Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day Book Bash - May 7-10

All three of my books are $0.99 for this Mother's Day sale. :)



What better gift for Mother's Day than a new book (or twenty-eight) to relax with? 


We're using flames to describe the "heat" of the romance:
1 Flame = Nothing but sweet kisses
2 Flames = Passionate kissing
3 Flames = Sex but the door is closed
4 Flames = Slightly steamy sex with some description
5 Flames = Steamy sex with somewhat graphic description

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Callie Houston has become good at juggling. Between college, working three jobs, and having to attend every family function her socialite mother throws her way, she's become a pro. Juggling her responsibilities leave her no time, or energy, for romance. That is, until a very sexy Cajun walks into the Biergarten and makes her feel like a woman ready for whatever he's willing to give her.

Simon English is in Texas visiting clients. He's fascinated by the woman posing as a serving wench. She eschews his advances, yet fate gives him a second chance. The chemistry between them is undeniable. When his fashion designer mother asks who's caught her son's attention, a hastily snapped photograph becomes the object that could change both his and Callie's lives.

4 flames

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
 Get your copy today on Amazon!  
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When you control music, every note is a weapon. 

Most girls don't think twice about singing along with their favorite song on the radio. Not me. I hum once and it zombifies the hottest guy in school. 

The Pied Piper was real and I am his descendant. Music is my curse. If I don't master the song inside myself, it will overpower me, and if that happens... 
Let's put it this way: the last piper to lose control led a town-full of children to a river and started the plague. 

Welcome to my life. 

1 flame

Regularly $2.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
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Billionaire CEO Luke Ryder doesn't want to hire his best friend, Brooke, as his matchmaker. Not when he’s been in love with her for ten years. Too bad she doesn't see him as relationship material and is engaged to another man.

Brooke’s dream career may be crumbling, and she will do anything to keep the matchmaking company she works for in the black. Even recruit Luke, America’s favorite bachelor, as her next client. Surely his perfect smile and swollen bank account will send clients swarming their doors. 

If Toujour closes, Brooke is out of a job, and Luke is out a best friend. There will be nothing stopping her from moving to Italy with her fiancé. And Luke isn’t about to let that happen.

When matching up Luke works a little too well, Brooke wonders if she’s with the right man. Maybe she should finally forget Luke’s playboy image and admit he’s changed. All Brooke has to decide is if she’s willing to risk her heart.

between 2-3 flames

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon! 

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Sixteen-year-old Brooke Pierce doesn't need her mom to tell her all boys are trouble. After watching her dad break up the family for a woman half his age, dating is the last thing on her mind. 

On the first day at a new high school Brooke meets Luke, the school flirt with a reputation for heartbreak. He’s interested. She’s not. That only makes him chase her more. After a shocking revelation from her dad, Brooke and Luke form an unexpected bond, complete with crazy rules to keep them safely in the friend zone. Problem is, that’s the worst place to be when you’re falling in love.

1 flame

Regularly 99¢ - On Sale FREE!
Get your copy on Amazon

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Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and desperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren. Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling.

Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart.

Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth.

When Megan and Christina are assigned as Kyra’s visiting teachers, they all realize that what you see isn’t necessarily what’s beneath the surface. Some secrets aren’t worth the cost of keeping them. 

1 flame (but it is a book about infertility)

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale FREE
Get your copy on Amazon

____________________________________________________________________________

Brooklyn Hamlin likes the rules. They're safe and smart. And for Brooklyn, the rules are simple—no dating until she turns sixteen and no kissing. But her sixteenth birthday is just a few days away, and that means all the rules are about to change. Brooklyn's still determined to avoid the drama of kissing, but she wouldn't mind holding someone's hand, especially if that someone is Luke Graham. 

Charming and handsome, with just a hint of danger, Luke has been the subject of her daydreams since the school year began. So when he asks to take her on her very first date, Brooklyn can’t believe her luck. 

But things aren’t exactly what they seem, and some boys really are too good to be true. Sweet sixteen and never been kissed, Brooklyn is about to find herself in the middle of all the drama and heartache she was hoping to avoid. 


1 flame

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________________

Treena is nervous for Rating Day. A single number will brand her forever—a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space. Her top-Rated boyfriend is confident their scores will coincide so they can attend the academy together. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life and boyfriend back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart. 

