Paranormal Romance

Chrissy Moon

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Chrissy Moon
  • Genre: Paranormal romance, women’s fiction, YA paranormal romance, horror, poetry
  • Books: Surreal Enemies: Angel City of the God Generation
  • Official Site

Bio

Chrissy Moon is the youngest of four girls, born in Orange County, California and raised in the San Fernando Valley. Her parents and sisters came to America from the Philippines in 1970, seven years before her birth.

As a teen, Chrissy wanted to work for the United Nations in New York and work as a translator. Her plan was thwarted when she got married and had a baby.

She continued her attempts to learn the basics to many languages. However, as her baby got older, and especially after her divorce, her days were spent working full-time at various office jobs. Languages have been put on the backburner, most of the basics forgotten.

Now that the baby is a high school graduate and an adult, Chrissy is able to devote more time to her writing.


Accomplishments

The cause Chrissy is most concerned with is domestic violence – its prevention, and the healing of its victims.

Her next goal is to learn about local safe houses for abused women and children.


Blurb

Someone’s been killing Slates and freeing the Melted from their ice prisons in the Heaven embassy.

The God Generation consists of supernatural entities – angels (the Worthy), demons (the Melted), and archaic gods & goddesses (the Slates), born into human flesh and living among the rest of us.

Morgan Constantina is an abuse survivor and a recovering ecstasy addict. She’s been working hard to learn how to be tough and never be anyone’s victim again.

Her new life with her loving, supportive, semi-famous boyfriend – who happens to be her former Living Guardian Angel – grows to include an addition to the family, moving to Los Angeles, meeting his gigantic family, and reluctantly co-starring in their new restaurant-based reality TV show.

Morgan learns there are Worthy authorities who keep a judgmental eye on mundane humans. One of them is quite helpful, but another has a personal agenda that could cause trouble for her.

And as she’s meeting new people, she’s also gaining some enemies.

High on the list of foes is an old family friend who’s made threats to kill her, her own mother who thinks she’s immoral and soulless, and her boyfriend’s former flame – a woman Morgan’s already met!

Surreal Enemies: Angel City is a story about the war of good and evil inside all of us, and the powerful, unforgettable force of parental love.


Excerpt

He stood in front of me, his posture a bit more relaxed than it had been for the last hour or so. Seeing the old Ree in his eyes made me want to take him in my arms and kiss him over and over, but I sensed that something still wasn’t right, so I remained still and simply listened to what he had to say. “I swear I didn’t know I have been deviating from my usual behavior. Baby, this is just me talking, this person standing before you. I am neither demon nor angel, boyfriend nor friend—I’m just this spirit who is in love with this spirit right here.” He pointed to my heart without touching it.

He kneeled in front of me then, not like a marriage proposal-type of kneel, but more like his legs gave way and he collapsed. His arms clamped around my waist so hard, at first I thought he was attacking me. But then he leaned his head on my middle and sobbed. I mean, he really cried harder than I have ever witnessed before.

“Ree, you’re acting like someone died! Please help me understand!”

Instead of the scoff that I expected, he turned to face me slowly, his eyes watering as they regarded me with a sad, faraway look.

“I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you everything…” he said, still weeping. I was immediately frightened. I had to admit this was not the way I thought this conversation would go at all. I thought he might be angry back or that he would make a sad face and tell me I was right, and proceed to reveal whatever stupid secret he had. But this…this was different. I knew then that I was about to hear something that would change me, change us, change everything.

“Oh my god,” I whispered. “Someone did die, didn’t they?” I raised my voice to a normal level. “Who was it, Ree?”

Not meeting my eyes, he continued. “Connie. And then you, less than a week later.”


Interview with Chrissy Moon

ABC: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

CM: Well, I wanted to illustrate a story about a woman overcoming domestic violence and drug addiction. She’s already overcome some really turbulent things, but now she needs to find a sort of happy medium, so she can be stable and happy without shutting out her loved ones. It’ll take her a while, because as much as she’s learned, she’s still got a long way to go.

This book is written as a standalone, but it’s technically the sequel to my debut novel from a couple years ago, Surreal Ecstasy. I had a whole mythology already set, so my challenge was to create a new story that also fits into the first book, but that can act as an entire story in and of itself. Because of this, it took me longer to write this book.

I wanted Surreal Enemies to have more action. I wanted us to delve some more into the God Generation world. I wanted my main character’s relationship with her boyfriend to kind of reach the next level. I wanted to reveal a little more about the love life of a gay supporting character, Dess. But I also wanted to introduce some new situations to the characters as they get stronger and smarter.
ABC: Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?

CM: Let’s see. The locations didn’t require any research because the main characters move to the area I grew up in. I did have to ask some family members a little about how the entertainment industry works and about reality shows, because Morgan, our protagonist, ends up on one. I also asked my brother-in-law about the angel hierarchy, because he’s an expert on the subject and even teaches at church voluntarily.

Oh, I lied about the locations. I just remembered. I had to look up the Omni hotel in San Francisco and check out their room service menu and hotel suites because Dess stays there in her own narrated chapter.

ABC: Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
CM: Hmm. I’ll try to explain this without us having to put up a spoiler alert sign. There’s a part where Morgan and her boyfriend begin to grow distant. When she finds out why, there’s an explanation and many related scenes that follow. I kept having to change small details, right up until the last minute. I also kept giving my publisher updated manuscripts when I’d already sworn numerous times that it was absolutely the final version. That whole thing about why Morgan and her boyfriend Ree had grown distant is a very delicate subject, and I had to run over it with a fine-tooth comb, because the slightest mistake would have killed the entire scene and aftermath.

ABC: Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell us why it’s your favorite.
CM: I find myself flipping a lot to the chapter where Morgan meets Snaps, the director of her boyfriend’s family’s Food TV reality show. His personality reminds me a lot of some people I know, and I find it entertaining when he says off-the-wall things. What’s even more entertaining are Morgan’s narrated reaction thoughts.

ABC: Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
CM: Morgan is my first published fictional creation, and because of this, her life is very personal to me. I have also had issues with possessing or relinquishing control in relationships, dealing with people who assume the worst about me, feeling misunderstood, and having that ‘me against the world’ mentality. I have also had to learn the hard way that a romantic relationship shouldn’t be the sole purpose in life, that a person should build up their core first and then find love out of want, not need.

ABC: I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his or her favorite authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing and why?
CM: Richelle Mead is my biggest modern influence. By the time I started writing my first novel, I had already read everything she’d written. Her books are smart, sexy, exciting, and emotional, and that’s always what I wanted to depict in my own work.

Older influences include Pearl Buck. The way she wrote The Good Earth is incredible. The narration is very simplified and nonthreatening, yet at the same time the main character experiences such a vast array of emotions and obstacles. That’s something I strive to accomplish in my work – saying what I need to say without doing a descriptive overkill. I try to make my readers feel comfortable and like they can read my stories without getting confused or having to memorize a bunch of complicated stuff.

ABC: “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?
CM: Good question! The way I see it, “story” comes from our spirits. It’s a part of ourselves that we mix with art and then display for others to view, appreciate, and think about. It’s intensely personal and inspires people to feel all kinds of emotions and think terrible and wonderful thoughts. “Story” is a primary example of what’s insightful and extraordinary about the human race.

ABC: Tells us about your next project.
CM: Just as Surreal Enemies is a sequel, I have another sequel I’m finishing up. This one will be the sequel to my YA paranormal romance, DayDreamer. It’s for a younger audience and is clean and sweet in terms of heat level. I had originally created Kayla, the main character of DayDreamer, to balance out my brain, because writing Surreal was too intense. DayDreamer was written in a much more light-hearted manner.

With this second installment though, Kayla’s world is going to be a little more well-rounded. She’s going to face some issues and paranormal situations that’ll challenge her abilities and morals. I have a lot planned for her, and I hope readers will enjoy watching her mature.


Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Jessica Marie Baumgartner
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy/Children's/Paranormal Romance
  • Books:
    • By the Stars: Book one of the Embracing Entropy Series
    • Tale of Two Bookends
    • My Family Is Different
  • Official Site

 Bio

Jessica is a member of The St. Louis Writer’s Guild. Her stories have been featured by The Horror Zine, Blood Moon Rising magaizne, Bewildering Stories, Fiction on the Web, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine, Postcard Shorts, Hellfire Crossroads, and others. She has recently released book one of her Embracing Entropy Series, By the Stars, through European Geeks Publishing. Her previous books include a Paranormal Romance novelette titled Tale of Two Bookends, and a children’s book called, My Family Is Different.


Accomplishments and Awards

Received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 All Write Now Short Fiction Contest


By the Stars Blurb:

A nightmare is realized when Allie boards a space ship that will transport her and her children from their home forever. The human population has dwindled to around 15,000 as the Earth’s become hostile. If they stay they will die.

The alien race who’s come to their rescue seem to have no concept of selfishness, but Allie has her doubts. She’s separated from her husband and left to fend for her family on her own. It’s up to her to make sure that they survive the trip across the stars. 


Tale of Two Bookends Blurb:

Since the beginning of time Incubi have lived alongside humans without detection. Dane is an Incubus who can have any woman he wants and is intrigued when Jenna turns him down. He is determined to have her, but begins to develop feelings for this mortal.

Working to gain her favor, he wins her over and is compelled to reveal the truth. They enter a strange relationship as he feeds off of her sexual energies, but over time his lack of variety begins to show. Jenna must put aside her preconceived notions about relationships in order to keep her lover alive.


My Family Is Different Blurb:

A young Wiccan girl realizes that her friends celebrate different faiths than she does. As she questions them about their beliefs, she learns that all families are different and accepts the true nature of friendship.

Read the Reviews!


Excerpt from By the Stars

chapter 1

I used to have nightmares about this. I would wake up screaming as they forced me to leave. People giving up; abandoning Mother Earth. The thought alone caused my heart to race, my under arms to sweat.

Here I stand clutching my children, one on each side, as we prepare to be torn away from everything that’s tangible. Before me, a gargantuan structure glares from above. This beast, this ship is supposed to save humanity, or at least what’s left of it.

I’ve lived through mass devastation. It’s hardened me enough. But leaving? It still scares me.

We have no idea what’s out there for us.

My husband has faith in the alien colony that is aiding us. They made contact just in time. Said they had revolutionized their space program and stumbled upon our signal.

I don’t know what I believe.

As the line moves forward, I pull my girls along. They stumble ahead with fright, carrying their backpacks strapped to their bodies. Our packs are the only human luggage allowed on the crowded craft. But that’s not what they’re worried about.

It’s not the new race they fear. Or even the new world. It is the missing presence of their father.

He has his duty. He’ll stay with his men until we pilgrims are secure, then meet up with us in a smaller craft. I’m glad for it. They’ve already had to break up some fights. People get pretty riled up in situations like this. It’s good to have someone who remains behind to keep order for a while, and to try and find any last survivors before leaving.

Finally we’re ascending the dock and I’m able to see our temporary home. It’s nothing like I imagined. The smell is what draws my attention first.

“Eww mommy.” My youngest daughter, Gwen, pinches her nose.

The odiferous enclosure is beyond human comprehension. I’ve smelt plague pits, leaking sewage, the rank smell of sea life left to rot on beaches. Although this isn’t as horrendous, it does make my eyes water. Despite the nausea I’m fighting, I grind my teeth. “Gwen, these people are saving our lives. Don’t insult them.”

“But…”

“No,” I demand, and watch her eyes swim as she lets go of her nose.

“Look.” My eldest, Maddi distracts us as she points to one of the aliens.

I spot them as the line moves up – the Cih’lnarians. We’ve glimpsed them from afar before. Closer, they’re not as unsightly. Definitely not of this world, but the lack of symmetry in their bodies is more becoming inside boundaries built for them.

The contrast of the human official standing beside the alien as we enter sends my thoughts spinning. Cih’lnarians are about a foot taller than humans, with grey skin, and lop sided features that often give them the look of melted wax. Still unused to these new people, I do begin to compare facial expressions as the man converses with the alien beside him. They seem to smile the same.

 The ship itself looks off. Doorways, landings, stairs, none of the usual architecture is visible, just walls. Walls everywhere, but none of them reach the ceiling. It’s a network of big squares, meant to contain us, to keep us out of the way. I don’t know what I expected. Our own officials gave the craft a once over and approved.

Group by group, each living boundary is divvied out. When it’s our turn, the alien in charge of us hands me a chip with a symbol on it, and points the way. As we walk along, we can see that none of the cubicles have doors. There are light beams that penetrate up from the floor to create a boundary. It offers a slight comfort, but anyone could walk in. I desperately hope that the neighbors opposite us are reasonable enough. One sliver of hallway between strangers can leave a person feeling exposed.

I’d heard about this. The Cih’lnarian culture doesn’t know the ideals of living separate. They consider themselves one being; like a single hair growing from our bodies. Very seldom do we concern ourselves with the individual follicles unless there’s a problem. They’re only concerned with the greater good.

I admire their lack of selfishness, but it makes me feel insignificant.

Reaching our new living space amplifies this feeling. The small square room is plain and simple. Three walls alone protect us.



Alex Taylor

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Fact

  • Author: Alex Taylor
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Books: The Wannabe Vampire from the Michael Alexander/Kari Logan series
  • Official Site

Bio

Alex Taylor is the author of the Michael Alexander/Kari Logan vampire series:

•  The Wannabe Vampire
•  Shampires

Alex is currently working on several projects, including the third and fourth books in the series.

While born and raised in Lompoc, California, a small town much like the one described in The Wannabe Vampire, Alex had the opportunity to travel extensively as a child. In 1977, the family packed up and moved aboard their sailboat, where they spent two years touring the South Pacific.

When not writing vampire stories, Alex enjoys camping, blogging, reading, and playing with parrots. Alex’s first RV was very much like the one Kari owns, but this is a total coincidence.


Blurb

Michael Alexander is not your typical vampire.

He has a house in a small coastal California city, a software development team in Mumbai, and a black Toyota Prius. He wants nothing more than to enjoy the pleasant life he’s crafted for himself and the friendship of Kari, his new next door neighbor.

Unfortunately, Michael also has a stalker.

Bruce is convinced that only the power of a vampire can save him from the ghost that haunts him. After a chance encounter in the grocery store, he turns to Michael for help. When Bruce’s entreaties are rejected, his unstable nature takes over. Trapped between a desperate and deranged man and his fantasies, Michael and Kari are caught in the crossfire.


Review

Kudos to author Alex Thomas for putting together a modern-day tale of a vampire falling in love and NOT ravishing the object of his affections. Good to know there are still some honorable undead left out there. - Vampbard, That's what I'm Talking About


Excerpt

Ever since he was nine years old, Bruce Thomas wanted to become a vampire. It had started, quite innocently enough, as a game he had once played with his now-dead sister Louise. One night, they attempted to conjure up a ghost. It was Louise’s plan to frighten her younger sibling.

The spirit in question was that of a young woman named Agnes who had been killed in a terrible car accident nearly a century before. One summer night, she had been driving on a lonely, dark stretch of twisting mountain highway. She lost control and plummeted over the sheer cliff. The accident occurred in an era long before safety belt laws and car seats, so her infant daughter was riding unsecured in the front. When the car went over the edge, the child flew out the open passenger-side window and disappeared.

Several increasingly ghastly variations of the tale described the child’s end. In the happiest version, she was rescued, adopted, and raised to adulthood by a well-meaning passer-by. In another, she was found, killed, and consumed by coyotes. In the most ghastly telling, she was impaled on a tree branch and died a lingering death after which crows plucked out her sightless eyes.

