has flown by at a breakneck speed. My oldest daughter graduated from high
school and started college. My middle child, my son, started high school. And
this year he is almost the same height as his father – 6’1. And he’s only
14. My youngest daughter started her last year of elementary school. And of course, I
was a sobbing mess when I dropped her on the first day.
been a busy year.
But I’ve had
the pleasure of enjoying many moments of it. It’s only a couple days away from
Christmas and I know I should have probably sent this earlier…but I wanted to
share a few of my favorite things from this year.
Of course, everyone
who knows me knows I love to read. That yes, I’m a writer but I was a
reader first. I’ve always loved language, period. I even received a degree in
English to solidify my love. So, I’ll start with my most treasured reads of the
Quanie Miller’s The New Mrs. Collins – an adult paranormal novel was awesome. I couldn’t put it
down. The characters were so alive that I had to look over my shoulders a few
times for the villain, Adira. The plot was compelling and the pacing was
excellent. I’m not sure if there will be a second book but the way the first
book ended leaves the impression that there could be another. You can read my
full review here.
Kelly Hashway/Ashlyn Drake’s Into the Fire – a young adult paranormal romance.
I’ve read a number of books from Kelly/Ashlyn and this is my favorite. The
ending had me on the edge of my seat. When it was over, I wanted to email Kelly
begging for the next book (hint, hint). I believe this is a three or four book series and I can't wait to read them all. You can read my full review here.
David Estes’s Fire Country (Country Saga book 1) – This book took me on the ultimate
adventure. I loved it so much that I found myself speaking and thinking like
the characters. That’s immersing yourself in your reading, right? David created
this language unique to the book but that made perfect sense – at least to me.
I loved it. Can you tell? You can read my full review here.
Dawn Brazil’s Enlighten Me – Yes, I’m including my own book to this list. Why? Because I can. No, I
really did enjoy writing this one – more than any book I’ve written. Why?
Honestly, the villains were awesome. They’re humorous; I love humor in stories
that are otherwise somber. They're also real people with beliefs that drive
them. These beliefs give them the motivation to challenge others. It’s just as hard for them to understand why the
“good guys” are doing what they’re doing. They think what they are doing will
help others. Why would that be an issue you ask? Why are they the villains you
want to know? Because their method of solving the problems will kill millions. Here
is the link to it on Goodreads.
If you haven’t
read these books I’d highly recommend them all!
the next thing I love to spend my hard earned money on is candles. Here’s the
scoop on a brand I love:
Candles by Eden – One of my co-workers started her
own business making candles. And I adore candles. I’ve got an entire kitchen
cabinet full of them to prove it. These aren’t ordinary candles though. The
candles are all natural and handmade. I’ve never had all-natural/handmade
candles before so I wasn’t really sure how they would burn/smell. So, I bought a few
of them in my favorite scents – Pomegranate, Peppermint Sugar Cookie, and
White Tea and Ginger. Of course, I ordered more than three but these were my
favorites. How did they burn? Great. Awesome. They smelled so good that my oldest
daughter wants to buy her own. And my baby, who is the pickiest person I’ve
ever met, gave them a thumbs up. There's nothing like the scent of a pomegranate candle wafting in the air, as you curl up in the tub, with soft music and low lights... Not that I EVER get the chance to do this anymore. I digress. You can read all about the Candles and Eden
Do you have
any favorites that you’d like to share?
Today's the day - the release of Enlighten Me, book 2 in the Finding Me series. I'm so excited, and tired, and excited, and tired.... Did I say I was really tired. The life of an Indie Author, wife, mother of three, with a full-time job can be difficult.
But I'm not complaining. I wouldn't give up any of those titles. Since Enlighten Me is the sequel to Finding Me, I'm sharing an excerpt from Finding Me:
I forced my eyes upward. My mind cascaded over
all the things I could say. I knew I shouldn’t allow him to bully me. My
thoughts scattered, the right words slipped away. “I…no…you are not–”
My head jerked back suddenly, casting a dozen
sparkling stars across my eyes, and a
bolt of electricity shot up my spine. The zap was so intense, I stumbled,
face-first to the floor. The fall should have thrown me to the smooth, dry surface of the wood floor of
the school hallway.
