Where You'll Find Me

I'm currently running my blog over at WritersAfterDark.net. I'd love it if you stopped by and hang for a bit! I'll return the favor, promise!

Running two blogs gets a bit difficult, so bear with me while I figure things out. In the meantime, if I could interest you in industry news, writing tips, and poking some fun at writerly problems, you'll find me here:



Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Celebrations, Cover Reveal for Paranormal Keepers by Jen Naumann, & Giveaway

This hop comes with easy instructions: Sign up, post something to celebrate, 
hop around, cheer on others, and bask in warm glow. Full instructions and badge *here.*

As an author and a friend, I enjoy helping, encouraging, and being there for my buddies. Just as they are always there for me. So this week I'm celebrating writers and bloggers having each other's back ;)

With that in mind, I'm excited to share with you the beautiful cover of Author Jen Naumann's newest novel: Paranormal Keepers. 

Book Description:

Everyone thinks Harper Young killed her boyfriend. No one will say it to her face, but the signs are everywhere.

It’s almost been a year since Gavin was torn from Harper’s arms and brutally murdered. The police wrote it off as a freak accident, deciding Harper’s strange testimony was given under duress. But she knows something unnatural was involved and refuses to stop looking until she finds his killer, even if it means her reputation as a senior is ruined. Even if it means there really are monsters living among us.

With the discovery of the mothmen, witches, vampires and all the creatures she always suspected were out there, Harper finds herself amidst a complex bundle of unseen heroes who call themselves "Keepers", sworn to keep the secret of the paranormal creatures that walk this earth. As she tries to understand what’s so special about her that she’s able to break an old Keeper law, Harper has a baffling vision of kissing a mysterious guy before a blade is brought down on him. Before she can get a handle on her future, she becomes central to a battle between the questionable “heroes” and the evil she’s been training to fight, leaving her to wonder if there’s any way to change the fate that has been foretold before it’s too late.
* * *

Best of luck to Jen!

Find her here: website | goodreads | amazon | twitter | facebook

* * *

Before you go, feel free to enter the giveaway 
I've been telling you about since last week. 
Thanks!

You can win all of these (Plus more): 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are you celebrating?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Coffee Chat #5.1: Flash Giveaways!

Heard of Flash Giveaways? They're very popular on Facebook these days.

All there is to it, is in a matter of a short time the person hosting it will flash all their friends, in my case me…sorry mom, dad, hubby…but an author's gotta do what an author's gotta do. Then in a matter of an hour or however long the promotion goes for, we choose a winner and they get a prize. Tonight I'll be a part of my very first flashing experience as part of our Share the Love Giveaway.

All right, you're on to me. I'm not having a special Mardi Gras Even tonight, but for more real information on tonights Flash Giveaway, go right ahead an pop over to this week's Coffee Chat. (A gift card is involved)…Oh and save me a muffin, will ya?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kinetic: First Chapter

As I'm working away on Static (The Luminaries #2), I figured I could be nice and share the first chapter of Kinetic with my blogger friends. Hope you enjoy the sneak peek into Annie Fox's life! If not, go have a drink, then try again...




