Ill Fated Release Day

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Rachel

Book Synopsis

Ill Fated Book 5 in The Maurin Kincaide Series

Some things are destined to end in death. After the first attempt on her life Maurin wasn’t scared. Hell, she was almost flattered. But someone put a price on her head and things are getting complicated. Trouble is brewing in the fae courts and it’s spilling over into Salem. The UnSeelie Dark Guard have answered the call for her head on a platter and people closest to her are disappearing.

Can Maurin master court politics and find her missing men before someone claims the bounty on her head?

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BUY LINK – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TI20TZC

Amazon Author Page ~ http://tinyurl.com/l3yfgcz
Paperback ~ $11.99
eBook ~ $2.99

Other books in The Maurin Kincaide Series by Rachel Rawlings

The Morrigna (book 1)

Witch Hunt (book2)

Wolfsbane (book 3)

Blood Bath (book 4)

Excerpt

“You’re awake?” He sounded more than a little surprised.

“I’m not really sure the state I’m in qualifies as awake.”

“Here I was, terrified to poke the dragon, and you’re already drinking coffee and talking in complete sentences.”

I snorted and took a sip of the aforementioned liquid gold. “Are you always like this in the morning?”

“If you’d let me sleep over you’d already know the answer to that question. Why aren’t you asleep?”

In general or just tonight, I silently wondered. “Bad dream. I’ve been tossing and turning all night. I finally gave in and got out of bed.”

Papers rustled in the background and when he spoke again, his voice was lower, intimate.”You want to talk about it?”

“Something tells me my nightmares are the least of our problems.”

“You have no idea. I need you to come down to my office.”

I sighed. “Can it at least wait until after sunrise?”

“Would I be breaking the no phone calls before noon policy if it could wait?”

“There really is no rest for the wicked, is there?”

He laughed and the sound warmed me more than a hundred cups of coffee. “Apparently not, in your case. Now, there’s a dirty chai latte and a croissant for you if you’re here before Amalie. I can’t promise real coffee and pastries will survive beyond five minutes of her arrival.”

“It’s four-thirty in the morning, Mas. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll make sure at least one dirty chai and croissant remain unmolested.”

“I’ll see you soon.” He was laughing as he hung up the phone.

Three hours ago I’d practically crawled through the doorway, exhausted from cleaning up after a newbie vamp who’d broken the Jus Sanguinis Intergentes when she killed her donor. The blood pact between people and vampires had a clear no killing, no exceptions clause.

It was up to the maker to ensure their child was ready to feed unsupervised. If something went wrong and the Council found out about it, we cleaned up the mess and the sire was subject to heavy fines and possible revocation of their rights to expand their blood lines. She’d been quite literally a bitch to track and take down.

It had been a long night and it was shaping up to be an even longer day.

I wasted little time getting dressed, opting for a slip on black jersey dress, eighteen hole Docs and a leather jacket. Jewelry was a hindrance in my line of work. My meeting with Mason could easily turn into a run. Choked with my own chain? No, thank you. Unclasping the necklace, I set it in a glass dish on my bathroom counter. I ran a brush through my hair, a toothbrush over my teeth and slipped into the between. I stepped out of the alley two buildings down from the station and walked the last block and a half.

Amalie was swarmed by detectives trying to get at the goodies she brought over from the Daily Grind. She greeted me with a warm smile, shaking her head when I offered to pull her out of the fray. She had managed to endear herself to the entire department in record time. All it took was real coffee and fresh pastries. I pointed to Mason’s office. She’d make her way over once the starving masses had their fill.

Mason was so engrossed in the file on his desk he didn’t hear me come in. He looked as tired as I felt – too many double shifts. Despite an uptick in activity, SPTF was short staffed due to budget cuts. Without enough man power to staff the shifts properly overtime was mandatory.

“Is that for me?” I pointed at the to-go cup and white paper bag on his desk.

He finally looked up and gave me a smile which lit up his whole face. “As promised.”

I stole a quick kiss, grabbed the coffee and croissant, and settled in the chair across from him. I took a long sip of my latte, savoring the delicious mix of tea and espresso. “Man, I needed this. Is that the case you’re working on?”

“Yeah, we’ve got a real problem on our hands.”

“Don’t we always.” I tried to peak at the file.

Mason closed the manila folder. “I’d rather wait until everyone is here.”

“Who else is coming besides Amalie?” My curiosity was definitely peaked now. I reached across his desk, hoping to grab the file.

“You look exhausted. Tell me about your dream while we wait.”

I narrowed my eyes and glared at him. “I see this for the obvious distraction it is but you’re right.” Sighing, I rubbed my temple.“However, I’m exhausted, too exhausted to argue. So I’ll tell you. Prepare to be confounded.”

He listened intently as I filled him in on the nightly visits from the weathered old woman who washed my clothes and hauntingly called my name. I expected him to laugh and tell me it was just a dream, that I had nothing to worry about.

I didn’t expect him to look so stricken.

“Bean Nighe.” He all but whispered the name.

“You’ve heard of her?”

“Of course I’ve heard of her. How long has she been coming to you?”

I stared at him curiously. “A few weeks. Why?”

“A few weeks and this is the first I’m hearing of it?” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, obviously struggling to control his temper.“We talked about this. No holding things back, remember?”

