Wow, I am so far behind


Sorry guys.  I got sidetracked doing a gazillion things today and forgot to post on my blog.  *smacks head*

Now that I’m here, I need to announce yesterday’s winner in the Make Believe giveaway that I’m running everyday in the month of December.  I threw all the names of everyone who commented on my blog yesterday in a Random Name selector and the winner for December 1 is:

BROOKE 


What did Brooke win?  A digital autographed copy of the Make Believe book cover signed by all the authors.

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Brooke, please send me your e-mail info to me at kford2007(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll send that over to you right away.

The official Make Believe Blog tour starts tomorrow with a Make Believe e-book  giveway over at Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.  This is a fantastic website for anyone looking for the latest scoop and reviews of all the hot Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books on the market.  The host of the site, Jenifer Bielman, rocks.  I don’t know how she keeps up with everything she does.  She really is superwoman.

Okay folks, until tomorrow.  Enjoy your evening and I promise not to be late tomorrow with my giveaway goodies.  I’m off to eat dinner before the season finale of Once Upon a Time airs at 8 PM.  Love you guys.

MAKE BELIEVE Blog Tour Coming Your Way!


I can’t believe in less than a month my first short story to ever be officially published is releasing into the world.  THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ, one of six stories appearing in J. Taylor Publishing’s Make Believe anthology, will officially hit virtual shelves on December 3, 2012.  I never thought this day would come.

If you would like to participate in getting the word out, that would fantabulous!  Just snag the blog tour button in the side panel and leave your blog/website url in the comments below so people can connect with your blog.  The tour officially starts December 3  and runs through January 3.

Thank you all so much for your help and tagging along with me on this journey. Got a YA novel you need help promoting? Send me an e-mail and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.

And now for a little excerpt from THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ:

Felicity inched forward and sat next to him, fidgeting with a linen handkerchief. “Sire, please forgive my imposition. I understand if you wish to punish me—”

“Punish you? For what?”

“Eavesdropping, Sir.”

“Good heavens, girl, if I had a therap for every time I found someone spying on my conversations, I’d be as rich as the king. Now tell me about this amulet. What did you call it again?”

“The Amulet of Ormisez.”

Flying below radar again


Hi guys!

I’m so glad you dropped in to see what’s up.  I hate to inform you that this week will probably be another down week for me.   You see, I’ve written 3 versions of the same novel…one for me, one for the publisher, one with the publisher’s comments and edits, and now I’m working on #4…a melding of the previous three.

I understood and agree with many points the publisher pointed out to me and I am gladly working on them.  They were correct on many aspects of the novel and I respect and admire their keen eyes and editing sense.  However, there are aspects about my novel that I must keep for my novel to remain mine.  There are hints of things to come in books two and especially book three in the saga.  If I take them out, then those events don’t hold as much weight.  They don’t pack a punch, and it won’t be the story I want to tell.

I had a discussion with the publisher the other day and they are a little hesitant about my decision to leave in a certain aspect that I have to have in the trilogy.  they are, however, still interested in seeing the final result.

The melding it, the bringing all 4 versions together has been more difficult that I thought.  Scenes, once ‘acted’ out by other characters, have been relegated to only two points of view.  Scenes that weren’t there at all in any of the versions have been written.  Conflicts once suffered by others are now experienced by someone else.  I have to admit, the writing is better, the story is better, but the outlining of 3 novels into one has been a chore to say the least.  The first novel was outlined to a certain extent.  I knew what I wanted to happen in each chapter and to whom, but now that many character POVs are gone, those scenes now have to go away all together or placed elsewhere with someone else.

That means this week will be another down week for me on my blog.  I will try to pop in here and there to say hello. I’m definitely still popping in on all your blogs to say hi and keep informed of the latest news and developments.

Oh, just to let you know…in my down time I’ve been engrossed in Cassandra Clare’s Immortal Instruments series:  City of Bone, City of Ash and City of Glass.  If you haven’t picked these up, you must.  A lot of folks think she’s a bit heavy on the description.  To me, it’s just the right amount, and her characterizations are fantastic and well thought out.  If you’re looking for faeries, werewolves, vampires, dead, silent, mind-speaking ghoulish things called the Silent Brothers, all wrapped up in an urban fantasy that takes place in NY, you’ve opened the right book.   It’s sexy, fun and definitely an adventure.

