Book Review: Claimed by Love

DISCLAIMER: THIS BOOK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT NOT SUITABLE FOR ANYONE UNDER 18 YEAR OLD.

Got to love Wednesdays when they roll around. They usually mean you’re half way through the week and the weekend is just around the corner. And speaking of weekends your probably wondering what you should read. Well I got another juicy book for your to read about and trust me this book is hot. Highly recommend this to anyone looking for some suspense, war, and love all mixed into one. Check out my review below.

The Review

Onyx is on the run from her hated husband Demitrus. She never wanted to marry him and finds the last thread holding her in place at his side to finally burn. Now she is in search of safety but will destiny pull her unknowingly towards a past love.

Errol is part of Onyx’s past and they had a great love. Now Errol has his destined mate at his side again but with an army at her back. Will Errol be able to face Demitrus again and live? The only way to find out is to read this action pack love story that ends in the best way possible.

Amelia Wilson does an awesome job keeping the action balanced with the emotional journey this book tells. She unveils a love story that will defeat all odds. It makes me think of Helen of Troys story of how a war started over her. A forbidden love broken but soon rekindled.

Stars: 5 out of 5 stars


The Book

51bxwFgY2HLLove is knocking with an army of werewolves at its heels, do you open the door for that tiny chance at happiness, or let it pass?

Onyx is a shifter who has finally made her escape from the Herod Pack. She doesn’t plan on being found, least of all by the man she once betrayed, Errol shifter of the Rizer pack.

Errol is a mass of muscle and lust and he’s not holding back how much he both hates and wants her. His touch is better than she remembered and with just a look he can make her ache with need for him.

If she is going to stay free of the Herod pack who is hunting her, she’ll have to resist Errol. Onyx will have to drive him away. How the hell is she supposed to accomplish that?

FREE on KU or $2.99


About the Author

Amelia Wilson is a renowned author for her Romance Books. Writing has always been very close to her heart. When she is writing a novel, she travels into that world and attaches her emotions to the story. She expresses herself better in written words than she could ever do verbally. She believes in love, and that love can conquer all, which is the reason why she is a writer of romance. She wants all the people, who have been hurt in love, not lose hope as fate changes and soon enough you all will find your one true love. Her books are a great way to satisfy your craving for paranormal romance with action, Love and suspense.

I love to meet new readers, so come sign up for my newsletter and check out my Facebook page. We always have lots of fun stuff going on there.

Connect with the Author

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Wednesday Writing Tips: What is a Motif?

What is a Motif? Definition and 10 Concrete Examples from Literature

By: Reedsy

Let’s just admit it: “What is a motif and how do you use it?” is a much less sexy question to ask than, “What’s your book about?”

But it’s just as necessary. If the theme of a book is its heartbeat, then motifs in literatureare the vessels that keep the blood coursing through the narrative. Among other things, motifs add depth to your writing and steer readers toward your book’s central message (assisted by other strong literary devices).

In this post, we’ll look at what a motif is (and what it is not), examine motif examples in action, and explore how you can incorporate motifs into your own writing.

What is a motif?

A motif is a recurring narrative element with symbolic significance. If you spot a symbol, concept, or plot structure that surfaces repeatedly in the text, you’re probably dealing with a motif. Motifs must be related to the central idea of the work and they always end up reinforcing the author’s overall message.

But how can you tell which ones are motifs? Remember that you must be able to connect a motif to the “big ideas” in a book. Just because the narrator mentions a particular pair of shoes a few times, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a motif — unless the author makes a point of tying it to a bigger question of, let’s say, escape and freedom. (Don’t worry — we’ll provide more concrete motif examples in a bit!)

Since they’re repeated throughout a text, motifs are also very traceable. As you’re trying to figure out the motifs of a given work, it might be useful to think of them as having a trail of purposeful clues. The author plants these breadcrumbs so that the reader can better work out the ideas behind the work — and its overarching point.

That brings up our next question: how do motifs relate to themes? Luckily, we’ve got the answer for you right here!

Motifs support a book’s theme

The theme of a book is generally considered to be the core meaning behind a story — the “soul” behind the text, in other words. Themes are almost always universal and they usually illuminate something about society, human nature, and the world.

what is a motif in literature image 3

In contrast, a motif reinforces the theme through the repetition of a certain narrative element. As you may have already guessed, themes and motifs in literature are devoted partners in crime.

To give you an easily digestible example, let’s take Shakespeare’s Sonnet 24. The theme of this sonnet is arguably that “love is skin-deep.” And one of its main motifs is sight, which is made clear through the recurring imagery of eyes. It’s not a coincidence that the motif and the theme of a text are closely related: the former props up and strengthens the other, as you can see in this sonnet.

Million-dollar question: what’s the difference between a motif and a theme? Find out here!

Symbols represent motifs

A symbol in a book is just like a symbol on a street sign: something recognizable that represents something abstract. In the US, for instance, eagles are a symbol of freedom. In The Hunger Games, the mockingjay is a symbol of revolution.

That said, when you see a symbol surface over and over again, chances are that it signifies a motif.

Let’s cut to The Great Gatsby, a classic vessel of symbolism, to illustrate this. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the Valley of Ashes — a barren wasteland between East and West Egg — as a symbol to represent the waste and moral decay of the elite. This is a part of the book’s bigger motif of wealth and finance, which recurs through a number of ideas — among them, Gatsby’s parties, the extravagance of the both West and East Eggs, and Daisy’s voice that is described as “full of money.” That, in turn, reinforces one of the book’s major themes about the corruption of the American Dream.

To sum it up, here’s a quick chart for you:

what is a motif image 1Now that you have a better sense of what is a motif (and what it’s not), let’s see some more of them in action!

Continue reading…

Book Review: Dead Flesh

I am a big fan of Tim O’Rourke’s Kiera Hudson books. I can’t get enough of them. Just last month I finished up the six book review series I did for series one. Now, I plan to move onto series two and provide a review for each book. I will continue with a new review each month on the last Monday of the month. This will include ten books in this series and I hope you will follow along as I have with reading them.

The Review

At, the end of series one Kiera makes her choice between the humans and vampyrus. However, she doesn’t make the choice the elders expected. In retribution they cursed her back to life as the dead flesh. Now back at Hallowed Manor with her friends they wonder what their purpose is. To get things back in order, Kiera puts an ad in the paper to find people who need her detective skills.

Now investigating Emily Clarke’s death Kiera finds the world not the way she left it. The world has been pushed with slight changes. With getting pulled to a school filled with kids held by skin-walkers Kiera needs to unravel the horrors within. Will Kayla make it out safe or will she become a skin-walker herself? You will only find out by reading the book.

Tim O’Rourke spins a story so well it is hard to figure out the answers before they happen. He keeps you guessing and wanting more. Each little image he gives is like a trick of the eye and only Kiera Hudson is skilled enough to figure out the scene unfolding before her. As a reader, I find myself pulled into the book and rooting for Kiera. She is a lovable character that you want to succeed more than anything. He keeps you laughing with the banter between Isidor and Potter or Potter and Murphy. If you can’t see Potter is a comical relief wherever he is. Highly recommend this book to everyone that loves a twist on zombies. They aren’t truly zombie like but they do need to feed on blood to keep from turning to ash.

Ranking: 5 out of 5 stars!


The Book

DEAD FLESHDead Flesh

When Kiera and her friends return from the dead, they soon realise that the world is not the same – it has been pushed. Returning to Hallowed Manor, Kiera soon learns that it’s not only the world that has changed, she is changing, too.

Asked to help solve the murder of missing school teacher, Emily Clarke, Kiera and her friends soon discover that they are now living in a world where humans and wolves live together, sharing a fragile peace. But during her investigations, Kiera soon discovers that the world is now a much darker and dangerous place than the one she left behind.

Dead Flesh is Book One of The Kiera Hudson Series Two.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited or $0.99 to Purchase.

Purchase Today!


About the Author

Tim O’Rourke is an obsessive writer, spending eight hours a day, five days a week hunched over his laptop, completely immersed in the worlds he has created in his own imagination.

In the real world, Tim lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife, three sons and a cat.

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Author Spotlight: J.L. Leslie

Today I am doing a special featured called an Author Spotlight. I am giving the author in this case, J.L. Leslie the chance to introduce themselves to you, the readers. Please give your undying attention to this wonderful author and check out her three books provided below.


eventpicWelcome J.L. Leslie…

Hi! I’m J.L. Leslie and I fell in love with reading and writing at a young age! I decided to take my chance on self-publishing in 2015 and released my debut novel, Demons From My Past. I write contemporary and MC romance in first person with dual POVs! I want my readers to feel as though they are in my book, living right there with my characters, and having the conservations with them!

