To pre-order or not to pre-order

Do you pre-order?

You know what I’m talking about — all those tempting little buttons next to books by your favorite authors. The ones that let you pre-order a new book months in advance.

Cold Burn of MagicWhenever I’m talking about my books on my blog, Facebook, or Twitter pages, I usually include pre-order links to major retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, iTunes, Kobo, IndieBound, and Audible (audiobooks). For example, on I’ve got several pre-order links up on my website page for Cold Burn of Magic, Black Blade #1, my young adult urban fantasy book that will be out on April 28.

I’ve heard from many folks that when you pre-order a book — especially an e-book — that it’s a nice little surprise when you fire up your e-reader and see the book waiting there for you to start reading any time you want to. The same thing goes for getting an e-mail that the audiobook is available, a package in the mail with a print book, or getting a call from your local bookstore saying that the book has arrived.

But me? I don’t pre-order books too often. Usually, most of my pre-orders are movies or TV shows because it seems like you can get a better deal on those online.

But if there is a book that I want, I will bookmark it on my computer. Then I’ll wait until it comes out, go to the store, and buy a print copy, mainly because I still like to read print books over e-books. Or, if I think that my local stores might not have the book, then I will pre-order a print copy a week or two ahead of the release date. I also make sure that I order enough items to get free shipping. I am all about free shipping. LOL.

What about you guys? Do you pre-order books, movies, or music? Why or why not?

Posted in Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 12 Comments

The Walking Dead & Character Development

DDiesImage copyOne of my favorite shows on television is AMC’s The Walking Dead. My evolution into watching this show happened in an unusual fashion. I have never read The Walking Dead comics. Often times I am so immersed in work that I forget to come up for air and take a look around. I watched my first episode while visiting family for Thanksgiving. It was during the first season of the show, and the episode that aired was the third or fourth that season. Basically, I came to it right in the middle of the plot development. Most of the characters had already been introduced at this point and they were beginning to portray the various interactions and relationships.

After that first show, I was left with the need and desire to find out more about the characters. Zombies, the virus, and the destruction of the civilized world all take part in the world building, and while it has always served to be an important part of the show, what truly drives it are the characters.

I know that many fans of the show lamented over the first half of the second season, stating that it was too slow a pace. Yes, the fewer zombie attacks slowed things a bit, but the true brilliance behind their storytelling lay in the character development. They began showing us more of each of the characters, helping us feel empathy for them at the horrors they were going through, expanding on their back stories in order to forge a visceral connection that made us care about whether they lived or died, and most importantly how each character struggles with the burning question: if the apocalypse hits, and the world de-evolves into chaos, are we still civilized?

Each one of those character building elements has made us care for, and in some cases, fall in love with those characters. Thereby creating statements across social media like, “If Daryl Dies, We Riot!”. Their hardships, struggles, and losses touch us on an emotional, visceral level that can all be traced back to that second season where we truly got to know the characters. One of the most powerful, in my humble opinion, episodes in the current season was “Coda” where our gang finds hope for survival only to have it dashed in the most brutal way possible. This show would not be the success it is without the connection viewers have to the characters.

The way the AMC’s The Walking Dead has provided writers with a blueprint for a successful way to develop characters with depth, originality, compassion, and everything in between is a remarkable feat and something I feel every writer could learn from. What’s your favorite story that you feel displayed remarkable character development?

 

MMGsmallBestselling Author Maggie Mae Gallagher doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines. She can be reached at her website, her Facebook page, or on Twitter.

RupturedBV copyRUPTURED

It has been eighty-three years since the walls between Earth and Infernus fell, and now our world stands upon the razor’s edge of extinction. Demon platoons are marching upon us. My home, one of humanity’s last bastions of existence, is under siege.

