Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview: Empathy by Carolyn Wren



What inspired you to become an author?

My writing origins story is a little odd.  Having a career as a finance officer meant I spent all my day working on numbers and spreadsheets, not words.  Then one night back in 2009, I was lying in bed awake watching a moonbeam cast flickering shadows over the bed.  A scene popped into my brain of a man holding a woman while she slept.  The image came with a phrase, She shifted, just a small adjustment to bring her leg closer. The movement disturbed a fold in the heavy silk of her red ball gown, and it flowed open like water, exposing her calf to gleam pale in the moonlight. I had no idea where those words came from, but the next morning I wrote them down.  That phrase became part of my debut novel Diplomat’s Daughter.  I haven’t stopped writing since.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I do like writing in more than just the hero and heroines viewpoint.  My minor characters tend to jump up and down demanding their page time as well.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes, many different genres.  My published works are in Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Murder Mystery and even a little bit of Erotica.  I hope I never have to choose only one genre, because the choice would be impossible.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

That’s a very difficult question to answer as I don’t set out to write a specific genre.  The stories tend to go in any number of different directions.  But I think all of them will have at least a hint of Romantic Suspense.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I knew the story had emotions at its base, so I tried to choose a name that reflected that.  Once I decided to give the characters the specific abilities of reading emotions as a physical sense, Empathy seemed to fit the story perfectly.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I always write first.  When writing Empathy, it sat in my desktop folder under the working title of ‘Paranormal’ until I’d finished it. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Be careful what you wish for?  For most of us, the ability to read other people’s emotions could seem like an awesome thing to have.  I wanted to delve deeper, to see the other side.  If you loved someone, it would be amazing if you could feel that love returned, but what if it faded, or turned into indifference over time.  That would be heartbreaking. 

What books/authors have influenced your life?

I grew up with scifi and fantasy.  Anne McCaffrey was the first person who taught me that fantasy and romance could work hand in hand.  Her early book, Restoree is brilliant. I’ll always see her, and that book, as a strong influence.  Linda Howard is a fantastic storyteller, she’s the one who spurred my love of Romantic Suspense. Son of The Morning is still one of my favorite Linda Howard Books. 

What book are you reading now?

I just finished Archangels Shadows by Nalini Singh.  The Guild Hunter books are one of my stop-everything-must-read-now series. 

What books are in your to read pile?

Matthew Reilly - The Great Zoo of China – Matthew is a master at writing action scenes. 

Larissa Ione – Azagoth, a novella in her Demonica Series.
I’ve been impatiently waiting for the release of JR Wards new book in the Brotherhood of the Black Dagger series.  It’s out now and I can’t wait to dive into it.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

The next book in the Emotional Chains Series, Called Perception, is due out in August so I’m working hard on that at the moment.  I did just finish a prequel novella for my contemporary Romantic Suspense series, The Protectors, and I enjoyed revisiting my characters. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Perception – Emotional Chains book 2 – will continue the story of the empaths and will concentrate on some of the other characters.  We’ll learn more about the Drew Atherton and his mysterious daughter Sally and how their lives affect Kira Duke so much.  Plus we’ll visit the ongoing stormy relationship between headstrong Meredith Baron and her long suffering partner in crime, Detective Mike Stone.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Creating someone and something that never existed until I put my fingers on the keys. 

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Secret Cravings Publishing uses Award Winning artist Dawne Dominique for their covers.  Dawne’s work is incredible, she always manages to capture the essence of my story.  Everyone should check out her website.  http://dusktildawndesigns.com/

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep going.  Don’t worry if you don’t write in the latest trendy style, or if your writing breaks all the rules.  A wise person once told me that technical craft can be learnt, but a writers voice is instinctive and can’t be taught.  Create the story first, worry about the rules later. 

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

Neil Diamond’s Play me is featured in Empathy.  The lyrics of ‘for I’ve been lonely, in need of someone’ summed up the character of Kira Duke so perfectly, I had to include the song in the book. 







Empathy
Emotional Chains
Book 1
Carolyn Wren

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  Secret Cravings Publishing

Date of Publication: 23rd March 2015

ISBN:  978-1-63105-537-9

Number of pages:  229
Word Count: 74,918

Cover Artist:  Dawne Dominique

Book Description: 

What if you could sense the emotions of everyone around you?  What if you fell in love with someone you’d never even met?

Oliver Lord belongs to one of three special families, empaths who feel emotions as a physical sense.  Quiet and reserved, and accustomed to keeping his abilities hidden, Oliver is drawn inexorably to a woman he’s never met.  The woman who made his brother’s last year of life so happy.   

