Projects & Resolutions for 2013 Game Plan

Have you ever made resolutions, only to feel guilty about them later because they totally got abandoned? Been there & done that. But I started planning early (hey, before Dec. 31st is early)and did some research to come up with a game plan that will help me achieve my 2013 goals.

Thanks to two different blog posts: From the first, I learned that it's wise to choose bite-sized or manageable goals. From the second, I learned that goals must be revisited, re-evaluated and re-affirmed (or redefined) on a regular basis throughout the year. Also, whenever I feel myself flagging I'm going to read Marc & Angel's wisdom about resolutions & life because I just love their positive and thoughtful take on life.

My Dad died soon after the year changed to 2012 and that made me realize that life can quit anytime and without any advance warning. However, he lived a good life, one he embraced with a generous & adventurous spirit. So to honor my Dad and to apply what I have learned from him, I'm going to live life the fullest, the best I can.

 Being a mom, writer, person with aging parent figures in my life, & a community volunteer, I find my days are unpredictable. So instead of setting myself a daily word count, I'm committing to keep daily log. Whether I write 2K a day or 0, I'm going to write it down. Along with a short description of the day. I'm going to do this for all of January and see where I end up at the end of the month. Then I'll reevaluate and refocus for the next month.

 Another bookish goal I have for 2013 is to start the year by reading poetry. I started out exploring creative expression by writing poems as a child and, well, this is a sort of getting in touch with my roots. Plus, poems use language in a special way, with rhythm and economy and I miss reading and writing in the form. The book I have chosen for my January reading is:
The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink

And, I'm going to do yoga at least 4 times a week and strive for a healthy balance. Great stretches & stress release :)

 Now, a project that is definitely coming in 2013, that I'm so-gosh-darn excited about is my next djinn story -- The Djinn in the Mirror. Since I was tagged by one my author pals, Laura Bickle in her Next Big Thing Hop, I'll answer a few questions about my new story:

 What is the working title of your book?
 The Djinn in the Mirror

 What genre does your book fall under?
 Paranormal Romance

 Which actors would you choose to play your hero/heroine?

 Dahlia, the heroine, is from a long line of earth witches, but has been raised by her domineering step-father.She is young & a virgin, but with a quiet inner strength and untapped powers. Think of Drew Barrymore in Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Ashmael (Ash) is a 1200-year-old djinn who has spent 800 years trapped in a mirror. His experience has left him bitter and distrustful of women. My inspiration for Ash is Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan...who happens to be HAWT!!!

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? A paranormal Cindrella story with a young witch heroine & a wicked sexy djinn playing fairy godmother (though he's neither a fairy nor very motherly....)

Is it a standalone or part of a series? The Djinn in the Mirror can be read as a standalone, but this is the third story set in my djinn world. I take the opportunity to explore more about the djinns in every story.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Um, a strange dream made me start wondering what if Cinderella had ended up with genie instead of a fairy godmother...what would be different? Obviously, she'd ditch Prince Charming for the wickedly sexy djinn  : D

So what do you think? What goals are you going for? Do you have a game plan?

What Inspires Author Nadia Lee as a Person and a Writer?

If you like retellings of fairy tales as much as I do, you should check author Nadia Lee out ....

Trying to be upbeat and give my best to everything isn't easy when I'm overwhelmed and frazzled. There are times I want to do "just enough" because I don't want to bother anymore. But whenever I feel that way, these days I think of my baby son to inspire me as a writer and person.

I not only want to set good examples, but I want him to be proud of me for doing my best at all times. He is only 17 months old, but he's already trying to be a good, helpful baby the best he can. For example, after each meal, he throws away dirty napkins, brings his dirty plates and drops them off in the sink and wipes his tray and floor with a wet wipe, instead of running off to play with his toys. (He's been doing this for several months actually.) 

Given this, there's no way I can let the momentary distractions and so on get in the way of doing my very best in all I do.

So what does Nadia do? She writes some awesome fairytale-inspired fantasies....

Nadia's Latest Release:

Ever After Bundle: Books 1 & 2

Save 33% compared to purchasing each separately!

A Happily Ever After of Her Own
Melinda Lightfoot, a preschool teacher with an unusual ability to flit in and out of fairy tales, never thought she would get into trouble...

...until the Fairy Tale Police arrest her while she is in Beauty and the Beast. They offer her a deal: Find Beauty, who left the story when Melinda trespassed into it, or be charged with the ultimate crime -- Fairy Tale Killer. If that's not bad enough the Beast tags along in search of his true love, and Melinda starts falling for the fairy tale prince. She must choose between doing the right thing and having her own happily ever after.

