Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Welcome, Sydney Winward

Learn More About Bloodbond From the Author

 

When I finished writing Bloodborn, I had fallen in love with Zachariah Degore, who is a supporting character and also Adam’s little brother, the hero of the story. Thus far, he had lived such a sad, pitiful life filled with bloodlust and darkness. He needed a story, if only to find his own happy ending.

 

At first, I had only planned to write a short novella, but I soon realized he needed much more than that.

 

His story was tough to write because I had to get in the mind of an innocent, naive vampire. Although he’s physically twenty-six years old in Bloodbond, he has been locked underground for ten years, and he had struggled after getting turned for a couple years before that. Coming out of being feral, he knew as much as a thirteen-year-old would, and therefore he had a lot of learning and growing to do in the story. Fitting in with high society certainly is not easy. Learning how to act in social situations is difficult as well. He often lurks in the shadows, watching and observing. At least until he can no longer lurk and must learn to live his life to the best of his ability.

 

It was so nerve wracking sending my sweet Zachariah out into the world earlier this month! I just hope others come to love him as much as I do.


 

Blurb:

Zachariah Degore spent ten years locked under ground as a feral vampire. Now he has to redefine what it means to be healthy and whole. With his human life behind him, he starts anew in the vampire city of Ichor Knell with the vampire shah as his kin. He must prove he is worthy of his place in this new world. 

 

Laurel Covaci is vampire elite, she would never court a feral vampire. After two hundred years she has yet to find a mate who meets with her satisfaction. She hides the pain of past hurt and abandonment behind a cold fa├žade. Zach is confident that Laurel is the vampire for him, but can he break through her icy walls and convince her he's the mate she's been waiting for?

 

Excerpt:

She stared at him. And stared. Until it became uncomfortable. 

 

So he stood and started to pack up his things, but she glared at him and pointed to his seat. 

 

“Sit.” He did. Who could disobey a tone like that? “You can’t kill?” she asked incredulously. “You only recently came out of being feral, correct?” He nodded. “And you can’t kill? Human blood doesn’t send you into a rage. You refused to drink from the goblet at the service.” 

 

“Have you been spying on me?” 

 

She ignored his comment, and her mouth puckered slightly as if in deep concentration. He couldn’t help but stare. He’d never seen her do it before. Another endearing quality he added to the lengthy list of what made Laurel Covaci absolutely perfect. 

 

“I have searched high and low, but I simply cannot find any answers to this particular conundrum,” she finally said. Heat rose to his ears. She’d been thinking about him? 

 

He grinned. “Well, well, Lady Covaci. I didn’t realize I was filling up your thoughts.” 

 

She blushed prettily, and he almost expected her to get up from the table and leave, regretting she even sat down in the first place. But she stayed put. In fact, she stared right back as if challenging him. He enjoyed the eye contact. Her eyes were so blue. So beautiful. They took him back to green fields of his childhood, of staring back at the blue sky as clouds lazily drifted past. 

 



About the Author:

Sydney Winward was born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way. At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing, and she hasn’t been able to stop writing since. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure. When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.

 

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvqlfMc19Is

 

Buy Links: Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Applebooks

Social Media Links: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Instagram

 

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Final Countdown

 The countdown has begun. We take the Princess back to school on Thursday; Banana Girl leaves the following week. I don’t wish this time on anyone, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for those with freshman. But I think we’ll be okay.

 

Both girls are returning to states that aren’t terrible with regard to the virus. They’re not as good as New Jersey, but it’s not the south (sorry, southern friends). The Princess will be in an apartment with three other girls and two bathrooms. They and their friends have created a plan regarding quarantine, visiting each other’s apartments, when and how. It’s not perfect, but for the most part, it’s respectful of various comfort levels and safety protocols. 

 

We also have a virus plan—actually several. For the Princess, there are three, depending on how severe her illness is should she get it. It’s a weird situation for us—we’re used to being able to depend on people if there’s an emergency. In this case, we can’t. We have only ourselves. But she’s cautious and I’ve been hoarding supplies, and I’m hopeful that if she gets sick, it’s mild.

 

I’m usually the one who asks whether something is truly needed, and who puts limits on shopping—or at least attempts to. And to some extent, when it comes to what she thinks she needs versus what she actually needs for her apartment, I’ve stuck to my guns. She’s not a cook, and no matter how that may change when she’s forced to cook meals for herself, I’m not buying her good pots and pans. She can make do with old ones of mine, or the Dollar Store. The same goes for bedding and bathroom supplies, despite my husband’s job.

 

But when it comes to mask and Covid supplies? The more the better! You found a cute mask? Buy four! You found cute ones that match your outfits? Even better, buy extra! We inspect them as they arrive and designate the appropriate situation for them based on how sturdy they are. I think at last count she had twelve, but I might be wrong. 

 

On the Facebook parent pages, we’ve been exchanging lists of Covid supplies for the “go-bag.” It kills me to have to actually make one, but better safe than sorry. And at home, we’ve started sending the kids out in public so they can adjust to being around other people—five months of quarantine has created more than a little social anxiety in all of us.

