My Favorite 2013 Reads and a Reading Challenge for 2014

What a difference a year makes. Last year I struggled to reach my goal of 50 books and barely scraped past the finish line at midnight. This year, I met my goal of 50 way early and then upped it to 100. Right now I'm at 81 books and don't think I'll quite make my goal...but no regrets. I have read more than the year before, and I have read some pretty awesome books.

How do I define an awesome read? It's one that yanks me into the story and holds me hostage (okay, in all honesty, it simply makes me ignore everything else like making dinner, eating lunch, laundry etc.).  I keep reading and turning the pages until it's done. Then it resonates -- haunting me even after I have walked away from the book. It's a story with staying power.

So, without further ado, here are some stories I really, really enjoyed this year: 


I love a good fantasy story with a complex world order, an interesting female lead and magic. This one also had a fun/unreliable god stirring up all kinds of trouble, two very nice males, and loads of tension. But the reason this gets top billing is because it led me to hunt down and read Crista McHugh's other books. Always happy to discover a new favorite author! :)


The Goddess of Fried Okra is Texas women's fiction at its best - a bit quirky and a lot of heart. It's definitely going on my keeper shelf and I do plan to re-read it. It also led to a very nice email exchange with author Jean Brashear



This has to be one of my favorite epic fantasies. Complex world with intriguing politics, great characters and message, a little bit of romance and lots of adventure. Another plus point: a non-Western setting, which is kind of hard to find. And, yes, the writing is beautiful. Another one for keeper/ re-read shelf.


I didn't think I was into alien fiction, but I loved this. Then when I went to research author Jennifer Armentrout, I discovered this is her first adult offering. I'm looking forward to more. Meanwhile, because I enjoyed the story so much, I will go read her YA offerings set in the same world and focused on other aliens. Yup, she's definitely made me a fan of aliens...which goes to show a well-executed story is what matters.


Writing wisdom that I need to read and re-read. author Dani Shapiro has the uncanny ability of bringing up things I have worried about, but never mentioned to another soul (because I may be seen as more neurotic than I already am)...and for addressing those issues in a way that makes sense to me. Yes, this will also be going on my Keeper shelf. So glad I found this book.

My Personal Reading Challenge for 2014: 


I have decided to focus on female fantasy writers next year. While there are quite a few talented female authors in the field, I have woefully read too few and epic fantasy still comes across as a largely male dominated genre. So I have decided to remedy the lack in my reading and help create more awareness about female fantasy offerings.

To make it easier, I'm calling it A to Z: Female Fantasy Authors and yes, I plan to go down the alphabet between 1/1/2014 and 12/31/2014. I'll be using the blog, my Goodreads and Pinterest accounts and my FB author page. Anyone want to join me? It's always more fun to have buddies along :)




The Cop Who Stole Christmas...

Christie Craig is one of my favorite authors because she can make me belly laugh and get teary eyed in the same book (and also in a single conversation)! So, of course, I SQUEE-ED with delight when I found out she has a Christmas story out. (I LOVE holiday reads...and if they come from my favorite authors, even better!) 

Check out the cover:


                   A Dozen Things You’ll Learn from The Cop Who Stole Christmas

1.       Not all Santas are saints.

2.       The price of a gift doesn’t mean a hill of beans.  It’s the thought that went into the gift that can melt your heart.

3.       Be cautious of how you use words that have two different meanings.  Gas and uh . . .  gas.

4.       The “morning after” can still feel awkward even when the night before was more than you’d dreamed.

5.       Being orphaned sucks, even when you’re in your late twenties.

6.       Being orphaned on the same day you find your husband in bed with his work associate makes for a really bad year. 

7.       What’s worse than being accused of murder? How about having your two best friends accused instead, and told one of them may be framing you for the crime.

8.       Shaving those legs can be a royal pain in the a$$, but he might be worth it.

9.        There are different kinds of kisses, and some are really hard to walk away from.

10.   Being naughty or nice isn’t always an either/or scenario.  You can be both and still not get coal in your stockings for Christmas.

