Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sarah Ballance: 5 Reasons Authors are Crazy

KAREN: Sarah Ballance is a talented author at Muse Publishing.  She has a busy life taking care of six children and a husband, but she still finds time to conjure up tales your sure to enjoy. Let's give Sarah a warm welcome as she shares her reason why authors are all crazy. 
Psst...I believe she's spot on. 

          Sarah Ballance: 5 Reasons Authors are Crazy

Yep, I said it. We’re crazy. All of us. Wanna know why?

·       We have voices in our heads. And they demand to be written. Or so we say.

·       We claim we love our characters, but we torture them. Then we call it conflict and think ourselves clever.

·       We spend more time naming our characters than we do our kids.

·       We think light comes from rectangular sources. What is that thing the rest of you call the sun? It confuses us.

·       We make things up for a living. And if that’s not bad enough, we talk about these people and places like they’re real. BECAUSE THEY ARE!

Want to learn more about my latest bout with lunacy? Here’s a look at my brand new romantic suspense, available for just 99 cents!

LAST CALL by Sarah Ballance

In a perilous game of trust, a shocking betrayal deals a dangerous hand.

An accidental witness to a murder-for-hire, ex-cop Rhys Clark becomes the target of ruthless killer—one determined to silence her at any cost. Playing dead seems to be the most likely way to stay alive, but when her protection comes in the form of mega-sexy former adversary Nick Massey, Rhys can think of  a few fates worse than death.

Nick Massey may have walked away from his troubles, but he never got past wanting Rhys. Once paired undercover, they’d been nothing but fireworks until a botched assignment ended her career, sending his into a tailspin. Now a mysterious client threatens Nick’s life if he doesn’t keep Rhys safe, but it isn’t until fate takes a critical turn that he realizes the devastating truth: he’s been her greatest threat all along.

Author: Sarah Ballance
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: For the Muse Publishing, 2013
ISBN 13: 978-0-9889995-0-3

LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes and Noble, and Smashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.

Cover art by For the Muse Design

Enjoy an excerpt of Last Call:

Rhys Clark swore and jerked her foot from the murky puddle that had just claimed one of her new running shoes. Perfect. The day was now officially perfect.

She blamed Nick Massey.

Blaming him was easy enough. She didn’t know which required more nerve on his part—leaving town or crawling back—but both events left her bitter and raw. And wet, she grumbled inwardly. With the sky spitting rain and the occasional pellet of sleet smacking her face, she should have skipped her evening jog. The street was little more than a concrete alley of shuttered businesses, and the bleak weather amplified the emptiness. But tonight, with Nick hot on her mind, running through the cold was her last ditch effort to return to her senses.

It hadn’t worked.

Another blast of icy air howled through the narrow street. If she hadn’t been standing still, she probably wouldn’t have heard the shouting that followed.

A few months ago, an altercation wouldn’t have been unusual in this part of town. But the whole area was under reconstruction. Local crime dissipated to nothing with the razing of several apartment buildings, and until now Rhys had long found her route to be a place of solace. She glanced around as the voices drew closer and more intense. Rapid footsteps smacked the wet pavement. Then the echo of a gunshot cracked the night.

Where fear left her paralyzed, instinct insisted she get out of sight. She looked around and found an unbroken expanse of concrete wall offering few options. Heart pounding, Rhys ducked into the recessed doorway of a vacant storefront and hoped the deep shadows would keep her concealed.
Terrifying seconds passed. The sound of her own suppressed breath roared in her ears.

Voices came, clearer this time. Close.

“If we screw this up…” The words, terse and hushed, were encapsulated in panic.

“Shut up,” demanded a second voice. “No one messed up. He’s as good as dead.”

“You think you’re going to sell that without a body? We didn’t get paid to lose him.”

“He took one to the gut. He won’t get far. We’ll find him.”

“He’s leaving a trail. Blood. We got the big bucks for a clean—”

Shut up.”

