Did you know August is National Read A Romance Month?
I've been so busy with the Pre-Edits for Spell Fire, Book 3:The Teen Wytche Saga, and promoting Spell Struck, that I almost forgot to read for fun. To read the latest articles from some of your favorite Romance authors, go to: http://www.readaromancemonth.com
And there are still four days left (five if you count today) to enter the raffle to win fabulous romance books, including the first book in my Teen Wytche Saga, Spell Check.
I'm about to finish Dead to the Max, A Max Starr Novel by Jasmine Haynes. The book is a smart, sexy, romantic thriller. Haynes makes every word count as she unveils the psychological depths of her characters.
Which romance novel is on your August reading list?
Don't miss out on the chance to win amazing books, including some Amazon bestselling romances, Young Adult, westerns, paranormals, and I think a top Regency! If you haven't started The Teen Wytche Series, now is your chance. An ebook copy of Spell Check, the first book in the series, is among the prizes. (Book 3, Spell Fire, is scheduled to release in November 2013)
Today I welcome back guest host Lynn Spangler, whose new novel, Conflicted Jewel, just released from our shared publisher, Astraea Press. Here's Lynn:
This story is the second in
the On Main Street series. This story features Sage Whitley and Zander
Havilland. I loved writing this story because it featured jewelry. I love
jewelry and used to sell it as a matter-of-fact. Diamonds are indeed a girl’s
best friend but so are rubies, emeralds, opals…well, you get the picture. The
mystery/suspense portion of the story came to me after picturing the crime in
my head. I took notes on what the ultimate crime would be, and then built the
story around the act. The steps leading to the nefarious act just came to me
once I had the ending in place. I worked in reverse you could say. I won’t say
more as I may give away the highlights of the story. You’ll need to read it
;-). I hope you enjoy my story!
Sometimes trusting your
heart is harder than diamonds…
Years separated Sage and
Zander. Will their reunion rekindle feelings they’ve long since kept to
Sage Whitley’s life as owner
and jewelry designer for Whitley’s Jewelers was mundane and comfortable until
the return of Zander Havilland. Secretly, Sage has had feelings for the
handsome gemstone buyer for years and now he’s back in Jonerstown to stay.
Sage’s life is soon turned upside down and Zander is there to catch her.
Zander Havilland leaves his
high paying job in New York City to return to his hometown to stay with his
aging mother. An opportunity presents itself shortly after his return, putting
him on a collision course with the lovely, petite Sage Whitley. Soon emotions
long hidden for the beauty rush in and Zander is more than ready to accept the
Adversity draws them closer
together as they try to unravel a mystery involving a large diamond, a rash of
thefts, and murder. Can they solve the bizarre mystery before it’s too late and
explore the possibility of everlasting love?
“You’re early,” she said when
she noticed Sage.
“Had a hard time sleeping last
night. Need the jolt sooner not later,” Sage professed. “Give me an espresso. I
need jet fuel instead of gasoline.”
Sherry laughed. “Sure thing.
What size? If you’re not used to drinking them, then I’d recommend going no
bigger than a medium.”
“Make it so.” It never ceased
to amaze Sage how efficient Sherry was at her job. Her steaming drink was
before her in no time. “You make preparing my orders look so easy,” she
declared, sipping the brew. “Wow, it’s strong.”
“You said jet fuel.” Sherry
said and then grinned.
“I guess I did. Thanks. I’ll
probably catch you later today. See you,” Sage said before turning to leave.
She stopped, rooted in place, when she saw who strolled in the door.
Zander stood in all his
gorgeous glory. He was wearing a tailored three-piece suit in a pleasant
charcoal color, which showcased his broad shoulders. A white dress shirt and a
cobalt blue tie completed his ensemble. His collar brushing, ink-black hair was
pulled back into a stubby tail. The corners of his mouth curled upward when his
eyes met hers.
His smile made her heart skip
a beat. Sage’s knees weakened and she leaned against the counter for support.
She knew she’d never see a more perfect male specimen than the man standing
He ambled over toward her and
stopped about a foot away.
Every one of Sage’s nerve
endings seemed to fire at once. Her pulse fluttered and the pit of her stomach
“Good morning,” he said.