However the child died, one thing was certain: Agnes’ desperate spirit regularly walked the lonely stretch of road in a futile search for her lost child. Sometimes, she would appear as a white woman walking along the side of the road, delivering an unhappy end to those who stopped to provide aid. On other nights, she would appear in the form of a white owl that would suddenly fly across a driver’s path, causing an ugly, and often fatal, wreck. No matter her form, unwary travelers risked meeting Agnes’ fate if they encountered her wandering and restless spirit along the road.

On that fateful night, Bruce and his sister huddled in the darkened guest bathroom. Louise handed Bruce her baby doll as bait for the ghost, then knocked three times on the mirror. “Agnes, I’ve got your baby,” she said.

Nothing happened.

She rapped on the mirror again, pausing for greater effect. “Agnes, I’ve got your baby.”

Finally, after knocking a third time, she shouted, “Agnes, I’ve got your baby!”

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the face of a woman materialized in the glass. She appeared, greenish and semi-transparent, as a partially decomposed corpse. Her shoulder-length hair seemed to squirm, snake-like, as her hands reached slowly out towards the two mesmerized children.

Louise screamed.

Suddenly, the spell was broken. The two children exploded from the bathroom and spilled into the well-lit hallway. Once they had escaped, Bruce burst into tears. His sister, breathless, started to laugh. During the commotion, Bruce had wet his pants.

Although Louise soon forgot about the incident, the fright and the shame of that night never left Bruce. He had been the one to hold Agnes’ baby; her revenge was that she began to visit him in his dreams. At first, she would replay the terrifying details of her accident. Later, she began to show him her wicked hauntings of innocent travelers.

As a result of Agnes’ torment, Bruce developed a bed-wetting problem. The poor boy, too terrified to leave his bed and venture down the hall, would urinate in the quiet comfort of his warm sheets, much to the consternation of his parents and the ridicule and delight of his elder sister.

As Bruce grew, Agnes’ visits became more frequent and frightening. No longer did she confine herself to his dreams. He would see her when fully awake, as she prowled across his moonlit room sharing her gruesome tales. At night, he would scream; during the day, his parents sought advice from doctors, therapists, and even clergy.

By the time Bruce reached puberty, Agnes was his frequent companion. Although her visits were still frightening, she had stopped her nightly show of horrors. Instead, she promised to become his lover and would ask him to do small favors to prove his devotion.

At first, these things were harmless — a bouquet of wildflowers placed on an old grave in the cemetery, a shot of his father’s whiskey left out on the porch for a passing spirit. Later, she began to ask him for terrible, unspeakable things. She asked him to decapitate the neighbor’s cat and to loosen the lug bolts on his sister’s car to disastrous result. If he refused, she would cajole and threaten until at last he acquiesced. Bruce was powerless to resist.

Despite the efforts of all the professionals involved in his case, Bruce was not saved by the multitude of medications prescribed by his doctors and researched by his frantic parents. Invariably, each drug would put Agnes’ visits on temporary hiatus, only for her to return, angrier than ever, a few weeks or months later.

Although the medications did not give Bruce any relief, he was able to find some respite by losing himself in tales of the macabre. He obsessively collected horror magazines, books, and movies, because he found these stories oddly comforting. Observing the suffering of others plagued by the unholy machinations of ghosts, spirits and monsters somehow made him feel less alone.

As he began to read stories of the spirit world, he soon learned there was only one creature immune to their effects. Vampires, he realized, were unaffected by ghostly movements and demands.

To escape Agnes’ grasp, Bruce knew he must one day become a vampire. His difficulty in executing this plan was that he needed to find one to help him complete his transformation. Much to his dismay, he discovered vampires were a rarer breed than his vast media collection would suggest. At almost 50 years old, despite decades of trying, he had yet to meet even one.



Marsha A. Moore

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Fact

  • Author: Marsha A. Moore
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Book: Witch's Moonstone Locket of the Coon Hollow Coven Tales
  • Official Site

Bio

Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy and paranormal romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales.

The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and is a registered yoga teacher. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!


Accomplishments

I've completed a best-selling fantasy series of five books, The Enchanted Bookstore Legends. Here's a description of that series:

Genre: epic fantasy romance

Series description:

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.


Blurb

Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead.

Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him. Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger.


Reviews

"Witch’s Moonstone Locket is a dark, yet captivating tale of love, loss and the need to heal. When good must stand against evil, who will remain standing? Marsha A. Moore has cast her own brand of magic on this story by creating a world where magic exists, while its practitioners live a lifestyle reminiscent of days gone by. Imagine living in a small town where part of the population still lives in the 1930’s, in their manner of dress and everything in their lives! Clever casting, uniquely drawn characters, subplots spidering out in all directions, only to be tamed and tied up in a neat bow at the end, Witch’s Moonstone Locket is a fascinating twist on myth and magic. Marsha A. Moore lets her words flow, and each scene comes to life, complete with the breezes, the backgrounds and characters that almost make you feel you have fallen into a fairytale remake come to life. This is a hidden gem in more ways than one." ~Tome Tender


Read a short excerpt

From Chapter One: Great Aunt Starla’s Cornbread

Warm rain mixed with Jancie’s tears, and she rose to stand beside her mother’s grave. She bent at the waist and her fingers followed the arc of her mother’s name—Faye Sadler—in the headstone. From numerous visits, she knew the unyielding shape well. The word goodbye stuck in her throat. She’d said it aloud many times since her mother died six months ago, only to have the cemetery’s vast silence swallow her farewells. Rain beaded on the polished granite. Her hand, bearing her mother’s silver ring, slid down the stone and fell to her side.

If only she could’ve said goodbye to her mother before she died. After years of caring for her mom while she suffered with cancer, Jancie had missed the final parting moment while getting a quick bite of dinner. The pain still cut like a knife in her gut.

On foot, she retraced the too-familiar path toward her work at the Federal Bank. Although she’d landed a job as manager at the largest of the three banks in the small town of Bentbone, the position was a dead end. Within the first six months, she’d mastered all the necessary skills. Now, after a year, only the paycheck kept her there.

Jancie turned onto Maple Street. As usual, wind swept up the corridor, between old shade trees protecting houses, and met her at the top of the tall hill. September rain pelted her face and battled the Indian summer noontime temperatures. She zipped the rain parka to keep her dress dry, pulled on the strings of the hood, and corralled strands of ginger-colored hair that whipped into her eyes. She gazed farther into the valley, where the view spanned almost a mile out to the edge of town. Usually, farmers moved tractors across the road or boys raced skateboards and bikes down Maple Street’s long slope.

Today, on the deserted acreage just east of Bentbone, people moving in and out through a gate of the tall wooden fence breathed life into the rundown carnival. Surprised, Jancie crossed the street for a better view. She’d lost track of life around her since Mom passed. The coming Labor Day weekend in Bentbone meant the valley coven’s yearly carnival. She and her girlfriends always looked forward to the cute guys, fair food, and amazing magical rides and decorations, even if her father didn’t approve of witches or magic. The residents of the sleepy town awoke to welcome a host of tourists wanting to see the spectacle created by the witches of Coon Hollow Coven.

Somehow, Jancie had forgotten the big event this year. Last year, she didn’t go since Mom was so sick and couldn’t be left. Jancie sighed and turned onto the main street toward the bank. She’d lost so much since her mother passed. Really, since the diagnosis of cancer.

At that time, four years ago, Jancie withdrew as a sophomore from Hanover College, a select, private school in southern Indiana near the Kentucky border—too far away. Instead, she returned to stay with her mother and commuted to Indiana University. Balancing hours with the home health care nurse, Jancie had few choices of career paths. Not that it mattered, since her remarried father expected her to find a job in Bentbone and continue taking care of her mother. Despite the sacrifices, Jancie loved her mother, who’d always managed money for a few special things for Jancie—a new bike, birthday parties, prom dresses—even though their income was tight. Mom had paid for her tuition and listened to every new and exciting college experience.