A hit? Rhys shuddered, fear scaling her spine. A professional hit would have been silent—something not accomplished by the gunshot or the ensuing conversation—but in this game, experience wasn’t always a prerequisite for willingness to pull the trigger. Two years of undercover work had taught her as much.

So had a bullet.

Rhys froze, waiting for the voices to pass. But luck was not on her side. Rather than drawing away, the footsteps ceased.

“Well, well, well,” said the confident one. “Looks like our little game of hide and seek is over.”

Hope crumbled. The voice was far too close. Had they seen her?

She dared not move. Through her lashes, she saw nothing in her narrow view of the dimly lit street but dirty puddles and the occasional bit of trash plastered to wet pavement. She prayed they didn’t look her way should they walked past.

Grunts erupted nearby, followed by the sound of sneakers scuffling on concrete. Then two shots fired, and all sounds of struggle gave way to profane celebration.

In the same instant, a man fell to the sidewalk in front of Rhys. His eyes, sightless and familiar, bore into her.

She choked a gasp.

A man stepped into her line of sight, his weapon at the ready. Before she could stop herself, she locked eyes with him. Big mistake. The decision threw her into a cloud of emotional shrapnel, the past flying at her in shards. She’d been shot once before.

It hadn’t ended well.

The gunman opened his mouth and formed an ugly grin, his breath coming in visible puffs through yellowed teeth. “Looks like a double header tonight, T,” he said, never taking his gaze off Rhys.

“Whaddya mean?” came the reply. The voice . . . she blinked until the second man shifted into focus.

She knew him. From where? She couldn’t think.

She glanced to the dead man, and her vision wavered. Panic shifted her world into a screen of jarred pixels, the flashback jagged and severe.

Rhys! Stay with me, Rhys. Do you hear me? Rhys!”

Blood. So much blood.

“Nick.” She touched his face, feeling stubble beneath her fingertips. Then the weight of her arm was too much; as gravity won he slipped away. The world twisted into a sickening spiral until all that was left was his voice, the desperation in his tone bringing warmth to the darkness.


Motion jarred her to the present.

The gunman gestured. “Our witness here is about to have an unfortunate accident.” He raised the weapon, aiming for the kill.

It was a short view down the barrel at point blank range. She expected that.

What she didn’t anticipate was the speed with which he pulled the trigger.

Or how quickly the pain hit.

LAST CALL is available from: For the Muse PublishingAmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords (formats: .mobi, .epub, HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF, PalmDoc, and Plain Text). Click here to add to Goodreads or here for reviews.

About Sarah Ballance:
Sarah and her husband of what he calls “many long, long years” live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when they’re asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. (As it turns out, her characters aren’t much better than the kids). When not buried under piles of laundry, she may be found adrift in the Atlantic (preferably on a boat) or seeking that ever-elusive perfect writing spot where not even the kids can find her.

She loves creating unforgettable stories while putting her characters through an unkind amount of torture—a hobby that has nothing to do with living with six children. (Really.) Though she adores nail-biting mystery and edge-of-your-seat thrillers, Sarah writes in many genres including contemporary and ghostly paranormal romance. Her ever-growing roster of releases may be found at her website.

You can also find her at:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Importance of Good Reviews

Karen: Why are reviews important? Does it have to be a 5 star review to be a good review? The talented Rebecca Graf is here today to discuss the importance of a quality review vs stating "I liked it" or "I hated it". Let's give her a warm welcome. 

***Contest: You'll have a chance to win a Ebook or Print copy (winners choice) of Deep Connections by Rebecca Graf! Read on and find out how.

Importance of Good Reviews by Rebecca Graf

Good reviews are important. When I say ‘good’, I don’t mean five star or four star. I’m referring to the quality of the review. It needs to be done well. All authors deserve that as do all the readers of the review. Sadly, I’m seeing many reviews showing up that are nothing more than “I liked the book” or “It was horrible.” In fact, some of the reviews are nasty and personal in nature attacking the author.

