Saturday Spotlight -Ragis byDonna Migglaccio

RAGIS BLOG BANNERRagis by Donna Migliaccio

August 28, 2018

Fantasy

The Gemeta Stone Book 4

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

Kristan Gemeta is teetering on the brink of madness.

His sister Melissa has defied him. His friend Olaf has betrayed him. The Wichelord Daazna’s ghostly laughter mocks him when he’s awake and robs him of his sleep at night. Even the protective powers of his legendary Stone are turning against him.

And now his companions, his ship and its precious cargo have been taken hostage. Kristan must give chase, in an unseaworthy vessel manned by an angry centaur crew. Ahead lie unfriendly waters, an ominous destination and a confrontation Kristan dreads.

In his despair, Kristan longs for the one person he has always trusted: his beloved Heather. But she’s far away, about to step into a trap that will endanger not just her command, but Kristan’s life.

 BUY LINKS:

FIERY SEAS BOKSTORE: https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/product-page/ragis

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FXCLY9G/  

BARNES & NOBLE:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129174486?ean=2940161556092  

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/ragis

Dl2gxMOU0AA-5f0RAGIS by Donna Migliaccio

Excerpt from Chapter Four

Bucking furiously, the Sigurd-bat opened its mouth, showing an uneven row of sharp teeth. With a sudden hiss, the spell collapsed, and Sigurd finally materialized, flat on his back, arms and legs waving, purple-faced with rage. Nolle’s eyes rolled up into her head; she tottered backward and fell. Like an angry bear, Sigurd lunged on hands and knees toward her. Serle cried out and tried to pull Nolle out of reach as Desta slashed at Sigurd with the knife, catching the sleeve of the Northman’s tunic. Sigurd slammed one elbow into the boy’s midriff, sending him flying, then grabbed Nolle by the ankle. Shouldering through the watching men, Olaf grasped his brother’s arm, but Sigurd twisted free, and dragged Nolle from Serle’s grasp. With a shrill cry that spiraled into a yowling screech, she abruptly shifted into her cat-form and raked one forepaw across Sigurd’s nose. In a blur of claws and fur, she fled behind Kristan. Serle joined her there as Sigurd roared and advanced, but Desta charged at the Northman yet again. Kristan grabbed the boy by the collar, slung him in the bow with Serle and Nolle, and threw out both arms protectively. “Don’t hurt them!” he cried. “I’ll do whatever you want, only don’t hurt my children!”

Sigurd loomed over him, breathing hard, blood dripping from the claw marks scoring his nose. “Your children?” he snarled. “Your little band of freaks? I ought to knock you down and drown all three.”

Kristan did not move. He was suddenly, strangely calm. “I’ll do what you want. I’ll try to summon the power of the Stone. But touch any one of these children and I won’t be responsible for what happens afterward. I swear it.”

Sigurd loomed over him, breathing hard, blood dripping from the claw marks scoring his nose. “Your children?” he snarled. “Your little band of freaks? I ought to knock you down and drown all three.”

Kristan did not move. He was suddenly, strangely calm. “I’ll do what you want. I’ll try to summon the power of the Stone. But touch any one of these children and I won’t be responsible for what happens afterward. I swear it.”

Sigurd feinted toward Nolle’s cat-form. She hissed, ran up the serpent-like prow, and stood at its end, back arched, fur standing out all along her spine. Desta let out a hiss of his own and brandished his knife, but Kristan quelled him with a glance. Serle stayed where he was, chin trembling.

Bróðir, leave them alone,” Olaf said gently. “If the StoneKing says he’ll try to help, he will.”

“He’d better,” Sigurd said. He backed up a few steps and waved one hand dismissively, but his fingers shook, and his face was pallid and sweating.

Kristan turned toward the prow. Nolle’s shift form still perched there, shivering. Serle cowered by the hull, white to the lips. Desta still clutched his knife and watched the Northmen with a distrustful eye. “Desta, put your knife away and stand aside,” Kristan said. “Nolle, come down from there. Go wait with Serle. Serle, calm her down, please. Desta, stay with them.”

“Yes, my lord,” Desta said.

“Yes, my lord,” Serle whispered.

