Wednesday, July 5, 2017

IWSG & The Amazing Gracie Trilogy by Carol Kilgore



Hello and Happy July! Today is the day for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. To view list members and this month's co-hosts, visit the IWSG page here.

I don't really have much to say for this month's post, as I'm still working on the same things I wrote about last month. I'm continuing with my 5k training and I'm thrilled because I actually made it to the halfway point of the program! I'm starting Week 5 and I can't believe how much I am enjoying the running. I feel great about my progress and confident that I can make it through the whole 8 weeks now. The running has been just great for me in terms of better physical and mental health so I am excited about continuing with it. 


I'm also working on revisions for my new Alaska story. The revisions are slow going, but that's not surprising. I still feel good about the story and hope to have another draft completed by the end of the summer. 


All in all, I'm feeling good and not struggling with much insecurity this month. Yay! Since I don't really have anything to post about this month, I'm turning the blog over to my friend Carol Kilgore, who has an awesome new cover to reveal!



JALAPENO CUPCAKE WENCH
AMAZING GRACIE TRILOGY, BOOK 1
A hot and spicy taste of murder—and more.


Blurb

During the day, law enforcement consultant Gracie Hofner is on assignment at a small San Antonio bakery, waiting for a delivery. No one knows what it is or when it will arrive. The upside? Working next to Donovan Beck, a flirty hunk and a half—perfect fling material.

At night, Gracie resumes her search for a little girl and her mother who went missing following a double murder. Finding the pair is imperative or the girl will become a target.

At the girl’s aunt’s house, Gracie experiences a peculiar need to leave immediately. She tries to deny the urge to flee and pushes the pressure aside, but the compulsion intensifies. Gracie thinks she must have a brain tumor. Or is losing her mind. When similar events continue to occur, Gracie sees a pattern. Can she use this newfound ability to help her find the girl and her mother before it’s too late?


Bio

Carol Kilgore is the author of Jalapeno Cupcake Wench, the first book in The Amazing Gracie Trilogy, and three romantic suspense novels: In Name Only, Solomon’s Compass, and Secrets of Honor. She’s married, with dogs, and lives in San Antonio, the setting for the trilogy.

Where to connect with Carol:

Congratulations and best of luck to Carol!! 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

IWSG: Doing Things You Think You Can't Do


Hello and Happy June! Today is the day for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. To view list members and this month's co-hosts, visit the IWSG page here.

Kennecott, Alaska
I took a bit of a break from the blogging world and focused on writing in May and I'm thrilled to say I had a great month! I finished the first draft of A Killing in Kennecott, my sequel to Polar Day. Of course, I have TONS of revising to do and there will no doubt be many more drafts, but I am excited to get this far. I have been so blocked and unmotivated when it comes to writing for such a long time now that I had reached the point were I thought I'd never be able to finish a story again. So it meant a great deal to me to realize I still could!


That was one of the things I did in May that I had told myself I wouldn't be able to do. I also finished my beginner's running program and ran a mile without stopping. That was a HUGE deal for me! I haven't run since high school, and then I didn't do it willingly. I had started this program more times than I could count and never made it past the second week. But it turned out I was wrong about being able to do that too. Now I'm working on the 5k program and loving it! Running has helped me so much with my anxiety that it's been a godsend. I plan to run a 5k race in September to benefit the Red Wolf Wildlife Sanctuary, so I am going to be focused on the training program all summer.


Finally, I had an amazing evening in Marysville, Ohio, where I was invited to be part of the Friends of the Public Library 2017 Author Series. I was so nervous as the date of my presentation approached that I was totally freaking out and I was certain it would be a disaster. Instead, it was one of the best nights I've ever had!

The Friends group took me to dinner and as soon as I met them at the restaurant my nerves disappeared and I had a wonderful time. After dinner we went to the auditorium and I gave my talk for 30 minutes, and I was amazed that I got through the whole thing without feeling nervous. I even managed to ad-lib and go off the script I had tried to memorize. When I finished, people came up to buy my books and I actually sold out of all but one of my titles! I was amazed and couldn't have been happier. After being so nervous I nearly made myself sick thinking about the event, I drove home with a huge smile on my face.

