Wednesday, July 31, 2019

#Excerpt: THE ROGUE KING by Abigail Owen

The Rogue King
Abigail Owen
(Inferno Rising #1)
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: July 30th 2019
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Kasia Amon is a master at hiding. Who—and what—she is makes her a mark for the entire supernatural world. Especially dragon shifters. To them, she’s treasure to be taken and claimed. A golden ticket to their highest throne. But she can’t stop bursting into flames, and there’s a sexy dragon shifter in town hunting for her…
As a rogue dragon, Brand Astarot has spent his life in the dark, shunned by his own kind, concealing his true identity. Only his dangerous reputation ensures his survival. Delivering a phoenix to the feared Blood King will bring him one step closer to the revenge he’s waited centuries to take. No way is he letting the feisty beauty get away.
But when Kasia sparks a white-hot need in him that’s impossible to ignore, Brand begins to form a new plan: claim her for himself…and take back his birthright.

The only warning she got that she was being followed was the flick of a shadow in the headlights. Before she could react, a massive golden dragon slammed down on the road in front of her about half a mile out. She almost expected the ground to shake with the force, but the act was near silent.
She gritted her teeth and tightened her hands on the wheel. Rather than stop, Kasia hit the gas, pushing the car to go faster. He wasn’t taking her without a fight, that was for damn sure.
The dragon’s deep golden scales glittered in the oncoming headlights. He didn’t budge. But he did growl, his tail slashing back and forth.
“Move, you scaly bastard,” she muttered.
But she didn’t let up on the pedal.
He lowered his head and let loose a growl of warning, which she responded to by stomping harder on the gas.
“Get out of the way!”
She had no intention of playing chicken. If he didn’t, she’d ram this car down his fire-breathing throat. The hell with it. She didn’t want to go back to that cabin in Alaska anyway. Maul would miss her, but he’d be the only one.
Only the dragon didn’t move. Okay then. Kasia braced for impact.
At the moment she should’ve slammed into him, the beast heaved himself into the air, and she zoomed past, fishtailing underneath him from the force of the wind his wings caused.
He must’ve backed up, because he landed on the road in front of her again.
“You want another go, you oversized flying iguana?” she shouted, and bore down on him.
And again, he hopped out of her way only to land in her path.
Damn. Kasia held in a scream of fear-tinged frustration. They could keep this up all night, getting them nowhere fast. He wasn’t going to let her go.
With a growl of aggravation, though not defeat, Kasia stomped on the brakes. The tires squealed in protest, and the unpleasant odor of burning rubber followed her as she skidded the car to a stop broadside of the dragon, only a few feet away. If she rolled down her window, she could reach out and touch him.
The terrifying creature moved around the car, his movements more of a glide, like golden water flowing around her. He lowered his head to gaze in at her with an eye the size of her entire thigh. He snorted, and smoke trailed from his nostrils as he glared at her.
Please let this be Brand, and not some other phoenix-stealing dragon shifter.
Kasia glared back but raised her hands off the steering wheel in a gesture of surrender.

Author Bio:
Award-winning paranormal romance author, Abigail Owen, grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. She attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.
No matter the genre, she loves to write witty, feisty heroines, sexy heroes who deserve them, and a cast of lovable characters to surround them (and maybe get their own stories). She currently resides in Austin, Texas, with her own personal hero, her husband, and their two children, who are growing up way too fast.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

#Review: MARRY IN SECRET by Anne Gracie

   4 of 5 stars
Thomas Beresford could hardly believe he was married to Lady Rose Rutherford, a sixteen-year-old impetuous young lady. Their attraction was immediate and they spent a short blissful time together before he shipped out with the Royal Navy. When Rose learns the tragic news that Thomas and the entire crew died at sea, she saw no reason to tell her family about their secret marriage. Now four years later, Thomas has returned, but he's not the Thomas she married. Can they rekindle their love or has Thomas's horrifying experiences left him barren of any emotion, even for his sweet Rose.

This is the first book I've read by Ms. Gracie and I've definitely found a new author to read. She is a master storyteller, reigning in the reader with descriptions that jump off the page and make you feel what the characters are feeling. The story of Thomas was horrifying and tortuous and I wondered how Ms. Gracie would give him back his emotional well-being and I was not disappointed. Though I had figured out who the villain in the story was, I had not figured out the "why." This well written regency romance will certainly delight and enthrall fans who like some "meat" to their stories.