11.   The rule of never dating the girl next door can be remedied by simply moving in with her.


12.   Tripping and falling in your own kitchen is a downer, but tripping over a body can really put a damper on your evening.

Ready to check out the blurb?

It'll take a tall, hot Texan and a little holiday spirit to mend a broken heart and catch a Christmas killer...

Savanna Edwards is feeling downright Scrooge-like. Who can blame her? A truly unjolly Santa -- suit, beard and all -- just repossessed her car because of her ex's shady business dealings. She'd like to murder the no-good-lying cheat, but somebody already did that for her - and left him right in the middle of her kitchen, wrapped up with a bow.

Detective Mark Donaldson has a rule against getting involved with his neighbors. He can look - and he's studied every sweet curve of Savanna from across the street - but he can't touch. So when she lands on his doorstep in need of help, he finds himself torn between being naughty or nice, and fights every urge to unwrap her like a shiny new Christmas present.

Trouble is...even Mark can't resist a little holiday magic...and there's definitely something magical happening between him and the girl next door.

Want to know more about Christie?


Christie Craig, a New York Times Bestseller, is an Alabama native, a multi-published writer, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. She currently hangs her hat in Texas and writes humorous romantic suspense novels for Grand Central as well as publishes her own novels. 

When she’s not writing her romances, she writes the NYT and USA Today best-selling young adult paranormal romance series, Shadow Falls, published by St. Martin's Press/Griffin under her pen name C.C. Hunter. Learn more at http://www.CCHunterBooks.com or http://www.christie-craig.com.


GIVEAWAY: Christie has generously offered to giveaway an arc of Texas Hold'Em (coming out February 2014!) Yay! To win, just tell me which of the 12 Lessons you like best and why! I'll pick a random comment on Sunday! Comment! Comment! Comment!

NOTE: Please leave your email or twitter handle so I can contact you if you win!!!

Holly Jolly Southern Magic Book Santa!

Time for a Holly Jolly Christmas GIVEAWAY! The authors of RWA's Southern Magic Chapter are celebrating the holidays and gifting one lucky winner with 36 BOOKS in their Christmas stocking! Something for every reader! Enter today through December 16th and win the chance for packages filled with goodies to arrive at your door or your Inbox! 




Tracking a Globetrotting Book

LOVE all the pictures of Wildfire from around the world! 

It all started in West Texas. Wildfire: A Paranormal Mystery with Cowboys and Dragons is the first book I set in my adopted home/playground of  West Texas. So I was ecstatic when this showed up:


This picture is all kinds of awesome! It's in my favorite library (Stephens Central Library in Tom Green County), with the statue of award-winning Western author Elmer Kelton, librarian/reader Chelsea P. and Wildfire. LOVE it!

Even more fun is that readers have sent in pictures from Scotland, Australia and from places all around America. And I'm hoping more pictures will be coming in. The adventurous part of me can't wait to see where all the book ends up!

But the best part is that the readers are helping me with my #readingWildfire project. 

Welcome to Reading Wildfire, a social experiment about connecting through reading.  

Stories are meant to be read and shared. When my kids did the Flat Stanley/Flat Daisy project, it fired up my imagination and inspired me to create this experiment: to send one of my stories out into the world and track its adventures, and to have fun and do some good in the process. 

For every 10th picture received, I’ll make a $10 donation to The Malala Fund for the education of girls in the developing world (I’m hoping it’ll add up to a nice sum at the end of each quarter when I’ll make the donation). So if you have the book, take a picture! If you have the digital copy, put the cover on your ereader and take a picture! Then send the picture in to me at minakhan@wcc.net

Thank you dear readers & please keep sending pictures...they brighten my world & go towards a good cause! :)  Here's the Tracking Wildfire Pinterest board for you to check it out.

Happy Reading!

Mina

Transforming Power of Art

I hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of good people and good eats! I cooked two turkeys, made two different cranberry sauce and got to visit with family (42 in total...a few of them couldn't make it). And I'm spending the weekend at the Old Chicken Farm Art Center's annual Thanksgiving Open House.


When most people hear "Chicken Farm," they imagine a stinky, messy place...but fortunately Artist Roger Allen saw a whole lot more when he came across the old chicken farm. Established in 1971, the art center is a mecca of creativity. The three-acre compound is a place for artists to come together, live and work, share and play.

This weekend I'm hobnobbing with woodworkers, painters, sculptors, potters, weavers, soap makers and more. The Open House is three days worth of fun: great food cooked in an outdoor brick oven, musicians performing folk and popular tunes, kids activities, tarot card reading, arts and crafts booths and more.

People have traveled in from all over -- Oklahoma, Hong Kong, Dallas and other parts of Texas, England and more. So much fun!

I'm thankful for artists and their imagination. I'm thankful for the transforming power of creativity. And I'm thankful to be part of such a vibrant community. :)

Here's a Trip Advisor Review of the Chicken Farm.

Do You Haiku?

I had lunch with a friend who writes beautiful poetry, especially haiku. Her three lines are profound and powerful and I love them. Now I'm a word person who is terrified of numbers and so had never even considered  trying to write a haiku.

What is haiku?

Haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry. When written in English, it's characterized by three lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables for a total of 17 syllables.

Creative Writing Now has a more complete answer.

Me counting syllables? Um, no thanks.

But I love reading her poetry and she has led me to look up other Haiku artists. I love how haiku can encompass power and simplicity all at once. I love how a poet can highlight an essential detail and say something about the world. I love the focus on nature and life.

Here's a poem by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

Fallen sick on a journey
In dreams I run wildly
Over a withered moor

So during lunch we discussed how each of us came to be writing what we write. Well, for the most part it seems writing found us, seduced us and led us to pursue it in turn. Her first haiku was almost by accident...journal notes that sounded almost like poetry. She played around with the words until a polished version happened. That was the beginning and now her thoughts almost instinctively fall into lines of poetry.

She reminded me of an essential truth: writing should be playful, fun and exploratory. So I decided to try my hand at haiku. Here's my first attempt:

Grey skies of winter
like silk curtains, showcasing
leaves turning golden.

While haiku is simple, this is very simplistic. It catches a moment in time, but there are no surprises. Also, while haiku traditionally is about the world rather than the poet...it's important to me to make my writing personal. So here's my next:

The empty page waits
How to change thoughts into words?
An alchemist quest.

Counting and the required brevity makes me more aware of word choice and also word arrangement. So while my haiku isn't amazingly profound, I'm having fun. And that's what matters when it comes to writing.

So do you haiku? Or read it? Share your thoughts. It's always nice to have a conversation.


Surprise in the Mail

Check out this lovely surprise that arrived in the mail....


Isn't it beautiful? Seeing the cover and title of A Tale of Two Djinns on the RomCon Readers' Crown award, the fact that a panel of readers read the book and scored it high enough to earn "best paranormal romance," equals to lots of warm feel-good fuzzies. It's at the moment proudly displayed on my dining table where I can see it every day...maybe when 2014 hits, I'll move it up to my office and onto one of my book shelves. :)

Smiling in W. TX!

Mina

Pictures From the Southern Magic Luncheon

Even though I'm in Texas and the Southern Magic RWA chapter is in Alabama, I love being a member (because some of my most favorite writing/reading peep are in it) and I love attending their annual Romance Readers' Luncheon. They have some awesome keynotes...last year it was Sherrilyn Kenyon, this year it was Jeanine Frost...(keep reading to find out about 2014!)


(Posing with Jeanine Frost, one of my favorite authors)

"Romance celebrates emotional & relationship empowerment" ~ J. Frost
Of course, my fun always starts when my awesome friend Carla Swafford picks me up from the airport. Last year, thanks to getting a bit lost, she gave me the most wonderful tour of Birmingham. This year she kept repeating the mantra "No side trips!" and got me to the hotel in time for the Friday reception. We had plenty of laugh on both trips...and that is always a good start to the weekend.