I currently have 23 released works, which include a collection of anthology pieces and a co-written series! I am always working on something, so there is much more to come from me!

If you love romance with real life plots, unexpected twists, and characters you will fall in love with, my books are for you! You can find them all on Amazon and all of them are available on Amazon KU!

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The Books

Something Complicated Full Wrap

Something Honorable Full Wrap

The Sinner Within Full Wrap

Author Interview with Mia Jones

Welcome to another awesome Friday. Today I am sitting down with Romance Author Mia Jones in her very own interview. Check her out below and get to know what inspires her. Happy reading :).

Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I have three sons. I’ve been married to my husband for 30 years. We have lived in the same house for 29 of them. I started writing when I was a teenager. It helped get me through some rough times and I’ve never stopped. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve tried to publish any of my work and I had to be pushed into it by my mom and a sister. I never thought I was good enough to be published. After I sent them a book, amazingly I received an acceptance letter a few days later. So far, I have published 11 novels, and 4 anthologies. I’m signed up to do two more anthologies and am working on several books that I hope to get published in the near future. My hobbies are horseback riding, gardening, scrapbooking, cooking, and of course reading. My favorite pastime is spending time with my family.

What genre do you write in? Why?
Romance. Every story in my head is about love. I really think it helps people get away from their lives for a bit and feel good. My books always have happy endings. I dislike a book ending in a negative manner because I know it affects me and I assume other people also. There’s enough sadness in the world. I just want to bring a bit of happiness to people.

If you could change one thing about your life what would it be and why?
I would love to bring my brother and dad back. I miss them terribly.

How did you come up with the story within your books? What inspired your creativity?
I’ve no idea what inspires me. Every story is stuck in my head and won’t go away until I put it down on paper.

Who inspires you to write in your normal day life?
My husband and children. I want my boys to follow their dreams like I’m doing at the moment. It took a long time to get here but I feel incredibly blessed to be able to live my dream now.

What authors inspired you to write your own book?
Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Lynda Chance are just some of them.

What is the weirdest thing you ever put into your books?
I can’t think of anything.

Who is your biggest support system in your life?
My husband.

Are you Indie Published or Traditional? Why did you choose this route?
I am published through Crazy Ink Publishing and Fiery Vision Publishing. I heard such good things about these publishers and I’m glad I went with them. They are both great.

What should we expect from you in the coming months?
A lot more books. I’m working on a 3-book series and several stand-alone books.


The Author

69268462_493997751146668_24248062503288832_nMia Jones was born and raised in Iowa and still resides there with her husband and children. She’s an author of contemporary romance novels and devotes hours to creating steamy novels with happy endings that she hopes entertain people, make them laugh and sometimes cry, but always ends the book feeling good.
Mia started writing when she was thirteen. She found writing was a way to comfort herself during her rough teenage years, and she never stopped. It was only when her mother and sister pushed her did she finally send in a novel, and to her surprise, people enjoyed it and asked for more.
You can usually find her at her home in the country surrounded by her family and many animals and the majority of the time in her quiet little office, conjuring up whole new interesting families and communities.
Some of Mia’s favorite things are spending time with her family, her dogs, riding horses, gardening, cooking, hiking and, of course, writing and reading romance novels.

Connect with the Author!

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The Book

41RXRCH4LcLLexi Danner’s life changed the night her husband, Mark, was murdered before her eyes. To keep from sinking into a deep abyss of depression after his death, Lexi vowed to find the person who murdered him, only to come face to face with more danger than she’d ever thought possible.

Jace has known her late husband since childhood, and he takes losing Mark hard, but not as hard as the thought of staying away from his friend’s widow. Now he has the chance to claim her as his own and keep her alive in the process.

Purchase Today for $2.99!

Book Spotlight: Scarlet – Taming the Thirst

Welcome to another hump day treat. Today I am featuring T.L. Christianson’s book “Scarlet – Taming the Thirst”. This looks to be an exciting read and I got you a special excerpt. Stop by and check it out. Happy reading everyone :).

An ExcerptT.L.logo

Ahead, I could smell someone. Metallic blood and tangy sweat filled my nose. I licked my lips in anticipation.

I liked runners and I jogged to close the distance. From a few meters, I knew he heard me.

The runner’s speed increased as I neared.

His instincts were right, he should run.

The street lamp up ahead flickered and then died. My breath hitched in excitement, yearning to find my fix.

When the runner entered the unlit section, I called out, “Hey! Hi.”

Turning, he hesitated.

I knew what he saw.

Innocence.

My runner slowed and came to a stop, absentmindedly stretching. He took in a breath of relief, a smile beginning to curve the corners of his mouth.

I approached, amused and biting my lip hesitantly.

He took one step, then two. His heartbeat slowing from his lack of movement.

I neared, his hoodie within my grasp. The smell of his blood mingling with the woodsy cologne of his flesh lured me in another step. Then, I flew at him, my arms locking tightly around his torso making it impossible for him to escape.

The blood beneath his skin sang to me, and my fangs slid out, slipping noiselessly into the surface of his skin.

I sighed as his scarlet magic filled my mouth.

When my saliva hit his bloodstream like a shot of morphine, the runner embraced me like a lover. His fingers tangled in my hair adding to the excitement.

There would be no need to use compulsion on him; his memory would be hazy.

Would he think he had some crazy hook up?

I didn’t know, and I didn’t care.

Warmth flooded my senses as I devoured my fill.

My mind calmed and soothed with the euphoric high from his blood.

My pulse slowed, and relief began to inundate my body.

As a real vampire, a Moroi, I wasn’t undead like the myths. I remained alive, unaged and in my original physical state. I have a pulse and body heat too, which makes it incredibly difficult for a human to identify us.

Absentmindedly, I stroked his dark hair as I drank, vaguely aware of time passing, knowing I should stop, but unable to obey that little voice in the back of my mind.

The runner’s body slumped against me. Too much of his blood had passed my lips, gulp after lovely gulp, but I didn’t stop. I couldn’t care. Drinking live was the best high I’d ever had. More and more, and more, unable to let this feeling of ecstasy stop…

Suddenly, I was yanked off my feet.

I gasped, and the warm liquid ran out of the corner of my mouth and down my chin.

Blinking, I tried to free myself from my stupor.

When my eyes focused, I yelled out, “What the hell?”

In front of me stood a Viking god with his hands on his hips and an exasperated expression. Losing myself in his eyes, I couldn’t stop staring. He had striking heterochromia; one eye was pale blue and the other a dark reddish-brown.

The black Chronos uniform suggested that he must’ve been assigned to “guard” me… I laughed in my inebriation. Yeah, guard me, my ass, this was more of a babysitting gig for the poor schmuck.

My previous guard quit last week. It was a surprise to have been assigned someone so quickly.

“You are Dr. Shepard? I can see we have a lot of work to do. You almost killed him.” When he spoke, an accent lilted his words and sent chills up my spine.

He motioned to his mouth. “You have some on your…”

“I know,” I told him, irritation in my voice.

I didn’t want his interference, but he had prevented me from killing again. I wasn’t sure whether to be angry or relieved.

“I’m working on controlling it,” I told him, wiping the dribble from my chin with the sleeve of my shirt.

Sitting on the sidewalk, I rested my head on my knees, the warm sensation draining away.

I’d been struggling with this problem for precisely six years today.

The Viking folded his arms and stood there watching me, feet apart, planted on the concrete.

He reached down and pulled me up. “Get up. You’ll live.”

I favored his stoic, no-nonsense approach to my problem. Any sympathy would have made me feel weak and awkward.

As we wandered the streets back to my house, I thought about the runner I’d attacked tonight. If it hadn’t been for the Viking, that man would’ve died. His life would’ve been over, and it would have been my fault.

Again.

My voice broke the still silence of the night, “What’s your name, Viking?”

He laughed at my nickname and looked over at me, his mouth quirked up at the corners. “Karsten Ingvar, but you can call me Sten.”

Our pace slowed to a stop, and I put my hand out for his. “Nice to meet you, Sten. Sten?”

“Yeah, Sten. Nice to meet you as well.” His warm hand enclosed my own for this second time, the sizzling, warming sensation of his proximity making me a little dizzy.

All humor fled his countenance as he dropped my hand, apparently recalling his duty.