Jancie smiled at the memory of Mom’s twinkling brown eyes, that mirrored her own, when she asked about what happened during the day’s classes: if Jancie liked the professor; if she’d made new friends.

When she rounded the last corner, she returned to her work day. At the bleak, limestone bank building, reality hit. Jancie pulled against the heavy glass door, and a gust swept her inside. She peeled off the drenched jacket and hung it on the coat rack of her small, plain office.

Through the afternoon’s doldrums, punctuated by only a handful of customers, her mind wandered to the carnival. She’d gone dozens of times before and loved it. But since Mom passed, nothing seemed fun anymore, like she couldn’t connect with herself and had forgotten how to have a good time. She organized a stack of notes, anything to put the concern out of her mind.

***

After work, Jancie drove her old blue Camry the five miles to the other end of town where she lived in her mother’s white frame house, the home where she grew up, now hers. Glad to own her own place, unlike her friends who rented, she’d made a few easy changes. In the living room, a new brown leather couch with a matching chair and ottoman. She replaced the bedroom furniture with a new oak suite for herself in what used to be her mother’s room. With pay saved from the bank, Jancie could remodel or build on, but she didn’t know what she wanted yet. Her great aunt Starla had told her to just wait and hold onto her money; she’d know soon enough.

Pouring rain soaked the hem of her dress as she darted between the garage shed and back stoop of the small ranch house.

Glad she’d chosen to get her run in this morning before work, she changed into cozy sweats, pulled the long part of her tapered hair into a ponytail, and headed for the kitchen.

Her phone alerted her of a text, and she read the message from her friend Rachelle, always the social director of their group: R we going to the carnival?

Jancie typed a response. I guess. R Lizbeth and Willow going?

Yep whole gang. What day?

Don’t know yet. Get back to u. Jancie worried she’d spoil their fun. Even though they’d all been her best friends since high school and would understand her moodiness, she didn’t want to ruin one of the best times of the year for them. Since Mom passed, they’d taken her out to movies and shopping in Bloomington, but this was different. Could it ever match up to the fun of all the times before? “I don’t know if I’m up to that,” she said into open door of the old Kenmore refrigerator while rummaging for leftovers of fried chicken and corn.

The meal satisfied and made her thankful she’d learned how to cook during those years with Mom. Not enough dishes to bother with the dishwasher, one of the modern upgrades to the original kitchen, Jancie washed the dishes by hand and then called Starla. When she answered, Jancie asked, “Can I come over tonight? There’s something I’m needing your opinion on.”

“Why sure, Jancie. C’mon over,” the eighty-five-year-old replied with her usual warm drawl. “Are you wantin’ dinner? I made me some soup beans with a big hambone just butchered from Bob’s hog. My neighbor Ellie came over and had some. She said they were the best she’s eaten.”

Jancie glanced at the soggy rain parka and opted for an umbrella instead. “No, I just ate. Be right over.” Keys and purse in hand, she hung up and darted for the shed.

Five minutes later, she turned onto the drive of the eldercare apartments and parked under the steel awning where Starla gave her a whole arm wave from her picture window. Jancie made her way to number twelve on the first floor.

The door opened, and Starla engulfed Jancie in a bear hug, pulling her into the pillow of a large, sagging bosom. Starla smelled of her signature scent—rosewater and liniment.

Jancie had loved her great aunt’s hugs as long as she could remember. Stress and worry melted away, and she hugged back. Her arm grazed Starla’s white curls along the collar of her blue knit top embroidered with white stars—her great aunt’s favorite emblem.

“It’s so good to see you. Come sit a spell, while I get us some iced tea.” Starla pulled away and gestured to the microsuede couch decorated with three crocheted afghans in a rainbow of colors. “I thought we were done with this hot weather, but not quite yet. That rain today’s been a gully washer but didn’t cool things off much.” The large-boned woman scuffed her pink-house-slippered feet toward the kitchen. “Would you rather have pound cake from the IGA or homemade cornbread?”

Jancie laughed and followed her into the kitchen. She wouldn’t get through the visit without eating. “You’re just fishin’ for a compliment. You know your homemade cornbread is better.”

Starla arranged plates with thick slices of warm cornbread and big pats of butter on top, while Jancie transferred the refreshments to the aluminum dinette table.

“With your hair pulled back like that, you’re a dead ringer for your Ma. So pretty with that same sweetheart-shaped face.” Starla folded herself onto a chair beside Jancie. “You look to be getting on well…considering what all you’ve been through.”

“I’m doing okay,” Jancie said through a mouthful of the moist cornbread. She washed it down with a swallow of brisk tea that tasted fresh-brewed. “But sometimes, lots of times, I feel lost, like I can’t move on.” She ran a hand across her forehead. “I didn’t get to say goodbye. I spent time with her through all those years, and it shouldn’t matter, but it does every time I visit her grave and most every night in my dreams.”

“Oh, honey. I know it hurts.” Starla smoothed Jancie’s ponytail down the middle of her back and spoke with a voice so slow and warm, it felt like a handmade quilt wrapping around her.  “You spent all that time and gave so much. Just like when I cared for my husband some twenty years back. I know. I never got the chance to tell Harry goodbye either. Time will heal all hurts.”

Jancie looked down at the marbleized tabletop to hide her teary eyes. “I don’t think I’m ever going to heal, Aunt Starla. I don’t know if I can ever move on.”

“There is one thing you can try. I’d have done it, if I’d have known before decades softened my aching heart. Way back, I was desperate like you.”

Jancie looked into Starla’s blue-gray eyes, set deep inside wrinkled lids.

Her aunt leaned closer. “Not many know about this,” she whispered as if someone outside the apartment door might hear. “There’s an old story about how a member of the Coon Hollow Coven, one who’s recently lost a loved one, is made the teller of the moonstone tale.”

Jancie rolled her eyes. “That’s just a silly story, one of lots that Mom and Dad told to scare me when I was little, so I’d stay away from the coven. When the moonstone locket opens at the end of the tale, you’ll get your wish but also be cursed.”

“Oh no.” Starla shook her head and pushed away from the table. “Let me get Aunt Maggie’s old diary. I got this in a box of old family things when Cousin Dorothy passed.” She lumbered to her spare bedroom and returned with a worn, black-leather volume only a little larger than her wide palm. Once seated, she thumbed through the yellowed pages. “Here.” She pointed a finger and placed the book between them.



Rosanna Leo

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Fact

  • Author: Rosanna Leo
  • Genre: Paranormal romance
  • Books: Predator's Trinity, Gemini Island Shifters 6 from the Gemini Island Shifters Series
  • Official Site

A Note From the Author

I’d like to thank Angela very much for hosting me on this fun blog tour. It’s a pleasure to be here.

A lot of people have asked me why I write romance. My first response is, “Why not? I love it.”

There are still a lot of folks out there who pooh-pooh romance for its sense of fantasy. After all, real life isn’t anything like the implausible scenarios we see in these books, is it? Well, this is exactly what readers appreciate about a good romance.

It’s not real life. It’s something better. Certainly, it’s something different.

Romance provides an escape. I think most romance readers would agree there is almost nothing better than cuddling up with a new book at the end of the day and watching a new set of characters fall in love. We live vicariously through these lovers. We get to visit exotic locations with them and embark on adventures. We get to be someone we’ve never been before.

I love providing my readers with this escape factor. A good romance provides sanctuary from everyday problems and trials. Sure, romance plots can sometimes seem over-the-top. That’s what makes them fun and exciting.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I just like hanging out with sexy shape shifters here and there as well. They amuse me and inspire me, and after closing the book, I return to real life a little happier.


