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Glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again for Monday Morning Musings, Meet the Author Thursday, Who's For Dinner Fridays, and Saturday Sampler.

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve



Tis the end of another year. Is it just me or are the years going by faster and faster?



As the year winds to a close, it seems like a good time to look back at what we've done. Did you fulfill all your resolutions? I didn't. Not all, anyway. Some of the goals I set back in January fell by the wayside. As usual, I over estimated what I can accomplish. Other things I’d planned to do morphed into different, better ones. 

The way I see it, goal setting (or making resolutions) is like a road map. Great so you have direction but not if you have to rigidly adhere to it when you hit a road block. Or find an interesting detour. Flexibility is the key. Capitalize on what’s going right is my new motto.



Last January, my first self-published book Switched had been out for six weeks. And what I didn’t know about marketing would fill volumes. I joined online author groups and from them learned a lot about self-publishing, marketing, utilizing social media and so much more. I met many wonderfully supportive authors who eagerly shared their experiences so us newbies didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. I’ve tried to be as generous in my support.



Releasing two more books this year (Switched, Too and The Pilot) increased my confidence while the outpouring of support from family, friends and fellow authors was humbling.



As we say farewell to 2012, instead of regrets for what I didn't do I’m counting my blessings. My family is safe and healthy. My writing is going well. Now I’m looking forward to 2013.



What one thing are you proud of that you accomplished this year?



I’ll wait until tomorrow to wish you a Happy New Year when I’m participating in the New Year’s Blog Hop (along with over 200 other authors). So come on back. There will terrific Grand Prizes and I’ll be giving away an Amazon gift card.




Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meet Lia Davis



Today, I’m pleased to welcome Lia Davis on my blog.

Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, graphic designer, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!

An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing and designing are stress relievers that allow her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.

Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.


You can find Lia Davis at:



Lia is here to give you a closer look at Jagger from Death’s Storm.

Jagger is everything I love in a romance hero. He’s a death demon, so the dark, bad boy edge is there. He’s also loyal to those he love and he’s compassionate under the alpha male stubbornness.

So why is he so loyal to the magickin and determined to help the Divinities win the war against demons?

One, Khan (the evil big bad) ordered Jagger’s village to be destroyed. His whole family except for his half brother, Lex, was killed in cold blood. Vengeance runs deep in his veins. Two, Hecate took him and Lex in, trained them in the craft of magic and shown him patience, which was no easy task. The goddess also showed him love.

Through his bond to Hecate, he has unlimited powers. However, his discipline taught him to only use the power as a last resort. Plus he is a descendant of the Fates. His actions will affect more than just his intended target.