    Midnight, finally the fun begins. While I was stuck here looking everywhere but at my date, I'd caught on to the robbery happening across the street. He was busy babbling as the two men seemed to be messing with the alarm system. They were dressed in all black, their hoodies covering their heads, and their sunglasses screaming hello to me. I’d been sitting there with my jacket on, ready to go, for the past thirty minutes, and all this guy wanted to do was talk about some company he'd acquired with all his extra-millionaire money. These two couldn’t have had better timing. If I had to sit there listening to Mr. Chatty for one more minute, I would die of boredom.
    “Excuse me. I need to use the ladies room.” I grabbed my purse and got up.
    “Yeah, yeah.” My date flashed a smile while I tried my best not to roll my eyes.
I walked out of the restaurant, not even giving Mr. Chatty a backward glance. My heels clicked against the pavement as I headed toward the jewelry store, and suddenly, I wished I was wearing something a little sluttier. I adjusted my black leather jacket and pulled my fitted red dress higher to show more leg. I knocked on the door and waited a beat, but none of the robbers answered. How rude. I yanked the door from its hinges and leaned it against the wall. I made my way in and found them at the back of the store. I looked at one man, whose mouth dropped wide open when he saw me.
     I smiled, “Hey.”
    “Looky, looky here,” the other man said, coming out from the office to my right. “Sweetheart, I don't know if you noticed but the store is closed.”
    “Ah, yes, I noticed. The thing is, I was over there...” I pointed to the restaurant behind me, “with this blind date, David something or other, and he was talking my ear off when I noticed you two—ah, gentlemen—coming in here.”
     “Are you a cop?” the first man asked as he reached for his gun.
    “Do I look like a cop?” I pushed my hip sideways, trying to look some kind of interesting. “You guys will probably need a hostage if the cops show up, though, so I'm offering myself.” I reached for a necklace and put it on while checking myself out in the mirror that was conveniently placed on the counter. My new layered haircut really emphasized my caramel highlights and almond eyes. I like it.
    “Is this a joke? The alarm is disarmed. We don’t need you. I mean, you’re hot, mamacita, but you’ve gotta be crazy,” the second man said.
   “Well, no,” I answered as the men continued filling their bags with jewels, “but I am looking for some fun tonight, and you two look like you are up for it, know what I mean?” I bit my lips and started pulling down the zipper of my jacket. The two men came toward me like magnets, so I did what any respectable girl would do: I waited until they were close enough and then grabbed them by their necks, delighting in the sound of their heads colliding with each other. They dropped to the floor, unconscious. I proceeded to toss one man on top of the other and sit on them while I called my NYPD friends to come over. I didn’t bother tying them up, nor did I worry about them regaining consciousness. Even if they did, try as they may, they wouldn’t be able to stir one inch from under the whole five feet and 110lbs that was my body. Yeah, I’m special like that.
g
     “Hey, Annie, so what happened with your date?” Beth asked me the next day at work.
     “Nothing. It was quite boring until these two guys came into play.”
     She gave me a wink, “Ah, you had yourself a threesome.”
     “More like I ditched one for two, you know how I roll,” I said, grinning.
     “I heard. Glad you got to kick some ass.”
    I shrugged. “It was a simple robbery, nothing a little head banging couldn’t fix. They were at the right place at the right time to save me from Mr. Chatty.”
     “Hey, there’s always Derek,” she said. “What? Don’t give me that look, you like him.”
    “He is just a friend, Beth. Yes, we hang out and he’s nice, but he’s also our boss. Besides, I’m not interested in dating. I just want to go out there and use my hands to beat the crap out of assholes.”
    “Okay, okay, I got it. You’d think a little vacation would have loosened you up a bit.”
    “Well, I don’t see why it would. I just stayed home, watched the news, and cringed that I wasn’t able to help the whole time.”
    “Of course you did,” she laughed. “I have to go, but I’ll call you later,” she said with a wave.