A book review is a detailed communication from the reader of the book to the author and to other potential readers. It is not just saying you like or dislike a book. Anyone can do that. But a book review tells others why or why you didn’t like the book.

“This book was a waste of my time.” Why? Was it not your style of writing? Was the writing bad? Were the characters flat? Tell me why you didn’t like the book because your reason might not matter to me and I’ll still buy the book. You might not like surprises in books, but I love them. Your review might be right on target for you, but explain it. Maybe you didn’t like it because it full of crude language. I’d avoid it then.

The purpose of a book review is to communicate in detail your response to the book.

A book review should be of good quality. Talk about the good and the bad. Don’t rate a book bad because you didn’t like the genre. Don’t rate the book bad because you thought it would be different then it was. A quality review will look at several aspects of the book:
·       Characters
·       Pace
·       Dialogue
·       Writing style
·       Praises and Warnings

Tell me as a potential reader the good and the bad of each of these. Explain why. Give examples. Don’t tell me to read or not read the book. Give me the information to make an informed decision. This is really important if I follow your reviews as we might have similar taste.

Becoming a book reader means you take on a responsibility to give constructive criticism, explain your feelings toward the book, and give a quality review.

Title: Deep Connections
Series: Connections Series #1
Author: Rebecca Graf
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery,
Publisher: Silver Tongue Press
Format: Ebook | Paperback
Length: 298 pages
Blurb: Just as love appears, so does the darkness. With her heart reaching out for one man, Brenna finds herself the target of an unknown stalker. Who is he? What does he want? How far will he go for her? Death is an option. Brenna discovers more than she bargained for and learns that the stalker will kill for her. It all comes down to decisions, and no matter what she chooses it will demand sacrifice and someone's blood.

Rebecca Graf lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and three children. She worked as an accountant for 20 years before taking the plunge and write online for various sites and companies. Now she runs a publishing company, Silver Tongue Press, and writes full time while trying to keep up with all the activities of her children.

****Contest: Enter below to win a Ebook or Print copy (winners choice) of Deep Connections by Rebecca Graf!
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's Snippet Sunday: Magic of the Loch (The Legend #6)

(Psst... 99 cent Books: Magic of the Loch and Twilight's Eternal Embrace)

It's Snippet Sunday/Weekend Writing Warriors Eight join me at Karen's Shenanigans another snippet from Magic of the Loch.  This is the legend and how it all began... Snippet #6 

Friday, February 22, 2013

99 Cent Books

Twilight's Eternal Embrace and Magic of the Loch are listed at a super low price of 99 cents at Amazon.  
Twilight's Eternal Embrace at Amazon.  
Magic of the Loch .

You don't have eternity to snatch these full length books for your Kindle, so don't delay.

Fun Friday: Golden Gate Bridges Beckons Ghostly Visitors

goldengatebridgefogIMG_0325Join me for Fun Friday at Believing is Seeing for a ghostly visit of Golden Gate Bridge.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Sneak Peek at The Summoner's Tale

KAREN: Victoria Danann new book in The Order of the Black Swan series is available now! Take a sneak peek at The Summoner's Tale (#3) where a secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales all come together.

And what's a release party without prizes?

***The GIVEAWAY: 10 eBook copies of My Familiar Stranger and 2 eBook copies of The Witch's Dream by Victoria Danann.  
Giveaway ends: 03/08/2013

Title: The Summoner's Tale
Series: The Order of the Black Swan #3
Author: Victoria Danann
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: 7th House
Format: Ebook
Length: 300 pages

Release Date: February 14th, 2013

Purchase: Amazon

Book Description:

Coming Valentines' Day 2013
Book Three - The Summoner's Tale
Reading The Series In Order Highly Recommended.

A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you're least expecting it. Even when you're far, far from home.



The plural of vampire is vampire.

