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.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fears Faced. Lives Lost then Found. A Year to Remember!



Welcome! Thanks so much for joining me as we welcome in 2014. May she be wholesome and productive for all. As I reflect upon 2013, it’s with a soft smile on my face.

The bumps in my year were of course worth noting. Again, I say goodbye to my mother’s beloved Lhasa Apso, Fletcher, who passed away in early spring. Immortalized in Destiny's Denial, he will never be forgotten. May he forever rest in peace. Miss you so very much, buddy. I also faced a small medical scare in the spring but can now safely say I’m cancer free. Always, I remain an avid Breast Cancer Awareness advocate and my experience in 2013 will only make me more pro-active in the years to come.

On a lighter note, I welcomed home some new family members just a few months ago and they’ve been keeping me very busy. I’m now the proud doggy mama of two nearly four month old Shepard/Husky mixes. I’ve shared a picture. Like most of my animals, expect these two cuties to make an appearance in my books over the years.

I also spent a great deal of time in 2013 doing what I love best, writing. The MacLomain Series- Early Years saw three new books and a story foundation I never saw coming. All three books hit the best-seller list in time-travel romance, Highland Defiance and Highland Persuasion grabbing #1 spots. In addition, The Victorian Lure (Calum’s Curse: Book One) was refreshed and re-released, adding a new spark to the series.

To top off the good news, I’m thrilled to announce that both The MacLomain Series- Early Years and the Calum’s Curse Series are now available at ‘let’s-start-it-out-right’ New Year prices. Details for both are below.

I won’t keep you long but wanted to take this moment to wish all my readers and anyone popping in for the first time a very Happy and Healthy New Year. May you and yours prosper always!

Much love,
S. Purington

2014 Here I Come! Just Released Boxed Sets.

The MacLomain Series- Early Years Boxed Set


HIGHLAND DEFIANCE- Mildred, a young woman living in New England during the onset of World War II, worries about her family. What is to come? Little does she anticipate change is to come not from war, but from an unexpected trip back in time to medieval Scotland. Laird Adlin MacLomain will never forget the moment he lays eyes on her. Mildred redefines the man he thought he was. Her quick wit and perseverance humble his natural arrogance. Her sensuality cripples his defenses. The maddened determination of a rival chieftain threatens their very existence. Caught together in time, they must find a way to evade the mighty MacLeods and keep peace in the Highlands. 

HIGHLAND PERSUASION- Iosbail MacLomain will do whatever it takes to bring Laird Alexander Sinclair to his knees. Even if it means she has to travel through time to eleventh century Scotland and manipulate a king into marrying her off to the enemy. What she doesn't anticipate is a bitter rivalry between King Edgar and Alexander Sinclair. It seems the man she just married is by birthright a threat to the throne. Their lives on the line, Alexander and Iosbail are forced to flee across the country. Fraught with risk, adventure and wild, unexpected desire they struggle against overwhelming odds. 

HIGHLAND MYSTIC- Alan Stewart loves the lasses. Beautiful all, he's never been one to settle. Until, that is, Caitriona appears. Shy yet alluring, her unexpected and rare gift gains his respect. But Caitriona is not who she seems. Her fate was foreseen long before birth and so important it will impact all future MacLomains. When dreams of Alan begin, she knows the time has come. But how to convince a Highland laird from another century that he must die for her? Especially when it soon becomes apparent that she couldn't bear his death. When their paths cross with Stephen and Arianna of the Broun clan, a powerful prophecy begins to unravel. 

Purchase at AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwords and many online bookstores.

Calum’s Curse Series Boxed Set


It all began hundreds of years ago when Calum O’Donnell dabbled in dark magic. Seemingly betrayed, his newfound coven cursed him by sending three creatures of the night into the world to destroy his descendants. Yet Calum was both powerful and clever, trapping the creatures in various New England homes. Centuries later, Calum’s descendants, Leathan, Devin and Seth, find themselves at the heart of this unraveling age old curse. 

THE VICTORIAN LURE- When Dakota Allerton’s 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. Until he walks into Dakota’s cursed Victorian. Trapped together in the time-warping home, passion soon flares between them. Yet he shares his desire for her with the dark domination that possesses the house. A presence that will not let go until it gets what it wants. Even as their attraction grows, Dakota and Leathan must fight against unknown enemies, discover the secrets of Calum's Curse and defeat a vampire bent on finishing the legacy it began. 

