Monday, 16 January 2017

Author Interview - Maggie Mundy

Happy Monday! I'm sure there's a Monday/Mundy pun to be made here, but I'm above such cheap laughs (I'm really not), so let's skip over that and go straight to the fun part! Maggie Mundy kicked off her Dark Storm series last autumn with IDOLIZE. She was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me and share a bit about the book and her writing life, so let's go!






Tell us a little bit about your IDOLIZE.
Idolize is book one in the The Dark Storm series. The books are based around the lives of actors on the show.

Blurb

Cassi moved to LA to escape a violent past and wants anonymity for herself and her son. She is starting to get her life back on track when she meets Declan Reed. He is latest hit on the Hollywood scene, playing the lead in the TV series Dark Storm. She gets the love of a TV star, and the fame that comes with it causes her past to come back and haunt her with what could be fatal consequences.


Was there any part of this story you found particularly tough to write? If so, why? 
I wrote phone sex. I have never done it, so I researched what was acceptable. It seems anything goes as long as you are happy consenting adults.

Ah, okay! That seems a good rule for life in general. Do you have a favorite genre to write in?
It used to be paranormal romance but now I really like contemporary fiction

Are there any genres you haven't tried yet that you really want to?
I am trying to write women's fiction at the moment and loving the woman's journey part of the story.

If you could have dinner with any three writers, living or dead, who would they be?
Jane Austen. I’d like to find out the real story behind her life and loves. Nora Roberts. She is just amazing. JK Rowling. She helped my dyslexic daughter learn to read.

Are there any books you can just read over and over again and never get sick of?
Pride and Prejudice. Love it.

It's always hard to beat the classics! If you could recommend any book (beside your own) to everyone reading this, what would it be?
I love Sophie Jorden’,s Devil’s Rock series for contemporary and The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant for a bigger historical read. Don’t expect an HEA with the second one.

I haven't read any of these! Obviously time to add them to my TBR pile. Now, the killer question. Tea or coffee?
 Tea. My mother used to call me teapot when I was a kid because I drank so much of it.

The correct answer! Apart from writing, what are your great passions in life?
My family.

And finally, what else are you working on right now? What's up next from you?
I am working on book two in the series called Fantasize. It is about a paparazzi, a blackmailer, and Gemma, one of the actresses on the Dark Storm show.


So that's Maggie and IDOLIZE! Like the sound of it? You can pick up your copy at the following places:


And pretty much anywhere ebooks are sold! You can also grab Maggie's latest release, RANDOM MEETING.  

And if you want to keep up with Maggie online, here's where to find her:



 Want a taste of IDOLIZE? Read on for an excerpt!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Guest Blog - Norah Bennett gives you everything you ever dreamed of

Say hello to Norah Bennett! She's here to day with the second in her Love in Lakes Crossing series, EVERYTHING I'VE EVER DREAMED OF. And there's a giveaway! Be sure to check out the link under the buy links for details. In the meantime, let's see what's going on in Lakes Crossing...



Everything I’ve Dreamed Of
By Norah Bennett

​Buy Links: 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MR3847R/
Evernight: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/everything-ive-dreamed-of-by-norah-bennett/

Giveaway: 
http://gvwy.io/0fg2991

Kate Willowbrook dreams of a life filled with beauty –– a man who loves her, friends, and a home. At eighteen, Kate's dreams are replaced by nightmares when she witnesses a crime. Kate runs, never settling down or trusting anyone. Ten years later Kate discovers the small town of Lakes Crossing and Noah Reed. 

When Noah’s wife is killed in an accident, he buries himself in work and family obligations, believing he will never find love again until he meets Kate. The more he learns about her, the more he is drawn to her and his protective instincts kick into overdrive.​

Noah is everything Kate has ever dreamed of, but his take-charge attitude is scaring up old demons she fought hard to bury. If they can’t find a way to strike a balance that satisfies both their deepest needs, they could lose their second chance at love.





Excerpt

Kate pierced him with her green eyes. “I’m certain there’s no shortage of women who would be happy to go out with you. Why me?”