When he meets his mate, the strong willed and equally stubborn Khloe, his patience is tested as the need to protect her from the enemy and herself rises.

~~~

Title: Death’s Storm, The Divinities, book 2
Author: Lia Davis
Length: 42,000 words
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blurb:

Technical genius and demi-goddess--aka Divinity--Khloe Bradenton relies on no one for help, and she definitely doesn’t need comfort from anyone other than her twin. After her parents died by the demons’ hands over two years ago, she has graciously stepped up to her place in the war between demons and witches. When a creature far more dangerous than the ones responsible for killing her parents claims he is her guardian, she is torn between her desires for the dark predator and the painful loss she has endured at the hands of her enemies.

One of the last death demons still in existence, Jagger has pledged his life to the Goddess Hecate. Charged with the guardianship over the Divinities, he is never to approach them, but to aid them from a distance. When the firestorm, Khloe, sacrifices herself to save her twin and best friend and becomes the prey, he has no choice but to reveal himself to her. He is taken by surprise when the need to claim her as his own emerges. A desire he has never felt before could be more dangerous than the demons out to destroy them.   

Now Available at Amazon | B&N | ARe | Kobo

Here’s an excerpt from Death’s Storm:

     “What are you up to?”
      Jagger groaned at the sound of his brother’s voice behind him. He closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath. He so didn’t need to fight with Lex right now.
     “My job.” He turned and walked past him to the other side of the study, where a set of drawers lined the opposite wall next to the bookshelf.
     “Your job…”
     “Is to protect them,” Jagger said through clenched teeth as he whirled around to stand nose to nose with him.
     Lex smirked. “From a distance, brother.”
     Jagger turned back to searching the contents of the draws. “I had no choice.” He sighed and lowered his shoulders. He gave Lex the short version of the attack on the Divinities and Khloe’s self-sacrifice to keep the others safe. “I had to get her out there. I’d have no problem with taking on the Regals, but with her powers muted, she’d be nothing but a distraction.”
     A silver key appeared in front of his face. Jagger wrapped his fingers around it, but Lex held onto the ring connected to it. “What are you motives? And don’t think about brushing this off as an ‘I’m doing my job’ bit. I know you.” He paused, searching Jagger’s face, then smiled. “You like the female.”
     Figures. One of rare occasions Jagger saw any kind of emotion on his brother’s face, and it was at his expense. Snatching the key out of Lex’s hand, he turned to stroll toward the door. He stopped when his brother asked, “What can I do to help?”
     “Can you go keep a watch on the Divinity House?” he asked over his shoulder. He saw Lex’s nod from the corner of his eye and said, “Thanks.” He rushed out of the study and back upstairs where he’d left Khloe.
When he arrived at his bedroom door, he paused and listened. It was quiet except for her heartbeat. By the rapid beats, he could tell she was frustrated. Smiling, he twisted the knob and slowly pushed open the door.
     She sat on the bed with her head bent, picking at the lock on the cuff until he stepped inside the room and shut the door with a soft click. Her head snapped up, her eyes a darker teal than they’d been when he’d left her. Stunned, he stared as if seeing her for the first time. Her face was clean of makeup, showing her natural beauty, but it was her hair that caught his attention. Wet from the shower, it cascaded over her shoulders. The pink streaks were gone. He shifted his eyes to her attire. She wore nothing but an oversized bath towel wrapped around her small frame, tucked in between her breast to hold it in place.
     The only things that remained the same were her tiny nose piercing and a small hoop piercing in her eyebrow.
     “What?” she snapped.


 ~~ GIVEAWAY ~~

Lia is giving away a swag pack to two commenters. Please leave your email address in your comment to qualify.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas



The beginning line of Clement Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas always makes me think of elementary school Christmas programs. My brief stint on stage (in 3rd or 4th grade) was to recite that poem. How proud I was to learn all the lines and, even today, can probably get through it without a hitch. What a wonderful tale it is with vivid images that stick in our minds.

Christmas Eve at our house when my children were growing up was one of chaos as Hubs and I frantically wrapped last minutes gifts (always one more thing) and I was strung out from trying to do too many things at the last minute. Oh wait, I didn’t make [insert name of cookie] or I forgot a gift for so-and-so. There was always a good (in my mind) reason for not doing things ahead of time. Hubs was so patient—still is.

With age comes common sense. Or so they say. I’ve learned that the world doesn’t come to an end if I don’t make Christmas cookies. Now if it had ended last Friday, I guess it would’ve been my fault. Our cards usually arrive at our family and friends after Christmas. Oh, well. They’ll be more relaxed and can enjoy our newsy letter. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

My father-in-law was like a child on this day. When he and my mother-in-law came for a visit for the holidays, he insisted we open one gift on Christmas Eve. He couldn’t stand waiting until morning. Of course, the kids were delighted. So we got into the tradition of opening one gift that evening. Now with going to our own children’s home for Christmas Hubs and I open our gifts ahead of time. He still manages to surprise me and I him with some little gift. After forty years of trying and sometimes failing to find the right gift, he takes me shopping so I can pick out mine and I do the same for him. Then we act silly while unwrapping the Keurig or new tackle box and say “oh my goodness, just what I wanted”. We’ll have more fun when we watch the grandkiddies open their gifts—especially the ones Papa made in his workshop.

The gifts, cookies, tree trimming, cards are various traditions that come and go. But the real reason for this holiday never changes. The hope and joy brought to the world with the birth of our savior. Everything else is extraneous.

I wish you and your families that same hope and joy. And, most of all, peace.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Meet R.T. Wolfe



I’m happy to introduce you to a writer I met through a fun, supportive group of writers. Help me welcome R.T. Wolfe who's going to share a little about herself and her debut book, Black Creek Burning.

Thank you for asking, Diane, and thank you for having me on your lovely blog today!

Glad to have you. Please tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in the Midwest, the youngest of six children. I married at a young age and decided early on I wanted a family myself. With three small boys in tow, my husband and I have flipped two houses with me in charge of the landscape design and install. Now, I am rooted in our final home we designed inside and out.
