December 18, 2017

Got Indie? Meet the Authors of Indie BookFest 2014!

Hop around and Meet the Authors of Indie Book Fest 2014. Each stop features an author and a contest!

Learn more about me…Raine Thomas!

Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself. I write Young Adult and New Adult romantic fiction. Six of my books are Young Adult Fantasy Romance, two are New Adult Contemporary Romance, and my latest release is a New Adult Paranormal Romance with Sci-Fi elements. Clearly, I can’t be pigeon-holed into a specific genre!

I’ve been writing for most of my life in one form or another. I didn’t realize I wanted to be an author until much later in life, though. Losing my job due to the economic downturn in 2008 was my wakeup call. I wrote the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy while looking for work, and the rest is history.

When was your first book published? All three books in the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy released on the same day: July 24, 2011.

Why did you decide to become an Indie Author? At first, it was because I received numerous rejections from literary agents and I realized that none of them believed in my stories as much as I did. So I figured why not? Once I published independently and realized how much flexibility I had with it, I didn’t even think about looking back!

Are you currently working on anything? I participated in the Take Me to Your Reader anthology, which released on Tuesday, February 11th and benefits the UtopYA Conference. I’m also in the midst of releasing a New Adult Paranormal Boxed Set with amazing authors Kristie Cook, Lynn Rush, R.K. Ryals, and Rachael Wade. It’s called Curses, Fates & Soul Mates and it releases on February 17th. My latest novel, Return of the Ascendant, will debut in the boxed set.

Who and what inspired you to write? My mom and my teachers encouraged my love of writing. The first event I remember was a literary fair in the fourth grade when a project I wrote took an honorable mention. Looking back, I can safely say that knowing my teacher liked my book enough to enter it into the fair was enough to keep me writing.

Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing? As I mentioned above, I started writing at a young age. My cousin actually nurtured it during the summers when I visited her as an adolescent and teenager. She wanted me to write stories for her to read, and I wrote a few pages a day…just enough to keep her hanging on for more. It was a great way to hone my skills, and I use some of what I learned even today.

What is on your writing playlist for your book(s)? I listen to all kinds of music when I write, from movie soundtracks to Top 40 hits. It depends on the type of book I’m writing (contemporary versus fantasy, for example) and the scene I’m writing. Music often guides my writing, so it has to set the right tone.

Who is your favorite character in your books? So far, I think my favorite character is Zachariah from my Firstborn Trilogy. He’s the hot, cranky “bad boy” with a heart of gold. Writing him is always a joy.

What is your favorite book of all time? I honestly don’t have one…I have many!

Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books. Because they provide an exciting escape and a happily ever after. :)

The Estilorians Turn Two + Sneak Peek of MEANT FOR HER!

This might sound dramatic (hey, I’m a writer!) but my life changed forever two years ago today. Late in the evening on July 24, 2011, my husband and I hovered over our computer, questioning whether we were doing the right thing. Then we did it. We clicked “Publish.”

I’ll never regret the decision. Seeing the Daughters of Saraqael in the hands of readers will always be its own reward. Hearing from fans–both old and new–keeps me up late at night, typing away on whatever story happens to be in my head at the time. Since I still work full-time, I write through holidays and weekends, often bypassing “fun” outings and time with family and friends, all to share more stories with readers.

It’s truly a labor of love, and I can’t thank my friends and family enough for understanding that. Without their support, these past two wonderful years might have turned out quite different. Now I have six Estilorian novels out, one Estilorian short story, and a New Adult Contemporary Romance with a second on the way. My books have won awards and hit multiple bestseller lists, including the Top 100 on Amazon. I’m working with a producer interested in pitching the Daughters of Saraqael to Hollywood, which is exciting beyond words.

All because we decided to click “Publish.”

Those of you who are pursuing your own writing dreams, I encourage you not to give up. Whenever you harbor doubt (and you will…we all do!), find a source of inspiration to keep you going. You CAN do it!

In celebration of my two-year anniversary of becoming a published author, I wanted to share a sneak peek of my upcoming New Adult Contemporary Romance, Meant for Her, which is tentatively scheduled for release in late September (details to come). Please note that this is an unedited excerpt and subject to change before publication. I’d love to know your thoughts once you’ve checked it out!

As always, thank you so much for reading my books and being a key source of my inspiration. I couldn’t do this without you!

Meant for Her, Chapter 1

A drunk woman fell into Evan’s lap about two hours into the wedding reception. He’d seen her coming from across the dance floor. She’d been glancing his way for the better part of an hour, so he wasn’t surprised when she made her way on unsteady legs in his direction. The part where she exaggerated a stumble so she ended up on top of his thighs was an added touch. Not a very original one, though, he thought.

“Oh!” she gasped as she pressed against his chest to steady herself. “I’m sorry. I might have had a little too much to drink.”

Easing her away from him and off his lap, he met her glassy gaze without comment. Whatever she saw in his expression had her smile fading.

“Hey there, Tanya,” came a male voice. “Everly was just asking about you. I think she’s hoping you can show her how to do this line dance.”

Evan and the woman—Tanya, apparently—looked over as his friend Cole Parker stopped a few feet away. Cole gave Tanya a good-natured smile and reached out to steady her when she swayed. She looked relieved over having been rescued from a potentially embarrassing scene.

“I’m sure she’s doin’ fine,” Tanya said with a slow wink. She reached out to hug him. “Congratulations, Cole. I’m so happy for you and Everly.”

He patted her between the shoulders. “Thanks, Tanya. Now be a sweetheart and go help my wife look like a dance champion. This is being recorded for posterity, after all.”

She laughed and waved, wobbling back to the dance floor. Evan wondered if she’d make it through the dance without breaking her ankles in her four-inch heels.

Cole took the empty seat next to him. Evan was sitting at one of the round tables in the back of the large ballroom, trying to stay away from the action on the thriving dance floor. At the moment, he was the only one sitting at the table.

“Don’t mind Tanya,” Cole said. “She’s harmless.”

“Friend of your wife’s?”

Cole nodded. “Damn, that sounds weird. I have a wife now.”

“You sure do.” Evan shook his head. “Tied down at barely twenty-six.”