My name is Alana Devereaux. I am the resident demon detector of Cantati Forces and Platoon Commander. My job is to hunt down the vermin unleashed upon my world, and I love it. I live for the day I can kick every last demon’s ass out of this world. Except as enemy forces reign down terror upon us, the Densare Council sentences me to a fate worse than death.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, & ITunes

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Review: House Broken by Sonja Yoerg

hbBook info:

Book Title: House Broken

Author name: Sonja Yoerg

Publisher: Penguin/NAL

Publication date: January 6, 2015

Book Description:

Veterinarian Geneva Novak understands the behavior of umpteen species—just not her mother, Helen.

Geneva fled her childhood home—and her mother’s vodka-fueled disasters—without a backward glance. Twenty-five years later, Helen totals her car and her leg, and none of her children will play nurse. Geneva’s husband, whose family lives in each other’s pockets, convinces her that letting Helen move in might repair the mother-daughter relationship.

Geneva’s not holding her breath.

But she recognizes an opportunity. With her mother dependent and hobbled, Geneva may finally get answers to questions that have plagued her for years: why her eldest sister exiled herself to Africa, why her mother won’t discuss Geneva’s long-dead father, and why—there has to be a reason—Helen treats alcohol like a general anesthetic.

My Thoughts:

Sonja’s writing style is effortless to read and yet the story surrounding this family is complex & rich. Perhaps I could relate all too well to the age at which Geneva finds herself: surrounded by family obligations & drama, pulled in too many directions, issues which could affect quality of life, intertwined with the everyday minutia of life. Sonja touches on topics that many moms are dealing with: juggling a career, loving on her two teenage kids while they try to resist, keeping alive & well her longterm marriage, and dealing with an ornery, aging parent. Mixed in is a difficult subject that’s relevant, heart-wrenching. Sonja spins the tale around this subject delicately, respectfully, and then twists with angles I wasn’t anticipating. Though the subjects tackled within House Broken are hard, meaty, and difficult, Sonja surrounds it all with enough good humor to balance.

HOUSEBROKEN is told from three points of view: Geneva, her mother and her sixteen-year-old daughter.

Reviewed by: Denise Gregory

Four stars

Posted in Reviews, Women's Fiction | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Friday Finds

Welcome to a new Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Thanks! And here are this week’s finds:

FREE BOOKS

tfoghBook title: Freaks of Greenfield High

Book author: Maree Anderson

Book blurb: Jay’s a cyborg who looks just like normal teenage girl. She’s super-strong, super-smart, and she can even appear to grow and age like a human. When a covert organization intent on using Jay as a weapon comes after her, she needs to find a place where she can blend in. Greenfield High seems perfect… except that the boys all think she’s totally hot and keep hitting on her, and she has no clue how to handle the attention. Who knew high school could be so perilous?

To add to her confusion she’s evolving – experiencing human emotions for the first time. And when she encounters ex-jock-turned-outcast Tyler, he sends her logical brain into a spin. She’s just starting to get the hang of this girlfriend/boyfriend thing when her pursuers track her down.

Now’s sooo not the time for a cyborg to fall in love and get all emotional!

Links: Amazon USAmazon UKiBooks Stores Worldwide | SmashwordsB&N US | B&N UKKobo | Google Play | LibiroAll Romance eBooks

mmBook title: Monster Man

Book author: Zoe Dawson

Book blurb: Community relations assistant director, Catherine “Cat” Everhart fantasizes about #66 Shane Bishop, The San Diego Wildcat’s strong safety, a monster of a man, but the no fraternizing policy dictates she keep her distance. It isn’t until the company’s Halloween party fundraiser that their desire explodes it’s tight bonds.

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

SPECIAL OFFERS

enchantedBook title: Enchanted

Book author: Alethea Kontis

Book blurb: It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?

Links: ENCHANTED by Alethea Kontis is on sale at Amazon for $1.99

Outback DreamsBook title: Outback Dreams (Bunyip Bay Book 1)

Author: Rachel Johns

Book blurb: Faith and Monty are both looking for love…but are they looking in the wrong direction?

