Monday, 31 December 2012

On Tour 31 Dec to 4 Jan - Cephrael's Hand

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Cephrael's Hand eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $450 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
1. Purchase your copy of Cephrael's Hand for just 99 cents
2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
3. Visit today’s featured social media event
    About Cephrael's Hand:  Two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of a great battle, neither knowing the other is alive... A traitor works in exile while preparing for the disaster only he knows is coming... A race of beings from beyond the fringe of the universe begin unmaking the world from within... And all across the land, magic is dying. Cephrael's Hand is the first novel in the award-winning series A Pattern of Shadow and Light. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

    About the author: Melissa McPhail is a classically trained pianist, violinist and composer, a Vinyasa yoga instructor, and an avid Fantasy reader. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, their twin daughters and two very large cats. Visit Melissa on her websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

    EXCERPT

    Ean hugged the shadows as he tried to find his way back to le Comte’s estates. He feared they’d hurt his head worse than he thought, for the twisting alleys of the city disoriented him now. He was sure he’d passed the last street corner already once, and he had the uneasy feeling that he was walking in circles.

    Trying to break the cycle, he turned into a long and shadowed alley, spotting a streetlamp at the other end. Abruptly a form reared out of the shadows. Ean reached for his sword—

    “…Ean?”

    The prince halted with his hand around the hilt. “Fynn?”

    “Balls of Belloth!” Fynnlar crossed the distance in a rush and grabbed him by both shoulders, giving him a shake. “What are you doing out here, you wool-brained fool?”

    “I might ask the same of you, cousin.” Pushing a hand to his throbbing head, Ean closed his eyes. He’d seen so much death since the last moon…so many lives lost, and for what? He couldn’t fathom the events that spun violently around him, only knowing they somehow had him caught in the whirlwind.

    “Ean, are you unwell?”

    “Hit my head pretty hard,” the prince murmured, lifting tired eyes to refocus on his cousin. “I’ll be all right.”

    “Come on. We’d best keep moving.”

    The prince shook off the numbness edging his thoughts and followed his cousin. Fog was rising from the river as they headed back toward le Comte’s villa, fat fingers sliding through the streets to leach the color from the night. They reached a corner, and Fynn paused and looked warily around.

    “Fynn, what are we waiting fo—”

    But the words stuck on Ean’s tongue, for he heard it then: a strange whispering, the whisk of silk across the rough edge of glass. The sound had prickly tentacles that pierced into the soft flesh of Ean’s inner ear and twisted there, making him cringe.

    Something flew out of the shadows and Ean swung his head after it, straining to make out what he’d seen. “What in Tiern’aval was that?”

    Grimly, Fynn held his sword before him. “A Wildling—a Whisper Lord.”

    The whispering continued, tormenting, growing soundlessly louder until it shrieked inside Ean’s skull, shattering any hope of focus.

    The Wildling shot out of the shadows again, and Ean forced his eyes to follow, to find him in the shadows where he hid.

    There.

    He saw him lurking against the wall, smiling around big white teeth. His leathery skin was pitch black , and his eyes were golden like the desert sands. The man locked gazes with him, and—

    Suddenly they were nose to nose. Ean felt the heat of his breath in the same moment that the fiery sting of steel pierced his flesh.

    Shade and darkness!   

    “Ean, he cut you!”

    “I’m all right.” But Ean grimaced as he gingerly probed the wound. “Shadow take the abominable creature.” Fynn gave him a long look. “Be ready,” and he rushed to meet the Wildling.

    The fight turned instantly vicious. Whisper Lord fought with long, stiletto daggers that speared like claws out of his gloves. His hands crisscrossed with amazing speed, never failing to find their mark on Fynn’s person, while his body twisted and spun. Fynn’s thrusts in turn only seemed to meet with the slashed silk of his garments. So fast did the Whisper Lord dart and cavort that Ean at first felt helpless to join in, for he could barely see the Wildling move until after it had happened, as if the sight had to bounce off the back of his eyes…as if he could only see the man’s reflection.

    Then Ean found his focus and rushed to help Fynn.