Cole grinned and shoved his shoulder. They sat together for a couple of minutes, watching the crowd. The bride was holding her own with the line dance, laughing in the middle of the energetic floor. Her long red hair, worn mostly down for the mid-November wedding, bounced around her shoulders as she moved. Cole had sure married a looker. Judging by the way his friend stared at her, he was only too aware of that. He looked just as happy as his new wife did.

The wedding had been enjoyable enough so far, Evan admitted to himself. Although he didn’t generally enjoy these kinds of spectacles, the couple hadn’t gone over the top in extravagance to a point that felt pretentious or uncomfortable. Considering Cole’s status as one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues, that was really saying something. They’d been married in the bride’s church, then hosted the cocktail hour and reception at a country club in town. Soft lighting, tasteful floral, and touches of elegant décor gave the venue a romantic, welcoming feel. He supposed if he was going to attend the wedding of one of his closest friends, this one was all right.

“I appreciate you coming, Dorsey,” Cole said at last. His hazel gaze reflected his serious tone. “I know it’s a long way from L.A., but it wouldn’t have been the same without you.”

Evan shrugged. “It’s no big deal.”

“You and I both know that isn’t true.”

Not responding, Evan focused on the dance floor. He’d been friends with Cole since he was thirteen and Cole was fifteen. They’d lived down the street from each other and played together on their high school baseball team until Cole was drafted by Atlanta. Although Evan had also hoped to play for Atlanta once he graduated, that hadn’t been in the cards. He’d ended up getting drafted by St. Louis and had bounced around since then.

Still, he and Cole had remained friends, getting together whenever their teams played against each other. Prior to this, they’d last seen each other two months ago. The memory had Evan’s jaw clenching and releasing.

“Thanks for coming to the funeral,” he said at last. “I didn’t think to say anything at the time.”

“Of course.” After another moment, Cole reached over and picked up Evan’s untouched beer, taking a swig. “So, are you going to talk to Wayne about getting the hell out of L.A.?”

Evan shrugged. He still had a year left on his existing contract, though the team could option to trade him. In fact, rumors indicated they would. He was the first to admit that he hadn’t been playing at his best toward the end of last season. He hadn’t yet talked with his and Cole’s agent, Wayne Shelton, about what lay ahead. His career had been the last thing on his mind over the past few months.

Not wanting to spoil his friend’s wedding day, he offered, “I do need to talk to Wayne.”

Cole seemed to sense that he didn’t want to talk. Smiling, he got to his feet. “Don’t suppose you’ve had enough beer for me to talk you into hitting the dance floor?”

“Not nearly enough, mate. Go on. Dance with your gorgeous wife.”

Clapping him on the back, Cole headed into the crowd. Evan watched him stride onto the floor and say something to Javier Rios, one of Cole’s teammates and Everly’s current dance partner. Javy gave a dramatic show of disappointment over the cut-in before kissing the back of the bride’s hand and turning to dance with someone else.

Evan’s gaze settled on Javy’s new partner. The young woman with the chin-length, curly blonde hair had caught his attention a few times throughout the evening. She had an infectious dimpled smile that made it impossible not to feel a little more cheerful just seeing it. Her deep green gown had a flowing skirt and a high waist accented by a band of glittering stones just beneath her breasts. The style suited her. Something about the way she moved kept his gaze returning to her time and again.

Just as he was about to make his excuses so he could leave, she abandoned the dance floor and started walking in his direction. Bare feet accented by dark toenail polish and a silver toe ring peeped out from the bottom of her gown. Intrigued despite himself, he rose and waited until she stood in front of him. His eyebrow lifted as he spied her small diamond nose stud and a couple of purple curls framing her pretty face. He hadn’t noticed those details from a distance.

She tipped her head back to look up at him once she stopped. Judging by where the top of her head met his chest, she couldn’t be more than five-six.

“Hi, Evan.”

Her direct approach didn’t surprise him. Many people knew who he was thanks to his baseball career.

“Good evening,” he said.

He expected a comment on his Australian accent. Most women were compelled to say something once they heard him speak. Although he’d lived in the States since he was thirteen, this reminder of his heritage lingered.

“Would you come with me for a moment?” she asked instead, reaching out and taking his hand. “I could use a break, and you look like you could, too.”

Her eyes were the same shade of green as sea glass, he realized. She wore makeup that enhanced them, making it hard to look away. Though he had no idea why, he found himself nodding.

She gifted him with her impish smile and tugged on his hand. He gazed down at her as they wove through the tables toward a side door. He noticed a tattoo at the base of her neck and another on the inside of her wrist above where her hand connected with his. The lighting didn’t allow him to make out the details of either.

They passed through the side door into a large hallway lit by crystal chandeliers. She kept walking until they reached the glass double doors directly across the hall and then pushed through those, too. The doors led out onto a quiet outdoor terrace surrounded by lush greenery. A few landscaping lights softened the enveloping darkness. Because the temperature had dropped, no one else stood out under the clear night sky.

When they reached the center of the terrace, they stopped walking. She turned to face him, smiling again.

She took a deep breath and slowly released it. “I love being outside, don’t you?”

He studied her for a moment, then looked around. For the first time, he noticed the bite of autumn that tinted the air, the promise of the winter to come. As he inhaled, the cool air burned his lungs. The stars stood out more distinctly against the inky sky.

“There’s something invigorating about autumn in Atlanta,” she said. She shared the same southern accent as Cole, he realized. “It represents promise.”

“Promise for what?”

She shrugged. “Endless possibilities.”

He frowned. What the hell did that mean?

Once again, she took his hand. Her hand was dwarfed by his, but he couldn’t deny that the contact felt nice.

“You looked lost in there, Evan Dorsey. I thought maybe I could do something to help guide you on your way.”

Pulling his hand from hers, he said, “You don’t know anything about me.”

“I don’t need to.” She tilted her head to the side and looked at him with her compelling eyes. “Have you been sick?”

The question made him glance away. He supposed she hadn’t done her research before making this approach. Still, she was closer to the truth than made him comfortable.

