No. I’m not dead, but my brain might have gone on hiatus.

You know how sometimes life gets in the way of everything else? Then before you even realize what happened, months have gone by as you’ve muddled through the minutia that clutters up day-to-day life.

Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean…I’m talking about the boring crap that everyone has to deal with, just so they can actually live.

…Laundry (quite possibly my worst enemy), work (the kind that actually pays the bills), housekeeping (Four children and three dogs, need I elaborate?), school activities (with my children, which is most often pretty fun, but time-consuming nevertheless), marriage/relationship (this I don’t mind, if you know what I mean…*wink,wink*), family time (always a good time of course, my little monkeys freaking rock)…

Well anyway, you get the point. That’s a lot of crap. Every. Day.

I’m not whining, don’t get me wrong, and I’m not here to excuse my prolonged absence. I’m actually here because I feel guilty as hell that I’ve pushed back the release date for the sequel to Control for so damn long! You see, I’ve finished the book with the exception of the final few chapters, but I’m stuck and it’s driving me slap-ass crazy. I know what I want to happen, but for some reason, I can’t get the words out. I just stare at the screen like a fucktarded mess.

So, I had this great idea *insert optimistic grin* to upload the book on Wattpad so that I can go ahead and share it with you guys!! Good plan, right? Yep, I thought so! 

But wait!! Before you click on the link, I need something from y’all. Not much, just a comment or a vote here and there, to let me know I’m on the right track, and hopefully kick my ass over the block my sad little mind has created. Maybe I’m just a needy little bitch who needs a few encouraging words, I don’t know, but I’m not too scared to beg. ;P

Now that is out of the way, you may click on the link and read to your little heart’s content!!

Control Book cover

Just in case you haven’t read it already, here is the link to Control, the first book in the Soul of Voodoo series:
 
 
 
Finally, click the kick ass cover image to read Power, Book Two in the Soul of Voodoo series! 
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Q & A for Saving Rain, The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy

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1.  What is the title of your book?

Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy

2.  What is the genre and age rating?

Saving Rain is a new adult romance with a dark side.  I would recommend this novel for readers 18 and over.

3.  Give a brief synopsis, using your own words.

Saving Rain is the beginning of a poignant story of abuse, human trafficking, and beautiful, redeeming love.  Raina is the abused heroine who tries very hard to forget her dark past.  Kas is the protective, sometimes over-whelming FBI agent who is hell-bent on saving Raina from the men intent on harming her; a task made quite difficult when she refuses to divulge any information.   Raina joins Kas’ team to help infiltrate a formidable and rapidly growing human trafficking ring. 

4.  Is it part of a series? Is the series completed? What made you decide to do a series rather than an epic?

Saving Rain is the first novel in The Rain Trilogy.  The second novel, Healing Rain, is written, but not published yet.  I am currently working on the final novel, After the Rain.  Saving Rain is available now and Healing Rain will be available later this year. 

When I began Saving Rain, I intended on a standalone novel, but I fell in love with the characters.  The plot needed more depth than what I felt a standalone could provide.

5.  Visually describe your main character and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

The main character is a five foot six, auburn haired, jade eyed nineteen year old (at the beginning of the novel) who is as attractive on the inside as she is outwardly.  She is not aware of her beauty.  The cover of Saving Rain is a model, not someone I know personally, but when I saw her photo, it is very close to the way I envisioned Raina.

6.  What are his or her biggest faults? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?

Feeling shame for what other people did to her is Raina’s biggest insecurity. 

EXCERPT:

Raina sits in the cool night air, letting the breeze blow around her, wishing it could blow away her humiliation and shame of Kas seeing the pictures of what her father did to her, his seeing a glimpse into her life before she met him.  She desperately wanted to leave that part of her life behind, keep her past from tainting what she had hoped she and Kas would become.

7.  What are his or her best qualities? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?

Forgiveness and strength to overcome are Raina’s best qualities.

EXCERPT:

Kas stares at her, bewildered by her innocence, her compassion, her willingness to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, wanting to believe the best in everyone.  He pulls her into his arms and kisses the top of her head.  “You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met Raina Kapture,” he tells her in awe, pushing away his sense of dejection and frustration from the knowledge that ‘Kapture’ isnt’ her real name.  She’s been through enough today and he will not question her about her past again, not today anyway.