Faith Forrester is at a crossroads. Single, thirty and living on a farm in a small Western Australian town, she’s sick of being treated like a kitchen slave by her brother and father. Ten years ago, her mother died of breast cancer, and Faith has been treading water ever since. She wants to prove to herself that she’s done something worthwhile with her life. And she wants to find a man…

For as long as he can remember, Daniel ‘Monty’ Montgomery has been Faith’s best friend. When he was ten, his parents sold the family property and moved to Perth and ever since, Monty’s dreamed of having his own farm. So for the last ten years, he’s been back on the land, working odd jobs and saving every dollar to put toward his dream. Now he finally has the deposit. But there’s still something missing…

So when Faith embarks on a mission to raise money for a charity close to her heart, and Monty’s dream property comes on the market, things seem like they are falling into place for them both. Until a drunken night out ends with them sleeping together. Suddenly, the best friends are faced with a new load of challenges…

Monty and Faith are both ready to find a life partner and settle down, but they didn’t expect love to be so close by.

Outback Dreams is on sale on Amazon at $1.99.

NEW RELEASES

HMDRBook title: His Million Dollar Risk

Book author: Robin Bielman

Book blurb: He’s ready to play dirty…

Determined to make his latest preservation project on Route 66 a success, Connor Gibson will take any good press he can get. Even if it means spending a week with a reporter. And even if it’s one from a publication he has good reason to hate. Connor certainly isn’t expecting a spontaneous and undeniably attractive blonde who makes him seriously hot for the press…

Charlize Beckett is in deeeep trouble. This is her one chance to prove to her publisher dad that she’s a serious journalist, even if she has to pretend she’s someone else. Worse though, is trying to maintain any objectivity with the way too charming Connor. She can’t help but get into all kinds of sexy trouble with him. But by going off the record, Charlie is putting both her reputation and her heart on the line…

Links to book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

99c BOOKS

hahBook title: Hurricanes and Handcuffs

Book author: Jodi Redford

Book blurb: Gabrielle Scott is fed up with helping her playboy boss seduce and woo his countless bimbettes courtesy of her culinary masterpieces. Yeah, the pay is good, and you can’t beat the luxurious digs she’s treated to as his resident personal chef. But she can’t afford the frustration of living under the same roof with the one man who drives her crazy in every possible way. The damnable truth? She’s in love with the irredeemable bastard, and the only way she’ll get over him is to get naked under him. The plan? Attend Jax’s annual Mardi Gras ball incognito and entice him into a hot night of sin—right before handing in her resignation.

Jaxon Noble always gets what he wants. Especially when it comes to the opposite sex. So when Gabbi shows up at his party in an eye-popping costume and outrageously flirts with him it’s a foregone conclusion that she’ll finally be his. About damn time the stubborn woman came to her senses. He’s more than happy to go along with her game, and the combustible heat they generate together proves it was well worth the wait to have her. But when morning comes and Gabrielle calmly announces she’s quitting, Jax is faced with the sobering fact that perhaps money can’t buy everything. Or more to the point—the only person who’s ever meant anything to him.

For someone who’s used to winning at all costs, losing Gabbi isn’t an option. And Jax will pull out every sweet and sexy trick to convince her to take a chance on a forever with him. Even if it means handcuffing her to his bed.

Warning: This book contains a sassy chef, one determined bad boy billionaire, Fur-lined handcuffs and inappropriate consumption of beignets, several sinful drizzles of honey, and enough sizzling chemistry to set off the smoke alarms.

This Mardi Gras Season, let the sinful good times roll with Hurricanes and Handcuffs, part of the Red Hot Cajun Nights multi-author series (stands alone for reading enjoyment).