When Zoe Daniels, talented sculptor, loses her fiancĂ© before their wedding, she can’t imagine finding love again, until she meets Jasper’s unknown brother, a man so different, yet so achingly familiar to the man she adored. What is Oliver’s secret, and why is he so determined to keep her at arm’s length?

A violent kidnapping and murder forces the empaths from the shadows to seek justice for one of their own.  Oliver turns to Zoe, needing her comfort and love. Can she accept him for who he is?

Oliver and two powerful empathic friends need to track down the kidnappers before they strike again, but how do you solve a murder, when your only clue is emotion?



Available at  Secret Cravings   ARe   Amazon   BN





Excerpt 2

She sighed and leaned forward. “I’m about to tell you something. I would appreciate it if you’d listen with an open mind, because it’s going to shock you.”
Mike mirrored her position, leaning his elbows on the table. “Very little shocks me these days, Miss Baron.”
“I prefer Meredith, or Merri.”
He inclined his head in acknowledgement. “If you have information on this case, I need to hear it.”
She fiddled with the spoon from her chocolate. The first non-confident move he’d seen her make. “I think Freddy may have been killed because of abilities he had.”
“Abilities?”
“Freddy was empathic. He could feel emotions as a physical sense.”
Mike sagged, fighting a keen sense of disappointment and a growing anger. He thought they were on to something, but no. She was one of those loopy new-age nut jobs—a very beautiful new-age nut job.
“You don’t believe me.”
Mike shoved his coffee cup aside. “No, I don’t believe you, and if you’ve finished wasting my time, I have real work to do.”
“Wait,” she said as he stood.
“I’m a busy man, Miss Baron.”
“What happened in the alley?”
Mike hesitated with his palms flat on the table. “Nothing.”
“Liar. You had a panic attack.”
“Fine. I had a panic attack. I work ninety hours a week on a good week. I don’t eat or sleep properly, and I see a lot of terrible things. Sometimes the stress gets to me, okay?”
“I did it.”
“Bull dust.”
“This would be so much easier if you just believed me, but I see I’m going to have to prove it.”
“Prove what?” A rush of pure erotic heat raced through Mike’s body and headed straight between his legs. He sat down with a thud as those same limbs turned into wet noodles.
She leaned further across the table. “It’s funny, isn’t it, how we accept some emotions as a normal part of our daily life? Fear, pain, worry, anger, anxiety, guilt? We put them down as a standard occurrence caused by traffic jams, a suspicious person in our peripheral vision, a horrendous story on the evening news. You know what I mean, all sorts of things. But, sexual excitement? Desire? Lust? Arousal? Those we can’t explain away quite so easily, can we, detective?”
Her voice was a husky edged blade running over his skin. Heat. His whole body was a mass of pulsing aroused heat. Mike fought the almost uncontrollable urge to jerk his hips forward and sink into soft firm flesh. I’m having sex. Jesus, I feel like I’m having sex. All of the sensations were there. A series of highly carnal scenarios ran though his mind like a movie. Supple limbs wrapping around his, warm silky skin rubbing against him, moist lips panting with hot breath, fanning his face. His erection pressed against his zipper, and even that was unreasonably erotic. Mike was lost in a sensual storm, held captive by luminous blue eyes. The pressure built in his lower back, culminating in a blast of sensation, a tightening of his groin. Christ, I’m going to come.
Meredith broke eye contact, relaxed back in her chair, and picked up her hot chocolate.
Mikes impending orgasm, and all the associated sensations, vanished. He slumped against the table, heaving in great lungful’s of air. “Jesus Christ!”
“Nope. Just me.”
He gaped at her, his fingers curled into claws against the solid wood, and heart beating in double time. “What are you?”
The look she gave him was a mixture of exasperation and annoyance. “I’m not a what. I’m an empath. What do you say? Are you willing to listen to me now?”
“Yes,” he said, through a clenched jaw.

“Good.” She slid a gilt edged business card toward him, before standing and hitching a leather bag on her shoulder. “My place at eight tonight, address is on the card. Be prepared to listen. Oh, and Stone, drink your coffee. You look like you need it.”

About the Author:

Carolyn Wren is the award winning author of a seven part romantic suspense series called, The Protectors. Having spent her working life as a book-keeper and finance officer for international companies, she discovered a passion for fiction writing in 2009. Assuming it was some sort of mid-life crisis, she kept it a secret for six months. In an impulsive move, she entered The Emerald, a prestigious writing contest for unpublished authors run by the Romance Writers of Australia. Much to her utter shock, she won it. This was followed shortly after by a finalist placing in the International Daphne Du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense.