 

So are we ready? No. But I don’t think we’ll ever be. Are we prepared? Yes. Are we packed? Ha! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Welcome, Colleen Donnelly

          An eerie thought came to me recently as I pondered the difference between writing fiction that haunts as opposed to fiction that entertains. Fiction that haunts scrapes away the reader’s surface, resurrects old wounds, and drags the fragmented soul through the painful process of healing. Since writers tend to write what they know, the ones who buckle us to our knees will write from their own shattered heart, utter ruin, hidden inadequacies, broken relationships, and devastating betrayals. I pondered how to put these journeys on the page, then throw rocks at the already wounded character—who is actually you and me—so that compounded misery forces him to seek out healing…or revenge…until he or she achieves it.

            Gruesome? Yes. But there is a time for such a journey just like there’s “…a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh…” Solomon, who is credited for writing the above from his own troubled life, also gave credence to times of throwing stones, embracing, dying, losing, keeping, tearing apart, peace, and more…all non-fictional mountains and valleys that turn fiction into something that pulls away the scab in order to drain and heal the blister beneath.

            So what was the eerie thought that came to me as I pondered how to write fiction that squeezed a wounded heart until all that was left was a gasp of relief? Just that—with blood as my ink, I write my heart on the page.    

 

Author Bio:

 

Colleen L Donnelly has written books that haunt as well as stories that entertain. Born and raised in the Midwest, and a scientist by career, Colleen also traveled, read, explored the outdoors, and endured her own dilemmas while observing those of others. Colleen is always searching for the next good story.

 


Colleen’s stories of hurting souls seeking healing:

Mine to Tell—Amazon #1 Bestselling story of betrayal and forgiveness

Asked For—The story of rejection and overcoming

Love on a Train—The story of knowing the right person for you while belonging to another

Out of Splinters and Ashes—Award winning story of loving your enemy

Sonata Contineo—The story of realizing who you love too late

 

Colleen’s stories that entertain:

The Lady’s Arrangement—The story of a widow seeking an arranged marriage purely to save her ranch

Letters and Lies—Award winning story of a spinster who heads west to find and marry the man who jilted her

 

Buy Links:

 

Mine to Tell: http://amzn.to/1PNJo4S

Asked For: http://amzn.to/1TyflEu

Love on a Train: http://amzn.to/1m9eYCx

Out of Splinters and Ashes: https://amzn.to/2K0WTHt

Sonata Contineo: https://amzn.to/2I0zzYi

The Lady’s Arrangement: http://amzn.to/2qj7DE2

Letters and Lies: https://amzn.to/2yNFGNv

 

Colleen can be found on these Social Media Links:

 

http://www.colleenldonnelly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ColleenLDonnelly

https://twitter.com/ColleenLDonnell

http://www.Goodreads.com/colleenldonnelly

 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Please Vote!

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, Whispers in Washington (Ticket to True Love), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com! 

I’m getting closer to clinch the "Cover of the Month" contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here:

https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/8713/


Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Welcome, Jean Grant

Finding my Muse in Scotland 

My trip to Scotland fulfilled a bucket list goal and it also fed my imagination for writing about this windswept, mystical place…and it gave birth to what would become my historical romance trilogy. It was a memorable trip indeed—not all sunshine and roses during a very rainy September, but memories, yes. 

Did I mention that it rains in Scotland? A lot. Even though September is supposed to be a drier month, many of our supposedly breathtaking sights were shrouded in a gray cloud of heavy precipitation. Aside from our mishaps, Scotland fulfilled my preconceived notions, with my own Scottish knight by my side to escort me through the perils of winding one-lane Highland roads, haunting castle ruins, and dark alleyways to questionable hostels. 

Lone sheep wandered down the middle of a meandering country road. Windswept moors, heather fields, and green rolling hills flanked our drives. Wild rocky trails and impressive mountains greeted us on our hikes. Blue lochs were aplenty (yes, Loch Ness is a deep beautiful loch and no, we didn’t see Nessie – but we did see the ghostly remains of Urquhart castle) on our two-week trip in this geological gem of a country. I think I gasped on the tarmac when I emerged from the plane in Glasgow. 

My husband and I packed our itinerary because we set the bar high. What can a couple do in less than two weeks? Well…

·       Visit a dozen castles and palaces (Threave castle required a rowboat ride across an overflowed River Dee)

·       Kayak on the astutely named Loch Awe to the ruins of Kilchurn Castle

·       Hike through Highlands and mountains

·       Attend a Highland Game

·       Partake in culinary delights such as haggis and fish and chips

·       Converse with locals 

·       Drive over sketchy bridges to reach Rua Reidh, a lighthouse hostel on the North Minch of Wester Ross (no, not the Westeros of Game of Thrones fame, but I can see the striking similarities)

·       Expand our navigation skills on double-roundabouts (like a figure 8), one lane roads, and left-side driving—in a manual-shift car

·       Meander through abbey and church ruins

·       Take a moment of reflection at the remains of Culloden Battlefield

·       Stay at the haunted (yes, there's a ghost) 14th century Borthwick Castle 

Now for the mishaps: blowing out a car tire on a rock, getting a manual-shift car instead of an automatic, while driving on the opposite side of the road oops!, castles closing before we got there, getting lost on city roads, plodding trough deluging rain to find a hostel down a dark alley, and hiking a washed out trail through Glencoe while hundreds of midges made a home in my hair, missing the sites due to a downpour (like the huge Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Black Cuillin mountains on Skye)… Nonetheless, I left Scotland feeling rejuvenated and inspired and ready to take on the next big novel! 