Her voice was quiet when she continued, “I ask because your suit looks tailored, but it’s loose on you right now, as though you’ve lost weight. There are dark circles under your eyes, making me think you aren’t sleeping well and probably haven’t been eating right. And your hair is short, like it’s just growing back. Since your scalp is pale, I assume you don’t normally wear your hair that way.”

Jesus, she was observant. Shaking his head, he turned to walk back into the reception.

“I see,” she said. Her tone made him hesitate. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Evan.”

When her slender arms went around him from behind, he didn’t know what to do. No one had ever offered him such a pure gesture of comfort. Everyone who attended the funeral had been too emotionally involved to do so, not that it would have been welcome.

But this hug from a stranger was about to undo him.

Fortunately, she released him before his emotions got the better of him. He stood frozen in place as she walked around him to face him again. His gaze moved down to her bare feet and noted that her nails were the same shade of purple as the streaks in her hair. Belatedly, he considered how cold she must be.

“I can see that you’re in a dark place,” she said, touching the side of his face. It was just the whisper of a caress, but it made his throat tighten. “It’s good that you honor the memory of this person you loved. But don’t be afraid to live now. What you’ve gone through, it will bring you where you need to be. Even the stars can’t shine without darkness.”

Mesmerized, he didn’t resist when she pulled him down. He closed his eyes when her lips touched his. She kissed him, an expression of comfort more than passion. The taste of sweet champagne lingered when they parted. She smiled again, her dimples teasing him, then turned and walked back inside.

After a moment, he followed her. This woman whose name he didn’t even know had given him more to think about in their few minutes together than anyone had in a long time. For someone who appeared no older than her early twenties, she had incredible insight.

She’d given him a glimpse of light that he hadn’t even known he craved. He supposed the least he could do was thank her.

Returning to the reception, he went looking for her. He figured she’d return to the dance floor, so he started there. After twenty minutes, he had to give up.

She was gone.

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: THE CONVERSATIONALIST by Justin Bog

I was thrilled to have the chance to interview a wonderful author friend of mine, Justin Bog, when I found out about his upcoming release, The Conversationalist. His book Sandcastle and Other Stories has been very well-received by reviewers, and I’m sure his new release will top the charts! Please check out my interview with Justin and the exciting excerpt he shared with us. Then enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy of The Conversationalist!

First, let’s learn a little more about this amazing writer…

Justin Bog pursued an English Degree at the University of Michigan, followed by Film and Music Appreciation classes—finally graduating from Bowling Green State University with an MFA in Fiction Writing. Currently residing in the San Juan Islands just north of Seattle, Justin has the opportunity to focus on his novels and short stories, while contributing commentary and reviews of Pop Culture. Justin continues to engage his lifelong passion for writing in combination with his curious mindset as the Senior Contributor and Editor at In Classic Style. Sandcastle and Other Stories was his first book, followed by the newly released literary suspense eNovella, The Conversationalist. Look for Justin Bog’s first novel, Wake Me Up, a psychological family drama, to be published by Green Darner Press in January 2014.

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

Hmm…please forgive the namedropping (I didn’t “know” them), but seeing celebrities where I used to live was an everyday occurrence and kind of surreal. They were low key and the locals treated them that way. I helped set up author events and sell books to some of the local actors, musicians, writers of renown, as a bookstore clerk for Chapter One Bookstore in Sun Valley, Idaho. From Arnold and Maria, to Bruce and Demi, their lives had some semblance of privacy there; Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa shopped there, Jamie Lee Curtis (a prolific children’s book author) and Janet Leigh (who wrote two books—one, a terrific remembrance of the year filming Psycho) gave book signings…Tom Hanks would come into the bookstore, when he was in town, for a New York Times. Mariel Hemingway and John McEnroe gave book signings for their memoirs. And there are many more. I was a fly on the wall.

Tell us about some of the unique elements in your novella. What inspired you to write it?

The Conversationalist is about a single guy, Patrick, who is in his thirties—despite his closed off nature, he seeks human companionship. He doesn’t know how to date very well. The story begins during one such date. The voice of this man named Patrick came slowly—he’s distant from most people, tries to hide this fact, or pretend he’s relating, listening, when really his mind isn’t there; he’s not present. From childhood, this hollowed-out guy has become quite good at pretending. Off-center characters interest me. Trusting them, or not trusting them, is key to the stories I tell. I am inspired by so many buttoned-up people I’ve met. My writing mind always wants to figure out why, and what leads any person to be “this” way. I use fiction to answer the question of motivation. Having said this, my fictional characters aren’t based on anyone real. I wondered what would happen if someone believed Patrick was rude to women, and what if this someone wanted to teach him a lesson.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

Patrick was fun to write about, but there is a varied cast of supporting characters who are curious and complex, bizarre and funny. I like Mrs. Claire Brown, a nontraditional student with an axe to grind because she’s insecure about the choices she’s made in her own life, and loves to be defensive about these choices. We’ve all met people like Mrs. Claire Brown.

What is something you think people should know about your novella before they start reading?

I write psychological stories about people going about their lives, running into trouble, or causing trouble. I have a dark sense of humor, and hopefully this comes through as well.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

Most are short story writers, but their novels are terrific too. Shirley Jackson, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Stephen King, Cris Freddi, Margaret Atwood, Rachel Ingalls.

Tell us about a book that resonated with you (either recently or prior to your writing career).

The most recent books that made me pay attention were Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Both are worth reading to see great writing and rule breaking when it comes to narrative structure. Exciting to read. The one book that I return to time and time again is The Shining by Stephen King. I loved the dark psychological forces at work, the subtext, and the true terror the situation evokes…I get scared each time I read it.

What are you reading right now?

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich—he’s a writer for Saturday Night Live and his short character-based situations make me laugh. Comedy is not an easy thing to write well, and Simon Rich never fails to amuse with a good skit or situational joke. I have the honor of being up on the Short Fiction Panel, early June (only a few days away as I write this) in Chicago, with him and Amina Gautier, during this year’s Printers Row Lit Fest. I’m reading both Rich’s and Gautier’s books in preparation for this book festival event, and their stories are incredible. Amina Gautier’s first collection of short stories won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and it’s titled At-Risk. Love it.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

After I gave a reading of the first section of The Conversationalist and The Virtue of Minding Your Own Business, a short story from Sandcastle and Other Stories, someone in the audience told me that my writing was natural, beautiful to listen to, and layered with meaning. My jaw almost hit the floor. I couldn’t believe it.