Now that my boys are nearly grown, I spend much of my time on the road traveling from one sporting event to another serving as mom and cheerleader. When at home, I enjoy Pilates, working with my Golden Retriever and digging in the glorious dirt of her landscaping plots.

In and around each of these, I have my trusty laptop waiting for some stolen hours in writing.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’m asked this often and I always find I need to simply honest. I didn’t realize I wanted to be writer until long after writing found me. I have no recollection of sitting down to write out the first line of my first novel. A few lines turn into a few pages that turned into a few hundred pages. I was in a tunnel and when I came out nine months later, I had completed my first book. The research, the editing, the revising, I love it all. Writing has truly become my crack cocaine.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It takes me about nine months to write a full-length novel. By the time my critique partners and editors have worked on it, it’s more like a year.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I write about my passions and interests. I suppose all authors do. Accuracy is huge for me, however. So, I often solicit reviews from professionals before I put a book in print.

The characters in Black Creek Burning are a landscape designer and a wood working artist. I’ve had the honor of reviews from both Master Gardners and from Sawbridge Studios (downtown Chicago custom wood working studio) for the authenticity regarding the facts on gardening and woodworking. Each awarded me 5-star reviews. Black Creek Burning has also earned a 5-star review from EPIC Award Winning author, Laurie Larsen.

The sequel to Black Creek Burning is To Fly in Shadows. The main character in this book is a conservation biologist who specializes in the banding and rehabilitation of eagles. Operation Migration and the East Coast Center for Conservation and Biology have reviewed copies of this book for authenticity, also. CCB said, “I read your novel within days of receiving it. I loved it! It has just the right amount of suspense, romance and science to keep me interested.”

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

It’s not uncommon to find dark chocolate squares in my candy dish, my Golden Retriever at my feet and a few caterpillars spinning their cocoons in their terrariums on my counters. I love my family, gardening, eagle-watching and can occasionally be found viewing a flyover of migrating whooping cranes.
Mmm. Dark chocolate, my fav. Okay back to the interview. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Black Creek Burning is book one of the Black Creek Trilogy. Book two, To Fly in Shadows, debuts this February 1st with book three following on July 1st, 2013. 

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story is one that takes a reader away from this place and into the setting and the minds of the characters. I use a delicate balance between detail and action and know that I’ve done it right when I have a reader message me to tell me they are having trouble staying awake at work because they were up late reading my book. So fun.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

That’s a hard question, Diane! I love drafting, outlining…the research and even the editing. I suppose my favorite is reader response. Does that count? lol I can fly for days on a great review.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?

I start with an outline, but it changes so much I’m not sure if it counts. The characters have their own ideas and plans and don’t always share them with me until I’m actually writing. I try to be flexible and adjust my outline often.

Are your stories driven by plot or character?

That should be equal in my opinion. Diverse characters who are realistic and likeable yet flawed are imperative. However, what is a romantic suspense without a gripping story and passionate love?

What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?

Although I’m writing a trilogy, I hope with each novel my reader takes away serenity and closure with a desire to return. I’ve been honored with reviews that say so thus far. Whoop!

What two authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?

Nora Roberts and James Patterson. Cliché and cliché, I know but I suppose they are who they are for a reason. Patterson’s Private series is one of my favorites and kept me wide awake and gripping my steering wheel as I listened through audio on a 13 hour drive to and from one of my son’s swim meets. I just finished Nora’s Inn at Boonsboro trilogy. I don’t generally read straight romance, but I loved it…especially book three. Whiskey Beach comes out in a few months by Nora. I’m looking forward to it!

Here’s an excerpt from Black Creek Burning:
As she meandered up the path to their house, she felt queasy, like she’d done this before. Nervously, she glanced over her shoulder through her mass of wavy brown hair as she kept moving toward the front door. Two people were walking along the street. She stopped and wondered what reason anyone would have to take a walk at this time of night in such an early bird neighborhood.
It was then she heard the shrill of the smoke detectors. Chest tightening, she bolted for the door.
“Mom! Dad!” she screamed and tumbled inside, spotting them almost immediately as they ran down the long upstairs hallway.
Not again. Please not again, she begged, as she fought her frozen legs to make them move up the stairs. The smoke detectors shrieked in her ears. Or was that the sound of her screams?
Her parents yelled her name as they reached for the bedroom door. She couldn’t stop gasping for air long enough to tell them to stop. She wasn’t in there. Didn’t they know? They needed to get out of the house. Couldn’t they smell the smoke?
Just like each time, her viewpoint from the middle of the stairs showed her the yellowish air sucking under the door to her bedroom. Although trying to use the railing to give her momentum, every part of her felt like it was in molasses. She cocked her head to the side, drawing her eyebrows together. Her gaze locked on the eerie breeze.
Almost simultaneously, her mother rotated the knob as her eyes turned and met hers. For that fraction of a second, her mother understood the fear on Brie’s face, but it was too late. It was always too late. As she opened the door, Brie had just enough time to witness her parents engulfed in flames before the explosion blew her back and everything went dark.
* * * *
“Brie, wake up. Wake up, Brie. You’re dreaming.”

Great excerpt. Where is Black Creek Burning available?

Black Creek Burning is available at the following sites:
Google Plus: http://bit.ly/NMiHn1

Where can readers find you?

Readers can find me on my website at http://www.rtwolfe.com
My twitter handle is @RT_Wolfe. Here’s the link: http://www.twitter.com/RT_Wolfe
I have an awesome Pinterest page that tells more about the characters and stories behind the Black Creek Trilogy. Here is the link: http://www.pinterest.com/RTWolfe

Your Pinterest page is awesome. I love your picture of the butterfly on the dog’s nose. How precious.

Thank you for having me here today, Diane. Happy Holidays!

My pleasure. Be sure to come back again.