Friday, December 30

Tarot Cards

Welcome to this week's Into the Paranormal! I hope you have a great Friday.

Today I'll be discussing Tarot Cards. First, here's what they are:
The tarot is a pack of cards (most commonly numbering 78), used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways. 
The tarot has four suits (which vary by region, being the French suits in Northern Europe, the Latin suits in Southern Europe, and the German suits in Central Europe). Each of these suits has pip cards numbering from ace to ten and four face cards for a total of 14 cards. In addition, the tarot is distinguished by a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit. 
Got that? Yeah, it's a little fuzzy for me too. To be honest, I have limited experience with them, but I do find them interesting. One of my favorite urban fantasy series is the Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance. Cassie has an enchanted deck of tarot cards, and occasionally, they'll come up in the books.

When I was younger, I used to play Nintendo NES. I found the game Taboo: The Sixth Sense, which was a "game" that gave users a tarot reading. You gave your name, birthday, and gender as well as a question. It then shuffled the cards and gave a tarot reading in the Celtic cross layout. It even gave lottery numbers if you entered what state you're from.

Something I found really intriguing was in college, I had a creative writing professor who taught the class a brainstorming method she used with Tarot cards. Yep, I'm still kicking myself for not taking notes that day.

To wrap today's post up, here's what I found about tarot's origin:
The cards are traced by some occult writers to ancient Egypt or the Kabbalah but there is no documented evidence of such origins or of the usage of tarot for divination before the 18th century.
Have you gotten a Tarot reading before? Tell me what you think about Tarot cards! I can't wait to hear what your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 28

Writer Wednesday: Goals Part 2

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Welcome back to Writer Wednesday! I hope you're having a great holiday season. I know I am.

Last week's Writer Wednesday post discussed looking over 2011's goals and seeing how you did with them. This week, we'll continue with goals but focus on planning for 2012.

First of all, one thing I've learned is that I don't do well with having like 16 goals on my list. I tend to only accomplish half of them, no matter what they are. Maybe I should've been more fierce about my goals, but I think more often than not that I just dump the kitchen sink onto the list and decide I'll figure out what I'll do. Not a great way to go about goal setting. *grins*

This year, I'm going to write down only what I really want to accomplish. If I accomplish more than what's on the list, that's awesome! But I think it's important not to get sidetracked. Like I said last time, things may come up that we don't expect, and if they do then adjust the goals and continue forward. For example, I'd had in mind that I would write, edit, and query a few novels this year, but I was accepted to Changeling Press and instead have been writing novellas.

So, how do we figure out what goals we should be working toward? That's pretty simple. Where do you want to be a year from now? Five years from now? Got that picture in your mind? Good! Now plot how you'll be able to get there.

For example, if you want to be published, it's important to learn your craft, write a book, find some good critique partners, do research about the publishing industry, write a query letter, and query agents (and/or editors). That's not something you can accomplish in an afternoon, so then you'd break it down into steps.
  1. Read three books on writing.
  2. Finish a book by (insert date here) by writing X words a day.
  3. Join a writer's organization (like RWA) and meet other writers to become critique partners with.
... and so on.

Here are a few links I've come across about goal setting. Enjoy!

Getting Out of Your Own Way – Goal Setting for the Writer by Theresa Meyers

Marrying Marketing and Writing Goals by Monica Valentinelli

From NaNo to Submission: a 90-Day Plan by Suzanne Johnson - True, this one doesn't necessarily fit into goal setting, but I think it's useful to see other people lay out their goals.

What are your goals for 2012?

Tuesday, December 27

Guest Author Rosalie Lario

Blood of the Demon
by Rosalie Lario

DEMONS OF INFERNUM - Book One by Rosalie Lario

Keegan lives to exact revenge on the evil demon who sired and abused him. When his father devises a plan to bring on the apocalypse, he and his three half-brothers, interdimensional bounty hunters for the Elden Council, are charged with capturing and delivering their father for punishment.

Art gallery owner Brynn Meyers has no idea that her ability to read memories embedded in objects and drain people of their life force means she has demon ancestry. Unfortunately for Brynn, she’s also the key to raising an ancient zombie army, which puts her on every demon’s Most Wanted List.

And no one wants her more than Keegan’s father.

Keegan must protect Brynn from his father by any means necessary, but he’ll have to learn to harness the other half of his genetics—the far deadlier, uncontrollable half—when he starts to fall for the one woman standing between him and the vengeance he so desperately seeks. The one woman he’ll never be able to resist.

Title: Blood of the Demon
Demons of Infernum, #1
Author: Rosalie Lario
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 254 pages
Release Date: August 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-14-5
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-15-2

Excerpt © 2011 Rosalie Lario

She wasn’t what he’d expected.

Keegan crouched on a nearby roof, watching, waiting for her gallery to clear out. A stray gust of cold wind whipped through the night air, ruffling his jacket. It didn’t matter. Considering where he’d come from, the cold was a welcome relief.

The woman had looked fragile when he’d caught a glimpse of her through the store’s large window front. Undeniably beautiful, with her long, honey-brown hair falling in waves around her heart-shaped face—but fragile nonetheless.

It was the perfect cover. No one would ever believe what she truly was, what lived inside her. But the blood never lied. She wasn’t what she seemed.

Despite the gravity of the situation, Keegan had felt a stirring of lust rise within him at the sight of her, blindsiding him with its unexpected force. It had simply been too long since he’d gotten laid, something he’d have to remedy soon. Didn’t have anything to do with the woman. It couldn’t.

After all, she might very well be dead by the end of the day. Because if he received the order, he’d have to kill her.

He fished his cell phone out of his jacket pocket and called his brother. As expected, Taeg answered on the first ring. Skipping the useless chatter, he said, “I’ve got an eye on the target.”

“That’s perfect.” Even over the phone, the relief in Taeg’s voice was palpable. “What now?”

“As soon as she’s alone, I’ll grab her.”

“You don’t think Mammon has managed to find her yet, do you?”

Keegan gave a short laugh. “If he had, he would’ve taken her already. Waiting’s not his style.”

“Yeah, right,” Taeg muttered. “Don’t I know it?”

“I’ll keep you posted.” He hung up without waiting for a reply.

Even though he couldn’t see her from this vantage point, he wasn’t worried about losing her. Not after he’d tagged her scent. He closed his eyes and inhaled, giving himself over to his sense of smell. Sorting through the various odors he’d picked up—the rich aroma of coffee, the ashy smell of a discarded cigarette, the pungent stench of rotting food—he discarded them, one by one.

Yes. There she was. Her scent was unique. Like strawberries and cream. Something he’d tried only recently and discovered he loved.

Would she taste just as sweet?

Shit. What was he thinking? She wasn’t a potential lay, but a dangerous and powerful weapon. Maybe even the enemy. He’d do well to remember that.

Finally, the store emptied of everyone but her. He supposed the right thing would be to go in and question her. But what if Mammon was no more than a few steps behind him? He couldn’t take that chance. Not when the stakes were so high.

