Saturday, May 28, 2011

Critique Contest

Shelly Watters is hosting an awesome contest. Agent Judith Engracia of Liza Dawson and Associates will critique the winners first ten pages.


But first, we all need to make our irst pages shine.

Hidden in Shadows
Urban Fantasy
96,000 words

First 250 words:


Heavy breathing. His — the hunted.
My unsuspecting prey muttered a curse as he lost his footing and slid a few feet down the mountainside.
I smiled. Easy pickings, compliments of cocaine.
Rocks tumbled down as he stumbled again, splinters of shale forcing me to hide behind a tree. I'd waited four days for this my chance to hunt and kill him at my leisure with no eyewitness — I wasn't about to let him see me and make a break for it.
I peeked around the oak, and the setting sun momentarily blinded me, blood reds and flaming oranges blurring together like the gates of hell. How appropriate.
He stood, hunched over, his hands on his knees. His labored breathing shook his large frame, the back of his neck the same bright red as the sunset. If he continued at this pace, I might not have to kill him. His heart could give out. Perfect… save me the trouble.
But I couldn't rely on the possibility of a heart attack. He had to die by my hand. I removed a large knife from its sheath inside my right boot and took aim.
Voices sounded from above us, loud and near. Other hikers. I grimaced. Now was not the time to make my move. Not yet at least.
The man now sat on the edge of the path in a stupor, idly picking up pebbles and letting them fall into a pile. The red Louisiana clay of Driskill Mountain stained his trembling fingers.

I'll do my best to get around and critique everyone else, but it might take me away since I'm away on vacation. Feel free to critique to your heart's content - tell me what works, what doesn't, what needs to be changed/fixed. Thanks!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lotsa Links and Prizes to be Won

If you're here for the Splash into Summer Giveaway, you can scroll down or click here.

Hey everyone, I'm actually at two places today for my Champion of Valor blog tour.

Sarah interviews me. I had a lot of fun with this interview.

Shannon highlights me.

And in case you missed a few stops, here at the last couple of stops:

I visited A.J. and talked about Female Knights in the Middle Ages.

I was at Regina's talking about Religion in the Middle Ages.

I talked about reading and baking, two of my favorite activities at Kimberly's.

And talked about selkies at Ambur's.

Don't forget that each comment gets you in the running to win swag and the entire Kingdom of Arnhem series. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Splash into Summer Giveaway

Before we get to the giveaway, I need to post the latest links for the Champion of Valor blog tour - On May 23rd, I visited A.J. and talked about Female Knights in the Middle Ages. And on May 24th, I was at Regina's talking about Religion in the Middle Ages.

Onto the giveaway!

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer
Page Turners Blog

An ecopy of Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, or Champion of Valor!
To enter, you must be a follower and leave a comment. +1

For additional entries:
Spread the word (through your blog, FB, or twitter) +1 for each, leave a link in a comment
Click on my Champion of Valor blog tour page. Each comment that you leave along the blog tour is +3

Woman of Honor - Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.

Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparring classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love.

The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.

Knight of Glory - Sir Geoffrey, along with some companions, has been sent away from Arnhem, entrusted by Queen Aislinn for a special mission, and has to leave behind the mysterious lady Celestia. On his journey, he uncovers seeds of a sinister plot, learns a horrible secret, and makes a new friend in exile Jenanna.

Their mission completed, Geoffrey and his companions rush to two different kingdoms to ask for aid. Danger and betrayal lurks around every corner, and even allies have secrets that could prove deadly. Geoffrey's feelings for Celestia grow and wane. After learning some of Celestia's secrets, he begins to have second thoughts about his love for her and is even drawn to Jenanna.
Rumors abound that the Speicans have enlisted a mage of their own, to work unspeakable, forbidden magic. The war between Speica and Arnhem has just begun. Will Geoffrey survive the battle to live another day and discover which woman he truly loves?
Champion of Valor - The Mystical Conch Shell of the Sea has been stolen, and it's up to Selliki, the selkie, to get it back. Selliki sets across the continent of Alethereia to find Arnhem, and Gabrael, the mage she loves. Selliki knows that no union between a selkie and a human have ever had a happy ending, but neither can ignore their feelings. Each night, they experience terrible, real dreams that show how doomed their love is.

The final war between Speica and Arnhem is threatening the entire world. Lucifer has aligned himself with Speica and wants nothing less than to bring about the Apocalypse before its time. In the last battle, cowardice is revealed, promises are broken, and many people die. Trolls fight icthyocentaurs, dwarves armed up against the Drow, angels against demons. Only one kingdom will prevail; that is, if the world doesn't end.
You can follow the hop by stopping by the blogs listed below!

