Guest Post: Passionate Writing #ASMSG #IARTG #MFRWAuthor


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I must confess something to you. I am passionate about two things: writing and chocolate. The latter is obvious; chocolate is nectar of the gods. Writing, though, is more complicated.

Ever since I was little, I have been in love with words. String them together in the right order and you create a story people actually enjoy. Words have the power to heal and the power to destroy. I love being a writer and my writing reflects my passion.

Today, I talk about unleashing passion into your writing on Chris Redding’s blog. When you’re passionate about something, your writing becomes intoxicating. Readers are smart and can see your passion. They love it, in fact.

http://chrisredddingauthor.blogspot.ca/2015/02/unleash-your-passion-in-your-writing.html

The guest post also gives an inside peek into the backbone of Princess of the Light. I hope you enjoy it. :)

MRS N aka N. N. Light

N N Light Book Cover Photo

True Happiness is… #inspirational #positiveaffirmations #happiness


Photo Credit: romanticquotes.xyz
Photo Credit: romanticquotes.xyz

Are you seeking true happiness?

Life is a roller coaster and we’re along for the ride. We climb up, fall down, do the loop de loop and screech to a stop. We never know what is coming around the corner. It’s easy to get depressed and cynical.

I’m here to tell you the key to living a happy life is to be in the moment and enjoy whatever you’re going through. It may suck or it be fantastic. Choose to be happy and the world is your beach! :)

I’m basking in the present and curling my toes in the sand!

True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.

MRS N

Fight or Flight #amwriting #ASMSG #IARTG


My strongest memory of a fight or flight moment is clear in my mind, as if it happened yesterday. The bible study group had wrapped up and I was talking with my friend, Sue. I don’t remember what we were talking about but I kept looking at Paul. Paul was a few years older than me and I had the biggest crush on him. We were good friends but I wanted more. I thought he was the man I was meant to be with.

Our eyes met and I looked away, blushing. Sue nudged me.

“What are you waiting for?” I looked up and smiled.

“I could never ask him out. What if he turned me down?” I whispered. “Besides, I’m playing hard to get.”

Sue nudged me and pointed with her eyes. I followed her gaze to find Paul walking towards us. I adjusted my clothing and flung my hair back.

“Hi Paul,” I said when he was close enough. “Great bible study tonight.”

“Thanks.” He leaned in close and whispered, “Can I talk to you outside for a minute?”

“Umm, sure.” I shrugged and followed him out to the back yard. It was a warm evening. I watched him as he paced back and forth. He stopped mid-step and took a deep breath.

“I have to be honest with you. You’re a good friend and I…” he started.

This wasn’t a good start. I looked at the garden behind him and wondered if there was an exit. Flight was the only thing on my mind.

I started to speak but he interrupted me. He held up a hand.

“No! Please don’t. Just listen while I explain.”

I nodded, knowing this was a bad sign.

“I’m a firm believer in the Bible and I love the Lord. I’m going to be a missionary soon and I know that marriage is not in the cards for me.”

My stomach took a nose-dive. My head started to spin and I fought the urge to pass out. This man, whom I loved with my whole heart, was turning me down. The more he spoke, the more his words invaded my soul.

“I don’t want to date you.”

“I never asked you to pursue me like this.”

“I could never be happy with you.”

Every sentence ripped my heart to shreds. I hadn’t pursued him; I had a crush on him. Pain tore through my limbs and all I wanted to do was flee. My feet, though, wouldn’t move. It’s like I was a bronze statue.

When he was finished, he half-smiled. I was a skeleton and he smiled?

“Are you done?” my voice squeaked. I cleared my throat.

He nodded.

I turned on my heel, not saying another word, and went to go find Sue. She was my ride home. I had to get out of there. I had, by some miracle, not cried in front of him. But the tears were coming and fast.

“Let’s go,” I managed to say.

Sue nodded and paled.

We walked out and I made it to the car before collapsing in agony. I gave into the pain. There was no fight left in me.

© 2015 N. N. Light, All Rights Reserved.

This was inspired from The Daily Post and today’s prompt: Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond? Link: http://wp.me/p23sd-384

 

Fight or Flight

Kindness: Healing Hands for the Battle-Weary #kindness #inspirational #affirmations


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Someone asked me yesterday, “Why are you so kind?”

“I’m kind because there are so many people hurting and worn out from their life.”

Being kind takes little effort on my part and it could be the lifeline for another. My smiling face may be the only glimmer of Light they see.

Look at the picture above. Now, really look at it. That man could use some kindness.

Are you facing a battle and don’t know if you can survive?

You will!

Are you tired and it’s only 8:30 am?

Have some water/coffee/pop and tell yourself you can make it!

Do you see someone in need of a hug?

Be kind and hug them!

Kindness is easy to doll out. You are healing the world one person at a time. :)

Be kind, for everyone you meet  is fighting a hard battle.

MRS N

I’d Like to Introduce You To… Alice Wootson #Christian #RomSuspense #BookPromotion


Today I’m happy to present author Alice Wootson to the blog today. She is one of the nicest women you will ever meet. She is a terrific storyteller and has published eleven books. I sat her down for an author interview last week. After reading her interview, I think you will agree with me that her latest book, Border Love, is a must read. Take it away, Alice. :)

 

What is your writing process?

Something might trigger an idea (or ideas) for a beginning. Maybe something in the newspaper or on the news or a conversation I overheard or had. If I decide to start with a character, I let my mind work on why the character did what he/she did. Where and when the story will take place are usually determined by the initial idea. All of this happens before I write anything.

 

 

 

Do you have any odd writing habits?