When the rush of activity subsided, he found himself alone with his own thoughts; a condition that was more than familiar since he had spent hundreds of years that way. Without the distraction of his friends' banter, since his proposed staff had left Edinburgh, he had begun to see his task not just as a job, but as a mission, one immersed in the duality of joy and gravity.
He had never considered himself to be impatient. Quite the contrary, everything he had ever pursued in earnest, from painting to music to writing, had depended upon patience. But, his cognizance of the enormity of the burden he had accepted had grown over the past months and he had turned to brooding about the time that was passing.
Every day that nothing was accomplished was a day when more people had their humanity taken from them, another day when vampire remained imprisoned in bodies infected with the foulest disease imaginable, and, also, another day when people died.
The project was moving painfully slowly. Everyone who had originally been assigned to work with Baka was gone: married, retired, whatever. Everyone except Heaven - who had turned out to be anything but.
The large work space, intended for several people, seemed deserted with him alone most of the time. He worked from early in the morning till late at night, challenging both the hours in the day and the fact that he was one excruciatingly short-handed task force leader.
When Heaven was present, her moods ran the range of a shallow bell curve from disagreeable to surly to sullen. He admitted that he had provoked her on their first meeting, for reasons that were a mystery to him. Something about her instantly put him on edge and made him feel anxious.
Even though that feeling persisted, he had attempted to make amends so that they could work together amicably. To no avail. She was prickly to the core, spurning every effort on his part to develop a rudimentary standard of civility. She behaved as if simple courtesy was more than she could manage which meant that "nice" was a goal way too distant.
He not only had to work with a person who detested his very presence, but, adding insult to injury, it seemed he couldn't shake an inexplicably strong attraction to her. He found himself staring at the curve of her cheek with her head bowed over work. Or the shine of her chestnut hair when she walked through a ray of light. Or the way her lips pursed whenever he gave her something to do. It was damned aggravating.
To make matters worse, he seemed to have lost interest in pursuing other women.
At exactly fifteen after five she double checked her wristwatch, closed an open folder, rose, pushed her arms into her sweater jacket, put her purse on her shoulder and, like every other day, walked out of the office without saying goodnight.
He perpetually struggled to concentrate because the space seemed to vibrate with a low level, but annoying irritation when she was there. It was stand to reason that he would be glad to see her gather her things and go, but, in fact, he hated it even more when she left. He heaved a big sigh. Fuck me.
Baka had been a person with a well-developed sense of morality, and a well-functioning conscience before he became a vampire. During the last hundred years of life as a vampire, having survived long enough to blessedly recover his understanding of right and wrong, he had voluntarily turned himself into The Order and served as "consultant" voluntarily consuming only artificial sustenance.
No. He had never been short on conscience. And that conscience was rubbing a hole in his brain telling him that it would be wrong to simply sit at a desk and plan a strategy on paper while, at the same time, doing nothing. So, keeping his own counsel, for better or worse, he determined that he would continue to work as a bureaucrat during the day, but would spend his nights - at least part of them - looking for others he might help back to the light.
He had worked with Monq at Jefferson Unit labs to develop a delivery solution. Taking a page from the methodology of the late Gautier Nibelung, they had decided that the safest and most effective approach would be dart gun. Each dart was outfitted with a tiny canister that would puncture on impact releasing a formula that was part stun and part cure. The proper dose of stun solution had been determined by tests on Baka himself. So he knew it worked. First hand. Obviously vampire must be incapacitated while the viral antidote works. As medicinal remedies go, it is fast working, but not instant. There is a delay of two to four hours between introduction to the system and complete reversal of the disease, depending upon the age and constitution of the individual.
His plan wasn't perfect. It depended on encountering one vampire at a time and extracting him, while paralyzed, without engaging other vampire. Tricky, but the alternative was waiting for a task force to be vetted, assembled, and trained. And waiting was the one thing he couldn't manage. Maybe it wasn't the smartest thing he'd ever done, but, hell, he'd had a long life.
           To his advantage, he still had certain attributes that were extra human. Not like comic book heroes. More like human plus. No one knew if these benefits would fade away over time, but, for now, he was a little stronger, a little faster, and could see in the dark a little better than most people. All traits very useful for vampire hunting.
It just so happened that he found his assigned base of operations in prime territory that qualified as a vampire magnet on all counts. In Edinburgh's Old Town there was a large pedestrian population that came out at night and it was built on top of an underground system that was not utilized to any extent that would interfere with the needs of vampire. All this was literally in sight of his office - five minutes' walk away.

In a darkly poetic way, it was fitting that vampire would thrive in Edinburgh's underground city which consisted of a system of tunnels, caverns, and cells cut into the much softer sandstone under the rock that the above-ground Old Town is built upon. It's a place with grisly history where thousands of hapless poor lived in darkness, packed together without sanitation and with the vilest of criminals. Plague victims were not removed and buried or burned, but just sealed in their cells.
Modern day Ghost Tours offer a shallow excursion - shallow because individuals don't want to stay in the underground very long. Words like "creepy" are frequently used even by hard-core insensitives. That leaves miles of maze for a vampire haven.

Baka had been a vampire long enough to know all about how they think. He knew that the days of the Beltane festival would be a gorge fest for vampire. The Royal Mile, just over the heads of vampire living in the Underground, would be crowded with visitors to the city, visitors intent on celebration and revelry, danger being the last thing on their minds. It would be a blessing to vampire in the original sense of the word which was bloodletting; when, as a rite of passage, young pagans would stand in a pit under a grate where a bull was sacrificed and bathe in the blood that fell.
So Baka finished his day, went to dinner alone, and slowly savored every bite of his of actual food. Afterward, driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in the world, he pulled on a pair of cargo pants and equipped the dozen pockets with two dart guns and as many canisters as he could carry without being slowed down. He descended the stairs to the main foyer wondering if, even partial redemption for a long life of misdeeds, is possible. The fact that he was not accountable for that infamous history should have given him some peace of absolution. But didn't. He said good evening to the doorman and headed out into the night.  

About the Author:

Though works of fiction are a departure for me, I have had this series simmering on the back burner of my mind for years, but time is at a premium. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch and writing course work for Seasons in Avalon, I play Classic Rock music and manage Houston’s premier variety and R&B band.

This series will include some of my education in the paranormal and fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing “metaphysician”, but most of the material is fantasy – of course.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vampires for Valentines

***The Winner of the Vampire for Valentines is....Karina! Thank you everyone for hopping with us and sharing your favorite vampires!***
Vampires for Valentine's Giveaway Hop
(NOTE: Twilight's Eternal Embrace and Magic of the Loch are listed at a super low price of 99 cents at Amazon. Twilight's Eternal Embrace at Amazon.
Magic of the Loch . You don't have eternity to snatch these full length books for your Kindle, so don't delay. )

My all time favorite vampire series is J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series

These are adult romance books that are very sexy as well as romantic. J R Ward transports the readers into her world and makes it very difficult to leave. You cry when these brothers do, and you rejoice when happiness touches their lives. She makes you care about them and you can’t help but think about these brothers long after you’ve finished reading.

Every brother is strong, and fierce when provoked. They aren’t perfect and in fact they are each flawed physically in some way and maybe that’s why they are so appealing to me. They don’t let their flaws define who they are. They can be snarky with each other, but when the going gets tough, they have each other’s back.

These black-ops vampires take care of the Lessening Society (de-souled humans), which are the enemy of the Brotherhood and dedicated to the extinction of vampires.   

All legends have a bit of truth to them...

My vampire tale Twilight's Eternal Embrace is a historical romance set in  Ireland, long before the word 'vampire' ever existed.

The Oiche Sith, the blood drinkers, forged an alliance with the Lathe Sith, a neighboring daywalker clan. The Oiche Sith would protect them from invaders in exchange that one female a year wed one of their warriors for the blooding ritual. Unfortunately, the female Lathe Sith never survives for very long.