Carolyn received a seven book contract with Secret Cravings Publishing in 2011.  Her debut published work Diplomat’s Daughter won the RWA ‘Ella’ award for novella of the year.

To date, The Protectors series has received four award nominations, resulting in two trophies.

Carolyn’s other works include a very naughty ghost erotic novella Ghosts of Grace Cottage that she wrote during a stormy winter day.  Her new series, the murder mystery urban fantasy Emotional Chains is her latest obsession.

She writes full time now, enjoys every minute of it, and loves hearing from readers.




Giveaway: Witch’s Moonstone Locket by Marsha A. Moore






Witch’s Moonstone Locket
A Coon Hollow Coven Tale
Book One
Marsha A. Moore

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: March 24, 2015

ASIN: B00V2DG0HG

Number of pages: 315
Word Count: 94,000


Book Description:

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. 


Available at Amazon

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. Not ready to let go, she bent at the waist and her fingers followed the arc of her mother’s name—Faye Sadler—in the headstone. She knew the unyielding shape well. The word goodbye stuck in her throat. She’d said it aloud many times since her mother died almost a year 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. 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. Once able to see, 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 time since Mom passed. The coming Labor Day weekend in Bentbone meant the valley coven’s yearly carnival. She and her close group of 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, her thoughts returned to the 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. At her desk again, she took her position.
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.


About the Author:

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!






Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/marshaamoore

Goodreads author page  http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kindle Freebie April 16-20 Insatiable by Roxanne Rhoads



Insatiable
Roxanne Rhoads 

Scarlett’s need for sex is insatiable but in her small town such appetites are frowned upon. 

She packs up and moves to the big city so she can quench her desires and satisfy her hunger. She never expected to find a man who is her equal. 

Marcello’s appetites for pleasures of the flesh match her own. Scarlett has never known love, only desire, yet Marcello leaves her wanting more than just sex. 


Can true love and unquenchable desire exist together in a non- monogamous relationship? 



Available at  Amazon

Friday, April 17, 2015

Interview with S M Spencer



What inspired you to become an author?

When I was young, I read a lot—everything from fantasy and light romance, to mystery and science fiction. And I often found myself living the stories long after I’d finished the books. I had so much respect for this ability—to create a story that had such a lasting effect on me—that I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to be a writer.

It’s taken me a lot of years to be in a position to dedicate my time to writing, but now that I’m here, I love every minute of it!

Do you have a specific writing style?

I try to write in a fast paced, conversational style. Although I appreciate the work behind the highly descriptive and thought provoking narrative style of writing, I find that more often than not I can’t “get into” those books. So, I write what I like to read.

Do you write in different genres?

Yes. I’m a new author, and the paranormal romance trilogy Absent Shadows is my first book. However, I’m midway through a rural romance novel, and there is a science fiction novel that has been bubbling away in my subconscious for several years. I hope to have both of these out over the next year or so.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

I thought long and hard about this. I wanted something that implied vampires, but with a bit of subtlety. Especially since the book is geared toward the YA audience, with limited sex and violence.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Trust your intuition. Listen to what your higher self is telling you, and follow your heart.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

Most of the book is pure fantasy, but when I first came to Australia I had to learn to understand ‘Strayan (Aussie slang) and so writing Lili, the Californian girl who arrives in Australia and tries to fit in, was based a lot on what I’d gone through.

But the story is set in a real place. I was working near Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets, and while walking around at lunchtime, I started sensing that I was smack dab in the middle of the perfect setting for a story about ghosts and vampires. Of course, the late night ghost tours I’d done in the area, where I’d learned the history of the cemetery under the market’s carpark and about ghost sightings all throughout the area, really gave my imagination a kick start.

What book are you reading now?

I recently joined a book club, RRBC, and am trying to support those authors as well as my fellow indieBRAG medallion authors. I’ve just finished The Glade, by Harmony Kent and Blue Mercy, by Orna Ross that are both 5 Star reads. I would highly recommend these to anyone, especially since you can get the free sample chapters from Amazon to see if the writing style is for you.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

At this point in my career, I’ve chosen to set my books in areas that I’m already familiar with. I consider myself quite fortunate to have lived in exciting places—like the San Francisco Bay Area, and now, for quite some considerable time, in Melbourne Australia. Having lived in the places where the stories are set adds a great deal of credibility to them—understanding both the culture and the geography of the settings.  