“I thought it was just a dream.” I shrugged.“Honestly, I didn’t think it was a big deal.”

“It was a big enough deal for you to research it.” Agitation rolled off him in waves.

When I agreed to give this thing with Mason a chance I also agreed to some conditions. No more flying solo, no more rash decisions or rushing off to play the hero. We were a team, in everything. This was just one of many set-backs.

“I got curious, did a little digging. Until tonight, everything I found pointed to deep seated family issues, particularly with a mother figure. I’ve told you about my childhood, does that dream analysis surprise you?”

His growl told me he wasn’t in the mood for reasonable—at least to me—explanations. “When did you discover the true meaning of the dream? How long have you known about the Bean Nighe?”

“Tonight. This morning. Before you called me.” I held up a hand to stop the tongue lashing I knew he wanted to give me. “I would have told you. I got the impression on the phone there were more pressing matters than my insomnia.”

“Is this why you won’t let me stay at your place?” His gaze roamed over my face, searching.“Why you never stay at mine?”

“Is that the real reason why you’re so upset?” I arched my brows. “Because we’re not having sleepovers?”

“I stayed at your lovely apartment the first night we met.”

I turned to watch Aidan glide into the room, stopping behind my chair. Rolling my eyes, I snorted and muttered, “In the closet.”

Mason’s jaw twitched but he didn’t take the bait. “Aidan.”

“It’s almost sunrise. Shouldn’t you be hunkered down for the day?” I sighed, wondering what he was doing here. I was too tired to deal with Aidan and Mason and their combined testoserone.

Putting the three of us in a room together was like throwing lit matches at sticks of dynamite – eventually one of them will explode.

Author Biography

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Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA. She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn’t until 2009 ago that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.

When she isn’t writing, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded Hallowread- an interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres.

She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.

Author QandA

Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

A. This is a little known fact about me- the inspiration part. I’d dabbled in writing every since middle school, poems and incomplete stories mostly. Even then I was passionately in love with reading and deep down wanted to write. Life happens and then marriage and three children- I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Flash forward to 2009. I was working the night shift and reading a very popular author. Thirteen books into her series I had become increasingly frustrated with the author’s vision. sure i understood it was her world, her story to tell but I kept thinking ‘if it were me, I’d write it like this’. And then I did. I’d email my best friend and the only other member of my book club, a chapter at a time until the book was finished.

Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

A. Some of the most influential authors in my life were Anne Rice- my personal hero, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe and Tolkein. And books, there’s so many…. To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, Treasure Island, The Most Dangerous Game (actually a short story) and of course the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?

A. Maurin had been bouncing around in my head for a while. She’s the no nonsense, bad ass heroine I like to think I am, lol! She’s a work in progress, trying to grow and find herself in a world that is ever changing, much like ours but with a slew of immortals and supernatural creatures. The men have a tendency to creep up on me. I think I’m writing a secondary character and then end up demanding more face time. Cash earned himself a novella that way.

Q. What motivates you to write?

A. I write because I enjoy it. It’s not easy, the words don’t always flow. Some days the word count is negative because I back out more than I keep but I have stories I want to tell and can’t ignore. I’m working on two at the same time- a first for me- with two more openings written. My to be written pile has waged a war with my to be read pile. It just may win. For me, it’s a love of the written word, I love words, love to write, I need to write. it’s not about the fame or fortune- though that would be an added bonus- just knowing someone read and enjoyed what I wrote is the real payoff.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing?

A. Time, carving it out every single day. I still have a family and outside priorities that I have to juggle. Writing is a very solitary thing, at least it is for me. getting over the guilt of taking time away from the ones I love to spend time in the worlds I love to create is tough.

Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

A. Writing The Morrigna reaffirmed two things for me. One- that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and you can be what ever you want to be, even a writer. And two- nothing worthwhile is easy. That might actually be three things, lol.

Q. Where do you get your ideas?

A. I don’t know where exactly sometimes like the book on my to be written pile Payable On Death was sparked b the song by Heaven Knows by Pretty Little Reckless, the name of the book came from the initials of another band P.O.D. I’m not sure what it means for the band but when I was a bank teller it meant Payable On Death. They played concurrently on 98Rock- a local radio station- and before you know it I had a character who sold her soul to the Devil at seventeen and had been fighting to make up for it ever since. They come from anywhere and everywhere.

Q. What does your family think of your writing?

A. My kids think I’m pretty rock star when they see a picture in a local paper or I’m off to another convention. My husband thinks my head is probably a scary place to live but he’s my biggest fan. I’m truly blessed to have the love and support of an amazing family.

Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?

A. Write every day. Write one sentence, one paragraph, one chpater. Just write. Everyday. Hire an editor, it’s money well spent. do the research to find the right one. You want an editor who will challenge you, ask questions, help you fill in the gaps and remove the unnecessary words. When you find them, hold on to them.

Author Links

Rachel Rawlings

http://www.RachelRawlings.com/
www.facebook.com/TheMaurinKincaideSeries
www.twitter.com/rachelsbooks

HallowRead Convention for fans of Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Steam Punk and Horror
www.Hallowread.com
www.Facebook.com/Hallowread
http://www.Hallowread.blogspot.com/

Co-Coordinator, Magnolias and Mausoleums, an author/reader event in New Orleans
www.MagnoliasAndMausoleums.com

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Dani’s Birthday 2014

Today is Dani’s Birthday!!! In honor of that, I let fans ask him questions on my Facebook page and Dani has answered! If you have a question of your own, feel free to ask!

