Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wednesday's Writer: Jade Kerrion - with her thrilling new release


Eternal Night ebook

Look who's back with a super-exciting brand new release!


"What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships...these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive."—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King

“Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark


Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.

Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.

Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.

As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

READ AN EXCERPT

With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber.

Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss.

Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.”

Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain.

Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.”

Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul.

“Go deep,” Tera said.

But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason.

Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons.

The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free.

Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul.

She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble.

Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?”

Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.”

Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?”

The icrathari nodded again.

Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss.

Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul.

The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man.

She closed her eyes and remembered love.

As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake.

At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig.

Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

~*~

Wow! I don't know about you, but I seriously doubt I can wait any longer!  I'm off to Amazon...

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wednesday's Writer - Heather Greenis

This week's guest is Heather Greenis, author of Natasha's Dream and the soon to be released Natasha's Diary.  I've been looking forward to interviewing her for some time, so I'll get straight on with it.

Heather, what inspired you to write your first novel and did you always know your genre would be romance?

My novel, the saga was actually inspired by a dream I had. I couldn’t get the characters or a particular scene out of my head. I have a very active imagination, as all artists do, so my husband suggested I write.
As for romance, I never considered the Natasha’s Saga a romance novel. My publisher classified it into that genre. It has a romance to it, but I considered it more than that. That’s probably why the guys reading it are enjoying the story. To me a romance novel is ‘boy meets girl, chases her, they experience some type of crises, they make up and all is good in the world’. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good romantic drama comedy. The Boat House, The Notebook & Ever After are some of my favourite chick movies. I must add Safe Haven to the list. I read the book and then watched the movie and became a fan of Josh Duhamel.
My saga isn’t a typical romance novel and anyone expecting a fast pace romance will be disappointed, or won’t like it. Personally, I like a good drama that gets me thinking and touches a nerve. If it brings a tear to my eye or gets me sobbing, struggling to see through my watering eyes, even better. That’s why I enjoyed your novel, Killing Jenna Crane. I didn’t cry, but it touched a nerve. (Ah geez).  When I’m looking for a break, I want something lighter. I’ve begun reading YA and really enjoy them. I also enjoy a fun easy read book.

Ooh, another author who finds inspiration from dreams, like me.  I'm thrilled! I see your first novel has been described as a classic fairy tale - does this reflect what you like to read yourself and do you have specific views on what should and shouldn't be included in romance novels?

I hope people have a different view by the time they read the second book. It’s different than the first. The interesting part of a saga is the fact it does continue. Natasha’s Dream is the first in a four part saga which means it takes a reader 1/4 of the way into a story. I broke the story into four because it was so long. My editor finished my first book and raved about it. When she finished the second book, Natasha’s Diary she sent me an email describing how much she enjoyed it and then spoke of her favourite sections. She preferred the second book over the first. She hasn’t seen the third, yet. (I’m privileged to work with two editors, content and line)
There is a moral to the entire story, more than one. It’s the reason I wrote it.

Has any part of yourself crept into the heroines of any of your romances?

There is a lot of me in the sub character, Keeghan. She has the vivid dreams, she has a soft heart and she holds grudges. I shouldn’t admit that, should I! Yikes!

What is the most desirable characteristic you've bestowed on the hero of your latest novel?

Stewart is compassionate and wants to do what’s right. The last thing he want to do is hurt anyone, especially family. He loves with all his heart.

Do you think you'll always write in the same genre and style or do you have desires to experiment and if so, in what way?

I hope not. I don’t want to get stuck in a rut. The Natasha Saga is a historical romance. Never say never, but i don’t plan anything historical again. It was interesting researching things, the telephone, the automobile, electricity, clothing styles, but no need to do that twice.
I use the term Wow throughout the series. One reviewer questioned it, saying it was too modern. Researching the term, it dates back to the 1700s in a poem. My heroine, Natasha is an avid reader of anything she can get her hands on so she could and apparently did come across the word and took a liking to it. Technicalities!
The Natasha Saga has strong female characters. My line editor called Natasha and later a future character a bada$$. I’m thrilled that came through. Historical women had guts and brains. They weren’t barefoot and pregnant all the time.
I’d love to team up with my husband as a writing partner. He’s an avid reader and a beta reader for me. Unfortunately he has a million things on the go at any given time so I’m not sure I get keep him sitting and typing long enough to be of value in that sense. Time will tell.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to meet (through the cyber world) and read works by some amazing authors, yourself included. There are some wonderful stories out there from lesser known authors. Readers simply need to step away from the fan favourites.

