I'm glad you stopped by. I hope you'll stop by again.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving always has a double meaning for me. It's a time for the family to get together with more food than any of us can eat--leftovers are maybe the best part. When Mom was alive, we all gathered at her home. It was usually chaotic with babies, toddlers, and bored teens. But it was a time when most of my brothers and sisters gathered. Now we don't see each other that often. Most of us have our own families. Either our children come to us or we go to their homes to celebrate. This year we're celebrating with our son and his new wife. Her family will join us. Our son will cook and we'll eat outdoors. No, not in snowy Michigan but in sunny Arizona. A real treat.

I said Thanksgiving has a second meaning. On Thanksgiving Day forty-two years ago, Hubs and I were married. He maintains that our anniversary is celebrated on Thanksgiving, no matter what the actual date is. That's the only way he'll remember it. LOL Whether we celebrate our anniversary on November 23rd or on Thanksgiving Day itself, I'll always be thankful that we found each other.

To all my readers, I am very thankful that you enjoy my books. Not all of you live in the U.S. and celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. I'm six weeks late with my wishes for those of you in Canada. Still, I wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving no matter when you celebrate it.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday Sampler - Watch For The Dawn by Sandra McGregor

Watch For The Dawn
Contemporary Romantic Suspense

A serial killer is killing co-eds. He watches one cross the campus. When a woman stops her to talk, his pattern changes. He ignores the co-ed, for now, and focuses on the woman. After seeing which classroom she enters, he adds Prof. Kelly Cooper to his list. Det. Steve Mitchell leads the investigation. A mountain cabin is the perfect place to keep the next intended victim safe. Or is it?

As he neared the driver's side of the car, his boots crunched the already freezing snow. The car door had suffered some damage when the car slammed into the ditch, but he was able to force it open with brute strength. 
A quick scan of the interior told him that the female driver was alone.  Thankfully, he could concentrate on her.  "At least she had the sense to wear a seatbelt," he said aloud as he reached in to turn off the engine. The only sound now was the howling wind and an occasional muffled 'woof' coming from his van.
The seatbelt had at least kept her from hitting the windshield, but she would no doubt have a huge bruise across her shoulder and chest from the shoulder strap. Her head was hanging forward, her long blond hair falling toward her face completely hiding it from view. 
Even though she appeared to be unconscious, he could see her blue ski parka moving up and down, so at least she was alive.  There wasn’t a way to determine if she had any major injuries, but he’d at least check for fractures.
As his fingers lifted the hair on the left side of her face, tucking it behind her ear, he could see that the seatbelt hadn't kept her forehead far enough from the steering wheel.  An egg-size lump was already visible and turning black and blue.  Apparently the air bag hadn’t deployed.
It was possible that she had a concussion or neck injury, but he would have to take a chance.  He was the only help available.  Without turning her neck, Steve lifted the woman's chin, leaning around her just far enough to lift her eyelids.  He needed to see if her pupils were the same size and equally reactive to the light that was shining from the overhead dome light.  Steve sighed with relief when he saw them contract equally. At least something was going right for her.
“Lady.  Hey, wake up."  Pulling off his glove, he patted her cheek and continued to talk to her until she groaned and started to move.  His deep male voice appeared to be drawing her up toward consciousness.  She turned toward the voice and tried to open her eyes.
"Hey, don't move," he softly, but firmly ordered.
"Wh... Where... am I?" 
Her soft voice assaulted his mind. Cultured.  This was a lady.  "You ran your car off the road.  You’re in a ditch.  How do you feel?  Do you hurt anywhere besides your head?" 
"Cold.  I'm so cold." Her eyes closed, her shoulders slumping.
He hoped she wasn’t going to faint again.  "Does it hurt to move your neck?"  When her eyes opened again she turned her neck until she was staring into his eyes. 
She finally spoke. "No."
Steve felt a definite jolt when he took in the long, blond hair and brilliant blue eyes that seemed to see into his soul.  What a combination. 
"Good, then let's get you out of here and into my van.  It's warm there.  It comes complete with a one-hundred pound lap warmer." Her hand reached up to her forehead. “Don’t touch that.  If your head hurts, try concentrating on relaxing your neck and shoulder muscles.  Ever heard of mind over matter?” 
“Yes,” she whispered.
“Great.  Do that and I’ll get you some aspirin as soon as possible.”  Steve was still hovering inside the car while snow blew around his body and onto the lady, while she leaned her head back against the headrest and closed her eyes.  He was hopeful that her head was the worst injury, since he could tell it was giving her the most pain. 
Without thinking further, he unbuckled her seatbelt and lifted her slight form into his strong arms.  With one arm around her back and one under her knees, he balanced her in his arms.  Her head leaned to the side to rest against his shoulder.  With her warm body tucked close to his chest, he started the short, but treacherous climb out of the ditch.  After fighting the wind for control of the van’s door, he sat her on the backseat, gently easing her down to stretch out on the bench seat.
Once behind the wheel, he took a moment to twist twist around to check on his patient. His lips parted in a smile.  He almost laughed out loud as he watched Rusty stretching as far as possible toward the rear seat so he could sniff the person laying there and yet stay in the front as ordered.
"Rusty," Steve gently admonished.  Rusty turned big innocent eyes toward his master before rearranging himself to more-or-less fit in the passenger seat.  With his chin on his paws and his eyes watching for any sign that his master might change his mind, the dog finally let out a big sigh and closed his eyes.Steve continued to smile as he watched one hundred pounds of golden Lab hang over the edges of the seat, while giving the appearance of being content and comfortable. 

