Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What I'm Reading Now


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 PRE-ORDER ~ 99¢ SALE 

A terrifying darkness has risen and is sweeping Kutia Hollow, leaving dead bodies in its wake. Luna Vale, a fae militia lieutenant in post-apocalyptic Moscow, discovers evidence that a criminal holds the answer to stopping the murders. To survive, Luna must find strength in her arcane powers and confront the cursed creatures whose malevolence knows no bounds. Failure isn’t an option. Not when it means losing her family, her job, and her life.


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 FR*EE 

Jax’s past broke him and now his Awakening approaches. Powers unpredictable, he fears he’ll hurt his soul mate... A brutal vision triggers ancient instincts in Tierney, she and Jax must learn to trust in themselves to avoid the enemies sinister plans.

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 FR*EE 

When witch Merle MacKenna unleashes the demon Rhun from the Shadows to find her kidnapped sister, she gets more than she bargained for. Rhun is hellbent on charming his way into her pants—and her heart—to win his freedom, but his plan backfires as he starts falling for the witch he meant to play.

AmazonUS   AmazonUK   AmazonCA   AmazonAU   Nook   iBooks   Kobo



Monday, June 19, 2017

Interview with Laura Bickle! Giveaway of Dragon's Playlist!


Make music and the dragon will come.

Please welcome Laura Bickle to the blog! She’s just started indie publishing but has been traditionally published for years. A fan of Wonder Woman and lover of animals, she writes thoughtful, lyrically beautiful stories.
  
Michelle: How did you decide to write the Dragon’s Playlist? Did your heroine just show up and start talking or did you first have the idea of the story?

Laura: To me, Di is an everywoman. She’s been cooking in my subconscious for a good many years now. She represents what a lot of us feel when moving away from our homes as young adults, that push and pull of loyalty and the yearning for independence. Di wants to experience magic on her own terms, her music, her independent life, but keeps getting drawn back and tangled in her roots.

Michelle: You heroine is a talented musician whose dreams are shattered when she is forced to leave school and a promising orchestra internship in order to care for her ailing father, a miner. She thinks her dreams are at a dead end, but then she meets the dragon. Why a dragon? What made this a dragon story for you?

Laura: Di grew up the way I did, in very ordinary circumstances. But she’s reaching for the extraordinary, for a bit of magic to call her own. For years, this has been her music. Since her music has been taken away, the dragon emerges. He’s a once-in-a-lifetime secret, a living opposition to the way of life she’s always known. He’s the risk, the danger, and the exhilaration of the unknown.

Michelle: I love the environmental aspect of the story. The mining town felt real to me in a way that most places don’t in fantastical fiction. Was mining something you had personal experience with or did you have to do a deep dive in research?

Laura: I was born in West Virginia. My dad worked in a chemical plant, not in mining, though. There are small towns like the one Di lives in all throughout Appalachia, where difficult decisions are made every day. These places have deep roots. It’s sometimes very hard to decide whether to stay or strike out on one’s own. For me, I felt that there was always a pressure to stay, to live life in a certain fashion. I still feel that push and that pull, sometimes, even though I live hundreds of miles away now.

Michelle:The dragon character is wonderful. I enjoyed him so much!  He’s such a mix of dark and light. Good yet dangerous.Kind but fierce...no one should ever think they know where they stand when it comes to him. What went into developing your dragon? You made some interesting decisions (based on what I’ve read of dragons so far) on how he talks and functions in the world. Where did that come from?

Laura: The dragon, Afakos, is pretty much beyond lofty, academic ideas of good and evil. If we were playing Dungeons and Dragons, he’d be true neutral in alignment. He is very much like a cat in my backyard garden. “Good,” to him, is making sure that he has enough to eat, that his mountain lair is secure, that he’s got enough shiny trinkets and baubles to play with. “Evil,” to him, is anything that disturbs the world he's built for himself.
In that sense, Afakos is very much like how humans actually behave in the world. He just doesn’t bother with the pretenses and the sugar-coating.