Bio

Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Top Picks at Night Owl Romance and The Romance Reviews.

From Toronto, Canada, Rosanna occupies a house in the suburbs with her long-suffering husband, their two hungry sons and a tabby cat named Sweetie. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.

A library employee by day, she is honored to be a member of the league of naughty librarians who also happen to write romance.


Accomplishments

Rosanna Leo arrived at her writing career through a circuitous route. After spending time in various unsuitable careers, she realized she could no longer deny her passion: writing romance fiction. However, her varied experiences have given her writing flavor. Rosanna worked previously as a professional soprano, a recruiter, a customer service rep for a processed meats company, and a Toronto tour guide. She now divides her time between writing and a more suitable library job.

She is probably the only romance writer alive who can sing the Canadian national anthem, arrange books by Dewey decimal system, show you around Toronto and tell you everything you ever wanted to know about bologna.


Blurb

Librarian Suzan Marsh is an empath and has always felt assaulted by the feelings of others. She has had to distance herself from the people in her life, raising a mental barrier to ward off unwanted emotions. When wolf shifter August Crane abducts her, he breaks through the walls she constructed, forcing her to accept a frightening new truth.

Jaguar shifter twins Percy and Byron Moon are familiar with the evil ways of August Crane. Because of him, their childhood was destroyed. Because of him, their way of life at the peaceful Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort is threatened. And they won’t rest until he is dead.

When Crane drags Suzan into his cult and decides to make her his “concubine,” Percy and Byron know they must save the human woman. Their connection to her is strong and they cannot deny the dream they always held close. That they could share a woman and make her their mate.

But even after rescuing Suzan, none of them are free from Crane’s clutches. The wolf shifter has plans, ones that involve the demise of every shape shifter at the Ursa Resort. Not only must Percy and Byron keep Suzan safe, they must convince her to accept them both. In order to stop Crane from hurting everyone they love, they must learn to fight together.


Excerpt

After her shower, she toweled off and dressed in the clothes provided, choosing a pretty green V-neck T-shirt to accompany the jeans. Everything fit perfectly, from underwear to outerwear, as if the Moons had already known her. It boggled her mind, but she couldn’t lose the sensation they were connected by more than just circumstance. Her instincts never lied. After slipping into a pair of soft white socks, she made her way toward the kitchen.

She heard Byron and Percy before she saw them and stopped to catch an excited breath. When she heard what they said, she paused a moment longer.

“How’s your jaguar holding up?” Byron asked his brother.

She knew it was Byron. Despite them being identical twins, there were slight differences in their voices. Byron’s was the smoother voice. Percy’s had the odd touch of sexy gravel.

“My dumb cat,” replied Percy on a near growl, “was up all night long. He keeps pawing at me, trying to get to her.”

Her? As the burn of jealousy sizzled in Suzan’s gut, she gnawed on her bottom lip in a futile attempt to quell it. Maybe Percy had a girlfriend and he was dying to see her. Maybe he couldn’t wait to escape the cabin so he could meet up with this woman and, well, let his jaguar loose.

“Yeah,” Byron said. “My cat’s in agony, too. I think my ribs are black and blue inside, it pounds them so much.”

Oh, great. She wasn’t sure why this information astounded her. Of course men like them would have girlfriends. Hell, they might have mates. She hadn’t bothered to ask, had she? She’d already heard the mate bond was a powerful thing, that it would drive any shifter to distraction, both sexually and emotionally. Why had she been naïve enough to think these men might be single? She knew enough to know the good ones were always taken.

She’d been so stupid to think they had a bond. Bullshit. Clearly, her empathic tendencies had let her down for the first time.

“I can’t believe how quickly my jag … recognized Suzi,” said Percy.

Oh. Last she heard, she was the only Suzi around here.

Byron grunted. “I feel the same way. I’ve never felt like this. My head’s not working properly. Fuck, I couldn’t even hold a bowl of eggs without losing it. Percy, we need to discuss things. Seriously.”

“I know.”

“If Suzi is the one we’re meant to share, we can’t afford to make any wrong moves, especially with Crane in the picture. We need to support her and not let our egos get in the way.”

“Agreed.”

If Suzi is the one we’re meant to share

Holy hell.


Predator's Trinity is now available for preorder on Amazon!

Release date is scheduled for 24 August 2015


Lu J. Whitley

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts:

  • Author: Lu J. Whitley
  • Genre:Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
  • Book: Bloodmarked from The Fraktioneers Series
  • Official Site

Bio

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, a little girl was born who was just a little odd around the edges. One thing led to another, and now you’re reading her stories.

Lu is a full-time writer who lives a quiet life with her eeky, roboticist usband and four-legged children.


Blurb

A ‘townie’ college student, living off campus with her overprotective mother, Greta Brandt thought everything about her life was run of the mill. Everything, except for the nightmares that have been plaguing her for as long as she can remember. 

When her reality is torn apart, Greta finds herself adrift in a world she thought only existed in her fevered dreams. The one soul she can cling to, a dark stranger who seems to know her better than she knows herself. 

Jaromir Ragnarsson is a shadow in a world men do not see. Charged with protecting the Brandt women from untold dangers, he had been ever vigilant in his task. Until one night, a fatal mistake threatens to take away mankind’s only chance for survival: Greta Brandt. 

Now, he must find a way to protect Greta in his hidden world, where magic and myth are fact not fiction. And curses are very, very real.

View the Book Trailer here!


Excerpt

He’d last seen the girl three years ago. Three years, four months, and eight days ago, to be precise. Had he been wearing a watch at the time, he probably could have narrowed it down further. She’d been leaving her house just as he’d arrived for a meeting with the older Ms. Brandt, on her way to a late night swimming party at the lake on the outskirts of town. He’d told himself to stay out of sight, keeping to the shadows in the corner of the living room. But as she’d flown down the stairs on her way out the door, he’d caught sight of her, wearing nothing but a black bikini and a pair of flip flops. A sweatshirt tied loosely around her waist. And he’d been floored.

He wasn’t sure how he’d missed her growing into the woman he’d seen before him. It wasn’t like him to be so oblivious. Gone was the awkward teenage gangliness. The braces. The terrible shag haircut. In their place was a full-grown fantasy. Full lips. Sooty lashes that framed her almond-shaped eyes. Her dark hair was cut pixie short, baring the long expanse of her throat. And the body. It was a map of womanly curves he wouldn’t mind taking a few days to travel down. All silky smooth skin that had glowed like a pearl in the moonlight rushing in through the open front door.

Luckily, she hadn’t seen him. And he needed to make sure she never would. He didn’t know exactly what he might do if she ever turned her brilliant violet eyes in his direction. Those eyes the undeniable reason she was under his protection in the first place. So he couldn’t be thinking about her like…like…however it was he was thinking."


Marie Johnston

Book to Brain Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Marie Johnston
  • Genre: Paranormal romance and contemporary romance
  • Books:
    • The Sigma Menace Series
      • Fever Claim (Book 1)
      • Primal Claim (Book 2)
      • True Claim (Book 3)
      • Reclaim (Book 3.5)
    • Fleet Week Romance Series
      • Rebound
      • Shooter 
  • Official Site

Bio

Marie Johnston still considers herself a microbiologist, though she left infectious organisms and full-time work over five years ago to be a stay at home mom. She is currently working occasionally as a fill-in medical technologist in clinic labs to support her habit of being home with the kids. Marie began writing a year ago and is still going strong. She’s an avid reader of paranormal and contemporary romance, therefore these are the stories hanging out in her head waiting to be told. Marie lives with her husband, four kids, and an old cat in the upper-Midwest where the winters are as brutal as the summers are beautiful.