    The Whisper Lord marked him before he even got his blade around, a long swipe at the joining of neck and shoulder that burned bitterly. Ean realized that trying to use his sword alone would get him killed, so he pulled his dagger and dove in again. The Whisper Lord dodged like a jumping spider and managed in the same maneuver to slash a deep cut across Ean’s thigh, his daggers flashing first with the silver of steel and then dark with blood. Ean snarled a curse and staggered into the wall, teeth clenched against the pain, for the wound was angry and deep.

    Abruptly Fynn threw himself backwards, himself narrowly avoiding a deadly thrust to his gut. Those spine-like blades sliced a chunk of flesh out of his side instead. The royal cousin clenched his teeth and held one hand to his midriff, using the other to pull himself out of reach.

    Ean dove at the creature with renewed determination, his battered head forgotten in his haste to keep the man away from Fynn. He wore a malicious grin as they battled, and his golden gaze was flecked and sparkling against his face of leathery pitch. As Ean’s strength failed, the Wildling grinned even broader and began to chant in a voice like sand, “Tur or’de rorum d’rundalin dalal!  Tur or’de rorum d’rundalin dalal!” Over and over while he pressed Ean on the retreat; gleefully, like a madman.

    And then he made a sudden thrust, and Ean jumped to avoid the slashing daggers that barely missed his throat. He came down unevenly on his bad leg, and his knee buckled. Stumbling, he hissed a curse and the man bore down on him. A swipe of his hand, and three spiny daggers cut deeply across Ean’s back with their sharp fire. The Wildling’s other hand darted for his throat again, but the prince veered and twisted so the blades caught his chin and cheek instead. Ean rolled and thrust upward, but the Wildling merely laughed and arched out of his way; the weapon met only the whisper of silk.

    Ean lay panting. His dagger seemed lost along with his will, and desperation could no longer drive him on.

    The Whisper Lord advanced slowly wearing a grim smile. With the shrieking noise still accosting his skull and the loss of blood and nausea in his stomach, Ean felt only numb acceptance. Shaking, he lowered his head—

    A tall form pushed past him, knocking Ean aside as it rushed to engage the Whisper Lord, driving the Wildling back and away, taking the battle out of Ean’s hands.

    Ean fell onto his back, gasping as the last of his strength bled out of him, and lay watching his rescuer take offensive control.

    The woman’s brown half-cloak floated behind her as she advanced with long, fast strides, forcing the Whisper Lord on the retreat beneath two short swords wielded in a flashing figure-eight.

    The Wildling smiled no longer. Every thrust and swipe of his daggers was blocked by the woman’s whirling black blades. She matched him stride for stride, spinning when he spun, darting as he did, dodging as he lunged. They performed a ferocious, twisting dance of death where both knew the steps intimately and took them with ease.

    As Ean watched, the Wildling slashed his daggered gloves in a motion that should’ve gutted the woman, but she flipped out of his reach, thrusting long as she landed. Her sword met with the flesh of his side, drawing a hiss as he jumped back. He glared malevolently at her and pressed one palm to his side.

    “Merdanti,” he snarled, his golden eyes hot as they assessed her black blades.

    Arching brows with a predatory smile, she twirled her blades and lunged for him again, and once more the dance began, the meeting of their deadly weapons a rhythmic beating that seemed in time with Ean’s still-racing heart.

    And then—

    Ean thought he must’ve dreamed it, his tortured mind inventing an impression for what clearly defied explanation. The woman and the Wildling seemed to shift and slow, their cloaks floating as if suspended on the wind. Then the woman launched out of her turn so quickly that Ean lost sight of her, only to spot her again as she stood squarely before her opponent, blades crossed. With naught but a grimace of effort, she chopped her short swords crosswise through the Wildling’s neck, removing his head completely. His body toppled to the stones at her feet, paying respects to her skill.

    Silence hung in the street, a palpable blanket sewn of incredulity fringed with pain.

    The woman lowered her dripping blades and leveled tawny eyes on the prince...

