Monday, October 28, 2013

Blog Tour/Hop

I heard about this blog tour from Melissa Petreshock and thought it sounded like lots of fun! You can find her answers to the questions here. It's pretty simple- answer four questions, and pass it on to three more bloggers.

So here goes!

What are you working on right now?
I just finished a short story (YA Romantic Fantasy) and am working revisions on a YA Paranormal Romance. I also have big plans in November to rewrite an old novel (YA Fantasy). This time around I have a synopsis done ahead of time so I know pretty well where I am going.

How does it differ from other works in its genre?My Paranormal Romance is different as instead of werewolves or vampires, I have faeries and Guardians.

Why do you write what you do?
I'm a sucker for a paranormal element (ghost, werewolf, vampire, witch, magic) and for romance. As for the fantasy that I write- many are twists on fairy tales (there's that magic and romance again!) Add in my love of role playing and going to Renaissance Faires, and I'm off an running, creating a new world with magic or fantastical creatures.

How does your writing process work? 
Usually I have an idea (write about the girly-girl who saves the prince) or a character who comes to me with a background fully formed, and I'm off and thinking the story through in my mind. When I have a good idea where I'm going, I start writing. So far, this process has led to LOTS of drafts that are so different it often seems like a completely differ story was being told.

In November, I'm trying something different. My husband, his best friend, and I brainstormed a story (actually a trilogy) and the next day, I wrote the ideas for the first book down in something similar to a synopsis. It hits all the high points we discussed, and shows the end and set up for the second book, but leaves lots of wiggle room in the middle. (I do like to see where my characters are going to take me!)

We'll see how it goes. Will I use this process for everything if it works well? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on what the story wants me to do.

OK, now it's time for me to pass this on. This was the actual hard part, and I know I was supposed to have 3, but I only have 2. So, next week, be sure to stop by and see their posts. And if you want to participate, grab the four questions, and let me know in the comments- I'll update the post with your link information.

So, next Monday, November 4, head on over to:

The amazingly talented Nicole Zoltack, author of the Kingdom of Arnhem series, Black Hellebore (superhero series-just released), Masked Love (releasing November 1, 2013-come back here that day for my review!), and many more! Nicole can be found at

Half of the brother and sister writing team of Fraser and Fraser Brainerd, Heather Fraser Brainerd, author of the newly released YA Paranormal Mystery, Dream Shade. Heather can be found at

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cover reveal- THE PROPHECY by Erin Albert

Today I'm thrilled to be part of my friend and CP Erin Albert's cover reveal for THE PROPHECY.

Erin Albert is an author, editor, and fitness trainer.  Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word.  She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police."  In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing.
Find me online:
Twitter: @ErinAlbertBooks

And now for the AWESOME cover!!! (And a sneak peek!)

Everything must be taken down.” A rotund man, with beady black eyes, surveyed the town, disdain in his expression. While he did not appear distinguishable from the other black and purple clad men, he spoke with authority. “The First Ones and their great Prophecy must be honored properly.” He sniffed, his actions indicating the very existence of Medlin and its occupants offended him.

Layla wondered what this man considered a “proper honoring” of the First Ones. The First Ones…they’d been dead for centuries, and, as far as Layla could tell, hadn’t done much in life except start a never-ending war. She knew nothing more about them except that she was to thank them for good things, curse them for bad, and celebrate them on this day.

That’s Elder Werrick, head of the Ecclesiastics,” whispered Samson, glancing back at Grant. Layla noticed the look that passed between them.

Grant nodded his assent. “Get her out of here, brother.”

Samson tried to steer Layla away, but she held her position to get a closer look at the man whom her family so feared. She knew they had good reason to worry—her black hair and purple eyes marked her as a Fulfillment candidate, one with the potential to bring about the long awaited peace. But she couldn’t quite bring herself to believe Elder Werrick would notice her on the crowded streets, especially with her eye drops and hood. Could he really be responsible for dragging candidates from their homes, forcing them to undergo strenuous, sometimes gruesome, testing for the sake of the Prophecy? To Layla, he looked like nothing more than a short, fat, unhappy man. The very notion that he could strike such fear into the hearts of her people seemed almost laughable…almost. As his gaze swept over the crowd, she glimpsed a sinister undertone that made her shiver.

Waving his pudgy arms at the awaiting townspeople, Werrick commanded, “Take it down.”

