVE authors, and readers, of urban fantasty and paranormal romance. I would imagine other genres have amazing authors, too, but I choose to believe that my little bubble of peeps has the kindest, funniest, most enthusiastic, most imaginative bunch of souls. I saw evidence of that last weekend.

Let’s start this recap at the beginning, shall we?? Some of you know that Olde City, New Blood began as a response to my whining about not having enough cool author events in Florida. Mr. James R Tuck convinced me that I could, in fact, plan a mini-convention that featured local(ish) authors and get local(ish) readers to attend. He had so much more faith in my ability than I did, but I ran with it. Thank you, James, for planting that little seed and helping it grow.

A year later (almost to the day), I stood in a hotel event room in St. Augustine beach, with 46 authors and 140 readers asking ME where to go and what to do!!!!

Thanks, a lot, James, lol!!!!

This was easily the most insane, most stressful, most amazing thing I’d ever put together. It took, oh Lord, I have NO IDEA how many hours of planning. It took some help along the way from some really amazing people. Nancy Haddock was my “sidekick” for many of my excursions into St. Augustine. She lives there, and is familiar with the area and the people. She’s also a fantastic author, and had visited my book club in the past. Those of you who enjoyed the ghost tour through downtown have Nancy to thank for putting that all together. (Her series’ main character is a vampire, and a St. Augustine tour guide, lol… you GOTTA read those books!!) My sister Dolorianne (photographer, blogger, support system) was my sounding board and *is this nuts?* monitor along the way. She was crazy busy with her own life, but managed to find time to help me when I needed it most. I absolutely couldn’t have pulled this off without her. She makes my heart smile.

There were so many other people who helped make Olde City, New Blood happen. My aunt and uncle took on shipping and receiving, and helped fill envelopes and lanyards. The other girls in my book club helped with prep (stuffing bags, folding t-shirts, loading and unloading the trailer)…

hallway folding trailer

Then they, along with some really awesome book bloggers, moderated panels, fielded questions, and generally did an incredible job of keeping things running relatively smoothly during the weekend.

The authors pitched in, too. (Remember, I said before that my peeps were the best!) Authors who came in early on Friday were helping stuff last minute goodies into swag bags, moving chairs & tables, and hanging signage. Someone even brought me Dr. Pepper when I desperately needed it, and for that, I will be eternally grateful, lol.

Once the event “officially” started, things went kind of in a blur for me. Lots of questions to answers, mixed up ghost tour issues to handle, where’s this panel, where’s that reading. So many things went off without a hitch, but of course, there were things that needed tweaking. I really appreciate EVERYONE who had the patience to let this newbie planner fix their issues without freaking out on me. And I’m glad that, in most cases, the issues were small and fairly easily fixed.

I didn’t get to attend many panels (actually, only three, and that’s because I was involved in them!!), but I heard that most went well. Interestingly, the ones I thought were kind of “iffy” ended up being the ones that generated the most buzz!! The Bad Movie Tweet Up was a blast, and people were re-tweeting the comments for days. The dating game got off to a rough start, but ended up hilarious. And the Flash Fiction panel, I heard, was an absolute riot!! I can’t wait for SOMEONE to post a video or a transcript of that one!! (The other panel I did was on starting a book club/book blog. Dianna Love attended that and was very kind. Thanks, Dianna.)

I really love that people got so involved in their panels, readings, and meet & greets. What I imagined as simple chat time, Hilde McQueen, Laura Kaye, and Rosalie Lario turned into a full blown party (complete with decorations, candy, and Pina Coladas!!). Word of Lexi George’s hysterical reading spread quickly, I wish I had been able to see that! And there was other impromptu awesome spread throughout the weekend.

If you attended… authors – you have a feedback form in your inbox – I would love to hear your thoughts on some of the details… and readers – there is a feedback form on the registration page of the website (easy link here) – please let me know what you thought as well. If I’m gonna do this again, I want to fix the things that went wrong, and keep the things that went right. I need to hear from YOU to make that happen.

This was year one of Olde City, New Blood. I absolutely WANT to do it again next year. (Insane, I know, but remember… WOW!) The issue is… can I find a place to hold the event that doesn’t give people the heebie-jeebies, for a reasonable price, and make it at least as fun as this year’s event. I’m working on some ideas now, and plan to make a decision by the end of this month. If we are gonna do this, I know people need to make plans. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I can make it happen.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! To all the authors, sponsors, and readers who were a part of this. I really cannot possibly thank you enough. I hope you had as much fun as I did!!

I didn’t take many pictures (all those awesome authors, and I have very little proof I was there, lol!!), but the few I have, and a few my uncle took for me, are below (click to enlarge). I’m also including some links to other recaps of the weekend. Many include their own stories, and many include other pictures. I hope you take a few minutes to check them out.

fort sign

Nice Welcome 🙂 (Fort picture was from an earlier visit with Alyssa Day)

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Selling books ahead of the signing, hoping to ease the rush.

damonadam damonadamsarah

Damon Suede, Adam Kunz and Sarah M Ross, so much fun!