Accomplishments

Marie served two years on her children’s elementary school’s PTO (never again), teaches Sunday school (swears never again, but ends up volunteering every year), and is currently serving on the board for the local chapter of Mom’s Club (the socialization keeps her sane). At no point, has she ventured into coaching her kids’ teams, but there’s still many more years left of soccer, volleyball, and softball.


Blurb True Claim (The Sigma Menace #3)

Over a century ago, Bennett Young found his mate, a human woman he trusted and was brutally betrayed by. With his one chance at happiness gone, Bennett throws himself into his work. He dreads the inevitable day he turns feral and his partners will be forced to put him down, then a routine mission brings him face-to-face with his worst nightmare. A human mate. Discovering the lovely, but evasive woman is being hunted, Bennett can’t bring himself to abandon her, at least not until she’s safe.

Spencer King has a boy’s name and lives in the boondocks for a reason. The tall, sexy shifter who showed up on her doorstep was unwelcome…and pushy. The mating instinct she feels for him threatens everyone she’s worked to keep safe. Realizing the frustrating, brooding Guardian doesn’t intend to leave her alone, Spencer has to figure out if she can trust him, and to decide – stay and fight, or run for her life?


Excerpt from True Claim (The Sigma Menace #3)

WARNING: Sensitive readers be forewarned. This excerpt contains some language.

What a nice spread.

A good three hundred and twenty acres sat next to the Guardian’s land. Both chunks of land were far enough away from city limits to be considered extremely rural and isolated. The Guardians kept tabs on all the land owners around their acreage. There were just a few owners really, and only one wasn’t a shifter. The previous non-shifter owner was okay letting the land grow wild, snoring loudly all night while shifters freely ran his property, and heading into town to hit on the silver-haired ladies at the senior center all day. It was an ideal situation until the guy hadn’t shown up in town one day and the senior center ladies called the local police, concerned about him, and found he’d passed away quietly one night.

The new owner might be an issue. Recently, shifters exercising their wolves in the woods had some near misses with steel traps. Concerning enough, until Kaitlyn came back from inspecting the traps claiming they were plentiful, covering the entirety of the property like land mines.

Driving down the ambling, dusty road that served as a driveway, Bennett decided at the last minute not to pull too close to the house. If he was in his furry form, the fur would be standing up on the back of his neck. Instead, he parked on the circular drive so he was angled toward the exit and protected by the SUV when he stepped out.

After he climbed out, he let his senses soak in the surroundings. Birds were singing, enjoying the sunny spring weather after a harsh winter. Two cows stood in a pasture, a good hundred yards from the main house. Who the fuck only had two cows?

Bennett spun when he heard a screen door open and resisted the urge to transition when a large German shepherd slammed the door open the rest of the way. Growling and snarling, the beast roared toward him, fangs bared.

Without hesitation, Bennett flung out a mental command. Halt!

The beast stopped abruptly, already midway between the house and Bennett. He swung his furry head toward the house where a figure stood shadowed in the doorway, and then the dog made a lunge back toward Bennett.

Mentally, Bennett held the large dog in place, grateful his erratic mental ability was steady today. He rarely used his gift. Seriously, who needed to talk to animals? And how long could one guy put up with Snow White references? All of his pack’s gifts had been increasingly erratic for the last century, so much so they’d become less and less dependent on them almost to the point of disuse. That is, until the last year, when some of them started finding mates. It seemed as if their powers became stronger and more grounded with each mating. Bennett thought that meant he was screwed.

The German shepherd whined and sat with a huff on his haunches, then turned his head back to the house.

Keeping his hold on the loyal dog, Bennett took in the figure that walked out.

Shiiiiiit. He felt his chest growing tight, his breathing becoming shallower. Not due to the shotgun emerging from the doorway, thankfully pointed downward, but it was the arm attached to it. Bennett ran his eyes up from where the tanned hand confidently gripped the shotgun barrel, up the delicately muscled arm encased in a red plaid shirt to where the rolled-up sleeve showed off a slight bulge of bicep. His eyes continued up the sun-kissed skin of a slender neck, bared by a clip holding up the sun-bleached, honey-brown hair, letting it cascade down from the clip like a waterfall of ripened wheat. Bennett took in the lash-lined hazel eyes and full, raspberry hued lips and felt like he’d been punched in the gut.

Because it wasn’t the stunning beauty, cautiously stepping off the porch, suspicion ripe in her bright, intelligent eyes that made Bennett feel like he was suffocating. It wasn’t the glinting, steel weapon in her hand, or the dog trained to attack.

No. The bottom dropped out of Bennett’s world as soon as he caught the scent, drifting toward him on the gentle breeze. The scent of lavender and vanilla, the signature smell of this human female. The scent of his mate.


Interview with the author

Tell us about yourself?

I started writing about a year ago, but have always gravitated toward it. When I worked full-time in the lab, I volunteered to write procedures and really enjoyed it (really, I did). Before I wrote Fever Claim, I had only written scientific papers (not as enjoyable) but always joked about how one day I was going to write a book. I never did because I would try to think of the entire story first, whereas I’d been making up individual scenes in my head for years (and years). At my husband’s urging to “just write,” I finally decided that I was getting older and still had written nothing so what was there to lose.

When I’m not writing, I’m running the kids around and trying to hold my peace together amidst the chaos. I also still work as a fill-in med tech occasionally throughout the month. For fun (though my knees really hate it), I play softball in the summers and dabble on a women’s hockey team (noncompetitive!) during the winters.

Is this your first book?

Fever Claim was my first book. There were three earlier attempts at different stories and two of them I plan to go back to, but the plot and emotions were much more complex than I could express, so I wanted more experience first. Fever Claim was followed by Primal Claim and True Claim and the short story Reclaim, all part of the Sigma Menace Series. Book 4, Lawful Claim will debut in early fall 2015.

I’ve also started a new contemporary romance short story series I’m really excited about: Fleet Week Romance. These stories will each be independent reads, with the first two shorts being Rebound and Shooter. They are meant to be quick, sweet, and steamy reads.

What genre do you enjoy the most?

I LOVE paranormal romance - both reading and writing. I love the emotions, the chemistry, and as far as writing goes - I get to make the rules. Creating your own world is fabulous.

What inspired you to write this book?

Lawful Claim (Book 4 of The Sigma Menace) is in progress. An underlying theme of the main character in the book, and the main character for upcoming Book 5, is about originally good people stuck in bad situations. Romance has a lot of bad boys, but I’ve always been drawn to good guys that behave badly, and exploring the reasons why.

How did you come up with the title of your book and series?

When I was in the lab, we were introduced to an efficient system called Six Sigma and I just plain liked the word “sigma.” On top of that, it’s has a math reference…be still my science geek heart.

I wanted a theme to tie all the books together and well, they’re about wolf-shifters and their mates, hence there’s a lot claiming going on. Each title, I strive to make relevant to the overall story of the main characters.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art.

I’ve solely used P and N Graphics and I love working with them. I feel like Sahara Kelly has become a mentor for me as I’ve learned so much from her. For the Sigma Menace series, I told them I wanted a dude with a background and they’ve kept a constant underlying tone to the covers while still utilizing relevant backgrounds from my story. They look sharp and professional.

For the Fleet Week romance series, I had a vague vision: I wanted a couple on the front, not too steamy, not too sweet, and with a naval background. And somehow make it all not look absurd. I didn’t have much inspiration to pass on, but Sahara sent a cover idea for Rebound and I was thrilled. She nailed it.

 What Hollywood actors would play your characters?

Duuuude…I have no idea. I don’t mix my books and movies. It sounds weird, but if I watch the movie, I don’t care to read the book and vice versa (confession: I haven’t read any Harry Potter books). If I happen to see a movie that I’ve already read the book for, I find I prefer my imagination over Hollywood’s adaptation.

What authors have inspired you to write?