Suddenly, his body stilled and his tiny eyes grew wide. They briefly connected with Layla’s, narrowing with calculation. The Elder turned to his nearest black clad companion.

Do you feel that?” Layla heard Werrick ask.

The other man looked skeptical. “Feel what, Elder?”

Werrick leaned in as the two whispered, stealing furtive glances in her direction. When the Elder’s companion pointed at Layla, Samson grabbed her arm. She heard his breathing change from rhythmic to jagged as he pulled her away from the men.

We have to go now.” His urgency spurred her into action.

Grant moved to block them from the Elder’s view. “Get her away from here, Samson.”

The Elder looked up to see everyone staring at him as if frozen. He repeated his demand, “I said take everything down.”

The townspeople, joined by the Elder’s minion, scampered to remove their decorations, anxious to “properly” celebrate the First Ones. Their flurry of activity concealed Layla as Samson and Grant escorted her away. Layla scanned the streets, horrified, as the people of Medlin stripped the town’s center barren. In no time, everything appeared as it always had, devoid of any celebratory adornments. She looked up at the sky with its gray clouds lingering overhead. A bad omen…

On the hill, a safe distance away, Layla watched a group of Ecclesiastics erect a monstrous stage where the donkey races should have occurred. She heard the braying of the angry animals, harnessed and corralled on the orders of the Elder to avoid interfering with the “true” Day of Dawning celebration. Her ire rose. Who did they think they were coming in and changing everything?

An icy, phantom finger traced a frigid line down her spine. After hearing warning after warning from the Mantars her whole life, Layla knew exactly what the Ecclesiastics could do, what they had done to others in the past. Maybe Samson and Grant had been right. Maybe she should never have come, especially today. Layla turned her back on the town, resolved to go home, to safety.

Layla!” Samson’s alarmed tone sliced into her, and she swung around toward him.

To her horror, two Vanguard soldiers forced Samson to the ground. She knew just how much strength he possessed, yet he couldn’t free himself. Her hands balled up into fists, shaking with their desire to unleash the full force of their fury.

Run!” Samson screamed before a soldier’s fist smashed into his face.

His body stilled. Panic, coupled with indecision, crippled her. She should run like Samson commanded, but she couldn’t leave him lying there. To her relief, Grant ambled toward them, his eyes full of rage.

Run!” Grant echoed Samson’s warning.

With a final glance at the two boys who’d been as close to her as brothers, Layla fled. She flew down the hill, swinging her head from side to side in alarm. Ecclesiastics swarmed throughout the city, making a clear escape route difficult to discern.

Terror rose within Layla. Why hadn’t she listened to her family? She’d been foolish to believe she could sneak around under the ever-watchful eyes of the Ecclesiastics, and that hubris put Samson and Grant in danger as well. She choked back a sob.

Run,” she whispered.

Willing her feet to move forward, Layla darted toward the back of the baker’s shop, hoping to take a shortcut through the back alleyway. She swerved to miss a wooden box and stumbled, arms flailing to right herself. Unfamiliar hands reached out to break her fall. Once stable, Layla looked up to find Elder Werrick staring down at her. She screamed but no sound came out of her open mouth.

“I’ve been looking for you,” he said, a wicked smile on his face. 

Sounds awesome, right? Interested in more? Pre-order today here:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How Authors Write- Kai Strand

Today I welcome my friend and CP Kai Strand to the blog. She's is an incredibly talented author (Check out my interview of King of Bad here!), and a great friend who cheers me on. Welcome, Kai!

What do you write?
I write contemporary fiction and fantasy for middle grade and young adults. I like to write for middle graders because I found those years the most difficult to navigate through and reading really helped me to both escape my confusing reality as well as navigate through some of my trials. I write for young adults because there are no limits to what can be explored or how it can be explored.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
It’s funny because when I was attempting to write picture books I wrote in 1st person, which they say is difficult for that age group to understand. I want to write a young adult novel in 1st person, but I feel so limited writing an entire novel in that point of view. That said, I write third person - close. I really don’t like the omniscient narrator that suddenly knows what a secondary character is thinking. It is sort of a pet peeve of mine. So much about writing is subjective though, isn’t it? So I’m not saying that because I think it is wrong. I’m just saying that I’m not a fan.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
It definitely varies from story to story. My first published novel, The Weaver, was inspired by the name and logo of my critique group. Its successor, The Wishing Well, was inspired when readers told me how much they loved the character Unwanted, and hoped to see more of him. I created my book Save the Lemmings, around the title and a dream. My most recent middle grade, Beware of the White, was inspired by reading Harry Potter and feeling I could create a world of my own, and I wrote King of Bad after asking myself the question, “What about the bad guys? Who trains them?” [What a great question!]