 Jocelyn S asks: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Are you and Char getting married anytime soon? (If so, can I come to the wedding? LOL ) How old are you? Why do you play so many pranks? Especially on Thomas? What’s your favorite prank you ever pulled? How does it feel to be under water? Does it feel as natural as breathing air?

Dani: Probably about where I am now. Things seem to be going pretty good. Married by then maybe, we’ll see. I can’t decide if it’s creepy a total stranger wants to come to my wedding but…okay? I’m 86 now.  Pranks, why not? My brother and I were always playing pranks on each other when I was growing up. What can I say, he was a bad influence. And Tom is a great target. Plus, believe it or not, he does have a good sense of humor about it. He usually gets me back pretty good too. I don’t even know if I can name a favorite prank, there have been some good ones. The best are the ones that take a while, you know? So someone’s guard is down and then suddenly, prank! Boy, you’re full of questions, okay, under water. I imagine it feels quite a bit like a human snorkeling, except that whole I can breathe thing going on. There’s a really weird second when my lungs fill with water, that nobody ever really gets used to. Then, I’m fine. Just like breathing air! Although I do periodically inhale floating stuff by mistake. That usually hurts.

Cheree C asks: Can you explain the language, Panthalassish to us a bit?

Dani: Sure. I’m told it sounds complicated to someone who doesn’t speak it, but then I guess most languages are like that. It’s music-based. In fact, we don’t have an alphabet, if you want to write Panth you have to actually write out notes on a staff. And it’s not just a single stream of notes, it’s multiple notes at once. Like how you play two different parts of the same song on the piano with each hand. It can be ‘dumbed’ down into a more simplistic melody, but where’s the fun in that? It carries underwater, so we can talk anywhere. And, as an added advantage, we can talk out in public with non-magics around and just sound like we’re whistling. That is, if we speak in a register which humans can even hear.

Delphina asks: You know me, I want to know all about future wedding plans. I’m sure your mom does too

Dani: Oh god. What is with you people and my love life? My future wedding plans are: get a nice suit, round up some friends, tie the knot, throw a big party. The actual planning is going to be done by my mother. I have a feeling I’ll have very little say in what actually happens. It will probably get very involved and tedious. She nearly tripled what Pike was planning on spending on his.

Lynn S asks: If you could choose to spend your birthday with anyone and anywhere, with whom and where would you spend it? What was the last great prank you pulled? Will you and Char get married?

Dani: Honestly, I think I’m pretty easy to please. As long as I spend my birthday with good friends, I’m happy. Hell, I’d probably be happy just getting to spend the day alone with Char too. Birthday’s get a little less involved when you’ve had over eighty. The last great prank I pulled… I’m currently in the middle of a great one. I’m enrolled in an online class Pike is teaching and I’ve been sending him a series of increasingly ridiculous emails. By the end of the semester he’s going to think he has seriously unhinged student who is madly in love with him and stalking him. It’s going to be awesome. My grand finale is going to be pictures of his house. Yes, yes we will get married eventually. Do you people bother Tom with this?

Jennifer B asks: Do you think Char might want to share another exclusive story with us for Dani’s birthday?? Pretty pleaseeeee? To add to Lynn’s question… what was the last great prank pulled on you and who was responsible?

Dani: Wait what, he’s sharing stories about me? Oh god. Where is it? Last prank pulled on me? I don’t know who it is. SOMEONE is mailing me fish. Like, boxes of freaking live fish. Zebra Danios, in fact, it’s almost creepy. And they’re sending them to my office. The mail room probably thinks I’m insane. I had to buy an aquarium to put the damn things in. I have absolutely no idea who’s doing it, it’s been a month. I am going to kill somebody.

Lauren H asks: Is there a fresh water/salt water difference? As in, are there subsets of nereids or sirens that need one or the other, or is it just a personal preference?

Dani: Nope, it’s entirely personal preference. I can tell a difference in what I’m in, but I don’t particularly care one way or the other. I’m not a fan of extremely salty water. And I’ll always have a weak spot for the water around Greece – yes, I can tell.

 Crystal B asks: Any little steam monsters in Dani and Char’s future?! And what is it about Char, after a long life and many men, that convinced Dani that this was more permanent? How do the different bodies of water interact with water elementals? Salt/fresh/brackish, etc.

Dani: Ember is more than enough for now, thank you very much. Maybe in the far distant future. As for Char… first, there haven’t been that many men! I’ve only ever been serious with a couple, Char included. But why fix what’s not broken? He gets me, he loves me. More importantly, he’s put up with a lot of shit from me over the years. And I love him. We still have a great time together. It’d be crazy to break up and give this up  in case there’s somebody else out there. We’re happy together. And on to water! They don’t really affect us, exactly. We can tell the difference. Stagnant or dirty water will make us sick if we hang out. Then again, if you’ve got some nasty water with a bunch of dead fish in it or something, you’re just asking for trouble if you go swimming there. Now, internally our chemistry will change based on what we’re in. Going for a brief swim in salt water isn’t going to change much, but spend a few hours or days in it and we’ll actually absorb enough to alter ourselves from fresh to salt water. No real consequences or side effects to that. We’ll just ‘be’ salt water until we get out and spend an extended period of time in fresh. Then, we’ll gradually change to fresh water again.

