Paranormally Yours: A Boxed Set Facebook Party!

Paranormally Yours: A Boxed Set is officially out today, and we’re having a Facebook party today to celebrate with Dale Mayer, Mary Hughes, Misty Evans, Edie Ramer from Magical Musings – and more authors who aren’t in Magical Musings. There are lots of giveaways. I hope you’ll stop by the party, and here’s more about the box set (which is only 99 cents! a bargain!):
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Eight paranormal and fantasy romances from USA Today, B&N and Amazon bestselling authors for one great price!
Indulge yourself with stories of romance, suspense, mystery, urban fantasy, or adventure. Whether you like ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves, dragons, fae, jinn or a trip through a portal on the back of a very special horse, this set will delight and entertain.

This Blood – Alisha Basso, Amazon bestselling author
Grace finds herself the keeper of tremendous power and now the underworld is out to get her. Seth is a monster on the hunt and his prey has never been more seductive. While Grace’s powers will ensure his leadership in the underworld, her beauty will make her captivity a pleasure.

The Starbuck Chronicles: AfterLife – Zoe Dawson, bestselling author of Going to the Dogs
In this world gone mad……Lily’s biggest challenge is to survive. A grumpy werewolf client is the least of witch caterer Lily Starbuck’s worries when her partner is murdered. To make matters worse, the Fairy Dust Administration dust hounds are hot on her partner’s trail, sniffing around for illegal dust.

Raver – Candace Carrabus, Amazon bestselling author
Forced through a portal, Lauren wants to find Cirq’s horses and return home before dinner. Instead, she’s fighting giant venomous birds, a hostile queen, and her own heart. She discovers unimagined adventure and romance but must learn to believe in the unbelievable–herself–before the horses heed her call.

Soul of a Vampire – Lauralynn Elliott
Nikolas longs for his soul as the darkness in him tries to take over. Tessa searches for a way to help Nikolas before it’s too late. Together they fight physical and emotional battles in their quest for the one thing that could allow them to be together. Will they make it before time runs out?

In Cassie’s Corner – Dale Mayer, USA Today bestselling author
Faith and loyalty are tested as a young woman learns what it is to believe – in herself, in her friends, and in life after death.

Dragon Mama Blues – Edie Ramer, USA Today bestselling author
Jin Long is in love and pregnant…and a dragon turned into a woman. But someone knows what she is and wants her for himself. She steals away to her dragon son in Nashville. Her lover follows her…and so does trouble.

Black Diamond Jinn – Mary Hughes
The Y12 doom is real. Government witch Amaia Jones has the spreadsheet to prove it. Amaia turns to Rafe, a stunning jinni, for help. He proposes Venus magic, the very thing that killed her parents’ love. But the world is ending, tonight, unless she takes drastic action.

The Mating – Nicky Charles, Smashwords and B&N bestselling author
Elise had no idea when she came home that day that she’d end up mated to a complete stranger. A new Alpha and the need for an alliance between packs have made her a pawn.

Amazon | Apple/ibooks | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Smashwords

Posted in Edie's Posts | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Review: No Limits by Lori Foster

NoLimitsBook info:

Title: No Limits
Author: Lori Foster
Published: August, 26th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin HQ
Copy received: NetGalley

Book blurb:

A surprise inheritance reunites a mixed martial arts fighter with the woman he’s never forgotten in the first in a smoldering new series from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster.

Cannon Colter is quintessential hero material: chiseled jawline, shredded body—the works. He’s also the guy who rescued Yvette Sweeny from kidnappers, only to put an end to her romantic dreams. These days, she’s older, smarter, determined to face whatever life throws her way. Even the prospect of sharing a house and business with Cannon.

Cannon knew Yvette wanted him three years ago. But she was young—and some things are worth waiting for. Thrown together by her grandfather’s legacy, he realizes how deep Yvette’s scars really go, and how much danger lurks in their quiet town. As pent-up desire explodes between them, protecting her becomes the only fight that matters. And he’ll break all the rules to do it…

My thoughts:

Lori Foster never disappoints. This is a deep, emotional read with an added suspense thread, although at times I thought she threw too many things into the suspense part of the plot.

The winner here was the relationship between Cannon and Yvette. It was poignant and sweet and I loved the way Foster made Cannon a real force to be reckoned with, but he wasn’t a jerk with it.

Cannon is a fighter, but there is little to no fighting in this book. It’s more about the romance and two people finding each other after both have had a hard past to overcome.

Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Tara

Four stars

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Creative Outlets

silver pear 300I know most people would say that’s basically the sum total of my job – being creative, but it isn’t. There is a lot of admin, marketing and other works that goes into being a writer. I used to work in publishing, though, and one thing that I have really come to love with doing some self-publishing is how much I love being really involved in a project from start to finish.

The Silver Pear comes out on October 1st, and I have loved finding awesome graphics for the print version. I have spent probably way more time that I should have getting just the right images and chapter flourishes, but you know what? This is supposed to be enjoyable. And I really enjoy formatting and layout design. There is something satisfying about creating something practical and beautiful.

It’s a different kind of creativity to my writing, and I find it a great way to take a break from my work.

My sister has recently taken up quilting, although she actually has a Master’s degree in inorganic chemistry, and she loves it so much, and is so good at it!

I also like to make ribbon bookmarks which I include when someone wins a signed copy of my work. I like to match the ribbon color with the cover of the book and choose just the right sparkly things to hang on either end. It is fun, and the reader is getting something very personal from me.

I think we all like to channel some of our creative energy into something, whether it’s cooking, baking, scrapbooking, quilting or anything else. What do you do for a creative outlet?

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 7 Comments

Retell, Reboot and Re-Imagine: Making the Old New Again

Whether you like fairy tales, be it Grimms’ Fairy Tales, which were originally published in 1812 and gave us such classics as Cinderella, Snow White, Repunzel and many others, or perhaps you’re a fan of the Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales such as The Princess and the Pea or The Little Mermaid, many old and beloved fairy tales we all grew up with that are now getting a make-over.

You can find a list of Popular Fairy Tale Retelling Books on GoodReads but there are even more than on that list.  And it’s not just books who retell classics, if you love television shows and fairy tales you probably already know about the show Once Upon a Time.  Or, if you like the classic horror stories there’s always the Showtime original show Penny Dreadful.

Classics are something we all love.  We know the characters and the stories.  But, we grow up and we know there’s more to romance or revenge and we want to know these stories from an adult world view.  We want them to take on adult themes, adult paths.  I remember the shock of Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy.

Sleeping Beauty

It’s based off the old Sleeping Beauty tale originally written by Charles Perrault.  But, Ms. Rice sent Beauty down some dark and erotic paths.  Deeply erotic.

If you go to Amazon and search for fairy tales and romance you’ll get a very interesting and eye-opening list of re-told tales.  And if you love movies with this theme IMDB has a list for you of movies with re-told and re-imagined re-makings.

Recently I read a Dean Koontz book called Innocence.  To me, Dean Koontz is a thriller and horror writer, but as I read the back of the book before reading it I could see the thread of Beauty and the Beast.  I love that story.  I know it well.  So, I was intrigued to read this story again, but through the storytelling of Dean Koontz, with a new set of characters in a different time, but still with that promise of an old story re-told.  I read it and could not put it down.  I finished it and thought about it for a long time afterward.

Beauty and the Beast Retold and horrifying

Beauty and the Beast Retold and horrifying

So, in a way a re-telling is a promise of what you will get from a story.  The author knows the story.  The reader knows the story.  And, together they agree it will be a new story, but with similar elements to the original.

We can connect with our favorite childhood stories, but in a new “adult” way and this kind of retelling has been popular for years.

Cinder...who?!

If you’d like to take a peak into a re-telling of an old horror classic, something along the lines of Penny Dreadful, but not exactly that re-imagining, you can download Time Out of Darkness for free right now.  The first story in this four-part anthology is entitled Mary Shelley’s League of Supernatural Hunters.

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What is your favorite all-time re-telling of a classic story?

Posted in Sheila's Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Facebook and Authors and Giveaway

Update! I’m a day and a half late announcing this, but random.org picked Sue Peace as the winner of an ecopy of the Paranormally Yours: A Boxed Set. Sue, I’ll email you! And thanks to everyone who commented.:)

The reason I signed up for Facebook is because it’s almost necessary for an author, but the reason I spend as much time on it as I do is because of my cat. I’ll be working on my computer, and my cat wanders in and jumps on my lap, expecting me to pet her for long minutes. She’s trained me well, and I usually do as she wants. But as I pet her, I switch to Facebook, and that’s when I do most of my social catch-up. I also watch a lot of cute animal pictures and videos. And I get to see videos like this:

I try to keep my FB promo down, but I’m not as open as some of my friends about what’s going on in my non-writing life. For one thing, I’d be so busy replying to comments that it would cut into my writing time. So it’s easier for me to keep things to myself. But I have to admit that some of my favorite FB posts from friends are when they share something from their personal lives. That includes some of the MM bloggers, like Sheila Clover English. If you’re a dog lover like me, she’s a definite must follow. But she’s also a must follow because she’s so interesting.