Do you draft quickly?
This varies too. I’ve written as quickly as two months and as long as…well, I’m not sure how long. I tend to have multiple projects going at once, plus have to put those aside when I get edits from the publisher. There is rarely a straight line from beginning to end of the first draft.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I research during as a concept comes up. Even though I write fantasy, I like for my conventions to be believable. For example, when I was trying to think up a believable power for my villains to learn in King of Bad, I had to research what source could be ‘gathered’ from within your body and ‘ignited’ to create a electric fire – or blue flame. I found magnesium had all the aspects I was looking for.

Do you outline? How?
I don’t outline, but I create a fact sheet as soon as I start a book, sometimes before if it is a series. In it I note the physical characteristics, full name, birth date, parentage, etc, of the characters so that I can find them easily later. I’ll jot down possible plot twists or resolutions to refer to later if I’m inspired as I write. I’ll make note of unresolved storylines that I need to come back to later in the book or series. It isn’t the prettiest of documents, but helps to refocus me later, especially if it has been a while since I’ve been inside the book because of edits or publicity efforts, etc. I’ve tried outlining, but it killed my creativity for the story. [I use a similar thing- a character chart I build in a spreadsheet. Its been especially helpful keeping all my people from the Valendria series straight!]

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
Names are a big thing for me. I really don’t know why. Not every single name I choose has a deep meaning, but when I decide the name needs to have meaning, I can get very distracted trying to find just the right one. I have to do it then, I can’t come back to it, because that person or town or establishment becomes fully formed in my mind under the name I choose. [I totally get this. I'll spend lots of time searching for the right name for a character or place. The thesaurus is my friend, as are some baby naming sites :-)]

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I’m happy to say that I’m able to share my work with my critique partners much earlier than I used to! I’m a pretty clean drafter, so usually only need one or two edit cycles before I share with my buddies. It depends on the kind of feedback I’m looking for too. If I want their input on the overall story arc I send an earlier draft. If I need them to check my commas I send it later.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
Any book on the craft of writing inspires me to write. It’s almost like a challenge, “Bet you can’t do this!” To which I reply, “Watch me!” But I think reading lots and lots of books in the genre you want to write in and for the audience you hope to target is the best way to learn. Study what you love and don’t love and determine why you love or don’t love it and that will help you form your own writing. Make sure a good majority of them are current titles. I doubt Lord of the Rings would be published without some major editing now, so studying that will only get you so far.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
I don’t think I understood how difficult the business end of writing would be and how much time it would take up. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of supportive friendships I’ve developed (like ours!). [I've been caught in the time suck that is marketing too. And yes, I have to agree meeting other authors who are so supportive has been amazing! So happy we were able to 'meet'!]

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?
Summer was busy for me. I had two books release!

My most recent middle grade novel is a Narnia-esque fantasy adventure. It offers an alternate world, fascinating creatures and a bad guy to thwart.

Book Blurb:
As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Natures Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.

The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.

With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

Buy it: MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, or look for it on iTunes. Add it to Goodreads

My latest release is my first young adult novel and it is about teen super villains. I’ve already celebrated a #1 bestseller spot for my publisher and I’ll be taking the book on a virtual book tour next month – there will be giveaways! To receive the tour schedule, subscribe to my newsletter.

Book Blurb:
Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

Buy it: Whiskey Creek Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Add it to Goodreads

Thanks for having me on your blog, Mary. I appreciate you letting me talk about my books and my writing. You're welcome, Kai! Thanks for sharing your writing process with us.

For those of you curious about my books, you will find more info on my website: You will also find all of my online haunts. Please visit me on facebook, twitter or via email!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Introducing King Corrin from FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS

Today I am so excited to share my interview with King Corrin. I mean, really. Who gets to meet royalty everyday? Not only that, he flew me to the Copley Marriott in Boston on his private jet. You read that right. Private. Jet.

As you can imagine, security was quite high. A pair of very handsome men―two of the Brothers of Pendragon―stood guard outside our interview room, dressed all in black―black suits, black shirt, black shoes, and black ties. Even their hair was black. The only non-black things? A golden triquerta (yeah, that's the real name for the Celtic trinity knot-totally had to look that up after Oliver told me how to spell and say it :-)) on their lapel, and their beautiful green eyes.

