Friday, November 29, 2013

Crystal Collier's Moonless and the Ink Smith #BlackFriday Sale

Crystal Collier's blog tour for MOONLESS has been going like crazy for the past few weeks and I'm excited to be part of it today! I am sharing a short excerpt from the book as well as info about Crystal's Mystery Sentence Game.

Here we go!

The Mystery Sentence Game:

Unravel the mystery of the Moonless night! Hidden in each of the 8 blog tour excerpts is a single word. Gather all 8 and figure out the sentence to win a free copy of Moonless. Send your mystery sentence to crystal (AT) with the subject MYSTERY SENTENCE before December 10, 2013, and you will be entered to win one of 10 copies of MOONLESS—just in time for Christmas. Happy hunting!


“There’s an old legend ‘bout these parts.” Their host sat his tired body down on a stool. “Dangers in the moonless night what’d make you shake in your skin.” He indicated the empty chairs across from himself and they took them willingly. “It’s said a hundred years back a wil-o’-the-wisp passed this way.”

“Like a faerie?” Alexia suggested.

“Oh sure,” he nodded, “only stronger. It liked our little town and settled down here. It aided people’s harvest, blessed our children with health, kept the cattle, stayed the plague.” He shifted. “A doctor on the hill housed the creature, fed it, took care of it and did its bidding on our behalf. Then one day he disappeared—he and his whole family.” He looked Alexia right in the eye. “A plague started upon us, things what appear on moonless nights and stealed away our children. There weren’t no more helps of a miraculous nature. Ones like this,” he pointed to the youth who’d saved them, “started popping up instead of the healthy pretty ones. No offense, lad.” The young man smiled a toothy grin. “It’s said the old man insulted the creature and earned its wrath. We been dealin’ with it ever since. Bein’ left to wander outdoors on a night such as this is as much a death sentence as hangin."

Title: Moonless

Author: Crystal Collier

Series: Maiden of Time #1

Publication: November 13th, 2013

Category: Young Adult (YA)

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Log Line: Alexia must choose safety and an arranged marriage, or true love and being hunted by the Soulless every moonless night. Short Description: Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless. MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

Buy MOONLESS HERE or add it on Goodreads.

Author Bio: Crystal, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Also, a quick note from me about my publisher's fantastic sale this weekend. All of our books are on sale! Paperbacks are 50% off and ebooks are 60%, so if you're interested in The Ghosts of Aquinnah, Polar Night, or any of the rest of our books this is a great time to get them. Visit the Ink Smith store and check them out here.

Thanks again to Crystal for being here and Happy Weekend, all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 25, 2013

Interview at mainewords,'Tis More Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving

I'm interviewed by the wonderful Marcy at mainewords today and talking about The Ghosts of Aquinnah, among other things. It was such a fun experience to chat with her, and as soon as I learned that she is a Best Friends Animal Society fan like me I knew we were a good match. Please come and visit with us here!

Also, Milo James Fowler, the mind behind Creepy Freebies, has decided to hold a similar giveaway during the month of December.  'Tis More Blessed will be held every Friday of the month and numerous authors, including yours truly, will be giving away books or ebooks throughout the month. Visit Milo here to learn more about the event.

Finally, I wanted to find a cute vintage Thanksgiving image to share here and wish my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving this week, but when I found this picture I couldn't resist sharing it instead. I wouldn't really call it cute, as the children look more than a little disturbed. The little girl's smile is especially deranged.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Psychotic smiling children aside, the sentiment is still a good one. I hope everyone has lots to be thankful for this year, and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hurricane Crimes by Chrys Fey

I'm really excited to be sharing the cover of Hurricane Crimes by Chrys Fey today, along with an enticing excerpt from the book!

First up, the cover:

Isn't that a great one? Congratulations to Chrys!

And now for the excerpt:
On the television set, which was fighting to stay alive, was breaking news. She caught bits and pieces of it as she emptied the bowl of blood-tainted water and threw out the cloth. It was about a high-speed chase that had occurred about a half-hour ago. Beth shook her head. Apparently, Donovan wasn’t the only idiot driving around during a hurricane.

She went back into the living room and began replacing all the medical supplies into the first-aid kit. Behind her, a reporter was explaining that the driver of the car was believed to be a murder suspect.

“The name of the—”

The lights flashed, prompting Beth to snatch up her flashlight.

“Donovan Goldwyn.”

Her fingers went cold around the plastic tube as ice frosted her veins. She straightened her spine and turned stiffly to the television, her heart wasn’t beating in her chest. On the screen was the picture of the man who was right now changing in her bedroom. Above it was a caption in bold letters that read—SUSPECT.

She gripped the flashlight in her frozen fingers. Her heart thudded fearfully. She stared into the immobilized violet eyes through the glass.
“Oh my god,” she gasped.

She had brought a murderer into her home!

Now I know you want to read more so here is all the info on the book. :)

Title: Hurricane Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: eBook
Available on Amazon: November 25th 2013
Official Release Date: March 5th 2014
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Book Link:


Author Links:

Google +  


After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he's trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

About the author:

Chrys Fey is the author of the short stories—The Summer Bride and Fallen. She created the blog Write with Fey to offer aspiring writers advice and inspiration. She lives in Florida where she is ready to battle the next hurricane that comes her way

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Music Hall Ghosts and the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest

This week I decided to share a post I wrote for the 2012 A-Z in April Challenge about a haunted landmark here in my home town of Cincinnati instead of a new ghost story. So these ghosts are much closer to home for me! 

Music Hall (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Cincinnati's Music Hall was built in 1878 and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is the home of the Cincinnati Pops and Symphony Orchestras and, according to legend, it is also the home of many ghosts.

Music Hall was built on land that held an Orphanage Asylum in 1844 and, prior to that, the Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum, which included a "pest house" for the indigent who were stricken with contagious diseases. When these indigent patients died, they were buried in mass graves, making the land under the present-day Music Hall a potter's field

With that kind of history, it's not hard to imagine there could be some restless souls wandering around Music Hall. While the venue is undoubtedly beautiful, it's not a big stretch for me to believe that there could be ghosts there, as I've always thought the place had a bit of a "Phantom of the Opera" vibe. When I've been there for shows, I could easily imagine the huge chandelier crashing down into the crowd.

Music Hall's Springer Auditorium (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Throughout the years, employees of Music Hall have reported strange sounds, such as footsteps, slamming doors, and music playing when no musicians were in the building. One employee reported what sounded like a music box playing for hours in the elevator shaft. In addition, workers have seen apparitions and ghostly forms, such as an extra unknown "cast member" in a production, men and women dressed in 19th century clothing, and, most notably, a "girl in white" who frequents the auditorium. Chairs in the auditorium have reportedly been moved, and elevators set in motion when no one has pressed their buttons.

Music Hall has been renovated several times over the years and, each time, construction workers have unearthed bones. Its reputation for ghostly inhabitants has spread so far that Music Hall was featured on The Travel Channel's Most Terrifying Places in America.

Now, The Cincinnati Arts Association gives guided ghost tours of Music Hall one night a month. I've never attended a tour but, after the reading I did for this post, I can't deny I'm a little curious.

Today is the last day for the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest, hosted by M.J. Joachim and Tina Downey. The purpose of the fest is to raise awareness about hunger by spotlighting local food pantries in the hopes of helping to stock their shelves for the upcoming holidays and beyond.

I am spotlighting the Anderson Ferry Food pantry here in Cincinnati. This pantry is run out of a local church and is actually only about 5 minutes from where I live. I drive past the pantry regularly, and I've written before about what a sobering sight it is to see people lined up outside the door for food during the pantry's distribution hours. The pantry is a small operation that only serves people in our immediate area and the first time I saw the line it was a shock to realize how many people in our neighborhood are in need.

I've donated to this pantry before but this blogfest was a great reminder to do it again. Thanks to M.J. and Tina for hosting the fest!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Red Balloon, the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest and Friday Celebrations

(For my interview with The Vanished Knight author M. Gerrick please click here.)

The blogosphere lost a special friend this past week when Nick Wilford's stepson Andrew passed away in his sleep. Like many, I met Nick through the Overcoming Adversity anthology that he published to help raise money for Andrew's college needs. It was impossible to not be touched by Andrew's joyful spirit when visiting Nick's blog and the love between them was obvious to anyone who ever viewed a photo of the two together.

Andrew's funeral is being held today and the family will be releasing red balloons (red was Andrew's favorite color) as part of the service. Carrie Butler created the above balloon graphic for those of us who wanted to share a virtual balloon in Andrew's memory.

While I can't begin to imagine what Nick and his family are going through at this time, I hope they will eventually find some comfort in the fact that so many around the world were touched by their extraordinary son and his sunny disposition and optimism in the face of the obstacles that life put in his path.

Rest in Peace, Andrew. 

In brighter news, M.J. Joachim and Tina Downey are hosting the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest next week and I think they have come up with a wonderful idea for a fest.

The goal of the fest is to help food pantries in our communities by having participants write about a local food bank or organization and then contribute to their chosen organization in some way. As we all unfortunately know, food pantries are stretched to the limit in today's economy. MJ and Tina hope that this fest can help put food back on their shelves. Visit the fest page here for more details and to sign up to participate.

Finally, it's time to once again Celebrate the Small Things with Vikki at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author.

This week I'm celebrating that I received this box in the mail!

Yes, I'm just a little bit excited. :D The books look even better to me than I expected and I have to once again thank the amazing Michael Di Gesu for the cover he designed. Less than three weeks now until my release date.

And speaking of, I am totally overwhelmed by the support Lexa Cain and I have received for our Dream Destination Blog Hop and Giveaway to celebrate our December releases. Thanks again to everyone who has signed up and to those who have donated prizes for the event. Here is our current list of prizes:

Ebook copies of our books The Ghosts of Aquinnah & Soul Cutter
A 5 page critique from Lexa's agent Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency
A query critique from Michelle Johnson
An ebook bundle from my publisher Ink Smith Publishing
An ebook from M. Pax
A Kindle copy of BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. by Medeia Sharif 
An ebook from Nicki Elson - winner's choice of Three Daves, Divine Temptation or Hans & Greta
A 5 page critique from C. Lee McKenzie 
A Kindle copy of Marionette by TB Markinson
A Kindle Copy of Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman
An ebook copy of The Guardian's Wildchild by Feather Stone

If you'd still like to sign up for the hop the Linky List is at the bottom of this post. And don't forget to visit here for my interview with M. Gerrick, AKA Misha Gericke, author of The Vanished Knight!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interview with The Vanished Knight Author M. Gerrick

(For my regular Friday post please click here.)

Misha Gericke, otherwise known as M. Gerrick, is here for an interview today as part of her blog tour to promote her debut novel The Vanished Knight. Welcome, Misha!

1.    Your working title for your new book was Doorways. What made you change it to The Vanished Knight?

Basically, I submitted Doorways without an idea as to what I wanted to call the series. Also, Doorways was mostly about Callan discovering the doors to another world. The symbolism of the title had to do with her having to pick where her loyalties lay, I.E. which door she’d take.
However, I signed my publishing contract on condition that I’d split Doorways in two. The first half evolved into being more about Darrion and Gawain looking for their country’s crown prince. So when I settled on War of Six Crowns as being the best title for the series, I knew that the name Doorways wouldn’t fit. The Vanished Knight did,  since it’s step one in the lead-up to the war.

2.    Do you always write in the fantasy genre or do you enjoy writing in other genres as well? If so, what are they?

Oh no I write a ton of different things. Fantasy (in more than one subgenre) takes up the majority of what I write, but I’m a bit eclectic in my writing tastes. I’m currently busy with a YA historical, a YA spy story, a NA time travel Sci Fi and a YA Urban Fantasy.

3.    When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

It wasn’t really about wanting to be a writer. Been creating stories since when I was very young. Later, I wanted to write them down, and later still, I wanted to see them published. Also, my grandmother’s a writer in my home language and she encouraged me to write so much that it felt natural to pen the stories down.

4.    Do you write full-time or do you also have a “day job?” If so, what is it?

I have a day job… exporting fresh produce. This might change soon, though. I’ll still have a full time job, but the magical disappearing oranges trick gets tiresome real fast. I’m thinking of going into hospitality and weddings next.

5.    What do you enjoy most about writing?

When I’m drafting, I love the pure creation that comes with writing. When I’m rewriting or revising, I love seeing the story turn into the one I’d dreamed it would be.

6.    Anything you don’t enjoy or struggle with when it comes to your writing?

I don’t enjoy when writing feels like sipping yogurt through a thin straw. Struggling… mmm… I’m terrible at keeping repetition out of my work. And… sometimes I go too far with voice. So far that I get it, and my character gets it, but no one else does.

7.    What other passions or interests do you have besides writing?

Fencing, singing, yoga, horse riding and quilting. This changes though. Writing and reading are my only constant passions.

8.    Glass half-full or half-empty?


9.    What would you consider your dream vacation?

Europe. Yeah…

10.    What’s your favorite place you’re ever visited?

Berlin, with Paris and Amsterdam coming a close shared second. I really love how Berlin rebuilt itself after the war, taking its history and the damage inflicted into account. Also, strolling in Berlin on a wintry Sunday feels like you’re the only person in the world.

11.    Which of your characters would you say you are most like? Least like?

I’m least like Aurek and Keill. They only really feature in the sequel to The Vanished Knight, though. I’m probably the most like Gawain. Minus the fact that he’s a guy, and the fact that he’s half-elvish.

12.    What can you tell us about your next book?

I’ve started revising the sequel to The Vanished Knight, called The Heir’s Choice. In it, Darrion and Gawain need Callan’s help to rescue the Black Knight (Nordaine’s crown prince). Problem is, doing so will put her in a really bad place with the elves.

 Thanks for being here, Misha. It was fun to chat with you!


Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.


M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects. She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.
If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blogYou can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cemetery Ghosts and Another Lexa & Julie Update

Abel's Hill on a pretty Spring day
Abel's Hill Cemetery on Martha's Vineyard dates back to at least the 1700s and to my knowledge is one of the oldest cemeteries on the island. I have so many ancestors buried at Abel's Hill that it can be a bit eerie to go there and see my last name on what feels like every other stone.

The cemetery is the setting for a key scene in The Ghosts of Aquinnah so I thought I would share a few cemetery ghost stories for today's post. While I was unable to find any ghost stories about Abel's Hill, anyone who has been there on a foggy and dark evening can tell you that it's a safe bet that there are some ghosts hanging around there at any given time.

All of these stories involve cemeteries in Connecticut, which was my father's home state.

The entrance to The Green Lady cemetery (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Green Lady cemetery is no longer in use, but the old headstones remain on the small plot of land in the town of Burlington. Visitors to the cemetery have reported a greenish figure appearing around the tombstone of Elisabeth Palmiter, who drowned in a nearby swamp while searching for her lost husband during a crippling winter storm in the early 1800s. Many believe Elisabeth now haunts the land as the Green Lady.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Gunntown Cemetery is located in the town of Naugatuck, in a rural area that is surrounded by woods. Visitors to the cemetery have reported sounds of music and children's laughter coming from the woods in the middle of the night, with the noises growing louder and louder until they seem to be coming from inside of the cemetery itself. Others have said they have received calls on their cell phones while in the cemetery in spite of the fact that they have no cell service in the area. The calls have no number listed with them and no one on the other end of the line when the phones are answered.

Union Cemetery (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Union Cemetery in Easton is reportedly one of the most famous haunted cemeteries in the country thanks to its resident ghost, The White Lady of Union Cemetery. The lady is said to glide through the cemetery and around the tombstones wearing a white nightgown or wedding dress. Visitors to the cemetery have reported hearing disembodied sounds of a woman sobbing. In addition, a man reported driving past the cemetery on Route 59 late one night when a women in white suddenly appeared in the road in front of him. Unable to stop, he struck the figure. But when he got out of his truck, she was nowhere to be seen. Numerous drivers have claimed to have seen the ghostly woman in a white dress while on Route 59 at night.

Some have speculated the White Lady is the ghost of Harriet Seeley, who is buried in the cemetery and had a son who preceded her in death in 1853. Those who believe the ghost is Seeley suggest that the White Lady is roaming the cemetery searching for her dead son.

Do you know of any haunted cemeteries? I would imagine there are quite a few!

I want to say thank you again to everyone who has signed up for Lexa and Julie's Dream Destination Blog Hop! Lexa and I are totally overwhelmed by the response and so grateful to those who have donated to our prizes. I am including an updated list of prizes here along with the sign up list. You guys totally rock!

Current List of Prizes

Ebook copies of our books The Ghosts of Aquinnah & Soul Cutter
A 5 page critique from Lexa's agent Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency
A query critique from Michelle Johnson
An ebook bundle from my publisher Ink Smith Publishing
An ebook from M. Pax
A Kindle copy of BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. by Medeia Sharif 
An ebook from Nicki Elson - winner's choice of Three Daves, Divine Temptation or Hans & Greta
A 5 page critique from C. Lee McKenzie

And finally, the Realms Faire is in full swing and prizes are going like crazy. Visit M.Pax here for a full list of ongoing events and visit our Untethered Realms blog here to play Phasers and enter to win our Kindle grand prize!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Realms Faire & Blog Hop Update

This is going to be a fun week in the blogosphere as the Realms Faire is now here!

The Realms Faire is the brainchild of M. Pax, and she is hosting her second annual joust on her site all this week. Visit each day to cheer on your favorite knights and be eligible for daily prizes!

In addition, Angela Brown is hosting a Masquerade Parade, Samantha Geary is holding a Collective Stage Performance, River Fairchild has a big Dragon Hunt going on, Gwen Gardner has a bunch of authors on trial in the Stockade Brigade, Laura Eno is running a Castle Jumble, and Christine Rains is hosting the irresistibly titled Drench-a-Wench and Soak-a-Bloke. All of these great hosts are offering individual prizes for their respective events, so there are tons of chances to win.

As if all that isn't enough, the Untethered Realms blog is holding a Phasers game every day this week. We at Untethered Realms got together to offer a Realms Faire grand prize of a Kindle or a huge bundle of UR author ebooks, so we are really excited to have everyone join us! You can enter to win through the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post.

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the Dream Destination Blog Hop and Giveaway that Lexa Cain and I are hosting together in December. Our Linky List will be open all month so if you'd still like to sign up on the entry form below please feel free.

We are super excited to announce the prizes we have lined up for the giveaway so far.

Ebook copies of our books The Ghosts of Aquinnah & Soul Cutter
A 5 page critique from Lexa's agent Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency
A query critique from Michelle Johnson
An ebook bundle from my publisher Ink Smith Publishing
An ebook from M. Pax
A Kindle copy of BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. by Medeia Sharif 
An ebook from Nicki Elson - winner's choice of Three Daves, Divine Temptation or Hans & Greta

Major thanks to Michelle, Ashley at Ink Smith, Tyrean, Christine, Vanessa, Mary and Medeia for these generous donations. If anyone else if interested in donating a prize, we'd be thrilled to include it. The more, the merrier! 

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Enjoy the week at the Faire! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 8, 2013

Lexa and Julie's Blog Hop!

I am skipping my Friday Faves today because I am excited to announce my first ever blog hop!

The brilliant Lexa Cain suggested that she and I host a blog hop together to celebrate our book releases in December. My The Ghosts of Aquinnah will be released on Thursday, December 5 and Lexa's Soul Cutter will be released the next day on Friday, December 6. Lexa came up with the idea and the art work and I am thrilled to be able to hop on board and host with her.

So here are the details on our hop:

To celebrate the launch of their books
Soul Cutter and The Ghosts of Aquinnah
Lexa and Julie invite you to a
Blog-hop and Giveaway

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Beaches of Hawaii? Slopes of Vail? Cancun, Paris, or Rome?
Where is your Dream Destination?

On Dec 5 or 6, post about your Dream Destination
(with blog-hop badge and links to Lexa and Julie's blogs)
Go to Lexa and Julie’s blog to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway
and from Dec 5 - 8, use the Linky tool to visit the other bloggers
to see the wonderful places they want to visit.

Prizes to be announced.

 Anyone who’d like to donate a prize, please contact:
Lexa:  or  Julie:

We are still working out the details on prizes but we will definitely be giving away copies of our books. And if anyone would like to donate copies of their ebooks to include as prizes we would be thrilled to help spread the word about your work.

To participate in the hop please sign up on the Linky List at the bottom of this post. We hope you'll celebrate with us!

And speaking of celebrations, for this week's Celebrate the Small Things hop I'm celebrating the blog hop! I am super-excited about hosting a hop for the first time. But I also have a few other things:

1) I won books in giveaways hosted by E.J. Wesley and Yolanda Renee. So fun! I won a paperback copy of the Death by Drive-In Anthology from E.J.'s Coffin Hop and an ebook copy of Sunrise by Kody Boye from a giveaway on Yolanda's site. Very cool surprises to get in my email. :)

2) I am so grateful for all the encouraging and wonderful comments left on my IWSG blog post this week. If I didn't already know how lucky I was to be part of such a kind and supportive group of people that would definitely have convinced me. Thanks to all!

3) It's Friday and the weekend is here. Enough said! 

Happy weekend, all. :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG and the Brenton Point Ghosts

It's hard to believe it's time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, but here we are on the first Wednesday of November. The IWSG is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts are CD Coffelt, Tina Downey, Isis Rushdan, and Michelle Wallace. Also, the group now has its own website which is a fantastic resource for writers.

My novel The Ghosts of Aquinnah will be released on December 5, which means it's now officially less than one month away! I am super excited but also feeling totally nervous and insecure about the release. I'm insecure about marketing and insecure about the book itself. I'm afraid everyone will hate it or worse that no one will read it so hating it won't even be an option.

I had all these same insecurities when Polar Night was released and I thought that I would do better the second time around. But if anything I am now much worse and the insecure voice in my head is having a field day freaking me out.

But I am going to do my best to shut my insecure voice up and focus on the joy of being able to share this book. Here's hoping I can keep that voice quiet. It's loud and obnoxious, so I may need to gag it or smother it with a pillow. :D

Brenton Point (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

For this week's ghost story I am traveling to Newport, Rhode Island, which was once the summer destination of choice for America's wealthiest families, many of whom built mansions and lavish estates along Newport's shores.

Brenton Point State Park in Newport is located right on the shore and reportedly has exquisite scenic views. But in spite of this beauty, the land itself was not very friendly to those who chose to live there.

Wealthy attorney and amateur archaeologist Theodore Davis built an estate at Brenton Point in 1876 and filled his mansion with artifacts he had taken from the Middle East while on exhibitions to find King Tut's tomb. Many claimed that these artifacts were cursed by the spirits of the Pharaohs, and the curse seemed to play out as first Davis' windmill and then his stables caught on fire and burned to the ground. 

While Davis rebuilt the windmill and stables, he was reportedly never happy on the estate from the time he moved in until his death in 1910. The property was vacant for 13 years following the death until it was purchased by Milton Budlong. The Budlong family was also miserable on the land and Budlong's children refused to live there after his death in 1941. Finally, after years of being left derelict, a fire destroyed the mansion in 1960.

The state of Rhode Island took over the estate in the 1960s and turned it into the park it is today. The ruins of the stables remain in the park and visitors have reported hearing voices and the sound of galloping hooves in the area. Many park visitors have heard a horse clopping up behind them while walking along the paths of the park, only to turn around and find no horse in sight. In addition, visitors have reported hearing ethereal voices in the gardens and around the site of the windmill.

Many rangers who work at the park refuse to enter the old estate grounds after dark. I figure if even the rangers don't want to be there, I probably wouldn't either. Although I think it would be interesting to visit during the daylight hours and see if I could hear those horses' hooves myself. :D

Happy IWSG day, all!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Interview with Glynis Smy

Another quick post today just to say that I'm excited to be interviewed at Glynis Smy's site for her Getting to Know the Author feature.  It was fun to chat with Glynis about the actors I would choose to play my characters, among other topics. You can find my interview here.

If you don't know Glynis, you should definitely check her books out. I read Ripper, My Love and it's a fantastic read. Glynis writes historical romance and she's super-talented. In addition to interviewing authors each week, Glynis also runs The Virtual Bookcase, where she showcases different books in a variety of genres. In short, Glynis is awesome. :D

I will see you tomorrow for the November IWSG! Please stop by and visit me at Glynis' place.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diamonds and Dust Cover Reveal

Hello and Happy Monday!

I've submerged myself in working on guest posts for my blog tour for The Ghosts of Aquinnah, so I just have a quick post today to share the cover of Diamonds and Dust by River Fairchild. Isn't this cover beautiful? It's always fun to help spread the word about a new book from one of my fellow Untethered Realms members. Congratulations to River!!