Amazon

Posted in Friday Finds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Guest Blog with Jamie Farrell

I am super excited to welcome contemporary romance author Jamie Farrell to the blog today! I adore her books as well as her fun blog posts about her children. I was lucky enough to meet Jamie in person for lunch once and she is just as fun in person! Take it away, Jamie…

* * *

Five Things My Children Have Taught Me About Writing

TheHusbandGames-Jamie Farrell- 1600x2500Greetings, Magical Musings friends, and thanks so much for having me here! I always love visiting. Y’all are awesome. :-)

Today, I’d like to talk to you about writing. Specifically, about things my children have taught me about writing and storytelling. If you follow my blog or Facebook page, you probably already know I have three crazy kids who keep me hopping. But if not, allow me to tell you a little about Munchkin (6), Squeaker (4), and Buttercup (2 going on 27).

I’ve been writing since before they were born, but it occurred to me recently that they’ve taught me a good bit about how to write a story. Including…

  1. You have to be flexible.

Just like kids will sometimes decide they hate the same peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they’ve demanded for lunch every day for the last five hundred days, sometimes the characters I think I’m controlling will have other ideas of what their story needs.

And most of the time, they’re right. (Except you, Mikey. Your story did not need a girl jumping out of an ice cream cake.)

  1. You have to be creative

My kids love the word “pretend.” A normal evening conversation tends to go like this:

Munchkin: “Squeaker, pretend we’re mermaids in a lava pit and this rubber band is our dad. Say hi to Dad, Squeaker.”

Squeaker: “Hi, Dad. Munchkin, say ‘Aaaahhh! We’re drowning!’”

Munchkin: “Aaaaahh! We’re drowning! Squeaker, grab that play sushi. It can be our raft.”

Me: “You guys are both going to fit on a one-inch square piece of wooden sushi?”

Munchkin: “Mooo-ooom. We’re pretending.”

And then they both try to climb on the one-inch square piece of sushi anyway, because it’s hilarious, and they’re escaping the evil ninja pirate lords.

While I can’t exactly steal their stories of battling evil ninja pirate lords to use in modern contemporary romances, I can watch the way their brains think outside the box, and remind myself to look beyond what’s comfortable and known, and stretch my writing limits too.

  1. A good temper tantrum can make all the difference.

IMG_0975My kids are superstars at everything (I’m their mom, I can say that), and temper tantrums are no exception. Buttercup has gotten so good at them, she’ll roll out of bed throwing one just to keep her lungs in good temper-tantrum-throwing shape. She’s dedicated.

My kids’ temper tantrums are pure emotion. There’s no logic, no reasoning, there’s simply one massive amount of energy going into expressing displeasure. And when you’re spent afterwards, you can’t look at the world exactly the same.

So to really get to our characters at their heart and soul, we writers have to push them to the limits of where they’d like to throw a temper tantrum. To make them earn their happily-ever-after, we have to give them the big feels and the fears and the insecurities until their worlds shift enough for them to truly understand and appreciate the happiness we’re dangling before them.

  1. Sometimes, you have to make up your own rules.

One of the fun things about kids is that they don’t know all the rules, and so they’re constantly making up their own. Their imaginations take them crazy, fun places.

Likewise, writers often have to make our own rules. My favorite method of making my own rules recently involved developing a setting for my most recent books. Bliss, Illinois, is the Most Married-est Town on Earth, and as such, there are conventions and traditions that would be weird—even unbelievable—in a normal town, but in Bliss, it totally fits.

  1. Above all else, have fun!

You know that old adage, Laughter is the best medicine? It’s so true. When the hubby and I are getting frustrated with the kids for fighting bath time, for dragging their feet on doing chores, or for refusing to eat their vegetables, making a game out of it works so much better than losing our cool (though we forget that as often as we remember it).

The same is true for writing. If I’m in a scene and I’m cackling with glee over the torture my poor hero or heroine is enduring, I know my readers will either be giggling right along, or they’ll be glued to the page, wondering how our hapless dears will work their way out of that mess. Either way, it’s a win in my book.

Thanks again for letting me crash your party at Magical Musings today! I had a blast!

* * *

Thanks, Jamie for joining us! A question for you all – what have kids taught you about life in general? Either your own children or someone else’s?