Adryanna, a Lathe Sith, mourns the death of her recently mated sister, but she finds solace in the most unlikely place—in the arms of Bram, an Oiche Sith. She should fear him, loathe his existence, but instead she longs for their twilight embraces. Bram admires Adryanna’s strength and wishes only to protect her, even if it’s from him.

If Bram cannot find a way for Adryanna to survive the blooding ritual the romance is doomed. They seek help from Sheerin, Bram’s cousin, who believes he’s found a way for the Lathe Sith to survive, but others in the Oiche Sith clan do not wish for them to succeed.

****CONTEST: For Everyone who stopped by wins a FREE KINDLE COPY OF TWILIGHT'S ETERNAL EMBRACE at Amazon (***Freebie Offer ended on Feb 16th***). Of course if you feel inclined to 'like' the book at Amazon, I would really appreciate it. :)

**AND IF YOU ANSWER one of the questions below AND leave your email, you'll have a chance to win A $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD, too. GOOD LUCK!!

Question: If you read the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, who’s your favorite brother? I’m a Zsadiest fan. A tortured hero gets me every time. If you haven't read the series, who is your favorite vampire character of all time?

Here’s a list of the brothers and their books:

Wrath is the King of the vampires and is the last pure blood vampire in existence. He was almost blind (in this book) and is the leader who was not willing to ascend the throne. He falls in love with Beth, the half-breed daughter of his Brother in arms, Darius. His story is told in Dark Lover.

Rhage, son of Tohrture, is the strongest and most beautiful of the Brothers. He goes by the name, "Hollywood", and is also the most sexual because of his curse. Cursed by The Scribe Virgin, he is possessed with a dark creature known only as the Beast that makes him a danger to everyone including his brothers, except for Mary. The beast seems to adore her. His story is told in Lover Eternal.

Zsadist, son of Aghony, is the scarred, menacing Brother. He was taken as an infant from his family and forced into blood slavery. Phury, his twin rescues him a century later. Zsadits is described as being "ruined, not broken". He meets aristocratic vampire Bella and things begin to change for this vampire in Lover Awakened.

Butch is the only male human to be allowed within the Brotherhood. His story and his love for the vampire Marissa is told in Lover Revealed. ( I don’t want to say too much for there are surprises revealed in this story.)

Vishous son of The Bloodletter. He’s intelligent and the one who is specially gifted. His curse is to see the future, though he’s never sure when the events will occur so he cannot always save those who may face danger. He’s tattooed on his face, his genitals, - which are scarred because his father tried to castrate him. His entire hand, he has the ability of psychometry. He falls in love with a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb. His story is told in Lover Unbound.

Phury, son of Aghony, is Zsadist's twin brother and a celibate. His guilt for living a good life while his brother did not prevents him from fully living. Phury is incredibly loyal to his brother, even shooting off his own leg to save his twin. His love interest is with the Chosen, Cormia. His story is told in Lover Enshrined.
Rehvenge is brother-in-law to Zsadist. He’s a half symphath, and owner of a local club called ZeroSum. He is also a member of the vampire aristocracy and the "Princeps Leahdyre" of its council. He hides the fact that he is half "symphath" even from his own sister, Bella. His story is told in Lover Avenged.

Tohrment took over leadership of the Brotherhood when Wrath became king. He was the Brother, with a kind heart, until a tragedy took the life of his Shellan, Wellsie and his unborn son. He disappears until Lover Enshrined. A fallen angel, Lssiter returns him to the brotherhood, but he is weak and still mourning the loss of his Shellan. His story is told in Lover Reborn.

John Matthew/Tehrror is the reincarnation of Darius. He was born mute and uses American Sign Language and whistling to communicate with others. Before learning that he was a pre-trans vampire, he lived alone in the human world. His love interest is Xhex and his story is told in Lover Mine. He is best friends with Qhuinn and Blaylock.

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother.  She was imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, but finally frees herself and suffers a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her. He's human and she's a vampire. The relationship is a big no-no.