(Carla with my signing dragon and my book at the luncheon)

Here are pictures of some of my favorite peep I love seeing every year:

(Here's M.V. Freeman, the president of SM who seemed to be in 5 different places at one time! I got to sit at her table and received a very nice bottle of Grey Goose vodka...representing her very sexy Russian hero)


Author Naima Simone, who always brightens up any room with her giggles...she, Carla and Heather put together an awesome video which was super cool and super funny. I hope they share it online because you don't want to miss it. Hee, hee...they share it. So enjoy: http://youtu.be/DF8-2FIMzVM

 And Heather, one of my favorite readers/librarians ever! But I also made new friends...like author Debbie Herbert who had her book come out just the day before...
(Don't you love her cover?)

Of course, Southern hospitality was front and center. Besides welcome bags for every attendee, there were supercalifragilistic baskets given out as door prizes and then others that were raffled off...so cool! Check out the awesome basket I won:


Eeep!!! In other words, Dragon and I enjoyed our visits loads and can't wait to be back in sweet Alabama for the 2014 Southern Magic Luncheon when the keynote will be...SYLVIA DAY!!! Eeep!!!

Author Nalini Singh Shares Her Secret to Staying Inspired

Today we have a visit from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Romance author Nalini Singh. Super-Calli-fragilistic YAY! (Can you tell I'm excited?)

I was fortunate enough to meet Nalini earlier this year at Fresh Fiction's Boas & Tiaras event in Texas. Of course, I went total fan girl on her, gushed and asked innumerable story and writing questions. She handled me with utmost patience and graciousness. :)

(The gracious Nalini Singh)

However, I saved my most important question for her blog visit to share with y'all!

I love your productivity! (More NS stories to read!) So what keeps you inspired and writing?

Here's Nalini's Answer:

"My inspiration comes from my love of writing. It is my passion, has always been my passion. I’ve written at bus stops, on trains, in a tent in the desert, while I’m the only person awake on an entire plane, on vacation…because writing is what gives me joy. 
I never ever want to lose that joy, so I nurture it – there are always parts of a project that get hard for example. When that happens, I give myself “play” time where I write things just for fun, like short stories or vignettes, or even a book that no one knows about. I’m usually itching to go back to my work in progress afterward, rejuvenated and excited to continue."

Thanks Nalini for a great answer! Play time and joy...what wonderful concepts and so key to creativity. It's important to remember them when we are stressing or hit a speed bump in our writing.

Speaking of writing, Nalini just released a new book. Yay! My reading self is super-duper-happy because I love her stories -- both the Psy-Changeling ones and her Guild Hunter series. Check out the awesome cover!



Here's the blurb:

Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) returns to an immortal world of violent passion and lethal power…on the brink of a deadly archangelic war.

Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.
Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…

Want A Taste?

Visit Nalini's website for an excerpt by clicking on  http://www.nalinisingh.com/legion.php

Have More Questions?



Though Nalini’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the Highlands of Scotland, and the temples of Japan, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her the most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Share what you do to stay inspired in the comments & leave your email (so I can contact you if you win), and I'll pick a random winner to receive a digital copy of Nalini's latest -- Archangel's Legion. Winner will be announced Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.

***A Big Thanks goes to Nalini's lovely assistant and sister Ashwini for helping me with this blog post***


Romantic Suspense Super Deal!


Malice, Mischief & Men

7 Full-Length Romantic Suspense novels - 7 Bestselling Authors - A Story for every mood
--->> All for $.99 <<--- On Sale for a Limited Time!

Amazon http://amzn.com/B00FWWC446

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**Sharing is encouraged and appreciated. Thank you**

Want to check out the super cool trailer? 