2 flames

Only $2.99
Get your copy on Amazon
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The world's darkest creature will be their brightest hope! 

While darkness haunts her, she craves the light. Christina is a demon, but she doesn't want to be. She is willing to sacrifice everything to change it. Only one person stands in her way, and he will stop at nothing to keep her the way she is.
The greatest battle of light vs dark threatens every living creature, a battle that could destroy all. And the demon in love will only have one chance to save everyone. 

2 flames

Regularly $2.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon




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One princess destroyed the world. One princess must save it.

When she was little she wished to be a princess. Now as a teenager she just wishes she fit in. But Shanice doesn't feel like she belongs, she never has.

When her parents tell her she is the last known princess from another world, it all makes sense. A world full of magic in place of technology. One where she is more than just royalty, she is their last chance to stop the one who is bent on destroying it. Mendina.

But she can't do it alone, first she must find the other missing royals. In her quest, Shanice will be forced to choose between the course prophecy set for her, and the one that leads to the man her heart belongs to.

2 flames

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
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Can true love weather magic's storm? 

Princess Roselyn is betrothed to Prince Chavez, but her heart belongs to Prince Osric. As the royal wedding approaches, they only have a few days left to be together. Osric fears losing Roselyn and will do anything to be with her, turning to magic in hopes that it will provide the answer. A white rose, enchanted with love, so long as its petals remain white, will bind the hearts of those who speak words of love.

One rose, two hearts, ten words, and they will be together forever . . . until a storm clouds the night sky, and by morning, the world is dark. Every enchantment is broken, every spell undone. All magic has been destroyed, and once the white rose turns red, Roselyn and Osric will be forced to remain apart. With only four days to save their love, they must learn how to restore magic to the land . . . or their chances of being together forever are gone.

2 flames

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon!
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Siri de Calendri was trained in the art of illumination in her brother’s workshop in 12th century Venice, but when her brother dies his will sends her far from home. Siri travels to the faraway county of Poitou in France, where she enters the guardianship of her brother’s friend, Triston de Brielle. Once settled, she hopes to find employment in an illuminator’s shop— until Triston unexpectedly snatches her heart away with a kiss.

Triston is a man of quiet honor and courage, but the guilt he carries for the death of his wife, Clothilde, has left him numb and hesitant to love again. Worse yet, Siri bears an uncanny resemblance to his lost love. Or does she? Her merry laughter and twinkling eyes are very different from his late wife's shy smiles and quiet ways. Yet when he gazes into Siri's face, all he sees is Clothilde.

Then Triston's past returns to threaten them both. Trapped between the rivalry of the king's sons on the one hand and a neighbor out for vengeance on the other, Triston realizes it would be safer to send Siri away. Siri is determined not to be cast off and not to live in another woman’s shadow. She has illuminated many a priceless book with pen and paint, but can her own vibrant spirit illuminate the darkness in Triston’s soul and make his heart beat for her alone?

2 flames

Regularly $3.49 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon

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Heléne de Laurant has not forgotten how the Earl of Gunthar destroyed her father’s castle during Henry II’s war with his sons. Apparently neither have her family and friends, for when someone tries to murder Gunthar, every sign points in their direction. Heléne realizes the only way to prove her loved ones’ innocence is by exposing the true assassin. 

As Heléne and Gunthar spar over the identity of the traitor, fierce determination gives way to mutual attraction. Heléne must race against time, and dark secrets of the past, to unmask the would-be killer before the kingdom plunges back into war and takes the life of the man she has unexpectedly learned to love.

2 flames

Regularly $3.49 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________________

Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life. 

Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love. 

“Loving Lucianna" is the first in my new “Hearts in Autumn” romance series, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because you’re never too old to fall in love!”

1 flame

Regularly $2.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon!
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A forbidden love and a past they can’t leave behind . . . 

In King John's England, Robert Marcel chafes against the law that holds him bound as a villein on his lord’s manor. He tries to make a daring escape and is nearly caught by his cruel master, but a young girl helps him slip away.

Years pass and Robert takes up trade as a minstrel. Invited to play at a banquet for the notorious Earl of Saxton, he is stunned to come face to face with the girl he’s never forgotten—now Lady Marguerite of Winbourne, betrothed to the earl. Her status as a noblewoman puts her completely out of Robert’s reach, but he knows they are meant to be together. He vows to make her his wife no matter what the cost.