A voluntarily read an advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

Monday, July 29, 2019

#Excerpt: GOOD GUY by Kate Meader

Good Guy
Kate Meader
(Rookie Rebels #1)
Publication date: July 30th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Sports

He’s a Special Forces veteran making his pro hockey debut. She’s a dogged sports reporter determined to get a scoop. She’s also his best friend’s widow . . .
Fans can’t get enough of Levi Hunt, the Special Forces veteran who put his NHL career on hold to serve his country and fight the bad guys. So when his new Chicago Rebels bosses tell him to cooperate with the press on a profile, he’s ready to do his duty. Until he finds out who he has to work with: flame-haired, freckle-splashed, impossibly perky Jordan Cooke.
Also known as the woman he should not have kissed the night she buried her husband, Levi’s best friend in the service.
Hockey-stick-up-his-butt-serious Levi Hunt might despise Jordan for reasons she can’t fathom—okay, it’s to do with kissing—but her future in the cutthroat world of sports reporting hangs on delivering the goods on the league’s hottest, grumpiest rookie. So what if he’s not interested in having his life plated up for public consumption. Too bad. Jordan will have to play dirty to get her scoop and even dirtier to get her man. Only in winning the story, she might just lose her heart . . .
In this standalone romance set in the Chicago Rebels world, a new generation of players take to the ice and learn that all’s fair in love and hockey.

“Was this night worth your time? Don’t you have a boyfriend who’d like to see you once in a while? Or a life that doesn’t revolve around work?” They stepped into the elevator and he slapped at the lobby level button. Stab. Slap. He was angry and he didn’t know why. He hated not knowing something.
“This is my life, Hunt.” She giggled, the sound going straight to his dick where it proceeded to tease, caress, and kiss the traitor wide awake. “God, playing video games with you guys is gold. And then when your pal showed up proving you’re not such a cold-hearted, friendless Terminator type after all and that you might have a personality underneath that hard-ass demeanor? Icing on the cupcake.”
He opened the door to his building, ushered her out, and tried not to enjoy her bobbing pony-tail.
“So is it true?” she threw out over her shoulder.
“Is what true?”
“The Disney ice cream cake thing?”
“Where are you parked?”
“Around the corner. You don’t have to—”
But he was already eating the ground with every stride like it had offended his honor.
“Levi, what is your problem?”
“Nothing. Just making sure you get in your car and leave.” He was pissed and horny and only now realizing that he had no idea what Jordan’s car looked like.
“Here I am.” She stood by a Honda Civic, two cars back.
Retracing his steps, he tried to get his emotions under control which should not have been a problem. Emotion-wrangling was his bag. Controlling the narrative was his forte. At least, he’d thought so until he met Jordan again.
“I don’t have a boyfriend.” She pushed her key into the lock.
“Say again?”
“You seem to be under the impression that I had someone I could be spending time with tonight instead of enjoying Erik’s weird winking and odes to herring, or Theo’s conspiracy theories as to why Chicagoland has so many mattress stores, or your curmudgeonly ways with hints of Tin Man.” She hummed If I only Had a Heart from The Wizard of Oz.
He passed over the Tin Man reference, probably because he was inexplicably relieved at the implication of her other statement. “Don’t have an opinion on your dating practices. Just something Kershaw mentioned.”
“And you believed him?”
“I didn’t not believe him. Strange thing to make up.” Especially with the graphic detail of naked photos. If she wasn’t seeing someone, then what was all that about?
She opened the door a couple of inches but still stood there. Pertly perking. “You know, the sooner you cooperate the sooner I’ll be out of your hair.”
“I’m doing everything management has ordered.”
“Under sufferance.”
“What you see is all you’re getting.” He was done here. Done with her teasing scent and dick-springing laugh. Done with trying to negotiate a truce between his hands and his cock. Just. Done. “Safe home now.” He turned to walk back, but didn’t get far.
He pivoted. “What?”
“You’ve never liked me for some stupid, God-knows-what reason and now you can’t be man enough to sit still for a few questions.”
He ignored the last part which was half—okay, all—true, and focused on the first part. “I’ve liked you fine.”
She took a step toward him, then another until she was right in his space. She looked up at him, her expression filled with fury and spirit. Typical, maddening, heart-stoppingly gorgeous Jordan. “Admit it. You can’t stand me. When I kissed you five years ago—”
“We’re not talking about that.”
When I kissed you five years ago,” she insisted, her voice rising with each word, “it was as if I ripped out a piece of your mind! You didn’t like me. You certainly didn’t think I was right for Josh and then when we had that moment, when we were at our lowest, we were drawn to each other. You hate that of all people, it was me who made you go to this fragile, needful place. It happened and you need to get over it so we can do this interview and you never have to see me again!”