I totally agree!  What do you do when you're not reading or writing?

I love being outside, gardening, cutting grass, playing with our dog, whatever.
Hubby and I are both curlers. That indoor winter sport that’s played on the ice with brooms and granite rocks. I play a minimum of twice a week and manage the league for our future curlers. I have three regular coaches that work with me and together we teach 6 to 18 year olds.
I love to travel. Both hubby and I have a passion for photography so the camera is always ready, I like shots with us, he likes to take pics of stuff.
I also assist a not-for-profit organization called the Healing Cycle - Hospice Palliative Care. I volunteer at their large annual fund raiser. It’s a long but rewarding day. In 2012, a gentleman with stage 4 cancer rode 160km on a bike (pedalling) Next year I plan to find the time to assist volunteering at my local hospice. 



Natasha's Dream

Growing up, her only friends were her brothers and Nanny. In her parent’s mind, she was a mistake. As a result of an innocent swim, she discovered life existed beyond the walls of her home. Families, peers, underprivileged children. Can a dream turn into reality? Anything is possible, but dreams come with consequences that not only affect her, but those she loves. What is Natasha willing to risk to persevere? 

Natasha's Diary - The second in the saga...

Keeghan’s subconscious has played tricks on her in the past, but she’s
normally able to control the outcome of her dreams. No such luck with this story. The mystery magnifies when her husband William discovers something else by the eroding sea wall, something that peaks their curiosity even further. Now, Keeghan wants the saga to continue. Drawn into the story more than she was prepared for, she needs answers.
Hope is growing up quickly. She's intelligent, independent, and stubborn. Negative traits inherited from both her parents surface at inconvenient times. Will her beauty help or hinder her? 
A tragedy. Stewart is forced to make a decision that will affect his life and the rest of his family. Then, an encounter that changes everything. Is he ready for this? Has Stewart’s past really been left behind? Will history repeat itself? Trust, integrity, and tradition all come into question.


Click on any of the following links for further details:

buy links





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wednesday's Writer: Jac Wright

This week my guest  is Jac Wright, author of The Reckless Engineer.  Before we take a look at that intriguing title, let's take a closer look at Jac, shall we?

Hi Jac and welcome.  First of all, tell us what inspired you to write your first novel.

I had written poetry and short stories before published in literary magazines. So it was a natural transition to write the Great British Novel as the next step.

Suspense, mystery, and classic literary fiction are the genre I have always loved to read and watch on TV. My father got me addicted to suspense watching Tales of the Unexpected, Mission Impossible, Perry Mason, and MacGyver without missing an episode every week when I was a child and these stories I watched with my father have stayed with me through the years.

With The Reckless Engineer I wanted to create a hero who is an engineer like me, and a series about an engineering firm. The only hero in fiction I can think of who is an engineer is Barney from the Mission Impossible TV series. There are so many legal and medical dramas, but where are the dramas centred on engineering firms?  I wanted to bring an engineering drama to life treated for an audience not familiar with the profession the same way that legal and medical dramas are. I want young adults to know how entertaining, satisfying, powerful, and glamorous the engineering field is so that they will be attracted to the profession.

I picked Portsmouth because I love the beautiful seaside town where Charles Dickens was born.  My mother loved Dickens’ work and she also loves the city and the Isle of Wight off the coast of Portsmouth. One of the earliest memories I have is of her reading David Copperfield to me. So I knew I wanted the setting to be Portsmouth.

And so it came together like that.

Portsmouth, England.
I see your novel has been described as 'an Agatha Christie-style classic mystery and legal thriller' - does this reflect what you like to read yourself? Have any particular titles influenced you?

I read a lot of Agatha Christies in my late teens and a couple while I was writing the book also.  I read suspense like Roald Dahl’s Tales of the unexpected, Patricia Highsmith’s work; a bit of Benjamin Black and Ian Rankin though noir is not my style.  I also read a lot of classics and literary fiction. The book is a classic mystery in many ways even though the setting is contemporary.  I also do like to inject some action, Mission Impossible style.  It is also a legal drama and that part is unique because there are no legal thrillers through the British criminal courts currently published.  Even in the US most of the legal drama series, like John Grisham’s, are based in civil litigation. In that way the book is very unique.