Till next time,

Stay healthy, happy and keep sweet.

Me

Eternal Blog Tour Featuring author J.A. Belfield



Hi everyone!  I have a fantastic surprise today.  Author J.A. Belfield is here to talk werewolves, romance and hot guys.

In case you don’t know, Julie is the author of the oh so popular Holloway Pack series.  Her prequel, Eternal, just released July 1, 2012 and the next novel in the series, Blue Moon, releases December 1, 2012. If you love Urban Fantasy stories about werewolves, you have GOT to read these books. They are sizzling hot, enticing, sexy, fun and chocked full of very, very hot males. (Ethan, Ethan, my heart be still). If you aren’t familiar with this series, head over to J. Taylor Publishing or your bookstore of choice and buy them up. You won’t regret it.

And now, with no further ado, I give you J.A. Belfield!

Pack Life or Pack up and Go?

I get asked a lot of questions about what inspires me, what makes me choose paranormal romance/urban fantasy, what the fudge made me decide to write about werewolves.

The first is the hardest to answer.

The second simply because of the escapism it offers.

The third … well, in all honesty, werewolves, and how my mind views them, fascinate me. More than just werewolves, though, provide that fascination. It’s more about the appeal, the trials and tribulations of leading a Pack life.

As a male, living amongst males who are bonded to you through more than brotherhood, more than friendships, more than blood even, would have to be pretty much like constantly feeling as though you are ‘home’.

As a female? The only female? Living amongst males all bigger, stronger, and naturally more dominating than you?

Yeah, doesn’t sound that appealing when put like that, eh?

But give me a moment and I’ll state my case. Read on …

–          Emotional meltdowns aside, you’d never have to explain your behaviour, however off the wall it might seem to the human eye. As someone prone to random and spasmodic slips into my totally whacky self—you know, that little corner of your personality that’s seriously unhinged and so only your very nearest and dearest and most trusted folk get to see …? I could totally see the appeal of never ever for one minute having to put up a front or having to be sensible just because it’s expected of you or worrying that you just might be the weirdest person in the room …

–          Security. If you’re a werewolf in a pack, or mated to a werewolf who’s in a pack, you’re pretty much guaranteed unwavering and unquestionable protection. These guys would go to the ends of the earth to protect each other. Which means they would always go to the ends of the earth to protect you.

–          Special treatment. Hey, what’d you expect? We’re female. And even if human blokes haven’t all figured it out yet, we are all worthy and entitled to being treated as special. Werewolf males aren’t human males. *smile* They’ve figured it out.

–          Being the smallest CAN be all that. Yeah, yeah, I know I kinda weaved this into the why it might not sound appealing but gimme a second and I’ll explain my reasoning with a list:

1) I LOVE bear hugs. I get them off my brother EVERY time I see him. He’s a foot taller than I am (and I’m 5’7), and he’s broader than I am (I’m no skinny bean when it comes to my linebacker shoulders), but when he gives me a brother cuddle the dude makes me feel delicate and dainty and (dare I say it) feminine.

2) The teasing. What’d’you mean that doesn’t sound like fun? It IS fun. To be teased in the most affectionate way because of a bonded love is the best kind of teasing in the world. Sure, it’d no doubt ‘P’ you off occasionally. But people on the street ‘P’ folk off all the while. Strangers. Better to get riled by those you love enough to make up with—those who will then help you to laugh it off—those who will be sporty when you catch ‘em unawares because the fact you’re smaller means you have to be smarter in your revenge, which means the dudes never ever see it coming … *cough*

3) Manipulate them into certain positioning on hot sunny days, and your drinks may never need heat protection from the sun again—because huddling behind one of those guys is like being cast into shadow by an eclipse.

4) Like to shop? Convince one of the Pack to accompany you, and darling, you’d never have to carry your own bags again. 😉

–          Whilst there are many more reasons I could list, I figured now’s probably the time to play my wild card: Werewolf males aren’t shy; they aren’t insecure about how they look; and they are all seriously on the buff side.

They also have a tendency to be naked … A LOT.

So … did I convince you at all? Pack life … or pack up and go?