And that’s it! Thanks to everyone who asked a question to help celebrate Dani’s birthday!  You’re more than welcome to wish him happy birthday or pick his brain some more in the comments! If you don’t know who Dani is (gasp!) you can meet him in Semester Aboard and then you can get a look at his past in the adult novel, Danio’s Prelude.

Joann Buchanan’s Blog Tour Interview



 Joann Buchanan has stopped by the blog today for her tour of I Am Wolf! She’s answered some fun questions and shared her links. Enjoy the read and be sure to follow her via her links and on the rest of the tour! 

*Where are you from? 
I was raised in San Diego. 

*Coffee, tea or chocolate and why? 
Coffee and chocolate, because it combines two of my faves in one. Mocha Late’

*What one animal do you think fits you the most and why? 
I have to go with wolf, I’m fierce when it comes to protecting kids and I love having a big family. 


*What does reading mean to you?Reading is an escape from the every day world we live in. For a short amount of time, I get to travel to other worlds, fall in love and go on adventures. I get to solve mysteries and even make friends who love the same books as I do. 


*When and why did you begin writing? 
I was 12 when I started writing. 

*When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
It’s really odd, because I have had 2 pieces of work published through a company but it wasn’t until recently that I considered myself a writer. I was doing my Writer Tip Tues show with Jack Remick when I realized I’m a writer. See we were doing a flash exercise and I caught something that improved on the submission. At that point I thought wow, I’m a writer. Up until then, even with two pieces of work published, I considered myself just a student. In a lot of ways I still do. However, I’m also a writer and that is surreal and cool to be able to say. 

*What inspired you to write your first book? 
I was grounded to my room with only books to read that I had already read and paper to write on. I chose to write a book. It was really just something to waste time with. I didn’t know until that point that I would fall in love with writing. 

*Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to immerse my readers into the worlds I create. I like to paint a picture that they can see, taste, touch and feel everything my characters are experiencing. I think it breathes life into a story. If I have a character that bites her nails when she is nervous, I let the reader know. If there is a smell of honey suckle, then I want my readers to know it. Other than that, I just want them to have a great time learning and getting to know my characters. 

*What was your life like before becoming an author? 
Less hectic…most people don’t realize that there is a lot of work to be done after you are published. The amount of PR work that is involved in getting the word out about a novel is amazing. 

*What sparked the idea for your series? 
The wolves were inspired from a folklore I found about this warrior who was born with a wolf spirit and human spirit in him. Both sides were always fighting to get out, then one night he was needed in battle and the warrior let his wolf spirit free and won the battle. I got to thinking about that story and the simplicity of it and how it must have been for the character. Then I thought what would the consequences be if the wolf came out and bit a human. Then I asked myself, what if the whole reason for the wolf spirit was to assist in maintaining the balance of nature.

Also as lame as it sounds, I wanted to convey the message that everything has consequence and purpose and that abuse of power would lead to darkness in life. I also wanted to show the real line between good and evil in all the choices we make. If I did my job right, then I achieved that and entertained at the same time. That part is the important part of it all. The entertainment part that is. I should probably tell you that everything that happens in book 1 is important. There isn’t a single thing in there that’s just because I thought it would be cool…lol. Every event, scene and interaction is integral to the rest of the story.  

*Which comes first? 
The first word on the page. 

*What was your favorite part of the book? 
Cara’s wonderland. She is a beautiful character that has a vivid imagination and full of spirit. 

*How personal is your writing?
I think all writing is personal. I mean really when you look at it, every story we write comes from within us. We have both dark and light sides and we use those sides of us to create the worlds. We are the monster, the angel, the mom and dad, we are the everything in our books. The characters are real, because they are from us.

*What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? 
Keep learning, reading and writing. Those are the most important things you can do. 

*What is your favorite authors/books? 
Stephen King, Frank Herbert, Stephanie Meyers, David B. Coe, R.A. Salvatore. 

*If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would like to sit down with Stephen King. He has been in the business for so long. I would like to just listen to what he had to say about his life in the writing community. There is so much we can all learn from one another, and he has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. Between him and David B. Coe, they shaped the way I write and think about the worlds I create. I have had the opportunity to talk with David B. Coe, but I was so nervous that I messed up the interview. I will never forget his kindness though. 

*Tell us your latest news?
I’m doing my first appearance in Amarillo and Lubbock Texas on March 24th. On March 23rd, I’m going to be on the morning show on television. That is going to be a first for me. I can’t wait. Also, The Kiss, book 2 is almost ready to ship off to the editor. It’s slated to be released in June. I can’t wait to see what people think of what is going on in Sister’s Oregon and with the Tibolt’s clan. 


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Interview with Sheryl Steines

Please enjoy this interview with Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

If you could travel in a time machine, would you go back to the past or into the future? 
I would go to the past, meet famous people, see history as it happened.  I’d be afraid to go to the future.  I’m not sure I really want to know when I die.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be? 
This might be to expected, but I would love to live at Hogwarts, stroll through Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, play with all the magical stuff, and visit the Weasleys at their house.  I saw the Harry Potter exhibit at the museum a few years ago, and it just seemed so fun.