I notice your protagonist is called Jack; has any part of yourself crept into his portrayal?

There’s a bit of me in several of the characters.  I admit there has been a time in life that I have been in a bit of a mess like Jack not entirely through my own fault.  So I know what he would feel like.  Does he deserve to go through what he has to if he is innocent of murder?  And if he is guilty should he get away with it?  (This is a big “if” you have to find out in the book.)  However, I think there is more of me in Jeremy. Maybe Jeremy is more what I should like to be. He lives the life I want and I live it through him.

I'm intrigued by Jack, since I created something of an anti-hero for one of my own novels.  From reading your blurb, it seems Jack has it all - yet clearly 'all' is not enough, so it sounds as if he deserves what happens to him. Does he have any redeeming features? 

I too, am fascinated by anti-heroes.  Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley is my favourite suspense series.  For The Reckless Engineer title I took the word “Reckless” from “reckless abandon” with which Jack acts.  Jack does it because he thinks he can get away with it.  He is of a somewhat smaller made build and is a bit of a geek, even though he is brilliant and very confident at his work. His psychology is that he tries to overcompensate for it by going after glamorous and vivacious women.

Redeeming qualities? He is a bloody brilliant engineer and he was a great friend to Jeremy at his time of need.  I think the two friendships that Jeremy has with Jack and Harry respectively are very interesting. They are very different, but very close and touching in their own ways.

However the hero in the books is not Jack; it is Jeremy, my series lead.

Do you think you'll always write in the same genre and style or do you have desires to experiment and if so, in what way?

Well, I write poetry which is based in love and romance with no hint of suspense.

My other series, Summerset Tales, leans more towards literary fiction, but there is a touch of suspense in that series too similar to Roald Dahl’s work.  The nest 3 books I have started work on are all mystery, suspense, and thriller books.  I do have fourth planned that is pure literary fiction similar to Leonard Woolf’s Village in the Jungle.

Thanks Jac, that's great.  Now let's take a closer look at The Reckless Engineer.


The Reckless Engineer Blurb

Can you forgive betrayal?

The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down. 

Jack Connor lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law's extreme engineering company in oil & gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife, Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when the alluring Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.

Jeremy Stone brings in a top London defence attorney, Harry Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.

Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is the "KC" that Caitlin makes secret calls to from a disposable mobile? Has the powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner, and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame him? Is the divorce from his first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?

While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister Harry Stavers' expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense tale of love, friendship, power, and ambition.

Author Bio

Jac Wright is a poet published in literary magazines, a published author, and an electronics engineer educated at Stanford, University College London, and Cambridge who lives and works in England.  Jac studied English literature from the early age of three, developing an intense love for poetry, drama, and writing in Trinity College Speech & Drama classes taken afternoons and Saturdays for fourteen years, and in subsequent creative writing classes taken during the university years.  A published poet, Jac's first passion was for literary fiction and poetry writing as well as for the dramatic arts.  You will find these influences in the poetic imagery and prose, the dramatic scene setting, and the deep character creation.
These passions - for poetry, drama, literary fiction, and electronic engineering - have all been lovingly combined to create the first book in the literary suspense series, The Reckless Engineer.  There are millions of professionals in high tech corporate environments who work in thousands of cities in the US, the UK, and the world such as engineers, technicians, technical managers, investment bankers, and corporate lawyers.  High drama, power struggles, and human interest stories play out in the arena every day.  Yet there are hardly any books that tell their stories; there are not many books that they can identify with.  Jac feels compelled to tell their stories in The Reckless Engineer series.
Jac also writes the literary short fiction series, Summerset Tales, in which he explores characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances in the semi-fictional region of contemporary England called Summerset, partly the region that Thomas Hardy called Wessex.  Some of the tales have an added element of suspense similar to Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected.  The collection is published as individual tales in the tradition of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers and Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales.  The first tale, The Closet, accompanies the author's first full-length literary suspense title, The Reckless Engineer.