THE GEORGIAN EMBRACE- 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 soon finds himself pulled back in time. Eighteenth century, Isabel Savol, is on the run. Good fortune finds her sheltered and managing the construction of a house. When a handsome Irishman claiming to be from the future appears on her Georgian's worksite one day, everything she thought she understood about reality vanishes. Smoldering 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 TUDOR REVIVAL- Ghost hunter and dare-devil, Seth, is flung into the afterlife. His one draw to reality? Alana. He died. She lived. But he can't let go. There is something more than friendship between them and he can't say goodbye. The last thing Alana expects to encounter when she inherits her grandmom's Tudor Revival is the spirit of her deceased best friend and crush, Seth. But everything is not what it appears to be. He is determined to live again. When his investigative team, The Worldwide Paranormal Society shows up at her door, Alana soon learns that she's in for a wild ride. Calum's curse visits one more house. Things get hotter and more paranormal than ever before. Love, as always, struggles to overcome the odds. Time is limited though and the creature set to destroy Seth and Alana is the most cunning of all. 

Purchase at AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwords and many online bookstores.

Friday, December 20, 2013

How the Celts Cast Light on Current American Christmas Traditions.



Happy Winter Solstice and 'Nollaig Shona Duit! You’ve arrived just in time to enjoy my contribution to the Casting Light Upon the Darkness Blog Hop. Much thanks to wonderfully talented author, Helen Hollick for putting this together. Brilliant! Visitors, please be sure to visit the list of participating authors after this post. Tons of giveaways!

Of course, I’ll be hosting a festive contest. The fabulous prize? None other than, The Celtic Woman Home For Christmas Special Deluxe Package CD-DVD. How to enter to win? Super easy. Leave a comment listing your favorite Celt influenced holiday tradition as mentioned in this post OR add a Celtic derived tradition that you know of. It’s all about having fun and learning new things folks!

As always, my fascination with the Celts is at the forefront. So what better topic to cover than their influence on current American holiday traditions? The tidbits I’ve pulled up both surprised and thrilled. You might be amazed by how much these ancient people contributed to modern day Christmas in the States.

But before I begin allow me to first share a bit about the Celtic people. It requires a delicate balance penning of such an old and revered society as actual records are always disputable. As you might suspect, there’s a wealth of information out there that argue the origins of the Celtic tribes. Some say the original Celts were out of Greece, others say Austria and Switzerland. I claim no degree in history but intend this article to focus on the Celts for which I am most familiar, the people who were once native to Ireland, Scotland and Wales, perhaps even England. Hence, as I continue it will be with reference to some of these countries.

Before the coming of Christianity the Celtic people didn’t celebrate Christmas but the Winter Solstice. Fascinatingly enough, they felt that the sun stood still between Christmas Eve and January 6’th. This particular date is carried forward and can be supported by Ireland’s modern day tradition of Feast Of Epiphany which is on the 6th of January, also celebrated as Women's Christmas (Nollaig na mBan). At this time, the men in the family are supposed to carry on household chores such as cooking and cleaning. Women have a chance to rest, after working hard over the Christmas period. All I could think of after discovering these dates were that they totaled twelve days between. Do we not now have the Twelve Days of Christmas in western society?


So time passed and though the Celts faded away, their ancestors lived on and eventually many immigrated to America. It is here in my homeland that I reflect upon what such a revered and truly special people handed down through time. Yes, many of the following could be disputed by Christian scholars but…aren’t they interesting to say the least?

Did you know that long ago, to celebrate the Winter Solstice, gifts were exchanged between chieftains and clans as a means to renew ties and friendships? Centuries later, we exchange presents from beneath the Christmas tree.

What of the infamous yule log on the fire? Well, the Scots believe a raging fire keeps the elves from coming down the chimney. In fact, to this day they light a bonfire on Christmas Day and dance to lively bagpipes while munching on Oatmeal cakes. That same fire was lit by the pre-Christians on Winter Solstice to worship their goddess and remains a tradition on Christmas day for many Irish families.