Okay…quick response time. What is your fave:

Food? Chili Cheese Fries (I even wrote a haiku in their honor)

orange chili cheese fries
a red hot lover’s delight
rings/tofu dog smiles

Guilty pleasure? Besides Chili Cheese Fries, I’d have to say watching episodes of Gilmore Girls. (The writing is so good.)

TV show? Besides Gilmore Girls (Do you sense a pattern here?), my heart belongs to Buffy.

Beverage? A tie between water and espresso.

Place to be? Home with my mate and Zippy and Kipling, my two long-coat German shepherds.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I hope you enjoy reading my stories. I have the best time creating them, inventing the situations, and allowing the characters to lead me to curious places. Thank you for listening.

Where can we stalk you?

Amazon Author Page ~ A Writer’s Life Blog ~ Twitter: @JustinBog ~ Facebook Author Page
Justin, thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us! Thank you, as well, for offering to give away a copy of The Conversationalist, which I’m sure my readers would feel honored to win. Why don’t we tell them a little more about the book and share an excerpt to really catch their attention?

Book Blurb

A Green Darner Press eNovella Exclusive:

The Conversationalist—a novella of literary suspense

There’s something wrong with Patrick. People whisper about him; most want to help him, as if he’s a songless bird with a broken wing, make him a project, set him up on a date with a best friend . . .

On one such date, Wendy sits across from Patrick and tells him she’s afraid to die. She wonders what it’s like. What if this is all there is? “My mother died a year ago . . . horribly,” she says. Patrick listens; it’s all he’s pretending to do.

There’s something wrong with the way Patrick treats the women he dates, his friends, his family . . . no one can ever get close to Patrick, and no one will ever be able to uncover his secret.

Enter Justin Bog’s dark world and strike up a dialogue with The Conversationalist.

Included: a Foreword by Rachel Thompson, author of Broken Pieces, and a bonus short story, Mothers of Twins, from Justin Bog’s first collection of psychological tales, Sandcastle and Other Stories.

Excerpt from The Conversationalist

Wendy sits across from me and tells me she’s afraid to die. She wonders what it’s like.

“What if this is all there is?” she says.

It isn’t easy for me to listen to the words Wendy speaks. My index finger traces through the condensation at the base of my martini glass as her forlorn questioning waves hit me. I don’t repeat to her out loud her last yearning words in a combative tone. I want to. Inside, thoughts about life, death, endings, unfairness turned to bitterness, propagate.

“My mother died a year ago,” she says, lowering her voice as she glances at the diners around us, “horribly.” I don’t know Wendy well enough to understand if she’s embarrassed by her own boldness, revealing a personal lament right out in the open, or by her mother’s ill fortune.

I watch her lips move, opening, pressing tightly together then opening again, sipping hot coffee. She didn’t add anything sweet to hers.

There’s a catch in Wendy’s voice when she finishes her story, as if something keeps snagging on a hook down her throat. I hope the coffee soothes her ache.

“You realize you need to move on with your life, right? I mean, you’re always going to grieve,” I say. “It’s over now. Think about what your mother would want you to do.” I let her see nothing but concentration on my face, while inside I’m perplexed, a sweating liar. The image of my own mother tries to surface and it takes all I have to stifle her visage from taking over my every thought.

“I keep thinking about train accidents,” Wendy says. She lifts a pale hand to her cheek and brushes a loose strand of hair away. “And how stupid they are.”

I nod my head and try to listen. All I see is my mother’s downturned mouth, how quick her unpleasant countenance turned into a scowl. I would flee the room, the home, walk, run away to the cliff-side pathways, meander for hours until safe to sneak back . . . mother in a gin-fueled stupor, now passed out and harmless. Wendy isn’t a mind reader. She sees only steady concern, and this is too easy for me to pull off.

“How awful,” I say, “no one thinks of trains anymore, even when they rush right through Seattle and northward, hugging the coastline. They stop us when we least expect it.” And this isn’t the right thing to say either. I can see Wendy coming to the same conclusion, and I ask her if she’d like to change the subject.

Only a month ago, Wendy, a friend of an acquaintance, took me into her confidence, or wanted to place me in that position: noble listener—I found it all a bit desperate. On that first date I drove her to a quiet, secluded dinner at The Chuckanut Manor, a family-run establishment looking out over the oyster-rich waters of Puget Sound. Once seated and waiting for a very dry martini (no vermouth and lots of olives), I’d need at least two just to settle into a functioning haze, a single glass of pino grigio for Wendy, gulf prawn and avocado cocktails to start, she allowed me to prattle on about my cat, Roadway, who needed an operation on her kidney, and how much it would cost; let me ask her what she would do: pay the horrendous and expensive bill or acquiesce to Roadway becoming roadkill. She listened to my sorry tale; it’s where my mind was at on that day.

Now, a month later, I sit, foggy, a similar state of mind, in a different seafood restaurant with a locals-know-every-secret bar, two happy hour martinis downed, fidgeting with my napkin below the lip of the table, and I barely hear Wendy ask me another question. She brought a bag of them tonight.

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Book Spotlight: ATONE by Sarah M. Ross

I’m very happy to help a friend and fellow author, Sarah M. Ross, celebrate the release of her latest exciting novella, Atone. Be sure to check out the first two books in Sarah’s Patronus series, Awaken and Avenge! Today, we’re highlighting the release of Atone, the third book in this series. This novella is available at Amazon and Smashwords (coming soon to Barnes and Noble!). Please read the series and let me know what you think!

Synopsis:

Before there was Awaken, before there was “Lucy and Max”, there was just Max. And he had some issues.

A lot of issues.

Max Kensington’s death haunted him for years. The guilt of his sins tormented him. Unable to let go, he was sure he’d never be able to atone for all of them. But that didn’t stop him from trying.

When his reason for being is suddenly thrust back into his life, he vows to protect her at all costs. He’ll do whatever it takes to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. And this time, he’ll fight to the bitter end to capture the one thing that has alluded him—happiness.

