Just Imagine

Just Imagine

Feeling chatty?

Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sky's SHOUT OUT. Heaven is for Real! Is This Jesus?

Hey all! I’m starting something new at this blog. It’ll post between events and other random chit-chats that fly up the viral line here at A Writer’s Mind. It’s called Sky's SHOUT OUT. This heading will be followed by my ‘current read or favorite title'. Most will be romance oriented but I read a lot of non-fiction too so you never know what you’ll get. One thing’s for sure, it’ll always be preceded by Amazon stats (past or previous), a blurb and buy link, then my own little zinger statement.

Yes, I’ll be sharing books by friends, but I’ll also be sharing those written by perfect strangers. No matter what, every time I SHOUT OUT it’s because I think you should listen.

This go round I’m sharing my latest read titled, Heaven is for Real. I bought this book mainly because my Mom raved about it. Losing Dad is still such a fresh wound for both of us and we’re trying to find solace where we can. No doubt about it, this book helped. While my beliefs in the afterlife may vary from some, they still exist. Whether or not the experiences this little boy claims he had in fact happened or not, the message is wonderful and one worth reading about.

I’ve included a drawing of Jesus done by a very young girl who had a NDE (Near Death Experience). She was under ten. Yes, she drew this when under ten. Amazing, isn’t it? She claimed her ability to draw it devine. Interesting thing…other children, including the boy in this book, claim this is the very man who greeted them when they were dying. To a ‘T.’ In the case of this little boy, THIS was Jesus. After years of saying, "No" to many renditions of what Jesus looked like, he adamently said YES to this one. Without hesitation, this was the one. 

I'm particularly content to see that he's portrayed as Middle Eastern. Some versions of him, with pale skin and light hair never made much sense to me. After all, he was born in the Middle East. No way around the logic. As to his pale blue green eyes? It seems to be a feature many NDE's agree with. In fact, his eyes are their favorite part not because of the color but because of their intensity and love. No complaints here. 

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL
“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?" Sonja said.

"Yes, mommy, I remember," he said. "That's where the angels sang to me."

When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed-a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy's trip to heaven and back.

Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery-and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.

With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how "really, really big" God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton's uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, "Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses."

Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.

This is a best-selling book. As it should be. Purchase HERE.

Sky's zinger..."Colton's Heaven is for real. I know mine is. What about you? Is your Heaven for real? And what do you think of this picture of Jesus?"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The X-Files. 'Do You Really Want To Know?'

Click PLAY to listen as you read. (Gets you in the mood. *winks*)



Welcome! Sorry I’ve been sort of quiet lately. My latest paranormal WIP (Work in Progress) has kept me out of trouble. Speaking of paranormal, when I’m not busy writing and spending time with my fabulous family, I enjoy watching certain programs. As it turns out (probably because I was wishing for it) Netflix went and did something long overdue…

They’re airing the first 100 episodes of The X-Files!!!

In my world, that’s equivalent to the joy I’ll feel when one of my novels hits #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list. It’s just plain ol’ fashioned bloody good news.

So why am I sharing this? Well, it got me thinking about a few things. The first, how much I love the main characters, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) The second? How much their characters and the series itself affected my work over the years.

Let’s start with the first, the wonderful characters. I think they’re perfect because they complement one another so well. Scully is the skeptic FBI agent ultimately assigned to The X-Files to debunk Mulder via scientific analysis. Mulder is the brilliant FBI agent who, of course, believes in the existence of extraterrestrial life.

I have always related more with Mulder. He has the same belief system as me. Not to mention he’s got a kick-arse sense of humor. Not bad to look at either. *Sky grins wide*

The truth is he was always a more believable character for me. Why? Because he saw things that were considered unusual and didn’t let others tell him he was delusional. He was a driven character. Yes, his sister was abducted by aliens when they were children but that’s beside the point. It’s all hypothetical. Did I mention he also has a FANTASTIC sense of humor? Win, win…then win some more. I know….focus….

Then there’s Dana. The girl doesn’t back down. In fact, she spits nails half the time. If she isn’t given plausible evidence then forget it. Thinking outside the box is tough for her. But the things she sees during her X-Files investigations very slowly open her eyes.