He would take her back to the apartment with him. There, he could question her at leisure and decide what to do without having to worry about Mammon or his henchmen discovering them. But what were the odds of her going along with him willingly?

Well, he couldn’t worry about that now. He’d simply take her.

The night had grown dark enough that he didn’t bother heading for the roof exit. Instead, he walked to the side of the building facing the narrow alleyway and stepped off. He landed the six-story fall with a thud that shook the ground. A cracking sound, followed by a twinge of pain shooting up his right leg, made him pause, but he ignored it as the fissure healed itself. The homeless man lying unconscious in a puddle not ten feet away mumbled and stirred before growing still once again.

Keegan crossed the street, his gaze singlemindedly locked on the figure of the woman visible through the window as she buzzed about the front of the gallery. A ray of light from a small lamp decorating the window caught her hair, spinning it into a web of gold. In that lighting, she looked almost like an angel.

But why was he thinking about the color of her hair? She wasn’t an angel—not by a long shot.

And her luck was about to run out.

“This thrilling new series mixes danger with demons and romance with rocket-paced action! I can’t wait for the next one.” ~ Alyssa Day, New York Times bestselling author

“BLOOD OF THE DEMON grabs hold of you from page one and doesn’t let go. It’s a wild and hot paranormal ride readers will love.” ~ National bestselling author Cynthia Eden

“The hot and wild fusion of demon, dragon, and desire had me burning through the pages!” ~ Jessa Slade, author of Vowed in Shadows

Monday, December 26

Meme Monday: Sketchy Santa

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! I decided to go with a Sketchy Santa today. This one is pretty hilarious since I have a black cat who would probably react the same way. *grins*

Sunday, December 25

Merry Christmas

Just dropping by to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!! I hope y'all got all the presents and special memories you wanted. :-)

Here's an exclusive short snippet from Stolen to help celebrate the day.
Michael's apartment was decorated in clean, modern fashion with hardwood floors, white carpet, and white paint on the walls. The spacious living room branched into two other rooms. To the left, a spiral staircase led upstairs. The fireplace, more for décor than heating, was central to the living room. A widescreen HDTV was mounted over the mantle. A sliding glass door opened to a balcony with a great view of the city below.

Michael walked into the kitchen and pressed a few buttons on the espresso machine. "The coffee will be ready soon." He came into the living room and slid open the door to the balcony.
Being in his presence, Regina felt more aware of her body than she had in months. "I never guessed you would have such a place," she said, looking out over the city.

"Yeah, it's great. I like it here." He turned to face her and smiled. "Although it's nothing compared to the view I have in front of me."

Heat caressed her cheeks despite the cool autumn air, and she decided to change the subject. "I wonder how many others are out there like us. Today I've met you and then the bank robbers. It's been weeks since I've met anyone new with powers and abilities. Just feels a little odd." Regina let her gaze drift over him. The button-up shirt hugged his chest, and those pants... They almost made her wish she had X-ray vision.

Michael came up behind her, and his hands cradled her shoulders. He brushed a kiss against her neck near her jawline, and then another lower down her neck. His lips caressed down toward her shoulder, drawing a sigh from her lips.

She reached up behind her and sank her fingers into his soft hair. Her fingertips massaged his head in gentle circles. Maybe she was ready for this.
Stolen available from Changeling Press.

Friday, December 23

The Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for Gnomes

This week's Into the Paranormal is a fun post. It's tied in with my Hacked Investigations cyberpunk romance series, so then why is this about gnomes you ask? Meet Bernard, a fantastically funny and obnoxious sidekick to my technomage hero, Ian Bradley. He can be helpful or he can be a pain in the butt.

Here are a few tips Ian’s learned.

DO keep the house full of good fruits and vegetables since gnomes tend to be herbivores. Side note: make sure you don’t forget to bring him his favorite sweets too. Yes, they can have a sweet tooth.

DON’T keep alcohol anywhere near the house. The gnome will drink himself silly and be grumpy from the nasty hangover that ensues.

DO treat him nicely. If you don’t, chances are he’ll pay you back in mischievous ways.

DON’T keep your eyes off him for a second when things start to go wrong. He might bring more trouble on your head.

DO encourage him to plant his own garden, if you like to keep a roof over your head. He eats a lot.

• And finally, DON’T bring home a girl you’re interested in romantically, he’ll probably make lots of lewd innuendos that you wouldn’t want her to hear.

If you'd like to know more about the Hacked Investigations series, click here.

Thursday, December 22

Hacked Investigations series ON SALE at ARe

Hey everyone! If you've been wanting to read my cyberpunk (sci-fi) series, Santa's elves have been listening! Right now, Techno Crazed and Savage Bytes are on sale at All Romance eBooks! Just in time for the holidays!

Techno Crazed 
Hacked Investigations, Book 1

Private investigator Hannah Franklin's life is turned upside down after being contacted by a former employee of MAX Home Security, the leader in security services. But they're not just protecting people anymore. Hannah's informant claims to have proof that MAX has ordered the assassination of politicians who stood against the corporation.

When her informant is killed and an attempt is made on her life, Hannah has no choice but to contact a freelance hacker. Her only hope now lies in the hands of a man she never expected to welcome back into her life.

Ian Bradley has lost his girlfriend and his job, as well as having acquired a very annoying gnome. Now his ex, Hannah, is in danger, and she needs his help. Ian vows to protect Hannah with every resource available to him -- and as a technomage in a high-tech world, his resources are almost endless...

Read the Excerpt

Buy now:
All Romance eBooks:

Or if you'd prefer...
Changeling Press:

Savage Bytes
Hacked Investigations, Book 2

Private investigator Hannah Franklin has a new partner, her sizzling hot lover and technomage, Ian Bradley. But they may be in over their heads when brought in by their friend from the hospital to quietly solve a case that baffles even the police. The victims are being drained of blood and having their organs removed in a ritualistic fashion.

When Ian's attention narrows to solely encompass their work, he'll need to keep their relationship strong, or he could find himself repeating a painful past.

Read the Excerpt

Buy now:

All Romance eBooks:

Changeling Press:

Internet Dating for Gnomes
Hacked Investigations, Free Read related to Savage Bytes

If you'd like a taste of the world first, check out my free read which follows Ian's gnome sidekick through the world of internet dating (and fighting a bad guy *grins*).

All Romance eBooks:

Or, scroll down to Internet Dating for Gnomes by Sarah Mäkelä at:

Thank you! Now, I'm crawling back into the editing cave. :-)

Wednesday, December 21

Writer Wednesday: Goals Part 1

(Since it's so close to Christmas, I'm cross posting this and Part 2 with Castles and Guns. :-))

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
I know it might be hard to think of this, especially if you've still got some Christmas shopping to do *raises hand*, but the end of the year is almost upon us. One of the things I've begun thinking about as New Year's Eve approaches is what I've done this year, how effective I was, and what I'd like to do next year. I'm getting a jump on my goal setting since one of the things I've learned about myself is I'm better with a plan.