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? 
Sandra Bullock.  Since she became a movie star, people all over the place tell me I look like her.  She’s also funny.  I can only imagine how much more interesting and funny my life would be if she were the lead.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I always knew I wanted to be a writer.  There were times that I thought I wanted to be an interior decorator, but in the end, I was always much happier writing and creating.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
I have two.  The first would be Stephen King.  I was always amazed by the detail and imagination he used in his books, especially the earliest books.  I watched him on an interview many years ago and he was talking about the things he was afraid of, one of which was sleeping with his feet outside the covers at night.  He would always cover his feet so that the monsters under the bed wouldn’t get him.  I laughed so hard because I do the same thing.  J.K. Rowling is also a favorite.  Her life story and Harry Potter reminded me that I wanted to be a writer when I was seven.  She reminded me of the genre that I loved.  It got me thinking about what stories intrigued me.  I watched her interview on Oprah and cried through the entire thing.  It got me thinking of ways to take my personal experiences and hide them in the fantasy world.

What do you do in your free time? 
I read, a lot.  In the winter, I spend time at museums and go shopping.  In the summer, I love to go to flea markets.  You could never have too many fleas.  I love to travel.  I spend most of the summer driving my 1966 Mustang convertible.

What is your guilty pleasure? 
I’m a huge fan of Ninja Warrior.  Yeah, the Japanese obstacle course.  On one side, it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.  On the other side of it, the obstacles are so challenging, and the participants are so revered for making it through each stage that it is a huge honor to win.

Favorite places to travel? 
I love Europe, London being my favorite city.  I’ve been to Scotland, France, Italy, Germany and Austria.  The Austrian/German Alps are some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.

Favorite way to spend a rainy day? 
In front of the television watching my favorite movies.  Who doesn’t love Ferris Buehler’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles.

If you could have a superpower, what would you choose? 
Telekinesis!  Then I could clean my house without actually having to do anything.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

Help my blog win:
The tour blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card. When you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to VOTE FOR ME.

About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds.  Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Sales and Pictures and Pins

As of just a few moments ago I “sold” my 100th book since adding Semester Aboard to the Smashwords Read an E-Book Week sale!  All this week Semester Aboard – and countless other books – are free or deeply discounted on Smashwords!  This is really exciting, especially considering that I had under 100 total buys before entering the sale.  I’ve seen a few more people add to their Goodreads shelves since the sale started as well.  I’m beyond thrilled.

Yesterday the “interview” with Charlie went live.  You can find it here!  It was a fun little twist on an interview.  If anyone wants to interview another of my characters let me know!  It was a blast!

Today, a sneak peek of Semester Aboard was posted on Indies Unlimited. I may be doing a guest post with them as well in the near future.

In celebration of the interview with Charlie, I had a little contest on my Facebook Page where people posted pictures of what they think he looks like!  I chose three winners and then posted a picture I had found.  The winners each got a signed bookmark, I’ll be doing a bunch of shout-outs and page promos for them, and I pinned their winning pictures on Pinterest: my newest addiction!  And, obviously, they are also getting mentioned here!

First we have a lovely shot David Wenham from Melissa Ringstead of There for You Editing! She would also like me to give a shout-out to Anchor Group Publishing. I stumbled onto some pictures of him when looking for my own vision of Charlie and considered them for a bit.  I guess great minds think alike!

Next, we have Jenny Needham’s picture of someone who reminds me of Big Pete.  If anyone knows who this is, let me know!  Jenny requested a shout-out for Black Words-White Pages, who will be doing a giveaway when they hit 300 likes! As I said on Facebook, Charlie would never let himself get this scruffy, but you never know!

Last, but not least, we have someone you probably all know, posted by Brittany Hiester.  She asked me to promo the page My Home Away From Home, which is a great page!  So, here we have Rupert Grint! I hesitated to choose his picture, since we all know which magical story he’s famous for. But, that may be the price I pay for having a red-head of my own.  To be fair, aside from being too tall, he is a good Charlie!
 And now, the one I came across!  This is Kirsten Myburgh, and I guess he was rumored as playing Tin-Tin or something, IMDB is vague.  Anyway, other than having eyes the wrong color he is just about spot-on as Charlie!  I sent a picture of him to my go-to Semester Aboard guru and her immediate response was “Char!”
I’m excited to do this for the rest of the characters too!  Start finding pictures!  Thank you to everyone who entered this contest!
And last, but not least, I have finally gotten into Pinterest!  I’ve been adding pictures that remind me of Semester Aboard!

Leap Day Post

I could have posted this yesterday, but I get a child-like excitement whenever I see February 29th written. In fact, I have a “diary” that I started in 2000 that I only read and write in on February 29th. I’m looking forward to finding it sometime today and reading it.  Enough about that.  Since it’s the end of a rather exciting month, I think I’ll take a moment to sum it all up.

February 5th was Semester Aboard‘s half-birthday. It’s a little surreal to think that it’s been published for half a year. It’s even more unbelievable to me when I think about everything that’s happened in just six months. I broke 500 fans on the Facebook page this month: a goal I thought was unreachable when I was struggling to get my first 25. Not a week goes by when a book on some website doesn’t sell and I keep getting (very kind and amazing!) reviews! 

Barnes & Noble reported their sales to Smashwords yesterday and I’ve already sold 36 (16 in February alone) in 2012.  I sold 66 at B&N from August to December.  My mind is just blown away that I’ve already sold more than half that!  Honestly, it’s just all so exciting that I can’t believe it.