My hands met moisture. My eyes bulged as I took
in what lay beneath them: grass.
I lifted my head to scan the area, stunned to
silence. A sea of green enveloped me. The urge to scream overpowered
everything, but I fought it. I clasped my hands to my mouth to muffle the sound
that escaped anyway.
The football field stretched before me.
How can I be here? This
isn’t possible. I scrambled to my feet, spun around, and gazed at the
school I’d been in moments ago. I shut my eyes tight. “Please let me be back in
the school, about to have the biggest fight with Zack,” I said aloud.
My heart thrummed at my chest, but my eyes
remained shut, afraid of what I might find once I dared a peek. But standing
with them closed wasn’t an option. A crow cawed overhead to urge me on. My eyes
sprang open. Confusion twisted away at my insides. Why was I still on the
field? I swallowed back the lump in my throat and ran a shaky hand through
my thick hair that continually blew into my face, obstructing my vision.
Straining against the glare of the midday sun, I
tripped, my feet two cinderblocks in my boots. For late August, the Manhattan
wind that kicked up seemed to scream winter and not fall. I tucked the unruly
strands of hair, tossed about by the rebel wind, behind my ear and took another
reluctant step forward. That was when I saw it. The crimson red thrust the
emerald green of the field. The colors blended, reminding me of Freddy
Krueger’s sweater in A Nightmare on Elm Street. There was a lot of blood
in that movie. And I was pretty certain blood was the red part I saw on the
I gasped. My breath caught in my throat and the
stench of copper invaded my nostrils. I fought against the urge to vomit, yet
couldn’t contain the desire to move closer.
I’d never seen a dead body before.
Here is the blurb for Enlighten Me:
Sometimes carefully constructed lies can become the
Amanda reawakens, she is faced with the life Chloe lived for 17 years. The
adjustment isn’t easy. But as she attempts to acclimate to a life that’s
foreign to her, old friends become new enemies and bad habits are hard to stop.
When she begins to doubt the story she’s been given to explain her travels
through the multiverse, she knows she must find the answers before everyone
else. Because if her weird dreams and visions are an indication of who she
really was, everyone might just be in danger. But not from the enemy they think.
Enlighten Me and FindingMe are both on sale for $0.99 and can be purchased here:
I have the awesome privilege of presenting the cover of Author Miranda Shanklin's new release, Soul Freedom.
With the stress of graduation and planning weddings, Annisa and her group of friends want to end things with the Counsel once and for all. They strengthen their bond to the strongest it can be and go on the offensive. After they achieve their goal, they find that was not their only problem. Now they have to figure out who will be the next Counsel, and how to deal with other realms that have found their way in.
While the group guards over the Origin, Annisa goes with members of the other realms to track down the wayward travelers, before they cause too much damage in our realm. To prevent this from happening again or any damage that may result, the group, along with their newly appointed Counsel, must come up with a system to allow other realms access to our realm, so they don’t have to constantly be on the lookout for trespassers from other realms.
Can it be done in time for Annisa and her friends to enjoy graduation, and Annisa's upcoming nuptials? With the help of friends and family, it just may be possible!
I'm deep in edits right now so I couldn't think of what to write. So I thought I'd be random...talk about the first thing that crosses my mind. And for some reason, movies was at the forefront of my thoughts. Aside from books, movies are my next big thing.
Have you seen any good movies lately? I have.
Here's a rundown of the last movies I saw and what I'm anxiously awaiting to see next:
BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP
I had only seen one preview for this movie. It looked okay but I wasn't jumping from my seat to see it. But when I was at the movies with my hubby and some other family, this was the movie that was playing next and looked most promising. After watching it, I'd rate it a 4 out of 5 - because there is a killer twist. But it's slow at times...and Nicole Kidman cries through almost all of it. This movie is 50 First Dates (Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore) meets Premonition (Sandra Bullock)... she can't remember once she wakes from sleeping but does she really want to...