Toys for Tots and the 12 Days of Halloween

I believe in the power of the individual and in math. If each one of us does what he/she can to make the world a better place, then our individual actions add up and a difference is made, life is improved. Listen to the wise words the late Roger Ebert shared at the end of his memoir “Life Itself:”
“I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world.”
So I'm always happy to champion individual efforts for the greater good and share about them. In doing so, I increase the probability of that one person's action/good deed to be multiplied and spread to parts and hearts unknown. So today I present you author Danielle Monsch and her efforts for Toys for Tots.


From about mid-October until Christmas was always a magical and much anticipated time when I was young.

 Probably not an uncommon statement from a kid. My mom should have been a party planner, because our house was always decked out for the season. We were the house that people do that double-take with, because looking only once wasn’t enough to take it all in.

Mom’s favorite holiday was Halloween. Since I’m a fantasy/paranormal writer, it’s safe to say that rubbed off on me, and with kids of my own, I enjoy Halloween in a completely new way, with my kids excitement about dressing up and their enjoyment in the *fun* scares.

While her favorite might have been Halloween, Mom excelled in overall holiday planning. My mom was a generous lady. She never liked cooking, but she loved to bake the holiday pies and cookies and other goodies that come with the season, and everyone who knew us came away during the holiday season with loads of culinary delights. If you ask me to name my favorite food ever, it would have to be Mom’s pumpkin pie.

It’s probably because this time was usually so joyous that one memory sits there, lumpy and misshapen and not a fit with the rest.

Don’t ask me how old I was, but I came down the stairs one night – going to get some water I think – and Mom was on the couch, staring at the Christmas tree. The packages weren’t under the tree yet, which was odd since Mom tended to put them under as soon as the tree went up (Mom is not a last minute shopper – in fact, I’m pretty sure her shopping is done in July.) Now I haven’t believed in Santa ever, so it was no question in my mind about who presents come from.

What set this memory in my mind so sharply was my mother’s face the few moments before she realized I was in the room. At the time I didn’t have the words or the emotional knowledge to name what emotions were in play. All I knew was it wasn’t good.

Several years later we were talking, and in the way of conversations everywhere, somehow that night came up, and I asked Mom what was going on.

She confided that when I saw her, the reality of our situation was none of us kids were going to get Christmas presents. It had been a bad year with lots of doctor bills and not as much work as they hoped to get. Maybe they would be able to get a practical clothing item, but certainly nothing beyond that. Then she told me that a couple days after I saw her that night, her uncle heard about our situation. Without her or my dad asking, he went out and got presents for us kids and told her that it was his early Christmas gift to her and he would not accept any money or repayment.

Mom told me she cried while she wrapped them. She told me it was the best gift she’d ever gotten.

While my childhood would never fit in a Dickinson narrative, there were a few years there where we did with minimal, so hearing after-the-fact that no presents was a possibility didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the lurch in my chest at the thought of it as a near reality. That didn’t make sense – after all, we were several years past by then, and I was a grown person who understood economic realities.

That lurch, though, was real. And as time has marched on, I think I understand the reason for it, just like now that I’m a mother I understand the look on my mother’s face that night. The holidays were a safe and sacred time. The rest of the year – okay, it’s life, and life happened. But in my memory, the holidays were apart from that, not touched with the ickiness that could happen at other times.

If I didn’t get presents that year, I think that safety and warmth that the holidays (or the thought of) always caused would have disappeared. I wouldn’t have had that protective bubble anymore that helped get me through bad times, and the loss of that would have been a greater tragedy than not getting a doll under the tree.

So while Toys for Tots was not responsible for me getting presents that year, I recognize in a deep and personal way the very good work they are doing.


Toys for Tots is my favorite holiday charity. There are many excellent charities I celebrate and give to, but this time of year my thoughts and my wishes are for the kids who are not in the best circumstances and are in danger of not having a gift under their own tree. It’s not the material item that matters (though it’s always nice to get a great gift, right?) What I never want them to lose is that safe warmth that should categorize the holidays, a warmth that sometimes might be the only thing that gets them through the rest of the year.