An unmarried woman living in a house of men breeds hearsay and lore. If only the villagers knew the truth.
It’s not Jem Stonehouse’s marital status that brings unwanted strangers to town. Rather, it’s that she is the only female werewolf in existence — a prize to any pack.

Sean Holloway, the love of Jem’s life, has gone to great lengths to protect her. As a new attack becomes imminent, Sean realizes he must take greater measures with Jem’s safety or risk losing her forever.

His first task must be to marry her, but a force greater than the largest werewolf stands in his way.

Her mother.

Links to Julie:

http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/14
http://www.jabelfield.com/
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Goodreads – A must-have site for readers and authors


Goodreads is an amazing site for readers and authors.  It’s a great way to share your love for books and find groups that share you fondness for particular genres.  I have joined several groups centered around Fantasy and Young Adult books because that is what I primarily read and write.  It was while wandering around inside of the group, “Shut Up and Read” that I stumbled upon an excellent blog site catering to YA novels and authors:

Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance

I spent a long time weaving my way around this site and I fell in love with it immediately.  Jennifer has a fantastic way of handling her reviews and they are brutal, but honest.   She’s not rude or nasty to the authors, but she does give her sincere opinion, in a gentle way, about what works and doesn’t work.   I like that in a reviewer.  I like to know what I’m getting into before I dive in.  I don’t, however, decide whether to read a book strictly based on a review, but it does give me a starting point, especially if I don’t know anything about the book.

Jennifer also promotes authors by conducting interviews and providing opportunities for blog hops, guest posts and massive giveaways.

In addition to the reviews and author help, she also provides writing tips and all the latest book news as it pertains to YA.

Needless to say, I’ve found a great blog friend in Jennifer L. Bielman, and I hope you all jump over to her siteand check it out.  While you’re at it, don’t forget to follow her on Twitter at @JenniferBielman and Facebook.

Yes, it’s time for a flash fiction contest!


Hi everyone!  Glad to see you stopped by.  If you’re new to the site, please feel free to wander around and make yourself at home.  Pull up a chair, grab a cup of jo and chat for a bit.

I am really excited about the contest I’m hosting.  For one, it’s going to be a blast to participate.  Second, I wanted to do something fun to help promote Julie Reece’s debut novel, CRUX.

You’re going to see a lot of promo on my blog about this novel because I absolutely believe in this diamond.  If you want to learn more about this YA urban fantasy, click here.  I had the pleasure of reading this as a beta and let me tell you, it rocks!  It truly has movie potential.  The publisher is J. Taylor Publishing and has a release date of July 9, so mark it on your calendar and put this one on your Must-Read list.

Okay, so what does that have to do with the flash fiction contest?  Everything, since author, Julie, came up with the writing prompt AND she will be the judge of the contest.  What’s the prompt and the prize? Pop over to my contest page to find out.

Book Review – Halflings by Heather Burch


After months of promoting Halflings by Heather Burch, I finally finished it.  It would have been a quick read, coming in at just under 300 pages, had life not gotten in the way, but I guess none of us have control over that.

What is Halflings about?  From the inside cover:

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves Halflings.  Sworn to defend her, misfits, Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret – and the wings that come with it.

 A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger.  While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls.  As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

When I first discovered this novel several months ago, I was intrigued by the concept.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, not that I was a fan of ‘angel’ books.  In fact, I’d never read an angel book before, but I love Young Adult fantasy and this seemed to be right up my alley.

After reading it, I have to say I was split on my reaction to it.  Halflings has everything a Young Adult urban fantasy novel should have:  a cute, strong heroine, extra-cute hunky guys, a little romance, and a few bad guys.  What it doesn’t have, in my opinion, is a definitive plot.