* * *

Jamie Photo - BWJamie Farrell writes fun contemporary romances with quirky characters and lots of heart. She believes love and laughter are two of the most powerful forces in the universe, and she infuses both into all of her stories. Her debut novel, Southern Fried Blues, was a finalist for the 2013 National Readers’ Choice Awards and the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Awards.

A native Midwesterner, Jamie has lived in the South the majority of her adult life. When she’s not writing, she and her military hero husband are busy raising three hilariously unpredictable children.

Find Jamie: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Newsletter / Goodreads 

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged | 14 Comments

The Appeal of Science Fiction

UoWI have a lot of story ideas, but at the moment, most of them are on plots in the science fiction genre.

I stopped to think why, the other day. I’ve always loved reading sci-fi, but then I love reading contemporary romantic suspense, too, and have never felt the urge to write in that genre, so why sci-fi?

I think it has everything to do with the freedom sci-fi gives me as a writer to deal with contemporary or historical events, themes and happenings without the baggage. I can look at some very touchy subjects, where emotions and politics sometimes muddy the waters and detract from the core issues, free of the expectations and rhetoric that sometimes accompany those themes.

I think one of the writers who did this best was the late Iain M. Banks, whose work I love, but other sci-fi writers, too.

I know sci-fi is definitely more widely popular today than it has ever been before, but I’d love to know if you read it. If not, are you willing to give it a go? It is great fun, I promise! :)

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 8 Comments

Goodreads

Are you on Goodreads?  I personally love it.

The main thing I use it for is for keeping track of the books I read and reviews for those books. I used to enter a lot of giveaways, but haven’t lately.  Back before I had a long TBR list I would scout all the lists and use the recommendations options to find new books. Great features!

Recently, I learned of a new feature on Goodreads in the last couple of weeks. Well, it’s new to me at least. When you have a book on your to-read list and that book is offered as a giveaway, you are notified. How cool is that? So, while I try to keep my to-read list updated I wasn’t always good at it, but I can tell you I will be updating it more frequently now knowing about that giveaway feature. I think that is a great feature for authors too. It gives readers more incentive to add a book to their lists and that will in general increase exposure of an author’s books.

So, now it’s your turn – as a reader or an author, what is your favorite feature of Goodreads?

And if you want to be friends on Goodreads, my profile is here.

Posted in Amy R's Posts | 12 Comments

Books that break your heart

I’m talking about books (and movies) with animals that die. Jennifer Estep and I were emailing each other about book covers, and we somehow ended up talking about our pets that died, and how we still missed them. It happened that I was looking at Redbox for movies, and I saw Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. The movie had tons of reviews with a 4.5 average. There was also a trailer, and watching it, I knew the movie would break my heart.

I told Jennifer that the best best dog movies don’t have good endings, and she said, “you’re right about the bad endings, like Where the Red Fern Grows …”

I can think of others that broke my heart, too: Old Yeller. Marley and Me (the book; not the movie), and The Horse Whisperer. (The book was also better than the movie.)

I really like comedies, but I think some stories with at least a little gravitas are the ones you remember most. And if they make you laugh and combine it with a little sadness – like Love Actually and Forrest Gump – then those are the ones you’ll remember.

I have dogs and cats in many of my books. So far  I haven’t killed any. I really don’t know if I could write that scene. But my characters go through a lot of bad things and some humorous, too.

What book/movie have you read or seen that broke your heart?

Posted in Edie's Posts | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! For future Fridays, we want your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Thanks! And here are this week’s finds:

FREE BOOKS

FirstsBook title: FirstS

Book author: Rosalie Stanton

Book blurb: Free for the month of February!

The past year has been hell on Savannah. Not only did her boyfriend dump her on the side of the road—literally—but her best friend, Wes, decided to graduate early. The person he becomes in college is even more confusing, and no matter what she tells herself, she can’t get over the thought of another girl having a piece of him that she’ll never have.