You can find out even more about Jac by clicking on any of the following links:


The Reckless Engineer buy links for Amazon.com and Amazon UK

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wednesday's Writer - DONNA FASANO

What an honour it is this week for me to have USA Today best-selling author Donna Fasano as my guest. Donna  is a three time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, and a Golden Heart finalist. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages.They have made the Kindle Top 10 List, the Nook Top 10 List, and the iBooks Top 10 List. She has so much to tell us and there's so much I want to ask her, so let's get up close and personal without any further delay.

Donna, What attracted you to writing in the first place?

I came to writing from my love of reading. While growing up, I lost myself in books in order to escape an unhappy childhood.

How very sad.  Can you tell us how your upbringing influenced your writing?

I think authors who face a lot of pain and anguish seem to write stories with great depth, with honesty and compassion. It could be that dealing with trauma brings out the best (or worst) in people. I believe that losing my mother at such a young age had a huge impact on me not just as a writer but as a human being. I became, I don't know, more maternal towards my family, my friends, heck, towards everyone I meet... more giving of myself, I guess you could say. My mother's death could have made me bitter and angry. I'm just so grateful that the exact opposite seems to describe me.

I still find it painful to talk about losing my mother, so I can identify with that.  What genre are you most comfortable writing?

Romance. I wrote for Harlequin for 20 years, writing sweet romance (as Donna Clayton) and women's fiction (under my own name). I have self-published some of my books. The Merry-Go-Round was my first indie-published book. Reclaim My Heart is my very first Montlake publication. I am proud and excited to have been picked up by such a prestigious publisher.

That must be fabulous.  Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from?

My mind is always on the alert. The writer in me is inspired by everything I see, hear, read, and experience. I have been known to take a snippet of conversation overheard in an elevator and turn it into a book (Return of the Runaway Bride), or from a location (His Wife for a While), or from a person I met (Taking Love in Stride). So be careful! If you interact with me, you might end up in one of my novels. 

Lol!  We'll all take note of that.  What about places, what’s your favourite place in the entire world?

I have visited so many beautiful places. The South of France, the rolling mountains of Italy, the Mediterranean Sea, the cobbled streets of Brussels, the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, beautiful Morro Bay, California, and I spend lots of time in Ocean City, Maryland. I obviously can't pick a favorite. Besides, there are so many places waiting to be seen!

I agree - and you've named some of my favourites ones too.  What was your favourite part of this book to write? Which part was the hardest?

I really enjoyed writing the love scenes. In my sweet romances, all the 'spice' takes place behind closed doors. So this was very fun. And which part was hardest? The "kitchen love scene" (naughty pun intended!).

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

I wanted to be a teacher. My aunt attended college and earned her teaching degree. I always idolized her. I've dedicated Reclaim My Heart to my Aunt Dot.

How lovely.  If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

Elementary school teacher. I love children, and I often include them in my stories. I always say that children are very innocent and outspoken. Kids inject a great deal of fun into a book with their in-your-face honesty.

Too true.  I love reading about the world of childhood.  If you could live inside the world of a book, which book would you choose?

Pride and Prejudice. Love that Mr. Darcy!

Ahhh, don't we all?  Returning to earth, give your fans three fun facts that they may not already know about you.

I love to cook! (I often post recipes on my blog.)
My reading tastes are crazy-eclectic. I read anything and everything.
I'm a little on the chubby side. 

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

I put my heart and soul into Reclaim My Heart, and I think it shows… in the story but especially in the characters.

I think it's time to wind this down so I can get onto reading it.  So what’s next for you as an author? Any last words?

I'm thinking of writing a book that revolves around three friends in different stages of marriage, but I'm not sure yet. I've worked very hard on Reclaim My Heart and I'm going to take a few days off. Then I'll get back to work!


Reclaim My Heart - Blurb



Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined.

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn't rip them apart.

Thanks, Donna - it's been a pleasure talking to you.

I want to thank you for hosting me, and I want to thank your followers for taking the time to read about Reclaim My Heart.

If you want to connect with Donna, just click on any of the following links:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Ghost Story - UNWORKERS - Claim your free copy here

Rather than signing up to KDP Select and making my latest novel free for all, I thought I'd offer it exclusively to readers of my blog.  To claim your copy, all you need to do is leave your email address in the comments section, along with your preferred format.