King Corrin and Oliver (Corrin's personal bodyguard and totally swoon-worthy dragon) arrived soon after I'd been left in the room. (The king's guard did thorough search before declaring me ready safe) Oliver wore black, just like his brothers, but in a bit higher quality three-piece suit, probably because of his position in rank.

The king's outfit surprised me. He wore dark jeans, a pale grey button down (looked like fine silk) and a charcoal sports coat―not the three piece business suit I expected. The only indication of his royalty were his gold signet ring (a dragon sitting atop a crown) and a dagger pendant (marked with runes and boasting a dragon curled around the hilt.)

We sat across from each other on a pair of scrumptious leather chairs while Oliver stood behind Corrin, ready to protect his liege.

MW: Your Majesty it is such an honor to meet you. Thank you so much for your hospitality and for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for me.

King Corrin: You are quite welcome, Mary. Such a lovely woman interviewing me, I find it no trouble at all.

He flashed a swoon worthy smile and I can still feel myself blush thinking about it

MW: Well, umm, thank you. I'd like to get to know a bit more about you, not just the man we see, but a deeper understanding of who you are and how your past has molded you into the man you are today. You are clearly quite handsome, but also intelligent. You've lived a very long time and experienced many things. What period of time in which you've lived has been your most favorite?

Corrin: Given my origins as a warrior, most people incorrectly assume I might have a preference toward periods of war; however, the Renaissance saw incredible leaps in human scientific and cultural pursuits, allowing vampires to integrate easily into society more so than in the past. Living long lives and often having opportunities for various degrees of fae influence, we have an intellectual advantage. The further humanity grew in their knowledge, the simpler it became to… not stand out from the crowd I suppose you would say.

MW: Oh, I've always loved learning about the Renaissance. Some of my favorite composers lived then. In all this time, you've never taken a wife. In fact, from what I can tell, you've never wished to marry at all. Why the sudden change of heart when you met Cait?

This question seemed to bother King Corrin, as he drew up stiff, before shifting on his seat and returning to his regal pose

Corrin: A monarch must do what is best for his kingdom. With significant reason, I determined Cait to be an excellent choice as my queen and am assured the people of United Sovereign America will adore her.

MW: You, Dante, and Theo are all trying to woo the lovely Cait. What makes you believe you will win? What secret strategy will you employ?

King Corrin laughed sarcastically at this question

Corrin: Since I do not believe marrying a dragon due to his sense of responsibility or having a husband who may find reason to jaunt off across the globe pursuing some research interest without notice suits a woman’s desire for romance, I am unsure why you see this as a competition at all, Mary. As for strategy, I’m quite wealthy and wield more political power single handedly than any other man in the world. Additionally, you stated the obvious.

Here he gave me a crooked grin that made me want to melt on the spot.

I’m quite handsome and intelligent. I can give Cait everything her heart desires, no strategy necessary. I’m King of America… and a vampire.

When he flashed his fangs at me with a broad smile, I would have agreed to anything he said.

MW: I see. Well, I can't wait to read how that works out for you. Do you have time for a few rapid fire questions, Your Majesty? Just to give a small glimpse of the man you are?

He retracted his fangs, much to my regret, and gave an impish grin.

Corrin: For you, Mary, of course.

Of course, I had to blush here.

MW: Thank you. OK, here we go. Coffee or tea?

His face grew serious, but his eyes glittered with merriment as he spoke.

Corrin: Don’t laugh. That is an order from the king… Peppermint herbal tea.

MW: Wine or beer?

Corrin: Ah, my guilty pleasure in the realm of human foods, beer. However, I only drink imports from Ireland in homage to my human roots.

MW: Chocolate or bacon?

The grimace he gave made me want to retract the question immediately.

Corrin: Clearly, you are not versed in vampire physiology. We cannot properly digest excessive additives and preservatives. Aside from human blood, my diet consists mostly of organic whole foods. Some younger vampires may indulge in foods their human bodies were familiar with, but I’m nearly 2500 years old. The strange things people choose to incorporate into their diets now did not exist in my time.

MW: My apologies, Your Majesty. It's a question I'm asking everyone, to learn all your likes and dislikes. And, I must say, you look incredible for your age.