One Kiss

He is a legend...

Robert is a royal prince cursed into his current predicament: remain a frog until he can get someone to kiss him...willingly. After years of searching, he finally finds a suitable royal princess.

She is but a humble maid...

Practical maid to the royal princess, Molly promises to help Robert in return for gold enough to fund her retirement. She doesn't want to waste her youth waiting on someone as capricious and shallow as the princess, instead of living her life.

But love knows no boundaries...

Unexpected problems unravel Robert's plan. The princess thinks frogs are disgusting, and his evil cousin shows up to steal both the princess and the throne that rightfully belongs to Robert. To compound matters, all he can think about is the quick-witted Molly.

But to undo the curse and inherit the throne, Robert must have a kiss from a royal princess and marry her.

What's a cursed prince to do?

Want to know more about Nadia?

Bilingual former management consultant Nadia Lee has lived in four different countries and enjoyed adventures and excellent food around the globe. In the last eight years, she has kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

She shares an apartment overlooking a river and palm trees in Japan with her husband, baby boy, winter white hamsters and an ever-widening pile of books. When she's not writing, she can be found digging through old Asian historical texts or planning another trip.

Sign up for Nadia's Newsletter to be the first to know when she has a new book out!

You can also follow Nadia on Twitter or like her on Facebook 

A Jersey Girl Donates for Sandy Relief with Stories

Hi y'all! I'm on the Southern Magic chapter's informative and fun Romance Magicians blog today sharing a sneak peek of my next story, The Djinn in the Mirror. Discussions like this blog marathon lead to ideas colliding and connecting, branching out and spinning off into new ideas. Creativity engenders and inspires more creativity. So come visit!

But, I also have a treat for you here today. Author Amanda Brice, a Jersey girl, is donating 100% of her royalties from the sale or Kindle Prime borrows of her new release, Short & Sweet: Four Fun & Flirty Tales, to the Red Cross to assist with Sandy recovery efforts. Woot! 

Here's Amanda....

Like other Jersey Girls, I have fond childhood memories of trips down the shore. (Yes, we really do call it that.) We savored fast-melting ice cream cones while strolling past the arcade games on the boardwalk, before scarfing down slices of hot pizza with bubbly, gooey cheese. (For the record, it’s not true pizza unless it’s hand-tossed by a guy in a white t-shirt with a gold chain, probably named Mario, Frankie, or Tony. Sorry Chicago, but I firmly believe this to be true.)

The devastation in my home state has made the news. Everyone has seen the before-and-after photos of the places where the hard-partying Jersey Shore crowd used to hang out…now gone. But while the destruction of the real Jersey Shore (not the reality show) is sad, what truly gets me is how many families have been left homeless by that beeyotch Sandy, more than a month after the storm as we head into the holiday season and winter.

Hurricane Sandy left many East Coasters homeless and devastated. At least 55 people were reported killed in eight states along the eastern seaboard. Some were hit by trees, others died in flooding, from electrical shocks or in car crashes.

Millions lost power, some for weeks. Many families could not access safe drinking water for ten days after the storm. Thousands will never return to their homes, scouring debris to salvage their cherished possessions.

I live in the DC area now, where we only lost power for 18 hours. To be honest, I expected it to last longer, but with a baby and a toddler, I was very happy to regain electricity so soon with temperatures as cold as they were. But my parents in Northern New Jersey (who weren’t even close to the brunt of the storm) lost electricity for a full week. They bundled up every night in many layers, under many blankets, as they navigated the freezing cold.

Some other families in my hometown of Sparta, NJ were out for 10-14 days. Every morning I woke to new Facebook status updates about the challenges of living in the 18th century.

But they’re the lucky ones. At least they have roofs over their heads.

One of the Garden State’s most famous sons, Jon Bon Jovi, said, “This storm lasted a day, but the effects of it are going to last a lifetime.”

YES. So true, although I wish it weren’t so.

Bon Jovi and many of his fellow musicians are teaming up for an amazing relief concert tonight. Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, and Bruce Springsteen are among the headliners of tonight’s 121212 concert. Bruce and The E St. Band will open the show at 7:30 pm promptly. Check out the website for a list of networks and websites that will be airing the concert, as well as ways you can help the relief effort.

I’m also trying to help in my own little way. Until New Year’s, I’ve decided to donate 100% of the royalties from sales or Prime borrows of my new release, Short & Sweet: Four Fun & Flirty Tales, to the Red Cross to assist with recovery efforts.

This very short collection (approximately 15,000 words total, or 54 pages) includes the following fun and flirty tales:

"She's Got Legs" -- Congressional aide Daria Wyatt is mortified when she wears the wrong shoes to her 15-year high school reunion in this sassy Cinderella story.

"Love @ First Site" -- Lobbyist Julie Antonelli has sworn off online dating after a string of disasters. Well, there is this one guy...

"Dancing Cheek to Cheek" -- Can a young woman find romance while teaching ballroom dancing to seniors?

"Birthday Gifts" -- College student Claire Chen misses her boyfriend while spending the semester in Paris. Will her birthday be just as sad?

NY Times bestselling author Angie Fox calls the collection “Sweet, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny!” And Christie Craig says “Amanda Brice delivers.”

I do hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of this e-book collection. Together we can help rebuild.

Amanda Brice leads a double life. By day she's an intellectual property attorney for a large federal government agency. At night she juggles raising two kids under the age of three with writing . A popular speaker on the writers' conference circuit with her workshops on basic copyright and trademark law, she is a two-time Golden Heart finalist and the president of Washington Romance Writers. Her teen mystery novel, Pointe of No Return, is now available in all formats, and was the November 16-30 pick of the Washington Loves Romance online book club. Learn more at

Crushes: The Secret Inspiration for Romance?

I met Suleikha Snyder on twitter and instantly bonded over books, Bollywood and Bengali well as random exchanges. She's got a bubbly personality that just makes you take notice & smile. She's also directed me to some excellent multicultural reads, so when her second multicultural romance, SPICE AND SECRETS, featuring passionate characters from exotic Bollywood released...well, I had to introduce you to Suleikha :) Enjoy!

Here's Suleikha!

What inspires me? What kick-starts the ol’ writerly engine in the dead of winter? This is going to sound completely cheesy, but there is nothing like a good crush — or a bad crush — to fuel my creative process. To fuel *me*, in general. I know, how Taylor Swift of me, right? But here’s the thing: Falling in love involves a ton of passionate emotion, and when there’s nowhere for it to go, I channel it all into my stories.

The saying goes, “write what you know,” and I might not know the “happily ever after” part (yet!), but I tap into the emotions along the way when I experience them. The first blush of infatuation, the throes of a mad passion, the devastation of heartbreak…if you look back at what I’ve written over the past two years, it’s like a Da Vinci Code-esque map of my highs and lows, all spurred on by someone that caught my eye. That someone might be Jeremy Renner or Ryan Gosling or a person in my “real life,” but whoever it is, they wind up being my unwitting research assistant in matters of the heart.
Jeremy Renner

I love — and hate — all those big emotions, and I couldn’t do what I do without them.

My November release from Samhain, SPICE AND SECRETS, is all about overcoming the fear of taking chances, of putting yourself out there to be hurt. Do I know how that feels? You bet. Not in the same context, not with the same kinds of people — former ingĂ©nue Priya and brash talk show hostess Sunita are drawn to archetypes that I don’t rub elbows with on a daily basis — but I’ve let that doubt run through my veins, and I’ve worn that emotional armor.

I know, I know. Mystery writers don’t kill people, erotic romance writers don’t have kinky threesomes but, I gotta admit, for me, there’s just something to falling in love while I’m writing love…

I’m giving away one electronic copy of SPICE AND SECRETS in the format of your choice to a lucky commenter, so please share your thoughts! Am I a little crazy, or is this just my spin on LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE…putting my emotions into my writing, instead of my cooking?
Here's more about Suleikha: 

Editor, writer, American desi and lifelong geek, Suleikha Snyder published her first romantic short in Ravenous Romance's 2011 TOUCHDOWNS anthology. 2012 brought a bevy of releases, including Suleikha's first novella from Samhain Publishing, SPICE AND SMOKE, a Wild Rose Press short story called HEART MURMURS, and a short in Cleis Press' June SUITE ENCOUNTERS anthology. Suleikha lives in New York City, finding inspiration in Bollywood films, daytime and primetime soaps, and Hell's Kitchen wine bars.


A Not-So-Sweet First Meet for #SixSunday

Happy first Sunday in December! I'm almost done with my next book, and I'm in the Can't-Wait-To-Share!!! mode *grin* so my six sentences today are from my WIP, The Djinn in the Mirror.