JR Ward, Laura Wright, JR Ward, Larissa Ione, JR Ward, Kresley cole, JR Ward, Gena Showalter, JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning. Did I mention JR Ward? That woman is epic and I want to be her when I grow up. Those stories, the chemistry, the dialogue, her alpha males…just…wow. I’m in awe of her. I fall into utter deadbeat mom status when I’m reading one of her books.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?

Action. By far, action. Am I being too technical, am I being realistic, does it read well, was I descriptive enough? My mind likes to ruminate over emotion and the expression of it, so physical action is tough for me.

That being said, love scenes aren’t easy. Not if I want to be original, steamy, and again not too technical. I don’t want to gloss over them too quickly, but they don’t need to drag on for pages and pages.

I don’t seem to struggle as badly with dialogue, and I hope that now I’ve said that, I won’t start. A natural introvert, I’ve spent my life watching people, listening to what’s going on around me so dialogue seems to flow more smoothly as I write, though I have a lot of room for growth.

Do you read your reviews?

Absolutely. I don’t have many, but I may or may not have read them once or five times. I love Goodreads and the groups where we can swap reviews, but life gets so busy, I find myself shying away from review swapping because it can be a bit time consuming. I enjoy doing it, and I love helping out fellow indies, but the last few months have been especially busy so I hope to get back into it once school starts again and I’m not moderating children’s activities (and arguments).

Where do you write?

On my couch, with my legs stretched out. I still want to find the guy that recommended a laptop when we went in to buy a new computer. I couldn’t imagine being tucked away at my desk with my back to the world (well, on most days).

Naptime is writing time. When naps become fully boycotted (not by me!), then afternoon TV/quiet time will become writing time. Otherwise, on the weekends, I sneak back to the bedroom and write with some semblance of privacy.

When I first started writing, I used to go to the library. But I’ve gotten better tuning out the world at home where I don’t have to pack up all my gear to go to the bathroom.

Are you a plotter or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I’m a pantser. Which is totally weird if you knew what an uptight planner I am. I have my yearly agenda, and every week is written out for each day exactly where and when we need to be somewhere, who I need to call, what needs dropping off, etc…But writing is different. Unless I’m out for a long walk or run and my mind can wander, I can’t force a storyline. I have to let it play out for me.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes. When I was a kid, I wrote a few short stories, but didn’t recreationally write until I wrote Fever Claim. Well…my emails got a bit wordy. In college, especially for my master’s degree, I wrote A LOT of papers. I’m even published under my microbiologist alter ego, so if you’re curious about the incidence of Campylobacter in turkey carcasses, give me a call. In my career, I’ve written lab procedures and headed up a newsletter for the section where I also wrote an article or two. No matter what I was doing, there’s been writing.

Do you have pets?

I have a fifteen year old cat, Killian (you know, named after the beer), that likes to yowl in front of the toddler’s room at 5am. I’d love a dog, but seriously, I want all my kids out of diapers and then a long reprieve from dealing with other beings’ bodily functions on my carpet.

What is your favorite song?

Right now, there’s a close tie between two. I’d been away from country music for years before I heard “Drunk on a Plane.” My first thought was,what hick song is this? Then I listened to the lyrics, which tell a good story, and let Dierks Bentley’s voice caress my ear drums and fell in love with the song.

“Sangria” by Blake Shelton is on my repeat-at-least-twenty-times list. Not only does he have a smooth voice with a hint of drawl, but the lyrics spike my romance writer jealousy. How can a couple of verses paint such a complete, vivid picture of a couple getting ready to get it on? “Wrecking ball dancing down the hallway…you’re holding your shoes wearing my shades…”

Do you remember the first book you read?

The first for realz book, when I got through all of the quickie reads for kids at that time (like Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley), I was in fourth grade and found my mom’s The Diamond Throne by David Eddings. I had to keep asking my mom what some words meant and got the standard “look it up in the dictionary” response. I gobbled up every David Eddings book after that and started a long love affair with fantasy. I even read Game of Thrones in real time, up until book four when I’d already found JR Ward and become a romance convert.

I knew there was something special about my husband when I first met him, because he was reading a David Eddings book. He was the only other person I’d met besides my mom that read the genre I did (I was only 19 when we met, but still…).

What book are you reading now?

I just got done reading The Shadows by JR Ward. In fact, I have a book hangover because I stayed up hours past my bedtime to finish it so I could read in peace. I adore that woman’s writing and The Shadows ripped me up, but I trust certain authors to carry me through their character’s gut-wrenching story.





db nielsen

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author:  db nielsen
  • Genre: YA, NA, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
  • Book: SEED: Keepers of Genesis I, and SCROLL: Keepers of Genesis II
  • Official Site

Bio

db nielsen was born in British Hong Kong and immigrated to Australia in childhood. db likes to travel the world with family; dividing time between residing in Sydney and visits to the cathedrals, crypts and museums the world over, doing research for new projects. The author is a university lecturer in Linguistics and Semiotics, and continues to teach English Literature and Language whilst writing fiction.


Blurb

Introducing Keepers of Genesis, a gripping new epic adventure series from talented debut author D B Nielsen. A magical blend of romance, fantasy and fascinating ancient history, this captivating four-part series comprising SEED, SCROLL, SWORD and STONE is already enthralling a legion of young adult readers and crossover fiction fans alike.

Twilight meets A Discovery of Witches in this addictive, fast paced series featuring inquisitive seventeen-year-old twins Sage and Saffron Woods who become embroiled in a thrilling quest when an artefact, long sought after, suddenly reappears in present day southern Iraq – a land long considered the cradle of civilization, ancient Mesopotamia. With its unearthing, a centuries-old conflict is reignited; a conflict that takes the sisters from the British Museum to Paris to the Vatican Secret Archives and the catacombs in Rome. In a race against time the twins discover not only deeply hidden secrets of the ancient world but embark on a journey of self-discovery and coming of age that uncovers their own passionate feelings for unearthly immortals.

One daring quest, twin sisters and their sweeping and adventurous romances, a perilous rivalry, mysterious Nephilim (offspring of Fallen Angels), intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries, a magical tale of angels and demons throughout the ages. Incorporating well researched historical facts intertwined with myth, fantasy, fascinating esoterica, literary allusions and a love story, Keepers of Genesis is a compelling read which marks the arrival of a wonderful new voice in the young adult crossover fiction genre appealing to fans of Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush saga, Lauren Kate’s Fallen series and Deborah Harkness’ bestselling All Souls trilogy.


 Seed Blurb

A powerful, hidden artifact is unearthed and, with its discovery, an ancient conflict is reignited. Seventeen-year-old Sage Woods, the daughter of an eminent archaeologist, uncovers the artifact’s disturbing secret and is placed in terrible danger. Unwittingly, she has stumbled into an invisible war between two primordial dynasties of a supernatural order – a war in which she has a fateful role to play in a race to control the power of the SEED.

Embroiled in a quest that takes her from the British Museum to the Louvre to the Vatican Secret Archives, Sage realizes that her blossoming romance with the mysterious, alluring St. John Rivers is inextricably tied to the artifact. Up until now, St. John has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Sage is determined to delve deeper to uncover his dark secret and his connection to the SEED.

It is a decision that will have a devastating effect on humankind…

SEED is the first book in the Keepers of Genesis series


 Scroll Blurb

IDENTICAL TWIN SISTERS. POLES APART. LIGHT AND SHADOW. THEIR DESTINIES INTERLOCKED IN A QUEST THAT WILL DETERMINE THE FATE OF HUMANKIND…

Seventeen-year-old Saffron Woods, twin sister to Sage, is haunted by strange voices as if from some distant past. With the SEED’s sentience awakened, these mystical voices intensify, forcing Saffron to acknowledge that she has also inherited its legacy of dark secrets, intrigue and death. Venturing out alone, Saffron is driven to locate an ancient manuscript, the other half of a Cosmic Map charting the location of the only undiscovered Wonder of the Ancient World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; gateway to the Garden of Eden. But last seen in the Library of Alexandria, the SCROLL is thought to be lost to humankind.