Nolle slipped past Kristan, and he had just a glimpse of her wild eyes within the shift form. She slunk to Serle, who crouched and put his arms around her. Desta stood over the two, one hand on the hilt of his knife, the other nursing his side where Sigurd had struck him.

“Now be still,” Kristan told the three of them. “This will be over soon.”

 

About the Author:

Donna MDonna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.

She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.

Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.

Social Media: 

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

 

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AuThursday – McKenna Dean

GOAC BannerPlease welcome, McKenna Dean to the Clog Blog.   

SignatureLogo_300x218McKenna, please tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve done a number of different jobs over the years: worked as a lab tech, in a vet clinic, as a dog trainer, an actress, a singer. I’ve always walked a fine line between my creative/artistic side and my scientific one. When I graduated from high school, I thought I had to choose—and so I gave up writing and focused on my career. Many years later, I discovered online fanfiction archives and I was obsessed! When I began writing again, it was like opening a floodgate. The encouragement I received from fandom allowed me to submit my first story for publication, but no one was more surprised than I when it was accepted!

Since then, I’ve written over 20 stories, but in so many different genres I didn’t have a recognizable brand. In 2017, I made the decision to re-brand myself and concentrate on just paranormal romance.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I’m a die-hard panster—working from just the barest outline, a faint idea of where I want to go and trotting off in that direction. I love it when my stories surprise me! But the longer I do this, the more I realize I’d be more productive with more outlining. I’m trying to find that balance between outlining enough that it streamlines the process without becoming a story killer by taking all the spontaneity out of the writing.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

I have. Once when I attempted NaNoWriMo—it was a kind of pressure and writing style all wrong for me. But also when I’m too tired and emotionally drained to write. Sometimes a story stalls for weeks. I remind myself of Louis L’Amour’s quote to “Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

What genre do you write?

My focus these days in on paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

What draws you to this genre?

I love the world-building and the way the genre lends itself to political and social commentary. I love the magic of the supernatural, and the power of shifters.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I love snowed-in stories, so I wanted to set up a situation in which my main characters were pitted against each other but wound up having to work together for their survival. An inheritance with conditions seemed to be the ideal way to bring a fangirl with a secret and a shifter whose inner wolf is in hiding together. Add in a snowstorm, a stray dog, and a series of increasingly dangerous accidents, and you have Ghost of a Chance.

How are you publishing this book and why? (Indie, traditional or small press)?

I’ve both worked with a small press and done indie publishing before, and they both have their pros and cons. Publishers typically provide quality covers and reputable editing, and these are major perks when you are looking at paying for those services yourself. But working with a press means working on their schedule—meeting deadlines and so forth. It can take up to a year from the time you submit a story to seeing it published and getting royalties—which means you really need to be producing a new work once per quarter at the minimum.

As an indie author, I’m my only client. Yes, I have to pay for cover art and editing, but I can set my own price and launch dates. The amount of promotion is nearly the same in either case, though a well-known press can give you a leg up there too. Honestly, I like doing both. Sometimes it’s nice to turn over the reins to someone else. Sometimes you want to have total control. With the demands of my current job, indie publishing seems to be a better fit, but I intend to offer my next book to a press.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Writing is a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Read the kinds of books you want to write. Read good books. Bad books only teach you to imitate them. Don’t read your reviews. I know, no one listens to that one, but if you do read your reviews, try not to let the bad ones derail your process. Keep a folder of all your good reviews—you’ll need them when you are promoting the next book anyway—but more importantly, read those glowing comments when you need encouragement. Read the reviews of your favorite stories too. There’s comfort in realizing there are people who hate a story you know is brilliant.

Follow Chuck Wendig’s blog—he has some terrific things to say about writing. Read about improving your craft, but above all, take what you read with a grain of salt. If advice doesn’t gel with you, no big deal. Do what works for you and ignore the rest.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

The easiest way to find me is to go to my website. There are links to my social media on almost every page, but the most complete line up (including Instagram and Book Bub, as well as my newsletter) is on my blog page: http://mckennadeanromance.com/blog

As a matter of fact, you can just subscribe to my blog there, and you’ll get all the latest news when I post it.