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (Int)
  2. Page Turners (US/Can)
  3. Bonnie R. Paulson (Int)
  4. Three Boys and an Old Lady (US/Can)
  5. Actin Up With Books (US/Can)
  6. Penny Laine (US)
  7. BookGeeksRule (US)
  8. Mymcbooks Blog (US)
  9. A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust (US)
  10. Book Flame (US)
  11. Stuck in Books (US/Can)
  12. Dystopian Desserts (US)
  13. Chrissys World of Books (Int)
  14. Reading Challenged (US)
  15. Seeing Night Reviews (US/Can)
  16. Starry Sky Books (Int)
  17. Taming the Bookshelf (US)
  18. Lisas Loves (Books of Course) (Int)
  19. Helen Smith (Int)
  20. Cuzinlogic (Int)
  21. Pensive Bookeaters (US)
  22. Books for Company (Int)
  23. Seven of Magpies (Int)
  24. Attack of the Book (Int)
  25. Rachael Renee Anderson (Int)
  26. The Classy Kitchen (US)
  27. Bookworm Lisa (US/Can)
  28. Books4Learning (US/Can)
  29. Gerbera Daisy Diaries (US/Can)
  30. LindsayWrites (US/Can)
  31. Read My Mind (US)
  32. A Paranormal Romance (US/Can)
  33. Books and Things (US)
  34. Bright Autumn Sun (US)
  35. Irissels Inklings (US/Can)
  36. By the Book (US)
  37. Upstate Ramblings (Int)
  38. Workaday Reads (Int)
  39. Lori Calabrese Writes! (US/Can)
  40. Makobi Scribe (US/Can)
  41. Our Familiy World (US/Can)
  42. Figuring Out the small Stuff (US)
  43. RhiReading (US/Can)
  44. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author (US)
  45. Sniff Books, Not Drugs (Int)
  46. The Book Bug (US)
  47. Just Bookin Around (US/Can)
  48. Cleverly Inked (US/Can)
  49. Amethyst Daydreams (Int)
  50. Book Him Danno (US)
  51. A Family Friendly Blog (Int)
  52. Book Noise (Int)
  53. Inside BJs Head (US)
  54. darkangel88 (US/Can)
  55. The Mod Podge Bookshelf (US)
  56. BookHounds (Int)
  57. FOREVER YOUNG (Adult) (Int)
  58. Urban Fantasy Investigations (Int)
  59. Sweeping Me (Int)
  60. Bat Country (Int)
  61. At Home With Books (US)
  62. Practical Frugality (US)
  63. Outhouse Reviews (US)
  64. Confessions of a Bookaholic (Int)
  65. The Spunky Diva (US/Can)
  66. T. L. Clarke (US)
  67. Id So Rather Be Reading (US)
  68. From the TBR Pile (US)
  69. Truly Bookish (US)
  70. Dutch Girls Favorite Things (US)
  71. Mango Maniac Cafe (US)
  72. At Random (US)
  73. JoJos Book Corner (Int)
  74. YA Enthusiast (US/Can)
  75. The Book Garden (Int)
  76. Where Fantasy and Love Take Flight (Int)
  77. Bisty Bling Books (US)
  78. Just Childrens Books (US)
  79. Loris Reading Corner (US)
  80. Uniquely Moi Books (Int)
  81. Paranormal Romance Addict (Int)
  82. The Irish Banana Review (YA Books) (US/Can)
  83. Simply Stacie (Int)
  84. Genre Reviews (US/Can)
  85. Michelles Book Blog (US)
  86. Read For Your Future (Int)
  87. Layers of Thought (US)
  88. Marilyns Romance Reviews (US)
  89. A Little Bit of Everything (Int)
  90. Mommies Point of View (US)
  91. A Life Bound By Books (Int)
  92. Bookend Crossing (US/Can)
  93. The White House (Int)
  94. Minding Spot (US)
  95. Kristis Book Nook (US)
  96. KeithBDarrell (US)
  97. jennifersmusings (Int)
  98. Leetids Reading (Int)
  99. Read Now Sleep Later (US/Can)
  100. At Your Fingertips (US/Can)
  101. The Bookish Snob (US/Can)
  102. Reading, Writing, and the World of Words (Int)
  103. Paige W. Pendleton (US/Can)
  104. Brummets Conscious Blog (Int)
  105. Books, Books, The Magical Fruit (US/Can)
  106. Bitten Books (Int)
  107. Book Twirps (US/Can)
  108. Lady Readers Bookstuff (Int)
  109. Tifferz Book Review (US)
  110. ROOTS IN MYTH (Int)
  111. "Thats Swell!": A Reel Swell Productions Blog (Int)
  112. Jess Resides Here (US)
  113. LovLivLife Reviews (Int)
  114. Reading Away The Days (Int)
  115. Book Briefs (US)
  116. Becks Book Picks (US)
  117. Mels Random Reviews (Int)
  118. Joan Holub childrens book author (US)
  119. SusieBookworm (US)
  120. The Book Butterfly (US)
  121. A Place to Imagine (US)
  122. Muriel Reeves Mysteries (Int)
  123. Reviews by Marthas Bookshelf (Int)
  124. Inside the Mind of Wenona (Int)
  125. Just One More Chapter (Int)
  126. Michelles Cozy YA Blog (Int)
  127. Paper Dreams (Int)
  128. IngaSilbergBooks (Int)
  129. Living, Loving, Laughing, Reading (US)
  130. Cedar Fort Books (US/Can)
  131. Rex Robot Reviews (US)
  132. Livingston Hall Publishers (Int)
  133. The Book Blog Experience (US)
  134. The Chey Show (US)
  135. Pretty Opinionated (Int)
  136. She Known As Jess Blogspot (Int)
  137. Reader Girls (Int)
  138. Whispers by Rhiannon Ellis (US)
  139. An Old Woman and Her Books (US)
  140. Ella Bella Reviews (Int)
  141. Hedgeland (Int)
  142. Angels and Warriors (US)
  143. Reflections of a Bookaholic (Int)
  144. Teens Read and Write (Int)
  145. Kid Lit Frenzy (Int)
  146. Tami Brothers Live, Love, Write (US)
  147. Readers Unite (US/Can)
  148. ¡Miraculous! (Int)
  149. Rats and More (Int)
  150. Wag the Fox (US/Can)
  151. Romancing the Book (US)
  152. Paranormal Romance Author Caridad Pineiro (Int)
  153. Lady and the Book (Int)
  154. Christi the Teen Librarian (US)
  155. Geek Girl Books (US)
  156. I Loves to Read (US)
  157. Reading Lark (US/Can)
  158. Immortality and Beyond (Int)
  1. Dollycass Thoughts (US)
  2. Express Yourself (Int)
  3. My Reading Room (Int)
  4. The Balanced Writer (Int)
  5. The Bawdy Book Blog (US)
  6. Joanns Best (US)
  7. Icey Books (US)
  8. Shortie Says (US/Can)
  9. New Reading Mania (Int)
  10. A Little Bit of Faith (Int)
  11. Acting Balanced (US/Can)
  12. Book Geek Central (Int)
  13. Pink Lemonade (Int)
  14. Bookladys Booknotes (US/Can)
  15. The Sun Always Returns After The Rain (Int)
  16. Dreys Library (US)
  17. Ink Scrathers (UK only)
  18. Sciency Fiction (US/Can)
  19. Little Sprout Growing (US/Can)
  20. Julie Anne Lindsey (US/Can)
  21. Lisa Schroeder, Author (US)
  22. The Wormhole (US)
  23. Storyweaver (US/Can)
  24. Love and Money by Feng Shui (Int)
  25. Smart Girls Read (Int)
  26. The Guardian Legacy (Int)
  27. E. B. Walters Weblog (Int)
  28. 24/7 Book Cafe (Int)
  29. A Cupcake and a Latte (Int)
  30. Book Lover and Procrastinator (US)
  31. Mella Reese (US/Can)
  32. Library of Clean Reads (US/Can)
  33. For What Its Worth (Int)
  34. Musings of a Happy Reader (Int)
  35. The Secret Life of a Bibliophile (Int)
  36. Dr A Nyland (Int)
  37. Terry Lynn Johnson (US/Can)
  38. YA Booklover Blog (Int)
  39. Bibliosaurus Text (Int)
  40. Alas 3 Lads (US)
  41. Novels on the Run (Int)
  42. So, Write (Int)
  43. Angela Carlie, Fiction Author (Int)
  44. Megg Jensen, YA Fantasy Author (Int)
  45. Karly Kirkpatrick, YA Author (Int)
  46. twimom101 book blog (US)
  47. Randomly Kait (US)
  48. The Open Book (US)
  49. A View From T/O Side of the Hill (US/Can)
  50. A Casual Readers Corner (Int)
  51. Stiletto Storytime (US/Can)
  52. Icefairys Treasure Chest (US)
  53. Amber Argyle (US)
  54. Good Choice Reading (Int)
  55. My Devotional Thoughts (Int)
  56. Wickedly Sweet Books (US)
  57. Sassy Book Lover (Int)
  58. Natalie Zaman (Int)