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

I’ve used a local company called bookPOD. Sylvie and I worked together to come up the ideas and models for the cover designs, and her amazing talent made it all happen.

Do you have any advice for other writers?


I’m and indie author—both by choice and circumstance. I tried the traditional route, but got a rather lukewarm response from agents who felt my genre was very crowded. So, having belief in what I’d done, I pressed on by myself.

For other others my advice is simple. Firstly, ignore the negative commentary about there being too many books out there. If you have a story to tell, and you believe in it, tell it. There will be people who will be glad you did.

But secondly, before you publish your book anywhere, make sure it is the best you can make it. Read books or articles about self-editing. Have others read it for you. And when you think your book is as good as you can get it, set it aside for a time. Then go back to it later and edit it again with fresh eyes.


I did all the above, and am proud to say that Destiny was awarded an indieBRAG medallion. If you aren’t familiar with indieBRAG check it out at www.bragmedallion.com .

Destiny
Absent Shadows Trilogy
Book One
S M Spencer

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: October 2014

ASIN: B00O6WL9IA

Number of pages:  208
Word Count:  75,000

Cover Artist: BookPOD

Book Description:

Destiny: ‘The predetermined or inevitable path a person must follow.’

When nineteen year-old Lili McIntyre decides to trade her California summer for a mid-winter visit to Australia, it’s in hope of finding inspiration and direction in the country where her father was born.

But when she arrives in Melbourne, the first thing she finds is the last thing she’s looking for—a brooding man who makes her heart race every time she sees him.
Against her better judgement, Lili finds herself drawn into a relationship that tests her very beliefs about life, reality and fantasy. But the real test is how to follow her destiny as she faces some of the hardest decisions of her life.

Using a modern theme, the author tells an old fashioned love story that you won’t want to put down, even when you’ve finished the last page.

Available at   Amazon    Brag Medallion
Excerpt:

Sometimes, when something bad happens, time seems to slow to a crawl.
Like that time I was running to visit my friend who lived down the street. I was only about ten at the time, but it seemed like it was yesterday. I remember exactly how it felt as I ran down that street toward her house. And how, when I was only part way there, I stepped on an acorn and my foot rolled out from under me. As I fell, the pavement got closer and closer to my face—in horrible slow-motion. I hit the ground with my hands stretched out in front of me, scraping the skin off both palms. They barely bled but man they hurt like crazy.
Yes, I could replay that memory like a slow-motion movie in my head even now—years later.
But this … well, this wasn’t like that.
What happened next was like a series of still photos. Tom flew out of the bedroom in a blur, but stopped just long enough for the image of his face to be burnt into my mind. His eyes were no longer soft brown, but were instead a glowing red, and his normally tanned complexion was now pallid grey. But what really stood out was the blood that ran down from the corner of his mouth.
Then I heard Sam’s voice—loud and harsh. ‘Go!’
Tom was gone and I heard the door slam.
I closed my eyes for no more than a long blink—it couldn’t have been more than a second—but when I opened them, Sam was in the bedroom, bending over Claire. Was he doing something to her neck? She was so still.
I ran to the doorway but stopped short of going in. I couldn’t draw a breath to scream or talk. I just stood there, frozen.






About the Author:

S M Spencer was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a young teenager her mother introduced her to the world of romantic suspense by encouraging her to read the works of authors such as Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. These books stirred a passion in her that would last a lifetime—to become a writer.

Feeling the need to experience life before embarking on a writing career, Ms Spencer completed a business degree. Her career eventually landed her in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived ever since. Yet her true passion to be a writer never abated.

SM Spencer now writes from her home in the outskirts of Melbourne, where she lives with her husband, horses, cats and dogs.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Eternal Desire Has Been Re-Released

It has a new cover and some fresh new edits that update the story, leave it open for Lizbeth and Christien's new story (to be published later this year) and it now ties directly into the Vehicle City Vampires series as Liz and Christien show up in some of the VCV short stories as well as in the upcoming VCV Book 2, Hex and the City. 

My daughter designed this gorgeous new cover. The background is a photo I took in New Orleans at the Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.


Eternal Desire

Publisher: Bewitching Books  

Release Date: April 14, 2015 (2 edition)


ASIN: B00VWIQGFM

Paranormal researcher Liz Beth's dreams are haunted by a sensual vampire.