Lady Marguerite has often thought of the young man she helped escape. Her tender feelings for him quickly turn into much more when they are brought back into each other’s lives. She longs to be free to marry Robert, the man she loves, but that will require her to sacrifice all she holds dear.

They are tested at every turn by those bent on driving them apart and destroying what they have found together. Can their love truly conquer all?

  2 flames

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get our copy on Amazon
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When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old Colorado high school teacher wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a vacation diversion; what fate provides is Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and its temporary friendships, her emotions come alive. 

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. But Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic.

Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise’s snorkeling excursions in American Samoa. However, paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped. Lyn’s fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.

between 2-3 flames
 
Regularly $2.49 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________________

Elle Reinhardt loves people and has a gift for turning groups of strangers into friends. When she talks her best friend Lyn into taking a month-long Pacific cruise, Elle is in her element, gathering fellow passengers to her. But things go horribly wrong when a ship excursion ends in death and disaster at the hands of modern-day pirates. 

Filled with her own emotional wounds from the experience, Elle tries desperately to buoy up the grieving loved ones as they wait for news on those lost at sea. Malcolm Armstrong, friend of one of the missing men, arrives to act as family spokesman. Elle knows it’s unreasonable, but she resents his presence. When Mal offers the strength she so desperately needs, will she be able to let go of her animosity and accept his support?

This ebook-exclusive short story includes special excerpts from both A Change of Plans and Torn Canvas. 

1 flame

On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon!
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Modern-day pirates took more than Jori Virtanen’s friends; they stole his face. Not only does the twenty-four-year-old former model have to confront months of reconstructive surgery, he discovers his previous life was as superficial as his looks. Up-and-coming talk show host Olivia Howard wants an interview. She, like the rest of the press, expects a hero, but Jori knows the truth. His beauty masks a beast. 

In seclusion and evading the press, Jori struggles to make a new life as an artist. But he can’t hide from himself; more than his face is damaged. How can Jori possibly make amends for all that he’s broken? When Olivia finally tracks him down, he must decide if he can trust her. Could this unlikely woman be a key to freeing his heart and healing the beast?

3 flames

Regularly $3.49 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________________

It’s a time of change for Jori Virtanen. The former playboy model is about to be married. He juggles wedding arrangements, a bachelor party, and plans for keeping the ceremony secret from the press. But Jori has another problem. He has to figure out how to tell one of his best friends, Marc North, that his girlfriend may not be what she appears. 

This ebook-exclusive short story includes a special excerpt from Swing Vote, Safe Harbors #3.

1 flame

On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon




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"Write what you know."

Persephone "Sephie" Benson scoffs when her creative writing teacher throws that little gem out there. Maybe this advice would work for a professional skydiver or a baseball star or a ninja princess. It's not so great for a high school student who doesn't even know what to do with the rest of her life. Add in being the oldest of six girls, having Responsibilities with a capital R, and living in a town the size of a tick, and you've got a recipe for boring soup.

At least, that's what Sephie thinks until her senior year. Now, her grandfather is losing his house. One of her sisters plays a starring role in the local high school scandal. Even things with her best friend Joey aren't the same. As Sephie deals with the changes in her life, she finds that nothing is quite what she expects--and that sometimes, the most extraordinary life can be the one that seems the most ordinary. 

between 1-2 flames

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________________

All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead man on his doorstep. The stranger insists that the country is in danger and asks Alphonse to carry out his task of delivering a package to the leader of the country. 

Alphonse thinks the man might be a little delusional from his injury, but he reluctantly takes the package and boards a train toward the capital. When he’s attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king, he realizes he’s in way over his head. 

He’s rescued from the knights by Mairwyn, a mechanic traveling for work. Alphonse clashes with her instantly. She thinks he’s a clueless bookworm, and he finds her rude and cynical. He’s less than pleased when she decides to join him on his journey to the capital, but the longer Alphonse travels with Mairwyn, the more he learns about the haunted past she’s been running from for so long.

It’s a past that she’ll have to confront if she and Alphonse stand any chance of protecting themselves and countless others from the terrible plans of the neighboring king—plans that bring horrific death and lead the country to the brink of war.

2 flames

Regularly $4.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________________

Lachlan's had a rough summer. First, the girl he shares a painful history with didn't remember him. Then Brenna, the woman he loves, showed up after seven years away and wants nothing to do with him. To top it all off, he almost died with the rest of his people when soldiers invaded his country.