  59. YA Know (US/Can)
  60. My World. . . in words and pages (US/Can)
  61. A Cozy Readers Corner (US)
  62. The Diary of a Bookworm (Int)
  63. Simple Wyrdings (Int)
  64. In the Next Room (US/Can)
  65. Sooz Says Stuff (US/Can)
  66. Tahlia Newland - YA Fantasy Author (Int)
  67. Ange @ Moonlight Reader (US & Aus)
  68. Vonzes Reader Blog (Int)
  69. Ex Libris (Int)
  70. Mug of Moxie (US/Can)
  71. YA Fantasy Freak (US)
  72. Lynda Coker Colorcrazed (US)
  73. Getting Your Read On (Int)
  74. Talking with Tundra (US/Can)
  75. Sharons Garden of Book Reviews (US)
  76. Reading Under the Moonlight (US)
  77. Romance Author Buzz (US)
  78. Midwestern Moms (Int)
  79. Kris Writes (Int)
  80. Ink Blot Book Review (US/Can)
  81. Clean Romance Reviews (Int)
  82. All-Consuming Books (US)
  83. Bitten by Paranormal Romance (US/Can)
  84. Imaginary Reads (Int)
  85. The Girl Form the Ghetto (US/Can)
  86. iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books (Int)
  87. My Shelf Confessions (Int)
  88. BelleBooks (UK Only)
  89. I Smell Sheep (US/Can)
  90. The Procrastinators Corner (US)
  91. The World of Blue Bells Trilogy (US/Can)
  92. Karissas Reading Review (US)
  93. lauriehere reading & writing reviews (US/Can)
  94. SpadesHighReads (Int)
  95. Great Imaginations Book Reviews (US/Can)
  96. Lynn Doves Journey Thoughts (US/Can)
  97. The Readers Suite (Int)
  98. Book Talk With Charla (Int)
  99. Eat at River Plantation (Int)
  100. The Happy Tonic (Int)
  101. M. Leighton Books (Int)
  102. Red Hot Books (US)
  103. Good Golly Miss Holly (Int)
  104. Getting Naughty Between the Stacks (US/Can)
  105. Keepin Up with LDS Bookstores (US)
  106. Ink, Paper and Imagination (Int)
  107. theDealyo (US)
  108. The Well-Read Wife (US/Can)
  109. One A Day Y. A. (Int)
  110. Suzannes Place (US)
  111. Mina Burrows - books for paranormal & mystic minds (US)
  112. My Keeper Shelf (Int)
  113. Childrens Interactive Mysteries (US/Can)
  114. The Itzel Library (Int)
  115. Evie-Bookish (Int)
  116. Inner Muse (US/Can)
  117. Writing Uphill (US/Can)
  118. Babs Book Bistro (US)
  119. A Little Hope. . . Amidst the Chaos (Int)
  120. The Secret Writer (Int)
  121. Book Away (US)
  122. Shadows of Romance (Int)
  123. Backseat Reader (Int)
  124. Aprils Lifestyle Show (US)
  125. Melanie @ ohslowdownbooks (US)
  126. Edge of Escape (US/Can)
  127. The Book Divas Reads (Int)
  128. Kimberlys Bookshelf (US)
  129. Curling Up with a Good Book (US)
  130. Sheerys Place (Int)
  131. We Fancy Books (Int)
  132. Book Passion for Life (Int)
  133. Dr. Stravagante’s Traveling Book Circus (Int)
  134. No Page Left Behind (US)
  135. The Book Pixie (US)
  136. ECS Library (US/Can)
  137. Mistys Book Mess (Int)
  138. WRITE WILD (US/Can)
  139. A Rush of Green (Int)
  140. Let Them Read Books (Int)
  141. Housewife Preneur (US/Can)
  142. Kellys Luck You (US)
  143. Resugos Book Paradise (US)
  144. Clockwork Reverie (Int)
  145. Page Flipperz (Int)
  146. ohmygoshbeck! (US)
  147. Read. Chat. Love (US)
  148. Amusing Reviews (US)
  149. Cheryl Rainfield (Int)
  150. Preternatural Primer (US)
  151. Under the Covers Book Blog (Int)
  152. Sugarbeats Books (US/Can)
  153. Brenda Pandos (US/Can)
  154. Backseat Writer (Int)
  155. v v b32 reads (Int)
  156. This linky list is now closed. What is a blog hop? Get the code here...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Creating believeable fantasy races - guest blog from A.J. Walker