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

ghostofachance_finalThe light faded as they approached the dip in the drive leading down to the bridge crossing the creek. Long shadows were cast from the tree line onto the drive, and as they rode into the shade, the temperature dropped as though they’d walked into a freezer. Casey pulled Indy up as he inspected the tracks. He pointed at a trail going off to one side. “Someone made a break for it here. Didn’t want to cross the bridge, most likely.”

He urged Indy in that direction, following the tracks splitting off into the woods. Indy obliged, trudging through the deeper slow, icicles gathering on his feathered legs.

The other tracks crossed the bridge. That way led to the road. The thought of Athena or the other mares potentially ending up in traffic turned Sarah’s stomach. The horses aside, some driver could get killed if they rounded a corner and found the mares in their path.

Sarah closed her legs around King’s sides and urged him across the bridge. He didn’t want to leave Indy and balked at crossing the wooden structure. The bulk of the missing horses had gone that way, however, and Sarah thumped her heels against the reluctant gelding to follow their trail.

Ghost exploded out of the brush to block her path, barking furiously. The Shepherd favored one foreleg, and as Sarah watched, drops of blood flecked the snow around the dog.

King rocked back on his haunches, preparatory for a spin for home. Sarah pulled up on the reins and closed her legs around the spooked gelding. Behind her, she heard Indy crash through the vegetation. Casey must have turned him around.

“Go home,” she shouted at Ghost. “Bad dog!”

She clapped her calves against King’s flanks and the

gelding sprang forward. Ghost scooted to one side as the horse charged, flinging snow behind him in his wake. Sarah leaned across King’s neck as he galloped across the bridge, belatedly considering the slickness of the wooden planks. Too late now. Once they were across, she’d pull up and wait for Casey.

Halfway across the bridge, a terrible shriek rent the air. Wood splintered and failed. Boards separated under the weight of horse and rider and came apart. King screamed as the footing beneath him gave way, and he plunged into the icy stream below, carrying Sarah with him.

Saturday Spotlight – The South Winds by Allison Mullinax

 

 

South Winds (1)

The South Winds

by Allison Mullinax

Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting

August 7, 2018

 

Cassie Ray, manager of her family’s successful oyster house, has never asked for much out of life. The sun, surf, and sand are her companions. The regulars and tourists that flock to The Slippery Oyster are her livelihood. But when the Atlantic kicks up a hurricane, sending waves of black water threatening the coast, Cassie quickly learns that the south winds have blown in a lot more than debris and saltwater.

Dean Alexander left Turquoise Isle eight years ago and never looked back. With his sister’s wedding approaching, and a hurricane churning in the Gulf, Dean returns home, where he’s welcomed with a riptide of memories determined to pull him under.

Will Cassie and Dean make it through the crashing waves of the past? Will they get a second chance before it’s too late or will the storm ahead be too much for them to handle?

Excerpt:

EXCERPT #4 – CHAPTER SIX

“Was that Dean Dean?” Jonah asks, still standing in the same spot since he walked into the house, staring at me wide-eyed.

“The one and only.” Wiping my sweaty palms over my black pants, I grimace at the tight muscles grinding in my forearm, protesting any sort of movement from my fingers. “This night sucks.” I blow a stray strand of hair out of my face. The smell of fish grease clings to my locks for dear life.

“I pictured him taller, less… clean cut,” Jonah says over his shoulder, walking into the kitchen. He stomps through the house, the hardwood floor shaking under his boots. “Where’s the good stuff?” He shuffles through a bottle of ketchup, cartons of leftovers, and an expired jar of mayonnaise as his backside sticks out of the refrigerator.

“He didn’t used to be. He’s different. There’s nothing in there. Try up there.” I point to the cabinet above his head as he swings around. A slice of lunch meat hangs from between his lips momentarily before he sucks it into his mouth.

“You need to go to the grocery store. I could have sworn I saw a bottle of wine hiding back there last week.” Towering over the refrigerator, Jonah stands on his tiptoes to reach the back of my liquor cabinet, from which he produces a three-year-old bottle of vodka. Pointing to it, he shrugs, waiting for my approval.

“Yeah, that’ll do.”

“Sit.” Jonah nods toward the table and walks across the kitchen. He pulls two red plastic cups out of the cabinet and snatches a bag of Cheetos. He places his pay load on the table.

