Rumor Has It Wednesday

Kim Law is burning up the Amazon Best Sellers lists with her January release Ex on the Beach.  At the time of this posting it is #44 in Paid Kindle Store, #4 in Family Life, #6 in Domestic Life, and #7 in Women’s Fiction. I was lucky enough to get a print copy at Romfest and I’m already reading it. Look for more info on it in my Thursday post- What are You Reading.

The Washington National Zoo had an escapee over the weekend. Rusty the red panda who had only been on exhibit for the last three weeks got out Sunday and was found in a nearby neighborhood on Monday. He was last seen by the animal care staff around 6 p.m. Sunday and was discovered missing around 8 a.m. Monday morning. The zoo explored several possibilities for his disappearance, even abduction, but no foul play appeared to be involved. The DC zoo plans to mate Rusty with a female red panda.

New Jersey is about to be hit with more natural disasters it seems. Earlier this month the 6 foot waves that crashed to shore were categorized as a meteotsunami caused by strong winds  and now a swarm of Tiger Mosquitoes are about to invade the state due to recent rainy days. These tiger mosquitoes are a potentially deadly breed because they are very aggressive, blood sucking insects.  So be on the lookout for this black and white striped legged and small black and white striped bodied insect.

 

 

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Recipe Tuesday

Next week is the 4th of July. So in honor let’s talk about some cute Red, White, and Blue food ideas.

White chocolate dipped Strawberries with blue crystals.

Ingredients:

  • Ripe strawberries, washed and dried
  • melted white chocolate and light almond bark melted
  • blue sugar crystals

Melt the chocolate. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate and then the sugar crystals to make a cute and yummy kid friendly red, white and blue snack or party pleaser.

Guest Author Monday

Today I’m pleased to have with us Guest Author – Serena Zane

Can vampires be happy too?

Throughout history vampires have held a fascination for both women and men. Legends have been made from Dracula to Twilight and many others. One thing remains constant. Through each story there is that one person that draws the vampire, the one that will either bring about their destruction or their eternal salvation.

It’s not too strange when you think that there are not that many Happily Ever After vampire stories. Dracula may have had his brides, but they all got staked in the end. Vampire Diaries is a never-ending tale of a love triangle gone sadly wrong, and we read about one vamp after another being portrayed as the morose lonely vamp longing for companionship yet never finding it — Sad. So the question remains, can vampires find their happily ever?

I think they can.

One of my all time favorite books is Crimson City by Liz Maverick. I could read this book over and over again. It has it all: love, despair, passion, action, danger, intrigue…etc, plus an undeniable love affair that overcomes all odds. Fleur Dumont finds herself as the leader of the vampires in a war-torn world, and at the same time falls in love with the man/machine that killed her brothers, yet spared her — a Mech – beyond all hope, they end up in each other’s arms. I won’t spoil it for you, but needless to say, it is epic.

“Happily ever after” is a concept that is prevalent in all romances, and I think that is perhaps why I love paranormal romance above all other types of paranormal reading material. You always get that happy ending, no matter what.

In celebration of Happily Ever Afters, if you leave a comment telling us about your own favorite Happily Ever After, or even one that happened to you – you will receive a free copy of Bite Me, the second book in The Hunter Diaries Serial, where Chloe Wills learns that maybe there is a happy ending for her after all. May you all be blessed with your own story.

 Bite Me!

The Hunter Diaries Book Two

Coming soon on Amazon!

In a world filled with darkness, hope shines through …

 A violent battle ends in tragedy, and Chloe Wills finds herself alone in a world full of violence. Saved by a man she believes to be an angel, Chloe struggles to find balance with her new powers inherited through her family, and the anger that rages inside her body. As Chloe seeks solace, problems arise for the Wills family. The Enforcers of the Vampire High Council have been sent to take care of the threat the Wills pose to their race.

Bite Me is the sequel to The Christmas Present, continuing the tale of the Wills family and their adventures.

Excerpt

 Chapter 1

Chloe Wills stood looking around at the aftermath. Bodies lay strewn about the meadow staining the green grass with dried blood — a few spots still shiny from the wounds of the dying. Shock made her numb as she stared at her feet.  Her husband, Matt, lay torn virtually in two by the vampire she’d just slain.  If she’d only been quicker, he’d still be alive.