What of hanging a wreath on your front door? In pre-Christian times it was a means to ward off evil spirits. Then there is the decorating of the Christmas tree. Though the concept of a Christmas tree first came out of Germany the roots of decorating the pine can be traced back further. Originally a pagan Irish celebration, decorations celebrated the three deities, the sun, moon and star and some decorations represented the souls of those who had died.

This one made me smile softly as I just recently put the lights in my windows. How modernized we’ve really become. Anyways, it’s nice to know the reason behind the Christmas tradition. Leaving a candle in the window of the house is to guide Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem to give birth. This, so it seems, was inspired by an old Celtic ritual of lighting a way for the spirits to pass peacefully.

And what of the infamous holiday minced pie? As it turns out, these tasty staples were baked in medieval times in oblong casings to represent Jesus' crib, and it was important to add three spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) for the three gifts given to the Christ child by the Magi. The pies were not very large, and it was thought lucky to eat one mince pie on each of the twelve days of Christmas (ending with Epiphany, the 6th of January).

Last, and certainly not least, is my absolute favorite. The mistletoe! This Druid/Celt tradition was a symbol of male fertility. *grins* It was hung in the house and the man had the right to kiss any girl that stood under it. This tradition, thankfully, continues to make us all very happy during the holidays.

I’d like to thank you all for spending a little time with me this holiday season. May the New Year find you and yours healthy and happy. Please don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win The Celtic Woman Home For Christmas Special Deluxe Package CD-DVD. Contest ends Christmas Eve at 9 PM EST. Winner to be announced shortly after Christmas day. Open to International shipping.

Fondest Regards Always,
Sky 

Visit these other interesting authors!


1.      Helen Hollick : A little light relief concerning those dark reviews! Plus a Giveaway Prize
2.      Prue Batten : Casting Light....
3.      Alison Morton  Shedding light on the Roman dusk. Plus a Giveaway Prize!
4.      Anna Belfrage  Let there be light!
5.      Beth Elliott : Steering by the Stars. Stratford Canning in Constantinople, 1810/12
6.      Melanie Spiller : Lux Aeterna, the chant of eternal light
7.      Janet Reedman   The Winter Solstice Monuments
8.      Petrea Burchard  : Darkness - how did people of the past cope with the dark? Plus a Giveaway Prize!
9.      Richard Denning The Darkest Years of the Dark Ages: what do we really know? Plus a Giveaway Prize! 
10.  Pauline Barclay  : Shedding Light on a Traditional Pie
11.  David Ebsworth : Propaganda in the Spanish Civil War
12.  David Pilling  :  Greek Fire. Plus a Giveaway Prize!
13.  Debbie Young : Fear of the Dark
14.  Derek Birks  : Lies, Damned Lies and … Chronicles
15.  Mark Patton : Casting Light on Saturnalia
16.  Tim Hodkinson : Soltice@Newgrange
17.  Wendy Percival  : Ancestors in the Spotlight
18.  Judy Ridgley : Santa and his elves  Plus a Giveaway Prize
19.  Suzanne McLeod  : The Dark of the
20.  Janis Pegrum Smith  : Into The Light - A Short Story
21.  Julian Stockwin  : Ghost Ships - Plus a Giveaway Present
22.  Manda Scott : Dark into Light - Mithras, and the older gods
23.  Pat Bracewell Anglo-Saxon Art: Splendor in the Dark
24.  Lucienne Boyce : We will have a fire - 18th Century protests against enclosure
25.  Nicole Evelina What Lurks Beneath Glastonbury Abbey? Moon. Plus a Giveaway Prize.
26.  Katherine Bone   : Admiral Nelson, A Light in Dark Times
27.  Christina Courtenay : The Darkest Night of the Year
28.  Edward James  : The secret life of Christopher Columbus; Which Way to Paradise?
30.  Stuart MacAllister (Sir Read A Lot) : The Darkness of Depression


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Regency Romance. Midweek Meet & Greet with Katherine Givens.


Greetings! Today it’s my pleasure to welcome over talented author Katherine Givens for a Midweek Meet & Greet. Published with Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing and Red Sage Publishing, Katherine will be dishing out about her latest release and sharing other fascinating tidbits. So relax, cozy in and read on!