“I just can’t believe he came to the restaurant.” Walking over to my kitchen nook, I plop down on top of the dining table, my legs dangling over the edge.

“Wait, woman!” Jonah waves his hand frantically in the air before pulling a finger to his lips, shushing me. “Don’t tell me all the gory details yet. I want the vodka version, not the bitter-Betty version.”

“I’m not bitter.”

“Playa, please, I’ve never seen you wound this tight. I could bounce a quarter off the vein popping out the side of your neck. Gimme.” Jonah holds his hand out for a cup, twisting the lid of the vodka off with his teeth. The clear liquid splashes against the bottom as he spits the top out onto the table. I watch it spin against the grainy wood, making its way toward the edge. Harold eyes the lid curiously from the floor, waiting for it to drop into his paws.

“Drink.” Jonah keeps his eyes on mine as we both tilt our heads back, letting the shots burn down our throats. He pulls a fist to his lips, his eyes watering over. “This is terrible.”

“I know, give me another.” I cough, then slam my cup down onto the table.

“One more. I gotta drive home.” Jonah pours a single shot into each of the cups, and we

toss the fire into our bellies one last time. “We need to update your liquor choices, Cass.” He shoves his hand into the Cheeto bag, plucking out several, and leaving cheesy powder coating his knuckles.

“I may never drink vodka again after this.” I hold my tongue out, waiting for the burn to disappear.

Jonah tosses the cups into the trash along with the half-empty liquor bottle, giving a slight shudder as it smacks against the bottom of the garbage can. “All right, spill it.”

 

BUY LINKS:

Fiery Seas Pub Bookstore: https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/product-page/the-south-winds

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/South-Winds-Turquoise-Isle-Book-ebook/dp/B07F6X6V18/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-south-winds-allison-mullinax/1129081625?ean=2940162142232

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gr/en/ebook/the-south-winds

About the Author: 

North Alabama native, Allison Mullinax, grew up in the small lake town of Guntersville, AL. She discovered the escapism and addiction of writing at an early age. Today she remains a lover of reading, all things outdoors, and spending time with her husband and three daughters. 

Social Media: 

 Website

Facebook

Twitter

AuThursday – Mary Martinez

URBIMG Banner2

MM author photoTell us a little about yourself and your background?

I live in Utah, just west of Salt Lake City. I love to travel, go to concerts, read and of course hang out with family. I haven’t always loved sports, they were okay but now I love sports, most. We have season tickets to the University of Utah Football and Gymnastics. We love baseball and whenever we get a chance we go to a Yankees game.

I have wanted to write for as long as I can remember. I started one when my kids were little, that didn’t go over well. Before the internet. Yes, I’m old. LOL. But when my kids started moving out I decided it was time. That was in the early 2000’s. I’ve learned a LOT the hard way.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?

I just write a bit of backstory to get the feel of the characters, do an outline of characters and then write by the seat of my pants. I add things to my backstory doc as I go.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Not often, it’s usually just problems with a scene so I can move forward. I take a walk or clean to clear my head when that happens.

What genre do you write?

I write more than one. I started with Romantic Suspense, I’ve added Romance, Women’s fiction, one middle grade I wrote with my three oldest grandsons and currently I’m writing a fantasy complete with Wizards, Witches, faeries, Deamhans, Warriors, and Dragons.

How did you come up with the ideas for your books?

WatchingJenny_MaryMartinez300I do not know. The ideas pop into my head at weird times. I was driving to work when Alanis Morissette came on the radio and for some reason, the idea of a stalker came to mind and the idea for Watching Jenny was born.

ChickMagnetFinal300

 

 

My son used to take his nephew to the grocery store with him to pick up girls, hence my idea for Chick Magnet.

RomanceAndMisconceptionsFinal300I am not sure of the others. With Romance and Misconceptions it started out as a romantic suspense but then I liked the twin that was supposed to die so much I turned it into a romantic comedy.

