Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Midnight Sun Baseball Game & A Spotlight on Banie Lee

Source: Flickr

Hello, all! If you're in the eastern half of the US like I am you are probably dealing with lots of snow and ice and unusually cold temperatures. I actually like cold weather, but enough is enough. After being snowed in this past Saturday I was in the mood to think about baseball, the "boys of summer," and the game that is featured in my book Polar Day, the Midnight Sun Game in Fairbanks, Alaska.

I first learned about the game while doing research for my book and I couldn't believe how well it fit my story. The game is played on the summer solstice and has been an annual tradition in Fairbanks since 1906. It begins at 10:30 at night and ends between 1 or 2 the next morning.

The sun sets at around 12:47 on the night of the solstice and rises again two hours later. While the sun does dip below the horizon during the game, twilight provides more than enough light for the game to go on. Artificial light has never been used or needed. Famous players who have participated in the fabled game include Tom Seaver, Dave Winfield, and Jason Giambi.

The game is hosted by the Alaska Goldpanners, who have the distinction of being the northernmost baseball club on the planet. As Jim Caple wrote in this piece for ESPN.com Page 2, the game is night baseball "in the sunlight and on top of the world."

Are you familiar with the Midnight Sun game? If you've been to Alaska, have you been to this event? The baseball fan in me would love to go someday.

Also today I'm happy to shine the spotlight on a fellow Ink Smith Publishing author, Banie Lee. Banie is the author of Sleep Drifter, which is FREE on Amazon all this week. Be sure to get yourself a copy!

Author: Banie Lee
Publisher: Ink Smith Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy
Price:  FREE for a limited time (2/23-28)


When fifteen-year-old Kylie and Camden meet at the Southeastern Ohio portal to the realm of Inswandi, Camden is torn. It is Camden's purpose as a Watcher to protect humans, which means keeping Jud and the Obsidians sealed within the realm of Inswandi. Yet, the Obsidians whisper to Kylie to open it while she sleepwalks. During the day, Camden's teenage group Team White Star patrols near the covert Arch compound disguised in their shifted form as deer. Unbeknownst to Camden and his team, his Inswandi ancestors take a first kiss very seriously. The Mate Mark has the same meaning as an engagement ring, and it has unexpectedly restarted on earth. The appearance of more colored circles upon one's arm could mean an eternal bond has been made. 
To add to Camden's troubles, the Watcher leaders prepare to host the annual July Jubilee. Watchers from the other seven compounds will come to the Arch for a one-week celebration. Consequently, this will leave the Arch vulnerable to uninvited guests, like Jud, a former Watcher turned Obsidian, and his followers. The shape shifting coyotes, Jud's followers, constantly pursue the team during their break from training. They want the keys to open the portal. If Camden's team fails to stop Jud in his quest to open the portal, the Obsidians will enslave humankind.

Connect with Banie Lee

Friday, February 13, 2015

Polar Day tour weekly wrap-up & the last day to get The Turnagain Arm #free

In what has become a broken record for me, I got swamped this week with real world work and fell way behind on my blogging. One of these days I will surely get back on a regular schedule, at least I hope so!

But for now I wanted to share links to all my posts for the first week of my tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. And for the record, I think Goddess Fish is fantastic! I have really enjoyed working with them and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone interested in setting up a blog tour. Their prices are reasonable, they are organized, and they do exactly what they promise.

Here's a wrap-up of my tour stops this week. Thanks to all the hosts who were so generous in opening up their blogs to me!

Monday: Character interview with Polar Day antagonist Jamie Dzubenko at Unadbriged Andra's

Tuesday: Ten Things Most People Don't Know about Me at Long and Short Reviews

Wednesday: Interview with Booklover Sue (Sue asked what kind of book I've always wanted to write and it was a treat to be able to say I actually did what that very thing!)

Thursday: Interview at Yeah Books! Blog where we discuss who I'd love to cast to play Aleksei & the short story I'm working on for the next anthology put out by our Untethered Realms group.

Friday: Another fun interview at Kit 'N Kabookle which has to be one of my favorite blog names ever and a visit to SBM Book Obsession where I talk about the inspiration behind my characters and my long-time love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Visit any of these wonderful sites to enter to win a $25 gift card. The giveaway will continue next week during week two of my tour travels!

I also posted at our Untethered Realms blog this week about my discovery of Russian witches and my love of all things history.

And I've offered the Polar Day prequel The Turnagain Arm free all this week on Kindle. Today is the last day to get a free download so if you are interested just click here.

It's been a crazy week and I apologize for once again managing to get behind on my blog reading and commenting. That's something I am determined to catch up on next week. I'm disabling comments as I have not had time to keep up with those but thank you to everyone who stops by here and who has stopped by during the week!

For now, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend ahead and a Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ten Things People Don't Know About Me & Witches at Untethered Realms

It's Day Two of my Polar Day blog tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, and today I'm at Long and Short Reviews talking about Ten Things Most People Don't Know About Me. I'm giving away a $25 gift card as part of the tour so come visit me if you'd like to enter.

I'm also at Untethered Realms today talking about witch trials in Russia. I'm a history buff, so this sort of thing is interesting to me. And possibly only me, LOL. But if you want to learn about some real world history that inspired my witches in both Polar Day and The Turnagain Arm, visit me over at the UR blog.

And speaking of The Turnagain Arm, it's still a free download and will be through Friday. If you'd like to download a copy for your Kindle you can find it on Amazon here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Polar Day Tour, The Turnagain Arm #Free, & New Releases from Cathrina Constantine and Lisa Buie-Collard

I'm on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the next few weeks and excited about hanging out at a bunch of great blogs. Today I'm visiting Unabridged Andra's and sharing an interview with Polar Day's antagonist Jamie Dzubenko. Jamie's not a very nice person, so I hope he doesn't give Andra any trouble.

I'm giving away a $25 gift card for Amazon or Barnes & Noble to a randomly drawn winner at the end of the tour. To see all my stops and follow along visit Goddess Fish here.

To help celebrate the release of Polar Day, I'm offering its prequel The Turnagain Arm as a free download from today through Friday, 2/13. Click here to get the story for free and discover the origins of both Polar Night and Polar Day.

Finally, I'm excited to share new releases from two great writers and friends, Cathrina Constantine and Lisa Buie-Collard.

First up, Lisa's The Seventh Man. I am so looking forward to reading this one!

Book description:

When a young writer is kidnapped by a man who can't be seen, her only hope of escape rests on the one London cop who believes in ghosts.

On a cold, white, before-Christmas day, an assassin completes a job only to be pursued by police. Dodging through crowded city streets, the assassin nabs a young woman for cover.
Celia Wight, a reclusive American writer is shopping between engagements during a book tour. When a knife is pressed against her back, she loses her tenuous grasp on her carefully controlled existence.
Assigned to the homicide case, Detective Alban Thain, of the Metropolitan Police, suspects an assassin he calls the Wraith. The problem is, only Thain believes the assassin exists. Disregarding the consequences, Thain, who is the only one who believes there is a connection between the murder and the kidnapping, will do whatever it takes to exploit the Wraith’s first and only mistake: the kidnapping of an innocent bystander—if she is innocent.

Available now in ebook and soft cover on Amazon.com.

About the Author:

Lisa is a mother, wife, sister, and daughter, has waited tables, been a dental assistant, teacher, journalist, gardener and architectural administrative assistant. She's traveled in Europe, New Zealand, and the US. French and English are her languages of preference, with a little Spanish on the side. She grew up in Florida, lived four years in Georgia before moving to Texas for eighteen years. For the moment, she once again lives in Georgia. She writes full time and has completed six novels.

Photo credit: Steven Heddon


Finally, Don't Forget to Breathe by Cathrina Constantine is now available! I couldn't wait to download this one to my Kindle. Here is the book info and an intriguing excerpt:


Sixteen-year-old Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s bloody body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind and then everything fades to black.

After a year of retrograde amnesia and battling personal demons, Leo’s dreams are getting worse—she’s starting to remember. More bodies are discovered and they seem to be oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

When Leo allows her friend, Henry to drag her into the haunted Lucien Mansion, misty ghosts appear, ghosts that just might lead to her mother’s murderer.

