Wednesday, October 26

Bewitching Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop - Winner Announced

Edit: Congrats to the winner of a reader's choice copy, Nay Nay! Thanks for entering everyone. I hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Hey everyone! It's close to that time of the year... Halloween! So I'm thrilled to be part of this blog hop.

For the blog hop, I'm giving away a reader's choice copy of ebook from me. Make sure to leave an email address in your comment so I can reach the winner easily. The contest closes October 31, and the winner will be announced November 1st.

Please click on the button below to check out the other participating blogs. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 25

Guest Author Jennifer Harlow

Show Me Your Teeth
by Jennifer Harlow

Everyone loves vampires. Most of you wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t. They have been around in some incarnation since ancient Egypt. I know this because I took “Monsters in Literature” in college and had to write a paper on them. (I also took “Witchcraft.”Go University of Virginia!) Early vampires were demons who drank the blood of babies until medieval times when the vampire morphed into something more akin to a current day zombie. A ghoul who craved human flesh. But as the times change so do our monsters, even the staples. None more so than the vampire. It wasn't until the early 1800s and the story "The Vampyre" that the seeds of the modern vampire were planted. This vampire was based on the poet Lord Byron. Suave, dressed well, amoral, seduced women, then left them for dead, much like Byron did in real life. Then came Dracula who, despite what the movies might lead you to believe, was not like the Byronic vampire. In the book, Dracula was more akin to the ghoul version in folklore. He was pasty, rat-like, and looked like a well dressed corpse who slept in dirt. It wasn't until Universal Studios and Bela Lugosi resurrected the suave vampire that our modern incarnation of the vampire really reached the zeitgeist.

Then, some forty years later, came Anne Rice. From Lugosi to Rice, vampires became campy due in most part to the Hammer Horror films, who were the only ones putting out vampire films. The atomic age with their huge bugs attacking desert towns, almost killed off the vampire and other monsters. Hammer was the only studio really keeping the vampire alive. They stayed steady with the sexy Count seducing Victorian virgins. Until Rice took them to a new level. She humanized them, brought them into the third dimension. They had problems, some hated what they were, they had consciousness and a conscious. People sometimes ask me if given the choice would I want to become a vampire. The answer is hell to the no. Watching everyone I love die, living for centuries on blood alone, having to kill people so I could live sounds like a living hell. I'm 28 and I'm getting bored, imagine having to endure that for centuries! I would be a Rice vampire. They were us plus.

Vamps vanished from movies and books a little in the eighties and nineties, at least in terms of mass production. Rice was doing her thing, but with the exception of her and a few good movies (Fright Night, Near Dark, The Lost Boys,) they went underground, replaced with slashers and serial killers. (At least there were no giant ants attacking Pittsburgh, right?) Then came a little show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To this day it is one of my favorite shows of all time. Like most vampire authors I owe a lot to this show. It was smart, scary, funny, and real. It showed the right way to handle this genre, a little tongue and cheek but fused with real life problems, the perfect blend of magic and reality. I never missed an episode and it was the only television show to make me cry. (Buffy killing the newly souled Angel to save the world, such a tearjerker).

My own desire to write about the supernatural stemmed from that show. And a little book called Guilty Pleasures by one of my literary idols Ms Laurell K. Hamilton. I was working at Borders in 2003 and noticed at least once a month someone would come in looking for her books, so one day I decided to see what the fuss was about. The Anita Blake series blew my mind. I loved the tough as nails main character, the blending of magic and reality, the action. They were awesome. I went to college the following summer and decided I wanted to try my hand at writing one. I recognized the market for this type of book would blow up eventually and I wanted in. Of course finding time to write while attending college, volunteering at half a dozen places, then looking for your first job put me off track for a few years so I'm coming in late, but I'm finally getting to go to the ball. So while I was writing and living at the library studying, the urban fantasy genre exploded like I knew it would. Who doesn't want a little magic and danger in their lives? Vampires became an antihero, helping the main character but still occasionally killing people, as it should be. Because really, if given super powers, few repercussions, and the need for blood, who wouldn't find themselves being a little bit naughty?