 Buy Links:  Amazon   B&N  Smashwords
About the Author:

Sandra McGregor was challenged by her husband in 2001 to write the book he'd been hearing so much about.  Sandra picked up the gauntlet and since then she has 16 books published.  Sandra has learned that accepting challenges is a lot of work, but the new friends she has made make up for all the hours alone in her office.

In her free time, Sandra loves to travel, read and have fun with her friends or her husband of several decades.  Oh yes, and she can't forget her favorite feline, Jack, who owns the house and a spot in the middle of her desk when she's working.

You can follow Sandra at:   Love, Life, and a Good Book Blog    Twitter    

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wild Weather

 As I write this, we're about to be hit with the second big snow of the winter of 2014-15. Or maybe it's just a continuation of the one that came on Thursday since we've only had brief reprieves. We're expecting 8 - 10" of snow. I don't know about where you are, but this is too early for winter. Mother Nature cheated us out of Fall.

Not just snow but cold. Below zero wind chills expected. I hate wearing my winter coat even when necessary. It's bulky, uncomfortable. I'm grousing. Sorry. And I never did get a pair of boots. You'd think after 159" of snow last year I would have bought boots as soon as they were in the stores. Nope. Procrastinator me didn't. I thought I had more time.

I hope where you are you're safe. If you don't have to go anywhere, stay home. Drive cautiously if you have to be on the road.

The internet is a my best friend right now. I can visit my friend Jessica E. Subject in Canada without leaving home. I'm on her blog today with a new excerpt from THE CASE OF THE BYGONE BROTHER.  http://www.markofthestars.com/wp/the-case-of-the-bygone-brother-by-diane-burton/

How's the weather where you are?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Sampler - Battle Cry by Melissa Snark plus #giveaway

Hello! My name is Melissa Snark, and I'm a fantasy and romance author. If I could have a moment of your time, I'd like to ask for your help as a reader. Please consider nominating my Norse folklore fantasy novel Battle Cry on Kindle Scout.

Amazon's new publishing program is called Kindle Scout, an innovative platform that provides readers with a sneak peek at unreleased books as well as the opportunity to have a say in what gets chosen. The timing of Scout was amazing. The announcement came just as I neared completion of my novel. The terms being offered are attractive. As a publisher, Amazon has as much clout as one of the traditional publishers. This simply seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass on, so I submitted Battle Cry for consideration.

Per the FAQ: How does Kindle Scout benefit readers?
Kindle Scout readers get to preview new, never-before-published books and influence which ones are made available to millions of readers on Amazon. In addition, any time a reader's nomination gets published, they will receive a free copy.

I appreciate your support!  To nominate Battle Cry, you only need to be logged into your Amazon account. You can head over to the Kindle Scout website and view Battle Cry's profile page. If you like what you see, please consider voting for Battle Cry.  Thank you so much!

Book #2 in the Loki's Wolves series
Melissa Snark
Genre: Norse folklore fantasy
Number of pages: 375 approx.
Word Count: 95,000

Cover Artist: Farah Evers

Logline: One man dares defy Fate.

Survival demands sacrifices; healing requires forgiveness.

Men revere him; monsters fear him. Jake Barrett, the notorious Hunter King, values loyalty to family and followers above all else. When the daughter of his closest ally murders Daniel, his oldest son, it sets off a chain reaction of violence and destruction that claims the lives of both wolves and hunters. Determined to avenge his son, Jake seeks the truth at any cost.

After losing her lover and then her mate, Victoria Storm simply wants to get on with building a new life in Sierra Pines, California. A vengeful Jake Barrett and his organization aren't going to make that easy, especially with the unwelcome attraction between her and the Hunter King's second son. Perils beyond the mortal coil plague Victoria.

When the Norse Fates predict Victoria will destroy the world, her duties as a priestess of Freya come into conflict with her responsibilities as a Valkyrie of Odin. When they tell her she will do it to save her unborn child, she's not so sure they are wrong.

Sawyer Barrett has been trying to kill Victoria for so long, he doesn't know whether he loves her or hates her. Desperate to end the war, he's willing to take chances with everything–except his heart. The hunter harbors a deadly secret he can't reveal without risking the ceasefire and his life.