He waved a hand at my apology.

Corrin: Thank you. Have you more questions?

MW: Just two more. Work or pleasure?

This drew a sexy smirk, just as I expected.

Corrin: Pleasure… As often as my schedule allows.

MW: Dining in or eating out?

Corrin: Given the public nature of my life, you can imagine eating out becomes quite a circus of security and paparazzi. Dining in is desirable, when I have time. Runa, my sister-in-law, is a fantastic cook. She and Evan grow all their own fruits and vegetables on the family estate…

He gave an absentminded smile as he spoke of his family, one that made me realize how important they really are to him.

You likely spoke to my younger brother while arranging this interview.

Corrin looked out the window, then gave me an award winning smile- the most honest one I'd seen all day.

Dining in. Yes. Most definitely.

MW: Thank you so much, Your Majesty. It's been a pleasure learning more about you.

King Corrin: The pleasure was mine. Now, if you'll excuse me? Evan will assist you with anything else you need.

He stood and smiled at me, giving another peek at his fangs, and before I knew it he was gone and I was alone in the room.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Colors Like Memories- In Paperback!!!!

I'm so excited to help Meradeth Houston get the word out about the paperback release of Colors Like Memories. I really enjoyed this book (and Chemistry of Fate, (book two of the series) and I can't wait for book three!!!!)

Welcome Meradeth and congrats!!!!!

Hi! *waves* I'm incredibly excited to announce the paperback release for COLORS LIKE MEMORIES. The ebook release has been a blast, and it is especially awesome to actually hold the book in my hands :) Here are three things I think you might find fun about the book:

1. It's got a pretty sweet cover :) And I'm rather partial to the blurb:

Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.

2. There have been some pretty awesome things said about it (if I do say so myself, but I may be a bit biased). 


-"...I applaud the author for providing a writing that has the power to encourage, inspire, help, heal and simply serve as a platform to stimulate communication for any reader (regardless of age), who is feeling hopeless. If you are looking for an interesting read, this book is well written, interesting and has several positive messages that the reader can take away from the story. I would recommend this book to any reader." TWC Amazon Review

-"Colors Like Memories was an amazing YA paranormal romance. It will make you soar with wings then drop you off and catch you once you get near the ground." Michelle Kullman Amazon Review

-"COLORS LIKE MEMORIES is an achingly beautiful tale of love, loss, and new beginnings. Meradeth Houston writes with a clean, clear prose that packs a punch. She carries her characters through the full spectrum of emotions, and the reader is swept along in the journey." RunningnWriting Amazon Review

3. You don't have to wait for book #2! THE CHEMISTRY OF FATE, also set in the Sary world, is already available, and you can grab a copy at Amazon, B&N, or my publisher MuseItUp Publishing. Book #3, SURRENDER THE SKY, will also be released soon :)

You can pre-order COLORS LIKE MEMORIES at my publisher's site: MuseItUp Publishing, or find it on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Ebook copies are also available on all vendor sites!

Those are my three things, and if that's not enough to interest you, well, I've also got a little giveaway running for a book of your choice. Check out the rafflecopter below :)

A bit about Meradeth:

>She’s a Northern California girl, but now lives and teaches anthropology in Montana.
>When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
>She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she’s so happy to get to share her work!
>If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.

Find her online:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct link to Rafflecopter.

You can purchase Colors Like Memories here:
MuseItUp Publishing

Thursday, October 10, 2013

How Authors Write- Joy Spraycar

Today I am hosting Joy Spraycar. We met through James Crowfoot, and Joy was kind enough to send me a copy of her newest release, Changing of the Glads for my review, which you can find here.
Thanks Mary for doing this interview.

You're welcome! I'm glad to have another victim, I mean volunteer (:-) ) to share their writing process with us. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to read and review your book.
Of course. I love when bloggers want to review my books. I also have a free copy of Glads to give away for whomever you thinks leaves the most entertaining comment. Sound good?

What do you write?
I write what is now called New Adult Paranormal romance. New Adult is written for the young adult audience, but the main characters are out of high school, usually in their twenties. I really enjoy this genre, because you aren’t tied to the school theme, and yet the characters are still finding their way in life. A would also classify my books as action/ adventure, because there is always a quest of some sort going on at the same time the characters are finding love.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
My book, Phantom Wolves was written in 1st person, but you really have to be careful not to get trapped in the 'I did this and I did that'. I think I hit the balance in that book, but it is not my favorite. I enjoy close 3rd person and multiple POVs. I love to let the reader know what the characters are thinking, and then have them root for the hero and heroine to discover the secrets, and sometime I want the readers to see that normal people can act like villains when they are trying to fight for what they want.