  Qhuinn is best friends with Blaylock and John Matthew. He is hated by his parents because of his mismatched eyes. (This is considered defects to the vampire aristocracy). In order to avoid being put to death he was dedicated as John Matthew's ahstrux nohtrum - his protector. He is a playboy with commitment issues, preferring a steady stream of anonymous sex. In "Lover Mine" you also see that he really is in love with Blay.

Blaylock or Blay First met John Matthew at the training facility and quickly became John's first friend. He is now a soldier in the war against the Omega and the Lessening Society. It has been revealed that he is gay and in love with Qhuinn. This has placed an increasing strain on their friendship. Qhuinn and Blay’s story is in Lover at Last. (released date is March 2013)

I hope you enjoyed the post. The Vampires for Valentine's Giveaway Hop was run by paranormal romance authors Felicity Heaton, Caris Roane and H. D. Thomson! Don't forget to stop by the other blogs for great post and more prizes!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Let's Have Some Fun!

Vampires for Valentines Giveaway Hop
****CONTEST: Everyone wins a FREE KINDLE COPY OF TWILIGHT'S ETERNAL EMBRACE at Amazon AND IF YOU ANSWER one of the questions AND leave your email, you'll have a chance to win A $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD, too. GOOD LUCK!!

Want to win more prizes? My paranormal/mystery/romance, Magic of the Loch, is on sale for the super low price of $0.99! To celebrate, I'm hosting a contest. You can win a $10 GIFT Card to AMAZON. Stop by
To find out how to participate!

Twilight of Eternal Embrace  is FREE TODAY AT AMAZON.
The winner for the Heartbreaker Hop at KMN Books is Shannon R! Thanks everyone who hopped with us!!

Big News for Indies!

KAREN: Welcome Everyone! I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. We have a special guest here today from InD'Tale magazine and website. TJ Mackay is the publisher and editor of this fun, informative, and friendly new hangout for authors and readers. TJ, please tell us a little about yourself.

TJ MACKAY: I was born on a cold, rainy night a poor little.... (OK, not really, it was a hospital in L.A. in the middle of a sunny afternoon but what fun is that?!?)  I grew up in the middle of nowhere amongst lots of animals, open space and love.  I have had two consuming passions throughout my life, reading and music.  I carried a double major throughout college of English Education and Dance because of it and have pursued both careers simultaneously ever since!  I’ve taught, coached and judged dance teams and competitions throughout the West. I’ve also been an Elementary and Jr. High School music teacher and still keep some of my best students.  I’ve also worked as a reviewer and Special Features Editor in another national  (but traditional) magazine. I enjoy chasing my kids around to all their school and sports events and in my dream world, I would also have time to scrapbook, bake, and hangout with friends. :)

KAREN:What inspired you to start InD’Tale?

TJ MACKAY: While working in traditional publishing, I  became increasingly aware of the very talented authors that are not afforded media exposure simply because they choose to self or small publish rather than accept the strictures of mainstream publishing. This really concerned me and I started writing articles on the subject. Finally a good friend of mine said the fateful words, “If you really want to help them, why don’t you start a magazine of your own?”  Thus, InDTale Magazine was born (soooo tempted to say, ‘and the rest is history!’ but quietly refrained.)

KAREN:What can the authors and readers find at your site?

TJ MACKAY: Oh goodness, there is so much!  The site is actually set up to support the magazine.  It showcases all the wonderful talent that is being featured.  There are tons of book reviews, along with Jimmy Thomas and Tammy Grant’s informative and fun columns where you can interact personally with them.  You can watch short video snippets with each of the big name authors we interview.  There is the Creme dé la Cover contest that runs weekly with a LOT of free advertising at stake for the winners.  We are also hosting the annual RONÉ Awards for the best books and covers of 2012, so taking a minute to vote on those covers means a lot to the authors... Whew! That doesn’t even begin to cover it - I’ve missed all the promotions, give-aways and contests, along with all the other up close and personal tidbits... oh, just go poke around!  You’ll find so much to enjoy!