Excerpt:

My fingers finally got the knob to turn. I opened the door and stepped inside, holding my breath. I pulled the curtain back, but kept my eyes closed for a moment longer. I could hear a hiss of air being pushed and knew she was probably on a ventilator. The knowledge made my heart clench, but hearing the steady beep of her heart monitor—knowing it was strong and constant—helped ease it a little.

I took a deep breath. Bitter iodine and antiseptic swirled in my nose, but underneath it was another scent. Soft lilac emanated around me, and though it was faint, it overtook everything else. It was her. The beautiful, flowery aroma somehow clung to her and caressed my senses, making my heart pound in my chest.

I opened my eyes and took my first look at her. If I had a thousand books filled with a thousand pages each, it would still not be enough to describe how beautiful she was. I knew that she was broken, bloody, and bruised, but I didn’t see any of that. All I saw was perfection. I took a few steps forward and reached my hand forward. My fingertips gently grazed her soft, creamy skin as I brushed her hair out of her face.

As my fingers grazed her skin, a sizzle of electricity passed between us. Her monitors beeped like crazy, letting me know that even in this state, she was just as affected by me as I was by her. I pulled back, double checking that she was alright and I wasn’t inadvertently hurting her. After all, she was in a very precarious state right now and I couldn’t risk anything happening to her. After a few moments, the monitors resumed their steady rhythm and I tried again, this time taking her tiny, delicate fingers in my own.

Her eyes fluttered behind their closed lids. I hoped she was having good dreams. I pulled up a chair and sat down next to her, leaning in to whisper in her ear. “I can’t believe I found you. I didn’t even know I’d lost you, and yet here you are. But I promise you this, I’m never leaving you again. So just rest now; let your body heal. We’ll be together very soon.” I brushed my lips against her temple, inhaling her sweet lilac smell as I did.

A quiet knock at the door drew my eyes away from her, but not my hands. They refused to let her go. “You guys can come in,” I whispered. I wasn’t sure why I was whispering; I knew it wouldn’t wake her, but it just seemed like I should.

James pulled back the curtain, allowing access for Cassie and Adam to slip in around him. James crossed the room, carrying a thick three-ring binder in his hands.  That binder held the key to unlocking the mystery of who this woman was—I still didn’t even know her name, but I yearned to know everything about her. What was she like? Where was she from? What happened to her? I wanted to know it all.

About the Author:

I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn’t take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Please feel free to contact me!

Website- http://www.sarahmross.com
Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/SarahtheAuthor
Twitter- http://twitter.com/#!/SarahtheAuthor

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5447785.Sarah_M_Ross

Reality Isn’t for Me: a Guest Post by Author Ciara Ballintyne

Today I’m excited to have one of my favorite people on the blog to talk about a wonderful new group.I first met author Ciara Ballintyne on Twitter. Upon discovering that we both write fantasy, a connection was made. After reading the pointed guest post that she contributed for today’s blog, I’m more convinced than ever that we’re kindred spirits.

I look forward to your thoughts on escapism. What do you seek from the books you read? I hope you’ll let us know in the comments below. For now, let’s turn things over to Ciara!

My Refuge, My Solace, My Inspiration

People disappoint me. I try not to expect too much, but even if I dial my expectations down to what I consider fundamental, basic human decency, I am still disappointed. Then I usually get depressed. For example, I was shocked to discover something like 10% of the Australian population has suffered child abuse. In this day and age, in a Western civilisation that does not condone such behaviour, I found that appalling. It’s not a grey area.

I could list other examples, but I shouldn’t like to depress you. You know them, anyway. They litter the news stories, the more graphic, the more horrific, the more appalling, the better.

I like to think most people are better than that. I need to believe it. I’m sure there are good people doing good things, but their stories so rarely make it to the news – after all, there’s no shock value in it, is there? And that very tendency of news outlets is, in itself, depressing.

So I read fiction. And I don’t read reflections of our lives, I read speculative fiction, and often a lot of high fantasy. Because here the good guys always win. Here the hero is noble and idealistic. There’s no complications of proving guilt in a court of law with circumstantial evidence. There’s no light sentence handed down for mitigating circumstances. These are all realities of life, but often depressing ones. Here, the hero lops off the evil-doers heads, and we don’t concern ourselves with the fact in our world it would be ‘vigilante justice’, because we know he’s right – and we applaud him. We’re only glad the bad guy got his just desserts, and we don’t need to concern ourselves with the rules of this world, because the story occurs in another world.

I take solace in these tales. However flawed the hero, he nearly always does the right thing in the end. People are writing these stories, and people are reading them. Surely they feel the same way I do, dissatisfied by the atrocities committed by human against human, and looking for the good in people? People don’t want reality – they want to see what reality might be, what people maybe should be, the potential and the beauty of the human spirit.

Sure, it’s escapism, but it helps me keep my sanity. And it inspires me to be a better person.

If this sounds like you, you should check out Club Fantasci, a new video book club for speculative fiction. The hosts meet monthly via Google+ Hangout to discuss the book, and you can tune in to watch. You get your say on the discussion boards for the group at Goodreads! I’ve just started a discussion about the trend for some authors to write ‘dark, real and gritty’ fantasy. I found it unsatisfying. I don’t want real. I want my fantasy fix. I want my refuge, my solace, and my inspiration. I don’t want something that makes me feel as rotten as watching the news. What do you think?

The first G+ Hangout is on 31 August at 7:00pm CST, and the Book of the Month for August is ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern. Feel free to drop by our Facebook Page or Goodreads group and make suggestions for future books. I’ll be revealing September’s Book of the Month at the August G+ Hangout.

Here’s a bit more about the club:

Club Fantasci is a book club taking the stigma out of speculative fiction. We want to expose you to the full gamut of the speculative fiction genre, including science fiction, hard SF, militaristic SF, high/epic fantasy, dark fantasy, dystopian, cyberpunk, steampunk, space opera, paranormal, urban fantasy, SFF romance and erotica, and everything in between.