Noah’s cocky grin faded into a soft smile that stole her breath. His eyes darkened as he focused on her. She could feel the heat creeping up her cheeks again, and she couldn’t believe she asked him that question. She didn’t even know why she did, except that she wanted to hear his answer. If she let herself fall for this beautiful man, with a killer smile and the softest brown eyes in the world, she’d fall hard and fast. If she were just a toy to him, one that he got bored of and discarded after a while, she’d be devastated. She had lost so much already and survived, but Kate wasn’t sure she could survive his games. If she allowed herself to hope and dream of a life with Noah but then lost it all, she’d crumble, and no amount of superglue would put her back together.

 Kate waited for his answer, her eyes locked with his and he didn’t let her down. 

“Yes, I won’t deny that I’ve dated other women and there are those who wouldn’t turn me down for a date, but they’re not you.”

Noah reached for her hand, and she let him feel the tremble that ran through her as he engulfed her small hand in his. He raised her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers, never taking his gaze off her. 

“You say you’re not special to anyone, but that’s not true. see something special, someone special. I know we don’t know each other very well, but if you give us a chance to change that, together, we may be something special. We won’t know unless we try.”

Kate’s breath hitched, and her heart squeezed. Jesus, the man had a way with words. How did he know what she needed to hear? Now she understood what Roberta Flack meant when she sang, Killing me Softly. He was clawing at the door to her heart, and she didn’t think she was strong enough to resist him, even knowing that she may get shredded if she let him in.

Kate dropped her gaze again as they began to fill. Her breathing was ragged, and her heart broke its confines and was on the run. Whether it wanted to be caught by Noah or not, Kate wasn’t certain. 

Special. 

Kate had waited thirty-one years to hear someone call her special. She struggled to rein in her emotions and push back the tears that threatened to roll down her cheeks. She wanted to go out with Noah so badly it hurt. She wanted to get to know him and to be a part of his world, but she was terrified. Good visited her very few times in her life. The instant it arrived, she began preparing for its departure. Good was a temporary visitor and a fickle one at that. 

“Come on, Kate. I can sense you’re afraid. I swear I’m a nice guy. I’ll do my damnedest not to disappoint or hurt you. Take a chance. Take a chance on me.”

Kate heard the vulnerability in Noah’s voice. She explored his handsome face, a face she was sure she would never tire of admiring. All traces of his earlier cockiness vanished. Instead, it was replaced by a rawness, an earnestness, a tenderness she’d never seen before. That was the look Kate would remember for a lifetime. Years from now, she would say that was the exact moment she knew, if Noah Reed asked her, she would be his for a lifetime. 

Kate let out a slow breath and with a soft smile, she whispered, “Okay, Noah Reed. I’ll take a chance … a chance on you. I’ll go out with you.”



About the Author

Norah lives a double life. By day she is a suit-wearing, prim and proper, professor, administrator, researcher, and lecturer. By night she is a PJ wearing dreamer and writer of books that make people sigh, smile, cry, laugh, fall in love and believe in second chances.

Norah lives in Andover, New Jersey with her husband of thirty years, a cranky geriatric maltipoo, and an obnoxious cockatoo who runs the house and terrifies all its inhabitants. 

Norah discovered the joy and escapism that comes from reading at the age of twelve and swears books saved her life and her sanity. Through reading, she has travelled the globe and learned all kinds of equally useful and useless skills such as the proper way to eat a pomegranate, carve a watermelon, or bathe an elephant. These are skills she has passed down to her two daughters who are incredibly supportive, but often wish she had a wider scope of hobbies. 

Norah has a long publishing history in academia, but she started writing fiction recently. In July 2016 she published her first work of fiction, R.I.L.Y. Forever with Evernight Publishing and in January 2017 her second book, Everything I’ve Dreamed Of, was also published by Evernight Publishing. Currently, she is working on her third novel, Six Months. Digital and print copies of her books can be purchased at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/R-I-L-Y-Forever-Norah-Bennett-ebook/dp/B01IFH66CK/


Social Media Links
Website: http://www.norahbennett.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealNorahB?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/norahbennettbooks/
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15291745.Norah_Bennett?
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Norah-Bennett/e/B01IFN2V46/

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Wednesday Snippet - The tip of the blade looked sharp...



It's Wednesday, and that means it's snippet day! Dawn is fast becoming my favourite character to do horrible things to. She's just so done with everything and would really rather just not, you know? But she gets up and does it anyway, because she knows giving up is going to be worse than carrying on. I feel like I'm trying to keep a few plates spinning with her arc in Lich Queen, because whilst I do want it to be clear that this is a woman struggling with grief and depression, I also want it to be clear that she's a fighter. I have my own experiences of grief and depression to draw on, but I don't want to write about me. I want to write about Dawn.