She arrives in New Orleans the week of Halloween in search of her elusive dream lover, but instead finds a handsome stranger.

They begin a passionate affair. Soon she is torn between dreams and reality, lost somewhere in the middle trying to regain reason.

She aches to find the vampire of her dreams but can't seem to break free of the spell her sexy stranger has her tangled in.

Eternal Desire is available at the following ebook retailers


Amazon   iTunes   Scribd   Inktera   Kobo   Nook 


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spotlight on the Earth Reclaimed Series by Ann Gimpel







Earth’s Requiem
Earth Reclaimed
Book 1
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
107K words

Release Date: 3/1/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Resilient, kickass, and determined, Aislinn's walled herself off from anything that might make her feel again. Until a wolf picks her for a bondmate, and a Celtic god rises out of legend to claim her for his own.

Book Description:

Aislinn Lenear lost her anthropologist father high in the Bolivian Andes. Her mother, crazy with grief that muted her magic, was marched into a radioactive vortex by dark creatures and killed. Three years later, stripped of every illusion that ever comforted her, twenty-two year old Aislinn is one resilient, kickass woman with a take no prisoners attitude. In a world turned upside down, where virtually nothing familiar is left, she’s conscripted to fight the dark gods responsible for her father’s death. Battling evil on her own terms, Aislinn walls herself off from anything that might make her feel again in this compelling dystopian urban fantasy.

Fionn MacCumhaill, Celtic god of wisdom, protection, and divination has been laying low since the dark gods stormed Earth. He and his fellow Celts decided to wait them out. After all, three years is nothing compared to their long lives. On a clear winter day, Aislinn walks into his life and suddenly all bets are off. Awed by her courage, he stakes his claim to her and to an Earth he's willing to fight for.


Aislinn’s not so easily convinced. Fionn’s one gorgeous man, but she has a world to save. Emotional entanglements will only get in her way. Letting a wolf into her life was hard. Letting love in may well prove impossible.

Available at Amazon


Earth’s Blood
Earth Reclaimed
Book 2
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
105K words

Release Date: 3/1/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Clinging to their courage in a crumbling world, Aislinn and Fionn vow to save Earth, no matter what it takes.

Book Description:

In a post-apocalyptic world where most people have been slaughtered, the Celtic gods and a few humans with magic are all that stand between survival and Earth falling into chaos. The combination of dark sorcery leveraged by the enemy is daunting. Destruction is all but certain if the small enclaves of humans who are left can’t get past their distrust of the Celts.

Captured by the enemy, Aislinn Lenear wonders if she’ll ever see her bond wolf or Fionn, a Celtic god, again. She’s had nothing but her wits to rely on for years. They haven’t failed her yet, but escape from her current predicament seems remote.

An enticing blend of dystopian urban fantasy and romance, this second volume of the Earth Reclaimed Series provides fertile ground for Aislinn and Fionn’s relationship to deepen. Headstrong and independent, the pair run up against each other’s demands time and time again. Fireworks spark. In the end, they learn to savor every moment in a bittersweet world where each day may well be the last.

Available at Amazon

Earth’s Hope
Earth Reclaimed
Book 3
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
95K words

Release Date: 3/6/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Power so old, deep, and chilling it hurts to think about it will overrun Earth if nothing changes. Targeted, furious, and fighting back, Aislinn runs wide open, gathering allies and putting her life on the line.

Book Description:

Aislinn Lenear has traveled a long road since the dark gods invaded Earth better than three years ago. After seeing her father slaughtered in front of her, and her mother sink into madness, Aislinn built strong walls around her heart. First her bond wolf, and then Fionn MacCumhaill, changed all that, but she and Fionn are far from home free. 

Four of the six dark gods are still sowing destruction, and they’ve joined forces with Lemurians, a desperate lot, running just ahead of the tide of their own mortality. In a bold move, they try to coopt a group of young dragons, and very nearly succeed. Dewi, the Celtic dragon god, and Nidhogg, the Norse dragon god, banish their brood to the dragons’ home world, but they refuse to stay put.

In a fast-paced, tension-riddled closure to this dystopian, urban fantasy series, Earth's Hope sweeps from Ireland to the Greek Islands to the Pacific Northwest to borderworlds where the dark gods live. Fionn’s and Aislinn’s relationship is strained to the breaking point as they struggle to work together without tearing one another to bits. Fionn is used to being obeyed without question, but Aislinn won’t dance to his tune. If they can find their way, there may be hope for a ravaged Earth.

Available at Amazon

About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.





@AnnGimpel