Without his skin touching mine, a strange empty sensation pricked at me.

Looking out into the night, Sten motioned that we should keep walking.

“Are you new? I’ve never seen you at headquarters.” I asked, sliding him a sideways glance as his long strides ate up the sidewalk.

“Yeah, Mr. Vatia hired me last week. I flew in and got settled… It’s a good thing I started tonight…” His gaze flicked to me. “Unless you’re in the habit of doing that every night.” He gestured in the direction we’d come from.

I sighed out a silent laugh. “No, thank goodness. No.”

After several minutes went by, the silence weighed heavy on me. “Where are you from?”

“Denmark, but I’ve lived all over Europe. This is my first time living here in the States.”

“Oh.”

“Are you from…New York?”

“Born and raised,” I told him. “Except now I live here, in New Jersey…for my lab…that’s here…It’s cheaper real estate and Chronos Corp focuses mainly on pharmacology, and I’m a virologist, but they fund my research.” A blush spread up my neck. Why was I rambling so much? “So, did you know what you’d be in for when you flew all this way? It’s not exactly the dream job.”

His chest rumbled in silent mirth. “Yes. I’m what you call a specialist. I train new Moroi, usually soldiers but now I’m here to help you.”

I almost slapped myself. Mr. Vatia hired him? Aurev Vatia did not hire soldiers personally. I’d become a special case.

Was I really that bad?

My lips twisted, “Do you think you can help me? How long will it take?”

He nodded, “It’s different for everyone. For some people, they don’t suffer from thirst. For others, they will always struggle but can learn control.”

I hoped it wouldn’t come to that.

Waiting at a corner for a car to pass, I surreptitiously studied this new mysterious stranger in my life.

An image of the last person I killed flashed across my vision.

I needed to get ahold of myself.

Tears stung the backs of my eyes; I blinked them away.

My Viking just stood there, piercing a hole through my soul with his strange eyes.

Finally, he spoke. “Stop,” he cradled my face in his hands. “I’m not just a guard to keep you in check–

I’ve trained hundreds of soldiers. Now, I’m here to help you.”

I studied his face. I couldn’t help flicking my gaze between his different colored irises. His kind eyes were steady, and the corner of his lips quirked up into a sympathetic smile.

“I know. I’m just so relieved.” I whispered into the charged space between us.

Licking my lips, my mouth was suddenly dry.

The way he looked at me made me feel naked, even in the darkness of night. My Viking was straight out of my wildest dreams. Foreign, rugged and painfully handsome, he took my breath away.

When his fingers unthreaded from my hair and around my face, I noticed his pulse jumped.

Chemistry flew between us and maybe a few sparks, but I couldn’t go there.

I laughed and ran my fingers under my eyes. This was Aurev’s perverse sense of humor to dangle a man I couldn’t have in my face.

In my house.

Wherever I went.

But, I needed this damn hunger to end. A day without worrying and staying away from humans seemed impossible. Karsten was my lifeline, and I couldn’t screw this up.

“Is this my last chance?” I wondered aloud.

My Viking’s mouth curved up at the corner. “No, min lille heks, no. However, when I leave, you will be in control of yourself.”


The Book

v12Fans of Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) or Vampire Academy will love this paranormal romance series.

Scarlet is a must read if you like a little mystery with your paranormal romance!

A rogue scientist is infecting the Moroi of the world with a deadly disease, and one woman is willing to risk it all for the cure. Dr. Sarah Shepard doesn’t let anything get in her way. She’s a renegade virologist who’s on a mission to find a cure. However, as a new vampire, her out-of-control bloodlust has ruined her marriage, taken her kids and continues to plague her at every turn. Karsten Ingvar is an elite Danish soldier who specializes in taming new vampires. When he takes an assignment to help the prestigious Dr. Shepard, he can’t help but be fascinated and compelled by her determination and beauty. Together, they begin to track down this madman, but the more they learn, the more questions they have. When Karsten’s centuries-old past steps between him and Sarah, she’s forced to make an unthinkable choice between her love for the soldier and her old life.

FREE on KU or $3.99! Purchase Today!
UK * CA * AU


The Author

T.L.ChristiansonT.L. lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. She’s a graduate from the University of Colorado in Boulder and an avid outdoorswoman. When she’s not outside or writing, you’ll find her playing the Sims, a new Nancy Drew Mystery game or watching some Netflix.

She’s always jotted down stories and even wrote her first novel at age 16. T.L. finally decided to share her stories with the world and pursue publication after a severe injury left her in the hospital. She was given a bleak prognosis with lots of restrictions. Fighting to overcome them, T.L. has defied her doctors expectations and now lives a normal life. Although she still struggles occasionally from the fallout of her injuries, she’s a fighter and wants merely to give her readers the joy and contentment that she feels when reading a good book.

For more information or to contact T.L. visit her at www.TLChristianson.com

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Wednesday Writing Tips: Writing & Self-Editing for Indie Authors

25 Writing and Self-Editing Tips for Indie Authors

By: Derek Murphy

Years of publishing has taught me that a book written and published quickly can be just as good (or better) than one that took ten years to polish. Even though I have a PhD in Literature and spent nearly a decade as a book editor, I’ve seen far too many beautifully edited books fail; I’ve also spent times editing projects that I knew deep down weren’t commercially viable. 

That’s why I strongly urge writers to self-edit as much as possible, whether or not they hire an editor or proofreader, so they can improve their writing. A great editor will always make things better, but they won’t change or rewrite the story for you. They may identify crucial plot holes or character development problems, but they won’t fix them (unless you’re paying them for ghostwriting, most editors will fix and improve but won’t rewrite your story).

So here are 25 self-editing tips you can use to check your own work before you look for beta readers or outside help. These are based on common writing mistakes myself and the editors at BookButchers encounter most frequently in new writers.

PS) If you write fiction, I also just made a video about my 5-step book revision process (here).

 

 

Like this video? I also made a free course about editing books, with my recommended writing books for authors.

You can sign up here.

Introduction

No self-published author should publish their work without paying a professional to edit it first. But what if you don’t have the money to pay for an editor? Or what if you want to keep your costs down by doing as much editing on your own as you can?

Before you spend money on an editor, work your way through this 25-point checklist. Because the better you can make your novel on your own, the better your editor can help you make it together. Think of it like football: Get the ball as far down the field as you can, then pass the ball to your editor. Together you can go for goal.

SELF-EDITING TIP #1

Does the world need this book? If so, why?

Every year, millions of books get published. Most get ignored. Ask yourself: Why does the world need your book?

This is not an argument to self-censor. Rather to think about what you’re publishing and why. Talking to hear the sound of your own voice may be amusing, but does little to attract an audience. Talking, writing, speaking—it’s all about the audience, not about you.

Sharpening your focus at this stage will make self-editing much easier. Because if you don’t know what you have to say or why you’re saying it, then how can you sharpen your prose to achieve those goals?

SELF-EDITING TIP #2:

How’s Your Hook?

Readers have short attention spans these days, and an ocean of ebooks to choose from. You need a strong hook in your opening pages to persuade readers to cross your palm with silver.

Pretend that you’re a reader, and ask yourself: Why should I care? Why should I invest my money—not to mention my time, which is even more valuable—in reading your novel? I could be watching Game of Thrones. Are you telling me your novel is more entertaining? Make me care!

And hooking the reader doesn’t end after the first five pages. There is no point at which you can relax and rest on your laurels (either within the pages of a book or during a literary career). Every word sells the next. Every sentence sells the next. Every paragraph sells the next. Every chapter sells the next. Every book sells the next.

Because as a reader? I owe you exactly squat. Zilch. Make me care. Make your writing so irresistible that I can’t help but want to read on.

That’s how you write a book. That’s how you build a career.

SELF-EDITING TIP #3:

Who’s Your Hero?

Reading a novel means donning an avatar’s skin. When we enter the pages of your book, we become, in our imaginations, at least, your hero. And we’re not going to be very comfortable if your hero is a jerk.

Your hero needs to be someone we can relate to, who we can understand. We don’t necessarily have to like him, but we have to care. This doesn’t mean your hero should be a goodie two-shoes, because that’s equally irritating. Instead, write flawed heroes and complex villains. Hannibal Lector may be a cannibal, but boy can he keep me turning the pages!

SELF-EDITING TIP #4:

What Does Your Hero Want?

A novel is just this: Who is your hero? What does he want? What’s stopping him from getting it?