I have official bookmarks now, some have already been mailed out to people who have won them!

And last, but not least, there are a lot of exciting things coming up!  Semester Aboard is going to be a feature on Indies Unlimited on March 7 (I posted the link, but it won’t work until the 7th). I’ll also be doing a guest post for them soon.  There will also be an interview with Charlie going up sometime this weekend – yes, Charlie the character from Semester Aboard.  It was really fun and I’m hoping to do more character interviews in the future.

In other news, the wedding count-down numbers are getting dreadfully small.  I’ll still be about as often as I can, but expect me to all but vanish in mid-April.  Then, although I love you all, I won’t be mucking around on blogger on my honeymoon, so I’ll be gone for a week.

It’s also worth mentioning that I’ve got an on-going pseudo contest on my Facebook Page. Basically, I’ve gotten jealous of all of the beautiful pictures I see on other pages. The only pictures I have are my cover, my writing happy place, and a lonely, lovely piece of fanart.  So, I’m asking people (no artistic talent necessary, just use google!) to find images that remind them of Semester Aboard and post them to my page, along with a comment that explains why you chose the picture.  Once I have enough to make it a decent contest (like 5 or 6) I’ll choose the 3 best and the winners will either get a signed bookmark or a free digital copy of Semester Aboard.  Yes, I realize that last prize doesn’t help people who have it already.  If you don’t have it, you can read the first four chapters right here – I think that will be enough to inspire you to find a picture.

Thanks for taking the time to read my long-winded nonsense!

Author Interview – Kymberlee Burks Miller

I’m excited today to give you an interview with the author of Compulsion, Kymberlee Burks-Miller! 

She has kindly offered a free copy of Compulsion to the first response to this post!  Please comment with a question for the fantastic Kymberlee to win!

Kymberlee, please tell us a little about yourself and the novels you’ve had published.

Well my name is Kymberlee Burks-Miller, but those close to me call me bunny.  I’m a self-confessed shopaholic, and hermit.  I have been known to talk to myself…alot!  I’m pretty straight forward, whatcha see is whatcha get.  My 1st YA Paranormal Romance novel, Compulsion is published.  Compulsion is a new twist on a story as old as time.  Girl meets Boy.  Girl falls in love.  She finds out she’s a witch, and he’s a vampire and they live happily ever…wait!  Nope it’s an original story:)  Compulsion takes you on a journey of self discovery, and a supernatural adventure.  From page one, you jump into the action.  If you love YA, if you can’t get enough of the supernatural, and if you need another hot book crush then Compulsion is for you.

What genre do you prefer to write? Why?

I write alot of paranormal.  I think it’s because I have been obsessed with the things that go bump in the night since I was a little girl. I was sure that there really was a monster in my closet, and I wanted to meet him. The thrill of the unknown.

Complete this sentence:  Nobody knows this about me, but I really love to ____dance in my kitchen when no one is watching me______.

Do you have any writing rituals? Self-imposed rules?

I don’t know if I would call them rules…but I have to have coffee, and lots of it! I wear my fuzzy socks, jammies.  My Ipod is a must.  And I go to the seclusion of my batcave.*

* To learn more about Kymberlee’s batcave, tune in to Spellbound Radio and listen to the broadcast from 01/04/12!  Be sure to like their fantastic page too!

Regarding writing, what one piece of advice do you consider most valuable?

I was told when I was younger, that if I REALLY wanted something then I needed to fight for it.  That is so true.  Today, there are so many amazing new authors that you really do have to fight to get your work into the right hands.

What do you believe to be the high points of being a published author? What about the low points, if any?

The high point is being able to talk to all of the fans!  I love hearing all of the comments.  I love the fact that via social media, I can answer their questions instantly.  As for a low point, I really haven’t had one:)

What are you working on currently?

At the moment, I am working on Conversion; the follow up to CompulsionEnchantment, a completely different series, and my childrens’ series Ravenwood.

What is your favorite quote (any topic)?
 

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~Oscar Wilde

You’re on a desert island, which three books (other than your own) would you have with you to read and re-read until you, hopefully, are rescued?

My antique complete works of William Shakespeare, The Vampire Academy (book 1), and a how to book~How to get yourself off of a desert island for Dummies. 🙂

Thank you so much Kymberlee!

Compulsion is available from Smashwords for only $2.99!  And don’t forget that there’s a chance to win a free copy here!

To learn more about Compulsion and to keep an eye on Kymberlee and her other projects, stop by her Facebook pages for Compulsion and her Author Page.

And email her at kymberleeburksmiller AT yahoo DOT com!

Character Meme 2 of 6: Dani

Just a recap for those of you who missed the first one — the characters of Semester Aboard are filling out one of those internet surveys!  I’ve got a poll up on facebook where people can vote for the order they’re posted in!  Thomas was chosen first, you can read his here.

Next up is Dani!   As before, no spoilers.  Just some easter eggs!
  
If you’re new to the More than Magic world (or the ones who haven’t read Thomas’ yet) Semester Aboard begins at night.  Our narrator, Jen, is on a summer study abroad program that takes place on a ship.  As the story opens, the students have just gotten back on the ship after several days in Mexico, their first port.  The ship is just getting ready to leave and sail on to Panama.  From there…well, Jen stumbles across something a bit magical…

For our purposes, let’s say that the students all returned to their rooms to find a “Get to Know Each Other” thing waiting for them to fill out.