I honestly think it's important as a writer to have goals and to know where we're heading. Sometimes you just might not end up where you'd planned, which has been the case with me. There are quite a few things on my 2011 Goals list that I didn't accomplished, but then again, there are also several items not on there that I did. I could easily say that if I'd stuck with what I'd planned, I probably wouldn't be where I am, but that discussion is for a different day.

So, what's first? I'd suggest going over your 2011 goals list and see what you've written down. Where are you in comparison?
  • Look at where you are goal-wise today. Are you unpublished and finishing up your NaNoWriMo project or polishing a query letter? Published and working on a proposal for a new book? Right now, I'm an author on an upcoming deadline.
  • What's something you have accomplished this year? Did you finish your first novel? Find a publisher? I'm published and slowly getting the hang of social networking! :-)
  • What's something you haven't accomplished that you wish you had? For me, I didn't read as much as I'd have liked to, and I ended up not working on a couple projects I was looking forward to.
Now that we've looked at that, we can start thinking about next year. What are we hungry to say we've completed in 2012?

What goals have you accomplished this year (or are on track to complete)?

Tuesday, December 20

Guest Author Coral Moore

Broods of Fenrir
by Coral Moore

Title: Broods of Fenrir
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 60k words, 230ish pages


Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.

For hundreds of years he’s avoided brood society, until a werewolf kills an innocent human woman and Brand finds himself dragged back into the violent politics of the shapeshifters. When the two brood women who mean the most to him come under threat, he must take up the throne and risk becoming the kind of vicious bastard his father was, or let the broods descend further into chaos–taking the friend he swore to protect and his lover with them.

Relevant Warnings: There is significant violence. One on-screen sex scene, though I wouldn't describe it as particularly graphic.

Barnes & Noble:
Amazon Paperback:

About the Author:

Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives the tales she tells.

Prompted by a general interest in how life works, her undergraduate schooling was in biology. She follows science news and enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writes speculative fiction and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Albertus Magnus College.

Currently she lives in Connecticut with the love of her life, who offers both encouragement and kicks in the tail when necessary. Also in residence are two mammals of the families Canidae and Felidae.

She released her first novel, Broods of Fenrir, in November 2011. Her next release, Elements of Rebellion, is due out in spring 2012.!/coralm

Monday, December 19

Meme Monday: Minecraft

No, it's not writing related, but I love Minecraft (and I also love Sean Bean). What is Minecraft? It's a really fun and creative building/survival game that my husband got me into. So I decided to share. *grins*

internet memes - Just One More Block....

Sunday, December 18

Six Sentence Sunday 12

Hi everyone! Welcome back for another week of Six Sentence Sunday! Click here to view my previous entries.

Here's a snippet from my newest release Stolen.
The sound of wheels barely penetrated her thoughts as a force slammed into her, knocking her aside. Glancing up, she grimaced at the tall, lanky kid hovering over her.

“Sorry, ma’am. Are you okay?” The kid ran his palms over his denim jeans.

A handsome man in a nice suit knelt by her, scooping her library books into a pile.
Stolen available from Changeling Press. For a chance to win a digital copy of Stolen (or a book from my backlist), leave a comment below, or here, with your email address. The winner will be announced on the 19th as part of the Stuff Your Stockings Blog Hop.

Visit the other Six Sentence participants.

Friday, December 16

Stuff Your Stockings Christmas Blog Hop - WINNERS ANNOUNCED

EDIT: Thank you to everyone who entered my blog hop contest! I loved all of your responses! The winners of my books are... Lisa and Criss (as picked by! Congrats!! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas is coming at us fast, so I'm excited to be participating in the Stuff Your Stockings Christmas Blog Hop, which will run from today until December 18th at 11:59 PM. Hopefully everyone will get some great prizes this weekend!

I have two prizes up for grabs for this special event. The first prize is a digital copy of my newest release Super Powered 1: Stolen from Changeling Press. I'm also giving away a winner’s choice eBook from my backlist.

Here's the blurb for Stolen:

Regina Blake is a normal secretary until there's trouble -- then she becomes the Dark Huntress. Things are about to change when she meets a man whose electrifying power is a fine match to her own, and he's set on winning her heart. To top it off, there's a string of bank robberies which escalate into the high profile kidnapping of a famous actor.

Michael Flynn hadn't realized the extent of superhero and supervillain society. When he rushes to a bank to find it destroyed, he meets a black-latex-clad woman who makes his pulse race. As he's drawn deeper into her world, he finds himself intrigued and eager to have her.

So, what do you have to do for your chance to win? Just leave a comment telling me what you want in your stocking. Please make sure to include your email address. I'll be announcing the winner on December 19th.

Visit the other Christmas Blog Hop sites here.

Thursday, December 15

Top 5 Supernatural TV Shows

I'll be bringing to Friday's my Into the Paranormal column, but with the Christmas Blog Hop starting tomorrow, this week's will be today instead.

Hopping right into it, this week I'm sharing with you guys a countdown of five of my favorite Supernatural TV Shows. By no means are these all the shows I've liked over the years, but these are the ones that come to mind when I think of great paranormal TV. These range from what you can currently find on TV to shows from yesteryear, but I have to say, that's the beauty of things like Netflix! No need to miss out on great things. Click on the names for more information about the shows.

#5: True BloodBased off the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. This show is pretty awesome. I hadn't read the books before giving it a shot, but I'm hooked. Still haven't taken the dive to reading the novels (partially due to being a relatively slow reader that has a huge TBR pile), but I'm definitely looking forward to the next season arriving on Netflix.

#4: American Gothic. This TV show is back from 1995 and ran for one season. I remember it from all those years ago, and I so want to watch it again. For me, that's saying something. lol Gary Cole and Lucas Black were sooo good in this show. I've made sure to watch what they do now after this series.

#3: The Dresden Files. Based off The Dresden Files novels by Jim Butcher. This series lasted for one season as well. I didn't know about it until afterward. I'd watched a couple of the episodes on Hulu, and then my husband and I checked it out on Netflix a few weeks later. It helped prompt me into reading the books, which I'm so happy about because I enjoyed the first one a lot.

#2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and Angel spin-off). What can I say? I grew up with this show. I do have to admit that I stopped watching it after it took some crazy turns. I added it to Netflix to re-watch one of these days though. It was awesome when Buffy and Angel were together. David Boreanaz... yes, I'm panting. lol I also loved Spike. This series really furthered my love for the paranormal and helped drive me toward what I do... paranormal romance.

And for my number one pick...

#1: Supernatural. Man, oh man... This show is awesome! There are moments when I've felt it goes a little too much into the angel/demon thing instead of further going into the different mythology and folklore topics that they did closer to the beginning of the series, but that's just a very, very minor thing. The two main characters, Sam and Dean... wow... I'm a total fangirl of them now. There's also Castiel, a hot angel sidekick, who is pretty amazing as well.