    Saturday, 29 December 2012

    Blog Tour looking for Hosts - The Sullivans by Bella Andre

    Did you get a new eReader for Christmas, and are now looking for something awesome to read? Or, maybe you didn’t get anything good and want to spoil yourself a little with the chance to win that coveted eReader, some major gift cards, or other awesome prizes. Maybe you just need to relax after hurry-scurrying around all season. Well...
    Wouldn't it be nice to take a long hot bath or snuggle under your favorite blanket with a great read? Sounds like the perfect day, right? Hey, we can offer you something even better than that.

    In fact, we can offer you something seven times better!

    For starters, we can offer you up to seven review copies of Bella Andre's New York Times and USA Today best-selling contemporary romance series The Sullivans.

    We'll introduce you to—not just one, but—each and every member of the Sullivan family on their quests to find happiness. Even though most of them aren't even really looking for love, it has a way of finding them anyway. These sexy, emotional and funny novels will nurse all your literary and metaphorical desires. You'll laugh and cry right along with the characters, and get hooked into these great stories right from the very first page. They even take place in lovely California, giving you the opportunity to travel by proxy and escape the windy winter doldrums.

    What's that you say? The books sound awesome, but you're not sure why you have to join the tour to enjoy their awesomeness? There are so many reasons to sign-up. Since there are seven books (so far) in The Sullivans series and seven that will be taking part in this extraordinarily large tour, let's stay right on theme and discuss seven reasons why you need to join the fun, pronto.


    The perks

    Not only will you get to read a great novel—or two, or three, or seven—but you'll also get...

    1. The opportunity to network with other bloggers and avid readers.

    2. The option to host a guest post, excerpt or interview with best-selling author Bella Andre. This will bring new readers to your blog AND give you content for your blog—what's better, a post you didn't even have to write yourself. If your New Year looks as hectic as mine, having a guest post is almost as good as reading an awesome book... because it means I'll have TIME to READ that great book.

    3. The chance to interact directly with the author through a number of social media activities, discussions, and awesome giveaways .


    But wait, there's more!

    4. Literally, there are more books. If you love The Sullivans, you can find half a dozen more books just waiting for your eager hands and mind. AND REVIEW COPIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL SEVEN! WOWZA!

    5. Kick start your New Year's resolution to read more! Plus you get hours of entertainment absolutely free—you may even win something (which makes the deal even sweeter).

    6. The Sullivans will make you fall in love. You'll love the writing, the humor, the characters, and the stories. You might even find hope for true love within these pages.

    7. If you've ever wished for your own happy ending—heck, even if you've already found it—there's something in each of these novels you'll be able to identify with. We all know life isn't perfect, and the Sullivans know that too. They're so real, reading the book is almost like watching a movie or watching somebody's real life unfold right in front of your eyes.


    Did I forget to mention the prizes?

    The prizes are ridonkulous. We've got romantic swag baskets, hundreds of dollars gift cards, an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, AND a Sony eReader to name a few.

    Well I guess there's just one more reason to join us on the biggest tour Novel Publicity has ever put together. More books, more bloggers, more buzz and, of course, more prizes!

    Oh, did you want specific details?


    Sullivan Tour Badge
    Learn what all the buzz is about when you receive review copies of the first 7 books in this on-going series. Read one, or read them all. Or, you could host an excerpt, interview, or guest post instead–and we’ll even put that together for you.

    Tour Dates:  January 7 to 20, 2013
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Page Count: approx 300 pages each

    CAUTION: Explicit language, very steamy love scenes…and lots of emotion!

    The Prizes:

    * iPad Mini
    * Kindle Fire
    * Nook Color
    * Kobo eReader
    * $100 Amazon gift cards (7 prizes)
    * $50 Amazon gift cards (2 prizes)
    * $25 Amazon gift cards (8 prizes)
    * $20 iTunes gift cards (10 prizes)
    * Custom prize baskets for EACH of the 7 books–including items such as wine gift set, silver bracelets, romantic photo books and photo frames, eReader and smart phone skins, and MUCH, MUCH more!

    …and we’ve got special prizes just for participating bloggers


    Read summaries and excerpts on the sign-up page.


