Just Imagine

Just Imagine

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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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Phenomenal Time-Travel Romance! A Train Through Time by Bess McBride


Today it’s my pleasure to feature Bess McBride’s best-selling novel, A Train Through Time. I 'met' Bess over five years ago when we signed on with the same publisher. In that we both pen time-travel  romance it was inevitable that we’d get along well.

A Train Through Time is an exceptional book. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. As you can read in the excerpt below, Bess truly has an engaging style of writing.

GIVEAWAY:  I'm at Amazon for the next few days and would love to gift Bess's book to a few lucky commenters with a Kindle.  How can you win? Leave a comment telling us why you'd read a time-travel romance. Don't forget to leave your email  addy. Three winners chosen! Contest ends Saturday, March 2nd, 6 PM EST.

About A Train Through Time...


College teacher Ellie Standish thinks she's on a sleek modern train heading to a conference on women's studies in Seattle, but she awakens from a night's doze to find herself on a bizarre historical train full of late Victorian era reenactors who refuse to come out of character. When the leader of the group—one handsome, green-eyed Robert Chamberlain—finally convinces her the date is indeed 1901, a skeptical Ellie decries any eccentric theories of time travel and presumes she is smack dab in the middle of a very interesting historical dream. She turns the directorial reins of her dream over to one smitten and willing Robert, only to realize that dreams cannot last forever. Someday, she must wake up to reality, though Ellie no longer has any idea what reality is. She only knows that Robert must play an important part in her future. But how can he...if he's only a figment of her imagination or worse yet...a man who belongs to an era long past?

Excerpt…


“Are you kidding? This is huge.”

Though the rocking motion of the train car eased once they were out of the connector, Ellie leaned against the nearest wall for support. She turned to stare at Robert as he entered and quietly shut the door.

Robert cocked his head with a puzzled look. With a glance over her head, he surveyed the room and nodded.

“It is a rather large dining car, isn’t it? We usually take our meal in our carriage.”

Ellie shook her head. “No, I mean your group. This Victorian thing. The train. I assume you all hooked your cars up to the train at some point because I didn’t see them when we left. How do you all do this? It must cost quite a bit.”

With a slight shrug of his elegant shoulders, he searched her face with an expression not unlike a laboratory researcher studying his specimen. His lips twitched. “You say the strangest things, Miss Standish. I am not sure what you are asking.”

She shot him a dark look and stomped her foot...just a bit. “Oh, stop this silly act, Bobby. Y’all are driving me nuts. I feel like I’ve landed in a madhouse.” Apparently unimpressed by her righteous rage, he chuckled and murmured in a low voice. “I am beginning to feel the same way, Miss Standish.”

Purchase at



Visit Bess McBride's Website.

Monday, February 25, 2013

What is real? What is make-believe? If Only by Lisa M. Owens



Today it’s my pleasure to feature and interview Lisa M. Owens, author of If Only.

About If Only


What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?

Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.

She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?

Interview time!


SKY:   What inspired you to write this book?

LISA:   I am a survivor of domestic  violence. I wanted to write a novel that combined my love of romance novels with the aftereffects of being in an abusive relationship. I feel that too many novels merely gloss over the subject. I wanted to write a book that would tell the truth.

SKY:   How did you come up with the title?

LISA:   I think we have all at some point of our lives wondered If Only I had done this, If Only I had done that. The title pretty much speaks for itself.

SKY:   Tell us a little bit about the conflict in your story.

LISA:   Bree Sexton gets the chance that she has always dreamed of. She gets to go back and be with the man that she has always regretted leaving. But when happiness is just within her grasp, her cruel ex-husband appears to destroy everything that she holds dear. Will she lose her second chance for happiness?

SKY:   If you had to sell your book based on one run of dialogue (start quote to end quote), which would it be?

LISA:   “Maybe fate is giving us a second chance to be together.”

SKY:   Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.

LISA:   I am currently working on two. One is the continuation of my If Only series and the other is a story about a Marine who returns from fighting in Afghanistan to discover the woman he loved has left him.

SKY:   How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?

LISA:   I have been writing since I was about seven years old. This is my first published novel.

SKY:   What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?

LISA:   Right now, I am mainly writing contemporary romance. I write some poetry and I have a few manuscripts that I plan on revising and trying to publish in the young adult genre. I would also eventually like to try writing a children’s book.

SKY:   Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

LISA:    If Only is the first book in a series that I am currently working on. What If is the continuation of the series and it should be ready for submission to Liquid Silver Books soon. I plan on there being five books in this series, all about different women who get the chance to correct their greatest mistakes.

SKY:  Great interview! Thanks for sharing.

Excerpt


Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.

She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.

Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.

Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.

The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?

His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.

She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.

His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.

“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.

That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for
years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.

“Scott,” she whispered.

Purchase IF ONLY at  Isbooks ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble

Friday, February 22, 2013

Creating the Perfect Playlist


It seems that book playlists are one of the big things right now. Quite honestly, I love the concept! Though there are several ways to create a playlist I've found a method that works best for me.

It all starts at Pandora. Whenever I write I’m tuned in. What I’m writing influences what sort of station I’ll be listening to. In the case of my latest release, Highland Defiance, I listened to several stations. Naturally, they revolved around Celtic music, bagpipes and even movie soundtracks…think adventure, fantasy and of course, Highlanders. I find any station having to do with the movie Braveheart or Gladiator kicks out some truly inspiring songs for my MacLomain series.

Station locked in, it’s then just a matter of sitting back and writing. I keep a blank document with the book title + playlist typed at the top. Then I minimized the doc. When a song comes on that I feel really works with my book I add it to the list.

Once my list is complete I head over to Grooveshark and create a new playlist for my title. After that it’s as simple as searching out my titles and dragging them into my new list. I found 98% of what I was looking for when creating my first playlist. Not bad stats!

I intend to create a playlist for all of my tales and list them at my website. They’re a great way to convey to my readers the tone of my book. Plus they’re easy and fun to create. Win, win.

For those authors who haven't created a playlist yet you really should. Your readers will love it!