Character is just another word for what the hero wants. Give us a sympathetic hero with a goal we can relate to, and the strength of will to pursue that goal at all costs, and you’ve got the makings of a great story.

SELF-EDITING TIP #5

Who’s Your Villain?

You needn’t go all Hollywood here, but your hero needs obstacles. If your hero wants a ham sandwich, and all he has to do is go to the fridge and make one, that’s not a very exciting story, now is it?

Note that by “villain” we mean the opposing force working to prevent the hero from achieving his goal. The villain and hero are sometimes the same character—for instance, a story of an alcoholic or drug addict fighting to get the monkey off his back. Or it could be nature—sailors fighting to stay afloat during a hurricane.

If you go with a human villain, be sure to give the character a touch of goodness. Evil is not cartoonish, but rather a misguided attempt to do good. Melodrama went out of fashion when the last vaudeville hall closed its doors.

Continue reading…

Book Review: Sight of Love

DISCLAIMER: THIS BOOK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT NOT SUITABLE FOR ANYONE UNDER 18 YEAR OLD.

It’s the second week in our review series for the Rizer Pack Shifter series. This means we are onto book number two in the series titled, Sight of Love. I rather enjoyed this book much like the first and it keeps the momentum going for the series. Hope you are enjoying this series review and snatch up a copy of Sight of Love.

The Review

Angeline Synet and her family just moved to Freebasin. A kidnapping, and a string of murders are uncovered soon after her arrival. She however is cursed to see the deeds unravel in her dreams. Her family doesn’t want her to act but she can’t sit back and watch people die. Now forced onto Rizer Pack territory Angeline finds herself at the mercy of Killian.

Killian has an instant dislike of Angeline because of her being a non-shifter. He doesn’t trust her but can’t help but feel for her. Before he knows it he is in over his head. The only problem is Angeline will soon find out who friend and foe really is.

Amelia Wilson spins a tale with twists turns and knocks you on your butt all at once. The emotional turmoil of her characters pull at you and make you pull for them. I couldn’t put this book down like the first in the series. Just couldn’t stop reading once I started.

Sight of Love reminds me of Tim O’Rourke’s Kiera Hudson series. Both books have a main character that struggles with a gift the brings people together and destroys them. Amelia is far more uplifting than Tim O’Rourke’s series since his is far more dark in comparison.

Stars: 5 out of 5 stars


The Book

519--R2G32LWhat price is too high, if it means having visions of the future?

Angelina can see what most can’t with her visions. She can’t control her visions any more than she can control her physical response to Kilian, a shifter.

Kilian is tangled in her web of problems so fast he has no choice but to deal with the human woman, Angelina. He’d much rather be tangled in the sheets with the sexy, hot tempered, woman of secrets than her problems and knack for getting in trouble.

She’s beautiful no question about it, but what Angelina will show Kilian will uncover a very dangerous path. It isn’t a path Kilian can allow Angelina to travel alone.

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About the Author

Amelia Wilson is a renowned author for her Romance Books. Writing has always been very close to her heart. When she is writing a novel, she travels into that world and attaches her emotions to the story. She expresses herself better in written words than she could ever do verbally. She believes in love, and that love can conquer all, which is the reason why she is a writer of romance. She wants all the people, who have been hurt in love, not lose hope as fate changes and soon enough you all will find your one true love. Her books are a great way to satisfy your craving for paranormal romance with action, Love and suspense.

I love to meet new readers, so come sign up for my newsletter and check out my Facebook page. We always have lots of fun stuff going on there.

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Character Interview: Tauren Holt

Heya everyone! Hope your having a great day so far. I am hoping this character interview with Tauren Holt from Something Honorable will brighten your day. So, sit back and enjoy the read.

The Interview

Who are you and what makes you great?

Well, my name is Tauren Holt, and I don’t like to call myself great. I’ve fucked up and made a lot of mistakes in my life. Mistakes that are far from great. I suppose the greatest thing about those mistakes, about me, is that I was a given a second chance.

SomethingHonTsrWhat is your soul purpose in life?

A year ago I would have said my sole purpose was to win the race. I hate coming in second. Fuck that, I hate coming in any other position other than first. Now, my outlook has changed. I might would say my sole purpose is winning Helene Jacobs.

What kind of adventures have you had that stay with you till this day?

Oh, shit. I’ve had a lot of adventures. When you live in a small town like Chapelwood, you get into trouble. My brothers and me have done some crazy things, but probably the craziest would be interrupting Helene Jacobs’ baptism by riding my bicycle through our church.

Do you have a love interest? If you do please tell us about him/her or why you don’t.

I’ve had my sights on Helene, our preacher’s daughter, for quite some time. I’m not sure what I would call it. Love, lust, or just a craving I need to satisfy, but it’s definitely an interest and I can’t let it go.

Tell us about your journey you are on and how it has helped you grow as a person.Journey?

I suppose sneaking around with Helene has been a journey. It’s definitely tested my patience, that’s for sure. But I’ve settled down because of her. I have never been a saint and never will be, but with her, I don’t need the attention that comes with winning a race at Down ‘n’ Dirty on the weekends. I don’t screw every track bunny that looks my way. I want to make promises to Helene that I haven’t made to anyone. Is that considered growth?

What kind of creatures do you see on a daily basis?

I live in a small town in southern Alabama and my brother rides bulls for a hobby. I’m around horses a lot too. I don’t live in the city so I also like to fish and hunt, just like every other southern man.

Who do you look up too? Why?

Without a doubt, I look up to my parents. My mama and daddy have a rock solid relationship and they raised my brothers and me to be hard-working, loyal, and caring. Although I don’t see marriage in my future, if I ever do get married, I want something like what they have.

If you had one thing about yourself that you would want to change what would it be?

I know I’m not perfect, but I am who I am. I smoke, drink, cuss, and don’t give a fuck who I rub the wrong way. Maybe I’m a little selfish too, but that’s me and I admit it. Some people don’t like that, especially Pastor Jacobs, but I’m not changing for him. If I change for anyone, it will be for Helene, and so far, she hasn’t asked me to.

Who is your ultimate enemy? Why?

The only person standing in the way of what I want is Pastor Jacobs. When he isn’t preaching on Sundays, he’s wearing a damn badge as the Chief of Police of Chapelwood. He and his deputy love to make my life a living hell and have made it no secret they don’t want me around Helene.

What should we expect from you in your coming book?

I fuck up a lot. I have what I want right in my grasp and I screw it all up. Life hands me some harsh lessons and they nearly break me.SHNew-collage


The Book

Something Honorable Full WrapShe’s the perfect incarnate of an angel. Pure. Innocent. The only reason I come to church on Sunday mornings. The only woman I treat differently than the others. The only woman I unintentionally make promises to.

Promises I do intend to keep.

I’m practically sin walking. Immoral. Dishonorable. The very reason she should be in church on Sunday mornings. The only man she has ever allowed to touch her. The only man who makes her turn her back on everything she believes in. The only man who has the capability to destroy her.

And does.

Promises aren’t always kept. Life can unravel at the seams. The decisions we make when our world is falling apart can either be cowardly or something honorable.

**Something Honorable is Tauren and Helene’s story and is book two in the Dirty Southern Secrets Series. It is a standalone full-length novel. It contains adult content, adult language, and sexual content. It is intended for mature readers only.**

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The Author

eventpicI am a happily married mother of three (two boys and one girl). I live in a very small town in Alabama. Never lived anywhere else. I’ve been writing since my early twenties, but I couldn’t seem to finish a book. I’ve started self-publishing with the encouragement from my mom. Without her encouragement, I don’t think I would’ve done it. She always supported me and writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.

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Generation Son Chronicles Companion Novella Sneak Peek

Today on my blog I am letting YA Fantasy author C.J. Rose take over my blog. She is going to showcase a special sneak peek from her upcoming companion novella within her Generation Son Chronicles series. Hope you enjoy. Happy reading.


January 1, 1970

New Year’s Eve; you think it would be a night of celebration. Well, considering it is me, that didn’t happen. I decided to go to an event at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. They were having their annual unveiling where they would reveal a new piece of historical artifact for the area. It started out as a normal evening with drinks and snacks while we all listened to music and danced. They were supposed to reveal the new artifact at 12:01 am, right after the change to the new year.

Well, as you probably guessed, that did not go as planned. Everyone was gathered around a draped item on a platform, and as the countdown hit one they readied themselves for the unveiling. The mayor and his wife were there and they stood nearby, holding a rope to pull off the artifact. By the size of it, I would have thought it would have been more of a statue but we were told that it was a smaller item placed within it. “It’s symbolism” they said and that is why they did it on a larger scale.