Now the enemy could be using Lachlan's people as assassins. When Brenna leaves to find the truth, Lachlan invites himself along.

As Lachlan struggles to rebuild the trust he lost with Brenna, they unravel the dark secret their enemy has worked long and hard to hide—and its consequences for them are greater than they could have known.

4 flames
 
Regularly $4.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon

_______________________________________________________________________________


Sixteen-year-old Megan Crenshaw has everything going for her, until a leprechaun shows up on her doorstep and steals all her luck. If that weren't enough, he follows her around, making sure nothing goes right. What Louie didn't count on was Megan's friends standing by her. No matter what he throws at her, they're by her side to pick her back up again. When Megan learns about Louie's ultimate plan for her family, it's a race against time to stop him before he destroys everything she cares about. 

1 flame

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon


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Megan finally has her luck back and hopes that life will return to normal. She's determined to make her senior year perfect to make up for the year before. 

Unfortunately, the magical world has other plans. She suddenly has a fairy guard who won't leave her alone, dragons become a constant threat, and an imp tracks her every move.

Megan has had it with Louie the leprechaun, and must find a way to get rid of him once and for all. As she fights the creatures he's sent after her, Megan's luck begins to manifest itself in ways she could never imagine. Now, she must learn to harness that power to stop Louie, and protect her family from the evils that threaten her very existence.

1 flame 

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________________

Megan has had it with leprechauns. They want nothing more than to take over her luck-something she's not willing to give up. After finding herself locked up in a dungeon on Christmas morning, she vows to take O'Malley down. Between trying to have a normal life in high school, and fighting various fairy tale creatures thrown in her way, Megan barely has time breathe. 

But when a mysterious darkness begins to snatch the fairies and leprechauns that have protected Megan and her family, she must learn the history of her luck and defeat the bad guys once and for all.

1 flame 

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon

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Adam Crenshaw is tired of living in his little sister’s shadow. She wins everything, and he gets the leftovers. Big brothers are supposed to be the role models, right? 

Then one day, all that changes. Louie is a leprechaun who offers him all the luck he could possibly want—for a price. The offer is tempting, but Adam refuses to work with him. To teach him a lesson, Louie steals all of his luck, and Adam’s life is turned upside down. He now has a choice between giving in to the leprechaun’s demands, or losing everything that matters to him.

1 flame 

Regularly 99¢ - On Sale FREE
Get your copy on Amazon
_______________________________________________________________________________

Sydney lives her nightmares every night. While other teenagers are dreaming of boys or traveling to exotic places, she must run a staircase with no beginning or no end, or a terrible debt will never be paid.

Just before her seventeenth birthday, the dreams change. She is no longer alone.

But her nightmares don’t end when she wakes up. Her stepmother and stepsisters threaten to ruin everything she holds dear. She must protect the secret that both she and her father have magic or they will use it to their advantage.

As Sydney learns to control her magic, what seemed impossible before—escaping her stepmother and those ever-present stairs—is now at her fingertips. When she learns the ultimate plan of her evil captor, Sydney must stop her at all costs, or she will forever be trapped inside her nightmares. 

1 flame 

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
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Jenny’s had it with her life. Six siblings in an overstuffed house are enough to drive anyone crazy, and sometimes she dreams of escaping to some fantasy world. When she suddenly wakes up to find herself being kissed by a strange—but very handsome—prince, Jenny knows her life just got a lot more exciting. Now stuck in a medieval land of castles and royalty, when Jenny learns that the queen has agreed to marry her off to the prince, it’s time to take matters into her own hands. She goes on a quest to find out who dragged her to this time while trying to keep from falling in love with either of the boys vying for her attention. 

Princess Genevieve has only known life under her mother’s rule. She wants to do more than go to battle or deal with suitors. She wakes to find herself in a new world filled with gadgets, electricity, and moving carriages. She finally has the freedom to be who she wants to be with a family who cares deeply for her and a boy worth any sacrifice. It’s more than everything she always wanted.

As Jenny and Genevieve settle into their new lives, they face an unknown evil which threatens everything they care about and makes them face tough questions—like who they are and what they really want their lives to become. 