    I made my way back to my office and worked on boring paperwork all morning. The bing on my computer screen alerted me to a message. The digital envelope took over the whole screen and opened up with its message: Ms. Fox and Mr. Cole, please report to duty immediately. I dumped the papers into my drawer and went to get my instructions.
g
    I stood watch at Worldsafe, location confidential. I had gotten here through the portal controlled by my good buddy, Andrew Cole. He was suave like that. He could go wherever, whenever, all he needed to do was open his portal and walk right in. And if you were his friend, like me, you got to ride along. Worldsafe was considered the most secured location in the world to store your belongings: money, documents, nuclear formulas, urine. Whatever you thought would be dangerous for the outside world to find, you could keep it here. It was for rich people only. The leaders of the world probably kept all their illegal belongings here, along with their extra-marital kids' identities, and their countries’ secrets. I didn’t actually know the content of the safes, but as you can tell, I liked to guess. That’s not why I was there, though. I was there because my boss, Derek Lake, had sent me.
     Security had been breached, and only Luminaries were cleared to work on the case.
    So now here I was, standing with my back against the heavy, layered steel armory door. It stood at ten feet tall, six feet wide, and fourteen inches thick. It had combinations and keys, and it took two ex-marines to pull it open. It was the only entrance and exit to the vault. The surrounding walls were made of even stronger materials, I’d been told. It didn’t matter to me. The reflection was quite terrific, so I turned to adjust my lip gloss while one of the ex-marines shook his head in disbelief.
    “Can you believe that?” he whispered to the other. He got a shrug in response, and I couldn’t help myself.
    “Come on, big guy. At least I’m a change of scenery for you.” I gave him what I thought of as one of my best smiles in the spirit of keeping peace.
    “You’re less than one third my size! Where is that guy that you came with? Or even the other girl? At least she’s taller and older.”
    “Andrew is standing guard outside the building, and Beth is walking the lobby and not that it’s your business, but she and I are the same age.”
    “You look like you just came out of high school.”
    “I graduated years ago, but trust me, I’m the one you want here.”
   “We don’t need anyone else here. We’ve been guarding Worldsafe for years, and nothing has ever happened. Besides, I can fit you in my pocket,” he laughed.
    “You can try to put me in your pocket, dude, but you’d be sorry,” I challenged playfully.
    “Oh yeah?” the other guy jumped in.
    “You have no idea.” I walked over to them and raised my hands up to their chests. “Try to push me.”
     I felt the pressure, but really? It felt like a joke. I gently nudged them, and they both fell backwards. “Satisfied?”
     As they gawked at me, the screams from two levels up reached my ears. The lobby was under attack. I could hear the crashing sounds of glass breaking and the cacophonous sound of something blowing up. Right before the smell of burning wood hit my nostrils, one of the guys went to check out the corridor that led to us from the stairway. His partner started following protocol, which involved him opening the vault to lock himself inside. He entered the codes, and as I pulled the door open for him, the other guard’s body came flying towards us, landing at the feet of his partner.
    The sizzling of fire in the air didn’t stop me from ushering the guard inside, but instead of following through, he lunged at me, catching me by surprise. I was trapped under him when I saw another figure run into the vault. Shit! The guard was choking me, his elbow on my neck, while the intruder ran after the safes. I pushed against the wall with my left leg and sent the guard blasting away from me in one swinging motion.
    Coming to my feet, I ran into the vault and found myself at the bottom of what seemed like three floors. It was filled with storage units, all next to each other. It reminded me of prison cells, each of them with their own armored doors. I smelled more smoke coming from above, so I ran up the first set of stairs and let my nose guide me. I saw the figure trying to melt one of the armored doors, and I launched myself at him. He was ready for me, though, so I found myself thrown across the room like a ragdoll. I pretended to be injured as he approached me, and when he was close enough, I kicked his feet from under him and he fell, hitting his head on the concrete floor. I jumped on him and pinned his hands down just as he looked up at me.
     And there he was, Nick Logan.
     My ex-husband.
    I stared at the face I'd once loved, now with a patch covering his left eye and scars running all the way down his jaw. They were almost hidden under his days-old beard and wild, dark hair. His deep hazel eye looked at me, empty, daring me to speak first. I punched him.
     “What? No kiss?” he said. “It’s been years.”
     “You cold-hearted murderer,” I said between clenched teeth.
     “Annie, you are getting weaker.” He licked the blood splatter from his lips and gave me a half smile. “If you are going to kill me, darling, do it now,” he told me as he tried to push my hands. But we both knew any attempt to escape me would fail.
     I knew what I had to do. Orders were clear… KILL ON CONTACT.
     The thing is, it was Nick.
     Before I knew what I was doing, I'd released my hold. He got up and rubbed his mouth.
     “What did I tell you about giving second chances?”
     “You won’t hurt me,” I said.
    “Honey, you are so wrong! I wouldn’t even blink an eye, no pun intended,” he smiled. “Next time you won’t be so lucky. If you ever get the chance again, take it.” He shoved me down and gave me a hard kick in the ass. He started to leave but turned instead, his smile still plastered across his scarred face. “If you can.”
     I watched him leave and took a deep breath. I had to give this some thought. I wondered if there was any excuse I could come up with that the Organization would believe. I was going to be in so much trouble. And it was possible they would even strip my abilities away. Although my job could be mentally exhausting, I knew that, deep down, I couldn’t give up what made me, me. I was a badass, I liked using my extensive training to bring down the bad guys of the world, and what had I just done? I'd let the worst of them walk away. I came into this Organization to serve a purpose, and I had never regretted it. Until now.
    Nick had taken advantage of all the knowledge he’d gained when he was part of the Org. He was guilty of kidnapping, attacking government buildings, killing a lot of people, and was considered enemy number one for all Luminaries. But while I had no respect left for him, I couldn’t hate him. Not like the rest of them did. This was the man with whom I had exchanged wedding vows, the man who was once my whole world, and he had to be taken down. But he still had enough power over me that I'd let him go. Stupid heart. I never wanted to be one of those girls again, the ones who live for love or die for it. No, love no longer had any place in my empty chest.