The second ticked away and you could see the excitement growing in the crowd. There were guesses happening about what it could be and where it came from. When the mayor was ready, he started a countdown from ten and when we hit one, the cloth came down and the screams started. Much to my surprise, there was indeed a new artifact but she hung from the actual one that was supposed to be displayed. I had no idea who the woman was, but I could hear some people clambering about Amanda and who would do this to her. They all stared in horror as the authorities were called.

Once they got there, they removed the body from the spike and laid her on the ground. As I looked around, I could see a woman in the back of the ground. She has on a long trench coat and her hands were in her pocket. Her eyes were familiar to me, but she had a different hairstyle than the person I was thinking of. I offered assistance in the investigation but they looked at me like I was crazy. I knew that I was going to do it anyway.

I started the next day with finding out who that women was that I say in the back of the crowd. Luckily, I was smart enough to sneak a picture of her before she disappeared. I had the picture printed off, and I had a friend at the police department do me a favor and see if they could find a match. Turns out that it was the person I thought of. Her name is Anna Von Haff and she is an assistant to the curator for the Park. Which now makes me realize who the person was on the spike. It is Amanda Winkler, the curator that we met last year when we went there for the same event. Although there was no dead body that time. I guess I didn’t recognize her with all the blonde hair hanging down over her face.

So now that we know who the body is and we know who the mystery person is, the next part is to figure out who did it and why.

***

January 3, 1970

I went by the historic park’s main building today and the police were everywhere. I knew that there was no way I was getting inside the normal way so I needed a new plan. As I walked around the building, I was able to find a small ladder in back the allowed me to get to the roof. I kept an eye out for any cops while I scaled the wall and landed on the gravel room. Only a few feet in front of me, I spotted a rusty metal door. When I tried the handle, it wouldn’t budge so I tried to find another way in. Like any normal structure, there was a skylight on the roof that looked down onto an office. The problem with that was, the windows didn’t open, so I was out of luck on that front too. Suddenly, I heard the metal door creak open and a figure came out lighting a cigarette. Trying to make no noise on the gravel, I snuck in though the open door and made my way down the stairs.

I found an open hall where no one was, walking and I looked around till I found Anna’s office. With the investigation going on, it looks like most of the people are off work. Thankfully there were no windows do getting in and staying hidden was easier than I thought. I started with the bookshelves, then moved to the filing cabinet. For an assistant, she had a pretty nice office. The walls has paintings that looked so real you would think that Van Gough painted them himself. The desk was a polished cherry wood with enough carved detail, it makes the oval office desk look boring. Speaking of desks, that was my next stop, and that is when the fun started. As I checked through each drawer, I found half written letters to Amanda. I began to read a few and each one began the same way. “Amanda, you are a horror to work for. No one deserves to be treated the way you treat people.” Then it goes on about how horrible of a person she is or about the things she has done. I almost felt bad for Amanda and Anna.

I took the letters and continued looking through the drawers. When I got to the bottom right hand drawer, it was locked. Like any smart person, I checked under the center drawer for a spare key and there it was. Once I opened it, I knew instantly that she was behind all of this. There were more letters, but this time they were addressed to her from different people. All of these names I have seen before; a reporter, a photographer, an architect, a doctor, a historian, and a teacher. I know them all from being at different events in the city. The reporter, Moran Beatty, did story on the horses during riding season. The photographer, Elizabeth Jameson, took the pictures of the horses. The architect, John McArney, was the person who designed the barn for the horses. The doctor, Shannon Moore, was the one who took care of me after I was shot on the last adventure. The historian, Melissa McDaniels, was the one who invited me to the event. Lastly, the teacher, Stana Owensby, was I spoke with at last years event.

I grabbed those letter as well and decided that it was time to leave. As I placed the letters in my pocket, I could hear someone coming. I quickly hid in the bathroom in the office till the coast was clear. I took the letters home, and set them on the table.

***

January 4, 1970

Since getting called to fix someone else’s problem does not pay the bills, I had to go back to work today. While I was tending to the horses, the only thing I could think about were those letters. I made a plan this morning to grab a few and bring them with me so when I took a break for lunch I decided to start with the reporter.

“Anna, I can’t believe that I was stupid enough to think that Amanda would like the story I wrote for the paper about the park. Does she not realize that ripping the story up in front of me was one of the worst things she could do to me? Who does she think she is anyway? It doesn’t matter I guess. I am going to England for a while to visit a friend. I am sure she will get what’s coming to her.”

As I read the letter aloud, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of person Amanda was. So now we have another suspect too. I moved on to the next letter and this time it was from Elizabeth.

“Anna, What was with Amanda? I sent over the photos I took of the park for the new brochure and she called me telling me that they were the worst pictures she has ever seen and I need to redo them. Seriously? What high horse has she rode in on? I am leaving for my grandfather’s house in the country to get my head right. I’ll see you when I get back sweetie.”

So that is suspect number three, and it looks like Anna and Elizabeth had a thing going too. While I was on a role, I decided to keep going and pulled out the doctor next.

“Anna, Thank you for your inquiry. I now that you are of legal age, I able to release your birth records to you as they are not sealed. I have enclosed your original birth certificate with your birth mother and father’s name on it.  I dig some digging for you, and it turns out that you have a sister not much older than you. She works for the historic park in town.”

So things kept getting more and more interesting from there. I had one more letter with me and I was determined to read it before going back to work. This time it was from another historian in the office.

“Anna, Thank you for taking the time to listen to my proposal for a new artifact. It is heartbreaking that after going to Amanda with it, she turned me down faster than I could even finish a sentence. Does she not realize that she is not the only one in this office that has ideas?”

I took all the letters and put them back in my pocket and went back to work. When I got home tonight, I showed them to Catherine to read and she was just as astounded as me at what she saw. We both finished our dinner, then decided to read the rest of the letters. I decided that it would be best to copy them somewhere so that way if something happens to the letters, I have a way to go back to them. So here I am, copying them to this journal. The only two letters that were left were from the architect and the teacher.

The architect wrote…

“Anna, It takes a women with no moral ground to deny any of my drawings. Can you believe that she thought that a halfwit architect who just barely graduated college can do a better job. I have been doing this for thirty years and I could design circles around that little weasel. Is she sleeping with him or something? How am I supposed to keep up with my exotic fish if I have no money coming in? I guess I will have to sell them.”

The last letter was the teacher, but after rereading it, I don’t think she really had anything to do with it.

“Anna, Thank you for being a part of our class today. It was nice to see you and listen to you talk about the park and all of its features. We hope to have you back next year.”

So right now it looks like we have six suspects with 6 different motives.

***

January 5, 1970

I knew I needed to get the letters to the police without getting myself tied in the middle so I did what any normal person would do; I mailed then anonymously. I knew that once they got the letter, they would have a place to start. From what I could tell over the last few days of sneaking around, I have more information than they do. Now I am going to chill and make sure that I get my own ducks in a row so that I can take this investigation to the next level. The plan over the next few days is to find out where each of these people live. Then I plan to search their houses while they are work.

***

January 7, 1970

It feels weird doing an investigation in my own year. It is not as easy to be stealthy when you live in a city of thousands of people. On a good note, I was able to find all the addresses I needed so tomorrow I start checking to make sure they are gone. Then it is time for Sherlock to do his thing. For now, I promised my aunt that I would take her to the movies. She wants to see the Elvis ’68 Comeback Special. Who doesn’t like Elvis, right?

***

January 9, 1970

I have been able to get to three out of the six houses. I didn’t find much to incriminate anyone but I did find some peculiar items hidden in random places. In the doctor’s house, I found vials of botox and wondered why he would be keeping them if he had an office outside of his home. In the reporters home, I found a bottle of dried purple flowers. It had a sticker on it that said “do not touch with bare hands”. I put the bottle in my pocket for later. I needed to know what those flowers were. The last house I got to do was this afternoon after work and that was the teacher. For her, I found nothing out of the ordinary other than that fact that she lived like a pauper. From what I hear, teachers do not get paid enough for the work they do so I am not surprised at the condition of her home.

Tomorrow I plan on hitting the photographer, the architect and the historian. I have a gut feeling that I will be finding something there.