 

 

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Join a book club of readers, not other authors. You’ll read books you’d never have picked up on your own. You’ll have firsthand experience of what a reader likes and dislikes about how authors write. How they react to certain situations. I have found it very valuable. Especially since there is always wine.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

My website: www.marymartinez.comwww.marymartinez.com

Mary’s Garden Blog: http://marysbooksblogger.blogspot.com/

The After Work Cook Blog: http://theafterworkcook.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authormarymartinez/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marylmartinez

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaryMartinez/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTww3B2ofa11UPFrSe0WGAg

Pinterest (my fav) https://www.pinterest.com/marylmartinez3/

Mary’s Book Group News: http://www.marymartinez.com/marys-book-group-news.html

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Excerpt from Classic Murder: Mr. Romance

ClassicMurderMrRomanceMaryMartinez300“Would you like to come up for a drink?” Katie asked and then hiccupped loudly. Placing a hand over her mouth, she looked around. Adam watched her cheeks pinken with embarrassment. Then another giggle escaped. God, she’s cute.

“Come on, Katie. Let’s go to your apartment and get you ready for bed.”

Katie straightened up and looked up at Adam. Adam watched as she started to lean to the side, he hurried to place a steadying handout, but before he could, she started to teeter the other way. He finally grabbed her by the shoulders. Walking her backwards until they reached the side of the building, he propped her up against the brick. He leaned down and took the ridiculously high-heeled shoes off her feet, one at a time. Shoes in hand, he stood up.

“Okay, I think you can walk to your apartment. Come on.”

Adam was glad they didn’t have to take the stairs. He would have had to pick her up and carry her. Not that it wasn’t a tempting idea, but he was having a hard enough time controlling himself without the added temptation. At her apartment, he kept one arm around her waist and half propped her against the wall. He waited while she fumbled in her minuscule silver purse for her key. Then he unlocked the door.

“In you go, Katie. Now which way to your bedroom?” Adam asked.

Before she could answer, Oscar barked from the kitchen where Katie had left him for the evening. First things, first; someone had to take care of the poor dog and then he could deal with Katie. He led her to the sofa, helped her sit and smiled at the silly grin she had on her face.

Standing at the door, Oscar waiting to be let out, Adam looked at Katie. “I’m talking the dog for a walk. Will you be all right?”

Katie blinked and her head rolled to the side to look at him. She grinned wider, then hiccupped. “Yup.”

Adam sighed. He couldn’t just let the dog out; he had to be on a leash. Hoping she stayed on the couch, he let himself and Oscar out.

When Adam let himself back into the apartment a few minutes later, Katie was still sitting where he had left her. Her eyes closed and the same silly grin spread across her face. He walked over and, as his face came level with hers, her eyes popped open and her hand came up quickly. Before Adam knew what was happening, she’d put her hand to the back of his head and pulled him in. Her warm lips locked with his. Desire shot through his body.

Reminding himself that she wouldn’t remember it in the morning, he forced himself to pull away gently. Taking both her hands, he pulled her to her feet, where she slightly swayed.Reviews by Crystal button

Saturday Spotlight – In the Assasin’s Arms by Katherine Hastings

assassinIn the Assassin’s Arms by Katherine Hastings

Excerpt from Chapter Four

Turning to run out of the room in hot pursuit, he heard a whooshing noise from above and felt a thud across his head. He watched in rapt fascination as, like a gigantic spider, she landed in front of him. She had been suspended in the rafters above his head the whole time.

Damn this woman, he thought as he readied his sword. She had pulled one over on him again. Shaking with a rage unlike any other, he vowed this would be the last time.

She stood silently between him and the door. Her red cloak covered her brilliant hair and only her red lips and creamy white skin showed from beneath it. He couldn’t see her eyes, but he didn’t need to. She pulled a dagger from the holster strapped around her thigh, sliding it across the black leather pants that peaked out from beneath her cloak. Deftly, she lunged at John with it, poised to strike. He sidestepped her advance and pushed her as she slid past him, causing her to stumble. Like a cat, she was instantly back on her feet. He tried not to be impressed by this woman’s skills, but it was impossible not to take notice of her speed and agility. Like lightning, she charged at him again. He blocked her with his sword and pushed her away. She ran forward and disappeared beneath him, swiping his legs out from under him as she slid through them. He realized he had underestimated her as he flipped backward, landing on his arse with a thud. 

Before he could even process what had happened, she leapt on top of him, the tip of her sharp dagger pressing into his jugular so forcefully he could feel it thumping against his pulse. By God, who is this woman?