His blond hair streaked with dirt, and a look of pain etched on his face for all time within her memory.  The call came for the Wills family to come eradicate the small town of an infestation of vampires before everyone in the town got killed.  A group of rogues decided to move to the town weeks before and began terrorizing the people. It was not unlike many of the other jobs the Wills family undertook.  They were vampire hunters, and when Chloe met Matt two years prior she joined them.  Her abilities as a witch lent themselves to the task, and she took to vampire hunting like it was second nature.  But she hadn’t anticipated this.  How am I going to tell Stephanie?

Chloe dropped to her knees, all the strength drained from her.  Not one vampire left alive, only black marks where they once stood.  When she saw Matt being torn apart Chloe released a surge of power unlike anything she’d ever experienced.  An explosion erupted from her center and a nova whipped through the field sending death to each and every vile creature.

Her best friend had it right.  Stephanie Wills denied her family heritage and became a homicide detective.  Of course, she also fell in love with Nicholas Solkav, leader of the Pacific Northwest region of vampires.  Chloe normally agreed with Stephanie that all vampires weren’t bad, but right now her heart screamed at her to kill them all.

How could this happen? He seemed so strong, like nothing could hurt him. Now he was dead.  Grey entered the edges of her vision and her head started to grow foggy.

Strong hands gripped her shoulders and caught her before she fell to the ground.  She was lifted in those same arms and a feeling of calmness washed over her as though she was safer than she’d ever been in her life.  Lashes fluttered together as she tried to clear her vision.

The face of the most beautiful man she’d ever seen filled her gaze.  Blond hair tied back in a que at the base of his neck, a strong jaw, and bright blue eyes.  She noticed the sun just starting to rise. A glow surrounded him as if he were an angel, just before her vision went black.

Alexander Delgati let his gaze roam over the woman in his arms.  He’d arrived just in time.  She bled from multiple wounds and appeared drained from using too much power.  He watched from the edge of the tree line, and waited until the perfect moment. Alex noticed her sway. He put on a burst of speed and caught her just before she hit the ground.  Now, cradled in his arms, and even bleeding as she was, Alex couldn’t tear his eyes away from the beauty of her face.

Red-gold lashes brushed against her milk white cheeks, and the curly, long burnished-copper hair trailed down his side just brushing the ground.  She reminded him of the sunrise he could no longer witness without discomfort. Alex felt a tightness constrict in his chest.  They needed to leave. He would need to find a safe place to take her where they wouldn’t be disturbed.  With a quick glance around to make sure no one witnessed, Alex bent at the knees and leapt into the air.  The Wills family would take care of the mess left behind in her wake.

Trees rushed past underneath them as he flew across the skies at breakneck speed.  He kept a home just outside of Seattle on the Sound.  It would be the perfect place to take care of her injuries and give her time to adjust.

He’d been following her for some time.  First it was a temporary self appointed task, to make sure that she and the Wills family didn’t do anything to harm his good friend Nicholas or his new bride Stephanie.  After all, they were vampire hunters.  However, keeping an eye over this one became what seemed like an obsession.  The first time he’d gotten a glimpse of her, she fought with two vamps in an alley.  The skills she exuded impressed him, but when he caught the flash of light that came from her palm it was like a spark ignited in him that he couldn’t put out.

It amazed him how such a talented and intelligent woman ever fell for a lout like Matthew Wills.  The man was a Neanderthal when it came to forward thinking, and was stuck in the dark ages where vampires were concerned. He wasn’t sad to see Matt go, but it was going to be hard on her. Humans were so soft.

As Alexander flew over the treetops, he tried to come up with a plausible explanation about what happened and why she would be in his home.  It needed to be good she was smart enough to see a lie.  Nicholas hadn’t ordered him to keep an eye on her, no, that was his own doing. But it was for the good of the cause.  Sure Alex, keep telling yourself that and you might believe it one day.

