Wednesday, June 14, 2017

An interview with me over at WildMind Creative

(Image from Pixabay)

This is what I hope to be doing for the rest of June.

But today I'm pleased to be hosted by WildMind Creative. They're a wonderful new resource for authors. Pop on over and learn a little more about me. I offer a little advice and try to be somewhat professional!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Jackaroo blitz and #MilesofSmiles

Title: Taming a Jackaroo
Genre: Aussie Cowboy Romance
Release Date: June 10, 2017
Cover Designer: Claire Smith

 Add to TBR


City girl and serial non-dater, Affrica Clarke travels to Boulia, Australia, to investigate the environmental impacts of the local mining company. Unless she proves herself and wins that promotion, she’ll lose so much more than a pay rise. Yet everything goes wrong the moment she lands in the outback. With no research equipment, only skimpy clothes packed by her best friend to help her score a date, and a tight deadline to submit her report, she’s screwed. So when a sexy cowboy offers to play chauffeur, she’s all over it. But she’s there to shut down the mining activities, not fawn over the guy who’s supporting them, no matter how sizzling the attraction between them.

Billionaire jackaroo, Sam Preston tempts fate as an adrenaline junkie, living each day as if it were his last. Angry and wounded, he’s in town to sell his cattle ranch to the local mining company and be done with his past—until he meets hapless city-chick Affrica, who has no clue about surviving in the desert. Sam doesn’t know how to stop being a daredevil even though Affrica reminds him of the happiness he once had.

Can Sam let go of the past before he loses the one person who's finally breathed new life into him, or is it not possible to truly tame a jackaroo?

Affrica Clarke is determined to prove herself worthy of a full time position as an environmental investigator and get the promotion she needs to keep supporting her sick father. Flying to the Outback, she's left hanging as her equipment goes to another destination and her bag is full of skimpy clothes her roomie packed. That's not going to stop her, though, and neither is the gorgeous billionaire jackaroo, Sam Preston. Wanting to forget his past, Sam is planning on selling his cattle station to the mining company Affrica is investigating. There's something about the city gal that hooks him in a way no other woman has. Will she be able to tame the wild cowboy or lose both him and her case?

This debut romance novel from Sidney Valentine is as sizzling as the Australian Outback. Affrica has a strong voice, fighting for a promotion and the ability to support her father. Sam is a man blaming himself for what happened to his younger brother and throwing himself into dangerous stunts as he plays careless games with his life. The tension between them is immediate and is kept taut all through the story. Not only are the circumstances of why they're in Boulia pitted against one another, but their inner struggles increase the turmoil. Yet their desire is off the charts!

Along with top notch romance, the reader is whisked away to little traveled places. Boulia is a charming town rich with a rugged flavor. Even the Bed & Breakfast Affrica stays in is unique. Huge cattle stations and deep caves. Then add in the little mystery of the Min Min lights, we have a magnificent setting. Plus the perfect place for a out of this world smoking hot first kiss!

I'll definitely be picking up more from Sidney Valentine in the future.

Amazon US: 

Sidney Valentine is an Aussie girl who loves everything about traveling. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and spends her time exploring the wild outdoors. But she always carries with her a writing pad in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. While she works in marketing during the day, she never stops writing her romance stories set in Australia as a way to rejuvenate from the bustle of the real world. She is often found at local coffee shops with her laptop, writing about people falling in love.

* * * * *

The wonderful Kyra Lennon and Clare Dugmore have teamed up again to bring us another amazing blog hop. With everything going on in the world today, we need to appreciate the little things that make us smile. Of course family and friends bring us joy, but don't neglect the little things.

Share today on social media what makes you smile. Your blog, Facebook, Twitter, wherever. You can use the #MilesofSmiles hashtag.

What a great way to start off a Monday!

Here are some little things that make me smile:
Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
Cheesy monster movies.
The smell of autumn leaves.
Hummingbirds stopping in front of my kitchen window to have a peek in.
Superhero underwear in my size.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#IWSG for June 2017

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!

The June IWSG Question: Did you ever say "I quit"? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Oh writing, I can't quit you. *said in a really bad twangy accent*

Yes, I've turned my back on the computer and threw up my arms. Sometimes in our writer's journey, everything seems against us. No sales, no reviews, no friendly comments. All doubt, frustration, and heartache. You feel like you're screaming into the abyss, and it's not even staring back at you.

I couldn't quit even if I wanted to. Stories will always be forming in my head just like they have been all my life. I'd keep writing even if no one ever read my stories. Why? Because it is the essence of who I am, my very soul. I create, and it is through words which I do this.

Monday, June 5, 2017

I made it to the end!

I just wrote "END" on the Totem series!

This final book was 8,000 words longer than the others. A whole lot went on, and wow, as a pantser, I just kept surprising myself over and over. My muse is clever, though. It all made sense. She has a way of making things work even when I have no idea what she's doing.

I'm so excited to finally be finished. It was an exciting journey, but I'm eager to start something new.

Of course, there's revising, editing, formatting, and publishing these last three books left to do. Books will do that themselves, right? ... RIGHT?!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review for Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth

It had been a time when the world needed legends, those years so long past now. Because there was something else legends could offer, or so the Poet believed. He didn't know quite what—ghouls were not skilled at imagination. Their world was a concrete one, one of stone and flesh. Struggle and survival. Survival predicated on others' deaths. Far in the future, when our sun grows ever larger, scorching the earth. When seas become poisonous and men are needed to guard the crypts from the scavengers of the dead. A ghoul-poet will share stories of love and loss, death and resurrection. Tombs is a beautifully written examination of the human condition of life, love, and death, through the prism of a dystopian apocalypse.
My review:
In the distant future where land and seas are polluted, an eater of the dead searches old stories for legends. This ghoul-poet, rare among his kind, seeks to learn more than heroics. The times are dismal, needing something much more powerful. Sharing with us tales of love and loss, life and death, the poet examines the human condition on a planet that is heaving its last breaths.

