Thursday, December 8, 2016

8 Things I Learned from Self-Publishing my 4th Novel ~guest post by Jill Archer, author of Pocket Full of Tinder #giveaway

I'm so happy to have Jill Archer visiting again today! She's sharing her experiences with indie publishing her new release, Pocket Full of Tinder. It's the fourth book in her terrific Noon Onyx urban fantasy series. Be sure to check out her book and also there's a wonderful giveaway at the bottom of this post.


8 Things I Learned from Self-Publishing my Fourth Novel
by Jill Archer

The first three books in my Noon Onyx series were traditionally published by a fantastic publisher with the help of an editor I’d love to work with again. But sales weren’t what we’d hoped for. By the time my third book came out, it seemed as if urban fantasy (which was what my publisher was marketing the series as) and mass market (which was the format the publisher had picked) were dying. (Whether they did, still are, etc. is a topic for another post).

White Heart of Justice was published in June 2014 and I waited another six months before I committed (to my readers, not my publisher) to doing two more. So my first, best, and last advice to any writer should probably be “have your s--- together more than I did.” Writing is tough work and anyone who doesn’t think that, isn’t doing it.

In an effort to make self-publishing less daunting to anyone who is considering it, I’m offering up eight key things I’ve learned.

1.       Wear two hats
Self-published authors need to be both writer and publisher. You need to come up with a great hook, compelling characters, a well-built world, engaging story, and series arc. You need to research, write, and edit. But you also need to do all of the things a publisher typically does: design the book cover, hire a professional editor, format the text, determine distribution channels, choose formats, set pricing, pick a release date, come up with a marketing plan, etc. The only way I kept my sanity was to focus on one piece of the project at a time. Otherwise, it was too overwhelming.

2.       Define what a “successful” release means to you
Some authors write for money. Others write because they have stories in their heads and they are driven to fix them in a tangible medium. Still others want to win awards or make a list. Just as every author’s path to publication is unique, every author’s idea of success is unique. And that definition should be tailored to fit each book you release.

3.       Be organized
All writers have to be organized. Even if you’re a pantser (someone who does very little plotting before starting to write), eventually you’ll have to edit and that means tracking storylines, growth arcs, settings, character descriptions, and the like.

Self-publishers, however, need to keep track of mundane business stuff. There’s nothing exciting about budgets, timelines, distributor contracts, contact lists, or detailed checklists. Keeping track of all that requires even more discipline than meeting daily word count goals.

4.       Self-publishing is harder than publishing traditionally, but also more liberating
With traditional publishing, it was nice to have an advance, a larger team of professionals helping me, and automatic distribution in brick-and-mortar stores and libraries. But self-publishing is undeniably refreshing. Managing all of the business aspects is as empowering as it is tedious. There’s a boundless, can-do attitude in self-publishing that stems from the pioneering, sometimes rebellious spirit of the writers who do it.

5.       Experimentation is good
Experimenting (and sometimes failing) seems to be more accepted in the indie community. Maybe it’s because the pace of self-publishing is faster so mistakes today aren’t remembered tomorrow. Or maybe it’s because people who self-publish are DIYers and DIYers are people who understand that projects never quite work out the way you envision, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – just ask the inventor of silly putty!

I tried a few new things with this release, including:
Co-hosting a Facebook party – Fun, but probably not worth the time I put into creating the materials and the money I spent on prizes. I really enjoyed interacting with the readers who came, but I doubt hosting the party had any direct effect on sales. Why? Reasons that are obvious in hindsight. (1) I don’t Facebook a lot so it’s not a natural fit for me; and (2) the book wasn’t on sale yet, it was only up for pre-order.

Reaching out to readers via an author newsletter – Moderately steep learning curve, but worth it. It’s been nice to be able to communicate directly with readers who signed up because they like my books.

Scheduled promo tweets on Twitter – I started this experiment through an “announcement account.” It’s something I wanted to try, but I have no idea how effective it’s been. Luckily, it took less than an hour to set up the account and schedule the tweets + tweeting is free, so the time and money spent was almost nothing.