Here’s the playlist for Highland Defiance. The playlist for Highland Persuasion is already created and will be released next month alongside the title.

Turn up your speakers and enjoy!

Highland Defiance Playlist



(Click HERE to listen)

“Hector The Hero,” by Royal Scots Dragoon Guard
“A Million Stars,” by Iona
“Light and Shadow,” by Vangelis
“Theme For Scotland,” by Alasdair Fraser 
“Now We Are Free,” by Lisa Cannon 
“Requiem For A Tower,” by Escala
“Ebla,” by E.S. Posthumas
“Brian Boru’s March,” by The Chieftains
“The Heart Asks Pleasure First,” by Myleene Klass
“In Dreams,” by Lorie Line
“First Light/Dawn Rant,” by Alisdair Fraser
“Boadicea,” by Enya
“Titulos Finales,” by Carlos Nunez

FUN EXTRA for AUTHORS and READERS!!!


Authors, are you curious what readers are buying after reading your book at Amazon? Or what  books readers are purchasing before they pick up yours? Readers, would you like to find titles related to some of your favorite books? Fabulously talented author Bess McBride shared this link with me. Click HERE then enter your own book or one of your favorite books up top. Watch as more books spill out and branch off live all connected by arrows. Love it!

Monday, February 18, 2013

When Nightmares Spread to Reality. Worlds Apart- Leah by Andrea Baker.



Today it's my pleasure to interview Andrea Baker, author of Worlds Apart-Leah, a Paranormal Romance.

Publisher: Taylor Street Books 

ISBN:   978-1480083684
ASIN:   B009P4C3GG

Number of pages: 173
Word Count: 60,000

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/Ms-b5rrONdQ  


GIVEAWAY! Five lucky commenters will win a signed postcard of the book cover ((full cover front, greyscale book reverse back, signature on back). Open to international. Please leave email address with comment.


Book Description


Leah knows that her mother died in a car accident when Leah was small and that her father, who used to be the gentlest dad in the world, has become increasingly controlling and occasionally violent.

She also knows that her recurring dreams are telling her something more about how and why her mother died, and why her dad turned nasty, but they are becoming progressively more disturbing and confusing.

When Leah meets Ben, she is excited to have a friend she can confide in and have fun with, but is he what he seems?

The voice of Leah’s mother repeatedly tells her to rely on her instincts, but when Leah is run over in a freak accident and Ben’s family take over her welfare, are they protecting her or using her?

And why would anyone, good or evil, bother with an ordinary girl just about to go to university?

Interview Time!


SKY:   Where did the inspiration for your novel Worlds Apart, Leah come from?

ANDREA:   The bones of the idea, a young woman having nightmares that spread to reality and a story across two alternate worlds, have existed for quite a few years now.  The real final inspiration came in late October/ November 2009, when I was driving home, through Kenilworth, during a thunderstorm.  The sight of the lightening above the castle in the evening sky made the jigsaw fall into place, and the story suddenly came together in my mind.  I went home and started writing it down that same day.

SKY:   How long have you been writing for?

ANDREA:   I’ve always written, for as long as I can remember.  When I was a child it was usually fan fiction type stories based on the last book that inspired me (blame Enid Blyton amongst many others), and my first novel, called Chimes, was what we now call Chick Lit.  As I grew into my teenage years, I started writing more verse.  When I went away to University, and then graduated, I forced myself to stop writing my ideas down, believing it was childish behavior and that as an adult I shouldn’t be doing things like that.  The ideas never went away; I just stopped writing them down, until the thunderstorm.  Then the story and images were so loud, I couldn’t ignore them anymore.

SKY:   Do you write in other genres, apart from fantasy?

ANDREA:   Yes, I have an outline of a novel called Alfie, which I’m working on.  It is the story of a young boy born in the late 1920’s / early 1930’s, but to do it justice it requires a lot of research to ensure I get the historical elements right as well.  So I need to take time with it.

SKY:   Do you have a set routine before you start writing? For instance, do you have to absolute quiet, or do you listen to music?

ANDREA:   I don’t have a set routine as such, as I write whenever I can grab the time.  However music is the key to setting my imagination loose for me, I hate absolute silence and find it really hard to concentrate in that environment.  I have certain songs that trigger my imagination, so I make sure that they get played first, or I choose the mood of the music to match the scene that I want to write.  There are also songs that are key to certain parts of my novel – the crash scene for example.  One particular song was playing at the time I wrote that passage, and now, whenever I hear it, my mind reverts back to that scene.  It’s wonderful when it comes to editing, because I know that I can immerse myself back into that part of the story relatively easily.   However, it can be a double edged sword if I accidentally select the wrong playlist when I’m at work…

SKY:   You have a young family and all the work that entails. Where do you find the time to write?

ANDREA:   I have one lovely, lively and mischievous little girl, who will be nine in March, and I also work full time.  I admit that it is a juggling act, and spending time with my daughter is always my first priority.  Having said that, I try to write something every day, and this is usually after my daughter has gone to bed.  There are occasions though that the conflicting demands on my time mean I can’t get to write when I want to, and that can be really frustrating.  I’ve found that if I don’t manage to write a little every day, then the ideas will start to dry up, or aren’t as vivid as they used to be, and it becomes harder to pick the same story up again.  The hardest part for me is getting my mind to be creative when I want, or need it to be – there are times when I get wonderful ideas when I’m in the middle of a meeting at work, or in the car, but by the time I can actually use them, my mind goes blank.

SKY:    Are any of your characters based on real people?

ANDREA:   Not really.  There are bits of people that are close to me in some of the characters, but I can’t pick one of my characters and say “that’s them”.  I’ve tried to make the characters as real as possible – after all Leah is based across alternate Earth realities, so they need to feel as though they are real.  The names I chose for Leah and Ben were names I always wanted for my own children, but for various reasons ended up not using.  I see a lot of myself in Leah, but she copes with a lot more than I have had to, and she is far stronger as a result.