The storyline, the writing... Really good!

So, now that I've dished on my favorite supernatural TV shows, tell me... what are yours?

Wednesday, December 14

Writer Wednesday: Marketing

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Happy Hump Day! No, no... Not that kind of hump day. *grins* I hope you're all having a great Wednesday. Just a few more days until the weekend. Today I'm introducing another new column, Writer Wednesday. I'm still toying around with all I want to do with it in the long run, but here's we go.

It doesn't matter if you're a fairly new published author, not published, or even multi-published, being diligent with marketing is so important. That's one of your ways to connect with readers. No, seriously. And while it can be hard to find other things to say besides from "buy my book" or "here's something else about me," which trust me is important since how else would they know to buy your book, but there has to be a balance. You need to also provide something to your reader as another person or friend instead of being a salesperson all the time. No one wants that.

I can't say I'm the greatest at this aspect of the business side of writing yet, but there's one thing I have learned recently. It is really helpful to team up with other authors you trust and are friends with. If someone else is talking about your book/contest/review/etc., readers stand a greater likelihood of saying, "Ah ha, I have to check this out." There is strength in numbers, after all! You're providing great information to your readers, and your friends are providing the same for their readers. You're both able to reach more people than otherwise possible. Win-win!

Here are a few great links about marketing I've found this week:

  • Marrying Marketing and Writing Goals - I do have a goals edition coming up soon, but I figured this would go well here since now that it's less than two weeks until Christmas, it's important to slowly begin thinking about the New Year. For me, I know marketing will be something I'm going to try to work on in 2012.
  • Use Your Enewsletter to Brand Yourself - I've had an e-newsletter for a while, but this really pinpointed some good advice on why you should have one, how they help, and some of what e-newsletters should contain.
  • How to Use the Twitter @Reply - This is an older post from Nathan Bransford (former agent and author) who is such a wealth of knowledge. I seriously didn't know about this, and I've been using Twitter for almost two years.
  • How to Network Without Networking - This is another great read from Nathan Bransford that sums up how networking without the mercenary outlook. He notes that it should be about making friends.
What tips do you have about marketing and/or networking? Any subjects you'd really like to see on  an upcoming Writer Wednesday?

Monday, December 12

Meme Monday: Writer's Block

This week, I'm starting something new on the blog! Yes, they're funny, and sometimes pretty darn insightful. Here we go...

You'd be surprised at just how true this can be sometimes.

Sunday, December 11

Six Sentence Sunday 11

Hi everyone! After a couple weeks of madness, I'm back once again for another week of Six Sentence Sunday! Click here to view my previous entries.

Quick note to set it up. I have to be honest here. I was going to do my new story, but since I'd mentioned we were getting closer to my favorite part of the scene, I couldn't leave you guys hanging. So here's the last Jungle Heat post for a while. Next week it's my newest release Stolen's turn.
"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?
Jungle Fire available from Changeling Press.

Visit the other Six Sentence participants.

Friday, December 9

Laura Kaye Winner Announced

Hi everyone! The winner for Laura Kaye's contest on Tuesday is... Sophia Rose - sophiarose1816 @! Congratulations!

Thank you all for stopping by and participating!

Thursday, December 8

Something New Coming Next Week...

Hey everyone! Next week, I'm going to try out a new schedule for blogging, one I'm in the process of working to get ahead of the game on. lol Of course, if you have any thoughts or suggestions on what you'd like to see, I'd love to hear them!

Hosting the Kiss and Tell blog tour this past week has been great, and I'm happy to have had those ladies with me. It also gave me a revelation that blogging isn't that much work with some pre-planning. Sounds a lot like how writing is, huh?

In other news, my publisher Changeling Press now has a Facebook group. (It also has a Facebook page.) Here are those deets. :-)

Changeling Press Bar and Grill - Facebook group
Changeling Press - Facebook page

Tuesday, December 6

Guest Author Stacey Kennedy

A Deadly Whisper (The Watchers, Book One)
by Stacey Kennedy

Will destiny be enough to break her free of a lifetime of secrets?

Knox, the Seeker, has waited two hundred years for his Watcher and now he’s found her. Paxtyn, however, is unwilling to join him. The more he tries to prove himself to her, the more she pushes him away.

Paxtyn has spent a lifetime keeping her secret hidden from the world, but now, she must confront these deadly visions head on. When a string of murders brings her into New Orleans, she must come to terms with her personal demons and use her gift to communicate with spirits to discover who has ended their lives.

*WARNING: Explicit sex between a sassy Watcher and a sexy Seeker, and a ceremony that will certainly raise eyebrows!



There was nothing odd about the woman in her late twenties. Her look was exactly what you’d expect in downtown Cincinnati—chic. She wore clothing that looked more like something off the runways in New York than from around here—her high stilettos were fantastically matched with her cute rose cocktail dress. The black lace shawl wrapped around her shoulders indicated it was chilly, but being that it was June, Paxtyn knew it was more for show than anything else.

And she could appreciate the look. But at the same time, she wished the woman had decided on different footwear. Then, those fantastic heels wouldn’t be about to go to waste.

Paxtyn’s hands closed around the chair as she prepared herself for what she was about to see. Her visions of the past always came the same.

She knew what the outcome would be and it wouldn’t be a good one.

Normally, watching the moment a life was lost was hard for her, but tonight, it was more than that, it was gut-wrenching. The woman looked so much like her—athletic. Even her shoulder-length curly hair was the same, except were hers was jet black; Paxtyn’s was strawberry blonde. But the one thing this woman didn’t have was Paxtyn’s turquoise eyes.

How many times had she heard “you have the most beautiful eyes”?

The line had run its course and she was sick to death of hearing it. The woman stopped at the curb, digging into her last season’s Gucci handbag and pulled out a cell phone as the street light beamed down. A smile grazed her face as she apparently received a text of interest. She raised her head, looking quickly, waiting for a moment to cross. When the cars cleared, she stepped off the curb, not bothering to look up as she continued to dawdle on her cell phone.

Paxtyn wanted to stand up from her chair, yell to this woman to stop, bang on the window for her to not move, but it was pointless. There was nothing she could do for her.

Within three steps, the life of this woman was forever changed.

A loud screech of the car’s tires, followed by a terrified scream, then the woman was about to discover those Christian Louboutin heels were going to be the only thing left of her.

She really didn’t have a chance. The car was going too fast for her to survive.

The moment the wheels locked, the woman’s ghost stood next to her broken body, shocked, scared and confused. The man who’d hit her jumped out of the car and, when he saw her body, smiled gloriously.

Paxtyn shuddered. Who smiled at such a thing?

Dying wasn’t how everyone thought it was. There wasn’t a flash of golden light with the soul drifting off to heaven. Most times, the spirit stayed, lingered. Couldn’t comprehend what had happened to them. And Paxtyn had witnessed moments of the past just like this a thousand times over.