Michelle: The way paganism is woven into the story is really lovely. For those who aren’t familiar can you give some background on dragons and their symbolism in the story?

Laura: Thank you! There’s a character, Julie, who runs a New Age shop in Di’s mountain town. The shop has received a mixed reception, but Di is curious about the magic there. She learns a bit about dragon lore, including the idea of making an offering to the dragon. That theme weaves throughout the book, as Di struggles to find a gift for the dragon that he might appreciate. She brings him a radio, which he thoroughly enjoys, and her own music. But there’s the underlying idea that magic comes with a price, that she will have to give up something very substantial to have this dragon magic in her life.  
Michelle: Do you have a Dragon’s Playlist to go along with the book? (Make one!)

Laura: I do! It’s on my Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/author.laura.bickle. Di was taught to play the violin by her grandfather, and he has a taste for classic rock that’s been passed down to her. There’s a scene in the book in which Di and her granddad play “Kashmir” in his nursing home room that always makes me smile.

Michelle: Do you plan to keep releasing indie titles? What’s next?

Laura: I am enjoying this experience very much! I’m working on a couple of projects right now. One is another indie project dealing with rural magic. The other is the continuation of my Wildlands contemporary fantasy series for Harper Voyager. Witch Creek, the next book in the series, will release in March. And there will be a mermaid. A flesh-eating mermaid who’s escaped into the backcountry of Yellowstone.

Michelle: And where can we find you and your other books?  

Laura: Deets on The Dragon’s Playlist are here: https://books.pronoun.com/the-dragons-playlist/

The latest info on my books is at my website, here: http://www.laurabickle.com/. I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Author.Laura.Bickle, Twitter at http://twitter.com/Laura_Bickle, and Instagram at http://instagram.com/laura.bickle/. Be warned in advance that there are tons of cat pictures, witchy mutterings, and craft disasters posted in my feed. And occasional acquisitions of action figures. Like Afakos, I hoard things.


GIVEAWAY: Comment with your answer to the question below for a chance to win an ebook of Dragon’s Playlist! PLEASE include an email or link to your FB profile in your comment so we can find you to give you your prize. The winner will be announced early next week. I'll post the winner in the comments here and on Facebook so remember to check back!


Dragons always have a hoard. What do you hoard in your life?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What I'm Reading Right Now


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 BOX SET ~ 99¢ SALE 

Four passion laced stories of strong vampires meeting their destiny head on. Be prepared to see what destiny has in store for them in this erotically-charged paranormal romance box set.


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 FR*EE 

Nothing is forbidden to this elite corps of shifter bodyguards and private investigators…except falling in love. (Magnum, PI with a shifter twist! Free for the first time!)

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 FR*EE 

Makayla Bradley risks everything including her first job as a journalist to get the goods on billionaire playboy businessman Jonathan Devane. A man who enthralled her from a single passionate kiss months prior in a Toronto nightclub. A man who makes her blood race and her insides throb. A man with dark secrets…



New Zodiac Shifters from Julia Mills! Woo!

Zodiac Shifters





A collection of books with an astrological spin on love. From Aries to Virgo… discover all-new tales of paranormal romance and urban fantasy.


Zodiac Shifters features New York Times, USA Today, and other bestselling authors. Each month expect new releases based upon the twelve astrology signs.


Taurus- Ambitious, Honourable, Devoted





Scorched Ember by Julia Mills







The Guardians of the Zodiac are back, along with the Dragon Guard of the Sea. These mighty dragons, presumed dead for centuries, arise from watery exile to save mankind and reunite their clans.

The world is in danger…

The fabric of the Universe is unraveling…

Magic has been corrupted, tainted, polluted by a malicious force with designs on world domination…

White witches are turning to the dark arts, while the malevolent practitioners are trying to conjure Hell on Earth.

Armed with the pure Earthen magic of her mother and the throwing stars given to her by Astraea, the Star Maiden—Goddess of Innocence and Purity—Roxane, Guardian of Taurus, has answered Poseidon’s call. Crossing the Crystal Gateway and infiltrating a coven of Elemental Witches devoted to destroying the forces of evil was easy…then she met Ladon and the piece of her soul she’d thought lost to the Fates was suddenly within her grasp. But he’s a distraction she doesn’t need. Worse than that, he’s hiding something…and secrets are just as good as a knife to the back in a war where nothing is as it seems.