The Djinn in the Mirror is a Cinderella story with earth mage heroine needing to escape from her wicked step father and a sexy djinn playing the role of her fairy godmother (except he's not a fairy and not at all motherly...). If he keeps her safe until after after her eighteenth birthday, Dahlia promises to free him from the mirror in which he's trapped.

However, the djinn isn't happy about serving yet another human, a species he tends not to trust. This scene is Dahlia's and Ash's first encounter.

BTW, my inspiration for the djinn, Ashmael, is Bollywood heartthrob Hrithik Roshan :)

Let me know what you think of Dahlia & Ash's first meet....

With a roar of anger, he leapt from the bed and stalked to the edge of the mirror.

Her gaze latched onto his…thing. It stood at half-mast, thick and heavy, showy like a prized Iris in full bloom. She forced her eyes up. 
“So, the mouse knows how to crack the whip.”
“The “mouse” is your mistress, and you will address me as such,” Dahlia said with a coolness she didn’t feel, even as her heart thundered in her ears and warm tingles erupted somewhere much lower.

Be sure to visit the Other Sixers' Posts and follow the #sixsunday hashtag on Twitter! Thanks for reading and hopefully commenting, too!

The #DjinnsDilemma Birthday Bash Winners

Thanks every one for jumping in and helping me celebrate The Djinn's Dilemma's Birthday Bash. I loved all the notes & messages! And I'm so glad you enjoyed the month-long giveaway. Well, November is Happy December!

And we have winners!!!

Jeannie Baker-Platt won the Peacock Box full of goodies
Van Pham won the Sherrilyn Kenyon Package
Mary Preston won Howl For It
Marlene Breakfield won the Greek Cookbook & Spices
Sue Sattler won the Heart pendant & earrings
Kimmi Lange won the Indian Art Print
I will be contacting all the winners next week (since I'm traveling right now) to work out the details and getting the goodies out.
Thanks for the month all! The goodnews is 2013 is around the corner. The new year means new stories & new celebrations!
Keep reading y'all!

Black Friday Blog Hop

Words are in my bones. As a child I spent many wonderful recesses hiding out in the school library reading. And I started writing from an early age too. I published my first poem in third grade. So a career involving words was a natural choice. However, I was too afraid to commit to my creative side wholeheartedly and so went into journalism.

As a cub reporter, I landed the late night and weekend shifts, and some of the dreariest of assignments, including writing about the shopping frenzy that occurs annually on Black Friday for several years in a row. That meant: I had to be at work by 6 a.m. interviewing shoppers at various retail stores -- from big box stores to the local specialized stores. Yes, I had   to interrupt people focused on getting the best deal to ask annoying questions. And I had to be in the middle of the mad crush of the crowd. Shudder.

Needless to say, I'm glad those days are behind me. Not only do I avoid the crowds, but I'm thankful that I finally got the courage to embrace my creative side and spread my fiction wings, I'm thankful for everyone who supported my creative endeavors and evolution, and I'm thankful that I have three stories published.

Since everyone loves good deals and to express my thanks to my readers and the universe, here are some great deals for you!

My most recent release, Dead: A Ghost Story is FREE on Amazon today.

Dead: A Ghost Story, a multicultural short about Nasreen, an Indian immigrant woman, who struggles with life & death in West Texas.

“Dead” was inspired by the many immigrant wives I met during my time as a business reporter in West Texas. For the most part these women are invisible to the mainstream society for various reasons – language barriers, isolation, and unfamiliarity with their adopted country’s laws and social mores etc. So this story was written to recognize them and to highlight a usually silent part of the immigrant story.

Here’s the link for you to download your free copy:

I'm also thankful to be celebrating the book birthday of my first published story, The Djinn's Dilemma.

#DjinnsDilemmaBirthdayBash giveaway:

I'm celebrating with an awesome birthday bash with all kinds of surPrizes (check it out here psst, there's a special Sherrilyn Kenyon package & more)! 


Get critique from top agent/editor AND help #SandyRelief. Auction starts Monday. Check out the schedule.

So, what are you thankful for? Leave a comment (with your email) and you could be randomly chosen (open to U.S. residents only) to win this lovely Christmas ornament from moi!

And, if you leave a comment & hop around the other BlackFridayBlogHop blogs, you could also have a chance to win:

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

So what are you waiting for? Make like a bunny & have fun hopping!

 Woot! We have the overall Black Friday Blog Hop winners! Check it out here. Congrats everyone! Thanks for hopping along & making the hop so much fun!