Wes has been in love with Savannah since childhood. Trouble is, she’s never seen him as anything more than a friend, and he’s never been brave enough to push those boundaries. He views college as an opportunity to finally move on. However, their continued close relationship makes moving on difficult, especially since Savannah has no idea she broke his heart.

With her own graduation day approaching, Savannah decides she doesn’t want to be a virgin when she gets to college. Turning to Wes to solve this problem seems sensible. After all, she trusts him more than anyone. Only she isn’t prepared for what her request unleashes—either from him, or in herself.

Amazon | Kobo

SUMMONSBook title:  Summons: A Goblin King Prequel Novella

Book author:  Shona Husk

Book blurb: Every fairy tale has to have some basis in fact, right? That’s what Eliza thought as she made a desperate plea to the legendary Goblin King. If he could grant her wish, she’d finally be safe. He would protect her. But what would he ask in return…?

Enjoy this short free prequel and a sneak peek of The Goblin King, the first of a highly imaginative new paranormal series by Shona Husk.

Amazon

The+Trouble+With+GoodbyeBook Title: The Trouble With Goodbye

Book Author: Sarra Cannon

Book blurb: Two years ago, Leigh Anne Davis shocked everyone in tiny Fairhope, Georgia when she broke up with her wealthy boyfriend to attend an Ivy League university a thousand miles away. At school, she finds a happiness and independence she’s never known.

Until one terrifying night takes it all away from her.

With no place else to go, Leigh Anne heads home to reclaim her old life. A life she worked so hard to escape. On the outside, she seems like the same girl everyone has always known. But deep inside, she’s hiding a terrible secret.

That’s when she meets Knox Warner, a troubled newcomer to Fairhope. His eyes have the same haunted look she sees every day in the mirror, and when she’s near him, the rest of the world fades away. But being with Knox would mean disappointing everyone all over again. If she wants to save what’s left of her old life, she has no choice but to say goodbye to him forever.

Only, the trouble with goodbye is that sometimes it’s about courage and sometimes it’s about fear. And sometimes you’re too broken to know the difference until it’s too late.

Amazon | Kobo

99c BOOKS

The+Golden+AppleBook title:  The Golden Apple

Book author:  Michelle Diener

Book blurb: Kayla’s world has been turned upside-down . . .

Her father has made her the prize in a deadly, impossible tournament, and Kayla has retaliated in the only way she knows how; by choosing her champion beforehand. But taking control of the outcome changes the game completely, and when the real reason behind the strange test becomes apparent, Kayla realizes not just her life, but her entire kingdom is at stake.

Rane’s honor is torn in two…

In order to save his brother, Rane will do whatever he has to–including deceive and betray a princess. He knew nothing about this tournament would be easy, but when it turns into a deeper, far more sinister game, Rane is forced to see it through to the end, or leave his brother at the mercy of their enemy.

Now their fates are entwined, and they must venture into the deep, dark forest together . . .

Kayla and Rane are bound to one another by an enchantment and Kayla’s actions. But the sorcerer forcing them to do his will may have miscalculated, because no-one comes out of the Great Forest unchanged. No-one.

The Golden Apple is followed by its sequel, The Silver Pear.

Amazon | B&N | iTunesKobo

Psychic+StormBook title: Psychic Storm

Book authors: Deanna Chase, C.J. Ellisson, Dale Mayer, Heather Topham Wood, Hazel Hunter, Jesi Lea Ryan, JC Andrijeski, April Aasheim, Morgan Hannah MacDonald, Jordan Castillo Price

Book blurb: Ten books. Ten internationally bestselling authors. Ten different tales of sexy psychics, empaths and seers who solve crimes, fall in love, make magic and fight to save the world.

Over 2,000 pages of extrasensory reading await, with three brand new, original novels and over 1,400 5-Star Reviews for the rest!