     The problem was, I'd found my heart staring at me through one eye, and I'd lost my shit.




Can be found here: 

Add it to your Goodreads ;)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Celebrating the Small Things & Giveaway!

This hop comes with easy instructions: Sign up, post something to celebrate, 
hop around, cheer on others, and bask in warm glow. Full instructions and badge *here.*

This week I celebrate the act of giving.

I don't know about you but I love the feeling of giving to others. Whether its a smile, a box of chocolate, a warm coat, toys for kids, or just a hug. Whatever it is, its far more rewarding than receiving…unless its something you really really want. Err…anyway, I teamed up with some author buddies and my editor and we are doing a special "Share the Love" giveaway for Valentines day. Books, swags, editing services, & baked goodies are all in the mix. Woot!

I'm also celebrating exercising. I tried giving away my extra lbs but no one wanted it, so much for taking advantage of free stuff, ah well. The holidays really got to me, or I got to it…well, something happened and whatever it was, I'm trying to un-happen it. Wish me luck. I need it. Every week I increase intensity, time, & weights, and every week I complain that my gluteus maximus, minimus, something-mus is hurting. I don't think I've been able to lift my arms up properly since the year began. So, once again *this time* I'm really serious about working out and sticking with it. Remind me I said this in a couple of months lol.

What are you celebrating this week?

Oh WAIT! 

Go enter the giveaway & check out this week's Coffee Chat. Both are conveniently in the same place: HERE!!!!

And if you wouldn't mind sharing, posting, tweeting, screaming or whatever makes you happy about the giveaway, I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you :D
(Shoot me an email and I'll give you the rafflecopter code, if you're able to help)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BOOK NOOK & Coffee Chat #4.1: Blogging

Today I get to hangout with two editors!
I'm afraid to even place a wrong comma in my thoughts, I swear…the will know...

You can find me over at Janie's blog for an interview and a review of Kinetic. Did I receive The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval? Well, whatcha waiting for? Go find out!

Wait, not yet. Before you go, I also have to invite you over to Lynda's Blog for this week's Coffee Chat. We are discussing what we think makes a blogger interesting…you know, in a rambling kinda way. Are we the real, the fake, or an improved version of "us"? I said: fake it till you make it! err…or did I? Go check it out ;)

And now you are free to go! Keep in mind these ladies Protect and Serve the Grammar Police Department. So…Let's all go and mess with them with incorrect grammar. Who's with me?
::Evil Laugh::

Friday, January 10, 2014

Let's Celebrate!

This hop comes with easy instructions: Sign up, post something to celebrate, 
hop around, cheer on others, and bask in warm glow. Full instructions and badge *here.*

Please feel free to join me in celebrating ME…as a winner, that is.

The year began and I won two giveaways back to back. My writerly mind immediately came up with a fantastic way to express what I felt when I received the emails: YAY! What? It was short and to the point and I meant it. I'm so happy and grateful to the authors. Both are gifting me with books I'm super excited to read. 

The first one is from the lovely Tara Tyler. I won a signed copy of her debut novel Pop Travel, a bookmark, and a beautiful bracelet. The Quartnet or Qnet is an awesome piece of device you wear on your wrist in 2080 for some really cool stuff. Curious? Okay, I haven't read the book yet but here is my opinion based on what I do know of the bracelet: it's a supah dupah Smartphone replacement, and more. 
Here is my gift, I received it yesterday:

The bracelet is hanging on the book. 
Please excuse my cell phone resolution, it doesn't know any better.
You can get your copy here: Amazon 

The second is from Stephen Fender. I won the grand prize which consists of: The signed set of the Kestrel Saga (The Army of Light, Icarus, and Second Earth), a custom T-shirt, and some delicious treats from Sisters Baking Company. I cannot wait! This Space Military Sci-Fi world has been calling my name for a while now. I didn't receive the books yet but this is what they look like:

To buy your own copies, because I'm not sharing mine, click on the book titles above.

And if that wasn't enough, I also would like to celebrate the fact that the weather is no longer below zero. It's somewhere between 1° & 1. 5°... If that's not cause for celebration, nothing is.

Thank you Tara, Stephen, and weather!

What are you celebrating?

