Feeling rejuvenated

Last week, I had a dream about someone I’d never met. The very next day, I met the person in real life. My dreams have been very powerful, prophetic, and telling lately, providing insight, ideas for stories, and even brief escapes from reality. The nightmares haven’t ended, of course, but I’m grateful for even a short reprieve from those.

I’m filled with creative energy, bursting at the seams, and when I was able to change my perspective about the novel I’m currently working on, a few pieces fell into place, and I realized where I’d gone wrong. I ended up deleting at least three chapters, and removing the entire first section.

As I drove home in the pouring rain, I felt as if my father was sitting in the seat behind me, guiding me.

And I began a steady mantra to myself, a soft whisper in the back of my mind:

I will get an agent. I will sell a book to a big publisher. I will do it.

Because half the battle is the mindset. I’ve known this for many years, but it’s taken all that time to break out of the mold created for me when I was little, to shed the negative thinking I was brought up with.

I see where I made my mistake. I made my mistake when I believed the Voices I heard as a child, the ones that said I would never succeed. I made my mistake when I believed the people who scoffed at my dreams, crushing them like smoldering cigarette butts under their shoes. I see where I made my mistake.

Now I’m going to correct it.

New York Times Best Seller list, here I come.

Two Oceans

Two Oceans

Author Andrew P. Weston: If you had the power to make a difference . . . would you?

In a series of terrifying events, otherworldly beings intervene to save innocent lives. The world community reacts with relief as they realize that angels may in fact exist, and they are diligently protecting us.

But there are those who would seek to stop what they feel is a threat against their livelihoods. How far will some go to battle the Guardians? Is the fairy tale over before it even begins?

Guardian Angels is a powerful and compelling story about the catalyst that has the power to unite society in the hope for a better future. The spark of hope is fragile—can it last?

Welcome, Andy! Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in a little town called Bearwood in the UK. As the name suggests, it was an area of forests and woodlands and was all that remained of the once huge Forest of Arden of Middle-Ages fame. (Part of THAT was Nottingham Forest) . . . and we all knew who lived there. Ha-ha.

My family was 5th generation military– Royal Navy –and with that kind of heritage, it was a foregone conclusion which way my life would unfold. Despite being an avid sportsperson and also quite academic, I joined the Royal Marines. Life was “interesting” to say the least and I ended up serving in a number of specialist units. Just under nine years later, I joined the Police Service in the South West of the UK, and went on to serve in such diverse roles as a high speed pursuit driver, motorcyclist, and then later within Crime Intelligence.

Despite my gruff exterior, I love poetry, dancing and go all gooey with animals– but especially cats. An accident at work ended my career a little earlier than intended, but that gave me time to devote myself to the writing I’d wanted to do for quite a number of years.

Your background is really impressive! I’m sure you get a lot of ideas from it. What was the main inspiration behind Guardian Angels?

Bitter life experience. During my time in the military and my twenty-three years in the Police Service, I lost count of the incidents I had to deal with where someone’s life was changed forever by unexpected tragedy! Life is a very fragile thing, and “out of the blue” such things can strike when people least expect it, bringing untold calamity and suffering.

Attending those incidents often made me think, “What would have happened if we had got here sooner? Or if we had the resources or training to undo all this suffering and damage?”

That’s how the Guardian concept was born. The one accident that inspired me to actually put my thoughts together into a more structured form involved the death of a young boy on his way home at the end of a school day. Rush hour traffic is dangerous at the best of times. The scene was horrendous, as were the terrible sobs of the woman driving the vehicle he ran in front of. She was a mother herself, and her anguish was heart wrenching, even though there was nothing she could have done to avoid him. That’s why the opening chapter of Guardian Angels involves a young boy stepping out into the path of a truck. It describes what ALL the Emergency Service personnel there that day wish could have happened, had someone like a Guardian Angel been there to help. It describes what we’ve ALWAYS yearned to see for the people we serve. Can you imagine what it would be like if they were real?

What genre do you most enjoy writing?

I’ve always loved science fiction. I could read by the age of four and used to devour all the science fiction books in the library, so it’s inevitable I would gravitate towards that. However, now I’m getting my toe in the door, I’m discovering a bit of a “nose” for paranormal action / thrillers.

What is the easiest and most difficult thing about your genre? The easiest thing about those genres is the fact my warped and fragile mind is overflowing with ideas I want to get down in writing. The most difficult thing is to keep those ideas fresh. There’s a lot out there. I’m determined to make my stories different and appealing.

Who is your favorite character in your book, and what do you like most about him or her?

Commander Yasin. She’s based on my lovely wife. No-nonsense, stern, but with a quirky sense of humor. AT LAST I can get to tell her what to do! (Oooh, I’m gonna get it now!)

Do you get many of your ideas from your own life, or is your work mostly fictional?