Anyway, with that said, this snippet is not about grief or depression, and hopefully you'll enjoy it! Read on, fearless reader...


Friday, 6 January 2017

Flashback Friday - April Zyon and Hacked!

Yes, I'm making Flashback Friday a thing. Mostly because I am so behind on posting these guest blogs that some of these books are now legitimately flashbacks. But they're still awesome, as are the authors, so this works!

Today we're welcoming April Zyon with another entry in her Warriors of Light series. Enjoy!



Holly Smith has always had a certain affinity with computers. By day, she strengthens Internet security for corporations. By night, she’s a hacker. When she hits upon what she believes to be an author’s unpublished manuscript, she finds herself reading about a world where warriors of old wage war against a dark force bent on consuming everything it touches. Then she finds out it’s all true.

Demaratus of Corinth has seen a lot during his lifetime. And while many things prove useful, he finds technology to be a greater hindrance than a help. Sent to find the hacker who managed to penetrate their base’s security, he is stunned to realize who she is to him. As the darkness closes in on them, Demaratus and Holly will have to battle to survive not only the coming fight but the war that is gaining momentum.


*****************************



Buy Links


Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYIBZY6/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LYIBZY6/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LYIBZY6/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01LYIBZY6/

Evernight Publishing
: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/hacked-by-april-zyon/

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/hacked-mf

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hacked-2098645-147.html


                                           *****************************

Read on for an excerpt!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2017 Writing Goals


So earlier in the week I talked about my ~life goals~ for 2017, but I didn't talk about my writing plans in any of that. For the past couple of years, I haven't really set myself any solid goals. I've agreed with myself that if something is really tugging at my imagination, I should work on it, and that's worked for me for the most part. It has, however, left me with a long list of unfinished projects between my real name and Amber Morgan, and I think 2017 has to be the year I start tackling that list, rather than adding to it.

So my writerly resolution for 2017 is not to start any new projects. I am just going to finish up works-in-progress, under both names. This is probably going to be really hard to stick to, because I adore starting new projects. Nothing thrills me more as a writer than starting something. I have the same problem as a gamer. I endlessly create new characters in Guild Wars 2 because I love starting with a newly-named, freshly-designed character more than I love actually getting those characters to level 80. Starting to create something is an act full of potential and promise and wild anticipation. Seeing something through to the end is where the hard work comes in. I have the HP Lovecraft problem:


It's not that I'm not passionate and excited about all my writing projects. I'm just easily distracted by Shiny! New! Ideas! That's not a completely bad thing. It's why you have the Blood Canticles series, for example. But it is a bit of a bad thing, and it's why there are no more Ethan books at the moment, and why I haven't finished the next Urban Wolf book yet, despite that being one of my 2016 goals.

So this year, I need to knuckle down, straighten up, fly right, etc. and Finish Some Stuff. My to-do list for 2017 is (in no particular order of importance) as follows:

Through Fire (Blood Canticles 3)
Lich Queen (Blood Canticles 3.5)
Mercy's Gate (Southern Gothic urban fantasy book of my heart)
Black Dog (Urban Wolf 6)
Crow Called (Standalone novella)
Flesh and Bone (The Deva Chronicles 2)

I also want to self-publish AFTERLIFE and DEMONIZED. This is just the Naomi Clark stuff. I also have six novels and short stories in various stages of completion as Amber Morgan. That's fourteen projects open and needing attention, stat. That's definitely a year's work for me. I don't think it's an impossible goal, but it's certainly an ambitious one and it's why I can't afford to be distracted by shiny new ideas or other sequels (like the sequel to IN COLD BLOOD which isn't even out yet, and a sequel to Crow Called which isn't even finished yet and isn't even supposed to have a sequel, goddammit).

So yeah. My current goal is to finish Lich Queen since that's coming along well and shouldn't probably turn into a huge unwieldy fantasy epic like Through Fire is threatening to do. Next Wednesday, I'll be back to sharing snippets and putting Dawn through hell. Join me, if you're into that sort of thing!