P.S. As usual, you can catch my weekly coffee chat here ;)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Coffee Chat #4: Social Media

Catch my latest coffee chat with Editor Lynda Dietz over at her blog ;)
This week we're easing our way into chatting about Social Media…neither of us are great at it, so go read at your own risk. Click here: Taming The Social Media Monster.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group (7)

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!  Posting is first Wednesday of every month. Click here for more info.

Reviews…
We love them, we hate them, we need them.

As authors, a big part of our success is having our readers or "clients" leave a review for us. We ask for honesty—some of us really want it, the rest only want honest 5-Star reviews. Most of us (I hope) are in it for the joy of writing and actually appreciate ALL reviews. 

Are our feelings capable of being hurt? Sure. We're only human, after all (most of us, anyway). Attack our work, and we feel attacked. Praise our work, we love you. But things aren't always as black and white as it seems. It takes guts for us to put our work out there for all to see and critique enjoy. But all the guts in the world don't make our novels perfect for everyone. So, we'll all get a variety of ranges in reviews, and that's good. Really. Why? Because we're all different. And so are our readers. It keeps it real.

Personally, I feel a tiny panic attack each time I see I have a new review on Amazon or Goodreads. Then I read it, because I can't not read it, and whether I agree with their thoughts or not, I nod. I can't complain though, so far they've all been great (lower ones included), and until I get a horrible review my next statement stays true: even if we don't like the negatives, we do need them because they help us grow. Part of me wishes they would email us and crush our hearts in private, but frankly that's not the game. The game is: as much as we feel insecure about what our readers have to say, we need them to say what they have to say, the way they need to say it. Of course this doesn't mean they're ALL correct. Some just read the book/eReader upside down or had way too many drinks before they read our books, clearly.

Also, personally, I really love the great reviews. And those in particular, I'd rather they not email me privately. In fact, they have my permission to scream it to the world. Seriously, do it. Go ahead. Even if you haven't read my work, take my word for it. No? Fine. I had to try :P. What are your thoughts, though? Do you read them? Do you take personal offense? Or do you accept that they're a necessary evil?

Before I go, I'll leave you with a fun ranking system an author friend posted a couple weeks ago. He thinks as authors we should be able to rank our reviewers' reviews. For the full post, you can visit Raymond Esposito's Blog

These are straight up a copy and paste from his blog:

Reader gives 5-Stars: We are best friends because obviously the reader is an intelligent and insightful person worthy of my efforts to maintain a continued relationship. 
Reader gives 4-Stars: We are friends and while I believe the reader to be a bit of a perfectionist and at times difficult to please, I do understand that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. 
Reader gives 3-Stars: No friendship here, but we can maintain a civil although distant acquaintance whereas I say nothing further and the reader agrees to further educate themselves so that his or her future reviews demonstrate a better recognition of my talent. 
Reader gives 2-Stars: Obviously this misguided and illiterate soul should not be reading books. I’m certainly not going to subject myself any further to his lunacy as both me and my Mom recognize my talent and obviously don’t require the opinion of this poopie head. 
Reader gives 1-Star: You Are Dead To Me – you never existed and you didn’t read my book.
Now, I'm not saying I agree with him…but I don't entirely disagree lol. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Celebrating the New Year!

This hop comes with easy instructions: Sign up, post something to celebrate,
hop around, cheer on others, and bask in warm glow. Full instructions and badge *here.*

I'm celebrating 2014, because so far so good. I can't complain. I came up with a short list of things I intend to do this year, and I wrote it down. Amazing, I know.

This year, I shall be invincible. I might start by writing more, eating healthier (don't roll your eyes), and do the work out thing more seriously. Because let me tell you: December? Oh, I ate it all. I also plan on being there more for my family and friends. My aim is to be that annoying piece of food stuck in their teeth—that they are tired of—but love and enjoy while I'm there.

My expectations are high guys, but keep in mind these are not resolutions. So don't burst my bubble if I'm eating a cupcake while watching TV and turning my phone off so no one bothers me. The point is, its the third day of the year and I feel invincible. Oh no wait, I have a cold…I'm pretty sure I need a break already. Well, when I'm better then, that's when I'll try the invincible thing. Who's with me?

Also, if you're not already tired of me, feel free to check out this week's edition of Coffee Chat. Join me over at Lynda's blog and find out for yourself where I got my material for this post. (Don't judge! If I steal from myself, its not plagiarism. Is it?) (Okay, I tweaked it…just in case.)