While the concepts might be fictional– or a weird application of what I’ve experienced –I try to put as much of myself and what I know into the stories to add that anchor of realism. If it’s believable, people tend to relate to it more.

The science fiction of today is very often the science fact of tomorrow.

That is so true! How did you get started in publishing?

It took six months of research and preparation to get ready to start writing. Once I’d done it, I polished it, tweaked it– got it nearer to what you see now, and then submitted it to three publishers who didn’t mind multiple submissions. I got accepted almost instantly by two.

That’s a rare thing– congratulations! If you could share a tip for my readers about writing or publishing, what would it be?

Work with your editors closely! We are all influenced by life experience and can pick up habits that have become ingrained in us over the years. Our editors are there to take our little parcels of magic, and refine them into something cosmic. I have a tendency to wax lyrical. Thankfully, my editors have slapped my wrists and helped me begin to cut out the crap! I’m improving and so has the standard of my work. That can only benefit me and my stories in the future.

Thank you for visiting my blog, Andy!

Guardian Angels is available wherever books are sold, in both paperback and digital format. Buy direct from the publisher, or check it out on Amazon! It is a wonderful read.

Visit Andrew P Weston:

Website | Facebook | Blog

Maiden Behind the Mask: Every Hero Starts as a Victim

When Catalina Rodriguez is attacked by a would-be rapist and rescued by the dashing Ricardo Garcia, she not only becomes more aware of the handsome man, but also vows that she’ll never be a damsel in distress again. Using the timeless method of blackmail, she convinces her uncle to teach her to fight and becomes a masked crusader in the night, saving other damsels from robbers and rough handling.

However, scandalous rumors and dwindling funds force Ricardo and Catalina to marry. Not immune to each other’s charms, their marriage starts fiery, but when one of Catalina’s nightly escapades results in dire consequences, she is forced to spurn her husband’s amorous advances . . . or reveal a secret that could turn him away from her forever.

Enjoy a short excerpt . . .

Ricardo’s not a man to be cuckolded or left in the dark. Is his wife having an affair with El Capitan, the masked savior? If so . . . they will both pay.

She tore her gaze away from the mare and said firmly, “Cinco pesos. And only because this yegua has fire, not because of your terms. Selena, pay him.”

Selena’s hand shook, but the pesos were transferred to the dirty palm. The man laughed with glee, the crowd dispersed, and Catalina was left with a dirty, starving horse.

“We shall get you fed and cleaned up.” She patted the mare’s neck. A cloud of dirt rose in the air, and Catalina struggled not to cough. “I shall call you La Reina, because once in my establo, I shall treat you like a queen. Your body may be beaten, but your spirit is not broken.”

“Catalina?” Her maid’s voice was tentative as it interrupted her quiet chattering. “Whatever possessed you—”

“Fetch me a mozo,” Catalina interrupted her. “Take the remaining pesos and fetch me a groom. La Reina is going to her castle.” She wasn’t offering more explanation than that. She didn’t owe anyone an explanation. She’d done what was right.

As her maid turned to comply, heading toward the livery, a loud pffffht rent the air. Catalina stared at her new acquisition in surprise.

Selena froze and swung around to admonish her charge. “Señorita! Your behavior has been questionable enough this day. Mind yourself.” She shook her head and her finger both before turning back to the task at hand.

Catalina heard her muttering as she sashayed away. She was too surprised and too tired to defend herself, but the breeze picked up, and a waft of foul air assaulted her. Catalina immediately tugged a delicate, lace handkerchief from her sleeve and placed it over her nose as she glared at the horse.

La Reina snorted and pawed the ground. Catalina could swear the mare was laughing at her. She merely shook her head. “Dios mío, and you let me take the blame for that?”
Pffffhht. Pfffht.

La Reina whinnied and bared her teeth as though she were smiling.

About the Author

Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.

Tara also writes as Sonia Hightower. Sonia writes the racy stuff and argues that she was here first. She just wasn’t allowed to be unleashed until the last year. While Tara and Sonia continue to fight over the laptop and debate who writes the next book, you can find buy links, blurbs, and other fun bits on their website.

Tara’s website | Tara’s Facebook page

If You Follow Me

Hoping to outpace her grief in the wake of her father’s suicide, Marina has come to the small, rural Japanese town of Shika to teach English for a year. But in Japan, as she soon discovers, you can never really throw away your past . . . or anything else, for that matter.

If You Follow Me is at once a fish-out-of-water tale, a dark comedy of manners, and a strange kind of love story. Alive with vibrant and unforgettable characters—from an ambitious town matchmaker to a high school student-cum-rap artist wannabe with an addiction to self-tanning lotion—it guides readers over cultural bridges even as it celebrates the awkward, unlikely triumph of the human spirit.

This is one of the most delightful books I have ever read. I found it on the shelf at the library and could hardly put it down. Malena Watrous weaves a tale that we can all relate to. I was extremely touched by Marina’s journey after the death of her father, and her attempts to deal with her grief.