And now: Dani!

Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, What can you touch?
    Air.  The wall if I lean.

Before you started this survey, what were you doing?
    Waiting in line to get my stupid key fixed.   

What is the last thing you watched on TV?
    A fantastically corny Indiana Jones rip-off.  I’m going to watch the sequel too, unless Mariana smashes the TV.

With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
    The aforementioned movie, Mariana working on her computer, terrible music she keeps turning up, the engines, waves, and some whales off somewhere.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
    I was up on Deck 7 watching the water and grabbing a late night snack.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?
    A painting of a skiff and a little dock.

What is the last film you saw?
    Again: the Indiana Jones rip-off.  Also, I saw The A-Team before we left the states.  Great movie.

Do you like to dance?
    Willingly?

Would you ever consider living abroad?
    Abroad as in “not in my birth country?”  Cause…I do…

Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
    My mother.

What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?
    A lot of legal music to legally put on my ipod.

Last time you swam in a pool?
    Not a big pool guy.

Type of music you like most?
    Nearly anything.

Type of music you dislike most?
    Rap.

Are you listening to music right now?
    Movie music.  And some godawful teenybop that Mariana’s listening to.

What color is your bedroom carpet?
    Tan, but this carpet is blue.

What was the last thing you bought?
    A Mexican mask, a tee-shirt, and some really good mystery food from a street vendor.

Have you ever ridden on a motorbike?
    Yes.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?
    I would.  But check CLIFF DIVING IN ACAPULCO off my to-do list!  Now, that was fun!  I think my life was at a greater risk when I told Charlie.

Do you have a garden?
    Yes.

Do you really know all the words to your national anthem?
    Of course.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
    If I really need to get up.

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?
    Oh man…Patrick Stewart maybe.  Or Gene Wilder.  Or Harrison Ford.  Wait no, Sir Ian McKellen. Can we have a group lunch?

Who sent the last text message you received?  What did it say?
    Tom.  “sure, i’ll be up soon.”

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
    Hm…that’s a tie between Best Buy, Sports Authority, and World Market.  Or can I say Amazon.com?

What time is bed time?
    When I get tired.

How many tattoos do you have?
    Five.  Sort of six.

What did you do for your last birthday?
    Went out for a nice dinner and a movie.

Who was the last person you ate dinner with?
    A nice NM girl named Jen who braved the mystery tacos with me.

What’s the farthest-away place you’ve been?
    From…Greece?  Michigan?  New York?  Probably Vietnam.  But soon Chile!

When’s the last time you ate a homegrown tomato?
    Earlier this summer.

Have you ever won a trophy?
    Only one?

Are you a good cook?
    Sure am.

Do you know how to pump your own gas?
    Are there…people who can’t?

If you could meet any one person (from history or currently alive), who would it be?
    Damn, that’s a tough one.  A President or Composer would be pretty splashy.

Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school?
    Nope.

Do you touch-type?
    Yes.

What’s under your bed?
    I haven’t looked recently.  Probably a bunch of stuff I think is lost.  This bed has my dufflebag under it.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
    Sure do.

Think fast, what do you like right now?
    Cliff diving!

Where were you on Valentine’s day?
    Digging out my car to go to work.  And then at a fancy restaurant.

What time do you get up?
    As late as possible.

Is there anything going on this weekend?
    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m swimming to the bottom of Lake Gatun.

How are you feeling right now?
    Bored.  Hence the survey.

Do you sing in the shower?
    All the time.

Which came first the chicken or the egg?
      The rooster.   

How many keys on your key ring?  What do they go to? 
Eleven.  My house, my garage, my car, Charlie’s car, Tom’s house, Mariana’s car because it was my car, my office, my mother’s house, my mother’s boat-house, and my brother’s house.  I don’t know what the last one goes to.  I should probably get rid of it.

What kind of car do you drive?
    A silver Ford Escape.

What is your favorite time of the day?
    Any time.

Where did you grow up?
    Off the coast of Greece.

How far away from your birthplace do you live now?
    Quite far.

What are you reading now?
    This.  And also “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”.  It’s pretty much my new favorite book.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
    Night owl.

Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
    Yes.

Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows?
    How can I tell if my eyes are closed?

How many rings before you answer the phone?
    Depends on who is calling.  One for most friends, two at work, and I let my mother go to voice mail.

Red rose or white?
    Red
Salt or pepper?
    Salt
Pink or blue?
    Blue
Hamburgers or hot dogs?
    Hamburgers
Music or movies?
    Both
Comedy or horror?
    Both
Action or adventure?
    Action
Summer or winter?
    Both
Sun or stars?
    Both
Funny or romantic?
    Both.  These are a bit tough.
Crunchy or creamy peanut butter?
    Creamy
Rings or necklaces?
    Neither
Camping out or slumber party?
    Camping
White or dark chocolate?
    Dark
Night or day?
    Both
Surfing or snowboarding?
    Both!
Soft candy or hard candy?
    Hard
Phone or e-mail?
    Either
Pencil or pen?
    Pen
Pizza or chicken wings?
    Pizza
Spiderman or batman?
    No love for Superman?
Snow or rain?
    Rain.
Water or milk?
    Water!
Fruit or vegetable?
    Fruit
Inside or outside?
    Outside
Sweet or sour?
    Both
Shoe or clothes shopping?
    Clothes
Long or short hair?
    Short
Cocky or shy?
    Cocky
Ocean or pool?
    Ocean
Dancing or singing?
    Singing
Couch or chair?
    Couch
Hot chocolate or coffee?
    Coffee
Cake or pie?
    Pie
Butter or margarine?
    Butter
Chili or clam chowder?
    Clam chowder
Sausage or bacon?
    Bacon
Sandals or tennis shoes?
    Barefoot
Twister or connect four?
    Twister
Lobster or crab?
    Crab
Mexican or Italian food?
    I hate to choose Italian, but probably.
Fall or Spring
    Both
Truth or Dare?
    Dare

Who do you want to see next?