So how has this series affected my work over the years? Because God knows I’m sure it has. I loved the dynamics between Scully and Mulder. I loved how they interacted through the storyline as it grew more complicated, as it made less and less sense. In its own way, The X-Files was sort of my own little inspiration for how I saw couples reacting in a romantic sense when met with such incredibly fantastic dilemmas…situations that made no logical sense.

I think at root what I appreciate most about these characters was that while they often turned from one another, they always maintained a nucleus of faith in the others beliefs. In essence, they had enough mutual respect to be there for one another.

The skeptic stood by the believer. The believer stood by the skeptic. In the end they found each other.

I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to tap Scully upside the head and yell, “Didn’t you just see what happened? How can you sit there and remain so clinical.” I gave Mulder a lot of pats on the mental back for putting up with it. But I would. I’m the believer. Not the skeptic. THAT is the key. Bet you’re curious what I’m talking about.

Well, the best thing these characters did for me was draw out emotion. THAT is what it’s all about. Two characters who conflict to the point the reader/viewer wants to rant at one of them for not seeing things clearly and scream, “Get a grip!” These characters are going to keep pages turning. Of course, keep it believable but pull out that emotion. For me, that’s the most important thing and it’s precisely what I learned from Scully and Mulder, two characters who loved, hated and so much more.

The perfect paranormal/syfy romance. That’s the X-Files. Thanks for nine awesome years!

For those of you who appreciated the romance that developed between Scully and Mulder, grab your favorite ‘sip,’ relax, put up your feet and watch this video. It takes you back… promise.




Friday, March 23, 2012

Box It Up Baby! Does A Highlander Book Bundle Work For You?



How do you feel about bundled books?

I’ll admit, I put this off for some time. Somehow, the idea of selling all of my books at once seemed to take something from them individually. Why? I have no idea… because they’re all still there. In fact, they’re grouped together, as they should be.

But should they be?

There’s something to be said for finding and reading a story by itself, even if it's part of a series. It gives you the chance to ease into it. It gives you the chance to decide whether the writer is a fit for you without feeling obligated to see it through. Less pressure. And no doubt, cheaper. *winks*

Me? I’m a series girl. As an avid fantasy fiction reader, I’m thrilled when authors provide bundles, when I know they’ve taken the time to see their series through. Lord knows, sometimes we writers want to walk away and not finish. We’ve got a new story idea, another character eager to have her story told. So in my book, kudos to authors who allow their characters to finish their tales.

I decided to bundle The MacLomain Series. Of course you can still purchase the stories individually. For me, it was important that readers discover how The King’s Druidess (The MacLomain Series- Prelude) ties in so well with Sylvan Mist (The MacLomain Series- Book 3). The novels in between take you on an incredible journey that meld the first and last together perfectly.

For some reason, when I thought about promoting this bundle, a certain scene came to mind. It was a point in Sylvan Mist when William and Coira first truly connected, despite how irritated they were with one another. I think it was the moment that I fell in love with William MacLomain! (Aye, authors can love their own characters. In fact, they better)

Here it is…

Coira yawned and snuggled closer to the fire.

Had she ever been this comfortable? The heavy thud of rain pelted the ceiling overhead. Her mother must be cooking something scrumptious. It smelled wonderful, slightly sweet, apples? No. More like cinnamon and nutmeg melting over a low flame, yet earthy and potent. What was that?

She smiled and opened her eyes. My, it was dark in her room, must be the storm outside. Then the rain became the steady thud of a heart and her pillow became the muscled chest of a man.

Coira froze. Where was she?

"I know you're awake, lass." The brogue was as deep and sensual as smooth whisky.

She jerked up and slammed into the pewter gaze of the man staring down at her. She sat cradled in his lap, both his strong arms and a rough tartan cocooning her. Darn it.

"Release me this instant, you lout!" she hissed.

William did not release her but bared his straight white teeth in a wolfish grin and pulled her closer. "But you seemed so peaceable a moment ago. In fact, if I didnae know better I would have thought you—"

She clamped a hand over his mouth, knowing full well he was about to say something appalling. She narrowed her eyes. "Shush."