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play | Nook

Special offer: $1.99 for Kindle through Saturday, Feb. 7

SFBook title: Storm Force

Book author: Susannah Sandlin

Book blurb: As leader of the elite counter-terrorism team Omega Force, former army ranger Jack “Kell” Kellison is always focused on getting the job done. So when a Houston high-rise is bombed and the governor killed or missing, Kell’s mission is clear: infiltrate the group suspected of the bombing and neutralize the threat by any means necessary. But once Kell meets beautiful chief suspect Mori Chastaine, he realizes there’s more to this case than meets the eye. And more to Mori than any man—any human man—could imagine.

Mori Chastaine is running out of options. Suspected for a crime she didn’t commit, forced into a marriage she doesn’t want, she sees no escape—until Kell walks through her door. A lifetime hiding her true nature warns her Kell might not be who he seems. But he could be the only one able to help save more innocent humans from becoming pawns in an ancient paranormal power play. If Mori reveals her secret, will Kell join her fight? Or will she become his next target?

Amazon

SPECIAL OFFER

Ebook sale for $2.99

Scarlet_finalBook title: Scarlet

Book author: Marissa Meyer

Book blurb: Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Amazon | Nook

BOOK RECOMMENDATION

Worth+the+FallBook title: Worth the Fall

Book author: Claudia Connor

Book blurb: They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.

They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.

But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.

Amazon

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Guest Post: Terri Meeker on Billy the Kid and Forks in the Road

Terri Meeker

Terri Meeker is a fellow Samhain Publishing author who’s awesomely entertaining and so much fun to read. I’m delighted she could join us today amid her packed schedule. Enjoy!

When you come to a fork in the road, choose the path that will make a better story.

These are words that my daughter’s ex boyfriend lives by. Yeah, I know. Ex. But he’s a great guy and has some pretty amazing adventures. Lately, I’ve been pushing myself a bit with his motto. People express regrets on their deathbeds, but you never hear “I wish I’d have stayed home more. Played things a little safer.”

A few months ago I took a solo drive to Wyoming to see my Dad. While planning my trip home, I got a horrible/wonderful idea. Since I was in the middle of writing a book about Billy the Kid, and his old stomping ground was a mere few states away… a little detour was awfully tempting. And between a direct route of 1,200 miles or a side-trip to New Mexico – it wasn’t hard to see which would make the better story.

I phoned darling hubby. “What would you think if I came home via New Mexico? It’s kind of on the way.”

“Define kind of,” he replied. “Because my map of earth says otherwise.”

“Well, it would add more than four hundred miles on the trip,” I admitted. “But still. Billy the Kid!”

He’s known me for a while and he knows I am a woman of obsessions. Since beginning my Billy book, I’ve devoured more than a dozen books on the Kid. Hubby has sat through countless documentaries. But a trip to his actual haunts would be magical critical to my research! (Spoiler alert: my approach to Billy is somewhere between serious scholar and your average 12-year-old girl’s position on One Direction.)

At six pm, I said goodbye to Dad and started driving. I drove all night. The next day around noon (and 943 miles later) I pulled into Fort Sumner, New Mexico. A dusty little town with one going concern when it comes to dining establishments. But it featured no less than two Billy the Kid museums. I spent the day taking photos of saddles and cooking equipment and getting into passionate discussions about Billy with a lot of old guys wearing seriously enormous belt buckles.

At dusk I made my way to a lonesome cemetery, where Billy and his two best ‘pals’ are buried. They even share a tombstone. I’d bought a fifth of Jack Daniel’s in town at the Liquor Store/Minimart. As the sky turned from orange to purple in the setting sun, I sat down by Billy’s grave and splashed out the first shot on his grave. It was, admittedly, very dorky but – I ain’t gonna lie – it was also kind of awesome.

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The next day I went a hundred miles further south, further away from home. To Lincoln – the site of Billy’s most famous jailbreak and the setting for the first third of my book. Was it awesome? Well, is the thought of me drinking whiskey by myself in a cemetery creepy? (That was rhetorical. The answer to both is yes, of course.) It was one of the most charming experiences I’ve ever had in my life.