Another MM blogger to follow is Amy Remus. Definitely follow her So Many Reads FB page to keep up on authors and books that she loves. But I also love her personal page where she tells stories, like how she was trying to call her husband on her son’s cell phone, which she’d never used before. The call wasn’t going through, and her son said, “Because you are trying to call Dad from the calculator, Mom!”

Amy, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that if the opportunity comes up, I’m using this in a book. :) And also through Amy’s Facebook, I found out that there’s a job title of Cheese Technologist! If I could be a Cheese Technologist and a Chocolate Technologist (or even just a Chocolate Taster), well, those are the only jobs that might tempt me to stop writing.

FB is also a great place for meeting and interacting with readers. And I’ve received private messages on FB from readers. I have a Contact box on my website, but I think for some readers FB seems more approachable. There’s a casualness to messaging on FB, so I can understand why some readers prefer it. I love hearing from readers on either place.

Another thing that FB is good for is Facebook parties! I’ll be participating in a Paranormally Yours: A Boxed Set Facebook Party next Monday along with MM authors Dale Mayer and Mary Hughes, plus 5 other authors. Everyone is invited! I hope you’ll come, so check it out and sign up!
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Are you involved in social medias? I know some people prefer Twitter. Though I’m on Twitter, I’m more of a FB fan – most likely because of the pet videos. And there’s not as much junk promo as Twitter. What about you?

I’m giving away an ecopy of one Paranormally Yours: A Boxed Set to a commenter. I’ll announce the winner here on Wednesday morning. Good luck!

Posted in Edie's Posts, Giveaway | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

An odd insight…

Today (or rather yesterday when I was writing this) we had a power outage at my house. Honestly – I cheered! I’m so backed up on work that anything that keeps me off the never ending emails and other ‘necessary’ issues to deal with that require the Internet is a good thing. Happily I grabbed hard copy of my next release (Vampire #6) several red pens,  and went to my desk downstairs and worked away quite happily.

It became apparent within minutes that I was the only one that was happy. My daughter, who should be in school, but as the teachers are on strike isn’t, was lost. She’d been playing Minecraft and wanted to keep building. She ran to her laptop only to realize that her battery was low because she never plugs it in. She turned on her tablet to find there was no internet (duh, she’s in the house and there’s roaming Internet on it) The questions started – how long is this outage going to last? What can I do? Will the coffee shop have Internet? And this last one that REALLY made me pause – what did you do when you were a kid? Yeah, she actually thinks I was born at a time when there was no power!!! Holy moly.

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Still, I just laughed told her to get over it and scribbled away quite happily.

Then my son started. My youngest son is a mouthpiece, when the quiet sets in, he gets going. He kept up a rambling discourse on anything and everything nonsensical until all of a sudden there was silence. I paused, lifted my head and sure enough – he’d mumbled himself to sleep. After all there was nothing else to do. lol.

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My oldest son was home, but with no Internet and no computer, he was sitting on his phone, data turned on, and whiling away his time on his mini replacement computer.

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I had to think. From desktop to laptop to tablet to cellphone – they’d gone from one to the other in search of entertainment and one had actually fallen asleep in lieu of something better to do. Had they forgotten what a deck of cards looked like? Or how to play board games? Even going for a walk would have been a good idea – or considering we live 10 minutes from gorgeous beaches – gone to the beach!

I couldn’t believe it. I’d give good money to have complete days without Internet and yes, without power. I’d lived without power for the first 8 years of my marriage and learned to love the wonderful music of nature, and the fascinating lights of the stars in the sky and I NEVER lacked for something to do.

I wonder what my kids would do if I shipped them all up north for a summer. :)

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For myself – that would be perfect!

What about you? Could you do without power for longer than a day? Would you want to? I’ll be giving away a free ebook from one backlist to one lucky person who comments. :)

Posted in Dale's Posts | 5 Comments

For what it’s worth

There’s been a lot of debate this summer over what the price of e-books should be. E-books should be $9.99 or less. E-books should be $3.99 or less. E-books should be 99 cents.

Pfft. Whatever, dudes.

Because you know what? In the end, the debate about e-book prices is all just noise. Because the fact is that readers will pay what a book – e-book, print, or audio – is worth to them. Not what retailers or publishers or even writers think that book is worth.

Should a cup of coffee be $5 or more? Even for a double-shot vanilla bean salted caramel espresso latte that melts in your mouth? Probably not. But people will pay that much for it. And do you know why? Because they want it. There are lots of articles out there talking about how much money you can save – thousands of dollars a year – if you just cut out that $5 cup of coffee every day, but there’s a coffee shop on practically every corner.