Creating believeable fantasy races

Fantasy fiction has always been rich with races—from the familiar dwarves, elves, and hobbits, to more outlandish examples such as the Chitare and Thrugs. While readers want to be taken away to a world of wild imagination, they insist on that world being believable. So how do you create an entire race that doesn’t exist, yet keep it logical? Here are four things to keep in mind.

Races don’t live in a vacuum. A fantasy race, just like the human race, exists as part of its environment. The elves in my novel Roots Run Deep are forest dwellers. They developed there and they don’t like to live anywhere else. Human cities are far too crowded, noisy, and smelly for them, and this has given them a disdain for humans. Goblinkin, who are oppressed by the humans, don’t try to flee into the Elven Forest because the two races have developed a mutual antipathy. While elves defend their territory against all outsiders, the human Charcoal Burners have carved out a niche in the forest. Their ability to forge steel makes them useful to the elves and thus they’re tolerated.

Deep background. Delve into the history of your races. Get to know their creation, their evolution, their migrations, wars, struggles, and goals. These all affect a race’s culture and the point-of-view of individuals. This is one of the most fun parts of the writing process and it’s OK if the majority of the material never makes it into the book. By thinking out a race’s background, your writing will be much more believable.

Don’t stereotype. Races are made up of a range of individual thoughts and beliefs. You can see this with human ethnic groups. For example, ten percent of Arabs in Egypt and Syria are Christian. Some Muslims drink. In Asia, some Buddhists are soldiers. No label fits all people, or even a large number of people. It’s the same with fantasy races. For example, the goblinkin in Roots Run Deep are generally thought of as criminals, mired in depression and hopelessness due to the oppression they live under. The heroine, Kip Itxaron, is a criminal too, although she tries to get out of the criminal life. She also fights against the sense of despair that poisons her culture. It’s this fight that’s the core of the novel.

Don’t get silly, unless that’s your goal. It’s very easy (and tempting) to go overboard and create silly races. If that’s your intention, great. Piers Anthony has earned millions doing this with his Xanth novels. But if your intention is to write a serious novel, then stay serious with your races. Hobgoblins, the males of the goblinkin species in my book, are generally dim-witted. I refrain from making them too stupid, however, since then the reader won’t take the hobgoblin characters seriously.

So get to work on those races and fill up your fantasy world with believable, living cultures. And don’t forget to have fun!

A.J. Walker is an archaeologist and medievalist by trade and the author of Roots Run Deep, published by Double Dragon. Visit him on his blog to learn more about writing and to read his popular Medieval Mondays series.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Creature Mondays

Check out the Champion of Valor blog tour page to keep up with any blog stops that you might have missed! Don't forget that there are prizes involved including swag and one lucky grand prize winner will win a copy of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy!
Credit for picture

Today's creature is the Banshee. A creature from Celtic mythology, Banshee is an Irish word that means "the woman of the Sidhe" or fairy world. The Banshee is a female messenger spirit and an omen of death.

Usually dressed in white or gray robes, the Banshee is most known for its wailing and cries. Its wail can shatter glass. Banshees will appear to announce the the coming of a death, sometimes of the person that sees the Banshee, sometimes of a family memeber.

I wrote a short story about a Banshee, still trying to find a home for it.

If you could know that your death was coming, would you want to know? Would you want to be visited be a Banshee?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tagged!

The awesome Cherie Reich tagged me so now I have some questions to answer! Stick around - I'm announcing the winner of Voda Bikini Swim Suit at the end of this post.

And now for the questions:


Do you think you're hot?
What a question! I'll have hubby answer - he said Yes. He's a smart one, dontcha think? lol

Upload a picture or wall paper you are using at the moment.


















Love this picture - I want to write a story about it but haven't figured it out just yet.

When was the last time you ate chicken meat?
Yesterday. I love chicken almost as much as I love Italian food!

The song(s) you listened to recently:
Muse - Uprising

What were you thinking as you were doing this?
About all of the chores I have to do around the house but I'll rather be making Lorna the assassin a more sympathetic characters.

Do you have nicknames? What are they?
Well, hubby calls me a few pet names. In high school, my friends called me Nicky. Just today Jen Daiker dubbed me her little cheerleader which is perfect since I'm just under 5 foot.

Tag eight blogger friends:
Jen Daiker
Katie Mills
Shannon Whitney Messenger
Matthew Rush
Candyland

Talli Roland
Ali Cross
Sheri

Who's listed as number one?
Jen Daiker - awesome friend, writer, and blogger. If you don't already follow her, you're missing out!

Say something about number five.
Candyland is such a fun haven. I always go there when I want to laugh.

How did you get to know number three?
Shannon has such a wonderful blog. I love her series about her writing process. And her love for MG is contagious!

How about number four?
Another awesome blogger! Matthew gives back to the writing community and helps writers to make their query letters shine.

Leave a message for number six.
Talli - you're awesome, what else is there to say? :)

Leave a lovey-dovey message for number two.
Katie, I would go into the query trenches for you. (lol this one is really silly!)