Of course not. My writing habits seem perfectly logical, rational and normal to me. ;0) Oh, I do have to play the 4 computer games of the day before I start writing.

 

 Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

Beverly Jenkins, Catherine Coulter, Linda Hudson-Smith; I’m going to stop there although there are others.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are very important to me. It’s going to sound crazy, but my characters tell me their names, usually as soon as I get the idea for the book, but sometimes I have to beg them.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I haven’t had it yet.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully, I’ll still be here and writing. ;0)

 

Have you always liked to write?

Yes, but first I liked to read. Our mother read to us every day. She walked us to the library every two weeks. I learned to read at an early age. After that I read everything I could get my hands on. After I was grown I discovered romance books. One day after finishing reading one I thought, I could write one on these.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Keep at it. Edit, revise, edit. And edit. Then submit. We used to say if you haven’t received enough rejection letters to paper a room, you’re not writing and submitting.

 

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I’m a retired teacher and I loved teaching. I’m a volunteer tutor at my church and I love presenting writing workshops. I’m scheduled to present one at the Y where I exercise, so I’m still teaching.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Panster definitely. When I get an idea I have to start the story. I don’t take time for outlining although that would make the process so much easier for me.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do read them but seldom respond to them. I did respond to one because she gave the book only 3 stars, but recommended that readers read it. I didn’t understand that. Bad reviews hurt.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

I’m very poor at this. I wish someone would give me tips. I do advertise on several sites, though.

 

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Marketing. And waiting for a response from a publisher.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I never write about anything dealing with cruelty or hurting children or anybody who couldn’t defend/protect themselves.

 

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

At the dining room table. There’s plenty of space to spread out my papers.

 

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Love scenes. I feel as if I’m watching the characters in what should be their private times.

 

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

Border Love is my eleventh book. Number 12, Border Danger is already in what I call ‘the pipeline’

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m working on Follow Your Heart, which is Nate Harris’s story. Nate is the brother of a main character, Chris, in Aloha Love and every time he was in a scene he tried to take over. I had to promise him his own story before he behaved himself. It’s been a long time since I made the promise and from time to time he reminds me of it. I figured I better write his story before he pushes himself into another one.

 

Do you write naked?

Never, never, never. Not even if I lived alone.

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

I tell them all the time when I write.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

No, thank The Lord.

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

Mom taught us not to fight. She told us that young ladies don’t fight. I was a large child so maybe that was why I wasn’t bothered much. I can carry on and win a verbal battle, though, and I don‘t use profanity to do it. Also I’ve been told I have a look I get that makes people back off.

 

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

When I find myself close to such a situation I walk away. If necessary, I explain why before I walk away.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I started smoking in college but quit in 1964 when the newspaper published a three page report linking cigarettes to lung cancer & the price of cigarettes went up to 30 cents a pack. My vice now is good tasting food and coconut cake. (I haven’t had coconut cake it in years, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

She made a difference in somebody’s life.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To provide jobs for everybody who wanted one, housing for the homeless and food for the hungry.

 

If you were a super hero, what would your name be?

Anonymous.

 

What costume would you wear?

No costume. I’d blend in with the public.

 

What secret talents do you have?

I can tap dance, I can draw and I write award-winning poetry. And I was a winner on Wheel of Fortune. (Now they aren’t secrets anymore.)

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Australia or China, but the China of Pearl Bucks books. (If I’m going to dream I may as well add time travel to the dream.)

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Have one of my books reach the bestsellers list.

 

If you could have any name in the world, what would you choose?

I think I like mine. Alice Lydia. I’m named for my two grandmothers.

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Under my chin. A few years ago while in Conroe, Texas, I tripped over an uneven sidewalk, stumbled forward, rammed my head into our parked truck and broke my jaw. It was wired shut for 6 weeks. Very traumatic situation. Almost as bad, I only lost 10 pounds! Six weeks of Slimfast shakes, watching my caloric intake, exercising every day, and I only lost 10 pounds!

 

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was very active. We played games outside like ‘Red Rover’, ‘Mother May I’ , ‘Simon Says’, ‘Fox & the Geese’. My favorite ‘toy’ was my roller skates. (They had 4 wheels back then, but my sister and I were Sonia Hennie on roller skates rather than ice skates.) I also enjoyed building with our brother’s Lincoln Logs. I had dolls, but I don’t remember playing with them.

 

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

No recurring nightmares since they invented the GPS. (I have a terrible sense of direction.) My dream is to continue to live an active, productive life.

 

 

BorderLove-2

Book Title: Border Love

Author Name: Alice Wootson

Genre: Romance Suspense, Christian Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Border Patrol agents Brooke Hudson and Darien McKee experience different situations while on assignment that shake their faith. Brooke considers resigning from the agency, but will try reassignment instead.
Darien is forced to transfer from the Yuma Sector after an incident in the desert. They are assigned as partners. A personal relationship develops between them. An incident occurs that makes it necessary for them to be assigned different partners, but they continue to see each other socially.
Brooke’s new partner makes a rash decision that puts her in jeopardy. Will her faith help her out of the dangerous situation?
Darien realizes he loves Brooke. When she disappears, he finds his faith returning as he searches for her. Will he find her in time?
Excerpt:

A tremendous blast shook the area, slamming Brooke to the ground. Before she could assess her injuries, a second explosion scattered debris into the air, then a plume of flames shot up.

Brooke tried to look around, but thick dust hanging in the air almost blinded her. She squinted her eyes against flying shrapnel. Fragments, some lightweight, but others large enough to make her wince, pelted her. Her deep cough echoed that of others.

It seemed forever before the rumbling slowed. Even after it stopped, things continued to drop on and around her. Gradually the larger pieces stopped falling but smaller bits continued. Flat on the ground, Brooke stared around.