As for the Ornament winner...I'll mention her name in the comments! :) Have a great weekend!

Finding Inspiration in Cemeteries

Hi y'all! It's my great pleasure to introduce Katie Reus, awesome author and friend, who spins some great paranormal romance and romantic suspense stories. She's going to take you on a virtual tour of cemeteries. Woot!

Don't forget to check out the giveaways (from Katie) and from moi at the bottom of the post!

Thanks so much to Mina for having me here today!

I don’t know if it’s weird but I totally have a fascination with old cemeteries. In fact, I even live behind one. It’s not intentional, but when we were looking at rentals, this house had everything we needed. Say what you will, but since I work from home, it’s very nice to have quiet ‘neighbors’. And it’s a gorgeous place to take a stroll through (ahem, in the day time only, I’m not that brave). 

(Mina: Thought I'd plug one of my favorites :)...and you can BUY the book!)

Living in the South I’ve never been at a loss for cool cemeteries to visit. In fact, I love the St. Louis cemetery #1 (there are a total of three) in New Orleans. The first time I visited I was surprised by how small it actually is.

It’s not like I celebrate death or anything, I just think it’s cool to see how people revere and take care of their dead. In some countries women are buried with no headstones or markers, as if they never existed. To me, that’s incredibly depressing. In New Orleans, most graves are in above ground vaults and some are more ornate than others. Supposedly the voodoo queen Marie Laveau was buried in above mentioned St. Louis Cemetery #1 but according to my husband (and many others) it’s not true. It certainly doesn’t stop people from flocking to see her tomb. And all around it there are markings of three XXXs in a row from people hoping she’ll grant them a wish. If you ever make it to New Orleans it’s well worth seeing and almost impossible to get lost in. Even though the cemetery houses close to 100,000 it only covers one square block! Talk about crowded.

So what about you? Do you have any weird pastimes or hobbies? Please share! One commenter will win a bundle of my three Harlequin Nocturne Cravings novellas: Destined Mate, Protector’s Mate and A Jaguar’s Kiss to one commenter! Open until Friday, November 16 at Noon Central. Winner will be announced in the comments section. 

Thanks again, Mina for having me ;)

A little about Katie: I’ve been reading romance since a young age—ever since I discovered my mom’s hidden stash. Luckily the addiction stayed with me into adulthood. I’m the author of the Moon Shifter series for NAL/Signet Eclipse and I also write paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense for Carina Press and Harlequin Nocturne. To learn more about me please visit my website, my blog, facebook or find me on twitter @katiereus.

ALSO, the #DjinnsDilemmaBirthdayBash giveaway is still going on and we've added a special SHERRILYN KENYON package, a CYNTHIA EDEN giveaway, exotic art and more! So check it out!

Creation of a Quirky Sleuth & Series: L. j. Charles Writes

Happy Monday everyone! It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to L.j. Charles and her character Everly, a redhead with ESP fingers that lead to trouble and hot guys. Leave a comment at the end of the post (with your email for contact) and you could be randomly chosen to win a boxed set of Everly Gray adventures (for B&N users...but if you happen to have some other e-reader, Lucie will give you any ONE book you choose from the series)!

Lucie and I are critique partners. Without her honest feedback, her willingness to kick my butt, and letting me know what works, what doesn't and why...none of my stories would have been shared with readers. I certainly wouldn't be here celebrating The Djinn's Dilemma's birthday bash with awesome giveaways.

And because she's my CP, I have enjoyed her fabulous stories and wonderful worlds -- from YA priestess adventures set in Tartania (the netherworld where demons dwell) and our world to Paranormal Mysteries that made me chuckle, stay awake reading until the wee hours and swoon. 

However, I love mysteries and even better if they come with sexy hunks and romance on the side. So, the Everly Gray series is one of my favorites. Everly is a fresh, quirky character who makes you smile and want her for a best friend (she loves baking pies!) and her adventures are fun, dangerous and intriguing. So how did Ms. Charles come up with Everly & the series?

Here's Lucie....

How Everly Came to Be…

Years ago my husband asked me what my five-year goals were. He's a goal-oriented sort of person. Me, not so much, but I told him that I wanted to write and publish a book. He would mention it every so often, asking me how it was coming along, but as the years passed, he stopped asking and I stopped thinking about it. My life in the corporate world was demanding enough without adding more stress.

And then I was laid off. But did I write? Nope. I became a yoga instructor and mind/body health professional, and then built my own personal coaching business. But I read all the time. And in my heart I wanted to write, so I began stocking up on writing books to study the craft. One of those books was Janet Evanovich's How I Write. Somehow in the middle of reading that book I knew I could do it.

And then it happened. One morning at approximately 3:30AM, Everly popped into my head. And she wouldn't shut up. I had to get out of bed and start writing. Well, actually I stayed in bed but dragged my Mac onto my lap and the words just kept coming. Like I said, Everly wouldn't shut up. For days.

That first book was a Touch of Ice (which by the way is free now...), and I wrote all day long every day for weeks. Well, other than when I was teaching a yoga class or working with a coaching client.
It was a terrible book. But I didn't learn that until several years, many rejections, and many books later. The first book I published was Lifethread, a young adult fantasy. And then I started to wonder about the Everly book that I had tucked away in an obscure file on my computer. Safe where no one would ever find it.

I dug it out and Everly rejoiced. Loudly. We started on the rewrite. Tossed out the book and started again. And the real Touch of Ice was born. But was Everly satisfied? No. She insisted on several more books, and just a week or so ago made me put aside the third book in the Lifethread Trilogy to start her next adventure. The woman is a persistent piece of work and gets terribly unhappy if I ignore her for any length of time whatsoever.

But I do love her. And fortunately for both of us, I love writing her stories. Don't tell her, but it's really a lot of fun to see how badly I can mess up her plans. 

For more about Lucie and her books, check out her website! Don't forget to leave a comment!

#SixSunday ~ A Kiss to Remember #DjinnsDilemma

Happy Six Sentence Sunday y'all! November happens to be the book birthday for my debut story, The Djinn's Dilemma, and I'm celebrating with an awesome birthday bash with all kinds of surPrizes (check it out here psst, there's a special Sherrilyn Kenyon package & more)! And I'm thrilled to share a special moment from The Djinn's Dilemma with you...

This is the story of a djinn/genie assassin, Rukh, falling for his human target, Texas journalist Sarah Jasmine White. When two human bad guys surprise her in an empty parking lot, Rukh ends up saving her. Sarah rewards him with an unexpected kiss. Then things get complicated. :D
"What a kiss. 
For a moment, all barriers between them melted and her mind lay open like a book waiting to be read. One look at her raw desire for him and all his other thoughts fled. She ceased to be Sarah and became Jasmine to him. He'd gawked, frozen like a virgin, and then almost lost himself in her. 
Damn, it had been too long, and it felt good....better than good."

Buy at Amazon or B&N
Add on Goodreads

So what do you think? Don't forget to check out the other Sixers' posts & follow the hashtag #SixSunday on twitter to make sure you don't miss any of the fun! Thanks for visiting! 

Wishes, gifts & books: Cynthia Eden is in the house!

Woot! I have the great pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite authors ever: CYNTHIA EDEN

She writes sexy, intelligent paranormal stories. It was love at first read as soon as I picked up my first Cynthia Eden story (HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT). 

Then when I got to know her as a sister author, I was floored. I'd been all set to be intimidated by this awesome author, but instead I met a friendly, generous person with a wacky sense of humor. She's Yoda in my writing world.

What We Wish For…

(Thanks so much to my incredible hostess for having me over today!)

It’s starting to become *that* time of the year. The time when we all seem to dream a little bit more. We hope a little bit more. We wish more.

When we were younger, the holidays were a time of magic. A time of glancing up at the stars to see if you could catch a magical sleigh sliding across the dark sky. 

Sadly, as we get older,  people often seem to lose that magic. They get lost in the hustle and the bustle, in the cooking and the crowds, and the wonder just fades away.

I don’t ever want to lose my wonder. 

I think that’s one of the reasons why I love my job so very much. Every day, I get to dream. I get to make up stories. I get to have magic and fantasy. 

In my upcoming release from Kensington Brava, ANGEL IN CHAINS (out 11/27/12—right after that wild Black Friday rush), my hero is a fallen angel—a creature of incredible power and magic. But, like any other man, there is one thing that he wants most of all. Even fallen angels have wishes…

In order to make some wishes come true, you have to be willing to sacrifice, to fight—and that is exactly what my hero will do. He will face the darkness around him—face any challenge that comes his way—if he can win the greatest gift…love.

So as the holiday season approaches, I’m curious…what are you wishing for?  And do you still feel the wonder at this time of the year?  Please leave me a comment. One person will be randomly selected to win a copy of ANGEL IN CHAINS.