At Sawyer's urging, Victoria agrees to peace talks with Jake. All the while, an ancient vampire plots the destruction of wolves and hunters alike. If the embittered rivalry between hunters and wolves doesn't end—and fast—there is no hope for Victoria's pack... or for their world. 

 Attribution: Norns weaving destiny, by Arthur Rackham (1912).  Public domain.

Setting the Scene: 
Norns are female beings who influence the destinies of men and gods. They are some of the more interesting and thought provoking figures in Norse Mythology. In Western culture, they are often compared to the Fates from Greek and Roman mythology and are depicted in film and literature, including Shakespeare's Macbeth.  However, it should be noted that the Norns were not the exact equivalents of the Fates.

Ancient Norse culture did not regard destiny as predetermined and unalterable. Rather, they held destiny to lie somewhere between the two extremes of pure free will and absolute predetermination. There are mentions of both greater and lesser Norns.

The Three Norns
The greater Norns were three sisters who personified Fate in all of its forms:  past, present, and future. They lived together beneath the roots of Yggdrasil, the eternal tree which supported The Nine Worlds, including the home of men as well as Asgard, the home of the gods. Their names were Urðr (the past), Verðandi (the present), and Skuld (the future).

In this excerpt from BATTLE CRY, the heroine Victoria Storm has descended along the trunk of Yggdrasil. Her mission is to seek the counsel of the Norns who dwell along the shores of Urd's Well. Please enjoy this sneak peek!


Shade enshrouded Skuld, and her voice manifested upon the air, thick and oppressive, closing in from all sides. "Your daughter will not grow to adulthood in Midgard."
Victoria's heart slammed against her breastbone. Her breath expelled in a horrified gust. The bowl dropped from her hands and flew to protect her abdomen. "What do you mean?"
"Your daughter will be taken from you on the eve of her third birthday," Skuld said. "The one you trust most, a member of your own pack, will give the child over to your greatest enemy."
A growl trembled in Victoria's throat, and her entire body shook under the dual assault of fear and rage. The suggestion of betrayal from within her own pack filled her with disbelief to the core of her being. It was unthinkable. Gritting her teeth, she sought a solution, refusing to dwell on it. "How am I to prevent this?"
"We speak of what will come to pass," Verðandi said in a sympathetic tone.
"Your predictions are not carved in stone," Victoria said. Arguing with Fate was a foolish endeavor, but she refused to accept their prophecy.
The old woman, Urðr, smiled with a frightening gleam in her eyes. "Predictions, carved into the trunk of the World Tree, carved into the spiritual fabric of the world."
Stubborn determination settled over Victoria like armor. Her mother had taught her there was no absolute fate, just as there was no absolute free will. Life consisted of a wide range of possibilities between the two extremes. She refused to allow her daughter to die at three years of age. She would move worlds, alter fate, slay gods.
Whatever it took.
"Do you wish to save your child?" Skuld asked.
Victoria answered without thought. "Yes. I'll do anything. Tell me. Please."
"The final days are upon us," Verðandi said.
Skuld took over speaking. "To save your daughter, you will side with Loki against the Aesir. You will use your enchanted dagger to cut the binding of the great wolf Fenrir. You will be responsible for freeing the beast that kills Odin."
Victoria's stomach turned. Her head shook in automatic denial. "When the gods imprisoned Fenrir, my people pledged fealty to the Aesir. We have served them loyally ever since. Even when we were driven from the homeland, almost a millennium ago, we remained faithful. I will never cut Fenrir's bonds. To do so would end the world we live in and doom us all."
Skuld's gaze held steady. "You will."
Victoria snarled her denial. "No. I will never become the servant of the Trickster or willingly take part in bringing about Odin's death."
Skuld turned her head and pinned Victoria with one black eye that rolled in its socket like a liquid marble. "To save your daughter, you will."

Fast Facts About Melissa Snark:

  • Melissa Snark is published with The Wild Rose Press & as an Indie author with five unique titles: A CAT'S TALE, THE MATING GAME, LEARNING TO FLY, THE CHILD THIEF, and HUNGER MOON.
  • Her Loki's Wolves series includes THE CHILD THIEF, HUNGER MOON and BATTLE CRY.
  • She lives in the San Francisco bay area with her husband, three children and a glaring of cats.
  • She is a professional cat herder and unrepentant satirist who blogs about books and writing on The Snarkology.
 Connect with Melissa Snark:
Email: melissasnark at gmail.com
Twitter: @MelissaSnark

Battle Cry Kindle Scout Giveaway


1.       Nordic Lights Jewels of the Moon Pendant Amulet Talisman for Psychic Ability by Maelstrom Odssonn 

2.       (3) Signed Paperbacks of HUNGER MOON

3.       (2) $10 Gift Cards to Amazon

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