The traffic light over the intersection broke free of the line holding it. In a shower of sparks, it landed on an upside-down car. The broken power-line hissed and spit and writhed for a few minutes, then lay limp.

Street signs ripped from poles lay on the grass in front of the money-exchange building. The store looked as if a cannonball hit it. Shattered glass covered the ground. Objects continued to fall.

Brooke covered her head with her hands. Finally, the pelting slowed, then stopped. She coughed as dirt clouds continued to drift around her.

Still hacking, she lifted her head and shook it to stop the ringing in her ears.

She grabbed a tissue from her pocket, held it over her mouth and nose and looked around.

A woman sat on the sidewalk with her mouth open, but Brooke heard nothing. Tears streamed from the face of another woman and mixed with blood dripping from her forehead. Similar sights greeted Brooke wherever she looked. It was obvious some people were dead. She struggled to stand, but wobbled. Father, please help us.

“Steady.” Darien grabbed her to keep her from falling. “You okay?” He kept his hand on her arm. A thick layer of dust covered his face and uniform.

“What?” Brooke shouted.

“You’re hurt.” He touched her head.

Brooke frowned at the blood on his fingers when he pulled them away. She put her hand to the spot. The sting where she touched told her where the blood came from, but she felt no pain.

She continued to stare at Darien. Why was he whispering? Did he think she’d panic? She’d been hurt worse when she was a kid playing.

The ringing in her ears faded and she heard noises as if underwater. Finally, it sounded as if the whole world shouted with more sounds than she could’ve imagined.

Car alarms shrilled. Sirens wailed. Church bells two blocks away clanged, but a musician didn’t create the tune.

“Brooke? You okay?” Darien’s voice rose above the other sounds crashing around.

Brooke nodded, but was sorry. It felt as if her brain bounced against the inside of her skull.

“You might have a concussion.” He led her to the curb. “Sit until help comes.”

Brooke looked at a man surrounded by broken bricks and chunks of concrete. His head lay twisted at an unnatural angle and blood trickled from a wound. She glanced at people scattered like a game of Pick-Up Sticks. Lord, please ease their pain and suffering.

“You and I are the help until then.” She told Darien “You hurt?”

He shook his head. “I was on your other side and a little behind. You took the brunt of the impact.”

Brooke noticed a piece of sign on the ground. Only part of a word remained and a layer of dust covered it, but her eyes widened. She gasped. Her gaze flew to what was left of headquarters.

The foundation was still intact to a few yards high. Piles of rubble filled the space. One corner triangle held a desk and a chair that looked as if somebody threw them and let them stay where they landed. The door beside the desk hung open as if waiting for somebody to enter the office. Brooke continued to stare at the ruins. Dear Lord, so much destruction.

She tried not to think about who’d been in the building when she and Darien left. She wouldn’t make a mental count of how many staff members and officers were routinely on duty at this time. She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer. Then she let her gaze pan to the right of the remains and a little beyond.

The blast demolished the guardhouse that only this morning stood solidly beside the bridge. It wasn’t needed now, anyway, since huge piles of building materials blocked entry from the bridge. The last cars to cross over from Mexico were smashed as efficiently as a junkyard machine would do. They peeped from the debris. One car lay on its side across the lanes.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Border-Love-Alice-Wootson-ebook/dp/B00KGLIMSA

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/border-love-alice-wootson/1119569869?ean=9781940099651

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/440248

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/border-love

 

AliceWootson-2

Author Biography:

Alice Greenhowe Wootson grew up in Rankin, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Cheyney University. Later in her career Alice earned a Masters’ Degree in Education, Principal Certification and Reading Specialist Certification. She retired from the School District of Philadelphia.

Alice Wootson in the award-winning author of eleven novels. She is also a poet and many of her poems have won awards and recognition. She is always working on her latest novel or piece of poetry.

She is a member of The Philadelphia Writers Conference, the Mad Poets Society, Romance Writers of America and The Authors Guild.

Alice has presented workshops for several chapters of Romance Writers of America, the Philadelphia Writers Conference, The North Wildwood Writers Conference, several Romance Slam Jam conferences as well for adult and children’s writing groups. She is happy to meet with book clubs and group of readers.

Alice Wootson is a member of several ministries at her church: Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia.

She uses any spare time she can find reading, traveling and spending time with her husband, her sons and grandchildren.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.alicewootson.net

Be Kind to Unkind People #inspirational #kindness #randomactsofkindness


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Photo Credit: melikedesign.com

When meeting an unkind person, what’s your first reaction?

Do you make fun of them? Do you shrink away before they lash out at you?

I smile at them.

Not only does this unnerve them but it shows compassion.

Everyone has a bad day. Some people are going through the worst day ever. Then they meet me. It could be a bank teller, a fellow walker or a cashier at the Walmart. It could even be a friend.

“Your total is $11.94″ The snarky cashier barks out.

I smile as I hand her a $20. I can see a dark cloud over her. She thrusts the receipt and change into my hand.

“Here’s your change.”

“Thank you so much. Have a great day!” My over-exuberance causes her to stop for a moment. The cloud lifts a little and she smiles.

“Thank you, ma’am. You too.”

I walk away smiling.

Did I do something extraordinary? No. I was kind. The cashier could’ve had a fight with her husband or kids. She could’ve gotten some terrible news. I showed kindness, plain and simple.

Being kind  to even Oscar the Grouch is a worthwhile thing. The world needs more kindness and you can help!

Spread kindness to everyone, especially the unkind ones. They need it most.

What random acts of kindness have you done lately? Please share below in the comments section.