Then came Twilight. I know most of you love it, and I respect that, but I personally have many issues with these books, some from a writing standpoint and others about their influence on teenage girls, but the biggest travesty was that vampires lost their balls. I'm sorry, sparkling? I can understand the vegetarian thing, but not sparkling. I know that vampires evolve but not to this. My concern is that this will continue and all the blood will be drained from them. Vampires are meant to be naughty, evil, a bad boy or girl that tap into our fears about sex and losing control. They are meant to be bad, that's why we’ve always been drawn to them. (Once again, just my opinion. No hate mail, please.)

What is next for the vampire? Not a clue. Two more Twilight movies, another season of True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. All I do know is that in my books the vampires will only sparkle from the moonlight reflecting off their blood drenched body. As it should be.

What about you? Do you have a favorite vampire movie or book? Do you like the gentler vampire or the bloodthirsty kind? What do you think the next stage of evolution will be regarding the vampire?

The Buzz for Mind Over Monsters
“Monstrously fun! Monstrously suspenseful! Monstrously good!” –Victoria Laurie
“A gritty, dramatic police-procedural with a compelling heroine and a fascinating group of sidekicks.”
--Karen Chance
“Harlow offers treats for every paranormal lover to relish, with plenty of action, thrills, and laughter.”
--Leanna Renee Hieber
“Mind Over Monsters is funny, scary, and creepy—and ridiculous amounts of fun!” –Kat Richardson

Jennifer Harlow is the author of Mind Over Monsters, the first of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series. And yes, there is a vampire. You can check out her blog “Tales From the Darkside” at her website Also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter at jenharlowbooks.

Mind Over Monsters
A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
By Jennifer Harlow
ISBN-10: 0-7387-2667-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-7387-2667-0
US $14.95 • CAN $16.95
Trade Paperback Original • 53/16 x 8 • 288 pp.
October 2011

Paranormal heroes take on zombies in this funny and thrilling debut.

Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she’s never learned to master — or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that “neutralizes” ghouls, trolls, and other monsters threatening humanity.

Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training to control her power. Also, she doesn’t feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural members, including a cute former detective who’s a werewolf and an unbearable vampire determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.


Oliver is oblivious to my plight. He’s busy with the veritable wall of walking dead surrounding us. The moment he knocks one into a tree or tombstone another seems to take its place in the line like a zombie Pez dispenser. Two of them, one a man and the other unidentifiable, grab Oliver but he pushes them away. Another grabs my arm and tries to bite, but I kick it away. My martial arts trainer would be so proud. His buddy behind me grabs the other arm and chomps down on it. I scream. The gun in the other hand reaches her forehead and a second later, her head is nothing but puzzle pieces. Enough of this.

Something I’ve never felt seizes control. My body turns warm then hot in an instant, like someone’s switched on my boiler. My breath becomes ragged and then stops. The breeze stops moving and everything but the dozen soldiers surrounding us turn black. There are no screams, no moans, no Oliver. The air moves toward me, inside me, through every pore of my body. What feels like two hands squeeze either side of my brain, but it doesn’t hurt for once. I don’t know what’s happening to me…but I like it. I close my eyes and feel the blood trickle out of my nose. I release. Power explodes out of me like a fiery gust of wind in a hurricane. It knocks me on my back. Several daggers plunge into my brain. I cry out, clutching my head. Oh God, it hurts! Just stop it! Hands grab my shoulders.

“Trixie!” a familiar voice shouts. I know that voice…who… “Open your eyes!” I do. It’s blurry at first, but I blink until I see Oliver kneeling beside me. God, he’s good looking when he’s worried. “My dear, can you speak?”


“Never mind. Can you walk?”

“Um…” Without letting me finish he hoists me up by the arms, my injured one throbbing. When I’m up the sight before me draws a gasp. Oh…my…lord. There’s nothing left but the kind of destruction I see on TV after a tornado. Trees lie on their sides, tangled roots above ground. Every headstone within forty feet around rests on its side, a few older ones are now nothing but pebbles and dust. The zombie horde is literally nothing but pieces. Twitching legs, arms, jaws still trying to make their way toward us litter the grass. Every piece bigger than a foot still tries to continue on their mission, but I doubt any of them is a threat to us anymore. A few fresher corpses remain intact but shuffle far in the distance.