“John Wesley Douglas. I am impressed that you found me,” she said, lowering her mouth to just above his. He couldn’t help but feel himself stir again as she straddled his manhood, her hot breath brushing his lips. The element of danger twined with the strong sexual chemistry, creating a lethal cocktail of lust. “Tsk tsk. You should have left me be.”

“Left you be?” he raged. “You killed my friend. He was my family, you treacherous whore! What kind of man would I be if I let you get away with it?”

He watched as her cloak slipped off her head, revealing her shiny red waves. The silver and black clasp of her cloak rested just on her clavicle. John cursed himself for still feeling aroused at the thought of unclasping it and revealing her breasts even while she sat with a dagger to his throat.

“I did not kill your friend, even though I can see how you could come to that conclusion after our… interlude.”

Her blue eyes bore into his and John couldn’t help but feel she may be telling the truth. Then again, what did he know? She had bested him twice already and now he was just supposed to believe her? She had killed Henry. It had to be her, even though her eyes indicated innocence. No, she was guilty. She had to be. In that moment, his pride won out, demanding that he not let her get the best of him. With lightning-fast movement, John knocked the dagger away from his throat and sent her flying backward through the air. In an instant, he was on his feet and on top of her. He immobilized her before she could respond, her arms pinned above her head with one hand and her own dagger pressed to her throat with the other. She smiled and arched her meticulously groomed eyebrows.

BUY LINK:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Arms-Dagger-Desire-Book-ebook/dp/B07F3KBMWW/

GIVEAWAY LINK:

https://www.katherinehastings.com/news-and-events

(Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card)

AuThursday – Ivy Hayes

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I will try and keep it short 😊
I am 25 and from Seattle, and I got my start writing when my boyfriend and I had an itch to travel. I quit my non-profit healthcare job so we could spend 2018 out of the country.  Since I now has all this free time, I started to go crazy so I quickly settled on writing a book to pass the time (which had been a long-time dream of mine, I just never thought it would actually happen) and finished my first manuscript about a month later in a coworking space in Dunedin, New Zealand.
I am still so new in the writing world I feel I am learning something each day that hones my craft, just a little bit more. The best part though, I truly found something I love and writing books has shaped my career goals in a way I didn’t even know was possible.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

My best writing hours are in the late afternoon to evenings.  I spend my mornings learning all I can about self-publishing/marketing/etc. then usually take a nap and wake up to write for a few hours. I break this when I am in the last third of a manuscript and I tend to write all day.
I have been spoiled with having writing be my ‘full-time job’ while I have been traveling, I am going to miss it when I start working again in September, then I will join the 5am writing club and probably do a bit after work/on the weekends.

What genre are your books?

So far, they are all Paranormal Romance, but I am working on a Contemporary Romance, coming out sometime in the fall.

What draws you to this genre?

Romance novels have gotten me through a lot. I feel like they helped keep me sane in college and the years after. I studied pre-med, so my mind was constantly overloaded from all the coursework. After college, I worked in a fast-paced healthcare non-profit. With both, I needed some content that was fun and easy to read. I always had a romance novel downloaded on my phone that I could veg out with for fifteen minutes.
I love that the stories almost always end with a happy ending. So, when I started writing, it didn’t take me long to settle on this genre. I guess right that it would be a blast to write and I wanted to spread even more happiness (and sexiness).

How did you come up with the idea for your SHIFTING HEARTS series?

I am the kind of writer that just writes and lets the story take me where it wants to go. When I started the first book, all I knew is I wanted it to do something with shifters. At first, it was a modern-day novel, mixed with Greek gods, so very different than what it ended up being.

I wrote and rewrote the first few chapters until something made sense, then I ran with it.

How are you publishing your latest book and why?  (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)

Indie. I played with the idea of going to traditional route, but that almost seemed like the easier route (well, after you get picked up, it would be easier). I wanted to maintain autonomy and control over my novels and work to build my brand, as I wanted it.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

I have a hard time focusing on just one project. I write for a few weeks on one then get a great idea and start another novel.
Like right now, I am in the middle of three.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Take all the advice you read with a grain of salt. People have what works for them, but I can almost guarantee it won’t work for you. The main thing is just keep working at it and pushing through until you find the groove that is right for you.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I have a WordPress blog: http://ivyhayesbooks.wordpress.com
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @Ivyhayesbooks
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B07BR7TRJR/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17882231.Ivy_Hayes

Do you have an Excerpt you’d like to share with us?