8.  Is there a romantic interest for your MC (main character)…or maybe more than one? Would you describe it as antagonistic, angsty, steamy, romantic, and or loaded with sexual tension? 

There is certainly a romantic interest between Raina and Kas that builds throughout the story, and it’s loaded with sexual tension.  

9.  Visually describe the romantic interest(s) and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

Raina and Kas are immediately attracted to each other, but neither one admits to the attraction at first.  At the beginning of Saving Rain, Raina had just broken up with her ex-boyfriend after trying to have feelings for him, even though Kas captured her every thought.  Raina is confused and frightened by her attraction for Kas, especially after her past.

10.   Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?

 To me, Kas is almost as much of a main character as Raina is.  I love Kas’ dedication to Raina, his struggle to release his death grip of total control in order to find out more about her at her set pace.  He is a very determined man.  He uses his strength to shelter Raina instead of causing her pain.

11.   Were any of your characters inspired by people you know or have known?

All of the characters are fictional, but I do have to admit that some of the traits were inspired by people I love. 

12.   Post a short excerpt (1-2 pages max) that you think that readers will love…

I chose an excerpt where Raina experiences being undercover.

EXCERPT:

As she walks back to the table, she fakes twisting her heel, feasibly easy to pull off in the unbelievable height of the stilettos.  She spills one of the drinks straight into Victor’s lap.  She quickly grabs the linen napkin and begins dabbing his leg as she discreetly removes the bug from the hem of her dress, attaching it to the under-hem of his blazer while he’s distracted with what her other hand is doing.

Victor lets out what she is sure isn’t a nice word in his native language as he jumps to his feet.  He raises his hand to strike her, but Kas quickly grabs his hand before he can deliver the blow, causing the bodyguards to advance towards them.  Kas realizes that he better make this look convincing or things are going to go south very quickly due to his reaction to Victor’s imminent threat to Raina.

He releases Victor and grabs Raina possessively, “I told you that she’s mine, no one touches her except me.”  He grabs her as roughly as possible without actually hurting her as he growls dangerously, “I will deal with you later.”  He spins her back around so she’s facing Victor and he barks, “Apologize!”

Raina breathlessly whispers her apology, not having to work too hard to feign the fear evident in her eyes, her past giving her a very clear picture of what Kas’ words would mean for her if he wasn’t just playing a role.  Victor eyes them suspiciously, and Kas knows that he has to sell this.  “I apologize for my rashness, but I warned you about not sharing well with others.  I am the only one to touch her, to discipline her.”  He fights to hold in his true emotions and act like the cruel sleaze he’s trying to personify.  He hates himself for the next words he delivers as he grabs Raina, holding her prisoner in his grip. “The sting of my belt will teach you to be more careful.”

The malice in his words has the effect needed, and she blanches, the look in her eyes dissipating any suspicions Victor may have had.  Ambivalence rips through Kas.  He is relieved that she is safe at the moment, knowing what kind of harm can be delivered in the private setting during the minute it would take the undercover agents from Michael’s team to reach them from the bar, but putrid self-disgust fills him from the way he had to elicit painful memories from her to sell the façade.

The need for Kas to get her out of there is overwhelming.  She cringes as he grabs her again and pushes her.  “Wait on me outside,” he yells as she stumbles towards the door.

Victor calmly watches her leave, the blatant disrespect and cruelty bestowed on a lady doesn’t faze him in the least.  Kas would like nothing better at the moment than to rip Victor apart at his aloofness of his treatment of Raina.  He knows it’s a part of Victor’s normal routine to hurt those weaker than himself.

He reins in his temper and smiles at Victor, pulling out a wad of hundred dollar bills, “Allow me to take care of your suit.”

Victor laughs and waves the money away, “It is only a spilled drink, after all.”

“One that I hope didn’t put a damper on a lucrative business deal for the both of us.  I assure you, I will handle her.”

Victor nods towards the door, “Aren’t you worried that she will try to run away?”

Kas bites the inside of his cheek, furthering his self-hatred as he gives the sickening lie, “I found her half-starved, eating from a dumpster when she was fourteen.  I’ve invested a lot of time in training her.  She has only tried to run once, I made sure that night that she will never try to run again.”