“Hi,” she managed and then
sipped her espresso. She frowned slightly. “This is stronger than I’m used to.”
Zander leaned down and sniffed
the brew through the opening. “You drinking the high octane stuff?”
“Huh…” Sage couldn’t seem to
form proper words. “Yeah,” she said when her synapses worked again. “I had
trouble sleeping last night.”
“You too?” He flashed a
brilliant smile again. “How is the espresso?”
I live in South Central
Pennsylvania with my wonderful, loving husband and my beautiful daughter. I
also have a son who is currently serving in the U.S. Navy. I have a cat named
Kolzig and a dog named Cede who allow us to live with them.
I love to write and read. I also make jewelry when the mood strikes. I'm a huge
sports fan. I love football, NASCAR, and hockey. I'm also a bit of a game show
freak. I love old game shows from the 70's and 80's like Match Game and $25,000
Pyramid. Television shows like Criminal Minds and Rizzoli and Isles are also
favorites of mine.
Aquarius Full Moon, August 20, 2013; 9:45 pm Eastern Daylight Time
Names for the August Moon:
Technically A Blue Moon?
Yes. Allow me
followed the rule that a Blue Moon is the second full moon occurring in a
single month. James Hugh Pruett stated the definition in his 1946 article in Sky & Telescope, “Once in a Blue
Moon.” He wrote:
"Seven times in 19 years there were — and
still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon
each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called
based his definition on a misinterpretation of a 1943 Sky & Telescope column penned by Lawrence J. Lafleur. Lafleur, in turn, had quoted the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, which had
defined a Blue Moon as occurring when "one of the four
seasons would contain four full moons instead of the usual three." Since
Lafleur hadn’t provided specific dates, Pruett misinterpreted Lafleur’s
The “two full moons in one
month” became nationally solidified when Deborah Byrd used it in a 1980
National Public Radio broadcast.
I just signed the contract with Astraea Press for Spell Fire, the third book in my YA series, The Teen Wytche Saga. Spell Fire introduces a new school and new characters, but the spell book and two characters from the earlier novels return.
Spell Fire will release by early November.
Expect dragons, demons, and sparkly Dorothy shoes!
Since submitting my manuscript for Book 3 of the Teen Wytche Saga, I’ve been reworking the first manuscript in my upcoming Middle Grade series. For two nights I have been blocked on a particular chapter – one I knew needed a lot of rewriting to crank up the tension. I woke today determined to tackle the beastly block.
Phase One: Procrastinate
Writers have to eat, right? And since the temperature was supposed to hit the 112 degree mark today, that meant grocery shopping had to be moved to the top of my To Do list. Once I had found a parking spot in the shade (score!) I reasoned, The bakery is just across the street. Why not buy my bread there?
Unwilling to relinquish a shady parking spot, I donned my hat, waded through the heat waves rising off the asphalt, and finally reached the six-lanes in all directions intersection that stood between me and a loaf of honey oat multi-grained bread. The metal signal button burned my finger. The automated recording yelled, “Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.” My blood pressure maxed. Finally the automated voice switched to “Walk sign is on. Walk sign is on.” Holding the brim of my hat, I speed walked to the far side as the voice counted down to one.
Aspen Mills Bakery and Deli makes some of the finest brownies on earth. So I really couldn’t just buy a loaf of bread, right? I knew you’d agree.
Purchases in hand, I hiked back to the intersection. When I first glanced up, I saw a motorcycle cop standing next to his bike in the middle of the intersection, his hands raised in a stop position. A quick sweep of the traffic revealed no accident.The traffic lights must be out. I looked back at the cop. He had vanished. I blinked.
I’m a shaman as well as an author. Yes, it was noon, I was hungry, and it was hotter than Hades. Any non-magical person would assume her eyes were playing tricks on her. But shamans can’t ignore visions. So I did a quick stop at the supermarket, then headed home, avoiding the intersection with the phantom cop.
Raising the Stakes: The Bargain
A bargain with yourself is easily broken (Who besides your dog and the gods would know?), so I went on Facebook and posted today’s house rule: No chocolate until I deal with the centaurs.
