Monday, February 25, 2013

Laura Eno's Cover Reveal for JEWEL OF SHAYLAR, plus Carrie Butler's STRENGTH Paperback is Out, and a Quick Note

Today, it’s my pleasure to share another cover reveal,
this time for Laura Eno’s
Jewel of Shaylar

Wicked beautiful, isn’t it?

Here’s the skinny

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.

Find Laura on: Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter – Goodreads


Sorry for today’s super short post.  What am I saying?  You must be thrilled! 

I won’t be around the blogosphere much for the next few weeks while I pound out the first draft of my next book.  It’s called Leverage and will be the sequel to The Mistaken.

By the way, if you happened to have read The Mistaken and liked it, I could really use a review on Amazon and Goodreads.  Some readers do one and not the other.  A review on Amazon is the most helpful for sales.  Thanks for your consideration! 

Next week is my pub sister, Carrie Butler’s big launch for her book Strength, but the paperback is available now here on Amazon for $15.99 or here on Barnes & Noble for $10.34.  The ebook will be available everywhere on March 7th and I’ll have her here for an interesting guest post on March 11th.   

Thanks for dropping by.  Have a great week!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

COVER REVEAL! Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaStorm

Ooooh, isn't it pretty?

CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle… 

Release date: September 17, 2013
Science Fiction - Space Opera/Adventure
Print ISBN 9781939844002
E-book ISBN 9781939844019

I can tell you from personal experience that Alex is one of the most genuine, caring, and generous people I know.  He spends most of his free time serving and helping others.  He even wrote a blurb for my debut!  I feel very honored to consider Alex a true friend. 

Want to know more?  Okay!

He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. Alex minored in music and plays several instruments, including guitar, which I’ve heard him play.  He’s amazing! He’s experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, Alex’s interests range from books and movies to music and games.  Seriously, this guy knows everything there is to know about movies!

He’s the founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and a co-host of the A to Z Challenge. His first book, CassaStar, and the sequel, CassaFire, are Amazon Best Sellers. He lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

CASSAFIRE, Amazon Sci-fi Best Seller:
"This sequel to Cavanaugh's first novel, CassaStar, delivers on the promise of its predecessor, combining military action sequences and political intrigue with strong, memorable characters. Reminiscent of the action-driven stories of Robert A. Heinlein's early fiction..." - Library Journal

CASSASTAR, Amazon Sci-fi Best Seller:
"...calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein's early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars." - Library Journal

Find Alex on his blog, Goodreads, and Amazon.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

My 200th Post!

Today is my 200th post!

I remember when I started blogging 2 years ago, how I had no followers, no one who was interested in a thing I had to say, nobody I’d connected with.  I was just a newbie writer with an untidy manuscript, big dreams, and very little knowledge.

Today, I’ve achieved my dream of being traditionally published and  have managed to learn way more than I thought possible, I have 1000 folks a week who are interested enough to drop by (though I’ve no idea why), I have a combined 572 followers but have connected with thousands of others, mostly writers and authors. 

I definitely feel like I’ve accomplished something.  And if nothing else, I’ve made some meaningful friendships, some which go beyond this blog.

Still, after the Re-introduce Myself Blogfest, I had quite a few people say they wished I’d shared more personal information.  Well, I’m not adverse to that, so here are a few tidbits you might not know:

  • I just had my first live radio interview last Saturday on LA Talk Radio.  You can listen to it using the tab at the top of my blog or by clicking here.  I had a good time and no one could ever accuse me of not having anything to say!

  • I love to watch TV (Revenge, Scandal, Suits.)  My guilty pleasure is Spartacus.  I hate all sitcoms except Modern Family.

  • I play classical piano.

  • I’ve spent the last 25 years raising sled dogs (Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes.)

  • I first met my husband 31 years ago when he was 15 and I was 17.  When we got together a year later, it was a huge scandal. 

  • We have a 28-year-old daughter who was adopted privately (you can read more about that here,) and an 18-year-old son, now in college. 

  • I taught my son to read before he turned 3 years old.

  • I’ve lived all over the USPittsburgh, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Colorado Springs, Waikiki, the Bay Area, and Seattle’s Eastside.

  • I’m an interior designer, but I don’t decorate.  I work on the technical side, using CADD to produce working drawings and construction documents.  I’m also an architect.

  • I used to sing competitively.

  • I’m the classic Catholic combination of half Irish and half Italian, so don’t piss me off!

  • I have OCD with “pathologic grooming behaviors” and an obsession with even numbers.

  • I love fast high-performance sports cars, BMWs mostly

  • I seem to get along with men much better than with women.

  • I love to ski but am too afraid after busting my ankle up years ago.

  • The Mistaken just listed at #79 on Amazon’s Top Rated in Romantic Suspense based on customer reviews!   Check it out!  

After 5+ years, I’m finally starting to get back on my feet financially, but, with a kid in college, I still don’t have the disposable income to give away Amazon gift cards.  I can, however, give away free copies of my ebook as a way of celebrating my 200th post. 

So, if you’re interested, let me know in the comments below before midnight 2/25, and I’ll enter your name into a raffle. Using, I’ll pick 5 interested winners and post their names next week.

And thanks for your support over the last 2+ years and 200 posts!

Two more quick notes:

I’m always looking for bloggers to review The Mistaken. If you’re a blogger or book reviewer, there are still a few slots open at the end of March for my Partners In Crime Book Tour.  This is a popular book tour company, so if you’re looking for a little exposure for your blog, feel free to sign up using the link above or by emailing  She’ll send you a free copy of my book and ask you to choose a date to post a review. 

Lastly, it’s time for another W4WS (Writers for Writers) campaign.  This month’s featured authors are Gwen Gardner and Melissa Bradley.  Drop by their blogs today or tomorrow, grab a tweet or two, and post them to your Twitter account with the #W4WS hashtag, and help make readers aware of their books by sharing their links.    


Monday, February 11, 2013

Jamie Ayres' 18 THINGS Blog Tour & Tyrean Martinson's CHAMPION IN THE DARKNESS

First up today, I'm turning things over to the wonderfully effervescent Jamie Ayres and her
18 Things Blog Tour.

Here's the blurb:

Can eighteen things save a life?

Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then, Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible for his death.

When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled "18 Things": eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

All she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her.

But there's more to Olga's quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There's only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won't just affect her future, but all eternity.
Make sure you add 18 Things to your Goodreads TBR list
and check out her buy links below. 

All righty then, take it away, Jamie...

Thanks for hosting us, Nancy!!! 

I decided to spend this fine Monday morning at Jumpin' Java Coffee House, one of Olga's favorite hot spots off Washington Street in her small hometown of Grand Haven, Michigan. I'm sitting at a table by the front window to keep an eye out for her. Ah, here she is, sporting Capri jeans and a red Wonder Woman t-shirt, her red curly hair done in french braid pigtails.

Me: Hey, girl. How are you today?

Olga: I'm happy! Is that for me? 

*points to a coffee mug in front of the empty seat*

Me: Of course! I know better than to approach you with a bunch of deep questions in the morning without giving you coffee first.    

*takes a seat and groans after her first sip*

Olga: Hmm, Chocolate-drizzled Snickers flavored whipped mocha. So . . . deep questions? How deep are we talking about here?    

*Me grinning as I refrain from a That's What She Said joke. Afterall, Olga is only eighteen years old*

Me: Umm, nothing too heavy. Lots of questions about Nate. Speaking of Nate, will he be joining us today?

Olga: He's supposed to stop by after he finishes band practice with the Cantankerous Monkey Squad

Me: Awesome! Oh, I hope he brings his guitar and sings a song for us because that's, you know, kinda sexy    

*fans self*

Olga: Hey, watch it! That's my man you're talking about.

Me: Right, sorry. So tell us a little bit about your story.

Olga: Well, it's very emotional. Growing up, I was always a bit of an outsider but I always had my best friend, Conner, to keep me company. We've known each other since kindergarten. Then, last April, he died in a freak accident and I was there to see it all go down and wasn't able to save him. I was really torn up about it, even downed an entire bottle of pain pills. That's when my parents forced me to see a counselor and that's where I met Nate. Ultimately our story is about love, grief, longing, self-doubt, growth, and the bonds of friendship. It has lots of fun stuff but it's also poignant.

Me: Well, sounds like a beautiful story   *toot, toot;~)*   Now in the novel, 18 Things, your counselor tells you to write a life list of 18 things to do the year you turn 18. Is there anything on the list you wish you could take back?

Olga: Yessss! The roller coaster. Ugh . . . I can't believe that . . . well, I guess I should let the readers find out what happens.

Me: For sure.  *Get ready for shameless plug*  After all, it was released on Amazon last month to best-seller status the first week* Anyway, what was your favorite thing from the list?

Olga: Going on my first date, of course! And speaking of the devil, here he is.   

*At 5-foot-10, Nate enters wearing a blue t-shirt and baggy khaki corduroys, unfortunately covering up most of his lean and muscular body. He has a boyish face dominated by large, ocean blue expressive eyes, and his hair is crammed under a wool cap, a few coffee-colored strands peeking out onto his forehead*

Nate: Hello, ladies. *slides into chair next to Olga and sees her empty cup*  Uh-oh, someone needs more coffee. *pulls out wallet*

Olga: It's okay. I'll get it. I know Jamie is dying to ask you some questions. 

*winks at me and walks over to the counter, the rich stimulating smell of brewing coffee drawing her closer . . .oh, sorry, POV problem for a second--hate those!*

Me: So Nate, when did you know you wanted to be more than just friends with Olga?

Nate: From the first moment I saw her.

Me: You're just trying to score brownie points for when Olga reads this!

Nate: *holds up hands and laughs*  I'm totally not! It's the truth.

Me: Okay, then. Boxers or briefs?

Nate: Boxers for sure.  

*adds suggestive eyebrow-wiggle as Olga walks over with 3 cups of coffee, one for each of us*

Olga: Everything okay here?

Me: Yes, of course. Totally behaving myself. So Nate, what's the best thing about Olga?

Nate: She's hot. *Olga slaps his shoulder* Kidding, well not really but I'd have to say everything. She gets emotional over things but not in a drama queen kind of way. She's super smart and kind of dorky--loves to write poetry and watch Star Wars and she's never without a book. When I first met her last year she was all hunched over, like she was trying to disappear, so beautiful in her vulnerability. I knew right away I wanted to do something to make her feel better.

Me: Aww! That is so sweet. What would be your idea of a perfect date with Olga?

Nate: That's easy. Of course it's anywhere she is, anywhere she'd want to go.

Me: I like a boy who gives a girl what she wants! Olga--what's your idea of a perfect date with Nate?

Olga: Hmm, probably grabbing a cup of coffee right here in the morning, then heading down the street to the beach and reading a good book while we're stretched out on a towel next to each other, Nate strumming his guitar and serenading me. Then catching a movie at the theatre with the Jedi Order later.

Me: Oh, right. The Jedi Order is the reference you guys use for your group of friends in the book. Tell us a little bit about them too because they play a really important part.

Olga: Well, there's Nicole. She's the self-sacrificing best friend. Tammy is really strong. She puts up a front but she cares fiercely for her friends. Sean is a big goofball. Kyle is incredibly loyal. Conner is . . . was . . . bigger than life. He's the one who started calling us the Jedi Order so we continued the tradition in his memory. Nate joined as an honorary member this year. He's really honest and and definitely brings out the hidden risk taker in me.

Me: I'm sure Conner would've loved your list and the way it brought you together this past year as a catharsis to heal and move on while honoring his memory. Will there be a sequel to your story?

Olga: We're just some of the many voices in your head. You tell me.

Me: Oh, right. Yes, yes of course there will be :-) There’s even a sneak preview of the next book, 18 Truths, at the end of 18 Things. Guess I should be putting some words on paper then. I'll leave you two love birds to yourselves. Don't do anything I wouldn't do *wink, wink* And guys, just remember that love brought you together. There’s gonna be lots of things, and people, who try to keep you apart in the near future. It’s up to you to decide if you’re gonna let them. *I get up, coffee in hand, and shuffle toward the door*

Nate: Whoa, whoa . . . you can’t just leave after a comment like that! What’s going on?

*I pause, looking over my shoulder at their expectant faces*

Me: Sorry, I have to go. Just remember that the best time of all is now. Enjoy your journey together. You never know when it will all change, but you’re only 18 Truths away to another life changed.

Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a public school teacher by day. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two daughters. 18 Things is her debut novel. Visit her website at

18 Things is available here:

Add 18 Things to your TBR list!


I'd also like to give a shout out for my author buddy, Tyrean Martinson, and the first release in her brand-spankin' new YA Christian fantasy trilogy, Champion in the Darkness - The Champion Trilogy, now available on Amazon for only $3.99

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master's blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness!

Thank you, ladies!

Make sure you all come back next Monday
for my 200th post!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

IWSG: HARD WORK - It's What's for Dinner...and Lunch, and Breakfast, and morning snack and afternoon tea and bedtime bites and noontime nibbles and midnight munchies and...

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, time for

I hate Seattle in February.  It's the coldest month of the year here, and when everyone else in the US is looking forward to March and springtime weather, we in Seattle know we have at least another four months of cold, rainy, dreary weather.

But February also boasts of the first small glimpse of what's to come. Invariably, there'll always be a day or two where the sun shines in a gloriously clear blue sky, and the temps rise into the upper 50's or higher. When that happens, I jump in my car, put the top down and the tunes on, and cruise around Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington. It's enough to keep me going until the real spring weather comes along.

That's kind of how it is when you're newly published with a small press, and you've been buried in marketing, of which you have no skills whatsoever. I take tiny little baby steps everyday, but it's progress. And my rankings reflect that.  Well, usually, but not always. They're still not great, but they're improving at a consistent rate, so it's heartening.  It’s like that bit of warm sunshine and blue sky in February. 

My point?  Well, we writers love what we do, but let’s face it, with all the rejection, it can be seriously depressing.  It’s a mind-numbingly slow process, and though we do the actual work alone, we cannot “make it” alone.  We need betas and critique partners, agents and publishers, bloggers and book reviewers.  You just can’t do it without them, or at least some of them anyway. 

But I’m here to tell you, it can be done, and I’m one of those exceedingly average people who accomplish some success, but never in spectacular fashion.  I have no visions of superstardom or the financial windfall that comes with that.  I don’t ever expect to make much money on my book, and honestly, that was never the point.  I just wanted to write a really good book readers would enjoy, and I wanted to publish it traditionally.

I didn’t consider all the work I’d have to do on the marketing front, and I will admit, it isn’t easy, but neither was writing the book, or revising, or querying, or editing.  Every step was and still is a challenge, but I learn a little something everyday, and I make a bit more progress everyday, too.  And because I am that Average Annie, I know if I can do it, then so can you. 

No matter where you are in the game—writing, revising, querying, edits, and yes, even marketing—it's all a matter of baby steps, forward momentum, no matter how small, and no matter how much you got pushed back the day before.  If you want it bad enough and you’re willing to learn and take the steps necessary, you will make it.

So don’t give up.  Remember your dream, and... 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Elizabeth Arroyo's THE SECOND SIGN Blog Tour

Before I get started, the winner of a paperback copy of
Social Media Just Writers for Writers is...
Mike Murata at Suburban Fantasy

And now...

Please allow me to introduce you all to my pub-sister Elizabeth Arroyo.
Elizabeth, take it away...

Thanks for hosting me. I'm so excited to talk about THE SECOND SIGN. My debut will be released February 7, 2013 by Sapphire Star Publishing.

The idea for the story came to me in two separate scenes. One involved a demon exploding in my kitchen, the other a girl swimming in a dark lake with a boy in a boat beside her, trying to convince her she was nuts. The demon made it into the story, the other scene didn't, though it sparked an interest in those two characters. And from that, Gabby and Jake were born.

The Main Characters: 
Gabby is a strong willed character. Okay, she's hard-headed. She tends to react without thinking of consequences. She says what's on her mind too freely. And has very little social skills. That may be due to the fact that she's been kept in isolation from what she is, or isn't, in this case. She doesn't know who she is and is searching for something...anything that would clue her in. A typical teenager trying to grow into her own skin, although for Gabby that means something dangerous.

Jake is the opposite. He's an adrenaline junkie who itches to jump out of something high. To almost fly. He has an easy way about him. He's easily liked by everyone. But Jake is quickly drawn into Gabby's world and it's not by accident.

The Setting: There were certain elements I needed in the setting. The story takes place in early summer in a summer retreat town. I wanted something surrounded by woods and a mountain. I also wanted it to be at the edge of the world. Maine came to mind. I've never been to Maine, but I found some awesome pictures of a resort village that had everything I needed.

 For photos click here. 

Plot: Gabby wasn't meant to be born. She was actually stillborn for a few minutes before taking her first breath. She learns that she wasn't meant to live and was saved by her dead-beat dad who happens to be an angel. With no predestined soul the demons mark her, but she has to willingly give up her soul. She doesn't. And so the demons are let loose on the small town, killing her friends and leading her to solve the mystery of the Second Sign.  The story does have elements of horror. 

About Elizabeth:
Elizabeth has worked in the community for the bulk of her professional career. She enjoys quiet moments, action flicks, and dancing with her four-year-old. THE SECOND SIGN is her debut novel. You can find more information about Elizabeth at:

Find Elizabeth here:

Available February 7, 2013
Sapphire Star Publishing
Dark YA Paranormal Romance

When a demon guardian comes to collect seventeen-year-old Gabby’s soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake—her almost boyfriend—begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.