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Thanks to author, Karen-Anne Stewart for giving us a special peek into the first novel in The Rain Trilogy, Saving Rain.  Be sure to keep us updated on your progress with future books in this series!

Karen-Anne Stewart

 Click one of the following links to become a fan of Karen-Anne Stewart or follow her current and future projects:

~*~Website~*~Facebook~*~Twitter~*~Goodreads~*~

 To purchase Saving Rain, The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, click one of the following links:

~*~Barnes & Noble ~*~ Amazon~*~

 

Q & A for Shades of Summer, The Haunting Ruby Series, Book One

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1.  What is the title of your book?

Shades of  Summer, The Haunting Ruby Series Book One

2.  What is the genre and age rating?

Young adult paranormal romance

3.  Give a brief synopsis, using your own words.

Ruby Matthews is a 17 year old girl who is haunted, both literally and figuratively, by the past as she tries to move forward after a tragic loss.  She meets the boy of her dreams at what feels like the worst possible time.

4.  Is it part of a series? Is the series completed? What made you decide to do a series rather than an epic?

The first three books in the series are currently available and I am working on the final installment.  I wanted to do one book for each season of the year.  Each season corresponds directly with the direction Ruby’s life is taking her.

5.  Visually describe your main character and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

Ruby is slightly mysterious.  She has black hair with one red streak.  Her hair is naturally curly but she straightens it every day to try to look more ‘normal’.  She is average height, thin build with pretty hazel eyes.  She sees herself as plain but that isn’t how the world sees her.

6.  What are his or her biggest faults? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example? 

Ruby has a problem with lying.  Her lies aren’t malicious but they always tend to bite her in the behind.  She lies because she’s afraid of what other people will think about her and her slightly odd ways.

EXCERPT:

I opened my mouth to tell my dad what I just experienced.  “Dad the light just….” When my brain caught up with my mouth, I shut it pretty fast.  If I told him what I thought just happened, he would think I was crazy, right?  He threatened to send me to a psychiatrist about a thousand different times over the past year, but I was always able to pull my act together long enough for him to change his mind.  This time, I wouldn’t just sound depressed, I would sound insane.  There would be no talking my way out of this one.  So I lied.

7.  What are his or her best qualities? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example? 

Ruby’s best quality is her willingness to sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of someone she loves.

EXCERPT:

I knew he was trying to be nice, but he wanted to go check on Rachel and I couldn’t ask him to wait for me.  “Zach, go find Rachel—I’ll stay here until you get back.”

He opened his mouth as though to speak, but no words came out.

“I’ll be fine—you said it yourself, the storm’s over.  I’ll find Coco and then wait for you upstairs.  Go find your sister.  I know you’ll be sick with worry until you know she’s safe.”

I knew it was a tough choice for him.  But who needed him most—Rachel or me?  I watched as he mulled it over in his head.

“Are you sure?  I hate to leave you here alone even on a good day.  If something happens, you won’t even be able to call me.”

“Nothing will happen.  Just go!”  There wasn’t a single worry in my mind that I would be anything but perfectly safe.

“Alright.  Just find her and get out of this basement.  I’ll be back as soon as I can.”  He hugged me close and gave me an extra squeeze.  “Be careful.”

“You, too.”  I watched as he closed the door behind him.  It was only after he was on the other side of it that I started to change my mind.

8.  Is there a romantic interest for your MC (main character)…or maybe more than one? Would you describe it as antagonistic, angsty, steamy, romantic, and or loaded with sexual tension?

Ruby’s romantic interest is Zach Mason. Something happens the first time they meet that simply takes both of their breaths away.  Their relationship is intense in so many different ways.  Paranormal activity forces Ruby to keep him at arm’s length.  She is afraid that Zach will leave her when he finds out the truth about her, so she tries to spare herself that pain by keeping him at a distance.

9.  Visually describe the romantic interest(s) and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

Zach Mason is the exact opposite of Ruby on the outside.  He has blond hair, blue eyes, and an athletic build.  He has a smile that would melt anyone’s heart.  Ruby swears that there isn’t a female of any species that wouldn’t find him irresistible.  She’s right.

10.  Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?

Rachel Mason.  Rachel is Zach’s twin sister and Ruby’s new best friend.  I like Rachel because she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  She tends to say funny things when you least expect it.