What is Unworkers about?


The lives of five women converge at Chichester Court, an elegant Georgian mansion, now converted into apartments for women in need. 

Anne Baron is currently undergoing an unpleasant divorce.  Anne experiences strange time-shifts in the house, while her six year old suffers terrifying nightmares—though he claims he isn't dreaming.

Joanna Sterne is Anne's oldest friend.  She used to live at Chichester Court and knows something of its strange history.  Her visits there now bring back unpleasant memories and strange voices urging unspeakable acts.  She helps Anne explore the house's past in more detail.

Gemma Peterson is striving to make a new life for herself and her two young children with lover, Andy, but is haunted by a recurring dream and a mysterious woman in grey—not one of the residents—who watches over her children.

Rhia Masterson is Gemma's friend, a striking beauty who seems to lead the perfect life with her perfect house, perfect husband, perfect children… But Rhia is concealing a past so terrible that she has completely suppressed it—until now.  The forces of house exert a powerful influence over Rhia, leading her and new-found friend, Anne, to dabble in a past life regression experiment with curious results.

And finally Paige Hutton, the lonely teenage mother who has become a semi-invalid following an accident on the stairs which she insists was no accident.  Paige and her baby seem to be the chief targets of the more malevolent forces within the house.

Anne is the catalyst who brings the five women together, causing the disturbances at the house to escalate as its spirits clamour for attention and release.  Unworkers is not just a story about a ghostly house, but about five women and their very real struggles to find their rightful place in the world.

UNWORKERS is currently available at Amazon, but if you would like a copy free of charge, please leave your details below and I'll be delighted to send it to you.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Killing Jenna Crane - Romantic Thriller - Less than Half Price

This romantic/psychological thriller is now available at its special half-price offer until 15 November.  You can find it at:  
Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)
Smashwords (use Coupon Code AE28N at the checkout to take advantage of the special offer)


So what's it all about?


Ellis Crawford is a successful, if rather arrogant, young author who shot to fame and fortune writing the Jenna Crane mystery series.  The success of these books amongst young adult readers has led him to international acclaim and a lucrative Hollywood movie deal. 

Vulnerable neighbour, Chloe, out searching for her lost cat, meets and falls in love with Ellis.  A huge fan of the Jenna Crane stories, Chloe soon offers herself, heart and soul, to the author, but Ellis is reluctant to commit himself and the relationship ends in disaster six months later.  

Shortly afterwards, Ellis meets Emily who represents everything he considers perfect in a woman.  But feisty Emily is the polar opposite of gentle Chloe and gradually Ellis comes to realise quite how badly he treated his former girlfriend.  Added to his nagging guilt is the fact that Emily feels nothing but contempt for the Jenna Crane series and believes Ellis is wasting his talents.  
When Emily suggests he kills off his popular heroine to focus on more serious projects and Ellis agrees, he finds himself haunted by memories of Chloe and his idyllic life gradually begins to fall apart.  Then when literary works he has published under different pseudonyms mysteriously become public knowledge, his agent, publishers, devoted readers and even Hollywood all turn against him.  

With his reputation in shreds, Ellis begins to seek answers, but finds these in the strangest places… and they turn his life completely upside down.


Here are just some of the comments from readers:


"I think it is her best yet. Beautifully-written, as I have come to expect from this author, with superb characterisation. But what makes it stand out is the sheer originality of the plot"

"I enjoyed the book for many reasons, and can recommend it wholeheartedly."

"Well worth putting off your to-do list to read it in one sitting! So what are you waiting for?"

"Expect the unexpected. Job well done."

"She kept me guessing until the end with one surprise after another. This is a book that won't disappoint."

I hope you'll grab it while you can - and, more than anything, I hope you'll enjoy it.  Do come back and tell me - I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Awesome Indies Halloween Party - Day Two - The Monster Sale continues

Day Two, 31st October
aia_halloween

Happy Halloween


The hosts of our party have some mean bad guys hiding among their pages. Today, some of our authors open their books and let their monsters take a peek outside. Click on over to the Awesome Indies, read the descriptions and vote for the monster you think is the creepiest.