From Shifting Hearts:

I start to drink my tea and after the first sip, I put it down. The pine was a terrible idea, it only reminds me of Gregory’s soap. There goes all hopes of the tea putting me to sleep, in fact, it did the opposite. After last night’s restless sleep, tonight should have been cake to fall asleep, but plagued by the memory of Gregory’s touch, my mind is wide awake. Sighing, I dump out the tea and sit staring at the fire for a while. I try and get comfortable, but I am not near anything to lean on. I might as well lay down, perhaps the position will help lull me into sleep. So, wrapped up in my cloak, I find myself lying down. Naturally, I am reminded of Gregory’s giant bed. Instead of waking up with my head on Gregory’s hard chest, I am resting it on the hard forest floor.

Given that I am already depressed, I don’t stop my memories from today replaying in my mind. Those short minutes of intimacy were the best minutes I have had in years. If it wasn’t for Grant knocking, I am sure we would have gone even further. Further to do something I have never done with anyone. Thank god we didn’t though, I doubt I would have had the strength to leave after losing myself to Gregory like that. Thinking of his mouth on my breasts, about his arms holding me close, I feel myself start to get wet. His instant effect on me is uncanny. A wicked thought passes my mind, pleasuring myself thinking of him might be just what I need to fall asleep.

Reaching one hand down to my sex, I hear a rustling in the trees. I look up and see an owl watching me. I am sure it will fly off in a second, chasing a mouse or whatever owl’s do. Not letting it deter me, I slide one finger inside myself, starting a slow massage.  

I let out a low moan, grateful there is no one around to hear me. It feels so good. Sliding my finger back out, I rub the soft nub of my clit, soon that is not enough and I plunge my finger back in my pussy. As soon as I do, the owl flies off the tree and lands right in front of me.

I immediately stop what I was doing and sat up on my elbow, “What the hell?” Before I finish that sentence, the owl disappears and Gregory’s naked, very erect form is standing right in front of me. Holy shit, he is a shifter too. That must be why he didn’t turn me in right away, he understands the weight of that secret.

“I was determined to just watch over you tonight, then find you in the morning.” He knelt on the ground to get closer to me, “But as soon as you started touching yourself, I lost all my resolve.” He leaned forward and took my mouth in his.

AuThursday – Gloria Joynt-Lang

Beyond Circumstances Blog Tour BannerGloria's Author pic

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in prison. In fact, I headed to prison every morning for twentyfive years as an employee of the Canadian Criminal Justice System. As a Correctional Officer and Parole Officer, I was used to spending a good portion of the day writing reports. When I retired, I found myself missing the writing component of the job, so I started writing fiction. I’m a proud book nerd, who can be found lurking in bookstores enjoying the new book smell.

I left the city a few years ago, for a small community in Alberta, Canada. I spend my summers at the lake with my husband and our two dogs. During the winter months, we escape the cold and head to sunny California.

How do you make time to write?

Being retired one would think I would have lots of time to write, but I still have to make the effort to set time aside. I usually don’t start writing until late morning, as I need a good workout first. My husband would agree I’m a better human when I burn off energy. I normally write for a couple of hours, take a long coffee break, and then work another hour or two. If I’m busy doing something else during the day, I try to sit down and write for at least a couple of hours in the evening. I have more on the go now than when I was working full time. My husband is quite sociable, so he ensures I take time off to hang out with family and friends on a regular basis. When I first started, I wasn’t so good at setting boundaries and I would write all day. I’m much better now. Achieving balance is key in whatever you do.

Do you ever get Writer’s Block?

Surprisingly, not as often as I thought I would, but it still happens from time to time. When it does, I try not to worry and do something else. Going for long walks or heading to the movie theater seems to help get the creative juices flowing again.

How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?