Monday, 2 January 2017

Welcome to the Year of the Valkyrie

I named 2016 the Year of the Phoenix, but the way world politics played out, it probably should have been the Year of the Bonnacon. Not just because they sprayed shit all over everything, but also because of their permanent look of anxiety. Behold:

If ever an imaginary animal exemplified a real year...

As you may know by now, I have habitually named the year after a mythological animal since 2013. For me, this has become a way of shaping my attitudes and aims for the year ahead.

I started doing this in 2013 (the Year of the Unicorn), because I was in really bad shape mentally, and I needed some magic. Can't think of anything more magical than a unicorn. 

2014 was the Year of the Kraken. I'd lost my confidence in my writing career and abilities over the previous couple of years, and in 2014 I wanted to get it back. 

2015 was the Year of the Basilisk. It was about conquering my enemies - in this case, lingering self-doubt and anxiety about myself and my choices. 


2016 was the Year of the Phoenix. It was about moving forward, writing the kind of stories that I love and finding new things to be happy about and grateful for. That's...that's been tricky at times. On a global level, 2016 was awful. On a personal level, we lost Fergus and Remic, losses I think we'll feel for a really long time still.

But come the end of the year, on a personal level, there are reasons for me to be happy and grateful. I have written stories I love and seen them published. I won an award! Common Brimstone has been so busy that I have to keep shutting it down. I have visited new countries with people I love. There have been bright moments, and they are worth cherishing and fighting for.

2017 is going to be...a year. In the UK, Article 50 will be triggered, beginning our exit from the EU. I remain staunchly pro-EU, so this disheartens and scares me. In the USA, Donald Trump will take office. I am scared and saddened for my American friends, for PoC and minorities all across America. Across the world, horrible situations already happening will keep happening, from torture to refugee crises, to civil wars, to oppression...It's easy to feel like there's just too much horrible stuff happening, that we can't make a difference, and that maybe we should just stick to our little corner of the world and worry about that.

And some days, you should do that. Self-care is important and vital, and you deserve to protect your mental health. But, darlings, not every day. Some days, you gotta get out there and fight. Fight for what you love and believe in, fight for people who can't fight for themselves, fight for your friends and yourself. And that's why 2017 is going to be the Year of the Valkyrie.


I don't know about you, but I need that warrior spirit going forward. I need to remind myself that I have a voice, and that I'm in a privileged position where I can speak out and speak up. Not all of my friends can do that. As an ally to those people, I have a responsibility to listen, to try to learn, and to push back against threats. As a pro-Remain Brit, I have a duty to speak out against the uneducated, misinformed politics that are shaping my country. As a human being, I have an obligation to act with passion, compassion, and kindness wherever and whenever I can... and to take no shit from those won't fulfill that obligation themselves. I want to be a warrior in whatever way I can, and I can't think of a better totem for that going forward than the valkyrie.

I am carrying forward two quotes with me into the New Year. One to remind me of the need for kindness:






And one to remind me of the need to fight:


I resolve to be kind. And I resolve to take no shit. Happy New Year!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Guest Blog - Alexa Sinclaire takes us into the woods

We all love a walk in the woods, right? The fresh forest air, the beautiful birdsong, the hot sexy men...Yeah. It's all there. And Alexa Sinclaire knows it! This is a bit of a Flashback Friday, to the first in Alexa's Lust In The Woods series. Enjoy!





Title: The Woodsman
Series Title: Lust in the Woods #1
Author: Alexa Sinclaire
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Release Date: September 16th, 2016
Genre: M/F Erotic Romance

SAM
That long blonde hair, sexy hippy-style and a laugh that makes me want to fall to my knees and worship her body– Katy Williams is slowly driving me crazy. I moved out to the woods to get away from everything, including women with ulterior motives. But now she’s living next door to me, inviting me for dinner and giving me blueberry muffins. And she’s all I can think about. But can I trust that behind that smile there isn’t a woman just waiting to get her claws into me? After all, I’ve been fooled once….



KATY
I’m done with men. Well, at least done with men who happily take my money and my heart and suck me dry. Sam Hess, with his man-bun and wild woodsman look, is a whole other matter. I can’t stay away from him, no matter how much I try and when he needs me, there’s no way I won’t stand by his side. But what happens when he doesn’t need me anymore? I don’t think I can survive having my heart broken again. And they always stop needing you, don’t they?





Purchase Links





 
Read on for an excerpt!