***

January 10, 1970

I started with the architect and made my way across town to the remaining two homes. In the architect’s house, I found vials labeled “Tetrodotoxin. Do Not Ingest.” I took one of the vials and placed it in my pocket. Things were starting to get a little suspicious. As I was leaving, I passed a tank of exotic fish. Being the person I am, I fed them before leaving. Once in the historian’s house, I was hit with a smell most foul. I covered my mouth and followed the scent till I got to the kitchen and saw a pot of rotten apples. On the table, she has a mortar and pestle sitting there and I could tell it was used recently.  It was covered in a fine powder and it had a similar smell to the pot of apples. I took a baggie out of my jacket and scooped some of the powder into it. Placing it in my pocket with the other via, I made sure I left no traces, and moved to the last house.

I got to the photographer’s house in record time. As I searched around, like the historian, she made it obvious that something was up. In the middle of the kitchen table, was a plant. It did not look like any ordinary plant you would see in a house. It wasn’t a fern or a lily or a basic garden plan. I examined it closed and found it to have purple and green bell-shaped flowers and glossy black berries. I took a sprig of it and brought that with me as well.

Now that I’ve got some clues to go by, I plan on taking my findings to a friend of mine who will help me determine what it all means. For now, I plan on eating supper with my aunt and reading the paper.

***

January 11, 1970

Well, I did what I said I would do last night and I read the paper. The front page had an article about the murder and it mentioned that they had a few suspects in mind thanks so an anonymous tip. They did not mention any names, but I had a feeling I knew who it was. I took the vials and bags to my friend at the Sab Diego State College. My friend Bernard was there to study science so I thought this would be a good project for him. I left everything with him and I am supposed to pick it up tomorrow with the results.

***

January 12, 1970

The results are in and now it gets even more complicated. He explained to me that the botox bottle was just that, but the issue is still, why did he have it in his house? As for the smelly apples, he explained that if you boil them, remove the seeds, soak them in pesticide for a week, let them dry and grind them into a fine powder you end up with something close to Cyanide. The container of purple flowers I found could be poisonous and have similarities to Aconite. He was leery of even touching the plant with the black berries. He told me that just looking at it he knew what it was; nightshade. He said that injecting any of it can be poisonous and that the average person could die instantly.  The final vial he examined was the one labeled “Tetrodotoxin. Do Not Ingest.” He said that this vial of fluid comes from rare fish such as pufferfish, porcupinefish, ocean sunfish, and triggerfish. It all made sense there. He had a tank full of exotic looking fish, but how did he get the liquid from them?

I knew that now it was time to back to the beginning and start with Anna. After all, she is the one that everyone wrote the letters to so she has to be behind this. Now, I just have to figure out how.

***

January 15, 1970

Today I decided that it would be best to tail Anna for a while and see what she does. It took three days, but I finally got somewhere. Yesterday and today, I saw her meet with each one of the people that wrote her letters; all except the teacher. With each meeting and each different place, the arguments escalated to the point where they were in each other’s faces. At one point, Anna even slapped the architect so hard that he stumbled backwards. He raised his hand to hit her back but she stood her ground. Thank the lord for camera’s, but cause now I have the photo proof I need too. I plan on sending all of the items I found in the houses and the photos to the police as soon as they are developed.

***

January 17, 1970

Everything has been sent to the police, with a detailed note of where it was all found. Now I just have to sit and wait to see what happens. I am anxious to see how it plays out. If you want my honest opinion, this looks like some Agatha Christie novel in real life. It’s a question of who dun it and why. Speaking of Agatha Christie, maybe I could learn a thing or two from her books. It is something to think about.

Auntie wants to do something this evening instead of stay home so I have to find somewhere to take her. There isn’t much to do for an older lady and her nephew. Maybe a movie again?

***

January 18, 1970

It looks like my sleuthing paid off. I read the paper today, and Anna was arrested for murder while the remaining five were arrested for attempted murder. When they were all called in for questioning, each one gave a statement incriminating themselves as is they had no shame.

I only read Anna’s side of the story. “The chain of events that transpired after.  We have actually been trying for two years, but it just never worked until now. I had the biggest motive of all. The abandoned orphan with no loving home and no mother to care for me. Oh sure, there were foster homes, but all they ever cared about was the money. I was delivered by Dr. Moricle, so finding out my birth mother was easy, especially once he knew who I was. Finding your records once you are eighteen is easier than people think. I was able to find the doctor, and he knew who my mother was. Once I found out who she was and told Elizabeth, the letters started to roll in about what she did and the kind of person she was. Well, that sealed the deal there. After a few bottles of wine, a plan began to take place. I knew I had to get close to Amanda and the only way to do that was at the park. So I started coming in earlier than her and I would make sure the tea was ready when she got there. I tried a little rat poison, but it wasn’t enough. So, when that didn’t work, I put a bug in her ear to see Dr. Small about her migraines. I read an article once that getting Botox can help cure them. So he did continuous injections for about 3 months, at what he claims was a lethal dosage, but that didn’t work either.

That is when I got the idea for belladonna. Since Elizabeth used to work in her grandfather’s garden all the time she knew some grew behind the shed where he kept his tools. She went there to visit one day and dug up one of the plant. She gave the berries to me and I placed three in Carol’s tea each morning for a week. Well that didn’t work either. She would again complain about getting dizzy or lightheaded, and her eyes would be sensitive to light but she chalked it up to her migraines. So now we are about a six months in and nothing has worked so far. Enter the architect, bitter from losing the large commission from the park, he was already willing to do his part. He provided me with a puffer fish from his exotic fish supplier that I was able to prepare and present to Amanda as leftovers from my favorite restaurant. Well, as you could guess, that failed too. The only issues from that were some breathing problems and more nausea.

When everything else failed, Moran was in England and found these rare purple flowers. If it wasn’t for a friend talking him out of it, he could have died from smelling them. Well, being the person that he is, he put some gloves on and picked a few when no one was looking and placed them in a plastic bag to bring home. He kept them there to dry out. I knew that Aconite should do the trick so I took the petals, combined them with another loose tea, and gave them to Amanda to drink. Well, we are at almost a year of trying and still nothing. Melissa still hadn’t tried her plan, so she contacted me when she knew everything else had failed. She took some decaying apples from her family’s orchard and boiled them. Removing the seeds, she soaked them in pesticide for a week, let them dry, and then ground them into a fine powder. I gave the water from the boiled apples and the seed powder to Amanda gradually over a week’s time and finally on the last day, yesterday, she had enough. She complained about not feeling well all day and I knew that it was working. At the end of the day, everyone else was gone so I locked all the doors and called Dr. Small. I could hear her in her office choking and gagging. When I couldn’t hear it anymore, I went to the office to check and she was slumped over her desk.

Shannon came and made sure she was dead. Then we called everyone else, and when they all got there, we removed her body in the dead of night and placed it on the spike for the world to see.”

I knew there were twisted people in the world but I had no idea that people could be that sick. Now that my stomach is turned to the point of no return, I think I am done for the night.


2C.J. Rose

Hi Everyone! I am RoseAnn Labriola, penning as C.J. Rose. C. J. Rose resides in Central Illinois; originally from just south of Chicago. The passion for writing took root in high school where she began writing song lyrics and poetry. C.J. found her inspiration from other fantasy and YA novels such as Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, and more. On top of literature, Rose has a keen love for all things nerdy and sci-fi. On a quiet night, you can find her curled up with an episode of Doctor Who, Arrow, Firefly, and more. C. J. also belongs to a theatre organization KVTA. The devotion to musicals and theatre has led her to be a part of over 10 shows as an actor, and over 20 as a staff person.

I am a hairstylist, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I have always loved writing, whether it was poems, song lyrics or stories. I decided it was time to sit down and put my thoughts to paper of a story concept I have played with for long time. In the process, it developed into the full-length version that I am proud to call my first published book, Bridge of the Gods – A Generation Son Chronicle. Now I have 3 novels in the series as well as a companion cookbook.

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Wednesday Writing Tips: Writing a Fantasy Series

Writing a fantasy series? Do’s and Don’ts

By: Bridget-Now Novel

Authors such as George R. R. Martin and J.K. Rowling are living proof that the fantasy genre offers aspiring authors a crack at building vast fandoms and spin-off empires (hit movies, TV series, even candy products materialized from fictional worlds). If you’re planning writing a fantasy series of your own, here are do’s and don’ts for creating your own multi-novel fantasy story:

First, what is fantasy fiction? Some historical background

Our oldest literature is fantasy fiction. From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Homer’s The Odyssey to Beowulf, the stories that survive from ancient civilizations are stories of Gods, magic, quests and monsters. The word ‘fantasy’ comes from the Greek phantasia — ‘power of imagination, appearance, image, perception’ — and acquired the sense of ‘fantastic imagination’ from the 1500s onwards. From the 1920s, the word acquired stronger connotations of wish-fulfillment (‘a day-dream based on desires’).