“Did I…”

“Remind me never to anger you,” Oliver says, serious as death. I’ve scared a vampire. Holy heck. And we take off running.


5 copies of Mind Over Monsters are being given away tour wide. Open to US Shipping.

Click here to enter:

Tuesday, October 18

Guest Author Ashley Christman

Tales of vampires have been around for centuries. Slowly, they’ve evolved from tales of horror to tales of sensuality and sexuality because vampires are monsters. Beautiful monsters that look like human beings. This sensuality began with Bram Stoker’s Dracula with the title character and his seduction of Lucy, Mina, and of course the brides who seduced and fed from Jonathan. The thing that has never changed with vampires was that they represent death. They are affiliated with something so unnatural that they strike fear. They feed on the living to maintain their static state.

In my novel, Nightingale, the character of Grace Caldwell is a vampire. Where she’s different is that she came from a vampire father (death) and a sidhe mother (life). She’s grown, matured and changed as a living creature ought to, but she’s so intimately connected with death that it frightens her. The first in the Nocturne series, Grace Caldwell creates a juxtaposition even in her own world. Vampires are afraid of her and the Sidhe are confused by her. In the faery world, vampires are walking abominations and reminders of death and she is one of them.

By making my main character a vampire-faery mix, I had to explore weaknesses and strengths. She does need blood to survive, like all vamps, but she doesn’t need it as often. Sunlight doesn’t affect her, like a fae, but neither does cold-iron (very unfae-like).

I think readers will be interested in a world where faeries, vampires, werewolves, and other manner of supernatural cross on a daily basis. Grace Caldwell walks these worlds not like a pro, but struggles through them, and struggles to find herself in them. I think people can identify with it. I think readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thank you.

Ashley M. Christman

By Ashley M Christman
Being Sidhe is hard, but a Sidhe without a heartbeat?

Life is lucrative and easy for Dr. Grace Caldwell--daughter of vampire father and fey mother--until her ex-boyfriend, FBI agent Jack Montgomery, blackmails her into helping him solve a prostitute's murder. If only she wasn't as attracted to Jack as ever, she could concentrate on finding the murderer and get back to her regularly scheduled life. And then there's the vampire Constantine, seductive and powerful, a family friend she's supposed to marry...

Not much of a vampire, and clueless about her fey powers--if she has any--Grace must journey to the Sidhe and enlist the help of the fey to unravel the riddle of the murder. She and Jack might just get killed, but then, two worlds depend on her success. If she fails, both her worlds and all of humanity will descend into chaos of epic proportions.

Ashley M. Christman
Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction Author

As a child, Ashley M. Christman spent many hours in imaginary worlds, exploring the depths of mythology and immersing herself in a breadth of classics. After spending so much time reading, she decided to try her hand at writing.

An avid fan of film noir, she combines fantasy, noir style heroes and heroines, and the paranormal in a modern day setting in such a way that hopefully would make even Bogie proud.

When not writing, she can be found in the wilds of Minnesota enjoying great cuisine, avoiding the gym, and being walked by the dog with her partner, Tom.

Author Website and Blog:




Saturday, October 15

Six Sentence Sunday 8

Hi everyone! Click here to view my previous entries.

Quick note to set it up. This week continues from last week's Six Sentence Sunday. This book is a sequel to Jungle Heat. It follows the secondary characters, Rubia and Kyle.
She climbed onto the hammock and gazed at the trees above her. The hammock swung gently, lulling her into the relaxed state she so desired. She closed her eyes and sighed softly.

The dream world rose up to greet her. The sound of dry leaves crunching underfoot forced her back to alertness. Her eyes shot open to see a tall, dark-haired man staring at her.
Jungle Fire available from Changeling Press.

Visit the other Six Sentence participants.

Friday, October 14

Exactly How I Felt in College...

It does have adult language, so don't read ahead if you're offended by that. :-)

Yeah... That last one kind of sums it up. At least during most of the classes I took.