6.       The indie community is an incredibly generous one
I’m constantly amazed and grateful for the tremendous amount of information sharing that takes place in the indie community. The more experienced authors are very generous with their time and knowledge. I belong to two indie Yahoo groups and a Facebook group. Discussion is fairly constant and new ideas are shared all the time. My local library hosted a program for Indie Author Day this past October and it was inspiring to see how excited everyone was while sharing their experiences.

7.       It’s the story, stupid
As James Carville did with his pithy phrase about the economy in 1992, it’s important to remind ourselves what’s most important to the people we serve. Regardless of how a writer publishes their work, what’s important to readers is a satisfying story. A writer can be fantastic at performing all of the publisher responsibilities, but if their story is lackluster or doesn’t deliver on its promise, it’s unlikely the writer will achieve their definition of success.

8.       Honor Thy Readers
Write a good story – and then give it away (within reason). Reward your most loyal readers with free copies of your book. Thank them in the acknowledgements – and every other place you can think of. They might be only part of why you WRITE, but they are 100% of why you PUBLISH.

Thank you, Marsha, for inviting me to guest blog today. Best wishes to you and all your readers!


Pocket Full of Tinder
Noon Onyx #4
Jill Archer

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Black Willow, LLC

Date of Publication: December 15, 2016

ISBN (ebook) – 978-0-9979138-0-4
ISBN (print) – 978-0-9979138-1-1

ASIN: B01MEGPUA4

Word Count: 90,000

Cover Artist:  Rebecca Frank

Book Description:

Noon Onyx is back! In this long-awaited fourth installment, Jill Archer returns readers to the dangerous world of Halja, where demons, angels, and humans coexist in an uneasy state of dΓ©tente.

Maegester-in-Training Noon Onyx feels like she’s done it all – mastered fiery magic, become an adept fighter, learned the law, killed countless demons, and survived having her heart broken by both love and an arrow, but now she’ll face her greatest challenge yet…

Far to the north lies an outpost famous for its unrest – Rockthorn Gorge. The town’s patron has specifically requested Noon’s help. Her assignment? Help the neophyte demon lord build his fiefdom and keep what’s his. The problem? Lord Aristos – Noon’s new employer – is her erstwhile lover, Ari Carmine, the aforementioned heartbreaker. And the number one thing he wants is her.

When Rockthorn Gorge’s viaduct is destroyed by Displodo, an enigmatic bomber, killing a dozen settlers and wounding scores more, Noon sets off early to aid in the search and rescue. Ari is listed among the missing and the suspects are legion. But Noon’s search is just the beginning. Her journey forces Noon to confront not only those she loves, but also enemies hell-bent on destroying them.

Pre-Order Links:
Book will also be available on Nook and CreateSpace on or about the release date.


Excerpt
POCKET FULL OF TINDER
Noon Onyx #4


The claw-and-ball had been chewed clean off. It lay on a patch of sunny parquet floor, just to the right of an antique, aubergine wool rug now covered with the splintered remnants of an eleventh century pedestal table and one very large, ghastly looking, somewhat repentant barghest.

Nova’s head rested on her front paws as her gaze shifted warily from me to Miss Bister, Megiddo’s dormater, or house mother.

“Megiddo’s lobby is not a kennel, Miss Onyx. That”—she motioned dismissively toward Nova—“beast can no longer be housed here.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but Miss Bister continued speaking, her tone rising only infinitesimally, her back as stiff as Luck’s lance must have been, and her expression just as hard. She pointed toward the previously priceless, three-footed piece of furniture that was now a worthless, two-footed pile of kindling.

“No amount of money – or magic – can fix that, Nouiomo. It’s beyond repair. I warned you. I made an exception to my ‘no pets’ rule because you never cause trouble. You never forget your key; you promptly pick up your deliveries; you change your own light bulbs; you double bag your trash. You leave nothing behind in the bathroom; you don’t monopolize the washing machines; you are exceedingly polite to the lift operator; you don’t sing in the shower.”