KAREN:Is the site only for Indie writers and Indie publishers?

TJ MACKAY: NO!  It is a site for everyone!  Although we only review Indie and small published books,  it is a site where everyone participates.  Traditional authors write some of our articles,  chat in our interviews etc. and everyone can vote and participate in our interactive fun.

KAREN:What will readers find interesting about your magazine? How much does it cost to have it delivered via email? How many times a year is a magazine issued?

TJ MACKAY: I hope readers will find everything interesting about our magazine  - at least that is what I’m working toward!  It has a new and completely innovative format (it comes just like a print magazine only in digital form with pages that make a sound when they turn and everything!)  Each month we have a featured, personal interview with a big name author - not just a question and answer but a real conversation where readers can get to know the personalities of their favorite authors. Then, of course there are always entertaining and educational articles, reviews that are hyperlinked for easy access to the books you are interested in... man, again the list can go on and on!

Because I sincerely want so much to help talented authors who are struggling to be seen, I decided to forgo charging for subscriptions for as long as we are able and try to monetize our costs with advertising alone. I can see that is going to become increasingly difficult as the magazine grows and the time and costs of publishing increase but, at least for now, subscriptions are free! 

InD’Tale publishes monthly, 10 months a year.  We publish a special double issue in Dec/Jan and July/Aug.

KAREN:Can an author submit an article to be published in your magazine? If so, what is the process?

TJ MACKAY: Oh yes!  We heartily welcome article submissions.  In fact, all articles that publish include, not only a short bio and picture of the contributor but are offered a free full page advertisement in the magazine (a $55.00 value.)

We are currently developing a page on our website where one can submit their articles easily simply by uploading them.  It is not completely functional yet, however, so anyone interested can just send their queries directly to me at:

KAREN: Do you offer interviews?

TJ MACKAY: Since we include only one or two featured interviews each month, those are invitation only.  We do run a special column, “Rising Star Spotlight” however, that highlights authors and industry professionals that have created a unique or creative idea that others may enjoy and benefit from.  If anyone is interested in being featured, they just need to contact me, again at:

KAREN:Your site also offers reviews for published books. How does the rating system work? (Heat levels and the star ratings)

TJ MACKAY: Our rating system is pretty straight forward - although slightly tougher just because they are professional reviews and held to a higher standard than the regular reviews seen on Amazon, Goodreads etc.  They run like this:

Our rating system is the standard 5 star rating system:
1.        5 =  exceptional 
2.        4 = excellent
3.        3 = good
4.        2 = fair
5.        1 = poor
6.        Half star ratings are included.
7.        Could Not Finish

We also rate the "Steam" or sex factor so readers can enjoy whatever level they are most comfortable with.  The criteria is as follows:
1 Steam Kettle =  Nothing but kisses
2 Steam Kettles = Passionate kissing,
3 Steam Kettles = Sex but the door is closed
4 Steam Kettles = Slightly steamy sex with some description
5 Steam Kettles = Steamy sex with somewhat graphic description
KAREN: Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers?

TJ MACKAY: Hmmm.... that is always one of those questions that immediately send the brain into nothing but white fuzz! I’m sure there are a million things I would like to say but every single one leaves the minute the question is asked!  

I guess the most important thing is my honest and heartfelt desire to help promote the wonderful, talented authors who deserve to be read.  This magazine has never been about money (obviously!) as odd as that sounds, it has been about passion.  A passion to write, to read and to lift the lives of everyone who experiences that same excitement in a beautifully written word.  Cheesy as that may sound, it is the unblemished truth. :)

Thanks so very much for allowing me to bluster away today!
TJ Mackay

KAREN: TJ, thank you for joining us today. I wish you and your magazine the best. 
Readers and Authors, please feel free to ask any questions or just say hello. TJ would love to hear from you.

Find all the latest news at InD'Tale at:
Click on the magazine photo above to browse the latest issue of InD'Tale magazine. Have fun!!