The setting in the hundred trilogy utilizes many splendors from our whirlwind tour of Scotland: the western isles (and standing stones—we’ll visit those next time), Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands, Edinburgh, Dryburgh Abbey, the rugged crags and glens, and the beauty, mystery, and lore of the Scottish middles ages. Bonus research: I visited a recreated Viking ship a few years ago and it fed the muse for the Norse conquering and battles that take place in the first book of the trilogy.

Scotland—its lore, land, and people—will always be my muse. The question now: what to write next?





 

Bio:

Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and her family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women's fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she's not writing or chasing after children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.


Social Media Info:

Website   Twitter   Facebook  Goodreads  Bookbub  Instagram Amazon Author Page 


BLURB:

1322, Scotland

Rosalie Threston's fortune-telling lies have caught up with her. Uprooted yet again, she's on the run from a ruthless English noblewoman. She flees to Scotland and seeks refuge in the arms of a laird's son who happens to be a real Seer.

A bloody past and inevitable future plague Domhnall Montgomerie. He avoids physical contact with others to ease the painful visions. When an accidental touch reveals only delight, he wonders if Rose is the key to silencing the Sight.

Mystical awakening unravels with each kiss. But can Domhnall embrace his gift in time to save her life, even it means exposing her lies?

 

Buy/Book Links:

Amazon  Barnes and Noble  iBooks  Bookbub  Goodreads  Kobo Google

 

Excerpt:

She drew his hand into her palm. Her pulse drummed in her ears. Breathe, Rose. Breathe. His fingers trembled in her hand but neither of them released the look. She tried to convey trust and understanding with her own gentle smile. When he seemed settled, she turned her gaze to his hand. After a pause, she said, “It is as I said. Air is your element.”

“What else do you see?” He leaned in, closer. Sweat, sage, hmmm…male? Was male a scent?

Feeling his eyes upon hers, she continued to scrutinize, drawing light touches over the mounds. “You’re somewhat content, though you spend hours alone to get away?”

He held a straight face. “Easy enough facts to guess. I’m a watchman. Fortune-tellers are good in their ploy.” She refrained from arguing. He was on the defense. Understandable. Most people were. He was correct after all. She stroked his fingers. Pretended to examine. His hands were ice-cold.

All right, memory. Time to shine. The marketplace fire, something from his youth. Domhnall liked animals. Seemed to not like fire or touch. She chanced the next statement. “Something in your past upsets you.” Again, stone-faced. At least his hand had stopped trembling.

She would throw out statements until one stuck. Had she been incorrect in her eavesdropping? Surely the servants had been gossiping about Domhnall.

He chewed his lip. Held her gaze.

She paused and pushed the candle closer. “To see better.”

He flinched.

Yes. Fire. It bothered him.

people.

 

Monday, August 3, 2020

Guilt Leads to Cake

“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”—Yoda

 


Most of us are familiar with this quote. What we’re less familiar with, though it’s equally important, is this: guilt leads to cake.

Well, at least in my family it does.

 

Let me explain.

 

I learned guilt from my mother. Being the over-achiever that I am, I have surpassed her teaching and can pretty much feel guilty about anything. And in times like these, my guilt is in overdrive.

 

The Princess studied abroad last semester—well, for part of the semester, at least. Since she was leaving before her birthday, we celebrated it early at home. Normally, that’s perfectly fine. This year was an exception, though, because she turned twenty-one. And celebrating it early is all well and good, except that since she wasn’t twenty-one, we couldn’t take her anywhere for a toast. I consoled myself with the promise to do so when she returned to the States.

 

Her gift from us was a trip during her semester abroad, so she could see other countries and have fun with her new friends.

 

And then Covid arrived. The semester was cut short. The trip was cancelled. The bars were closed. We told her we’d give her a trip somewhere when Covid ended. But my guilt started to grow and overflowed the other day. I felt bad that her gift is being postponed for God knows how long (she’d rather an experience than an item, so we’re not changing our idea). I felt bad that I couldn’t take her out to celebrate her first legal drink (even though at this point it wouldn’t be her first). And I didn’t want her to think we were ignoring the milestone.

 

Ha.

 

I’m the only one in my family who likes to make a big deal of birthdays. She really didn’t care. She understood the situation and is fine with postponement. However, seeing how upset I was, she suggested we celebrate her half birthday, with a “fun 21st birthday cake.”

 

The “fun 21st birthday cake” is actually a “thing.” If you Google images for that term, you’ll see some mighty creative ideas. Most of them are really not appropriate for a parent to give to their child. Especially when that parent is me. I’m the mom who refused to host parties if alcohol was going to be present. I’m not the “fun mom.” Not by any means. So when she asked for the cake, I laughed at the irony.

 

But it was a good way to assuage my guilt, so I made one.