“Earth to Pax,” Tate said loudly, snapping his fingers, completely unaware of the horror Paxtyn had just seen.

She glanced away from the window, but before she met his gaze, she did what she always did, found the smile to hide it all. “Sorry.” She laughed, but even to her it sounded shaky. The name was Paxtyn really, but Tate opted for the shorter form and she never minded.

“If I didn’t know you better, I’d think you were a nut,” Tate said.

She laughed in agreement. He was right, if he did know her better, he’d believe such a thing. But he probably knew her the best out of anyone. Brought together at a welcoming party in their early days at the University of Cincinnati, they’d immediately hit it off.

A guy like Tate wasn’t to be passed over, and she hadn’t hesitated to try to snatch him up. It wasn’t his all-star bod, or his captivating baby blues, even those luscious lips that presently smiled at her that first caught her eye. It was his kind heart and loyalty. He was about as damn solid of a guy as she’d ever met.

They’d gone a round of it once after a blasted drunken night at a sorority shindig, but the next day, they’d woke up in bed, naked, and laughed. That was the end to anything romantic between them.

But what they had was better. Stronger. She could count on Tate for just about anything and there was no one else in the world who loved her more. Now, their relationship had blossomed into something found between a brother and sister. That was Tate, her protector.

Who just so happened to give her ear a flick. “Fuck, girl! Maybe you shouldn’t drink anymore.”

“I’m fine,” she said, grimacing from the throb of her ear lobe and shot him a look. It usually didn’t take this long to snap out of one of her horror moments.

She took a big gulp to drink away the sight of what she’d witnessed and kept drinking till the buzz settled in. Wasn’t ever a gift to see such horrible things, but one she saw often. Mom and Pa, back in Wyoming, had spent thousands on her as a child on testing and treatments to find out what was wrong with her. Why, as a child, she’d say that she was watching people die. She still couldn’t imagine what was going through their heads, knowing their child had this disability. But by the time she reached twelve, she realized it was best to keep her mouth shut. It ended the doctor appointments and saved her from being medicated or institutionalized.

Now, it was just something she lived with—suffered through. So, she put on her normal face and glanced around the pub. The crowd tonight was loud, as was the band blasting out the soft rock beats.

The O’Bryons Irish Pub had been their life while they’d bunkered down at University, and she guessed it had stuck with them, because they still came here every Friday night. Of course, it had only been two years since they’d completed their degrees so they really hadn’t had much time to grow and move on.

Tate, with his BS in Criminal Justice, had found a job right out of college with the Cincinnati Police Department. Paxtyn had majored in Business. Basically, because she liked the idea of being locked in an office where she could stare at blank walls and not have to look out windows or be anywhere she might have a vision.

When she’d seen the ad for Financial Specialist at the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, she’d jumped on it and, with some luck, she’d actually gotten it. Now, she spent her days glued to a computer, lost in numbers. As much as the job got to her, became a total bore, she couldn’t
really complain—it paid well.

Tate worked three times as hard as she did and his pay was nowhere in the numbers as hers.

“Looks like you have an admirer,” Tate said, drawing her back from her thoughts.

Paxtyn followed his gaze to see that she was in fact being watched, and the moment she met the man’s gaze she was locked in.

He sat off to the far side of the bar with a glass of brandy in front of him. He was older than the others in the pub, but it didn’t make him look out of place—it made him look distinguished. He wore a black dress shirt rolled up at the sleeves with the front unbuttoned showing a bit of smooth chest. His finger slowly rimmed the edge of the glass as his gaze was glued with hers. And those eyes were mesmerizing. Grey with a dark-steeled edge to them. But that seemed to be his thing.

He was all edge—hard and extreme. His features were made up of straight lines, including the squared jaw, high predominant cheek bones, perfectly shaped lips and even his mocha hair was buzzed with a hard look.

Tate knocked Paxtyn’s arm a good one. “Drool much.”

“Over him?” She nodded toward the hunk. “Doubt it.”

“Sure you weren’t.”


Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and even give a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll find fast paced action, life threatening moments and a big bad villain that needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance Ebooks Bestseller lists. If she isn’t plugging away at her next novel, tending to her two little ones, she’s got her nose deep in a good book. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband.

Be sure to drop her a line at, Facebook and Twitter, she loves to hear from her readers.

Monday, December 5

Guest Author Laura Kaye

Five Romantic Christmas Songs to Warm Your Heart
By Laura Kaye

Thanks to Sarah for hosting me today! I’m one of nine authors participating in the Kiss and Tell Tour. Since the book I’m celebrating on this tour is a holiday fantasy romance based on Greek mythology called North of Need, I thought I’d focus today on five romantic Christmas songs that warm my heart every time. Though there’s a lot of sadness around the hero and heroine’s first Christmas together, they get their happy ending by their second Christmas, so these songs can represent that part of their relationship! So, here’s five romantic songs that’ll put you in the mood for Christmas, and maybe just in the mood, too. *winks*

Toe-tapping and heartwarming: Darlene Love, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”

The ultimate flirty romantic Christmas song: Louis Jordan & Ella Fitzgerald, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Makes you want to dance and pull the one you love under some mistletoe!: Mariah Carey, “All I Want for Christmas is You”

Another phenomenal and moving Sarah McLachlan piece: “Song for a Winter’s Night”

Going old school with a feel-good song full of winter romance: Dean Martin, “Winter Wonderland”

So, what do you think? Is your heart warmed by these songs? Or did I miss a favorite romantic Christmas song you love? Do tell! And happy holidays!

Thanks for reading!
Laura Kaye

About North of Need:

Her tears called a powerful snow god to life, but only her love can grant the humanity he craves...

Desperate to escape agonizing memories of Christmas past, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband, realizing too late that she's recreated the very thing she'll never have.

Called to life by Megan's tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.

Megan is drawn to Owen's mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things. But this Christmas miracle comes with an expiration--before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow's grief and learn to trust love again, or she'll lose Owen forever.

About Laura Kaye:

A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance and award-nominated HEARTS IN DARKNESS and the bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance FOREVER FREED (NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011), as well as an erotic romance novella, JUST GOTTA SAY. Her fourth book, contemporary fantasy romance NORTH OF NEED, is the first in the 4-book Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

About Giveaways:

Laura is offering two ways to win on her Kiss and Tell Tour Posts, 11/28 - 12/6. 1) One commenter who leaves their email address on this post will win a full signed set of Laura's romance trading cards for all four of her books. 2) A tour-wide prize will also be chosen on Friday, December 9: Laura will draw three commenters from across all Kiss and Tell Tour Posts to win one of THREE $5 Amazon gift cards. The more Tour Posts you visit and comment on, the more you'll be entered to win! Commenters must leave email address. Both are open to international! Good luck!