:) MRS N :)

I’d Like to Introduce You To… @BarbCaffrey #authorinterview #YAFantasy #Review


Today, I have a special treat for you! I am participating in my first joint blog post event. My good friend, Barb Caffrey, and I are featured on each other’s blogs. Check out my guest post here: https://elfyverse.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/introducing-author-n-n-light-and-her-novel-princess-of-the-light/

I first met Barb on Twitter and we instantly bonded over our mutual love of baseball. She’s a die-hard Brewers fan and I love the Twins. I soon found out she is an editor and the author of a fantastic book, An Elfy on the Loose. I feel blessed to call her my friend. Please welcome Barb Caffrey.

 

What is your writing process?

I tend to think a great deal about what I’m going to write before I ever sit down to commit words to a page. I do a lot of research, especially when I’m dealing with characters who aren’t from the United States (yes, you can research otherworldly characters – that’s why studying the myths and beliefs of other countries, such as Ireland, is so useful, along with Old Norse myths and/or classical mythology as well). Then I write, rewrite, edit, and repeat until I’m satisfied with the story.

 

What authors have inspired you?

 

My late husband, Michael B. Caffrey, was a writer and editor. He inspired me more than anyone else I’ve ever met. But there are a number of other writers who’ve also had great influence on me and my writing, including Rosemary Edghill, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel, Stephanie Osborn, Jason Cordova, Eric Flint, Dave Freer, Lois McMaster Bujold, and the grande dame of them all – Andre Norton. My husband was a huge fan of Miss Norton (and yes, she went by “Miss”), and one of the reasons we got along so well is because we both loved her stories so much. But there are dozens of other authors whose work I’ve read who have inspired me in one way or another – those are just the ones I can name right off the top of my head without effort.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose names based on the sound, or the meaning?

 

I definitely choose names based on meaning, as I think names are very important. I want to make sure I’ve given the right character the right name, as I want everything in my novels to feel right. (This is especially important when you’re writing comic fantasy. The underpinnings matter, probably because that way you can feel settled and allow your imagination to run wild otherwise.)

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

 

Oh, that’s easy. Marrying my late husband Michael after being divorced and thinking I’d never meet anyone good – much less anyone of Michael’s quality – is by far my best accomplishment. It’s because of meeting him, then getting married to him, that the Elfyverse exists. But the Elfyverse is by far the least part of why Michael was so influential, as he was by far the most encouraging person I’ve ever met in my entire life; I felt more confident and creative when I was around him. He also had an amazing sense of humor. I was very blessed to find him, and being able to work with him as a writer and editor was an unexpected privilege.

 

Have you always liked to write?

 

The short answer: Yes. The longer answer: I always enjoyed writing, but I didn’t always write the same things. I wrote poetry for awhile (some good, but most was horrid), I wrote for my college newspapers and some op-eds elsewhere, and I wrote fiction. Most of that was science fiction and/or fantasy, but I also wrote detective stories, romance (usually with a fantasy element), and some baseball stories, too. (This isn’t all that surprising, considering I’ve been a Milwaukee Brewers fan since early childhood.)

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

 

Write five days a week, if you can. You may not always have a great deal of time to devote to your writing, but try to get in at least a few hundred words five out of every seven days.

 

The best advice I’ve ever heard about writing, though, was this: carve out time for your writing, and guard it as best you can against interruptions – even friendly ones. (This, by the way, is the main reason I write in the middle of the night most of the time. Fewer distractions!)

 

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

 

I’m half and half. I think a great deal about what I write, as I said before. But I also will redesign on the fly if something isn’t working out, and I’ve been surprised from time to time at how stories resolve themselves as whatever happened definitely wasn’t at all how I thought it was going to work out.

 

Is there one subject you won’t write as an author?

 

I doubt I’ll ever write erotica. Stories that must have R-rated (or even X-rated) sex scenes as part of the storyline are usually not stories I feel comfortable writing. (I have read it, reviewed it, and have sometimes really appreciated what I’ve read. But I can’t see myself writing it.)

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

 

Currently I’m readying the second half of the ELFY duology, A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, for release later this year (I’m still hoping for late April, but my window is closing), and am working on a rewrite of my sweet transgender fantasy/romance, CHANGING FACES, also for release later this year (most of the action is set around Christmastime, so perhaps an October release date for that?) And I’m working on several short stories, too.

 

Do you write naked?

 

No. Though if it’s 100 degrees F outside and I’m on deadline, I’ve been known to write in as brief a slip as I can get away with.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

 

I play the lottery. I mostly do not win, know I am not likely to win, and yet I keep doing it anyway – isn’t that the sign of a vice?

 

What secret talents do you have?

 

I don’t know how secret it is, but I play the saxophone, the clarinet, and the oboe – I have two music degrees, you see. I also write music, and have performed some of my pieces in recitals. And I cook, though I’m not a gourmet…plain stuff, usually.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

 

France. Or Spain. I’d like to go to either or both of these two countries because they like saxophonists.

 

What were you like as a child? What was your favorite toy?

I talked a lot, but was also quite introverted. I mostly was misunderstood, took refuge in my books, and read out the school’s library before third grade. (Perhaps the school’s library wasn’t well-equipped; I don’t know.) I had a full adult library card to the local public library by that time also, though for the most part the only books I tended to check out until I was thirteen were books about baseball players.

And my favorite toy was a baseball glove. I used to play catch with my Dad in the backyard, and was working on a knuckler. (Whether I ever actually threw one was up for debate.)

AnElfyontheLoose_med

Book title: AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE

Author name: Barb Caffrey

Genre: Young Adult Comic Urban Fantasy/Romance

Book blurb:

Bruno the Elfy believes he’s very young, has no power, and has no enemies.