And here’s the ANGEL IN CHAINS blurb (so the winner will know what he/she is getting!):

As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters.  No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death.

Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower.  She’s spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions…

Thanks for checking out my post!

Cynthia Eden
ANGEL IN CHAINS—Available 11/27/12 from Kensington Brava
Some angels were meant to fall


Cynthia  also donated HOWL FOR IT

& it's part of the #DjinnsDilemma Birthday Bash giveaways. Don't forget to check it out before you leave!

Laura Bickle Shares her Inspiration Behind her Chilling YA (1 copy up for grabs)!

Being I'm an avid reader and that one of my favorite genres is urban fantasy, I discovered Laura Bickle and her alter ego Alayna Williams long before I started writing fiction. I devoured her books, loved her writing.

So when Laura found me on Twitter, my first reaction was to gush like a rabid fan-girl. SQUEEEE!!!! She handled it/me most graciously.

 And then, I found out she had a scary YA release, THE HALLOWED ONES, and invited her to the I could introduce y'all to a fabulous writer and her new story. In Publishers Marketplace The Hallowed Ones is described as “Witness” meets “28 Days Later” in which an Amish girl must protect her family from a violent contagion, even as fear and denial threaten to erode her community from within.

Wow, original and cool. Check out the cover!

I'm giving away a Kindle edition of THE HALLOWED ONES to one lucky blog reader...but, you'll have to read to the bottom of the post to find out how to enter. :D

 Thanks for being here Laura! What inspired you to write an Amish YA? 

 Laura: I live not too far from a large Amish settlement. When I was a child, my parents would take me to visit, and I was fascinated by a world very different than the one I lived in. I’d see Amish girls my age over the fence and wonder what their lives were like.

 For THE HALLOWED ONES, I was thinking about doing a dystopian book. I was wondering who would be best-equipped to survive a large-scale disaster, and occurred to me that the Amish would be uniquely equipped to survive. They are incredibly self-sufficient and are not dependent upon things we take for granted in our world, things like electricity and cars.

As an adult, it was fun to go back there and see how my perceptions of that world changed and how they stayed the same.

So what's the story about?

Temptation happens to all of us, in large and small ways.

The heroine of THE HALLOWED ONES is Katie, a young woman who has grown up in a peaceful Amish settlement. She lives with her parents and sister in the house where she was born. Church services take place in members’ backyards. She knows every other person in the settlement and expects to marry the boy next door. Her home has been a safe nest, familiar and comforting.

Maybe just a bit too safe.

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the Amish church. Katie has every intention of being baptized in her church and assuming her responsibilities as an adult Amish woman. She simply wants to see a bit of the world Outside before she makes her choice and commits to the Amish lifestyle forever. She looks forward to testing the rules -- going to the city to see movies, perhaps wearing jeans, experimenting with makeup.

 Before she can explore in earnest, Katie’s safe world starts to disintegrate. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields near her house, followed by rumors of violence and the disappearance of large numbers of people Outside. Unsure why they haven’t been attacked and fearing contamination, the Amish Elders make a rule: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in.

When Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of Amish land, she refuses to leave him to die. She defies the Elders’ decree, secretly bringing the stranger in to her community and hiding him. But what else is she bringing in with him?

Author Bio: Laura Bickle’s professional background is in criminal justice and library science, and when she’s not patrolling the stacks at the public library she’s dreaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs (she also writes contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams). Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and a herd of mostly-reformed feral cats. THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Get the latest updates on her work at

TO WIN LAURA'S BOOK: Share who is your favorite YA heroine and why in the comments section, and leave your email (so I can contact you if you win!).

Oh! Don't forget to check out my The #DjinnsDilemma Birthday Bash post for more fantabulous surPrizes!
Thanks for visiting!

The #DjinnsDilemma Birthday Bash & SurPrizes!

Remember when you were a kid and you used to love birthdays? Well, I still do…especially when it’s of my first published story. So we are going to CEL-A-BRATE! The Djinn’s Dilemma, my sexy paranormal romance about a genie assassin who falls for his human target, celebrates its one-year publication anniversary November 1st! Woot!

So much has happened in a year!

The Djinn’s Dilemma won 2012 Best Novella in the Romance Through The Ages published contest.

I published two more stories: A Tale of Two Djinns and DEAD: A Ghost Story.