Sunday, December 4

Guest Author Barbara Monajem

Kiss and Tell
by Barbara Monajem

Since I write in two genres – contemporary paranormal and Regency historical – I have to approach kissing and its significance in two different ways. My historical heroines have to be very, very careful about who they kiss. In fact, they probably shouldn’t kiss a guy until they’re married to him, or at least engaged. Not that they actually follow these rules – a romance has to have a first kiss at the very least, and usually a whole lot more – but they have to appear to follow the rules. Back then, if a man kissed a well-bred woman and didn’t intend to marry her, it was extremely important for him to be discreet. If he kissed and told, he would damage her reputation, ruin her chances of marrying, perhaps even cause her to be shunned from good society. (Either that, or he might be forced to marry her.) Similarly, she wouldn’t talk about it except to someone she could trust, and even then she might hesitate because of shame or fear of accidental exposure.

Nowadays, kissing isn’t seen as a big deal. It’s more usual to kiss many people and likely sleep with some before marriage. However, this doesn’t mean people should go around kissing and telling. It’s one thing to know that, for example, a girl called Rose had sex with a guy named Jack. (Just so you know, these are the hero and heroine in Tastes of Love and Evil, my second paranormal romance about the funky Louisiana town of Bayou Gavotte). Say Rose’s BFF wants to know everything about what it was like with Jack. Should she tell her… or is sex a private matter? What if Jack wants to tell his buddies about the hot sex with Rose? Or what if either of them thought the other was a dead bore in bed? (They didn’t; this is hypothetical.) Should they say so, or just politely say, “We didn’t hit it off?”

I’m asking because I see a lot of Kiss and Tell in movies, TV, and contemporary romances, too. Do you think this reflects real life? Do people often go into details about their sex lives, or is that considered TMI? If you ask me, it’s TMI. Mostly, I just don’t want to know. How about you?


Rose Fairburn is on the run. Her vampire nature can’t protect her from everything, especially not herself. Now, when she should be worried about escaping her past, she can only think about one thing. Her kind can’t live without blood or sex. Love they must forego.

Jack Tallis can slake her thirst. Tall. Handsome. Trustworthy. And not a man alive can resist a vamp’s allure. But…Jack can. And he has other secrets, like why underworld hit men are on his trail. How he can vanish into thin air. Love suddenly seems possible, but the shadows hide mysteries darker than Rose can even dream, and all will be revealed in the fetish clubs of one strange Louisiana town….



Twitter: @BarbaraMonajem


Barbara Monajem wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she's writing historical and paranormal romance for grownups. She lives in Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Saturday, December 3

Guest Author Nina Pierce

Painting a Story
Guest Post by Nina Pierce

I’ve gutted and redone two houses. I love it! Well, not the gutting part, but the point where the sheetrock is newly primed and the floors are bare. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a bedroom or the living room, the decorating possibilities are endless. What mood and tone do I want in this room? Energetic? Relaxing? Peaceful? Paint color and furniture style make the biggest impact. Bold paint choices and colorful furniture beg for attention from the moment you enter. But subdued lighting and overstuffed chairs invite a visitor to sit and linger. When you add the little details, plants, curtains, pillows and pictures, the room takes on a life of its own.

And I’ve discovered writing is very much like this.

Like entering a room, the tone and mood of a story is set from the very first paragraph. I make a promise to a reader when I begin and need to carry that throughout the journey. I can’t have them begin with lots of dark characters, action and danger and move them into a quiet mystery with a reluctant detective. That would be like setting up an exercise room and randomly putting out beanbag chairs for lounging. It doesn’t make sense.

I’m what’s called a “pantser”. That is, I don’t know the full extent of my story or my characters until I’m writing. Then slowly after I’ve written a chapter or two, like painting the wallsand laying the floor, my story has a mood and tone. The quirky details my characters develop, how the secondary characters interact with them and the way they move within the setting, like the knick knacks in my rooms, need to match the pace and tone I’ve set.

How do you feel about the tone of a book? Have you ever read a story that didn’t quite match the expectation?

My newest romantic suspense series, Tilling Passions, involves three sisters, family relationships, and the angst and mystery of finding “forever” love. The second book, DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE, is available now in most digital formats.

A woman determined to protect her heart. An agent hell bent on proving himself. One night that will change their lives forever...

Landscaper, DEIRDRE TILLING had no way of knowing that attending her friend's party would throw her into a dangerous world of corrupt businessmen and police stings. Of course her sexual romp with undercover DEA agent, AYDEN SCOTT only pushes her deeper into the drug smuggling ring running up the Maine coast. As the heat rises between Deirdre and Ayden, one thing becomes painfully obvious...their relationship has jeopardized his mission and now someone wants them both dead.

A familiar whistle sliced through their growing anger. Julie dropped her hand from her mouth and pinned her sisters with a hot glare. It had stopped Meghan and Deirdre’s bickering since they were teens. Damon and Peter bit back knowing smiles, their forks continuing the slow glide from plate to mouth.

Yeah, some things with the Tilling clan never changed.

Julie straightened the napkin on her lap. “Meghan, that’s enough. Deirdre’s allowed her privacy. Now can’t we just have a nice—”

“Secrets? Really? Even if it includes drug arrests and police?” Meghan asked. “Was Austin your arresting officer, Dee?”

“I’m not a cop and she wasn’t arrested,” Austin said evenly.

“You don’t need to explain yourself to them, Austin.” Deirdre stood, her bravery shattering with the tears glistening in her eyes. “And I sure as hell don’t need your shit right now, Meghan. It’s been a long couple of days.”

Peter reached across the table, taking her hand again. “Dee, I’m sure there was a mistake with the Cutler police. Meggie spoke out of turn. Sit down. Finish your breakfast.”

Deirdre fell heavily into the chair unable to carry the weight of her friend’s betrayal. “Rachel told you too?”

“Of course she didn’t tell him. I did,” said Meghan.

“Told you what?” Julie asked, her gaze bouncing across the faces of her family. “What the hell are you all talking about? Why am I always the last to know about this stuff?” She put her hands to her cheeks. “And whatever it is, please tell me you didn’t tell Mum.”

“Of course I didn’t mention it to Mum. She’s got enough to deal with,” Meghan said defensively. “Why do you think I’m asking now?” She turned back to Deirdre. “So?”

“I was arrested for drug possession yesterday on my way home from a landscaping job in Cutler.” Deirdre’s voice sounded hollow even to her own ears.

“You can’t be serious?

“How the hell?”

Her sister’s questions tumbled out over each other.

A sob escaped as Deirdre put a trembling hand to her mouth. She wanted to be brave, but Meghan’s attack brought the fear slamming right into her heart. “Heroin. Five packets under the driver’s seat of the one-ton.” Ayden wrapped his arm around her shoulders, pulling him against the solid weight of him. “Someone tipped off the police. Four cars chased down the one-ton and…” She inhaled a shaky breath. “They don’t know who called it in, but they pulled me over and surrounded me with guns.”

“Oh, honey you must have been so scared.” Julie laid her hand on Deirdre’s thigh.

“Dee, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Meghan’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. “I thought they’d found some pot.” She shrugged. “I just assumed you were doing some partying like the old days. Really. I’m sorry.”