I suppressed a sigh. After a year and a half of painstaking efforts, harrowing experiences, and endless hours of education, my worth had just been measured by the fact that I could change a light bulb. I’d mastered fiery magic, become an adept fighter, learned the law, killed countless demons (one regrettably, the others much less so), freed myriad immortals from an accursed, tortured bondage, and survived having my heart nearly destroyed by both love and an arrow, yet none of that meant bupkis next to the fact that I double bagged my trash. And yet…

I couldn’t really argue with Miss Bister either. Everything she’d said was true. And who was I to tell her what she should deem important? I respected that she valued domestic order and antiques. I did too, if not nearly as much as I valued the thing that now threatened our continued access to such. I glared at Nova, who swept one paw over her eyes as if she could hide from me and the evidence of what she’d done.

Barghests are giant hellhounds. They’re bigger than bears, fiercer than rabid raccoons, and uglier than naked mole rats. Their teeth are the size of railroad spikes, their claws as sharp as a sickle, their breath as foul as sewage gas. But they are also affectionate, brave, and loyal. What barghests lack in magic, they make up for in devotion. And even though I was plenty mad at Nova for chewing up Miss Bister’s table, I also knew it wasn’t Nova’s fault.

It was mine – for thinking the lobby of a demon law school dormitory would be a good place to keep her.

“Miss Bister, please,” I said. “I’m truly sorry. I know I can’t replace that exact table. But if you would just allow me to—”

“No,” Miss Bister said simply. “Either the beast goes… Or you do.”

I stared at the small, frail, magicless woman in front of me, trying desperately to think of some way to fix this problem. Wasn’t there something I could do, or say, or offer her that would make amends and convince her not to kick us out?

But all I could think of was how useless some of the things our society valued most were. As Miss Bister had pointed out, neither magic nor money would help. If I was going to repair the table, I’d need to find another way. Which would take time. And that meant I’d need to find somewhere else for us to sleep tonight. Because if the beast was going… I was too.

“Yes, Miss Bister,” I said. “I understand.”

She narrowed her eyes, slightly suspicious of my now gracious defeat since I’d just spent the last half-hour trying to persuade her to accept various forms of reparation. But then she nodded, handed me a couple of paper bin bags, and left.

I slid one bag inside the other and stooped down to pick up the slobbery remains of Nova’s mangled chew toy. When I finished, she came over to me and nudged my arm with her head. She let out a woofy whine.

Was she sorry? She darn well better be!

I gave her a scratch behind the ears.

“Now that you’ve sharpened your teeth on my former dormater’s furniture, are you ready to eat some real food for breakfast?”



About the Author:

Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, White Heart of Justice, and Pocket Full of Tinder. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.








Tour giveaway:
Two prize options:
#1 – an Etsy “Book Lover” prize pack (https://www.etsy.com/people/archer48/favorites/pocket-full-of-tinder-book-lover-prize-pack), which includes a book hoarder dragon poster, a dozen book page flowers, six book wine charms, and a pair of book earrings. (U.S. Only for Option #1. If these items are no longer available on Etsy, winner will receive Option #2). Or #2 -- $50 worth of fantasy books from Book Depository and a $25 Etsy gift certificate.

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tea Leaf Tales: Why didn’t the farmer tell his barn?


     The old barn let out a wheeze, barely audible above a ribbon of icy wind whipping between bare tree branches, and with that first breath of winter, the roof sagged lower. The paired dormer windows blinked then shut tight, braced against far worse than today’s chill breeze, which only tickled my nose and lifted a few strands of my hair without any success at stealing heat from underneath my scarf.
     From where I walked along the road, I heard the sleeping tractor sputter and rattle with loud snores while dreaming about a soft blanket of snow, yet despite the machine’s peaceful slumber, gray air hung heavy around the farmyard thick with suffering, dread, and sadness. The barn shuddered and coughed frosty fog from its gaping mouth, now so distorted its doors could not offer protection.
I stepped around clumps of tall grass to the barn’s front wall. Unable to resist touching the wood, weathered silvery and smooth with immeasurable wisdom, I trailed my fingers along the grain, but the board flinched away. Had the farmer not told his barn what he shared with me last week at the market?
     I shook my head in disbelief that I was among the few who respected the earth and the things which were made from her. I flattened a palm against a board stippled with richly hued patina, leaned close, and whispered, “There is nothing to fear because after the coming winter, your lovely planks and beams will be reclaimed by a young couple eager to honor you in the home they are building to raise their family.”
     A long, sweet sigh billowed from the barn’s mouth, and with a nod and a smile, I continued on my walk, satisfied that the journey had been more than worthwhile.

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her. 

For years I've written somewhat regular installments in a collection of fantasy flash fiction, my Tea Leaf Tales, which have been posted here on my blog. These enormously popular, original ten-sentence short stories relate to photos/scenes that resonate with me.

As a special perk to those who are part of my mailing list, I've decided to share new Tea Leaf Tales with them before posting them on my blog. These are short, fun, and give some insight into the creativity and imagination found in my books. Sign up to receive them first!

And as a thank you for signing up, you'll also receive a free copy of my paranormal romance story, Ruler of the Night.


Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A City of Stories: Welcome to New Orleans ~guest post by Suzanne Johnson, author of Belle Chasse #giveaway

It's always great to have Suzanne Johnson here as my blog guest. Please welcome her, enjoy her guest post about New Orleans legends, check out her new release, Belle Chasse, and enter her terrific giveaway.


A City of Stories: Welcome to New Orleans

by Suzanne Johnson

Every city has its legends and stories, but in the U.S., it’s hard to find any place with more unusual tales than New Orleans. It’s widely considered the most haunted city in the States, a byproduct of its unique history.

A lot of the most infamous New Orleans stories are of the gruesome or frightening variety, and I have a theory about that. First, the city is old by U.S. standards, and thanks to a miscalculation during the Civil War, much of its old architecture is still standing. (All the soldiers were sent north to guard the city, so the Yankees simply sailed up the unguarded river and took the city without a fight. Duh.)

Second, as an old port city that has belonged to France, then Spain, then France again, then finally the United States, it is a true melting pot of cultures and nationalities, and each came in with its own traditions. Free people of color fleeing Haiti brought with them their voodoo, which blended with Catholicism for a unique mix of rituals and beliefs. Also as a port city, and because the climate is so inhospitable, my adopted hometown has a core history of violence.

But today, I’d like to share a few of the interesting New Orleans stories—real ones and legends—that are part of the reason I love this place!

* The Rougarou, or Loup-Garou. The “rougarou” is the South Louisiana version of the werewolf—which is an interesting legend for Louisiana to have because the state has no native wolves. According to legend, the rougarou—which is always white but sometimes is a dog or bear rather than a wolf—is a cursed human who can only be freed of the curse by killing someone else and passing it on to the victim. As the victim “dies” (to be resurrected as a rougarou), the beast must reveal his human identity. In the Sentinels of New Orleans series, the loup-garou, aka rougarou, are rogue werewolves that do not adhere to the pack structure and have poor control over their beasts. They are often killed by one of the packs.

* The Patriot Pirate. This particular story is true, and dates back to the War of 1812, when the Americans and British were continuing to fight over the “new world” territory. The final battle of the war, which became known as the Battle of New Orleans, took place in 1815. General Andrew Jackson, heading up the American forces, was badly outnumbered by the Brits and didn’t have enough weapons or ammunition. Against his better judgment, he sought help from the real “King” of the New Orleans area, the French pirate Jean Lafitte. Lafitte not only tricked the British into thinking he was supporting them, but brokered a deal with the Americans so that he and his followers would be pardoned for all their pirating crimes. Against all odds, with American soldiers fighting alongside Lafitte’s renegades and pirates, the battle was won and the British retreated. Alas, the charming “gentleman pirate” Lafitte was soon bored with life as an upstanding citizen and he renewed his life of piracy. Thanks to the magic of human memory, however, he lives on in his immortal undead form in the Sentinels series, and much of BELLE CHASSE takes place at his home in the preternatural world.

* The Napoleon House. This story is also true. Nicholas Girod, the mayor of New Orleans, had a fine ca. 1797 house in what is now the French Quarter, at the corner of Chartres and St. Louis streets. In 1821, when Napoleon Bonaparte was sent into exile, Girod prepared the second-story apartments for the exiled emperor and began hatching a plot to bring him to New Orleans. Napoleon never made it, having died before the plans could be enacted. But ever since, the Girod residence has been known as the Napoleon House. It’s now a bar and restaurant, and is a great place to soak in the local history and watch the world go by. Several key scenes in the Sentinels series take place here.

* The Casket Girls and the Vampires. The Frenchmen living in New Orleans in 1700 had a problem—there was a distinct shortage of suitable young women for them to marry. The French government had the perfect solution, however. They sent many virtuous young women, taken from orphanages and convents, and sent them to “Louisiane” with a government-issued trunk of belongings, “casquettes” or “cassettes.” The girls became known as “les filles a la cassette.” Until they could be paired with husbands, the girls lived in the Ursuline Convent with the nuns, sleeping in the attic. According to legend, the girls’ trunks were shaped like coffins and contained vampires. During the evening hours, the dormer windows of the attic would open and dark figures would be seen flying from them…even after the windows were nailed shut by fearful residents.

Have you been to New Orleans? Which is your favorite legend? 


Belle Chasse 
Sentinels of New Orleans
Book 5
Suzanne Johnson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: TOR Books
Date of Publication: November 8, 2016
ISBN: 978-0765376992
ASIN: B01E3PFTCQ
Number of pages: 336
Word Count: approx. 93,000
Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen

Book Description:

Suzanne Johnson's "strong and intriguing" (Publishers Weekly) urban fantasy series continues with Belle Chasse. The Sentinels of New Orleans series has earned starred reviews from Library Journal ("a resourceful heroine who relies on her magical ingenuity") and PW ("vivid...a lively tale jam-packed with action, magic, and intriguing plot twists").

With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.
With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.

Amazon     BN     Book Depository     Books-a-Million     Indie Bound

Excerpt:

I expected Christof to start a snowstorm above Rand’s head. What I didn’t expect was for the prince to lower his head and charge Rand like a raging bull, head-butting him in the midsection. They hit the ground, and I saw my chance at the same time Eugenie spotted me.
            I motioned her toward the woods where the transport lay. To hell with the Blue Congress wizards. We were going to make a run for it while Christof kept Rand too busy to notice.
            She set off for the woods, and I met her halfway. “My family thinks I’m crazy!” she wailed, loud enough to draw the attention of the tall, skinny Blue Congress wizard with the rooster haircut.
            “Hey, stop!”
            Holy crap. I whipped out the elven staff, paused long enough to aim just to the right of the wizards. They already had their hands up and were doing some of their nifty Blue Congress magic when I released my fire and blew up the tombstone next to them, sending a rain of marble and playing cards onto their heads. Around us, evidence of their magic appeared as tombstones began moving to block our escape route.
            I grabbed Eugenie’s arm and pulled her around a marble stag the size of a small SUV. It had lowered its head and pawed the ground as if to charge. Blue Congress magic was so damned cool— create and re-create.
            “Stop, DJ!” Eugenie grabbed my arm as I tried to race past her. “A sinkhole!”
            I looked stupidly at the ground in front of us, which had opened a gulf big enough to drive a Greyhound bus into. “Go around and run fast,” I shouted, sending another shot of the staff toward the Blue Congress wizards and blowing up a ginormous marble eagle perched atop a nearby tomb.
            We didn’t stop to see if the stag was chasing us, but ran for all we were worth. Finally, at the edge of the tree line, I hazarded a look back at Christof and Rand. The faery stood watching us; the elf had crumpled on the ground. Not dead, though, because in my head, far behind my protective barriers, I heard him yelling my name.
            Christof grinned and motioned for us to move along. He didn’t have to motion twice, because the wizards were chasing us, still chanting and doing their finger dance. The stag was getting way too close.
            I raised the staff and blew a hole in the earth in front of the advancing stag, forcing him to change direction. Luck was on our side for a change— the stag began charging toward the wizards instead, who had to stop pursuing us in order to protect themselves from being trampled beneath marble hooves.
            “Let’s run to the transport before those idiot wizards can get out from under the stag.” I grabbed Eugenie’s hand and we ran to the clearing. “Help me roll this werewolf out of the transport.”
            To her credit, she didn’t ask a single question. We tipped the werewolf onto his side and rolled him outside the interlocking circle and triangle, leaving him at an awkward angle with his
feet in the air. Oh well.
            I touched the staff to the edge of the transport and said, “Winter Palace, Faery” just before the Blue Congress wizards reached the edge of the clearing. I waved at them as the transport sucked the air out of my lungs. They were too late.
            As soon as we materialized on the round floor of ice in the Winter Palace, Eugenie screamed. I figured she was getting her first look at the grisly remains of Faerie Princess Tamara until a blinding light knocked me off my feet and a big crack appeared in the ice between us.
            “Where is my brother?”
            I whirled to see Florian sitting on a block of ice behind us bundled in a heavy coat, a blanket spread beneath him, no doubt to protect his royal assets from getting cold and wet.
            “He’s in Shreveport, Louisiana, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church, having a fi stfi ght with an elf,” I said, pretty confident that of all the things he might expect me to say, that wasn’t it.


About the Author:
Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series but perhaps is best known for her romantic suspense and paranormal romance books written as Susannah Sandlin, including the Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series, the Wilds of the Bayou suspense series, and The Collectors romantic thriller series. Her awards include two Holt Medallions in 2013 and 2015, a 2015 Booksellers Best Award in romantic suspense, and nominations in 2014 and 2015 for the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award. A displaced New Orleanian, she currently lives in Auburn, Alabama. Suzanne loves SEC football, fried gator on a stick, all things Cajun, and redneck reality TV.





Twitter: @Suzanne_Johnson



Tour giveaway:

1 $50 Amazon gift card

5 $10 Amazon gift cards


Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Bewitching Holiday Extravanganza!

Bewitching Book Tours is having another fantastic holiday event where you can find all the books you want in your stocking this year!


πŸŽ„ The fun starts with a multi-genre blog tour πŸŽ„
A Very Scary Christmas (Horror);
Fangs for the Holiday (PNR and UF);
Hot for the Holidays (Erotica);
Christmas Kisses (Romance).

At the end of the blog tours, a three-day Facebook Party will be held December 14th to 16th. 
I'm hosting on Wed., December 14th, noon to 2pm. I'll be talking all about my newest Coon Hollow Coven Tales release, Blood Ice & Oak Moon, along with lots of great games and prizes.
πŸŽ„ CLICK HERE TO RSVP (Facebook will send you a reminder closer to the date.) πŸŽ„



Here's a schedule of the book blogs I'll be visiting in the coming weeks. Stop by and say hello!


November 21 3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & sissy, Too!
http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com/
November 22 Leigh Anderson
http://leighandersonromance.com/
November 23Books,Dreams,Life
http://staceyschneller06.wordpress.com
November 25 Ramblings of a Book Nerd
www.booknerdramblings.com
November 25 Rising Indies United  
http://www.risingindiesunited.com/2016/11/book-tour-blood-ice-oak-moon-by-marsha.html
November 28 The Book Junkie Reads 
http://mileythebookjunkie.blogspot.com/
November 29 Infinite House of Books
http://www.house-of-books.com
November 30 The Blackwood Blog
www.sharonlipman.com/blogs 
December 1 Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
http://www.coffeeaddictedwriter.com
December 2 Books and Tales
http://booksandtales.blogspot.co.uk/
December 5 The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
http://silver-dagger-scriptorium.weebly.com/
December 6 Marianne Willis Author
https://mariannewillisauthor.wordpress.com/
December 7 Books N Pearls
http://booksnpearls.com/blog
December 8 Sapphyria's Book Reviews
http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/
December 9 Mello and June, It's a Book Thang! 
http://mellojune.com
December 12 Eskimo Princess Book Reviews
http://eskimoprincess.blogspot.com/
December 13 fuonlyknew 
http://fuonlyknew.com/
December 14 T's Stuff
http://teresanoel.blogspot.com/
December 15 Share My Destiny
http://sharemydestiny.blogspot.com
December 16 The Cubicle Escapee
http://TheCubicleEscapee.com
December 19 Lisa's Loves(Books of Course)
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/
December 20 Sylv all about books and films
http://www.sylv.net
December 21 Fang-tastic Books
http://fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com/
December 22 Fantatical Paranormal Romantical (review)
http://fanaticalparanormalromantical.com/
December 23 Lisa’s World of Books
http://www.lisasworldofbooks.net/


Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Is it hard to argue with fictional characters? ~guest post by Lyn C. Johanson, author of Forged in Fire #giveaway

I'm so pleased to have Lyn C. Johanson here to talk about her new release, Forged In Fire from her Witch World series, and to prove authors can and do argue with their characters! Enjoy! And check out her great giveaway at the end of this post.

*~*~*

Is it hard to argue with fictional characters? 

by Lyn C. Johanson


One would say this shouldn’t be a question at all – they do what you tell them to do, when you tell them. They are the fruit of the author’s imagination after all. And yet…
When I began writing Forged in Fire I had an interesting conversation with Ciaran (the hero). It went something like this:
Ciaran: What do you think you’re doing?                                                       
Me: ???
Ciaran: You need to stop or I won’t be responsible for my actions!
Me: I still don’t understand what the problem is.
Ciaran: My book – more specifically, my heroine. That’s what the problem is!
Me: You’ll like her, I promise.
Ciaran: Riiii-iight. A demoness who is referred to as the Green-Eyed Monster. By everyone in the entire Underworld. What’s not to like? I don’t see this ending well for me. I really don’t.
Me: You don’t need to see it. All you need to do is trust me.
Ciaran: Last time I trusted you, I ended up in Hell, of all places. Sorry if I’m not jumping off the cliff. Again.
I lost everything: my siblings and the life I had. I’ve been subjected to one bad situation after another. I watched my freedom being taken away and I didn’t say a word. I endured it because I couldn’t let that demon harm my newborn nephews. But everything has its limits. I may have given my freedom, but not my dignity.
Isn’t that enough for you?
Me: No??? [I ask a bit sheepishly.]
Ciaran: That’s it. I quit!
Me: I only accept handwritten letters of resignation.
Ciaran: And where do you suppose I find a pen and paper in the Underworld?
Me: [Trying not to laugh…]
[Ciaran storms out.]
I'm mean, I know. But this was actually really fun – and believe it or not, that’s how I got to know him. Ciaran wasn’t keen on sharing his feelings with me (if I only knew why), but he argued throughout half of the book; until I discovered what was inside him and he discovered that he should trust me!
Now, let’s just hope he won’t mess up all my hard work.



Forged in Fire
Witch World Series
Book 2 
Lyn C. Johanson

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: November 17, 2016

ASIN: B01MEFIZ0A
Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 95 000
Cover Artist: Renu Sharma

Book Description:

Lyn C. Johanson continues her scorching Witch World series with a new story of a human fighting to survive in Hell, and a dangerous beauty who might cost him his soul.

AN EXQUISITE PUNISHER LIVING ON BORROWED TIME…

Desiree ruled a domain swarming with the worst sinners ever to walk on Earth, until her dual nature became too dangerous for the Demon Council to ignore. Now banished, she finds herself intrigued by an enigma she encounters—a decent soul in the land of rotten scum.

A FIGHTER DOOMED TO HELL…

To save his newborn nephews, Ciaran sacrificed his life to spend eternity in the Underworld. Yet becoming a plaything to be used and abused is a fate he is determined to avoid.

A PASSION FORGED IN FIRE…

Temptation stokes the flames in both their hearts and bodies, but when faced with the reality of their circumstances, those flames might burn them both to ash. For in a demon world defined by supernatural abilities, a human must remain a slave, and she—free from any weakness her enemies might take advantage of.


Please note that although Forged in Fire can be read as a stand-alone story, I would strongly recommend reading Till Death and Beyond first, as the world builds from one book to another. Available on Amazon


Excerpt:
“Bow before your master!” One of the guards spat an order.
“I bow before no one,” Ciaran muttered without turning. That was one thing he refused to do. Ever. No matter how many whips sliced his flesh.
Instantly, he felt a fierce blow to his inner knee. His leg bent, and he went down. Ciaran gritted his teeth at the impact with the hard floor, and before the guard could deliver another blow, grabbed for the nearest weapon.
Suddenly fire flashed through the space. As one, the guards sank to the ground, bowing their heads.
“Enough!” Huge eyes appeared in the air, above them.
Ciaran frowned. Stood up.
The eyes narrowed. Green flames consumed the irises, and for a second he thought the room would catch fire.
“Out!” A sharp order rang out, and was followed before the echo subsided.
The moment Ciaran was left alone, shadows began swirling, the eyes got smaller, until a figure stepped out of the darkness. He thought he was prepared for whatever was coming. A two-headed ogre wouldn’t have surprised him, but when the shadows dissipated, and his eyes locked with those of the creature he’d been summoned by, he forgot whatever it was he wanted to say.
Her eyes were no longer round, but almond-shaped, slightly tilted downward toward her straight but narrow nose. Those eyes missed nothing—and right now, they were focused on him. Not burning, but the way her irises caught the glare of light, it appeared to glow with a cat-like luster.
In vibrant copper-red, the strands that escaped her knee-length braid danced like flames against her flawless, porcelain skin, conjuring up an image of a fragile, ethereal beauty.
One look at her, and Ciaran knew there was nothing fragile about her. She radiated power, and he had no trouble seeing why the guards bowed before her. Why everyone was afraid to even mention her name. The raw energy flowing around her was nothing he’d ever experienced. No demon he’d met possessed a smidgeon of it.
He was screwed, he concluded, determined to get this over with as quickly as possible.
“What do you want from me?” he demanded, finally coming to his senses.
She approached, no hesitation in her lithe, tall body. It moved with hypnotizing grace, accentuated by her simple leather pants and top that hugged her like a second skin. If he thought she had power before, it was nothing compared with the sizzle of energy that shot through him when she stretched out her hand, and gently touched his cheek.
It took everything he had to keep his body stone-still. He dared not even breathe. He felt if he did, she could actually bring him to his knees. And as seconds ticked by, her lips curled into a lazy smile, transforming her face from beautiful to stunning. She was a vision—a vision he expected to morph into a nightmare at any moment.
That’s when she whispered, “I want to play.”

About the Author:
A computer science major, Lyn C. Johanson discovered her passion for writing romance stories during the long and stressful months spent finishing her master‘s thesis. It encouraged Lyn to open a new blank page and let her imagination take flight. Several years later, her first romance novel was born.

Her stories transport the reader into the darkly sensual world where the magic of romance meets fantasy. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and sons.

To learn more about Lyn, visit her website at


Tour giveaway

1st prize 1 $25 Amazon Gift Card
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3rd prize 1 $5 Amazon Gift Card

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