Modern fantasy contains many of these root meanings. Its authors give us complex, imaginative worlds, supplying vivid day-dreams to fulfill our desires. Character’s have magic healing (or destructive) powers. Heroic saviours defeat powerful malevolence and restore order and goodness. It’s undeniable that fantasy remains one of the most popular genres (the ‘Fantasy Writers’ group is one of the most populous writing groups on Now Novel).

 
Portrait of a young J.R.R. Tolkien

Some consider J.R.R. Tolkien the father of modern English-language fantasy fiction. There were early 20th Century fantasy novels written prior to Tolkien’s The Hobbit and his Lord of the Rings cycle (such as Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees and The Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison), but the commercial and critical success of Tolkien’s work (and the Chronicles of Narnia novels by his friend C.S. Lewis) launched the modern genre.

Tolkien based his own work on his scholarly interests in northern European mythological sagas and linguistics. Another source of symbolism for many modern fantasy authors is the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, which draws on Tolkien’s fantasy world of orcs and dwarves itself.

Character types of the fantasy genre such as elves, trolls and wizards create instant genre recognition, as do plot clichés such as the motley band of co-travellers who meet in a tavern. To avoid your series seeming like a mere rehash of these tropes, it’s important to add your own slant. J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular world in her Harry Potter series is full of re-imaginings of old fantasy tropes. Her reworkings range from different animal familiars (owls replace cats) to flying-broomsticks re-imagined as state-of-the-art sports gear.

Here are several do’s and don’ts for writing your own imaginative fantasy fiction series:

Do: Read widely within and around your genre

This advice is almost a cliché in itself, and yet it is common because it is so necessary.

The only way to really become familiar with the clichés and pitfalls of the fantasy genre is to read a lot of fantasy novels. As you read, think about what works and what feels obvious and overly-indebted to previous authors. The broader the scope of your reading, the better you will know what kinds of fantasy worlds, character types and plot topics are underrepresented. Of course, you can also satirize clichéd types, as authors such as Sir Terry Pratchett have done.

Don’t: Rely on worn-out fantasy character types

Clichéd fantasy character types such as the orphan-boy-who-is-chosen-for-a-great-task abound. Harry Potter is one example. Because of the strength of Rowling’s series as a whole, and the size of her series’ cast, a few clichés don’t detract much. When a fantasy series lays down one clichéd character after another (the fearful sidekick, the grumpy dwarf and the reluctant-orphan-hero), a series starts to feel more derivative.

Continue reading…

Empowered is Now Available!

EMPOWERED

A mysterious book holds the secrets of the zmey, the creature that marked Kara with magic. Kara’s growing magic sparks her curiosity to seek answers, yet she finds none until she’s handed a parchment with a map and a name. Her search sends her on a disconcerting journey into an unknown place and a world that holds enemies of Asgard, but the pull of the magic cannot be denied.

Kara has finally earned the right to answer the call of Midgard. Even without a healthy welcome from Mistress Sigrun, she is determined to participate in reaping souls for Valhalla. With Elan by her side, she meets with Harut, the angel of death, and puts her soul reaping to the test.

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FREE on KU or $2.99!


KATRINA COPE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKatrina is an author of several Young Adult and Preteen/Middle Grade novels. Each of her released books reaching the top 100 in certain categories on the Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank – a few even as high as number one.

She resides in Queensland Australia. Her three teen/preteen boys and husband of over fifteen years treat her like a princess. Unfortunately though, this princess still has to do domestic chores.

From birth, she has been a very creative person and has spent many years travelling the world and observing many different personalities and cultures. Her favourite personalities have been the strange ones, yet the ones under the radar also hold a place in her heart.

During her last extensive travels, she spent 16 nights in a bomb shelter on a Kibbutz 8 kilometers off the Lebanese border. It was to avoid Katyusha bombs that the resident volunteers decided to name her after (she is still trying to work out why).

CONNECT WITH KATRINA

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Book Review: Love Beyond the Wall

DISCLAIMER: THIS BOOK CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT NOT SUITABLE FOR ANYONE UNDER 18 YEAR OLD.

Welcome to another wonderful Tuesday. It’s time to start another review series. What series will I be reviewing this time around. The series that I will be featuring over the next five weeks is Amelia Wilson, Rizer Pack Shifter Series. I found this series to extremely exciting and enjoyable. Hope you will come along for the ride as I review a new book in the series each week. First up is Love Beyond the Wall.

The Review

Cara Warden is the future bride of the town leader Aldrich. She despises her fate and wants escape. Since she can’t get help from the towns people let alone her father Cara resorts to drastic measures. On the verge to go out into the world beyond the safety of the town walls she faces the shifter pack standing without. When Darian the leader of the Rizer pack catches her scent he goes to investigate. He just never expected to find a beautiful woman to be the source of his wolves crazed behavior.

Amelia Wilson spins a story of deception, love, and adventure throughout her book. It is captivating to watch a young girl find her way into a strange world. The only difference is her world is full of shifters that turn out to mean no harm, or do they. Cara needs to find out who is friend or foe to stay alive. This book is a wild ride that grips your attention from page one and makes it impossible to put it down. You can’t help but fall in love with all the characters and hope they all find a happily ever after.

Love Beyond the Wall reminds me of the detailed writing by Maia Starr and Aidy Award. Each author has there own style but I find these three authors to have a wonderful world building structure around their shifter books. Amelia Wilson is definitely an author to keep an eye on and make sure to check out her other series.

Stars: 5 out of 5 Stars


The Book

34675491._SY475_Cara Warden has been chosen by Aldrich to be his bride. Saying no to Aldrich isn’t an option. He owns the food source, the water, and the weapons that protect the town from the creatures outside the wall that surrounds the town.

When Cara can’t say no and refuses to say yes, she’s left with only one option. She’ll have to escape Aldrich. She’ll take her chances against the creatures who’ve killed every hunter who’s dared leave the town since the shifter pack arrived.

Outside the wall, she’s being stalked by one of the shifters. He calls himself Darian. He’s dangerous and mysterious. Cara can’t figure out if he’s trying to help her or if he’s just toying with her, playing with his food.

Will Cara be able to escape Aldrich? Will Darian be the creature who spares her or will he be the devil that leaves her to the wolves?

FREE on KU or $2.99


About the Author

Amelia Wilson is a renowned author for her Romance Books. Writing has always been very close to her heart. When she is writing a novel, she travels into that world and attaches her emotions to the story. She expresses herself better in written words than she could ever do verbally. She believes in love, and that love can conquer all, which is the reason why she is a writer of romance. She wants all the people, who have been hurt in love, not lose hope as fate changes and soon enough you all will find your one true love. Her books are a great way to satisfy your craving for paranormal romance with action, Love and suspense.

I love to meet new readers, so come sign up for my newsletter and check out my Facebook page. We always have lots of fun stuff going on there.

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The 13: Surreal Tales

Happy Sunday everyone. Today I am featuring a New Release Announcement for a good friend of mine in the author community. International Bestselling Author Stephanie Ayers is releasing her third book in her The 13 series today. Check out the excerpt provided by her below and make sure to go grab a copy. If you haven’t read any of the three The 13 books yet you will find links to the other two provided below. They are on sale for 99 pennies so make sure to grab these awesome books before the sale ends.


71935591_10217767044221014_5484285461574713344_nExcerpt

From The Haunting of McLean Manor

Darkness blotted out the sun and cast shadows over the swing. Becca thought nothing of it because there had been plenty of clouds in the sky when they’d decided to have a picnic in the secret garden. Lily had climbed into her treehouse and serenaded the trees when the darkness broke through.

“You are my lovely, you are my happy place, you are my always,” Lily sang. It was the same song Becca had sung to her as a baby. It was really the only song she sang. “You are my every…”

Lily’s voice dropped off abruptly. She stomped out onto the ledge of her treehouse. “Hey, mom,” she called. “You think I could fly?” She dipped a toe off the edge of the platform as if testing the temperature of water before a swim.

“What? No, not without wings. Now step away from the edge, please, Lily dear.” Becca’s heart lurched into her throat.

Lily did as she was told. She laid down on the platform and stuck her head out. “What if I had wings? How high do you think I could fly?”