Hiding in plain sight, Ladon has gotten very good at playing human. He’s spent nearly two centuries protecting not only the pure white magic entrusted to him by the Elders of his clan, but also his dragon, the last of the Fire Water Clan…then came Roxane. She calls to not only the man, but also his beast. Their attraction is immediate, soul-deep, and life-changing.

She’s unlike anyone he’s ever known – beautiful, powerful…dangerous in ways he has yet to discover. There is no denying the pull she has on him, no getting away from the call of Fate that Ladon had lost all those decades ago. But Roxane has secrets, and in a world gone mad…secrets can be deadly.

With the fate of the world resting squarely on their shoulders, can this Guardian and her dragon save mankind and find their happily ever after?

Not even the gods know what will happen next…

The answer is written in the stars…


Release date: June 13th 2017


AMAZON   AMAZON UK   AMAZON CA   AMAZON AU     KOBO    NOOK    iBOOKS







Excerpt

“I’m only gonna say this one more time…”

“Yeah, that’s what you said the last four times and the answer is still no,” Roxane grumbled. “I’m not calling for help. I’m not telling Father that Nicneven is back and I am under no circumstances going to listen to Zoe say that she told me so.” The Guardian of Taurus stopped in her tracks, spun on her toes and stared at her sister. “I will tell them after I’ve killed that bitch, put her head on a pike and have Ladon back.” She leaned forward, making sure Una saw the determination in her eyes. “This is my fight. He’s my mate. She’s the mother-in-mating from Hell. And make no mistake, I intend to send her cold, dead body back to Uncle Hades. If you don’t want to go, just say so. No harm, no foul.”

Looking at her like she had three heads, Una groaned, “Really? This shit again? You know damned good, and well I would follow you into the fires of the Underworld. I’m just saying…

“You’re just saying you think we’re outmatched, outgunned and gonna get our asses kicked. We’re…”

“No, I’m saying, if you cared to listen,” Una interrupted with her I’m-the-big-sister-here-so-listen look. “I have no doubt we are gonna kick ass and take names, but I think it would go a lot smoother if we had backup.” Stepping forward, the Guardian of Pisces placed her hand on Roxane’s shoulder. “Nicneven has control of all the nasties and beasties and things that go bump in the night, not to mention a shitload of Witches, Wizards and the Gods only know what else. Hell, the battle-ax brought a harras of Centaur with her to kidnap her own son. She was a nasty customer when we were kids and now, with her need for revenge and trying to impress Ladon, well…”

“That bitch be crazy, is what Una is trying to say,” Doriean interjected, having appeared at Roxane’s side. “I’m with you to the bitter end, help, not help, whatever the case may be.” He winked. “But I think we need to get going. These woods are giving me the creeps. I just know old Nicci, Nicci, Bad and Wicki is watching our every move. We need to act and act fast if we’re gonna get your Dragon back and kick some Goddess booty.”

Shaking her head, Roxane could only snort, “Nicci, Nicci, Bad and Wicki? Seriously? That’s the best you could do?”

“In a pinch, yes,” her Companion sniffed, acting insulted even though she could see his shoulders bouncing with barely contained laughter. “And it’s damn good if I do say so myself.”

“You would,” she groaned, turning back towards the rundown castle where she knew beyond all doubt the Goddess of the Wild Hunt was holding her mate.

Not only did Roxane’s heart ache, but it was the pain she felt coming from the beasts with whom she shared her soul that nearly dropped the demi-goddess to her knees. Specifically, the radiant red water dragon who possessed the ability to breathe fire both in and out of water, cut through the waves like a hot knife through butter and soar the skies with her elegant wings. This majestic creature longed for her mate, Ladon’s beast, the Vermillion Dragon King who held dominion over the warm south seas and Essence of Summer. The Guardian could feel her pining, begging, needing the other half of her soul, the part she hadn’t known was missing, to feel truly whole once again.