1 flame 

Regularly $3.99 - On Sale 99¢
Get your copy on Amazon
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When barrel-racing champion Tamsin Tucker is seriously injured in an accident, her whole world crashes down around her. She is abandoned in a tiny Utah town, where her leg is amputated to save her life. Tamsin’s horse is gone, she has no family, and she feels God has forsaken her. From where she stands, prospects are bleak.

Through what she comes to recognize as a blessing from heaven, Tamsin finds friendship with those who assist in her recovery. Her nurse, Sarah, has her own set of problems, but a faith Tamsin can’t deny. Handsome doctor Travis Mayfield questions his belief in God until he witnesses divine intervention on Tamsin’s behalf.

Getting on her feet won’t be easy. But with a new-found purpose, the help of friends and of a man who adores her, and the matchless love of her Heavenly Father, Tamsin will forge a new life.

2 flames

Regularly $4.99 - On sale $2.99
Get your copy on Amazon

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Two More Days to Get "Resistance" Free

There are two more days left to download "Rising Book 1: Resistance" free on Amazon!





All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead man on his doorstep. The stranger insists that the country is in danger and asks Alphonse to carry out his task of delivering a package to the leader of the country.

Alphonse thinks the man might be a little delusional from his injury, but he reluctantly takes the package and boards a train toward the capital. When he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king, he realizes he's in way over his head.

He's rescued from the knights by Mairwyn, a mechanic traveling for work. Alphonse clashes with her instantly. She thinks he's a clueless bookworm, and he finds her rude and cynical. He's less than pleased when she decides to join him on his journey to the capital, but the longer Alphonse travels with Mairwyn, the more he learns about the haunted past she's been running from for so long.

It's a past that she'll have to confront if she and Alphonse stand any chance of protecting themselves and countless others from the terrible plans of the neighboring king--plans that bring horrific death and lead the country to the brink of war.

(Book 1 of 2)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Looking for a fantasy book to read?

From August 8th through the 12th only, you can get the ebook version of "Rising Book 1: Resistance" for FREE on Amazon! This is the first of two books in an adult fantasy series. (Both books are published.) This is a great chance to get the first one if you don't have it already.