An Interview with Kerrelyn Sparks

Kerrelyn Sparks, the author of the popular paranormal romance series, Love at Stake, shared a few minutes of her time to answer some of my questions back in April.  I posted it on a site where I freelance, but I’m not sure how many people who are actually interested in paranormal romance have gotten a chance to read it!  It doesn’t seem to get much traffic (in fact it’s been viewed less than 100 times in six months!) so I thought I’d post it here.

If you haven’t read any of her books, be sure to!  I was lucky enough to get an ARC of her newest novel, Sexiest Vampire Alive, and it’s awesome!  I’ll probably put a review of that up here soon as well.

Enjoy!

Elizabeth: Your first paranormal romance book came out in 2005. What inspired you to write paranormal romance?

Kerrelyn: I actually grew up reading a lot of historical romance, so once I started writing, that was the subgenre I tried first. In 2002, my first book, a historical romance, was released (For Love or Country). Soon after that, paranormal romances became popular, and I was instantly intrigued. I realized that my favorite historicals had always contained strong paranormal elements (like Green Darkness by Anya Seton, the Merlin series by Mary Stewart, or Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux). Paranormal romance would allow my imagination to run wild, so I thought it would be great fun to write. And I was right–it is fun! My first paranormal romance, How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, released in 2005, and it’s been a thrill ride ever since!

Q: You’ve got quite a few books under your belt. Vampire Mine is coming out soon and Sexiest Vampire Alive will be out in September. Not only that, but you consistently make the USA Today bestseller list. How does it feel to be a successful author?

It’s a dream come true. I wake up in the morning and think, ‘How did I get so lucky?’ And when I get e-mails and letters from readers who say I made them smile even when they’re currently enduring pain or hardship, then I feel truly blessed and grateful. I try to remember that warm and fuzzy feeling when deadlines are coming too fast, the words are coming too slow, and I’m asking myself, ‘Whatever possessed you to think you could write a book?’

Q: Was writing something you always wanted to do?

Yes, but as you can see above, I have a problem with self-doubt. Even though I had the desire to write a book, I didn’t believe I could do it. Fear caused me to procrastinate for years. Even now, I have moments in each book where I fear I can’t pull it off. Fortunately, there’s a horrendous thing even scarier than self-doubt. It’s called a deadline, and it forces me to push through and keep going. And when the words do flow and the book seems to magically come together, it’s the greatest feeling ever!

Q: I frequently see authors tell aspiring authors to read, read, read! What books have influenced you most?

I agree with that. I never took a writing class. My classroom was my mind soaking up thousands of books over the course of my life. All that reading helps you develop good instincts. Every reader knows when a book is working, when it keeps them so intrigued they don’t realize five hours have gone by. My early favorite authors were Anya Seton and Mary Stewart. Then later, I fell for Kathleen Woodiwiss, Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick), Julie Garwood, LaVyrle Spencer, and Jude Deveraux. Their books influenced me the most.

Q; Where and when do you get most of your writing done?

Wherever and whenever I can. I’ve had to write in cars, planes, hotel rooms, waiting rooms, and gymnasiums. This is probably true for most writers. In an ideal world, I would always write at home in my office, everyone would leave me alone for hours, and dinner would magically appear.

Q: Now that we’ve got e-books and e-readers, it seems like the book world is changing. Have these changes impacted you or your writing style at all?

The writing is the same, but the business side of being an author is changing. It’s an exciting time! I’m watching it closely, but for the time being, I’m delighted to stay traditionally published with HarperCollins.

Q: I often see authors being asked for advice for new writers, so I’m going to turn that around. What do you consider the best advice you were given when you were starting out?

To act like I already was what I wanted to be. In other words, since I wanted to be published, I dressed and behaved like a professional writer from the beginning.

Q: Which of your books are you most proud of?

The one that just released, Vampire Mine!

Q: My last question, I’ll admit, is mainly for my own curiosity. I love that some of your vampires are Scottish, complete with accents and kilts! What inspired their heritage?

My Scottish ancestors arrived in America in the late 1600s, so you wouldn’t think I could have a strong tie to Scotland. But whenever I’m in Scotland, it feels like I’ve come home. The good Vamps in my books are usually warriors who were transformed as they lay dying on battlefields, and unfortunately, history is full of brave Scotsmen dying in battle. I also wanted my vampire heroes to have a strong sense of honor and a good sense of humor, and the Scotsmen seemed perfect for that. And the kilt—who can resist a guy in a kilt? Writing the accent comes naturally to me, but I have to admit I talk like a Texan!

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