The Republic of ThievesLast year, The Republic of Thieves, the third book in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series, was released. I could have saved money buying the e-book or the hardcover book online, but I went to the store and got the print book, even though it was $28. Why? Because I wanted it.

I had been waiting on that book a long time (so had my significant other), and I was happy that it was finally out. To me, it was worth paying $28 to read more in the story/world.

People spend money on the things they want, and I want to read good books – no matter if they are 99 cents or $28.

What about you guys? Do you think e-books should be a certain price? Why or why not?

Posted in Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 16 Comments

Writing and Pets

… Or should I say Pets and Writing? How is it that our pets seem to take precedence over our writing most (if not all) of the time?

You get up in the morning, get through your usual ritual of bathroom use, wash up, and perhaps even getting dressed, grab a cup of coffee … or in my case, a cup of tea, and settle behind that trusty old keyboard to get in the morning word count. (This is provided you’re not the type to devote the first hour or so to email and other social media.) You’re ready; you’re hot; you get into the groove of where you left off yesterday … and then suddenly, there’s a forlorn meow at your feet. You look down into a pair of beseeching green eyes and give a silent “awwww” before lifting kitty into your lap. It’s only ten, fifteen or twenty  minutes later that you realize you have now wasted precious writing time petting and caressing that sweet little creature. With determination, you set her on the ground and shoo her off.  Naturally you get a haughty look before she takes off to explore her food dish … which is empty, of course.  Now you gotta make sure she’s fed or the ever increasing meows will drive you up the wall.Snapchat-20140501033634

Now you’ve got to get down to business. This book ain’t gonna write itself, y’know.  Then … a whine comes from the left and there’s the pooch sitting at your feet with his leash in his mouth. “But hubby just took you out less than an hour ago,” you try to reason with him to no avail. Of course hubby has left for work and you’re the only one home with the critter, so you can’t confirm whether or not the dog did his duty. In the end, you give in … mostly because you don’t want to take a chance of the pooch soiling your carpet.

017With a heartfelt sigh you get dressed (if you’re the type to work in your jammies) and clip the leash onto the dog and begin the morning with a long, brisk walk as the pooch insist on sniffing at every tree and fire hydrant along the way.

Suddenly you realize that this is a good thing. The morning air is fresh, the walk is exhilarating and your mind begins to churn out ideas. Now it’s urgent that you get home to scribble down these ideas, but poochie is taking his good nature time finding just the right spot to take care of business. At last he’s done and you rush home … only to find that the darlin’ children left for school without feeding the hamster, the fish, or the turtle.  Sigh.

Ah, pets. What would we do without them? Our household used to have both a cat and a dog. The cat passed away about four months ago, which leaves the dog, which is a handful by himself. I’ve since gotten a Beta fish and am hemming and hawing over getting another cat. That remains to be seen, but I cannot envision our home without one, so don’t be surprised if we end up getting one.

Posted in Liz's Posts | 8 Comments

Do you pre-order?

Happy Friday! Hope you have had a great week and had the opportunity to read lots of books! It looks like the Magical Musings authors have a lot of books that either recently released or will be released soon. They are writing them quicker than I can read them! Always a good problem to have as a reader. :-)

Speaking of new releases, do you pre-order your books? It is my understanding that people used to pre-order so they did not have to worry about a print book running out of stock.  Now that the world is going digital, is there a point to pre-ordering? This question has come up a few times lately.

SWpreorders

Image courtesy of smashwords.com

First, I have a Nook and I also read using the Kindle App. Recently there was a book I saw come up for pre-order that I knew I wanted to read but couldn’t on release day, so I pre-ordered it, as I didn’t want to forget to grab it and support that author. On release day not only did the book show up on my Kindle app, but it also showed up on my Nook. Seems I pre-ordered it twice. Oops. Since then, I have not pre-ordered any books.

Now, indie authors have the option to offer their books for pre-order on Amazon, whereas that was not the case before. This is very tempting since a lot of my fave authors publish indie, too.

Should I pre-order or wait until release day? Do you pre-order? What are the benefits to pre-ordering? Authors, tell us why you want readers to pre-order your book. Does it help you hit any lists?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | 18 Comments

Covers, Covers, Covers (with giveaway)

Breaking Out 300UPDATE: I used random.org to pick a winner, and JENNA OH, you are it! I will email you for your details.

I have a LOT of new covers at the moment. It is so much fun seeing them all come through, and each one is for a very different type of book.