I had been wanting to see this movie for a while. I'm a sci-fi junkie and an action-a-holic...but for some reason this movie wasn't everything I'd hoped it would be. I do love the sci-fi elements, and Harrison Ford is always great, and the kid playing Ender was awesome but there was something missing for me. If I had to rate it, I'd give it 4 stars - for the acting alone.
Of course, this movie really does not need an introduction. But Halloween can't pass without me watching my fav Halloween movie. Umm and that would most definitely be the old version. I loathe the new version. Michael Myers is one of the creepiest movie villains ever. I love him! If you've never seen this movie, shame on you. If you love horror then this is your movie. There is very little in the way of gore - which I love because blood and guts everywhere does not equal scary to me. Its a maniacal killer on the loose so stay indoors...well, maybe...
INTO THE WOODS
I did jump out of my seat when I saw this trailer. Merly Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, I'm getting excited just thinking about the cast. But the actual movie is genius! Think twisted fairy tales, think scary Meryl Streep, and Johnny Depp in any fashion. This movie has not released yet. It is set to hit theatres on December 25th. And I most definitely cannot wait.
And finally, Annie. They're remaking this classic and it looks terrific. Jamie Fox, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz, and Quvenzhane Wallis...what's not to love with a cast like this. This movie releases Christmas this year and I'm going to absolutely burst at the seams... Okay, I like musicals...
Have you seen any great movies lately? What are you anxiously waiting to see?
When nature-loving Emilio and athletic Hans get lost in the
forest during a fifth grade field trip, they have no choice but to put their
differences aside to survive the harsh wilderness.
Emilio would rather eat a slimy worm than miss the fifth
grade field trip. Nemesis Mountain must be full of rare leaf specimens and bugs
for his collection. Besides, he needs a break from the playground and Hans’s
nonstop teasing. His excitement is squashed when he gets lost in the woods with
his worst enemy.
Alone in the forest, the two boys battle to survive the
harsh wilderness, facing challenges that will change their lives forever.
About the Author
Annie McMahon is originally from Canada but now lives in
New Jersey. She has a degree in computer programming, but her life took an
unexpected turn and she ended up writing stories and articles instead of
computer programs. Now she uses every spare minute to write children’s novels
and to help other writers succeed.
Her three children have been the inspiration behind many of
her short stories, over forty in total. Her flash fiction story, Paradoxical
Neighbor, has been published by Nelson Education in a book for 10th graders,
Nelson Literacy 10.
Annie has a certificate in copyediting, moderates a
critique group for children's writers, and is the editor at UK Children's
In a word, The New Mrs. Collins will
leave you spellbound...
Title: The New
Mrs. Collins Author: Quanie Miller Genre: Paranormal Release Date: October 13, 2014
In the small town of Carolville,
Louisiana, no one knows that Adira Collins inherited mystic powers from her
great grandmother. All they know is that she’s beautiful, poised, graceful, and
ruthless—especially when it comes to love. And no one knows that more than
Leena Williams, who was all set to marry the man of her dreams until Adira
swooped into town and stole the man’s heart.
Being left at the altar is bad
enough, but Leena and her ex share custody of their son, so she has to see the
new Mrs. Collins on a regular basis.
And it burns every time she does.
But soon, Leena starts to suspect
that there is more to Adira Collins than meets the eye. And it’s not because
she owns some kinky lingerie shop or allegedly insulted the pastor’s wife—it’s
the strange way she can make a door close without touching it, or take one look
at something and make it drop dead at her feet.
Leena starts digging for
answers and soon discovers that, unlike her public persona, Adira’s true nature
is somewhere on the other side of grace. She also learns, a little too late, that some secrets are better left buried.
I love to read. And I
read widely. So when I say that The New Mrs. Collins is a MUST read, I mean it.
There are plenty of books that I enjoy. They make me laugh, they make me cry
(actually very few have done that), they make me cringe (in a good way)... When
I find a book that evokes any of these stated emotions on an extreme level, it’s
a must read recommendation from me.
Quanie's ability to
deliver characters that you care about, that you root for, that you want to
succeed, is brilliant. Leena, the main character, is your friend, your
neighbor, the girl next door - and we lucky readers are given a chance
to poke around in her life for a spell. Leena is a strong character that
from the onset of the novel is pulled from one horrible situation to another.
