Books I’m reading

Shawna Romkey Book Launch Tonight “Speak of the Devil”

Tonight 5pm-9pm AST at the Lower Deck Taproom Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Author Shawna Romkey reveals her debut novel “Speak of the Devil” to the public!

 

 

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About Shawna:

Shawna grew up in around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, two rescue dogs and one overgrown puppy from hell. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.

 

She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook.  She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.

She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same.  She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.

 

 

 

 

http://www.shawnaromkey.com/

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/1939173191/?tag=trkaz-20

 

 

 

Here’s her excerpt for you:

Rain fell, not uncommon for late spring in Missouri. “If you don’t like the weather here,” my grandfather would say, “wait five minutes.” Of course, I’d visited distant relatives in Maine once before, and they said the same thing.

Julie fumbled with the wipers while I pulled the sun visor down to check my face in its little rectangular mirror, even though I’d only left my vanity like five minutes ago. The lights on either side lit up the interior of the car. I reached into my tiny party purse to find my lip gloss, which was easy to locate since I’d only packed the essentials in my bag: phone, some cash, and make-up. As I glanced at myself, I saw Mike in the reflection, smiling at me from the back seat. I stuck my tongue out at him, making him laugh, and put on the lip-gloss, fully aware of how flirty I acted.

The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the sudden downpour. The pitter-patter turned to thumping. Hail came down in gumball-sized pellets. “Damn.” Julie jerked the steering wheel to keep The Whale off the curb.

“Slow down, Jules.” Mike gripped Julie’s headrest. “We can pull over until it passes.”

“Yeah.” She squinted to see the road before her.

I pressed my lips together to smooth out the gloss. “Damn is right. I didn’t bring a jacket.”

The Whale swerved to the right crunching along the gravel on the side of the road. I braced myself in my seat. Julie leaned up to the steering wheel and peered over it as my grandmother sometimes did when she drove. I squinted because of the stupid light up visor mirror. I slammed it shut, but Julie panicked and over corrected, pulling The Whale to the left and careening over the yellow dotted line in the middle of the street.

“Julie!” Mike shouted.

Time slowed and ticked out in heartbeats.

Ba bum.

Julie cringed, her hands moving up to shield her face. Her head turned away from the highway.

Ba bum.

Mike reached protectively from the back seat.

Ba bum.

The headlights illuminated the rail of the overpass.

Ba bum.

The car hit the rail on the opposite side of the road with a hard thud.

Ba bum.

Crap. We’re going over the bridge.

Ba bum.

The Whale’s nose pointed down toward the water.

Ba bum.

A jolt forward and my forehead slammed into the dashboard.

Ba bum.

The Whale flipped in the air. I’m upside down.

Ba bum.

Pain.

Ba bum.

Did my mom say good-bye when I left?

Ba bum.

Cold water rushed into the car.

Ba bum.

Is this it?

Ba bum.

I can’t breathe. Oh my God, I can’t breathe. I can’t see or breathe!

My heart quickened. It pounded. The Whale leaned on its side under the surface of the water which rushed in fast, and I couldn’t see a damn thing.

Calm, stay calm. Don’t panic. They say when you’re drowning not to panic because you use up your air faster.
Dammit, am I drowning?

I tried to get myself upright and jerked out of my seatbelt. Luckily, it gave way. I fought the latch to open the door facing up, but the pressure of the water from Black Water River held it closed, trapping me inside.

Jesus. I know this river. It’s more of a creek. It can’t be more than fifteen feet across and ten feet deep.
I pushed at the door. Opening my mouth to scream, I swallowed water.

I couldn’t see or hear Julie or Mike. My watch ticked. Or was it my heart beating?

Ba bum. Ba bum. Ba bum.

Darkness.

Silence.

Cold.

Wet.

Defying gravity.

Nothing.

The dreams came. Like a good sleep you don’t want to wake up from. I felt heavy and floaty. I wore this long white gauzy gown and the wind blew my dress and my hair like in some feminine hygiene commercial. I could breathe slowly and deeply. Completely relaxed and at peace, but I was alone.