Divine messages come from the most unlikely of places. I often find that when I am dealing with something particularly trying, I happen upon a book that leaves me speechless and helps me to deal with whatever I am going through. If You Follow Me was one such book.

This past February, my father died. I am much too young to have lost my father. Although Marina lost her father to suicide, the death of one’s parent is still traumatic . . . especially since I only had three years to get to know my father. In many ways, Marina’s journey was my own. I am still dealing with the grief, and there are times when I break down.

I know my dad is here, watching out for me. In If You Follow Me, Marina sees her father in the strangest of places:

I don’t know how long I’ve been staring at the swarm of blue and white dots on the TV screen before they rearrange themselves into my father’s face, only that I’m not surprised when it happens. It’s like I’ve been waiting for this. “How did you find me?” I whisper, and the image flickers, disappears, then reappears.

Malena Watrous writes with a beautiful simplicity. Her writing found its way easily into my heart, reminding me of my own struggles. It’s funny how things come to us when we need them the most. In this case, it was this book. As a fiction writer, I know that I often wonder if anyone really “gets” anything meaningful out of my books. The thing is, you never really know when the words you write will be the words that someone else needs to hear. Thank you, Malena, for writing such a lovely book.

Welcoming Linda Andrews, author of Brianna

I would like to welcome Linda Andrews to my blog. Hi, Linda! It’s great to have you here today. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a scientist who writes paranormal romance. Yep, I have a secret personality just like a superhero. Okay, I don’t have superpowers, but my characters do. The heroine of Brianna can learn things by touching objects, that’s called psychometry. She also has a cat that is the incarnation of an Egyptian goddess. I too learn things by picking up objects–like that’s hot, or soft or squishy and my cats (ordinary felines that they are) think I should worship them like they are gods/goddesses. As you can tell, I use my writing to escape my rather mundane everyday life.

I have cats, too. I think they secretly are gods and goddesses! Ha-ha. What genre do you most enjoy writing?

Oddly enough I enjoy writing in all the genres I write–sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, and horror. But I will say fantasy and paranormal allow me to stretch my imagination far beyond the boundaries of the box of the science and horror.

I think that’s great. I personally enjoy a story that mixes a bit of both. What is the easiest and most difficult thing about your genres?

The writing is the hardest thing. Writing is work, hard work. I’m always amazed at the images people get from simple words. Pinning down the right words to get the reader to see what you want is a lot like pulling an ace of spade out of a deck of cards. You could do it, but I’m not sure that there isn’t a bit of magic involved. Of course, I love the challenge and so I keep writing.

The easiest thing about paranormal romance is creating the worlds and coming up with unique twists. Anything goes and I love it.

Well put! Who is your favorite character in your book, and what do you like most about him or her?

My favorite character in Brianna is the hero. He’s an alpha kind of guy but Brianna doesn’t play by his rules and is more set on rescuing him than allowing him to rescue her. She also doesn’t know these rules, he keeps trying to foist on her. She’s spunky and daring–matching him in everything and he’s man enough to appreciate it, even though it’s driving him nuts.

Do you get many of your ideas from your own life, or is your work mostly fictional?

A little of both. Brianna is recovered from consumption (aka tuberculosis) and had spent most of her life undergoing medical treatments and trying to ignore the social stigma associated with the disease in the Victorian era. Having spent the first ten years of my life with a medical handicap, I completely understand why her character is so set on living as well as forsaking those social conventions that get in her way.

That’s a fascinating plot line; I can’t wait to read this. I have mentioned consumption in conversation before, and people either knew what I was talking about or had no idea. You’re tackling a very interesting subject. What was the main inspiration behind your current novel?

I love the Victorian era and Egypt, especially mummies. I did want to be an Egyptologist when I was younger, then I realized my claustrophobia made it impossible. But those things don’t apply to writing, so I sent Brianna to Egypt to protect the tomb of the only Egyptian mortal to become a god, Imhotep.

I think I would be too claustrophobic, too, but it’s wonderful that you’re writing about it. How did you get started in publishing, and what did you find most difficult?

I got my first break from Zumaya Publications when they bought the story of Brianna’s parents back in 2001. I’d been writing for 4 years at the time and had my share of rejections. Brianna is my 9th book published with them. The most difficult aspect was not getting discouraged by the rejections. Being stubborn by nature and having writer friends through RWA has helped tremendously.

Do you have a tip for my readers, or something you’d like to share?

If you love a story or an author send them an email and let them know. Writers are modern day hermits. We do so much alone and get lots of feedback about how to fix the things that are wrong in our manuscripts that it’ll make someone’s day to hear how they got it right. Actually, I’d apply that to everything in life. Take the time to appreciate the little things that someone does for you and thank them–even if it’s their job!

Great advice, Linda. Thank you so much for sharing, and for being here today. Good luck with your writing! 

Love, lies, and an ancient Egyptian curse. Brianna Grey holds the key to mankind’s destruction and someone is willing to kill for it. Having spent most of her life dying of consumption, one man’s kiss has resurrected her desire to live. For US Treasury Agent, Duncan Stuart, love means death. He works alone, lives alone and plans to die alone until he meets Brianna again. Under the harsh Egyptian sun, Duncan will break all his rules to save her but will it be enough to overcome the secrets that could get them both killed?

Get acquainted with Linda Andrews’s writing by downloading the FREE Paranormal Romance The Love Lottery today.

Linda Andrews’s Ghost of a Chance is on sale now on Amazon. Check it out! Brianna is not yet available, but it will be soon . . . .

Aubrie Dionne: Professional flutist, music teacher, and prolific author!

After watching his love leave on a colony ship, James Wilfred must save those left behind from a planetary apocalypse. Their salvation lies in an unfinished ship tucked away in a secret government base, and only James can break in and pilot him and his people to freedom on a nearby space station.

Skye O’Connor’s boyfriend never returns after his gang attempts an assassination of the Governor, and the State Building is destroyed. Worse, crazed moonshiners addicted to the chemical Morpheus have stormed the city, and she must find a safe place for her and her boyfriend’s daughter. When a heroic man saves her, Skye asks to accompany him on his quest to find the last colony ship left on Earth.

As the city falls around them, James and Skye must work together to build a new future, all the while rediscovering their ability to love, before the apocalypse claims them both.

Welcome, Aubrie! Please share a little bit about yourself with my readers.

Thank you for having me on your blog! I’m a professional flutist by day and a writer by night. I teach music at a local community music school and a university, and I play at weddings and in orchestras. I got into writing because my flute students urged me to write down the stories I used to make up in their lessons to go with the music, and here I am today!

That’s so cool! What genre do you most enjoy writing?

Fantasy. But, my science fiction has been selling much better than my fantasy, so I’ve gone in that direction for now.

What do you find easiest and most difficult about writing in these genres?

With fantasy, it’s finding something new and fresh to write about, because so much has been done before . . . with Lord of the Rings and all the spin-offs of that. For science fiction, I feel like I have to include a good deal of science in my world and root it in the real world, which is sometimes hard for me because science wasn’t my strongest subject!

I’m sure you do quite well anyway! A Hero Rising looks fantastic. Who is your favorite character in your book, and what do you like most about him or her?

I love all my characters. They are all extensions of myself– even the bad ones! It’s hard for me to see them struggle, but that’s what makes a good story, and that’s how they grow.

You mentioned your characters are extensions of yourself. Do you get many of your ideas from your own life, or is your work mostly fictional?

Right now I’m writing a contemporary romance based on an orchestra, so that is definitely from my own life! But, a lot of it I just made up– because I’ve never rode on a space ship, explored new planets, or met any aliens. Yet.

Ha-ha– that’s coming soon, I’m sure! What was the main inspiration behind A Hero Rising

I wanted to explore James’s story because I’d left him in such a sorry state in Tundra 37. I felt as though he needed to find his own happy ever after.

You’re making me curious– I can’t wait to read it! How did you get started in publishing, and what was the most difficult aspect of “breaking in” to the field?

The rejection is the most difficult. It took me four books to get the attention of an agent. I’m still trying to break into the bigger publishers, and I’m on my eighth book. You can imagine how many hundreds of rejections I’ve faced so far. But, I just keep writing because I enjoy it.

That’s wonderful, Aubrie. Keep at it, and I’m sure you will reach your goal. If you could share a tip with my readers about writing or publishing, what would it be? 

Write a little every day. If you write 1k a day, which takes maybe an hour, you’ll have 4-6 novels a year!

Great advice, but as we all know, easier said than done! Do you do any research for your writing? If so, how do you go about it? What kind of research do you do? 

Oh yes! I love to Google things or go on Wikipedia. I also ask the people around me. My brother is a software engineer, and my sister is a nurse, so they have a lot of experience with things I know nothing about.

A huge congratulations to Aubrie Dionne for the publication of A Hero Rising– Here’s to many more! Thank you for visiting my blog, Aubrie, and good luck.

Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She recently signed her YA sci-fi novel with Inkspell Publishing titled: Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, which will release in October 2012. When she’s not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras. She’s a big Star Trek TNG fan, as well as Star Wars and Serenity.

August 20 – September 14 Book Tour by Shades of Rose Marketing

Descendants: Fantasy, action, and adventure!

Knights are dead and gone since the days of Camelot. The ancient battles pitting sword and shield against one another are just a distant memory, one that very few even give validity, and that’s exactly how it should be. I mean honestly, if people knew half of what really went on in the shadows and under the bed they’d probably wind up institutionalized.

Luckily, that’s where people like me come in. I’m a Knight. That’s right, an armor-clad, sword-wielding powerhouse of old, with all the powers and responsibilities that come with that position. We’re not all gone, but unfortunately, trouble is brewing in the Kingdom hidden in North America . . . and it’s kind of my fault. I killed a bunch of gnomes, which in turn pissed off some trolls. Now they’re trying to kill me and start a war with all of humanity. And all while and ancient evil is awakening to try and block my path at every turn.

My Review

I loved the secret world created by the author in the fantastical novel Descendants. Sir Godric Patronar is heir to the throne of North America, despite the fact that everyone thinks that knights and kings are things of the past. A portal carries him between the kingdom and the front door of his modest apartment in Philadelphia, where he seemingly lives the life of a normal city dweller—never-mind the fact that he’s just killed off a bunch of gnomes and upset the trolls in the process.

The action begins straight away; Godric’s father is furious with him for the massacre, yet Godric feels that his acts were justified. Here’s one of my favorite parts:

I dropped out of my coat, rolled my sleeves up to the elbow, and pulled my blade from the back of my jeans. It didn’t make a sound as I flicked it open. I looked at Devin and asked as nonchalantly as I could manage. “Which four do you want?”

At first, I had trouble getting into the story . . . But once the action takes off, one cannot help but wonder what’s coming next. Naturally, I had to read the book because the author, Andrew Katz, hails from my neck of the woods: the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania.
The story and Andrew’s style is reminiscent of an action-packed cartoon, or an edge-of-your-seat movie: the energy nearly jumps off the page. I think that the novel is best suited for young adults, and lovers of a great Fantasy tale. I wish Andrew much luck in all of his future writings!

About the Author

Andrew Katz is a young, up and coming author from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His novel, “Descendants”, is his first full length work. Action, adventure, and a healthy dose of sarcasm are staples of his writing. He has also published a short story in the anthology “Dark Light”, centering on the same protagonist as his novel. Andrew loves music, reading, his dog George, and relaxing in the sun. He may not be the most exciting person, but he makes up for it with imagination and . . . unpredictability.

Visit Andrew on Facebook | Buy Descendants on Amazon

Check Out Time on Kickstarter

Marketing is the most costly aspect of publishing a book. Due to this fact, I have been unable to market my latest novel, Check Out Time, as effectively as I would like to. So I decided to try Kickstarter! An author friend, Kate Policani, had great luck with it, so I am following her example.

Kickstarter is a wonderful website where dreams are funded. Through Kickstarter, and the kind donations of friends, readers, and writers, I hope to raise $500 to market Check Out Time.

If I reach my goal, I plan to book a blog tour through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. Whatever is left over will be put toward other online book tour companies.

For more information, and to help back my project, please click here.

Backers will of course be rewarded with wonderful goodies!

I truly appreciate your help. If you cannot donate, please tell your friends. Thank you, everyone!

Cover Reveal Giveaway: Morrigan by Laura DeLuca

Welcome to the Morrigan Cover Reveal Giveaway, sponsored by Author Laura DeLuca, Mom to Bed by 8, The Sisters Elemental, The Whimsical Pixie, Crones Magical Crafts / Moonwise Creationz, and New Age Mama! This is a giveaway filled with magic and we’re sure you will enjoy walking through the land of Tír Na nÓg with our heroine and all her supporters.  To start off the fun, lets share a little about the YA novel, Morrigan, which is due to be released by Pagan Writers Press on October 31st, 2012!
Morrigan Blurb
Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn’t know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind, and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.
Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír Na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.
Morrigan Excerpt 
Morrigan took out a white candle and a stick of dragon blood incense, and set them up in the corner of the room. She sat cross-legged, and leaned forward to light them. No matches were necessary. No lighter either. She simply touched her finger to the end of the wick, and with an iridescent spark, the candle flickered to life. It shone at first with a bright blue flame that gradually settled into a more normal orange. It was the same with the incense—another reason why she preferred not to have an audience.

She stared into the candle for a moment, and took a few deep breaths to
 clear her mind of all thoughts but those of the magic she intended to perform. Danu and Dagda sat on either side of her, instantly falling into silence, as though they knew she needed her complete concentration. Their energy beside her only seemed to add to the every growing sense of power that charged the room.

Morrigan closed her eyes and began to shuffle the cards. As she did, she
 allowed her breathing to become more even. A silence filled the room as the rest of the mortal world fell away. Soon the only sound she heard was the light thump of her own heartbeat, echoed by the quicker, fast paced beat of the cats’ hearts. She wasn’t sure how much time passed as the cards slipped through her fingers. It might have been minutes. It might have been hours. When she allowed herself to fall into a trace, time became insubstantial, irrelevant.

The tarot cards were so old; the designs on the back were almost
 completely worn away. She had to shuffle gently to keep them from crumbling to pieces in her hands. Yet they held a power that she knew no newer cards could ever offer. As she shuffled them, she focused her energy into them, silently requesting to be given the answers she was seeking.  She allowed the image of her mother to fill her mind. When she finally felt the cards had fallen into the order they were meant to be in, she placed the deck face down on the floor, and cut them with her right hand. Then, taking one last, calming breath, she lifted the top card from the pile. With a trembling hand, she laid it down and read it.
“Wheel of Fortune,” she said aloud. In the center of card was a wheel. As she stared at the picture, that wheel seemed to start turning clockwise. The movements made her feel slightly dizzy. The bedroom around her became more and more surreal.  The scene on the card became her reality. The figure of the sphinx that sat on top of the turning wheel looked so very real. It might have turned its head to look at her. Its lips may or may not have moved. But Morrigan swore she heard a deep, resonating voice whispering the meaning of the card into her ear. Destiny approaching. An unexpected and sudden change was coming—change that could lead to good fortune.

It was the card of fate and karma returned. It meant that she needed to be prepared—to expect the unexpected.
 Morrigan knew the cards were telling her something was going to happen—and soon. Her destiny, whatever it was, was about to be realized. Even if it did bring with it fortune of some kind, it still scared her to death. So much so, she considered packing up the cards right then and there. Her rational mind had every intention of doing just that. The problem was, her hands didn’t get the message her brain was sending them. Before she knew what she was doing, she had already flipped over the second card.
“The Empress,” she whispered. She exhaled deeply. “My mother.”

It was the only interpretation
 imaginable. Even as she said it, the pregnant woman, crowned with stars and adorned in a gown decorated with pomegranates, turned to her and smiled. No longer the vague featureless stranger that was there just a moment ago, but the same woman she had sketched earlier that day—a face that mirrored her own. It
was an older version of herself, which she saw in the reflection in the nearby full length mirror, had turned chalk white.

The Empress was a symbol of maternal power—of a strong feminine
 influence. But could it mean…did she even dare to hope that her mother was returning? She had never allowed herself to consider such a possibility. To dwell on something so unlikely would have been too painful. But now, with just the flip of a card, she found herself daring to dream it might be so. There was only one way to find out for sure. She had to keep going with the reading.

“Six of Cups.”
The third card in the spreadrepresented her past, and even her immediate present. The six of cups specifically symbolized childhood, and she was, technically, still a child. But
she had a feeling that her childhood was about to end quite abruptly. The cups in the picture were lined up across a high, stone wall, each cup holding the memories of her past.

Her past. It was nothing but a childhood filled with longing—longings
 which were perhaps about to be fulfilled. She visualized herself taking each cup down from the wall, and pouring the troubling memories away. It was time to start fresh. A new world was about to open up for her. She had known it as soon as she had seen the image of her mother’s face. But what would that world be like? What was waiting for her in the future?

Morrigan turned over the fourth
 card.
“The Knight of Wands.”

The man on the horse carrying the staff
 had her baffled. Not because she didn’t know its normal meaning, but because as she stared at the card, it began to take on the physical attributes of the knight in her drawings. He had the same long dreadlocks, the same bewitching stare, even the same cocky smile. It was not at all the blank face that was nearly worn away from time that should been staring back at her. Yet, the familiarity did not cancel out the meaning of the card. The knight of wands was representative of a dark man filled with a kind of honey-tongued charm. He was also fiery and arrogant, a man with a definite possibility of a dark side. If the knight of wands was coming into her life, she knew she needed to proceed with caution.

She thought she was done with the fourth
 card, and was preparing to move on to the next, when once again, she found she had lost control of her own body. This time, her hands refused to move, while her eyes forced their way back to the knight in the card. She watched as the long haired stranger began to move forward—wondering over various landscapes—some high mountains, some meadows and fields ripe for the harvest. He kept looking back over his shoulder, as though he were speaking to someone. He was on a journey, and he wasn’t alone. Morrigan didn’t need to see his companion to know who it must be.

So, her journey would soon begin, and she wouldn’t be traveling alone.
 She would have a guide. Whether or not that would be a good thing was another question best left to the cards to answer. However, the next card told her nothing she didn’t already know.
“The Moon,” she said. “Caution.”

It was a scary card. It warned of tricks
 and illusions. The two howling wolves that stood under the moon looked back at her menacingly, growling, showing their pointed fangs in a snarl.  For the first time since she began the reading, Danu and Dagda made their presence known by lifting their heads and hissing threateningly in the direction of the beasts.

Even the cats sensed it. The journey she
 was about to embark on wouldn’t be all fun and family reunions. There would be obstacles and deceit, most likely from people she though could be trusted. The moon was a sign that danger was certainly awaiting her. In was an ominous omen.
“Shhhh.”

She hushed the still hissing cats, and gave them each a gentle stroke to
 try to settle them down, though she was far from settled herself. Again she felt the urge to stop the spread. Her instincts were telling her that no good was going to come out of this reading. That she was only going to scare herself.
She should never have done it in the first place. When would she learn that sometimes it was best to just let life play out without interference or prophetic warnings? Then again, she knew that to be forewarned might be her only advantage. So with more bravery than she felt, Morrigan flipped over the final card.
“No . . . .” she gasped when she looked down at the terrible, skeletal face.  “Oh no . . . .”

She should have known. She thought perhaps a part of her did know
 even before she glanced down at the gruesome scene—a skeleton with a scythe in a field of body parts. With the divination going in the direction it was, what else could be the final outcome?
“Death,” she whispered. “Death.”

She knew that in most cases, the death card was more a symbol of
 personal transformation than literal death. But a deeper sense of understanding told her that this time the card was meant to be taken literally. She saw only glimpses and shadows in her mind. Brief flashes of faces, some familiar, like her mother and the knight—some still strangers, like a beautiful, almost angelic blonde woman in a flowing white gown. But around them all, including herself, she saw the shadows of death. Someone would die. That was certain. Whether that person was Morrigan or someone else, neither the cards nor her sixth sense was willing to reveal.
Morrigan felt decidedly shaky as she gathered up her tarot cards. She placed them securely in the bottom of her bag just as she heard the door downstairs slam shut. The reading hadn’t made everything as crystal clear as she had hoped, but one thing was certain. She would soon be leaving on a journey—a journey that would undoubtedly end in
death.
About the Author

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.

Other Books By Laura DeLuca
Available  for $3.99 in e-book format or currently $15.73 for print copies on Amazon. The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more
sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when
the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.
 DestinyAvailable for only $.99 in e-book format or $14.95 for print version on Amazon. Gabriella is a witch. The problem is, she doesn’t remember. She repressed the memories of her powers years ago when her mother was murdered. Now, the warlock who was responsible for her mother’s death has set his sights on Gabriella. He is determined to use her fear to
turn her to the dark side of magick . . . even if it kills her. Her mother’s spirit is reaching out to warn her, but even that she pushes away.Desperate to save her daughter, the spirit finds a male witch–one that just happens to be in love with Gabriella. Darron is more than willing to help but the two young witches will have way more to battle than just an evil warlock. There are overbearing jocks and petty rich girls who get tempers flaring and often set Gabrielle and Darron at odds.There is more to the story than Gabrielle and Darron could even imagine. There are terrible secrets to be revealed, battles to be waged, and lives will be lost. Only after Gabrielle and Darron both come to terms with who they really are, and open themselves up to the true meaning of magick, can they have any hope of fulfilling their destiny.

 Destiny UnveiledAvailable for only $3.99 for e-book version or $14.89 for print version on Amazon. Gabriella and Darron thought their magickal battle was over when they defeated the evil warlock, Richard. When her Aunt Donna seeks Gabriella’s help in rescuing her catatonic daughter from the Dark Coven, Gabriella discovers that her cousin holds a power within her that would be catastrophic in the hands of the evil witches. Gabriella’s coven sets out on a journey that may be their last. Along the way, they meet new allies, face devastating treachery, and battle not only the Dark Coven, but the darkness within themselves. When Gabriella finally comes face to face with the cousin she never knew existed, her true destiny is unveiled, and the fate of the mortal world is in her hands.
THE GIVEAWAY
And now for the exciting part! Three fabulous Etsy shops have created original works of art to go along with the Morrigan cover! Below you fill find the prizes they are sponsoring, as well as links to their shops in case you would like to order any of their wonderful products for yourselves.
The Whimsical Pixie offers an array of unique hand crafted items for the
altar, home and garden for practicing pagans and the whimsical at
heart. New for Spring, The Whimsical Pixie has Sabbat kits, ritual kits
and more to enhance your celebrations.
Paula from the Whimsical Pixie has created a beautiful wood burned tarot card box emblazoned with the Celtic symbol featured in the title of Morrigan. The box has special significance to the story. If you read the excerpt above, you will see that Morrigan is quite gifted with Tarot cards.   The box measures 5.25″Lx3.25″Wx2″H; retail value $26.99; tarot cards not included.
The Sisters Elemental offer natural luxury bath salts, cold process
soaps, hand and body lotions, and other spiritual & inspirational
tools to help you connect to the Universe. They hope you enjoy them as
much as they enjoy creating them! Much love and light to you and yours,
~*Earth*~, ~*Fire*~, and ~*Water*~
 Commissioned by Laura DeLuca to make something that will pull you in to
the world of Morrigan, the main character of her to-be-released book
Morrigan, we think that this combination will bring you to her world. A
mixture of Dragon’s Blood, Cypress, and Sweet Orange essential oils with
an accent of Hibiscus petals will leave you feeling blessed by the
goddess and wrapped in magick. Created by ~*Fire*~
Using seashells from the beautiful beaches in Florida, I hand painted
the Elder Futhark rune symbols on each shell. Used like regular runes,
they give guidance for almost anything imaginable. The most amazing part
about these is the connection to the ocean. They are infused with the
sea, and loving thoughts of peace and love from me, as I painted them. I
believe you’ll find these an amazing addition to your divination tools.
And maybe even feel a little more connected to the ocean and it’s life!
 Mother Earth handmade cold process soap ~ very outdoors and earthy; made
with cypress, cedarwood, fir needle, wintergreen, and patchouli
essential oils and lightly colored with green zeolite clay. Get in
touch with Mother Nature herself! ~*Earth*~ Creation: All my
soaps are infused with positive energy, love, and made with 100% natural
vegan ingredients right in my own kitchen. Approximately 4.5 oz bar.
Moonwise Creationz / Crones Magical Crafts Moonwise Creationz/Crones Magical Crafts offers Jewelry Design and Fine Crafts ! Inspired
by Mother Moon and the divine feminine. Goddess Jewellery, priestess
crowns, ritual tools. altar sets, charm bracelets. Pentacles,and sacred
symbols, amulets and all things magical!

Commissioned exculsivly for Author Laura Deluca in celebration of her latest novel Morrigan.

This one of a kind jewellry set features bold and striking colors of Baby and periwinkle blues accented with pastel greens. Made with gemstones of sodalite crystals,and Tiara crystal beads and glass pearls accented with delicate silver filigree and celtic knot beads.The focal Of the necklace is a striking sodalite cabochon with a detailed silver celtic triquetra knot ,set on a filigree cameo frame.

The set comes with a matching charm bracelet, and earrings.

Retail Value of $70.00

Compliments Of Crones Magical Crafts & Moonwise Creationz

Denise Reid * Jewelry Artist

Author Laura DeLuca is also offering a signed copy of her debut novel, Destiny, a rose quartz pendant, three packs of incense, three crystal points, a clear crystal pendant, and a geode.  ARV: $50.
And finally, our two sponsoring mommy bloggers are each tossing in a $25 Gift Certificate to Amazon for a total of $50 . The total value of the complete prize package is well over $300! One lucky winner is going to walk away with all this fantastic swag!  To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to the US & Canada, but please note the prize in is US dollars. The giveaway will end at 12:01 est on 9/28/12.  Winner will be selected at random and will have 48 hours to reply to the winning notification before another winner is selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway: Click here to Enter

A super huge thank you goes out to all the wonderful sponsors as well as the bloggers and authors who helped make this giveaway possible!  We would also like to thank Paragraphic Designs for designing the beautiful cover for Morrigan!

Thanks AGAIN to Teri from Mom to Bed by Eight for letting me use her wording!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. Author Rosa Sophia is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Carrie Ann Ryan presents Dust of My Wings

Humans aren’t as alone as they choose to believe. Every human possesses a trait of supernatural that lays dormant within their genetic make-up. Centuries of diluting and breeding have allowed humans to think they are alone and untouched by magic. But what happens when something changes?

Neat freak lab tech, Lily Banner lives her life as any ordinary human. She’s dedicated to her work and loves to hang out with her friends at Dante’s Circle, their local bar. When she discovers a strange blue dust at work she meets a handsome stranger holding secrets–and maybe her heart. But after a close call with a thunderstorm, she may not be as ordinary as she thinks.

Shade Griffin is a warrior angel sent to Earth to protect the supernaturals’ secrets. One problem, he can’t stop leaving dust in odd places around town. Now he has to find every ounce of his dust and keep the presence of the supernatural a secret. But after a close encounter with a sexy lab tech and a lightning quick connection, his millennia old loyalties may shift and he could lose more than just his wings in the chaos.

Enjoy an Excerpt . . . .

“Hi.” Shade smiled and tilted his head.

“Hi,” she breathed.

“You look beautiful, Lily.” He tucked a stray hair behind her ear and she shivered.

“You do too.” She blushed again. Soon she’d be Crayola red. “I mean you look handsome.”

He traced her jaw with a calloused finger. “Thank you. Are you ready to go?”

She swallowed hard. “Uh huh.”

Okay, she really had to remember the English language. This was getting embarrassing.

“Okay then.” He trailed his hand down her arm and wrapped his palm around hers. His
warm skin felt like heaven against hers.

She shook her head, clearing her thoughts. How was she supposed to get through a whole date if she couldn’t even formulate thoughts to get out of the door?

With a nod, she gripped his hand tighter and closed the door behind her. He led her to his
bike and she smiled.

“I love it, Shade.”

He gave a huge grin. “Thanks. This is my baby. No matter where I am, I try and take her
with me.” He rubbed the leather seat and an irrational urge to knock the bike down went through her.

She would not be jealous of a motorcycle. Would not.

About the Author

Carrie Ann Ryan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate–even if its just in her books. Happy endings are always near–even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.

Her first book, An Alpha’s Path, is the first in her Redwood Pack series. She’s also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She loves meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.

Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers.

Find her on Facebook | Heartthrob Haven | Visit her blog | Website