The deep grey-blue of the harbor reached his vision and Alex swerved to the left.  His home was located in a little inlet. The trees formed a half circle around the water, and the front of his home glinted in the rising sunlight.  He glanced down at the protective ring on his finger and once again thanked the day he’d met the witch who gifted it to him hundreds of years before.  While he wore it the sun couldn’t burn his skin, but without it, he was just as vulnerable as any other vampire.

His feet touched down on his front porch, and she didn’t stir.  The wind picked up across the water, and small goosebumps formed on her skin.  He needed to get her inside and get her warm.  With a command the front door swung open, and he stepped inside. The smell of fresh pine met his senses, and overrode the ash smell that permeated her skin from the battle.

Taking her directly into the bathroom, he laid her on the bench he’d built because he didn’t like traipsing water all through the house. She stirred, but didn’t awaken.  The power she’d used must be more than her body could handle.  The flash of pure sunlight she’d loosed was an amazing, and deadly sight to behold.

Alex filled the tub with water testing it to make sure it wouldn’t burn her skin. Once the water was hot enough he turned to her.  Her clothing was melded to her in places where blood dried from her wounds. He grabbed a rag and gently patted the areas until the cloth was easy to peel away.

Even battle sore and wounded she held a strength and beauty unlike any he’d witnessed. At least not in a very long time, the vision of another lady, with the same red hair, danced in his memory. With a shake of his head, Alex brought himself back to the present. Now was not the time to dwell on past regrets.

Alex lowered Chloe into the waiting bath. Water covered her body, and she started to wake as the hot liquid hit her open wounds.  Her lashes fluttered, green eyes blinked up at him and started to widen.

Alex pushed with his mind, and exuded a sense of calm. You will sleep until I tell you to awaken, you’re safe and have no need to fear. Her lashes drifted shut and her breathing evened out. Beautiful in her slumber, Alex was careful not to touch her with anything other than clinical detachment. But it proved too much, it was difficult to be impartial with her milk white skin soft under his fingertips while he washed away the worst of the blood.  His hands lingered on her gently rounded breasts and the curve of her hip.

She sighed in her sleep and shifted into his hand as the washrag wiped over her open wounds cleansing them.  Some were pretty deep and still seeped blood. He would need to perform a healing to stop the bleeding.

Alex lifted her from the tub and wrapped her with the towel that hung on the wall rack.  It would be impossible to get the blood out, but a new towel was well worth the price of her comfort.  She weighed nothing.

Climbing the stairs, Alex made his way down the hall to the double doors on the end. Made of oak and carved in Nordic knot work, a smile played on his lips as it reminded him of his home in Finland.  Alex pushed the door open and strode over to the large four poster bed.  The carved posts echoed the Nordic theme of the doors and as he lay her down. He was careful to place her on the soft comforter.  He pulled up the blanket folded at the bottom of the bed and covered her.  Her burnished copper hair fell across his blue silk sheets like fire across the ocean.  Reaching out Alex brushed a ringlet and the silk strands bounced from his finger to spring back in place.

Her breath became shallow.  He needed to heal her before she died from blood loss. With a wave of his hand, candles flickered to life and he began the healing chant.

Trailer

Buy links are as follows.

The Hunter Diaries: Bite   Amazon  Barnes and Noble  Fantastic Fiction

Serena_Zane_photoSerena Zane is a best-selling eclectic author who writes Paranormal Romance, Action/adventure Romance, and Sweet Romance. She lives with her husband and son in the Northwest. She works hard at her full-time job, plays hard, and spends her time studying the Middle Ages, crossing swords on the battlefield in a re-creationist organization called the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc (SCA); and writing.

Zane broke into the writing scene with her best-selling short stories published through Books To Go Now. Her latest release, The Hunter Diaries anthology, is a compilation of four of her shorts and is out in both print and eBook.

Inspired by her mother, a strong independent woman who loves to help others, Zane writes strong female leads and hot alpha males with sizzling fast-paced plotlines.

In 2009, she became a member of Romance Writer’s of America, and is currently the secretary and web minister of the Olympia, Washington Chapter.

Zane won the Lucy Monroe Award in 2011 for her accomplishments as an author through her RWA chapter. Always an author, she laughs as she recalls her first story (written in kindergarten) entitled “My First Romance Novel” on construction paper in purple and pink. She fell in love with the idea of writing a contemporary action/adventure romance while she attended college to study Criminal Justice and she combined both her knowledge of Criminal Justice and her love for all things paranormal.