Becca shook her head. Lily had such an imagination. “With wings, you could fly all the way to the moon.”

Lily laughed. “To the moon and back!”

The sun burst through the canopy once more, leaving a halo on Lily’s head. Becca clapped her palm against her forehead and looked at Lily. “Higher than the moon, my love. You could fly straight to the sun and back.”

The sun disappeared again, and the shadows settled in. A chill ran up Becca’s spine. Lily had gotten too quiet. “Lily?”

No answer.

“Lily?”

One heart beat. Two heart beats. Three.

“Lily?” Panic edged her voice.

“Look, Mom! I have wings!” Becca looked up just in time to see a dark shape lurking behind her daughter, who had indeed made herself a set of wings. “Becca! Step away from the edge, now!” Panic rose like bile in her chest.

“Do you think I could fly now?” Lily remained where she was and spread her arms wide. She lifted her face to the sky and flapped her wings. Becca panted, her ever vigilant eyes watching the darkness behind her beloved child.

“Lily! Do as I say! Come down from there, now!”

Lily put her arms down and looked at her mother. “Fine,” she said, letting her body fall forward.Street Players Surreal - Copy


The Book

The 13 Surreal - CopyHaunted spaces and creepy places, music from beyond the grave, otherworldly encounters, a deadly basketball game, and more…

This collection of surreal tales ventures into the paranormal as you’ve never read them before and will turn your dreams into nightmares that haunt your every thought. Down, down, in the depths they fell, bodies in the dark of a liquid hell.

What keeps you up at night?

This is the third book in the 13 series.

Can you survive all 13?

Purchase Your Copy Today!

Ebook | Paperback


The Author

StephStephanie Ayers is an international bestselling author who writes speculative fiction, where horror and fantasy collide. A self-proclaimed word whisperer, she is a unicorn disguised as a human living in southwestern Ohio and a member of the Ohio Writers Association. She mothers her children and avoids all things housework and zombies. When she isn’t doing any of these things, she can be found browsing thrift stores and flea markets with her husband, attending football games with her son, or binging on TV shows.
Her debut novella, Til Death Do Us Part, was published in 2013, and her work appears in several anthologies and collections, notably Absolution, Flash Fiction Addiction, and the upcoming Bending Time. She currently has two serials to her name, the stand-alone horror volumes of The 13 series and her new high fantasy, the Destiny Defined series, which debuted March 7, 2019.

Her favorite quote is: “The blank page is a canvas on which the writer paints a story.”-Stephanie Ayer

Connect with the Author

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Check Out the First Two Books in The 13 Series

The-13 Illusory Evil underwater pixies, Vampires, Norse gods, lycans, puppeteers, ghosts, psychopathic neighbors, and more…

These 13 enchanted tales will haunt you long after you’ve finished reading them. You’ll second guess everything, check your closets before sleeping, and peek over your shoulders by day. Down down in the depths they fell, bodies in the dark of a liquid hell.

Enter if you dare…

This is the 1st book in the 13 series.

Can you survive all 13?

Purchase Tales of Illusory Here!

41257801_537619226691500_7410917420153438208_nDon’t read alone!

Killer watermelons, murderous jewelry boxes, centenarian sea whisperers, creatures of myth/legend, and more…

This supernatural story collection will make you reconsider everything you thought you knew. At night you’ll hover under your covers while looking over your shoulder in the day. Down, down in the depths they fell; bodies in the dark of a liquid hell.

This is the second collection in The 13 series.
Will you survive all 13?

With foreward by JM Ames and poetry by Stacy Overby.

Purchase Tales of Macabre Here!

Author Interview: T.L. Christianson

It’s another Friday, which means it is time for another fun weekend. What do you have planned? I thought I would start the weekend out right with sitting down with paranormal & sci-fi romance author T.L. Christianson. Check out her interview below to see behind the mind of a spectacular author.

The Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

As a Colorado native and having lived in small mountain towns most my life, I’m an outdoors person. I love to hike, bike, and be outside. I’m married and have two children. I homeschooled, cloth diapered my babies and lived in a yurt. However, life goes on, and things change. My children are teenagers now and going to public school. I’ve gone back to my love of the written word. In my spare time, I read, listen to audiobooks and podcasts, and best of all I write.

What genre do you write in? Why?

I write paranormal romance and sci-fi romance. I have always been a huge sci-fi fan, but a story without love is like food without salt. There needs to be a little salt 😉

What inspired you to become an author?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve lived in my own imagination. Writing for me has always been my comfort, my escape, and my most profound companion since I can remember. However, I give my sister, and author, Ann Martinez (Annabelle Anders), the credit for pushing me off the publishing ledge. After reading through my work, she pointed to what would become Crimson and said, “You have to publish this. This is really good.” She helped me begin that journey and is still the one I go to when I have questions about the writing world. I took her advice and wrote Crimson during the spring of 2018, and the rest is history.

What is your writing process like?

There are two types of writers, a ‘panser’ who writes whatever pops into their mind and a ‘plotter’ who plots everything out. I’m both in a tangled mess. I start off by loosely plotting everything out, but when I get to know my characters, they basically do whatever they want.

How did you come up with the story within your books? What inspired your creativity?

Crimson came about around 10 years ago when I was home-schooling my children in Durango. Rebecca and Jack are based on my real-life children. The story started off as a fun journal – but with the premise that I was a vampire. When I decided to write Crimson as a book in 2018, I originally meant it to be stand-alone and not part of a series, but as the characters spoke to me, I knew that there was more to the story that needed to be told.

Who inspires you to write in your normal day life?

I have a fantastic friend and blogger, Amy Bernal. We always say that we’re soul sisters. She has my back, gives me feedback, and is someone who I can talk to for hours on end…just like a sister.

What authors inspired you to write your own book?

Hmmm…I can’t remember not writing. But, the first author that made me fall in love with reading was Anne McCaffrey and Orson Scott Card. They created these fantastic worlds that I could just dive into and lose myself.

What is the one thing you want to say to your readers?

The world is a hard place, there’s a lot of pain and suffering. I want you to lose yourself, and let go of all your pain and stress. That’s all that matters, that’s why I write.

Are you Indie Published or Traditional? Why did you choose this route?

Initially, I Indie published under my own label. I’d been emailing with a publisher, but after talking with some authors I trusted, I decided the best route for me was to go on my own. However, recently, I have signed a contract with a publisher to do a book in an established series! The official announcement will come later this month.

What should we expect from you in the coming months?

The 4th book of my Shades of Red Series being released October 25! I have some new series on the horizon..


The Author

T.L.ChristiansonT.L. lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. She’s a graduate from the University of Colorado in Boulder and an avid outdoorswoman. When she’s not outside or writing, you’ll find her playing the Sims, a new Nancy Drew Mystery game or watching some Netflix.

She’s always jotted down stories and even wrote her first novel at age 16. T.L. finally decided to share her stories with the world and pursue publication after a severe injury left her in the hospital. She was given a bleak prognosis with lots of restrictions. Fighting to overcome them, T.L. has defied her doctors expectations and now lives a normal life. Although she still struggles occasionally from the fallout of her injuries, she’s a fighter and wants merely to give her readers the joy and contentment that she feels when reading a good book.

For more information or to contact T.L. visit her at www.TLChristianson.com

Connect with the Author

Website | FB | FB Profile | Street Team | Twitter | Instagram

Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads | BookSprout


The Book

CrimsonfrontVampire nanny, Emilie, stumbles across a deadly secret, a hidden lab and undeniable chemistry with the doctor. Her new life on an isolated estate may break the barriers that have kept her alive for over a hundred years.

When vampire Emilie discovers her neighbor dead, she’s granted a new lease on her undead life. Seizing the opportunity, she takes over the newly departed identity and job as a tutor on an isolated estate in the mountains of Colorado. Having always wanted children, teaching Dr. Owen Bennett’s children is her dream come true.

However, Dr. Bennett is preternaturally accomplished, handsome and eccentric, and Emilie suspects that he too is a vampire. To add to the mystery, his wife has seemingly vanished, he’s tight-lipped about who he works for, and his research is kept under lock and key.

After uncovering one of his secrets that could have severe repercussions for all of her kind, Emilie is swiftly kidnapped by a gang of vampires and forced to make an unthinkable choice.

Now that she has found the second life she was searching for, can she outsmart her captors or will her secrets and lies be the downfall of everyone she’s come to care about?

FREE on KU or $0.99! Purchase Today!
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