SKY:   What made you decide to become a writer? For instance was it the prospect of becoming rich and famous or because you love writing so much, it’s an integral part of you?

ANDREA:   It wasn’t a conscious decision – so I suppose you’d say it’s an integral part of me.  I’ve always had a voracious appetite for reading, even when I was very young, and writing was the next logical step.  At that time I was too young to understand about fame and fortune, so it was never a consideration.    It would be wonderful to be able to earn a living from writing but, primarily, this is who I am.

SKY:   Are there any plans for a sequel /sequels to Worlds Apart?

ANDREA:   Yes, there is at least one more book – possibly two.  I know that many authors will find that a strange thing to say, but my writing is very visual.  The story plays out in my mind, as though it is a film, therefore although I know where the story is going, and how it will end, there will be deviations along the way that could affect the overall length of the story itself.

SKY:   Finally, what one piece of advice would you give to fledgling writers?

ANDREA:   Believe in yourself.  Most of the writers I know, myself included, are very self critical - and we spend hours poring over our work, correcting and editing.  There comes a point when you have to let it go, believe that it is the best it is going to be, and, if you want to be published, start getting it out to agents and publishers, or self publish.  If you don’t believe in your own work, then no one else will.  The next piece of advice would be never give up – just because agent X or publisher Y didn’t like it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good.

SKY:  Great interview! Thanks for joining me today.

Excerpt


Sitting here, breathing in the familiar smell of wild flowers and sheltering under the huge old tree, I still found it difficult to comprehend everything that had happened. The air smelt slightly damp as though a storm was coming and I gave an involuntary shudder. Even now, knowing the truth, the fear of those storms had not completely dissipated.  I leant my head back against the trunk, fitting nicely into the spot that I had occupied so many times before. Although I now knew I could do this at will, my stomach clenched with apprehension at what was to come. I knew that I would never want to revisit this period in my life again, I just needed to make sense of it this one final time. I just needed to be careful, to make sure I didn’t change anything that had happened, otherwise there would be consequences.

Opening my laptop, I returned to the messages I had sent my best friend, Jen. All I needed was a trigger, to place me in the right moment in time. As I started to read, I smiled, remembering the friendship and familiarity of that time before everything changed. Then I let myself start to float, drifting back, allowing myself to occupy my old body and thoughts, carefully and silently, avoiding anything that could bring the change to the attention of those around me.

Jen,

Well, we’ve finally unpacked - or I should say that I have!  Dad’s been at work most of the time, though I guess that doesn’t surprise you. His behaviour is still off - I’d really hoped it would improve once we got away from the old house and the constant reminders. He’s been going on about my needing a new start again - but after that last row, I just daren’t argue with him anymore. His mood swings can be just so scary and the temper has definitely not improved - in fact if anything it is getting worse. So much for the fresh start he banged on about! How’s Aber? I am SO jealous. Bet the sun’s shining, isn’t it? Where’s your room - is it facing the sea, or the mountains? Still wish I could have come with you, like we’d always planned but I lost that argument the day Mom died …

Still Warwick should be ok. It’s got a good reputation and the course seemed just right, so need to keep my focus on that now, not worry about what could have been.  Anyhow, this place is ok really - even though it’s very old.  Kenilworth town itself is a bit old school but you should see the Castle. I love it up there. I can take my music and wander around for hours, or if the weather’s good I can just snuggle into a corner and read. No-one bothers me and it’s SO Goth - you’d love it. I looked it up on Google and apparently there are parts of it that date back as far as Norman times and it also played quite an important role in some siege. Some of it has been rebuilt, turned into offices, tea rooms (with the blue rinses to match LOL), but I like the ruins best. There’s an old Abbey too at the other end of town but there’s not much of that left, with far too many kids playing in the park for me and it’s not like I’ve got anyone to play tennis with here.

The cottage itself apparently dates back to the 17th Century and has some connection to Walter Raleigh and the potatoes. It has three little corridors leading off to different, really odd shaped rooms - some people would hate it but I don’t and I know you won’t either. It’s easy to hide in the attic and pretend not to hear Dad. Can’t wait 'til November when you come to stay - I’m going to hold you to that promise! Has Freshers started there properly yet? I don’t start for a few more weeks but I feel physically sick when I think about it. I’m not looking forward to being the new girl but I guess we have that in common. At the moment though I’ve still got some time to myself - not that Dad likes THAT of course. I’m sure he thinks Greg will turn up out of the blue or something - as if! That boat sailed back in Clifford and I don’t ever want to see HIM again. Men are most definitely off the agenda and not just because of the promise Dad forced out of me. Wonder if that has something to do with these dreams I’m getting … 

Can’t wait to hear all your news, don’t keep me waiting.

L

About the Author




Andrea Baker has written stories and poems all her life, although most of them no longer exist.  After graduating from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in Economics and Marketing, she convinced herself to stop making these stories up, believing it to be something a "grown-up" should not do.

Since then she has spent most of her career working on major programmes across both private and public sector.  Of all the ideas that continued to occur to her, Worlds Apart has been the most insistent, refusing to go away.

Andrea Baker lives and works in the beautiful English county of Warwickshire, with her husband and daughter.  Kenilworth, the base for her Worlds Apart Series, is just a few miles away from their home.

Visit Andrea Baker on the Web



Blog 

Twitter  @RoseWall15




Thursday, February 14, 2013

2013: Stormy Space Weather Ahead!


From asteroids to comets to solar storms, this year is bound to be a busy one! For those of you who subscribe to my newsletter, you know that I always include an Astronomer’s Corner. This is a small section where I write about space related events covered here at A Writer’s Mind.

It’s been a bit since I chatted about all the interesting things going on ‘out there.’