We want to educate readers on good writing in speculative fiction, entertain with witty banter, and above all have a fantastic time. Fiction need not be literary to be well-written, and good writing need not be boring or mundane! We promise you we’ll do our best to bring you a good book every month, and if not, we’ll tell you why it’s not! For a bit of light fun, we’ll also be featuring a wine of the month and picking a song that best fits the book. So bring your book, keep that wineglass topped up, and don’t forget your i-pod!

Your hosts are David Lowry, Dionne Lister (author of Shadows of the Realm), entertainment personality and model Shannon Million, and myself – your resident fantasy writer/lawyer extraordinaire combo!

Club Fantasci is also featuring a ‘Wine of the Month’ – August’s pick is a 2011 ‘Suited Muscat’ from Sort This Out Cellars Winery in Las Vegas, NV. Club members are entitled to a discount – check out the club Facebook page for more information.

You can learn more about us by:

Joining our group on Goodreads

Liking our Page on Facebook

Checking out our Website

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I couldn’t agree more, Ciara! Give me a great escape any day. I don’t even watch the news. Thanks so much for stopping by…you can bet there will be a lot of interest in Club Fantasci!

What are your thoughts on escapism, readers? Please show some comment love!

SHIFT Cover Reveal and Launch Date Announced!

One of the most fun parts about being an indie author is working on a book’s cover. Unlike traditionally published texts, indie books allow the author to either design the cover themselves or hire a cover designer and then approve the final product.

As for me, my book cover designs would look like they’d been drawn by a two-year-old, so I work with the brilliant Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design. I absolutely <3 her! If you missed Devan’s great tips about cover design, please see my post here. All I know is that a good cover designer can take a tiny seed of an idea and make it blossom. Devan has definitely done that for me.

Her latest creation is the cover for Shift (Firstborn Trilogy #2). The book will be launched on Friday, August 24th. I’d like to take a moment to thank the following folks for participating in today’s cover reveal:

Bethany Lopez

DreamReads

I Read Indie Book Blog

IndieWritersReview

Jess’s Book Blog

Lisa M. Wood

Magnet4Books

Sarah’s Books and Life

TeamNerd Reviews

The Bibliophile’s Corner

Writing on the Sunny Side of the Street

Zoe’s Corner

Go and follow all of them if you aren’t already! They’re all amazing writers and bloggers. I’ll also mention that the wonderful team at YA Bound is working with me on a blog tour for Shift‘s release. Some of these blogs will also feature the cover reveal today, and will be participating in the tour between 8/27 and 9/1.

http://bookmarksbookshelves.blogspot.co.uk/ ~ http://Hardcoverlife.blogspot.com ~ http://bound2astound.blogspot.com ~ http://everyfreechancebookreviews.blogspot.com/ ~ http://kissedbyink.com ~ http://thebookhookup.com ~ www.fiction-freak.blogspot.com ~ http://www.lettersinsideout.net ~ http://www.angelafristoe.blogspot.com ~ http://bibliophilesthoughtsonbooks.blogspot.com/ ~ http://iheartyabooks.blogspot.com/ ~ http://www.crossroadreviews.com ~ http://adreamwithindream.blogspot.com
~ http://bookbriefs.blogspot.com ~ www.booksbesidemybed.com ~ http://edandemreviews.blogspot.com/ ~ http://adiaryofabookaddict.blogspot.com/ ~ http://stepintofiction.blogspot.com ~ http://readwriteandreadsomemore.blogspot.co.uk/ ~ http://paigebradish1996.blogspot.com/ ~ http://www.leisurereads.com ~ http://noriscloset.blogspot.com/ ~ http://read-a-holicz.blogspot.com
~ http://www.readergirlsblog.com ~ http://jessysbookends.blogspot.com ~ http://www.bengalreads.com

And now for the big reveal! First, the teaser…then, the cover:

Shift (Firstborn Trilogy #2)

Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change. But even she feels the rising tension in her homeland.

A shadowy male and deadly beast reside in their midst. The births of the newest Kynzesti loom. Hostile Mercesti continue to hunt for the Elder Scroll, and a traumatized female is too afraid to use her abilities to stop them.

Topping off Sophia’s stress is Quincy, the male she’s convinced can’t stand her. She rues the loss of their friendship, but can’t figure out how to move past it. She’ll soon learn, however, that mending that rift bears more significance than she ever imagined.

The search for the Elder Scroll takes on unexpected urgency, and Sophia finds herself in a race across the mainland. To stop the Mercesti led by Eirik, she and her companions must get past their differences and unite against them. If they don’t, Eirik will acquire the immense power he seeks, and two of the beings Sophia loves most will die.

Isn’t it gorgeous? Devan has truly outdone herself. Please stay tuned over the next few weeks for more teasers from both Shift and the last book in the Firstborn Trilogy, Elder.

For now, please tell me what you think about the cover!

UtopYACon2012: the Authors, the Awards, the Awesomeness

For those of you who don’t know, the first annual UtopYA Conference took place from July 6-8th this year in Nashville, TN. The conference was designed to honor the female writers of YA paranormal/fantasy fiction, and included informative panels, book signings and an awards ceremony. I had the pleasure of attending as an author and panel participant.

So, how did it all go?

In a word? Awesome.

Being the first of its kind, the conference was on the small and “personal” side rather than having thousands of attendees. As a result, I got to actually meet many of the authors I’d only interacted with online. Authors like Chelsea Fine, Angeline Kace, Heather Hildebrand, K.C. Neal, Quinn Loftis, Amy Bartol, Amanda Havard, L.M. Preston  and many others. Sitting on a panel beside Myra McEntire just about had me going fan-girl. I also got to spend more time with Tiffany King and C.A. Kunz, awesome authors who live here in the Orlando area. Much love, y’all!

Adding to the awesomeness were the readers, bloggers and PR reps who attended. I loved meeting every one of them! Heather with Supa Gurl Books, KP Simmon with Ink Slinger PR and Delphina from Delphina Reads Too Much are simply amazing individuals. Go meet them. Now.