“Do you need to get a lawyer?” Peter asked. “I have a friend.”

Deirdre just shook her head, the hot press of dread clogging her throat and making it impossible to talk.

“The man she works for brought in a lawyer.” Austin replied. “It’s not going to go any further. Some minor red tape with the Cutler police. After talking with Mark Pearson and Rachel, Deirdre’s thinking it could have been one of the high school students who work for her.”

“It doesn’t matter how the drugs got there. Everyone in Delmont is going to assume the worst. I’m afraid when it hits the backyard fences, we’ll lose business,” she said.

“Well, we’re just going to have to set them straight, aren’t we?” Meghan said firmly. “And if they don’t believe there was some huge-ass mistake than to hell with them. We don’t want to work with them anyway.”

“We’ll get it straightened out, Dee. Don’t worry,” said Julie.

And just like that the family unit solidified as the Tilling clan circled the wagons.
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Award-winning erotic romance author, Nina Pierce, grew up in a house full of readers. So becoming enamored with books was only natural. She discovered romance stories in her early teens, falling hopelessly in love with knights in shining armor and the damsels who saved them.

Eventually, reading about alpha males and the journey to find their happy-ever-after endings wasn’t enough. She needed to pen her own stories of fated loves and soul mates. Nina’s discovered the passionate side of romance with her sexy stories. For her, it’s all about the sweet scent of seduction mixed with the heartwarming aroma of romance.

Nina resides in the northeast with her high school sweetheart and soul mate of twenty-seven years, their three grown children and several very spoiled cats who consider her “staff”.

You can keep up with her releases at her website ( or follow her on Twitter ( and Facebook (

Friday, December 2

Guest Author Karen McCullough

Making It Magical
by Karen McCullough

I don’t write straight romance novels, but almost all of my books include some level of romantic interest. My most recent release, MAGIC, MURDER AND MICROCIRCUITS, a paranormal romantic suspense, actually includes more romance than many of my books.

Having characters who are wizards, and powerful ones, presented some interesting challenges in writing the story. Magic has been a part of who they are all their lives, so of course it spills over into their relationship as well. It’s not just a feature of how they interact with their world, it’s a special feature of how they relate to each other.

At the beginning of the book, they’re reunited after being apart for twelve years. Each feels betrayed by the other due to the circumstances of Michael’s departure when he and Ilene were both teenagers, so their meeting is fraught with tension.

During that first meeting Michael can’t resist teasing Ilene a bit, reminding her of what she lost all those years ago. It has the advantage that Michael’s housekeeper, who’s in the room with them can’t see it.

A swirl of warm air raced down her arm from shoulder to wrist, just brushing over the skin. Small hairs stood up along its path. Her blood heated and skin tingled with a series of tiny shocks where it touched. Michael's magic, damn him.

And when they kiss, it has to be more than just hot, it has to be magical in ways that go beyond the norm.

She looked up and gazed straight into Michael’s eyes. The spokes of varying shades of blue fascinated her as always, but the expression on his face was even more compelling. Admiration, need, desire, even longing showed so clearly she wondered if he realized how much he gave away. Need for her. The intensity of it frightened her.

Given what she saw, it didn’t surprise her when he lowered his head and his mouth came down on hers. He kept it very gentle at first, barely touching his lips to hers, leaving her free to pull away or not respond. But lively tingles of energy roused where his mouth touched hers. A different sort of magic made her nerve-endings dance and sent streams of heat flowing along her skin.

Given all the heat between them and the power each wields, the first time they make love has to be special—and spectacular. Here’s a small taste:

She couldn’t remember how they ended up on the bed. He reached over to switch off the light. She protested, but he said, “Wait and see.”

His power brushed over her, along with his hands, a light skimming of energy that tingled along her skin. Tiny lights glowed along the paths his fingers took. She gasped in pleasure, both at the way they looked flickering over her skin and the tiny, fiery blast of sensation released when each sank into her.

He released a new set of lights and cast them around the room. The bright, miniature stars glowed a variety of colors as they floated in the air, dousing them both in a fireworks starburst of radiance that didn’t fade or go too far away. Their twinkling shine cast odd, lambent puddles of light on faces and bodies.

I hope I was able to weave it all together – plot, characters, magic, romance, and suspense, in a way that makes the story magical as well.


A powerful wizard with a physics degree and a checkered past invents a shield to ensure he'll never again be tortured almost to death…

The wizarding powers-that-be fear the repercussions of such a device and send his former girlfriend, an accomplished wizard herself, to retrieve the device or destroy it…

When the shield is stolen by the magical mafia, Ilene McConnell and Michael Morgan have to set aside their differences and work together to recover it. Michael claims he needs the device as insurance against the kind of injury and injustice he suffered once before. Ilene maintains its potential to upset the delicate balance of power makes it too dangerous and that it needs to be destroyed. But none of that will matter if they can’t retrieve it before a ruthless, powerful wizard learns how to use it for his own ends.


Amazon Kindle Edition:

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Order from Smashwords:

Author bio:

Karen McCullough is the author of ten published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. She’s also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. Her most recent releases are MAGIC, MURDER AND MICROCIRCUITS, a paranormal romantic suspense now available in most electronic formats, A GIFT FOR MURDER, published in hardcover by Five Star/Gale Group Mysteries, and the re-released ebook of A QUESTION OF FIRE. She invites visitors to check out her home on the web at and her site for the Market Center Mysteries series,

Web links:


Thursday, December 1

Super Powered: Stolen -- Now Available!

Woohoo! Here's my latest release. I'm thrilled about this superhero story (and a little worn out from my NaNoWriMo win last night *grins*), and I can't wait to hear what everyone thinks!

ISBN: 978-1-60521-746-8
Genres: Paranormal, Action Adventure/ Suspense, Sci-Fi
Series: Super Powered, Book 1
Length: Novella

Buy Now

Regina Blake is a normal secretary until there's trouble -- then she becomes the Dark Huntress. Things are about to change when she meets a man whose electrifying power is a fine match to her own, and he's set on winning her heart. To top it off, there's a string of bank robberies which escalate into the high profile kidnapping of a famous actor.

Michael Flynn hadn't realized the extent of superhero and supervillain society. When he rushes to a bank to find it destroyed, he meets a black-latex-clad woman who makes his pulse race. As he's drawn deeper into her world, he finds himself intrigued and eager to have her.


Super Powered: Stolen
Sarah Mäkelä
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Sarah Mäkelä

Staring at her watch, Regina Blake balanced a stack of books in her arms as she headed up the stairs to the public library. She didn't have much time until she needed to be back at work. Thirty-minute lunch breaks sucked when it came to tackling errands.

The sound of wheels barely penetrated her thoughts as a force slammed into her, knocking her aside. Glancing up, she grimaced at the tall, lanky kid hovering over her.

"Sorry, ma'am. Are you okay?" The kid ran his palms over his denim jeans.