11.  Were any of your characters inspired by people you know or have known?

Every character has at least a small piece of someone I have known.

12.  Post a short excerpt (1-2 pages max) that you think that readers will love…

EXCERPT:

I jerked away from the table, nearly burning myself on a candle in the process.  We took one look at each other.  One thing was clear.  We needed to get out of there.

One by one, the candles extinguished themselves around the circle, wispy trails of smoke drifting up in their wake.  Another flash of lightning lit the room and I saw that we were not alone in the attic.  A dark shadow hovered closely behind Rachel.

“It’s behind you!”  I reached out frantically to pull her away but it was too late.  The entity rocketed forward and dove straight into her. 

Rachel’s eyes flew wide and her face contorted into a vision of agony.  I watched helplessly as she doubled over and the shadow figure forced itself out through her stomach and disappeared.  She crumpled to the floor lifelessly.

“No!  Rachel!”  I rushed to her side, afraid of what I was going to find.  I grabbed for her wrist and felt a weak pulse.  I breathed a sigh of relief—I couldn’t be responsible for another death!

“Rachel!  You have to wake up!  We have to get out of here!”  I took her by the shoulders and shook her hard but she bobbled limply like a rag doll.

I sunk to the floor beside her and cried.  A thundering crash resonated behind me.  And then another.  And another.  I opened my eyes to see my books flying off of the shelf one at a time and hurtling across the room.  I had to get us both out of there.

I was too weak to carry her so I gripped her by the ankles and dragged her toward the door, book bombs exploding around us as I went.  Suddenly, a weak groan rose from her throat.

“Rachel, we have to get out of here!  You need to get up—now!”  I slapped her sharply across the face.  It always seemed to work in the movies—it was worth a try.

“Ruby?!  Why are you slapping me?”  Rachel opened her eyes slowly.  “Where are we?”

I could tell when the initial confusion wore off because a look of mortal terror replaced it. 

Just then, the door flung open and a looming figure appeared in the doorway.  A piercing scream escaped my throat as it seized me around the waist and pulled me toward it.

Thanks to author, Joy Elbel for giving us a sneak peek into the first book in The Haunting Ruby Series! Keep your eyes peeled for more from The Haunting Ruby Series, as I’ll be featuring books two and three during the next couple of months, leading up to the release of the final book at the end of the summer!

Joy Elbel

For more information on author Joy Elbel, or her current and future projects, click one of the following links:

 ~*~Blog~*~Website~*~Facebook~*~Twitter~*~

Click the image to purchase Shades of Summer, The Haunting Ruby Series, Book One:

Q&A for Catching on Fire, by Sue Knott

1.  What is the title of your book?

Catching On Fire

 2.  What is the genre and age rating?

I like to think it crosses many genres. Since the heroine is 24, it fits best in the New Adult category. But, it also includes romance, adventure, suspense, humor…even a wee bit of a sci-fi/paranormal. (Never met a genre I didn’t like, I suppose.)

 3.  Give a brief synopsis, using your own words.

A young woman discovers that others see the same symbols she has in her head. Since the symbols (Glyphs) feel like they are the solution to the dystopian visions connected to them, the woman (Rachel) sets out to find other seers in an effort to translate the Glyphs’ meaning. She’s also searching for love. And she discovers so many people and events aren’t at all what they seem on the surface.

 4.  Is it part of a series? Is the series completed? What made you decide to do a series rather than an epic?

It is the first in a planned trilogy. The second book is supposed to come out in 2013, but I’m cutting it close, so it may be 2014.

I did a series mostly because an epic project would require organizational and memory skills I simply do not have. Plus, I’m trying to blur the line between fiction and reality.  I’m writing about the present and near future. If I get too far ahead on the future and I’m not accurate in predicting the course of events, that blurry line starts coming into focus.

5.  Visually describe your main character and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

I’m not big into descriptions. Rachel has a slight frame and is, ahem, well endowed. She’s very self conscious about her chest. And she’s very intuitive. Scarily intuitive, actually.

6.  What are his or her biggest faults? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?

No particular scene comes to mind, but Rachel is borderline paranoid. She worries about EVERYTHING.

