This blog is for those 18 and older.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dawn Kunda's Review of SORCERESS by LIsa Jackson

A master of suspense, Lisa Jackson, takes us into the medieval ages of Wales and finds a sorceress, Bryanna, who is budding into her magic along with a warrior of the dark, Gavyn, who is drawn to following her epic journey.

Bryanna is forced into restructuring the magical dagger of gems to save the Chosen One, a mysterious and unknown person.  She travels the corners of England to find the missing gems, which doesn’t sound too dangerous until arrows and guns in the arms of evil, target her path.

Along with the evil followers, Gavyn is drawn to her as she plunders onto his trail.  He watches from the dark of the forest before confronting her vulnerable form of exquisite beauty.    

Sparks of lust crackle between the two, yet Bryanna doesn’t want to include Gavyn on her mission. She tries to dodge him, lose him, and forget him, but he has another agenda, which unknowingly includes the Chosen One.

If you’re not sure what novel to pick up next, Jackson creates a masterpiece of suspense, history, and a touch of paranormal in one magnificent plot with vibrant characters who shuttle you through a dangerous endeavor that appears too perilous to end with happiness. 


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Guest author Patricia W. Fischer: How My Character is Flawed and Fabulous

And the winner is…

Yep, I’m a major Oscar junkie and I’m thrilled that I’ve been asked to hang out on the Happily Ever After Thoughts blog today, especially since this week is a special one. Not only is it Oscars Day, it’s National Eating Disorders week. Wait…wait! Hear me out!

Why is that important? With over half of the US population being overweight and a high percentage of those sitting in the obese category, it’s important to simply be aware.

Now before you do the obligatory eye roll and link to something else, bear with me, this does apply to the book I’m pimping.

My romantic comedy, Weighting for Mr. Right, tells the story of Megan Sayla, a woman who simply decides to take control of her life at the last possible minute. During her journey to get her life back, she starts to put herself first and take her health in her hands, but she discovers that the decisions to eat right and exercise aren’t always met with unicorns and rainbows.

I wanted to write a romance that ended up being something new, different and with another perspective. Yes, it’s a lot like a Cinderella story, but I liken it more to Man Of La Mancha, except Megan isn’t a prostitute and the hero isn’t crazy.

Sorry, I digress. With the popularity of shows like Celebrity Fit Club, The Biggest Loser, Extreme Makeover—Weight Loss Edition, it made me wonder what happens when you change your weight? Because it’s not only about being in a smaller size jeans, you’ve got to change everything around you, how you eat, what you eat, how you socialize and those things will change who you hang out with. And I think this change paralyzes so many people.

One point I want to make here, this isn’t a fat girl got skinny and her life got great book. I didn’t want to write that story because I don’t think it applies to the majority of the population. In fact, I don’t have her “get skinny” but healthy and mindful and still wonderfully flawed. There’s even a major scene where I have her distressed over the fact she’s consumed a half roll of cookie dough and derails her momentum.

Like many of us who always worried about those stupid numbers on the scale, we’ve become too preoccupied with numbers instead of health and Megan does start that way. She’s been so focused so long on the scale that she loses sight of what she can do instead of allowing those numbers to tell her she can’t. Megan comes to discover she’s hiding behind the “I can’t because I’m fat” shield for too long and is thrown into a situation far outside her comfort zone and has to sink or swim.

During the course of her journey, Megan has solid people helping her along as well as those who try to derail her success.  Again, she’s like so many people I’ve met over the years and like myself, had to figure out how to come out from behind that shield and appreciate the body and abilities I have.

I’m proud to say in the past year, I’ve dropped forty pounds and feel far better than I did before. I’m still overweight and I’m still working on improving my health, but I’m not obsessed with it and I don’t fret over that scale.

For more information about Megan, an excerpt of the book, and my other writing projects, come by my website or visit me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest.

You can purchase Weighting for Mr. Right at Amazon, AmazonUK, SoulMate Publishing, Barnesand Noble, or Kobo.  

Leave a comment for a chance to win Weighting for Mr. Right or a $20 gift to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Glendale, AZ Chocolate Affaire 2013

February 8th through the 10th of this year, I had the good fortune to participate in the Glendale (AZ) Chocolate Affaire. This is an amazing event in so many ways! What could be better? Not only is there copious amounts of chocolate to be had (truly! And in all shapes and forms, too….chocolate covered cheesecake. Chocolate drizzled on potatoes thinly sliced and fried crisp. Chocolate pizzas. Chocolate….well, you get the picture) but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet some local authors and chat with them about their books. For aspiring writers, there are workshops given by these wonderful men and women. Everyone is so gracious and generous. Truly a unique and fabulous group of people!
            This year, for the fifth time, I got to sit beside some of these amazing writers and talk about my own stories. Best of all, I had a reader approach me, tell me that she loved my first two books and immediately bought the third. I can’t tell you how special that made me feel! It’s absolutely wonderful!!!!
            Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Guest Author Lauren Smith

“Give her but a wavering leaf-shadow breeze combing the grasses and she was back a million years, glaring with night-lit eyes in the thickets, projecting a terrible aura of fear that still and quelled all creatures” – Paul Annixter, American Writer