Don't forget to visit the Monster Sale.


aia_halloween99

And don't forget, if you'd like a copy of my romantic thriller, KILLING JENNA CRANE at less than half price, now is your chance to grab a bargain.
(Use Coupon Code AE28N at the checkout to claim your discount)


Here's what people are saying about it:

Beautifully-written, as I have come to expect from this author, with superb characterisation (author Jenny Twist)

 the writing is so assured and professional that I suspect the author has another, successful career under a different pen name, just like the author protagonist. (The Kindle Book Review)

This book was a series of great scenes, as the best books are (Good Book Alert)

a sophisticated mystery and character study which will capture your mind easily and swiftly. (The Bibliophilic Book Blog)

Happy reading and 



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Awesome Indies Halloween Party - 30th October to 1st November with Monster Sale!

Starting 30th October


aia_halloween


Watch out! There's demons, ghouls, ghosts and other nasties on the Awesome Indies and they're escaping their books on Halloween to host a party for all the gentle souls from the less frightening stories. The spread is amazing, a smorgasbord of genres, over 40 books on sale at 99c from the 30th of October to the 1st November, plus a fun quiz, a meet the monster day and a goody-bag of give-aways.

The party starts on October 30th with a fun quiz. Click over to the Awesome Indies blog to find out what you didn't know about Halloween.

The Awesome Indies take the risk out of buying indie. They list only books that meet the same standard as mainstream fiction, so all you have to do it choose what you think you'll like. You can click on any of the books in the slide show above or scroll through all the books on the Awesome Indies Monster Sale page.
aia_halloween99


And if you'd like a copy of my romantic thriller, KILLING JENNA CRANE at less than half price, now is your chance to grab a bargain.  Available from October 30th for only $1.98 (£1.22) on:
(Use Coupon Code AE28N at the Smashwords checkout to claim your discount)


Here's what people are saying about it:

Her best yet...what makes it stand out is the sheer originality of the plot (author Jenny Twist)

Of all the books I have reviewed in recent weeks, this is hands-down the best (The Kindle Book Review)

Well worth putting off your to-do list to read it in one sitting! (Good Book Alert)

An excellently complex novel with an unexpected twist - a must read! (The Bibliophilic Book Blog)

Happy reading and 

Monday, October 14, 2013

To Review or Not to Review, That is the Question


"Oh no," I hear you say as you sigh, "not another whining author complaining about a bad review."  Well no, actually, it's not.  Today I'm wearing my reader/reviewer hat, not my author bonnet, to share my latest dilemma.  


Anyone who visits my blog regularly will realise that I've been AWOL a fair bit recently.  No, not busy writing, sadly, but doing the next best thing, reading.  I read for pleasure, and also for a couple of review sites and there is a vast difference between these recreations.  When I read for pleasure, I choose for myself, and I'm experienced enough and discriminating enough to make choices that rarely disappoint.  If they do, I stop reading, simple as that.  Life's too short to plod through a book I'm not enjoying for the sake of publicly humiliating the poor author with a negative review.  

But when I'm reading for a review site, both the element of choice and ease of switching to something else are taken away from me.  We all know reading is subjective (as are reviews) and what delights me may bore you and vice versa.  I'm not a nasty person and I would do my utmost to avoid being unpleasant about someone else's hard work, even if I couch it constructively.  

So what are the cardinal sins of writing that invoke wrath from readers/reviewers?  I'm sure everyone has their pet hates and I'd love to hear yours, but here are just a few of mine.


Poor editing

Surely that has to be everyone's number one?  It seems to be the most common insult hurled at self-published authors, though rather unfairly, in my opinion.  Many of the smaller presses are just as guilty of this as authors, more so, in fact, because they take payment in the form of royalties from the author for this very purpose.  An author (or publisher) who can't be bothered to edit his work simply insults his reader.  Poor editing pulls the reader out of the fictional world with a rude jolt; it can often hinder understanding or even create misunderstanding.  Either way, it spoils the flow of the writing and damages the reading experience.  


Wrong or Poor formatting

This can have the same effect as poor editing, jerking the reader out of the story at the wrong time.  There is also no excuse for it in this internet-driven age, where the answers to every problem under the sun are available at the click of a mouse.  

It's also up to the author to send the reviewer the format requested.  Your publisher should send you the appropriate copies for this very purpose, or if you self-publish, then the onus is on you to create the files from your original word document.  There is a plethora of free software out there to help you.   