I also won a couple of awards. In fact, I won the first ever UtopYA Award! It was for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel (Becoming). I cried during my acceptance speech and was a hot mess for photos afterwards. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Here’s a pic of the award:

I also won an award for best trailer for Defy. The trailer was produced by Matt Landis of Flat-line Films. I made sure to mention Matt and his company several times in my acceptance speech (but I didn’t cry like an infant this time!). Here’s the pic of award #2:

Truly, I can’t say enough about the conference and the people who put it all together. Janet Wallace pioneered and developed the concept for the event, and she had the help of Jamie Anderson (whose book I hope is available soon!), April Robbins, and Susan Burdorf. This team of individuals helped make the conference feel like a family gathering of sorts. I’m sure there will be great things to come for UtopYACon 2013!

If you’d like to buy tickets for next year’s conference, you can do so here for just $30. They’re only selling 100 tickets at that price, so don’t miss out!

The best thing I’ve taken away from this event is a bevy of friendships. The writers and readers who attended generated such warmth and support, and I drove away feeling renewed and energized. Aside from that, I learned a few tips that I’d like to share:

1.  You don’t have to be on every social media site, but be sure you have a strong presence on those sites you do use.

2.  At any event where you might meet readers, PR reps and other authors, always come armed with swag and business cards.

3.  Amanda Havard is an amazing musician and singer. Also, authors should create playlists for their books and use them to creatively market their books.

4.  Blog tours are practically a must when releasing a book, but you don’t only have to do one on launch day. Consider tours for back-lists, too.

5.  I tend to snort when I cry and then try to talk. This is not attractive.

Okay, so that last one wasn’t very helpful to any of you. I’ll probably do a follow-up post that shares more of the tidbits I learned at this conference once I’ve had a chance to process it all. For now, happy reading and writing…I hope to see you at UtopYA 2013!

Writer Wednesday: Author M. Pax and THE BACKWORLDS Excerpt

Today I’d like to welcome fantasy and science fiction author M. Pax as one of the stops on her blog tour for her exciting new release, The Backworlds. Ms. Pax is someone I’ve gotten to know through Twitter and Triberr, and she’s just an awesome person! I hope you’ll help me out by making her feel welcome by showing some comment love.

First, let’s learn a little more about her:

About the author:

M. Pax’s inspiration comes from the wilds of Oregon, especially the high desert where she shares her home with two cats and a husband unit. Creative sparks also come from Pine Mountain Observatory where she spend her summers working as a star guide. She writes mostly science fiction and fantasy, but confesses to an obsession with Jane Austen. She blogs at her website, www.mpaxauthor.com and at Wistful Nebuae. You’ll find links there to connect on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and other sites.

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Intrigued? How about an amazing excerpt from her book? Ask and you shall receive! (Warning to my YA readers: some adult language ahead):

Excerpt from The Backworlds, Chapter 2:

Having no other choice, he set out toward the edge of the village. Hissing clubs and growling voices on his heels, he hurried past houses and shops constructed from ganya trees, lanterns glowing warmly in the windows. He stepped over tree limbs and through them, pushing vines out of his way. Youngsters swung on ganya strands above, chasing each other with shrieks of laughter. It was what Craze would be doing, were he not being run off.

The sway of the canopy roared softly in the breeze and summoned unbidden memories of Yerness in his arms so vivid he could taste her kiss. Hidden in a leafy nook, they’d basked in passion and lust, noses bumping, hands exploring, lost in the humid night panting and moaning, indulging in the feel of one another. She couldn’t have meant any of it, and it kicked at him until all his thoughts filled with her torment.

The bite of fire rocketed up his spine. He spun about. A prodder had touched his ass and took aim again. Craze yelped. His pace must have slowed as he reminisced over the sweet moments of his now-tragic love. The pain of the electric shock swept Yerness from his mind and heart. He lurched, running, sprinting, racing until he left the village and entered the swamps.

“Damn bitches of Bast,” he cursed the council between huffs. “Someday you’ll all be sorry.” He shook his fist and made several obscene gestures at the elders.

The thick bogs burped and splashed, covering Siegna’s earth under millennia of muck. The coziness of the forest ended. The trees became fewer, spreading out with vast distances between them, giving way to grasses and sludge. Fish buzzed and gnawers swarmed without mercy while Croakmen harmonized with wild ricklits. The ricklit song spurred an interval of self-pity.

“No tellin’ where I’ll end up,” Craze said. “Perhaps on a world without ricklits or anythin’ much.” The idea frightened him and he considered hiding out in the swamps. Who would know?

“Leecher,” bellowed over the croaks and burps and buzzes. Brilliant fingers of electricity lit up the swamp. The council wouldn’t let him hide.

Craze picked up the pace, following the trails through the wetlands. The elders persisted, wading through the muck, drawing nearer. Their electrified clubs whistled, sending out shocks in crackling arcs. Squishy things covered in hundreds of wiggly legs leapt screaming out of the bogs, their tentacles reaching to pass on their agony. Shit. Sting beasts.

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The Backworlds After the war with Earth, bioengineered humans scatter across the Backworlds. Competition is fierce and pickings are scant. Scant enough that Craze’s father decides to hoard his fortune by destroying his son. Cut off from family and friends, with little money, and even less knowledge of the worlds beyond his own, Craze heads into an uncertain future. Boarding the transport to Elstwhere, he vows to make his father regret this day.

Available as an ebook from: Available from: Amazon / AmazonUK / Smashwords / Feedbooks

Free on Smashwords & Feedbooks. Will be free on Amazon in a few weeks.

Sign up for M. Pax’s newsletter to be notified the moment The Backworlds goes FREE on Amazon, and when it becomes available from other retailers.

 

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Thanks again for allowing me to be a part of your blog tour, M. Pax! Readers, if you’re curious about this wonderful author and/or her work, please leave a comment and she’ll be happy to get back to you.

Writer Wednesday: Interview with Fantasy Author Bill Blais

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming fantasy author Bill Blais to the blog. I got the chance to reveal the cover for Bill’s latest novel, Hell Hath No Fury (Kelly & Umber #2), yesterday, and he was gracious enough to allow me to grill interview him about his writing journey. Let’s find out a little more about this wonderful writer, shall we?

Bio: Bill Blais is a writer, web developer and perennial part-time college instructor. His novels include Witness (winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Fantasy) and the Kelly & Umber series. He lives in Maine with his wife and daughter.