A handsome man in a nice suit knelt by her, scooping her library books into a pile. He glanced at the young man and frowned. "Go on, buddy. Just watch where you're going next time."

The kid picked up his skateboard and rushed away down the stairs.

The man smiled and offered her a hand up. "You should probably watch where you're going, too."

Regina accepted his hand and climbed to her feet. She brushed off her skirt and got a good look at him. He had dark brown hair and humor sparkling in his dark eyes. "Yeah, you're right."

He chuckled, her hand still in the warmth of his. "Are you okay?" He cradled her library books to his chest. "The name's Michael."

She pulled away. "Regina. Can I have my books? My lunch break is almost over."

Michael nodded. "No problem. I'll walk with you. I'm headed that direction anyway."

Shrugging, she continued up the stairs. Her hip ached after that fall. She'd make sure the books were dropped off, but then she was leaving. Pronto.

Her hidden earpiece buzzed a second before a deep male voice came on the line. It had been some time, but Kit, her dedicated situational analyst for when she became the Dark Huntress, always found crime for her to fight. "A robbery is in progress a few blocks away at Third Central Bank. Whoever it is seems pretty fierce. Please be careful."

She bit her lower lip, wanting to respond to Kit, but right now wasn't the best time. Besides, who the heck would rob a bank at twelve-thirty in the afternoon on a Wednesday?

"So, what do you do for a living, Regina?" Michael asked as they neared the top of the long flight of stairs.

His voice drew her away from her thoughts. She stopped and turned toward him. "I hate to sound rude, but I really have to go. Could you please drop my books off for me?" She gave him the super sweet smile she gave her boss when he looked like he wanted to disapprove.

Michael's eyebrows furrowed and soft lines creased his forehead. "Sure, I can do that. Where are you rushing off to, though? Was it something I said?"

"No, not at all. My work starts in a few minutes. That's all. I don't want to be late." She turned and rushed down the flight of stairs. The ache in her hip had faded to a dull throb. Her main concern now was changing into her disguise and getting to the bank robbery. Hopefully while it was still in progress, so she could catch the bad guys. Casting a glance back, she spotted a hint of confusion on Michael's face. Maybe she shouldn't have been so brusque in her departure.

Nothing she could do about it now. Running into an alley, she ducked between two Dumpsters and pulled out her black suit and mask from her oversized purse. She cursed at the need to change in a dirty alley.

A few short moments later, Regina leapt into the air. Wind rushed through her hair as she flew skyward. Once she crested the rooftops, she directed her course toward the Third Central Bank. Her eyes widened when she reached her destination.

Two security guards lay on the sidewalk, their mouths foaming, bodies twitching. An armored cash transport van had crashed into one of the supporting columns. Civilians around the scene were frozen in place as if their muscles had been paralyzed. Their horrified, wide-eyed stares proved that they were aware of what was happening.

Regina descended to the ground and hid behind a column close to the bank's broken glass doors. She took a careful glance inside. The view echoed the destruction she'd seen outside, except for several masked figures. A few goons busily shoved money inside large bags. One of the clerks typed furiously on a terminal while a tall, bronze-skinned woman stood behind her. She had one hand against the top of the clerk's head and smiled mysteriously.

One of the masked figures near Regina's location glanced her way and yelled in alarm. Oh, geez... She should've known better than to stare for too long.

First one person then another began shooting the column she stood behind in steady intervals. There were pauses among the short bursts. The goons obviously knew the value of ammo. What a shame.

Glancing around her, Regina spotted a storm sewer grate nearby. She pulled the lid to shoulder height and waited for the masked figures to stop shooting. Despite her petite frame, she was more than capable of lifting big trucks and boulders, another ability she'd been born with along with flight.

When one of the gunmen paused, Regina ducked out and threw the grate like a Frisbee with swift precision. Its flight missed the civilians by mere inches before hitting one of the goons in the chest. He shrieked and fell onto his back.

Regina sprinted forward, ready to take the offensive now. Ready to fight.

The woman behind the clerk stayed focused, but her gaze wandered around the room, finally connecting with Regina's.

"Stay there," a feminine voice commanded in Regina's head.

Regina stopped in mid-step just before one of the counters. Her body refused to move, no matter how hard she tried. Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw the goons simply continue their work and finally escape with their female leader. They had lost their interest in Regina like she was just another helpless victim.

* * *

Michael Flynn stood in the doorway of the trashed bank, dressed in his dark leather disguise. He'd heard gunshots on his walk back toward his office in a nearby skyscraper. The destruction around him was mind numbing.

Further inside the building, a masked woman leaned over the bank's counter. She was dressed in black latex that hugged every curve of her body.

He wouldn't wait to ask questions. Not with so many innocent people lying around for the woman to take advantage of. She had to be one of the villains left behind after the action. Why else would she be here?

He darted forward and tackled her to the floor.

She shoved him away, launching him through the air until he fell to the ground several feet away. And just like that, she was surging through the air after him.

He threw up his arms. Electricity arced through the air between his hands, and he shot an electric bolt at her.

She cried out, and her body convulsed as electric currents coursed through her. She slapped to the ground hard and wriggled there a moment. Her painted red lips pressed together in a grimace as she forced herself to her hands and knees.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"I could ask the same of you."

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Guest Author Melissa Mayhue

By Melissa Mayhue

Will the magic of modern romance help him defeat an evil ancient power?

MALCOLM MACDOWYLT sees himself a failed warrior, haunted by the death of the woman he married to become laird of Clan MacGahan. Neither his Viking heritage nor his claim to descend from Norse gods can restore his confidence in his ability to protect his people. His sister is held captive, her life in jeopardy, and his Magically powerful half brother wants him dead. The last thing he needs is more responsibility, but that's exactly what he gets when his Faerie mother-in-law arrives seeking justice for her daughter in the form of an enticing woman from seven hundred years in the future.

DANIELLE DEARMON has waited fifteen years to discover the life she is supposed to live. She just never dreamed she'd end up in the thirteenth century with a handsome Scot bent on saving everyone but himself.

With the lives of those most dear to him hanging in the balance, Malcolm sets out to battle a powerful evil Magic, only to learn that the redemption he seeks exists only in the arms of the woman he loves.

Bio:  MELISSA MAYHUE began her writing career in 2005 after a vacation to Scotland and a hike on the Black Isle inspired her with the perfect setting for the characters running around in her head. Her resulting debut novel, THIRTY NIGHTS WITH A HIGHLAND HUSBAND, won the Holt Medallion and Book Buyers Best awards in 2008 and made the finals of the Colorado Book Awards.

Since then, her imaginary world of Faeries and Mortals has continued to grow. A HIGHLANDER'S HOMECOMING, sixth book in her award-winning Daughters of the Glen series from Pocket Books, was a 2011 RITA finalist in the Paranormal Category.

Married and the mother of three sons, Melissa lives in beautiful Northern Colorado with her family and two very spoiled Boston Terriers.

You can visit her website at
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