Stalking through the woods, Roxane tried to calm the thilykó dráko, “Be patient, drákos mou. Our mate is near. I know your heart is breaking. I feel your soul reaching out only to be left bereft and alone. Please fear not. Save your strength. Ladon and his Dragon are near. I will need you, your strength, your determination and your magic for the coming fight. Together, we can defeat Nicneven and rid the world of her tyranny.”
In an instant, the Guardian of Taurus felt energized. Not only was her crimson winged-warrior ready for the battle, but also the other animals within her, the powerful beasts of land, sky and sea given to her by her Father to call upon.

Coming up behind the castle, Roxane ducked behind a row of overgrown and spiny holly bushes that had once upon a time been part of an elaborate garden maze. Waiting until everyone was crouched in the general vicinity, the Guardian of Taurus pointed, “See that window there? At the bottom corner of the castle? That’s where she’s holding Ladon. I can feel him, just out of my reach.”

Again, Una placed her hand on Roxane’s shoulder. “Have you tried to contact him through your Mating Bond now that we’re closer?”

Nodding, she tried again just for good measure before answering, “Sure have, and it’s just like all the other times, I hear my own voice bouncing back at me.” She shook with renewed fury, growling, “I swear, I’ll pin Nicneven to the wall with my stars, cut out her heart with my short blade and remove her head with my sword then I’m gonna burn the pieces and scatter them to the four corners of the Universe.”

She stood, looking at the people whom she loved with all her heart, her family, the ones who had her back no matter what and added, “So when she gets to the Pits of Hell, not even Uncle Hades can put her back together.”

Clap!
Clap!

Clap!
Turning so fast the world was but a blur, Roxane zeroed in on the source of the mocking slow clap.

Nicneven!




About the Author





Hey Y’all! I’m Julia Mills the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Dragon Guard Series. I without a doubt admit to being a sarcastic, southern woman who would rather spend all day laughing than a minute crying. Living with my two most amazing daughters and a menagerie of animals, keeps me busy but I love telling a good story. Now, that I’ve decided to write the stories running through my brain, life is just a blast!

My beliefs are simple. A good book along with shoes, makeup, and purses will never let a girl down and no hero ever written will compare to my real-life hero, my dad! I’m a sucker for a happy ending and alpha men make me swoon.

I’m still working on my story but I promise it will contain as much love and laughter as I can pack into it! Now, go out there and create your own story!!! Dare to Dream! Have the Strength to Try EVERYTHING! Never Look Back!

I ABSOLUTELY adore stalkers so look me up on Facebook and sign up for my newsletter at JuliaMillsAuthor.com. Send me a message!

Thank you for reading my stories!!!

XOXO Julia



Keep up with all the latest Zodiac Shifters news here!


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Available Now!







Monday, June 12, 2017

Interview with Linda Robertson and Giveaway of Jovienne!

God made me an angel. I’m going to kick his ass.


Please welcome Linda Robertson! She's stopping by my blog today to discuss her new book Jovienne which is an amazing Urban Fantasy about angels and demons. Linda and I have known each other forever and she writes fantastic stories. You don't want to miss her books!

Michelle: I love Jovienne, the heroine of the series. She has such a strong sense of self and is very determined to carve her own path. I think, usually in angel/demon stories, getting the wings is the 'happily ever after' but not for Jovienne. She questions God and fights what is expected of her. How did she come to you? Did she just show up one day and start talking or did you build her piece by piece?

Linda: About 15 years ago (give or take) Jovienne started as a short story and, as you noted predictably, ended when she got her wings. I cried and cried as I wrote; it meant so much to me. You know that old writer’s adage, ‘kill your darlings’? Unlike other stories of mine up to that time, I tried to kill her. Instead of planning a fight she’d win, I worked at defeating her and threw the absolute worst I had at her. And she would not give up.  

Regardless of my love for that short story, it was rejected. (Due, perhaps, to the predictable ending.)

But as they say… Nevertheless, she persisted. Jovienne stayed on my mind and I knew her story wasn’t over.