Tuesday, October 11

Guest Author Nancy Holzner

Plot Twists
by Nancy Holzner

Everyone loves a good plot twist. It jolts the story in an unexpected direction and gets your adrenaline pumping as you sit up and wonder what’s going to happen now. For writers, plot twists can be a little tricky to handle. You want them to be genuinely surprising yet not so out-of-the-blue that readers scratch their heads and wonder “WTF?” instead of eagerly turning the page to see what comes next.
Here are some thoughts on plot twists and how to make them work:

ñ Plot twists are hard to plan in advance. If you’re a plotter rather than a pantster, you can work in some twists and turns as you plan out your plot. Personally, though, I find this hard to do. Some of my best plot twists have appeared when I wrote a scene, expecting it to go a certain way, but then events took a turn I hadn’t anticipated. I’ll be zeroing in on the last few lines of the scene, and one of the characters will say or do something completely unexpected. I love it when this happens — it energizes my writing and makes the story feel suddenly fresh.
ñ Don’t fight a good twist. On the other hand, it can be disconcerting when a story takes an unexpected turn as you write. If you’ve taken the time to map out the plot, it might feel like everything’s suddenly in disarray. Don’t jettison a twist just because it doesn’t fit your outline. Instead, take some time to play with the outline and see where things might go now that the twist has appeared.
ñ Need a twist? Ask “what if?” Often, the next thing that happens in a story is the obvious thing — but for readers, following an obvious chain of events isn’t very exciting. If you’re at a juncture where your story could use a good twist, try this: In a single sentence, write down what you think will happen next. Then write 25 alternatives. Ask yourself “What if?” to come up with possibilities: “What if the letter never arrives?” “What if the character gets fired?” “What if the building they’re about to investigate burns down?” Twenty-five alternatives may seem like a lot, but pushing yourself to think of so many possibilities lifts your thinking out of whatever rut  your story has slipped into.
ñ Don’t let a plot twist slow things down. If a twist requires pages of explanation, it’ll bog down the plot instead of speeding the story off in a new direction. When a twist appears, don’t give in to the temptation to quit showing and start telling. This is doubly true when a twist happens at the climax of a novel. Readers expect a climax to be exciting; don’t slow things down to stop and explain or to fill in backstory. Agatha Christie could get away with gathering all the suspects in a drawing room and having her detective explain the final plot twist, but you can’t.
ñ Plot twists must seem both surprising and inevitable. This is where you avoid the WTF? Factor, and it happens during revision. When a plot twist shows up, resist the temptation to explain how it happened. (In other words, keep pressing forward instead of going back.) When you write the next draft, tweak the story to set things up for the twist. Again, don’t overexplain. Foreshadow, but don’t bludgeon.
ñ Avoid amazing coincidences. An out-of-nowhere coincidence is a sure way to lose credibility with readers. If the characters are thinking or saying, “Wow, I can’t believe it!” your readers are, too. Stop and ask yourself how you could set things up so the twist is not a contrived coincidence but an integral part of the plot.
ñ Use diversion. Magicians produce astonishing effects through sleight of hand. Novelists use the literary equivalent. Focus readers’ attention over here while something is happening over there. Don’t hide the latter, but play it down. Then, when the twist happens, readers will believe it because they can see where it came from.
ñ Be careful with unreliable narrators. Occasionally I’ll read a book with a first-person narrator who hides things — prior knowledge, events, conversations — from readers. As a reader, I find this incredibly frustrating, and any plot twists that arise from such withheld information feels like a cheat. Much of the pleasure of reading a story with a first-person narrator comes from being inside the character’s head as events unfold. If the narrator knows something, the reader should know it, too.
ñ Your narrator can be a liar, BUT . . . It can be a lot of fun to read a story narrated by a liar or a con artist who likes to trick people. If the narrator is going to lie to readers, however, clue the reader in that this is likely to happen. That way, pleasure comes from trying to figure out what’s a lie and what’s the truth in the narration. But readers don’t like to feel tricked, duped, fooled — in other words, they don’t like to feel stupid. It can be fun to catch the narrator in a lie, but it’s not so much fun to be caught up in lies yourself. (By the way, the best unreliable narrators tend to be those who lie to themselves.)

Check out this just-for-fun plot twist generator to shake up your story. I just got this one: “Only penguins can save this story.”