Anyone who has ever been the lucky owner of a cat, or should I say, been owned by a cat, has known one of the most exquisite and puzzling joys such a sharing of one’s life with them is. I have always been a cat lover, even before I had cats and was raised in house populated by dogs and various rodents (bunnies, hamsters etc). I never cared one wit about the image of becoming a writer with a thousand cats lounging about the various odd bits of furniture in my one room apartment. True cat lovers will understand of course, because we don’t see ourselves the way the world sees us. We take after the cats we love so well. Cats are unique, relish the life they have and don’t let the opinions of others rule their thoughts. In a way, cats are a writer’s best role model.
 Even now as I write this blog article, my own cat Isis, more fondly called Tiki, is sitting on the bed, eyeing me with apparent fascination. Is it the movement of my fingers along the keyboard or the simple knowledge that I provide her food and comfort at my own expenses often times. Love with cats isn’t unconditional. I believe that’s why non cat lovers find it hard to understand the appeal. A cat demands love, demands trust, and will give it return when it believes you are capable, which sounds quite like a human thing to me.
The appeal of cats is something deep, primal in many humans. I believe we see the greatness of their pasts, buried in the luminous depths of their gazes. The Egyptians held them up as gods, and they’ve ruled the earth with their hunting instincts and a shadowy presence at all the great moments of human history. They are lovers, they are nurturing, they are powerful, and yet still manage to exude a sense of utter relaxation and complete laziness that we often envy. It’s the mysterious air of the impossible they seem to exude every moment of the day that compels us to take them, offer them a home with us, in hopes we might learn their feline secrets.
But if you’re like me, you can’t rescue every cat, you can’t save every animal that crosses your path and a part of your heart bleeds at the thought of each precious life lost due to human carelessness. I spend a majority of my spare time when not writing or doing my day job as an attorney, by helping animal causes even if I can only offer something as simple as money to shelters or rescue funds. Last year, I heard of a national call for submissions for a charity anthology to benefit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas where big cats like tigers, cougars, leopards and jaguars are given homes and cared for. Elle James and Delilah Devlin created the anthology Wild at Heart and picked 10 or so adult romance stories involving big cats and 10 or so young adult romance stories involving big cats to make up two volumes for charity. 100% of the proceeds of the sales of the anthology go directly to the wildlife refuge, giving those cats food, shelter and support.
 I was thrilled when my story “Archer Falls” was chosen to be a part of the adult romance anthology. I decided to write about a woman who falls in love with a mysterious, handsome shapeshifter.

                  Spotted Pines Refuge worker Samantha Gray gets more than she bargains for when she is rescued by a jaguar in a national park. But there’s more to this jaguar than meets the eye, in fact, he reminds her of the mysterious and wealthy owner of the refuge, Archer Falls. Caught between danger and the pull of Archer’s seductive gaze, Samantha begins to wonder just how her boss is connected to the jaguar that went missing since the night he saved her life.

Samantha was kneeling in the glass-enclosed room of the refuge’s nursery.  She had a bottle of milk and one jaguar cub curled in her arm, feeding it.  The cub’s paws were braced around Samantha’s hand, securing the bottle to its mouth.  Archer was transfixed by the look on Samantha’s face.  She gazed in wonder and delight at the cub and made gentle cooing noises while hugging the cub closer.
Archer barely noticed Simone coming up behind him.
“She has quite a fondness for cats.  Big cats.  Would you like me to formally introduce you?”
He found himself nodding. Samantha had only worked at Spotted Pines for two weeks. Archer usually avoided meeting the workers until they’d been there at least six months. The less people he brought into his circle of trust, the better. But he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be close to her again, even if his mind shouted at him in warning. He was too interested in her and haunted by the memory of her hands stroking his fur as he drifted into unconsciousness.
“Sam!”  Simone dragged Archer by the arm toward the nursery and opened the door.  “Come meet our benefactor.  This is Mr. Archer Falls.  Archer, this is Samantha Gray.”
Samantha set the bottle on a table and walked across the room.
The cub in her arms stared drowsily at him when she approached.
“Nice to meet you Mr. Falls.”  She held out a hand.
He shook it.  Her palm was warm, her skin soft. She had gray eyes, soft and mysterious, like skies after a winter storm.  He held her hand for longer than was necessary; his desire to hold her was fierce and powerful.  He needed to protect her, ensure she was safe. 
The cub stirred and let out a little mewl at being ignored. 
Archer dropped Samantha’s hand and stroked the cub’s head.  It squirmed and fussed, its little teeth scraping playfully on his fingers.  He felt the rumblings of a purr deep in his chest, and he only just fought off the need to let Samantha hear how content he was.
Simone nudged Archer in the back.  “It seems you have a way with cats, Sam.” 
He jerked, recalling where he was, who he was with.  A woman who didn’t know him and didn’t know his secret.
“Welcome to Spotted Pines, Samantha.  Are you settling in well?” A smile crept across his lips.  “Simone tells me you’re the newest volunteer.”
“Oh yes.  This place is wonderful, Mr. Falls.” 
The cat inside him could detect lies and there were none in her words. “Call me Archer, please.”
“Archer.”  Samantha looked suddenly shy, her gray eyes darkening to near blue.  “The way you keep the cats here, with these habitats, it’s amazing.  You’ve saved so many lives.”
Archer studied Sam, her appreciation was genuine.  She cared deeply for the wounded souls he’d rescued and brought to the refuge.  Each cat here had been abandoned or abused.  Exotic pets, retired circus creatures, each and every one left in a situation that threatened their lives.  For the last five years, he and Simone had worked to build the refuge and find cats who needed homes.  The jaguar within him purred in approval of Samantha’s reactions.

I hope everyone who enjoys cats or a good shapeshifter paranormal romance will pick up their own copy of Wild At Heart. Is there any better way to help cats than to buy an ebook or paperback copy and know that the proceeds go directly help the cats? It’s a win-win.

I send out a big thank you for the authors at Happily Ever After Thoughts, who hosted for me this blog!

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GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter will win a signed paperback copy from me or an ebook if they prefer, and a sneak peak of the first two chapters of my upcoming release Wicked Intentions, the first book in a sexy regency romance series about a notorious band of rakehells called the League of Rogues, to be released from Samhain Publishing in January 2014.