If you would like a chance to win a free, digital copy of In Her Dreams, please comment below. The giveaway is open internationally.

Let's Interview!


SKY: Welcome! Tell us a little bit about yourself. Did you always want to be an author? When did you first start writing? What have you published?

KATHERINE: I am a museum employee with a secret. Few know the truth of my greatest passion, but those closest to me know I love to write historical romances… Alright, maybe more than a few people know I am a writer. Anyone who will listen to me can glean this from a conversation.

So, I am a museum employee who wishes I had a devilish secret or a jaw-dropping double life, but the characters in her manuscripts often do. From the withdrawn duke mesmerized by his quiet maid or the savage viking eager to ravish a Christian girl, her heroes are always bound to have a secret or two. It is often up to the headstrong heroine to unravel the mysteries surrounding the man that has captured her heart.

I’ve always wanted to be an author. Yeah, I am one of those people who have been dreaming about this since childhood. Can you blame me? Writing is fun! I just didn’t figure out what exact genre I wanted to write in until four years ago. I have two novellas out right now.  In Her Dreams (Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing) was released October 1, 2013. Love Amidst the Egyptian Sands (Red Sage Publishing) will be released in January 2015. My short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines, including The Copperfield Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Nazar Look, and WestWard Quarterly.

SKY: I like to write at night. Inspires me. Where and when do you like to write? Why?

KATHERINE: I’m a night owl. My most creative hours are from 7PM to 2AM. Sometimes I stay up even later than that. The words just start flowing, and I cannot stop until the images in my head are put onto paper.

SKY: You know you’ll always pen a particular genre. What genre and why? You might also dabble in other genres. Care to share what those are and why?

KATHERINE: Historical romances are my true love. *WINKS.* To be more specific, I adore Regency and Victorian England. There is something attractive about a time period riddled with rules about morality, etiquette, and how to appear in society. There are opportune moments for scandalous and clandestine affairs to take place, which always makes for a great love story.

I don’t ever intend to wander away from historical romances, nor do I plan on dabbling in a different genre anytime soon. If I was to do so, I would want to write fantasies. Something about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (a.k.a. Game of Thrones) makes me want to build my own world based on different histories.

SKY: We writers are often urged to write what we know. Have you? Perhaps implemented a scene from your life or somewhere you’ve traveled. Tell, tell!

KATHERINE: For starters, I do hours and hours of research before I sit down to write a new novel. I need the details in my historical romances to be accurate. So, after pouring over books in my local library and scouring the internet for information, the facts end up stuck in my head. In that instance, I write what I know.

I also draw on my personal experiences. I’ve never been ravished by a handsome duke or anything like that. Although, who wouldn’t? Nor will you find any details of my boring life integrated into my writing, but more of my emotions. I tap into different experiences to exude the mood of my writing. If I am writing a scene where my hero and heroine are arguing, I think back on a time where I was angry myself. I use my own anger to produce the anger of my characters. If I am writing a scene where my heroine is, say, mourning the death of her father, I think back on my own experiences to create her sadness.

SKY:  Let’s get down and dirty. Writers typically love to read. You especially enjoy certain authors for a good reason. Why? Their use of prose, voice, characterization, etc. You’ve got pet peeves as well. What are they?

KATHERINE: Oh, boy. My favorite authors range from the classics, to modern romance writers, to anyone in between. I admire Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Alexandre Dumas, and Charles Dickens above all. However, I love the following historical romance writers: Liz Carlyle, Connie Brockway, Sabrina Jeffries, and Jane Feather. I also love George R.R. Martin, Khaled Hosseini, Elizabeth Kostova, and several others. Each writer holds something I enjoy, such as Jane Austen’s wit or Charles Dicken’s melancholy. Khaled Hosseini is profound while Connie Brockway is very original. Each writer has something special to share with readers.

My pet peeves usually have to do with characters and plot. Quirks in the plot that just don’t make sense will make me close a book and never pick it up again. Characters I can’t invest myself into just alienate me. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at some point, even with the most prolific of writers.

SKY: You’re writing or have written the book that will always hold a special place in your heart. What is it and why?

KATHERINE: In Her Dreams, my book with Harlequin Australia’s imprint Escape Publishing, will always hold a place in my heart. A novel I recently finished writing and self-editing will always be a part of me, and the novel I am now working on is the dearest thing. All my books have a special place in my heart, so I could never choose. It is like asking a mother which child she loves most. My books are all equal in my eyes.

SKY:  We’re all guilty. Though we like variety, we tend to adore a certain type of hero and heroine. What does your perfect hero look like? Tell us about his personality. Same goes for the heroine.

KATHERINE: My perfect hero has ebony hair and piercing, blue eyes. He is tall with broad shoulders and a narrow waist. His muscles ripple underneath his breeches and linen shirt, which hints at wicked delights. (Yes, I am thinking of a regency man. *SMILES.*) He embodies sin and temptation, but has a kind heart. Confidence is key in a hero, but he must be gentle and loving. Also, he needs some intelligence and a love for books. I recently finished writing a book with just that hero, and it will be difficult to top him in future manuscripts. However, I think I can in my current project.

The heroine… Hmm, I think she has dusky hair that cascades down her back when it is unpinned from her coiffure. Her eyes are the shade of a cloudy day, the outer rim of her pupils tinted green. She isn’t the skinniest of women. Slender, but with meat on her bones. She has a pert nose, lush mouth, high cheekbones, and a heart-shaped face. She is timid and demure, but she loves deeply and greatly. She might only seem like a slip of a girl, but she has dreams and ambitions she means to fulfill. And that is the heroine from my current project!

SKY:  What’s next for you? What are you currently writing?

KATHERINE: I am focusing on writing over the next couple of months. In Her Dreams is my debut novella, but I am currently hell-bent on producing novels. Stories that have been lingering in my head, details of the plot mulling over and over. Now, I am prepared to write each and every one.

SKY: Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten?

KATHERINE: Five years from now I see myself with several published books under my belt. Ten years from now I see myself cemented in traditional publishing. And, yeah, I aspire to be a bestseller, but I am very happy just to share my work with willing readers! Let me say thank you to those who have taken a chance on my, or followed my journey from the start via my blog! I’m so grateful.

SKY: Here goes. The grand finale. Share with us one thing you think readers would be surprised to know about you.

KATHERINE: I am dying to share this one detail about myself, but I just can’t. Not right now, at least. I intend to reveal the surprise in a few years when I am more grounded in my career as an author. Until then, I am what you see!

SKY:   Great interview. Thanks so much for sharing!

KATHERINE: Thanks for having me, Sky! I loved stopping by.

Visit Katherine Givens




Don't forget to comment!

If you would like a chance to win a free, digital copy of In Her Dreams, please comment below. The giveaway is open internationally. Contest ends Saturday, December 21'st 12 AM EST.

Sky here. Please check back soon as Katherine Givens will be joining me for an End of  the Week Character Blowout!

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Most Tattooed Male Romance Cover Model in the World. Q&A with John Quinlan.


Happy Holidays everyone! Today I've got a super special treat for you. Make welcome cover model John Quinlan. Best known as ‘The Most Tattooed Male Romance Cover Model in the World,’ John joins me for a one-of-a-kind festive interview. So as always, feet up, relax and read on!

SKY:  Glad to have you over, John! Tell us, what made you decide to become a romance cover model?

JOHN:  Many people told me I had the look for it.

SKY:  Everyone should stay healthy and work-out. Why?

JOHN:  To try and live as long as they can to see their children grow up and be active in their lives without any issues. Yes, I am speaking as a proud parent here Sky. :)

SKY:  Time to pose for the cameras (book cover time), what outfit are you most uncomfortable in?

JOHN:  I am fine with all outfits although if I had to choose one that I might like a bit more than the rest I would have to say the classic leather jacket. Guess I feel comfortable as a bad guy.

SKY:  You’re the most tattooed cover model. Tell us more about that. Did someone or something inspire each tattoo?

JOHN:  I am honored to be the most tattooed male romance cover model in the world. Each tattoo that I have has personal meaning to it of course. Some I hold secret although my nautical stars symbolize reaching for my dreams and the oriental inscription inside my left wrist is the ‘family’ symbol which represents my 3 children.

SKY:  Oh, love it! So sweet. Getting into the spirit of the season, you could choose one color to decorate your house at Christmas. What would it be?

JOHN:  Red

SKY:  Holiday time. Throw some rum in my drink. Yes or no?

JOHN:  Yes, lots! That’s why we make the most of the holidays; they only come around so often.

SKY:  Are you passive or aggressive?

JOHN:  Depends on what it is. My career, aggressive. Fans, passive & respectful.

SKY:  What is your favorite holiday scent?

JOHN:  Sugar Cookie

SKY:  You’ve lived, loved, then some. Advice?

JOHN:  Take everything day by day as you never know what’s going to happen when you least expect it.

SKY:  You’re an old man looking back on your life. Did you do the right thing at the right time? Share.

JOHN:  I could write a book on this question alone but I think to answer this question Sky to the best of my ability I can sum it up in one simple sentence. “I did the best I could with what God gave me.”

SKY:  Deep down inside your love life is ultimately a sweet tale or an erotica? *grins*

JOHN:  erotica

SKY:  Time to hit the grocery store; need to grab a few essentials. You’re alone. What are you wearing?

JOHN:  T-shirt and jeans, LOL! You said grocery store Sky. If you said the bedroom or another place similar I would be wearing something different, maybe nothing at all who knows. :)

SKY:  You’re trapped on a desert island. Do you want a beautiful woman by your side or an old man who knows how to fish?

JOHN:  Beautiful woman hands down. I have lived on twigs and berries so I will get by on food but no woman on a desert island that is just cruel!

SKY:  One Christmas song truly means the holidays have arrived. What is it?

JOHN:  Jingle Bells, it is the all-time classic!

SKY:  The bloody faucet’s broken again. Are you the guy who crawls under to fix it or calls the plumber?

JOHN:  Calls a friend of mine who can do plumbing so I save money and because I can’t fix anything in the house. I am good at other things which make up for it *wink*

SKY:  You have one big regret, what is it?

JOHN:  Not doing this interview sooner, you are a great author Sky and it is my pleasure to be here with you today.

SKY:  Awe, thanks, John! You need to reach someone right away. Email, text, call or social network?

JOHN:  Call of course

SKY:  Time for bed. What are you wearing? *winks*

JOHN:  Nothing

SKY:  Boots on. Are you mountain climbing or trudging through snow?

JOHN:  Mountain climbing, love nature.

SKY:  You just played the lottery. Won 4.3 million. Then it was all taken away. How would you handle that?

JOHN:  I would see it as “the glass is half full rather than half empty, I never had it to begin with so I would just keep living my life like I had been.”

SKY:  Loved the interview, John! Thanks again for joining me today. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season.

Where can everybody learn more about & find John Quinlan, “The Most Tattooed Male Romance Cover Model in the World?” Here are a few links:

Brief Bio


I have been an image model for dozens of apparel brands over the years along with appearing in television documentaries, commercials, art gallery print work and having my likeness used on children’s literature book covers. I have been a spokes model for apparel brands as far away as Japan and Asia just to name a few. I am also a former NPC Physique competitor and a current Romance Novel Cover model as well along with being a multiple supplement company image model. I am the most tattooed male romance cover model in the
world.

Complete Bio




Some Honors & Awards



Mr. USA Next Man Model of The Year, 2011 
HUF Magazine January Male Fashion Model of The Month, 2011 
Toot Apparel Image Model, Brand Ambassador and Spokes Model to Japan & Asia via United States, 2011 
Diego Barberi Apparel Image Model & Brand Ambassador to Switzerland via United States, 2011 
Official Image Model of the Year for No Limits Brand Underwear, 2012 
Nutrabolics Supplement Company Image Model & Brand Ambassador, 2012 
Athletic Xtreme Supplement Company Image Model, Brand Ambassador & Sponsored Athlete, 2012-2013 
Official Alpha Male Underwear Image Model, 2013 
Romanticon Convention Romance Cover Model Billboard, 2013
Most Tattooed Male Romance Cover Model in The World

Links


Some Additional Social Media




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin.



Today it’s my pleasure to interview Rebecca Raisin, author of Christmas at the Gingerbread Café, a Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Carina UK (Harlequin)
Date of Publication:  November 12th 2013
ASIN: B00GBZ3YD8
Number of pages: 52
Word Count: 17, 750
Cover Artist: Carina UK

Amazon US     Amazon UK   

Book Description


Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.

But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Café is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones – really do come true!

Interview Time!


SKY:  What inspired you to write this book?

REBECCA:  I saw a submission call for Christmas themed stories and an idea sprang to mind. At midnight of course! I pictured the characters immediately, and the small town they lived in. The opening scene played out in mind in such a detailed way that I immediately typed notes into my phone, and couldn’t wait to get up the next day to begin writing it. That night I dreamed about Christmas food, and decided that the story would be set in a café. So with the backdrop of food, the next thing was the relationships in the story. Lil, the main character, turns to CeeCee a no-nonsense Southern woman who tells it like it is, for advice, and I must admit I miss them now I’m finished. 

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

REBECCA:  I’d have to choose CeeCee. I’d pour out all my troubles to her while we baked pies together. She’d make me a gingerbread coffee and we’d sit near the fire and just talk. She’s got a way with words, but doesn’t suffer fools. OK, I’ll tell you a secret, she’s my favourite!

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

REBECCA:  OK, this snippet is when Lil decides she’s going to compete with the new guy in town, who is stealing her customers. It’s a small town, so every sale lost is a problem for Lil. 

With a sly grin on my face, I jog back out to the front, yelling, “That fool won’t know what hit him,” only to run straight into the damn fool.

“Who are you talking about?” Damon asks, rubbing his chin where my head has just connected.

“Ouch! Who creeps up like that? If you want me to feel the earth move, that isn’t the way to go about it,” I say, sure I’m going to be sporting a big lump on my head any minute now.

“Which fool are you talking about?”

I make a show of wincing, while I try and think of an answer. CeeCee’s no help, standing there as a half-dressed Santa, her lips quivering as she tries to hold in laughter. I know she’s going to lose it, and then the whole sorry story will come tumbling out of her mouth.

“Excuse me, mister, who said you could come in here and spy on us?”

His forehead creases, and that same sexy smile creeps back on his face. “Who said I was spying?”

“That smile might work on other girls, but it sure doesn’t work on me. I said you’re spying. Now get on out of here. Shoo.” I wave my hand towards the door.

“Shoo? Not until you tell me who the fool is.”

“You’re as dumb as a bucket of rocks if you think I’m telling you anything.”

“I see.” He scratches his chin, which has a red mark from our collision. “I think you’re cooking up another plan to steal my customers.”

“Of all the…I think you’re forgetting who was here first. You’re stealing my customers—let’s be clear on that.” I try hard not to poke my tongue out at him. He brings out the worst in me, this newcomer. He’s wearing those same tight jeans, and under his open jacket he’s wearing another of those checker shirts, but has yet another button undone. I can see right down to his belly button and I happen to notice he’s got quite the six-pack going on. The girls round here are going to swoon over him.

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

REBECCA:  I’m working on another book set in New York. A romantic comedy set in a dating agency, which has been a lot of fun to write. It will be available around February. And then I have another three books lined up, but I can’t share the secret just yet! I hope to come back soon and give you the details … 

SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

REBECCA:  He’s a really sweet guy. Gorgeous, tough, but sensitive. He’s had heartbreak in the past, but has moved on, as much as he can. Did I mention he cooks? He’s a keeper! He’s also a bit of a joker when it comes to Lil, and manages to lighten the mood and not take things too seriously. 

SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

REBECCA:  Lil comes across as quite feisty when her business is threatened, but she’s really an emotional girl. Amazing Grace makes her blubber, and she is very family and friend oriented. She’s been heartbroken, but still believes in true love. The Gingerbread café is everything to her for how hard she’s had to work at keeping it.

SKY:  Did you enjoy writing one scene above all the rest? If so, share.

REBECCA:  I think the opening scene. It sets up the tone of the rest of the book, and shows exactly how Lil and Cee relate to each other. And it’s kind of funny! Cee stumbles in on Lil with her hand shoved up a turkeys behind (because she’s stuffing them to sell) Lil is having a blubber-fest to Amazing Grace, and Cee just loses it. 

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

REBECCA:  I write at the dining room table every day. It’s so boring, and the table is probably a bit high – after a day of writing I have grooves in my arms from the wooden edge, but it’s where I am least distracted. Except of course by the fridge, the Nutella, and the lounge which are too convenient sometimes!

Thanks for having me.

SKY:  Super interview, Rebecca! Thanks for joining me today.

About the Author



Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. 

This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in various short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous men who have brains as well as brawn, is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly, believe in true love.






Monday, December 9, 2013

Captivating Paranormal Romance. The Lycan Hunter by Kelsey Hunter.


Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Kelsey Jordan, author of The Lycan Hunter, a Gardinian World Novel, Book 1. So sit back, relax, enjoy a fabulous interview and learn more about this captivating Paranormal Romance.

ISBN: 9781492119845
ASIN: 1492119849
Number of pages: 270
Word Count: 103,000

Cover Artist: Kelsey Jordan
Giveaway! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter after this post for a chance to win two signed print copies of The Lycan Hunter as well as three complimentary bookmarks per book.

Book Description


Kyran of the Blue Ridge Pack has spent most of his life searching for an end to the Forever War. Finding a Hunter among their greatly diminished ranks who was willing to forgo their "shoot first" mentality was harder than it seemed. Then fate–or the gods–gifted him with Alexis James, a petite Hunter with a nasty habit for killing his kind and a need for his surgical skills.

Alexis only has two wishes in life: make it through her next assignment, or die a relatively quick death. With a heart hardened by miserable circumstances and painful memories, her view of kindness and common decency was marred by scars of swift retribution.  So when the blue-eyed Lycan saw fit to save her life, she wondered: At what cost?

After eight thousand years of war, the end is becoming a reality, but is the possibility of peace worth Kyran's soul and possibly Alexis' life?


Let’s Interview!


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

KELSEY:  I would spend it with Ronan. He has awful taste in movies and they are the best kind of awful.

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

KELSEY:  Currently I am working on After ‘The End’, which is an anthology of novellas.  In each novella we meet a new couple who have been previously introduced on some capacity. The stories take place over a course of eighteen years. First of Spring, book two of the Gardinian World Novels is currently being edited.

SKY:  What sort of personality does your hero have?

KELSEY:  Kyran is a laid back kind of Alpha male. He doesn’t feel like he has a point to prove, but he has no problem reminding you who’s in charge if you think his relaxed attitude makes him weak.
SKY:  What sort of personality does your heroine have?

KELSEY:  Alexis isn’t a “girly-girl”. She isn’t a big fan of dresses. She is the type of woman who likes her guns big and her targets dead. For her a relaxing day involves a lot of sweat and shell casings.

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

KELSEY:  I stick indoors because going outside is an issue for my allergies. I also prefer to write at night. That is when my muse is most active.

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

KELSEY:  I’ve been writing since I was thirteen. I started with poetry and graduated to novels in 2007.

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

KELSEY:  I’m all about paranormal romance/fantasy romance. I don’t see myself straying too far from either paranormal/fantasy or romance. I think that’s where I’m more comfortable.

SKY:  Do you prefer to write short stories, novellas or novels? Why?

KELSEY:  I’ve tried to write short stories and I will concede they are a heck of a lot harder to write than I thought. For me, I’m more comfortable writing a full length novel. Frankly it’s easier for me to cram the various components of my worlds into a full length novel than any other length.

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

KELSEY:  I’m all about series. I read in series (you’ll rarely find a standalone in my collection), therefore I write that way.

SKY:  If you could make changes to a story you’ve already written, which would it be and why?

KELSEY:  I’d make changes to my vampire novel Authentic Lie. I love the story, but I was still relatively new to novel writing—paranormal in particular—and made a terrible mistake of not doing enough world building. It’s shelved for the moment, but one day I hope to go back and make it pretty enough to show people.

SKY:  Great interview, Kelsey! Thanks for joining us today.

About the Author



Like everyone, Kelsey has her share of vices, which typically centers around sinful frappes made with Blue Bell Coffee ice cream, late nights hanging out with her demanding muse, spending an embarrassing amount of time reading, and napping.

When she isn't indulging in her love of books, music, late nights with her muse, and delicious, but fattening frappes, she is spending time with her husband and daughter.
@KelseyJordan_GW