Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's the Next Big Thing?

We've done wizards (thank you very much, JK Rowling!) and we've done vampires (hello, True Blood). We've all prepped for the zombie apocalypse and gone to Camp Half Blood. So what now? I'm trying to figure it out, because the next big thing has to be hovering just beyond the horizon, waiting for us to fall in love with it. Demons? They're already big in erotica, because that's like the ultimate bad boy. Roman gods against Norse gods in a steel cage death match? Because that would be kind of awesome.

So what is it? Mermaids? Cyclops? What mythical creatures are left out there for us to overuse and get tired of? Maybe a combination, like vampire mermaids or possessed satyrs. Or maybe this:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cover Reveal! Woots for Wendy Knight!

Astraea Press is celebrating their first cover reveal: Wendy Knight's Fate on Fire novella, Feudlings in Sight! Available Thursday on Astraea Press, Amazon, and all other major ebook retailers!
Blurb: Boys of war suck at romance. Charity Delyle has lived in the shadow of her Prodigy cousin and his powerful Guard since the day she was born. And she doesn’t mind—really. Except that being in Hunter’s shadow means that he can’t see her. And she’d like that to change. Hunter has one purpose in life: Protect the Prodigy, or die trying. That means a social life, school, and even Charity come last until the war is over. For the most part, he’s okay with that—he can lose everything if he has to…except his seer. Starting at a new school should be much safer than living in a war-ravaged Carules headquarters. But this new school is different than the others. Friendships are forged and destinies are questioned, and Hunter’s decision could cost them all everything they’ve been hoping for. Excerpt: “Okay, do you want to practice the ones we learned last week or just start new ones?” She had carefully color-coded the spell book with sticky tabs — spells they had mastered, spells they had practiced, spells that would come in handy one day — she was very organized. And if the Council ever found out she put sticky tabs in a book that was over three hundred years old, they would kill her completely dead. “Learn as much as you can, Shane. Gonna be hard to find a place to practice in the mountains of Utah, surrounded by Normals.” Hunter idly traced spells in the air, letting them fizzle and die without igniting them. “Well, alright.” Charity flipped to the red section — spells that would come in handy one day. She started at the top. “This one is called an Al-able.” The odd word rolled awkwardly off her tongue. “It’s like… it looks like it’s sort of a flat triangle of flames.” Hunter and Shane both walked over, studying the spell in the book before tracing it slowly into the air. The spell wouldn’t actually ignite until they lit it with the flames roiling through their blood, but they both wanted to make sure they could do it correctly so as not to explode them all to pieces or something. “No, no, Hunter. Less harsh lines. Softer.” Charity glanced down at the page and then up at Hunter’s disaster of an attempt. Sighing she laid the book on the metal next to her and pushed herself to her feet. She took Hunter’s hand, trying hard to ignore the way her own blood seemed to explode into flames. There’s no magic there, she told herself harshly. “Like this.” She led his hand through the spell until the air smoked and the image burned in front of them. She looked up, got caught in his gold eyes. He watched her, an unreadable look on his face. It made her heart stutter in her chest. Before he could say anything she dropped his hand. “Now try it on your own. I can’t do everything for you, you know.” Charity grinned playfully, dodging out of the way as he tried to push her over. She rescued the book from the twisted metal and perched, watching them expectantly. “Go. Do something.” Shane rolled his eyes. “Give the girl a book and she’s suddenly the boss.” He moved away several feet so he wouldn’t accidentally ignite her. He’d done it before, and Charity didn’t relish the idea of it happening again.
BIO: Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S. You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing. Twitter: @wjk8099 Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight
Blog: www.writethroughthenoise.blogspot.com Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009940.
Wendy_Knight a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 26, 2013

You Know You Want a Little More




Welcome to guest TM Franklin, who has hijacked the blog to offer a little travelogue and tell us about her book, More.
 
Traveling with MORE
By T.M. Franklin

Since the theme of the Blogger Book Fair this year is Check into the Blogger Book Fair and Book Your Trip to Faraway Places, I thought it would be fitting to take a look at some of the locations—both real and imagined—in my novel, MORE.

MORE tells the story of Ava Michaels, a young woman who discovers the world isn’t quite what it seems, and in fact, neither is she. Ava is a student at Allenmore College, a fictional liberal arts college in the fictional town of Witteville in northwestern Missouri.



This is where Allenmore would be, if it were real.

Although Allenmore, and Witteville aren’t real, they are loosely based on where I went to college—Central Washington University, in Ellensburg, Washington. It’s what I had in my head for most of the scenes at Allenmore, including the bell tower, which is introduced in the sequel to MORE, The Guardians (coming November 7th.)


An aerial view of CWU. See the tower?

Of course, Ava doesn’t spend a lot of time at Allenmore once she meets Caleb Foster, and finds out about an ancient race of people—the First Race—who fear she might be a threat, putting her own life in danger.

“We need to go—now,” he replied abruptly, striding through the room and throwing their extra clothes and toothbrushes in a small duffle bag. “There’s a safe house in Mead. If we can get there, they won’t be able to track us.” He cracked the door, peering out and then slamming it shut suddenly. “Too late,” he muttered, grabbing her hand and dragging her into the bathroom. Ava’s heart raced, adrenaline surging through her body as Caleb shoved the window above the shower, tossing the bag through the small opening then turning to her and lacing his fingers together. “I’ll give you a boost,” he said urgently. “When you hit the ground, run. Don’t go to the car, just run, you understand?”

“But—”

“We don’t have time,” Caleb said through gritted teeth. “They’ll be breaking down the door any second. Just run, Ava. I’ll be right behind you.”