What better way to kick off this Astronomer's Corner  than to discuss Asteroid 2012 DA14, which will have safely whizzed by Earth by this time tomorrow. Half the size of a football field, the stony rock was discovered a year ago. This will be the closest passing asteroid recorded as it sails over our planet beneath most satellites at a distance of .09 LD (Lunar Distance) from Earth. That's roughly 17,200 miles above us. It's traveling at about eight times the speed of a rifle bullet. Regrettably in my neck of the woods it’ll be flying by during daylight hours so I won’t be able to watch it with my telescope. *sad face*

However, we can all watch 2012 DA14 compliments of the guys at SLOOH Space Camera. They'll be recording the fly-by from the Canary Islands. Click HERE to bookmark their site now.

In other space news, as was expected in 2013, NASA and The United Nations prepare for a solar maximum. What does that mean? Simple. Though the sun’s been relatively quiet for a while she’s starting to become more active.  An 'M' or 'X' class flare can hurl a decent burst of solar wind at our planet. Thanks to our magnetic field most of what we experience as a result is breathtaking aurora lights (mainly seen if you live nearer the poles.)


However, a strong flare aimed directly at Earth has the ability to disable satellites and knock out power grids. To learn more about why Professor Hans Haubold of the UN office for outer space affairs says, “Space weather is a significant natural hazard that requires global preparedness,” click HERE.

Last but not least for this segment is comet ISON. I can’t wait for this one! In November and December we Earthlings should get quite a show. No telescope needed! If all goes well, we’ll be able to see this baby with the naked eye not only at night but during the day. It should be as bright as the moon. Can you imagine? So fingers crossed this sun-grazer won’t disintegrate like Elenin did in 2011. What’s in our favor this time? ISON is much larger than Elinin so has a better chance of withstanding the sun's heat.



Things are bound to get a lot busier so keep your eyes peeled for my next Astronomer’s Corner  segment. Until then, happy sky-gazing!

Best,
Sky

Saturday, February 9, 2013

336 Hours of Oh-So-Sexy Highlanders!



Sorry, I’m running a bit behind with this. Blizzard Nemo slowed me down some. But I’m back on track and ready to blog!

So what’s your pleasure? Because I’m going to be offering a little bit of everything over the next few weeks. That’s right, my latest release, Highland Defiance has gone on book tour. Fourteen Days! Twenty-one stops! 

It’s all about sexy Highlanders, character interviews, fabulous playlists and much, much more.

Oh, and did I mention that there’s a $25 Amazon gift card up for grabs as well as copies of Highland Defiance? If you have a few moments to spare I’d love for you to visit. Here’s my schedule.

February 8
Catherine Bybee

February 8
DEB SANDERS

February 9

February 11
Butterfly-o-Meter Books

February 12
Sultry storyteller

February 12
aobibliophile™ 

February 13
To Read or Not To Read, 

February 14
Reviewing in Chaos   

February 15
Storm Goddess Book Reviews

February 15
Forever Book Lover

February 16

February 17

February 18
My Sexy Escapes 

February 18
The LUV'NV 

February 19
Roxanne’s Realm

February 20
The Book Maven

February 20
Sugarbeat's Books 

February 20
3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy, & Sissy Too! 

February 21
Whatever You Can Still Betray

February 21
Saph's Steamy Book Reviews

February 22
Not Now...Mommy's Reading

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Love Story With Bite. First Bitten by Samantha Towle.





Today it's my pleasure to feature Samantha Towle, author of First Bitten, The Alexandra Jones Series-Book 1





A love story with bite …...

Walking home after a night out drowning her sorrows with her best friend, Carrie, Alexandra Jones stupidly takes a phone call from her cheating ex-boyfriend, Eddie, and in her anger hurls her phone into the forest before her.

But when Alex goes to retrieve her phone from the undergrowth, she and Carrie come face-to-face with a monster they never even knew existed, a Vârcolac (a nightmarish vampire-werewolf hybrid) and he's in search of fresh blood. The next thing Alex knows, she is staring at the impossibly handsome but mysterious Nathan who has helped bring her back to life, but not to the life she left.

To her horror, she discovers she has now become a blood-drinking Vârcolac herself and she is the only female of her kind, with the potential for breeding a whole new army of Vârcolacs if they can only track her down and press her into service.

And while Alex gets to know Nathan and his shape-shifting family as they offer her the protection she so desperately needs, unbeknown to all of them, the Vârcolacs are getting closer …

Excerpt


First Bitten Excerpt
Chapter 1

The End of Me

  
“Arggh! Just leave me alone, Eddie! I can’t believe a word that comes out of your mouth! You’re a lying, cheating ... scumbag and I don’t ever want to speak to, or see you, ever again, you … you wanker!” I disconnect the call and angrily loft my mobile toward the mass of trees standing tall before me.

Turning sharply, I catch my heel in a crack in the paving. “Shit!” I cry out as I fall backwards, losing my shoe in the process. I land hard my bum. “Oww!”

“You alright?” Carrie gets up from the bench she was sitting on and drunkenly totters over to me. I can tell she’s trying not to laugh, the grin she’s not so gallantly suppressing saying it all.

“No,” I grumble. Tears sting my eyes. I take a deep breath and force them back.

I will not cry. I will not cry.

A giggle escapes Carrie as she plonks herself down on the concrete floor beside me.

I glare at her.

“Sorry, babe.” She throws her arm around my shoulder, hugging me to her. “Eddie is a complete twat. Twat with a capital T. And you, my gorgeous friend, are far too good for him, always have been. You deserve so much better than him.” She twists a lock of my hair around her finger, tugging on it good-naturedly. “You know I’m right. I’ve said this to you a million times before. You’re far too good to waste your life on a ... twatting wanker like him.”

Through my misery, I glance sideways at her. “Twatting wanker?”

She grins mischievously, her green eyes sparkling, and I can’t help but laugh. Carrie always manages to make me laugh, even when I’m at my lowest, which is where I am right now, literally.

I lean forward, releasing myself from Carrie’s caring hold and pick my shoe up. “Ahh no, I’ve scuffed the heel!” I groan as I inspect it. “My beautiful, two month old Jimmy Choos and they’re bloody ruined! These were my treat from my bonus.” That dismal feelings seeps back into me.

“Here, let me have a look.” Carrie takes the shoe from my hand and puts it close to her face, examining it. “It’s not that bad,” she says dismissively, handing it back to me. “It’ll glue back down.”