"Shush?" He pried her hand from his mouth but did not release it. Instead he turned it over, his eyes falling to the glimmering diamond engagement ring on her finger. "Do you love him?"

She hadn't expected the question and he knew it. "Of course I do."

His silver regard returned to her face. Whatever he saw there pleased him. "As a friend."

She frowned. No. Not as a friend, as a fiancé. "No, as a man."

Were his lips edging closer?

His hand traced her jaw line. "A man who is a friend."

What did he just say? His forefinger and thumb clutched her chin. She would not be distracted and spoke with a level of calm she didn't feel. "A friend who is a fiancé." Lord, that hadn't come out right at all.

"So 'tis to be a marriage of convenience." His throaty declaration brought his lips closer.

Her eyelids became very heavy, and her lips throbbed. "Is it not convenient to marry a friend?" Again, not what she intended to voice.

His lips were within an inch of hers, his burr soft. "Aye, 'tis convenient enough, but what of passion?"

SKY HERE. Did you actually think I would give away the kiss? Not on your life! But I will share more....

"Up, lass." His words matched his actions, and she was lifted and placed on the ground. Coira opened her eyes and glared. She felt like sampled goods.

"Don't kiss me again." She met his eyes with her order.

One corner of William's mouth inched up as he strode past her. "I didnae kiss you. You kissed me, so you best tell yourself not to kiss me again."

She rounded on him as two horses approached. His chestnut mount and the black horse she'd ridden the day before. "I didn't kiss you, and I'm not riding that horse again."

He offered a small smile and swung astride his mount. "Then walk, because you're not riding with me."

Coira tempered her rage. She was good enough to kiss but not good enough to ride with? Then good sense got the better of her. She'd made it clear yesterday she had no desire to ride with him and that remained the same. Or so she tried to convince herself. She eyed the black beast and wondered if she dared to ride him again.

She circled the horse and bought time with words. "Where is everyone? I heard no one depart."

Worry seized her. "Is Annie well?"

William watched her skirt the stallion with amusement. "They left early. I stayed with you to allow you to rest, and aye, your sister is fine. In fact, she's likely reuniting with Arianna at this moment."

She should thank him for his courtesy but decided against it. Though thoroughly aggravated with him, she needed him. "Will you help me mount?"

William snickered. "Nay."

She spun back and planted her hands on her hips. "Foolish of me to think you might have even an ounce of gentleman in you."

He laughed, the sound deep and enticing. "I'm a Scotsman and a barbarian, aye? Why would you now seek me to be a gentleman? Mayhap if I had a wee bit o' English in me—"

"No more, I'll mount on my own. I don't need your help." She turned away from the brute and stepped closer to the horse. She’d done this before and could very well do it again.

There was a hip-high rock mere feet from them. She strode to the rock and turned back to face the horse. "Come here. I wish to mount you."

The horse didn't budge an inch. She spared a fleeting glance at William. He lounged forward, an elbow on the back of his horse's neck, chin resting on a closed fist. Amusement danced in the depths of his eyes.

Forget him.

Coira repeated her request to the beast, but he remained impassive. She knew what he wanted. And she wasn't going to give it to him. Coira strode forward until she stood nose to nose with the horse. "Please come with me. I implore you."

The horse shook its head and snorted. How ridiculous, the silly horse intended to make her do it. One must comply when cornered. She chose to be discreet and moved until she could stand on tiptoes and whisper into the stallion's ear. "Just a wee favor for an old friend, lad? The rock over yonder, please. I cannae mount you from here."

The horse tilted his head in acknowledgment and then trotted over to the rock. Coira sighed with relief, ran to the rock, and swung onto the horse's back. She had done it again!

She turned the mount and held her head high. "I'm ready."

William grinned, brought his horse alongside hers and winked. "See how well we Scottish males respond to a soft female brogue."

Sky here. Hope you enjoyed! So what are your thoughts on bundled books? Good or bad?

*Shameless Plug Alert* If you'd like to purchase The MacLomain Series books seperately, click HERE. .99 Cents per title through March.

If the BOXED SET is for you, Click HERE. $2.99 until the end of March.