7.  What are his or her best qualities? Using a short excerpt from your book, can you show us an example?

Well, this would take pages! I tried to make Rachel as Mary Sue as I could get, since that seems to be the popular fiction fad du jour. Except, I wasn’t a very good model for a Mary Sue so I invented a character that combines all the best traits in every young woman I’ve ever admired. Rachel is a pretty amazing character.

8.  Is there a romantic interest for your MC (main character)…or maybe more than one? Would you describe it as antagonistic, angsty, steamy, romantic, and or loaded with sexual tension?

Oh, there are several. Isn’t that how it is in life? There’s either no one or too many choices –but no choice stands out as obviously perfect on most given moments. We run the gamut on relationship styles. I can tell you, when I was writing one scene, I really wanted to have it go further. Not for the book, but for me. If my husband had been with me that night, he would have been a very happy man. Unfortunately, I was out of town at the time. However, I wanted to keep any encounters in the book at a level appropriate for a Young Adult audience. I have lots of high-school aged readers.

9.  Visually describe the romantic interest(s) and provide a picture if you were inspired by an actual person.

There’s an aw-schucks farmboy type with a great, lanky body. A sophisticated middle-easterner with a slightly more compact great body. The farmboy’s brother who is totally ripped. Gee, I’m sensing a theme here.

10.  Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?

I fell for one of the romantic interests. But, I’m not going to say which one. The driver, Faris, turned out to be a kind of a combination bodyguard/father figure. He’s so interesting he got a lot more ink than I intended.

Then there are two young girls, twins, that I hope to have a much larger presence in the second book. That’s actually a bit of a problem right now — they keep stealing the show and taking the second book down a path it’s not intended to go.

11.  Were any of your characters inspired by people you know or have known?

My mother swears Rachel’s grandmother is based on her. But she isn’t. There are some events I’ve borrowed from  my real life (I’ve been in extreme danger at least a dozen times), but no characters based on real people.

12.  Post a short excerpt (1-2 pages max) that you think that readers will love…

I think the first few chapters that you can read as a free excerpt on Amazon give you a good taste for the book. But, to give you a sense of some of the action, here’s an excerpt at the point where Rachel’s world starts spiraling apart:

Excerpt:

I could barely drag myself out front. My feet felt like giant blocks of concrete that my wobbly legs couldn’t attempt to lift. Once I heard the shots, I felt like I slipped into an alternate universe. Surely this couldn’t be my world. People did not shoot guns in my world.

I simply wanted to crawl into a corner, curl up in a ball and disappear. I’d been running on adrenalin when I thought that just maybe there might be some way I could help. But now that the shooting had stopped, the thought of facing the aftermath had me paralyzed with fear. I didn’t want to see what happened. If I didn’t see it, I could cling to the hope that everyone might be all right. But, deep inside, I feared the worst. I imagined innocent people sprawled bleeding and dead across the sidewalk. All because of me. Because of my stupid website.

I can’t begin to describe the level of dread I felt walking toward that restaurant door. Would there be children crying for their dead mommies? Or mothers for their children? Would Jim’s involvement in all this cost him his opportunity to get a medical license? I would have been very happy to have the earth explode. For those endless seconds it took to reach the door, the future seemed too difficult to bear.

We peeked out the door. Any sign of physical threat appeared to have ended. The van with the masked gunmen was gone. Three bleeding bodies were strewn across the pavement. A half dozen or more people were out there. One was bent over the evil mother, trying to stop her bleeding. A couple of the others were holding guns on two masked men, which seemed unnecessary. Except for the blood pouring out of them, they were motionless on the pavement.

Jim rushed over to the mother and started tending her wound. He yelled instructions for the others on how to stop the bleeding of the masked men. No one moved, so I went over to apply pressure as Jim directed. One of the others followed suit.

The guy I tried to help appeared to leaking rather than actively bleeding. “Jim, I think he might be dead.”

Many thanks to Sue Knott for giving us a personal tour through her squishy grey matter!!  Okay, that sounds gross…but you get my point.

To purchase Catching on Fire, click the cover at the top of the screen or you can purchase it through one of the following links:

~*~ Amazon ~*~ Barnes and Noble ~*~

Find out more about author, Sue Knott and her other works by clicking one of the following links to become her fan, follow her, or internet stalk her in a non-creepy way.

~*~ Goodreads ~*~ Catching on Fire, Facebook page ~*~ Sue Knott’s Facebook Page ~*~