I floated along in a white space for a while. Drifting. Breathing. Relaxing. Had I gone to a spa? After an immeasurable amount of time, others appeared. They wore white clothing, too, and they floated like me, reaching out. They opened their arms as if to welcome me to them.

I stopped and frowned. I heard no sound, and I didn’t know who these white floaty people were or why they welcomed me. They smiled, genuinely happy, and held their arms out to me. I panicked.

Where’s my mom? My family? Wait, Mike and Julie were just with me, where are they? Are those wings?
I noticed the others floating with me had white feathery wings.

“Lily,” one of them called out.

Holy hell. I’m dead.

Writing away from an early age…

I had help cleaning out and de-cluttering part of the house last week with Bronwyn, my roommate.

Guess what I found?

Here’s a clue of what it looked like when I was thirteen and a huge Elfquest fan.

 

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This little blue binder was my lunch time escape ticket.  I hated the private school I was at and was frustrated that the people I knew since grade four were still there in grade seven.  Nothing had changed.  We were stuck in our patterns of conversation and social norms.  So, I would write in the library by myself.

 

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It even had a side pocket for notes from my bff and scribbles of revelations while I listened to the teacher talk during class.

 

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I love how it’s labeled “VOLUME 1″ as if I was Victor Hugo creating tombs of writing material in this new world.  Today, we call this fan fiction.  Elfquest was a comic that combined elves with wolves naming them Wolfriders and as the “volumes” continued they discovered more about their world and other elves in it.  I dreamed of elves paired with panthers that eventually met these Wolfriders.

“Things didn’t go so good at Blue Mountain…”  I wrote.  Unaware of writing principles and rules.  I was explaining the backstory instead of letting the reader discover it.  I was also thirteen.   LOL.

So, now, as I head into my revisions of a contemporary romance I keep this on my writing desk.  Just in case I want to explore the entire binder again which is full of elves and panthers uniting against evil in their world.

Thank you, Elfquest.

Guest Julia Phillips Smith: Dragonsfyre Trilogy

Author Julia Phillips Smith has released her second book. The first in the Dragonsfyre Trilogy called: Bound by Dragonsfyre.  Check out her website at http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com

 

The book can be found on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Dragonsfyre-trilogy-ebook/dp/B0087L258O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1338777718&sr=8-1

 

 

Julia says:

The fun of being an indie author doesn’t stop at writing books that are all books of the heart. An enormous source of fun for me is working on the book covers.

For book one of my new dark fantasy Dragonsfyre series, my producer and I hired a local model to portray my main character Scorpius for both the book cover and book trailer.

I set to work procuring clothing from thrift stores which my mom reworked into the costumes I designed. As always happens, the preparation for the shooting day took weeks, while the shoot itself took only hours. Yet everything fell into place.

It’s such an incredible thrill to have the physical embodiment of a character who has lived only in my mind’s eye suddenly appear in 3D before me. I look forward to that moment for all my future indie releases with breathless anticipation.

 

 

Here’s the hook:

No one is safe when the dragon glides low over the Eighth Dominion. Not the high born who plot and spill blood. Not the low born who serve with one eye to the sky and the other glancing back.

Young Scorpius is fetched from the estate nursery, once raised to live among the nobility – claimed finally not by his family, but by a falconer to serve as his apprentice.

Scorpius soon learns that a noble hides his monstrous appetites beneath velvet and jewels, while the leathery-winged dragon is honest about his own. His master does his best to shield Scorpius from the world outside their cottage, but the falconer is merely a servant who must obey his own masters.

An attempt on the life of a young lord while on a hunt sends the falconer’s apprentice on an abruptly different path, bringing Scorpius into the service of the House of Pruzhnino. Court intrigue sinks its talons into everyone, even Scorpius–especially a former falconer’s apprentice once raised to be a lord in his own right.

 

Here’s the book trailer:

 

Here’s the book cover:

Chloe Jacobs: Greta and the Goblin King

I am pleased to introduce to Nova Scotia: Chloe Jacobs!  Her book releases November 13th, 2012.

Author Background:

Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she’d at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb:

While trying to save her brother four years ago, Greta was thrown into the witch’s fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon.