Please NOTE... these books contain strong sexual content and are recommended for a mature audience.

Cheers,
~Sky

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm ME, because of YOU! Much Thanks.

What do you consider a milestone as an author?

Seven years ago I had a certain milestone in my head when I first started writing romance. And it all had to do with getting published.

The funny thing, as the years went by and I became published, my milestones changed. Everything I thought I wanted at the beginning didn’t turn out to be what I wanted in the end.

I know it’s sort of overdone but let me tell you about who I was when I first started out in the amazing world of writing. It wasn’t pretty. I thought I was fantastic. In fact, I was the best! *snorts* Yeah right. No such thing in this biz. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

A writer starts out with one thing in mind… a plot… and characters…and how wonderful her story will be.

Um…not.

It doesn’t work out that way in a writer's best fairytale. Sure, we have our story premise but there's much more to it. Writing a quality story nowadays will take you as far as putting it on sale and depending on word of mouth. (Which is wonderful!) But good books and getting ‘out there’ have not only to do with the writer but his/her massive support system. It’s sort of like a rocket going off via NASA. Teamwork is indeed involved.

That is a GOOD thing!

For me, the years I’ve put into my work to make it shine have been ones that have not only made me cry but laugh out loud. The writing experience is supposed to be about learning, finding joy in and becoming better at ones craft. Finally, it's that for me. To this day, all I want for my readers is that I touch them somehow…that I make an impact. I’m so happy to say that I think I have. My fan base has grown leaps and bounds and my readers are truly wonderful.


So in thanks, this post is dedicated to all of you who have supported and touched me… so I could touch others. You know who you are. Friends and authors all.

Off the top of my head… Rynne Raines ~ Reece Herring ~ Andrea Snider ~ Skhye Moncrief ~ Alisha Paige ~ Hywela Lyn ~ Beth Caudill ~ Renee Vincent ~ Helen Hollick ~ P.L. Parker ~Aithne Jeretta ~ AJ Nuest ~ Beth Trissel ~ Sharon Donovan

You rock ladies!!!

My milestone as an author? Knowing that I never could have done it alone.

Best Always

~Sky

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Proudly Paranormal. Let's Chat GHOSTS!

Welcome! You’ve arrived just in time to enjoy my contribution to a fantastic blog romp called Proudly Paranormal Blog Hop. Thank you again to author, Adriana Ryan for putting this together.

I pondered over what I should chat about today. That it should be paranormal was a given. But how to make it original? How to make it me? Then it occured to me. Simple. Talk about the inspiration behind my paranormal time-travel trilogy…my own house.

So are you ready for some ghost stories? *Grins* Yep, sounds weird but it’s true, I live in a haunted house. 

Here's the scoop. I moved into my home ten years ago. My husband’s great-grandfather built this house for his wife in 1901. This gorgeous Victorian has remained in the family since. Truth told, the moment I walked into the foyer I fell in love. All the original woodwork had been freshly polished. The smell of lemon oil mixed with lilac and billowed past the curtains on a warm spring breeze.

There was absolutely nothing spooky about this house.

Not at first.

I’ll re-tell six quick haunting story blips about my house from previous posts but that’s it. Every year I tell more at Halloween. By this October, I should have a few EVP’s (Electro Voice Phenomena) to share. *winks* It’s sort of a tradition at this blog.

BLIP #1. By far, one of my favorite events took place a week before Christmas of 2003. For some reason, this house becomes super active during late November straight through December. My thought on that? My husband’s great-grandfather liked the holidays and he makes a point of visiting his house.

Anyways, this particular afternoon I had my sister and Dad visiting. The three of us were sitting in the living room chatting when the radio turned on. I ignored it thinking it must’ve been set on a timer or something. We all kept talking. A few minutes later it turned up. Loud enough that we all stopped conversing and looked at the radio. The Christmas song, “Do You Hear What I Hear,” was playing. So I got up, walked over and turned it down. (Turn nob volume control folks. Pretty big turn dial on this radio.) I had just sat down when the volume turned up again.