    Friday, 28 December 2012

    Tips, Tricks and Tales – Lesson 2

    Editing your Story: Draft manuscript written, now what?


    It is a truth universally acknowledged (if I may be so bold as to paraphrase Jane Austen) that once you have completed that first (albeit a brilliant or crappy) draft, that you should stick it somewhere dark and forget about it.


    http://www.dreamstime.com/the-pool17-imagefree208832
    Now before you think that it has to disappear into the murky depths of your drawers to aquire many layers of dust, it is only to let your mind rest from the exertion of writing it. If you write like I do, my mind never rests until I get to that last period at the end, you will need the break. Whether it be a day, a week or a month, step away.

    Do something else. Rest. Take a holiday. Then tackle the next bit that truly sets the tone of that jewel hidden in all the words you have bled onto your computer screen. How long this period is depends on you, but all the research I have done, and followed myself, recommend that this is one very important step towards producing your next book.

    Thursday, 20 December 2012

    Tips, Tricks and Tales – Lesson 1

    Editing your Story: Why is it necessary to edit?


    As with many other people in this world, English is not my native language, and yet I still prefer it as the language to write my stories in. Does this excuse any mistakes that I would make as a result? Never. And there are a few reasons for that, but the most important would be respect for my readers.
    If I don’t make the effort to ensure my manuscripts are as correct they could possibly be, I would be insulting my readers if I delivered sloppy work and then expected them to pay for it.
    Let me tell you the reason I decided to write this series of blog posts. When I decided to self-publish my first novel, Géra’s Gift, I was pleased that the publisher offered copy-editing services as part of the package that I purchased from them.
    I was, however, really chuffed when they didn’t find many mistakes in the manuscript. After a re-check, I found two more and then it was published with all the corrections. Of course, I am under no illusion that it was perfect, as pointed out by a friend who found three more grammar errors after it was published. Still, three mistakes in a book of ninety odd thousand words can probably be forgiven. They were not glaring mistakes either, so I wasn’t worried.
    When the short story, Hunger, was done, I decided to do my own editing, given the track record I had with Géra’s Gift. After it was published, a friend who is also an editor, pointed out some mistakes to me, and brought my arrogant self down a notch or two or three. Five errors in a 7500 word story is not the kind of quality I was striving for. Although these were minor, I was not happy since it seemed that I was getting worse not better.
    So lesson learned, I asked several friends and acquaintances, all of them writers, to proofread Perfection for me. And boy, am I glad I did. Upon reading their comments, I decided that there had to be more to this editing business, and I was right.
    Stick around as I share with you the tips and tricks that I find, and try them out as I do my final editing on Keeper of the Dragon Sword.

    Saturday, 15 December 2012

    Cover Reveal - PERFECT

    PERFECT is my next SF romance short story that is planned for publication on Smashwords by the end of the month. This is the cover that will introduce you to Dal's story

    A masters student falls in love with a famous SF author thinking that he only wants to be friends. When he wants to add benefits to the friendship, things get complicated when the transformation is inadvertently initiated. Will Andrew accept Dal or will his guilt about the past remain in the way of finding a happy future?

    The story is written in the same setting as HUNGER. The two stories are completely independent.

    Sunday, 9 December 2012

    The-Adonis by Charity Parkerson



    Blurb:

    Grecian Fantasies hosts one of the hottest balls in town, a naughty Nobody-Knows-Your-Name masquerade that is not only exclusive, but is also not for the faint of heart.
    Pleasure, fantasy, fetish, and vice are all on the menu at this ball. The only thing not up for grabs is the notorious woman behind its creation, but that is about to change. 