Do number seven and number eight have any similarities?
I would be hard pressed to pick two cooler writers and bloggers. Both Ali and Shei inspire me.

That was a lot of fun! Tag, you're it!

And the winner of the Voda Swim swimsuit picked by random.org is... Stephanie!

Congrats, Steph! I'll email you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Win Critiques from Agents and Editors

Today's Champion of Valor blog tour stop is at Kimberly's - I'm talking about reading and baking.

I don't know if any of you have heard about Brenda Novak's action. Every May, she has a huge online auction for readers and writers with all the proceeds going to Diabetes Research. You can bid on agent or editor critiques and books and baskets - so many things including: a chance to have a 3-hour conversation with literary agent Ginger Clark and a consultation on your work.

I hope you all will check out the auction. It's a wonderful way to raise money. My brother and grandmother both have diabetes (although not the same type) so this auction means a lot to me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reviewing Wednesday - Possession by Elana Johnson

First, I was a bad blogger yesterday and didn't blog so I have two links for you today for the Champion of Valor blog hop! Yesterday, I was over at Lila's blog and I hope you stop on by and check it out. Today, Ambur is hosting me and I'm talking about selkies. Don't forget to comment for a chance to win swag and my entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy!

And now for today's review.

POSSESSION by Elana Johnson

From Goodreads: Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.


Review:


I was able to get my hands on an ARC of Possession and let me tell you, I was stoked to read it! This book features a well-drawn heroine that you can't help but root for. Vi is playful and defiant and wants to do things her way. I love how fierce and loyal she is. She made the book for me.


And Jag. Don't get me started on Jag! Wonderful and handsome and dreamy... I am definitely team Jag!


This book is full of layers. Not just with the worldbuilding but with Vi's background. This book is fulled with so many ups and downs, it's like a wild roller coaster ride that will leaving you breathless and begging for more. The ending especially, it just killed me.


Possession is a book that I must get. I had to pass on the ARC I read, but boy, did I not want to.


Thank you, Elana, for a wonderful read that I cannot stop thinking about. And to me, that is a sign of a wonderful book.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Creature - Sleipnir

With blogger screwing up (I blame Jacob Wonderbar), I wasn't able to update my blog to let you know about Friday's blog - Talli graciously hosted me. And today, I'm over at Stacy's. Be sure to leave comments to be entered to win swag as well as the grand prize of my entire fantasy romance trilogy!
Credit for picture

In honor of Thor, today's creature is Sleipnir, Odin's horse. Said to have 8 legs to symbolize the directions on a compass or the eight-spoked wheel of the year, Sleipnir carried Odin between the world of the gods and the mortal world.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sarah's Contest and a Memory Eater Call for Submission

Yesterday's blog tour stop was over at Jen's and I'm talking about my love of fantasy. Today I'm talking about why I love to write romances at Liz's. Please be sure to check them out and leave comments!

Sarah Allen is having a contest on her blog! Details lifted from her blog:

This blog is getting very close to having 500 followers. Also I'm moving, in case you haven't heard, so I figure its a great time to celebrate and have this blogs first contest. It's very simple, and the point is to celebrate and thank all you wonderful people who've been with me here and supported me. This blog would be pointless without you.

Here are the rules. There are only three.
1-Be a follower of this blog.
2-Post a link to this blog in your blog.
3-Leave a comment here, linking me to that post.

Thats all. Then I will pick a random winner from the comments, check to make sure the link is legit, and that person will win a $15 Amazon gift card direct to their email. But there's a bonus. The deadline for this is midnight on May 23rd, which is my first day at my new job. If by that point we have reached 500 followers, the prize will be raised to $20. Make sense? I figure its a simple contest, and any credit towards Amazon is great, right? Plus I could use the support and the chance to give back something to you all. You're awesome, really. You're why I do what I do.

So if you aren't already following Sarah, you should be!

And a really interesting call for submissions:

Call for "The Memory Eater" Anthology Submissions

“Have a cheating ex you can’t stop thinking about?  How about a past failure which now defines you?  Do you wish you could forget about the time you walked in on your parents making your brother or sister?

“Yes?  Well then today’s your lucky day.  Introducing the brand new Memory Eater—an orb-like device that fits neatly around your head like a diver’s helmet with the ability to locate and destroy any memory in the human mind.

“Victims of rape no longer need to fear dating.  Drunk drivers don’t have to regret getting back on the road.  And for those who have lost loved ones, you no longer need to mourn.

“Today is a new day.  Today is your day.  Start it off by deleting the past so you can save your future.”