Magic is real. So is betrayal.

Two heirs. A Kingdom of dust on a troubled world. One might resurrect it. One might destroy it all.

Archaeologist David Alexander investigates the cave where his father disappeared and hurtles into another world, one filled with magic and bizarre creatures. The mad ravings in his father's journals of icemen and dragons may not be fantasies after all.

Convinced his father may still be alive, David begins a treacherous journey to find him and discover a way home. Along the way, he encounters a few unlikely friends. A Dreean warrior, a beautiful thief and a satyr join him as he searches.
David's arrival into this new world sets off an explosive chain reaction of events. Faced with powerful adversaries and few clues, he may not get the chance to rescue his father before disaster strikes, condemning both of them to death. Or worse.

Diamonds and Dust will be released on December 9 and is already available for pre-order at the following links:

Barnes & Noble

Find River at her blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter

I hope everyone had a great weekend and has a great week ahead. :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Favorite Cat Rescues, the Realms Faire, and Friday Celebrations

Since National Cat Day was this week I thought I would share some of my favorite cat rescues for this week's Friday Faves. These organizations all do amazing work!

Best Friends Animal Society

As I've mentioned before, writing for Best Friends changed my life and signing up to volunteer for them was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Someday I hope to visit Best Friends in Kanab, Utah and take a trip to Cat World which is, in their words, "a place where cats rule."

Tabby's Place 

Thanks to Best Friends I got to know the amazing people and cats of Tabby's Place in Ringoes, New Jersey. Tabby's Place is a cat sanctuary dedicated to bringing hope to cats in hopeless situations. They care for numerous special needs cats and are known for finding forever homes for cats thought to be "unadoptable." I wrote a story for Cat Fancy about three kittens who were rescued by a US marine in Japan and came clear across the world to Tabby's Place, where they ultimately found a home with a woman in Pennsylvania. Tabby's Place is an extraordinary and one-of-a-kind place.

Juanita: One of the darling cats available for adoption at Tabby's Place

Ohio Alleycat Resource

Located here in Cincinnati, OAR is a low-cost spay/neuter clinic for cats that also runs a cat rescue. The clinic has performed more than 6900 spay/neuter surgeries so far this year, cutting down exponentially on the number of unwanted cats and kittens in our area. The rescue, which houses as many as 90-100 cats at any given time, has taken in more than 200 cats and adopted out nearly as many so far in 2013.

Ashley, a long-haired beauty currently waiting for her home at OAR

Purrfect Friends Cat Rescue

Another Cincinnati rescue, Purrfect Friends is an all-volunteer organization which relies on foster families to care for their rescued cats. The Purrfect Friends won this Game of Thrones fanatic's heart when they named a group of adorable kittens after GoT characters. Little mother of dragons Daenerys is still waiting for her forever home.


Paws & Claws Animal Rescue

Paws & Claws is based across the river from Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky and is another rescue that relies entirely on foster families to house its animals. The tireless volunteers of Paws & Claws operate under the motto "one by one until there are none." While they are not limited to cats, they always have numerous cats and kittens available for adoption.

Simba, one of the Paws & Claws kitties waiting for a new home

Moving on from the kitties, I want to thank everyone who participated in my October giveaway. Jossie at Dreaming of Publication won the Polar Night ebook and $10 Amazon gift card. Enjoy, Jossie!

Instead of a monthly giveaway in November I am participating in a mega-giveaway with my Untethered Realms buddies as part of this year's Realms Faire. The faire will be held from November 11-15 and there will be lots of fun, lots of prizes, and lots of chances to win. Visit host M. Pax here for more details and stay tuned for info on our big prize!

For this week's Celebrate the Small Things hop I was hoping to be able to celebrate the Bengals beating the Dolphins last night and going to 7-2. Unfortunately that didn't work out, to the surprise of none of us who follow the Bengals. If there's one thing the Bengals excel at it's taking the wind out of fans' sails.

But they're still in first place and my Buckeyes are rolling at 8-0 so I'm celebrating a fun football season so far and keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of the season will bring more to celebrate.

Also, it's been a long and tiring week here so I'm mostly celebrating the fact that the weekend is here. I hope everyone has a great one. :)