Michelle: Jovienne is a total bad ass. What was the one thing she does in the book that you think was the most bad ass?

Linda: She is so imperfect. Born into an abusive home, then orphaned by a car accident and afterward raised in poverty and near solitude, she trained constantly. She isn’t a valedictorian from an affluent home. She doesn’t have all her shit together.  She’s God’s cannon fodder meant for the front line of His war against demons. But training for combat isn’t combat, and without experience facing an actual enemy, she makes mistakes she has to live with. But in spite of all her doubts about everything she feels inwardly, she refuses to let that uncertainty immobilize her outwardly, so, to me, the most badass thing she does is trust herself to do the right thing.

Michelle: What is the quintanumin? Can you explain a little about how it works? How did that come to you? The fight scenes are so vivid when she draws on its powers.Things slow down almost like 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' and then there are unexpected surprises in the middle of the action.

Linda: The quintanumin are five super-human abilities given her by God before waking from the coma. She can alter her sight to zoom in, alter her hearing to amplify, call ‘ghost hands’ from her aura to feel things she can’t physically reach, she can ‘quicken’ to run fast and make impossible leaps, and there is an energy release that allows her to mark an object with her essence to either leave a trail for others or to follow an object on the move.

Michelle: Jovienne is set in San Francisco a few years in the future. What made you choose that setting and time period?

Linda: At the time it was originally written, I’d recently moved back to Ohio after living in the Bay Area. While there the ‘Tenderloin’ area of San Francisco was often on the news due to crime and poverty.  I set it at Easter to facilitate the stigmata character’s movement, but I’ve adjusted the actual date over the years to have that holiday hit as early in April as possible. I wanted her surroundings in this first part of her tale to be as dead as possible, so it had to be spring, before the plants began to really renew and turn green.

Michelle: There’s also Polynesian magic in the series. How did that come about? Where on earth do you research that so you know you got it right?

Linda: Hold onto something, there’s a rabbit trail here and it gets bumpy.

I didn’t want her to be pale and blonde as many angels are portrayed. I also had fallen for the name Jovienne. It’s of French origin, but I didn’t want her to be European, so I looked at French Polynesia to make the connection of that lovely name and a main character with olive skin and dark eyes and hair. From there, I developed her history, including relatives who moved from an island in the South Pacific to Hawaii. What this means for Jovienne is that her heritage shaped parts of her power. She is sensitive to the shift from light to dark, and each evening she hears drums that no one else hears - an indication harkening to her ancestors who danced on beaches.

The language of her magic is based on Hawaiian, and while the use of it in the text should convey the sound and feel native to the islands, it was never verified. So it’s likely only jibberish that, I hope, transmits the correct nuance for the readers.  

Michelle: There are several characters in the book that eventually all converge in San Francisco. We have Nathan who has stigmata and hates it, Araxiel the demon who wants more than Satan wants to give, and Andrei the mentor (or pedagogue as he is called in the book) whose failures ruin lives. They each have their agendas, secrets and quiet horrors. Did they all arrive in your head fully formed? Was it difficult to balance all the alternating scenes? Did you outline or pants the book?

Linda: Egads, no they didn’t arrive fully formed! (laughs) In effort to compare and contrast Jovienne against others, they each represent major facets of her. Nathan hates what he is, as she hates what she’s become. Andrei is broken in many ways, but unlike her, doubts stop him. He finds solace in intoxication, she finds her in the search for knowledge. Araxiel knows exactly what he wants and has planned for it, whereas she is caught in a knee-jerk reaction to a new situation and trying to sort it out.  Balancing the scenes for this story, with a countdown driving it, became simply a matter of sequencing the moves of the pieces on the chessboard to heighten tension.

As for my style, I started writing as an over-outliner, shifted to a pantser, and have come to the realization that for me, a rough outline sets my mind at ease and leaves me the freedom to explore as the first draft unfolds.

Michelle: You're also a talented musician and created a 'movie score' for Jovienne, which is AMAZING. Did you compose the music the same time you were writing the book? Which took longer to make? The score or the book?