Some of the mishaps that occur are her own doing but most are at the hands of
the most beautifully flawed, insane person ever.
The world she creates,
though reality based, weaves the remarkable paranormal elements in with ease.
Her ability to suspend the reader's belief had me ducking my head as I stepped
on my front porch the morning after reading the final page. Why? I was in
search of Leena's antagonist, the beautiful, and deadly, Adira.
In this character, you
will be conflicted...at least I was. I hated her and I loved her. I wanted her
to lose everything but I also wanted her to gain the world. Crazy! This is
another remarkable element in Quanie's crafting of the novel. The
characters soared from the page. And for me three dimensional characters
make the story.
If you are a fan of fast
paced, paranormal, humorous, psychological thrillers, then this is your book. I
highly recommend it!
Quanie Miller grew up in
New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent
most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering authors like R.L.
Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the
library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from
Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the
recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship,
the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing
Prize. She is the author of The New Mrs.
Collins, a southern paranormal novel, and It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy, a romantic comedy. She lives in South
Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another
novel. To find out more about Quanie and her works in progress visit
Villains first (because they're so stinkin' interesting):
(Olivia Little...but a unique angle on her.)
Bellezza is driven by only one motive: revenge. She has no qualms with killing or initiating a war to get what she wants, and she especially enjoys head games. With unique abilities to travel by mist or kill with a scream, she's a formidable foe.
(Amos Oz and Skull Face)
(Before and After)
Amos has been one of the Soulless for centuries, slowly decaying but unable to die. Since the battle between the Soulless and Passionate began, he's been leading a faction of the Soulless to undermine the Passionate and take absolute control of his kind.
Now to the Outcasts (who are equally as awesome):
Sarah is a total flirt and Alexia's (the lead's) best friend/aunt. She's also recently become one of the Soulless, and went into hiding. Lighthearted, vivacious and occasionally unladylike (despite her noble upbringing), she is always the heart of the party.
Miles is a friend, protege and sidekick to the leader of the Passionate. He has a gift to "see through other's eyes." Because of that, he's been feared and avoided by most the Passionate. His parents became Soulless when he was 4 (enemies to the Passionate who hunt them on moonless nights) and he hears them calling for him every new moon. Loyal to the death, he's a timid soul who truly and deeply desires to do what's right, willing to sacrifice everything for the greater good. A recent turn of events made him too dangerous to remain among the Passionate.
The Soulless are coming.
Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.
And risk losing everything.
Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy. Meet the characters for yourselves by getting the books HERE,
Curse of the Granville Fortune officially releases into the world today! This middle grade fantasy adventure involves a race to a treasure, so there's a scavenger hunt to celebrate. But first, check out the cover and blurb:
Find the fortune, break the curse!
The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.'s family history. He's been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.
To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he's not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he'll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the cursE before it's too late.
Now for the scavenger hunt. Below is a list of bloggers helping out with the hunt. Visit each of their pages and collect a letter that is "hidden" in their post in either a different color or a larger font size. If you go through the list in order, the word will spell itself out for you. If you don't go in order, you'll have to unscramble the word. Either way is fine and totally up to you. Then enter the word on the rafflecopter form for bonus entries. You don't have to find the word to enter the giveaway, but the word will earn you the most entries.
What's up for grabs?
SWAG from ALL of Kelly's books!
Yes, that's right. There's a drawstring bag, coins, buttons, a mood ring, a heart bracelet, a flame pendant, trading cards, a key, and bookmarks! All this loot could be yours!
Here are the stops for the scavenger hunt (in order):
been sorta doing the marketing thing like a sloth. I’m kinda shy and it’s
all kinds of intimidating to put yourself out there. But as a serious writer, not
that all writers shouldn’t be serious – but some people write for fun, I think…
Anyway, I need a team. Like Yesterday!
So if you could pretty please with lobsters and peanut butter sauce help me out. I'd really appreciate it.
I need a
team of awesome people working to help me secure my place in the hearts of all
readers. I want fandom sites created for my characters, I want every teenager
between the ages of 15 and 18 in every country known to man (and on every
universe unknown to man) reading my books – and their parents, and aunts and
uncles, and cousins…, I want stalkers camped outside my house to try and catch
a glimpse of me, I want a statue of me resurrected at my Elementary School…
actually, I just want readers to enthusiastically purchase my book – and tell
me how much they love it! Is that too much to ask? Will you please be part of my street team?
Sweet! Please click this link for the awesomeness to begin.
Disclaimer: I don't actually eat lobster with peanut butter sauce. But if you do I'm not judging. But ewww...just saying.
To celebrate the release of Jessica Bell’s latest novel,
WHITE LADY, she is giving away an e-copy (mobi, ePub, or PDF) to the first person
to correctly guess the one true statement in the three statements below. To
clarify, two statements are lies, and one is true:
Sonia, in White Lady,
a. was born into
a family of criminals.
b. became a
killer after hooking up with her husband.
c. hates killing
people, but has a random uncontrollable desire to do so.
What do you think? Which one is true? Write your guess in
the comments, along with your email address. Comments will close in 48 hours.
If no-one guesses correctly within in 48 hours, comments will stay open until
Want more chances to win? You have until October 31 to visit
all the blogs where Jessica will share a different set of true and false
statements on each one. Remember, each blog is open to comments for 48 hours
only from the time of posting.
If you win, you will be notified by email with instructions
on how to download the book.
*This novel contains coarse language, violence, and sexual themes.
Sonia yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that
she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and mathematics teacher, it’s
time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats.
While being the wife of Melbourne’s leading drug lord and
simultaneously dating his best mate is not ideal, she’s determined to make it
It does work. Until Mia, her lover’s daughter, starts
exchanging saliva with her son, Mick. They plan to commit a crime behind
Sonia’s back. It isn’t long before she finds out and gets involved to protect
Jessica Bell, a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction
author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, is the Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves
Literary Journaland the director of
the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a
writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as
Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and
Welcome! Follow Fest is a blog hop for the purpose of connecting authors. Writing is one career choice that does not put you at the top of the social sphere. It's difficult because most of the time we are closeted off to ourselves in our caves. Most of us are shy, introvert, book addicts (or is that just me) so this connecting is so important.
Today is the last day of the hop. You can still sign up here!
Yes, I self-published my first book, Finding Me, in April of this year.
Do you do anything in
addition to writing?
I love to cook and
have talked seriously with my hubby about opening a Bed and Breakfast when our
children are grown and out of the house. In addition to cooking, I love to read
(of course) but I mean, I really like to read. I also love watching movies and
eating York Peppermint patties.
A little about me….
I’m married and have
three teenage kids that I adore – sometimes. I have a huge crush on Superman
and will get into the silliest arguments with people who don’t think he’s as
awesome as I think he is. I like to pretend that I’m Wonder Woman (when I was a
kid, I’d bend wire hangers to make her head piece and put on a leotard and
prance around the house). I’m from Michigan but not live in Texas…yeah, it was
a huge adjustment at first just dealing with the weather. I would love to travel
but haven’t had an opportunity except when I was in the military…but that so
does not count for travel…IJS
What are you reading right now?
I just finished reading a novel today, Ice Country by David Estes. It is the sixth
book in the Dweller series. And is an awesome example of world-building and
character depth/arch. I am finishing up Bloodlust by Nicole Zoltack, she’s an
awesome writer of fantasy. And I just started The New Mrs. Collins by Quanie
Which authors influenced you the most?
Every author I read
influences me in some way; even those books that I did not enjoy influence me
as a writer. But if I had to narrow it down, Stephen King was Everything when I
was a kid. I read his books in droves – still love him to this day.
Yes, I believe in supporting other authors. I’ll participate
in cover reveals, blog tours, and even review books for other authors (when
time permits). I’m a busy lady but I can’t keep a book outta my hands. I have a
preference for fantasy and science fiction but will read most anything with
great characters. I had an aversion to romance for years but I’ve started to
evolve. I’ve even read Nicholas Sparks and you can’t get any more romantic than