Will Leo let her memories threaten her into a relapse or, will she fight to find her mother’s killer – only to become his next victim?


Moonlight played tricks with my eyes as we circumvented gravestones like an obstacle course, and pluming fog licked our legs as misty ghosts danced on marbleized stones. My breath shuddered as Henry bypassed me, leading the way. “Hurry—” he whispered and nudged my shoulder.
I picked up the pace and cranked my head to the left. Dark moving shapes appeared in the distance and moaning floated past my ears, probably the wind or just my imagination? Goose flesh pebbled my skin as I stumbled over an urn. Henry lugged me up urging me on.
“What are we running from?” I gasped quietly so not to wake the dead.
“Them—over there.” Henry jerked his chin, the lenses of his glasses captured raining moonbeams. “I think it’s cops.”
His hand reached back, palm up. I latched hold. “Why would police be patrolling the cemetery?”
We whipped around a mammoth tombstone, a squared foundation for a glorious angel. He halted and threw me unceremoniously to solid concrete. My heartbeat migrated up my esophagus. Henry covered my mouth with his hand. “Sh-h...don’t breathe so loud.”

My pumping lungs slowed as I stabilized my swallows of air. Henry squashed his body into mine. A tad too close. His speedy heartbeat harmonizing with my own while cold leached into my back. I cringed at the discomfort of my head pressed between his chest and the stone.



Congratulations and best of luck to Lisa and Cathrina!!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Polar Day Release & Wonderful Personal News

Today is release day for Polar Day and of course I'm super excited about that, but I actually have better news that I am so happy to be able to share. As many of you know my mom has been battling cancer since last summer. She had her last round of chemo in January and this week had a PET scan to assess her condition. Yesterday we learned that she is in remission! Her oncologist's office called to share the wonderful news and we couldn't be happier. I honestly did not believe she would be able to beat this at her age (she turned 87 this week) and if someone had told me back in August we would be celebrating now I would not have believed it. I was so relieved when I got the call that I almost felt like I could faint! Yesterday was such an amazing day for my family and one we will always cherish.

I know lots of people have prayed for her and sent good wishes our way and I want to send my heartfelt thanks to all of you. I will never forget the amazing support I've received from the wonderful people in this community. Thank you!

And now to the book! Polar Day is officially out now and while I am still waiting on the Kindle link and some others, you can find the paperback now here. The Kindle should be at that same link soon. The book is also on Goodreads here.

I'm doing a tour with Goddess Fish starting next week so I haven't set up a regular blog tour, but my dear friend Cathrina Constantine is sharing an excerpt from the book here. This was a fun excerpt to share as it features my favorite characters, the Polar Night duo Danny and Aleksei. :)

Other friends are sharing the blurb and book info for a mini book blast so you will see me popping up a bit the next few days.

You can read the first chapter of the book at my website here. And the Goodreads giveaway continues until February 10 if you'd like to enter to win a signed copy. Just go here to enter!

Thank you again to everyone for your support!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IWSG & Polar Day Release

Hello, fellow IWSGers! It's time for another meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by the wonderful Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month's co-hosts are M. Pax, Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, and Sarah Foster. If you're not already a member of the group and would like to be, just sign up here and join us.

I'm both excited and insecure today as my new novel Polar Day will officially be released tomorrow! This release is almost two years to the day since my first novel Polar Night was published. It's kind of surreal to think about all that has happened in those two years. It's been an amazing ride, to say the least.

While I have butterflies about the release it is a thrill for me to realize that I'm not anywhere near as anxious as I was two years ago. I guess that is a sign that my insecurity is not as bad as it was back then. I know this group is partially to thank for that!

I realized when I wrote this post that it is my 500th post on this blog. I don't know why but that made me happy. Back when I started this I didn't know if I'd actually write a second post. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by here and read even one of those 500 posts. :)

In other news, the muse I posted about for last month's meeting is not at all happy with me. In fact his finger is still on the trigger of the gun and he's clicked the safety off. If I don't buckle down and get some writing done this month I'm afraid to think what will happen next. I'm hoping that once I get my release out of the way I will be able to focus. Fingers crossed, anyway!

Happy IWSG day to all. :)