Follow this link for the book. :)


~~~~~~~~



What it's about:

All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead man on his doorstep. The stranger insists that the country is in danger and asks Alphonse to carry out his task of delivering a package to the leader of the country.

Alphonse thinks the man might be a little delusional from his injury, but he reluctantly takes the package and boards a train toward the capital. When he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king, he realizes he's in way over his head.

He's rescued from the knights by Mairwyn, a mechanic traveling for work. Alphonse clashes with her instantly. She thinks he's a clueless bookworm, and he finds her rude and cynical. He's less than pleased when she decides to join him on his journey to the capital, but the longer Alphonse travels with Mairwyn, the more he learns about the haunted past she's been running from for so long.

It's a past that she'll have to confront if she and Alphonse stand any chance of protecting themselves and countless others from the terrible plans of the neighboring king--plans that bring horrific death and lead the country to the brink of war.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Of Girls and Boys, Heroes, and Keeping Your Characters in Character

I have a son and a daughter, pre-teens, and they both love things like Star Wars and Doctor Who, playing video games, dressing up as superheroes and running around with toy Styrofoam Thor swords. They love comics and anime and Legos.

My daughter is drawn to strong female characters. Black Widow is her favorite Avenger. I try to find stories that have strong female characters for my daughter, because it’s not hard to find strong male characters written, but sometimes harder to find the girls. And while my daughter loves both, she relates to the girls.

I started watching an anime last week—and I’m not going to name it, because I don’t feel like getting into an argument about how and why these characters acted the way they did, and how it might have been rational or logical in some ways. It started out great. It was intriguing, the animation was gorgeous, and it seemed to have strong characters of both genders. At first. By the time I hit the second arc of the story, I felt like everything I had come to know about these characters was sucked out or flattened. Boy became the stereotypical hero off to save the damsel—and let me say, I don’t mind damsel in distress stories. They can be written well. Not all girls want to be the hero—some girls dream about a knight in shining armor coming to sweep them off their feet. But some girls want to be heroes. Some girls need to be heroes. Some girls want to see the heroes they can relate to. And when the writers take a girl who was shown—at first—as a strong, capable character and slowly tone that down and then flat-out rip the heroic rug right out from under her, it disappoints me at first—and then just makes me mad. Why would you do that to your character—just so the guy can become a white knight to a girl who shouldn't have needed it?

There was a line this female character said when she was basically being tortured that made me so, so mad, and I can’t say what it was without giving the anime name, but let me just say: it was not cool, because it made the girl’s pain all about the guy. It was not only an injustice to the girl, but also an injustice to the characterization of the guy, who had once had confidence that the girl could protect herself pretty darn well and that just…vanished. It was like watching Body Snatched versions of these characters.

I’m not saying the guy can’t rescue the girl. I’m not saying the girl can’t rescue the guy. I love a good story that has mutual rescuing where characters of both genders get to be the heroes. I love when the girl is able to escape on her own. I love it when the guy comes to help her or save her. I love when the girl gets to save the guy.  As long as it is well-written and in character. Look at Disney’s Tangled. Eugene and Rapunzel saved each other back and forth through that movie. Look at Frozen. Anna and Kristoff took turns saving each other and at the end, Anna gets to save herself, which is the best thing ever—but she wouldn't have gotten to the point where she could if she hadn't had friends to help her along the way. Everyone needs a leg up sometimes—boy or girl. Heroism comes in all sorts of forms. It’s not just physical strength. The shyest, quietest character might be the bravest one. Characters who some might see as weak could be the strongest.

I want stories that tell my son he can be the hero. But I also want the same for my daughter. I want stories that can tell both of them that it’s okay to rely on other people, male or female, and that they don’t always have to be the hero, but they also can be. They need strong characters of both genders in the things the read, the stuff they watch, what they listen to.

And when I’m watching something and it starts out with a strong female character who dissolves into an object of conquest, it frustrates me and makes me want to go sit down and write a book about a strong female character for my daughter. (Then I remind myself I’m already writing a series about a strong female character—but darn it, I want to write a brand new one. A book, not a series. Why can’t more of my books come in one-shots?)

I say again: We need strong characters of both genders. But please, fellow writers, please—do not taunt me with an awesome, strong, female character and then make her an almost completely helpless object. Don’t. Do. It. I wouldn't want to see that happen to a male character either. Keep your characters true to themselves. Characters are supposed to grow, and yes, characters change when they go on journeys, sometimes for the worse, but it should make sense.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mother's Day Book Bash May 5-12!



One of my books, Rising Book 1: Resistance, is on sale for a Mother's Day event. There are eight other awesome authors whose books are also on sale, so check out the info below to see if any of them catch your eye! To help decide which books might best suit those you gift on Mother's Day, all week during the Book Bash, we're going to be posting tidbits about these books--excerpts, deleted scenes, etc.--on our Facebook event page here.




Eye on Orion by Laura Bastian
Sale Price: $.99, regularly $3.99  Amazon
Genre: YA Fantasy

Falling in love with your gorgeous new neighbor isn't a bad thing, but when he turns out to be the bodyguard of a princess from a planet nine billion light-years away, life gets complicated.