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

I can juggle, read Old English and I rode my first 100-mile bike trek last year. Oh, and I can’t carry a tune in a paper bag (though, sadly for our new baby girl, this doesn’t tend to stop me — my wife, amazingly, is immune to the, um, sound).

Congrats on your new baby, Bill! Please tell us about some of the unique elements in your books. What inspired you to write them?

It probably sounds a bit trite, but I would say that the most unique element of these books is Kelly herself. Female protagonists (like male ones), tend to be portrayed as strong and sexy and ready for anything, or damaged and broken and angry (but still sexy, of course). Kelly is neither of these extremes, and this was the critical thing for me. I wanted her to be someone I might know or meet on the street, someone real.

When we meet her in No Good Deed, she’s what Garfield the cat might call ‘undertall’ and not necessarily a head-turner, but she’s happy in her own skin, and her strength and beauty flow from this personal groundedness. Kelly also has a family, including a loving husband and children, as well as brothers and sisters and parents of her own, all of whom impact her life directly and indirectly, just as they do for the rest of us.

My inspiration was being rather tired of the ‘super’ heroes and heroines. I wanted to see what would happen when a person as ordinary (and extraordinary) as the rest of us, was thrown into the ‘traditional’ urban fantasy genre. Kelly’s certainly not perfect and makes her share of mistakes, but that’s the point, I guess; I wanted to show that it’s the ordinary people that are the real heroes.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

As far as the K&U series, I have to say Kelly has been my favorite, which seems like a cop-out, but it’s the truth. I hadn’t written a female point of view before, and I didn’t know if I could pull it off. The story wouldn’t let me go, though, so I took on the challenge to find a genuine, believable voice for her.

As it turns out, I didn’t really have to worry about it (at least, that’s how it felt to me and I hope readers feel the same). As soon as I put pencil to paper, Kelly started talking and all I had to do was listen. Whenever I try to make her do one thing when she wants to do another, she definitely lets me know. Of course, I can be stubborn too, but I’m learning, and this whole discovery process with Kelly and being tuned in to what she would really do or say was extremely cool, and sometimes surreal.

What is something you think people should know about your books before they start reading?

Nothing at all, actually. My hope is that readers can walk into this book and series, regardless of their general reading habits, and enjoy them.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

When in the middle of writing something of my own, I try to avoid reading (or listening on tape/CD during my commute to and from the day job) in that genre to avoid unintentional cross-pollination. I like to read just about everything, and I try to pick different authors, but my fiction favorites tend to be old friends like Jane Austen, Patrick O’Brian, and Henryk Sienkiewicz.

Tell us about a book that resonated with you (either recently or prior to your writing career).

The one that comes immediately to mind is Stephen King’s On Writing. I was given it many years ago by a friend, but I intentionally put off reading it. I was afraid it was more of a how-to book and I didn’t want to be told how to write (I regularly upgrade from ‘stubborn’ to ‘pig-headed’). After I had written Hell Hath No Fury, though, I felt like I could be more objective, and I am so grateful I finally got there. On Writing isn’t about how to write, but how to be a writer. I cannot recommend it highly enough. At the risk of sounding cocky, it tended to affirm my own approach to the writing life, and it felt very good to not be alone.

What are you reading right now?

Endless Forms, Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom, by Sean B. Carroll. It’s not a quick read, but it’s packed with fascinating information about this new field of Evolutionary Development and the findings they are uncovering about genetics and such (such as how a zebra really gets its stripes and whether it’s genetically a black animal with white stripes or white with black stripes). Okay, so not everyone’s cup of tea, but I borrowed this from my sister-in-law a couple years ago as research for a short story and I’m still reading it (it’s filled with scraps of paper covered in scribbled notes).

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

The one that comes to mind is from my grandmother, who is a stickler for grammar (God help me if she reads this and finds a typo!) and a life-long reader. I was always a bit leery of her reading my stories, because fantasy (urban or otherwise) is not really in her reading zone, but after she read Witness, my first book, she asked me how I came up with all those different characters and voices. She was very impressed that I made them sound so different from one another. That was a very big moment for me.

Where can we stalk find you?

Site and blog – http://www.billblais.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Blais/182283748560756

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/onemoredraft

Once again, Bill, thanks so much for dropping by the blog!  If you’d like to check out Bill’s books on Amazon, click these links for Witness, No Good Deed and Hell Hath No Fury. Happy reading!

Cover Reveal: Hell Hath No Fury by Bill Blais

I’m very excited to be working with Illuminated Tours on the Hell Hath No Fury cover reveal tour! Author Bill Blais is building quite the following among readers of contemporary fantasy, and his Kelly and Umber series is making its way up the Amazon charts. I’m sure after you read a little more about Mr. Blais’ latest release, you’ll easily see why!

First, let’s meet the author of these wonderful stories:

Bill Blais is a writer, web developer and perennial part-time college instructor. His novels include Witness (winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Fantasy) and the Kelly & Umber urban fantasy series. Bill graduated from Skidmore College before earning an MA in Medieval Studies from University College London. He lives in Maine with his wife and daughter.

You can learn more about Mr. Blais and read sample chapters of both books in the series by visiting his website and blog at http://www.billblais.com/.

Now…onto the juicy details about Hell Hath No Fury (Kelly and Umber Series #2):

Synopsis: After the horrific events under the streets of New York City, Kelly McGinnis quit the team of demon hunters who had recruited her and did everything she could to put the experience behind her. Six months later, life is nearly normal, complete with bills, school for her children and hospital visits for her husband.

Dreams of Umber–the handsome and intriguing incubus she saved–continue to tease Kelly’s sleep, but it is only when far darker dreams–and worse–begin to infect her children, that Kelly discovers what happens if you stop hunting demons.

They start hunting you.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? If that blurb didn’t convince you, what do you think about this cover?

I think Mr. Blais has a winner here! Since I know you’re wondering how you can get started on this series, here are the links to buy books 1 and 2: on Amazon.com:

No Good Deed (Kelly and Umber #1)

Hell Hath No Fury (Kelly and Umber #2)

Go on and check them out! If you’d like more details about this tour or how to schedule one of your own, be sure to drop by the Illuminated Tours site: