Thursday, January 31, 2013

Arrows of Anteros and First Acceptance of 2013

If you're looking for a great place to submit your flash fiction, M Pepper Langlinais has started a new site called Arrows of Anteros. She's an award winning screenwriter, a produced playwright, and a bestselling author. She has a bunch of excellent little pieces of fiction already up on the site, and she's searching for more. Instructions on how to submit something to M are at the bottom of her page. She wants flash fiction with a word count no greater than 3,000. She's fine with horror and romance, but she won't portray anything graphic on the site.

I'll be submitting something to M later this week. I managed to squeeze in time to submit three stories last week to a few other sites. I received my first rejection of the year from Tor earlier this month and my first acceptance this week from 365 Tomorrows. I'm not sure when it will be published, but I'll let you know when my story is up and available to the public.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wicked Wednesday - new releases for 2013

A lot of great paranormal romances coming out this year. 2013 feels like a lucky year! Here's my list of the books I'm really looking forward to reading this year.

Haunted Moon by Yasmine Galenorn. (An Otherworld Novel, #13) Released on January 29th. Another great D'Artigo sisters' adventure narrated by my favorite of the siblings, Camille.

House Rules by Chloe Neill. (Chicagoland Vampires #7) Release date: February 5th. More Merit and Ethan. Oh yes!

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead. (Bloodlines #3) Release date: February 12th. This series is a spin-off of Mead's best selling Vampire Academy series. I love the first two books and I can't wait to see what happens with Sydney next.

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs. (Mercedes Thompson series, #7). Release date: March. Another atypical heroine that I admire.

Deadly Sting by Jennifer Estep. (The Elemental Assassin series, #8) Release date: March 26th. Gin Blanco is one of my favorite heroines. Who doesn't love an assassin that makes good barbecue?

Born of Fury by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (A League Novel, #6) Release date: April 1st. Finally a story about Hauk. I've been waiting a while for this one! These are unusual paranormal romances because they're also gritty sci-fi.

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead. (Age of X series, #1) Release date: June 4th. A wonderful new series about a futuristic world and strange supernatural happenings. I'm really looking forward to this new series.

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews. (Kate Daniels #9) Release date: July. The world in this series captivates me. The world after a magical apocalypse. It's so completely unusual and magnificent.

Grave Visions by Kalayna Price. (Alex Craft #4) Release date: August 6th. An excellent series with one of the sexiest versions of Death.

Up From The Grave by Jeaniene Frost. (Night Huntress #7) Release date: some time this year! I just started this series this month and I love it. Bones is one of my favorite all time vampires now.

I'm sure there are a lot more I'm missing. What paranormal romance releases are you looking forward to this year?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Hourglass

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This book is one I thought I read, but I actually didn't. Luckily I picked it up again, because I'm really enjoying it. Hourglass is Myra McEntire's first novel. A YA paranormal romance that is original and sweet.

Your teaser:
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. "I almost cried at dinner the other night. Was that not vulnerable enough for you?" (page 121)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest

This wonderful blogfest gives everyone a chance to re-introduce themselves to our growing community. All you have to do is take a minute and tell everyone something interesting about yourself. This is a blogfest, so please visit the other participants and get to know them. Don't forget to give a big thank you to our marvelous hosts Stephen Tremp, Mark Koopmans, Elise Fallson, and C.M. Brown.

Hello! Please allow me to re-introduce myself. I'll make it short and sweet. My name is Christine Rains and I'm a geek mom. My son shares his bed with Ernie, Brobee, and Cthulhu. We play Candyland like a role-playing game and frequently turn our couch into a pirate ship. I love to write and read. Hopefully I can help nurture those loves in my son as well.

I'm shy and not terribly exciting, but I love getting to know new and old friends alike. Tell me something about yourself, please.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Winners of The Alpha blog tour giveaway and updates

My little guy is singing a song in honor of the winners of The Alpha blog tour giveaway. Thank you so much to everyone who entered. Next month, I'll be having another giveaway with The Dragonslayer blog tour. Check the 13th Floor series page for all the stops. It's a big one this time around!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to the winners! I've already emailed you.

I'm working hard on the next book in the 13th Floor series. My son has stopped having naps, so I've lost a good chunk of my writing time. It's frustrating, but it was inevitable. If I'm around even less on the blogs, I hope you'll forgive me. I need to write. I had hoped he'd still take naps for another year. At least I have two mornings a week while he's in school, and starting the next school year, he'll be doing three mornings a week.

I received my first rejection for the year. It was from Tor. I was aiming high! Also, another anthology I had a story in has been cancelled. The publisher has closed down. I didn't get an email or any sort of notice. I found out on a friend's blog. Now I need to start submitting stories elsewhere because I have nothing out there at the moment.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I'll see you on Monday for the Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

CassaFire review

From the Amazon best-selling author - CassaStar was just the beginning… The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather. The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren’s civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan’s technology and strange mental abilities. To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

My review:
War hero and star pilot Byron is keeping his word to his former mentor. It's boring on the exploration ship, but at least he's content. Alien ruins are found on the planet of Tgren, and Byron's people are working to decode them. They form an alliance with the Tgren people, but it's shaky at best, especially with the fact some of the Tgrens are developing mental powers. The Cassans are helping them learn about their new abilities, but one young woman's powers may even rival Byron's. He's assigned to teach Athee, but all he wants is to be left alone. Yet she may be exactly what Byron needs.

A well-written and solid science-fiction tale. It has all the great elements of the first book, CassaStar. New worlds, comradery, and a sense of wonder. Byron is still a compelling character. Though older and wiser, he still has a sense of mischief and a love for flying. Athee tests his resolve. She's a strong and admirable woman, and reminds me of Byron a lot when he was young. I was unsure if there would be a romantic relationship at the beginning, but it moved at a slow natural pace. I also thoroughly enjoyed Byron's friendship with a young scientist and how their relationship evolved.

CassaFire isn't as much about the battles as the previous book. It's about people. And the immense dread hanging over their heads when something happens at the ruins!

You can find Alex J. Cavanaugh online here: Blog * Twitter * Goodreads

Purchase links for CassaFire: Amazon * B&N 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wicked Wednesday - a few things I picked up

It's been a while since I've done a Wicked Wednesday post. I hope to get back into the regular swing of things. So much has been happening, and I've been very busy with my 13th Floor series. I'm learning a lot about the genre and what's hot. This week I'm going to share a few things with you.

Werewolves are still a hot topic. You read on a lot of sites that the popularity of werewolves and vampires is diminishing. Perhaps agents and publishers are tiring of them, but readers still want more. The Alpha has already sold four times as many copies as The Marquis. People hear werewolf and their ears perk up. A new twist to the alpha trope? Now they're even more interested. I'm curious to see what happens when I get to the vampire's story in my series.

Paranormal romance fans like sarcasm and humor. The posts from my tours that received the most feedback were the funny ones. I think humor attracts people in general, and fans of this genre like a certain edge to their humor. I will never be Joss Whedon, but I'll do my best with this.

Covers matter. With The Marquis, people were seeing more urban fantasy. It wasn't sexy enough. The Alpha got more attention with Stefanie on the cover. Intense and gorgeous. The Dragonslayer has gotten the most attention. Shirtless Xan has caused a lot of people to drool. With paranormal romance, the hotness factor does count.

What have you learned through promoting your books?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with Beautiful Disaster

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This is a book I've heard a lot about last year. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is probably one of the YA favorites of 2012. And for the life of me, I can't see why. I'm sorry. The protagonist is weak and her love interest frightening. I'm making myself read the whole thing, but I'm finding this another YA book that is portrays a relationship that is a horrible model for young people.
Your teaser:
"Tell him that I'll keep my promise. By this time tomorrow, he won't miss me." (page 178)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Polar Night cover reveal

Book Blurb: When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case.

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems.

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same.

Bio: Julie Flanders is a librarian and a freelance writer who has written for both online and print publications. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home in Cincinnati, Ohio with her dog and cat. Polar Night, a suspense thriller with a supernatural twist, is her first novel. It will be published by Ink Smith Publishing on February 7, 2013. Find Julie online at her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Don't forget to enter The Alpha blog tour giveaway still going on over at Cherie Reich's blog. You can win the first two ebooks in the 13th Floor series and an ARC of The Dragonslayer.

Friday, January 18, 2013

1303 - The Dragonslayer cover reveal

Title: 1303 - The Dragonslayer
The 13th Floor series, #3
Genre: paranormal romance
Release date: February 13th, 2013

On the rooftop of neighboring building, dragonslayer Xanthus Ehrensvard fires at his target, Governor Whittaker. How he missed the shot, he doesn't know, but fleeing the scene, he picks up an unwanted passenger. Gorgeous reporter Lois King saw Xan's face, and she believes it's the story to make her career. Except he can't let her walk away knowing what he looks like. Xan has to show her the Governor is a bigger threat to the world than he is.

Xan knows dragons never went extinct. They evolved with human society, taking on mortal forms, and slithered their way into positions of great influence and power, just like the Governor.
But it's no easy chore proving to someone that dragons still exist, and even more so, they're disguised as famous people. Xan must convince Lois or find another way to silence her. An option, as he gets to know her, he likes less and less.

After all, dragonslayers are no longer celebrated heroes but outlaws. Just as the dragons wish it. But this outlaw must make a plan to slay the dragon or risk its retribution.

Mark The Dragonslayer "to read" on Goodreads.

I do realize it's not exactly like the previous two covers. The model isn't staring forward, but I saw this picture and I was mesmerized. That is Xan. That's my dragonslayer! The fact he's shirtless is just a bonus. Heh.

Now who wants to be a part of my tour next month?!

I also have a bonus guest post over at Livia Peterson's blog. I'm talking about writing a series. What do you have to think about when planning to write a series?

Don't forget to enter the giveaway on Cherie Reich's blog for your chance to win the first ebooks in the 13th Floor series and an ARC of The Dragonslayer.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Final Day of The Alpha blog tour

I can't believe this is the last day already.
What fun this tour has been!
Thank you so much to the generous hosts and to everyone who visited.
Today I'm giving back with a huge giveaway!

But you'll have to go to Cherie Reich's blog for the details. Find out why geeks make better boyfriends than Alpha males!

I'm also chatting with Clare Dugmore.
We'll be answering some geeky questions and debating who's the sexiest geek. Come over and add your two cents!

Today's tidbit: I dedicated The Alpha to my husband. Yes, geeks are sexy.

Come back tomorrow when I reveal the spectacular cover for 1303 - The Dragonslayer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 4 of The Alpha blog tour

I can't wait to show you what's in store for today!

Come on over to Kyra Lennon's blog.
I'll be chatting about Stefanie and James,
my Alpha female and her geeky love interest.
Romance where the woman is the aggressive one.

Next I have a guest post on worldbuilding at Elizabeth Arroyo's site.
Find out how I came up with my ideas for the fictional city of Carmine and the building the 13th floor is located.

Today tidbit: The city of Carmine has become a character herself like the 13th Floor. I consider both the city and floor female. The first books in the series will show more of the city while the final two books will be more about the 13th floor.

I'd like to announce the five lucky winners of my 400 Followers Giveaway. Thank you to everyone who entered. You're awesome!
a Rafflecopter giveaway   
Congratulations to the winners! Emails have been sent. And if you didn't win this time around. Don't worry! I'll be having another great giveaway tomorrow. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 3 of The Alpha blog tour

Do you have your copy of The Alpha yet?
Amazon * B&N * Smashwords * Kobo

Two stops on the blog tour today.
First, I'm over at TF Walsh's site with a guest post continuing on with the supernatural creatures theme. Can you guess what I'll be talking about?

Then I'm popping over to Nick Wilford's blog.
I'll be telling you about the bad guys from my book. They're a different sort than Vetis from The Marquis.

Today's tidbit: I didn't intend to include werewolves in my 13th Floor series. Yet Stefanie came to me and told me she lives in 1302, so I better get typing! I considered not listening, but it was the twist on the paranormal romance trope of the Alpha that won me over.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 2 of The Alpha blog tour

Today I'm visiting with two of my fellow
W4WS co-hosts.

I'm talking about finding your character's
voice on M. Pax's blog.
Sometimes it can be tricky, but I have a few exercises that will draw out even the most stubbornly silent of characters.

I have a tantalizing excerpt over at
C.M. Brown's site.
It'll wet your appetite for more!

Today's tidbit: Finding Stefanie's voice in The Alpha was much easier than getting Marc to talk in The Marquis. With Xan in The Dragonslayer, I'm finding he's not chatty, but he has interesting inner dialogue. He's a bit like me in that aspect. I don't say much, but I'm constantly talking to myself in my head.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day 1 of The Alpha blog tour

Today's the big day!
The Alpha is now available!

The first stop on The Alpha blog tour
is at Reading, Writing and Everything In Between.
I'm sitting down with the wonderful
Heather Musk for an interview.
Come on over and say hi. 

Today's tidbit: The cover for The Alpha was a quick and easy choice for me. I saw the image on Dreamstime, and I knew it was Stefanie. She has an intense gaze. A bit wolfish too!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Next Big Thing and other reminders

The talented Cher Green has tagged me in The Next Big Thing.
Thank you, Cher, and here we go with 10 questions about my current work in progress!

1) What's the working title of your book? 1303 - The Dragonslayer.

2) Where did the idea come from for your book? I've had the idea of a modern day dragonslayer in my head for a while now. Taking a traditional epic fantasy character and putting him into an urban fantasy tale. I don't quite remember where I came up with it.

3) What genre does your book fall under? Paranormal romance.

4) What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Xan the dragonslayer is easy for me to cast: Alexander Skarsgard. No question in my mind. For Lois, maybe Jennifer Connelly. I'm flexible on this. A spunky brunette just over 30 years of age. And for the villain, the big bad dragon, Gary Oldman.

5) What is the one sentence synopsis for the book? A modern day dragonslayer misses his target and acquires an unwanted companion as he tries to flee the scene.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Self-published.

7) How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript? I'm still writing! I'm about halfway done. Maybe. It's a little longer than I expected. I need to cut out some of the chatter when I revise.

8) What other books would you compare this story to in your genre? A bit like Katie MacAlister's dragon series with having dragons in a modern day setting. I'm finding it hard to think of anything else it's like.

9) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? Dragons! And a hot dragonslayer.

10) Hey, there was only nine questions. Is the tenth suppose to be where I tag other people? I'm not going to tag anyone. If you want to do The Next Big Thing, be my guest. It's a great way to share with readers what you're working on.

If you'd like to participate in the cover reveal for The Dragonslayer on January 18th, please send me an email at christinerains [dot] writer @ gmail [dot] com. Also, if you'd like to host me on The Dragonslayer blog tour during February 13th - 17th, send me a message. Check out the 13th Floor series page for all future tour dates and cover reveals.

Don't forget to enter my 400 Followers Giveaway! You can win the first two ebooks in the 13th Floor series.

The date for the next Writers4Writers Group event is set! Mark Monday, February 18th on your calendars. We'll be featuring two authors this time around. Sign up on the linky list and help your fellow writers.

You may notice a new badge on my sidebar. Untethered Realms is a group of seven authors that write speculative fiction. I'm honored to be a part of this amazing group of writers. Click the badge to "like" us on Facebook. We're just getting organized, but we're getting some great ideas.

Last but not least, tomorrow is the official release of 1302 - The Alpha and the start of my blog tour. Sunday is an odd day, but I have a fantastic interview lined up with Heather Musk. Yesterday she wrote a wonderful review for Fearless. Check it out and hopefully we'll see you tomorrow.

Friday, January 11, 2013

400 Followers Giveaway

Thank you so very, very much.
Recently I passed my 500th blog post. I hadn't even been paying attention until I prepared my post for the Beginnings Blogfest. That was a happy surprise, and through that blogfest, I gained my 400th follower. What a fantastic way to start off the new year!
It is all of you who make writing worthwhile. I hope to give more back this year to our awesome blogging community. I'll be doing more reviews and hosting more giveaways. Let's have one right now!
I'll be giving away five prizes. Each winner will receive a digital copy of The Marquis AND The Alpha. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oracle review

As the countdown begins, the body count rises.

With London gearing up to host the Olympics, the city doesn’t need a serial killer stalking the streets. They’ve got one anyway.

Leaving a trail of brutal and bizarre murders, the police are no closer to finding their latest murderer than Detective Inspector Kurt Lancer is in finding a solution for his daughter’s disability.

Thrust into the pressure cooker of a high profile case, the struggling single parent is wound tight as he tries to balance care of his own family with the safety of a growing population of potential next victims.

One of whom could be his own daughter.

Fingers point in every direction as the public relations nightmare grows, and Lancer’s only answer comes in the form of a single oak leaf left at each crime scene.

My review:
Detective Kurt Lancer is on the trail of a serial killer. A killer becoming famous for the brutal and unusual ways of murdering his victims. The last thing London needs is a murderer on the loose with the Olympic Games about to start. Kurt wonders who might really be the killer when his home and daughter are targeted. As the nightmare and body count grows, he has to find who's behind it all or lose everything that matters to him.

This is an incredibly written thriller that pulled me along with every page. The tension was drawn tight at the beginning, and every time I felt it easing up, it was jerked taut again. Great pacing. What I loved most about the book was the characters. No stereotypes or cardboard cut-outs. These are real people with amazing depth. Kurt Lancer is a single father trying to raise a daughter with a growing disability. It made my heart ache to see the good and bad of the parent-child relationship. Kurt's partners, Sam and Tom, are extremely likable and the perfect complement to his rougher edges. The delinquent brother and sexy neighbor have more to their characters than originally meets the eye.

I wasn't surprised by anything that happened and I predicted where the story was going, but I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Wonderful detail, interesting Greek mythology, and spectacular characterization. Oracle is the debut novel for J.C. Martin, and she makes it look so easy.

Visit J.C. Martin at her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Beginnings Blogfest

The talented and geeky L.G. Keltner is celebrating her one year blogoversary! Head on over to her site and congratulate her. To mark this milestone, she's hosting the Beginnings Blogfest. What inspired you to start blogging? When did your passion for writing begin? Or, if you don't want to get personal, write about the origins of your favorite book or movie. No strict guidelines. She's cool like that!

This blogfest comes at an excellent time. This is my 500th blog post! Wow.

I started blogging years ago on a different network. It was mostly a personal blog. A way for me to keep my friends updated on my life and to save time by not having to write 20 different emails a day. I didn't have a big following. It was my quiet little corner of the blogosphere.

When I started to get serious about my writing and wanting to build a platform, I moved to LiveJournal. I didn't stay there very long. I didn't find many people to connect with. I had this blog linked to my LJ, and I was getting more responses here. So I made my final move to Blogger, and I met an incredible community.

I wouldn't have made it as far as I have without the advice and encouragement of other writers. The move to Blogger was a fresh beginning. The best move I could've made. I've learned how to properly network, improved my craft, and self-published. All of this because of the great community I met through this blog.

Why did you start blogging?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday with The Darkening Dream

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This is an original YA paranormal. The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin is a dark and detailed tale that holds nothing back. The vampires are like those of old, evil and ugly. It takes place in 1913, but it has a modern voice. It makes it easier to connect to the characters. Amazing story so far!
Here's your teaser:
Only you can stop us, Sarah scrawled in big letters that took up a quarter page of the journal - and didn't need writing down at all. The five words had burned themselves into her brain the moment she heard Charles say them. (page 70)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Solomon's Compass Cover Reveal

Taylor is in Rock Harbor, Texas, on a quest to unearth her uncle’s treasure—a journey far outside the realm of her real life. There’s one glitch. Taylor's certain the buried treasure was all in Uncle Randy's dementia-riddled mind. Now he’s dead.

Former SEAL Jake Solomon is in Rock Harbor under false pretenses to protect Taylor from the fate that befell her uncle and the other members of a tight circle of Coast Guardsmen called the Compass Points who served together on Point boats in Vietnam.

Jake is definitely not supposed to become involved with Taylor. That was his first mistake. Taylor is attracted to Jake as well, but she refuses to wait for him to locate the killer when she knows her plan will force her uncle’s murderer into action.

But the killer's actions are just what Jake is afraid of.

Author bio:
Carol Kilgore is an award-winning author of several published short stories and many essays and articles. Solomon’s Compass is her second novel, a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss – always at least one crime; always a love story. Carol and her Coast Guard husband live in San Antonio, Texas, with two herding dogs that like nothing better than pack time on the patio.

You can find Carol here:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Five for January 4th, 2013

1. It's been an unhealthy start to the new year in my house. Everyone is coughing and grumpy. Our holiday stay-cation wasn't much fun with the sickness.

2. Yet the new year started off really well with Fearless popping back up into Amazon's top 100 for fantasy paranormal. I've also won two books and a crochet bag in giveaways.

3. My son woke up this morning and immediately started talking about a big black cat in the kitchen climbing the walls. He was excited about how big this cat was. When I asked what the cat was doing, he said it was looking for food. "Really big food." This made me happy, because it's the first time the boy has told me about a dream and we both know it was a dream.

4. I'm slowly catching up on everything. If I buckle down, I can get back on schedule. I panicked a little lot with how much time I've lost to being sick, but it's not something I could predict or control. It's better for me to rest and take it easy. I can work when I'm feeling fine. That's difficult for me to do. I push myself a lot.

5. Only nine more days until the release of 1302 - The Alpha, the second book in the 13th Floor series. I have a great tour lined up. Hope to see you there. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Weighted review

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself. It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

My review:
Raeth Arteres is at the mercy of the cruel interrogators aboard the Queen's ship. There's information they want, but she cannot talk or it might mean the destruction of all her people. The Queen won't let Raeth go into the arms of her parents in the land of the dead, though. Whatever it takes to make Raeth talk, they will find a way. Raeth's only hope is Princess Semara, but is she truly an ally or is she pretending to be to learn Raeth's secrets?

I was immediately hooked with the first paragraph. This steampunk novella thrummed with tension and kept it tight from beginning to end. I couldn't stop reading. Though Raeth is narrating the story, she's a mystery even to herself, and I was enthralled by her people's plight and her strange gift. For such a short story, I became emotionally invested quickly and ached for Raeth's escape. Semara also fascinated me. She and Raeth are two unlikely friends. If they are friends at all!

A veil of dread covered everything. The setting was frightening and exotic. The writing was brilliant. Such amazing detail! Why was this book sitting on my TBR list for so long? I highly recommend Weighted to everyone. Bravo, Ciara!

Visit Ciara Knight's website and blog.

You can purchase Weighted on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and B&N.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group for January 2013

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

I was going to write a post to cheer everyone on in the new year. A new year with new stories. So many possibilities. But I'm finding myself getting nervous about the goals I've set for myself. I tried to be more reasonable with them than I was last year. Actually, it's only keeping to the schedule with the 13th Floor series that has me worried.

I've set deadlines for myself. Are they set in stone? Yes. No. Maybe. Ack! I'm self-publishing. It means I can do what I want when I want. Right? Yet I've let everyone see the schedule. I've set up dates for blog tours. I don't like to disappoint people, and I know how generous people are to host me on their blogs.

If I glue myself to the chair in front of my computer, I can do it. It's going to take some hard work, but I can do it. But what if ....?

Those dreaded what ifs.

How do you deal with the dreaded what ifs? How do you deal with it when you can't make a deadline? 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!


May your year be happy, healthy, and
full of good books!

Join me and all of the other brave writers tomorrow for the first IWSG post of the year.

Only 12 more days until the release of the second book in the 13th Floor series,
The Alpha.