How do you get started with a book – is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
I would have to say that my books all come as ideas. I do tend to base characters on people I know. My daughter had an experience with a ghost in our old house, and the book, Tawny’s Ghost,  sprang from that.  Quicksilver, my first novel was based loosely on a character I loved in the soap ‘Dark Shadows’ and of course my love of werewolves. Go team Jacob! I regress. Glads was brought about by an old idea from a few years ago. And Phantom Wolves was based on my eldest daughter and her sassy personality. So I guess there are some of each thing in every book.

Do you draft quickly?
I’m what most editors refer to as a pantser. [Ah, another pantster, just like me!]  I sit down and just start to write. I work a job so writing takes a back seat to work and home, but I usually finish a story for the first time in about three months. Then I go back with and editor and hammer out what needs to be fixed in flow and grammar. I have written books faster, Quicksilver only took three weeks for the first draft, but that story had been boiling in the pot for many years. Now the average is the three months.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
It depends on the story. I usually do some before, but still end up doing more during the writing. Especially, (since I’m a pantser, sometimes my characters do unexpected things) if something comes up that I hadn’t considered, such as in Quicksilver a witches cleansing spell. No, I hadn’t heard of it before, but imagine my surprise when I looked it up and there was such a thing. (whew! Dodged the bullet of having to make something up) Writing paranormals gives you greater leeway than some of the other genres, but you still have to stick to what people are willing to believe.

Do you outline? How?
No. I don’t outline at all. Okay, I guess I have a vague outline in my head. That is to say I know the conflict and how it gets worked out. But as I write scene by scene, more often than not that outline goes more places than I intended to take it. I’m quite often sitting at my computer, saying, 'What? Why are you doing that?'
Then I have to really look at that character in a different way. I seem to discover them along with the story as I write. But I don’t have a written outline, a scene board or anything like that.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting, or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don’t lose the flow of what you are working on?
I name everything as I go. The hero and heroine are named up front. And usually the antagonist is named, but as I go along I name things as I write. For instance, in Glads, I wanted it to read oldish. And although it is technically set in the future, I wanted the Roman feel to it. So I researched Roman names when I named my Hero and Heroine, and of course that gave my lots of names to work with when I was writing other characters in the book. I have had to stop a couple of times because my characters decided to do something unexpected. In Phantom Wolves, Kat decided to go to New Mexico, because that was where her birth mother was from. (Something I didn’t know when the story began, LOL) So I had to stop and look up what sort of Native American tribes lived down there, and look at Google maps to see what was near where my character wanted to head. Fortunately, it was exactly as Kat thought, isolated farms sitting on old Native American lands. (Lucky for me)

Do you work with CP’s or Beta’s? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I do both. I have a couple of critique groups. I met our mutual friend James Crowfoot on my online group, I was the 2nd place novelist there in 2010. I also have a sit down every week critique group. I let my critique groups read my story as it is being written. That really helped me when I wrote Tawny’s Ghost. Fellow writers were guessing where the story would go next, which helped me make it totally unpredictable, which actually made it a better book.

I also use Beta readers. After the book has gone through the editing process, then the Betas get their hands on it. They pick up on things that have slipped through the cracks. I highly recommend all writers use as many people as they can. It only helps. [This is GREAT advice!! Just be careful how you deal with the feedback. If everyone marks a place as a problem, you should look at it closely. If only one or two mention it, then it's probably personal taste/opinion.]

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
I belong to the Romance Writers of America. I’ve gleaned so much from their online university. I also love the Hero’s Journey, and Heroes and Heroines Sixteen Master Archetypes, and Fallen Heroes: Sixteen Master Villain \Archetypes both by Tami Cowden. If you haven’t read Tami’s books, I highly suggest you do. They are really valuable in characterization.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
I wish I had known more about the publishing industry. Now, everything is different, but if I had known then what I know now, I probably would have saved myself some heartache.

I also wish I had known how to market. This is also a constantly changing venue, what worked last year doesn’t necessarily work now. But having your platform set up before you start putting out books is always the best idea, then you’re not playing catch up. Like you, Mary, having a blog is one way to get yourself out there. I hate to blog, and would rather spend my time writing, but I’ve forced myself to do some of those nasty tasks we all need to do. [Ah yes, the ever changing scene of marketing. I think we all struggle with this.]