The novel opens on a strong note:  Nikki is running for her life from a pack of hellhounds gnashing at her heels.  Lucky for her, the hunky Halflings come to her rescue.  But why?  The answer to that question isn’t really explained, nor is the reason why she’s being chased.  We have some hints…the mysterious Omega Corporation, genetic testing, antique weapons dealings…but as to a plot?  I couldn’t find one.  There is no beginning, middle and end to a single scenario.  Nikki doesn’t discover the answers to why she is what she is or why she was chosen.  We don’t learn why she was being chased by the hellhounds.  We learn what she is, but we don’t know how she became what she is.  There are a bunch of leads like endless wires hanging from a vast network of computers, but none of them go anywhere.  The balance between the questions raised and the questions answered is uneven.  I didn’t feel there was any sort of wrap-up, conclusion to anything.  As an author, I found this extremely unnerving.  It also may be why I’m so critical.  Sorry Heather.  🙂

Yes, there are half-human, half-angel hunks:  Mace, Raven and Vine.  Our heroine, Nikki is 17, is an artist and loves motorcycles.  Mace, Raven and Vine are Halflings, creatures caught between heaven and earth with so much to lose should they fall in love with a human.  Mace is a gentle soul who does everything right.  Raven is dark, mysterious with a touch of ‘bad boy’.  Nikki, of course, is drawn to both.  Vine…well, we don’t learn much about Vine except that he’s sort of new to this whole “Halfling” thing.  He sort of hangs around in the background and is occasionally thrown in, almost as an afterthought so the reader doesn’t forget about him.  I suspect he will hold a bigger role later, but for now, he’s just there.  There are other Halflings that are introduced, but like so many others, their characters aren’t fleshed out enough to answer any questions.  In fact, they sort of confuse things even more by creating new questions.

There are other sub-characters in the story…the teacher…the Halfling’s overseer, Will…the mysterious Damon Vessler…Nikki’s parents and Bo.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel connected with them as much as I wanted.  There is an unexplained mystery hanging around Nikki’s parents that’s not fleshed out enough.  Nikki knows something is up, but she doesn’t pursue it nor does it seem to faze her.  I felt there should have been some suspense, some tension, but Nikki’s reaction to all the red flags and the mystery surrounding her parents fizzles.  In fact, her parents’ presence seems almost arbitrary.  I also felt there was a huge hole missing at the end, like a chapter was missing or something.  The story and suspense surrounding Nikki’s parents just snapped, crackled and popped.   There should have been several OMG! moments, but there weren’t.

Then there were two deaths, both of which should have affected Nikki in profound ways.  One should have played over and over again in her mind like a movie.  It should have affected her future decisions.  She shouldn’t have been able to push it from her mind so easily.  It should have stuck with her, made her more suspicious of those around her.  Her reaction, however, seemed unattached and certainly not the way I would expect anyone, much less a teen, to react.  The other death should have left her, and us, heartbroken, trembling, tears streaming down our faces.  Once again, the emotion wasn’t there.  I felt cheated.

Nikki’s BFF, Krissy, should have played a bigger part, and the villain wasn’t villainy enough.  I suspected this individual from the beginning, but the big reveal was a letdown, kind of like stubbing your toe and saying “ouch’.  I did feel Nikki’s anger at the end, but it was short-lived.  I wanted her, the Halflings to do something, anything, to the villain, but it didn’t happen.  I was left scratching my head and thinking, ‘Is this the end?’

As for the narrative, I found it to be full of clichés and clunky descriptions that at times, weighed the storyline down.  I wanted the action of the first line to continue throughout the book.  Instead, it came in spurts, and while the spurts were exciting when they came, there weren’t enough of them to sustain the pace usually found in YA novels.

With all this said, I still enjoyed the book immensely and would recommend it.  There were some funny scenes between Nikki and the Halflings that left me chuckling and the romantic moments got my heart pulsing and wanting more.  Like Nikki, I couldn’t help being drawn to both Mace and Raven.  I can see the 15 and up female readers loving this book and craving more.  There is definitely room for expansion and the introduction of new characters to help Nikki figure out what she is and what her role is to the Halflings.  I can envision girls sympathizing with and wanting to be like Nikki.  They will also pick sides.  Does Team Mace or Team Raven have a familiar ring to it?  I personally like Raven.  Then again, I’ve always been attracted the dark, handsome ones with brooding eyes.

From my understanding, there are talks of a movie somewhere down the line and a prequel is already available through several venues.  The second novel in the series is scheduled for release in September 2012.

While Halflings has its flaws, as do most novels, they are not enough to keep this reader away from reading more in the series.  In fact, I’m looking forward to this angelic three-way romance where all players stand the chance of losing everything…including their hearts and souls.

Out of 5 stars, I give Halflings a 4.  Happy reading!