Ava stepped into his hands, pulling herself through the window and out into the cold morning air. She landed on the ground with a grunt, rolled to her feet, and began to run. She heard Caleb hit the ground a moment later, his pounding footsteps closing in quickly. He grabbed her hand, pulling her to the right.

“This way,” he said, looking over his shoulder. She heard a shout and turned back to see Tiernan under the open window, pointing their direction. Caleb cursed under his breath, yanking her behind the motel office. “Wrap your arms around me,” he ordered.

Ava didn’t think. She just did what he asked.

“This is going to feel a little weird,” he said. “Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Don’t move, whatever you do.”
Ava inhaled deeply, clenched her eyes shut . . . and the world fell away from her feet.

- MORE, Chapter 8

Ava and Caleb’s journey take them north to the Canadian border, as they head toward what Caleb hopes will be a safe haven, a Colony in Ontario about twenty miles from Red Lake.


Red Lake – yes, it’s real. No, the Colony isn’t.

But I have to say, I think my favorite location in MORE is the city of the First Race, located in the Rocky Mountains about fifty miles from Kalispell, Montana.

A wide valley spread out at their feet, rolling lawns and landscaped gardens interspersed with modern buildings of white stone, glittering metal, and glass. Laid out in a perfect circle, the city wound out from a large central building—itself circular, with a two-story balcony running around the entire structure. Like spokes on a wheel, a dozen or so pathways fanned out from the central building at even intervals, intersecting with roads laid out in concentric circles. Beyond the city, the mountain rose up into the clouds, curving slightly around the city borders as if a chunk was carved out of the peak with a giant hand. Like the path, the city was surrounded by snow, but there was none actually within its borders. The city was jarringly structured, but still beautiful, and Ava took a moment to gape in wonder.

“What do you call it?” she asked, her voice a near whisper.

“New Elysia,” Caleb replied.

- MORE, Chapter 13


Imagine the city about where that lake is, and you’ve got it!

So, there you have it—some of the beautiful locations of the MORE trilogy. What are some of your favorite locations from books you’ve read? Let me know in the comments!




About T.M. Franklin

T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.

In addition to MORE, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology. The sequel to MORE, The Guardians, will be released in the fall of 2013.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Goodreads    

 About MORE

Ava Michaels used to think she was special.

As a child, she fantasized about having magical powers . . . making things happen. But Ava grew up and eventually accepted the fact that her childish dreams were just that, and maybe a normal life wasn't so bad after all.

Now a young college student, Ava meets Caleb Foster, a brilliant and mysterious man who’s supposed to help her pass physics, but in reality has another mission in mind. What he shows Ava challenges her view of the world, shaking it to its very core.

Because Caleb isn't quite what he seems. In fact, he's not entirely human, and he's not the only one.

Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bound to protect humans, but only after protecting their own secrets—secrets they fear Ava may expose. Fighting to survive, Ava soon learns she's not actually normal . . . she's not even just special.

She's a little bit more. 


FREE for the Blogger Book Fair!



About Window

Chloe Blake has a unique gift, an odd connection to her house that results in glimpses of the past, present, and future via the picture window in her living room. Unfortunately, it’s a gift that sometimes proves to be more of a curse. Especially when she tries to help out Ethan Reynolds, the gorgeous boy who lives across the street – an endeavor that, for some reason, always seems to backfire. Or leave her covered in mud.

But the house is convinced Ethan’s life is in danger and Chloe’s the only one who can save him. The problem is, he thinks she’s more than a little crazy.






Transition



Transition, The Chimera Hunter Series 

The Chimera a race so old, the humans relegated them as a myth. The Gods feared their powers; they believed they were a deadly race, with physical abilities beyond belief. So they split their race in half condemning them to wander the earth, searching for their other half to be complete. Without their sodalis, each was destined to live life without dreams, without love, without hope. The future rested on finding their one true mate for life.

SHELBY O’NEIL has led a solitary life with her parents. So when she goes to school at Washington State University, she believes her life has just begun. Now in her second year, the dreams begin. She dreams with the same man, night after night for months. When her dream world becomes her reality, and her life becomes a danger zone, she quickly learns to trust the one man who has thrown her into this new and dangerous world.

DEVELON COLE is Chimera and his race has been on earth as long as humans. His people are desperate to find their one true mate for life, and Develon has just found his, in the small college town of Pullman Washington. His goal is to protect her against the hunters and guide her into who she was always destined to be, his sodalis, his mate.

MY REVIEW:

Transition is unique but fits in well with other books about shape shifters. I like that Johnston focused on true love and soulmates in her romance instead of just letting her characters get it on because the guy is hot. She focuses quite a bit on the physical attraction between Develon and Shelby, and for that reason I would call this a solid New Adult novel, for readers +17, but not in a bad way. This isn't erotica. I just wouldn't be comfortable letting my 13 year old read it yet because of how Johnston uses their physical attraction to build a connection between Shelby and Develon.  Their attraction is how Johnston moves the romance of the story forward. Her writing is detailed and descriptive, and it's clear Johnston is writing for an intelligent reader. My verdict: if you love a steamy paranormal romance, look for this book!


Megan S. Johnston is a freelance writer and entrepreneur living in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to writing fiction, she runs several family-owned and operated businesses, which she started over twenty years ago. She is an avid reader of paranormal romance and a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association.  She has four children and seven grandchildren and lives with her husband and two dogs in Woodinville, Washington. Transition is her d├ębut novel.

Social Media Links:

website:    http://MeganSJohnston.com

You can find it on    Authorhouse and Amazon