He’s wrong.

Quickly sent to our Earth (the Human Realm) and told to watch for magic, Bruno must unravel the lies, keep his mentor from being tortured, and—oh, yeah—figure out why he’s so strongly attracted to young, Human Sarah.

Because his life depends on it.

 

Excerpt:

He considered the situation anew. His friend and companion, Sarah, was gone. Would she really want to leave him? Bruno doubted that. Sarah had wanted to get away from her odious parents even more than Bruno had, and had been overjoyed when they’d managed to leave.

No, he couldn’t believe Sarah would deliberately leave him alone, nor did he believe she’d want to go anywhere without him. Looking back, Sarah had definitely treated him at all times with respect and dignity, and had in some ways offered him a kinship he’d never known before. Sarah definitely wouldn’t leave him on her own.

The next, extremely bitter, thought was, would Roberto abduct Sarah?

The answer that came back chilled him.

“Yes, if he thought it necessary. Or if those above him told him to do it. Or if he were controlled himself.”

Scarcely noticing that it hadn’t been his own thoughts that had answered him (uncanny things had often happened in Geadhail Mebrugud in the past, which is why it was to be strictly avoided by the common Elfy), Bruno asked, “What should I do?”

“Grab hold of the backpacks,” the disembodied voice said.

Not thinking, yet hoping for the best, Bruno went to the backpacks. First, he shouldered his own. Next, he shouldered Roberto’s, which was oddly thin for a mage/teacher of his caliber. Then he grabbed Sarah’s.

At that, Sarah’s backpack took off, dragging Bruno almost as if Bruno weighed nothing. “What—are—you—?” Bruno started to ask.

“What do you think I am?” the insouciant, somehow feminine voice came back.

“Female? Here? I thought only Sarah…”

“Sarah, yes. And me,” the voice said, and if a disembodied voice could be said to wink or smile, Bruno could swear this voice was doing both.

“What—are—you—?” Bruno tried again. Sarah’s backpack was pulling him at an astonishing rate, at least ten miles per hour. Since Bruno was no marathon runner and had short legs, this was not easy to maintain, and he was starting to get winded. Yet losing his grip was unthinkable.

“Oh, come on, Bruno! What do you think I am?” the voice said, and would say no more despite all Bruno asked or pleaded.

The backpack pulled him inexorably for at least an hour. Bruno could barely see and could only hear the heartbeat that proved he was still living, pounding loudly in his head. He knew if they didn’t stop soon, he’d probably pass out.

Up ahead, there was a blackness rimmed about by silvery, shadowy arms. Bruno wasn’t sure what it was. It didn’t feel inimical, exactly, but it also didn’t feel right.

He’d rather have stopped to figure it out, but the backpacks wouldn’t let him. Instead, they approached the blackness, Bruno hanging on to the packs for dear life.

It looked like a vortex, or maybe a Gate, though Bruno had never seen one so wild and untamed before. But why would a Gate be out here, and where would it take him?

The pack pulled him into the blackness until he felt a brief moment of nothingness, almost as if they were in the “no-time” realm. As he stumbled and nearly dropped the packs, he realized that he was out of Geadhail Mebrugud. But…but…but…

Ahead was a gently shaded street he somehow recognized. But how…?

He shook his head. There had been that very brief period of nothingness…oh, yes. Now he knew where he was.

He was back in the Human Realm. Back where he and Sarah had started from, except instead of returning to the attic, he’d returned to just outside the park where he’d appeared in the first place.

The sun had come up (which explained the shadows), but he had no idea what day it was, nor where Sarah or Roberto was. He asked the world at large, “Where is Sarah?”

There was no answer forthcoming, which chilled him. The only thing he could think of to ask next was, “Now what?”

 

My Review:

I personally love science fiction/ fantasy books. It’s one of my favorite genres and my love for SFF goes all the way back to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. An Elfy on the Loose reminded me of A Wrinkle in Time from it’s complex world-building to its intelligent dialogue.

An Elfy on the Loose centers around the relationship between Bruno and Sarah, but it’s so much more than just a teen romance. Barb Caffrey weaves together multi-layered characters(including Bruno, Sarah, Roberto and Dennis the Dark Elf), magic, elfs, humans and the ultimate adventure: falling in love. I laughed, cried, gasped and gripped my e-reader tightly. I was completely enthralled.

I must confess, however, I did get lost a few times in the plot and the dialogue went a bit over my head at times. This isn’t a bad thing as the masterful J. R. R. Tolkien’s books had the same effect on me.

The abrupt ending was a surprise (middle of the conversation) but I believe the sequel will pick up where this book left off. I can’t wait! :)

Rating: 4 stars

Buy links:

Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/1p6xvQj

Amazon (UK): http://goo.gl/dDoBnd

Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/m8o49ad

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Author Biography:

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, and musician from the Midwest. She holds two degrees, is an inveterate and omnivorous reader, and is the writer of the comic urban fantasy romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE.Her stories and poems have appeared (or will appear) in many places, including the forthcoming STARS OF DARKOVER, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD, BEDLAM’S EDGE, and the BEARING NORTH anthology, at the Written Word online magazine, at Joyful! Online, at Midwest Literary magazine, at e-Quill Publishing, and at Vision online magazine (a publication of the Forward Motion Writers Group). She reviews books for Shiny Book Review and, more occasionally, at Amazon for their Vine program. And once upon a time, she was an opinion columnist and arts and entertainment reporter for both the Daily Nebraskan and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Ranger News; additional op-eds were published by the Racine Labor Paper and by the Racine Journal-Times (under the previous married name).She’s the widow of Michael B. Caffrey (1958-2004), and has vowed that Michael’s work — his words — will live on as long as there are people to read them. It’s because of this vow that she’s republished Michael’s Adventures of Joey Maverick series, which currently consists of “A Dark and Stormy Night” and “On Westmount Station.” (More stories are forthcoming — promise.)She follows politics, loves sports, watches far too much reality TV and finds the “Maury” show cathartic. What all this says about her is anyone’s guess. Find her at Elfyverse (AKA “Barb Caffrey’s Blog”) for discussions of all and sundry, or visit her at Facebook . . . she promises she won’t bite.

Social media links:

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Barb-Caffrey/e/B00H8EROC8

Blog: http://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/barb.caffrey.1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BarbCaffrey

Google-Plus: http://plus.google.com/101403408003727584589/posts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2843982.Barb_Caffrey

Senior Year Bites by @JACampbellAuth #YA #PNR #bookblitz @untoldpress


 

Character Inspiration

People always ask authors where they get their ideas. Do they base their characters off of people they knew, that kind of thing.

I don’t directly base my characters off of anyone. I do draw from experiences though. Everyone does. In the case of Senior Year Bites, Meg, Steph and Ann’s friendship was drawn from a similar (without the supernatural elements unfortunately) friendship I had in middle school and high school.

I had two friends and we hung out together through most of middle school and part of high school. We did a ton of things together, especially when we were younger. I drew a lot from that friendship when I wrote Meg, Steph and Ann. Now, I didn’t say, oh, Steph is D, Meg is me and Ann is S by any means. There are elements of all of us in each character. And I did not base Meg off of myself at all. I also drew from other people and experiences when I shaped those characters.

It was kind of fun to draw from that past relationship though. Some memories it brought up were great, some painful. Some were along the lines of ‘what was I thinking.’ My only defense was that I was young and had a lot to learn. Still do incidentally.

Incidentally, the guys in Senior Year Bites are not directly drawn from high school people I knew. They were created the way I make most of my other characters. Little bits from here, little bits from there.

Anyway, that’s a brief insight into three of the main characters in Senior Year Bites.

 

 

Senior Year Bites (The Clanless #1)

Release Date: 07/07/14

Untold Press

Summary from Goodreads:

Senior year is supposed to be fun: boys, dances and graduation. It’s significantly harder to enjoy it when you’re dead.

Thanks to an innocent game of Truth or Dare, I wound up sleeping in a graveyard. Probably not the brightest thing I’ve ever done, but thanks to a couple of well-placed fangs, I’m here to tell the tale.

Vampires might stalk pop culture, but they’re just myths, right? Yeah. Not so much…

Everything seems a lot more difficult when you’re a nocturnal creature of the night, especially school. I was managing, but couldn’t keep it hidden from my friends. Steph decided that we should be cool, like superheroes, and fight crime.

I’m a vampire, not a hero. Living in a sleepy New England town, crime is a little harder to come by. At least it is until a serial killer moves into the area. He’s got the authorities stumped, but then again, the cops don’t have a teenage, blood-sucking, non-hero on their team. It doesn’t take long for me to discover the world is full of monsters. I may be one of them…but will I turn out to be the hero, or the killer everyone is looking for.

 

Excerpt:

The station wagon backed out of its parking spot, narrowly missing the cars on either side, and bumping against the fenced smoking area. The gears shuddered as he threw the car into drive. Gravel crunched under the tires as the car slowly turned toward the exit–and us. Rocks flew as the angry drunk slammed on the gas. The wheels fought for purchase before the car jumped forward, still fishtailing.

Everything slowed down until I felt like I had all the time in the world to grab Ann’s and Steph’s arms and pull them out of its path. I stopped by the fence and watched emotionless as the car plowed into the tree we’d been hiding behind.

“Meg!” someone shouted. I staggered as everything sped up to normal speed–shouting, screaming, the horn blaring, and steam hissing from the cracked engine assaulted my ears. Someone yelled to call for the cops, others for an ambulance. I stood and stared, finally shocked by it all.

“Meg!” Someone shook my shoulder.

I jumped and spun around, crouching, expecting an attack. Steph backed away, arms out.

“Sorry,” she whispered, eyes wide. Ann stepped away as well, eyes equally huge.

I took a deep breath, struggling to tune out the chaos around us.

“You guys all right?” I finally managed to ask.

They both nodded, glancing over at the car and back to me. Steph looked over my shoulder, tilting her head slightly.

“Bridget! How in the hell did you do that?”

My breathing quickened, and the urge to run made my legs twitch. Gary’s familiar scent penetrated my shock.

“Shit,” I whispered.

“Bridget?” Steph gave me a confused look.

I could have killed her then, in the brief instant before I regained my composure. My focus sharpened like it did when I felt threatened. I hurried away from all of them, not wanting to lose control and attack my friend, not wanting to face Gary and his questions, and above all, not wanting to face the fear that made Ann tremble every time she glanced my direction.

“Meg!” Steph called, coming after me.

My instincts shouted at me to run, but I couldn’t leave them. They were out here because of me, and I had to make sure they stayed safe. Even Sleepy Town, USA had its dangers.

I stopped at the edge of the woods, away from the chaos of the crash, and away from potential questions from the authorities. Rough bark dug into my shoulder when I leaned against a tree, further anchoring me to reality. Ann and Gary hesitated a few moments longer than Steph, but they weren’t far behind her.

“Meg.” Steph carefully didn’t stand too close.

I appreciated the distance, but I had calmed by the time Ann and Gary caught up. Gary, amazingly enough, kept quiet. I actually liked him a little for it.

“So, Meg, want to introduce me to your friends?” He finally had the nerve to ask after the silence stretched out for several minutes.
He didn’t even emphasize my name, simply said it as if he’d always known it.

“Gary, Steph, and Ann.”

Sirens wailed in the distance, but only I could hear them. “Guys, unless you want to stay and talk to the cops, we should probably get out of here.”

“Great. There’s this coffee shop within walking distance that will be open a bit longer.

Let’s go chat,” Gary suggested.

I glared at Gary, but Steph and Ann were still shaken and agreed at once. I shrugged, and we hurried into the woods before someone could see us.

Buy Links:

About the Author

Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found

sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor. She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult Tales of the Travelers fantasy series. She’s the editor for Steampunk Trails and a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers Association.

 

Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY:

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Book Blitz Organized by:

What Would You Change in the World? #Kindness #Superhero #Inspiration


Wonder Woman World

I woke up this morning and wondered to myself, “If I was a superhero, what would I change in the world?”  I know, I know, crazy thinking!  I dreamt last night I was Wonder Woman.  I won’t go into detail but I woke up feeling strong and ready to kick butt!

What kind of world do we live in?  Turn on the news and it shows you in vivid detail.  More people on welfare/food stamps than people working.  Homeless people beaten to death.  Shootings in schools.  Shootings in workplaces. Police shooting innocent people. Soldiers returning from battle overseas and not giving them the needed care.  Poverty.  Abuse of children and the elderly in daycare/homes.  People not allowed to marry those they love.  People mocking others hard on their luck.  Housing foreclosures.  Government shut downs.  Police abusing power.  Government spying via email/social media.

I could go on and on but you get the point.  It’s a cruel world where the basic rights of a person are being ignored.  What kind of world is that?  I don’t know about you but  it is not the kind of world I want to live in.

You may shake your head and think, “But I am only one person.  What can I do to change the world?”

You can do a lot!  Kindness and compassion needs to be infused in the world again.  There are people from around the world who read this blog.  If every person did one act of kindness per day, it would lead to a worldwide change!

Look around your little corner of the world and make a difference!  Donate to the food bank.  Help those less fortunate.  Make your voice heard!  Let’s all be superheroes and change the world one day at a time!

MRS N aka Wonder Woman ;)

I’d Like to Introduce You to… @Brenda_Hiatt #authorinterview #YA #amreading


Today I’m tickled pink to introduce you to Brenda Hiatt! She is an author of twenty novels and her Starstruck series is incredible! I am in awe of her success and one day hope to have twenty novels under my belt. :-) I asked her to sit down for an interview and she graciously agreed. Take it away, Brenda!

 

What is your writing process?

When I first start a book, I usually spend a few days or a week figuring out the characters and the broad strokes of the plot. (My story ideas sometimes come from a character idea, sometimes from a “what if?” that strikes me.) Once I’m ready to actually write, I put together some writing music for that book, fire up my treadmill and start typing—until the first roadblock! Then I have to go back and do more fleshing out before I can move on.

 

Do you have any odd writing habits?

Most people seem to think that writing on a treadmill is a rather “odd” habit, but I love it! Walking (slowly! 1.3 MPH is my best writing speed) seems to spark my creativity and get the words flowing—which makes sense, since before I started doing this, taking a long walk was always my favorite way to work through plot problems.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I usually get my husband to read my reviews and tell me about the good ones. (He has instructions NOT to tell me about the bad ones! LOL!) I never, ever respond to them, good or bad—though it’s sometimes hard! My best advice for bad reviews is to NOT read them. But if you must, always remember that it’s just ONE person’s opinion, and that person is obviously not one of YOUR readers.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Super-fast reading! Seriously, I get SO frustrated by the fact that I’m a rather slow reader. There are so many wonderful books I want to read and I never seem to have enough hours in the day!

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Lots of things, but most are places I want to go: the Grand Canyon (I’ll be checking that one off in April and I’m so excited!); Australia and New Zealand (Hobbiton!); India (I may get to do that one next year!); Scotland… That’s just a start! I’m also determined to make it to 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo (I’m on track to do that late this year!) and to hike the whole Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. Oh, and to dive the Great Barrier Reef!

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STARSTRUCK

The middle of nowhere just got a lot more interesting!

An orphaned astronomy geek dreams of escaping her pathetic small-town existence until the hot new quarterback inexplicably befriends her. Soon, strange things start to happen: her acne clears up, her eyesight improves, and when they touch, sparks fly—literally! When she digs for a reason, she discovers secrets that expose her to deadly perils and change her mundane life forever.

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STARCROSSED

The Starstruck adventure continues…

Formerly a nerdy nobody, now Marsha is the newly discovered princess of a secret civilization, dodging extraterrestrial paparazzi while trying to keep the truth from everyone at school. When she’s with her boyfriend and literal soulmate, Rigel, it’s easy to forget the responsibilities that will eventually come with her new status.  But when a new boy arrives at Jewel High,  everything M thought she knew about herself and her future is turned upside down. Will the very destiny that lifted her from obscurity now tear her away from Rigel and their happy ever after?

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STARBOUND

Being a Princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

Between keeping high security secrets from everyone (including Rigel) and trying to keep Rigel and Sean from killing each other, M has a lot on her plate already. As newly discovered Princess of a secret Martian colony, she knew she’d have to return there someday—but over spring break?? An emergency requires her immediate presence but not everyone is overjoyed to have their long-lost Princess back. Can she win her people over in time to save the colony from destruction? And what will she have to give up in return?

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STARFALL

The electrifying conclusion to the Starstruck series!

M, no longer a nerdy nobody, has finally been acclaimed Sovereign Emileia, ruler of the Martian colony Nuath. But at what cost? Without her soulmate Rigel, life seems pointless but she’s expected to shake off her heartbreak and assume her responsibilities. Reluctantly, M does what she must until an unexpected discovery restores a glimmer of hope for the future. Now she’s determined to do whatever she can to salvage her longed-for happy ending—if it’s not already too late.

 

Excerpt from STARSTRUCK:

“M! Hey, Marsha!”

It sounded like Rigel’s voice. Was I hallucinating? Shouldn’t he be at football practice?

I turned and sure enough, there he was, sprinting toward me.

“Hey, I’m glad I caught you,” he said, joining me as I reached the bus line. “I only have a sec—have to be at practice—but I wanted to make sure Trina didn’t pull anything.”

Though I couldn’t help feeling a rush of warmth at his concern, I refused to be an object of pity, so I suppressed the smile that tried to break free and shrugged.

“She wasn’t much worse than usual.”

He looked relieved. “Good. I sure don’t want to make things worse for you, especially—”

“I can take care of myself, Rigel.” I spoke more sharply than I’d intended, but I didn’t want him to feel like he had to protect me—from Trina, of all things. “I’m not some puppy that needs rescuing.” Oops, definitely more than I’d meant to say, but now it was out there.

When he didn’t immediately refute my words, I turned away before he could see my disappointment. “Have a good practice,” I called over my shoulder.

“M, wait! I was going to say, especially when I’m hoping we can be . . . friends.”

On that last word, Rigel put a hand on my arm to stop me—and it definitely worked. When his fingers touched my bare skin, a jolt went through me like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I spun around to face him, startled.

I was used to static shocks since I got them all the time, but this was different. It was more like the surge of adrenaline you get when you almost fall but catch yourself. Only stronger. And not unpleasant. More like every cell in my body suddenly sizzled to life.

From the stunned look on Rigel’s face, he must have felt something too. He snatched his hand away like I’d burned him and stared at me wordlessly for what seemed like minutes. It was almost like he was seeing me for the first time . . . or like I’d suddenly turned into some kind of freak.

He backed away, slowly shaking his head, then abruptly turned and ran off without saying another word.

I didn’t have a clue what had happened or what I’d done, but I was pretty sure I’d somehow spoiled everything before it even got started.

 

A bit about how the whole series came to be…

 

Back when I was in third grade (or thereabouts), a girl in my class used to tell us all that she was really a Martian princess. She was ADAMANT about it, and even though we made fun of her (as kids will) and tried all kinds of things to convince or trick her into admitting she was making it up, she stuck to her story—probably for at least a month, though of course I remember it as much longer now.  I forgot all about her and her story until a few years ago, when something brought it to mind. At that point, my writer-brain suddenly whispered, “What if she was telling the truth? What if she really WAS a Martian princess?” And thus, the idea for STARSTRUCK was born.

 

By the time I finished the book (which took me over a year, since it was my first foray into writing for the young adult market after more than a dozen historical romances, and because I was so very determined to get it “right”), I realized I had a series on my hands, not just one book. I really, truly expected it to be a trilogy, but by the time I was halfway into the writing of STARBOUND, the third book, it became obvious that M and Rigel’s story couldn’t possibly be wrapped up without turning it into a mammoth tome! And so…STARFALL happened. As a result, STARBOUND does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, though I was careful to resolve the MAIN story question by the end. I hope those who’ve taken the time to read the first three books will find STARFALL to be a satisfying conclusion to the series. (I can say that early reports from my beta-readers and my editor have been overwhelmingly positive!)

 

For its first week of release, STARFALL is at a special price of $2.99 (after which it will be $5.99). Oh, and STARSTRUCK, the first book of the series, is currently FREE!

 

Buy links:

STARSTRUCK

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDKBXLM

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starstruck-brenda-hiatt/1116739868?ean=2940148390206

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/starstruck/id691153435?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/starstruck-23

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/349792

Google: http://books.google.com/books/about/Starstruck.html?id=wLE3AwAAQBAJ

 

STARCROSSED

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HYQJNH4

Nook:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starcrossed-brenda-hiatt/1118165166?ean=2940148263357

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/starcrossed/id792544430?mt=11

Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/starcrossed-9

Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/394950

GooglePlay:   https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Brenda_Hiatt_Starcrossed?id=5WXEBQAAQBAJ&hl=en

 

STARBOUND

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L6LZC5U/?tag=brenhiat-20

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starbound-brenda-hiatt/1119851996?ean=2940149839025

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/starbound/id890629460?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/starbound-6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449244

 

STARFALL

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QSEHBZY/?tag=brenhiat-20

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/starfall/id949709392?mt=11&uo=4&at=11lNkc

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/starfall-brenda-hiatt/1121272970?ean=2940151543613

Google: http://books.google.com/books/about/Brenda_Hiatt_Starfall?id=NG7CBQAAQBAJ

Kobo:   http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/starfall-4

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/517705

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Author Biography:

Brenda Hiatt is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels (so far), including traditional Regency romance, time travel romance, historical romance, and humorous mystery. She is as excited about her STARSTRUCK series as she’s ever been about any of her books. In addition to writing, Brenda is passionate about embracing life to the fullest, to include scuba diving (she has over 60 dives to her credit), Taekwondo (where she is currently pursuing her 3rd degree black belt), hiking, traveling, and pursuing new experiences and skills.

 

Social media links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BrendaHiatt

Twitter: @Brenda_Hiatt

Newsletter:  https://madmimi.com/signups/126124/join

Websites: http://brendahiatt.com , http://starstruckseries.com