Then Saffron meets the compelling caretaker of Satis House who appears to know more than he is willing to reveal. Knowing she cannot trust him, Saffron is still drawn to this rebellious boy who seems to both threaten and protect her. But her feelings for Finn are complicated by the charming yet inscrutable Anakim, Gabriel Chevalier, who offers her his invaluable assistance in locating the elusive manuscript.

Torn between competing passions and facing an increasingly implacable enemy, the Grigori, Saffron struggles to find the SCROLL which holds the secrets to the past and the key to the future…

SCROLL is the second book in the Keepers of Genesis series


Book Reviews

Seed

***** With all of the zest and determination of a teen, ignoring the fact that she has been told NOT to disturb her archaeologist father in his office, Sage plows through his door and her life becomes the thing of myth, the supernatural and ancient history coming to life. So, maybe not her best move, but a highly secret artifact is communicating with her, she feels the secrets it keeps locked away. What does it mean for her? Sage becomes fascinated by the inhumanly handsome and charismatic St. John Rivers, who is also part of her father’s team of experts, but he runs hot and cold, one minute the dashing flirt, the next he is the absent-minded professor, ignoring her while lost in his thoughts. But is her really just another brilliant human or is their more to how he always seems to show up in Sage’s life? The artifact is part of a supernatural war between two dynasties and Sage has been chosen by fate to become part of this war. What if she chooses wrong in her quest for answers and to understand this ancient piece? She and St. John will travel across Europe in search of clues to save the world, do they lie in the archives at the Vatican? Will she discover St. John’s true identity, as well as the identities of the warring factions? Winner takes all, including the fate of the world’s souls, and the clock is ticking as each hour becomes more dangerous for Sage and her guardian, St. John. Their feelings must be set aside, possibly forever, but is that fair?


Action, adventure, mystery and a touch of the supernatural, a battle going back in time thousands of years, is there some mystical secret held within the artifact; does it touch on religious beliefs from long ago? Seed by D. B. Nielsen is more than a fast-paced journey into the unknown, the unimaginable. D.B. Nielsen has blended truth, suppositions and an author’s imagination into a read that becomes spell-binding, to say the least!

Do you like the hunt for ancient treasures with unexplainable powers and dark secrets? Do you get chills from knowing an artifact holds the future of the world in its secrets? D.B. Nielsen has a feast for your senses with Seed. With characters and scenes that scream, can you believe this? There is no choice but to answer YES!, the writing is that powerful, the tale that intense. If this is the future of N/A reading, I would say, the literary world should be celebrating with gusto! Get ready for one of the best games of supernatural cat and mouse to hit the decks running!


Seed: Keepers of Genesis 1  by d.b.nielsen

I absolutely loved it. It has all of my favorite things…some kind of quest (usually religious), a love story, mystery, thriller, adventure, twins!, family, evil bad guys, good bad guys(?), heroines, heroes, history, excitement, fear, animals, fancy cars and places, fashion, strained and strong relationships, mentors, other things I can't mention(spoilers). Did I mention twins?!! I read the little teaser of the next story (at the end of this one) and I can tell you I am on it the moment it releases! 

So, so good! I hope they make movies someday!

I also enjoyed the various lovely words to look up in the dictionary. Not to say I didn't understand what they meant in the context but I do enjoy words and sometimes I just want to know more. Does that make me a dictionary nerd?

Highly Recommended if this is your thing :)

I borrowed this book from Amazon's Prime Members Lending Library so I could read it with Goodreads Indie Book Club. Thanks, it's been great :)


Scroll: Keepers of genesis II

The second is even better then the first. Sage finds out her twin is also the wise one! Her twin has all the qualities she does not so the compliment one another. There is m o re adventure and Fi is very spirited, could she be in love with the wrong one? Danger, battles,love and adventure what more can one ask for. I totally enjoyed this story the sense of humor, heart ache it has it all. I am so excited to read the next book! I rate this book a 5 stars!


Excerpt from Seed

It was because I was so transfixed with my find that I initially failed to notice that I was being scrutinized from across the room. The first I became aware of it was a prickling sensation down my back, the hairs on my neck and arms raised giving me goose bumps. I turned my head round nervously, looking back over my shoulder.

He stood at a distance, a young man in his mid-twenties perhaps, taller than average. No mere accident of lighting, his slightly curly locks, the colour of polished brass, formed a halo around a face that was much too beautiful to be called handsome. The only way to describe him was golden. His skin was golden, his hair, which he wore slightly longer than was fashionable, curling into the nape of his neck, was golden and I suspected his eye colour was, if not golden, amber like mine.

When I caught him staring at me intently, he neither looked away in embarrassment nor did he pretend to know me. Instead, he continued to assess me with an unblinking, hypnotic gaze. It was I who broke contact first; flushing with embarrassment, I dropped my eyes at once.

This can’t be happening! I thought, feeling panicky. Dragging in a deep breath, my eyes skittered back to his. He was still staring at me, his indescribably beautiful face unmoved.

My heart fluttered in my chest. I didn’t know what to think – was this some random stalker or had he seen me before around the museum and couldn’t place my face, seeming familiar to him? No serial killer looked the way he did. He was dressed immaculately all in black; a pair of black trousers was topped by a fine woollen black turtleneck. He wore the sleeves rolled up, exposing his sun-kissed skin. And the black only accentuated the perfection of his face. Of course, I had no idea what a serial killer looked like, but I was fairly certain it wasn’t this golden god.

As curious as I was, I did the only thing that made sense; I ignored him – or pretended to. Deliberately turning my back on him, I tried to refocus on the tablet in front of me. But I was merely staring blankly, nothing was registering. It was all so unreal.

‘It’s not real.’ A low, attractive voice remarked by my side.


Character Bio

Name: Elijah St. John Rivers (prefers to be called St. John)

Born in ancient Phoenicia, St. John is over six foot tall; buff; has slightly curly locks, the colour of polished brass. He wears it slightly longer than is fashionable, curling into the nape of his neck. He has unusual jade green eyes with flecks of gold in them (they turn emerald when he’s in a passion).

Father (Elijah): a member of the Grigori (or Watchers) and a fallen angel.

Mother (Miriam): a human female from a family of sheep-herders.

Their love was considered illicit and led to Miriam being disowned by her family and ostracized by her tribe. She died in childbirth and her child was left to die on the road to Canaan. The infant was found by the Anakim (a race of Nephilim) and raised by the leader, Anak.

Being immortal, St. John passes himself for twenty-five years old. Over his three thousand year existence, he preferred to keep his past a secret and much of what he did/ where he travelled/ his activities are unknown. But there are a few facts that have been reported about him:  he was a member of the Templar Knights and, later, became an advisor to Charlemagne. His foster father, Père Henri, is a priest who works at Notre-Dame de Paris. St. John is the Keeper of the Seed; a role requiring him to protect an ancient artefact of significant value and power. As such, he met the writer, Charlotte Bronte, who named a character after him in her novel, Jane Eyre. During the Victorian era, it is known that he travelled to India.

St. John is now considered an eminent archaeologist; having completed high school at Eton College (UK) and studied Middle Eastern archaeology and history at Oxford University. He has a vast property portfolio (from The Golden Triangle in Paris to New York), and is extremely wealthy. He resides in both Paris and London.

He works as the Assistant Keeper, Ancient Mesopotamian Culture at the British Museum in London. He was assigned to spend three days in Basra, surveying eight of southern Iraq’s most important archaeological sites from Ur to Tell el-Lahm on a mission to preserve the area’s cultural heritage where he worked with Professor Woods. When Professor Woods’ family moved to London, St. John finally met his soul mate, Sage Woods.