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Mardi Gras party!!

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about halfway through the signing

MeAmyAvi

Me & my Amy (Lane). Yes, she’s mine!! (ok, maybe not, but she makes me smile)

balloons SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

Beautiful kites flying on the beach as things were winding down on Sunday afternoon.

I’ll add links as I find them… some have really great pictures to share!! If you were there and have a recap, I’d love to include it here!!

http://luciennediver.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/olde-city-new-blood/ http://catyork.weebly.com/1/post/2013/02/the-old-city-new-blood-conference-st-augustine-fl.html http://rosalielario.com/2013/02/15/st-augustine-and-the-olde-city-new-blood-conference/ http://writerslane.blogspot.com/2013/02/reminds-me-where-i-want-to-be.html http://littlereadridinghood.com/olde-city-new-blood-recap-post/ http://www.readersconfession.com/2013/02/recap-olde-city-new-blood-mini-con.html http://www.sarahmross.com/2013/02/12/so-much-awesomeness/ http://smartgirlsscifi.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/reader-con-fun/

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ELEW Auction To Benefit Crestline Elementary School

Posted February 20, 2013 By Jennifer

Sometimes, there are fantastically-wonderful things that happen in the world. But sometimes, things like this happen…

school_fire_update

The investigation into what caused the three-alarm fire that destroyed Crestline Elementary early Sunday morning continues into its fifth day.

The agency has finished conducting interviews and is now working to piece together that information with physical evidence found in the school’s rubble, Vancouver Fire Capt. Kevin Murray said Wednesday morning.

“It’s a significant puzzle piece,” he said. “Because of the size and scope of the fire, it’s going to take a while.”

Looking back on the fire call, which came in at 3:17 a.m. Sunday, Murray said the agency is lucky that another fire or a handful of medical calls did not come in during their attack of the blaze.

“We had 90 percent of our assets on that fire,” he said. “We were still running the normal amount of calls. Basically, we had one or two engines that were out and about covering the whole city.”

By 4:25 a.m., the fire was upgraded to a three-alarm fire. In all, nine fire engines, three fire trucks, two battalion chiefs and several safety personnel — 38 total personnel — were at the scene.

Murray added that resources from Portland Fire & Rescue helped cover the city during the fire.

Nearly 500 students were displaced by the fire, but Evergreen Public Schools officials worked to disperse the students to other schools, with classes resuming for Crestline students on today. (copied from The Columbian, Feb 6, 2013)

It’s times like this, when very-not-fantastically-wonderful THINGS happen, that fantastically-wonderful PEOPLE get ideas.

The ladies of The Evil League of Evil Writers (a group of self appointed purveyors of eviltry, founded by Skyla Dawn Cameron and Dina James, and including many other evil-doer-type authors with hearts of gold) learned about this horrible fire through Lilith Saintcrow (the author they revere, and have named as their Patron Saint of Eviltry), it was the school her son attended. You can read about how much the school meant to her and her community here.

EvilButton1In response, the ELEW created the Evil For Crestline Online Auction. People (authors, artists, knitters, and generally creative souls) have offered up books and other goodies for bidding. All winning bids are DIRECT DONATIONS TO THE REBUILDING OF CRESTLINE ELEMENTARY. To date, the ELEW has over $4000 in pledges and donations!!!! The first wave of auctions closed on the 15th, and the second wave closes on the 25th. Which is where yours truly comes into the picture.

I’ve got 3 offerings up for bidding in the auction.

The first is a large, packed full swag bag from the Olde City, New Blood mini-con. This thing has books, and novelty goodies, and candy, and bookmarks and postcards, and all KINDS of cool stuff in it!!! Many items are signed, and others were designed specifically for this event.  You can ask anyone who attended OCNB… the bags ROCKED!!

largeswagbag

The second item available is the smaller, staff swag bag. This bag contains signed books, some swaggie goodies, and Olde City, New Blood t-shirt, and a $5 Starbucks giftcard.

smallswagbag

The third auction is for a set of signed books from Philippa Ballentine and Tee Morris, both available books in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. This also includes a series bookmark and pin. I’ve also tossed in a signed Once Burned bookmark from Jeaniene Frost, a signed swag pack from Caridad Pineiro, and an Anita Blake keychain/mini-flashlight. Very cool stuff 🙂

signedbookswag

Even if you can’t (or don’t want to) bid on any of the items available (and there are quite a few!!), there is a link at the ELEW page for direct donations to Crestline. You can help is SO many ways, and possibly get some really cool stuff in the process. Please consider checking out the items up for auction, or doing a direct donation if you’re able. It would mean so much to a community in need of help right now.

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