Seventeen-year-old stargazer Holly Adams never imagined she’d find herself trying to prevent the overthrow of an alien government. When Jai and his sister Amira move into the house down the street, Holly is immediately drawn to them. Jai acts suspicious of her from the start, making Holly more curious about their oddities. When Holly learns they are from a different planet, she does what she can to help protect Amira from Shander, a man who wants to marry her by force in order to take over the kingdom her father rules.

Mistaken identity, a botched kidnapping, and a first kiss that bonds Holly and Jai for life are hard enough, but when Shander believes Holly to be the princess, things get even more dangerous.



Arms Wide Open, a novella by Juli Caldwell
Price: $.99   Amazon
Genre: Romance

Lauren Brooks is in a rut, and her roomie is determined to yank her out of it by convincing her to participate in a local coffee shop's 5-in-5 speed dating event. Once she agrees, it takes her about 30 seconds to realize if there's an oddball out there looking for love, he'll find her. And creep her out. She confronts one weirdo after another until someone she used to know winds up in the same place, and she has to decide what she wants more: to make a break for it, or embrace the possibilities of another chance.









Not So Easy by Sherry Gammon

Sale Price: $2.99, regularly $4.25   Amazon
Genre: YA Fantasy

Senior Max Sanchez has it all. 

He’s the star pitcher for Port Fare High’s baseball team. He’s dating the head cheerleader, Emma McKay, and he has a great group of friends. 

Junior JD Miller’s life is Not So Easy. 

Unlike Max, JD struggles with making friends. He’s a social misfit, and he’s being bullied at every turn. He’s also barely surviving. 

A tragedy forces these two together. Now Max must face the hardest challenge of his life as he works to help JD. A tragic accident changes everything, merging their lives together, and Max soon learns that life is not so easy for everyone. Max works to the point of exhaustion trying to help JD survive the chaos that is his life, and his eyes are opened to a world he had no idea even existed. 

Not so Easy is a story about hope, surviving, and never giving up. Download a free sample and start reading now!





Adrenaline Rush by Cindy Hogan
Sale Price: 1.99, regularly 3.99   Amazon
Genre: YA romantic suspense

A madman with a mission is kidnapping groups of thrill-seeking high school seniors across the country, and it’s up to Christy to stop him. To do so, she must take on a fearless alter ego and infiltrate a group of adrenaline junkies bent on pushing life to the limit. Death-defying stunts are only the beginning: two groups fit the profile, and Christy must discover the real target before it’s too late. 

If she chooses the wrong group, more people will disappear. But choosing right puts her as the prime target—with no guarantee that she’ll get out alive.







Rising Book 1: Resistance by Laura Josephsen
Sale Price: $.99, regularly $3.99   Amazon
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction

All Alphonse wants is a quiet summer at home before his final months at university. What he gets is a half-dead stranger on his doorstep and the task of delivering a package to the leader of his home country. Not long after he boards a train toward the capital, he's attacked by knights, elite soldiers of the neighboring king. 

Alphonse is temporarily rescued by Mairwyn, a mechanic with a haunted past and a deep hatred of knights. Together, they attempt to carry out Alphonse's urgent errand, only to learn that if they fail, countless people will die. 

And even if they succeed, they may not be able to prevent the war that lurks on the horizon. (Book 1 of 2)






Chimeria Omnibus Edition – Blood Will Tell and Blood is Thicker by Meredith Mansfield
Sale Price: $.99, regularly $4.75   Amazon
Genre: Portal Fantasy

Blood Will Tell
A half-werewolf and a dragon in disguise join forces to rescue an innocent woman from an unknown attacker. Without knowing who or why, each tries to solve the mystery in their own way. But a decades-old crime and the dragon's true identity may destroy their collaboration--and their growing attraction to one another--just when their enemy has found their hide out.

Blood Is Thicker
Rolf and Valeriah are back. Even while Valeriah struggles to adapt to her new life, a new crisis arises. If they can't figure out why the dragons' hatching grounds are suddenly going cold, a generation of dragons may never hatch--including their own eggs.




How to Have Peace When You’re Fall to Pieces by Rebecca Rode
Sale Price: $.99, regularly $4.61   Amazon
Genre: Nonfiction

You haven't seen your kids' bedroom floor in weeks, your schedule is overflowing, and the drive-thru lady knows you by name. But even when life feels chaotic, peace is possible. Packed with poems, quotes, and inspirational stories, this book gives a fresh perspective on a mother's work and helps restore calm to a hectic world--starting at home.

"Charming . . . full of wit, humor, and great ideas." ~Sandra Covey








A Change of Plans by Donna K. Weaver
Sale Price: $.99, regularly $3.99 (If you get the Kindle book, you can add the audiobook for only $1.99) Amazon  
Genre: Clean New Adult Adventure Romance

When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old Colorado high school teacher wants is to forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. What she plans is a vacation diversion; what fate provides is Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and its temporary friendships, her emotions come alive.

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he navigates, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship—on the very anniversary Lyn came on the cruise to forget. But Lyn’s painful memories are too powerful, and she runs off in a panic.

Things are bad enough when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise’s snorkeling excursions in American Samoa. However, paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped. Lyn’s fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.






All the Finer Things by Stephanie Connelley Worlton
Sale Price: $.99, regularly $2.99   Amazon
Genre: Romance

Married to one of the most lucrative and sought after plastic surgeons in SoCal, Megan Hamilton has it all. Her posh life, designer clothes, and stunning penthouse leave her wanting for nothing… or do they? Controlled by his obsessive pursuit of perfection, Doctor Matthew Hamilton will stop nothing short of breaking his young, spirited bride into a subservient trophy wife. But when parenthood enters their picture, the entire game changes. How far will Megan have to go to escape Matt's obsessive control and abuse? And how much will she have to lose before she gets there?