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A book trailer? Anything else you want to share?
Changing of the Glads is my latest release. It is the first in a three book series, the second scheduled to come out next fall. I also have the first book in The Keepers series, a six book series,  scheduled to come out around April 2014. This first one is Keeper of Hell’s Island, where the Hero’s job is to let the Hounds of Hell out every night. [Oh! That sounds really interesting. Love mythology retellings!}

I’ll be in Park City, Utah, on Oct 12th at the Silver Baron Lodge doing a book signing with multiple friends and romance authors. If anyone is around come up and see us. I’ve included the poster if you’re interested. 

Also you can check out excerpts of my books and , or check them out at Amazon, or on Goodreads. I love to hear from anyone who reads my books. 

Also, I’m running a contest for the first five reviews for Glads on Amazon, you get a free audio book of Tawny’s Ghost. And don’t forget to leave comments on here so Mary can award the signed copy of Glads.

Thanks Mary. I appreciate you, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from you also.

Thanks, Joy! I wish you well with all your upcoming releases, too! Don't forget Joy's appearance this weekend!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cover Reveal- MOONLESS by Crystal Collier

Have you seen the cover for MOONLESS yet? No? What do you mean what's MOONLESS?

OK. Let's get all this fixed!

MOONLESS, is a YA Historical Paranormal Romance by the talented Crystal Collier. If that doesn't entice you, or excite you about MOONLESS, how about this?

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural. [Can I just say I've always loved Jane Eyre, and Supernatural is totally awesome- love Dean (and Sam, too)]

Still not enough? All right. Here's a long description for you.

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.

Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they’re echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.

Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

Now, doesn't that make you want to pick this book up? You don't know what it looks like? You want to see the amazing cover?? Well, OK. Here it is!

Isn't that just awesome?? LOVE this cover! Mark you calendars-MOONLESS releases November 13, 2013.

Congratulations, Crystal!!

Oh, and in case you haven't met Crystal before, here's a bit about her!

Crystal, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Today I'm am super excited to be part of 
 blog tour!!!  

Nicole is such an awesome author and a great friend. I am so excited she's letting me interview two of her characters here at a local cafe. (A motorcycle rolls to a stop and two riders step off.) Oh, here they are now! Hi, Nicholas and Julianna! I'm so glad you could make it!

Julianna: We're lucky to have gotten here in one piece the way Nick was speeding.

Nicholas: Speeding? Me? (He shakes his head, a smile curving his lips.) Not when the Sheriff's riding with me.

Well, I'm just glad you made it. (We sit at a table.) So, the two of you grew up together, but then you left, Nicholas. But you return every year and leave a Black Hellebore on the grave of Justina, Julianna's twin sister. It's such a lovely gesture, but I wonder, why Black Hellebore, why not something else?

Nicholas: Justine and mine’s first date, we went to a dance. I saved up to buy her flowers but couldn’t afford roses so I got her a black hellebore. The flower, its scent, it reminds me of her. She’d been so happy when she saw the flower. I see that smile when I touch one.

That is so sweet. Such a nice memory, too. Julianna, I'm guessing you never expected to see Nicholas again. So, what was it like when you ran into him all these years later?

Julianna: I couldn’t believe it. You're right, I never thought I would see him again, and in Falledge of all places! He was so much taller and far more muscular. Scruffy. He wasn’t fifteen anymore, that’s for sure. He looked…worn. Broken. Lost still. His eyes were haunted—the same as during Justine’s funeral.

I am so sorry for the loss you've both dealt with.

Nicholas: Thanks. It was tough, but we're getting by, one day at a time.

Do you mind talking about Justina?
(They exchange a look and each give a small smile.) 

Julianna: Not at all. Talking about her keeps her memory alive.

From the pictures I've seen, you were identical twins, yet Nicholas I sense you could always tell them apart, always could sense when it was Julianna and not Justina. Why is that?

Nicholas: Julianna was always the smart one, the one who played by the book. Her smile takes longer to develop but is wider. Maybe a little brighter too. But it’s a lot harder to get her to smile. Part of me died when Justine died. Same with Julianna.

Knowing he could tell you apart, did you and Justine ever switch places with each other so you could go out with Nick?