Linda: I wrote most of it concurrent with the book, in order to get the tone of scenes that were troublesome. The words flowed more easily when the music made me feel ‘there.’ That said, I only recently obtained the programs and ability to work with the music on the computer. This allowed me to arrange the songs, and enhance them to a much more professional level.

The book took MUCH longer to complete. I can usually write a novel and push it through 3 drafts in 6 - 9 months. I composed the songs on a Yamaha PSR 740, with 16 track built-in recording. It would take typically a day to compose a song, and then I’d tweak it over the course of a week. Feeding those compositions into the new computer, arranging and creating the enhancements, then mixing and mastering it, ALL WHILE LEARNING PROTOOLS, took a month. I’m eager to do more, as it is a profoundly incredible tool and I know I’ve just scratched the surface of all that ProTools can do.

30 second samples and buy or download link for CD: http://www.authorlindarobertson.com/buy.html

Michelle: How many books are planned for Jovienne and when will the next one be out? Any hints of what comes next?

Linda: There is no set number of books in the Immanence Series yet, but #2 (as yet untitled) is set tentatively for release May 2018. No hints, but I am excited to show her growth as a character.

Michelle: Tell us about your other books and where readers can find you.

Linda: The Persephone Alcmedi series has (so far) six novels, available as paperbacks or ebook from Simon & Schuster, Amazon, etc. *The first and third books have sold out of paperbacks and are available as POD. In order they are:

VICIOUS CIRCLE
HALLOWED CIRCLE
FATAL CIRCLE
ARCANE CIRCLE
WICKED CIRCLE
SHATTERED CIRCLE.
A short story prequel SMOKES & MAGIC is available on KDP.

Being a witch doesn't pay the bills, but Persephone Alcmedi gets by reading Tarot cards, writing a syndicated newspaper column and kenneling wærewolves in the basement during full moons. Everything changes when one of Seph's friends is murdered. The high priestess of the local coven offers Seph an unbelievable sum to hunt down the killer, and Seph enlists the help of her wærewolf friends--including Johnny, the hunky 6'2" leather-clad singer for the techno-metal-goth band Lycanthropia. The attraction between them is dangerous, but nothing could be as lethal as the showdown that awaits them.
  
Website: www.authorlindarobertson.com  (see contact page for contact form)
Facebook:
  Interact:   authorlindarobertson
  Fan page: lindarobertsonbooks
Twitter:   @authorlinda
Goodreads: LindaRobertson

  
GIVEAWAY: Comment with your answer to the question below for a chance to win an ebook of Jovienne from Linda! PLEASE include an email or link to your FB profile in your comment so we can find you to give you your prize. The winner will be announced early next week. I'll post the winner in the comments here and on Facebook so remember to check back!


You finally have your angel wings. Where’s the first place you fly to?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What I'm Reading Right Now


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 99¢ and FR*EE in KU 

Maya Iyeroy must leave her destined mate to find her blood family. When she uncovers secrets about her past everything changes. Now she faces the ultimate test. If she loses, the future of her pack is at stake. Can Maya overcome the challenge, while falling in love with the one man she's fated to be with?


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 99¢ SALE 

When brilliant actress Marie St. Jean, who loses a piece of her soul to every role, reluctantly steps into a leading lady role, she encounters a ghostly spirit who promises to fix her affliction. Violinist Johann Bledsoe thought he’s left disgrace behind in England, but a murder outside the Théâtre Bohème makes him fear he’s been exposed. More murders drive Marie and Johann closer to the passion they can’t ignore as well as to the truth of what really lurks below the stage, and what dangers hang over their heads.

AmazonUS   AmazonUK   AmazonCA   AmazonAU   Nook  iBooks   Kobo   GooglePlay

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 NEW 

War between supernatural forces brings with it a battle of trust and betrayal, and Calliope and Godric must discover if true love can break the spell—or if the curse will keep them apart forever.

AmazonUS   AmazonUK   AmazonCA   AmazonAU   Nook   iBooks   Kobo   GooglePlay