Mary Sue Characters

Leaving aside all the other potential problems with characterisation, this one really is my pet hate.  As an English teacher, I often received reams of creative writing samples from students (usually teenage girls) that they handed to me with faces aglow with pride or excitement. They loved writing it; it was the best story they'd ever written and so on.  I didn't have to plough through many paragraphs of their self-indulgent fantasising to realise why. Self-insertion is usually a sign of immaturity; it creates superficial, unbelievable and unlikeable characters no one wants to read about, except the writer and possibly her bezzies.  


Unrealistic Dialogue

Convincing dialogue comes alive in the reader's head, therefore speech or conversation should sound natural. When talking, we don't say 'I do not know,' or 'I do not think so,' (unless for specific emphasis) yet so often I see such formal styles being adopted in casual dialogue.  It's not true to the character and can grate on the reader.


Stretching Credibility

I'm willing to suspend disbelief when I pick up a novel, but I resent being asked to accept fabrications because of the author's ignorance or laziness.  When a character performs unimaginable feats without any pretensions to super-human powers, I grizzle. When I'm presented with an event or situation I know to be inaccurate, I feel cheated.  Nor do I take kindly to lies because the author didn't research the truth.  I want a modicum of verisimilitude in a story, no matter how far-fetched its plot.  It may not be probable but at least it should be possible (unless it's fantasy, about which I have no opinions since I rarely read the genre).

For you it may be poor plotting, POV problems, telling not showing or any number of other hurdles we as writers have to manoeuvre   Do leave a comment and let me know, while I ponder over my dilemma of whether to tell the author I can't review his work, or simply leave him a negative review.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Awesome Indies Magical Mystery Blog Tour - Prizes, Giveaways and Special Offers Just for YOU!


If you've found your way to my blog as part of the Awesome Indies Magical Mystery Tour, a big, smiley welcome to you.  If you've happened on it by a different route, you might want to know a little bit more about Awesome Indies and its Mystery Tour.

Awesome Indies is comprised of a group of industry professionals appointed to evaluate independently published fiction against specific criteria to ensure it reaches the same quality of craftsmanship as books published by mainstream publishing houses.  You can buy books bearing the AIA logo in the full confidence that you are buying fiction of the highest standard.

A group of authors whose Awesome Indies Approved novels contain a mystery element is running the Magical Mystery Tour this year.  It's a fun-packed blog tour with special offers and prizes to be won. Simply work your way around each participating blog to find the key you need to enter the draw for one of the great prizes.  There are three Amazon gift cards on offer: $25, $15 and $10.  If you start at the Awesome Indies blog and follow the links from blog to blog, you can read extracts from the short story Ghost Town (penned especially for the tour), pick up the clue you need as well as the great giveaways or special offers from each participating author.  Every book you buy on the tour gives you another entry into the prize draw.

My entry into the Magical Mystery tour is



Killing Jenna Crane is a psychological drama about a successful though rather egotistical novelist, Ellis Crawford who, in his writer's mind, sees the demise of his popular heroine, Jenna Crane.  But when he attempts to end his highly successful mystery series, his agent reminds him of all he'll lose.  To complicate things further, Ellis is torn between two women: the breathtakingly sexy, independent Emily, who wants him to kill off Jenna Crane for good—even at the expense of his career, and the loving, caring Chloe, whose heart he broke because she needed him too much. 

However, life is too short for regrets, and his own soon spirals out of control.  With his reputation and career in tatters, he finds himself facing the growing darkness of his own soul when a secret is revealed that changes everything he thought he once knew...

Special Half-Price Offer:  For the duration of this tour, Killing Jenna Crane is available at Amazon for $1.99 (usual price $3.99) or at Smashwords (use coupon code JN92N at the checkout to claim the discount).

If you want to start reading Ghost Town from the beginning, click here. Alternatively, continue reading:


Ghost Town - Kevin - Part Two by William Knight

“That Walter's made me pissed, Drill Serg'n' Major, Sir.”

Drill Sergeant Major didn't usually remain quiet for so long. Kevin straightened his back and tried his best to come to attention inside the narrow damp passage of the wooden cabin. The silence unnerved him. He fidgeted.