So May was my month for doing things I had told myself I couldn't ever do. I'd like to be able to say I'll never tell myself that about things I've never even tried, but old habits die hard. Still, I'm going to think about my May whenever that doubting voice tries to take over my head.

Hope you all had a good month as well!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

My Life at Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne and Marked Beauty by Sheri Larson

Hello, all! I'm still focused on writing and taking a break from blogging until the June IWSG, but I wanted to pop in and help spread the word about new books from two great blogging friends. 

First up, My Life at Sweetbrier by Deanie Humphys-Dunne


I read an advanced copy of this book and it is a wonderful five star read!! This is the true story of Deanie's life as a disabled child who dreamed of becoming a championship horseback rider. When doctors tell her parents Deanie would never walk, let alone ride, Deanie and her family set out to prove those doctors wrong. Will Deanie succeed?

A beautiful and touching story of overcoming adversity, My Life at Sweetbrier also celebrates the heartwarming bond between humans and animals. It's a great read for animal lovers and anyone who enjoys an uplifting story about never giving up on a dream.

For more about My Life at Sweetbrier, visit the publisher's website. Congratulations and best wishes, Deanie!!

Also, I'm participating in the cover reveal for Marked Beauty by S. A. Larsen! It's a gorgeous cover and the book is sure to be a great read. Congratulations, Sheri!



MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen
Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.
Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.
After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.
As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

ADD to GOODREADS

About the Author
S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

Giveaway
This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.
To participate:
  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.
***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.
Pre-made tweets (you add the image)
"A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul's journey thru death 2 find the cure." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0
"Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse ... steal your soul." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit
An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit
The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Snowman by Yolanda Renee


It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Yolanda Renée’s THE SNOWMAN Blog Tour through MC Book Tours today. I'm excited to be able to share an excerpt from the book. 

This is a prequel to the author’s Detective Steven Quaid Mysteries. This story tells of Steven's first case as a rookie detective. It takes place 10 years before the events in MURDER, MADNESS & LOVE, the first book in the series.

The author is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring both print and eBook copies from her series. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

◊ THE SNOWMAN
◊ by Yolanda Renée
◊ Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
◊ Publisher: TRACE Enterprises
◊ Series: Detective Quaid Mystery
◊ Novella
◊ Print & eBooks
◊ Contains explicit sex & violence

It takes a true artist to pursue his victims in the art of seduction, and Stowy Jenkins is no exception, especially with blood as his medium.

          Stowy Jenkins, aka, Stone, and as Alaskans refer to him, the Snowman, is a true artist. His muse, Gigi, is the ultimate inspiration for his painting. Her rejection inspires him to use a very unusual medium…blood.
          While art may be his passion, the taste for blood is his obsession, and multiple murders, the result.
          Rookie, Detective Steven Quaid, is no fan of the Snowman’s murderous exhibitions. A twisted and deadly relationship bond the two men and neither knows who will come out of it alive.


Excerpt:


Chapter IV
Disappointments
June 25th

The cab drove up the long, tree-lined driveway to the Quaid house. Flowers bloomed in brilliant colors around the small cottage home in the suburbs of Juneau. A smile immediately creased Steven's face as the house came into view. His mother had chosen this home because it resembled her beloved cabin in the woods. On this much-needed vacation, Steven wanted to make up for his long absences and spend some time alone at that cabin near the Mendenhall Glacier.

 His parents greeted him at the door. His father, Senator Daniel Quaid, an Irish Alaskan, had a reputation for his fiery determination on behalf of the populace of Alaska, but his mother, Mavis, a Tlingit Indian beauty, was the true civil servant in the family.


 “You’ve arrived just in time. Dinner’s on the table, all your favorites,” his mother said as they hugged.


 “I’m starved. Thanks, Mom.”


 “Welcome home, Son,” his father said and pulled him into a hug. “Come on. I’m hungry too.” Daniel Quaid led the way into the dining room.


 Once the men were seated at the table, Mavis served the soup.


 “I've arranged a few meetings tomorrow with some friends,” his father announced. “I'm looking forward to introducing you to the key players. When do you graduate from law school?”


 “I’m not going to law school. I took the detective's test and finished at the top.”


 “Detective!” His father scowled. “I don't understand. You've dropped out of school? You said you were going for a law degree.”


At one time Alaska called to me, and I answered. I learned to sleep under the midnight sun, survive in below zero temperatures, and hike the Mountain Ranges. I've traveled from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the memories are some of my most valued. The wonders, mysteries and incredible beauty that is Alaska has never left me and thus now influence my writing.

Despite my adventurous spirit, I achieved my educational goals, married, and I have two handsome sons. Writing is now my focus, my newest adventure!

You can connect with me here:
Blog    *     Facebook     *     Twitter     *     Pinterest     *     Email

The other books in the Detective Quaid Series include:



          A killer plays cat and mouse with a young widow against the snowy backdrop of an Alaskan winter. Branded a black widow after the suspicious death of her millionaire husband, Sarah Palmer flees Seattle for Anchorage. However, the peace and quiet she hoped to enjoy in her hometown is soon shattered. A killer is murdering Sarah look-alikes on the 14th of each month, taunting Sarah with a valentine of evidence. After her experiences in Seattle, Sarah is slow to go to the police. When she finally does, she finds Detective Steven Quaid—Anchorage P D’s hotshot investigator—has not only heard the rumors, he believes them. Worse, her aloofness and composure only confirm his suspicions. Is Sarah a victim or a very skilled manipulator?


World damnation is a psychotic man’s goal, but two obstacles stand in his way, greed and a dedicated detective.
Catching Alaska’s most notorious serial killer as a rookie made Detective Steven Quaid a hero, but falling in love with the victim of his last case tarnishes that status. While attempting to repair both his personal and professional life, he stumbles upon an unusual case–and an even more extraordinary foe: a man who believes he is Lucifer. An insidious man who delivers Quaid the ultimate choice: save his fiancée from an assassin’s bullet or stop the sacrifice of a young girl.


Flames burn between a hardboiled cop and a gifted artist, but soon extinguish as another man’s obsession ignites into an inferno of desire, driving him to destroy the object of his madness.
Detective Steven Quaid is ready for new challenges as Anchorage's top detective, but not until he marries the woman of his dreams on New Year's Eve. Determined to give Sarah the wilderness honeymoon she desires, he turns his grandfather's cabin into the perfect honeymoon retreat. After the final details are complete, Steven treks into the mountains to hunt. On his return to the cottage, instead of Sarah, he is greeted by several police officers and a bloody crime scene. Accusations fly, and Stephen flees into the wilderness, his heart racing and thoughts etching into his soul. The wilderness is unforgiving, but Steven faces it head on: Caught between a massive grizzly and a black bear in a deadly tug of war, he is barely saved from death's door by the fortuitous appearance of his uncle. Despite surviving multiple injuries, Steven continues his investigation as he recovers, but answers don't come quick or easy. Having enlisted the aid of his number one suspect, Steven faces a struggle that has become more than personal. This one just may cost him his heart.

You can find out more about the books and the author by following the tour HERE. You can also include your chances of winning in the giveaway.


This tour-wide giveaway features both print and eBook copies of the four books in the Detective Quaid Series. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, June 6.

The prizes include:

* Grand prize - Winner receives a print copy of all four books in the Detective Quaid Series (U.S. and Canada only).
* First place - Winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate.
* Second place - Winner will receive eBook copies of all four books in the Detective Quaid Series.
* There will be 3 runner-up winners and each will win an eBook copy of THE SNOWMAN or one of the other books in the series (winner's choice).

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Yolanda on her month-long tour. You never know what you might find out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG: Looking Back on a Great Month & Forward (I hope!) to Another One


Hello and Happy May! Today is the day for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. To view list members and this month's co-hosts, visit the IWSG page here.

April was a fantastic month for me from a writing perspective. I have continued to work on my Polar Night/Polar Day sequel, A Killing in Kennecott, and am making great progress. Even better, I'm really enjoying the writing! I hope I can keep up at my current pace and perhaps finish the first draft in May.

I also had two great writing events that were really fun.

First up, I was invited to be part of a reception honoring Hamilton County, Ohio authors on April 2. I was thrilled to attend and was even more thrilled when I made it up on the stage and back down again without tripping. :D


On April 8 I attended the Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus, Ohio. This was my third time at the fest and it is always a great time.


Puppet Baby Moo came along with me and helped me read his story to some of this kiddos at the event.


Best of all, I sold more books than I ever have at any previous festival. So the day was a success all the way around.

Now for May! I am scheduled to give a talk on my books and writing in Marysville, Ohio on Tuesday, May 9. Marysville is Baby Moo's hometown but the folks who invited me to speak didn't know about Baby Moo's book when they contacted me, so that is a total coincidence. In another strange twist, I used to work in Marysville back in the 1990s. When I left that job I never thought I'd have any reason to visit the town again. But somehow it must have been meant to be that I would!

The Friends of the Public Library hold an Author Series every year and invite four authors to participate, one each month from February - May. I am so honored to be one of the four this year! I am also nervous about it because of my anxiety over public speaking but I am hoping this will go as smoothly as my April events did.

Now I'm looking forward to hopping around and seeing what my fellow IWSGers have been up to over the past month. :)

Friday, April 28, 2017

We Are The World Blogfest: One of My Heroes & an Eagle


Photo courtesy of Red Wolf Sanctuary

Hello and Happy Friday, all! I have been a very lazy blogger but when I heard about the We Are The World Blogfest and learned that it only occurs once a month, I thought I would give it a try. Without going into details, I have found the past several months to be emotionally draining and have had to limit my consumption of news. So I love the idea of a fest focused on sharing positive and heart-warming news stories and am excited to join in this month.

My story features one of my heroes, Paul Strasser, the force of nature behind Red Wolf Wildlife Sanctuary. I visited Red Wolf last year and fell in love with the place. Mr. Strasser goes above and beyond every day to rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife in our area, and often gets bit or scratched for his troubles.

You can watch the story of his latest rescue or read about it at the link below the video. Brooke AKA Liberty, the eagle in question, has done amazingly well since being rescued and is now able to eat on her own and continue recovering in a temporary outdoor enclosure. Depending on her recovery, she will either live out her days at Red Wolf or be returned to the wild.




http://www.fox19.com/story/35135935/injured-eagle-hopes-to-soar-again-at-indiana-sanctuary

And just to share a little more sweetness, this is a baby red fox who was found in the middle of a road and is now also recovering at Red Wolf. I don't think she could be any cuter!



The main thing that struck me about Mr. Strasser when I met him was how kind he is. And Red Wolf itself reminds me of a this quote I love from the Dalai Lama.

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." 



Click the badge to learn more about the blogfest and sign up if you'd like to participate!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

IWSG and Keeping Things Simple


Hello and Happy April! Today is the day for the monthly meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group, founded by our Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh. To view list members and this month's co-hosts, visit the IWSG page here.

Last month I wrote about returning to writing simply for the love of it and I'm happy to be able to say I have been able to do just that. I've been working on a sequel to Polar Night and Polar Day and I have been taking it slowly and enjoying the process. I'm excited about the story and it's been fun to delve back into Alaska as a setting. I am totally enchanted by that place and I hope that I can visit there one of these days.

The Ghost Town of Kennecott, Alaska (WIP setting) 

In the spirit of keeping things simple, I've decided not to try and start up a new blog as I had planned to do with my All in For Animals site. It was a mistake to try something new when I was already feeling sluggish in terms of writing and blogging. I don't have the energy to devote to another site so I am letting that go for now. If I have any fun animal things to write about I plan to just do so here as I have in the past.

I've decided to only set two goals for myself for the rest of 2017. I want to finish my WIP, titled A Killing in Kennecott, and I want to complete the running training program I've been doing for the past month or so. I am enjoying it and the exercise is good for me both physically and mentally.

I've learned that writing to-do lists and setting weekly or monthly goals or daily word count challenges doesn't work for me at this time in my life and they are demoralizing rather than motivating. So for now I'm simply going to enjoy the writing and enjoy the running and try not to stress about either one.

My first A to Z badge (warm fuzzies!)

To all working on the A-Z Challenge, good luck and enjoy!! Even though I'm not taking part this year I still get the warm fuzzies about the challenge each year at this time. Taking part in my first challenge in 2011 was the best blogging decision I've ever made and I will always be grateful to those who have made this great event possible through the years.