By this point, the radio had everyone’s undivided attention. I got up and turned it down again and sat. We all watched the radio for several seconds. Sure as heck it turned up again. The spooky part? We watched the nob turn on its own this time! I was getting up to turn off the radio when my Dad shook his head, grinned and said, “Don’t. Obviously somebody likes this song.”

So we listened to the rest of the song. After that I was able to successfully turn it back down. The cool part? As I later discovered, ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’ was my husband’s grandfather’s favorite Christmas song. He’d lived in this house until he was old enough to move out. I ended up writing my free read around that song because of this very event.

BLIP #2. It was probably around midnight one night in 2007 when this event happened.

My office is on the third floor and at the time, carpeted but creaky stairs regardless. I was typing away when I heard a large dog lumber up the stairs. (Two things of note. Decorative curtains separate the three rooms. We have a 100 lb. German Shepard.) The Shepard wouldn’t be on the third floor unless he was desperate to go out. (bad hip). I instantly went to go to him. Opened the curtain. Nothing. He wasn’t there. I shrugged and went back to my computer. Must have been my imagination.

Started typing away again. Heard my husband trudging up the stairs. Sounded a bit heavy footed but I figured he’s tired. Must’ve come up looking for something. So I yelled, “Hey hun, everything ok?” No answer. Okay. I heard him walk across the room next to mine. “Hun?” I yelled again, kinda irked he wasn’t responding. Heard him trudge back across the room. Enough, I thought to myself and headed over. Moved the curtain aside. No one was there. Okay, I’m going insane. Headed downstairs. He’s sound asleep in bed. Headed down to the first floor. The dog’s sound asleep too.

BLIP # 3. Nightly occurrence in this house. Always between 10:30 and 11:00. Someone walks across the 3rd floor. Furnished attic. The footsteps are heavy, like a tall or heavyset man. We just tore up the carpets. Original hardwood floors. Louder now!

BLIP # 4. The day we tore a hole in our kitchen wall to put in French doors. All went well during the day. Yes, it was odd seeing a tarp flapping in the wind, dusting my hardwood floors with sawdust and leaves. But it became even odder that evening. Downright supernatural.

(This event was experienced by my husband (skeptic) and mother-in-law, at two separate times during the early morning hours between midnight and four AM)

The first event happened to my husband who was up late working. He started to hear a rumbling coming from downstairs. Thinking something was wrong he went down only to find the pocket doors shaking in their brackets. Nothing else was shaking so we can nix the Earthquake theory. Shortly thereafter, all the pots and pans in the kitchen rattled for about ten seconds, then stopped. (Try timing out 10 seconds. It's longer than you might think) He said he got the shivers but shrugged it off. Hours later, my mother-in-law was sitting on the couch when the pocket doors right behind her started rumbling intensely. That lasted about five seconds. But it was more than enough time for her to turn and watch them, stunned.

Aye, just another night in my Victorian!

BLIP # 5. One week later, I had my first ‘full body apparition’ experience. While I always believed in the paranormal and had many experiences this event sealed the deal.

I woke up in the middle of the night with a man standing over my bed. He was whitish blue and dressed in some sort of uniform. I also remember that he wore a hat that looked to be either a 20’s, maybe 30’s sort of style. I recall thinking… I'm dreaming. Close your eyes, count to five, then open them, he’ll be gone. So I did. He wasn’t! Damned if he wasn’t still standing there. There’s fear… then there’s fear. I ducked my head and ran from my bed so fast it was ridiculous.

Not sure why I continually respond to the paranormal like this when it’s all around me. Human instinct? Self preservation? Don’t know. None-the-less, I got as far as the hallway before I said to myself, “Where are you going to go? Spirits are everywhere you idiot. Face it.” So I did. I walked right back into my bedroom. He was gone. I don’t think he meant to scare me to begin with. I think he was probably surprised I could see him.

BLIP # 6. Moving on to the tenant’s experience (Lives in a renovated addition to the house that used to be the barn. This is the most violent any spirit has ever become). But I think spirits tend to feed off the high emotional state and energy level of teenagers. In this case it was the tenant’s son and his friend walking through the basement. An object literally flew off the shelf at them. The household also reports disembodied voices and having seen a full bodied apparition walk up their stairs.