“Keep still,” the voice barked.

“Yes, Drill Serg'n' Major, Sir.”

Drill Sergeant Major wasn't the only presence at the cabin that afternoon. The girl in the pink dress with a scent of honeysuckle played in the wall-less kitchen, and Mable Dirsely – the whore of the old settlement – creaked the non-existent bed on the mezzanine. But Drill Sergeant Major's presence was the only one that mattered.

“You know what happens if that comb is reunited with its owner?” Drill Sergeant Major shouted. The upstairs creaking stopped and the girl in the pink dress disappeared. “That's the end of it, boy.”

“You and Walter both think it was me. It weren't me, Sir.”

The room darkened as if a shadow had descended over the cabin. The damp odor of rotting wood drifted into Kevin's nose like an old friend, and the hairs on the back of his neck stood to attention like soldiers back in Nam. Bitter and angry at being misunderstood, Kevin nonetheless stood perfectly still.

“You know what to do, boy,” whispered Drill Sergeant Major into Kevin's ear.

Now click through to the next blog here.

And don't forget to pick up the clues you need for the prize draw

For further information about any of my novels, please visit my website



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Prism's Birthday Blog Hop



I first became a published author in 2011, when Prism Book Group (at that time called Inspired Romance) selected my contemporary romance The Apple Tree as its inaugural contest winner and expressed an interest in publishing it.  You can't imagine how thrilled I was!  I worked closely with Prism's wonderful editor, Joan Alley, and the book quickly took shape - albeit in a slightly Americanised way!   Since then, I've gone on to publish six more novels and have, as the old cliché goes, never looked back.  So thank you, Prism—your special celebration is mine too!


This week Prism Book Group is celebrating its third birthday and I'm delighted to be part of those celebrations, not least to say thank you to them for starting me off on my own writing journey.  The party runs from September 20th to 23rd and includes some great giveaways, including a $100 gift card. There are also lots of scrummy dessert recipes donated by all the Prism authors. All you have to do is follow the blog hop.  For my own prize, I'm offering a copy of The Apple Tree (or one of my other titles if preferred) as an e-book. Just leave a comment and your email address at the end of this post, telling me which book you'd like to read.

Be sure to sign up with the Rafflecopter to be entered to win the $100 gift card.

Now for my own recipe, which is very special.


In my contemporary romance Shopping for Love, Emma is renowned for her chocolate mud cakes - a secret recipe handed to her from an aunt.  Her best friend, Jenny loves them and begs for the recipe, but Emma promised her aunt she'd keep it a secret.

The recipe I had in mind when writing this story was one that was similarly entrusted to me, but, unlike Emma, I've decided to share it with you for Prism's birthday bash. It's easy, it's fool proof (i.e. very forgiving if you don't quite get the quantities right) and it's absolutely yummy!


EMMA'S AUNT'S SECRET MUD CAKE RECIPE

Into large bowl put
2 cups unsalted butter
150 g dark cooking chocolate
2 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon coffee powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup water and 1/3 cup of orange juice - or if you're feeling really decadent, substitute whisky (as recommended by Emma's aunt).

Melt in microwave and stir until really smooth and glossy.  (About 4 or 5 minutes).
To the mix add
1/3 cup self-raising flour
1 ½ cups plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa
2 eggs.

Mix well and pour into 7 or 8 inch round tin.
Cook on about 320˚F (160˚C) for 1½ - 2 hours (or until the skewer comes out clean)
Brush with a little milk while still warm and in the tin.
Tip out after about 10 minutes onto its head and then put back on its base on flat board or plate.

Now, it's great to eat this as it is, but for extra yumminess, make a ganache icing by melting chocolate and cream (dark or milk chocolate; using a little less cream than chocolate - but the measurements don't need to be exact).  Stir well to create a nice, glossy look.  Drizzle the ganache over the cake or serve in separate bowls with strawberries and whipped cream.




Don't forget to sign up with the Rafflecopter

and also visit the other great blogs for more giveaways and more lovely recipes - just click on the links below.  (All participating author links can be accessed via the first link).

Mary L. Ball

To check out my novels and decide which one you would like, just click on either of the following links:
and don't forget to visit Prism's website to learn about all the great titles on offer.

Now just enjoy the Birthday Hop!