An earlier post had mentioned I was happily back writing about fairies, Vikings, and other magical creatures, so when I said centaurs, readers knew I referred to my Middle Grade trilogy. Those who know me, are well aware of my chocolate addiction. The stakes were high. The pressure huge.
Will Work For Chocolate
I kept the brownie in its little brown bag, stashed it in the pantry, ate lunch, andignored the little dessert as it you hoo-ed from the cupboard. Back in front of the computer, I groaned as the word “brownie” kept appearing in the chapter (one of the main characters is a British brownie, a little man/ house elf) but I remained tough.
What I Learned
I can be hyper-focused and amazingly productive when chocolate is at stake. I drew upon reserves I didn’t know I had, and powered through until I had wrestled those centaurs to the ground. I wielded the Delete button like a sword, excising text that slowed the action, and cutting a faulty subplot. Sure, I still have to hunt down the thread to the subplot and do some rewriting. But I kept my word. I dealt with the centaurs.
Now if you will excuse me, there is a brownie calling my name. And I have to figure out the shamanic meaning behind the phantom cop. I suspect he symbolized, Stop procrastinating and finish your rewrites!
Amazon Best Selling author Heather Gray, (currently #1 for Inspirational Romance), features my second YA novel, Spell Struck, on her blog today. Heather has been rocking several Amazon charts with her books and short stories, including Mail Order Man, Ten Million Reasons, His Saving Grace. and Late for The Ball?.
I hope you'll stop by and visit Heather's blog: Heather Gray Spotlights Spell Struck. And leave a comment ~ we'd love to hear from you!
For those of you who are new to the Teen Wytche Saga, you can catch up on the story with the ebook version of Spell Check, Book 1: The Teen Wytche Saga, on sale now for $.99.
Rape has always been on my radar. Its evil has struck friends, family members, and clients. I've waited with a traumatized rape victim for the police to arrive. I've lost sleep while an infamous serial rapist terrorized the area where I lived. Through Lafayette Juniors, I helped raise funds for a one-stop medical treatment room at a rape crisis center. Victims of rape and molestation have come to me through my shamanic healing practice.
As a mother, and as an author of Young Adult fiction, I've observed the sexualization of pre-teens, and the peer pressure tweens and teens face to lose their virginity earlier and earlier. When I first set-up this blog, I included a FYI page with information and links about abusive teen relationships. Today, I'm renaming the page: "Your Body. Your Mind."
If you have been raped, or are in a relationship with someone who has been raped, please take a moment to read Hale's article. It may change your life, give voice to your experiences, or help you navigate the future.
I'll be the first to admit that Goodreads is low on my list of social media sites. I love the idea of Goodreads. I just wish I found the site easier to navigate. And since it often frustrates me, I don't visit it as often as I should. I always feel like an iMac girl in a PC world when I'm at Goodreads.
It all began when I left the country for a Celtic pilgrimage in Wales two weeks before my second novel, Spell Struck was due to release. By the time the trip ended, I had immersed half the tour group in my nightly quest for the perfect book cover.
Thank you, Felicia Rogers, for loaning me your blog to tell the tale.
J. Andersen, whose award-winning YA book, At What Cost, was spotlighted here in July, has a new book trailer. The choice of narrator surprised me. But I think you'll agree, the pick added power and interest to the video. https://vimeo.com/71696245
Yesterday I took a break from writing and drove to the Regal to watch "The Heat," starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. A couple of hours later, pumped up on female empowerment and friendship, I headed home. During the drive back, I remembered that Spell Struck, Book 2: The Teen Wytche Saga, features another Sandra Bullock movie poster.
Can anyone guess which movie?
How about which character has the poster?
No fair peeking on my Facebook page for the answers!
Book readers are out there. They are hungry for well-written books and will seek out their favorite authors. But how do authors, especially those who are self published or small press published, find them?
Questions Authors Ask Themselves
How can I break out of the pack?
Social media! Where should I start?
Social media is stealing hours from my writing time. How should I invest my time?
Is advertising worth my limited resources? If so, then where should I invest my adverting dollars?
Marie Force, a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, researched these questions and more in a recent survey. The results may surprise you.