Which leads me to the 12 Days of Halloween! 12 Days of Halloween is my (and many other excellent authors) way of having a great time and celebrating the beginning of this wondrous time of year – with giveaways and gifts and raising money for Toys for Tots!

What is involved?


First! My novel Stone Guardian is on a very special sale. From now until Halloween, it is half-off with part of the proceeds going to Toys for Tots! So you get a book for cheaper than usual, and a chunk of the money will be going to an amazing cause! Huzzah!
And on the other side, I’ll be sharing lots of giveaways! Ebooks (donated by many generous authors) gift cards, swag sets, a Coach (!) bag, and finally…
An iPad Mini!
Yes, you read that right – an iPad mini with a special Entwined Realms designed cover set is the grand prize.
So if you are interested, please keep up with me at twitter (www.twitter.com/Danielle_Monsch) facebook (www.facebook.com/DanielleMonschAuthor) or my blog (RomanticGeekGirl.com) with all the ways to win.
Let’s celebrate the beginning to this great time of year, have a great party, maybe win some stuff, and most important of all – support Toys for Tots and make sure they can help a lot of kids this year!

Fall Into Fantasy


"Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different." -- Neil Gaiman, author.

I think this is especially true for fantasy and speculative fiction. They open doors to innumerable possibilities. And, often, it is easier to share hard truths and dark fears wrapped in the guise of fiction. Fortunately, it is just as easy for stories to give comfort and offer hope.

This is why I love reading and writing fantasy. And why I jumped on the Fall Into Fantasy Giveaway hop. New authors mean new stories, and lead to new worlds to explore. About 50 authors are participating!




Here are some of the books up for winning:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list BookBox: embed book widget, share book list BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

The creator of this fantastic fantasy event is author Ash Krafton. Check out her blog.

Yes, there is a giveaway! Check out:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Made the News

Okay, I didn't. But my book, WILDFIRE, is on the front page of the San Angelo Standard-Times. And that's even better! WooHoo!


Feeling stunned, honored and over-the-moon happy!!! :D

And, omg, omg, omg, my Dead: A Ghost Story has been mentioned on Night Owl Reviews in an interesting article titled Get Your Spooks On in Color

Yes, I'm happy dancing!

Love & blessings,

Mina

Fall Excerpt for #TeaserTuesday

Happy #TeaserTuesday! Since I'm enjoying this wonderful fall weather, I'm sharing a scene from WILDFIRE that is reminiscent of this time...



*** 

“The gall of the man.” She revved the Mustang and screeched out of Jack’s yard. Gripping the steering wheel hard, she wished her fingers were on his neck. He’d started the kissing and manhandling. She hadn’t asked for any of that. The two kisses they’d shared —her lips tingled as warmth hummed somewhere between her breasts at the memories.

A montage of his reactions tumbled through her thoughts—fear, revulsion, relief. No room for doubt. Damn dragon senses. Jack seemed to make every nerve ending in her body come alive, every sense leap to new heights. A tremor danced through her. She’d heard his thoughts as clearly as if he’d spoken them inside her head. She’d smelled his emotions — the sour tang of fear; the cool, wet scent of relief— as if she’d had her nose pressed to his warm, naked skin.

She almost ran the car off the road. Her hands shook as she pulled to the side and parked underneath a golden-leafed pecan tree.

Every little breeze created a shower of leaves. Every little thought set off a flutter of feelings. Obaa-chan had once said if two dragons were emotionally close —really close— the connection could be amazing, like being one. Her breath stuck in her throat –a painful, pregnant pause. Close. When had she become close to Jack? She didn’t want to be close. She knew better.

***


I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! If you'd like to know more about WILDFIRE, check out the Books tab. Or you can check out the following links:


Interview with a Dragon

Woot! I interviewed a dragon shapeshifter --Lynn Alexander, the heroine of my paranormal mystery WILDFIRE-- and survived. WooHoo!


(BTW, several readers decided Actress Kelly Hu would make a fab Lynn. What do you think?)


Lynn's interview is on the Preternatura blog run by sister Southern Magic chapter member & a TOR author, also awesome person all around, Suzanne Johnson! Woot! Come visit us!

CeLeBraTiOn Time!!!

Woot! Today is the official book birthday of Wildfire!


And helping me celebrate are all these wonderful blogs! Check them out:

I SMELL SHEEP (this is a fun, fun, fun blog & you should explore)

Bitten By Paranormal Romance (this is one of favorite PNR blogs. The ladies are awesome and they support Pet Adoptions, which is a cause close to my heart)

Nina's Literary Escape, a very nice romance focused blog

I'm also on Paranormal Reads!

Just Paranormal Romance -- a new blog focusing on PNR (1 of my fav. genres!)

Author Sofia Grey's blog in wonderful New Zealand!

I'm on author Christi Snow's Smitten w/Reading Blog!

Sharing one of my favorite scenes in the book with BOOK Monster Reviews

Awesome interview with Friday Night Romance!

And REVIEWS are trickling in...

Random Book Musings

Nerd Girl 

Just Jeannie's Book Bling

Now Available on iTunes!!!


Books and Babies Are Unpredictable

It's Live!!! Wildfire: A Paranormal Mystery with Cowboys & Dragons went live early. I'd scheduled it for the 20th...but it's out. I have had the same experience with my real babies.



My first one was supposed to be born in April 2001, but came in January. Yup, about three months early. My second one, the doctor made me choose a date and after much deliberation I chose Jan 4 of 2005. She came in December. Oh well, I love all my early surprises. :) WooHoo!

So here's the blurb: Lynn Hana Alexander is a 25-year-old Japanese American shapeshifter haunted by guilt. She’s been questioning herself and her dragon abilities ever since she failed to save her grandmother.

When her best friend is threatened by mysterious fires burning up acres of West Texas, Lynn rushes to the rescue determined not to fail again. However, with a tempting firefighter, a flirty city developer and dragon pheromones distracting her, how is she going to find the arsonist?

And worse: is her primary suspect a malicious rogue dragon or the love of her life?

Buy Links

Smashwords: http://goo.gl/aCYdEZ

Amazon: http://goo.gl/mcToh1

B&N: http://goo.gl/XaMBfm

Are: http://goo.gl/kyWTrR

Kobo: http://goo.gl/OMeRmC

For the paperback: http://goo.gl/k7JQAA

So excited! Happy dancing!

And there's a special celebratory giveaway with dragonlicious prizes! Check out the rafflecopter! :D




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Authors, Books and the Gifts They Give

The first time I read Jeanine Frost’s “Halfway to the Grave” was in college and it was a moment of epiphany.

(The first book in Ms. Frost's Night Huntress Series)

You see, romance has always been my secret indulgence. Working through high school and college, I always rewarded myself after a hell-week of papers , tests and quizzes with romance novels. However, I found myself tiring of the traditional romance heroine waiting to be rescued, always taking a secondary role to the hero. And then I discovered Ms. Frost’s story and urban fantasy.

Some might argue that urban fantasy is not romance. No, but my favorite ones do have strong romantic elements. And have you read the Night Huntress series? Cat and Bones together are perfect, one the most romantic couples I have found in fiction. You never doubt their love for each other.


But more than that, Cat is a heroine I can respect. She starts off na├»ve, but with a steely inner strength that lets her hunt vampires. Even better, she’s intelligent. She’s brought up prejudiced against vampires, but soon starts examining evidence, making her own decisions, making mistakes but learning from them.  She matures and grows into her true self throughout the series…and that’s what makes her one of my favorites. 

I attended Conestoga 12 in 2008 because I found out several of my favorite writers – Ms. Frost, Melissa Marr and Rachel Caine—were attending. I was a reader then and I was thrilled. It was the first time I'd met writers.


 (Jeanine Frost is on the far right, at the end of the table)

I loved the stories they wrote, the wonderful adventures they took me on. Sometimes those fictional heroes and heroines were more like friends. But meeting the people who wrote those stories, created that magic...that was a whole new level of awesome.  Listening to these writers talk about their stories, about writing, was a spark that ignited all kinds of possibilities in my mind.

Today I'm a published author with my newest release, Wildfire: A Paranormal Mystery with Cowboys and Dragons, coming out on Sept. 20. I have written stories that I hope touched readers, or at least whisked them off to another world, a grand adventure. None of it would have happened without the stories, like the Cat & Bones stories, that touched me, the writers who worked hard to create those worlds and share them, who took time to talk to me, inspire me. 



And that's what makes the Southern Magic Romance Readers' Luncheon so special. Yes, there are all kind of fun giveaways and baskets full of fabulous (I still love the books best!), but more importantly attendees get to meet so many talented authors, have so many wonderful conversations.

I plan to thank Ms. Frost in person at the Nov. 2 luncheon.

If you wish to attend the luncheon, be sure to register and pay before October 27 at www.southernmagic.org/luncheon/html.

When: November 2, 2013, Saturday, 11 a.m.

Where: Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham, AL (free parking)

Who: The keynote speaker is NYT bestselling author Jeaniene Frost! The welcome speaker is NYT bestselling author Christy Reece who also writes as Ella Grace.

Why: We’ll be giving away lots of free books, and fun SWAG, awesome raffle baskets and lots of laughs. You’ll also get to meet a ton of talented authors. FMI, check www.southernmagic.org.

And speaking of giveaways...

Leave a comment on my post, and you might be the one randomly picked to win a digital copy of Wildfire! I'll announce the winner on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.

See you at the luncheon!

Mina



Wildfire by Mina Khan

Lynn Hana Alexander is a 25-year-old Japanese American shapeshifter haunted by guilt. She’s been questioning herself and her dragon abilities ever since she failed to save her grandmother.

When her best friend is threatened by mysterious fires burning up acres of West Texas, Lynn rushes to the rescue determined not to fail again. However, with a tempting firefighter, a flirty city developer and dragon pheromones distracting her, how is she going to find the arsonist?

And worse: is her primary suspect a malicious rogue dragon or the love of her life?

IF you'd like a signed paperback (yes, it looks awesome on the shelf!), please check out the Goodreads giveaway: 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Wildfire by Mina Khan

Wildfire

by Mina Khan

Giveaway ends October 05, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

A Time for Wildfire, Cowboys and Dragons...Oh MY!

It's September! Eeeep. That means I have a book release coming up....WILDFIRE: A Paranormal Mystery with Cowboys and Dragons. My first novel (yes, dear readers, I listened to your requests to write longer). So excited! Check it out:


Here's the Blurb:


Lynn Hana Alexander is a 25-year-old Japanese American shape shifter haunted by guilt. She’s been questioning herself and her dragon abilities ever since she failed to save her grandmother.
 When her best friend is threatened by mysterious fires burning up acres of West Texas, Lynn rushes to the rescue determined not to fail again. However, with a tempting firefighter, a flirty city developer and dragon pheromones distracting her, how is she going to find the arsonist? And worse: is her primary suspect a malicious rogue dragon or the love of her life?


Since I'm indie publishing and find the pre-order situation for indies a bit complicated, you'll have to wait until Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. However, if you want CLUES as to what's inside the book...check out my Pinterest board for Wildfire :)

Releases come with nerves -- I worry about every little detail; and read through One More Time to make sure the story, and the copy, is best can be; I probably drive my editor a bit nuts and owe her chocolate. I'm also filled with happy anticipation. Finally, after all the hard work of writing, editing, revising and more, I get to share this wonderful new story with the world.

So September and a new release also means I'll be spending a lot of time reflecting on the Serenity Prayer (my favorite):




Wishing y'all a wonderful September!