Damn, I knew it. Off now to figure out how to get those penguins into a highrise in downtown Boston . . .
Bloodstone, the third novel in Nancy Holzner's Deadtown series, is now available. Besides urban fantasy, Nancy also writes mystery; the first book in her Bo Forrester mystery series is titled Peace, Love, and Murder. For information on Nancy and her books, visit her website. You can also find Nancy on Facebook and Twitter, and blogging with other fantasy authors at Dark Central Station.


By Nancy Holzner
Book 3 Deadtown Series
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release date: September 27, 2011
ISBN-10: 044102100X
ISBN-13: 978-0441021000
Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.
As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…
By Nancy Holzner
Book 2 Deadtown Series
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: December 28, 2010
ISBN-10: 0441019803
ISBN-13: 978-0441019809

After Vicky banished her demon nemesis to the fiery depths of Hell, she thought life would return to normal. But considering she has a werewolf lawyer boyfriend, a zombie apprentice who’s angling to become a pop star, and an eccentric vampire roommate, what is normal, anyway?
Then the supposedly banished Hellion starts to trespass in Vicky’s dreams—just as several of Deadtown’s zombies are viciously attacked and become really dead. When Vicky realizes she’s the only connection between the victims, she suspects that the demon is somehow working through her dreams to become Deadtown’s living nightmare.
What she doesn’t know is that her old enemy brings with it a force more terrifying—and deadly—than anything she’s battled before.
Gripping the reader from its highly entertaining opening scene, the terrific Hellforged, the second installment in the Deadtown series, maintains that hold until the very end.
 ~Bitten by Books
“For demon-slayer Victory Vaughn, intensity and intrigue are revved way up as she is faced with a possible trap of destiny. The thrills are nonstop in Holzner’s latest Deadtown novel as the action races from continent to continent and into the reaches of hell itself. Even better than the first book, this series is becoming highly addictive!”
~RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars

Book 1 Deadtown Series
By Nancy Holzner
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: December 29, 2009
ISBN-10: 0441018130
ISBN-13: 978-0441018130

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders — but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Vicky’s demanding job keeping the city safe from all manner of monsters is one reason her relationship with workaholic lawyer (and werewolf) Alexander Kane is in constant limbo. Throw in a foolhardy zombie apprentice, a mysterious demon-plagued client, and a suspicious research facility that’s taken an unwelcome interest in her family, and Vicky’s love life has as much of a pulse as Deadtown’s citizens.
But now Vicky’s got bigger things to worry about. The Hellion who murdered her father ten years ago has somehow broken through Boston’s magical protections. The Hellion is a ruthless force of destruction with a personal grudge against Vicky, and she’s the only one who can stop the demon before it destroys the city and everyone in it.

 “Ms. Holzner truly delivers with this incredibly solid debut UF novel. Deadtown is told with an authoritative voice starring a great new heroine, and puts an imaginative spin on the usual paranormal suspects; the plotting and worldbuilding are compelling and undeniably fresh.
“In short – I absolutely loved Deadtown.”
~Reviewed by Thea at The Book Smugglers
Part demon-busting tale, part political thriller, Holzner's take on urban fantasy is exciting and fresh. Here's to the future adventures of Vicky Vaughn! 
~RT Book Reviews
Deadtown is a welcome addition to the urban fantasy landscape. Nancy imbues an emotional aspect into her debut that resonates with our own past prejudices and fears and forces us to evaluate our beliefs about this unreal world in a very real way. There is a lot of great action, social commentary, and a dash of romance in Deadtown. The world building, borrowing heavily from Welsh mythology, is fresh and complex. Vicky is instantly likable and realistically tough yet vulnerable. And I can't wait to read more. 
~Abigail at All Things Urban Fantasy
Deadtown was one of the most unique books I have read and I spent an hour gushing to my husband about the world. I am so glad that Nancy brought her monsters out of the closet in Deadtown!
~ Reviewed by Robin at Intense Whisper

About Nancy

Nancy Holzner grew up in western Massachusetts with her nose stuck in a book. This meant that she tended to walk into things, wore glasses before she was out of elementary school, and forced her parents to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule. It was probably inevitable that she majored in English in college and then, because there were still a lot of books she wanted to read, continued her studies long enough to earn a masters degree and a PhD.
She began her career as a medievalist, then jumped off the tenure track to try some other things. Besides teaching English and philosophy, she’s worked as a technical writer, freelance editor and instructional designer, college admissions counselor, and corporate trainer. Most of her nonfiction books are published under the name Nancy Conner.
Nancy lives in upstate New York with her husband Steve, where they both work from home without getting on each other’s nerves. She enjoys visiting local wineries and listening obsessively to opera. There are still a lot of books she wants to read.!/NancyHolzner

Sunday, October 9

Six Sentence Sunday 7

Hi everyone! Click here to view my previous entries.

Quick note to set it up. This is the sequel to Jungle Heat. It follows the secondary characters, Rubia and Kyle.
Rubia Costa tied down her hammock in a peaceful spot where she went to get away. She'd told no one of this spot, and yet she was within yelling distance of her people. Help would come if the need arose.

She didn't dare venture far from her village. But these days, her village wasn't as calm and mundane as it once had been. So far, she wasn't sure whether that was good or bad.
Jungle Fire available from Changeling Press.
Visit the other Six Sentence participants.

Thursday, October 6

Jungle Fire -- Now Available!

Jungle Fire is now available! Woohoo! Here's the information and excerpt!

ISBN: 978-1-60521-668-3
Genre: Paranormal
Theme: Shapeshifters
Series: Amazon Chronicles, Book 2
Length: Novella

Buy Now

In the Amazon Rainforest, traditions are important. They've long led to survival for the Amazon warrior women.

Kyle Reynolds, ruler of the werepumas, is ready to fly in the face of those treasured customs for the love of Rubia Costa, who will soon be out of his grasp if he can't win her affection before allies of the Amazons steal her away from him forever.


The Amazon Chronicles: Jungle Fire
Sarah Mäkelä
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Sarah Mäkelä

Rubia Costa tied down her hammock in a peaceful spot where she went to get away. She'd told no one of this spot, and yet she was within yelling distance of her people. Help would come if the need arose.

She didn't dare venture far from her village. But these days, her village wasn't as calm and mundane as it once had been. So far, she wasn't sure whether that was good or bad. Life and traditions were changing, and she couldn't hold back confusion as pieces of what she'd been taught now unraveled around her.

She climbed onto the hammock and gazed at the trees above her. The hammock swung gently, lulling her into the relaxed state she so desired. She closed her eyes and sighed softly.

The dream world rose up to greet her. The sound of dry leaves crunching underfoot forced her back to alertness. Her eyes shot open to see a tall, dark-haired man staring at her.

She lunged for her spear, stuck in the ground nearby. Gradually, the realization dawned on her who this man was, and she settled back, her nerves still tense and ready to fight.

"Some reflexes you have there," Kyle Reynolds said. A grin stretched across his lips, brightening his face. At ease, he leaned against the tree near her feet while she admired his broad, muscular shoulders that narrowed down to a slim waist.

She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, unwilling to show the impact his presence had on her. "What are you doing here? How did you find me?"

"My sense of smell isn't as acute as other animals', but it's good enough to find where you went. I wanted to make sure you're not out getting in trouble."

His grin turned into a smirk, and he pushed off from the tree.

"What? Like my friend..." She grimaced. Although they still talked, Adara had so much going on. They didn't spend as much time together as they had before, especially now with Rei in Adara's life.

"I don't know what you're talking about." He winked and sat next to her in the hammock. It tilted enough that she slid closer to him.

Her hip bumped his, and her nerves tingled. She crawled away. Unfortunately, he must have taken that as an invitation to come closer, since he lay next to her. "What are you doing? Get out of my hammock." She scooted farther away as her body started to slip toward his once again.

Kyle grabbed her wrist and kissed her knuckles. His gaze held something she'd seen in glances between Rei and Adara. Those kinds of emotions were unfamiliar to her. Vaguely, she realized their meaning, but why would Kyle project that toward her?

He trailed his lips over her wrist and slowly moved up her arm. His warm breath tickled her flesh. She couldn't drag her gaze from his. Her voice escaped in a whisper. "What are you doing?"

"Something I've wanted to do for a while now. You don't make this easy for me, Rubia." He rolled over carefully. His body hovered over hers, and he pressed his lips against her shoulder and then her neck.

Sensations of pleasure spread between her legs, warming her body to a fever pitch. What were they doing? Panic rose up within her, and she shoved hard at Kyle's chest, throwing him off balance. The hammock tilted, and air rushed by just before her body hit the ground with a thud.

Pain throbbed throughout her back, and a groan welled from her throat. She blinked her eyes open.

Kyle knelt next to her. Concern etched soft lines at the corner of his mouth. "Are you okay?"

The ache in her back sharpened, and she fought not to wince. Instead, she pushed against Kyle's chest. "I'm fine. I can walk."

Kyle stared at her with a raised eyebrow. He shook his head. "I'll carry you. It's no trouble."

Great. She didn't want her tribeswomen to see him carting her around as if he was her protector or had... claimed her. Let alone the state she was in. They might worry she'd been injured, which wasn't far from the truth since she wasn't feeling too well at the moment.

She shoved against him, but it was like trying to move a solid tree trunk. He didn't budge an inch. Her people had studied the werecats, since they lived in such close proximity, but she had a hard time getting used to one being so close. She wasn't sure she wanted to be intimate with Kyle.

Something about him was alluring, but she couldn't dream of becoming tied to the werepumas' leader and shirking her responsibilities as an Amazon. She wanted to lead a peaceful, simple life. Those words were foreign when Kyle was involved.

He stood just out of sight from the village's catwalks, and she wriggled in his arms.

"Set me down. Right now." She lowered her voice and glared at him. If only he didn't have such a solid grip on her spear, but there was no chance she'd be able to wrestle it away from him. Not if he didn't want her to.

Determination set in his jaw, but he gently placed her feet on the ground. "Fine. Go show everyone how strong and brave you are." He muttered under his breath, "Silly woman."


Hey everyone! I have quite a bit going on today, and I want to let you know what all I'm doing. *grins*

Today I'm at The Romance Studio's Release Party and Castles & Guns' Coffee Time Romance All Day chat. Make sure to stop by for a chance to win a prize from me. Speaking of which, I have a contest going on until October 14th at Night Owl Romance's blog where I talked about my Hacked Investigation series. So you have plenty of chances to win a book!

Also, Jungle Fire, book two of my Amazon Chronicles series comes out today! I'll post an excerpt and buy link later here when it's for sale.

With this month being October, my publisher (Changeling Press) is having an Octoberfest contest where throughout the month, if you use the discount code Octoberfest, you'll save 5% on your order and on October 31st 31 random winners will be drawn to win 31 free books.

Well, that's all I can think of right now. Although, I'm sure I'm missing things! Have a great morning!

Tuesday, October 4

Guest Author Tonya Macalino

Seeing the Future Through the Past
by Tonya Macalino

Thanks for having me over, Sarah! It is so wonderful to see such a great repository of speculative fiction here at your blog. For those of you who aren’t familiar with my work, my name is Tonya Macalino and my novel is SPECTRE OF INTENTION, a paranormal thriller.

In my version of cross-genre fiction, I combine the technology of the near-future with the legends and folk history of days gone by. In SPECTRE, the contrast is the explorers of that “final frontier” with the explorers of the Americas and the first tentative explorers of space.

Sometimes when we are facing decisions on a new road, we forget we aren’t the first to pass by this way. Emotionally, the landscape is very similar whether you are a pioneer preparing to colonize another planet, a pilgrim packing up your family for the new world, or a woman finding the courage to remove herself from a dangerous relationship. From the human perspective, those journeys are not so different.

So many times, we can find the last bit of push we need in the stories of those who came before us, in the intimate revelation of the pluck and the courage and the fortitude that we forgot human beings can be capable of. That we forgot we can be capable of.

I hope you’ll take the time to explore my new book SPECTRE OF INTENTION and join my character Kaitlin Osgood as she realizes what she, too, can be capable of.

Spectre of Intention
By Tonya Macalino

“Secrets, Kaitlin. Secrets.”

Kaitlin Osgood has a stowaway.

Underneath the glossy shell of the Senior VP for Countermeasures International lurks the tattered remains of the girl she once was: street rat and thief, Ashley Porter. Every day, every decision is brittle with the fear of discovery.

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the cruise ship acting as the platform for the latest space elevator, she should finally be safe…

…safe from the sexy, enigmatic eyes of Director of Port Security Camden Glaswell who seems to see through Kaitlin’s ruse.

…safe from the relentless, burning pursuit of master thief, Stephan Chen, the chief architect of Kaitlin’s former life of crime—the onetime lover who haunts her still.

But Kaitlin has another secret: her talent for security comes not from the latest technology, but from her ability to sense people’s emotions, to see the ghosts of their intentions.

It’s a talent she must learn to wield as a weapon before the mistakes of her past cost Kaitlin her life…


Barnes & Noble:

Teaser Excerpt:

If I could just try a door, get into a cabin. Were they all locked?

If I stopped long enough to try one, they’d be on me. Ahead I heard a bright, feminine laugh. I looked, a crack of light. Apologize later. I shoved my way into the room. I reached back to slam the door.

My head shattered.

Shards of pain exploded like so much glass, leaving behind a tender, exposed emptiness. My shrill gasp echoed through it.


The footsteps from the hall followed me in. Someone grabbed my arm from behind as I stumbled forward into the over-bright room. A voice in front of me raised in disgust.

“Mak, what the fuck?! Who the hell is this chick? Are you trying to blow everything?”

I raised my head. The man perched on the arm of the sitting room couch continued to rage at the man gripping me, not giving me a second look. But I saw him, saw the changes wrought both by time and man. Hair once a tousled fuchsia, now hung straight, black to his jaw. A once slender frame filled in with muscle under that crisp white shirt. The face fuller, more sensual; the eyes still cocky as hell.

Then I felt it, the warmth of his mind touching mine. Him, sliding in, taking over my very being without meeting defense, without facing a moment’s resistance.

And he must have felt it, too, because at that instant, Stephan Chen turned to look at me for the first time in five long, terrifying years. A smile of triumph spread across his face.

“Hello, Ashley.”

Tonya Macalino lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with her husband and two children. She is an avid collector of folklore and folk history, far too many to fit comfortably within the pages of any given book. When not working on her latest novel, she runs a handcrafted lotion, cosmetics, and bath company. To read more of the little gems she unearthed during her research, please visit her blog at

For news and events, drop by her Facebook page at

Tonya Macalino - Author Links:
The Story of Place Blog:
Amazon Author Page:

2 prize packs are being given away to 2 lucky winners. Open to US Shipping Only Please. Click here to enter.

The Space Elevator Gift Pak includes:
Liftport Retro Print
Clarke City Retro Print
LIFTPORT: OPENING SPACE TO EVERYONE - an anthology of science fiction short stories and technical articles on space elevator technology
Liftport products Courtesy of Liftport Group

The Spa Gift Pak includes:
Chamomile Soap
Rose Lip Dew Wand
Cornflower Petals in Honeyed Oats Bath Bomb
Rouge of Last Light Shimmer Bar
Grapefruit Sea Breeze Bath Salts
Spa products courtesy of Rustling Sage

Sunday, October 2

Six Sentence Sunday 6

Ha! Look at that. My sixth Six Sentence Sunday. Isn't that a tongue twister? Feel free to check out my previous entries here.

This week's six continues where we left off the last time. Ian and Hannah had a great kiss, but it's time for them to get to work.
Ian grinned and reached for his white towel. "I'll go hop in the shower real quick." He wiped off his face and hung the towel around his shoulders as he sauntered away.

Hannah's life had been a roller coaster after reuniting with Ian, her once ex-boyfriend. Now he was her partner in their private investigation company, Hacked Investigations, which specialized in technology-related crimes. The clientele so far had kept them busy, with common requests that involved backtracking various network intrusions to their point of origin and leaving the rest to the customers.
Savage Bytes, Book 2 of the Hacked Investigations series, available from Changeling Press.

Check out the other Six Sentence participants here!
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