This is a mesmerizing collection of short stories all set in our distant future where the sun is frying Earth and many humans left are ill or mutated. The Tombs is the place where people bring their dead, a massive walled cemetery and city. There are those that work and live in the Tombs, serving the dead and protecting them from ghouls. I was fascinated by this dystopian world, the various people and their cultures. Every story brings the reader deeper into the world, unveils something beautiful and horrifying. Those two things are twined intricately here as we dance with gothic tales of life and death.

My favorite stories include "The Beautiful Corpse" as I did wonder if Gombar was loved as much as he loved. "The Female Dead" with the embalmer who so loved that he did everything he could to protect a beauty's corpse from the ghouls. There were only a few survivors in "City on Fire" and one was a woman who made the final trek for the man she loved.
It's release day for the Tombs!
Share your congratulations with the author

James is one of the writers who belong to the local critique group, S.C.I.F.I. (South Central Indiana Fiction Interface) which I attend every month. He has over 500 pieces of short fiction published, and I've learned so much about the art of short story writing from him. This collection of stories is my favorite from him yet.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fingers on the keyboard, Summer break around the corner

So close to finishing the final book in the Totem series. Then on to revising and cover creation. Please do not mind that I am scarce on the internet for a while.

Tomorrow is my son's last day of the school year. (Where did the year go?!) Another reason I'll be scarce over the next two months.

Enjoy the rest of May!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hero Lost tour - review

Can a lost hero find redemption?

What if Death himself wanted to die? Can deliverance be found on a bloody battlefield? Could the gift of silvering become a prison for those who possessed it? Will an ancient warrior be forever the caretaker of a house of mystery?

Delving into the depths of the tortured hero, twelve authors explore the realms of fantasy in this enthralling and thought-provoking collection. Featuring the talents of Jen Chandler, L. Nahay, Renee Cheung, Roland Yeomans, Elizabeth Seckman, Olga Godim, Yvonne Ventresca, Ellen Jacobson, Sean McLachlan, Erika Beebe, Tyrean Martinson, and Sarah Foster.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these twelve tales will take you into the heart of heroes who have fallen from grace. Join the journey and discover a hero's redemption!
My review:
Can a lost hero find the way out of the darkness and into the light again? In this marvelous collection of speculative fiction, we journey through twelve wonderfully written tales to find out if the tortured hero can be redeemed.

The title story, "The Mysteries of Death and Life" by Jen Chandler is a compelling tale of a young homeless writer who meets a dying Death. It hooked me with the first line and wrenched my heart. Depression and loneliness, but yet in that, the wonder of life.

"The Silvering" by Ellen Jacobson has a young man named Caestu who is hiding a terrible secret. He believes he has violated the principles of the Others and is being punished, but all is not what it seems to be. I love seeing how he struggles with what he's always known and the truth come to the light.

A dragon remembers what brought him to his current situation in "Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight" by Renee Cheung. I love that this is a traditional fantasy tale with a curse twined with a twist in the modern world of tech and magic.

In "Sometimes They Come Back" by Roland D. Yeomans, there is the Caretaker who has been in an ancient goddess' house for a very long time he has almost forgotten himself. So much whimsy and humor mingled with the dark in this tale.

"The Wheat Witch" by Erika Beebe has Ethan wondering if he should ever go home, and when he does, he finds something most unexpected. Is what he's discovered worse than what he's running from? Wonderful imagery and a sympathy for a man who's lost everything drew me with wide eyes through this story.

Raynor and his twin sister journey to find their missing dragon slaying uncle in Sarah Foster's "The Last Dragon." They discover the truth about why their uncle left, and it's far more frightening than any dragon. The bond between the twins is strong, and I loved how it played out through the action. Fantastic tension.

We have a great fantasy romance in "Mind Body Soul" by Elizabeth Seckman. But it isn't what the old king thinks it is. I particularly enjoyed the queen, her wisdom, and her persistence. Love stories are even better with age.

A magical Finder named Alternay must find a long lost hero named "Captain Bulat" in Olga Godim's tale. Using an item as her compass, Alternay is pulled in more than one direction and must uncover the truth amidst the confusion. The twist was cleverly done and left me wanting to see more of the fascinating Alternay.

"The Witch Bottle" by Sean McLachlan brings us a pining husband using his servant to help bring back his wife. The wife is a witch and one the servant seems very eager to help the husband catch. Magic battles magic, and I did so like the wicked ending.

In "The Art of Remaining Bitter" by Yvonne Ventresca we meet a young girl named Sylvia who is always in the shadow of her perfect older sister. Sylvia is to undergo a treatment that will make her free of negative feelings, and this story lays out her emotional struggle with it all beautifully.

A once great warrior has become a poet in Tyrean Martinson's "Of Words and Swords." Yet is Maud as good with poetry as he with fighting? His internal struggle is enthralling as he goes off to battle a dragon. Great fantastical fighting action.

The final story is "Breath Between Seconds" by L. Nahay. It is a slow motion moment in time of a fallen soldier at the end of a grand battle realizing the truth of the entire war. Beautifully written with each breath, quite like a poem.

Buy the book here: