New Story, New Year

Life comes with snafus. No ifs and buts about it. As you grow older you learn to work around them and get things done despite them.

Due to unplanned and unavoidable circumstances my novella A Christmas Wish almost became a New Year's wish. Making the decision to delay publication was hard, but quality is important to me and so it was the right decision. Now I'm happy to report all the recipes have been tested and retested, the story has grown and developed in all kinds of new directions and it's out...before the end of 2014. What a great way to wrap up the year :)

So without further ado, let me introduce you to the new story:

Blurb: Rayez, a smoking hot chef and fire djinn in exile, lands himself in deep trouble when he tries to help a mysterious beautiful woman.

Selene is pursued and desperate. She’ll do anything to keep her brother safe—including capture a djinn.

While deception brings them together, dangerous enemies make them unlikely allies. Can one gigantic wrong lead to two rights and true love?

*Also included are some of the recipes Rayez made in the book.*

***All proceeds from the first two weeks of sales will be donated to the Concho Valley Regional Food Bank. ***

This is an enhanced and expanded version of a story previously published as Sealed With A Kiss in the Alphas Unleashed anthology. 

Sound interesting?  Here are the buy links:

Wishing you and yours good health, good times and good books in 2015!

A Thank You to My Readers for Our 2014 Unicef Donation

This is the third year for my A Tale of Two Djinns UNICEF donation. After my father died, I wanted to honor him and so pledged half of all proceeds from the story to go towards education. Thanks to all my wonderful readers, we contributed $423.40 in 2014, bringing our total project contribution to $1,159.

Even better, Paypal matched 1 percent to the 2014 contribution and UNICEF has an anonymous group of donors tripling donations til midnight of Dec. 31 (for a total of $1 million). The $1 you contribute becomes $3. So, wow.

Dear readers, we made a difference and I couldn't have done it without you. So....

What does our contribution mean?

According to the UNICEF website, $250 provides “School-in-a-Box” kit containing basic education supplies for 80 children. So our donation is helping quite a few more. Woohoo!

For anyone new coming across this page, who wants to know why and how it all started, please check out the Make A Difference button or section. 

You, my readers, ROCK!!!

5 Reasons to Gift Books #GiveABook

I love all things bookish and what recently wowed me is Penguin Random House's #GiveABook program. Here's the latest update they shared:

Dec 22 2014
Penguin Random House has expanded its GiveaBook program after exceeding its original goal of donating 25,000 to Save the Children in just three weeks. The publisher has now pledged to donate another 10,000 books for additional posts and tweets containing the #GiveaBook hashtag through December 24.

That's a lot of books! So in support of the #GiveABook program and to do my part to help spread the good work, I put together this post built around some of my favorite bookish pictures from this year. Also, I happen to believe books make excellent gifts and here's 5 reasons why...





(Thank you to everyone who made and shared these awesome book visuals! If you'd rather not be a part of this post, please let me know and I'll respect your wishes.)

Any book you give is a good book. However, if you need a suggestion...

A Tale of 2 Djinns holiday graphic

Review of A Bollywood Affair

I love Bollywood movies and I love books. Sonali Dev's A Bollywood Affair brings together both in a delicious read. Seriously, this is like a Bollywood romance in a book complete with drama, pathos, crazy relatives, romance, song and dance.

Bollywood movies have ripped hero with an endearing cockiness and heart of gold. He should be able to flash a "tooth paste ad" smile, brood, or smolder at appropriate moments. Samir Rathod, the hero of A Bollywood Affair, is all that and more. Truth be told, I didn't like him when I first met him, but before long I too couldn't resist his charm.

(Sharing Hrithik Roshan as example of Bollywood're welcome!)

The heroine, Mili, is my favorite. Life has dealt her some interesting situations and she's emerged stronger for it. She's spunky, loyal and principled. At the same time she's real -- perky newlyweds annoy her, she generally doesn't like pretty people, and she's not above using emotional blackmail and brow-beating to get her way because she knows what she's trying to get the other person to do is the right thing to do. She reminds me a bit of Don Quixote. Also, she loves, that made her the sister of my heart.

Once Mili and Samir get together on the page, there is no stopping. The story takes off and I gladly jumped on for the ride, laughing and crying at all the appropriate places.

Family is at the heart of most Bollywood movies and also this book. I loved Ridhi's (the comic-relief best friend) boisterous Punjabi family, I loved Mili's sassy nani (grandmother), I loved the complexity of Sam's family. All Bollywood movies come with a great cast of characters and Ms. Dev didn't skimp in this, which made the book so much richer.

I love the way Ms. Dev manages to show that there is not one generalized Indian identity and showcase the diversity of being Indian in her book.

Since I grew up on a healthy diet of Bollywood movies, I also enjoyed all of references to old movies and actors.

But it's not all fun and games. A Bollywood Affair also deals with quite a few serious matters. Without preaching, Ms. Dev show how traditional practices like child marriages can shape a person's dreams and stunt personal desire. We have this spunky, intelligent woman who dreams of this husband (missing from her life for 20+ years), believes herself to be married and in love, because that's what she's been told over and over again. She's never really had the freedom to truly dream.

Through Samir, Ms. Dev shows the weight of duty and obligation, the need to look below the surface. By the end of the book, both he (and the readers) learn that there is no black and white, but a lot of gray as well as the importance of doing the right thing.

The story also effected me on a personal level as a first generation immigrant. My heart ached when Mili looked at the sky and remembered her village home, smelled the scent of hot fresh wheat roti and missed her nani's cooking.

In other words, I enjoyed this book on so many different levels that it's definitely going on my keeper shelf.

Sharing my favorite quotes from A Bollywood Affair:

"Did everyone who left their country feel this way -- ground between the millstones of courage and cowardice? Or was it just her?"

"Mili didn't know what was wrong with Samir. But he had slipped into a full-on-angry-young-man avatar straight out of an Amitabh Bachan film."

Vah, vah Ms. Dev, much kudos to you. I'm proud to call you my Sari Sister. Now, get back to writing! I can't wait to read the next book and see a movie version of A Bollywood Affair

Conversation with Ilona Andrews on Writing

I love the Kate Daniels series (for Kate and Curran, the intricate story world) and The Edge series, and I'm a total Ilona Andrews fan girl. Once I drove four hours to attend a book signing. So I was over-the-moon happy when they agreed to do a writing workshop in my city and our local newspaper asked me to interview them. SQUEE!

Sharing excerpts from the article originally published in The San Angelo Standard Times on Sept. 19:

Ilona and Gordon Andrews who write as Ilona Andrews

1. How did you both get started writing? Individually and as a team.

Gordon Andrews: I would say we started as avid readers, years and years before we met. Ilona’s parents were Russian intellectuals who insisted that she read the giants of Sci Fi.   Authors, like Heinlein, Bradbury, Harry Harrison, whose works were highly regarded even in cold war era Russia. Her father, who has two P.H.D’s, wanted her to have a firm grasp of science and literature. He felt that she had to have rounded education and the idea was to read things that forced you to reach outside your frame of reference. He also encouraged her to read classic mythology.

My aunt and uncle are fundamentalist Christian conservatives who viewed any book that wasn’t the Bible as highly suspect.  Of course I rebelled and, at school and secretly at home, read the kind of books they hated.  I was a huge fan of Robert Howard’s Conan as well as the original Dragon Lance series by Weis and Hickman.  In high school I discovered the Spencer novels by the late Robert B. Parker, which remains my all-time favorite series. I could read those openly as the protagonist was an ex-cop and boxer turned tough guy P.I.  There wasn’t any magic, just lots of violence, so my retired US Marine Corps and Orange County Homicide investigator Uncle didn’t mind.

We met in a college English class, competed briefly for the title of “smartest in class” then started dating.  We first started writing together by helping each other with our school papers.  At first we would edit and suggest but by the end of it, almost anything we turned in was a collaboration between us.  It was also at WCU that we started reading UF and I think the idea for Kate and her world was formed.  Ilona started writing what would become Kate while I was an NCO in the Army. 

2. How does your writing partnership work? (Do you take turns writing chapters? Or do each do a specific character? etc.)

GA: We plot it out together, usually floating in the pool and drinking beer.  Ilona, who is a better typist, will write some of it and send it to me to check over.  As it is being written we talk about the scenes and how they should go.  I would say that yes, I tend to be responsible for what the male characters would say, or how they say it, while Ilona is obviously the voice of Kate, Nevada, Dina and others like the female protagonists of the Edge series.  Our desks are very close which gives us the ability to simply stop and talk a scene or plot point out.  By the time a reader gets something of ours, it’s gone back and forth between us several times.

3. How much advance work do you do in terms of plotting and world building for a series?

GA: Quite a bit actually.  I think for the Kate books the world almost came first.  We really wanted that mix of magic and technology.  Then you ask yourself if a person was born into this world, what sort of adult would they be? Kate and Nevada are definitely products of their environments.  For individual books we plot out a beginning and an end.  We know what we want to happen. The rest is getting from start to finish.  The how and why it happens.  We read a lot of mythology books and do research on the history and geography of the places the books are set in.  We never lived in Houston but we feel like we know it and we hope it’s fairly accurately described. With post-apocalyptic Atlanta, we took some liberties. 

4. Do you prefer writing series to stand alones? Why?

GA: For full length books, I guess that stand-alones are easier, because everything about the narrative is new and you don’t have to remember what happened in book two, four, or seven.  You don’t have go back and check how tall so and so is or what was said in a particular scene.  In a series like the Kate books, which now includes seven volumes, eight if you count Gunmetal Magic, you must remain consistent and not contradict yourself while trying to keep the series from going stale. You also have the burden of reader expectations.  People who have read the earlier books in the series and formed a relationship with the books want their expectations to be met.  We’ve had readers who wrote to us extremely upset that their favorite character died or wasn’t given enough page time. Meeting these expectations can be daunting.

With a new book, like BURN FOR ME, you have the freedom to make up new rules and characters that are unlike things you’ve written before.  The catch is that you have to wrap it all up in one go.  No matter if it’s a stand-alone story or a series, we just try to write the best book we can. 

Mina here: I loved being able to get some insight into the brilliant Ilona Andrews team and asking all kinds of questions. I hope you enjoyed reading the interview. If you haven't read a Ilona Andrews book, go get started! 

Are You A Dragonista?

Are you a dragonista? I am. I love dragons in stories, in art, in movies and, of course, in my dreams. So when a group of dragon writers decided to team up for a Dragonista Blog Hop this month...well, I had to jump aboard. How fun!!!

So why do I love dragons? For so many reasons. Fierce and mysterious, ancient and timeless, these gorgeous creatures inspire my imagination.

If you are a dragonista too, rest assured you're in good company...Veronica Mars is one too...Check out this Veronica Mars Confession video!

Also watch the Dragonista Facebook Page for all kinds of dragon fun and chatter. At the end of the month, we'll be announcing the winners of the blog hop, giving away a grand prize & just partying till the dragons come home! 

My favorite dragon series is G.A. Aiken's Dragon Kin series -- the dragons are fierce, sexy and,oh so funny. The heroine or hero counterparts are clever and loyal, they definitely deserve their dragons. And the stories are pure fun!

G.A. Aiken Dragon Bundle: The Dragon Who Loved Me, What a Dragon Should Know, Last Dragon Standing & How to Drive a Dragon Crazy

Of course, my dragon love has bled into my writing and, dragon oh dragon, I had a blast writing my most recent release Wildfire: A Paranormal Mystery with Cowboys and Dragons

My Japanese American dragon shifter is hunting a rogue dragon setting fires in the wilds of West Texas. Of course, she ends up with a lot more than she bargains'll just have to read up on her adventures. :)

Here's a quote from Lynn, the heroine of Wildfire:

Now check out the cute little dragon I'm giving away...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to hop through and meet all the rest of the Dragonista authors and enter to win prizes and books!

Click on this Linky Tool!

#Alphas Unleashed #Labor Day Weekend #Sale

Dear Readers,

Here's some good news for you:

So what do you get with Alphas Unleashed?
Alphas Unleashed is a collection of hot science fiction and paranormal romance novellas from Michele Callahan, Carolyn Jewel, S.E. Smith, and moi. You get 5 heroes, 5 romances and 4 story worlds.

If you've been wanting to try this anthology, but haven't is a great time to grab it!

Wishing you a wonderful and safe Labor Day Weekend! 



Reading Omens and Sharing Favorite Quotes

What are y'all reading at the moment? No matter what is going on in my life, I find time to read because that's my catnip. I'm enjoying Omens by Kelley Armstrong at the moment.

It all started because the word "omen" was haunting me (couldn't stop thinking about it), which led me to do a search on Amazon and I saw this book and added it to my wish list. Then I took a trip to my local library (my home away from home) and there was this book just waiting for me on a shelf. When the Universe sends me multiple messages about the same thing, I tend to listen. So I started reading Omens. So glad I did. It has the blend of mystery and supernatural that I love, a strong, smart female heroine and male hero who is interesting enough to keep me hooked. Delicious!

So here's my favorite quote from the book:

"I wouldn't call Gabriel Walsh if I was on fire." She pursed her lips. "No, I might. To sue everyone responsible--from the person who lit the match to those who made my clothes. But I'd wait until the fire was out. Otherwise, he'd just stand there until I was burned enough for a sizable settlement." (Pg. 120)

"The fact that I defended her explains exactly why I have no opinion. You want me to say I'm certain she's guilty so you can forget about her. I won't do that. Nor will I say she's innocent and raise false hopes. Whatever you decided Olivia, I'm not taking any responsibility for it." (pg. 155)

"First you buy me a Mocha. Then you let me help you hide a body. Now you take me to a biker clubhouse. Best. Day. Ever."

Happy Reading! :)

Goodreads Giveaway for #Alphas Unleashed

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Alphas Unleashed by S.E.  Smith

Alphas Unleashed

by S.E. Smith

Giveaway ends August 20, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Five Random Things About Me...

I'm attending a lot of conferences this year, including Authors After Dark later this week, and meeting a lot of new book peeps. But I think it's always more fun to go beyond the standard intro of "Hi! My name is X and I do Y..." So in the spirit making new book friends, here's five random facts about me...

1. I do Renaissance dancing with the Santa Angela Renaissance Guild. We get together and practice (and giggle) at lot, we dress up in awesome costumes,  and do public performances. We also educate people about historic dance forms.It's a lot of fun and involves a lot of giggling & dancing.

  (I'm the dark haired one with glasses in the front row)

2. I'm an animal lover and my 4-legged family includes: 3 cats and 3 dogs.

3. I have a signing dragon and she accompanies me to all my look for us!

4. My stories usually start when a vivid image pops into my head and haunts me. I just have to set the scene in my head down on paper and keep writing until the story is done.

5. Essentials for writing: Quiet, Nuts to snack on, coffee, and a cape. Yes, I wear a cape to write...not only does it make me feel like anything is possible, it also keeps me warm. No, I'm not posting a pic of me with my cape ;D 

See you at AAD or some of these other cons this year...

Authors After Dark 2014 in Charlotte, NC in August
Indie Romance Convention 2014 in Lebanon, TN in September
Kriti Literary Festival in Chicago in September
Readers and 'Ritas 2014 in Dallas, TX in November

If you're at any of these, come and say hi! :)

Other AAD Authors to check out:

Kerry Adrienne    Candace Blevins    Susana Ellis   Bethany Lopez    

Julie Morgan     JoLynne Valerie   Colette Saucier

Recap of My First RWA National Conference

While I have been writing for most of my life, romance since 2004, this was the first year I attended the RWA National Conference. Once I'd registered and booked my hotel, once I'd accepted the reality of my going, this was me:

Going to RWA...finally! on Make A Gif

(make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif)

I was like: "Yippee-yi-yay! I'm going, going, going!" 

I was finally making it to the Romance Writers of America conference, the national gathering of my people. People who wrote and read and loved books, who actually understood me and my obsession with words, and there'd be books. So many books! 

Once in San Antonio, I made this face quite often to the amusement of my more experienced peers...

kiIBoZ on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

I made it is every time I saw the awesome Nora Roberts. When I did speak to her (okay, I fan-girl gushed at her), she was uber gracious and posed for a picture:

Since I had a breakfast date with Nalini Singh, I was up at the crack of dawn. Fortunately by the time we met, I was able to control my fan-girling and actually have a conversation. We both gushed about Sari Sister Sonali Dev's Debut Release:

Then, Nalini showed me how to take a selfie:

I also attended part of her Writing Paranormal Romance workshop and caught this gem:

"Be logical, be consistent, and be passionate!"

Speaking of workshops, they were awesome and there were several tracks to choose from -- craft, marketing, industry, self-publishing, career, writer's life and more. I attended several and learned a lot! 

My favorite was the last workshop I attended -- Reviews: Reaching, Receiving and Reacting to Them. The presenter, Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, did a great job. 

Her straight talk made sense and put reviews into perspective. But, even better, she's freaking hilarious and made me (and others) laugh out loud over and over. By Saturday afternoon, I was in zombie mode and a good laugh was exactly what I needed. I left energized and headed to a donut party courtesy of Carolyn Jewel, one of my co-authors on the Alphas Unleashed anthology.

This next picture perfectly sums up my first RWA experience:

Yes, it was SWEET! Wildfire did me proud...

2014 Prism Award Winner for Best First Book
2014 Prism Second Place winner in Light Paranormal

2014 Published Daphne du Maurier Award finalist in the Paranormal category

Would I attend another RWA National Conference? 

Reading Shield of Winter & Sharing Favorite Quotes

What are you reading this weekend? I'm enjoying Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Here are some of my favorite bits from it:

"We created heartbreaking art once, discovered star systems and new species of butterflies with equal joy. We were explorers and musicians and writers of great works. Now . . . how did the Psy become such a ruin?"

Kaleb knew the answer wasn't as simple as Silence, and yet Silence was the core. "We attempted to become a race without flaws." (pg. 18)

"I don't know if it all balances out in the end, but I know I have done all I could. It's the only thing a man can do." (pg. 294)

"We all have to live with our past, but it doesn't have to define us." (pg. 369)

Shiny Indie Recognition and Honor

Look at the beauty that came in my email...a nice gold Indie Romance Convention Book Award nominee logo *SQUEE!*

Why? Well, hee, here's the good news: WILDFIRE has been nominated for Best Fantasy Romance by a reader. I don't know who it was, but I sure do appreciate him/her for thinking of my story and honoring me. Totally tickled!

Now the nominees are being voted on and I'd love to have your vote (unless you find another on the list that you love) and there are many lists. So go check it out and have some bookish fun at the IRC Book Polls!

Saris, stories and sisterhood

I grew up in Bangladesh where wear women wore saris. Some simple, others heavy with sequins and gold thread embroidery. Saris of many colors and textures. To me the sari was a rite of passage, an elegant and mysterious symbol of womanhood. As I grew old enough to try and wrap myself in saris, I learned it could be challenge, a lesson, and a present. Saris, like stories can bring people together. Today I'm sharing my personal experience at Saris and Stories, a new group blog.

Saris and Stories brings together seven desi American women writers from all the U.S. We share our stories, our inspirations and, of course, our love for Bollywood. We laugh, we cry, we write.

Saris, like stories, have been bringing together people for ages. My personal story is about how saris keep my Mom and I tied together. Six yards of cloth with so much love and meaning.

Author Mina Khan's mother, grandmother and family
My Mom in a sari with her mother and siblings.

Author Mina Khan and her Mom
My Mom and Me :)

For our launch week, we are sharing our personal Sari stories and celebrating our heritage.Part of that is of course giveaways. So check out the posts, comment and keep your fingers crossed! Winners will be picked randomly at the end of launch week. So go visit Saris and Stories!



A July 4th Thought

Happy July 4th to all my American readers! Stay safe and have loads of fun! But also keep in mind veterans who maybe sensitive to fireworks, and your best friends aka pets....

Now for that wonderful Erma Bombeck quote:

"You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” — Erma Bombeck


A Home in the Library

Growing up, the library was home to me. I mean, I was born into my parental home and I loved it, but the library was the first home my soul chose. I remember spending several recesses hiding out in the school library, lost in a book. On weekends, I would haunt the British Council Library in the community. Even today, rows and rows of books, colorful spines with a rainbow of titles, comfort me like nothing else can.

So imagine my joy to find both A Tale of Two Djinns and Wildfire on the shelves at my local library. I SQUEED! Yes, I know it's the library, but I couldn't help it. :)

Here's a picture:

Happy dancing in West Texas!

Libraries bring readers, young and old, to new worlds and possibilities. They fuel the imagination and let you get your hands on books, precious books, even when you don't have a job or live on a limited budget. They are the best kind of entertainment and education.

So support your local library, go read a book!



Alphas Unleashed and Review Copies

Alphas Unleashed, an anthology of science fiction and paranormal romance, with stories set in different worlds. 

UNLEASHED (aka Released) JUNE 15
Available on
Google Play 

Interested in reviewing Alphas Unleashed? All that is required is your honest opinion. 

Email me at minakhan(at)wcc(dot)net and let me know what format you'd like. Thanks!

In other news...Wildfire was nominated in the best fantasy book category of the Indie Romance readers. I don't know who you are, but thank you!

Father's Day, Books and Blessings

When you have worked in the news business and you've lived in several different places around the world, you are a realist, you know there is good and bad and lots of in between. You also appreciate the blessings in your  life. My parents are one of the biggest (and definitely the earliest) blessings.

My Dad and my Mom gave me unconditional love, made sure I got educated, let me go off on adventures half way across the world (Bangladesh is literally across the globe from America), and let me marry for love. Many parents don't, but they did. I am who I am thanks to them. All my books, my projects, are possible because of them.

My father, Capt. Rashid Khan, is no longer with us. However, his impact on my life is there and will be there through generations.

To celebrate him this Father's Day, I'll share five facts about him:

1. He lied about his age and ran off to join the Merchant Navy.

2. He wooed my Mom away from another man.

3. He loved to laugh and make people laugh.

4. He loved to dance. In fact, my memory of the last New Year's Eve he was alive was watching him and my Mom dance.

5. He traveled the world, but we were his world.

With a dad like him, how could I not write romance? So dear readers, celebrate your fathers today whether they are with you or not. A good dad makes a world of difference.

Traveling to Other Worlds via Stories

One of the reasons I love stories, both as a reader and a writer, is that they let me escape. I don't have to wait for vacation days, or save pennies to build up a decent budget, and I don't even have to pack. Every new story takes me to a different world and on an exciting adventure! So I was ready to jump on the story rocket when Michele Callahan, founder of RomCon, first proposed Alphas Unleashed, an anthology of science fiction and paranormal romance, with stories set in different worlds. 

UNLEASHING (aka Releasing) JUNE 15
Available on
Google Play 

So what worlds will you be traveling to? Here are the deets!

A Warrior’s Heart (Marastin Dow Book 1.1) by S.E. Smith
Ben and Aaron Cooper think their luck has ended when the freighter they are on is captured by the Marastin Dow, a terrifying alien species known for their savagery. Instead they discover love with two warriors who capture their hearts. Now, they are in a race to keep the fragile gift they find before it is ripped away from them forever.

Sealed With A Kiss, A Djinn Novella by Mina Khan

Rayez, a smoking hot chef and fire djinn in exile, lands himself in deep trouble (at the bottom of a beer bottle) when he tries to help a mysterious beautiful woman.
Selene is pursued and desperate. She’ll do anything to keep her brother safe—including capture a djinn.

While deception brings them together, dangerous enemies make them unlikely allies. Can one wrong lead to two rights and true love?

Dead Drop, A My Immortals Novella by Carolyn Jewel
Wallace Jackson has so little magic she expects to be kicked out of her group of street witches being trained to use their gifts and work with demons. No one is more shocked than she is when a powerful demon proves her wrong. And then asks a favor of her.

The demon Palla is a warlord’s enforcer, a stone cold killer. Wallace Jackson is a pacifist witch with a dangerous power. He wants nothing to do with humans until he needs Wallace to help him free his former lover from a living death and release her spirit from unimaginable suffering.

Chimera Born: The Beginning  (Book 1 of the Chimera) by Michele Callahan
Aron of Itara, Forbidden Son, has been a prisoner of fate since before he was born. Captured as a child by the evil Triscani, it’s been centuries since he’s felt the sun on his face or the tenderness of a woman’s touch.  Determined to help humanity break the elusive but powerful Itaran Triads’ hold on Earth, Aron escapes with one goal, to find the one man who can help him save humans from an eternal prison. After that, he’ll fight to the death, but he’ll never go back in the cage.
Zoey Williams watched her sister die at the hands of monsters, and no one believed her.  She’s spent the last five years using her journalism skills to track aliens, investigate paranormal activity, and hunt for answers.  But she got too close to the truth, and now it’s not just monsters hunting her, but her own people. Zoey doesn’t believe she needs a guardian, but once Aron finds her he can’t leave her to the vicious hunters that would turn her to ash or to the power-hungry humans who seek to silence her.  In fact, he discovers that he doesn’t want to leave her at all…

So what do y'all think?

AND...there is a giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remembering Author Jay Lake and His Wisdom

I just found out today that science-fiction fantasy author Jay Lake passed away on June 1, 2014. He was a good man, an amazing author and an inspiring human being.

A few years back I stumbled across an essay titled "Jumping Off the Cliff, Looking for Water on the Way Down". It was an essay about writing being an act of faith, writing despite obstacles like self-doubt and cancer. That essay inspired me then and continues to inspire me today. That essay introduced me to author Jay Lake, a talented and established writer in the science fiction and fantasy realm, and led me to hunt down his books.

In 2011, I participated in a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's Chat with Jay Lake on twitter. For those of you who are totally into Romance, that's like a tete-a-tete with Nora Roberts for me. Thank you to author Bryan Thomas Schmidt for arranging it. Anyhoo, I got to ask questions, listen to other questions and hear Jay's answers. Again, I came away inspired.

(Originally posted in 2011 on Romance Magicians, but the wisdom is timeless): Being writers, I'm sure all of us can learn from another writer's wisdom, no matter what the genre. So, with Jay and Bryan's permission, I'm going to share some of my favorite quotes from the chat. Blog readers, I present you Jay Lake :

"I can gin up a story from a very small seed. It's one of the pleasures of the craft for me."

"Publishing is meritocracy, but it is not a just meritocracy"..."Which is to say being good is a necessary but not sufficient condition for success."

"Write more" just means whatever you're doing, do more of it. Plus I'm a big fan of putting down the tv and the video games...Nothing wrong with entertainment, but things that scratch your plot bump will keep you from writing...The question is: do you want to be a producer or a consumer?

"Nobody is born a literary genius...You would expect to practice a martial art or a new instrument or a foreign language. Why wouldn't you practice writing?"

"And write new stuff. Don't spend years laboring over your Great Work. Trust me, it's not that great. Go write another one."

Regarding reading to write: "Absolutely. It's called filling the well. Imagine a chef who never ate anyone else's cooking. But time is an issue."

"Writing has really interfered with my reading career."

"I talk openly about the cancer because so many people don't. I get more fan letters off my cancer blogging than off my fiction."

"Re outlines, for short fiction, never. I 'follow the headlights' For novels, always. But the process changes every time."

RE: breaking in:
"I wrote and submitted regularly from 1990 to 2001 before making my first sale."

"Probably about 800,000 words of first draft before I broke in."

"At this point, I've probably written close to 3,000,000 words of first draft. Sold over 2,000,000 of those words."

"DId I ever want to quit? Lots of times. But I kept going. Because, well, this is what I wanted."

About Submitting and Rejections:

"And yes, I still get rejected all the time. More often than I get accepted, I think."

"Submitting fiction is kind of like dating. It helps to be cheerful and bullet-resistant."

Rest in peace Jay, and thank you.