When I first started sending the dreaded query letter, I thought agents and publishers would be brutal in their rejection. I envisioned them to be meanspirited and total dream crushers. But they aren’t. I’ve received some wonderful rejection letters. They’re polite, professional, and usually they noted that my work was not a right fit for them. But they also mentioned that it’s a very subjective business and encouraged me to continue to query. Most of them were form letters, but every once

in a while I received some specific feedback. It was like hitting the jackpot when this happened, even though it was still a big fat no. A few times I did get discouraged, but my wonderful husband always steers me out a funk.

Can you tell us your story of getting, “The call”?

I was having one of those downer days when I received the offer from Fiery Seas Publishing. It was late in the evening, and I was just about to take my pity party to bed when I opened the email with an offer. I ran down the hallway of our house to tell my husband, causing our Yorkie dog to lose her mind. There was a lot of pandemonium. My husband started calling our family and friends to share the good news. I was pretty quiet about writing, so a lot of them were shocked that I had even written a book.

What genre are your books?

I write contemporary romance. After seeing the darker side of humanity, I felt drawn towards uplifting stories. I deal with a rather heavy topic in Beyond Circumstances, but it’s a love story at its heart.

What draws you to this genre?

There are a lot of horrible things that happen in the world, and unfortunately, they often happen to really great people who deserve better. I’m an optimist, but I’m also a realist, so I don’t believe a positive attitude will overcome all obstacles or falling in love means you won’t have problems, but it can sometimes make a difference in getting through a difficult time. Romance novels provide a sense of hope and I think we can all benefit from hope.

Do you have any advice for Aspiring Writers?

Write what you’re passionate about, and don’t give up. Often people will look at what a particular agent or publisher is looking for in their wish lists, and that’s okay as long as it’s what you want to write about. If not, create something fresh. Something that hasn’t been done before.

Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?

I’d love to hear from readers through twitter, facebook, or my website.

https://twitter.com/glojoyntlang

https://www.facebook.com/gloria.joyntlang.1

https://www.gloriajoynt-lang.com/

Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?

Absolutely.

Beyond CircumstancesShe reached into her purse to grab her phone. Hopefully, tow trucks operated on

Saturdays in this rural area.

Crap. The phone was dead. She had meant to charge it, but then forgot. Just calm down, she told herself. Maybe there’s a charger in the glove box. Frantically, she searched. Damn.

At least she had a full tank of gas. She could avoid freezing to death for several hours.

Hours? God no. She couldn’t imagine being stuck in the vehicle for even several more minutes.

Maybe someone would come along. Yes, she was in the countryside, but it wasn’t some remote mountain village in Peru. She was only about an hour and a half from Chicago, and although it wasn’t a highway, it was a paved road. She thought back to how many cars she had passed on the way to town. She cursed, unable to recall any.

She tilted her head back and closed her eyes. No, she wasn’t going to cry. Not because she was strong, but because tears weren’t going to get her car to move back onto the road. She opened her eyes and looked around. It was so hard to see with all the snow swirling around. It was what meteorologists referred to as a ground blizzard. There wasn’t snow falling from the sky. Rather the white stuff was violently twisting up from the ground. The sixty-mile-per-hour winds were creating havoc on visibility. If only the wind could slow down for a second.

Then it happened. There were a few seconds when the wind paused, and Lexie was able to catch a glimpse.

“A driveway,” she exclaimed. She did a quick fist pump in the air. The gravel clearing was only a few yards away. The driveway would lead to a house. She would walk up the snow

covered road and ask to use a phone.

Oh, but what if it was a long driveway, or what if no one was home? Or maybe it was just an entrance to some wheat field with no house or residents.

She slammed her hands on the steering wheel in frustration, making the horn blare.

No, no. Don’t you dare cry.

She stared into the distance as she racked her brain for options. None came to her. Finally, she pulled the hood on her jacket over her head. She would take her chances and trek down the lane. If it looked like it was too far, she would simply return to her car.

She was about to open the door when she saw the outline of someone approaching. Relief washed over her. However, it quickly turned to fright when she saw an ax-wielding, masked man coming toward her.

Oh, my God. I’m going to die.

Quickly, she locked her door. If he was intent on killing her, she wasn’t going to make it easy for him. No, he would have to smash the window and pry her clenched hands off the steering wheel. She would make damn sure he exerted energy while dragging her away. Bludgeoning her to death would be work.