The first one that was finalized I’ve sort of kept quiet about, so this is an exclusive reveal *g*. Over two years ago, Edie and Misty put together a short story anthology called Entangled. All the proceeds from the sale of Entangled went to the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, and we raised around $16,000.00 for the cause, which still makes me very proud. My contribution to the anthology, Breaking Out, hasn’t been published anywhere else, and I have tried, when I’ve had time, to work on a sequel to it, although my darn deadlines keep getting in the way, LOL. Anyway, readers will soon be able to buy Breaking Out again in a new anthology coming up in October, finalized title to be confirmed. Having it out there again was the impetuous I needed to have a cover designed for it, so I can sell it on its own, as well. The cover designer I hired was Tatiana Villa at Vila Design, and she did such a great job of creating the dark atmosphere of Breaking Out with the touch of romance that’s in it.

Here is the quick blurb for my story: BREAKING OUT by Michelle Diener – Imprisoned in a secret facility, powerful telekinetic Kelli Barrack and two other ‘special’ inmates grab a chance to escape, only to confront their worst nightmares on the outside.

You can read a short excerpt of BREAKING OUT here.

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silver pear 300My next cover is for a new book – the sequel to The Golden Apple, entitled The Silver Pear. It’s the second and final book in The Dark Forest series, and I have really loved delving deep into fairy tales to bring the world my characters live in to life. The designer who create The Golden Apple cover, Laura Morrigan, also did The Silver Pear, and I think we managed to get a fresh look but one that was linked to The Golden Apple, as well, so you can see they’re part of a series. There is something so magical about it, and it really pops for me. It has to be one of my favorite covers. The Silver Pear should be out in October. Here is the blurb:

An unlikely princess . . .

Kayla is determined to master her new-found abilities as a wild magic witch. She’s learning everything she can so she and her betrothed, Rane, can put a stop to the sorcerers who are recklessly gathering their power, building up their magic to take each other on in a war that will destroy the countries of Middleland.

An even more unlikely sorcerer . . .

Mirabelle’s father was one of the greatest sorcerers in Middleland, but when he used the magic in the silver pear to bespell his pregnant wife to give birth to the greatest sorcerer who would ever live, he never thought that child would be a girl. Mirabelle is nothing like a usual sorcerer, confounding every expectation, and when she comes to the rescue of Rane’s brother, Soren, she makes a decision few sorcerers would. She saves him, rather than herself, losing the silver pear in the process.

And using magic always exacts a price . . .

With war not just a possibility but simply a matter of time, there are no neutral parties and no fence-sitters in Kayla and Mirabelle’s new world. Everyone is either an ally or an enemy and there is a price to pay for everything. The question is, how high will it be?

***

DOTS 300And finally, I’ve commission a new cover for my historical novel, Daughter of the Sky. This book doesn’t fit easily into any slot, being set in Victorian times, but in Zululand, on the east coast of South Africa. It has a romance, but that romance takes place in an army column on the march toward war. It also follows the real history of the events mentioned very closely, so there is an element of realism that pervades the book. Designing a cover for this book has been so hard. The original designer and I spent hours on it when I originally published the novel, a year ago, and while we came up with something that looked great, I knew we were missing something. Anyway, after many months, I had a better idea of what I thought would work, and EJR Design took the job on, and did an awesome job coming up with a really powerful cover that conveys the complexities of this book so well.

About Daughter of the Sky:

The Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulus if they don’t accede to their outrageous demands. The clock is ticking down to the appointed hour. With no idea why the British are marching three columns of men and guns towards them, one Zulu general is prepared to take an impossible risk. But the life he’s gambling with isn’t his own . . .

The sole survivor of a shipwreck off the Zululand coast, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus, the people of the sky. Six years later, her white skin becomes useful to the Zulu army as they try to work out why the Victorian Empire has declared war on the Zulu nation. Elizabeth is suddenly Zululand’s most important spy.

While infiltrating the British camp, Elizabeth’s disguise as a young soldier is uncovered almost immediately by Captain Jack Burdell. However, he believes her tale of searching for a missing brother and shields her from discovery, allowing her to bunk in his tent and giving her a job as his batman. Burdell is war-weary and disillusioned – no longer willing to follow regulations at all costs.

But as Elizabeth and Jack explore their growing attraction to each other, the two armies move towards their inevitable clash. Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her fierce loyalty to her Zulu family, and when Zulu and British meet on the battlefield, both she and Jack find their hearts and their lives caught in the crossfire.

So what about you? How important are covers to you (they are REALLY important to me!) and which one of my new covers do you like the best? All commenters go in the draw to win one of each book when its released!

Posted in Giveaway, Michelle's Posts | 17 Comments