    Excerpt:

    “I’m Weston,” he said as he wound Rob’s ribbon around his neck, tying it in a neat bow, and making himself appear as a giant unwanted present. “What’s your desire?” Rob started to tell Weston that he desired for him to go away, but a bright yellow feather caught his eye once more, and his gaze found the Goddess across the room.
    “I need you to fetch someone,” Rob answered, deciding to use the awkward situation to his advantage.
    “Oh, yay, a threesome,” Weston cheered. “May I suggest Mike over there,” he said, pointing to a gigantic man wearing a plain black mask. “He has lumberjack hands,” Weston added cheerfully.
    Rob paused. Lumberjack hands? No, he was not going to ask. “What are lumberjack hands?”
    “You know, he can wield his . . .” Weston began before Rob waved his hand, cutting him off.
    “Never mind, I get the picture.” And he did, too. He would never be able to wash this moment from his mind. Getting back on track before things got out of hand, Rob pointed across the room. “Bring her to me,” he ordered.
    Weston’s face fell as he caught sight of the woman to which Rob referred. “I cannot,” he stammered, sounding horrified.
    “What the hell? I thought you were supposed to fulfill my desires or some shit?”
    Weston seemed honestly distraught over Rob’s aggravation. “I’m sorry. If you ask me to fetch anyone else for a bit of fun, then I am at your service, any service,” he added, raking Rob’s body with his eyes. “However, that is Theadonis and I cannot do as you command.”
    “The Adonis,” Rob repeated, sounding ridiculous even to his own ears. “I thought Adonis was a man. That is no man.” As the words left Rob’s mouth, he found himself tilting his head to one side and studying the woman closer just in case he was wrong.
    Weston rolled his eyes. “Not ‘the Adonis.’ Theadonis. That’s her name. She is the owner of Grecian Fantasies.”

    Want to read more?


    Linzé's review of The-Adonis

    I am not going to tell you the story, that would be cheating ;) but I will say this: The-Adonis is well worth the read, even if you are not normally a fan of erotica. It is a short story, about 7000 words, that left me unsatisfied at the end...because it was the end :( 
    This is not my first book written by Charity Parkerson, and it will definitely not be the last.
    Rating: 4 stars 

    Friday, 7 December 2012

    Blog Touring Author - Charity Parkerson

    On Monday, 10 December 2012, I will be hosting the release of The-Adonis by best selling indie author, Charity Parkerson. I have read the story and will also be adding my review to the details of the story on Monday.

    But here is a sneak preview of a woman who is not only a great writer, but also a great supporter of other indie authors, worldwide. 

    Oh, and by the way, if you joined the event on Facebook, I offered a discount coupon for Géra's Gift for Monday - but Charity will decide who gets it ;)



    Charity Parkerson was born in Tennessee, where she still lives with her husband and two sons. She is the author of several books including twelve Amazon bestsellers. You can like her at http://www.facebook.com/authorCharityParkerson. Be sure to visit her at http://www.charityparkerson.com and you can read her blog at http://charity-thesinners.blogspot.com
    Her “Sinners series” was voted one of the top ten best books by an Indie author in 2011- Paranormal Romance Reads
    She was named as one of the top three Indie authors of 2012- The Book Connection
    She is a member of The Paranormal Romance Guild, is a Goodreads moderator, a member of Coffee Time Romance, and co-host of The Melissa Craig and Charity Parkerson show.
    She won author of the week in August of 2011, and is a three-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath.
    You can follow her on Twitter @https://twitter.com/CharityParkerso

    Saturday, 1 December 2012

    NaNoWriMo - The Day After The Month Before

    November 2012 is behind us and so is NaNoWriMo for another year. My target for this year was 120k words, and while I did not make it, I did manage a respectable 100k in my opinion. But setting such a large target did teach me a few things:

    1. Make sure the house is cleaned before November, because there simply is no time for anything but the most essential chores.
    2. Practice typing such large word counts for a while, my hands are tired and even typing this blog post is taking some time.
    3. Having a Plan B in my pocket was very useful, yet again. But for such a high target this is essential as there is simply no time to sit and wonder where the plot is going.
    4. A support group is a life saver. Whether it is your NaNo group, or your writer's group, or just friends and family. Without such people behind you, a target this high becomes impossible.
     
    On this last point I have to make special mention of :
    -my husband, Francois Venter, who practiced an unusual amount of patience with my constant typing and taking my notebook computer everywhere we went, and
    -the kind people of Cherry Berry Café who not only let my write there for hours at a time, but with their enthusiasm, and great coffee, I made it with my sanity intact!