I turn and look at her with disgust. “Glue! I’m not gluing a pair of Jimmy Choos. Bloody hell, Carrie, that’s sacrilegious!” I clutch the shoe to my chest. “Arggh! This is all Eddie’s fault. I bloody hate him, the bastard!”

Well I don’t hate him, yet, but I will very soon, I’m sure of it. I’m just currently stuck in the ‘I should hate him’ phase, but struggling to because I still love him.

Eddie, my lying, cheating, scumbag, arsehole of a boyfriend, or, as I should now say, ex-boyfriend. Eddie, the cheating bastard, whom I’ve wasted three years of my life on.

That all too familiar pain stabs straight into my heart. Tears swell my eyes again. I run my fingers under them to catch the tears before they fall. The last thing I need right now is mascara-stained cheeks.

I found out about Eddie’s extra-curricular activities yesterday morning while we were eating breakfast together. I’d received a text from his slutty new squeeze the night before, but only realised I had a message that morning. Accompanying said text was a very graphic photo of Eddie in a ‘compromising’ position for added effect. Classy, I know. Really I should have learnt my lesson from the last time.

It will never happen again, Alex, I swear to you ... I love you ... I’m so sorry ... I can’t live without you ... I made a terrible, stupid mistake ...

But really it was me who made the mistake when I believed he wouldn’t do it again.

So, after chucking my breakfast at him, coffee included and a few other choice items, I headed to our bedroom, called Carrie and asked her to come and pick me up. I packed my bags, ignoring Eddie’s pathetic pleas for me to stay, while I waited the twenty minutes it took Carrie to drive from her parents’ house in Hackness, where she still lives, to my house in Scarborough.

When she arrived, honking her horn, I rushed out the front door in a flurry of tears, threw my bags in the car boot and didn’t look back, even though I knew Eddie was standing in the doorway watching me leave.

Carrie and I have been best friends for fifteen years. The first time I met her was on introductory day at our old senior school, Scarborough High, and I just knew I’d know her my whole life. She was all fiery red curly hair and braces, but as confident as hell. Smart, vivacious and sassy, she takes no shit, unlike me. She’s all the parts I’m missing, my other half really and that’s when I knew I’d met my soul mate. Carrie is always there for me, no matter what, and vice-versa.

Both my parents were killed in a road accident when I was sixteen, a drunk driver overtaking them on a country road with an upcoming bend, an oncoming car; there were no survivors.

I fell apart and Carrie put me back together. Legally an adult, I had absolutely no clue how to take care of myself, let alone do things adults have to take care of. That’s when Carrie’s family became mine. Her parents, Angie and Tom, stepped in and sorted everything for me. They took me into their huge home and spoilt me like I was one of their own, which now, nine years later, I still am.

Carrie’s been on hand with Kleenex and Ben and Jerry’s for all my boyfriend disasters, well mainly Eddie the boyfriend disaster from hell. She sat patiently with me yesterday while I cried the whole day and night away. Then, when I woke up this morning feeling very angry, Carrie suggested we should get dressed up and go out to the only pub in Hackness tonight, The Grange, and get drunk.

I was completely on board with the idea - anything to numb the pain - but then the pain was still there when they were calling last orders at the bar and I didn’t want to wait the forty minutes it would take for the taxi to arrive, so we decided to walk home, which we’ve done hundreds of times before. It takes about half an hour and, to be honest, it’s not the nicest of walks, even in the daylight. It’s all country roads and forests but it’s also as safe as houses around here. The last time there was a crime here was – well never.

All I wanted to do was get home as fast as possible and continue on drinking myself into oblivion, well, just until I passed out. And I was well on my way to achieving that goal until I, for some ungodly reason, made the fatal error of answering Eddie’s call. And here I am, right back to square one. I’ve let Eddie and his lies into my head again. This is what happens when I drink; I lose all common sense. Or is it just when it comes to Eddie that I lose my common sense?

I drop my heavy head into my hands. “I’m such an idiot, Care.”

“No you’re not. Eddie’s the idiot.” She rubs a soothing hand on my back. I glance up at her. “He just doesn’t seem to realise when he’s got a great thing,” she affirms. “The guy’s a loser. L-O-S-E-R.” She spells the word out for dramatic effect, putting her thumb and forefinger into the L shape and resting it against her forehead.

Yep, she’s definitely drunk – she’d never do that sober. I giggle through my haze of tears and make a mental note to remind her of that in the morning so I can take the piss.

“You were the best thing that ever happened to him,” she adds sincerely, taking hold of my hand and patting it with her other. “He’ll know this soon enough when you’re not there taking care of him anymore.”
I stare into the black dense forest before me. “Mmm … ”

She grabs hold of my shoulder, forcing me round to look at her. “Alex, please tell me you’re not actually considering going back to him. You know he’ll do it again.”

“No I’m not,” I say, sounding way too defensive.

“Alex … ” She arches her eyebrow at me in that knowing way she does. She knows me better than anyone.

“No,” I repeat, my voice quieter now, “I’m not going back. I promise. But it’s hard. I can’t just stop loving him in a day. We’ve been together for three years. We have a home together. Okay, so it’s his house and the mortgage is still in his name, but we have other stuff together, like … like ... CDs and DVDs ... and well, other stuff.”

Actually now that I think about it, after three years together we really don’t have a lot to show for our relationship, except for a lot of broken promises and betrayals.

“I know it’s hard, Alex, but Eddie didn’t care about the last three years when he was messing around behind your back. Just keep reminding yourself of what he’s done to you, twice, now. It’ll get easier, babe, I promise, and you know I’m here for you, no matter what. I’ve always got your back.”

“I know.” I look gratefully at her. “Ditto.”

“Anyway, I was thinking we should get my dad to sack him,” she says out of the blue, very nonchalantly.
Eddie works for Tom. He’s a sales manager at Tom’s car dealership in Scarborough. Tom has ten altogether across the region. That’s how I met Eddie. It was at the dealership's annual Christmas party three years ago. 

He was so handsome, smart and funny, and I was hooked from the word go. Little did I know.

I shake my head, tempting as it is, and say, “No, Care, we can’t ask Tom to do that. It’d be wrong to put him in that position.”

“He’d do it for you though.” She nudges my shoulder with hers. “You know he would. He loves you to death.”

I turn and give her a firm look. “I know, and that’s why I won’t ask him ... and neither will you.”

She grins wickedly and winks. “No promises.”

“Care … !” I warn.

“Okay, okay.” She rolls her eyes. “Whatever you want. Is twat-face Eddie at work tomorrow?”

I scrunch my nose up in thought. “What day is it?”

“Er … ” she pulls her mobile out of her bag and lights the screen up, checking the date and time, “it’s Saturday now.”

“He’s not back in work till Monday.”

“Okay, well I’ll go round to your house on Monday while he’s at work and pick up the rest of your stuff, if you want? Get you out of there and moved back home properly. Start as you mean to go on.”

“Would you mind?” I look hopefully at her. The last thing I want to do is go back to the house. I’m worried if I do, I might end up never leaving.

“Wouldn’t offer if I did.” She smiles warmly and gets to her feet. “Come on, let’s go home.” She holds her hand out to me.

I take a lingering, woeful glance at my shoe and slip it back on my foot. Eddie the bastard, he’s ruined my life, and now my beautiful shoes.

I take Carrie’s hand and get unsteadily to my feet. I wrap my arm around her waist, resting my head onto her shoulder. “Thanks, Care,” I mumble into her red hair. “I don’t know what I’d do without you. I love you, you know.”

“You’d do fine,” she says, “and I love you too. Now come on, you soppy git, let’s get you home.” She wraps her arm around my shoulder and we start to walk on, supporting each other.

“Ahh shit!” I sigh dramatically, coming to a halt.

“What?”

“I chucked my phone in there.” I gesture dramatically toward the forest laid out to the side of us. “My whole life is on that phone,” I whine. “I can’t lose it.”

Bloody Eddie. He doesn’t even have to be here and he causes me problems. Maybe it’s the essence of him that’s still lingering over me, continuing to make my life shit.

I walk over to the edge of the pavement, teetering between it and the slope down into woodland.

“Whereabouts did you throw it?” Carrie asks, following me over and standing beside me.

“I dunno.” I shrug. “Around there ... somewhere.” I point at the bracken.

Carrie peers forward. “Well, it can’t have landed that far away. You’re not that good a thrower. I remember your weak arm from netball at school.” She nudges me with her shoulder, grinning. “Tell you what, I’ll ring your phone and we’ll follow the sound to it.”

“Good thinking Batman.” I nudge her back.

“Er, more like Catwoman, if you don’t mind,” she says dramatically, sweeping a hand down herself. “Does this body look in any way masculine to you?”

“Shut up and get your bloody phone out, will you.” I laugh.

She smirks and gets her mobile out of her bag again. It takes her a good minute to dial my number, which I know for a fact, she has on speed dial. She really is drunk.

“It’s ringing,” she sings, phone clamped to her ear.

I immediately hear my phone start to blast out Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’. I changed it to that ring tone yesterday. Okay, I know I’m being maudlin, but it’s not every day you find out your boyfriend’s been cheating on you. Well, okay, for me it’s the second time in a year, but that’s not the point.

Carrie pulls the phone away from her ear and leaves it ringing in her hand. Holding hands, we both clumsily make our way down the incline into the woods as we begin our search, following the sound of the music into the trees.

“I can’t see it anywhere,” Carrie says looking around. “Mind, I can hardly see shite-all in here. It's pitch black!”

I squint into the darkness. She’s right, it is pitch black. Nerves creep over me. I quickly quash them. I need to find my phone.

The ringing stops. It must have diverted to answerphone.

“Ring it again, Care, will you.”

Adele resumes her singing. I can hear it clear over to my right. Breaking away from Carrie, I head that way. The music’s getting louder. I’m getting close. A few more steps and I spot it nestled in a bush, flashing prettily away at me. Not a good thrower, eh, Carrie?

“Got it!” I cheer, staggering toward it. I lean down and pluck it out of the prickly bush. I snag my hand on a prickle. “Ouch!” I suck the wound on my hand and get an instant taste of metallic ... blood.

“You alright?” Carrie asks concerned, heading toward me.

“Yeah, fine. Just cut my hand on the bush. Nothing serious. Got my phone, though.” I grin, waving it about.
“Good. Now can we get out here?”

“Yep, let’s go.” I make to move and get nowhere. I’m stuck in some soft mud. “Bloody hell,” I grumble, looking down. “My heels are stuck in the mud.”

“You and them feckin’ shoes!” Carrie laughs loudly. It echoes all around. “Here.” She holds her hands out for me to take. “I’ll pull you out.”

I take hold of her hands. She starts to pull me forward while I try to wriggle my shoes free from the sticky mud. I get one free, step forward and suddenly the other comes free. I fall forward onto Carrie.

“Bloody hell!” she chuckles, somehow keeping us both up. I have no clue how she’s managing to stay vertical.

I glance down at my shoes. They’re all covered in mud. “Ahh crap!” I groan, lifting my feet up in turn. “I’ve knackered the heel and covered them in mud in the space of five minutes. I bloody love these shoes as well.” My lips turn down at the corners.

“Really, I would never have guessed,” she skits.

“Piss off,” I mutter in a light-hearted tone, but inside the gloom has clamped itself steadfastly around my heart.

She grins at me in the darkness and links her arm through mine. “We’ll clean them up when we get home.”

“I don’t think anything is gonna save these babies now, well nothing short of a miracle.”

“Come on, drama queen. We’ll pray for their salvation on the way home.”

“Ha, ha, funny! You ever thought about becoming a comedi–”

“Wait.” She grips hold of my arm with her fingers. “Did you hear that?”

“What, the sound of my heart breaking for the second time in two days?” I glance down longingly at my ruined shoes.

“No ... that.”

I strain to listen. “I can’t hear anything.” Now I think about it, it’s actually eerily silent in here. No rustling leaves, no animal sounds. Nothing.

I start to move, but Carrie stays put, pulling me back to a standstill. “No seriously,” she whispers, “I definitely heard something ... it was like, I dunno, like ... someone’s chopping wood or something.”

“Shurrup, Carrie, you div,” I say at normal volume, laughing. “Who the hell would be out here at this time chopping … ?” Then I hear it. It’s not loud but Carrie’s wrong, it doesn’t sound like wood being chopped, it sounds more like something’s being sharpened on wood, kind of like when our cat used to run its claws down the doorframe.

“You hear it,” she whispers.

“Yes,” I breathe out. The hairs on the back of my neck prickle. I hear movement behind me. My stomach drops hollow. Swallowing hard, I loosen my arm from Carrie’s grip and we both, very slowly, turn around.
It’s standing about ten feet away. Its yellow eyes are protruding like beacons in the dark night, and they’re fixed onto me.

It’s obvious why it’s here. You would think I would have tried to make a run for it by now or screamed, or done something. I don’t know why I haven’t. All I do know is I can’t seem to tear my eyes away from its penetrating stare. It tilts its head, almost as if contemplating me, chilling me to the bone.

Then I feel Carrie’s hand search for mine. She grabs hold, interlocking our fingers. I can feel her fear almost like it’s pouring out of her skin and sinking straight into mine. A silent communication passes between us, and in the same instant we both turn and run.

I don’t get far.

I’m hit in the back. The air is knocked out of me. I’m going down. I’m pinned to the floor. I can’t move. My face is pressed into the mud. I can’t catch a breath. I’m suffocating. I feel a searing pain tear down my right side. I cry out but no sound comes. I manage to move my head slightly. I get a glimpse of Carrie’s red hair. The pain intensifies. I feel like I’m being ripped open...

The last thing I hear is screaming. An ear-piercing scream. And I can’t tell if it’s coming from Carrie or me.



About Samantha Towle


Samantha Towle lives in Yorkshire with her husband Craig, children Riley and Isabella, dog Max and cat Murphy.

The youngest of four daughters, she loves music - all music - and dreams of a day when …. now that's another story.

Visit Samantha

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

They Dance. They Make Love. Scarlet Woman by Shelley Munro



Today it’s my pleasure to welcome back Shelley Munro for not only an interview but to celebrate her latest paranormal release, Scarlett Woman (Middlemarch Mates- Book One)!

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

ISBN: 9781419903120 
ASIN: B0032UDTMQ

Number of pages: 115 pages
Word Count: 38,561

Cover Artist: Syneca

GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift certificate plus 3 x copies of Peeping Tom, book 2 in the Middlemarch Mates series.




Also in print as part of the Feline Lovers anthology




Book Description


Emily Scarlet’s husband left her for his secretary and died in a car accident—all on the same day. Now, six months later, Emily has emerged from her chrysalis of painful memories. And to prove she has what it takes to attract a man, she’s determined to experience one perfect night of passion.

Feline shape shifter, Saber Mitchell has a problem with his four boisterous younger brothers. They’re out of control. It’s too late for him, but he hopes to get his brothers mated and settled, and the ball is the place to introduce them to marriageable women.

Unbridled sex is the last thing he plans on, but one glimpse of Emily Scarlet changes his mind. Sex with her is a necessity. They dance. They make love.

One thing is clear—a single night isn’t enough. Saber must have her for his mate, but Emily isn’t so easy to convince…or trust.

Middlemarch Mates – 12 books in series

Scarlet Woman 1

Peeping Tom 2

Stray Cat Strut 3

Assassin 4

Cat and Mouse 5

Cat Burglar 6

Leticia’s Lovers 7

Catnap 8

Tiger By the Tail 9

Blue Lady 10

Twin Trouble 11

Lightning Strikes Twice 12 (free book from Ellora’s Cave and All Romance ebooks)

Interview Time!


SKY:   What inspired you to write this book?

SHELLEY:   My editor suggested that I write a short story, and my mind immediately went to feline shapeshifters. I’d wanted to write a shapeshifter story for ages, so here was my opportunity. Long story short, my editor liked the story I sent her, but she said there was too much plot for the length and she suggested I lengthen the story.

The plot itself came from my inspiration folder. Years earlier I’d read stories in the New Zealand Herald about mystery sightings of black panthers near Christchurch, New Zealand. They were a mystery because New Zealand doesn’t have any big cats—apart from the ones in zoos. This was one story of many about alien cats in the area.

The second part of the plot, I culled from the evening news. They ran a special interest story about a small country town called Middlemarch. The town had a surplus of single men and no single women. They decided to hold a single’s ball to attract young women to the town. The Tairei Gorge railway ran a special train “dubbed the Love Train” to ferry women from the nearby city of Dunedin.

Both stories intrigued me. I combined them, gave them my own twist and turned them into a story called Scarlet Woman.

SKY:   How did you come up with the title?

SHELLEY:   Along with my inspiration folder, I also collect interesting names. I came across the surname Scarlet and thought it would work for a character at some stage. My heroine became Emily Scarlet and the title Scarlet Woman leapt to mind. One of my better ones, I think.

SKY:   What made you choose the main setting for the book?

SHELLEY:   The main setting is the small, country town of Middlemarch in the South Island of New Zealand. See above about inspiration for the plot. The country town worked well as a home base for a secluded community of feline shifters and using the single’s ball as part of my plot seemed like a no brainer. So much story potential!

Scarlet Women grew into a twelve book series with Middlemarch remaining the main setting. My characters sometimes visit surrounding towns and districts such as Queenstown and Otago, but Middlemarch is home.

SKY:   If you could spend an hour in real life with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

SHELLEY:   I adore the characters in all my Middlemarch Mates books. After spending so long with the characters they became like family. Both Saber and Emily Mitchell are clear favorites with me though, since that’s where the Middlemarch Mates saga began. I love that Emily’s arrival helped cement the family even closer together and brought a feminine touch to the male-only home. She turns into a real matchmaker, which cracks me up since Saber’s younger brothers gave them such a hard time during their courtship. Saber is strong and a real leader. He’s helped rear his younger brothers and got them through some difficult times. It was good to see him find a woman to complete him.

SKY:  If you had to sell your book on one run of dialogue, which would it be?

SHELLEY:   Felix nudged Sly. “Big bro’s looking serious. He’s got Mission Mate on his mind again.”

SKY:   Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room?

SHELLEY:   I usually write while sitting in my La-z-boy chair with Bella, our puppy, sitting nearby. I bounce all my ideas off her. Whenever I start to procrastinate or feel in a need of a change of pace I go and write in my coffice. Sitting in a café means that I can’t wander around and I usually have a productive day. The cups of coffee are an added bonus.

SKY:   What sources do you use for research?

SHELLEY:   These days my first stop is usually Google, but I enjoy going to my local library and do a lot of my research there. I can usually find what I want in the online library catalogue. Over the years I’ve collected travel brochures and guide books, which come in handy when it comes to refreshing my mind about places I’ve visited and want to use for setting.

SKY:   Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.

SHELLEY:   I think it’s quite rare to find authors who don’t write series these days. Scarlet Woman is book one in a twelve book series. Readers wanted to know what happened to Saber’s younger brothers, and I was eager to learn their fates too.

Along with my Middlemarch Mates series, I have two other series. There is my Talking Dogs series, which features aliens who crash land their space ship in New Zealand, and my Fancy Free series, which features a woman who inherits a company that produces condoms. I have recently contracted book four in my Fancy Free series. Biding His Thyme should be out in the next few months from Ellora’s Cave.

Thanks for having me to visit today.

If you enjoy stories about family and small towns make sure you grab your free copy of Scarlet Woman (free from Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance e-books from 28 Jan to 10 Feb 2013) and also Lightning Strikes Twice, which takes place at the same dance as Scarlet Woman (free from Ellora’s Cave and All Romance e-books)

SKY:  Always a pleasure, Shelley. Congratulations on your release!


About Shelley


Shelley Munro is tall and curvaceous with blue eyes and a smile that turns masculine heads everywhere she goes. She’s a university tutor and an explorer/treasure hunter during her vacations. Skilled with weapons and combat, she is currently in talks with a producer about a television series based on her world adventures.

Shelley is also a writer blessed with a VERY vivid imagination and lives with her very own hero in New Zealand. She writes mainly erotic romance in the contemporary, paranormal and historical genres for publishers Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing.

Visit Shelley 


Goodreads


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 3, 2013

You Have It. I Have It. Our Very Own SPECIAL SPOT.


If you don’t have one yet, you should…

Long before I first became published my writing environment was extremely relevant... I think. Truth told when I first started writing and won an award I was too young to understand how important my surroundings were. Or was I? At seven I had a very well laid out bedroom as I saw fit for an author, complete with pink walls, a pink canopy bed and shelves lined up to properly display both my Barbie and Matchbox car collections. *grins*

But it was in my ‘tweens’ that I first took to sitting outside beneath the beautiful trees privy to New England, notebook in hand (no Ipads then folks) and pen in hand. I’d sit for hours scratching out poems and snippets of stories I hoped to someday write. The sun shone. The wind blew. I was in bliss. It was in those years that I truly fell in love with nature. I know without doubt that’s why nature plays such a big part in each and every setting shared in my books. The raw, unabashed energy found in the outdoors can fuel even the most tame imagination.

As natural, I eventually left my parents and moved out. It seemed that though Fate meant to keep me in New England, she also meant to keep me in less rural areas. At first it was jarring but after a time and five moves later I knew it was meant to be. Most likely because the fifth place in which I lived I've now resided for twelve years.

It's officially home.

As you can imagine, I've had to adjust my idea about the perfect location to write. A pen and piece of paper are not nearly as popular or efficient as a laptop, Ipad or PC. And truth told, they’re hard to write with outside unless you find yourself writing on a cloudy day. Do I still pull out the ol’ pen and paper? You bet! But only to later type the info. onto my computer.

So now, living in an area with street lights, it’s best to focus on creating a conductive area for writing indoors. Many would advise an uncluttered writing zone. Though I need that myself I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to others. What I would recommend is surrounding oneself with what is most conductive to your creativity/productivity flow.

If you need a wall of notes and books surrounding you while you write, make it happen. If you need an anal retentive, ‘Miles from Frasier’ zone where you work, make it happen.

The point? Make sure where you write makes you 150% comfortable. Surround yourself with you. Because as a writer you’ll spend a lot of time chin propped on fist staring around as you think about your next words. It’s imperative that whatever your wandering eye finds doesn't mess with your ‘Ju Ju.’

For example, my work zone has to include the following: Historical/International/Nature oriented/Organized or else things just don’t flow for me. I’m a mad mix. I've provided a pic of my work zone below. Sitting on a big ol’ well-worn Mahogany desk I've got a Victorian lamp, Yankee Candle, waist-high Pier I Imports candle stands all around and an old fashioned globe held up by the Greek god, Atlas.

The most important part of my surroundings? The Dragonfly Ornament hanging from my Victorian lamp. Though hard to see I displayed it at the beginning of this post. It's an ornament that represents my Dad, gone now eighteen months and five days. He was my biggest fan and most avid supporter. If there ever comes a time that I'm at my computer writing and doubt myself, I look at that Dragonfly and find strength.

When I sit down to write my eyes never stray from what will keep me in my zone. I make it impossible. You should do the same.

My Writing Zone




Below is the Oriental Zodiac tapestry that hangs diagonal from me in my office. It depicts one of the dozens of elephants in which I surround myself. I find elephants fiercely protective, noble and family oriented, so have collected them for years, Asian and African alike.





What about you? Have you found your perfect place to write? Your very own special spot? If so, I invite you to share.

Because one thing is for sure… where you write matters.

Hugs,
Sky