And so reads the advertisement for the Memory Eater.  Performed by licensed technicians, the process is fairly simple.  Go to a Memory Eater store and let a licensed technician enter your mind for five minutes.  After a simple search and destroy command, followed by a mind defragmentation, the selected memory will be gone from the customer’s memory forever.

But be warned, for sometimes memories are strung together.  Like an ex-husband and children.  Or drugs and a $50,000 college education.  And if a licensed technician makes a mistake (only 3% error rate), you may forget how to walk, or how to talk, or how to go to the bathroom.

There have also been reports of “subject tampering”.  For instance, a man went in to have his nagging wife deleted, but it turns out his wife paid the technician more money to wipe video games, beer and sports from his mind.  Now the man apparently watches The Notebook every night while eating bonbons with his wife.

But such is the case with any new technology.  There are always pros and cons, glitches and total catastrophes.


Anthology Information:

·    Submissions will be open from March 15, 2011 to June 15, 2011.  They will close on June 15, 2011 at midnight.
·    Writers will split an equal amount of the profits.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reviewng Wednesday - Thor


Hubby and I saw Thor on Saturday and we both loved it!

From IMDB- The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

I went into the movie not knowing what to expect. I purposely read nothing about the movie, isntead wanting to be surprised.

And I was surprised - by how awesome the movie was! The special effects were amazing, the movie was visually stunning. There were many great lines of dialogue, and I chuckled several times (I don't usually laugh when watching movies.) I personally don't care for Natalie Portman as an actress but she did fairly well in this film and didn't annoy me as she normally does (my theory - because Thor didn't center on her character).

I really enjoyed the characters. All were well cast. Anthony Hopkins was perfect as Odin and I nearly squealed when I first saw him on his horse (I'm a geek for mythological creatures - you know that about me already) (maybe I'll do his horse for the next creature post). Chris Hemsworth was swoonworthy as Thor, tough and arrogant, he portrayed him well.

But Tom Hiddleston as Loki stole the show. He was amazing, his emotions spot on. Wonderful villian. I also enjoyed Thor's band of friends, and loved Sif, the female warrior! Tough as nails and yet gorgeous too.

If you're thinking about seeing Thor, I would suggest you drop everything and run to the closest theater. I absolutely loved the movie.

Have you seen Thor? Do you plan on seeing it? Do you like comic book movies?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Irresistibly Sweetness

Are you curious about epublishing? Theresa graciously interviewed me as a part of my Champion of Valor blog tour and epublishing was the topic. I hope you head on over and leave a comment!

And now for a blog award I was bestowed by the talented . Thanks, David!
Isn't that a delicious looking award? I am dying for strawberries now!

The rules for this award:


1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.
2. Share seven things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact and tell these bloggers about the award.

So the seven things about me:

1: I use landmarks when driving, not street names (yes, I know it's a woman thing).
2: I would get lost without my GPS.
3: I've never been outside the U.S..
4: I love to sing and wish I had the time to join a group, even if it is just for church but with the little ones, it's just too much right now.
5: I could eat Italian food every day.
6: I have a hard time telling anyone no.
7: I usually thrive under pressure (just don't ask.hubby about it - cuz I do tend to get a little cranky and irritable when I have to work late into the night to meet deadlines)

As for passing on the award:

1. YAtopia
2. YA Bound
3. The Quest for a Literary Agent
4. seeing, dreaming... writing
5. nerdville rhapsody
6. Jen Knox
7. Holly Ruggiero
8. Fom Sarah With Joy
9. Christine Danek
10. Amie Borst


Not all of them are newly discovered but they are all wonderful blogs! And I know I only did 10, but I really need to get to work. I'm off now to tell the bloggers about their awards!

What are you working on right now?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Creature Mondays

Over the weekend, I had another stop on my Champion of Valor tour, over at Julie's. And today, Sandra's hosting me. Please be sure to stp by and leave comments for a chance to win prizes!
As seen in Dungeons and Dragons 3E Monster Manuel - Copyright Wizards of the Coast

Catoblepas - a legendary bull-like creature of Ethiopia. Although this picture shows a scrawny beast, the catoblepas is normally a the size of a bull. Its head is so heavy that the creature can only look downward. Its name is Greek for "that which looks downward". It is a sluggish creature and grim, with a heavy mane that covers its forehead, narrow blood-shot eyes, a scaly back, and shaggy eyebrows.

It is fortunate that the beast gazes downward because its look is poisonous. It only eats poisonous vegetation so its breath is also dangerous. When threatened, the catoblepas glares, bares its teeth, and emits a blast of foul-smelling breath  that causes its enemies to lose their voice and to experience fatal convulsions. Most animals avoid the catoblepas and it's no wonder why!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Flash Fiction

I hadn't posted the link for yesterday's Champion of Valor blog tour so here it is, over at Steena's. Be sure to check it out for a medieval recipe and a chocolate one.
Cherie Reich's The Flash Fiction Blogfest is today! And before you think that I'm forgetting to post today's blog tour stop, I'm not. I thought that I would stay here today, and use the contest as my stop.

For my piece, I wrote a scene from during the events of Woman of Honor, told from Prince Caelan's POV. For those who don't know the series, Aislinn is a young girl who convinces the king to allow her to train to be a knight. Adamina, a commoner, also wishes to train. The two girls don't much care for each other.

And now, for my flash piece (at 499 words):

Young prince Caelan entered the barracks. He grabbed a dagger from the nearest weapon rack and practiced with it, the feel of the weapon, the thrusts and jabs released some of his tension. A soft sound alerted him to another's presence, and he circled the racks of weapons until he found the source — Adamina.
The commoner played with a short sword, her forefinger testing the sharpness. Some blood dripped, but she paid it no heed. "'ello, prince," she said dryly, not bothering to look up at him.
"Good morrow," he said warily.
She rewarded him with a wry smile. "Would make a lazy spy if I can't see out the corners of me eyes, I would."
He smirked but said nothing, his gaze trained on her and her careless disregard for the deadly weapon in her hand that she flipped in the air and caught.
Her eyes finally turned to him."Surprised you didn't seek me out sooner. Dontcha like to know all the pages and squires for when they're your knights? That's what I was told." With a yank of the dagger, she ripped a stray thread free from her sleeve and dropped it.
"I do," he said, surprised that the others had realized this about him. He was friends with most of the pages, and the squires respected him despite their age difference. "Tell me about yourself," he demanded.
Her eyes narrowed. Despite her common background, Adamina had a rough time with authority, Caelan had already learned from their classes. "I wanna be a spy."
He rolled his eyes. Leaning against the stone wall, he fingered his dagger's hilt. "Tell me something I didn't already know."
She made a show of returning the short sword to its rightful place on the metal rack behind her. After a short pause, she said, "I like it here. Living at the castle, I mean. Back home, it was cold and hardly any food…." She shrugged. "But I don't have to worry about that here."
An ache in Caelan's chest began to grow. His people, he already thought of the Arnhemians as his people, some of them lacked necessary food and shelter. He knew his father helped where and when he could but obviously it wasn't enough. And it was something that Caelan would have to worry about too, when he became king.
Adamina glared at him. "That private enough for your liking?" she snapped. "I almost wasn't surprised you didn't seek me out. Since you spend so much time with her." The bitterness in her voice mirrored the bitterness in Aislinn's when she spoke of the other girl trainee.
"I am not friends with her. Geoffrey is."
She snorted. "Well, she doesn't know how to swim yet, does she? You might want to tell her to start learning how to." Adamina gave him a dark, grim smile. "Some of the boys have been talking about her needing to cool off."
Caelan gaped at the girl as she slinked from the room.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win some signed post cards and magnets. Each comment during the Champion of Valor Blog Tour gives you an entry for the grand prize: a copy of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy - Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, and Champion of Valor.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Star Wars Day!

First, today's stop is over at Alex's. Talking about writing a trilogy and who will enjoy the series. Check it out and leave a comment!

Today is Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you!
 Who doesn't love Star Wars? I know I do. I love the characters and the race across the galaxy. The battle between good and evil. And Yoda speak. Like it I do.
Do you like Star Wars? Who's your favorite Star Wars character? Mine is Han.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Interviewed!

I've been interviewed by Charity for my blog tour. Please stop by and check it out! Don't forget to leave a comment!

I hope to get back to real posts sometime soon. Because I'm still working on the tour and trying to add more sites to it, it's taking up a lot of my time right now. I added a page for the tour so that all of the links are in a handy list for you all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Creature and Next Stop on the Tour

Next stop on the Champion of Valor blog tour is over at Renee's. I hope you'll hop on over to read about what inspired me to write about the Kingdom of Arnhem series.
Where I copied the picture from

Today's creature is Sylph.

Sylphs were air elementals and were beautiful - looking like pretty, lively young women, slightly smaller than human women. In temperament, they are fickle and unreliable. They tend to live on mountaintops. One writer suggested that the Sylphs work hard to make the shape of each snowflake  and gather the clouds. Undines provide the moisture for this work. This same author suggested that the Greek Muses were Sylphs who gathered in the air around an artist to inspire about beauty and nature.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Champion of Valor Release Day!

I'm so excited for Champion of Valor's release!

Stop one on my tour is over at Cherie's blog. Be sure to visit and leave a comment for your chance to win prizes!

I'm also over at Anne's blog today. I would love for you to check it out!