Author Bio:
Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she's there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

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Friday, July 26, 2019

#Excerpt: FATE OF DRAGONS by Alisha Klapheke

Fate of Dragons
Alisha Klapheke
(Dragons Rising #1)
Publication date: March 27th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

An Earth Queen desperate to wake her magic.
An elven prince fighting a ruthless betrayal.
A flood is coming. The Sea Queen has a mad plan to drown the world.
Only the magic of the Earth Queen can stop her. Vahly, the last human, was born to fill that role and wield the power necessary to battle the rising oceans and save the dragons and elves.
But Vahly is the world’s biggest disappointment. She possesses no magic whatsoever.
When she finds an ancient scroll that mentions a human power ritual conducted deep in the homeland of the elves, she gathers her dragon allies and journeys to see the king of that great forest-dwelling race.
Welcomed by a handsome royal cloaked in dark magic, will Vahly find answers or will a twisted and powerful elven lord destroy her chance at saving the world?
Only 99¢ for a limited time!

Author Bio:
When USA Today Bestselling author Alisha Klapheke isn't busy creating new fantasy worlds, she teaches martial arts (specifically Muay Thai kickboxing, Krav Maga, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu), loves on her two amazing kids, and travels the world with her ninja husband. *Alisha made the list November 2, 2017.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

#Excerpt: BITTERSWEET ALLIANCE by Kathleen Rowland

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kathleen Rowland will be awarding ten gift bags each containing a shell necklace, chocolates, and a flower pen to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Will a snap decision change their lives forever?

Bizarre kidnappings stun the Big Island of Hawaii, pulling Danker Donahue back into the game and forcing him to partner with Jolene Kualoha, the woman who left him seven years ago when his DNA showed up in paternity lawsuit. The prejudice-motivated hate crimes are the wildest anyone has ever seen. Victims are being poisoned then released once the ransoms are paid, many losing their lives.

In the shadow of Jolene's success as a helicopter pilot, a troubled woman develops a fixation on Jolene and imitates her appearance. Matters turn dark when the copycat is shot dead. Was Jolene the target? Threats mount when she barely survives an accident after her brake cables are severed.

When these crimes threaten her sanity, Jolene is forced to trust the one person she thought she’d lost forever, Danker. Instantly, sparks fly between them, and as much as she wants to rekindle their relationship, she must protect her heart.

An old enemy, Seamus McGinn, breaks out of a maximum-security prison and invites Danker to a meet-up. Surprisingly, the kidnapper joins forces with McGinn along with his sick fans. McGinn trumpets his ‘murders by ice pick’, and it’s up to Danker to stop him. The whole island is on edge with a live feed from the maniac’s website.

In a stolen moment, Jolene shows him hope, and he makes a snap decision that will change their lives forever. Will he make it back to show her?

Amazon buy link:


Older didn’t mean wiser. All this time Jolene had dreaded running into him, sometimes dressing in expectation of it. If she did see him again, she wanted to look good. Today she looked like crap, but what did it matter? Danker’s reason for being on the Big Island had nothing to do with her, not in a personal way. Tomorrow they’d meet at the FBI field office to collaborate on a serial kidnapping case. She’d wear a sleeveless linen dress, open-toed pumps, and bring the accordion file full of notes and newspaper clippings she’d gathered.

The perpetrator targeted wealthy Hawaiians with social capital, the kind of people seen on television or featured in newspapers when they donated money to charities. The latest missing person, Pua Iona, owned Iona Hawaiian Rugs and was an acquaintance of hers. Not that they shared the same social strata, but they’d volunteered together at an artisans’ market to boost Hawaiian crafts. After Pua went missing and fit the criminal’s modus operandi, Mayor Billy Kim, frustrated with police progress, contacted Jolene’s former boss from California, FBI Agent Gary Guhleman, cowboyish in dress but wise in judgement.

Guhleman didn’t need to tell her Hawaiians resisted outside intrusions. “You know everyone,” he’d said. “Witnesses will share what they know.” The agent and his wife had retired, rather semi-retired, here in Kona. Soon after she and Guhleman had spoken, he called in Danker Donahue to consult. “You remember him, right?”

“Gosh, let me think.” She and Danker went hot and heavy after the Long Beach case that ended with the arrest of mobster Seamus McGinn.

About the Author:

Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. 

She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.

Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write!

Kathleen is an in-house author at Tirgearr Publishing. Her Irish-American Donahue Cousins series includes Deadly Alliance, Unholy Alliance, and Bittersweet Alliance.

What reviewers say about Kathleen Rowland

Windward Whisperings--Kathleen Rowland spins a creative story with romance, passion and suspense making it an adventure hard to put down. The banter she creates between the two lovers is spine-tingling robust in this keeper of a read. ~

Deeds of Deceit-- Circled by the bloodthirsty and untrusting, you learn to appreciate the few allies you have. Deeds of Deceit is an excellent addition to any thriller assortment. ~

A Key to all that Glitters is a mesmerizing love story that vibrates with love and suspense. ~


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Monday, July 22, 2019

#Review: WHEN A LADY KISSES A SCOT by Tara Kingston

  4 of 5 stars

MacAllister Campbell lost the love of his life, Rose Fleming, 10 years ago and he's never truly gotten over her death. Imagine his surprise when he runs into her outside the theatre. Rose faked her death to get away from an evil man and no one knew where she was except her aunt. When she receives a missive from her aunt, Rose sails from New York back to England, only to find out that she was too late--her aunt was dead. MacAllister has no idea that he's going to be plunged into a mystery surrounding Rose. When the violence and bodies start piling up, Rose finally tells MacAllister the truth about the mysterious tattoo on her hip.

This is the first book I've read by Ms. Kingston and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters had depth and were very well-written. The mystery was engrossing and all the pieces of the puzzle didn't fall into place until the very end. There were lots of twists and turns in the story and it kept me turning the pages until the last words.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy and all opinions are my own.

Friday, July 19, 2019

GRAMMAR GIRL: Top 10 Language Myths

10. A run-on sentence is a really long sentence. Wrong! They can actually be quite short. In a run-on sentence, independent clauses are squished together without the help of punctuation or a conjunction. If you write “I am short he is tall,” as one sentence without a semicolon, colon, or dash between the two independent clauses, it's a run-on sentence even though it has only six words.

9. You shouldn't start a sentence with the word “however.” Wrong! It's fine to start a sentence with “however” so long as you use a comma after it when it means "nevertheless."

8. “Irregardless” is not a word. Wrong! “Irregardless” is a bad word and a word you shouldn't use, but it is a word. “Floogetyflop” isn't a word—I just made it up and you have no idea what it means.  “Irregardless,” on the other hand, is in almost every dictionary labeled as nonstandard. You shouldn't use it if you want to be taken seriously, but it has gained wide enough use to qualify as a word.

7. There is only one way to write the possessive form of a word that ends in S. Wrong! It's a style choice. For example, in the phrase “Kansas's statute,” you can put just an apostrophe at the end of “Kansas” (that's AP style) or you can put an apostrophe S at the end of “Kansas” (that's Chicago style). Both ways are acceptable.

6. Passive voice is always wrong. Wrong! In passive voice, the subject of the sentence isn’t the person or the thing taking the action. In fact, in a passive voice sentence, the actor is often completely left out of the sentence. An example is "Mistakes were made," because it doesn't say who made the mistakes. Your writing is often stronger if you make your passive sentences active, but if you don't know who is responsible for an action, passive voice can be the best choice.

5. “I.e.” and “e.g.” mean the same thing. Wrong! “E.g.” means "for example," and “i.e.” means roughly "in other words." You use “e.g.” to provide a list of incomplete examples, and you use “i.e.” to provide a complete clarifying list or statement.

4. You use “a” before words that start with consonants and “an” before words that start with vowels. Wrong! You use “a” before words that start with consonant sounds and “an” before words that start with vowel sounds. So, you'd write that someone has "an MBA" instead of "a MBA," because even though “MBA” starts with M, which is a consonant, it starts with the sound of the vowel E--MBA.

3. It's incorrect to answer the question "How are you?" with the statement "I'm good." Wrong! You probably learned that verbs need to be modified by adverbs (such as “well”), but “good” isn’t modifying “am” in the sentence “I am good.” Instead, “good” is acting as the subject complement and modifying the pronoun “I.” It's also fine to answer "I'm well," but some grammarians believe "I'm well" should be used to talk about your health and not your general disposition.

2. You shouldn't split infinitives. Wrong! Nearly all grammarians want to boldly tell you it's OK to split infinitives. An infinitive is a verb form that is usually made up of the word “to” followed by a verb. An example is "to tell." In a split infinitive, another word separates the two parts of the verb. "To boldly tell" is a split infinitive because “boldly” separates “to” from “tell.”

1. You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition. Wrong! You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition when the sentence would mean the same thing if you left off the preposition. That means "Where are you at?" is wrong (or at least annoying) because "Where are you?" means the same thing. But there are many sentences where the final preposition is part of a phrasal verb or is necessary to keep from making stuffy, stilted sentences: “I'm going to throw up,” “Let's kiss and make up,” and “What are you waiting for” are just a few examples. 



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Interview with Chani Lynn Feener, WITHIN ASH AND STARDUST

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
I always love when this happens, and it’s happened a couple of times in my writing. The most memorable one, though, would definitely be Trystan, from the Xenith trilogy. In the beginning, he was meant to be a minor character—just another small obstacle for the main character to overcome. By midway through the first book, I knew he’d already turned into the main villain, because he was always so prominent. But then by the end he made it clear he wasn’t going to settle for that role either, and he became a main character and real love interest. Book two, which focuses a lot on his character, would have been so different if it’d gone the way I’d originally thought it would.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did. I sent out queries to agents and publishers for projects like the Xenith trilogy, while also self-publishing other works on the side. It’s definitely a lengthy process, filled with a ton of rejection, but I was prepared for that. I’m still looking for an agent, but I’m happy that I was successful in getting at least one project traditionally published! I think it’s really important when working towards something like writing to stay positive and not give up.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
I signed the contract with Swoon for the first book in the trilogy, Amid Stars and Darkness, when I was 25. I’d graduated at 21(a month before turning 22), and started sending out queries to agents and publishers by 22, so it took about 3-4 years for me to get a project accepted. This wasn’t my first novel, I wrote that when I was 16, and I’d been self-publishing already. I self-published my Underworld series right after graduating, so I was already doing that while searching for agents and a traditional publisher for ASAD. I pretty much consider Unhinged, the first book in the Underworld Saga, as my first seriously published novel, since it’s one of the first things I self-published with the goal of getting readers and possibly doing more with it (it was published through an indie press for a short time before I went back to self-publishing it). Because it’s my first official work, I don’t consider it as good as the Xenith trilogy, but it’s come to mean a lot to me over the years, and I’ve learned a lot through the self-publishing process which has helped me improve my writing.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
I’ve got a few things I’m waiting to hear back on from a couple different traditional publishing houses, but I also have a YA urban fantasy coming out in October which will be published by Aionios Books, a small publisher. I’m really excited to share this book with everyone! It’s a lot darker than the Xenith trilogy, with a twisted romance and a lot of hidden, and obvious, betrayal. To sum it up briefly, it’s a book about a girl who can see Unseelie faeries, who’s gotten involved with one of them in the hopes to break her family curse. Then there’s also the final book in the Underworld saga which will hopefully be announced sooner rather than later!

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
In the beginning, I knew it was going to be timely and difficult to search for a traditional publisher/agent.  I also knew I didn’t want to feel like I was wasting time while I did that, and wanted to try and learn as much about the industry myself as possible. Self-publishing was a way for me to get feedback from real readers I didn’t know, ones who wouldn’t be bias or sugarcoat things for me, that I could learn from.

Through self-publishing, I was able to better understand what it is readers tend to look for in a cover and blurb, what they like and dislike the most when it comes to general plot, and whether or not my particular writing style was well received. I thought it was important for me to have something like that on the side, so that every time I did receive a rejection letter I could go back and read a nice review from someone on my self-published book. Even though I was prepared for it, it’s obviously hard receiving rejection letters, at least once you’ve passed three or four of them. Self-publishing was a great way of keeping my moral up and teaching me things I needed to know in order to better myself as an author. This helped me change my pitches and continuously write something better than the last thing I’d written. Eventually, that led to me writing Amid Stars and Darkness and my getting signed by Swoon so, I think it was a good decision on my part.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I like to just let the story unfold on its own. If I over plot something, it tends to fall apart on me. I lose that spark of inspiration and all the fun gets sucked out, so I end up getting bored and leaving it by chapter three. Typically, I like to just start with a basic concept and a few characters names. I’ll know the names of my main characters, like Delaney, Ruckus, and Mariana,  but won’t delve too deeply into their personalities or looks, I let that write itself while I go. For instance, I had no idea Delaney was a redhead until that description popped up while I was writing.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
For all of my self-published works, yes. I got an editor to look at them, as well as a couple beta readers, since I was putting the books out there on my own. Even with all that, there were still a couple mistakes that managed to slip through. That’s the tough part about self-publishing, if anything goes wrong, it’s one hundred percent your fault. Still, my editor did a great job and I’m grateful that I found her.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?

The Xenith trilogy books are available through all bookstores, while my upcoming book, Tithe, will only be available through Amazon. My self-published works are available there, as well as through, so ebook versions of it can be purchased for Nook and e-readers other than Kindle.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
It is a little difficult, only because so much time has to go into both, and if I get distracted with something for marketing, and lose my train of thought for the book I’m currently writing, then I have to break for a bit and hope that inspiration comes back. There’s also the fact that there are a lot of things that can go wrong or pile up with marketing, and writing while in a bad mood or frustrated doesn’t really work well for me. Currently, I’m working on marketing the book coming out in October (the first book in a new trilogy), as well as the final book in the Xenith trilogy (Within Ash and Stardust) and writing the second book in this new trilogy. Usually I can write a book in a matter of weeks, but this one has stretched to over two months now because I keep getting busy with other things.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
Oh, I love these questions because I am a hardcore cat person (although I also have a dog named Finch) and am obsessed with coffee. I can’t even tell you how many lame knickknacks I have lying around just because they have a cat or coffee “theme” to them. I also prefer text over talk, because I can text and still work, and I am a night owl. Most of my best work happens during the night, and I’m usually up pretty late—like between 2-4 am.

Within Ash and Stardust
Chani Lynn Feener
(The Xenith Trilogy #3)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 16th 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Having gone from kidnapped faux princess to the legitimate heir to an intergalactic throne, an impulsive, sarcastic teen must take charge of her own destiny in this epic YA novel.
On Earth, Delaney is a normal teenager who recently graduated high school with a fantastic best friend and a loving boyfriend.
But Delaney isn’t on Earth. She’s on Xenith, a war-torn planet half a galaxy away. Originally mistaken for an alien princess, Delaney has gone from kidnapped imposter to the recognized heir to an alien throne. Oh, and she’s engaged to the prince of an enemy nation whose ruthless father is on the warpath.
Torn between two planets, two fates, and two loves, Delaney is finally ready to choose her own destiny in Within Ash and Stardust, the stunning conclusion to Chani Lynn Feener’s Xenith Trilogy.

Author Bio:
Chani Lynn Feener has wanted to be a writer since the age of ten during fifth grade story time. She majored in Creative Writing at Johnson State College in Vermont, and graduated in 2012. To pay her bills, she has worked many odd jobs, including, but not limited to, telemarketing, order picking in a warehouse, and filling ink cartridges. When she isn’t writing, she’s binging TV shows, drawing, or frequenting zoos/aquariums. Chani is also the author of teen paranormal series, the Underworld Saga, originally written under the penname Tempest C. Avery. She currently resides in Connecticut, but lives on

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Interview with Mary Karlik, MAGIC HEIST

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Magic Heist is the second book of the Fairy Trafficking Series. This book picks up after Layla, a powerful fairy, rescues over 100 fairies who had been kidnapped and brought to the human world. Now they can’t find their way back and they’re slowly dying.  Layla learns about a silver wand that could open a portal to the magic world. The trouble is she has to find it and steal it. To be successful, she knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.

Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around. The problem is, the dragon-spirit inside Ian would like nothing more than to feed its appetite with all those fairies starting with Layla.

Do you have a favorite character?
Layla. The female protagonist in Magic Harvest and Magic Heist. She grew up on the fringes of fey society. She was an outcast—teased, taunted, and bullied. She is kind, brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight. And when she had an opportunity to save her people, she didn’t hesitate.

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
I started writing in 1996. It took me 17 years to get published. A lot of life happened during that time and for the first few years, I didn’t write every day. I would go months without writing. A friend, who is a NYT bestselling author, told me if I really wanted this, I had to make it my job. So, I did. I started writing every day. I worked full time, had kids, a husband with a demanding job. So, I wrote from 4:30 – 6:00 every day. I queried, entered contest, went to conferences, pitched— all the things. I landed my first agent in 2010 but it wasn’t a match made in heaven. We parted ways in 2011 and I signed with another agent. I adored her. We worked well together. We were pitching my Hickville High series set in small town Texas. We were offered a few really bad contracts but never found the one. Self-publishing was starting to take off and she suggested I self-publish the books. So I did. It was, and has been, a learning experience. In 2016 I was offered the contract with Ink Monster Publishing for my Fairy Trafficking series. I have taken the long route to publishing. Most people get published between their 4th and 6th books. I follow that statistic but it took me forever to write those first books.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I no longer belong to a critique group. I write too fast to make it work. But, I do have a content editor. He keeps me in line. Since he’s also my son-in-law, if I’m stuck I can run things past him and we always come up with a solution.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I have a very particular process. I write very early in the morning. I have a playlist for each book I’m working on and listen to music while I write. I also keep track of how many words I write every day. So before my fingers hit the keys, I look at the previous day’s word count and set an intention to beat it. I “fast draft” the first draft. I try to take a break every hour. I have a short attention span so sometimes I break more frequently.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I usually know the major turning points but that’s about it. I write the first draft messy and fast. I love discovering where the muse will take me.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I have a content editor and a copy editor. I don’t know how writers could possibly edit their own work. My eyes skip right over those mistakes.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Most of my promotion is via Facebook, Instagram, and twitter. I also have a once a month newsletter.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Yes. I’m getting better. I have an author assistant who helps a ton! She got me on this amazing app called todoist. Between Lola and the app, I think I’ll do a better job. Fingers crossed.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena? 
Have a solid marketing strategy. Hire a blog tour company like Xpresso Tours. Learn as much as you can before you jump out there. Nicholas Erik wrote the Ultimate Guide book to Book Promotion. It has helped a ton.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Oh yes. My family of course. I just moved to Texas from New Mexico. I love to run, hike, and ski. I was a ski instructor in Taos, New Mexico before returning to my home state. I also love Scotland. My grandfather was from Glasgow. I am currently studying Scotish Gaelic at Sabhol Mòr Ostaig. A Gaelic Univeristy on the Isle of Skye. I’m taking a distance learning course and attend short courses for immersive Gaelic for a couple of weeks each summer.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
 Dogs, Coffee, Depends—with my kids and close friends—talk otherwise text. Day for sure.

What’s next for you?
At least one more Fairy Trafficking book. I am also working on a rom com series set in Scotland that I’m super excited about. It’s early days yet but in each book the “cute-meet” will be on a solo’s tour in Scotland. I’ll get to feature the culture, history, and beauty of the country while falling in love. 

Magic Heist
Mary Karlik
(Fairy Trafficking #2)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: July 9th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.
Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm.
With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.
To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.
Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.
But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.
With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.
“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.”I Am the Bookworm

Author Bio:

Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna's home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn't find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as "100% solid storytelling," and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a "lovely story about growing up."
She digs deep into her Scottish roots - there is magic there, she just knows it - for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA's national convention.

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