Sky here. That’s it for this post. Guess I should get around to some promo, eh? *chuckles* Because of this house I have become more and more interested in paranormal investigating. Can you blame me? It’s no wonder I wrote a trilogy about haunted houses and three sexy ghost hunters. And, because I couldn’t help myself, I tossed in some time-travel, warlocks and vampires.

I’ll leave you with a blurb for both The Victorian Lure (Calum’s Curse: Ardetha Vampyre) and The Georgian Embrace (Calum’s Curse: Acerbus Lycan). Both available now. Comment for a chance to win an Ecopy of The Victorian Lure! BONUS: If you leave a little ghost story of your own in a comment you'll be entered to win The Georgian Embrace as well. :-)

THE VICTORIAN LURE (Book ONE)

Is it true love...or is the magnetic pull just another part of the Victorian's lure?

Dakota Allerton depends on no one but herself, but then she's never needed a ghost hunter. When her dream home becomes a house of horrors that is holding her hostage, her only hope is a Scotsman who investigates the paranormal.

The supernatural is nothing Leathan Stewart can't handle. However, trapped in Dakota's cursed Victorian home, he finds himself falling back in time. Only those who persevere can survive the dark domination.


Is it true love or is the allure just another dimension of the Georgian's embrace?

A man with a mission...

Paranormal investigator, Devin O'Rourke, is drawn to Isabel the moment he sees her ghostly image in a picture. While searching for proof of her existence, Devin finds himself in another time, danger lurking around every corner.

A woman in need of saving...

Eighteenth century, Isabel Savol, is on the run. With help from a friend, good fortune finds her sheltered and managing the construction of a house. When a handsome Irishman appears on her Georgian's worksite one day, everything she thought she understood about reality vanishes.

Untapped desire ignites between Devin and Isabel as they struggle to stay one step ahead of the time-warping house caught in Calum's Curse and the werewolf determined to finish the legacy it began.

The Proudly Paranormal Blog Hop continues. Be sure to check out Liv Rancourt’s blog on Saturday. Liv will be giving away a couple paperback versions of A Vampire’s Deadly Delight, as well as a PDF copy, and a Smashwords code for a copy of Bites – Ten Tales of Vampires!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Lá Fhéile Pádrai! 100% Pure Celtic Fun.


Four Days and Counting…

At this blog between now and March 14th, it’s all about the build-up to St. Patrick’s Day. Though I claim a few nationalities as my own, one in particular is part of my upbringing… that’d be the Irish!

Yep, I grew up on dishes such as corned beef, roasted potatoes, and other scrumptious recipes handed down from my great grandmother from the Emerald Isle.

Not to mention I live in a part of New England that, back in its day, was the final home for many Irish immigrants. In my world, you’re bloody proud to be Irish, or you move away. *grins*

It was with my adoration of Ireland that I first began writing my MacLomain Series. My husband and I are what locals call Scotch-Irish. Sort of our own breed but accepted by most. Luckily, we come from good stock and I was able to weave a terribly romantic tale around our heritage. And yes, it was interwoven from a good run of 300 years or so in the medieval period. Gotta love those Scottish clans!

However, my husband’s clan started in  Éire (Ireland) a very long time ago. Hence my title, The King’s Druidess. My clan, the Brouns, originated in France but became a Scottish lowland clan well over a thousand years ago. The two clans became Septs and helped write history together.

Meanwhile, I had my own story to write. One about Claddagh rings, time-travel, true love and of course, MacLomains falling in love with Brouns.

Over the next few days I intend to whip out the Irish on you. After all, it’s almost Lá Fhéile Pádrai!

So....my big F.Y.I.. The King’s Druidess (The MacLomain Series- Prelude) will be FREE for FOUR days. Right up through the 'big day'. Either you're curious or you're not. Either way it's FREE. *grins* Click HERE to scoop up your copy!

For today, I’ll leave you with a famous Irish saying. One which I feel sums up my MacLomain Series…

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine. (Under the shelter of each other, people survive = There's strength in unity.)

Cheers,

Sky

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How Important Are Newsletters? 50 = 1,000 New Readers Within Minutes.

How Important Are Newsletters?

Many authors think that newsletters are a rule of thumb. Many disagree. I went a year without sending one before I realized that I wasn’t keeping my email list up to date. (Yep, those who were signing up to hear from me)

No doubt, it’s great to write and write until you’re blue in the face but what’s the point if you’re not sharing it with those who matter the most… your readers!

Eventually I got around to putting together a newsletter. I used Ratepoint. While the formatting lagged a little, I liked everything they had to offer. So I’ve been with them for years.

Guess what happened yesterday?

I discovered they’d gone out of business! Yep, I screeched and hollered. My newsletter depo went under? Impossible. Then again, how often had I really used them? Not much. Could be I helped put them out of business. *Sighs*

So I said to myself, "Buck it up, move on." I started what turned out to be a long search for another newsletter provider. There’s a lot out there. I think I hit about thirty sites. I wasn’t impressed. In the end, I shoved past the ‘blond moment’ and typed into my Google browser, “What happened to Ratepoint?”

Naturally, the first thing that popped up was a company competing for their biz. Vertical Point. Have to admit, I liked their site. It was super easy to navigate and I walked away happy. My only complaint, they're sort of vague about pic sizes. One can sit there for a bit only to learn their pic is way over-sized. But it's a small detail.

So here's what I ended up creating last night…

SKY PURINGTON'S QUARTERLY NEWLETTER. 

Not too bad, right? It's an easy-to-use site and I'm stoked with the results. So my feeling on the subject of newsletters? Totally worth it and a necessary tool to spread the word about my work. After all, a good newsletter is now built in with the option to 'Like' and 'Tweet.' 

Just imagine what that might mean?

Basic breakdown on a low scale- you send to 50 contacts. Ten of those contacts tweet your newsletter to their 50 contacts. You just reached 500 people. How many of those 500 might retweet you? Then those original ten people ‘like’ you at FB. They just reached 500 more people who might have 'liked' again. Imagine if the counts are much higher on both ends? Within a day you could reach tens of thousands.

 Just imagine how many people you could reach off a 500, 1000, 10,000 count mailing list!

What about you? Are you a writer who sends out newsletters? Are you a reader who enjoys reading newsletters? What do you look for? I’d love to hear feedback on this subject!

In other news…. (shameless plug) my story HIGHLAND MUSE will officially be FREE for the last time today. Scoop up your copy HERE.

Cheers,

Sky

Sunday, March 4, 2012

C'mon... Why Do You WRITE?

Why Do You Write?

I think for most authors the answer is simple… we have no choice. The words and stories are in our heads. We simply have to get them out.

But are there deep-rooted motives? Truth.

I know in my case that there are. I wrote my vampire stories because I was blown away by Anne Rice. Though not a romance writer, she was my idle. The way she painted vampires through words was astounding. Call me old school, but she’s got ‘something.’ While I could never be her, she inspired me to write about vampires. She inspired me to ‘class them up.’ Yes, it can be done. And no, it’s not the concept of humanizing them. It’s the act of making them beautiful for who they are. A soul lost. A soul regained. New beginnings. Pride.

I wrote my Highlander Time-Travels because I fell in love with the concept of Highland Clans sticking together through the centuries. That my husband’s clan and mine were intermarried for three hundred years during the medieval period was icing on the cake. History is amazing and it’s mine… and yours! I wish more people took advantage of it. History was so proud and did everything it did especially for us. *winks*

Last but not least, I wrote about paranormal investigators for no other reason than I think that there should be more of them. I’m not a huge fan of the scientific outlook on paranormal activity but I respect it. Okay, I voiced my ‘disclaimer!’ Done. I openly invite all non-believers to comment at this blog. Now that would make for some good ol' fashioned debate. Let’s chat electro magnetic fields. *grins*

I told you the 'why's' behind my writing. So what about you?

Why do you write?

Friday, March 2, 2012

My Very Own Sexy, Selfish Blog Feed.

Welcome! I’m officially on hiatus at this blog in March. What does that mean? Simple. I’m letting loose this month. While I’m part of a fantastic blog event called, the PROUDLY PARANORMAL BLOG HOP, the rest of the time I'm gonna free-fall here at A Writer’s Mind. I intend to spout off at the mouth about my favorite topics… the paranormal, time-travel, fantasy, syfy and astronomy.

I know. Odd mix. But I own it.

Very rarely do I take a month for me… and you of course! In fact, A Writer’s Mind has always promo’d other authors so…. don’t frown at me for gettin’ a lil’ freaky.

Before I slam out with a ‘ME’ moment (can’t help myself, sorry) allow me to celebrate first and foremost, the first official guest at the Paranormal/Syfy Paranormal Blog, Debra A. Soles. Super author and character interview. You really should check it out! She did such a great job.

Okay, back to the ‘shameless plug.’ I’m beyond happy to announce that The Georgian Embrace (Calum’s Curse: Acerbus Lycan) has finally been released. This novel is the second in my Calum Curse series. It follows The Victorian Lure (Calum’s Curse: Ardetha Vampyre).

COMING SOON (and check out the latest cover art provided by the talented Tamra Westberry) is The Tudor Revival (Calum’s Curse: Ultima Bellum). How HOT is that cover? Woot!

So here’s a bit about The Georgian Embrace

Is it true love or is the allure just another dimension of the Georgian’s embrace?

A man with a mission…

Paranormal investigator, Devin O’Rourke, is drawn to Isabel the moment he sees her ghostly image in a picture. While searching for proof of her existence, Devin finds himself in another time, danger lurking around every corner.

A woman in need of saving…

Eighteenth century, Isabel Savol, is on the run. With help from a friend, good fortune finds her sheltered and managing the construction of a house. When a handsome Irishman appears on her Georgian’s worksite one day, everything she thought she understood about reality vanishes.

Untapped desire ignites between Devin and Isabel as they struggle to stay one step ahead of the time-warping house caught in Calum’s Curse and the werewolf determined to finish the legacy it began.

BLURB:

“I’ll get answers out of you eventually, Isabel.”

Lord, he was persistent. Give him some hope then continue to whittle away. “I am quite sure you will but not this eve.” She gracefully smoothed her skirts, lowered her voice—hid behind her lashes. “I’ll not ask again. Share with me, Devin. I would really like to know what disturbs you so.”

Devin’s low chuckle warmed her insides. “You think to get answers from me by flirting? Good luck, lass. I invented that method.”

Isabel’s eyes flew to his. Insolence! She almost faltered at the devilish twinkle in his gaze, the languid way his come-hither eyes roamed her face. Indeed, he did flirt well. She squelched the lop-sided grin she felt beginning to erupt. “I see no reason for your secrecy.” Isabel again leaned close and whispered in her best co-conspirator tone, “Then you really are a spy.”

His thick-lashed eyes fell to her lips and he leaned closer as well. “In my own way, that is exactly what I am.”

Now she was getting somewhere. “Ah, I knew it.”

“Did you?” His gaze slowly slid down her neck and she’d swear his finger grazed the soft skin. Goose pimples rose on her flesh.

“Yes, I did.” She continued to follow his gaze, could almost feel how he saw her…feminine…enticing. “It makes perfect sense.”

“Aye.” Devin’s gaze fell to the swell of her breasts peeking out from the top of her dress. “You found me out.”

A deep inhale, then he exhaled slowly, his hot breath flaming across her chest. Nipples tightened. Searing warmth flooded between her thighs. Isabel inhaled sharply. His eyes met hers, knowing. How did he do that? What exactly had he done without moving an inch?

“What did I find out?” she murmured, her mind swimming in pleasure, relaxed, not nearly as sharp as it had been moments before.

A ravishing grin crinkled the corners of his eyes, made enticing sweeps of his dark eyelashes. “That I’m not quite who I seem to be.”

SKY HERE. Hope you enjoyed! If this story sounds like your cup of time-traveling, werewolf yumminess, then scoop up a copy of The Georgian Embrace at Amazon by clicking HERE.

Enjoy a fabulous weekend! Be sure to stay tuned. In celebration of The Georgian’s Embrace's release I’m having a freebie weekend for some of my other titles. *grins*

~Sky