To survive, seventeen-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

GRETA & THE GOBLIN KING Links:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13260802-greta-and-the-goblin-king

Barnes and Noble pre-order: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/greta-and-the-goblin-king-chloe-james/1040613977

Additional links:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Jacobs_Chloe

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChloeJacobsAuthor

Website: http://www.chloejacobs.com

Books to read over the holidays! In paperback…

(1) Dreaming of the Wolf by Terry Spear

Award-winning author Terry Spear has written a dozen paranormal romance novels, with over 60,000 copies sold. She received Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year in 2008 for Heart of the Wolf. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry is a librarian by day. She lives in Crawford, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.terryspear.com/

(2) Libertine’s Kiss by Judith James

Seizing the opportunity to follow a dream, Judith James’ writing combines her love of history and adventure with her keen interest in the complexities of human nature, and the heart’s capacity to heal. Her latest what if was inspired by the Restoration poet Lord Rochester. Can a promise long forgotten and a friendship forged in the past help two lonely people find each other and themselves? Can a debauched court poet and notorious libertine convince a wary Puritan miss he is capable of love? These are the questions asked by LIBERTINES KISS, to be followed by THE KING`S COURTESAN in 2011.

Ms James is always pleased to hear from fellow readers and writers and invites you to visit her at www.Judithjamesauthor.com

(3) The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey

http://www.mercedeslackey.com/biography.html

The Sleeping Beautyis the fifth book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series.

Godmother Lily serves the Kingdom of Eltaria, which may be the most imperiled of all the Five Hundred Kingdoms. It has the misfortune of being small, rich, and surrounded with enemies. Governing it has been a constant juggling trick.

But now The Tradition has decided to land the blow of making the King a widower, and his daughter the Fairest In The Land. This can only mean bad things for the King, the Princess Rosa, and above all, the Kingdom itself.

(4) Waking up with the Duke by Lorraine Heath

http://www.lorraineheath.com/index.html

Meet London’s Greatest Lovers! New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath’s delights and enchants, moves and mesmerizes historical romance readers with Waking Up With the Duke, the third installment in her unforgettable series in which the rakish sons of a scandalous Dowager Duchess, discover passion, pleasure, and true love. Perfect for Lisa Kleypas and Liz Carlyle fans, Waking Up With the Duke transports readers back to Victorian England, where a dangerous passion is born when a handsome rogue nobleman is approached with a most unusual request…

(5) Revealed by Kate Noble

http://www.katenoble.com/

Phillippa Benning is the unrivaled beauty of the Season. But when another lady challenges her for a marquis’s attentions, Phillippa entices him to a secret rendezvous-only to stumble upon The Blue Raven, England’s most famous spy, lurking at the site of her planned tryst.

The Blue Raven has uncovered an enemy plot directed at upcoming society functions, but he’s unable to infiltrate London society. Phillippa makes an offer: in exchange for entrée among the ton, he agrees to have his true identity revealed at the Benning Ball-guaranteeing her unrivaled notoriety. As the danger draws closer, the mysterious spy and Phillippa give in to mutual desire. But when the game turns deadly, betrayal waits around the corner, and Phillippa must decide once and for all-is it the myth that captured her heart, or the man?

(6) Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

http://www.patriciabriggs.com/

From Publishers Weekly:

Shape-shifter Mercy Thompson has a complex life, juggling two werewolf lovers and a job working for a fae mechanic; things get even more hectic when her boss and mentor is arrested for killing a citizen of the fae reservation. As the fae seem content to let him rot, Thompson takes it on herself to clear her friend’s name, beginning a lone-wolf investigation that may cost her life. Briggs’s third novel featuring Thompson (after Blood Bound) is another top-notch paranormal mystery; her well-balanced contemporary world, where humans live uneasily among werewolves and fae, is still a believably lived-in world; the ever-present threat of government legislation against nonhumans (though familiar to X-Men fans) adds weight to her paranormal elements, and thoughtfully researched mythology adds rich detail. Thompson is a sharp, strong heroine and her lycanthropic love triangle is honest and steamy. Briggs never shies from difficult material, and she moves effortlessly from werewolf pack psychology to human legal proceedings, making this a tense, nimble, crowd-pleasing page-turner.

Going to get my “read” on!

Tara