I’m not entirely insane, however. Though I got into many wonderful conversations with many Billy experts throughout the day, and took scads of notes, I was hesitant to come right out and tell these strangers what kind of book I was writing. Or even that I was a writer. These were serious Billy scholars, who’d dedicated years reading old newspaper accounts and letters.

By nightfall, I settled into the Wortley Hotel. It boasts a mighty eight rooms, but I was the only one staying there. At a population of 52, Lincoln is a pretty quiet little town. But the Wortley sits right across the street from the jail and figured prominently in his escape (and my book).

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Donna, the hotel’s minder, was thrilled to hear I was writing a book and plied me with questions, snacks and wine. So we sat on the porch as the sun fell. I watched Billy’s jailhouse window from across the street (word to the Billy fangirls, upper left corner) and we finished off the bottle. Then we finished off another. By the third bottle, I was telling Donna all about my story.

“It’s a time-travel. I’m sending a professor from 2015 back in time and she will mess with Billy’s jailbreak. And then he’s going to experience things from our time and see what’s become of his image. I’m especially excited for him to see a clip from the movie ‘Young Guns’ because his reaction is going to be some next level shit.”

Wine will do that to you. Make you choose the path that might make a more interesting story. In this case, when the hotel’s owner and acting ‘mayor’ of the little town showed up, she insisted I tell him all about my wacky time-travel romance featuring their town’s legend. And I did.

He laughed his ass off and was fully on board.

He said not everyone in town likes people messing with the legend. That some took their Billy quite seriously. But he insisted most folks would like it and Billy hadn’t gotten the time travel treatment that he knew of. He even confessed that he too had gone to Billy’s grave years ago and shared a beer with him at sunset. (Okay, he was a teenager at the time and there was simply no excuse for me … but… moving on!)

I’ll be damned. When you that interesting path sometimes it yields pretty amazing stories. In this case, a real, actual story! I’m on my second draft now and my ‘little’ detour to New Mexico has made all the difference in understanding the tale.

And as pure bonus, I met some pretty amazing people along the way.

Read Terri’s debut time-travel, Not Quite Darcy.

How to Woo a Gentleman and Weaponize Dessert

Romance novel junkie Eliza Pepper always thought she was born too late, but now she really is stuck in the wrong time. Tasked with mending a tear in the timeline, she’s trying desperately to fit into 1873 London. But dang it, mucking out a fireplace while looking like the lunch lady from hell is hard.

If she can just keep from setting the floor on fire and somehow resist her growing attraction to the master of the house, she’ll be fine. All she has to do is repeat her mantra:  “He’s nothing like Darcy. He’s nothing like Darcy.”

William Brown has always taken pride in his mastery of English decorum, but his new maid is a complete disaster, has thrown his household into chaos…and he finds her utterly captivating.

Though he’s willing to endure extreme physical discomfort to keep their relationship in proper perspective, her arrival has brought out a side of him he never knew existed. And Eliza has an innocently erotic knack for coaxing that decidedly ungentlemanly facet of himself out to play…

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Terri Meeker is supposed to write her author blurb in the third person. It’s just how things are done. She shouldn’t question it, but then she’s always been difficult. Even in high school, her best friend’s mother described her as ‘eccentric’ before urging her daughter to make friends with a nice, normal girl.

She was born in Wyoming but has made her home on Fidalgo Island in Washington state. She’s loved history since childhood and has been fortunate to live in lots of places with fascinating pasts, including: Washington DC, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, Albuquerque, Missouri and Mons, Belgium. She’s an ex-history teacher, a mom a Whedonite, a gamer and a ginormous nerd. She also loves to write.

Terri is really getting into this third person thing and thinks it will give her a lot of gravitas during future dinner conversations. She thinks you should probably start doing it as well.

Her website is at terrimeeker.com. Check it out and you’ll be able to find her on twitter, fb and all that social stuff. She’d love to hear from you. Trust me.

Website: http://terrimeeker.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terri.meeker.1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ActualTerri

Blog: http://terrimeeker.com/preface-blog/

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