The Djinn’s Dilemma was chosen as a Book of the Month read (starting Nov. 1…how cool is that?) by the Goodreads group: Paranormal Romance: New and Upcoming Books/Authors (Join us for the read if you can…there will be dishing & a separate set of prizes!!!)

But the very best part of the one year has been connecting with readers and fellow authors. It’s amazing how shared stories can bring strangers together and turn them into friends.

So to express my thanks, I now have some goodies for you!

All month, we're going to have prizes & SurPrizes! Jewelry, books, chocolate, art, and a special peacock box of goodies!  Many of my author friends have jumped in to help celebrate and a big thank you goes out to: Lucie J. Charles, Cynthia Eden, Katie Reus, Laura Kaye, and Rebecca Zanetti.

There will be giveaways announced every Monday & Wednesday on my Facebook Author Page, a Goodreads BOTM giveaway every Friday, and a big Rafflecopter giveaway on November 30. All as a way of saying thank you, thank, thank you!

So, without further ado, here are pictures of some of the Rafflecopter Prizes you can win! 
 A Peacock Book Box full of goodies....
A Greek cookbook & spices!


 And gorgeous art!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!


Fun Halloween Surprizes!

Woot! Let me just tell y'all my new story DEAD is going places....

So, y'all know I love Halloween. The chills & thrills, the candy, the dark & dangerous...esp. in heroes. Well, one author I really enjoy reading is Cynthia Eden...and, man, can she write dark & dangerous hunks. Hot! Sizzling Hot! And she loves Halloween we are over at her blog today for...

a Fun Halloween Giveaway! We are talking ghost stories, handing out chocolate & other Halloween treats...yeah, why wait to celebrate, right? Come visit!

Cynthia's Awesome Blog

Dead was also memoirist Susan Blumberg-Kason's Book of the Week read. Woot! She wrote a very thoughtful  review and it includes cool words like "perfect," "chilling," "empowering," and "shtupping."

Check out Susan's very multicultural blog and the review!

Happy Almost Halloween!

Adventures in Gift Wrapping & Other Firsts

October has been a month of firsts for me and super-busy. But that's good. Sometimes we get into ruts or stick with the familiar because it's easier...and safer. Trying something new is always risky, but it has its rewards. You stretch your boundaries and grow.

One of the firsts I'm proudest of is the publication of my multicultural short, "DEAD: A Ghost Story."

Unlike my other published stories, DEAD is NOT a romance. In it, Nasreen – the Indian-American protagonist grapples with her life and death in West Texas.

DEAD was inspired by the many immigrant wives I met during my time as a business reporter in West Texas. For the most part these women are invisible to the mainstream society for various reasons – language barriers, isolation, and unfamiliarity with their adopted country’s laws and social mores etc. So this story was written to recognize them and to highlight a usually hush-hush part of the immigrant story.

I have readers who love my genie romances, so why not write another one instead of trying on a completely different genre? Because the idea of all the invisible Nasreens in the world sort of haunted me until I’d written the story. In doing so, I discovered a different side of myself, a new voice inside.

If you'd like to check DEAD out, here's the Amazon link.

Another first I'm proud of is putting together my Author's Basket for the Southern Magic Romance Readers Luncheon 2012.

I'm not a crafty person. I can't turn ribbons into works of art, and gift wrapping usually involves LOTS of tape...and the end result isn't pretty. Hey, it's what's inside and the thought that counts, right?

But, I'd promised my Southern Magic sisters a raffle basket and by hook and crook I'd get it done. So I enlisted the DH (he's married to me and doesn't have a, he's very practical & task oriented).

I loved the shopping part. A perk of writing genie romances and stories with an Asian flavor means I can have fun getting colorful, exotic gifts. Of course, I over-shopped. But that's okay, my DH managed to fit most everything into the basket in a nice, snug, efficient way. Here take a look:

(The book in the back is a Moroccan cookbook, then other good reads, incense, candles, Christmas decorations and, like I said...I had fun shopping!)

We ran into trouble when it came to wrapping. I measured/guesstimated the cellophane and it was too short. So we had to creatively angle the basket, pull and stretch...and use LOTS of tape. By the end of it all, I wasn't even going to attempt working with a ribbon. Instead, I purchased a pre-curled pretty concoction and stuck in on top!

Now I have got my fingers and toes crossed that the ribbon bit stays stuck...if not, I hope the recipient is too distracted by the goodies inside to notice the missing finery. Whew, I feel like I have truly earned the good times and the several glasses of wine I'll enjoy when I finally get to my first Readers Luncheon.

Share some of your firsts!