Julianna: No. The thought never crossed my mine. I always thought of Nick as Justina’s. Everyone did. Was I jealous of them and their relationship? Yes. I wanted what they had.

Speaking of things you had. Nick, you've undergone quite a life altering change recently. If you had it to do again, would you change anything?

Nick: Yes. If I never followed that guy into the laboratory… (He pauses and squeezes Julianna's hand gently.) Then again, maybe he would’ve changed anyhow ad then there would have been no one to stop him. So, I guess no, I wouldn’t have. My life has purpose now. Haven’t had drive since before Justina died.

I'm glad to hear that. I know Falledge wouldn't be the same without you here. So, Julianna, how are you dealing with all the new changes?

Julianna: So many people have died. Of course I wish things could have gone down differently. But the past is the past, and dwelling on it does no one any good. Just ask Nick.

Nicholas: Nope. Dwelling in the past is never good.

Good advice. So, where are you guys going from here?

Nicholas: Who knows?

Julianna: We’re just taking it one day at a time.

Nicholas: I’m saving up for a better bike.

Julianna: Just drive the speed limit.

Nicholas: Or?

Julianna: I’ll pull you over.

Nicholas: And?

(Julianna swats him)

Julianna: And I’ll write you a ticket.

(Nicholas grins mischievously)

Nicholas: Before or after we have some pizza?

Julianna: He’s incorrigible. God help me.

Thanks so much for stopping by! (They ride off on Nicholas's motorcycle) Now, you'll have to wait a little bit longer to learn more about Nicholas, Julianna, and Justina, but trust me- you want to read this.

Black Hellebore
first in a new superhero romance trilogy - Heroes of Falledge
Release in ebook format: October 21st 2013
Release in print: January 2014
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

ISBN 10: 1-61252-363-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-61252-363-7

Once a year for the past decade, Nicholas Adams returns to Falledge and leaves a black hellebore on his girlfriend's grave. While departing Falledge, he chases after a man sneaking into the laboratory and dies for his trouble. A witch brings him back to life, but Nicholas soon realizes he's not the same man. Turns out, magic combined with a black hellebore in his pocket changed him into a kind of a super man.

His girlfriend's twin, Julianna Paige, is Falledge's deputy, struggling to solve several murders. Nicholas, and his alter ego the Black Hellebore, helps her, even as she helps him move on and even start to love again.

Unfortunately, Nicholas wasn't the only one changed in the laboratory explosion, and now there's a supervillain bent on destroying Falledge, and killing the Black Hellebore. But falling in love might prove more dangerous than any supervillain.

Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic! She's also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor.

When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending they're unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her favorite current TV show is The Walking Dead.

To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her website at or her blog at

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Other Books By Nicole You Really Want to Read: 
Woman of Honor (Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy, book 1)
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN-10: 1-936000-03-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-936000-03-6

Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.
Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparring classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love. 
The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.

Purchase links for Woman of Honor:

Knight of Glory (Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy, book 2)
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN-10: 1-936000-49-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-936000-49-4

Ranulf, the Speican lord, is dead, and Arnhem is safe, or so the Arnhemians believe.

Sir Geoffrey and his companions have just completed a mission for Queen Aislinn when he receives word of the Speicans attacking Arnhem. Geoffrey and his party, which now includes exile Jenanna, split up and rush to different kingdoms to ask for aid. Even as he fights for his kingdom and his life, Geoffrey finds himself torn between his new friend Jenanna and the mysterious lady Celestia he left behind in Arnhem.

Enlisting help is infinitely more difficult than they anticipated and to make matters worse, rumors abound that the Speicans have enlisted a mage to work unspeakable, forbidden magic. The war between Speica and Arnhem has just begun. Will Geoffrey survive the battle to live another day and discover which woman he truly loves?

Purchase links for Knight of Glory:

Champion of Valor (Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy, book 3)
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
ISBN-10: 1-61252-035-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-61252-035-3

The war between Specia and Arnhem now reaches the sea after the selkies discover the Mystical Conch Shell of the Sea has been stolen. Selliki the selkie sets out to find it, and Gabrael, the mage she loves. No union between a selkie and a human has ever had a happy ending, but neither can ignore their feelings. Each night, they experience terrible, real dreams that show how doomed their love is. Add the war, and their love is impossible. Only one kingdom will prevail; that is, if the world doesn't end.

Purchase links for Champion of Valor:

Barnes & Noble: