Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Writer Wednesday - The Onyx Talisman Blog Tour

Today I am so excited to be a stop on the tour of my BAFF Brenda Pandos. We are celebrating the release of The Onyx Talisman, the final installment of The Talisman Trilogy, with a review and a personal note to a character or to Brenda herself. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom - the prizes are awesome, including a Kindle!

About The Onyx Talisman:
"Alora looked back and the corner of her lip turned up. “It’s always darkest before the dawn, Julia. Good luck.”
Her words sent chills up my spine as she vanished."

Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, hurt and unsure of his place as a sober vampire, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. Scarlett bides her time, plotting for the perfect moment to prove herself and earn redemption. But somewhere in L.A., Alora conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear.

Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. As more and more vampires show up from nowhere, addicted to her scent, Julia must pick her allies carefully before it’s too late. Can Julia bargain with fate? When the time comes, will she even have a choice? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy.

My review:
This final installment of The Talisman Trilogy offers everything you could ask for - laugh-out-loud moments, tears of both sadness and joy, mystery and suspense - and then blows it up in your face. Just when I thought I had it figured out, Brenda throws in an unexpected twist. The grand finale - the end of the end - is just like the description says: explosive. And also beautiful. Bravo, Brenda! I can't wait to see what you have for us next! 

My personal note (I chose Brenda because although I love her characters, the author herself is my favorite character of all):
Dear Brenda,
I have met some awesome writerly people over the years, but I never expected to forge such a close friendship, especially with someone I've never met in person (yet - 2 weeks, baby!). You have been such an inspiration, an encouragement and a kick in the butt when I needed it.

You are so talented - a fabulous writer and storyteller. I love escaping into the worlds you create, and I feel like a queen when I get to do so before the rest of the world does. The input you provide for my own writing is priceless, even when it stings or feels like a mountain of work to do when I'm already a week past deadline.

You're a great idea-bouncer-offer, too, when it comes to brainstorming and figuring out pricing, promotions and marketing. I'm so glad to have someone in the trenches with me. I won't even go into your talent with designing the best covers ever (yeah, mine...oh, yours are fab, too, hehe).

But you're so much more than all that. Just from what I've seen from my side of the computer screen, you're an incredible mom, wife, sister and friend. For me, though, and the purposes of this letter, I'll just say:

I am so honored that we met. You're my Bestest Author Friend Forever.

Two weeks from today, the world will hear a huge SQUEE! (listen for it, readers, I promise you'll hear it around the world) as we accost each other with hugs IN REAL LIFE. We are going to rock Chicago and RT Booklovers Convention and I'm so excited for it all. But mostly I just can't wait to see you in person and hang with you for 5 days. 5 days! Eek! And when it comes time to leave, I know I'll be a bawling mess of tears and snot.

Thanks for being you! I luff you, dammit.

*dabs at moist eyes* *OMG, I just used Brenda's most hated word ever - bwahaha!*

So, peeps, if you haven't read The Talisman Trilogy yet, check it out.

Enter the giveaway to win ebooks and signed copies of The Onyx Talisman and a Kindle!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DEVOTION on iBooks

Taking a break in my break to let you know that Devotion is finally, finally available on iBooks. So if you've been (not so) patiently waiting, your wait is over! Here's the link:


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Going Dark (and Teaser Tuesday)

I'm working hard on drafting the fourth book of the Soul Savers Series, plus getting ready for the RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago in April (hope to see you there!). I'm way overwhelmed and  seriously need to focus. Something needs to come off my plate for a little while, so...

I'm going dark here on the blog.

I'll pop in with any news and announcements that come up. I might poke my head in and say "hi," as well, when I have a moment. But, for now, there won't be any rhyme and reason to my posts. The normal schedule of Teaser Tuesday, Writer Wednesday and Foodie Friday will be put on hold.

Since promotions and friendships and life go on, however, I'll still be hanging out over on Facebook and occasionally on Twitter, just not as much as normal (that's the plan anyway). So if you really miss me (haha!), be sure to catch me over there.

Before I go, here's a little bit of a tease:
  • Book 4 has several chapters.
  • Book 4 has a few different title ideas, one of which will be chosen soon.
  • Book 4 will be released sometime this year.
Sorry - that's all I have for now. Getting back to the writing so I can have more for you in the future.

While you're here, I'd love to see a "Hi!" or a "Keep going!" or a "We miss you!" Or even a "Wait - you're gone? Par-tay!"  I just like to see you've stopped by, so please feel free to leave a comment. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Foodie Friday: Food In Literature

My girlfriends and I have started what's turned out to be a "thing" for us: dinner parties to celebrate the release of movies based on our favorite books. It started with the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. CJ, my publisher, is a huge HP fan as well as an awesome cook and a fabulous baker, so what better way for her to celebrate the release of the movie? We had such a great time that we repeated it for the second Deathly Hallows movie (when, incidentally, we created this awesome recipe for Butterbeer Martinis).

For the Twilight movies, we had usually gone out to eat before seeing the movie, but another friend decided to host a dinner party featuring an Italiano menu for Breaking Dawn Part I. And next weekend, we're doing a potluck for The Hunger Games. I've been re-reading the book and taking note of all the foods and meals mentioned. Obviously, something called "The Hunger Games" is going to have a lot of food references.

And this all got me to thinking: How does food play a role in our favorite books? What books seem to emphasize food more than usual? Is it because of the plot or the characters or the author's attention to detail?

In my own books, Tristan and Alexis love to cook together (isn't a man who cooks sexy???), but, I've realized, food isn't as prominent in my books as I'd expect it to be. Or is it? Maybe I just don't see it as much as others do because I've seen my words so much. I could definitely do a dinner party for each book - in fact, the girls and I had a whole weekend of reading Promise/Purpose with food based on the story (back in the very early days when I didn't even know if it was something anyone would want to read, so I bribed them with food).

We had a Greek lunch, a Caribbean-flavored dinner (featuring mangoes and papayas) and a brunch consisting of characters' favorite foods and drinks. From our brunch:


If you've read my books, could you plan a dinner party with them? What would you serve? What other books can you think of that would be a good theme for a dinner party? Have you ever been in a book club where the food served went with the book being discussed? That would be my kind of book club!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Writer Wednesday - Heather McCorkle

We have author Heather McCorkle back in the house! Channeler's Choice, the sequel to Heather's The Secret of Spruce Knoll just released and this is a stop on her tour. I asked Heather's main characters a tough question, but before we get to their answers, here's a little about Heather and Channeler's Choice.

About Heather McCorkle:

I am an author of young adult fantasy, in all its many sub-genres. Helping other writers and supporting fabulous authors is my passion. When I'm not writing or surfing my social networking sites, I can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or on horseback. As a native Oregonian, I enjoy the outdoors almost as much as the worlds I create on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can find me on my blog four days a week, and Monday night's on Twitter where I co-moderate the #WritersRoad chat with my good friend TS Tate.

About Channeler's Choice:

With her parents’ murderers dead, Eren can finally concentrate on fitting in at Spruce Knoll High, not to mention figuring out what it means to be a channeler. If only it were that easy. It turns out she isn’t normal even among channelers - she may be a legendary warrior meant to protect the earth in a last great battle.

But Mayan prophecies are the least of her worries as she involuntarily starts to gather her own Society, another girl moves in on Aiden, her powers rage out of control, and worst of all, someone is stalking her. To top it all off, Eren discovers she doesn’t have to be a channeler after all - she has a choice.

As an old threat closes in and she risks ending up like her parents, she is forced to decide. Be a normal teenager and leave the legendary warrior stuff to someone else, or embrace a dark destiny?

I really enjoyed The Secret of Spruce Knoll and can't wait to read this one. Now on to the hard question I asked of Heather's four main characters: What is the most difficult choice you've ever had to make?

Eren: So far, that would have to be whether or not to let myself get close to people again. And I'm really glad I made the right choice on that one. :) I have a feeling there are even tougher choices on the way though. Such is my life.

Aiden: Standing up to my adopted family and deciding to expose them for the monsters they are was the hardest choice I've ever made. Even though they were horrible to me, they were all I had, or so I thought. I'm glad my choice taught me that there is better out there and I deserve to have it.

Fane: Choosing to trust Aiden, a complete stranger who was raised under the dark influence of my maniacal cousins, was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. But something deep in my core told me he was a good person and that he would do what was right.

Caitlin: The four inch heals or the wedges. LOL! No seriously, choosing to defy my parents and become friends with Eren and her Society wasn't easy. I mean, they're my parents. But in the end, my parents are wrong.

Connect with Heather:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Read an Ebook Week!

During Read an Ebook Week:
30 Hours for $7.23!
March 4-10 is Read an Ebook Week!
No eReader Needed!

Check out all the deals on, including:

If you have a Kindle, download the MOBI format.

If you have an iPad/iPhone, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, etc., download the EPUB format.

If you read on your computer, there are options for you, too!

Be sure to check out all the other fab ebooks also on sale for READ AN EBOOK WEEK!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Five for Friday

We've been having a lot of Foodie Fridays, but I'm back on my *cough* "healthy eating plan" and trying not to think too much about food right now. I'll have to round up some help from Alexis, Tristan, Sophia, etc., and maybe from "real" people, too, for some guest posts.

But we haven't done a Five for Friday in ages. I don't even remember the last one (and I'm too lazy to look it up). So, here's my Five for Friday...

Five Awesome Things This Week
  1. We made it home safely from our motorcycle trip to Key West last weekend. Each way took us 9 hours. Our bodies were so locked up by the time we got home, I could barely get off the bike. If you've never been on a motorcycle, you can't move. You can't shift around, throw a leg up for a little while, lean against a door or center console, recline your seat, take a nap, etc. You have to remain still, especially as a passenger, so you don't throw the bike off-balance. So yeah, as much fun as we had, it was a relief to be home.
  2. My ebooks are all set up at All Romance eBooks and OmniLit providing another place to buy the Kindle and ePub (iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, etc.) formats, which is pretty cool.
  3. Along with the set up at ARe/OmniLit, I completed some other major projects to prepare for the RT Booklovers Convention in Chicago April 11-15. I cannot wait for this! I'll be signing at the EXPO on Thursday afternoon/evening and will be appearing in RT Club a couple times, too. The rest of the time I'll be geeking out at writer workshops and stalking my favorite authors. If you're going, please let me know! We'll have to arrange a time to meet up.
  4. I bought our tickets for the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. I sooooo cannot wait for this movie. I just have to mentally prepare myself with the mantra, "Film is a different medium. It's going to be different, but that's okay."
  5. My college boy is home for Spring Break! Woohoo!!! I haven't seen him since he went back after Christmas break, which, of course, is the longest by far I've ever gone without seeing him. So momma is happy to have all her boys under one roof once again.
What awesomeness has gone in your life this week? Any cool plans for the weekend?