Her series include: The Hunter Diaries, The Dark Warrior series, & The Jewel series. Zane has also released three Sweet Romance shorts, which are based around her adventures in the SCA.

To check out what Serena is up to via Twitter or Facebook – friend her twitter@serenazane or facebook.com/serenazane – and check out her website where she maintains a blog & often participates in giveaways – www.serenazane.com
Thanks for spending some time with us here at my blog today Serena. We’ve enjoyed having you. I hope you will drop by again.

Sunday Sundaes

I started the day off packing my suitcase to return home to reality. Yep, Romfest 2013 had come to an end and I was no longer the fun having author but the mom who had to get back to her kid and the day job. But the vacation in Gatlinburg with 49 other authors and readers was great.

A few highlights from the event:

  • I got to meet and have dinner with Jayne Rylon and her husband, Mr. Rylon.
  • I met Kim Law and feel like we’ve known each other forever. Can’t wait to see her in July at RWA National. Keeping my fingers crossed for her and her Rita nomination.
  • I met cover model Scott Nova and had my picture taken with him and had a nice conversation with him about getting ink.
  • I had my picture taken again with Dr. Bass my first interviewee as a reporter for my college newspaper in 1992. I’ve come a long way from that timid little undergraduate reporter who didn’t have a clue how to conduct an interview to a pretty successful author with over 10 titles to my name.
  • I got a lap dance (guess that is what you would call it) when the lead guitarist/singer of Gunslinger sat on my lap and played his electric guitar. But no one got a picture of it so you’ll just have to take my word for it.
  • I had a sip, a very small sip, of watermelon moonshine punch to see what it taste like. If you’ve eaten watermelon and drank the juice that pretty much describes it.
  • I learned the Cupie Shuffle.
  • I held a print copy of The Good Luck Potion in my hands for the first time at Books a Million. Signed copies of The Good Luck Series are available if you didn’t get by to the book signing on Saturday.
  • I shocked my friends when I showed up as a biker chick to the Naughty White Party with a nose ring and a skull cap on. (Pictures available over at Facebook in the Romfest 2013 album)

Play Date Saturday

Today was fun. Major author book signing at Books a Million at Governors Crossing. We were lined up from one end of the magazine racks to the other. And while the authors were chatting with their readers, Scott Nova was posing with them for pictures. I’ve only met one other cover model, but if they are all as nice as the two I’ve met then authors are so lucky to work with these guys to have them on our covers.

Tonight the band Gunslinger came and played at Destiny Blaine’s Western party.  We had a blast dancing and singing along with them. And lets not forget the basket giveaway where shirtless Scott Nova delivered with basket to the winner and took a picture  with her. This final party was a good way to close the Romfest event. It left attendees anxious for Romfest 2014 to get here. Thanks to Trista Ann Michaels for another great event.

Random Thoughts Friday

Attended a workshop by Dr. Bill Bass, retired forensic anthropologist from the University of Tennessee. He showed us interesting facts about bones and the structure of the human jaw and skull. He had examples from early childhood up to adulthood. He showed us the difference between a Caucasian skull, an Asian/Indian/Eskimo skull, and an African American skull. Can you guess what it is?  The difference runs from under the nose to the chin. A Caucasian will be flat while an African American may have a protruding lower jaw. An Asian/Indian/Eskimo descendant will have a shovel shape incisor. There is more, but I won’t bore you. However, we did get to see a skull that was almost black in color with some hair still in tact. It was from a body that had been embalmed and buried. However, due to flooding, the grave was disturbed and somehow the head was found minus the body.

After lunch and hearing Paranormal author Jacqueline Frank, we heard from Jennifer Estep on how to be a media whore. Juli Alexander and I gave a workshop on Bad Boys: The Allure of Tattoos  and Piercings. Then we went to the Steamy Wild West with Hilde McQueen and Ciara Knight.

Dinner and a masquerade Halloween party followed to end our second day at Romfest. We’re having a blast. Don’t you wish you were here?